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With Nick Foles showing the world why Michael Vick was the starting quarterback for Philadelphia, Reggie Wayne tearing his ACL, Doug Martin injuring his shoulder (DO NOT DROP HIM YET), and the future of both Arian Foster and Ben Tate now up in the air following their bye week, this week has been a mess, but we still have to press on.  Here are your bad and good matchups for week 8.

Willis McGahee may still be the lead back in Cleveland, but against a stingy Kansas City defense, I wouldn’t count on him for much of anything this week.  They cover the air fairly well too so Josh Gordon’s situation isn’t much better, but with the trade deadline fast approaching, there’s always a chance Gordon lands on a different team before Sunday.  Who knows, it could even be for the Chiefs.  Gordon’s still a solid WR3/flex play this week, but McGahee should stay on your bench unless you have the bye week blues.

Speaking of mediocre running backs, Zac Stacy looked decent against the Panthers last weekend, but Seattle will be a much greater challenge.  Even with the Rams handing the ball to him the most, Stacy is a 5-7 point player this week unless he’s lucky enough to break one for a trip to the end zone.  Don’t count on it.

Giovani Bernard is in a similar situation this week when the Bengals host the Jets.  Bernard is getting the ball more than BenJarvus Green-Ellis these days, but his 5.9 points in standard leagues last week is about what you should expect from him this week as well.  He’ll probably rush more than seven times this week, but an extra 3-5 touches isn’t suddenly going to make him a star this week.

As for receivers, New England and Atlanta are both in tough matchups this week so Julian Edelman and Harry Douglas should be used with caution while the injury question marks surrounding both Roddy White and Danny Amendola combined with these matchups should keep them on your bench.

In more pleasant news, especially for New England, Stevan Ridley is a solid RB2 this week after being hit or miss for most of this season.  It was all Brandon Bolden early in the game last week, but Ridley eventually made a respectable fantasy performance out of limited action.  Against Miami’s porous run defense, Ridley will likely tally a few extra touches this week and seems likely for a score.

Jarrett Boykin has also turned himself into a must start in the absence of Randall Cobb.  Look for another strong performance this week against the Vikings.  You should start Jordy Nelson too, of course, but you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Speaking of unbelievably talented receivers, Larry Fitzgerald is in a great spot this week.  He’s been great about every other week and after a terrible showing against Seattle, he’s due.  Look for Fitzgerald to bounce back in a big way this week and likely share some fantasy points with Michael Floyd as well, if you need him.

For tight ends, Jordan Reed, Tony Gonzalez, and Kyle Rudolph are all in great spots for success this week and should absolutely be started depending on the size of your league.  Jordan Cameron, on the other hand, is in a tough matchup so as great as he’s been for fantasy owners this season, you shouldn’t expect the world from him this week.  Jimmy Graham is in a bad position too and that’s IF he plays so whomever you picked to fill in for him last week is probably worth sticking with this week.

At quarterback, RGIII and Colin Kaepernick are in especially nice matchups this week, but unless you’re a big Terrelle Pryor fan, almost all of the remaining fantasy-relevant QBs are in good to average matchups this week so start your team’s top QB and don’t overthink it.

Ready for your sleeper pick of the week?  Last week’s sleeper pick, Brandon Gibson, caught, not one, but two touchdown passes.  This week, I’m picking Jason Avant.  With Michael Vick back, but likely not 100%, he may not be able to break off and run as much as he typically would.  This means that when the going gets tough, he’s going to be looking for the open man somewhere in the middle of the field and that man is frequently Avant.

From Around The Web

  1. FillyP says:
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    Luck’s on Bye, so I need a filler option.. who do you like?

    Manning @Phi
    Smith vs Cle
    Palmer vs Atl
    Geno Smith @ Cin
    Tannehill @ NE

    Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @FillyP: I think Manning gives you the most upside with Palmer not far behind.

  2. Dan says:
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    I need a WR fill in with my main WRs on byes. You have been $ with your sleepers. Should I pick up Jeremy Kerley for a fill in or go with Avant? Bengals just lost their top CB

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dan: I think you should go with Kerley. He got A LOT of looks last week so he’s definitely the safer bet.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Like Kerley there.

