Sunday 1 PM

New Orleans (24th) @ Atlanta (18th)

Judging from his past performances Pierre Thomas is either going to have a monster game or score about 3 points. Unfortunately you have to start him. Reggie Bush will be back in action and is a must start in PPR. Mike Bell continues to be the goal line back and “closer” so put him in your lineup in deeper leagues. All three of these players get an upgrade against the battered and ineffective Falcons defense.

Saints: Thomas +2, Bush +2, Bell +2

Neither of these backs are doing enough right now to be in your lineup. Jerious Norwood was a huge disappointment for Fantasy owners last Sunday. With Ryan likely out again the Falcons will have to lean on their running game and the Saints haven’t been that stout to begin with. I am giving both of these players an upgrade for the matchup but I would look for better options unless you’re really stuck.

Falcons: Norwood +1, Snelling +1

NY Jets (8th) @Tampa Bay (29th)

This matchup should be a feast for the Jets ground game, especially with Mark Sanchez out. Look for Thomas Jones to have a monster outing. Shonn Greene is a definite start unless you don’t have room for him in your lineup.

Jets: Jones +5, Greene +5

Cadillac Williams could be a starter for you in non PPR but I’d look for better options. Derrick Ward is simply overpaid and a disappointment of epic proportions to Fantasy owners.

Buccaneers: Williams -2, Ward -4

Miami (21st) @ Jacksonville (14th)

Ricky Williams was surprisingly unproductive last week. Lex Hilliard still hasn’t emerged in to the type of Fantasy player we expected thus far. Ricky is a must start but here’s some whacky numbers for you (courtesy of Doc): The Jaguars haven’t given up more than 77 rushing yards to ANY running back this season other than Chris Johnson; he has gone for 83 and 228 yards against them, respectively. Maybe Ricky can buck this trend but it’s definitely grounds for being nervous.

Dolphins: Williams -1, Hilliard -2

The Dolphins seem like a team that’s really good against the run but they aren’t. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter anyway because you’re playing MJD regardless.

Jaguars: Jones-Drew +2

Cincinnati (2nd) @Minnesota (1st)

So this Sunday we’ll have the leagues two best rush defenses AND the leagues two worst rush defenses over the past six weeks going head to head. Weird. Cedric Benson got his usual heavy workload last Sunday after coming back from injury and put up solid digits. I’m personally going to start him regardless of the matchup. EJ Henderson, the Vikings star linebacker was injured last week and their defense could suffer because of it. Larry Johnson is unstartable in this game.

Bengals: Benson -3, Johnson -5

Adrian Peterson has sat out and rested up this week in practice after being held to only 19 yards on 13 carries against the Cardinals. He’s such a competitor you’d think he’d be poised for a bounce back game but it’s going to be tough to do against the stingy Bengals. Chester Taylor is a PPR fill in, as usual.

Vikings: Peterson -3, Taylor -1

Seattle (16th) @ Houston (19th)

Julius Jones is horrible and he makes me angry. Jim Mora needs to wake up and realize what the entire football world already knows- Forsett’s a lot better than Julius Jones. If you own Jones bench him even if he starts. If you own Forsett pay attention to the rumor mill (and Razzball, on Sunday) to see if it looks like he’ll get more touches this week.

Seahawks: Jones -1, Forsett 0

Slaton going on IR is a real sledgehammer. I can definitely see Ryan Moats becoming the feature back and having a ton of value in PPR especially down the stretch. Chris Brown is basically a poor man’s Brandon Jacobs but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Brown is a must start but I would take a wait and see approach with Moats.

Texans: Brown +2, Moats +1

Buffalo (32nd) @ Kansas City (31st)

Coach Fewell reiterated that Fred Jackson will be the lead back going forward. Don’t expect a ton of opportunities for Marshawn Lynch in general but consider him a possible Sleeper next season depending on who he signs with. This game presents a bit of a quandary because the matchup is so good; start Lynch unless you have better running backs.

Bills: Jackson +3, Lynch +2

Jamaal Charles is a total stud at this point. If you were cagey (or just followed our advice this season) and grabbed him chances are you’re in the mix to win your league. This matchup is fantastic for him and the guys behind him can’t stay healthy so the carries should remain his. If you’re in a Keeper league you’re probably already looking forward to next season.

Chiefs: Charles +5

Green Bay (3rd) @ Chicago (28th)

You bore me, Ryan Grant. Just felt like throwing that out there. The Chicago defense has gone from “not as good as we thought/declining” to “horrible.” I hate to say it but Grant is a tremendous play for you on Sunday unless Lovey Smith finds a time machine in the next few days .

