Week 12 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

There are just a few weeks left in the Fantasy Football regular season. First off, I hope that everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and you enjoyed the games from Thursday. There were a lot of good games, and the road teams all came out on top. Not very friendly of holiday house guests, but that’s the NFL. Detroit’s Calvin Johnson had another big game, Matthew Stafford is showing signs of life, and RGIII is, well, RGIII. And, if for some reason you started Justin Forsett, well, congratulations. And, lastly, Tom Brady proved he doesn’t need Rob Gronkowski, or even more than one or two NFL-caliber wideouts, to be successful.

Good luck in Week 12, and Happy Holidays!

Quarterback – surprise start of the week

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (at NO): Information has been leaking out from team sources, media outlets and even safety Donte Whitner, indicating that Kaepernick will get the start this weekend over Alex Smith (concussion), even if the latter is healthy. Kaepernick was impressive moving the offense against a strong Bears defense. However, while Kaepernick is a good pick-up, and he will likely have a solid day against a Saints pass defense which allows 305 yards per game through the air, it is his first NFL road start. He could struggle in a hostile environment, making more mistakes than home team friendly Candlestick. He’ll still put up solid yardage totals, but beware of an increase in turnovers.

Other surprise plays: Chad Henne, Jacksonville (vs. TEN), Jake Locker, Tennessee (at JAC), Russell Wilson, Seattle (at MIA)

Quarterback – sit of the week

Cam Newton, Carolina (at PHI – Mon.): Newton and the Panthers will hit the road for one of the ugliest matchups of the season on Monday Night Football. The Eagles have won just three games, but it isn’t because of their pass defense. They have been respectable, allowing just 222.0 yards per game through the air. Newton and the Panthers will find the passing lanes smaller than they saw in games against the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, etc. If Newton has a respectable stat line, it will be because of his legs.

Other QBs to sit: Sam Bradford, St. Louis (at ARI), Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (vs. ATL), Christian Ponder, Minnesota (at CHI)

Running back – surprise start of the week

Chris Johnson, Tennessee (at JAC): Johnson and the Titans should find plenty of room in the run game against a Jaguars rush defense which was fileted last week in Houston, and has allowed an average of 138.6 yards per game on the ground this season. Jacksonville has been gouged for 14 rushing touchdowns, tied for most in the league with Oakland. If CJ2K can’t get it going against this run defense, then fantasy owners will again have serious concerns heading into the fantasy playoffs.

Other surprise plays: Ronnie Hillman, Denver (at KC), Ryan Mathews, San Diego (vs. BAL), Jalen Parmele, Jacksonville (vs. TEN)

Running back – sit of the week

Michael Turner, Atlanta (at TB): The Buccaneers have yielded plenty of real estate through the air, but they rank first in the NFL against the run, allowing just 81.8 yards per game. Still, Tampa has allowed seven rushing scores this season, so the weekend might not be a total loss for Turner and his fantasy owners. However, if you have alternatives with a more favorable matchup, it’s a good idea to use them.

Other RBs to sit: Reggie Bush, Miami (vs. SEA), Jamaal Charles, Kansas City (vs. DEN), Trent Richardson, Cleveland (at PIT)

Wide receiver – surprise start of the week

Sidney Rice, Seattle (at MIA):  The Seahawks passing game should have a measure of success against a Dolphins passing defense which allowing 266.3 yards per game. Miami has also given up 12 passing touchdowns through 10 games, which is not a terrible amount. However, if the passing game has a big game, and we think they will, Rice should be the biggest beneficiary. A 100-yard day and a score is not out of the question.

Other surprise plays: Kenny Britt, Tennessee (at JAC), Michael Crabtree, San Francisco (at NO), Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville (vs. TEN)

Wide receiver- sit of the week

Vincent Jackson, TB (vs. ATL): The Falcons have a strong defense, especially against the pass. Atlanta has given up just 216.3 yards per game through the air, and 11 passing scores in 10 games. In addition, Jackson is known for the big play downfield, but Atlanta has yielded just four plays of 40 or more yards through the air. Jackson should be in line for one of those 4-45-0 type lines that fantasy owners hate to see at this time of the season.

Other WRs to sit: Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (vs. DEN), Marques Colston, New Orleans (vs. SF), Josh Gordon, Cleveland (vs. PIT)

Tight end – surprise start of the week: Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville (vs. TEN)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Jared Cook, Tennessee (at JAC), Vernon Davis, San Francisco (at NO)

Sit of the week: Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay (vs. ATL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota (at CHI), Benjamin Watson, Cleveland (vs. PIT)

Kicker – surprise start of the week: Rob Bironas, Tennessee (at JAC)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Mike Nugent, Cincinnati (vs. OAK)

Sit of the week: Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis (vs. BUF)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Phil Dawson, Cleveland (vs. PIT)

Defense/special teams – surprise start of the week: Broncos DST (at KC)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Dolphins DST (vs. SEA), Eagles DST (vs. CAR – Mon.)

DST sit of the week: 49ers DST (at NO)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Bills DST (at IND), Ravens DST (at SD)



Week 11 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

There are plenty of injury pitfalls to avoid, so be sure to check the latest injury reports at your favorite fantasy sites or on Twitter before putting the final touches on your roster. Particularly hard hit were the quarterbacks in Week 10, as Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith and Michael Vick all suffered injuries last week. The severity for each of the signal callers varies, but neither is a certainty to play this weekend.

Good luck in Week 11!

Quarterback – surprise start of the week

Cam Newton, Carolina (vs. TB): Newton had a great, record-setting rookie season, but he has looked anything like a fantasy must-start this season. He has just two 300-yard passing performances, but one of those came against the Buccaneers way back in Week 1. The Bucs ranked dead-last against the pass, and Newton should be able to exploit their defense, perhaps for a season-high in passing yardage. He has managed just four passing TDs over his past five games, and he has just one rushing score during that span. Look for at least 300 yards, one passing score and about 40 rushing yards with a touchdown Sunday.

