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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.

Week 5 Matchup Savers

Quarterback:

Shaun Hill- The 49’ers are facing a relatively soft Houston defense. Hopefully Frank Gore will come back healthy and take some pressure off Hill. It will be interesting to see how Crabtree plays. Hill had a few really solid games early on in the season and I think he has some more left in him.

Chad Henne- The Dolphins are going to have their hands full with New Orleans this week. If they get behind they will be forced to throw the football and that bodes well for Henne’s fantasy numbers. He has looked surprisingly good out there.

This is it for guys that are probably on your waiver wire with favorable matchups for the week. Usually there are a few more but if one of these two isn’t available you’re not going to like what else is out there!

Running Back:

Justin Fargas- He shouldn’t be available in your league since he’s a starter but he might be. The matchup against the Jets isn’t too bad either. They just lost Jenkins for the season and that is going to wreak havoc on their ability to stop the run.

Kevin Faulk- (for PPR) Sammy Morris has been ruled out for this game so maybe Faulk will get a few more touches in there. He is basically a lock for 5 points with upside to get you 15.

Jamaal Charles- The Chiefs are playing the Chargers, a team that has a prolific offense but a suspect run defense. If the Chiefs are smart they’ll run the ball heavily which bodes well for Charles getting some carries. I would expect 10-15 total touches from him.

Brandon Jackson- As Doc alluded to in his column the Packers appear to be weighing their options at RB. Not good if you own Ryan Grant. Jackson might get an opportunity to showcase his skills.

Wide Receiver

Austin Collie- He’s probably not available in your league, but if he is, grab him and throw him in there against St. Louis; you have to love the entire Colts offense in this game.

Michael Jenkins- Should be available in most leagues. He has solid projections for this week.

Davone Bess- I really like him going forward. The Dolphins are going to have to throw the football in this game and he should benefit from that.

Greg Camarillo- See Davone Bess above.

David Clowney- With Cotchery out Clowney is the default #2. Edwards should get blanketed all game, freeing Clowney up for some opportunities.

Mark Bradley- It’s not that I love him or his matchup that much but he’s a #2 Wide Receiver and the Chargers will definitely be keying in on Dwayne Bowe.

Tight End

Anthony Fasano- I like the Dolphins wide receivers because I think they’ll have to throw the football and I’m going with the same logic for Fasano this week.

Benjamin Watson- You have to love anyone on the offensive side of the football for New England this week with the cupcake matchup against the Buccaneers looming.

Kevin Boss- I am not totally crazy about KB necessarily but we’re talking about spot starting tight ends here.

Randy McMichael- Going along the same theme of “his team will be getting slaughtered and will have to throw the football.”

D/ST

Indianapolis- I wish instead of picking a team defense you could pick against a certain teams offense for the season. I would have taken “any defense playing against St. Louis” in like the 3rd round.

Buffalo- The Bills are not a very good defense so it wouldn’t surprise me if the Panthers lit them up. That being said Carolina is a turnover factory and that’s the big thing I look for in matchups.

Dallas- I’m not excited about this matchup against Atlanta but in every fantasy league there are idiots who hoard defenses, leaving very undesirable ones on the wire.

Alright so now it’s time for our watch list of players to either trade and get or look to unload from our teams depending on what happens this weekend.

Buy High

Adrian Peterson- Sometimes you have to state the obvious. Purple Jesus is a beast, flat out. If his owner is struggling with depth you might be able to get in him in a 2 for 1, 3 for 2, or some other multi-player deal. I am not a big advocate of trading for stud running backs in general because of the injury factor but there are exceptions to every rule.

Ronnie Brown- He has a very good chance of finishing in the top 5 in Fantasy this season. I would rather own him than any of the backs that were first round choices this year except AP. Doc predicted that he would be huge this season but I wasn’t as bullish; I didn’t draft him on any of my teams and now I wish I had listened.

Larry Fitzgerald- I called ESPN out a few weeks ago when they ran this column about how Larry Fitz isn’t the stud he was before because there are too many other guys in Arizona and blah, blah, blah. This is the guy, right here that is going to carry you in the playoffs this season. This is the Cardinals schedule:  @Detroit in week 15 then home against St. Louis in week 16! Are you kidding me?

Philip Rivers- Such a stud. I know there’s not a lot of trading that takes place involving the elite quarterbacks unless you’re in a 2 QB league but if you need to shore yourself up there I would definitely take a look at Rivers.

Brandon Marshall- He is going to put up super-elite WR digits from here on out and his acquisition cost is substantially less than the other guys on this level like Fitz and Andre Johnson.

Reggie Wayne- I loves me some Reggie Wayne. Week in and week out he’s going to give you double digits or more. Defenses know they can’t just load up to try and shut down Wayne because Manning will gauge them elsewhere.

Sell High

Thomas Jones- His production has been so big that everyone is starting to overlook the mileage on him. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get something really valuable in trade and I would take it just to eliminate risk.

Steve Smith (NYG) – I would only trade him if someone’s willing to give you good value. He is obviously way better than his preseason ranking but I just don’t believe that he’ll finish the season leading the league in receptions and yards. In a keeper league with retention costs you have to hold on to him though.

