Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is our weekly look at the best and worst matchups from around the NFL and how they might affect lineup decisions for your Fantasy Football team. We are not in the business of stating the obvious, so you won't be reading here why you need to start Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson or any other top-tier players.
Everyone loves a good comeback story, and Ricky Williams has been one of the best. He is having a tremendous year.
Based on the CBSSports.com average draft position, Williams was the No. 52 drafted running back in 2009. He was selected behind Jamal Lewis, Earnest Graham, Jerious Norwood and LeRon McClain, among others.
But heading into Week 10 against Tampa Bay, Williams is currently the No. 11 running back with 99 Fantasy points. He is only eight Fantasy points behind teammate Ronnie Brown.
Williams has the chance to continue his stellar campaign against the Buccaneers, and he's our Start of the Week. You should still start Brown in all leagues, and he's the better Fantasy option, but Williams should be active as well.
It's amazing what Williams has done at age 32. He has five games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he has 85 carries for 456 yards and six touchdowns and 16 catches for 188 yards and a touchdown for the season.
This week, Williams faces a Tampa Bay defense that is No. 30 against the run. Eight running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Bucs, including Ryan Grant last week. Twice they have allowed two running backs in the same game to reach double digits in Fantasy points in Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in Week 3 and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in Week 6.
That bodes well for Brown and Williams, who are both getting time running the Wildcat. The key for Williams will be his touches since he has five games with less than 10 carries, including three in a row. He's still been successful, but you'd like to see him carry the ball at least 15 times in this matchup.
That should happen as the Dolphins will likely run all over the Bucs. And Williams should finish the season strong with favorable matchups ahead against Carolina, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Houston.
It's good to see Williams playing well again, and hopefully it will continue this week and the rest of the year.
Sit of the Week
Mike Sims-Walker has been one of our favorite players this year. We liked him as a third-year breakout, and he's lived up to the billing with a fantastic season.
He has 36 catches for 554 yards and four touchdowns, including three 100-yard games. He's coming off an outstanding performance against Kansas City with six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.
But Sims-Walker is due for a letdown this week against the Jets, and you should consider keeping him on your bench. The Jets, and more specifically cornerback Darrelle Revis, are going to lock down Sims-Walker in this matchup.
Revis has helped to shut down some of the top wide receivers this year in Andre Johnson, Randy Moss and Marques Colston. Those three combined for 10 catches for 92 yards and no touchdowns against the Jets.
New York is the No. 1 team against opposing wide receivers, and only three receivers (Nate Washington, Ted Ginn, Jr. and Lee Evans) have scored against the Jets. They have yet to allow a 100-yard game to a wide receiver this year.
Making matters worse for Sims-Walker is the Jaguars passing game on the road. David Garrard has not thrown a touchdown in four games on the road this season. In Sims-Walker's past two road games (he didn't play in Week 1 at Indianapolis and had his violation of team rules in Week 5 at Seattle) he has eight catches for 90 yards, including a disappointing two catches for 9 yards at Tennessee in Week 8.
Sims-Walker should play better when he's at home and when he has a better matchup, but Revis is not going to allow Sims-Walker to have a productive game.
|Starts that made us look good|
|Player||Stats||Fantasy Points||Week 9 Start %|
|David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville||264 pass yards, TD, 29 rush yards||18||15%|
|Julius Jones, RB, Seattle||36 rush yards, TD, 78 rec. yards||17||71%|
|Laurence Maroney, RB, New England||82 rush yards, TD||14||51%|
|Sits that made us look good|
|Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta**||135 pass yards, TD, INT||9||60%|
|Marion Barber, RB, Dallas||50 rush yards, 20 rec. yard||7||85%|
|Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh||18 rec. yards||1||54%|
|Starts that made us look bad|
|Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia*||227 pass yards, TD, 2 INT||11||84%|
|Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco||30 rec. yards||3||72%|
|Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina||24 rush yards, 14 rec. yards, fumble||1||42%|
|Sits that made us look bad|
|Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago||369 pass yards, 3 TD, INT, 17 rush yards||31||54%|
|Greg Olsen, TE, Chicago||71 rec. yards, 3 TD||25||54%|
|Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh||233 pass yards, 3 TD, INT, fumble||23||45%|
|Our favorite Week 9 sleeper pick was ... Matt Cassel, who had 262 passing yards and two touchdowns, which was 24 Fantasy points.|
| * -- Week 9 Start of the Week |
** -- Week 9 Sit of the Week
Brett Favre (vs. DET): Favre has the chance for another great game this week against Detroit. The Lions have allowed six quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns against them this year, and four quarterbacks have passed for at least 300 yards. There's a good chance Favre could be doing plenty of handing off, but I can also see Favre doing exactly what he did against the Lions in their first meeting in Week 2. He passed for 155 passing yards and two touchdowns, which is 18 Fantasy points in a standard-scoring league and good enough to make him a No. 1 option. Favre also has eight touchdowns and one interception in three home games.
