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.
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Sometimes it pays to be patient. Fred Jackson is the perfect example, and hopefully Fantasy owners followed suit.
When the season started in Buffalo, the expectation was Jackson and Marshawn Lynch would eventually give way to rookie C.J. Spiller. After all, the Bills spent a high draft pick on Spiller, and they were going to use him as much as possible. But as we know, Spiller has struggled and Lynch was traded to Seattle. Jackson, meanwhile, just continues to be a solid contributor.
He has at least seven Fantasy points in his past five games, and last week against Detroit was his best game of the season with 25 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown and six catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. He lost a fumble, but his 26 Fantasy points were stellar.
Jackson has a chance for a repeat performance this week at Cincinnati, and he's our Start of the Week. Spiller is likely out with a hamstring injury, and Jackson has no competition for carries. He also has a favorable matchup. The Bengals have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of their past seven games and six running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against them this season. They are also allowing 116 rushing yard per game.
Jackson should once again be the best player on offense in Buffalo, and he's worth using as a starting Fantasy option in all leagues. Hopefully the Fantasy owners who drafted Jackson have waited for him to play at this level, and this is why it pays to have patience with certain players on your roster.
|Player||Fantasy Points (projected)||Fantasy Points (actual)||Start percentage|
|Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos||19||35||64|
|Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers||20||32||72|
|Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys||13||16||71|
|Matt Forte, RB, Bears||8||6||67|
|Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins||7||3||86|
|Santana Moss, WR, Redskins||7||2||49|
|Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts||10||3||72|
|Randy Moss, WR, Titans||12||2||79|
|Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs||13||1||67|
|Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs||14||40||25|
|Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs||7||30||79|
|Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys||6||19||22|
|Our favorite sleeper in Week 10 was ... Mark Sanchez, who had 27 Fantasy points. He was started in 42 percent of leagues, but he finished with more Fantasy points than Matt Schaub (25), Eli Manning (23) and Peyton Manning (seven).|
Carson Palmer (vs. BUF): We can all agree that Palmer has not played great this season, but his Fantasy production is still above average. He's actually the No. 11 quarterback in standard leagues, and he has multiple touchdown passes in each of his past six games. This week, Palmer has a quality matchup against the Bills, who are among the worst teams against opposing quarterbacks with 18 touchdowns allowed and only two interceptions. Six quarterbacks have reached at least 18 Fantasy points against Buffalo with six throwing multiple touchdown passes. You also have Chad Ochocinco and Jermaine Gresham coming off solid games, and Terrell Owens is facing his former team. This is a good week to count on Palmer as a starting Fantasy option.
Shaun Hill (at DAL): The Cowboys pass defense has not played well recently even with their upset victory at the Giants last week. They have allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in the past four games, including matchups with Eli Manning twice, David Garrard and Aaron Rodgers. Throw in Vince Young and Jay Cutler and that's six quarterbacks who have passed for multiple touchdowns against Dallas this year. Hill has played better at home than on the road, but this is a game where he will be throwing a lot (he has four games with at least 43 passes). Look for him to connect with Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew in what should be a high-scoring contest. He is a good starter to use in deeper formats this week.
Jon Kitna (vs. DET): Kitna is coming off his best game since replacing Tony Romo (collarbone) in Week 7, and he gets the chance to face his former team. In Week 10 at the Giants, Kitna passed for 327 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. It was the first game with Jason Garrett as the new head coach, and you had to be impressed with the offensive showing, especially with Kitna's ability to connect with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Felix Jones. It should continue this week against the Lions, who have allowed nine passing touchdowns on the road this season in five games. You're not going to start Kitna in the majority of standard leagues, but he is an excellent option in larger formats based on his matchup this week and his previous outing.
David Garrard (vs. CLE): We said last week that Fantasy owners might be concerned about starting Garrard in the majority of leagues based on his inconsistent track record. Well hopefully those concerns are put to rest after yet another quality start against Houston. He had 342 passing yards, two touchdowns and 35 rushing yards and now has 13 total touchdowns in his past four complete games. He's doing a good job with Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas and Marcedes Lewis, and there's no reason for him to slow down now. The Browns have struggled in pass defense all season with 18 total touchdowns allowed and seven quarterbacks have thrown for multiple touchdown passes, including four in a row with Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Mark Sanchez. Garrard has a chance to extend that streak, and he should be considered a starting Fantasy option in all leagues.