  3. Pete says:
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    Foster, Tate and Pryor for AP and Bowe in a PPR league?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Pete: I guess that depends on how much you need Pryor. If you don’t need him at all and he’s just taking up space on your bench, then that’s a good deal for you.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’d want the Foster side

      • Pete says:
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        @Sky: What if I took Pryor out – so just Foster and Tate for AP and Bowe? Other option I was thinking was Murray and Chris Johnson for AP?

  4. A Few Good Mendenhall says:
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    You like Jason Avant or Durham to fill in for Marshall on bye?

  5. Yeshcheese says:
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    Rank Emmanuel sanders, Lamar miller or Joique bell for PPR flex this week?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Yeshcheese: In a PPR, they’re all very close for me, but this week I’ll go Sanders, Miller, Bell.

      • yeshcheese says:
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        @Loudon: Thanks man. Yeah they’re all pretty same-ish. Safe floor plays. The bye weeks!

  6. Schlitzy says:
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    Need to drop Vereen, woodhead or Gordon to pick up a QB for the week to fill in for Luck/Rivers. Who should go? Rest of team is
    RB – Gore, T Richardson, Joique
    WR- Jordy, Desean, Garçon (start 2)
    TE- Graham and Gronk ( I flex one)

    I’m leaning Gordon with the shituationoing on in CLE.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Schlitzy: I agree that Gordon is probably the player you NEED the least, but he also has the most value of the three you’re considering. Is no one willing to trade with you? I’d probably drop Vereen just because Ridley has been playing better recently, but if it’s a 1QB league, you may want to consider dropping Rivers.

      • Schlitzy says:
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        @Loudon: been trying to swing trades all week. No takers yet.

  7. Eddie says:
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    Need to start two of Steven Jackson, Andre Ellington and/or Willis McGahee. What say you?

    • Eddie says:
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      @Eddie: Std. scoring.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Eddie: If Jackson plays, Jackson. Otherwise Ellington.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Loudon: bench mcgahee if s-jax plays.

  8. Dead Heads says:
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    I’m having trouble deciding which WRs to start, pick 3: Decker, Gordon, Randle, T. Williams?

    Also since the matchup for Cameron isn’t great, would you start Heath Miller over him this week?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dead Heads: I would rank your WRs in exactly the order you listed them so Williams is the odd man out this week. As for TEs, I would start Miller over Cameron, yes.

  9. A Few Good Mendenhall says:
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    Avant or Durham in place of Marshall on bye?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @A Few Good Mendenhall: Durham is the safer play, especially in PPR, but Avant has more upside this week.

  10. Steve Stevenson says:
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    In my dynasty league, all pickups must be through waivers, meaning that with the bye week crunch and a crummy waiver position, I can’t afford to wait and hope Roddy plays. Instead I have to make some WR claims and likely drop someone I’d rather not. At this point, that’s either Pierce (I’m a Rice owner) or Lattimore (this is a dynasty, and my team’s good, and he’s one of the best college RBs I’ve ever seen). I don’t need either for this year, and whoever I drop will get picked up next week. So, who do you think is better next year and beyond?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I would drop Lattimore. There were seven running backs chosen before him in the 2013 draft and even if someone does pick him up, there’s a very good chance that the team that does will be in a similar situation later on and will have to drop him, giving you a chance to grab him again if you want him.

  11. Nico says:
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    Would you trade Gore and Steve Smith for Adrian Peterson in a .5 ppr? I have MJD, Ellington, or Helu to plug into the flex to replace Steve Smith. Thanks!

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Nico: The .5 PPR makes this worth considering, but Smith is a pretty valuable player to give up for honestly not a huge upgrade at RB. I would probably pass, but it’s a coin flip.

  12. mike says:
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    2 questions… would you start Steve Smith@TB or Gordon @KC this week?
    and
    Do you think Case Keenum starts in week 9?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @mike: I would start Gordon this week. As for Keenum, that’s a very tough call, but I would say no if I had to choose.

