The mark of a good, well-rounded fantasy team is surviving the bye weeks. It’s one thing to be loaded with Peyton Manning, Willie Parker, and Roy Williams. It’s another to get a win when all of your studs are sitting at home on Sunday afternoon. Depth is essential to success and you can never be too diligent about who you are carrying as your fourth string running back. You just never know.
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!!
Vinnie Testaverde, David Carr, Jake Delhomme, Derek Anderson, Brett Favre, Philip Rivers
Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Minnesota
Tom Brady, New England vs. Miami
Palmer, Cincinnati vs. N.Y. Jets
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Chicago
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Jon Kitna, Detroit vs. Tampa Bay
Matt Schaub, Houston (vs. Tennessee): Yeah, I know Schaub hasn’t thrown a TD pass in two weeks. But Jeff Garcia looked pretty darn good against the Titans last week. If Andre Johnson returns as expected, Schaub should have no trouble throwing for 275+ yards with at least one TD.
Kyle Boller, Baltimore (vs. Buffalo): Yes, that Kyle Boller. The Bills are ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed and Derrick Mason is playing out of his mind these days. The hype may be on Willis McGahee returning to Buffalo, but Boller will steal the spotlight with a big game in the air.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Denver): Roethlisberger has thrown for over 210 yards only twice this season and has not surpassed 250 yards passing all year. Roethlisberger will have a tough time finding open receivers, even with Santonio Holmes returning to the lineup, against the solid Broncos secondary.
David Garrard, Jacksonville (vs. Indianapolis): Garrard has thrown six TDs to zero INTs through five games. He hasn’t been asked to do too much, but he’ll feel the heat against the Colts this week. Look for the Jags to run early and often limiting Garrard’s chances and keeping his stats to a minimum.
DeShaun Foster, DeAngelo Williams, Jamal Lewis, Jason Wright, Brandon Jackson, Vernand Morency, DeShawn Wynn, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner
( * = new addition to the list)
Ronnie Brown, Miami vs. New England
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Chicago
LaMont Jordan, Oakland vs. Kansas City
Willis McGahee, Baltimore vs. Buffalo
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota vs. Dallas
Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Oakland
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Willie Parker, Pittsburgh vs. Denver
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. St. Louis
Reggie Bush, New Orleans* vs. Atlanta
Removed from Studs List
-Frank Gore, San Francisco: Offense struggling
Brandon Jacobs, N.Y. Giants (vs. San Francisco): Despite Reuben Droughns’ big numbers last week, Jacobs is the Giant RB you want in your lineup against the 49ers this week. San Francisco ranks in the bottom third in the league in rushing yards allowed and a healthy Jacobs is a dangerous Jacobs.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville (vs. Indianapolis): Now that’s what I’m talking about MJD! 12 carries, 125 yards, 2 TDs, and four catches for 59 yards last week. While Jones-Drew might need more than twelve carries to crack 100 yards this week, he’ll make it two games in a row over the century mark as the Jags will run all day long keeping the Colts offense standing on the sidelines.
Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets (vs. Cincinnati): Don’t look now, but someone seems to have awakened Thomas Jones. Jones averaged 5.4 yards per carry last week as he rumbled to 130 yards on the ground. This week, Jones faces the Bengals ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. Hopefully, you bought Jones cheap while you had the chance.
Ahman Green, Houston (vs. Tennessee): Ahman Green’s knee looks fine, but his stats haven’t been very appealing. Green has yet to rush for more than 75 yards in a game and he faces the Titans this week who have allowed the fewest rushing yards all season. I’ll look elsewhere even for a bye week replacement.
Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo (vs. Baltimore): Lynch returns from a bye week, but don’t automatically plug him back into your starting lineup. The Ravens held Frank Gore and Brian Leonard to 52 and 18 yards rushing over the past two weeks. With a below average Bills passing attack, look for Lynch to get to know Ray Lewis and company very well before this game is over.