Joe Flacco (at CLE): Flacco could use a boost after last week's performance against the Bengals, but Cincinnati is the only team to keep him from reaching double digits in Fantasy points this year. In Flacco's first meeting against the Browns he passed for 342 yards and one touchdown, and he's been great on the road with six touchdowns and two interceptions prior to last week at Cincinnati. Three quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns against Cleveland, and Flacco should bounce back with a solid outing this week.
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. CIN): The Bengals pass defense has been stellar this year. They've only allowed one 300-yard passing game and only Matt Schaub passed for multiple touchdowns against Cincinnati. But Roethlisberger did well against the Bengals earlier this year with 276 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he also ran for a score. He has eight touchdowns and four interceptions with three rushing touchdowns in his past five games against the Bengals, and Big Ben only has one game with less than 15 Fantasy points this year. He's just playing too well to bench in any leagues.
Jay Cutler (at SF): Cutler won't play like he did last week against the Cardinals when he had 369 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception, but he should do well enough against the 49ers. Three quarterbacks have passed for at least 300 yards against San Francisco and three have thrown for multiple touchdowns. You have to cautious of the interceptions with Cutler since he has six touchdowns and six interceptions in his past three road games, but the 49ers secondary could be overmatched if Cutler is on top of his game.
Donovan McNabb (at SD): The Chargers are No. 5 in pass defense, but those stats are misleading. They have gone up against Oakland twice, Miami and Kansas City, which don't have the best passing games. In matchups against Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, Kyle Orton and Eli Manning, each of those quarterbacks passed for two touchdowns and reached at least 18 Fantasy points. McNabb is coming off a disappointing game last week against Dallas where he dealt with a heavy pass rush and threw two interceptions for the first time all season. The key for McNabb could be the health of Brian Westbrook (concussion) and left tackle Jason Peters (ankle), but McNabb should bounce back with a solid performance and is worth starting this week.
Sleeper alert: Matt Ryan (at CAR): Ryan has the chance to bounce back this week after some dismal performances the past four games. Ryan has six touchdowns and eight interceptions in his past four outings, and his Fantasy value has gone downhill fast. But he could get back to playing well again this week against the Panthers, who he thrived against in Week 2 with 220 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The Panthers just lost standout linebacker Thomas Davis (torn ACL), and star defensive end Julius Peppers is playing with a hand injury. The Falcons have also done well against Peppers, as he has only one sack in his past five meetings. If Ryan can avoid the turnovers then he should return as a No. 1 Fantasy option. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Alex Smith (vs. CHI), Chad Henne (vs. TB) and Mark Sanchez (vs. JAC).
|Top Flex Players for Week 10|
|1. Michael Turner, RB, ATL||at CAR||24|
|2. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN||vs DET||23|
|3. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN||vs BUF||21|
|4. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR||vs ATL||20|
|5. Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ||vs JAC||18|
|6. Ray Rice, RB, BAL||at CLE||18|
|7. Steven Jackson, RB, STL||vs NO||18|
|8. Frank Gore, RB, SF||vs CHI||17|
|9. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC||at NYJ||16|
|10. Randy Moss, WR, NE||at IND||16|
|11. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN||at PIT||15|
|12. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI||at SD||15|
|13. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI||vs SEA||15|
|14. Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA||vs TB||15|
|15. Wes Welker, WR, NE||at IND||15|
|16. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN||at PIT||15|
|17. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA||vs TB||14|
|18. Cadillac Williams, RB, TB||at MIA||14|
|19. Marques Colston, WR, NO||at STL||14|
|20. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD||vs PHI||14|
|21. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL||at CLE||14|
|22. Devin Hester, WR, CHI||at SF||14|
