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 Drew Brees, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson or any other top-tier players.
Forget about your opinion of Ben Roethlisberger off the field. On the field, he's been a standout quarterback and a great Fantasy option.
If Roethlisberger wasn't suspended for the first four games of the season he would have been considered a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback on Draft Day. Last year, he was No. 9 in standard leagues with 4,328 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. And now he's ready to resume his role as a starter on your Fantasy team.
He has a great first game to get himself going with a matchup at home against Cleveland, and we feel confident that Roethlisberger steps onto the field and performs well. He's our Start of the Week, and you should expect him to have an outstanding performance against the Browns.
Cleveland has allowed three quarterbacks -- Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer -- to throw multiple touchdown passes, with Flacco and Palmer each passing for at least 260 yards. The Browns also have not had an interception in their past three games, and Roethlisberger has done well at home against Cleveland.
In two of his past three home games against the Browns, Roethlisberger has two touchdowns in each game. In his matchup with Cleveland in Pittsburgh last year, Roethlisberger passed for 417 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
We're also counting on Hines Ward and Mike Wallace to play well, and Roethlisberger should return with a bang. Now that he's back and the suspension is over it's time to consider him a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback again.
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Shaun Hill, QB, Lions||18||27||43|
|Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants*||23||25||64|
|Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings||10||21||62|
|Mark Sanchez, QB, N.Y. Jets||16||7||30|
|Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons||7||4||81|
|Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys||9||1||42|
|Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals||12||3||55|
|Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs||13||1||46|
|Lance Moore, WR, Saints||12||0||67|
|Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers||7||27||56|
|Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos||6||25||60|
|Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos||16||25||30|
| Our favorite sleeper in Week 5 was ... Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had 26 Fantasy points when he was projected for 17. He was started in 10 percent of leagues, but he finished with more Fantasy points than Drew Brees (17), Peyton Manning (seven) and Matt Schaub (three). |
* - Start of the Week
Eli Manning (vs. DET): As we told you last week -- when Manning was the Start of the Week -- this is a good two-week stretch with games against the Texans and Lions. Detroit has actually played well in pass defense the past three games with only four touchdowns and six interceptions against Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford, with none of them passing for more than 215 yards. But Manning was solid against the Texans with 297 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions and should build off that momentum. Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith will be hard to stop, and Manning is worth using as a starter for at least one more week.
Kyle Orton (vs. NYJ): Orton must be a fan of Keifer Sutherland because his favorite number the past four weeks has been 24. He's had exactly 24 Fantasy points in each of his past four games, and he's playing at such a high level right now there's no matchup that appears tough. The Jets are expected to be without Darrelle Revis (hamstring), but even with Revis their pass defense has struggled with nine passing touchdowns allowed and four interceptions in their past four games. Orton has three games with multiple touchdown passes and hasn't thrown for less than 295 yards in a game, so keep him active in all leagues.
Tom Brady (vs. BAL): There are obvious concerns for Brady this week with no Randy Moss and a tough matchup against the Ravens, who are No. 2 in pass defense, but you can expect Brady to get the job done. In his last seven regular season games coming off a bye, Brady has averaged 248 passing yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception. In his past two meetings with the Ravens in the regular season, Brady has averaged 258 passing yards with four total touchdowns, one interception and one fumble. Along with that, the Ravens pass defense is a little overrated. They only have one interception and eight sacks in five games, and although they have done a fantastic job without Ed Reed (hip) and Domonique Foxworth (knee), they faced a scared Mark Sanchez in Week 1, an erratic Palmer in Week 2 and then Seneca Wallace and Charlie Batch in back-to-back games. Orton exposed a weakness last week with 314 passing yards and two touchdowns against Baltimore, and Brady will do the same. Factor in the motivation of last year's 33-14 home playoff loss, and Brady will be on top of his game.
