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Both Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green are in tough matchups this week, but you’re going to play them anyway.  Why?  They’re just too talented to bench.  Baltimore is incredibly good at protecting against the run, but that won’t stop you from starting Matt Forte will it?  Probably not.  There are just some players you have to start regardless of their matchup, but that list is pretty short, so here are some players that aren’t on that list.

Steven Jackson has so much potential!  After a decent performance in New Orleans week 1, Jackson has been a huge disappointment ever since, thanks to his injury.  There are better scenarios ahead, but against a surprisingly decent Tampa Bay run defense, you shouldn’t expect much from him this week.  Consider him a low end flex play until next week…when the Saints come marching in.

Unlike Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Stevan Ridley have been solid fantasy performers recently, but with Jones-Drew playing the Cardinals and Ridley facing the Panthers along with the possible return of Shane Vereen, it’s not looking good for either of them this week.

The matchup is equally bad for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.  The Jets have been one of the best run defenses all year which makes both running backs risky and every touch one of them gets is one the other one does not.  In short, if you have other options available to you, use them.  If they’re both on your fantasy team, well…better luck in two weeks after their bye.

On the other hand, Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall may be splitting carries, but their matchup against Jacksonville is a juicy one.  Mendenhall is the starter, but he also lost a pretty huge fumble last week so they’re both about equal in potential value.

The same can be said for Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews.  Against a Miami defense that has surrendered more fantasy points to running backs than any other team, it’s hard not to feel confident in their abilities this week.  Don’t expect a huge breakout performance, but 12-15 fantasy points each is certainly in the realm of possibility.

While Miami is getting beat up on the ground, they’ll be able to do some damage of their own through the air, which makes Mike Wallace a strong play at receiver.  Wallace has been relatively quiet this year, but don’t let his two fantasy points while on Revis Island fool you, he’s still a reliable option.

Victor Cruz remains a reliable option as well this week.  Green Bay has given up plenty of fantasy points to wide receivers this year and although Eli Manning has had some trouble with his accuracy, he’s still targeting Cruz a lot.  Look at Cruz as a fantastic buy low candidate this week.

The reverse is true of T.Y. Hilton.  Hilton has been fantastic the past few weeks and has had occasionally massive weeks scattered across 2013, but against a relatively stingy Tennessee defense, Hilton’s value is limited.  He’s still the top option in Indianapolis without Reggie Wayne, but think of him as no more than a mid-range WR2 this week.

Looking for a sleeper pick this week?  How about Tiquan Underwood?  Tampa Bay struggled to get the passing game going against Miami, but Underwood led the team in receiving and has some major upside this week against an Atlanta defense that will be focusing on Vincent Jackson.

64 Responses

  1. goodfold2 says:
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    you gotta tell us about the type of scoring system(s) used to find even near equal value for ellington and mendenhall.

    • Cram It says:
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      @goodfold2: Probably means this game only, potential value, in that neither should have a problem running on the Jags.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Cram It: Exactly this.

  2. greg says:
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    You lose all credibility when you say mendenhall and ellington are EQUAL in POTENTIAL value?!? are you insane ? and whats all this Steven Jackson potential you speak of?? dudes washed up and you have an odd love for “name” players that are past their prime…
    Ellington has more talent than S-Jax and Mendenhall and it doesnt take an expert to realize it

    • Cram It says:
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      @greg: Dude he’s not talking about talent. He’s talking about this week potential to put up fantasy #’s. This is fantasy football, not “who would your rather have on your real football team for the next 3 years”.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @greg: I could name thirty receivers with more talent than Riley Cooper, but Cooper’s potential value for this week is substantially higher than Danny Amendola, Larry Fitzgerald, Torrey Smith, Josh Gordon, Marques Colston, Percy Harvin, etc. I’d much rather have those guys on a real life team, but we’re talking matchups for THIS WEEK ONLY. Just like I’ve done the past 10 weeks.

  3. Dave says:
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    Need to pick one as Dez replacement this week in .5PPR out of Jarrett Boykin (@NYG), Denarius Moore (@Hou), Mike Brown (vs. Arizona). If there’s any sleeper on the waiver you think I should start over them I’ll gladly take them too but my league picks up almost everyone so not thaat much out there.

    Thanks

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dave: Sorry I missed this one. As answered below, Boykin.

  4. Pete says:
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    Would you start Steven Jackson at flex over Percy Harvin? I’m not sure I want to trust Harvin until after his bye next week.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Pete: I’d start Jackson over Harvin this week. Harvin certainly has potential, but it’s hard to trust him until we see him in action.