Other surprise plays: *Nick Foles/Michael Vick, Philadelphia (at WAS), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (at NE), Carson Palmer, Oakland (vs. NO)

NOTE – * Foles is expected to make his first NFL start, as Vick is battling concussion. The Redskins rank 30th in the NFL in passing yardage allowed (301.7) per game.

Quarterback – sit of the week

Joe Flacco, Baltimore (at PIT): Flacco has managed at least one passing score in six straight games against the Steelers, but he has averaged just 226 passing yards against the AFC North Division rivals in eight career meetings, completing 17 or fewer passes in five of those starts. The good news is that Flacco hasn’t thrown an INT in his past three starts against Pittsburgh, he hasn’t done much else either. The Steelers rank first in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 171.1 yards per game through the air, so go another way if you normally depend on Baltimore’s signal caller.

Other QBs to sit: Sam Bradford, St. Louis (vs. NYJ), Matt Ryan, Atlanta (vs. ARI), Brandon Weeden, Cleveland (at DAL)

Running back – surprise start of the week

Steven Jackson, St. Louis (vs. NYJ): SJ39 posted his first 100-yard game of the season in San Francisco, looking very fresh as he carried the mail. He has managed two scores over his past three games, and might still have a chance at his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season. He’ll square off against a Jets rushing defense which ranks 30th in the NFL, allowing 145.0 yards per game on the ground. The Jets have also been gouged for 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games, and they have given up three rushing plays of 40 or more yards. Look for Jackson to approach 100-120 total yards from scrimmage with at least one more score.

Other surprise plays: Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh (vs. BAL), BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati (at KC), Stevan Ridley, New England (vs. IND)

Running back – sit of the week

Frank Gore, San Francisco (vs. CHI – Mon.): Gore is likely to struggle against a Bears rushing defense which ranks fourth in the NFL, allowing just 92.3 yards per game on the ground. Chicago has given up just two rushing TDs this season, too. Gore might be forced to face eight in the box if QB Alex Smith (concussion) cannot go, forcing QB Colin Kaepernick into his first NFL start. At least if Smith can go, Gore has a fighting chance. Either way, it’s a very unfavorable matchup.

Other RBs to sit: Matt Forte, Chicago (at SF – Mon.), LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia (at WAS), Willis McGahee, Denver (vs. SD)

Wide receiver – surprise start of the week

Denarius Moore, Oakland (vs. NO): Moore has managed just one 100-yard game this season, a Week 6 loss at Atlanta. However, he has found the end zone in four of the past five games, and he looks for his first multi-score game of the season Sunday. He might get it. The Saints are terrible against the pas, allowing 307.3 yards per game through the air, and 19 total passing scores in nine games. Moore and fellow WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), assuming the hamstring he tweaked in practice Wednesday isn’t too serious, are both solid WR2/3 or ‘flex’ plays in all formats.

Other surprise plays: Miles Austin, Dallas (vs. CLE), Lance Moore, New Orleans (at OAK), Steve Smith, Carolina (vs. TB)

Wide receiver- sit of the week

Julio Jones, Atlanta (vs. ARI): Jones has been battling an ankle injury which forced him to miss practice Wednesday and Thursday. It appears that he might be a game-time decision this weekend, which is something that makes fantasy owners pull out their hair. Even if he can play, the Cardinals rank second in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 194.6 yards per game through the air. That’s because everyone runs on the Cards. Look for Atlanta to have a similar offensive plan, especially if Jones is not 100 percent or inactive.

Other WRs to sit: A.J. Green, Cincinnati (at KC), Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (at DET), Brandon Marshall, Chicago (at SF – Mon.)

Tight end – surprise start of the week: Brandon Myers, Oakland (vs. NO)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs. WAS), Greg Olsen, Carolina (vs. TB)

Sit of the week: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay (at DET)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Vernon Davis, San Francisco (vs. CHI – Mon.), Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (at STL)

Kicker – surprise start of the week: Justin Medlock, Carolina (vs. TB)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Alex Henery, Philadelphia (at WAS)

Sit of the week: Robbie Gould, Chicago (at SF – Mon.)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Phil Dawson, Cleveland (at DAL)

Defense/special teams – surprise start of the week: Bengals DST (at KC)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Falcons DST (vs. ARI), Redskins DST (vs. PHI)

DST sit of the week: Colts DST (at NE)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Chargers DST (at DEN), Eagles DST (at WAS)

Fantasy Football Advice: Week 11 Waiver Wire Picks

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty now. It’s Week 11, and in some leagues with four-team divisional setups, there is just one week remaining of cross-divisional play before the home stretch. It is also the last weekend of byes, and some key teams have guys sidelined this week. Couple that with a slew of injuries to key position players this past weekend, and the waiver wire will be more important than ever mid-week.

Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego: Head coach Norv Turner promised to get Alexander more involved in the offense, and that he did in Week 10 at Tampa Bay. He had five grabs for 134 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers, and might be the team’s best downfield threat despite his signing just a couple of weeks ago. Once he jells further with QB Philip Rivers, Alexander could emerge as a weekly fantasy option.

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis: Amendola is owned in about 80-85 percent of leagues already, but if he is available of your waiver wire, or via trade, grab him. He is especially useful in PPR leagues, serving as a poor man’s Wes Welker. The St. Louis Rams offense is a much more dynamic attack when the threat of Amendola exists. His presence even more RB Steven Jackson better, as well as QB Sam Bradford.