|23. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO||at STL||14|
|24. Roddy White, WR, ATL||at CAR||14|
|25. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ||vs JAC||13|
|26. Steve Smith, WR, CAR||vs ATL||13|
|27. Donald Driver, WR, GB||vs DAL||13|
|28. Miles Austin, WR, DAL||at GB||13|
|29. Vernon Davis, TE, SF||vs CHI||13|
|30. Kellen Winslow, TE, TB||at MIA||13|
|31. Lee Evans, WR, BUF||at TEN||13|
|32. Joseph Addai, RB, IND||vs NE||12|
|33. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD||vs PHI||12|
|34. Marshawn Lynch, RB, BUF||at TEN||12|
|35. Brent Celek, TE, PHI||at SD||12|
|36. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, SEA||at ARI||12|
|37. Reggie Bush, RB, NO||at STL||12|
|38. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET||at MIN||12|
|39. Mike Wallace, WR, PIT||vs CIN||12|
|40. Correll Buckhalter, RB, DEN||at WAS||11|
|41. Santonio Holmes, WR, PIT||vs CIN||11|
|42. Antonio Gates, TE, SD||vs PHI||11|
|43. Tim Hightower, RB, ARI||vs SEA||11|
|44. Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI||at SD||11|
|45. Hines Ward, WR, PIT||vs CIN||11|
|46. John Carlson, TE, SEA||at ARI||11|
|47. Jason Witten, TE, DAL||at GB||11|
|48. Devery Henderson, WR, NO||at STL||11|
|49. Greg Olsen, TE, CHI||at SF||11|
|50. Ryan Grant, RB, GB||vs DAL||10|
|51. Todd Heap, TE, BAL||at CLE||10|
|52. Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, MIN||vs DET||10|
|53. Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC||at OAK||10|
|54. Steve Breaston, WR, ARI||vs SEA||10|
|55. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND||vs NE||10|
|56. Michael Bush, RB, OAK||vs KC||10|
|57. Austin Collie, WR, IND||vs NE||10|
|58. Pierre Garcon, WR, IND||vs NE||10|
|59. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ||vs JAC||10|
|60. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN||at WAS||9|
|61. Matt Forte, RB, CHI||at SF||9|
|62. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT||vs CIN||9|
|63. Louis Murphy, WR, OAK||vs KC||9|
|64. Benjamin Watson, TE, NE||at IND||9|
|65. James Jones, WR, GB||vs DAL||9|
|66. Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN||at WAS||9|
|67. Tony Scheffler, TE, DEN||at WAS||9|
|68. Laurence Maroney, RB, NE||at IND||8|
|69. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC||at OAK||8|
|70. Sidney Rice, WR, MIN||vs DET||8|
|71. Marion Barber, RB, DAL||at GB||8|
|72. Nate Burleson, WR, SEA||at ARI||8|
|73. Marcedes Lewis, TE, JAC||at NYJ||8|
|74. Tashard Choice, RB, DAL||at GB||8|
|75. Dallas Clark, TE, IND||vs NE||7|
|76. Robert Meachem, WR, NO||at STL||7|
|77. Kevin Smith, RB, DET||at MIN||7|
|78. Laveranues Coles, WR, CIN||at PIT||7|
|79. Andre Caldwell, WR, CIN||at PIT||7|
|80. Anquan Boldin, WR, ARI||vs SEA||7|
|81. Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA||vs TB||7|
|82. Earl Bennett, WR, CHI||at SF||7|
|83. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR||vs ATL||6|
|84. Jeremy Shockey, TE, NO||at STL||6|
|85. Braylon Edwards, WR, NYJ||vs JAC||6|
|86. Heath Miller, TE, PIT||vs CIN||6|
|87. Zach Miller, TE, OAK||vs KC||6|
|88. Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL||at CAR||6|
|89. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET||at MIN||6|
|90. Michael Crabtree, WR, SF||vs CHI||6|
|91. Terrell Owens, WR, BUF||at TEN||6|
|92. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC||at NYJ||6|
|93. Matt Spaeth, TE, PIT||vs CIN||6|
|94. Greg Jennings, WR, GB||vs DAL||6|
|95. Roy E. Williams, WR, DAL||at GB||5|
|96. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK||vs KC||5|
|97. Darren Sproles, RB, SD||vs PHI||5|
|98. Jamal Lewis, RB, CLE||vs BAL||5|
|99. Beanie Wells, RB, ARI||vs SEA||5|
|100. Chris Chambers, WR, KC||at OAK||5|
|101. Donnie Avery, WR, STL||vs NO||5|
|102. Davone Bess, WR, MIA||vs TB||5|
|103. Justin Gage, WR, TEN||vs BUF||5|
|104. Jerricho Cotchery, WR, NYJ||vs JAC||5|
|105. Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI||at SD||5|
|106. Torry Holt, WR, JAC||at NYJ||5|
|107. Justin Fargas, RB, OAK||vs KC||5|
|108. Johnny Knox, WR, CHI||at SF||5|
|109. Mark Clayton, WR, BAL||at CLE||5|
|110. Keenan Burton, WR, STL||vs NO||5|
|111. Sam Aiken, WR, NE||at IND||5|
|112. Percy Harvin, WR, MIN||vs DET||4|
|113. Chester Taylor, RB, MIN||vs DET||4|
|114. Nate Washington, WR, TEN||vs BUF||4|
|115. Greg Camarillo, WR, MIA||vs TB||4|
|116. Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN||vs DET||4|
|117. Lance Long, WR, KC||at OAK||4|
|118. Eddie Royal, WR, DEN||at WAS||4|
|119. Kelley Washington, WR, BAL||at CLE||4|
|120. Derrick Ward, RB, TB||at MIA||4|