, Arizona (vs. Washington): With both Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner on the shelf, Tim Rattay takes over at QB for Arizona which is bad news for James. Any defense worth a lick will stack the box and force Rattay to beat them. The Redskins have done well against the run and they’ll shut down James this week as well.
Steve Smith, Keary Colbert, Drew Carter, Braylon Edwards, Joe Jurevicius, Tim Carter, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Vincent Jackson, Craig Davis, Chris Chambers
Randy Moss, New England vs. Miami
T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Cincinnati vs. N.Y. Jets
Johnson, Cincinnati vs. N.Y. Jets
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Washington
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Seattle
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Minnesota
, N.Y. Giants vs. San Francisco
Roy Williams, Detroit vs. Tampa Bay
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Buffalo): You know Mason is having a solid year when he “only” caught five passes for 79 yards last week. The five catches were his lowest reception total of the season. Look for Mason and the Ravens to post solid numbers in the air against a Bills defense that is still reeling from the Cowboys loss.
Patrick Crayton, Dallas (vs. Minnesota): You could do worse than the third option in the Dallas passing attack this week. The Vikings have allowed the most yards per game passing that any other team this season. Romo will spread the wealth this week making any breathing Cowboys receiver a valuable commodity.
Kevin Curtis, Philadelphia (vs. Chicago): I liked Curtis last week and I like him again this week to post big numbers against Chicago who couldn’t slow down the Vikings last week. How far has the Bears defense fallen? Remind me not to trade for a defense next season.
Marques Colston, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): Colston’s stats are far from where you expect him to be after five games, but he should respond well to the Falcons secondary who were dominated by Burress and the Giants receivers last week.
Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh (vs. Denver): Holmes is probable to play against Denver as his hamstring seems fine, but he does not come recommended. The Broncos have allowed the fewest passing yards this season, but they have had trouble stopping the run. Sit back Santonio and watch Willie run.
Brandon Marshall, Denver (vs. Pittsburgh): Marshall has made the most of his opportunity with Javon Walker hurt. However, Walker is likely to return this week and the Steelers rank only behind the Broncos in passing yards allowed. Look for lots of running plays this week as neither offense will do much in the passing game.
Marty Booker, Miami (vs. New England): With the recent trade of Chris Chambers, Booker becomes the #1 WR in Miami. This Mia-N.E game will raise the question of whether or not there should be a mercy rule in the NFL. Keep your Dolphins far, far away from your lineup this week.
Bernard Berrian, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia): Who does Devin Hester think he is stealing points away from my main man, Bernard? The “real” Brian Griese will return this week which does not bode well for Double-B or the rest of the Bears receivers.
Jeff King, Kellen Winslow, Donald Lee, Bubba Franks, Antonio Gates
Studs ( * = new addition to the list)
Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Minnesota
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Oakland
Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Buffalo
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. San Francisco
Ben Watson, New England vs. Miami
Clark, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville
Chris Cooley, Washington* vs. Arizona
Owen Daniels, Houston (vs. Tennessee): Daniels has scored between 10-15 points (in a PPR league) in each of the past five weeks. With Matt Schaub and the Texans likely to find success in the air against the Titans this week, look for Daniels to continue his productive ways.
Eric Johnson, New Orleans (vs. Atlanta): With the Saints offense starting to move the ball and the Falcons defense needing to focus on Reggie Bush, look for Brees to use Johnson this week the way he did in the first week of the season when Johnson caught eight passes for 57 yards.
Zach Miller, Oakland (vs. Kansas City): The Raiders will struggle in the passing game against the Chiefs this week and Miller isn’t likely to repeat his TD grab from last week.
David Martin, Miami (vs. New England): Despite Martin’s two TD catches last week, he’s not worthy of a start this week against New England. Martin has averaged only two catches for 15 yards per game and those two TD catches from a week ago were his only TDs this season. Look elsewhere.