  13. Paul says:
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    Which D/ST is a better start for week 8?

    OAK, ATL, ARZ, CLE, BUF, DAL, MIA, TB

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Paul: Tampa Bay

  14. Paul says:
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    Which D/ST this week? OAK, DAL, DET, TB, CLE, STL, ATL, or ARZ?

    Also, better flex this week? Spiller rb, Gordon wr, Floyd wr?

    Also, do you think Lance Dunbar will take away a lot of snaps from Joseph Randle?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Paul: I like Tampa Bay, but Atlanta would be second on my list. I’d take Gordon at flex this week and yes, he’ll take a few, but Randle is still a decent start this week if you need him.

  15. Pavel says:
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    would you start spiller, sproles, ellington or steven jackson this week?

    • Pavel says:
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      @Pavel: pick 2

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Pavel: Sproles and Spiller, but I’d substitute Jackson for Spiller if all reports about him are positive about Jackson this week.

  16. Paul says:
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    Which D/ST is a better start for week 8? OAK, ATL, ARZ, CLE, BUF, DAL, MIA, TB

    Which 2 of these rb’s would you start? Spiller, LeVeon Bell, Joseph Randle

    Which for wr2? Jerrett Boykin, Michael Floyd, or Josh Gordon

    Now, out of the above leftover rb’s & wr’s, which for the flex?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Paul: TB, Bell & Randle, Gordon, and Boykin at flex.

  17. Ciwa says:
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    I read now about Avant. I have to replace Marshall bye week. Avant-Stevie Johnson-Ginn jr. or Marvins Jones?
    The other two are V-Jackson and Mike Wallace

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dead Heads: @Ciwa: This week I’d say Johnson > Avant > Jones > Ginn Jr.

  18. Van says:
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    Two questions.

    Avant or Gordon?

    Ivory, B. Pierce or Pierre Thomas?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Van: Avant is my sleeper pick, but I still wouldn’t play him over your week to week starters. Definitely go with Gordon. For RB, I like Thomas, but Ivory is a close second.

  19. Coopers Clux Clan says:
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    Would you start Avant over Kris Durham and Kerley?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Coopers Clux Clan: No, but that’s right around the area I’d at least start considering Avant this week.

  20. Dave says:
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    Need one as a bye week replacement out of Donnie Avery, Jerome Simpson, Robert Woods, Jason Avant its .5PPR.

    • Dave says:
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      @Dave: Or Marvin Jones too

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Dave: I’d take the gamble on Avant here. Woods probably has more long term upside if you’re looking for someone you could potentially start future weeks, but I think Avant’s ceiling is highest of this group.

  21. Zandy says:
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    Pick 1 wr, 1 rb and a flex for std league
    Steve smith tb
    Steve Johnson no
    Kenbrell Mia
    Ellington atl
    Lamar ne
    Stacy sea
    Mcgahee kc

    • Zandy says:
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      @Zandy: also have witten and reed at te so could start one and flex the other if you like that more. Thanks!!

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Zandy: Smith and Miller with Reed at TE and Witten at Flex. All of your guys have potential this week, but these are the ones I like the most based on their talent and situations.

  22. bluety says:
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    I have M. Lynch and both Turbin and C. Michaels. Which on of these guys is the #2 rb behind lychn. Or should i just hold on to then both. thanks

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @bluety: At this point, I’d say Turbin is the guy you’d want should something happen to Lynch.

  23. barker says:
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    10 team 1 qb 1 qb/flex

    i give marshall and vick i get calvin and chris johnson

    Qbs rg3 roethisberger locker
    other wrs colston shorts amendola randle
    other rbs lynch charles ellington

    hes rocking thad lewis and i would only use CJ0K against Oak and Jax for byes

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @barker: If I were you, I wouldn’t do it. If I’m reading this correctly, you can start a QB at your QB/flex spot, which you should do 100% of the time. Calvin is obviously a stud, but Vick is your current QB2. Ben and Jake aren’t exactly attractive options most weeks so I’d stick with the team you have.

