The bye weeks are back for one last hurrah to cause you lineup headaches. With several big name players either sitting this one out on a bye or suffering an injury, you may need to dig a little deeper to find the right mix of players this week. Several quarterback changes are in play this week, which has an effect on the receivers and tight ends as well as the running backs. Be sure to get all the facts before clicking the submit button.
I utilize statistical analysis combined with more than 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The Studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient.
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.
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.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Tampa Bay
Tom Brady, New England vs. Kansas City
Cam Newton, Carolina at Detroit
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia
Matthew Stafford, Detroit vs. Carolina
Tony Romo, Dallas at Washington
Philip Rivers, San Diego at Chicago
Michael Vick, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay at Green Bay: First the bad news. Freeman threw for less than 200 yards last week including one touchdown to three interceptions against the Houston Texans. This happened two other times this season, and in those games he’s also thrown a total of four interceptions and no touchdowns. Now the good news. In the previous two times he threw for less than 200 yards, he responded the next game with at least 287 yards passing with a total of three touchdowns to no interceptions. With the Packers on the schedule and the fact that they allow an average of 284.3 yards passing (31st in the NFL), odds are good that Freeman has nice stats at the end of the day regardless of the outcome of the game. Don’t shy away from Freeman this week despite what you saw Green Bay do to Minnesota on Monday night.
Carson Palmer, Oakland at Minnesota: Trust me, I’m as surprised as you are to see his name here. But you can’t deny the numbers that Palmer has posted the last two week, averaging 316 yards passing with five touchdowns to four interceptions. This week, Palmer faces a Vikings’ defense that was shredded on Monday night by Green Bay and is ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Ride Palmer while you can because you don’t know how many of these big games he’s got left.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at Baltimore: As predicted, Dalton struggled last week against Pittsburgh, throwing for just 170 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Unfortunately for Dalton owners, you can expect more of the same this week as the Bengals travel to Baltimore, which has held opponents to less than 200 yards passing per game and have allowed just six passing touchdowns on the season. It’s not all doom-and-gloom for Dalton the rest of the season, but this is definitely a rough patch.
Tim Tebow, Denver vs. N.Y. Jets: For the record, I am not a Tebow hater. I think he can be a valuable fantasy starter given the right matchup. This week is not one of those times. The gimmick offense that the Broncos are installing will be no match for a Jets’ defense that is hungry to avenge the beat down they suffered on Sunday night against the New England Patriots. Tebow won’t find any open receivers when he tries to pass and the running lanes won’t be there either. Expect a season-low performance from Tebow this week as the questions will resurface about his long-term prospects as the Denver quarterback after this week’s game.