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.
If you trust Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, then it's time to trust Beanie Wells. It appears like his time is coming.
Tim Hightower continues to fumble away his opportunity, and after he lost another fumble in Week 7 at Seattle, Whisenhunt said he plans to "curtail" Hightower's playing time. It comes at a point in the season when Wells is healthy and playing well.
Wells had 14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks, and he's ready to do more heavy lifting. He had 20 carries in Week 5 against New Orleans, and he was thrilled with the work despite just 35 rushing yards.
Wells has a great matchup this week against the Bucs, who are No. 31 in run defense at 158 yards per game, and they have allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs. Five running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Tampa Bay, including Rashard Mendenhall, Cedric Benson, Chris Ivory and Steven Jackson in the past four games.
Hightower will still remain in the mix for the Cardinals, but if Whisenhunt sticks to his word and starts to give Wells more carries, he should be successful. We expect that to happen, which is why he's our Start of the Week.
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals||18||34||51|
|Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs||13||18||62|
|Mike Williams, WR, Seahawks||10||14||42|
|Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys||8||5||50|
|Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers||8||1||65|
|Donald Driver, WR, Packers||6||0||60|
|Chris Ivory, RB, Saints||12||4||66|
|Robert Meachem, WR, Saints||10||3||54|
|Deion Branch, WR, Patriots||11||3||70|
|Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders||6||43||16|
|Kenny Britt, WR, Titans||4||40||26|
|Steve Johnson, WR, Bills||4||21||16|
| Our favorite sleeper in Week 7 was ... Patrick Crayton, who had eight Fantasy points. He was started in 45 percent of leagues, but he finished with more Fantasy points than Brandon Marshall (five), Brandon Lloyd (four) and Miles Austin (three). |
* - Start of the Week
Matt Cassel (vs. BUF): The only concern about starting Cassel this week should be the Chiefs turning to their ground game and running all over the Bills. Buffalo is last in the NFL in run defense, so Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles should have a field day. But Cassel will get in on the fun also since the Bills have allowed at least two passing touchdowns in their past five games. He's also playing well recently with an average of 23 Fantasy points in his past two games against Houston and Jacksonville, and this is another favorable matchup. Look for Cassel to continue his recent success and consider him a starting option.
Carson Palmer (vs. MIA): He deserves another chance to remain in your starting lineup after his performance last week at Atlanta with 412 passing yards and three touchdowns. It's his third game in a row with multiple touchdown passes, and he now has a viable third target with Jordan Shipley joining Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. The Dolphins have allowed two 300-yard passing games in their past two outings against Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, and Palmer should be able to pick on Jason Allen if he chooses to stay away from Vontae Davis. Three of the last four quarterbacks Miami has faced have reached at least 20 Fantasy points.
Kyle Orton (at SF): Orton has struggled the past two weeks against the Jets and Oakland with just 407 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception over that span. After four games in a row with 24 Fantasy points, he has now been under 20 in his past two outings. Good thing he gets to face the 49ers in London. San Francisco just allowed Matt Moore to pass for 308 yards, two touchdowns and one interception last week, and the 49ers have allowed four quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns in seven games. San Francisco will have trouble staying with Denver's receivers, and look for Orton to head into the bye in Week 9 on a high note after a pleasant surprise to the start of the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at KC): Fitzpatrick has been amazing since taking over the starting job in Week 3. In four starts, Fitzpatrick has averaged 26 Fantasy points, and he's coming off a career game with 374 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions at Baltimore. Don't expect a repeat performance against the Chiefs, but Kansas City has allowed three quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns this season, including two in the past two weeks with Matt Schaub and Todd Bouman. Fitzpatrick is doing a great job getting the ball to Steve Johnson, Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish -- with Johnson and Evans worth starting in the majority of leagues -- and he's also earning Fantasy points with his legs with 116 rushing yards. Forget about the lack of name value or that he plays for the Bills. Look at his production and plan on starting him this week if you need help at quarterback.