Connor Barth, PK, Tampa Bay: Barth and the Buccaneers have been scoring points aplenty lately, and Barth has been scoring nicely. He has five field goals and 13 extra points over the past three games, averaging 9.3 points per game during the span. The Buccaneers travel to Charlotte for a rematch with the Panthers. In a 16-10 Week 1 win, Barth connected on three field goals and an extra point.

Bengals, DST, Cincinnati: The Bengals will face the mistake-prone Chiefs in Week 11, so if your primary option has a difficult matchup or bye week, it is time to scoop the Bengals up and play the favorable matchup. Cincinnati posted four sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in an impressive performance against the New York Giants last Sunday.

Buccaneers, DST, Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers meet the Panthers for the second time this season. In the Week 1 matchup in Tampa, the Bucs allowed just 10 net rushing yards and 10 points allowed in a 16-10 win. They also dropped Panthers QB Cam Newton three times for sack, forced a fumble and had two interceptions. The Bucs have recorded at least two sacks in three straight games, and have racked up 15 interceptions through the first nine contests.

Jason Campbell, QB, Chicago: It seemed like every few minutes another quarterback was going to the locker room for concussion tests in Week 10. Jay Cutler was nailed in the Sunday night game with Houston, forcing Jason Campbell into action. His stats against the Texans can be ignored, as they are a good defense. Campbell might get the start against another strong defense, the San Francisco 49ers, on the road in Week 11 on Monday night. However, he should get first-team reps in practice, and will be a lot more prepared for the challenge. He makes for a decent No. 2 fantasy option in leagues which require two starters, but in standard leagues he can be avoided for now.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia: Foles took over for an injured QB Michael Vick (concussion) last week against Dallas and looked so-so. The fans have been calling for the rookie, and soon they’ll likely be booing him over the most innocuous thing. Foles will make the start in Week 11  against the Washington Redskins. He is setup for success in his first NFL start, as the Redskins rank 30th against the pass by allowing 301.7 yards per game. They have also allowed an NFL-worst 20 passing touchdowns through nine games.

Byron Leftwich, QB, Pittsburgh: Leftwich has not officially been named the starter for Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens, although head coach Mike Tomlin appears reserved to the fact QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) will miss the game due to his sternoclavicular sprain. Right now, Big Ben is unofficially considered questionable. Leftwich is worth scooping up in special formats which require two starting QBs. In standard leagues, he is only worth adding if you already own Roethlisberger.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco: Kaepernick came on for the injured QB Alex Smith (concussion) and ran for a score in Sunday’s 24-24 tie against the Rams. Kaepernick isn’t much of a passer, but he could still post a decent stat line for fantasy owners in Week 11 if Smith is out. The 49ers have an extra day to let Smith rest, as they won’t play until Monday night. But if they’re smart, they might want to hold Smith out against a relentless Bears defense.



Week 10 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

The noose continues to tighten for those marginal teams floating around .500 on the season. Fantasy playoffs are just around the corner, so now more than ever you need to make the right choices with your lineup. We’ve included some obvious, and not-so-obvious players for starting and sitting just like the past weeks. Play the matchups, not the names. Be sure to research how an opposing defense ranks against the pass, rush, etc. before automatically inserting your guy into the starting lineup. Check previous history, especially if it is a divisional opponent. Doing a little research can go a long way rather than just believing live scoring, automated estimators or starting a guy because he has a big name.

Good luck in Week 10!

Quarterback – surprise start of the week

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo (at NE): The Patriots pass defense has been atrocious this season, allowing 281.1 yards per game through the air with 17 passing TDs allowed in just eight games. In Week 4, Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns in a loss against the Patriots in Buffalo, but he was also picked off a season-high four times. If the Bills can give him some decent protection, Fitzpatrick could have another productive day. That game against New England earlier was his only 300-yard performance of the season.

Other surprise plays: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (vs. NYG), Matt Hasselbeck/*Jake Locker, Tennessee (at MIA), Ryan Tannehill, Miami (vs. TEN)

NOTE – * Locker is expected to start, returning from a shoulder injury. However, if he has a setback, Hasselbeck will get the nod. Either QB is a solid play against the Dolphins.

Quarterback – sit of the week

Jay Cutler, Chicago (vs. HOU): Cutler hasn’t exactly lit the world afire anyway, despite throwing three TD strikes in a laugher against the Titans in Nashville last week. The Bears will struggle against the fourth-ranked passing defense in the NFL, as the Texans allow just 203.8 yards per game through the air. They have also registered 25 sacks, which is bad news for Cutler, who is playing behind a leaky offensive line. Look for DL J.J. Watt to introduce himself early and often.

Other QBs to sit: Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets (at SEA), Michael Vick, Philadelphia (vs. DAL), Russell Wilson, Seattle (vs. NYJ)

Running back – surprise start of the week

Michael Turner, Atlanta (at NO): Turner’s stock was way down in the preseason and into the early part of the regular season, as the talking heads felt the tremendous amount of carries, and subsequent beating, might be taking a toll on ‘Turner the Burner’. However, he has been just as big of a part of Atlanta’s success as the passing game. Surprisingly, Turner has failed to hit the century mark in the past three matchups with New Orleans, and he hasn’t visited the end zone against the Saints since Week 3 of the 2010 season. However, this New Orleans rush defense is awful, ranking dead-last against the run by giving up 176.5 yards per game on the ground.

Other surprise plays: Reggie Bush, Miami (vs. TEN), Taiwan Jones, Oakland (at BAL), Stevan Ridley, New England (vs. BUF)

Running back – sit of the week

Matt Forte, Chicago (vs. HOU): Forte is a big name running back who will have little success against the Texans. Houston’s run defense ranks first in the AFC (second in the NFL), allowing just 81.9 yards per game on the ground. In addition, they have not yielded one rushing touchdown on the ground. And, if they are finally pierced for a score, it will likely be a short run near the goal-line, and that would come in the form of Michael Bush. Forte might post a decent amount of yardage both on the ground and through the air, but he won’t score anything more than eight to 10 fantasy points tops.