      • barker says:
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        @Loudon: should i not strike while the iron is hot on vick i lost him halfway thru a game ( my only loss hoyer at fault too )already and dont wanna be holding the bag in the playoffs with him hurt on my bench—- i do have andre brown so iguess i could plug him when the bye time comes

        the kid is in last place 0-7 and i already played him so i will not see these guys again

  24. drew says:
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    Ship my Stacy for his Denarius Moore in PPR? Im pretty flush at RB: CHarles, Le’veon, Joique, Randle, Vereen, Andre Brown

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @drew: As long as you don’t have to start 3 RBs every week from here on out, that seems like a decent deal for you.

  25. Alex says:
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    Randle over Bow for ROS right?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Alex: At this point, yes.

  26. bluety says:
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    THANKS need a 3rd RB should i trade luck for Wilson and Danial T?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @bluety: I guess that depends on who you’d be giving up for those guys. Depending on the size of your league, Thomas is probably the safer bet rest of season, but he’s also a RB3 at best so you might be able to get someone with a little more upside depending on who you can afford to lose.

  27. Dave says:
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    Just saw that Lance Moore is probably coming back this week. Is he a good plug n play for this week in a .5PPR league if Jimmy Graham is out?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Dave: Not really. Moore wasn’t doing a ton even when he wasn’t dealing with a hand injury so even if Graham is out, which is about 50/50 at this point, I think you could find someone with more upside. Avant maybe?

  28. Kevin says:
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    I’ve got
    Josh Gordon, Jordy, Alshon Jeffey, Decker, Brazill
    Reggie Bush, Ellington, Martin, Mike James, Mathews
    PPR
    Is Boldin and Woodhead for Mathews and Decker a good move?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Kevin: I’d stick with the team you have.

  29. CJ Blues says:
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    Two potential trades. What do you think?
    (it’s a .5 PPR, 12-team, redraft)

    a) Spiller for Fred Jackson
    b) Woodhead for Witten (my current TE is Cook. And he has sucked)

    • CJ Blues says:
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      @CJ Blues:

      Oops. I’d be giving up Spiller… and Woodhead. I’m the first side in both scenarios.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @CJ Blues: I’d say yes in both cases as long as you’re prepared for Jackson to be a dud whenever he doesn’t score a TD. A healthy Spiller is more valuable than a healthy Jackson, but at this point, Jackson’s getting the goal line work and he has come through for the Bills in key situations.

  30. Alky Sobrera says:
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    Amendola…Is he a WR1-2 when he gets back? Thinking of trading Ridley for Amendola.

    I have bush, morris, and dmc as other runners (expanded rosters so all 3 start) as well as ivory + vereen (ir’ed). WR I’m really shallow, with megatron, nicks(ugh), douglas, terrance williams, edelman for 3 starting spots (lost cobb and wayne).

    Team is struggling (3-4 with a guaranteed loss coming in week 9 as well with my byes hitting all at once) and I need the wr help to make a push. Thoughts? Thanks for your help.

    • Alky Sobrera says:
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      @Alky Sobrera:
      Oh, and it’s not a PPR (sad I know).

      Same league, another offer on the table is Cruz+Mathews for Vernon Davis+Ridley. Given my situation, do I take it? I have Orange Julius as well (I start both Davis and Thomas because there’s an additional W/T slot). Maybe sub in DMC for Ridley? Or Orange Julius for Davis?Desperation sucks, lol. Thanks again.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Alky Sobrera: I like the Cruz/Mathews for Davis/Ridley deal for you. I wouldn’t say you’re exactly shallow at receiver, but with the other RBs you have available, especially with Ivory coming on strong recently, you can afford to trade away the hit or miss Ridley for one of the most talented receivers in the league.

        • Alky Sobrera says:
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          @Loudon:

          Thanks for the reply. Pulled the trigger on that one.

          • Alky Sobrera says:
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            @Alky Sobrera:
            Oh, and the receiver play is just such a crapshoot. Nicks is more WR4 than WR2 at this point. Douglas and Williams are recent come ons, but hardly sure things, and edelman is pretty much cooked with gronk + amendola back. I agree though, the rb surplus allows me to make moves.