Mark Sanchez (vs. HOU): It's taken Sanchez two overtime games to reach at least 23 Fantasy points in his past two outings against Detroit and Cleveland, but he's posting quality stats, which is hard to ignore. He also has a tremendous matchup this week against the Texans, who are last in the NFL in pass defense at 301 yards per game with 22 touchdowns allowed. Donovan McNabb in Week 2 is the only quarterback who failed to throw for multiple touchdowns against Houston, but he managed 426 yards and one touchdown in that game. Sanchez loses Jerricho Cotchery (groin) for this matchup, but he should still find a way to play well with Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller. This is a good week to consider Sanchez a starting Fantasy option.
Sleeper alert: Vince Young (vs. WAS): You probably don't have the need to start Young in the majority of leagues with the bye weeks over, and he hasn't exactly been dominant recently due to his ankle injury. But looking at the Redskins defense it's hard not to get excited about any quarterback in this matchup. Michael Vick is still scoring touchdowns against Washington based on his performance in Week 10, and Young has the chance to pick up where Vick left off. He's not going to play at that level, but the Redskins have allowed 10 touchdowns to Matthew Stafford and Vick the past two weeks. Young also appears to be healthy, and this will be Randy Moss' first home game. If you need a starter in leagues where you start two quarterbacks, then consider Young a great option if you're just looking for a quarterback with upside based on a favorable matchup. For more sleeper quarterbacks, including Matt Cassel, click here.
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Brett Favre (vs. GB): You have to be desperate to consider Favre a starting Fantasy option at this point in the season, but still 30 percent of owners in CBSSports.com leagues started him last week at Chicago. He had another miserable game with four Fantasy points, and he should struggle again this week against Green Bay. In his first matchup with the Packers, Favre had eight Fantasy points, and Green Bay has once again been great in pass defense this season, allowing only nine touchdowns with 14 interceptions and 28 sacks. Our recommendation is to release Favre in the majority of leagues even if Sidney Rice (hip) returns this week because he's just not doing much to help your Fantasy team.
Matt Schaub (at NYJ): The Jets pass defense has not been as dominant as last year, but they are still tough. And Schaub knows first-hand after he struggled in last year's season-opener at home with 166 passing yards and an interception. Schaub also is dealing with a knee injury, and he has been frustrating for Fantasy owners this year with four games with at least 19 Fantasy points and five games with 11 points or fewer. The Jets pass rush should be in line for a big day since Houston's offensive line has struggled, and with Schaub on a gimpy leg it could be a long day. We would consider keeping Schaub on the bench this week in the majority of leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at CIN): Fitzpatrick's days as a starting Fantasy option appear to be over with an average of 13 Fantasy points in his past three games against Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit. He only has three touchdowns and three interceptions over that span and has a tough matchup this week even though he's facing his former team. The Bengals have allowed just 10 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks with 10 interceptions, and Brady and Matt Ryan are the only quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns. Cincinnati also has yet to allow a 300-yard passer, and Fitzpatrick will likely be doing a lot of handing off to Jackson. Keep in mind the Bengals have done well against Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning the past two weeks, and Fitzpatrick is far from their level.
Jay Cutler (at MIA): Cutler has played great the past two games against Buffalo and Minnesota with 47 Fantasy points, and he's rebounded from a miserable October. The biggest difference for Cutler in those two games was the lack of a pass rush since he was sacked just twice. The Dolphins come into this game with 23 sacks, and Cutler should see a lot of linebacker Cameron Wake, who has 8.5 sacks. Miami is also No. 6 in pass defense, and Cutler is dealing with injuries at wide receiver to Johnny Knox (ankle) and Devin Hester (shoulder) even though both are expected to play. It's also tough for the road team on a short week, and Cutler is always a candidate to struggle after playing at a high level. He's someone we would suggest benching this week in the majority of leagues.