Aaron Rodgers- The offensive line issue is just too scary in Green Bay. It’s too bad because this is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The odds of him getting injured are huge unless they are able to protect him better. He also has a very, very tough fantasy playoff schedule.

Hines Ward- He has been a steady, productive fantasy receiver for years. He has been so huge this season, benefiting from the pass happy Steelers offense. The problem is Mike Tomlin may seek to balance things out more and they also have two other really good young receivers in Pittsburgh.

Buy Low

Anquan Boldin- It looks like he won’t  play this week. Above, I discussed the ridiculously easy schedule for the Cardinals during the fantasy playoffs. Boldin always seems to be battling injuries but he is a warrior- he will fight through it and be productive.

Jerome Harrison- It is only a matter of time before Jamal Lewis gets hurt again or is completely useless. Harrison is the guy in Cleveland; maybe I’ll turn out to be wrong on this one but I’m taking a stand.

Calvin Johnson- He’s on a bye week, and that’s after missing last week’s game due to injury. Both he and Stafford should be back after this. There are no guarantees that he will deliver like he did last year but you have to take chances to win and if you’re going to take a chance this is the guy to do it on.

Jerricho Cotchery- He is going to miss this Sunday’s game. I still love him relative to value right now because of the “Braylon Edwards Effect” that I have talked about in previous columns. Mark Sanchez will improve over the course of the season and I see Cotchery posting several double-digit games.

Sell Low

Ryan Grant- I talked about this situation above when I touted Brandon Jackson. Grant’s days as the feature back in Green Bay might be numbered. He could turn it around and hold on to his job but I would trade him now while you can still get good value for him.

Larry Johnson- He’ll be on here all season just to remind all of his owners that you’re playing with fire by not dealing him. The production has been decent this season- don’t get greedy!

Clinton Portis- see Larry Johnson

Willis McGahee- For non-PPR this is a little bit different since touchdown vultures are a lot more valuable. But in PPR get rid of him and get whatever you can out of the deal.

Marion Barber- Injured running backs are terrifying to me. His value has plummeted significantly but if he stays relatively healthy there might be a good game in his future. Once that happens you’d better ship him out.

Terrell Owens- I may just have him in this category until the trade deadline!

From Around The Web

  1. Nick says:
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    Would you drop Garcon right before the waivers freeze and grab either Charles, Collie, Harrison, Nicks….

  2. pablo says:
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    The problem with Harrison is that you can’t trust a dysfunctional organization to do things that make sense.

  3. AdamH says:
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    Ive gotta start Mendenhall over Charles today right?

  4. hideousmutants says:
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    Which two RBs would you start out of these three:

    Mendenhall, Slaton, Turner

    thanks for helping me keep my streak alive!

  5. Denys says:
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    mendenhall or pierre thomas this week??

  6. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Nick: is Garcon your worst player? I agree with Doc that when Gonzalez comes back (probably next week) there are going to be a lot of mouths to feed in Indianapolis. I would grab either Charles or Harrison. Of those two I like Harrison more.

    @AdamH: yes you do.

    @hideousmutants: Slaton & Turner

    @Denys: I don’t love that dilemma but I’d go with Mendenhall.

  7. hideousmutants says:
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    Someone just dropped Boldin in my league!! Crazy, right? I went ahead and added him as fast as I could. Dropped Royal to do it. Could’ve also dropped Coffee but I’m way deeper at WR than RB and would like to hold Coffee one more week just to see if Gore goes down again.

    I know Boldin is hurt but it still seems like he could be valuable, esp in the playoffs. Am I getting too excited?

  8. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @hideousmutants: You have to love stupid people. That is an ENORMOUS pickup for you. Your level of excitement should be proportionate to how much you love fantasy football. If it were me I’d be throwing fist pumps around like nobody’s business.

  9. daves says:
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    Johnny Knox or Roy Williams

    Should I feel bad about not starting LJ vs San Diego (I’m starting Forte, Hightower, and Maroney) instead.

  10. Bofum says:
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    need to play one not a ppr league

    Reggie Bush
    Donnie Avery
    Percy Harvin

  11. adrenaline says:
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    Drew,

    Which 1 WR would you play this week in PPR?

    k walter
    l moore
    m massaquoi

  12. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @daves: Knox- it looks like Williams is going to try to play but you never know if they’re going to sit him last minute. It is hard to argue w/ the three guys you have going but LJ could be big today.

    @Bofum: Avery

  13. jamiesonmj says:
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    Marshall at the elite level with fitz and AJ this year? who else do you see in that tier? Im going to guess AJ, Fitz, Megat., Moss, Wayne?

  14. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @jamiesonmj: I think right now you have to lock in AJ, Fitz, Moss, Wayne as the super-elite guys but Marshall probably belongs there as well. Megatron’s lack of production/slight injury problems put him equal to Marshall right now. But I expect both to be in that group of super-elite guys within a few weeks. There is a small window of opportunity to get these two right now before they become untouchables.

