Two big factors effect the Start/Bench list this week: injuries are running amuck and the bye weeks have started. Be sure to check your starters from top to bottom and keep an eye out for any waiver wire possibilities. 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. 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: Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Jake Delhomme, Chad Pennington
Dante Culpepper, Minnesota vs. Chicago
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Green Bay
Donovan McNabb, Philly vs. Detroit
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle vs. San Francisco
Steve McNair, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. Arizona
Brett Favre, Green Bay (vs. Indianapolis): I know Green Bay is really Ahman Green’s team as much as Favre would like to think he still holds the reigns. But this week, the brie-brains will need to rely on the old veteran as the Colts will force Green Bay into an old fashioned shoot-out and Favre will show he’s got a few rounds left in the old cannon.
Kurt Warner, N.Y. Giants (vs. Cleveland): Warner came into a very tough position in New York. Learn a new offense under a new coach with a high profile rookie backing you up chomping at the bit to play. All Warner has done is thrown for over 200 yards in his first two starts with a TD and no INTs. Not fantastic fantasy numbers, but they will be on the rise this week at home against the Browns.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. Miami): Playing in Miami against a passing defense that has allowed an average of 88.5 yards passing in the first two games is not the ideal situation for Roethlisberger to make his first career NFL start. Expect a bumpy ride for the rook, with plenty of blitzes sent his way.
Brad Johnson, Tampa Bay (vs. Oakland): When the head coach has to proclaim you are still the starter for the upcoming game, you can bet that your performance hasn’t exactly been up to snuff. With Gruden taking his troops into hostile territory on Sunday night, you can bet the Silver and Black will be fired up and will take out their frustrations on a suspect Bucs offense.
Bye Weeks: Corey Dillon, Travis Henry, Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster, Curtis Martin
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Denver
Priest Holmes, Kansas City vs. Houston
Ahman Green, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis
Clinton Portis, Washington vs. Dallas
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore vs. Cincinnati
Domanick Davis, Houston vs. Kansas City
Removed from Studs list:
-Shaun Alexander, Seattle: knee injury
–Edgerrin James, Indianapolis: hamstring injury
–Deuce McAllister, New Orleans: high ankle sprain
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia (vs. Detroit): Westbrook’s average of almost 6.5 yards per carry after the first two weeks added with his 111 receiving yards makes him a strong play this week against a Lions defense that saw Domanick Davis have a huge day last week (173 total yards).
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis (vs. New Orleans): Okay, last week was not what you expect from a stud like Faulk (20 yds rushing on 12 carries, 5 catches for 21 yds). Things will improve dramatically this week against the Saints who have allowed the opposing team’s RB to break 100 yards rushing and score twice in back-to-back weeks.
Quentin Griffin, Denver (vs. San Diego): Don’t jump off the ‘Q’ bandwagon just yet! While Griffin only managed to rush for 66 yards on 25 carries last week, rookie Tatum Bell was only given four carries as Shanahan looks like he’s sticking with Griffin for the time being. You too should stick with ‘Q’ as he’ll post solid numbers at home against the Chargers.
Eddie George, Dallas (vs. Washington): Despite the fact that Julius Jones broke his shoulder and will miss an extended period of time, George is not a RB to rest your fantasy season on. The Cowboys will be looking to the passing game against the Redskins and mixing Richie Anderson and ReShard Lee into the running attack will minimize George’s fantasy value.
Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati (vs. Baltimore): You’re five-foot nothing!! 100 and nothing!! And you haven’t got a speck of athletic ability! Sorry, I just love when Roc (Charles S. Dutton will forever be Roc in my eyes) makes that speech. Don’t expect big things from Rudi as he continues to try and get on track against Ray Lewis and company.
Thomas Jones, Chicago (vs. Minnesota): Say what? Isn’t this the guy that ran for 152 yards last week? Yup, one in the same. While I think Jones is a strong player to have as your #2 RB, I believe Jones will be hard-pressed to repeat his numbers from last week against a Vikings defense that has only allowed an average of 81 yards rushing after the first two games.
