Look for a couple surprises and some “old” names making their return to the Start/Bench list this week. Fantasy owners need to think like closers in baseball: with short-term memory loss. Don’t let a grudge prevent you from capitalizing on solid matchups.
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. I will try to answer as many inquires as possible.
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!!
Bye Weeks: Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Vinny Testaverde, Brooks Bollinger, Matt Hasselbeck
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Green Bay
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Denver
Drew Bledsoe, Dallas vs. Arizona
Mark Brunell, Washington (vs. N.Y. Giants): Brunell’s TD to INT ratio in the last three games is 8 TDs to 0 INTs. Brunell faces the Giants this week who rank 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Expect more fireworks from the rejuvenated Brunell and the rest of the Redskins offense.
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (vs. Carolina): I know, I know. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. Burn me three times, drop Culpepper! Well, for those of you who toughed it out with him, this week is an opportunity to get some rewards for your patience. Culpepper is building on a solid performance last week and with Nate Burleson returning to action, C-Pepp has another weapon at his disposal. Look for big things from the Vikings in the air this week at Carolina who has been suspect against the pass.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore): Big Ben returned to action last week and didn’t exactly impress throwing for only 93 yards. The two TDs saved Roethlisberger from an awful fantasy performance. Big Ben’s struggles will continue this week against the Ravens.
Jeff Garcia, Detroit (vs. Chicago): Garcia played a solid game last week at Cleveland, but don’t waste your time scanning the waiver wires for his services. Da Bears defense is for real and Garcia will feel the effects first hand this week.
Bye Weeks: Warrick Dunn, T.J. Duckett, Edgerrin James, Dominic Rhodes, Curtis Martin, Jerald Sowell, Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Kansas City
Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. New England
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington
Removed from Studs list:
–Corey Dillon, New England: ankle injury
Clinton Portis, Washington (vs. N.Y. Giants): The once-struggling Portis has rushed for 100 yards in two of the past three weeks and ran for three TDs last week. This week, Portis faces a Giants rush defense that allowed 180 yards to the duo of Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell last week. Portis belongs in your starting lineup. Enjoy.
Michael Pittman/Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay (vs. San Francisco): Portis ran for over 100 yards last week against the Niners, and whichever RB that starts for the Bucs should see similar success. Check back later in the week on the status of Cadillac Williams, but do not hesitate in starting Pittman if the Cadillac is in the shop for another week.
Domanick Davis, Houston (vs. Cleveland): Each week the Texans offense creeps another notch towards respectability. Double D fell just two yards short of his second 100-yard rushing game, but he did find the end zone for the first time this season last week. With the Browns ranked 28th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed, look for Davis to crack the 100-yard mark with a score.
Marcel Shipp, Arizona (vs. Dallas): Any time the number of carries (14) is greater than the number of yards rushed (8), that’s a tell-tale sign to keep this player way down the end of your bench. Shipp won’t find any daylight in Big D this week either.
Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. Chicago): Jones has started to gain momentum in the fantasy world, but that will take a one-week hiatus against the Bears who rank 4th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and they held Jamal Lewis to only 34 yards on 15 carries last week.
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): Speaking of Lewis, he has certainly ranked among the top disappointments of the season. He’s averaging less than three yards per carry and has yet to crack the 100-yard rushing mark in a game. This week, Lewis and the Ravens held to Pittsburgh for more struggles and frustration. Don’t take part in the pain if you don’t have to.
Bye Weeks: Brian Finneran, Michael Jenkins, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Stokely, Laveranues Coles, Justin McCareins, Wayne Chrebet, Joe Jurevicius, Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram
Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Tennessee
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Green Bay
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Dallas
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia vs. Denver
Santana Moss, Washington vs. N.Y. Giants
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Minnesota
Removed from Studs list:
-Torry Holt, St. Louis: knee injury
Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. San Diego): Mr. Invisible as I like to call him. I traded for this guy in week six and since then has caught a total of two passes for 24 yards in two games. Not exactly one of my best deals. This week, Kennison has his best matchup in three weeks on the road in San Diego. Give him another chance, I know I am…even though it may be his last!
Tyrone Calico, Tennessee (vs. Oakland): Who? That’s right Tyrone Calico makes his first appearance of the NFL season on the start list. With Drew Bennett’s status not clear and Brandon Jones dinged up with a knee injury, Calico is the #1 guy by default and it’s a nice week for a promotion with the Raiders and their weak pass defense headed to town. If you need a quick fix due to a bye week problem, Calico is a viable option.
Keenan McCardell, San Diego (vs. Kansas City): McCardell bounced back from two poor performances to catch five passes for 78 yards and a TD against the Eagles last week. This week, McCardell and the Chargers face the Chiefs who are ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Translation: you’ll hear, “Brees to McCardell” several times on Sunday.
Travis Taylor, Minnesota (vs. Carolina): Taylor is a risky choice with the return of Burleson taking away some of his action, but I like the Vikings pass offense a lot this week. Burleson may get the most looks, but Taylor will connect on a big one making his mark in Carolina.
Chris Chambers, Miami (vs. New Orleans): That 77-yard catch last week turned a poor one-catch, 11-yard day, into a respectable two-catch, 88-yard, 1 TD outing. Don’t expect the same drama this week as Chambers and the Dolphins passing game will struggle from beginning to end this week.
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore): After a hot start to the season, Ward has continued to slide into the middle of the WR pack. His three catches for 35 yards would have brought him even lower had he not caught a TD pass. With Roethlisberger expected to struggle, Ward and his injured hamstring belong on your bench this week.
Eric Moulds, Buffalo (vs. New England): After back-to-back solid games, Moulds posted a stinker last week (4-36) against the Raiders no less. Facing the defending super bowl champs coming off a bye week on Sunday night is not what Moulds and the Bills passing attack needs to get things in motion.
Rod Smith, Denver (vs. Philadelphia): For those of you in deeper leagues, it’s a tough call to bench a guy like Smith. If you have the depth at WR, you may want to think about sitting Smith out this week as the Broncos continue to pound the ball with the RBBC and not forcing Plummer out of his comfort zone. The Eagles will bring the noise and the Snake will flash back to his days in Arizona. I see a real stinker on the horizon for the Broncos passing game. Avoid all members including Smith this week if you can.
Bye Weeks: Alge Crumpler, Dallas Clark, Chris Baker, Jerramy Stevens
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Kansas City
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. San Diego
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington
Randy McMichael, Miami vs. New Orleans
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. Denver
Chris Cooley, Washington (vs. N.Y. Giants): You know you’re running hot when 48 yards receiving from a TE is the lowest number of yards in a game in four weeks. Cooley and the Redskins offense is clicking on all cylinders. Don’t miss out.
Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota (vs. Carolina): Wiggins has caught 16 passes in two weeks and will continue to play a large role in the Vikings passing attack this week against the Panthers. Look for 5+ catches plus his first TD of the season this week.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. Baltimore): Miller has caught a TD pass in three weeks straight. You know the saying, “All good things must come to an end.” Well, maybe not the end, but Miller will suffer at least a bump in the road this week against the Ravens.
Marcus Pollard, Detroit (vs. Chicago): Pollard only caught one pass for five yards after cracking the 100-yard mark two weeks ago. Between Jeff Garcia continuing to familiarize himself with the Lions offense and the stingy Bears defense, things don’t look promising for Pollard to post big numbers this week.