It’s that time of year again. The red cross appears on half your team and players like Earnest Graham, Selvin Young and Brian Leonard are suddenly guys you should have drafted. Fear not, there’s enough depth out there to go around. Some fine offensive numbers can be found this week by digging a little deep. Happy hunting!
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. The first two weeks the studs list remains the same (except for injury). After week two, players are added/removed as needed.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!
Palmer, Kelly Holcomb, Tarvaris Jackson, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, Donovan McNabb
* = new addition to the list)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
vs. Tampa Bay
Tom Brady, New England vs. Cleveland
Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Buffalo
Brett Favre, Green Bay* vs. Chicago
Jon Kitna, Detroit* vs. Washington
Jay Cutler, Denver (vs. San Diego): Cutler wasn’t very impressive against the Colts last week, but look for him to turn things around at home this week. The Chargers are ranked 28th in the league in passing yards allowed including a dismal performance against the Chiefs last week. The Broncos offense should be firing on all cylinders this week as Cutler should post his best stats of the season.
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants (vs. N.Y. Jets): Manning has shown no ill effects of the shoulder injury he suffered earlier this season. However, he hasn’t exactly been a fantasy stud either. In the battle of New York, Manning should have no problem moving the ball in the air as he makes a solid one-week fill in.
Philip Rivers, San Diego (vs. Denver): Rivers returned to normalcy last week throwing for 211 yards, no TDs, and two INTs. The Chargers have been in a funk lately both offensively and defensively and won’t catch a break against the Broncos this week who have allowed the fewest passing yards in the league. Let the Chargers get back on track before putting Rivers in your lineup against a solid defense.
David Garrard, Jacksonville (vs. Kansas City): Garrard comes back off his bye week facing a Chiefs defense that shut down the Chargers last week. The Jags may be rested, but they’ll struggle offensively. Look elsewhere for you starter as the Jags will run all day long.
Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson, Adrian Peterson, Mewelde Moore, Chester Taylor, LaMont Jordan, Justin Fargas, Dominic Rhodes, Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter
* = new addition to the list)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Denver
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Baltimore
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. Seattle
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. Pittsburgh
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Tampa Bay
Willis McGahee, Baltimore vs. San Fancisco
Larry Johnson, Kansas City* vs. Jacksonville
Ronnie Brown, Miami* vs. Houston
Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay (vs. Indianapolis): With the Cadillac in the garage, Earnest Graham is the hot commodity on the waiver wire this week and has a nice matchup against the Colts who couldn’t stop Travis Henry last week. The Bucs will try to take the same approach as Denver did last week: Run the ball, control the clock, and keep the Colts offense off the field for as long as possible. Graham will have success in this gameplan.
, Arizona (vs. St. Louis): James has performed well against some formidable defenses despite the ridiculousness of rotating QBs. This week, James faces the Rams who are ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. Both Warner and Leinart should find it easy handing the ball off to James and watching him move the chains all day long.
Travis Henry/Selvin Young, Denver (vs. San Diego): Watch the injury report on this one. Henry had an MRI on his right knee and ankle earlier this week and his status is unknown. If Henry is unable to go, Selvin Young is a solid option against the Chargers who look nothing like the ’06 version.
Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. Tennessee): Stay patient, Jerious Norwood owners. Dunn has not performed despite getting the bulk of the touches. Look for the power shift to begin this week as Norwood gets more involved in the offense and Dunn continues to struggle.
Brian Leonard, St. Louis (vs. Arizona): For you Steven Jackson owners, Leonard is a nice option to own but he doesn’t come recommended to start this week. The Rams offense continues to play below expectations and it’s unreasonable to expect Leonard to produce anywhere near Steven Jackson territory. Leonard is nowhere near the receiver that Jackson is which is where the Rams will try and get back on track this week.
Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets (vs. N.Y. Giants): Jones was outscored by Leon Washington last week and may be slowed by a calf injury. If this turns into another RBBC, I’m calling the Roger Goodell’s office and demanding a stop to this nonsense. Say it ain’t so, Man-genius!
Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice, Troy Williamson, Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Reggie Brown
* = new addition to the list)
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. St. Louis
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Denver
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. Chicago
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Dallas
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Pittsburgh
Randy Moss, New England vs. Cincinnati
Removed from Studs List
Anquan Boldin, Arizona: Hip; questionable
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis: Knee; questionable
Brandon Marshall, Denver (vs. San Diego): The injury to Jevon Walker was enough for “Baby-T.O” to show what he can do. He followed up his 7-133 in week three with a TD grab last week. With or without Walker this week, the Broncos offense should perform well at home which translates into big numbers for Marshall once again.
Donald Driver, Green Bay (vs. Chicago): Driver has at least six catches in each of the past three games. Has anyone enjoyed the “return” of Brett Favre more than Driver? Once again, the Packers should perform well in the passing game against a depleted Bears defense that has Bears fans dreaming of the days of Buddy Ryan and Coach Ditka.
Roddy White, Atlanta (vs. Tennessee): Dare I say, Joey Harrington is coming into his own? The Falcons have had success throwing the ball the last two weeks and White has benefited catching ten passes for 191 yards over that span. Look for more success from White as the Titans will try to contain Crumpler leaving White open down field. Let it fly Joey!
Shaun McDonald, Detroit (vs. Washington): McDonald has benefited the most from the back injury to Calvin Johnson catching a TD in two straight weeks and averaging five catches over the past three weeks. There’s no surprises this week as to how the Lions will move the ball and McDonald should continue to post solid numbers.
Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. Dallas): How much has Evans struggled this season? Evans’ six catches for 72 yards last week tripled his fantasy points for the season. Ouch. Trent Edwards seems to be better for Evans in the long run, but not this week against the Cowboys.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (vs. Jacksonville): Face it Bowe owners, you missed a big week last week. Don’t try to play catch-up by starting him this week and expecting another big day. Bowe looks primed to be the #1 WR in K.C, but the Jaguars have allowed the third fewest passing yards this season and will contain both Bowe and Huard this week.
Isaac Bruce, St. Louis (vs. Arizona): Bruce left the game last week after suffering a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Bruce looks miles away from the eight catches for 145 yards he posted way back in week two. He’s a weak option at best this week for the struggling Rams offense.
Brandon Jones, Tennessee (vs. Atlanta): Jones posted a solid game before the Titans bye week catching four passes for 73 yards and a TD. Tennessee will focus more on running the ball this week which includes Vince Young gaining some solid yardage on the ground. There won’t be much in the passing game for Jones this week or any other Titans receiver.
Reggie Kelly, Visanthe Shiancoe, John Madsen, Zach Miller, Matt Schobel, L.J. Smith
* = new addition to the list)
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Denver
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. San Francisco
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. N.Y. Jets
Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Buffalo
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland vs. New England
Clark, Indianapolis vs. Tampa Bay
Donald Lee, Green Bay (vs. Chicago): Lee has four catches is each of the past three weeks and should be useful this week against the Bears would couldn’t stop Peggy Lee right about now.
Chris Cooley, Washington (vs. Detroit): Cooley has yet to have a bust-out week. Well, there’s not better time than now. Detroit has allowed more passing yards than everyone except the Bills this season. With the status of Santana Moss still in question, Campbell should look Cooley’s way early and often. Expect big numbers from Cooley this week: 7-90, 2 TDs is within reach.
Bo Scaife, Tennessee (vs. Atlanta): See Brandon Jones. More running + less passing = bench Scaife.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Seattle): Miller didn’t do much last week (three catches for 46 yards) despite the Steelers playing without Hines Ward. Santonio Holmes got the majority of the looks and that pattern will continue this week against the Seahawks. Put away your bottle openers, it won’t be Miller time this week.