  31. Paul says:
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    Loudon,

    Which D/ST is a better start for week 8? OAK, ATL, ARZ, CLE, BUF, DAL, MIA, TB

    Out of these, why did you pick Tampa Bay? I was totally leaning towards OAK & tossing around ATL & ARZ as a close second…. but why TB?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Paul: The Steelers are improving and with Bell in the backfield now, they’ll be able to put up some points on Oakland this week. Atlanta would have been my second choice behind Tampa Bay. I picked Tampa Bay because I think they have the best chance at scoring you points with a very small chance of negative points. You’ll either get 3 points or 12 points from TB, but Oakland and Arizona could end up in negative numbers if they aren’t able to get pressure on the QB. Honestly, none of the options you mentioned are top 10 defenses this week.

      • Paul says:
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        @Loudon: I know. Those options are junk, but I’m sitting on the Titans D/ST now. This bye week is hurting me pretty bad, but there is some upside.
        Let me ask you these: So even if OAK fresh off a bye at home with a similar D/ST as PIT’s & Big Ben due for an int or sack/fumble (past 2 games none)..even with ARZ at home with a D/ST holding down CAR & TB this year, still scoring points with giving up td’s to other teams in conf., Tyran Mattheau & a few others snatching int’s & fr’s & a passing M Ryan. (which is why i considered BUF 12 int’s & 22 sck d/st at pass happy Brees’s house)… Then ATL needing a win, due for turnovers with Palmer passing, a healthier Asante (though ATL d has blown some 4th qtr drives). I can see TB being a little bit of a safe d/st battle at home, but against Cam & co getting hot & my words above, you still would pick TB struggling with the passes lately? Cam is my qb by the way. NO d/st was 1st on my list (or else this conversation wouldn’t be happening) but that went quick.

        TE? Charles Clay or Fauria?

  32. Steve says:
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    Who do I start in standard league: S-JAX or Mike James?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Steve: James is the safer play. SJax certainly has potential, but Arizona isn’t all that easy to run on so Jackson’s value will really be in the passing game if he plays.

  33. Rich says:
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    2 rb’s Lynch and morris
    3 wr’s jennings , blackmon and lafell ( keenan is on a bye)
    Flex is gibson
    Bench is bolden, tolbert, helu and harvin

    Not so confident in jennings anymore so do i sit him and move gibson up and start a rb in flex or keep it how it is??,

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Rich: I would start Helu at Flex even though you have Morris. I would also start Harvin over Jennings leaving both Gibson and Jennings on your bench. That’s assuming Harvin is a go this weekend.

  34. The Thumb says:
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    Graham or Reed at TE?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @The Thumb: Graham if he plays, but keep a very close eye on his status.

      • Loudon

        Loudon says:
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        @Loudon: If Graham is still limited in practice on Friday, go with Reed. Reed at 100% is better than Graham at 80% given Graham’s matchup, but Graham is too talented to bench if he’s 100% on Friday.

  35. The Thumb says:
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    Also, Russell Wilson or Vick?

    I’ve been starting the eagles QBs over Wilson for the past 3 weeks or so and feel like I’ve been burned every time…

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @The Thumb: I think Wilson is the safer play because I’m not convinced Vick is 100%. Plus Wilson might have Harvin back.

  36. Clubber Lane says:
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    Whats up Loud and Proud! You have me thinking about Avant. I have Vick and it makes sense…Even though the Philly QBs have also burned me the last 3 weeks. I was all set to grab Kenny STills because of the 3 target 3 grabs and one TD day before the bye. No other WRs for NO are getting seperation plus Graham might be out…What do you think?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Clubber Lane: If Graham is out, Stills and Avant have similar upsides this week. I’d probably tip the scales to Avant personally, but it’s a coin flip and you should go with your gut.

  37. greg says:
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    Would you drop Tavon Austin for Montee Ball?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @greg: Probably not unless you really don’t need Austin at all and want to play the lotto a bit.

  38. Casey says:
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    So do you start Avant over Rueben Randle this week? Drop Joseph Randle with Dunbar returning to pick up Avant for the week?

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Casey: No and No. Avant is a sleeper pick because he isn’t projected to do much, but the law offices of Randle and Randle still have more upside than Avant. I wouldn’t be worried about Dunbar, by the way, but I would be worried about Murray’s return and the impact that has on Joseph’s value moving forward.

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