Jay Cutler (vs. SEA): The only reason to worry about Cutler is that he missed last week with a concussion and could have some rust, and Seattle comes into this game off a bye week and should be prepared. But the Seahawks have shown in their past three games that their pass defense has a lot to be desired. Orton, Philip Rivers and Sam Bradford have combined for six touchdowns and three interceptions with each passing for at least 289 yards. Cutler has the ability for a big game this week, and he likes playing at home. In his past five home games, Cutler has averaged 244 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Joe Flacco (at NE): We'll find out if the Patriots were able to correct some of their problems in the secondary during the bye week, but every quarterback they've faced this season has thrown for multiple touchdowns with Palmer and Chad Henne also getting at least 300 yards. In last year's matchup in the regular season with New England, Flacco had 264 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and he's capable of those stats again in what should be a shootout.
Sleeper alert: Vince Young (at JAC): As you'll read in my blog on extended sleepers this week, there are a lot of second-tier quarterbacks with good matchups with Matt Cassel, David Garrard, Henne and Sanchez, but Young has the best matchup of them all. The Jaguars lead the NFL with 12 passing touchdowns allowed, they have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for three touchdowns in a game and Michael Vick had four total touchdowns in Week 3. Ryan Fitzpatrick just passed for 220 yards and three touchdowns against Jacksonville in Week 5. Young has four touchdown passes in his past three games and is worth starting in deeper leagues this week. For more sleeper quarterbacks, click here.
Donovan McNabb (vs. IND): McNabb was solid last week with 357 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception against Green Bay. It was his second-best game of the season after his performance against Houston in Week 2. But McNabb has yet to throw multiple touchdown passes in a game this season, and there are just better matchups out there for other quarterbacks. I don't necessarily expect McNabb to have a bad game, but I wouldn't recommend starting him in the majority of leagues. In a 14-team league where I'm struggling at quarterback, I'm going with Young over McNabb based on the matchup.
Shaun Hill (at NYG): Hill has done an amazing job filling in for the injured Matthew Stafford (shoulder) with three games with at least 24 Fantasy points in four starts, including last week against St. Louis with 227 passing yards and three touchdowns. But his run likely ended with the game against the Rams since he has a tough matchup this week and might not have standout wide receiver Calvin Johnson (shoulder) at 100 percent. The Giants are No. 1 in pass defense and have only allowed multiple passing touchdowns to Peyton Manning. They are also among the league leaders in sacks with 19 and should be able to harass Hill all game.
Sam Bradford (vs. SD): Bradford's solid run as a decent Fantasy option looks to be over with Mark Clayton (knee) going down for the year. He couldn't take advantage of a good matchup with the Lions last week, and this is a tougher matchup against the Chargers. Bradford might find a way to get the job done with his other receivers, who are led by Danny Amendola, but don't count on it in this matchup. The Chargers are No. 3 in pass defense and have yet to allow multiple touchdown passes in a game.
Josh Freeman (vs. NO): Freeman comes into Week 6 looking like a future star, and he's facing the Saints coming off one of the best passing games of his two-year career. Freeman had his second-best passing performance against the Bengals in Week 5 as he threw for 280 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Freeman started against the Saints twice last season and combined for 397 passing yards but also threw just one touchdown with five interceptions. The Saints have only allowed Matt Ryan to pass for multiple touchdown passes this year, and they should be able to contain Freeman again.
Kevin Kolb (vs. ATL): Kolb could be in trouble this week with left tackle Jason Peters (knee) out, which means look for Atlanta defensive end John Abraham to have a big game. Peters will be replaced by King Dunlap, who gave up three sacks against San Francisco in Week 5. The Falcons also lead the NFL with 10 interceptions, and Kolb has yet to throw for multiple touchdowns in two games in place of the injured Michael Vick (ribs). Kolb has already been sacked eight times in limited action, and he could be running for his life in this matchup.