Other RBs to sit: Steven Jackson, St. Louis (at SF), Chris Johnson, Tennessee (at MIA), Ryan Mathews, San Diego (at TB)

Wide receiver – surprise start of the week

Brian Hartline, Miami (vs. TEN): Hartline was a waiver wire darling with his franchise record performance in Arizona earlier in the season, then he disappeared as quickly as he emerged. However, he snagged eight balls for 107 yards last week at Indianapolis, and might be ready to go another tear. Matching up against an awful Titans pass defense, which ranks 27th in the NFL by allowing 273.4 yards per game through the air, is a good start. The Titans have been gouged for 20 passing touchdowns, so Hartline might be able to return to the end zone for just the second time this season.

Other surprise plays: Kenny Britt, Tennessee (at MIA), Stevie Johnson, Buffalo (at NE), Denarius Moore, Oakland (at BAL)

Wide receiver- sit of the week

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (vs. PIT): Bowe started out his contract year well, posting at least 60 receiving yards in four of his first five games. However, inconsistent quarterback play and indecision has really hurt Bowe and his fantasy prospects. He hasn’t visited the end zone since Week 4, and he has fewer than 80 yards receiving in each of his past four games. That isn’t likely to end against a Steelers pass defense which ranks No. 1 in the NFL.

Other WRs to sit: Chris Givens, St. Louis (at SF), Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia (vs. DAL), Steve Smith, Carolina (vs. DEN)

Tight end – surprise start of the week: Anthony Fasano, Miami (vs. TEN)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Jared Cook, Tennessee (at MIA), Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta (at NO)

Sit of the week: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs. DAL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (at SEA), Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit (at MIN)

Kicker – surprise start of the week: Nick Novak, San Diego (at TB)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Blair Walsh, Minnesota (vs. DET)

Sit of the week: Ryan Succop, Kansas City (at PIT)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Rian Lindell, Buffalo (at NE)

Defense/special teams – surprise start of the week: Broncos DST (at CAR)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Chargers DST (at TB), Seahawks DST (vs. NYJ)

DST sit of the week: Falcons DST (at NO)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Eagles DST (vs. DAL), Giants DST (at CIN)

Fantasy Football Advice: Week 10 Waiver Wire Picks

It’s Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, and that means it is time to decide one very important thing. Who will be the next free agent to join your fantasy football roster? What else?

We’re heading down the stretch, as most head-to-head leagues have just four weeks of regular season play remaining before playoffs start. So, my fellow Americans, now more than ever it is time to make smart decisions for those who will help you be better off financially at season’s end. Hopefully, in Week 14 when the playoffs start, you can look at your fantasy roster and say, for certain, that you are better off than you were four weeks ago!

Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona: While the Cardinals are on a bye this week, it is even more time for the rookie Floyd to integrate into the team’s system for the stretch run. He has been seeing more and more responsibilities in the offense, and is poised to pass WR Early Doucet on the depth chart. The latter cannot seem the avoid the drops, having two more in Week 9, bringing his season total to six. Floyd is a dark horse candidate who might be a receiver worth using as a WR3 or ‘flex’ play heading into the fantasy playoffs.

Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland: While Darren McFadden (ankle) has not been ruled out for Week 10 by head coach Dennis Allen, I think we have all seen this movie before. Run DMC is made out of tinsel, and it seems he is always sidelined for a chunk of the season. All indications were that he suffered a high ankle sprain, and even the most durable players do not bounce back the next week from one of those. Mike Goodson (ankle) also dinged an ankle, which means the speedy Jones might be in line to see a lion’s share of the carries, with FB Marcel Reece also in the mix for touches out of the backfield.

Joshua Morgan, WR, Washington: Morgan really cost the Redskins earlier in the season with a silly personal foul which forced the team into an impossible field goal attempt to stave off a loss. It angered many inside the Beltway, especially his coaches. He appears to slowly be working his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff, and has managed 22 targets over the past three games, with 13 catches and a pair of rushing attempts. With WR Santana Moss (concussion) uncertain, and WR Pierre Garcon (toe) still nowhere near a return, Morgan might be the top target in Week 10. WR Aldrick Robinson might also garner some votes, since WR Leonard Hankerson can’t seem to hang onto the ball when it is thrown his way.

Brandon Myers, TE, Oakland: We mentioned targets above for Moss, well Myers is the top RB-TE-WR available in two of my 12-team money leagues with 26 targets. He broke out last week against Tampa Bay with a pair of scores, and he has 18 catches for 152 yards and the two touchdowns over the past three games. He continues to draw the eye of QB Carson Palmer, especially when C.P. is under duress. With Oakland’s marginal O-line, that is unlikely to change.

Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh: The injury wheel continues to spin in Pittsburgh, and which back steps up, no one knows from week to week. Two weeks ago, it was Jonathan Dwyer stepping up and eclipsing the century mark for a second straight game. Then, he suffered a quadriceps injury and was inactive in Week 9. Redman, who was inactive in Week 8 due to ankle issues, exploded for 147 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. Head coach Mike Tomlin has a secret ballot, and won’t commit to naming a starting right now, saying he’ll simply ride the hot hand. Who that will be is anyone’s guess, but if anyone in the Steelers cabinet of running backs (Redman, Dwyer or Rashard Mendenhall) are available, they should be snapped up.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle: In your fantasy league, the quarterback position is likely to have very slim pickings off the waiver wire. The usual third-party candidates, Wilson, Blaine Gabbert, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Sanchez, John Skelton and perhaps Brandon Weeden are still available. If there are better options, good for you. Over the past three games, Wilson has managed five TD strikes and just two interceptions. If you’re looking for yardage, Skelton is your man. If you’re looking for potential scores, Wilson is your man.