Donovan McNabb (at TEN): McNabb finally had his first game of the season with multiple touchdown passes in Week 10 against Philadelphia. But he also had his first game of the season with three interceptions, which ruined his performance. McNabb has struggled on the road this season with an average of 193 passing yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. Tennessee has struggled at times in pass defense this season, but Kyle Orton, Romo and Philip Rivers are the only quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns. McNabb only has one game this season with more than 20 Fantasy points, and that was in Week 2. He's not playing well enough to consider as a starting option.
Bust alert: Matt Ryan (at STL): I went back and forth with who to put in this spot between Orton, Roethlisberger and Ryan. None of them have great matchups, but my thought is Orton will be throwing the most at San Diego and Roethlisberger is at home against an Oakland team going to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. ET start. The Raiders could be sluggish. Ryan won't have a bad game with multiple interceptions, and he should still be able to get the ball to Roddy White. I expect Ryan to have a performance like he did in Week 5 at Cleveland with 11 Fantasy points or Week 9 against Tampa Bay with 15 points. The Rams have been solid at home against opposing quarterbacks, allowing an average of 233 passing yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions in five games, including matchups with Rivers and McNabb. Hill is the only quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns against the Rams, and Ryan might not be needed to win the game. As we always say in this spot, this isn't to suggest benching Ryan in the majority of leagues. It's just a recommendation that he could struggle, so take that under advisement when setting your lineup.
Cedric Benson (vs. BUF): I'm going to give him one more chance for this game against the Bills. Even though he's struggled, it's still too good of a matchup. The Bills are last in the NFL in run defense at 167 yards per game, and they've allowed nine rushing touchdowns. On the road, the Bills have allowed five running backs to reach at least nine Fantasy points in four games. And at home, Benson is averaging nearly 100 total yards a game in four outings. He's also done well against poor run defenses in Carolina and Tampa Bay, and Buffalo will be next on the list. If he doesn't play well here then it's time to give up, but he's worth the risk based on the matchup.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. IND): Green-Ellis had one of his most impressive games at Pittsburgh last week with 18 carries for 87 yards and four catches for 36 yards. It was his fourth game with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's had at least eight Fantasy points in six of his past seven outings. The Colts have allowed seven running backs to reach at least eight Fantasy points this year, and the Patriots offensive line has played well recently with the return of left guard Logan Mankins. The best thing about Green-Ellis is even if he doesn't get a lot of rushing yards he still has the chance to score with six touchdowns since Week 3.
Felix Jones (vs. DET): Jones finally played last week at the Giants like the dynamic talent we all expected. He had 14 carries for 51 yards and three catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, and the Cowboys finally found a way to get him more involved. This was the most carries he's had since Week 6 at Minnesota, and hopefully he will continue to touch the ball even more this week against the Lions. Detroit has allowed double digits in Fantasy points to seven running backs with 13 touchdowns. Even Marion Barber has the chance to score a touchdown this week, but Jones is worth starting in the majority of leagues based on his matchup and his performance in Week 10.
Mike Tolbert (vs. DEN): Ryan Mathews continues to deal with this ankle injury, which should allow Tolbert to get the majority of carries against the Broncos on Monday night. We've seen Tolbert play well this year when Mathews has been limited with three games with double digits in Fantasy points and seven touchdowns. Denver leads the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns allowed and is No. 30 in run defense at 143 yards per game. Eight running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against the Broncos and Tolbert could be next, especially if Mathews is out with the injury.
Shonn Greene (vs. HOU): I've been burned by Greene many times this season by saying he has the chance to play well, but he got 20 carries in Week 10 and could be ready for a strong finish. He only has one touchdown this year and just two games with double digits in Fantasy points, but the Texans run defense has struggled recently, especially with DeMeco Ryans (Achilles' tendon) out. Houston has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing running backs and six have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Last week, Maurice Jones-Drew had 24 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns, so there should be plenty of chances for Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson to make plays in this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Willis McGahee (at CAR): We expected McGahee's recent run of success to end last week at Atlanta because the Falcons have done an outstanding job in run defense. He had no Fantasy points against Atlanta, but in three of his previous four games he had reached double digits in Fantasy points. He should get back on track this week against the Panthers, who have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing running backs and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Last week, LeGarrette Blount and Cadillac Williams both played well against Carolina, so look for McGahee and Ray Rice to have plenty of success. And if the Ravens go up big in this game as expected then McGahee has the chance to help run out the clock and rack up extra production in garbage time. For more sleeper running backs, including Keiland Williams, click here.