Bust alert: Brett Favre (vs. DAL): Don't worry about Favre missing the game with the elbow injury. He's going to play in what has become a must-win game for the Vikings. But I'm concerned if the injury flares up during the game or he gets hit on the elbow. Remember, he had arm issues in 2008 with the Jets and was miserable down the stretch. It's too bad this is happening now because Favre was about to become a quality Fantasy quarterback with the addition of Randy Moss. And he could still turn things around if his elbow proves to be fine. I would also still recommend keeping Moss and Percy Harvin active in all leagues, but Favre is now a risky starting option this week.
Michael Bush (at SF): He's worth starting again even if Darren McFadden (hamstring) returns because Bush will remain the starter, and McFadden will be playing at less than 100 percent if he's active. Bush has two touchdowns in his past two games against Houston and San Diego, and he had 26 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers. San Francisco has allowed three touchdowns to opposing running backs, and three running backs have gained at least 100 yards. If Bush gets at least 15 carries in this game he should be successful.
Ronnie Brown (at GB): It's frustrating to be a Brown owner because he's running well at 4.7-yards per carry, but he's not getting enough touches with only 48 carries on the season. But this should be a good week to trust him since the Dolphins are coming off a bye week and two consecutive losses. You have to believe the Dolphins will get back to running the ball, and this should be a good matchup with Green Bay dealing with several injuries on defense to Nick Barnett (wrist), Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Ryan Pickett (ankle). Consider Brown a No. 2 running back at the Packers, and Ricky Williams should also be used as a No. 3 Fantasy option based on the matchup.
Shonn Greene (at DEN): Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson are both going to play well this week because the Broncos are beat up on defense. If this game goes as expected, the Jets should have the chance to run out the clock, and that's where Greene comes in. Tomlinson just got 20 carries and seven targets and took a lot of hard hits on Monday night against the Vikings. The Jets might want to limit his carries a little to keep him fresh for as long as possible. Greene is coming off consecutive games with double digits in Fantasy points against Buffalo and Minnesota, and he's worth inserting in your starting lineup. The Broncos also just allowed Ray Rice and Willis McGahee to score touchdowns last week, and Greene should be in line for another good game.
Ryan Torain (vs. IND): Torain has the chance to play well in this matchup with the Colts, who have struggled in run defense this season. The Colts have allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, and four of the five running backs they have faced have gained at least 87 rushing yards. Torain struggled last week against the Packers with 16 carries for 40 yards and four catches for 27 yards, although it was good to see him involved in the passing game. If he gets those same amount of touches this week he will produce a better stat line.
Marshawn Lynch (at CHI): This isn't a great matchup for Lynch since the Bears are only allowing 79 rushing yards per game, but Chicago has given up five touchdowns to opposing running backs. The reason we're suggesting Lynch as a starter is he should get at least 15 carries in this game, which is his first with the Seahawks following the trade from the Bills. Seattle will want to get him involved as much as possible, and he's run well this year with 4.4-yards per carry. And coming off the bye week, Seattle should have a good plan in place, so Lynch is worth using as a No. 2 running back in deeper leagues and as a flex option in standard formats.
Sleeper alert: Brandon Jacobs (vs. DET): You're not going to start Jacobs in the majority of leagues, but if you're stuck at running back this week then consider Jacobs a potential starter or flex option. He has two touchdowns in his past two games against Chicago and Houston, and it's hard to ignore that production. He's also facing the Lions this week, and they have allowed five rushing touchdowns and four running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points. If the Giants build a lead in this game Jacobs could be killing the clock, and he could make it three games in a row with a productive stat line. For more sleeper running backs, click here.
Peyton Hillis (at PIT): There are several reasons why Hillis could struggle this week. He's dealing with a nagging thigh injury, his quarterback is a rookie making his first start and he's got a horrible matchup against the Steelers, who are No. 1 in run defense and coming off a bye. If you haven't taken him out of your lineup yet, look at the running backs the Steelers have shut down this year in Michael Turner, Chris Johnson and Ray Rice. Hillis has an impressive five-game touchdown streak, but it's a safe bet that ends this week.