Bye Weeks: David Patten, Deion Branch, David Givens, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans, Josh Reed, Muhsin Muhammad, Keary Colbert, Ricky Proehl, Santana Moss, Justin McCareins, Jonathan Carter
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Green Bay
Randy Moss, Minnesota vs. Chicago
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. New Orleans
Terrell Owens, Philly vs. Detroit
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh vs. Miami
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore
Joe Horn, New Orleans vs. St. Louis
Derrick Mason, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
Keyshawn Johnson, Dallas vs. Washington
*Laveranues Coles, Washington vs. Dallas
Rod Smith, Denver (vs. San Diego): Smith has posted back-to-back solid weeks and returns home to face a Chargers defense that has seen David Carr and Chad Pennington pick them apart. Plummer will have his share of success by finding Smith who will be open often.
Roy Williams, Detroit (vs. Philadelphia): With Charles Rogers likely out for the season, the rookie made quite an impression in his first game as the #1 WR in town. With Detroit likely to be trailing in this one, expect Harrington to air it out often looking for Williams as much as possible.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (vs. Atlanta): Fitzgerald struggled last week against the Super Bowl champs, but should find the seams much easier this week against the Falcons who have allowed a 100-yard receiver in two straight games.
Peerless Price, Atlanta (vs. Arizona): After a decent week one (4 catches for 62 yards), Price disappeared last week catching only two passes for 18 yards. With Vick needing to run as much as he did last week, expect him to establish a pocket presence this week and air it out. Price should be one of the biggest benefactors.
Plaxico Burress, Pittsburgh (vs. Miami): Three catches for 43 yards after two games AND the Steelers are switching to a rookie QB? Playing in Miami is way more than you need to know to make this decision an easy one.
Reche Caldwell, San Diego (vs. Denver): Chances are Caldwell is the flavor of the week on most fantasy league’s waiver wires this week. Back-to-back weeks of 60+ yds receiving and a TD each week will trigger such as reaction. What you see is what you get and Caldwell’s numbers are unlikely to improve dramatically this week or in future weeks. Look elsewhere for that diamond in the rough.
Curtis Conway, San Francisco (vs. Seattle): Conway is this week’s waiver wire alert. Danger! Danger! Do not fall into the trap! Conway got the starting nod last week due to Cedrick Wilson’s injury. There’s a real chance that his 112 yds receiving last week will be a season-high. Stay away.
Marty Booker, Miami (vs. Pittsburgh): Miami’s offense is in such disarray, there is no one outside Randy McMichael that you want started on your fantasy team. Keep Booker buried deep on your bench until Fiedler regains the starting QB position or Wannstedt gets fired. Whichever comes first.
Bye Weeks: Daniel Graham, Ben Watson, Mark Campbell, Kris Mangum, Anthony Becht, Chris Baker
Studs (* = new addition to the list)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Houston
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Cleveland
*Randy McMichael, Miami vs. Pittsburgh
Removed from Studs list:
–Kellen Winslow, Cleveland: broken leg
–Todd Heap, Baltimore: ankle injury
L.J. Smith, Philly (vs. Detroit): Smith looked strong again this past Monday night, so despite the presence of Chad Lewis, Smith should continue to produce solid fantasy numbers from the TE position.
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta (vs. Arizona): One more solid week from Crumpler and he reaches the Stud list. This week against the Cards is just what he needs to make the leap.
Ernie Conwell, New Orleans (vs. St. Louis): Conwell went from three catches for 32 yards and a TD in week one to a big goose-egg in week two. Without McAllister keeping the defense honest, don’t expect big things from the Saints passing attack.
Doug Jolley, Oakland (vs. Tampa Bay): Jolley, Jolley, Jolley, get your adverbs here!! He needs something as he won’t be getting much action in the passing game this week.