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Bye weeks can be either a blessing or a curse for fantasy owners.  Sometimes the byes can give you a much-needed edge over a superior team missing their studs, but sometimes they weed out a few of your players each week while your opponent loses no one, decimating your record.

Either way, the bye weeks are finally coming to a close this week with the Giants, Vikings, Titans and Seahawks the final teams to get a Sunday off. Pretty much only owners with star running backs are actually affected, plus maybe Victor Cruz owners.  After this week, it’s all up to your full roster.

Looking at last week’s picks, it was my second consecutive great outing with Andy Dalton having his first career 4-TD game, Malcolm Floyd continuing to be solid and underrated, and Greg Olsen exploding with his biggest game on the year. Jerome Simpson at least did something as a super deep sleeper, but was fairly quiet, and I was way off on Shane Vereen who had all his fantasy goodness stolen by Danny Woodhead.

For my down calls, tough to predict injuries but I did say last week’s game was “a recipe for disaster” because of that that Cowboys pass rush, leading to Michael Vick disappointing fantasy owners that stuck with him, along with DeSean Jackson who missed Vick after Nick Foles came in. Vernon Davis and Ahmad Bradshaw were also disappointments. Only guy I was off on here was Jamaal Charles who had his best game in his past four against that tough Steelers D.

Here’s five guys not started in enough leagues and five guys started in too many leagues that should be benched, along with their % started in ESPN leagues and Yahoo leagues, respectively.  And remember, these picks are not always suggestions for direct 1-for-1 swaps if you own players in both sections, but merely picks for guys not started enough and started too often.

Possible Starters

Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland (28.4%, 35%) Palmer has both quietly and uglily (OK now I’m making up words) entered the top-10 amongst fantasy QBs. Pretty shocking stuff right there, considering the high-scoring offenses of today’s game. And you can’t get a better matchup this week against the Saints, giving up the most points to opposing QBs in the NFL. Last week I got a few tweets asking Vick vs. Palmer and I went with football’s CP (sorry Chris Paul). Good to get some right!  Great play again this week.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia (4.1%, 11%) A little further down the barrel, but I think Foles is a good play this week as well. In a lot of leagues, if you lost Vick, Foles may very well be your best option. He was thrown out there against the Cowboys pass rush and secondary without a full week to prep, yet I was still impressed with what I saw this week. Full reps with the first team offense, and a great matchup against the Redskins pass D that are prone to big plays, and I think Foles could approach 300 yards with 2 TDs. Like him a lot if you’re desperate or in a deeper league and just lost Vick.

Titus Young, WR, Detroit (9.3%, 30%) Young’s actually been big in three of the last four weeks; the only outlier against the Jaguars where the Lions offense could just phone it in and hand Leshoure 3 rushing TDs. It’s not going to be anything like that against Green Bay. Shootout alert for sure, with indoor conditions aiding the passing game and the Pack sure to double and triple the almighty Megatron. I like Young for a big game in this one.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona (8.1%, 21%) As I discussed with Nick on this week’s Razzball Fantasy Football Podcast, Roberts has been a criminally ignored fantasy contributor this year. The 20th highest scoring fantasy WR, Roberts is still an afterthought. While this week’s matchup against the Falcons isn’t ideal, the Cardinals will have to throw to stay even remotely close in this one, and I see a lot of targets coming Roberts’ way. He’s actually been pretty consistent throughout the year, and I expect another solid game here.

Super Deep: Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis (2.1%, 9%) The lesser of the two running back Richardsons, guess which RB has a YPC of 5.7 and guess which one has a YPC of 3.8? OK I didn’t veil that too well, but Daryl has been absolutely monstrous when he gets the rock, almost out rushing Trent by 2 yards a carry. With Stephen Jackson looking strong after the bye last week, he’s sure to command the majority of the work, but I could see the Rams having a big game here against the faltering Jets. If the Rams are up by double digits in the 4th, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gang Green gets a big dose of D Rich. Love him here as a high-upside flex.