|121. Julius Jones, RB, SEA||at ARI||4|
|122. Mike Bell, RB, NO||at STL||4|
|123. Jerome Harrison, RB, CLE||vs BAL||4|
|124. Santana Moss, WR, WAS||vs DEN||4|
|125. LenDale White, RB, TEN||vs BUF||3|
|126. Willis McGahee, RB, BAL||at CLE||3|
|127. Bryant Johnson, WR, DET||at MIN||3|
|128. Malcom Floyd, WR, SD||vs PHI||3|
|129. Jabar Gaffney, WR, DEN||at WAS||3|
|130. Felix Jones, RB, DAL||at GB||3|
|131. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF||at TEN||3|
|132. Patrick Crayton, WR, DAL||at GB||3|
|133. Mike Thomas, WR, JAC||at NYJ||3|
|134. Kolby Smith, RB, KC||at OAK||3|
|135. Josh Reed, WR, BUF||at TEN||3|
|136. Rock Cartwright, RB, WAS||vs DEN||3|
|137. Josh Cribbs, WR, CLE||vs BAL||3|
|138. Mewelde Moore, RB, PIT||vs CIN||3|
|139. Antwaan Randle El, WR, WAS||vs DEN||3|
|140. Michael Clayton, WR, TB||at MIA||3|
|141. Jason Hill, WR, SF||vs CHI||3|
|142. Kevin Faulk, RB, NE||at IND||3|
|143. Fred Davis, TE, WAS||vs DEN||3|
|144. Sammie Stroughter, WR, TB||at MIA||3|
|145. Michael Jenkins, WR, ATL||at CAR||3|
|146. Bo Scaife, TE, TEN||vs BUF||3|
|147. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI||at SD||3|
|148. Gary Barnidge, TE, CAR||vs ATL||3|
|149. Ted Ginn Jr., WR, MIA||vs TB||3|
|150. Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, CLE||vs BAL||3|
|151. Deion Branch, WR, SEA||at ARI||3|
|152. Ladell Betts, RB, WAS||vs DEN||2|
|153. Dwayne Jarrett, WR, CAR||vs ATL||2|
|154. Justin Forsett, RB, SEA||at ARI||2|
|155. Randy McMichael, TE, STL||vs NO||2|
|156. Ahman Green, RB, GB||vs DAL||2|
|157. David Clowney, WR, NYJ||vs JAC||2|
|158. Aaron Stecker, RB, ATL||at CAR||2|
|159. Brian Leonard, RB, CIN||at PIT||2|
|160. Jason Avant, WR, PHI||at SD||2|
|161. Donald Lee, TE, GB||vs DAL||2|
|162. Steve Heiden, TE, CLE||vs BAL||2|
|163. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK||vs KC||2|
|164. Maurice Morris, RB, DET||at MIN||2|
|165. Donald Brown, RB, IND||vs NE||2|
|166. Tyrell Sutton, RB, CAR||vs ATL||2|
|167. Maurice Stovall, WR, TB||at MIA||2|
|168. Isaac Bruce, WR, SF||vs CHI||2|
|169. Jarett Dillard, WR, JAC||at NYJ||2|
|170. Joey Haynos, TE, MIA||vs TB||1|
|171. Willie Parker, RB, PIT||vs CIN||1|
|172. Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC||at NYJ||1|
|173. Quinton Ganther, RB, WAS||vs DEN||1|
|174. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE||at IND||1|
|175. Michael Robinson, RB, SF||vs CHI||1|
|176. Deon Butler, WR, SEA||at ARI||1|
|177. Martellus Bennett, TE, DAL||at GB||1|
|178. Aaron Brown, RB, DET||at MIN||1|
|179. Danny Amendola, WR, STL||vs NO||1|
|180. Leonard Pope, TE, KC||at OAK||1|
|181. Brad Smith, WR, NYJ||vs JAC||1|
|182. Brandon Stokley, WR, DEN||at WAS||1|
|183. Will Heller, TE, DET||at MIN||1|
|184. Brian Hartline, WR, MIA||vs TB||1|
|185. Ben Patrick, TE, ARI||vs SEA||1|
|186. Brian Finneran, WR, ATL||at CAR||1|
|187. Mark Bradley, WR, KC||at OAK||1|
|188. Kenny Moore, WR, CAR||vs ATL||1|
|189. Alge Crumpler, TE, TEN||vs BUF||1|
|190. Alex Smith, TE, PHI||at SD||1|
|191. J.P. Foschi, TE, CIN||at PIT||1|
|192. Devin Thomas, WR, WAS||vs DEN||1|
|193. Mike Furrey, WR, CLE||vs BAL||1|
|194. Eric Weems, WR, ATL||at CAR||1|
|195. Legedu Naanee, WR, SD||vs PHI||1|
|196. Shawn Nelson, TE, BUF||at TEN||1|
|197. Tony Stewart, TE, OAK||vs KC||1|
|198. Marko Mitchell, WR, WAS||vs DEN||1|
|199. Kenny Britt, WR, TEN||vs BUF||1|
|200. Greg Lewis, WR, MIN||vs DET||1|
David Garrard (at NYJ): As you can see with our suggestion on Mike Sims-Walker this week, you'll want to avoid Garrard on the road. He has no passing touchdowns in four road games with two interceptions, two fumbles and only one game with more than 200 passing yards. The Jets are No. 2 in pass defense and No. 1 against opposing quarterbacks in terms of Fantasy production. Only one quarterback has passed for multiple touchdowns against the Jets this year, and it was Chad Henne in Week 5. They have limited Matt Schaub, Tom Brady and Drew Brees and should be able to contain Garrard since he's playing on the road.
Kyle Orton (at WAS): As we told you last week with Matt Ryan, the Redskins have done a great job against opposing quarterbacks. Washington, which is No. 1 in pass defense, has not allowed one quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns, and that's against Eli Manning, Matt Cassel, Donovan McNabb and Ryan. Orton, after a great stretch from Weeks 4-6, has been terrible the past two games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Granted, those are two standout defensive teams, but Orton has no touchdowns and three interceptions. He should no longer be considered a No. 1 Fantasy option.
