Kermit the Frog nearly had it right. The Green Bay Packers are 2-3 and sit two games behind the Vikings and the Bears. As if losing to Indianapolis wasn’t bad enough, they have also lost RB Cedric Benson to a Lisfranc injury and he could be out for the season. That’s the same injury that knocked out Matt Schaub last season and Darren McFadden two seasons ago.

Since it seems like it might be a long season in Green Bay, I’ll lead off with the two running backs who will fill the spot Benson vacated.

Keep in mind that FAAB values are off a $100 budget and percentage is ownership in ESPN leagues. Chicago, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Carolina are on the bye this week. We don’t have any blockbuster breakout FAs this week, so this will be a little thin because the pool is thin.

Alex Green ($5, 0.2%) looks to be the back with the better upside to get with Benson out. James Starks also merits a mention here but has been battling turf toe and should be avoided.

Tennessee RB Jamie Harper ($1, 0.1%) would be merely a speculative add at this point but it makes sense. Javon Ringer is done for at least six weeks and that number one running back for the Titans who shall remain nameless has been performing like garbage. Perhaps Harper starts to steal some carries, especially late in the Thursday game against the Steelers.

Reuben Randle ($2, 61.6%) had a breakout game with Hakeem Nicks out of the lineup. Yes, it was against Cleveland but numbers are numbers. After Ramses Barden was declared out, Randle took advantage of the opportunity. He’s worth an add given how badly banged up the Giants receivers are.

Christian Ponder ($2, 72%) is leading a 4-1 Vikings team against the Redskins who got burned badly in the air by the Falcons. Don’t get too crazy about the Vikes. They’ve beaten San Francisco…and three other teams that are a combined 4-11. Either way, the formula of Opposing QB+WSH D=Points  still applies.

Devery Henderson ($1, 98.3%)  is on a bye this week but he’s relevant for more than catching Drew Brees’ record-breaking TD.  Lance Moore is hampered by a hamstring and tight end Jimmy Graham rolled his ankle in the win over San Diego. If either (or both) of them are out for any extended period of time, Henderson will get an expanded role in the passing game.

Chris Givens ($1, 99.7%) and Brandon Gibson ($1, 92.6%) will have some large shoes to fill in St. Louis. Wide receiver Danny Amendola is out for about six weeks with a clavicle injury. Givens and Gibson will be the top two wide receivers for Sam Bradford. With games against Miami, Green Bay and New England coming up, they will both be heavily involved as the Rams will be passing a lot.  Sam Bradford ($1, 52.3%) could also be a decent add to help with bye weeks or injuries.

James Jones ($3, 31%) looks to be the #2 WR in Green Bay while Greg Jennings battles his groin injury. Jermichael Finley is also reportedly battling an arm injury so Jones should be getting plenty of targets. The other thing in his favor is that the injuries involved don’t have a firm time frame for recovery.

The Bills DST ($1, 63.6%) could be a sneaky pickup this week as they travel to Arizona. The Cardinals can’t run the ball worth anything and are not expected to pickup a running back this week in free agency. Arizona’s offensive line has allowed 17 sacks in the last two games. With a fierce front four anchored by Mario Williams, this could be another huge game for sacks for the team playing Arizona. Miami’s DST ($1, 95.8%) is also playing an NFC West team that doesn’t have much offense when they tangle with the Rams.

Guys to Avoid

Kevin Kolb QB Arizona is still one that should be on the wire. All Air-i-zona can do now is pass the ball since they have zero ground game. Buffalo has given up the second most passing touchdowns in the league but Kolb is still not worth picking up. Not behind that offensive line mentioned earlier which has been, well, offensive.

 Any Arizona RB See above on Kolb, Kevin.

Matt Hasselbeck, Brady Quinn nor Kirk Cousins. These are all backup QBs filling in for hurt starters (shoulder, concussion, concussion) that won’t carry any value unless in a deep/multiple QB league.

So there you have it on one of the thinnest wire weeks in recent memory. As always leave questions below and I’ll get back to them. Good luck in week six.

  1. Captain Kirk says:
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    @Andrew

    Need some advice here. I’m struggling big time in my league right now and due to the bye week, both of my normal starters at RB are out.

    I was planning to use Cedric Benson & Ryan Williams to fill in….. well obviously that plan has gone to shiite real quick.

    This is a 0.5 ppr league.

    My predicament is that I currently own the #1 waiver wire spot & obviously need a RB, but do I waste it on an alex green or james starks, or william powell. Or just wait until the waiver wire period is over and pick up some scraps on the FA list and preserve my #1 waiver wire spot…. pretty much the only thing that is going right in this league.

    advice is greatly appreciated….