Knowshon Moreno (vs. NYJ): Moreno is hopeful of returning this week after sitting out the past three games with a hamstring injury, but don't plan on starting him for your Fantasy team. He won't be at 100 percent, and this is a terrible matchup against the Jets. Adrian Peterson is the only running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points against this defense, and the Broncos will likely be throwing more than running even if Moreno is at full strength. It also goes without saying that if Moreno is out you should bench Laurence Maroney as well.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. BAL): Green-Ellis has been great the past two games with 32 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns against Buffalo and Miami, but those were favorable matchups with Fred Taylor (toe) injured. Taylor is hopeful of returning this week, but even if he's out don't be surprised if New England comes out throwing the ball. The strength of this Baltimore defense is still up front, and the Patriots will do what the Broncos did last week in attacking the Ravens secondary. Since Green-Ellis isn't a factor in the passing game his value could be limited in this matchup.
Brandon Jackson (vs. MIA): All of the Packers prominent Fantasy options hinge on the status of Aaron Rodgers (concussion). If he plays their value improves, and if he's out you might want to stay away. Jackson might be a sit regardless because aside from his 71-yard run last week at Washington he hasn't helped Fantasy owners as expected in place of the injured Ryan Grant (ankle). He has just one touchdown in Week 2 against Buffalo, and he also hasn't been a tremendous factor in the passing game. The Dolphins run defense has struggled in each of the past three games against Minnesota, the Jets and New England with three rushing touchdowns over that span, but they should improve with the return of linebacker Channing Crowder (groin).
Thomas Jones (at HOU): Hopefully last week was a sign of things to come with Jamaal Charles (16) getting double the carries to Jones (eight) at Indianapolis. We'd like to see that split in carries continue going forward because Charles clearly has more upside. Jones could be limited again this week since the Texans are only allowing 80 rushing yards per game. They have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs, so Jones has the chance to score, but he's too risky to trust after last week's performance. And again, the hope is that Charles is beginning to take over as the featured running back in this offense.
Bust alert: Jahvid Best (at NYG): As I learned in Week 2 against Philadelphia, it's risky to sit Best because he's capable of huge games. But this toe injury has limited his production the past three games with no touchdowns after scoring five in the first two weeks, and he hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points since the game with the Eagles. He also has a tough matchup this week with the Giants, who have turned things up on defense the past two weeks and shut down Matt Forte and Arian Foster. I'm having trouble benching Best in my leagues, but if you have the depth on your roster then it's a move you should consider. Hopefully the bye in Week 7 allows Best to get healthy and he can return in Week 8 as a must-start Fantasy running back.
Malcom Floyd (at STL): Here's how disappointing last week was for me while Floyd was having a career day with eight catches for 213 yards and a touchdown at Oakland. I had Floyd in this column as a start for the first three weeks of the season and called him a breakout player heading into the year. I should have never called him a sit even though he was going against a talented cornerback in Nnamdi Asomugha. So for this week, we're putting him back where he belongs, and he has a great matchup against the Rams. St. Louis has allowed six receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, and Floyd should make it seven.
Santonio Holmes (at DEN): All the Jets receiving options should do well in this game with the Broncos missing Brian Dawkins (knee), Darcel McBath (ankle) and Andre Goodman (quad) in their secondary. The one player who is a slight concern is Braylon Edwards, who could see a lot of Champ Bailey. So far this season, Bailey has shut down No. 1 receivers in Mike Sims-Walker, Reggie Wayne, Nate Washington and Anquan Boldin, but No. 2 options have done well with Mike Thomas, Austin Collie and Kenny Britt having productive games. Holmes, who had three catches for 41 yards on nine targets in his debut last week against Minnesota, should play well in this matchup. He's worth starting as a No. 2 Fantasy option.