  15. Nick says:
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    @Drew: Garcon is my worst i’d say..as far as RBs i have McCoy and Choice on the bench with Forte, Jones & Mendenhall starting.

    WR’s I have R Williams, Fitz, Breaston stating and Housh/Garcon benched. Just looking to drop Garcon and grab someone that will put up numbers this week and no longer be available once the waivers open up again next Wednesday.

    If I drop Garcon and don’t grab a receiver, I will be left with R Williams to start though…

  16. Joe B says:
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    I need to pick one of these guys for my FLEX (PPR)… Steve Smith(NYG), Dwayne Bowe, Miles Austin, Pierre Thomas, or Larry Johnson???

  17. adrenaline says:
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    Drew

    Which 1 WR would you play this week in PPR?

    k walter
    l moore
    m massaquoi

  18. Charlie says:
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    What do you guys think J.Charles or L. McCoy this week?

  19. hideousmutants says:
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    @Drew: Yeah, my reaction was pretty much the kind that makes my family both wonder how I could be this into it and cut me some slack because I’m obviously so genuinely happy.

  20. matthole says:
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    great tips once again!!! sell low portis! might try that!!! shaun hill and chad henne, great ideas!!! buy AP….might try that!!! thanks again for the insight!!!!!!

  21. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Nick: that makes it tough. If you are way ahead in your matchup for today or in the standings then doing that (dropping Garcon, starting Williams) isn’t a bad idea.

    @Joe B: Steve Smith (NYG)

    @adrenaline: Walter

    @matthole: Thanks!

  22. charlie says:
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    who do you guys start

    jamaal charles or lesean mccoy?

  23. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @charlie: charles

  24. Matt B says:
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    Which odd man out in PPR?
    Benson vs CHI, LT @ KC, Addai @ STL, or Marshawn Lynch @CAR?

    I’m currently benching Lynch.

  25. Howie says:
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    A trade involving “Buy High” and “Buy Low” guys…

    Ronnie B. & Marshawn L. for Forte and Calvin Johnson…

    Thoughts?

    I might note I would be the one trading Brown and Lynch. I have DeAngelo, M. Turner, and Moreno as my other RBs… I have the heretofore disappointing Steve (CAR) Smith, Driver, Bowe, Roddy W., and Breaston as my WRs in a non-PPR league and have put up zeros two weeks running in my WR2 spot (Sims-Walker and Smith).

    Thanks,

  26. Denys says:
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    @Drew: trust me it’s a headache every week since mendenhall’s been starting.

  27. Ben says:
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    Which would you recommend to start in a PPR Flex spot?

    Greg Jennings or Ryan Grant?

    I currently have Grant in, just because I would think that he will/could get a bunch of junk touches at the end of the game… but I keep reading reports saying that B Jackson is going to get carries, too…

  28. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    Which shitty QB would you recccomend today? Bulger or Anderson?

  29. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Matt B: Benson vs. Chicago but that is a REALLY tough call. I like the other matchups more (I am tempted to say LT but KC is such a cupcake)

    @Howie: I would need to get someone better than Forte. I know he was a 1st rounder preseason but his production will be more like a 4th, 5th rounder at the end of the year.

  30. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Ben: this will be the week that Aaron Rodgers actually has time to throw it to Jennings. I like him a lot today. Trade him after this.

    @Asbrubal Bastardo: are you in a 3 QB league or something? Bulger.

  31. Ben says:
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    I have been trying to trade both of them (Jennings and Grant) for weeks. Tried getting Marshall for Jennings and DeSean Jackson, but the guy didn’t go for it. Asking too much? What would you target for one or both of those guys? It’s 10 team PPR league. My roster is:

    QB – Schaub
    RB – Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Jerome Harrison, Ryan Grant, Felix Jones
    WR – Moss, DeSean Jackson, Jennings, Lance Moore, Eddie Royal
    TE – Dallas Clark
    D – Minnesota
    K – Crosby

  32. B.J. says:
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    With Boldin likely to go but his plays may be limited, I have use one of these guys as my WR3: James Jones or Antonio Bryant

  33. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Ben: That was a good offer, I’m surprised the guy shot you down. I would look to try and go somethig like Benson + Jennings for Fitz, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne.

  34. Ben says:
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    Thanks Drew. Good luck today.

  35. Drew

    Drew says:
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    As an aside I started a Fantasy Basketball League (yes I know, point and laugh. I am extemely NOT knowledgeable about basketball right now). There are still a few spots open. Draft is @ 7:45 tonight (live draft obviously). Feel free to jump in Razzballers!

    ID: 297755
    Password: apple

  36. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    @Drew: haha a 2 QB league actually. I have Brady going, and Orton is on a bye. As you can tell, the FA pool is slim pickings

  37. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    Well Bulger and DA both put up 1 point, so I guess it didn’t matter which schmuck I picked hah

  38. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Asbrubal Bastardo: haha yeah… guess i should’ve told you to go with Alex Smith!

  39. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    haha yeah freal. At least it was nice to see my niners make a game of it in the end… plus it was nice to have V-Dub today, 3 TDs!!!

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