    I also have kendall hunter on the bench.

    thanks

    • @Captain Kirk,

      dont forget Jahvid Best. Sure, he’ll split carries with LeShoure but I think he’ll ultimately play a substantial role in Detroit’s offense.

      James Stark is the immediate answer, as he will most likely get the start this week against Houston.

      Alex Green is the longer term answer, as he’ll probably out play and out last Starks eventually.

      Powell is a desperation move. Cards O-Line is terrible as pointed out in the article. Beanie and Ryan couldnt do anything and they were light years ahead of Powell on the depth chart.

      Other RBs to look for: Daniel Thomas who is getting a ton of substantial carries. David Wilson who looks like he reclaimed the #2 spot behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Shaun Draughn, the #2 behind Charles who is going to get worn out sooner than later carrying the ball 30 times a game.

      • Captain Kirk says:
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        @melillo,

        Best was already scooped up… but I like your thinking on Green and starks

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Captain Kirk, Best is scheduled to be evaluated this week but there is no guarantee that he will be cleared to come back week seven.

      Melilllo makes some good points above on the other RBs to look for but keep in mind that you’re not really going to see an RB1 just drop out of the sky. Green is more of my choice over Starks.

      With it being a thin week, it might be better to hang on to the #1 spot. I hung on to it in a league through preseason and the first two weeks. Then someone deliberately dropped Peyton Manning.

      Check and see what people drop on the waivers and there might be something there worth spending a #1 WW spot on.

      • Captain Kirk says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier,

        thanks man, i was leaning that way. I mean I have held on to this #1 for so long, don’t want to waste it on a real thin week even though i have no RBs. Not to mention, I play the top dog in the league this week and he’s got everybody going…. so not much hope for me anyways.

  2. Salty Balty says:
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    2 quick questions:

    (1) PPR league, K. Hunter is available, but I’d have to cut Quizz Rogers. I like Hunter more, but would I just be trading apples for apples? Should I pick up Hunter.

    (2) Best backup for RG3 if he doesn’t play this week: Kolb, Palmer, Tannehill, Bradford, or Wilson?

    Thanks.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Salty Balty, I would hold on to the Quiz Show. Michael Turner is getting a little older and might break down. The other factor is that Gore seems to have a vice-grip on the top spot in SF and they will face some brutal schedules in weeks 10-15.

      As for the QB without RGIII, Not big on Kolb at all. Bradford will also have a tough time behind his weak O-line. Tannehill might find himself a good game.

      It’s down to Wilson and Palmer and I’d go with Palmer. Atlanta is going to air it out all over the Raiders’ poor secondary and Palmer will get a ton of chances to chuck the ball all over the yard.

  3. Murph says:
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    Who should I be targeting off waivers for a ROS RB I have Rice, Lynch, Murray and Donald Brown so I’m not hurting but looking for a speculative add that could break out big down the road. Thanks

    Waiver RBs (Non PPR)
    Alex Green
    Ben Tate
    Johnathan Stewart
    Jamie Harper
    Stevens Howling
    Lagarret Blount
    D Richardson
    K Hunter

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Murph, Green is the pick since Starks has turf toe and will take longer to get up to speed. Harper is second since CJF**K is, well, you know and Ringer is out for about 6 weeks.

      Tate is dealing with a toe injury of his own and will be behind Arian Foster on the charts. J-Stew will be a tough add behind the mess known as Cam Newton…and DeAngelo Williams.

      Stevens-Howling will likely get carries as long as his last name behind the Arizona line. Blount is starting to get carries, but it’s still Doug Martin’s backfield in Tampa for now.

      Richardson’s value is tied into Steven Jackson’s health and Kendall Hunter will get a few carries here and there but not enough for me.

      • Murph says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier,

        Feels like a shot in the dark but Green it is. Thank you for the in-depth analysis it is always helpful.

        • Murph says:
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          @Andrew Nordmeier,

          Forgot 1 more…Javid Best possibly active for next week? Leshore has looked less than impressive.

          • Murph says:
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            @Andrew Nordmeier,

            Nevermind just read your reponse to Captain Kirk. Sorry

  4. Jayrock says:
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    Trade Question I’ve been asking various folks:

    Got offered Mendie, Bradshaw, and Lloyd for my Fitz and Alf. I have Benson, Greene and CJfucK so I am thin at RB. Would you accept?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Jayrock, That sounds like a great deal. You get a pair of RB1’s and pretty good WR for an RB1 and WR who is the only target on his team.

      And with Benson out for weeks, if not the season, it would be wise to make the deal.