Michael Bush (at PIT): The Steelers run defense has struggled the past two games against Cincinnati and New England, but they are still No. 1 in the NFL at 63 yards per game allowed and four touchdowns. You're not going to bench Darren McFadden because he's too good, but you should consider sitting Bush. He only has 14 carries in his past two games, and in his last game against Kansas City in Week 9 he was held to 17 rushing yards. McFadden is getting the majority of touches, and Bush is just too risky to start based on the matchup.
Marshawn Lynch (at NO): The Saints run defense has been suspect at times this season, but they have only allowed two running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points in their past five games. Lynch scored last week at Arizona and finished with 13 carries for 29 yards, but that was his first game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 6. He's also averaging just 2.5 yards per carry in his past three games, and if New Orleans goes up early in this matchup as expected then Justin Forsett will see more time on the field than Lynch. He's just not playing well enough to be considered a starting Fantasy option in this matchup.
Mike Goodson (at BAL): Goodson will likely retain a positive Fantasy outlook for the rest of the season with DeAngelo Williams (foot) on injured reserve. For this week, Jonathan Stewart (concussion) could also remain out, but this isn't a good matchup to trust Goodson. We liked him last week for his matchup with Tampa Bay, but the Ravens should be able to push around this offensive line. And Goodson also isn't expected to see goal-line carries, with that role likely to be handled by Stewart or Josh Vaughan. Depending on what happens with Stewart going forward you might be able to use Goodson again later this year, but keep him on your bench against the Ravens.
Beanie Wells (at KC): Wells is expected to return for this week's game after sitting out last week against Seattle with a knee injury, but we would keep him reserved in the majority of Fantasy leagues. Even though the Chiefs have allowed eight running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year and three in the past four games, they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 6. Wells was starting to play well prior to getting hurt in Week 8, but Tim Hightower is the better Fantasy option in Arizona's backfield. Let Wells shake off the rust first before starting him, and hopefully he can finish the season strong like he did last year.
Jahvid Best (at DAL): This toe injury continues to ruin Best's rookie campaign. Last week was the epitome of disappointment for Best since he only managed three Fantasy points against Buffalo. He has only one game with more than 50 rushing yards since Week 2, and that was also the last time he scored a touchdown. Dallas has allowed nine running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, but the Lions tend to abandon the run. Best also appears to have lost his explosiveness, and his Fantasy season has been ruined by this nagging injury. We had high hopes for him last week against the Bills, but it's time to consider keeping Best on your bench until he proves he can play at a high level once again.
Bust alert: LeGarrette Blount (at SF): Blount has done a fantastic job since taking over as the main running back in Tampa Bay. He has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games and is coming off a solid performance in Week 10 against Carolina. But this matchup at San Francisco could be tough since the 49ers have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs and only four have reached double digits in Fantasy points. The last time Blount faced a tough opponent in Week 9 at Atlanta he finished with 14 carries for 46 yards. It's hard to bench someone who is playing at his level, but this could be a game where he struggles. We would only consider using him as a flex option this week based on the matchup.
Michael Crabtree (vs. TB): It looks like Crabtree is finally starting to play like the receiver we hoped he could become. He has a touchdown in four of his past five games, and he appears to have developed an instant rapport with new quarterback Troy Smith. In two games with Smith against Denver and St. Louis, Crabtree has seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He also has a touchdown in his past three home games, and the Bucs have allowed eight receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year with 11 touchdowns scored.
Mario Manningham (at PHI): Manningham stepped in for the injured Steve Smith (pectoral) last week against Dallas with 10 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly he was targeted 16 times. That should continue with Smith out for at least two more games, and it's clear Eli Manning has plenty of trust in Manningham. The Eagles have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and nine have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Look for the Giants to be throwing quite a bit in this matchup, which should mean good things for Hakeem Nicks and Manningham.