Chad Henne (at CIN): Matt Ryan was able to take advantage of the Bengals being without key guys on defense in Antwan Odom (suspension) and Johnathan Joseph (ankle) with 299 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Joseph could return this week, but Henne has been stellar with an average of 19 Fantasy points in his past four games with two 300-yard outings and three games with multiple touchdown passes over that span. Henne is taking advantage of Brandon Marshall's standout talent, and Davone Bess is playing at a high level. This game should be good for both quarterbacks, and Henne should look to continue his recent quality production.
Sleeper alert: Jon Kitna (vs. JAC): Kitna is the new starting quarterback with Tony Romo (collarbone) out, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed the most touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks and five quarterbacks have passed for multiple touchdowns against the Jaguars, including Cassel last week. Kitna did well replacing Romo against the Giants in Week 7 with 187 passing yards, two touchdowns and a lost fumble. The hope is he can connect with his talented receiving corps enough to post another quality stat line, and keep in mind Kitna was once a decent Fantasy quarterback in Cincinnati (2003) and Detroit (2006-07). It's a great matchup and a good week to count on Kitna to be successful. For more sleeper quarterbacks, including Matthew Stafford, click here.
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Donovan McNabb (at DET): The thought coming into this game would be that McNabb should do well. After all, it's the Lions, and everyone does well against this pass defense. Well, that's just not true anymore. In their past four games against Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Eli Manning, the Lions have allowed an average of 194 passing yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. Bradford had the most passing yards of that group with 215, and the Lions should be prepared for this game coming off their bye week. On top of that, McNabb continues to frustrate Fantasy owners. He now has six touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season with two touchdowns and four interceptions in his past two games against Indianapolis and Chicago. He has yet to throw for multiple touchdown passes in a game, and he's not worth using this week.
Brett Favre (at NE): We all expect Favre to play in this game at New England. Even with the gimpy ankle, he's not going to sit, and Brad Childress isn't expected to bench him no matter how hard he tries. It's too bad Favre is hurt for this game because it's a quality matchup with the Patriots having allowed an average of 282 passing yards and two touchdowns a game this season. But Favre, at 41 and moving around on a gimpy leg, could continue his turnover-prone ways. He has two touchdowns, three interceptions and a fumble in his past two games against Dallas and Green Bay. Randy Moss and Percy Harvin are still worth starting, but Favre remains a risky Fantasy option based on his health and recent performance.
Matt Hasselbeck (at OAK): Hasselbeck has played well the past two games against Chicago and Arizona with 434 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, but he isn't posting huge Fantasy stats with an average of 14 points over that span. This week he faces an Oakland defense that has allowed 14 passing touchdowns with just three interceptions, but the Raiders are giving up just 192 passing yards per game. In three road games, Hasselbeck has three touchdowns, four interceptions and a lost fumble, and his best weapon, Mike Williams, could be locked down by standout cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Look for Seattle to do well running the ball this week, and don't plan on starting Hasselbeck in the majority of leagues.
Sam Bradford (vs. CAR): Bradford is going to be a standout Fantasy quarterback in the future, but he's too inconsistent to trust in the majority of leagues this year. He only has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points and none since Mark Clayton (knee) was hurt in Week 5. He does have three touchdowns and no interceptions in his past two games against San Diego and Tampa Bay, but Carolina has played great in pass defense this season. In the Panthers past four games against Cincinnati, New Orleans, Chicago and San Francisco, they have allowed an average of just 179 passing yards with three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Vince Young (at SD): Not only does Young have a tough matchup this week, he's also at less than 100 percent after missing Week 7 against Philadelphia with a knee injury. He's expected to play against the Chargers, but don't plan on starting him in any leagues. San Diego is No. 1 in pass defense, and no quarterback has passed for multiple touchdown passes or thrown for more than 220 yards against the Chargers. Young also has just two games with more than 13 Fantasy points, and last year against San Diego he was 8 of 21 passing for 89 yards and two interceptions with 40 rushing yards, one touchdown and a fumble. That comes to four Fantasy points in a standard league, which is not a good performance.