  5. Eng says:
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    Melillo- Colston or Mike wallace? Thanks!

  6. phin says:
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    ponder (on waivers) or fitzpatrick (my backup) this week while brees is out?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @phin, Ponder based on the matchup. The Arizona defense hasn’t allowed much through the air this season while Washington has allowed everyone to pile up the yards.

  7. Trevor says:
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    Are there really leagues where you can avoid a starting running back like Larod Stephens Howling. its a shame I dont play in them despite winning at about a 60% clip in leagues where pickups like Howling are moderately important

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Trevor, Yeah, a lot of teams in 10 or 12 team leagues wouldn’t need a guy like LSH on the roster, let alone starting. The other thing working against him is that poor offensive line down here in Arizona.

      If it’s a 14 or more team league, then he might warrant consideration as were chugging through the bye weeks.

      I get to see how awful the line is week in and week out and, yeah, it’s bad.

  8. microwave donut says:
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    I appreciate the work that goes into writing these articles, but the dollar amounts being assigned for FAAB are not realistic. Unless your league is 6 teams deep or abandoned you absolutely will not be getting Green for $5. Ditto for LeShoure at $8 previously and, well, pretty much everyone.

    There haven’t been many great adds this season and we’re getting to the point where additional WR/TE breakouts are unlikely. Remaining budgets are mostly going to be spent on backs who get opportunities due to injuries. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Green go for $40+.

    Would I spend $40 on Green? Ehh… no. But If I was depending on Benson every week I would, no question. Maybe it would be more helpful to give a realistic value and then thoughts on whether it’s a good/bad buy.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @microwave donut, I tend to be more conservative and get more aggressive as the season goes on. I’m not too big on spending a sum like $40 at this point of the season. We still have 11 weeks to go including this one which is forever in FF.

      We’ve seen later season breakouts just as recently as last year. DeMarco Murray burst onto the scene in week seven and he obliterated the Rams for example.

      I’d rather save my money for the end of the season when I need it for a playoff push or to completely screw over another owner who needs a very important player for their roster. How much would you have paid for Toby Gerhart at the end of last year after AP tore up his ACL?

      • microwave donut says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier, “How much would you have paid for Toby Gerhart at the end of last year after AP tore up his ACL?”

        Nothing, fantasy seasons were over.

        Most teams only have 8 or 9 weeks remaining. 8 or 9 weeks of scraping for every win possible just to get in the playoffs. FAAB dollars don’t mean much if you’re 4-7.

  9. Cooper says:
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    I think your percentage ownerships are not correct. Is it percentage owned or percentage available? I find it hard to believe that Chris Givens and Brandon Gibson are almost universally owned.

    Any love for the Cleveland WRs, Josh Gordon and Jordan Norwood? Gordon has the size, but would you favor Norwood in a PPR league?

    For those in deeper leagues, how would you rank Dwayne Allen, Joel Dreesen, Dustin Keller, the Green Bay backup, and Jeff Cumberland? Looking for a Greg Olsen bye week fill in.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Cooper, It’s percentage available. My bad on that typo at 1:30 in the morning.

      As for the Browns, they have been playing decently as of late and played everyone closer than what was anticipated. So they should get some love. Weeden hasn’t looked half bad. I would go for Gordon since he has that size that I look for in a receiver. And he leads the team in touchdowns, albeit with two. Norwood looks like the more consistent threat. Keep in mind that the top two guys on the team in receptions…are running backs (Richardson 20, Ogbonnaya 14) so tread with a little caution there.

      Dreessen, Tom Crabtree- the GB backup, Allen, Keller, Cumberland.

  10. Tim says:
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    Who should be my first waiver priority pick ?
    Cobb, David Wilson ,or Alex green
    Standard league
    Thanks

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Tim, It would be a Green Bay guy in my opinion. Depending on the rest of the roster…I would go Cobb (especially if Jennings is out) or Green if you need an RB.

      But the best move of all would be to hold on to it.

  11. DP says:
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    Considering dropping Pitta for Heath, Cook or Gresham. Pitta has dropped off after a hot start. Who do you suggest and how would you rank them ROS?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @DP, I would drop Pitta for Miller. Pittsburgh is setting up to have a very easy schedule in the passing game the rest of the way and the run game is just starting to get up to speed. The other edge on Heath is that he already had his bye week.

      Gresham has been getting the yardage and has been consistent with five catches a game in each of the last three games.

      I’m not big on Cook since the Titans are just not that good on offense.

      So, Miller-Gresham-Cook is your answer. :)

      • DP says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier, Thanks a lot. Appreciate the advice. Keep up the good work guys.

  12. Eng says:
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    Andrew: Colston or Mike wallace? Thanks!
    (I asked this question earlier but thought your username was melillo, confused by your avatar, sorry!)