Packers: Grant +4

Matt Forte…. blah… I would honestly sit him this week in non PPR and consider doing so even in PPR formats. I’m sure you’ve been inundated by sportscasters about how good Green Bay’s defense is so I won’t go on and on about that. The Bears wilt in the face of any respectable defense so expect a complete meltdown from their offense in this contest.

Bears: Forte -5

Detroit (17th) @Baltimore (11th)

Kevin Smith was the only Detroit running back to touch the football against the Bengals and Jim Schwartz was showering him with compliments the way old, creepy men do to girls at Hooters. So even though the Ravens aren’t total pushovers I’d still expect a good game out of Smith. With Stafford and Johnson back this offense is starting to click.

Lions: Smith +1

A few weeks ago it looked like Ray Rice could be the second best running back to own in Fantasy down the stretch. That was when he was getting all the carries, including the ones on the goal line, however. People try to downgrade the importance of that but it’s HUGE. It doesn’t mean he’s not a stud anymore, he still is. But it does pull him out of the Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson territory.  He should be solid in this matchup. Willis McGahee, now receiving the goal line touches, is a potential start now depending on the matchup. In non PPR (or PPR, depending on the depth of your league) you can put him in your lineup and still look at yourself in the mirror.

Ravens: Rice +2, McGahee +3

Carolina (23rd) @ New England (13th)

DeAngelo Williams was a surprise inactive last Sunday. He is practicing this week and is allegedly fully healthy. Jonathon Stewart will return to his role as change of pace/goal line back; start him if he’s better than the rest but don’t let last week’s performance affect your decision. New England’s run defense is about as middle of the road as it gets.

Panthers: Williams 0, Stewart 0

By next week these two might be flipped around on the depth chart. In my .5 PPR league Maroney’s projected for an optimistic 12.92 against Carolina on Sunday. I happen to own him in that league and will probably end up sitting him. Both he and Morris could negate each other’s value going forward because it’s impossible to predict who is going to touch the ball when. Bill Belichick is annoying.

Patriots: Maroney 0, Morris 0

Denver (25th) @ Indianapolis (15th)

I know you’re going to be tempted to start Buckhalter this Sunday coming off his 113 yard performance but keep in mind he only got 12 carries and that number’s not likely increase. Knowshon Moreno will be a must start week in and week out regardless.

Broncos: Moreno 0, Buckhalter 0

Donald Brown’s injury troubles have boosted Addai’s value even further- now he is getting all sorts of additional rushing yardage/goal line carries we didn’t expect him to. He is truly one of the most underappreciated backs in Fantasy this season. Expect his usual studly output in this game.

Colts: Addai +2

Sunday 4 PM

Washington (20th) @ Oakland (27th)

In “Sleeper Math” two weeks ago I told everyone to pick up Ganther if you had room on your roster and I have continued to tout him. On Wednesday the Redskins announced that Ganther, not Rock Cartwright, will be the starter. He did a lot with the opportunities he was given before so I expect a big game out of him on Sunday. Start him wherever possible. Cartwright becomes a stash yet again even though the Raiders are a poor rush defense.

Redskins: Ganther +3, Cartwright +1

Albert Haynesworth is an almost guaranteed scratch for the Redskins this Sunday which bodes well for the Raiders running game. Fargas had 15 carries to McFadden’s 9 last week and has retained his grasp on the starting job. This matchup is attractive enough to tout Fargas as a #2 RB start and McFadden as a flex in deeper leagues.

Raiders: Fargas +3, McFadden +3

St. Louis (30th) @ Tennessee (12th)

Steven Jackson hardly practiced the last two weeks before games but he’s averaging almost 120 yards per game; thus I wouldn’t be concerned whatsoever that he’s being held out of practice yet again this week. He gets a slight downgrade for matchup but SJax is a quality RB #1 every week no matter what.

Rams: Jackson -1

I’m done with LenDale White until next season when he signs with a different team. Chris Johnson’s projections are almost 30 in PPR leagues- he could singlehandedly win for you this week.

Titans: Johnson +5

San Diego (7th) @ Dallas (5th)

The Chargers have moved the ball with ease against everyone this season so I doubt the Cowboys will be able to slow them down much. Tomlilnson gets a downgrade because the matchup is less juicy than average but he’s still a very solid play. Sproles shouldn’t be in your lineup unless it’s uber deep PPR.

