Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
The Steelers have one of the better defenses in the league, despite the fact that they’ve allowed the eighth most passing yards per game (243.1 yards). However, they’ve allowed just six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. They also have 20 sacks. Clearly, it’s an extremely tough matchup for Palmer.
However, Palmer has been given plenty of opportunities to produce. In his seven starts this season his lowest number of attempts has been 35. He has five games of at least two touchdowns and nine touchdowns in his last four. He has three games of at least 345 yards (including 412 against Atlanta in Week 7).
His rapport with Terrell Owens has been tremendous, with Owens scoring five touchdowns in the last four games. Not to mention, he also has Chad Ochocino, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley to throw the ball to. No matter what the matchup right now, you have to like his chances of producing.
Other quarterbacks to start:
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Miami
- Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Indianapolis (assuming he starts)
Sit – Mark Sanchez – New York Jets – at Detroit
Fantasy owners wanted to believe that Sanchez had turned the corner earlier in the season. After a slow start to his season he threw eight touchdown passes over three weeks. It looked like Sanchez and the Jets passing attack was something we could depend on.
Alas, that’s just not the case. This is a team built on ball control, defense and running the ball. That just doesn’t lend itself to big days from its quarterback. In his last three games Sanchez has thrown two touchdowns vs. four interceptions. He’s had only three games of at least 200 yards and never more then 256.
He’ll have some good games mixed in, but depending on him would be a major mistake.
Other quarterbacks to sit:
- Matt Cassell – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Brett Favre – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona (if he’s even playing)
Start – Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys are currently falling apart at the seams. While you would’ve thought that the loss of Tony Romo would hurt them offensively, their defense has been awful of late as well. After giving up 41 points to the New York Giants in Week 7, they were torched by the Jacksonville Jaguars for 35 points in Week 8. Really?
The running defense is in the bottom ten in the league, allowing 121.9 rushing yards per game. Two weeks ago Ahmad Bradshaw had 126 yards rushing (with Brandon Jacobs adding 75). Last week Maurice Jones-Drew had 135 yards rushing.
Jackson hasn’t been tremendous lately, rushing for under 60 yards in each of his last three games, but the matchup certainly dictates him as being a viable option.
Start – Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
Jones is coming off a poor game, with just 22 yards on eight carries. They were also playing from behind and allowed Jon Kitna to throw the ball 49 times. Chances are that’s not going to happen again.
The Green Bay Packers are allowing 123.6 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys are likely going to try and grind the game out, in an effort to play ball control. Marion Barber, who has been sharing carries with Jones, could easily be eased out of the offense, in an effort to find out exactly what they have in Jones.
At 1-6 the Cowboys have basically played themselves out of contention in the NFC East. Now is their chance to give their young players a chance to develop. We all know Jones is better then last week’s performance and I’d expect a big-time rebound.
Other running backs to start:
- Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Cleveland
Sit – Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Houston
Whatever the reason, Mathews has not even come close to living up to the preseason expectations. The most rushing yards he’s delivered in a game were 78 back in Week 1, the only time he’s had more then 15 carries in a game.
Mike Tolbert has stepped up and certainly has cut into his carries. Also, the Texans are an awful defense against the pass, meaning it makes sense for the Chargers to put the ball in the hands of Philip Rivers. Mathews is just too big of a risk to trust.
Sit – Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – vs. New York Giants
Neither impressed in Week 8 and at this point you really don’t know who is going to work as the lead back. You would think it’s going to be Lynch, but he’s coming off a game where he had just seven yards on nine carries. Meanwhile they get a Giants defense that is among the best in the league, allowing just 85.4 rushing yards per game. Clearly, this is a situation to avoid.
Other running backs to sit:
- Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at Seattle
Two Wide Receiver Formats
Start – Steve Smith – New York Giants – at Seattle
While he’s the Giants second receiver, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to get ample opportunities. He has at least six receptions and 70 yards in each of his last three games and gets a Seahawks defense that is allowing 267.7 passing yards per game. Granted, Hakeem Nicks is likely the better option, but there should continue to be more then enough balls to go around.
Another wide receiver to start:
- Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
Sit – Santanio Holmes – New York Jets – at Detroit
Good matchup or not, do you trust anyone involved in the Jets passing game right now? They are just so unpredictable and while Holmes figures to be the top receiver, there’s really no guarantee. Plus, with their running game, it’s anyone’s guess how many opportunities he actually gets.
Another wide receiver to sit:
- Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
Three wide receiver formats
Start – Steve Breaston – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
Now that he’s 100% healthy, he showed that he is going to be a focal point in the Cardinals offense. While the quarterbacks may not be able to connect with Larry Fitzgerald deep often enough, Breaston had eight receptions for 147 yards in his first game since Week 3. You have to like his potential to deliver once again.
Another wide receiver to start:
- Steve Johnson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Chicago
Sit – Lance Moore/Robert Meachem – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
It’s not to say that they aren’t potentially viable options, but can anyone predict which is going to be the go to guy, especially with Marques Colston seemingly getting things going? They are just too risky to trust at this point in time.
Another wide receiver to sit:
- Kevin Walter – Houston Texans – vs. San Diego
What are your thoughts on these decisions? Who would you start? Who would you sit?
Make sure to check out our Week 9 Rankings: