Only two weeks of byes left. Four of the top twelve skill-position scorers from last week are sitting out week nine (Plummer, Moulds, S.Jackson, M.Barber), but both Edge and Alexander return with favorable matchups. There’s plenty of options at RB to choose from.
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: Kelly Holcomb, J.P. Losman, Drew Bledsoe, Jake Plummer, Marc Bulger, Jamie Martin
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Washington
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. New England
Kerry Collins, Oakland (vs. Kansas City): Collins threw three TDs last week with a less-than healthy Randy Moss in the lineup. Look for Collins’ yardage numbers to improve from the 263 passing yards he threw for in the Chiefs/Raiders first encounter in week two as the Chiefs rank next to last in passing yards allowed in the NFL.
Brett Favre, Green Bay (vs. Pittsburgh): Yes, this is the same guy who threw five INTs last week. Yes, this is the same guy who has lost WRs Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson to injuries. The fact of the matter is Favre follows up a stinker with a solid game. In week one, Favre threw two INTs only to throw three TDs the next week. In week three, Favre threw three INTs which led to four TDs in week four. How many TD passes will Favre toss after his five INTs last week? Six? Seven? Start him and find out.
Michael Vick, Atlanta (vs. Miami): I don’t know how many of you Vick owners out there still debate whether or not to even start him each week. Consider this a friendly reminder to keep Vick on your bench for emergencies only as Vick hasn’t surpassed 120 yards passing since September.
Jake Delhomme, Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay): Delhomme was lights-out last week throwing for 341 yards and three TDs. This week, he faces the toughest pass defense Carolina has seen this season and coming off a loss to San Fran, the Bucs won’t be in a very happy mood. Explore other options is possible.
Bye Weeks: Willis McGahee, Julius Jones, Marion Barber, Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Steven Jackson, Marshall Faulk
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. San Francisco
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. New England
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. Arizona
LaMont Jordan, Oakland* vs. Kansas City
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (vs. Houston): Anyone who saw Taylor bust that 71-yard TD run, know Fragile Fred still has some giddy-up left. This week, Taylor faces the Texans who rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. Don’t miss out on this one.
Thomas Jones, Chicago (vs. New Orleans): If Jones could only stay healthy, he would be on the Studs list. This week, it’s a rib injury that is keeping him from playing at 100%. Jones at 80-90% is still a very nice option against the Saints who allowed Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to rush for a combined 188 yards last week.
Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. Miami): Dunn is averaging an incredible 5.4 yards per carry this season and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games heading into this week’s matchup against the Dolphins. Miami has been average against the run, but the Falcons have run at will against practically everyone. Despite T.J. Duckett’s questionable status, Dunn should post close to 100 yards on the ground with a chance to steal a goal-line carry or two without Duckett at full capacity.
Stephen Davis, Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay): Davis has rushed for more than 50 yards only three times this season. While he’s still been effective in the red zone scoring nine TDs, his opportunities will be limited this week as the Panthers will be hard-pressed to move the ball offensively against a fired up Tampa Bay defense.
Tony Fisher, Green Bay (vs. Pittsburgh): Fisher was a decent fill-in option at RB last week, but that was against the Bengals. Fisher is going to find the holes close up much faster when the Steelers are on the defensive side of the ball. Fisher should be decent receiving the ball out of the backfield, but those fantasy leagues that count only rushing yards for RBs should definitely look elsewhere.
Curtis Martin, N.Y. Jets (vs. San Diego): Martin’s knee injury has kept him from playing at 100%. Facing the Chargers who rank 3rd in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed isn’t an enticing matchup for Martin and the Jets.
Bye Weeks: Eric Moulds, Lee Evans, Josh Reed, Terry Glenn, Keyshawn Johnson, Peerless Price, Rod Smith, Ashley Lelie, Torry Holt, Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald, Dane Looker, Isaac Bruce
Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Kansas City
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Seattle
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia vs. Washington
Santana Moss, Washington vs. Philadelphia
Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. New England
Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. San Francisco): Burress had a short stint on the studs list, but he needs to maintain a level of consistency to run with the big dogs. Assuming Burress’ shoulder doesn’t restrict him this week, expect Burress to crack the 100-yard mark in a plea to return to the land of studs.
Eddie Kennison, Kansas City (vs. Oakland): Kennison finally got back on track with a big performance last week (7-115, 1 TD). Look for those numbers to continue as the Chiefs and the Raiders will be entangled in an old fashioned shoot-out this week. Start as many Chiefs and Raiders as you can find.
Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis (vs. New England): Wayne has posted above average numbers this season, but he’s yet to break the 100-yard receiving mark in a game this season. With the Patriots seemingly ripe for the taking, this could be the week that Wayne owners that drafted him very early have been waiting for as the Colts exploit some holes in the New England pass defense.
Jerry Porter, Oakland (vs. Kansas City): With Moss still dinged up, Porter will be the main target for Collins as the Raiders shoot it out this weekend. Porter finally busted out of a season-long slump last week with a huge day (6-123, 2 TDs). While another two-TD game may be a stretch, surpassing 100 yards receiving should be doable.
Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago (vs. New Orleans): Does anyone still start this guy? Just checking.
Az-Zahir Hakim, New Orleans (vs. Chicago): I hope you didn’t blink, because if you did you missed your chance to start Hakim. Joe Horn has returned and the matchup is less than favorable for the Saints passing attack against the Bears.
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (vs. Houston): What’s up with Mr. Smith? Eight catches for 102 yards in the last three games combined? With Fred Taylor likely to have much success on the ground this week, Smith and Leftwich won’t force the issue and Smith’s production will once again be below average.
Antonio Bryant, Cleveland (vs. Tennessee): Bryant had a decent game last week (4-98), but with Trent Dilfer struggling and the Charlie Frye rumors starting, you don’t want the Browns passing attack to be anywhere near your starting lineup.
Bye Weeks: Mark Campbell, Jason Witten, Jeb Putzier, Stephen Alexander, Brandon Manumaleuna
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. N.Y. Jets
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Oakland
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. San Francisco
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. Washington
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Miami
Removed from Studs list:
-Randy McMichael, Miami: poor production
Todd Heap, Baltimore (vs. Cincinnati): Heap faces a Bengals defense that allowed Bubba Franks to catch seven passes for 62 yards and a TD last week. Heap should provider similar numbers against Cincy at home.
Bubba Franks, Green Bay (vs. Pittsburgh): Speaking of Franks, with all the injuries to the WR corps in Green Bay, Favre is leaning more on big Bubba. Expect Favre to find Franks often enough to warrant a start this week especially in the red zone.
Desmond Clark, Chicago (vs. New Orleans): Damn you Desmond Clark! I picked you up in two different leagues as a bye-week replacement and how do you repay me? One catch for seven yards! A plague on your house, I say!!
Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota (vs. Detroit): From the penthouse to the out-house in one short week. Wiggins finally made his way to the start list only to see his stud QB go down with a season-ending injury. While Brad Johnson isn’t the worst starting QB out there, he’s not enough to get you excited about starting Wiggins this week.