Week 9 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

It’s Week 9, and that means we’re just about a month away from the start of the fantasy playoffs. Now, more than ever, it is important to make all the right decisions and fine tune your lineups for optimal success. Every game during the season counts, but if you find yourself at 3-5 or 4-4, you need to really be careful. One more loss and it’s probably all over.

Good luck in Week 9!

Quarterback – surprise start of the week

Carson Palmer, Oakland (vs. TB): The Buccaneers allow 309.6 yards per game through the air, and they just dealt CB Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots. They have allowed 32 plays of 20 or more yards through the air, and seven plays of 40 or more yards. Palmer might not light it up for 300-plus, but he could easily reach 250 yards and at least two TD strikes.

Other surprise plays: Jay Cutler, Chicago (at TEN), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (vs. MIA), Michael Vick, Philadelphia (at NO)

Quarterback – sit of the week

Matt Ryan, Atlanta (vs. DAL): The Cowboys rank third in the NFL against the pass, allowing just 187.7 yards per game through the air, and they have a strong pass rush with LB DeMarcus Ware leading the charge. Will Ryan and the dynamic receivers of the Falcons get shutout completely? Well, no. But less than 200 yards and two touchdowns or fewer can be expected from Matty Ice.

Other QBs to sit: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (vs. DEN), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo (at HOU), Ryan Tannehill, Miami (at IND)

Running back – surprise start of the week

Trent Richardson, Cleveland (vs. BAL): Most people see the Ravens on the schedule and immediately think poor matchup, but the Ravens defense is a shell of its former self, especially with all of the injuries on that side of the ball. The Ravens have been gouged for 142.9 yards per game on the ground this season. They did a good job containing Richardson in Week 4 in the first matchup on a Thursday night, as he managed just 47 yards on 14 carries (3.4 ypc) with a score. But that was also with a healthy LB Ray Lewis and CB Lardarius Webb in the lineup.

Other surprise plays: Felix Jones, Dallas (at ATL), Mikel Leshoure, Detroit (at JAC), Daniel Thomas, Miami (at IND)

Running back – sit of the week

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (at SEA): A.P. will be facing a Seahawks rush defense which has allowed just three rushing scores all season, and a D that yields only 84.9 yards per game on the ground through eight games. There are reports WR Percy Harvin will be unavailable for the game, which would also place more of the defensive focus on A.P. Either way, it’s not a good week to use Peterson if you have others with much more favorable matchups.

Other RBs to sit: Ahmad Bradshaw, N.Y. Giants (vs. PIT), Chris Johnson, Tennessee (vs. CHI), Darren McFadden, Oakland (vs. TB)

Wide receiver – surprise start of the week

Steve Smith, Carolina (at WAS): The Redskins have allowed 314.2 yards per game through the air, and a whopping 19 passing scores. So if the Panthers and their offense are going to break out, this has to be the week. This is an important game, too. Since 1940, if the Redskins win in their home game before the presidential election, the incumbent has won. If they lose, then the challenger is victorious. Needless to say, Mitt Romney is starting Cam Newton, Steve Smith and all of his Panthers, hoping for a black and blue party.

Other surprise plays: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (at NYG), Denarius Moore, Oakland (vs. TB), Torrey Smith, Baltimore (at CLE)

Wide receiver- sit of the week

Victor Cruz, N.Y. Giants (vs. PIT): No salsa dance for two weeks straight? Say it ain’t so. Cruz faces a difficult matchup against a Steelers pass defense which allows a league-best 182.6 yards per game through the air. The Steelers have given up 11 passing TDs, mostly short stuff, so if Cruz does get onto the board, it isn’t expected to be from long distance.

Other WRs to sit: Dez Bryant, Dallas (at ATL), Percy Harvin, Minnes0ta (at SEA), Stevie Johnson, Buffalo (at HOU)

Tight end – surprise start of the week: Kellen Davis, Chicago (at TEN)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Brandon Myers, Oakland (vs. TB), Greg Olsen, Carolina (at WAS)

Sit of the week: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta (vs. DAL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Scott Chandler, Buffalo (at HOU), Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati (vs. DEN)

Kicker – surprise start of the week: Lawrence Tynes, N.Y. Giants (vs. PIT)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Justin Tucker, Baltimore (at CLE)

Sit of the week: Rian Lindell, Buffalo (at HOU)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Josh Scobee, Jacksonville (vs. DET)

Defense/special teams – surprise start of the week: Lions DST (at JAC)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Colts DST (vs. MIA), Seahawks DST (vs. MIN)

DST sit of the week: Falcons DST (vs. DAL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Ravens DST (at CLE), Steelers DST (at NYG)



Fantasy Football Advice: Week 9 Waiver Wire Picks

The waiver wire suggestions list is short and sweet heading into Week 9. In most leagues, the waiver wire is picked clean. However, there are still a few gems out there to be mined. The wide receiver situation in Detroit looks good after a big week against Seattle. Oddly enough, the first guy on our list, Ryan Broyles, has more TDs in the past two weeks (two) than Calvin Johnson has (one) all season.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit: While Broyles has amassed just six grabs for 88 yards over the past two games, he has sniffed out the end zone in each game. He appears to be fully healthy after suffering an ugly ACL injury at the University of Oklahoma. Broyles has been targeted nines during the past two games, and looks like a more than adequate replacement for the injury WR Nate Burleson (leg).

