Fantasy Football Start Sit
Happy Friday!! Who’s getting excited for this playoff run? Trade deadlines are all probably around the corner, everybody scheming and manipulating on each to get their squad ready for this last push to glory. Ohhhh thinking about it gives me more Goosebumps than RL Stine! But this isn’t about trade watch, this is about your starting line ups. Trades and free agent moves are certainly important but they are only as good as starting the lineup that gets you the big W when Monday Night Football goes off the air. Let’s try and make that happen! Here’s week 9…. Good luck!
Russell Wilson vs TB: Sure, you are correct. I know what you are thinking, I have abilities like that. Percy Harvin is not back and Sidney Rice just went out for the season. First of all, Percy has never played with Wilson in his entire career. Second, Sidney Rice? Taking away his whopping 15 catches in 8 games this year will not have the huge effect some people are worried about. Sure, it will do some things schematically for the defense, but the most important thing for Russell will be the Seahawks getting Marshawn Lynch to stabilize a run game that will allow him to play action pass. The Bucs give up multi TD games to Quarterbacks like candy on Halloween.
Alex Smith at BUF: With so many byes this week, Smith is the kind of guy you may be looking at to cover your Peyton Manning or Matt Stafford, and a good look at that. Buffalo is among the worst teams in the NFL at defending the quarterback from a fantasy perspective and Jamaal Charles is banged up a bit. Yes, Smith does not challenge down the field a ton, but he should put up solid yardage and have a couple touchdowns.
Others to feel good about: Terrelle Pryor vs PHI, Geno Smith vs NO, Philip Rivers at WAS
Ryan Mathews at WAS: Mathews has been a mountain size player of potential since being drafted in the first round a few years ago. Always seeming to be injured, disappointing, or flat out ineffective, Mathews has finally begun to put things together. He has back to back games with 20 plus carries, a huge feat often discussed here, and has topped 100 yards rushing both times. The Redskins are very vulnerable against the run and the Chargers have been successful this season by dominating the line of scrimmage. Look for Mathews to continue his string of recently successful performances.
Zac Stacy vs TEN: The Rams have found their man. Looking decisive in his cuts, fairly explosive in his burst, and patient in his reads, Stacy ran through a tough Seahawks defense for over 130 yards on the ground last Monday night. The Titans boast a tough D overall, but have not been nearly as stout against the run as the Hawks. Sure, they will stack the box but you don’t think the Seahawks did? The Rams know they need to pound the rock and it looks like they will.
Trent Richardson at HOU: Trent has been a disappointment. Ney, a huge bust of gigantic proportions. Coming into the season we all thought Richardson was going to be an elite back IN CLEVELAND! Then, he gets traded to a far better situation and it was going to be over right? (long buzzer sound for incorrect answer inserted here) But the Texans are most vulnerable against the run. Coming out of the bye, the Colts needed to figure out this power running game they have be trying to develop. They lost Reggie Wayne and need Richardson to take a forward step. The timing is good, the matchup is good, now is the time that Trent has a good game.
Others to feel good about: DeMarco Murray vs MIN, Chris Johnson at STL, Le’veon Bell at NE
Terrance Williams vs MIN: There are a few very desirable spots in the NFL: opposite Calvin, opposite AJ Green, and opposite Dez Bryant among others. It seems we always try and search for the guy who will excel in these roles and yet they have been hard to find for years. Williams has reached glory road for us. Scoring in 4 straight games and has 17 targets in the past two games Williams is still improving. The Cowboys are going to get the ball to Dez, duh, but T Will of the NFL has the type of skills that are very dangerous with an elite star opposite him. The Minnesota Vikings have no answer for this.
Dwayne Bowe at BUF: Bowe is banged up. Bowe is a bust. But Bowe knows Buffalo. Ok, ok that didn’t make a ton of sense but I couldn’t resist a Bo(we) knows drop! See Alex Smith, above, and you know I like the KC passing game match up this week. This should be a week that Bowe finds the end zone. I also like Dexter McCluster as a spot start.
Kenny Stills at NYJ: Injury, gambling problem, a draft spot realization of talent maybe; I’m not sure what it is but Marques Colston finally looks like a 7th round draft choice. How it took this long is beyond me, but one must believe it is injury related. They why is not of our concern however, but more importantly is the who. Who will take over because we all know the New Orleans train doesn’t slow down. Kenny Stills seems to be the prime candidate. Stills has scored in each of the Saints past two games and while his targets are still a little low, he is showing a great connection with Brees. Ummm, that’s important. The Jets have not been as stingy against receivers recently which could give Stills a lot of deep opportunities as New York focuses on Jimmy Graham and the abomination that is Marques Colston.
