Playoffs are nearing, some are fine tuning their stud team(s), some are just trying to maintain and hold on, and some need a pure miracle. Whether your coasting to victory or are close to the edge of the cliff, I advise and remind you to not waiver, but stay focused. The best teams could go out early and the worst teams could end up getting hot at the right time. For in the end you want to know, just like in any other endeavor, that you gave it your all.
Disclaimer: Kickers and Defenses are left out each week, also I try to leave the most obvious choices out. Start Adrian Peterson!!!
QB’s Start Em’
Mark Sanchez vs New England
You know the drill, New England’s pass defense still hasn’t figured it out, still ranking dead last against the pass through 8 games. Sanchez and this offense have been playing much better since their Week 5 matchup @ New England where he threw for just 166 yards. Expect Sanchez to approach the 250-yard mark in this game and throw 2-3 TD’s.
Tim Tebow @ Kansas City
After his game against the Lions two weeks ago, most “experts” were bashing Tebow relentlessly. I heard things like, “He has no chance”, “The worst QB in the league” and that him starting was “A joke”. Talk about overreaction, I understand the guy has an ugly release and the odds are against him to fully succeed, but give the guy a chance. I have always maintained the position that Tebow will become a competent QB in his league. I believe Tebow won’t stop until he becomes a successful passer and do everything in his power to succeed. In the meantime, his running skills will help him to get by. We saw that last week against the Raiders, with the Broncos suiting the offense even more to Tebow with a bunch of zone read plays. Tebow erupted by rushing for over 100 yards, the first QB to accomplish that feat this year, before Vick or Newton. White Boy dominating!!! So were riding with Tebow this week. Romeo Crennel will probably have something for the zone read this week, but I still think Tebow rushes for between 50-80 yards while finishing with 2 total TD’s. At this point, Tebow is a must-start every week because of the potential rushing yards and TD’s.
Christian Ponder @ Green Bay
Ponder has played pretty well in his first three games as a rookie QB. He played GB earlier this year and finished with 219 yards passing with 2 TD’s as well as 31 yards rushing. Ponder and the Minnesota offense will be playing catch up for the majority of this game, so expect Ponder to put up pretty respectable numbers once again.
Jay Cutler @ Detroit
Cutler is doing the best he can with a weak wide receiver corps and inconsistent offensive line. The Bears have actually helped Cutler of late, by switching to 3-step drops and running the ball more often. But while Cutler has been efficient, his numbers have been average with just 11 TD’s. Cutler only has two 300-yard games this year and hasn’t thrown for 3 TD’s in a game yet. This week is a tough matchup for Cutler, the Lions are allowing the 6th fewest points to QB’s and as we know have an extremely good defensive line. I’m not sure how Cutler’s offensive line will hold up in this one, so your better off just sitting Cutler this week, I would rather give Christian Ponder the start.
Sam Bradford @ Cleveland
Rough matchup for Bradford in just his second game back from injury. Cleveland’s secondary led by CB Joe Haden has been excellent all year ranked 3rd best in points allowed to QB’s. Bradford’s favorite target from last year, Mark Clayton returns this week, but it doesn’t matter, you need to keep Bradford benched.
Josh Freeman vs Houston
Freeman has regressed in his Sophomore year with 8 TD’s and 10 Int’s through 8 games. Houston is ranked 4th in defending Fantasy QB’s. Keep Freeman benched.
Something To Think About: Sitting Tom Brady
The Jets have been great against the pass allowing just 11 pts a game to Fantasy QB’s. It’s still Tom Brady, but it’s something to consider. Maybe Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez over Brady this week? I think I would do it.
RB’s Start Em’
Willis McGahee @ Kansas City
McGahee has found new life in Denver, blasting through holes and running strong. Last week he rushed for 163 yards and 2 TD’s against Oakland and is becoming a very reliable starter with four 100-yard games on the season. It should only continue now with Tebow under the helm creating lanes for McGahee. The zone read opened up two of those big runs for Willis last week and I think we will continue to see more of that going forward. McGahee is a very good trade target right now and he needs to be in your lineup each week.
Reggie Bush @ Washington
I could probably write a 50 page column just about Reggie Bush. I was one who remained faithful to him year in and year out, only to be disappointed time and time again. Bush has cost me countless fantasy wins and probably a few fantasy titles as well. Even this year, he burned me a few times. But the last two weeks, Reggie has heated up, as Miami is smartly starting to use him more. It hasn’t been all Reggie’s fault, even Sean Payton towards the end of his Saints run wasn’t using him correctly. Sporano was doing the same, but the last two weeks he has woke up and gotten Reggie the ball. Miami realizes they need to increase his touches and hopefully they will continue to. With that, I am recommending Reggie Bush for the first time all year. The offensive line is playing better and Reggie is running well. Keep him in there while he’s hot and Sporano and Co. are wisely feeding him the rock.
Chris Johnson @ Carolina
Still not a fan of Johnson, still don’t think he’s the same back, but I gotta suggest him this week against Carolina. I did see some positive signs from Johnson last week and I think he can take some of that momentum into Carolina who is dead last in points allowed to Fantasy RB’s. I still would sell Johnson if you can, and maybe after a good performance this week, you can formulate a nice deal.
Ahmad Bradshaw/Brandon Jacobs @ San Francisco
Jacobs stepped up in Bradshaw’s absence last week and could get the nod again this week as Bradshaw’s status is in doubt. However, neither back is worth starting against the stellar 49ers Run D, keep em both on your bench.
LeGarrette Blount @ Houston
Under new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips, this Houston D has been much improved, especially against the run ranked 3rd in defending Fantasy RB’s. Blount just came back from injury last week and had 13 carries for 72 yards with no TD’s against New Orleans. I would expect something similar this week, not really making him worthy of a start. Blount only has one game over 100-yards this year and hasn’t been as good as owners had hoped, coming off a fairly good rookie season. Keep him on your bench this week.