Eddie Royal (vs. NYJ): You're starting Brandon Lloyd because he's a Top 3 wide receiver in all Fantasy leagues and a tremendous deep threat, and the Jets struggle in stopping the deep ball this year. But they also struggle with slot receivers like Royal as Wes Welker, Davone Bess and Harvin have shown in three of the past four games, combining for 17 catches, 221 yards and four touchdowns. If Revis is out that means the defensive backfield is all shifted around for the Jets, and Royal should be in line for a big game. He already has two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and this could be three.
Hines Ward (vs. CLE): As we told you above, the Steelers passing game should shine this week with Roethlisberger back, so consider Ward and Mike Wallace as starting options in all leagues. In Ward's past five games against the Browns he has 30 catches for 389 yards and three touchdowns. In his past three home games against Cleveland, he has 21 catches for 309 yards and two touchdowns. The Browns have allowed four wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, and the Steelers should continue to batter this secondary.
Kenny Britt (at JAC): Britt has a lot of things working in his favor this week. He has a touchdown in three straight games and is coming off his best game of the season with four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown at Dallas. Last year in Jacksonville, Britt had an amazing game with seven catches for 105 yards. Additionally, the Jaguars have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and lead the league with 12 passing touchdowns allowed. A total of 10 wide receivers have scored at least nine Fantasy points against Jacksonville this year, and Britt should continue his solid production in this matchup.
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Sleeper alert: Davone Bess (at GB): Bess is coming off two tremendous games prior to the bye in Week 5 and should remain hot against a banged-up Green Bay secondary. In his past two games against the Jets and Patriots, Bess has 14 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. He's not going to score a lot because he only has four career touchdowns, but he's a must-start receiver in leagues where receptions count since he has three games with at least six catches this year. He's also a potential starter in standard leagues since he has a great rapport going now with Henne, and Brandon Marshall is drawing plenty of coverage, which has allowed Bess to shine. For more sleeper wide receivers, click here.
Greg Jennings (vs. MIA): I've gotten a lot of e-mails from owners this week wanting to drop Jennings, which would be a hasty move you shouldn't make. Yes, he's struggling right now with just nine catches for 101 yards in his past four games, but he does have two touchdowns over that span. He'll come around, but you should consider sitting him this week. Rodgers (concussion) might not play, and Jennings will likely be matched up with Vontae Davis, who is becoming an elite cornerback in his second year. The Dolphins secondary as a whole has played well with just two touchdowns allowed to opposing wide receivers. If Rodgers doesn't play then Jennings is a must sit in all leagues.
Austin Collie (at WAS): I wouldn't suggest benching Collie if he were 100 percent healthy, but that's the key for him this week. He was wearing a walking boot on his injured right foot, and he will again miss practice time. The Indianapolis Star said Wednesday that Collie was able to "gut it out" in Week 5 against Kansas City, and it showed in his performance with five catches for 48 yards, which was his only game without a touchdown this year. On top of that, Pierre Garcon returned last week against the Chiefs after being out with a hamstring injury, and he had 14 targets compared to six for Collie. The Redskins secondary also hasn't allowed a touchdown to an opposing wide receiver since Week 2. It's risky to bench Collie, but if he's playing hurt then he might not be helping your Fantasy team.
Deion Branch (vs. BAL): Branch gets a huge boost in value going from Seattle to New England, where he has the chance to relive the best days of his career when he played for the Patriots from 2002-05. He might get a couple of feel-good moments in this game against the Ravens and could even score a touchdown, but he's not worth starting yet until we see what his role is in the offense. Remember, Branch wasn't exactly lighting things up with the Seahawks with just 13 catches for 112 yards and one touchdown this year. It could take him a while to find his groove -- if he can ever get it back.