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh: Dwyer (quadriceps) is nursing a quadriceps injury this week, and he is not expected to practice Wednesday, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. If the injury proves to be minor, Dwyer should be a great play in Week 9. He has 17 carries in each of his past two games, and he has averaged 114.5 rushing yards per contest during the span. Regardless of the health of RBs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles’) and Isaac Redman (ankles) om Week 9, Dwyer should see a lion’s share of the totes. This is the best the Steelers rushing attack has looked all season, and Dwyer is the main reason why.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia: Foles is worth keeping an eye on at this point, although no official change has come down the pike in Philadelphia. Head coach Andy Reid is thought to be considering a change at quarterback, although the team will not resume practice until Thursday due to a Monday night contest in Week 9. So that would have given the Eagles sports radio callers plenty to talk about if not for Hurricane Sandy actually giving them some perspective. Then again, even a hurricane can’t keep the rabid Eagles fan base from complaining.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville: Shorts is coming off a career-high 116-yard performance in Green Bay in Week 8. It was his first time topping the century mark, and the QB situation in Jacksonville is still not optimal. However, Shorts might be worth a look as a WR4 or ‘flex’ play in leagues of 12 or more teams since he has rolled up 12 catches, 195 yards and a score over his past two games. He has a little extra added value in formats which reward longer scoring plays.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami: Thomas was back in action in Week 8 after missing one game due to a concussion. So far, he has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games played. He saw one more carry than backfield mate Reggie Bush against the Jets last Sunday, and might be carving out a bigger role for himself if he can keep sniffing out the end zone. For now, Thomas is not worth consideration as anything more than RB depth, or perhaps as an RB3 in leagues of 12 or more teams.

Titus Young, WR, Detroit: Young blew up with 100 yards and two scores in a win against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. He and Ryan Broyles have really stepped up big since Burleson (leg) went down two games ago. As long as teams continue to double Megatron and force others to beat them, Broyles and Young might have very solid stat lines. For now, Young is worth a look as a WR3 or ‘flex’ play.

Week 8 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

It’s Week 8, and we get our yearly NFL matchup at Wembley Stadium in London, England. This year, it is the surprising St. Louis Rams taking on the surprisingly mediocre New England Patriots. Based upon passing offense versus passing defense, this one has the potential to be a shootout. This week’s Thursday matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings also promises to kick-start the week off on the right Fantasy foot, with plenty of guys to gather points for their owners. It should be another exciting slate of NFL action. Lots of luck in Week 8!

Quarterbacks

Surprise start of the week: Sam Bradford, St. Louis (at NE – in London): Bradford is a great waiver wire addition if you’re in a pinch due to bye weeks. The Patriots are horrid against the pass, allowing 290.0 yards per game with a league-high 16 touchdowns through the air in just seven games. The Patriots have also been beaten for an NFL-high 39 plays of 20 or more yards through the air, while opposing QBs have a passer rating of 99.2 against them this season. Bradford has been on the rise lately, throwing for 570 yards over his past two games, including one of his two 300-yard games on the season. He has turned the ball over just six times (all interceptions, no fumbles), but he also has just three TD strikes over his past five games. He could double that total in this game alone.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (vs. TEN), Christian Ponder, Minnesota (vs. TB – THU), Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets (vs. MIA)

Sit of the week: Robert Griffin III, Washington (at PIT): This is, by far, RGIII’s most difficult assignment of his young career. He’ll be matched up against a Pittsburgh pass defense which allowed just 184.8 yards per game through the air, and a rather modest 88.3 passer rating by opposing QBs. And the Steelers are a respectable ninth in the NFL against the rush, giving up just 92.5 yards per game on the ground with only four rushing scores. The Steelers have also allowed just two runs over 20 yards all season. If anyone is going to skew the stats of the Steelers, it is Griffin, but it is extremely unlikely on the road.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Alex Smith, San Francisco (at ARI – MON), Ryan Tannehill, Miami (at N.Y. Jets), Russell Wilson, Seattle (at DET)

Running Backs

Surprise start of the week: Alex Green, Green Bay (vs. JAC): The Packers are going to try awfully, awfully hard to establish the run game early and often against the beleaguered Jaguars, who are likely to be forced to start undrafted rookie LB Julian Stanford on Sunday. The Jags have allowed an abysmal 147.3 yards per game on the ground this season, including eight rushing touchdowns. If Green is going to get it going, it has to be this week. If not, he might never have this great of a chance again, and it is a remote possibility the club could turn back to former Packers RB Ryan Grant, who was released by the Redskins this week.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Ryan Mathews, San Diego (at CLE), Darren McFadden, Oakland (at KC), Willis McGahee, Denver (vs. NO)

Sit of the week: Trent Richardson, Cleveland (vs. SD): Richardson is nicked up, dealing with an injury to his ribs. He was rather tentative and not running like himself in Indianapolis last week, that head coach Pat Shurmur actually yanked him in favor of Montario Hardesty. While Richardson has made progress this week, and he is likely to try and play even if not 100 percent, going up against the AFC’s top-ranked rushing defense (and ranked No. 2 in the NFL) is no cure for what ills the Cleveland rushing attack. It’s best to keep Richardson on your bench and look for other alternatives.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Shonn Greene, N.Y. Jets (vs. MIA), Mikel Leshoure, Detroit (vs. SEA), Alfred Morris, Washington (at PIT)

Wide Receivers

Surprise start of the week: Brandon Lloyd, New England (vs. STL – in London): There was a lot made out of the fact Lloyd was targeted eight times last week, but only able to connect with QB Tom Brady once. Believe me, that has been worked on ad nauseum this week, and Lloyd will want to perform admirably against one of his former teams. The Rams pass defense is middle-of-the-road, allowing 225.6 yards per game through the air. Lloyd has been targeted 65 times in the first seven games, so the intent is there. One of these weeks this combination is going to go off, and go off big-time.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Malcom Floyd, San Diego (at CLE), Chris Givens, St. Louis (at NE), Jeremy Kerley, N.Y. Jets (vs. MIA),