Santonio Holmes (vs. HOU): Holmes is starting to live up to the billing as the big-time playmaker the Jets hoped when they traded for him from the Steelers. In his past two games against Detroit and Cleveland he has made key plays in overtime, including the game-winning catch against the Browns. He has 10 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown over that span, and it's clear Sanchez is going to Holmes when he needs to make a play. His targets should also increase with Cotchery out, and the Texans continue to struggle in pass defense. Eight wide receivers have reached double digits in Fantasy points with 13 touchdowns allowed. Houston is last in pass defense, and Holmes and Edwards should be considered quality Fantasy options in this matchup.
Nate Burleson (at DAL): The Cowboys have allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and 10 to reach double digits in Fantasy points. They have also struggled with No. 2 receivers recently against the Giants in Week 7 (Smith), Jacksonville in Week 8 (Mike Thomas), Green Bay in Week 9 (James Jones) and the Giants last week (Manningham). Calvin Johnson should still dominate even though he will get plenty of attention, but Burleson will also play well. He has three touchdowns in his past five games and 28 catches over that span. He's an excellent No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver or flex option in this matchup.
Nate Washington (vs. WAS): We told you last week that Washington would benefit from the addition of Moss, and he scored his fifth touchdown of the season at Miami. He has the chance to play well again this week against the Redskins, and we consider Moss a starting option as well. The Redskins are still chasing DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant from last week as all three scored touchdowns, and Washington has now allowed 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers with 11 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. The Redskins have allowed a wide receiver to score in each of their past four games, and Washington and Moss will look to make it five in a row. Like Burleson, Washington is a great choice as a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week.
Sleeper alert: James Jones (at MIN): There's a strong chance Donald Driver (thigh) misses another week, which would allow Jones to remain in the starting lineup. He's proven his worth with double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games with Driver either limited or out. In Week 7 against the Vikings, Jones had four catches for 107 yards, and in his last game against Dallas in Week 9 he had eight catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings won't be able to contain Green Bay's passing attack, and we expect Greg Jennings and Jones to shine. Even if Driver is able to play he will be at less than 100 percent, which should mean good things for Jones. For more sleeper wide receivers, including Mike Thomas and Danny Amendola, click here.
Lance Moore (vs. SEA): Moore's time as a relevant Fantasy option will likely end with Reggie Bush (leg) expected to return for this game. If you're willing to test the theory that Moore only shines when Bush is out then start Moore this week. It's a good matchup since Seattle has struggled in pass defense this season, but Bush should be the one who benefits. Moore was a standout Fantasy receiver in 2008 when Bush dealt with a knee injury, but he disappeared last year. In two games this season with Bush, Moore had three catches for 23 yards. Our suggestion is to keep Moore on the bench this week as long as Bush is cleared to play.
Santana Moss (at TEN): The Titans have done a great job this season of keeping wide receivers out of the end zone. Eddie Royal, Austin, Roy E. Williams and Riley Cooper are the only receivers to score against Tennessee, and the Titans haven't allowed a touchdown to a receiver in the past two games against San Diego and Miami. Moss has only one touchdown since Week 3, and he has nine catches for 84 yards in his past two games against Detroit and Philadelphia. He could still be a useful starting option in leagues where receptions count since he has six games with at least six catches, but Fantasy owners in standard leagues should only consider him a No. 3 option at best.
Davone Bess (vs. CHI): Don't be surprised if this is the game where Brandon Marshall breaks out of his slump, even with Tyler Thigpen the new starting quarterback thanks to injuries to Chad Henne (knee) and Chad Pennington (shoulder). The Bears have been terrible against No. 1 wide receivers with Austin, Jennings, Nicks, Mike Williams of Seattle, Santana Moss, Steve Johnson and Percy Harvin all scoring a touchdown or gaining at least 100 yards receiving. Marshall could be next, but we still advise using caution when setting your lineup. As for Bess, he has taken a backseat the past two games to Brian Hartline, who has nine catches for 183 yards. Bess has just nine catches for 79 yards over that span, and he has gone three games without a touchdown. Like Marshall, Thigpen could connect with Bess, but we'd rather gamble with the No. 1 option in this matchup.