Matt Cassel (at OAK): It seems like the same story for the Raiders with their pass defense. The stats look good because teams run all over them, and they've done well against opposing quarterbacks this season. Only Eli Manning -- in a half -- has passed for multiple touchdowns against the Raiders, and they limited Philip Rivers, Kyle Orton, Matt Schaub and Donovan McNabb to one touchdown or less in five games. Cassel faced the Raiders in Week 2 in his first start with the Chiefs, and he passed for 241 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. That was good for 14 Fantasy points, and you can probably expect a similar result this week.
Carson Palmer (at PIT): The Steelers defense is starting to look nasty again with Troy Polamalu back making plays. They have allowed no touchdowns with four interceptions the past two games against Brett Favre and Kyle Orton. The Steelers also have six sacks over that span and should come after Palmer, who they sacked twice in their first meeting in Week 3. The Steelers held Palmer to 183 passing yards and one touchdown in that game, and Palmer will likely be held in check again in this matchup.
Vince Young (vs. BUF): The Bills pass defense has been stellar the past five games with one touchdown and 11 interceptions. Granted, it was against Chad Henne, Derek Anderson, Mark Sanchez and Jake Delhomme the first four games, but Buffalo held Matt Schaub to no touchdowns and two interceptions in Week 8. Young might make some plays on the ground since he has 44 rushing yards and a touchdown the past two games, but he hasn't topped 175 passing yards in his first two starts. This is going to be the Chris Johnson show for the Titans, so don't plan on using Young as a bye-week replacement this week.
Bust alert: Matt Hasselbeck (at ARI): We all know what happened the last time Hasselbeck faced the Cardinals. It was Week 6, and we had Hasselbeck as the Start of the Week. I'm still getting flashbacks of his horrendous performance when he was 10 of 29 passing for 112 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a fumble. He had zero Fantasy points, and I can't trust him this week. The Cardinals have improved their pass defense even with last week's game against Chicago when they allowed 369 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Prior to that Arizona had shut down Hasselbeck, Eli Manning and Jake Delhomme. Seattle still has issues on the offensive line, and Hasselbeck now has a shoulder problem on top of his injured ribs. Start Hasselbeck if you feel comfortable, but I'm staying away in this matchup. I've learned my lesson.
Rashard Mendenhall (vs. CIN): Mendenhall missed the first game against the Bengals in Week 3 when he was benched, and that's been the best thing that ever happened to him. Since then, he has two games with more than 150 rushing yards and four games with double digits in Fantasy points. He ran all over the Broncos last week with 22 carries for 155 yards, and the Steelers offensive line is starting to push people around again. The Bengals have done well against the run, but they have allowed five running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including Ray Rice twice. With Mendenhall out in the first game with the Steelers, Willie Parker had 93 rushing yards and caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown.
Tim Hightower (vs. SEA): All Hightower does is produce. It's not flashy, but it is effective. He has five games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's scored five touchdowns this season. At Seattle in Week 6, Hightower had 32 rushing yards and a touchdown and four catches for 26 yards. Seattle has allowed six running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including Hightower, who has been a standout option in leagues where receptions count since he has 40 catches for the season.
Jonathan Stewart (vs. ATL): DeAngelo Williams is dealing with a knee injury, which could limit his production or possibly keep him out. That would allow Stewart to get more carries, and he's a good flex option this week. He had nine carries for 65 yards and three catches for 14 yards against the Falcons in Week 2, and he scored a touchdown against Atlanta last year at home. The Falcons are No. 24 in run defense, but the key for Stewart's production will be the health of Williams.
Jamaal Charles (at OAK): Charles has the chance for a breakout game this week against the Raiders so consider him a great flex option. Oakland is No. 29 against the run, and even Larry Johnson had over 100 total yards against the Raiders in Week 2. Charles needs more carries to be effective, which is the only concern. He had six carries for 36 yards and three catches for 19 yards with a two-point conversion last week at Jacksonville, but he should get more touches this week based on the matchup.
Laurence Maroney (at IND): Maroney continues to play well, and he's worth starting this week based on the Colts run defense, which has allowed more than 108 yards per game with six touchdowns this year. The Colts will not stack the line of scrimmage against the Patriots, which should allow Maroney some running room. Maroney has three touchdowns in his past three games, and he actually got 20 carries for 82 yards last week against Miami. If he gets at least 15 carries this week against the Colts he should be successful.
Sleeper alert: Ladell Betts (vs. DEN): It appears that Betts will get the start with Clinton Portis expected to miss the game with a concussion. Betts showed last week against the Falcons when he came on for Portis that he can be a serviceable Fantasy option with 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 23 yards. The Broncos got pushed around by the Steelers on Monday night, and while Washington's offensive line won't come close to doing the same thing, Betts could make plays running the ball and as a receiver out of the backfield. You always want to find running backs that will get the majority of touches, and that's the case with Betts this week. He should be a solid flex option. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Shonn Greene (vs. JAC), Darren McFadden (vs. KC), LenDale White (vs. BUF) and Mike Bell (at STL).