Bust alert: Mark Sanchez (vs. GB): Which Sanchez will show up this week? The one who passed for eight touchdowns and no interceptions over a three-game stretch against New England, Miami and Buffalo? Or the one who passed for one touchdown and two interceptions in his past two games against Minnesota and Denver? He's also had fewer than 200 passing yards in his past three outings, and this is a matchup where he could have some turnovers. Green Bay is great at mixing up its coverage and is among the league leaders with 10 interceptions and 22 sacks, and the Packers also have a healthy Clay Matthews back after dealing with a recent hamstring injury. Sanchez will likely be around 16 Fantasy points, which makes him a borderline starter in the majority of leagues.
Marshawn Lynch (at OAK): Lynch, last week's Start of the Week, had a solid game against Arizona with 24 carries for 89 yards, and he would have finished with a better stat line if not for a couple of holding calls. He's on his way toward becoming a quality Fantasy option again, and this week he's going back to his hometown in what should be a favorable matchup. The Raiders have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing running backs, and six have reached double digits in Fantasy points. We like Lynch as a must-start option in the majority of leagues.
Felix Jones (vs. JAC): This is a good game to count on the Cowboys running backs with Romo out because Dallas can now establish more balance on offense and not have to rely on Kitna to win the game. Kitna is still a good Fantasy option based on the matchup, but look for Jones and even Marion Barber to post quality stats. The Jaguars are second in the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns allowed, and six running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Last week, Charles, Thomas Jones and Jackie Battle each scored against Jacksonville. Felix Jones has 25 Fantasy points in his past three games against Tennessee, Minnesota and the Giants, but this should be his best game so far this year.
Fred Jackson (at KC): Jackson has done a solid job the past two games since taking over as the starter with seven Fantasy points in each outing against Jacksonville and Baltimore. He has 73 rushing yards in each game, and although he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2 at Green Bay, he could find the end zone this week. The Chiefs have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs, including five in the past three games against Indianapolis, Houston and Jacksonville. Six running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points, and Jackson has the chance to be a good starting option for you in deeper formats this week.
Thomas Jones (vs. BUF): As we said last week against the Jaguars, Jamaal Charles and Jones should both run well this week against the Bills, and both are worth starting in the majority of leagues. In his past two games against Houston and Jacksonville, Jones has 39 carries for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He has three games with more than 15 Fantasy points, and he should reach that mark again this week. The Bills have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs, and six have reached double digits in Fantasy points. They have allowed nine running backs to gain at least 60 yards rushing in a game, and the Chiefs offensive line has done a solid job up front to help Jones and Charles run well.
LeGarrette Blount (at ARI): Tampa Bay has to give Blount a chance to carry the load this week after the way he played in Week 7 against the Rams. He had 11 carries for 72 yards, and his 6.5 yards per carry is impressive. Cadillac Williams remains in the mix and has done well as a third-down back, but Blount has plenty of upside. In deeper leagues he should be considered a starting running back, and he's worth using as a flex option in standard formats. The Cardinals have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs and four have reached double digits in Fantasy points.
Sleeper alert: Mike Hart (vs. HOU): You're going to have to be on top of the injury report with Hart if you plan to start him because Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Donald Brown (hamstring) haven't been ruled out, but we expect Hart to be the starter against the Texans. And it's a favorable matchup for him with Houston missing standout linebacker DeMeco Ryans (Achilles' tendon) for the rest of the year. The Texans have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and seven have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Hart has 22 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown in a reserve role the past two weeks against Kansas City and Washington, but he could reach those stats this week if he's the starter with Addai and Brown out. For more sleeper running backs, including Darren Sproles, click here.
Chris Ivory (vs. PIT): Ivory benefits with Pierre Thomas (ankle) and Reggie Bush (leg) out for another week, but this isn't a good matchup to trust him. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points, and that was against Tampa Bay. He also has yet to score a touchdown, and the Steelers have allowed just two rushing touchdowns all season. Pittsburgh is No. 1 in run defense, and the Saints are going to be throwing all game in this matchup. Keep Ivory stashed on your bench, but don't start him this week.