Roy Helu vs Miami
Helu had an absolutely ridiculous stat line last week with 14 catches for 105 yards. John Beck just kept dumping off and dumping off to him. Really that is just pathetic offense by the Skins. Shanahan early this week said that Helu would now only come off the field when he was tired, but then changed that and said he needs to rest guys so they can stay fresh. Who knows what Shanahan is going to do, maybe he gives Tashard Choice 10 carries this week, or splits Choice, Helu and Torain. The point is, once you think you can trust Shanahan, he burns you. So even though Helu appears to be the back on this team, I suggest you take a wait and see approach.
WR’s Start Em’
Laurent Robinson vs Buffalo
Robinson was already out producing Miles Austin when Austin was healthy, it just seems Romo and Robinson have a nice rapport. So Robinson makes for a nice little start this week against Buffalo. Robinson has 10 catches for 135 yards and two TD’s in his last two games, give him a shot this week.
Julio Jones vs New Orleans
I can’t think of a corner on New Orleans that matches up with Jones, then again I can’t think of any corners who match up with his size and speed. Jones came back last week after his hammy injury which kept him out several weeks and exploded for 131 yards and two TD’s on just 3 catches. In a high scoring affair such as this should be, look for Jones to finish with around 5-6 catches with close to 100 yards and a possible score.
DeSean Jackson vs Arizona
Jackson has been brutal the past three weeks being held under 50 yards receiving without a score. But this week he will get behind the poor Arizona secondary. Andy Reid knows he needs to start getting the ball to Jackson more, so look for that to happen this week. Jackson will have a rebound game, get him in your lineups.
Brandon Lloyd @ Cleveland
Lloyd has gotten off to a fast start with the Rams with three straight games over 50 yards receiving. But this week you need to sit him. Again we mention Cleveland CB Joe Haden who is an emerging as a shutdown corner. Bradford and Lloyd will both be contained by this impressive Cleveland secondary.
Reggie Wayne vs Jacksonville
What a disappointment the Colts and Reggie Wayne have been. Peyton Manning’s absence really has effected this whole team. Curtis Painter started out playing fairly well, but has just been pure brutal the last couple of weeks. You just can’t trust Wayne at this point and most likely for the rest of the year. Keep him benched, especially in this matchup against Jacksonville ranked 2nd best in points allowed to Fantasy Wideouts.
Pierre Garcon vs Jacksonville
Like Wayne, Garcon can’t be trusted right now with the way Painter is playing. That guy has been absolutely brutal. Again, Jags have one of the best pass defenses, Keep Garcon benched until Painter shows he doesn’t stink like your neighbor Gary’s feet.
TE’s Start Em’
Heath Miller @ Cincy
Love the way Miller has been playing of late. I told you to think about sitting him last week since he was facing Baltimore who was #1 against Tight Ends and he still tore em up for 5 catches and 73 yards. Miller is matchup proof, make sure he is in your lineups every week from here on in.
Fred Davis vs Miami
Davis had a bit of a slow week in Week 9 with just 45 yards, but he still remains the #1 target in Washington as of now. Unless of course Roy Helu catches 4887878 passes again. Look for Davis to rebound this week as Beck wants to prove he can throw the ball more than 3 yards downfield. Miami is also 27th worst in defending the Tight End.
Brent Celek vs Arizona
Celek is another Tight End who has come on the Fantasy Radar of late with 14 catches in his last two games for 154 yards and a score. As defenses are trying to take away the deep ball, Vick is finding Celek underneath. The Eagles are also starting to realize they need to utilize Celek. That will continue this week against Arizona, as Vick and the Eagles will shred this defense.
Jacob Tamme vs Jacksonville
Tamme stepped in for Dallas Clark last year and was one of the best pickups, producing week in and week out. He will step in again this week with Clark out, but against you can’t trust any Colt with the way Painter is playing.
Dustin Keller vs New England Patriots
Keller was shut down in their Week 5 matchup against the Pats finishing with just 1 catch for 7 yards. I suspect that Belichick will try to take Sanchez’ safety blanket away once again.
Zach Miller vs St. Louis
Pete Carroll said he wants to get the talented Miller more involved in the offense. That’s a good plan, but they don’t have a reliable QB to get him the ball and this is a bad matchup against St. Louis ranked 2nd in defending the Tight End. Plus Miller has done zip all year.
IDP’s Start Em’
Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions @ Chicago
Avril played like a monster two weeks ago at Denver with a couple sacks, a forced fumble and a defensive TD. He was getting pressure on Tebow in less than 2.5 seconds consistently. I know the Broncos offensive line isn’t good, but I think Chicago’s offensive line has a tough time with him and the rest of the Detroit Lions defense just like the Broncos did.
Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland
Long really has stepped up his game becoming a force on the D-line with four sacks in his last two games. Look for him to get to McCoy and have another strong game.
Yermiah Bell S, Miami Dolphins @ Washington
Bell has a nice matchup this facing John “I throw the ball 2 yards downfield” Beck and the Washington Redskins who will be running the ball often. Bell will get plenty of chances to rack up tackles in this game. He should finish with at least 8 tackles, making him a solid start.
Vince Wilfork, DT, New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Tough matchup for Wilfork this week against one of the best centers in the league in Nick Mangold. Plus the Jets should change their gameplan a bit and pass the ball more often then they did in the Week 5 matchup leaving less tackle opportunites for Wilfork.
Jabari Greer, CB, New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Greer will have a tough time defending both Roddy White and Julio Jones, two wideouts who have a big size advantage over him. Greer has the 2nd most pass deflections with 13, but it will be a tough task getting in position against these two physical wideouts.