  5. JakeB says:
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    I totally agree about Hilton’s value being limited. The number 1 pass defense Texans held him to 7 rec for 121 yards and 3 TD’s. Prior to that the number 2 pass defense Seahawks almost completely shut him down, allowing a mere 5 rec for 140 yards and 2 TDs. Obv not the production you want from a WR 1, or high end WR 2.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @JakeB: #1 Pass Defense Texans? I mean, sure they’re decent, but #1? That being said, this article is meant to be an informative guide based on matchups and season statistics. Look up how WRs have performed against Tennessee recently. You may be surprised.

  6. Dan says:
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    Would you start Ryan Mathews or Keenan Allen this week? Hesitant to start both. I’m leaning towards starting Mathews instead of Allen and putting in Hopkins in Allen’s place.

    Start 3 WR’s and 2 RB’s

    RB’s: L Miller, A Brown
    WR’s: AJ Green, Cruz, Colston, Boldin, Hopkins

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dan: I’d start Mathews and Allen over Miller this week. That’d give you Mathews and Brown with Green, Cruz, and Allen. That’d be my starting roster anyway.

  7. Jeremy says:
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    I agree w/ above commentors about Hilton…since Reggie Wayne went down Hilton has been beastly, and has become my number one since trading away Brandon Marshall for Jamaal Charles.

    Help me find a flex this week.
    Possible flexers, in order, are as follows…
    1) Leveon Bell vs. Det.
    2) Andre Ellington @ Jax
    3) Stevan Ridley @ Car
    4)Steve Smith vs. NE
    5) Roddy White @ TB

    • Jeremy says:
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      @Jeremy:

      Non-PPR

      • Chicken Dinner says:
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        @Jeremy: Floor Le’Veon. Ceiling Ellington.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Jeremy: Hilton is super talented so he’s still worth a start in most leagues, but you have to temper your expectations. Bell is a great start this week with Ellington not far behind. It drops off a little after that. You’ve got them listed in about the order I’d start them. I’d consider Roddy over Smith, but just as an upside play.

    • willy says:
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      @Jeremy: trading marshall for charles is a beauty! did you do that leading into KC bye?

  8. Joe G says:
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    Jeremy should i trade brandon marshall for a running back? I have alot of good WR i have TY Hilton, André johnson,Eric decker, keenen allen, and RB only danny woodhead, darren sproles, pierre Thomas, trent richardson? For what RB should i trade him? Matt forte,?

    • Cram It says:
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      @Joe G: You should def trade one of them for a RB! Forte would fit that bill.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Joe G: I’m with Cram It. Forte seems about right. Look for someone who has extra talent like Bell or Andre Brown in addition to someone like Forte or Lynch. They might feel they can afford to sacrifice a big name RB for a top WR option.

  9. Zandy says:
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    trade steve smith for dobson?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Zandy: They’re very close, but I think I’d hold off now that Amendola is back and getting healthier.

      • Zandy says:
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        @Loudon: lamar miller and steve smith for dobson and ryan mathews in a standard league?

        What about also sproles instead of miller?

        I have stacy and ellington but either matthews or lamar/sproles would be my second starting RB

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Zandy: I would trade Sproles before Miller, but I’d do that deal either way I think.

  10. miguel Dominguez says:
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    Help!! 10 team ppr

    Who should I start at running back!? Pierre thomas, deangelo williams, or ben Tate? (Murray is on bye)

    Also at the flex? I have torrey smith, anquan boldin, And martellus bennet, and the running backs mentioned above.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @miguel Dominguez: I’d start Tate out of those options with Torrey Smith at flex.

  11. David says:
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    Didn’t answer me above sorry to repost

    Need to pick one as Dez replacement this week in .5PPR out of Jarrett Boykin (@NYG), Denarius Moore (@Hou), Mike Brown (vs. Arizona). If there’s any sleeper on the waiver you think I should start over them I’ll gladly take them too but my league picks up almost everyone so not thaat much out there.

    Thanks

    • David says:
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      @David: You didn’t answer me above*

      • Chicken Dinner says:
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        @David: “Goliath was my Great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great Grandfather, @sshole!” – Loudon

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @David: I’d start Boykin out of that group. That’s certainly about the level where you’d want to consider sleepers, but I think Boykin is a good play.

  12. Bobby says:
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    Which defense for week 11- Pats, Packers, Giants, Jets, Browns or broncos?

    Which kicker for this week? Matt Bryant, Nick Novak, nick folk, or Succop

    • Mike says:
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      @Bobby: the chargers D are available too

      • Mike says:
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        @Mike: meant to chime & say if the chargers are there snag em- you didn’t mention & I’m no expert but not a bad call, just my two cemts

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Bobby: I’d start the Jets defense out of that group for Week 11. For kickers, probably Novak, but that’s far more of a coin flip scenario.