Son of a Bench

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas (53.9%, 60%) It’s been a nightmare to be a Tony Romo owner this year, and while it’s looking like he’s righting the ship with no turnovers in the past two with decent numbers, I don’t trust him in this one. I know Cleveland’s D has been bad and Joe Haden looks like he’ll be out, but I could see this game ending at 17-10 with Romo having 150 yards and 1 TD. He won’t need to do more than manage this game, and I don’t see the Boys really racking it up.

Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta (79.1%, 74%) An absolute abhorrent game from Turner last week against the Saints run D I think has all fantasy analysts down on the former burner. A fatal mix of a groin strain and a tough Cardinals run D will keep Turner from bouncing back again this week. I expect we see a lot of Rodgers and a closer game than many will expect in this one.

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego (79.0%, 70%) Another big-name RB with the dreaded “Q” label is Ryan Mathews, who is dealing with neck stiffness. Enter Michael Caine from Goldmember reference. It’s looking pretty optimistic that he’ll suit up, but with a late kickoff and two blah backups, it’s going to be tough to make a last second move if he indeed does miss the game. Regardless, I see the Broncos having their way with the Chargers, forcing San Diego into a pass only offense, and while Mathews has good hands, I think Norv will work his other RBs into the mix in the passing attack. Don’t like him at all.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston (90.9%, 87%) When you run the ball as well as the Texans do, if you have a bad run D like the Jaguars the Texans aren’t going to need to do anything else. Unfortunately for Johnson, that means a limited role for him, with a total of 5 catches for 43 yards in his past two games against Jacksonville. I expect another heavy dose of the run and a conservative offensive attack from Kubiak and the gang.

Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh (65.5%, 62%) It’s been a long awaited big season from Miller in his 8th year, but just when everything was going right, Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder goes wrong. And the change in QB to Leftwich is about as brutal as it gets. Miller effectively falls towards the bottom of the middle-tier TEs for me, and I’d rather reach for the upside of someone on your wire.

If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin.  Sorry for the bad news, but I will be having my bye week next week as I travel through Thanksgiving weekend. Good luck to everyone today in week 11 and I’ll be back for week 13!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @WhineSpritzer, I’d wait until 4 to make that decision. No Mathews = Brown, Mathews active = Woodhead.

  1. Charles says:
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    Team 1 (no PPR): Pick 1 – Leshoure, Starks, DeSean Jackson, Dwyer, James Jones

    Team 2 (2 pts per 5 receptions): Pick 1 WR and 1 FLEX – Bryant, Maclin, J-Stewart (FWIW, Cam is my QB), Starks, Dwyer

    Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Charles, 1 – Talk about painful, if you’ve been reading me all year you know I hate James Jones, but I might roll with him there. Between him and Jackson for me. If you feel confident with the rest of your team I would go Jones for safety, Jackson has the upside if you feel you’re an underdog. 2 – Bryant and Maclin. While I’m scared of D-Jax, love the Maclin Foles connection. I like Bryant to get a lot of catches today as well. Thank for reading!

  2. Is Dennis pitta worth the pickup over other ww TEs?

    AHernandez owner

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @I Touchdown There, Depends on who you’re dropping, I definitely wouldn’t drop Hernandez for him though… Yea Pitta is worth a look, but don’t like him this week vs. Pitt.

  3. Chris says:
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    Qb – Luck or Newton
    Flex – Roberts or Alexander

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Chris, Luck Roberts. I kinda like that for a character name. Might use that if I ever write a book.

  4. FilthyRich says:
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    You likCarson Palmer, and with good reason, but would you start him over Matt Ryan this week? Also – Titus Young or McGahee as flex?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @FilthyRich, Naw, I’m sticking with your studs in both situations. Gotta stick with Ryan with that offense and I think McGahee has a strong game against SD.

  5. bigproblems says:
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    I’m without Harvin and CJ this week. Looks like no Hernandez or Heyward-Bey now either. Should I go with Jonathan Stewart,Daryl Richardson (I’m already starting S Jax),Vick Ballard,or Danario Alexander? I need two of these studs. Very sad,I know.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @bigproblems, Haha, I feel your pain. Definitely like Richardson. Have a feeling Rams win by 2 TDs with a lot of rushing. For my 2nd pick I’d take a flier on Stewart. If Panthers can run, it might be here.

