Sunday’s finally here! To start things off we have our “Matchup Savers,” players that you can start today if you’re in a pinch due to the bye week, injuries, etc. I do all of this within the context of 12 team leagues that are competitive. Often there will be more talented/valuable players than these available- take them unless you are really enamored with a certain matchup.
Mark Sanchez: At home against a poor Jags secondary with Cotchery and Marshall healthy. He’s worth a start over Alex Smith, oh wait, he already sucked all your potential fantasy points out of your team.
Vince Young: This recommendation comes to you via the ground instead of the air. Young can run and the Bisons cannot tackle people who run. Just hope he doesn’t try to throw too often.
Josh Freeman: Miami is not good at stopping the pass. Freeman showed some brass ones against the packers last Sunday. Miami should be able to control the clock and keep Freeman off the field, but I could see him throwing a strike to Winslow and Stroughter.
Rock Cartwright: The forgotten Cartwright brother should get some looks with Ladell Betts’ foot hurting. Denver is tough, but maybe you have Jacobs, Bradshaw, Slaton, Portis and a possible non-starting Deangelo Williams on your team. Oh hell, just give up.
Kevin Faulk: You never know when he’ll grab a TD. The heroes from this Pats/Colts game will probably be the ones you least expect.
Kolby Smith: He could get goal line carries if the Chiefs get any.
Robert Meachem: With Lance Moore out and the Saints facing the Rams he is a good play. He’s owned in 23% of yahoo leagues which means he’s owned in about half of active leagues.
Davone Bess: He’s getting the targets as of late and gets a bad Tampa Bay defense to help him out.
Sammie Stroughter: He has a lot of speed and Freeman likes him. He’s worth a flier if you need another S.S. to compliment the Steve Smiths on your team.
Brandon Pettigrew: There’s a chance he’s not a free agent, but if he is and you’re wavering about your TE, you can’t go wrong with whoever is going againt the Vikings. They are giving up the most fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Gary Barnidge: He plays for Carolina if you are wondering. And he’s better than Dante Rosario who is in the process of getting Wally Pipped. Add to that the Falcons have given up the most yards to tight ends in the league.
Bo Scaife: He’s not great by any means, but the Bills are tough against wide receivers. I expect Young to hand it off often, run it often, and check it down often. Scaife should get some looks.
Tennessee: They have been looking better as of late and with CJ running all over Buffalo the defense should have time to rest up for the QB stylings of Trent Edwards.
Atlanta: Carolina has Jake Delhomme, that always helps, but if Deangelo Williams is out that really boosts Atlanta’s D and they will be a sneaky play.
Oakland: Greg Ellis should be back which will help a little. KC will be passing and I could see some picks in this game, on both sides! Oakland has played much better at home and if you are desperate you can throw them out there and hope they stay upright.
Buy and Sell
If your trade deadline hasn’t already passed it probably will this coming week. I am going to lay out the prime targets you should be buying or selling. There are going to be some obvious ones on here.
Andre Johnson/Fitzgerald/Wayne: These are the three receivers I’m laying out there as the best of the best going forward. Nothing mind blowing here. Johnson and Fitzgerald, in particular, have RIDICULOUS playoff schedules.
MJD/AP/Ronnie Brown/Ray Rice/Chris Johnson/DeAngelo Williams: This opens up a can of worms about other guys I left out/dudes that arguably shouldn’t be in this group. Nabbing any of these uber-elite players should certainly help your chances of going deep in the playoffs.
Peyton Manning/Philip Rivers/Drew Brees: This is the same grouping except for quarterbacks. It’ll probably be difficult to pry them away from their owners unless they have a really good secondary quarterback.
Vincent Jackson: Speaking of sweet playoff schedules….. Jackson started off the season hot and hasn’t slowed down since. The playoff schedule is right in your wheelhouse. I’m buying all day on him.
Marion Barber: The whole world’s convinced that Barber’s multiple injuries are behind him. Sweet. Now you can unload him in case the masses are wrong (which happens OFTEN). I really am just not a big believer in messing around with injured players. This is an ideal situation because his value has recovered so you can get enough for him.
Miles Austin: Why you hatin’ on the Cowboys, yo? Here’s a great rule of thumb for you- whatever ESPN Analcysts profess, expect the opposite. The Cowboys are the greatest team ever- allegedly. Look they implode every year. Zero leadership, zero discipline. I’ll go out on that ledge right now. Even if you don’t agree with me you should be selling Miles Austin for the right price.
DeSean Jackson: He just isn’t getting enough catches. It’s tough to recommend selling him because he’s such a game breaker but the Eagles are too keen on spreading the wealth. Their Marxist-Lenninist philosophy leaves too many questions unanswered going in to the fantasy playoffs for me.
Ricky Williams: I’ve seen him dealt at a very high value in a lot of trades. There’s no reason to dislike what he’s done so far but the touches aren’t where you’d like them. If it weren’t for some longish touchdown runs in some games his production would be a lot lower than it is right now. If you can get value I’d feel very good about dealing him.
Hines Ward: He can’t possibly be this productive all season. I’m just saying…
Mario Manningham: Not that you’re going to get a ton for him or anything but unless you’re in a keeper league I’d look to deal him as part of a multi-player deal. The later in the year it gets in Giants stadium the harder it gets to throw the football. Add to that Steve Smith is clearly the #1 and Hakeem Nicks is getting more and more targets since getting healthy.
Brandon Jacobs: I hate Brandon Jacobs, the New York Giants, and everything that either one of them love. But the reality is that Jacobs has to be better going forward than he has been to this point. Bradshaw won’t usurp him as the #1 guy (a broken foot tends to make it harder to play football) and the Giants offense should be able to score points consistently.
Anquan Boldin: It’s time for Boldin to stud it up. I’m not going to go on a long diatribe and repeat myself from previous weeks. If you’re going to place a wager throw it down on this guy.
Beanie Wells: I’m buying Cardinals whenever I get a chance. The schedule is too good. Wells has been a tough trade target because of his potential, but Hightower keeps doing his thing and holding Beanie at bay. I can’t guarantee Wells will blow up in the second half, but I think he’s worth the risk for anybody who needs to make a push to get in the playoffs.
Dwayne Bowe: Hey this is Doc speaking, Drew hates Dwayne Bowe, so he would never say to buy him; I’m going rogue here! The Chiefs are a horrible, horrible team, but with LJ gone and my man Lance Long in the slot and Chris Chambers giving some name recognition to the #2 position I see ex-Pat Haley going for a pass heavy offense. Does Bowe live up to his potential? No, but he shows flashes and with more opportunities even a blind squirrel can find a nut. His schedule isn’t great, but I think he can be had for cheap and Asomugha may make him even cheaper. If you are looking to shake things up, take a flier on him.
LaDanian Tomlinson: His value has recovered somewhat; take what you can get now and run with it. He just doesn’t look strong running the football. It’s sad to see such a great player on the decline but its happening. Oh well, Hall of Fame shouldn’t be that bad.
Steve Smith (CAR): You might be able to trick someone into thinking that he isn’t bad anymore. Hopefully he’ll score a couple touchdowns today and boost his value up.
Greg Jennings: Deep threat receiver with a quarterback who might get sacked a record number of times. I tried to come up with something to like about his situation but I got nuttin.
Matt Ryan: He’s going to be great quarterback. In long term keeper leagues it’s legitimate to want to hang on to him. Otherwise his schedule the rest of the way is horrible and you should move him if the value’s there.
Roddy White: High up on the list of dudes you don’t want heading in to the playoffs in fantasy football, particularly as a high round pick. If you can get something decent in return I’d feel pretty good about it.