Ryan Mathews (vs. TEN): The Titans are tied with the Browns for the fewest rushing touchdowns allowed with one, and they have shut down Maurice Jones-Drew and LeSean McCoy the past two weeks on the ground. Mathews did take a step in the right direction this week by practicing Wednesday, which should mean his injured ankle is getting better, but he reached a new low last week against New England with eight carries for 15 yards. He only has one touchdown on the season, and the Chargers always seem to abandon the run, which is why you should consider Sproles a sleeper in leagues where receptions count. With Mike Tolbert also working at the goal line, Mathews' value is limited. He's just not worth the risk as a starter based on what we've seen from him so far this year.
Danny Woodhead (vs. MIN): Woodhead's three-game streak with double digits in Fantasy points came to an end last week at San Diego when he was held to 24 rushing yards and 28 receiving yards, and this is the concern with a player of his caliber. Just when you're ready to trust him he lets you down, and we can see some inconsistent performances the rest of the season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains the starter and will work at the goal line, but this is a tough matchup for both running backs. The Vikings have only allowed three rushing touchdowns, and Ronnie Brown and LaDainian Tomlinson are the only running backs to gain more than 80 yards against Minnesota. Woodhead just isn't worth the risk in standard leagues this week.
Brandon Jackson (at NYJ): I was wrong on Jackson last week as a sit candidate against the Vikings, and he finished with 15 Fantasy points in that matchup. But I'm still not ready to trust him in this game either since the Jets are even better than Minnesota against opposing running backs. The Jets have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing running back this year, and Adrian Peterson is the only running back to reach 10 Fantasy points. The Jets have shut down Ray Rice, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams and Knowshon Moreno, and they should do well in stopping Jackson. Aaron Rodgers is going to have to win this game throwing the ball, and Jackson should be considered a risky starter in standard formats.
Michael Bush (vs. SEA): As I found out the hard way last week, Darren McFadden is back at 100 percent from his hamstring injury, and Tom Cable abandoned his plan to ease him back into the lineup. McFadden dominated the Broncos for 165 rushing yards and three touchdowns and two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Bush was also good with 52 rushing yards and a touchdown and one catch for 13 yards, but it's clear that McFadden is the best running back in Oakland when both are healthy. Bush can still be worth using in deeper leagues this week, but Seattle has done well in run defense this year. The Seahawks are No. 2 behind the Steelers at 78 yards per game, and they have given up five touchdowns to opposing running backs this year. You're obviously not going to bench McFadden this week, but use caution when it comes to putting Bush in your lineup.
Bust alert: DeAngelo Williams (at STL): Williams is dealing with a foot injury, so take note when setting your lineup. He's expected to play, but don't expect him to be 100 percent. And if he's out that would allow Jonathan Stewart to be used as a sleeper in deeper formats. Even when healthy, Williams has been struggling all year. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points and only one touchdown. The Rams have also done well in run defense at home with Hightower the only running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points, and that includes matchups against Clinton Portis and Mathews. It's been a rough year for Williams, and his injury status should make you leery to consider him a starting option for this week.
Dez Bryant (vs. JAC): You have to be impressed with the way Bryant played Monday night against the Giants with four catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns, and he had an instant connection with Kitna. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come, and this is a great matchup to trust him. The Jaguars are the worst team against opposing wide receivers with 12 touchdowns allowed in seven games, and 12 wide receivers have reached at least nine Fantasy points. Miles Austin and Roy E. Williams are also worth using in this matchup, and this could be a game like Week 1 where Denver had Brandon Lloyd, Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney each get more than nine Fantasy points against Jacksonville.
Pierre Garcon (vs. HOU): Garcon has plenty of things working in his favor this week. Dallas Clark (wrist) and Austin Collie (thumb) are out, he's facing a depleted secondary for the Texans and the Colts should be highly motivated after being upset at Houston in Week 1. Garcon had 10 targets in the season-opener against the Texans, but he had a disappointing three catches for 43 yards while Reggie Wayne and Collie were stars. Garcon should see at least 10 targets again, and he's coming off his best game of the season in Week 6 with four catches for 103 yards and a touchdown at Washington. Look for him to play well since he tends to shine in prime-time matchups. Anthony Gonzalez (ankle) should also be considered a sleeper for this game as long as he's healthy.
Mike Williams (at ARI): Williams has at least eight Fantasy points in four of six games this year, and he's scored touchdowns in his only two road games at Carolina in Week 2 and at Cincinnati in Week 5. He continues to see a heavy amount of targets, including a team-high 11 last week against St. Louis when he finished with five catches for 82 yards. The Cardinals have allowed five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and seven have reached at least nine Fantasy points. Josh Freeman is playing at a high level this season, and Williams is a big reason why. The duo should continue to play well in another favorable matchup against the Cardinals.
Steve Smith (at STL): I'm going to trust my colleague on this one since Dave Richard has Smith ranked No. 3 in his rankings and projects him for 16 Fantasy points this week. I'm not as high on Smith -- No. 23 in my rankings with nine Fantasy points -- but we both consider him a starting option. The Rams are dealing with injuries in their secondary, and St. Louis has allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and 10 to reach at least eight Fantasy points. Smith has scored a touchdown in his past two games against the Rams, and he has a solid rapport with quarterback Matt Moore (five touchdowns in seven starts together). The improvement of David Gettis should help draw coverage away from Smith, and if DeAngelo Williams (foot) is out, Smith could see more targets. He's worth the risk this week. He might even be Top 3 good.
Patrick Crayton (vs. TEN): Only the Redskins (120) have allowed more receptions to wide receivers this year than the Titans (105), which makes Crayton an attractive option in leagues where receptions count. He has 13 catches for 199 yards in his past two games, and Malcom Floyd (hamstring) is out again. Crayton should see plenty of targets, and the Titans have allowed six wide receivers to reach at least eight Fantasy points in standard leagues. And if you're looking for a starter in PPR formats, nine wide receivers have caught at least six passes in a game against Tennessee. We know Norv Turner will likely abandon the run early, and Philip Rivers should do a good job finding Crayton as he has the past two games.
Sleeper alert: Davone Bess (at CIN): Bess, Steve Johnson and Kenny Britt should be considered starters in the majority of leagues this week because they have something in common -- an impressive touchdown streak. Britt has scored in five straight games with seven touchdowns over that span, Johnson has scored in four straight with five over that span and Bess is working on a three-game scoring streak. Based on the way Britt and Johnson played last week, they are obvious starting options in Week 8. Bess is more of a sleeper, and he should continue to play well. With Joseph likely out for another game and Adam Jones (neck) on injured reserve, the Bengals secondary is a wreck. Marshall has the chance for a big game based on how Roddy White played last week with 11 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and he will draw plenty of attention. That's why Bess has thrived, and he should be successful again, especially in leagues where receptions count with 25 catches in his past four games. For more sleeper wide receivers, including Nate Burleson, click here.
Donald Driver (at NYJ): Driver had an impressive streak come to an end last week against Minnesota when he failed to catch a pass for the first time in 133 consecutive games. He's not healthy now with a quad injury, and it's evident in his play with just seven catches for 89 yards and no touchdowns in his past three games. James Jones is also coming on and should be considered a sleeper this week, and Aaron Rodgers is focusing on Greg Jennings right now. The Jets secondary should also be healthy with Darrelle Revis saying his hamstring is 100 percent, and although it's risky to bench Jennings, Driver should continue to struggle.
Robert Meachem (vs. PIT): It's risky to bench Meachem this week because Drew Brees might throw the ball 50 times in this matchup based on Pittsburgh's run defense. But Meachem's two big games this year have come on the road against two of the worst pass defenses in Arizona and Tampa Bay, and Brees has struggled to get Meachem the ball when he's been under pressure. In the four games where Brees has been sacked at least twice (San Francisco, Atlanta, Carolina and Cleveland), Meachem has combined for five catches for 52 yards and no touchdowns. Brees just doesn't have the time to hit Meachem down the field when he's facing a pass rush, and you know the Steelers will be coming with a lot of blitzes. The Steelers have also allowed just three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this year.
