By: Steve DeAngelo
As always, we try to leave the obvious choices out. Of course if you need to be reminded we will make sure to do that. Let’s get to it! Tomorrow we will be releasing our Rankings and Matchups. Stay Tuned. Send any lineup questions to SteveDeAngelo@gmail.com or @ Twitter.Com/FantasySavvy
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Carson Palmer @ Atlanta
Palmer has not looked like himself since his knee surgery, especially this year with a lot of inaccurate passes and also showing lack of the arm strength he once had. That said, he still is an above average Fantasy QB with great weapons surrounding him. Chad Ochocinco has vowed to get back on track and I think he will. He was playing with a dislocated finger and a cracked rib so the bye week definitely helped him. I think the bye week came at a good time for the Bengals and Palmer after that brutal loss to Tampa Bay at home where Palmer threw some costly interceptions. This week he gets Atlanta and their 25th ranked pass defense. They are still ranked 25th despite facing Dennis Dixon, Alex Smith, Derek Anderson and Seneca Wallace in 4 of their 6 games. That bodes well for Palmer, Ocho and T.O. I think the Bengals win this game and Palmer has nice success moving the ball.
Chad Henne vs Pittsburgh
At first glance your initial impression is probably to sit Henne against a tough physical Pittsburgh Defense. However Pittsburgh’s strength is in their Run Defense which is the best in the league. Miami’s gameplan will be to attack this secondary that is letting up 233 yards a game through the air. Pittsburgh has only allowed 3 passing TD’s all year but I think Henne will get two of them this week. Brandon Marshall is on fire right now with Henne and Pittsburgh has no answer for him, then again most teams don’t. Also the talented Devone Bess has been playing at a high level. Look for Henne to give you around 250 yards through the air with multiple TD’s.
Matt Haselback vs Arizona
I don’t like this guy to stay consistent at all through the year and think he stinks personally, but if there is a week to use him it’s this week against Arizona. We all know Arizona’s secondary isn’t any good as evidenced by their 26th overall ranking against the pass. Mike Williams should have a fairly good game again and Deon Butler will get open. Also John Carlson is a threat. Hasselback makes for a good bye week filler. I expect him to finish around 250 yards with a couple of TD’s.
Kevin Kolb @ Tennessee
After doubting Kolb, he has bounced back nicely the last two weeks looking like a different QB than he did earlier in the year. That said, I don’t like this matchup for him against a feisty Tennessee Pass D and without his best wideout in Desean Jackson. Kolb is going to struggle in this spot on the road and without his best playmaker. Look for other options this week.
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Thomas Jones vs Jacksonville
Jones has looked good all year, still running hard and showing burst even able to still to that corner at the age of 31. The guy keeps himself in better shape than most and it shows on the field. Jacksonville is more notorious for the horrendous pass d, but their Rush D isn’t much better ranked at 19th in the league. The reason I really like Jones this week is because of the scoring opportunities he will have. Kansas City should be able to move the ball at ease on this Defense and should have plenty of possessions with Todd Bouman playing QB for the Jaguars. Jones should see the endzone at least once and two TD’s is very likely. Get him in. Also of course get Jamal Charles in your lineups, you never sit him with his explosiveness.
Peyton Hillis @ New Orleans
Hillis has struggled to run the past two weeks as he’s been a little banged up and has faced to solid run D’s in Atlanta and especially Pittsburgh. However this week he will see success against the New Orleans Run D. Hillis is a big bruising back and he will churn yards against this D. Also even if they are trailing with Colt Mcoy in the 2nd half Hillis will remain a factor in the pass game as he has had just under 50 yards receiving the last two weeks. Hillis is going to see a heavy workload this week get him in your lineups.
Marshawn Lynch vs Arizona
Lynch didn’t have a great game yardage wise last week with only 44 yards on 17 carries but still finished with a TD. That was against a tough Bears run D, this week it gets much , much easier against the swiss cheese Arizona Run D ranked 29th in the NFL and letting up 140 yards per game. Lynch is going to have field day against this defense and will see the endzone at least once. Make sure to get him in there.
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams vs Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh’s Run D is the best in the league only letting up 63 yards a game. Don’t even think about it.
Maurice Jones-Drew @ K.C.
Obviously you didn’t take Jones-Drew 3rd/4th in your draft or spend $40+ dollars in auctions to sit him, but if you have better options than I would sit him this week. Jones Drew has only 1 100 yard game all year and only has two TD’s. He really hasn’t looked the same and his knee has to be bothering him some or at least slowed him down. Also not helping Jones-Drew is his offensive line, they are simply not opening holes for him. You definitely should be testing the trade waters right now for Jones-Drew. This week it gets worse for the Human Bowling ball as both Garrard and Trent Edwards are out leaving duties to Todd Bouman. K.C’s Run D is already solid at 5th in league but now they will get even stronger as they will be able to crowd the box to focus on Drew. If you have better options leave Drew on your bench.
Ryan Torain @ Chicago, Matt Forte vs Skins
Torain had a good game last week going for a 100 yards and a TD but it was against an undersized Colts D. Torain is decently talented, he can hit holes and run with power, but he isn’t explosive and isn’t the most agile back. Things will get tougher this week against a stout Bears Run D ranked # 3 in the league led by Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. Keep Torain on your bench this week and maybe see if you can move him before Sunday, he isn’t a good bet to stay healthy.