Sit of the week: Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (vs. SF – MON): Fitzgerald has posted games with at least 125 yards and a touchdown in two of his past three outings against the 49ers, and he has scored three straight times facing the NFC West Division rivals. However, he has QB John Skelton at the helm this season, and the Cardinals passing offense will be facing the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL, as the Niners allow just 173.6 yards per game through the air. Opposing QBs have a very marginal 73.6 passer rating against San Francisco, which is the fourth-best mark in the NFL. Fitzgerald might be frequently targeted, but don’t look for him to crack the century mark, or even come close.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Randy Moss, San Francisco (at ARI – MON), Santana Moss, Washington (at PIT), Sidney Rice, Seattle (at DET)

Tight ends

Surprise start of the week: Heath Miller, Pittsburgh (vs. WAS)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (vs. MIA), Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. TB – THU)

Sit of the week: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs. ATL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Coby Fleener, Indianapolis (at TEN), Antonio Gates, San Diego (at CLE)

Kickers

Surprise start of the week: Kai Forbath, Washington (at PIT)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Steven Hauschka, Seattle (at DET)

Sit of the week: Dan Carpenter, Miami (at N.Y. Jets)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Phil Dawson, Cleveland (vs. SD)

Defense/special teams

Surprise start of the week: Raiders DST (at KC)

Other solid, less- than-obvious fantasy plays: Packers DST (vs. JAC), Seahawks DST (at DET)

Sit of the week: Rams (vs. Patriots – in London)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Broncos DST (vs. NO), Dolphins DST (at NYJ)

Fantasy Football Advice: Week 8 Waiver Wire Picks

We’re headed into Week 8, and we’re back to just four teams on bye after a couple of weeks of six-team bye weeks. Bench all of your Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans. If you need replacement options, we have several suggestions below, as well as one reiteration from last week. Listen up!

Dan Bailey, PK, Dallas: The struggles of the Dallas Cowboys offense has been the gain of fantasy owners of Bailey, as he has seven field goals over the past two games, and three extra points. That’s an average of 12 points per game if you’re doing the math at home. Over the past three games, Bailey ranks a respectable 11th in scoring among Fantasy kickers. He has the same amount of point as fantasy staple Sebastian Janikowski, and more points than Matt Bryant, Mason Crosby and Greg ‘Legatron’ Zuerlein.

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis: It isn’t so much what Bradford has been doing lately, although he is 10th among all Fantasy quarterbacks in scoring over the past three games. However, it is a matchup against the New England Patriots and their shaky pass defense which has us excited about his short-term prospects. The Patriots pass defense has been shredded for 290 yards per game through the air over their seven games, and they have allowed an NFL-worst 16 passing TDs. Bradford is a fabulous bye-week replacement, and he will be looking frequently for the receiver right below.

Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis: Givens was mentioned in this very same space last week, as we trumpeted him as a ground-floor acquisition, or a speculative pick. He went out and snagged three balls for 73 yards against the Packers in Week 7, his second straight game with at least 73 yards. He has been targeted at least five times in each of the past three games, and he has 51 or more yards during that span. He isn’t a must-start fantasy option, but he might hook up with Bradford for big things in Week 8.

Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans: Henderson has rolled up 193 receiving yards and a touchdown over his past two games, although a chunk of his targets and grabs came in a pre-bye Week 5 performance against San Diego. However, he has at least 75 yards receiving in the past two games, and he is at least worth scooping up as a No. 4 WR or ‘flex’ play if you’re in desperate need due to byes. The Saints face a shootout with the Broncos in the Mile High City. While the Broncos are a Top 10 passing defense, there should still be plenty of room for Henderson and the Saints passing offense to produce.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville: Jennings took over for Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) last week, and head coach Mike Mularkey hasn’t ruled out a Lisfranc injury for MoJo. That would be a long-term injury, and possible season-ender. As such, Jennings might be the most important fantasy option on this entire list. For owners in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, they’ll also want to look at Jennings. He hauled in seven receptions for 58 yards last week in Oakland, showing he is not just a one-trick pony.

Santana Moss, WR, Washington: Moss has rolled up nine receptions, 193 yards and three touchdowns over the past three games. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he is facing a Steelers pass defense which ranks first in the AFC, and second in the NFL, allowing just 184.8 yards per game through the air. Just ask Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, who was held with one catch last week, how good the Steelers pass defense is. So Moss isn’t worth starting this week, but he is worth adding in all leagues, as he has jelled nicely with QB Robert Griffin III.

Brandon Myers, TE, Oakland: Myers is good for 12 receptions and 106 yards over his past three games. While he has failed to find the end zone, the average of four receptions per game is nice, especially in PPR leagues if you’re having a bye crunch. The pickings are pretty slim off the waiver wire at the position, but Myers should be able to help out. Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen is a good second option, as the Titans have allowed several TDs to opposing TEs this season.

Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland: Weeden is a fantastic bye-week option heading into Week 8, as the Browns welcome the San Diego Chargers and the NFL’s 25th-ranked passing defense to town. Weeden did not come into the league with all of the hype of RGIII, Andrew Luck, etc. But he has been performing just as well, and he has at least two passing TDs in each of his past three games. If not for a dropped pass at the goal line by WR Josh Gordon thanks to the sun and an unfortunate placement of glass panes at Lucas Oil Stadium last week, it would have been a career-high three TD passes and another 300-yard game for Weeds.

Week 7 Start & Sit Fantasy Football Advice

It’s Week 7, and there are some prime matchups. Be sure not to get caught up in ‘name’ teams with defenses which have been good in the past, but aren’t so hot this season. For instance, the Baltimore Ravens have been a feared defensive unit for a number of years. While they have rattled off several defensive/special teams scores to placate their fantasy owners, using opposing players against that unit just isn’t as bad as it used to be. When you would see BAL, or @BAL, on the schedule for your running back, for example, you knew it would be a slow week – or you might just reserve the guy completely. This year, not so, as the Ravens have been unable to stop the run. With LB Ray Lewis (triceps) and CB Lardarius Webb (knee) out for the season, the defense took another hit last week against Dallas.