Michael Crabtree (vs. DEN): It was a risk starting Crabtree when Alex Smith was the starter, but now he's out with a shoulder injury and Troy Smith is in with this game in London. You can expect a lot of Frank Gore for the 49ers, and probably a lot of Champ Bailey on Crabtree. Andre Goodman and Brian Dawkins are also expected to return for Denver's secondary, and Crabtree has too much working against him to be considered a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. He also has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and both of those games were at home.
Mike Sims-Walker (at DAL): Some positives to consider for Sims-Walker this week: He's scored in all three road games this season, and the Cowboys have given up eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in their past four games, including four against the Giants last week. But the negatives for Sims-Walker should matter more when setting your lineup. David Garrard is coming off a concussion, which forced him to miss last week's game at Kansas City. The Jaguars lost right tackle Eben Britton (shoulder) for the season, which will hurt in pass protection. And even with Sims-Walker's three touchdowns he only has two games with double digits in Fantasy points. It adds up to Sims-Walker being a risky starter at best for this matchup.
Danny Amendola (vs. CAR): Amendola scored a touchdown last week at Tampa Bay, which was his first of the season, but he has struggled since Clayton went down at Detroit in Week 5. In his past two games against San Diego and the Bucs, Amendola has just six catches for 48 yards. The Panthers come into this game among the best teams against opposing wide receivers with only two touchdowns allowed since Week 1, and no wide receiver has gained more than 59 yards over that span. Against possession receivers like Steve Smith of the Giants, Shipley and Johnny Knox, the Panthers have held them to nine catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns. Amendola might be good for about five Fantasy points this week.
Bust alert: Mike Williams (at OAK): Williams has been great since Deion Branch was traded to New England. He has 21 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in his past two games against Chicago and Arizona, and he has taken advantage of smaller cornerbacks with his 6-foot-5 frame. That won't be the case this week with the Raiders expected to put the 6-foot-2 Asomugha on Williams. Now, Asomugha hasn't been dominant this season, and Oakland has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. But Asomugha and Williams were teammates briefly in 2007 and were college rivals when Williams was at USC and Asomugha was at Cal. It's hard to bench Williams, especially in PPR leagues, but you might consider it based on the matchup. He isn't expected to be as physically dominant as he has been the past two games based on Asomugha lining up across from him.
Kellen Winslow (at ARI): This might be my last stand with Winslow because he's been a bust this season with no touchdowns and only two games with at least seven Fantasy points. But this is a favorable matchup for him against the Cardinals, who have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends, with three of the past four (Zach Miller, Antonio Gates and Jeremy Shockey) reaching at least nine Fantasy points. Winslow continues to be a part of the offense with 18 catches in his past three games, but he's just not producing at a high level. Hopefully that will change in this matchup.
Tony Moeaki (vs. BUF): Speaking of last chances, this is it for Moeaki also after he struggled the past two games against Houston and Jacksonville. He has to do something this week since every tight end has been successful against the Bills. Five tight ends have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Buffalo with Dustin Keller, Marcedes Lewis and Todd Heap each scoring two touchdowns in a game over the past three weeks. I'm going with Moeaki in one league where I lost Jermichael Finley (knee), but I will cut him after this game if he has another poor outing. In his past three games he has just nine catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns after scoring twice in his first three games.
Bo Scaife (at SD): Scaife is a risky Fantasy option in standard leagues, but he is worth starting in deeper formats if you're someone who likes a good matchup. The Chargers have allowed an opposing tight end to reach at least seven Fantasy points in five of seven games this year with four touchdowns allowed. Scaife has two touchdowns on the season and could be a starting option in 14- or 16-team leagues this week with six tight ends on a bye.
Sleeper alert: Jacob Tamme (vs. HOU): Colts team president Bill Polian is counting on Tamme to help replace Clark, and this is a good matchup to give him a shot if you added him off the waiver wire in deeper leagues. The Texans have struggled with tight ends this season and lead the NFL with 498 yards allowed to tight ends. Only three tight ends have scored against the Texans this year, but Clark scored in each of the past two meetings with Houston. It's a risk to start Tamme in the majority of leagues since he has no catches on the season, but if you're looking for a tight end sleeper this week, then put Tamme in your lineup.