  6. Schiller says:
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    Heyward-bey is starting to worry me. I don’t have anyone to slot in if he sits. Should I risk it or should I start garçon, Andre Roberts, or Cecil shorts over him?

    Thanks!

    • Schiller says:
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      @Schiller, PPR league, btw

      • JB Gilpin

        Jonathan Gilpin says:
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        @Schiller, I like both Roberts and Shorts. If you listen to the podcast, I said I like Shorts to get junk yards. Like Roberts a tad more though, would definitely roll with him.

  7. Anthony says:
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    @Jon: Should I go with both Sproles/Chris Ivory or go with 1 of them and Cecil Shorts ( @ Texans ) Please help

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Anthony, Give me Sproles and Shorts. Don’t trust Ivory with 4 backs now, we all know Saints will work Sproles in.

  8. Gig says:
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    Are we down on LeShoure enough to play Mendy over him at flex?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Gig, Nah, I don’t trust Mendenhall enough. I know Ravens D is down, but this is going to be a tough divisional game, everyone is going to come to play, and Mendenhall isn’t full strength yet. I’d stick with Leshoure and hope for a short-yardage TD.

  9. Brian says:
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    Pick 2 for WRs (non ppr): J Jones (active but limited according to ESPN), A Johnson, D Jackson

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Brian, Hmmm that is an interesting one. Tough to bench Jones. If you feel pretty solid in your matchup, I might go safer with Johnson and Jackson, if you feel like you’re behind, go with Jones’ upside with Andre Johnson for me.

  10. The G says:
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    JG,

    Start Carson Palmer or Cam Newton? Rashad Jennings or Michael Turner? PPR league…Thank you!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @The G, Definitely like Palmer. Cam Newton is horrifying to watch as a Panthers fan. Second one is closer, I would roll with Jennings since PPR. Thanks for stopping by!

      • The G says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin,

        Thanks for the advice! By the way, my team is Karma Police in the RCL league…it’s been very tight across the board in our league this year…clearly the owners in our league drafted well or have a few savvy waiver-wire pickups!

        About Cam, yeah, I’ve watched every Panthers game and it has been brutal….like Cam’s head is on a swivel or his offense trots out with only 10players. Last week I handcuffed myself and started the Broncos DEF against Cam(yes I started him, too)and it was a fun/ugly game to watch…lol.

        • JB Gilpin

          Jonathan Gilpin says:
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          @The G, Haha that’s always a good plan! Cam has made so many bone-headed plays trying too hard. Yea it’s been a good year in that league with everything tight! My 4-0 got absolutely wiped away with that 5 game losing streak, including two in a row by like .2 and .1. Brutal. Thanks for reading man! Really enjoyed our Rcl league, minus brutal losses haha.

  11. supra says:
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    If Mathews is out, then Battle, P.Thomas, Dwyer, or M.Bush?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @supra, Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Haha. I guess Battle… Would potentially get most work with Mathews out.

  12. Purewater says:
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    Pick 2 with at least 1 RB: Quizz, Ivory, D Alexander, Avery. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Purewater, Quizz and Avery. Turner looked horrible last week, and I think Avery could get a deep ball vs. shaky NE secondary.

  13. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    ppr league….flex play,Sproles,Ivory or James Jones?

    deep ppr league….Joique Bell or Ivory?

    thnks.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Oilcan Giuseppe, Gotta stick with Sproles. I know he’s coming off injury, but gotta think they work him back in. I like Bell too. I think Det gets down to GB and will be in passing sets, that’s Bell’s territory.

  14. Phil says:
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    Start Andre Roberts or Jacq Rogers?

    What numbers do you see for A.Roderts?
    What numbers do you see for T.Young?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Phil, I like Roberts there. Been really consistent. Could see 5 for 80. Young I could see 6 for 70 and maybe a TD. Think Roberts a little safer, Young more upside.

  15. nostrathomas says:
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    For Flex spot standard scoring

    James Jones, Chris Ivory, James Starks, Malcolm Floyd.