  13. brian says:
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    Major issues this week if I drop this week I may be on the outside looking in come playoffs. This is why I am asking someone who has gave me solid advice from the jump. I need a flex play and my options are thin. Shonn Greene, Doug Baldwin, Chris Obaguana or I could roll with Underwood but already firing Vjax so not sure if I feel good about to Bucs eh. Thanks bro appreciate your help.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @brian: I think I’d take the upside on Greene in tonight’s game. Your choices aren’t fantastic, but Greene’s the most likely to score a TD out of that bunch. Best of luck.

  14. Wilsonian says:
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    I usually defer to Sky for just about everything, but I think I’ll join in the Loudon fun. So I have a two parter for you.

    1) In two flex slots I currently have CJnoK and J.Gordon. I have these options to sub in for them:

    Reed
    Ridley
    Shorts
    Harvin

    You making any moves there?

    0.5 PPR, 6 points per rushing/receiving TD, 3 point bonus at 85 yards receiving/100 yards rushing, 6 point bonus at 135 yards receiving/150 yards rushing

    2) If not putting Reed in one of the flex spots, would you dare bench Jimmy Graham for him?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Wilsonian: I think you should stick with who you’re starting. An argument could be made for Reed over Gordon, but I like Gordon’s upside more. Also, keep Jimmy Graham in. Reed is good, but not that good.

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Loudon: damn, of course you go against Sky. He said to put Reed in over Gordon. I’ve been flip flopping about it for the past couple days. I worry that Gordon will blow up on my bench like he does every time I don’t start him.

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Wilsonian: Go with your gut. Sky and I might disagree, but I think we both agree they’re quite in overall rankings this week. Best of luck whomever you decide.

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @Loudon: thanks man, not sure what my gut is telling me. I’m going to give it a day and see what I think then. I appreciate the help!

  15. daniel mengden says:
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    so should i trade foster for alfred morris or reggie bush and a possible draft pick in the next year draft in a keeper league??

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @daniel mengden: It’s worth doing for Morris. Bush is older than Foster and in a keeper league, it isn’t wise to make your team older. I think Foster will return next year and do well again, but his value has substantially decreased.

  16. g says:
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    vareen or ridley in.5 ppr league as my rb2? Woodhead is my rb1

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @g: Ridley. Vereen will likely be eased back into the workload so give him a week.

  17. Hank says:
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    Non ppr

    Start Andre brown, woodhead, or Tate ?

    Hilton, amendola, or harvin?

    Who else for flex?

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Hank: I’d start Brown and Amendola with Tate at flex. An argument could be made for Hilton over Amendola, his matchup is just rough.

  18. 1/2 pt ppr. Sell low on ray rice to buy low on vic cruz? I dont really have a need for either. I would rather have a rb1 over a wr1. But is rice now a rb3 and is cruz a wr1? If so, I should make the deal.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @struggy: Assuming you have other talent available to you at RB, I think that’s a good deal for you. Rice is more of a RB2 at this point while Cruz is certainly capable of WR1 numbers once Eli gets his act together.

  19. Frank White says:
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    Sup Loudon… Who would you rather have on your fantasy team, PPR… Sproles or Pierre??

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Frank White: In a PPR I still have to go Sproles.

  20. Aaron says:
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    PPR league, Romo on a bye, do I roll out Matt Ryan or pick up someone else like McCown or Foles? And do I take one final chance on Rice to prove himself against a bad defense after his coach publicly states that he will start sharing the workload with Pierce or put Bernard out against the Browns? And finally, Gordon or Torrey Smith? I’m also holding onto Harvin and Roddy White, but I don’t feel like taking a chance on either of them with so many risky calls this week.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Aaron: If you can get Foles, he’s a much better start than Ryan or McCown this week. I would also play Bernard over Rice and Smith over Gordon (that one’s close).

  21. Ciwa says:
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    Hi!
    Standard League,Donald Brown or T-Rich as RB2?
    I have Murray in bye and my RB1 is Ellington

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Ciwa: I’m in the minority on this, but I’d rank Richardson over Brown this week. Brown had a solid game last week because the Colts HAD to abandon the run. I doubt that will be the case against Tennessee.

      • Ciwa says:
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        @Loudon:
        Damned Trich.

        • Loudon

          Loudon says:
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          @Ciwa: He’s really making the Browns look like geniuses.

  22. millenball says:
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    I’ve been riding woodhead at flex last while or so wondering if I should keep that trend can you give a rankn my rbs 12team non ppr

    Gio, Andre brown. Rice, woodhead, s Jackson.

    Always appreciated.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @millenball: This week: Brown > Gio > Woodhead > Rice > SJax

  23. David A says:
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    It almost seems like a dumb question, but would you start Matt Ryan over Pryor?

    • Jake says:
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      Yes for sure

  24. Jake says:
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    I need help quick. Who do I start today. Ryan Matthews or leveon bell?

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