Dez Bryant (at MIN): Maybe Tony Romo wasn't at the dinner where Bryant picked up the tab for almost $55,000 for his teammates as part of his rookie hazing, or Romo didn't like what he ate. He's just not getting Bryant the ball since he has only nine catches for 124 yards in his past three games and no touchdowns on the season. On top of that, Bryant is dealing with rib and ankle injuries, and his lack of production has allowed Roy E. Williams to step up with three touchdowns in his past two games. Bryant is clearly behind Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Williams in Romo's eyes, and he's not worth trusting in this game even with the Vikings dealing with injuries in their secondary.
Kevin Walter (vs. KC): You're not benching Andre Johnson even if he's playing on a gimpy ankle, but you should consider sitting Walter since the Chiefs have done well against opposing wide receivers. They've allowed three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers -- Legedu Naanee on a broken play, Josh Cribbs on a breakaway reception and Josh Morgan in garbage time. By comparison, Floyd, Michael Crabtree and all three Colts receivers have been limited to seven Fantasy points or less. Walter has disappeared the past two weeks with six catches for 59 yards and no touchdowns against Oakland and the Giants. He's not worth the risk in this matchup.
Bust alert: DeSean Jackson (vs. ATL): It's almost impossible to consider sitting Jackson because one big play could give him a huge outing. I have Jackson in a few leagues, and I am going back and forth on sitting him. But the facts are he's not getting the job done with Kolb under center while Vick (ribs) is out. In the three games where Kolb has played, Jackson has combined for 11 catches for 73 yards and no touchdowns. In two games with Vick, Jackson has nine catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns. This week, Jackson should see a lot of Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, who has helped limit Wallace, Larry Fitzgerald, Marques Colston and Crabtree to no touchdowns this season. The only wide receiver to score against the Falcons this year was Lance Moore. Again, it's risky to bench Jackson, but you might consider it if you have enough depth at wide receiver in your league.
Zach Miller (at SF): Miller continues to play at a high level yet his starting percentage continues to hover around 75 percent. He should be started in all leagues. Unless you have Antonio Gates, put Miller in your lineup. In the past three weeks against Arizona, Houston and San Diego he has 21 catches for 248 yards and three touchdowns, and he has another good matchup this week with the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends, with Brent Celek and Tony Moeaki each reaching double digits in Fantasy points. And it doesn't matter if Jason Campbell or Bruce Gradkowski starts because Miller has scored with each quarterback.
Kellen Winslow (vs. NO): Winslow has a good matchup this week against the Saints, who have struggled with quality tight ends this year. New Orleans has faced Visanthe Shiancoe, Vernon Davis and Tony Gonzalez this season, and they have combined for 16 catches for 264 yards and two touchdowns. It's clear the Saints miss Darren Sharper (knee) when it comes to defending tight ends, and Winslow should find a way to be productive. He has two games with at least seven Fantasy points this year, but he's still looking for his first touchdown. He should see plenty of targets from Freeman, and he's worth using as a No. 1 Fantasy option.
Brent Celek (vs. ATL): Jackson needs Vick to return, but Celek is perfectly fine with Kolb. Since Kolb took over for Vick against the Redskins in Week 4, Celek has two touchdowns. He had his first game with double digits in Fantasy points last week against the 49ers, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Falcons. Atlanta has allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends in the past three games with Jeremy Shockey and Davis finding the end zone. Celek scored against the Falcons in their meeting last year with two catches for 16 yards.
Sleeper alert: Tony Moeaki (at HOU): Moeaki has played well to start the season with at least five Fantasy points in all four games, and he continues to be a go-to target for Matt Cassel. This week, he has a great matchup against Houston since the Texans have allowed three tight ends (Dallas Clark, Chris Cooley and Miller) to reach double digits in Fantasy points in five games, and three tight ends have had at least seven catches (Clark, Miller and Witten). Along with that, hopefully Moeaki can continue his pattern of scoring a touchdown in every other game since he failed to find the end zone in Week 5.
