by Will Overton
If there was ever a crucial time to choose wisely who you start and who you sit in fantasy football it’s this week. Making the playoffs is all well and good, but who wants to make the playoffs and be eliminated in the first round. The decisions can be grueling, but we are here to hopefully help.
Here are some of the guys I like as a starter this week and some that I’d rather be sitting.
Start – Joe Flacco – Baltimore vs. Minnesota
This hasn’t been a real good year for Joe Flacco who signed that massive contract in the offseason after winning a Super Bowl. Typically I would tell you that he shouldn’t be anywhere near your lineup, but not this week. This week Flacco and the Ravens are set to square off with the woeful Vikings and their awful secondary. In their last eight games the Vikings have averaged 21.8 fantasy points given up to QB’s per game. Flacco has been struggling to reach double digits even lately, but if he ends up with less than 15 this year it’d be a joke.
Sit – Robert Griffin III – Washington vs. Kansas City
I think the days of overrating Robert Griffin III are over, or at least they should be. Griffin has just 15 TD passes this season and he’s been picked 11 times. Well, you say, Griffin makes up for it with his running ability. The yards will get you a few more points, but he has yet to reach the end zone on a rushing play this season. People are talking about how the Kansas City defense has cracked, but it’s still a really talented unit and I think they’re going to come out angry and ready to take someone out in this game. I am off the RG3 bandwagon and at least this week you should be too.
Start – C.J. Spiller – Buffalo @ Tampa Bay
Maybe I am just a sucker, but I think Spiller is back as a definite RB2. Word is the ankle is fine and Spiller is ready to rumble on Sunday. Spiller is coming off a 149 yard effort last week and he is now looking to go back to back over 100 yards for the first time this season. Spiller has been banged and he hasn’t gotten consistent touches, I know it well. However, he’s apparently mostly healthy now and the Bills seem to be confident in Spiller again. The Bucs overall run defense numbers are solid, but they have allowed 5.0 YPC the last three weeks so let’s not get too concerned.
Start – Steven Jackson – Atlanta @ Green Bay
Maybe this is redemption week, because here’s another guy who had a rough start who I think keeps his turnaround going this week. It’s not as much that I believe in his talent at this point, but I believe in his matchup. The Packers have been gouged by the run game lately and Jackson should keep that trend going. Jackson hasn’t been great, but he’s been getting a lot of touches and getting goal line touches which has led to 3 TD’s in his last two games.
Sit – Rashad Jennings @ NY Jets
We already know that Darren McFadden has been ruled out for this week’s game. That might excite you Rashad Jennings owners, but not so fast. Jennings has been great piling up the yardage and scoring 4 TD’s in his last five games. Things aren’t looking too hot this week though. Jennings has yet to pass concussion testing and you have to wonder if he’s going to at this point. Even if he does play though the Jets don’t let anyone run on them. Jennings is no guarantee to play and really you shouldn’t plan on playing him anyway nor should you play anyone who might replace him if he is out.
Sit – Donald Brown – Indianapolis @ Cincinnati
It’s nice that the Colts have announced that Donald Brown is the official lead back now over Trent Richardson, which was the right move. I even kind of like Brown as a RB2 or FLEX most weeks. This isn’t one of those weeks where I am crazy about him though. The Bengals haven’t allowed a rushing TD since week 3. Chris Ogbonnaya ran well on them a couple weeks ago, but that feels a little more fluky than legit. Brown is having a pretty good year, but I just don’t think he has the tools to put up good numbers on this run defense.
Wide Receiver (Two WR Formats)
Start – Michael Floyd – Arizona vs. St. Louis
I don’t love this matchup and I don’t like the fact that Floyd is nursing an ankle injury. So it says something that I still think Floyd is a solid start in standard two WR formats. It looks like Floyd will be playing and as long as that happens I like him. Floyd has 18 catches total in his last three games and has 99 yards or more in each of his last three games. Floyd also has three TD catches in his last five games. If you think it’s fluky consider that he has five catches or more seven of his last nine games and he got hurt in one of those games that he didn’t reach that point in. Floyd is the real deal.
Sit – Marques Colston – New Orleans vs. Carolina
I think the Saints bounce back from that beating they took on Monday Night. Still I don’t know how high scoring of a game we can expect and Colston has been a big disappointment so far. Colston has just two TD’s and while it looked like he was breaking out a few weeks ago, he’s stunk it up again the last two games. Colston is clearly the second fiddle guy to Jimmy Graham and I’m not sure how many fantasy points there will be to go around.
Wide Receiver (Three WR Formats)
Start – Greg Jennings – Minnesota @ Baltimore
Let’s keep this redemption theme going shall we? I think Greg Jennings had a good thing going with Matt Cassel last week and that success might carry over this week. Aside from a couple good games Jennings has been completely fantasy irrelevant this season, but Cassel might be what he needs. The Ravens are much better against the run then they are the pass and so Cassel might be looking to pass more than normal in what could be a bit of a shootout. I think Jennings lack of success has a lot to do with the QB play and so if Cassel can be decent I think Jennings could have a nice game.
Sit – Hakeem Nicks – NY Giants @ San Diego
Even in three receiver formats I don’t want to use Hakeem Nicks, not even against the San Diego Chargers suspect defense. Nicks high in receiving yards over his last five games is 51 yards, that’s crazy. The Giants have been using Rueben Randle a lot and frankly they just haven’t gotten their passing game going. Maybe that’s on Eli Manning, I don’t know, but whatever it is it’s made Hakeem Nicks unusable to me.
Start – Jared Cook – St. Louis @ Arizona
I’ve said that I think the Cardinals are one of the most underrated defenses in all of football. Their one weakness though seems to be defending the tight end position. We saw what Zach Ertz did last week and Coby Fleener had a nice game the week before. Let’s also remember back to week one when Cook caught 7 passes for 141 yards and 2 TD’s against this team. Cook’s been up and down this season since that point, and I wish Kellen Clemens wasn’t the one throwing him the ball. Still, I like the matchup and I like potential for a big game.
Sit – Coby Fleener – Indianapolis @ Cincinnati
I’ve already said I am not crazy about this matchup for Donald Brown, but that goes for Fleener too. Fleener has actually been playing better lately, but this is just a tough one here. The Bengals defense has been a little hot and cold this season, but they are a totally different defense at home and this week they are at home. I don’t know what the problem with the Colts offense is, but with them struggling and the Bengals defense likely being locked in, this is just a bad week to play your Colts.