    I really need Demarco Murray back…

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @nostrathomas, I like Floyd. I’ve liked him all year and I think he’s been really underrated in that offense. I hear ya man, I drafted Murray in one of my leagues in early 3rd round thinking it was a steal and it’s been horrific.

  16. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    non ppr….Sproles or DHB at flex?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Oilcan Giuseppe, Sproles. Don’t trust DHB with hammy, like Sproles more either way. Pretty sure Sproles will be out there.

  17. SOHO says:
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    So i am going to sit Finley for Myers and V. Davis for myers is this right both leagues PPR?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @SOHO, Yea I like that move in both leagues.

  18. Lt says:
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    Start Julio jones or Harry Douglas?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Lt, Gotta still roll with Jones, just way too talented to bench for Douglas, who is a good role player.

  19. dan says:
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    Dustin Keller, Laurent Robinson or Rod Streater for flex?…I’m hurting bad with byes and injuries 14-team PPR

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @dan, Give me Keller. 3 straight effective weeks, I think he has another good enough game here to beat out those other guys.

  20. TheMizer says:
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    Another fine Sunday gentlemen. I have a quandary 5 fine recievers 3 spots to fill. Under normal circumstances B.Marshall is a no brainier but with the horrid Jason Campbell should hold back? I have the following E. Sanders,T Smith L Moore and Denarius M. Time is yours.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @TheMizer, Hello good sir! I would give Marshall a good jolly rodgerin’ even with the sub-par Mr. Campbell, esquire. I would then venture a gander with Torrey Smith and Denarius. I appreciate your inquisition and look forward to further inquests in your immediate future!

      • TheMizer says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin, Thank you and good day sir.

  21. Phil says:
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    Stafford or Foles?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Phil, Stafford. If you follow me you know I’m further down on Stafford than anyone, but gottA think he lights up the stat line vs. GB.

  22. Steve Stevenson says:
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    1. .5 PPR, with DHB likely out, start Streater, L. Robinson, Ballard, D. Richardson or Ivory at flex?

    2. Playoff stash: Ben Tate or Ivory? Is Tate worth holding anymore?

    3. With Julio limited, start him or Streater?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Steve Stevenson, Richardson. Love him this week. I think Tate might be the higher upside stash. Ivory needs at least 2 injuires, Tate just the 1. Stick with Julio. Not as worried.

  23. Ryan says:
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    Hello. I have 4 running backs to choose from for 2 spots in a PPR league: Sproles, Leshoure, Reece and LSH. I could also start another one in place of Keller at the flex. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Ryan, Reece and Sproles for me. PPR gold.

  24. Johnny says:
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    Shitty idea, Good idea or GREAT idea??? Start Cobb and Nelson today?

    The only other option I have this week is Shorts… TY!!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Johnny, Hahahaha I love those parameters! GREAT idea! You are a real man of genius.

  25. Chillmodious says:
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    Rashad Jennings or Ivory today?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Chillmodious, Jennings. Will be out there in junk time too, Ivory has too many other guys vying for touches.

  26. Robert says:
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    Drop DHB to pick up Chandler for my TE spot or stick with Vernon “Ive Got VD” Davis in a PPR league?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Robert, Haha, stick with the VD carrier. Chandler is pretty hit or miss too, Davis is better though.

  27. Scott says:
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    Got to pick two:

    Fitzgerald, Cobb, or Reece

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Scott, Mannnnnnnn thats a tough one. I might be absolutely nuts but I bench Fitz if PPR. Non PPR bench Reece. Reece could have like 8 catches for 40 yards today.

  28. Adam says:
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    Pick 2, no PPR

    (limited) Julio Jones, Cecil Shorts, or Greg Olsen

    Thanks.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Adam, Leave out Olsen. Don’t trust him enough. Shorts will get some good junk time.

  29. Scott says:
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    Need to find a TE:

    Dreesen, Paulson, or Housler? Dreesen might be the best of the three, but SD is a tough matchup.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Scott, Eh, I think Denver wins pretty easily. Dreesen obviously has the best QB too. I’d roll with Joel.

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