Owen Daniels (vs. KC): Hopefully we'll start to see the best of Daniels following Houston's bye in Week 7 because he's been terrible so far this year with just 10 catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns. It was Week 8 last year when he tore his ACL, and maybe the year anniversary can jumpstart his season. On top of his poor production, the Chiefs have actually done a great job against tight ends this year. After Gates had five catches for 76 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City in Week 1, the Chiefs have limited Davis and Clark to six catches for 42 yards and no touchdowns.
Benjamin Watson (at PIT): The Steelers have done a great job against tight ends this year holding down Gonzalez, Winslow and Todd Heap to a combined eight catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns. Pittsburgh is one of three teams yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end along with Cleveland and Carolina. Watson has played well this year with three games with at least six Fantasy points and at least five catches in three straight games, but with Colt McCoy under center you shouldn't consider him a starting Fantasy option, especially in this matchup.
Visanthe Shiancoe (vs. DAL): As we said above, there should be some concern with Favre and his creaky elbow, and Shiancoe is the one receiving option we would consider benching. Not only is Favre banged up, but this nagging hamstring injury could be limiting Shiancoe, who only had two catches for 28 yards last week at the Jets. The Cowboys are also tied with the Colts for fewest receptions allowed to tight ends with 14, and Greg Olsen is the lone tight end to score against Dallas and reach double digits in Fantasy points. Shiancoe did score against Dallas last year in the playoff game, but he only had one catch for 11 yards.
Bust alert: Chris Cooley (vs. IND): It's hard to bench Cooley, and I'm still keeping him active in a couple of leagues this week myself. But I'm not expecting a huge game since the Colts have done a good job against tight ends. Granted, they haven't faced a lot of tough competition, but Marcedes Lewis is the only tight end to score against Indianapolis, and no tight end has had more than 50 receiving yards. Cooley, who hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points since Week 2, also could spend extra time blocking in this game with Washington dealing with injuries on the offensive line.
Giants (vs. DET): The Giants defense has turned things around following a sluggish start. In their past two games the Giants have three interceptions, five forced fumbles and 13 sacks against the Bears and Panthers while allowing just 305 yards of total offense. This week they face a Lions offense that could struggle if Calvin Johnson (shoulder) is out or limited, and Hill does have seven interceptions on the season. The Giants should be able to harass Hill, and that could lead to a couple of mistakes along with a handful of sacks.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Dolphins (at GB), Titans (at JAC) and 49ers (vs. OAK)
Chiefs (at HOU): For those of you not paying attention, the Chiefs DST has been solid so far this year. And they're about to get even better based on the upcoming schedule. In their first three games, the Chiefs DST had double digits in Fantasy points, and they are getting the job done with Romeo Crennel leading the defensive unit and Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas turning into stars in the return game. But wait a week before considering them as starting options. The Texans are close to full strength on offense with Andre Johnson (ankle) healthy and Arian Foster (knee) expected to be fine. After going to Houston the Chiefs get Jacksonville, Buffalo and Oakland and will be considered a sleeper for those matchups.
Josh Scobee (vs. TEN): Scobee has several things in his favor for this matchup against the Titans. He's coming off a tremendous game at Buffalo where he made five field goals and three extra points. In his last home game against Indianapolis in Week 4 he made a 59-yard field goal to win the game. He's also a perfect 10 of 10 on field goals this season, and the Titans lead the NFL with 13 field goals allowed. Last year against Tennessee at home, Scobee made 3 of 4 field goals with a long of 50 and hit four extra points. He's worth using as a No. 1 Fantasy option this week.
Phil Dawson (at PIT): McCoy starting for the Browns means all their Fantasy options are limited, especially with a trip to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have allowed seven field goals this season, but they lead the NFL with only three extra points allowed. Dawson has made five field goals in his past three games, but he's 0 for 2 in his past two trips to Pittsburgh. He's only made four field goals in his past five games against the Steelers overall, and this is not a good week to trust any of the Browns.
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