Chargers: Tomlinson -3, Sproles -4

Marion Barber is annoying to own (I’m glad I don’t). You used to be able to count on him for yards and hope for touchdowns. Now he’s basically a rich man’s Willis McGahee and that’s a total kick in the junk considering he was draft in the 2nd or 3rd round in all leagues. You have to play him no matter what though. I would sit Felix Jones against the Chargers; if he doesn’t break off a huge TD run he kills your team.

Cowboys: Barber -2, Jones -3

Sunday Night Game

Philadelphia (9th) @ NY Giants (6th)

Earlier in the week there was optimism that Brian Westbrook would play against the Giants but not it’s an almost certainty that he won’t. LeSean McCoy continues to disappoint and make me look like a liar. The Giants defense is tougher than most to boot. Even so, you still have to start him.

Eagles: McCoy -3, Westbrook (probably won’t play)

Speaking of disappointing players…. Brandon Jacobs finally had the big game we’d been waiting for. There won’t be a ton of yardage for him in this contest but an end zone trip wouldn’t surprise me. Bradshaw’s still not getting off the bench on any team I own him in.

Giants: Jacobs -2, Bradshaw -3

Monday Night Game

Arizona (26th) @ San Francisco (10th)

Beanie continues to get the majority of the non goal line carries and will be useful in games down the stretch, just not this one. Yes, that means sit him. In PPR formats Tim Hightower’s still a flex play in my book this week.

Cardinals: Wells -3, Hightower -1

The 49’ers look to pound the ground game regardless of matchup but this week they should rely on it even more; expect 30+ touches from Gore and a very juicy stat line. If the Cardinals dominate time of possession it could diminish his digits but I still love the matchup.

49’ers: Gore +3

  1. Brent says:

    Ok, if I win this week, I’m in the playoffs. I’m deciding on flex plays again, it comes down to Ganther, Chris Brown, or Davone Bess. I’m in a .5 PPR league. Right now I have Bess in but after reading this I wonder if it should be a running back. I’ve really enjoyed the advice all season.


  2. Josh says:

    so…judging from the stats it looks like Jennings is the man in Cleveland now, but then I see that apparently Harrison had an “illness” affecting his status.

    lord knows I didn’t actually see the game (don’t have NFL Network, and even if I did I ain’t missing 30 Rock and Sunny in Philly for that shitshow). does anybody watch the game or know in general where this committee stands? did Harrison just get fewer carries b/c he was sick, or is Jennings the man now?

  3. Josh says:

    *did* anybody watch the game, rather.

  4. matthew says:

    pick one shonn greene, forsett or snelling?

    also mendenhall kicked me in the nuts last night

  5. Gary says:

    In a standard league, which are the top two RBs of the following:
    – F. Jackson @ KC
    – Fargas vs WAS
    – Ganther @ OAK

    Thanks in advance.

  6. Drew says:

    Well so much for Harrison turning out to be the man for the Browns, Jennings looked niice….

    Pick 2, .5/reception

    Pierre, Maroney, LT, Benson, Ganther.

    I’m leaning towards PT and Ganther.

  7. Stumanji says:

    I’m just going to stay away from all Cleveland RBs and avoid the headache.

  8. Drew says:

    Also, Kaeding or Hartley for the rest of the year?

  9. Jimbo says:

    Should I pick up Ganther or go with Maroney in a PPR? Should weather be affecting decisions at this point? I’ve got Driver and Rice. Is it going to be impossible to throw the ball in Chicago this weekend, leading me to take Rice in the dome?

  10. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Brent: be bold, go with Ganther.

    @Josh: I did watch the game. They split up touches between Jennings, Cribbs, and Harrison. Harrison got most of the pass looks. It’s difficult to say how things will be divied up now….

    @matthew: Greene (unless it’s announced that Forsett will start over Jones. In that case go with him)

    @Gary: Jackson, Ganther

    @Drew: Yeah, that situation is totally confusing now. PT, LT but I can see playing Ganther. Keep an eye on injury reports, etc.

    @Stumanji: it’s worth hanging on to Harrison or Jennings if you have them though.

    @Drew: stash both so your leaguemates can’t have them! Kaeding is the more proven commodity but Hartley’s got the better matchups/weather combination. Honestly it’s a total push but you’ll appear more clever by snagging Hartley, if that’s what you’re in to.

  11. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    @Drew: Hartley

  12. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    Packers DEF @CHI or Titans DEF vsSTL this week?