Knowshon Moreno (at WAS): It wouldn't surprise me if Moreno has a bounce back week against the Redskins. Washington is not good against the run. But I find it hard to trust Moreno based on his play recently. Granted, his past two games were against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but he combined for 15 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown with a fumble, including 3 yards rushing against the Steelers. Correll Buckhalter started that game, and the Broncos might be more inclined to rely on the veteran. This really has little to do with the Redskins as much as Moreno could just be a risky option.
Julius Jones (at ARI): Jones played as expected last week against Detroit with 36 rushing yards and a touchdown and six catches for 78 yards. He has done well in favorable matchups, but this isn't one of those games. The Cardinals are No. 3 in run defense, and they have stuffed Jones in three previous games with 17 carries for 30 yards and no touchdowns and one catch for minus-5 yards and a fumble. In Week 6 in Seattle, Jones was held to five carries for 5 yards.
Cadillac Williams (at MIA): I had Williams as a potential starter coming into the week with the Dolphins dealing with injuries to nose tackle Jason Ferguson (elbow) and linebacker Channing Crowder (shoulder). The Dolphins got run over the past two weeks by Thomas Jones and Laurence Maroney, and I thought Williams had the chance to play well in this matchup. But with Ferguson and Crowder expected to return, Williams should be limited again. He has nine Fantasy points in his past two games against New England and Green Bay with one touchdown in his past seven games. He also hasn't scored a touchdown on the road this year, so keep him reserved against the Dolphins.
Marion Barber (at GB): We expected Barber to struggle last week, and he finished with 12 carries for 50 yards and two catches for 20 yards at the Eagles. He now has three games in his last four with less than 10 Fantasy points, and the Cowboys even used the Wildcat against Philadelphia with Tashard Choice getting the carries. The Packers have only allowed one running back to score a touchdown against them this year, and it was Adrian Peterson in two different games. Barber always has the chance to find the end zone, but he's not producing like a starting Fantasy running back. Consider benching Barber this week if you have better options in reserve.
Kevin Smith (at MIN): Smith is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to his production recently. He hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points since Week 4, a span of four games, and his recent shoulder injury could be a cause of concern. He had 24 carries for 83 yards against Minnesota in Week 2, but he also lost a fumble. Smith hasn't scored a touchdown in three career games against the Vikings, who are No. 6 in run defense with only two rushing touchdowns allowed this year.
Bust alert: LaDainian Tomlinson (at PHI): This is hard to write because Tomlinson has been so good for so long, but he looks done. The burst appears gone, and his best days are clearly behind him. You can't trust him against a good defense, and the Eagles have done well in stopping the run. They haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, and only one running back has been able to gain 100 total yards (Brandon Jacobs in Week 8). Tomlinson only has one game with 100 total yards this year, and he has scored three touchdowns -- all against Oakland. The Chargers offensive line isn't opening holes, and Philip Rivers has turned San Diego into a passing team. Don't start Tomlinson against the Eagles unless you're looking for less than 10 Fantasy points this week.
Calvin Johnson (at MIN): Johnson came back last week at Seattle after missing two games with a knee injury, and it wasn't pretty. He had nine targets, but he only had two catches for 27 yards and was seen arguing with quarterback Matthew Stafford on the sideline. Look for Johnson to get back on track this week against the Vikings, who have allowed five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in the past four games. Johnson had his lone touchdown this year against Minnesota in Week 2, and he has four touchdowns in five career games against the Vikings, including three in a row. The only time he didn't score was at Minnesota in his rookie year. Johnson's outlook will also improve if Antoine Winfield (foot) misses another game.
Devin Hester (at SF): Hester is quietly having a solid year, especially the past four games. He only has two games this season with less than 75 receiving yards, which were Week 2 against Pittsburgh and Week 4 against Detroit when he left with a shoulder injury. In his past four games, Hester has averaged six catches and 89 yards with one touchdown. The problem has been finding the end zone since he only has three touchdowns on the season, but all three have come on the road. Keep Hester active at the 49ers.
Derrick Mason (at CLE): Mason has to be thrilled the Bengals are off the schedule. He's faced Cincinnati twice in the past five games and combined for three catches and 31 yards. In his three other games over that span he has 18 catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Mason had five catches for 118 yards and a touchdown against the Browns earlier this year, and he has 14 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games against Cleveland. The Browns have allowed five wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, and Mason should have another good game in this matchup.
Sidney Rice (vs. DET): Rice had a disappointing game before his bye at Green Bay with four catches for 40 yards, but he's been great at home this year and has a stellar matchup. In three home games against San Francisco, Green Bay and Baltimore, Rice has 15 catches for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Rice only had three catches for 29 yards against the Lions in Week 2, but that was before his breakout performance began. The Lions have allowed eight receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, so consider Rice a solid Fantasy option and Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian as sleepers.