Others to feel good about: Marlon Brown at CLE, Denarius Moore vs PHI, Brandon LaFell vs ATL
Kyle Rudolph at DAL: Coming into the season, I was a little leery about Rudolph’s potential simply because touchdown prediction can be so flukey. Such has been the case as The Reindeer (trademark pending) only has to tugs so far this year. His match up against a defense that struggles defending the tight end this week though is one of those opportunities that Julius Thomas type owners might want to look at. It’s tough to chase touchdowns, but the Vikings will need to keep up with the Cowboys, and I like Rudolph to score this week.
Matt Ryan at CAR: We saw last week some of those receiver injuries finally catching up to Matty Ice. While he still topped 300 yards, he threw less than 2 TDs for the first time all year and had 4 INTs added in. That would be inefficient folks, plain and simple. This week, he gets a Carolina defense giving up the second fewest points per game to quarterbacks and it doesn’t look like Roddy White will be back quite yet to help. The Falcons are a team that will continue to throw in bulk, but bulk doesn’t always equal good. (4 picks)
Andrew Luck at HOU: Another QB who lost his number 1 target. If it weren’t for, ya know, the money, the fame, the women, the job, etc I would almost feel bad for Luck. TY Hilton will get his first shot at being the number 1 dude, more on that later, against the number 1 pass defense in the league. That doesn’t bode well for Luck. The Colts will try and pound their power run game and conservatively attack the tough Houston D. Putting a lower ceiling on Luck’s potential this week.
Others to be nervous about: Tom Brady vs PIT, Mike Glennon at SEA, Jake Locker at STL
Big Name Bust of the Week - Matt Forte at GB: Forte has been one of the most consistent dudes all season. He has yet to produce a single digit game, and has actually scored from the goal line! Yeah, things are crazy this year I know. Coming out of the bye, and with no Jay Cutler, Forte will take on a Green Bay defense that is actually 3rd toughest against the run. The Bears will certainly try to lean on Forte to help out Josh McCown, but the Packers know this too and will force McCown to beat them. Also, another worry is the score. If Green Bay gets up quickly at home, the Bears could be forced to abandoned the run. Something just makes me nervous about starting Matt Forte this week. You are going to, just a heads up though.
Big Name Bust Bonus - Alfred Morris vs SD: The game plan is the biggest flaw for the Redskins (should I not call them that?) right now. Up 21-7 against the Broncos last week and being able to run them down, they fed their bruising stud runner the ball 3 more times the entire game. In fact, Morris has yet to have 20 carries in a game this season! Now they are playing a defense that is number 1 against the run. Knowing how Washington has been calling games, watch them run the heck out of the ball right into the teeth of a way tougher defense than Denver. Still, tough match up for Morris.
Darren McFadden vs PHI: McFadden: McFadden produced his first double digit game last week since week 3 against Denver. He did it against the Pittsburgh Steelers at that. But why do I have him on my sit list? Well, Philly is surprisingly stout against the run. They have certainly had plenty of practice trailing in games so often lately but McFadden still just doesn’t look like his former self. I do like his workload, 26 touches a week ago, but only to 3 YPC. He isn’t built to ground and pound and that style doesn’t suit him. I think Pryor goes to the air and uses his own legs a little more this week and McFadden could struggle with the tough Eagles run D.
Others to feel nervous about: Darren Sproles at NYJ, Fred Jackson vs KC, Chris Ivory vs NO
Torrey Smith at CLE: The Joe Haden watch. Haden has been shut down all season and if he can slow AJ and Calvin, well, Torrey ain’t no AJ or Calvin.
TY Hilton at HOU: Here goes TY! Number 1 receiver status and everything that comes with it. Jonathan Joseph, safeties over the top, a game plan, and more. I love TY’s ability but I would keep my expectations low THIS week. Next week, it’s on.
Vincent Jackson at SEA: Mike Glennon, Richard Sherman, the Legion of Boom, Centurylink Field, with the Seahawks coming off maybe their worst game of the season. What does it spell?? S-I-T
Others to feel nervous about: Harry Douglas at CAR, Alshon Jeffery at GB, Antonio Brown at NE
Jason Witten vs MIN: The PPR monster surprisingly only has 9 catches over his past 3 games, bottoming out with 2 catches on only 2 targets this last week. Minnesota, believe it or not, surrenders the second fewest points to the tight end position in the league. With T Will and a recently, ummm, fiery Dez Bryant on the outside, Witten might be in for another slow afternoon.