Wes Welker (vs. IND): Welker had a solid game at Pittsburgh last week with eight catches for 89 yards, but that was his best Fantasy performance since Week 2. He has not played well since Randy Moss was traded in Week 5, and he only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points this season. We would still consider using Welker in leagues where receptions count because he's always capable of games like we saw against the Steelers. But in standard leagues it's hard to count on him, especially with a tough matchup against the Colts. Indianapolis has only allowed seven touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, and Welker has averaged only seven Fantasy points in three meetings with the Colts in the regular season. Those games were all with Moss so don't be surprised if Welker has another sub-par performance even though he played well in Week 10.
Mike Williams (at NO): You might be surprised to know that the Saints lead the NFL in pass defense. You might be even more surprised to know that only two wide receivers have scored against New Orleans with White and Michael Spurlock, and White is the only receiver to reach double digits in Fantasy points. The Saints have held Harvin, Crabtree, Steve Smith of Carolina, Mike Williams of Tampa Bay, Mike Wallace and Hines Ward to four Fantasy points or less. Williams is coming off a career game against Arizona last week with 11 catches for 145 yards, and he has three games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings. But here's something else you might not know: Of his 46 catches this season, 22 have come against Arizona, and he's also scored his lone touchdown against the Cardinals. The Saints have a much better secondary than the Cardinals, and they will be able to contain Williams.
Bust alert: Andre Johnson (at NYJ): There's a good chance most Fantasy owners can't afford to bench Johnson in the majority of leagues. I own him in at least two of my 18 leagues, and I'm going to struggle to set my lineup with Johnson based on his matchup with standout cornerback Darrelle Revis. Go back to last year in Week 1 when Revis held Johnson to four catches for 35 yards. Revis also appears to be back at 100 percent based on the job he did against Calvin Johnson in Week 9 with one catch for 13 yards. Schaub is dealing with a knee injury, and Andre Johnson continues to struggle with his nagging ankle. He's definitely going to play, but will he play at the level you expect? As always with the bust alert, all we're saying is to use caution when setting your lineup. It could be a long day for Johnson based on Revis.
Dustin Keller (vs. HOU): Keller has disappeared after a hot start when he had double digits in Fantasy points in three of his first four games. In his past five games he has combined for 19 Fantasy points, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 4. But he has the chance to rebound this week with Cotchery out, which should help increase his targets. And the Texans are the worst team against opposing tight ends with seven touchdowns allowed and six reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Houston has allowed four touchdowns in the past three games to Jacob Tamme, Randy McMichael and Zach Miller of Jacksonville, and Keller had four catches for 94 yards against the Texans last year.
Todd Heap (at CAR): The Panthers defense continues to fall apart, and it has shown in their coverage of tight ends. After not allowing a tight end to score in the first five weeks of the season, Carolina has given up five touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. Heap is coming off an excellent game at Atlanta with four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown, and he has four touchdowns in his past four games. We expect him to continue to play at a high level this week based on the matchup, and Carolina's four game streak of allowing a touchdown to an opposing tight end should continue.
Jermaine Gresham (vs. BUF): We're fond of tight ends who face the Bills, and Gresham takes his turn this week. It works out well that he's coming off his best game of the season last week at Indianapolis with nine catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Bills have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends and five have reached double digits in Fantasy points. He's worth using as a starting option in deeper formats based on the matchup, and hopefully he can find the end zone for two weeks in a row.
Sleeper alert: Kevin Boss (at PHI): Like Manningham, Boss has benefited from the absence of Smith. He has two touchdowns in his past two games against Seattle and Dallas, and last week without Smith he finished with five catches for 81 yards. The Eagles have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends and six have reached at least seven Fantasy points. Boss had two touchdowns in two games with the Eagles last year and has scored in three of his past four matchups with Philadelphia.
