Start ’em Sit ’em is our weekly look at favorable and unfavorable match-ups and how they might affect lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Other than a few elite players, no one should be classified as a must start every week, and analyzing match-ups can go a long way to giving your team a weekly edge. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Carolina is just bad at stopping the run and teams have abused them for long plays. In comes Chris Johnson fresh off one of his best games of the year and he looked somewhat like the CJ of old last week. He got to the second level on a few plays and that was against a tough Cincy defense. Watching the game closely (as I just traded for CJ in my big jelly bean league) I really liked what I saw, his legs looked to be back under him, he was running hard, and he was active in the passing game again. I am calling it now, Chris Johnson has his best game of the year this week against this poor Carolina run defense (ranked 27th vs the run). I think he finds the endzone and I think he breaks 130 total yards. Sneak peak here, he is my stud call on the video this week.
I know we (esp. Dustin) have hyped up Helu all year long and when he finally has a productive game, where he started, paired with the fact he is playing the Fins, you might wonder why I consider him a risky start. Well the Dolphins are not as bad as one might think against the run. They are actually top 15 in the league and the Skins offensive line is really not that great. In a ppr league I think Helu is still a great flex option but in standard leagues with no teams on a bye I could see Helu making his way to the bench for some teams.
I know what you are thinking, you picked him up last week and were banking on dropping him this week since he did so terrible. Not so fast, it looks as if Ogbonnaya is the starter again next week for the Browns and they play the Rams who give up over 150 rushing yards a game. That makes them dead last against the run. I am not saying he is a must start but I would go with Ogbonnaya over the likes of Benson or Lynch who have tough match-ups. In fact he just might be my sleeper this week (if I can figure out how to say his name)
Roddy White owners saw a glimmer of light last week as he grabbed four balls for over 70 yards however, the rookie out shined the star by having a monster game. Typically I don’t like putting a stud on the start’em list but I have heard some other fantasy sites state that Jones is the guy to own in Atlanta not Roddy White. This is literally crazy and no chance would I ever start the rookie over Roddy. White was a little banged up earlier in the year and last week he looked good. I think it is only a matter of time before he has a 10 catch game with a touch. That game, might be this week as the Falcons will have to keep up with the Saints and I think Roddy is a big part of the reason they will not only do that but (here is my upset special) win the game.
I have been writing about Jonathan Joseph on and off all year long as I think he is the best corner in the NFL. (I know Revis is pretty good too) Week after week he is shutting down top wideouts and this week he is going to be matched-up on Mike Williams who has been playing better as of late but is still having a tough season. My guess is that Tampa Bay will use Williams more as a decoy and not expect Freeman to force any balls his way. With his targets down this week I think that makes him a tough start.
With Miles Austin out Robinson steps into the starting line-up and has a pretty good match-up this week against the Bills who are ranked 25th vs the pass. I expect the Cowboys to lean on Romo using Murray to set-up big play action opportunities. The Bills should be locked in on Witten and Bryant giving Robinson one on one coverage most of the game. If you are in a bind and need a wideout to start Robison is a big risk/reward play this week.
In the forums there will be the standard Vick against Stafford or Vick against Tebow or Vick against Big Ben questions and the reason is he is a start’em is because I would be hard pressed to find more than one quarterback (Rodgers) to suggest starting over Vick this week. I said last week that the Cards would have a tough time stopping a good high school team and I am a sticking by that. Vick should shred this secondary airing it out to Jackson and Maclin. On a side note Arizona does not have the fastest linebackers so Vick could use his legs to really hurt them as well. Don’t even think about it this week, just start Vick and watch him produce one of his best games of the year.
I see the argument now, Dustin and I on the show debating on if Brady is a good start or not. I always say no matter what you have to start Brady if you got him, because he can blow up at anytime. Yes he is a great NFL quarterback but also because the Pats throw the ball so much. Based on volume alone Brady can always put up good numbers. Furthermore, they are coming off a tough loss and I expect the Pats to go back to the spread offense that worked so well for them at the start of the year. Brady might not have a 400 yard passing game but he always has the chance to throw multiple touchdowns.
Cutler was impressive on Monday Night against the Eagles but he does this to fantasy owners time and time again. He gains their trust then punches them in the gut the following week. In a divisional game against the Lions I would be a little nervous to start Cutler. The Lions are scary fast defense and the Bears have been better but not great at protecting Cutler all year. Last time these two teams faced off Cutler did put up decent fantasy numbers but that was in a dome in Detroit. This game is played outdoors in November in Chicago – both QBs should have a tougher time throwing the ball this time around.
Miller started the year off extremely slow simply because the Steelers had to keep him in to block as their o-line was having all kinds of issues. Now, they have been playing better and that has freed up Miller quite a bit. Over the last two weeks Miller has been targeted by Big Ben over 5 times per game and he is catching almost all of those balls thrown his way. He is not a stud play by any means this week but I would start him over either Raven TE, Winslow, Chandler, just to name a few.
Miami Dolphins Defense
Yes, I am saying that a team that has won one game is a pick-up and play defense this week and that is saying something about how terrible the Skins have looked over their past five games. In that timeframe the Washington Redskins have averaged only 10.8 points per game. They lost their starting Tight End (Cooley), best wideout (Moss) and starting tailback (Hightower) in that timeframe as well. I just don’t see them scoring that many points against any professional team anytime soon.
If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.