  13. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Jimbo: I own both on the same team and I’m going with Ganther. Weather should definitely be affecting your decision-making. Last night’s game was a perfect example. Neither team was able to throw the ball deep which means the defense can play up and more aggressive which means the games are typically lower scoring. Driver should be more immune to that than others because he’s used to the weather and his looks are short/intermediate anyway but I’d roll Sidney Rice out there if I were you.

  14. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Commish Cauda: I know how sexy of a pick Tennessee is but the Packers are playing better than any defense in football right now, the weather will be cold- the Bears offense will probably struggle and they have a propensity to turn the ball over.

  15. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    0.5PPR…Pick TWO

    McCoy @NYG
    Jennings @CHI
    Britt vsSTL
    Bess @JAX
    Chambers @BUF

  16. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    @Drew: thanks

  17. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Commish Cauda: McCoy, Bess

  18. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    different league…same 0.5PPR

    Kevin Smith @BAL
    McCoy @NYG

  19. Jamba says:

    Reggie Bush over Maroney in a PPR where it seems like an even match up? i.e. I don’t have to swing for the fences

  20. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:

    again, 0.5PPR…

    any worries about MSW? he had a set-back yesterday with his calf. I have Bess to replace him, if needed.

    Say MSW stays questionable but plays. Do I roll the dice with him or go with Bess?

  21. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Commish Cauda: Smith

    @Jamba: yeah, Bush definitely a safer play

  22. Jo says:

    just so ya’ll know, Westbrook is def out this week.

    @anyone willing to help: do I start Maclin @ NYG or Britt v StL?

  23. Jim Parkey says:

    Which 2 RBs would you start: McCoy, Ganther or Kevin Smith? Tx.

  24. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Jo: Maclin

    @Jim: Smith, Ganther

  25. Dad says:

    Drew: I’m torn on my flex spot. I’m planning on starting Peterson and Ganther at RB and Crabtree and Steve Smith (CAR) at WR.

    That leaves me with one spot for Snelling, M Lynch, Bess, J Jones, Roy Williams. I might just throw a dart at my computer screen to pick. Any better idea?

  26. Drew

    Drew says:

    @Dad: I hate the Cowboys and I hate Roy Williams but you should probably start him.

  27. Commish Cauda (formerly Mike) says:


    just keep an eye on Maclin’s foot injury. He’s been in a walking boot this week as a precaution.

  28. Dad says:

    @Drew: Thank you kind sir. I should have mentioned my QB is Romo and it’s non-ppr. If that makes a difference, let me know. Otherwise, i’ll go with Roy. I hate him as well though.

  29. Doc

    Doc says:

    Mike Sims-Walker is doubtful for Sunday, which pretty much means he won’t play.

    Maclin did practice today and will be questionable

  30. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Doc: avant or antonio,with msw hurting

  31. Doc

    Doc says:

    Mike Bell won’t play. Upgrade Pierre Thomas and Bush

  32. Doc

    Doc says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Tough, the Revis factor is real so I’d say Avant.

  33. vinko says:

    @Doc: Rice or Charles, non ppr? Also, since Stafford is doubtful, would you consider C Johnson a substantial downgrade or what?

  34. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    Am I overthinkin’ it when I consider benching Reggie Wayne for Kevin Walter? I think Walter is going to have a good game, and Weggie has been worrying me. And after Mendy’s stinker last night, I need as many points I can get. Then again, having Wayne go big on my bench would hurt pretty bad too. Thoughts?

  35. Steve says:

    Eagles, Skins or Bills D this week?

  36. Doc

    Doc says:

    @vinko: Ray Rice, not substantial. Culp threw to him a lot last year.

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Wayne will get his looks. Walter should have a good game, but Wayne is too good to bench.

  37. tourinct says:

    2 pt ppr, 5 rush/10 rec=1
    Need one of these for flex:
    Fred Jackson


  38. danimal35 says:

    Shonn Greene or Forte…worried greene wont get enough touches…but if he does he definitely is better???help my indecision please

  39. Nick says:

    Housh or Berrian for this week?

  40. Nick says:

    @danimal35: Tough call…coming from a New Yorker/Jet Fan I’d say Greene only because Jets will rely on run with Clemens starting and Jones won’t get all the carries, he’s old. I own Forte, and hate him. He is terrible and chances are good he will have a bad week, unless he finds the endzone by luck….

  41. Drew

    Drew says:

    @tourinct: Jackson

    @danimal35: you have to go with Forte I think, even though both and his matchup suck.

    @Nick: Housh

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