Brent Celek (vs. NYG): It's amazing that with all the offensive production the Eagles had in Week 10 against the Redskins that Celek finished with only two catches for 8 yards. He has zero Fantasy points in three consecutive games, and there's no format where you should consider starting him. The Giants also have been amazing against opposing tight ends with Dallas Clark and Witten the only ones to score and reach double digits in Fantasy points. Celek is not even worth owning in the majority of leagues at this point.
Joel Dreessen (at NYJ): We had high hopes for Dreessen last week starting in place of the injured Owen Daniels, but he let us down with two catches for 24 yards and a fumble at Jacksonville. He is expected to start again this week with Daniels still injured, but he has a tougher matchup against the Jets. New York has allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends, but only Aaron Hernandez has reached double digits in Fantasy points. And as we've said, with Schaub dealing with the knee injury, it could be a long week for Houston's receiving options against this defense.
Greg Olsen (at MIA): Olsen has found the end zone for consecutive games after scoring against Buffalo and Minnesota, but we expect him to struggle this week. The Dolphins are among the best teams against opposing tight ends with Keller the only one to score and reach double digits in Fantasy points. Since then they have shut down Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, Heath Miller, Gresham and Heap. Granted, those aren't elite tight ends this year, but Olsen has been inconsistent all season playing for offensive coordinator Mike Martz. We can see Olsen spending some extra time blocking to help with Miami's pass rush, and he should only be started in deeper leagues this week if you need help at tight end.
Bust alert: Tony Gonzalez (at STL): As we said earlier, Ryan might be able to make plays against the Rams even though he's listed as a bust alert. Gonzalez, on the other hand, should continue to struggle. He only has two games this season with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's gone six games with four points or less. The Rams have only allowed one touchdown to an opposing tight end and none have reached double digits in Fantasy points, including matchups with Zach Miller of Oakland, Chris Cooley, Brandon Pettigrew, Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow and Vernon Davis. At this point in the season a player's name value shouldn't matter, and Gonzalez is not playing well enough to start.
Saints (vs. SEA): The Saints should be rested off their bye week, and they are facing a team that has struggled on the road this season with an injured quarterback. Seattle has two games this season at St. Louis and Oakland with a combined six points, and Matt Hasselbeck is going to play with a broken left wrist. The Saints DST has five games with double digits in Fantasy points in its past six outings and is coming off its best game in Week 9 at Carolina with 28 points. The Saints are also starting to get after the quarterback with seven sacks in the past two games against the Steelers and Panthers. That should mean bad news for Hasselbeck in this matchup.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Titans (vs. WAS), Dolphins (vs. CHI) and Chiefs (vs. ARI)
Vikings (vs. GB): The Vikings DST has been a huge disappointment this year and struggled in Week 7 against the Packers. It will likely happen again, especially with Green Bay coming off a bye week. The Vikings DST has only one game with double digits in Fantasy points in the past four outings. The biggest problem is the pass rush with seven sacks in the past six games, but even that is misleading since six of those sacks were in Week 9 against Arizona. The Vikings are allowing 24 points per game, and the Packers should be poised for a big outing. Since the bye weeks are over you don't have to consider the Vikings DST a starting unit based on the matchup.
Ryan Succop (vs. ARI): Succop has the chance for a solid game this week against the Cardinals, who lead the NFL in made field goals at 24. They also are among the league leaders with 27 extra points. Seven kickers have multiple field goals against Arizona this season, including Olindo Mare, who has 10 in two games. Succop has only made multiple field goals four times this season, but the Chiefs have the chance to score plenty of points in this matchup. If you're the type of Fantasy owner who changes kickers on a weekly basis then consider Succop a starting option for Week 11.
Neil Rackers (at NYJ): It's a new stadium, but Rackers doesn't have fond memories of playing in New York. In his last two games at the Jets and Giants in each of the past two seasons while playing with the Cardinals, Rackers is only 1 of 2 on field goals with a combined nine points. The Jets have allowed four kickers to make multiple field goals, but they have also shut out four kickers with no field goals. Rackers only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 2, and this could be a rough week for the Texans with several injuries on offense.
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