Marcedes Lewis (at DAL): Lewis' run as a quality Fantasy tight end might have ended since he has just seven catches for 83 yards and no touchdowns in his past two games. And with the Jaguars dealing with issues on the offensive line, he could be asked to block more in this matchup with the Cowboys. Dallas also leads the NFL with only 17 passes allowed to opposing tight ends, and Greg Olsen is the only tight end to score against the Cowboys this year. Chris Cooley in Week 1 is the only tight end to gain more than 40 yards receiving against Dallas, so keep your expectations for Lewis in check if you consider him a starting option this week.
Jeremy Shockey (vs. PIT): Outside of Week 6 against Cleveland the Steelers have been stellar against opposing tight ends. Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore combined for 10 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown against Pittsburgh, but the Steelers have otherwise shut down Tony Gonzalez, Scaife, Winslow, Heap and Anthony Fasano for 14 catches for 153 yards and no touchdowns. Shockey is losing playing time to Donald Thomas and Jimmy Graham and has just four catches for 51 yards in his past two games against Tampa Bay and Cleveland.
Owen Daniels (at IND): I'm expecting quality production ahead for Daniels, but this isn't the week to trust him based on his history against the Colts. In his past five meetings with Indianapolis he has combined for 16 catches for 153 yards and no touchdowns, including Week 1 when he had just one catch for 9 yards. The Colts are also the best team against opposing tight ends this year with just 171 yards allowed and one touchdown, and that includes games against Lewis, Moeaki and Cooley. Keep Daniels stashed away for now, but don't plan on using him in this matchup with the Colts.
Bust alert: Jermaine Gresham (vs. MIA): Gresham hasn't lived up to his potential yet, and this isn't the week to trust him. He has just one game with more than 50 yards and only two touchdowns. He has also yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points. And with the emergence of Shipley last week to go with Owens and Ochocinco, there just aren't enough footballs to go around from Palmer. The Dolphins have also improved in their coverage of tight ends with Keller the only one to score against them this year. In their past three games against New England, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, tight ends have combined for five catches for 89 yards. Gresham is just not worth starting in the majority of leagues this week.
Patriots (vs. MIN): This should end up as a good week for the Patriots DST based on Favre and his turnover rate. He has 10 interceptions and four fumbles on the season, and it would be a surprise if he was turnover-free playing on an injured ankle. The Patriots have three games with double digits in Fantasy points and have done well getting to the opposing quarterback recently with seven sacks in their past three games. There's also the threat of Brandon Tate in the return game, and we consider the Patriots a Top 10 Fantasy option in this matchup.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Buccaneers (at ARI), Redskins (at DET) and Seahawks (at OAK)
Saints (vs. PIT): The Saints have done a solid job this year with five games with double digits in Fantasy points, but they have yet to score a touchdown, which shows how much they miss Reggie Bush in the return game. New Orleans also has just three games with multiple sacks, and the Saints have four games without an interception. Ben Roethlisberger is always a candidate for a couple of turnovers, but the Steelers offense is playing at a high level coming into this matchup. This is a good week to find an alternative DST to the Saints, who also had just five Fantasy points against Cleveland at home in Week 7.
Nick Folk (vs. GB): Folk has done well in his first season with the Jets and has a favorable matchup this week against the Packers. Folk has at least eight Fantasy points in five games, and he had 19 Fantasy points on five field goals in his last home game against Minnesota in Week 5. Folk is 13 of 15 on field goals for the season with 16 extra points, and the Packers have allowed 18 field goal attempts on the season with 15 made kicks. Rian Lindell in Week 2 and Ryan Longwell last week are the only two kickers to face Green Bay this year and not make multiple field goals.
Joe Nedney (vs. DEN): Nedney is coming off his best game of the year with two field goals and two extra points at Carolina, but eight Fantasy points as a season-high isn't going to cut it in the majority of leagues. The 49ers have a change at quarterback this week with Troy Smith starting for the injured Alex Smith (shoulder), and that could hinder their already troubled offensive production. Denver also has allowed just nine field goal attempts with eight made on the season, so don't count on Nedney for a quality outing in this game in London.
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