Mike Wallace (vs. CIN): Kudos to colleague Dave Richard for touting Wallace for weeks now, and he loved him last week at Denver. He scored his second touchdown in as many games against the Broncos and has three touchdowns in his past four outings. In Week 3 at Cincinnati, Wallace had a career-high seven catches for 102 yards, and Ben Roethlisberger continues to look for Wallace each week. Hines Ward remains the best Fantasy wide receiver for the Steelers, but Wallace has passed Santonio Holmes as the No. 2 option in Fantasy production. It's time to consider Wallace a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver.
Sleeper alert: Jerricho Cotchery (vs. JAC): Cotchery only has one touchdown on the season, but he has five games with at least 70 receiving yards. He should get plenty of single coverage playing with Braylon Edwards, and Edwards should play well against the Jaguars also. Seven wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Jacksonville, and the Jaguars have allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this year. The Jets will likely run all over Jacksonville this week, but Cotchery should have the chance to play as a starting Fantasy wide receiver along with Edwards. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Pierre Garcon (vs. NE), Michael Crabtree (vs. CHI), Laveranues Coles (at PIT), Malcom Floyd (vs. PHI) and Lee Evans (at TEN).
Jeremy Maclin (at SD): Maclin has struggled on the road this year. In three games away from Philadelphia, Maclin only has six catches for 59 yards and no touchdowns. By comparison, he has 19 catches for 278 yards and three touchdowns in five home games. The Chargers have also done well against opposing wide receivers this year, allowing only five receivers to score touchdowns and only four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Keep DeSean Jackson active because the Southern Cal native is going home and always has the chance to break a big play, but you can sit Maclin in this matchup.
Santana Moss (vs. DEN): Moss was a disappointment with his performance last week against Atlanta. Granted, the quarterback play for the Redskins was horrible, much like it's been all season, but Moss only had five catches for 47 yards. He's struggled at home with only 12 catches for 225 yards and one touchdown in four games, and the Broncos pass defense, despite getting burned last week by Pittsburgh, has been stellar. Only five wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Denver, with two coming last week against the Steelers (Hines Ward and Mike Wallace).
Johnny Knox (at SF): Knox has cooled off after a hot start. He had three touchdowns in the first five games but hasn't scored since. He also has been limited to 11 catches for 116 yards in his past three games. Jay Cutler is relying on Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Greg Olsen and Matt Forte, and Knox has started to look like a rookie. Unless he gets hot again like he did earlier this season, you should plan on keeping him reserved for the rest of the year.
Roy E. Williams (at GB): I like the way Williams played last week at the Eagles with five catches for 75 yards. It was a season-high for catches, and his yardage total matched his season high from Week 3 against Carolina. But I'm still not ready to trust Williams as anything more than a No. 3 Fantasy option. He still only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points, and even though the Packers have given up some big games to wide receivers (six have reached double digits in Fantasy points this year), their cornerbacks should contain Williams. He's also familiar with the Packers going back to his days with the Lions, and he has just six catches for 80 yards in his past two games against Green Bay.
Nate Burleson (at ARI): Burleson has struggled on the road this season with only 14 catches for 166 yards and no touchdowns in three games. Most of his damage has come at home with 31 catches for 396 yards and three touchdowns in five games. The Cardinals locked down Burleson earlier this season with two catches for 40 yards on five targets. Arizona has allowed six wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, but T.J. Houshmandzadeh is the safer Seahawks wide receiver to play this week based on what Burleson has done on the road. His best road game was Week 8 at Dallas with six catches for 89 yards, but he also lost a fumble.
Bust alert: Dwayne Bowe (at OAK): Bowe played well against the Raiders in Week 2 at home with five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, but he's struggled with Oakland throughout his career. That was his first touchdown against the Raiders, and he's averaged four catches for 64 yards in five games. The Raiders have allowed six wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, including Bowe, but he has a tough matchup with standout cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. It also appears the Chiefs have found some help for Bowe in the passing game by bringing in Chris Chambers and increasing the playing time for Lance Long. If Matt Cassel continues to spread the ball around like he did last week at Jacksonville then Bowe's production could suffer again this week.
Jeremy Shockey (at STL): Shockey had his worst game of the season in Week 9 against Carolina with only three catches for 26 yards. He should bounce back this week against the Rams, who have struggled against tight ends all year. Four tight ends (John Carlson, Vernon Davis, Visanthe Shiancoe and Dallas Clark) have gone over 10 Fantasy points against St. Louis, and Chris Cooley also had a good game (seven catches for 83 yards) without scoring a touchdown. Look for Shockey to play like a No. 1 option again as this is a great matchup for him.
Kellen Winslow (at MIA): Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Dolphins have struggled with tight ends this season. Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, Jeremy Shockey and Dustin Keller have each gone over double digits in Fantasy points against Miami, and Winslow is going back to his college town as a former standout for the Hurricanes. Winslow and rookie quarterback Josh Freeman had an instant rapport last week against Green Bay as Winslow had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown, and hopefully that will carry over to this week.