Upward and onward to Week 7’s picks…good luck to everyone, unless, of course, you’re playing against me!

Quarterbacks

Surprise start of the week: Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (vs. NO): Uhh, what? Fantasy owners reading this might be scratching their heads at the suggestion of Freeman, but he is a great pick-up this week, especially if you’re desperate for a bye-week replacement. Freeman and the Buccaneers will be squaring off against the league’s 26th-ranked pass defense, as the Saints allow 283.2 yards per game through the air. In addition, the Saints have given up 20 pass plays of 20 or more yards, with nine passing scores allowed and just three interceptions. Opposing QBs have a passer rating of 104.5 against the Saints, third-highest in the NFL behind only the Chiefs (106.5) and the Titans (107.9). Last week against said Chiefs, Freeman threw for a season-best 328 yards, three TDs and just one INT. It was his first 300-yard game of the season. Play the matchup, not the name.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo (vs. TEN), Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (vs. CLE), Mark Sanchez, N.Y. Jets (at NE)

Sit of the week: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (vs. PIT): Dalton will be matched up against the league’s fourth-stingiest pass defense, as the Steelers allowed just 200.8 yards per game through the air. While they have allowed a rather mediocre nine passing TDs through five games, the Steelers have yielded just 10 plays of 20 yards or more through the air, tied for the best mark in the NFL. Last season, Dalton completed 26-of-54 (48.1 percent) for just 305 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked three times in two games against the Steelers, both losses.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Joe Flacco, Baltimore (at HOU), Christian Ponder, Minnesota (vs. ARI), Brandon Weeden, Cleveland (at IND)

Running Backs

Surprise start of the week: Chris Johnson, Tennessee (at BUF): It’s now or never for the running back formerly known as CJ2K. Johnson held out for a huge contract last season, and then has not been anywhere close to his 2009 form (2,006 rushing yards), or even his 2010 form (1,364 rushing yards). In fact, his production has decreased in each of the past three seasons, and he has a career-low 3.3 yards per carry going on this season. So why the ‘must-play’ tag this week. Well, he will be up against the NFL’s worst-ranked rushing defense, as the Bills have allowed 173.5 yards per game on the ground, including nine runs of 20 or more yards, and nine rushing touchdowns. The Bills have been gouged for 5.8 yards per gain every time an opposing runner touches the ball. If Johnson can’t get it done this week, something is severely wrong.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay (vs. NO), Darren McFadden, Oakland (vs. JAC), Stevan Ridley, New England (vs. NYJ)

Sit of the week: Shonn Greene, N.Y. Jets (at NE): Greene electrified the crowd, and surprised fantasy owners, with his career-high 161 rushing yards and 32 carries last weekend against the Colts. But Greene now faces the league’s fifth-ranked rushing defense, and the holes will be a lot harder to come by. The good news is that Greene has virtually no competition for touches in the backfield, as Bilal Powell (shoulder) and Joe McKnight (ankle) are banged up. The bad news is that this is the first of a three-game stretch against a top-six rushing defense.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Ahmad Bradshaw, N.Y. Giants (at WAS), BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati (at PIT), Ray Rice, Baltimore (at HOU)

Wide Receivers

Surprise start of the week: Stephen Hill, N.Y. Jets (at NE): Hill is available in approximately 70 percent of fantasy leagues, and he is a great short-term or bye-week replacement. He is facing a New England secondary who cannot stop anyone. In fact, head coach Bill Belichick was so dismayed with his secondary play that he pulled CB Kyle Arrington in favor of rookie Alfonzo Dennard. It didn’t matter, as WR Sidney Rice, who we mentioned as a surprise start in this same spot last week, burned them for a long, game-winning score in the final two minutes. Let’s hope lightning strikes twice. Hill posted three grabs for 23 yards and a score against Indianapolis last week, a team with a very good pass defense. He has three receiving TDs in four games this season.

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Stevie Johnson, Buffalo (vs. TEN), Lance Moore, New Orleans (at TB), Mike Williams, Tampa Bay (vs. NO)

Sit of the week: Steve Smith, Carolina (vs. DAL): Smith and the Panthers offense will be facing a Cowboys passing defense which ranked second in the NFL, allowing just 181.6 yards per game through the air. While the Cowboys have been dinged for 16 plays of 20 or more yards through the air, they have allowed just one really big play of 40 or more yards. Short to intermediate routes will be the name of the game Sunday, and Smith will be lucky to top 50 yards.

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Josh Gordon, Cleveland (at IND), A.J. Green, Cincinnati (at PIT), Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (at STL)

Tight ends

Surprise start of the week: Scott Chandler, Buffalo (vs. TEN)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy plays: Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis (vs. CLE), Martellus Bennett, N.Y. Giants (vs. WAS)

Sit of the week: Jermichael Finley, Green Bay (at STL)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Rob Gronkowski, New England (vs. NYJ), Dennis Pitta, Baltimore (at HOU)

Kickers

Surprise start of the week: Rob Bironas, Tennessee (at BUF)

Other solid, less-than-obvious fantasy play: Josh Scobee, Jacksonville (at OAK)

Sit of the week: Jason Hanson, Detroit (at CHI)

Other who should be riding the fantasy pine: Justin Tucker, Baltimore (at HOU)

Defense/special teams

Surprise start of the week: Raiders DST (vs. JAC)

Other solid, less- than-obvious fantasy plays: Packers DST (at STL), Vikings DST (vs. ARI)

Sit of the week: Jets DST (at NE)

Others who should be riding the fantasy pine: Giants DST (vs. WAS), Redskins DST (at NYG)