Until Mike Martz decides to run the ball more than Forte will not be a good option. When Martz was forced to run the ball with Todd Collins at QB against Carolina Forte excelled running for 140 yards with a couple of TD’s. Forte is not getting the carries he needs to produce and in this matchup against a brutal pass D in Washington you can bet Martz is lickin his chops looking to pass a ton. Problem is , he will continue to put his QB Jay Cutler at risk, stay unbalanced and continue to be an overrated offensive coordinator.
Others to bench- Michael Bush, Darren Mcfadden @ Denver, Brandon Jackson vs Minnesota
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Devonne Bess vs Pittsburgh
More so in PPR leagues but Bess makes a nice flex play this week. Brandon Marshall is going to see a lot of attention so that should leave plenty of opportunities for Bess. I see at least about 6-7 catches with about 70 yards and a possible score.
Dwayne Bowe vs Jacksonville
Bowe broke out last week for 100+ yards and two TD’s against the porous Houston pass D and now gets another great matchup against Jacksonville. Like the President of the United States would say, “Make no mistake” Bowe won’t only produce against inferior defenses, he’s too talented. There is a concern with Cassell at QB but Haley and Weiss got him involved in the gameplan last week and will continue to do so. Cassell can’t throw downfield but he certainly can throw drags and crossing routes and Bowe with his run after the catch talents is a beast on those routes. Also Bowe is great in the redzone with his size.
Johnny Knox vs Washington
Knox had a nice game last week as Cutler returned from a concussion finishing with 120 yards and 5 catches. He probably has his best matchup he has had all year this week against the Skins and their 31st pass D. Knox should have a nice day get him in there.
Danario Alexander @ TB
This kid is talented with great size at 6’5. He arguably could have been the more talented wideout at Missouri over Jeremy Maclin. With Injuries to Mark Clayton, Laurent Robinson and Donnie Avery Alexander got the call last week and produced with 76 yards and a TD. Sam Bradford is not playing like a rookie QB right now and as you saw with Mark Clayton he likes to focus on one receiver. Alexander is an injury risk going forward with 4 knee surgeries in his career but for this week is a solid play. Alexander could prove to be a stud with that size and speed combo, he should definitely be rostered right now. Remember the young 1st year-2nd year wideouts that have produced big over the years mostly have been big physical wideouts ala Randy Moss, Marques Colston, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson etc.
Deion Branch @ San Diego
Some people think last week was a fluke for Branch. It wasn’t, Branch is still a great route runner and gets open. He now has a QB in Tom Brady that can get him the ball on a consistent basis. It was also impressive to see the chemistry these two had after all the years without each other. Branch might not be a TD machine but he will get the catches and put up yards starting alongside Wes Welker. Get him in your lineups.
Mike Williams vs Arizona
Williams had a 100 yard game last week and it should continue for one more week against Arizona. Don’t bet on him for the long-term though. Sell after this week.
Steve Smith vs San Fran
Smith has been out the last two couple weeks and hasn’t done much with Jimmy Claussen under center. But with Matt Moore returning Smith will show his talents once again. In his last five games with Matt Moore at QB, Smith has averaged 88 yards and a touchdown. Get him in your lineups.
Patrick Crayton vs New England
Crayton is coming off a 100 yard game last week and it should continue this week against New England and their #29th ranked pass D. Antonio Gates will be a game time decision, Malcolm Floyd already has been ruled out and Legedu Naanee and Craig Davis are both questionable. Crayton will be Rivers #1 option this week. Get him in your lineups, he’s a nice start this week.
Steve Johnson @ Baltimore
Since Ryan Fitzpatrick has taken over at QB, Steve Johnson has been his man with 4 Td’s in his last two games. However don’t bank on that this week against Baltimore. They will give Fitzpatrick trouble allday and he will most likely will keep him out of the endzone. Leave Johnson on your bench this week.
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Heath Miller @ Miami
One game back with Big Ben and Miller gets back to Fantasy relevance with 50 yards and a TD. Ben likes to connect with Heath so Miller should be in your lineups almost every week going forward unless you have better options.
Ben Watson @ New Orleans
The Saints are allowing the 30th most points allowed to Tight Ends this year and Watson is having a solid year so far with 318 yards and Two TD’s. The Young Colt Mcoy will rely on Watson a lot in this game so look for Watson to finish with 5+ catches and around 60+ yards with a possible TD. Watson has always been talented he was just kinda caged in that New England offense. He is a nice start this week and a good option going forward.
Tony Moeaki vs Jacksonville
Moeaki had a great matchup last week as well vs Houston but disappointed with only 2 catches for 21 yards. However he won’t be shut down twice and will enjoy a nice game vs even an arguably worse Pass D. If you’re an Moeaki owner don’t be discouraged by last week’s effort, he will get it going this week.
Kellen Winslow vs St. Louis
This is a St. Louis Defense that ranks 3rd in points allowed to Tight Ends. Winslow also hasn’t found the endzone all year. With his catches and yards being limited this week, look for better options.
Greg Olsen vs Washington
Yes Tight Ends die with Mike Martz. He doesn’t know how to use them and right now needs Olsen to protect Jay Cutler. Olsen has back to back games without a catch, leave him on your bench.