Brent Celek (at SD): The Chargers have given up some huge games against opposing tight ends (Heath Miller in Week 4 and Tony Scheffler in Week 6) while allowing five touchdowns to tight ends this year. Celek has six games with at least seven Fantasy points this year, and he should have the chance for double digits this week. He has scored a touchdown in each of his past two games and could extend that streak to three in a row based on this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Visanthe Shiancoe (vs. DET): Shiancoe had one catch in his Week 2 game at Detroit, but it was a 1-yard touchdown. He has now scored a touchdown in his past two games against the Lions. He has six touchdowns on the season, which is one off his career high, and he has scored three touchdowns in three home games. He's only gone two games without a touchdown this year, and the Lions have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Heath Miller (vs. CIN), Dustin Keller (vs. JAC), Todd Heap (at CLE), John Carlson (at ARI), Bo Scaife (vs. BUF) and Brandon Pettigrew (at MIN).
Fred Davis (vs. DEN): I was disappointed in what Davis did at Atlanta last week with only two catches for 26 yards. The Redskins used a trio of tight ends in Davis, Mike Sellers and Todd Yoder to combine for six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons, and that might be how they go about replacing Chris Cooley (ankle). I'm still hopeful Davis will emerge as the best option, but I wouldn't use him this week. The Broncos are great against opposing tight ends. No tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points against Denver, and only Benjamin Watson has scored against the Broncos. They have held Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Todd Heap and Heath Miller in check, and Davis should have a hard time with this matchup.
Benjamin Watson (at IND): The Colts haven't faced many of the top tier tight ends this season, but they have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing tight end and none have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Vernon Davis scored a touchdown against the Colts, but he had three catches for 20 yards. They have limited Marcedes Lewis, John Carlson and Bo Scaife to minimal production, and Watson, despite four touchdowns, only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points this year (Week 1 against Buffalo). Don't be surprised if Watson is asked to help the offensive line with more blocking to help keep Dwight Freeney away from Tom Brady.
Tony Scheffler (at WAS): Scheffler has proven the past two weeks that his Week 6 game at San Diego, when he had six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, was a product of the matchup. He has two catches for 12 yards the past two weeks and should not be used against the Redskins, who have done well against opposing tight ends. Washington allowed Tony Gonzalez to catch five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown last week, but he's the only tight end to get double digits in Fantasy points against the Redskins. They have held Kellen Winslow and Brent Celek to minimal production, and Scheffler should follow suit with another bad outing.
Bust alert: Greg Olsen (at SF): I was obviously way off on Olsen last week when he had five catches for 71 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona, but he should come back to reality in this matchup. While he's a candidate to score -- he leads all tight ends in red zone targets with 14 and has six touchdowns -- the 49ers have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing tight end, which was Owen Daniels in Week 7. The 49ers also have done well against Tony Gonzalez (six catches for 55 yards) and kept Visanthe Shiancoe (two catches for 22 yards) from scoring. And, based on his play, they did a relatively good job against Dallas Clark (eight catches for 99 yards). Olsen also has five games with less than 10 Fantasy points this season, so he's been more like a No. 2 Fantasy option most weeks.
New York Jets (vs. JAC): David Garrard's play on the road is enough to like the Jets DST this week. In four road games this year Garrard has no passing touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles. The Jets will key in on Maurice Jones-Drew, and while they will struggle to stop him, Garrard could be turnover prone this week if he's forced to throw. Jacksonville has scored 13 points in its past two road games at Seattle and Tennessee, and the Jets defense is rested coming off their bye week. Look for the Jets DST to play like a No. 1 Fantasy option in this matchup.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Dallas (at GB), Tennessee (vs. BUF) and Arizona (vs. SEA)
Green Bay (vs. DAL): The Packers are typically good for creating turnovers, and they have 12 interceptions and six fumble recoveries on the season. But those stats are a little deceiving since seven of those interceptions came against turnover prone Jay Cutler and Daunte Culpepper. In the past two weeks, the Packers have only one interception, and that was against rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. Green Bay is not generating any pressure on the quarterback with only one sack in the past two games and only one game with more than two sacks this season. Tony Romo has three 300-yard games in his past four outings with nine touchdowns and only one interception over that span, and the Cowboys are averaging more than 30 points in the past four games. This could be a rough game for the Packers DST, and the defense has allowed 76 points the past two weeks.
Rob Bironas (vs. BUF): It appears like Bironas, who was a No. 1 Fantasy kicker the past two years, is back as a starting option again after the past two weeks. He made three field goals with three extra points in Week 8 against Jacksonville and then two field goals and four extra points in Week 9 at San Francisco. Those were his first two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he should follow it up with another solid outing against the Bills. Buffalo has allowed multiple field goal attempts in five games this season, and with the Titans offense playing well since Vince Young took over at quarterback, Bironas should have the chance for several scoring opportunities.
Shayne Graham (at PIT): No team has been better against opposing kickers than the Steelers, who have only allowed one kicker to make multiple field goals this year with Jason Hanson in Week 5. Three kickers, including Graham, have missed field goals against Pittsburgh. In Week 3 at home, Graham was 1 of 2 on field goals with no extra points. In his past five games against Pittsburgh, Graham has only made six field goals and has no games with double digits in Fantasy points. His best game against the Steelers was in 2007 at home when he made two field goals and one extra point, which is only seven Fantasy points in a standard-scoring league.
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