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Eng, This week, Wallace. Colston is on bye.

      ROS: Both would be great but I would go with Wallace by a nose hair since he’s been more consistent…and healthy. Remember Colston had a bout of plantar fascitis that slowed him down a bit. The only thing that slowed down Wallace was his contract situation.

      • Eng says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier, Thanks!

  13. AT says:
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    I need a RB to fill in this week since Forte is on bye:

    I got Starks/Harper/Powell/Hunter

    This is a PPR league and remember I only need him for week 6 as Forte will be coming back!

    Thanks.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @AT, Powell is my pick out of that lot. He’s the one that looks to get the most carries. Now how far he goes behind that Air-i-zona line is a whole other story.

      The others will be limited at best.

  14. TomtheBod says:
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    Tough decision: I have the #1 waiver priority. I have Michael Vick as my QB with no backup. I also could use a running back. It’s a 12 team half-point ppr league. Both Andrew Luck and Jahvid Best are out there on the wire. Are either of these guys worth wasting the #1 waiver pick on? I’ve been holding onto it all year.

    • Murph says:
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      @TomtheBod,

      With no backup you need to go Luck.
      Reasons?
      1. Colts will be playing from behind in most games and they have shown that they trusts Luck to air it out when needed
      2. Reggie Wayne a veteran receiver gives a rookie QB much more confidence
      3. Great matchups: @NYJ, CLE, @TEN, MIAMI, @JAC (note week 7 Vicks bye week is Cleveland at home)
      4. Running ability he is no Robert Griffin but he has show the ability to make smart runs when needed (50-60 yards with an occasional TD is fantasy football gold)
      5. Team is playing inspired and has a legitamite shot at the playoffs after GB win

      *maybe I’m over hyping this rookie QB but the only games he struggled in were his first few starts against 2 of the best defenses in the leauge MIN and CHI Javid Best isn’t even cleared yet and is just a speculative add. At worst Luck is worth trading for a RB2 or RB3 and you will make out much better than Javid Best.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @TomtheBod, I agree on Luck. He’s showing he can put up big numbers in big games. He can also put up okay numbers against tough teams (Chicago week 1). Even moreso since you don’t have a backup QB.

  15. Murph says:
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    Any chance that Johnathan Stewart gets more work after the bye week? Deangelo Williams and Cam have been pretty ineffective running the ball and I feel like Stewart is the more complete running back. Will he ever have a starting role? They have to try to change things up after the last couple of poor panther performances. Panthers schedule is tough but in a season where a decent running back is scarce is he worth holding or do I drop for one of your waiver suggestions?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Murph, I think they might look to him a little more but it’s going to be hard to pry the ball out of Cam’s hands. I would give it this week against Dallas and see what they do in terms of distribution after their bye week. Keep in mind D-Will has almost twice as many carries as J-Stew (48 to 25) so hopefully Carolina shakes it up to try and give themselves a spark after the 1-4 start.

      I also wonder how effective the running game will be in general since center Ryan Kalil is out for the season with dislocated bones in his foot that require surgery. When you lose a center, you lose quite a bit and Kalil was their best lineman.

      • Murph says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier,

        Yeah Carolina is a mess it’s just hard to overlook a talent like Stewart on waivers in this RB1 RB2 depleted season. Thanks Andrew

  16. george says:
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    Hey Andrew, great article. Im in a 10 team league with flex spot right now, my rbs are ridley, mathews, murray, tate and benson. Would you use a #6 waiver on best, or would you wait it out and try to move up the list. Just trying to prepare for bye weeks. Also thinking about waiting and picking up hunter from FAs. Thanks!

    • Murph says:
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      @george,

      If you need immediate help look at picking up Vick Ballard (Ind) for Benson who is most likely done for the season. I think Ballard has a good shot at stealing the starting job from Donald Brown who is out for knee surgery 2-3 weeks. If this happens he could turn into a top 20 RB this year. We saw a similar situation with Demarco Murray in Dallas last year. I dont blame you if you hold though it’s a risk for sure.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @george, Here’s what I’d do. Dump Benson ASAP so you have some room to pick someone up. I’m not crazy about Kendall Hunter so I wouldn’t get him. Vick Ballard would be a serviceable pickup based on what was said above.

      I wouldn’t worry about byes on your team. Dallas had theirs, Ridley is week 9, Mathews is week 7. So you’ll always have two of your top three every week.

      I’d still consider trying to boost the status of the WW spot since you never know who might be dropped when waivers happen.

  17. Rags says:
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    Defense question with chicago on bye.

    You mention the bills in az, would you take them over Tampa at home vs KC?
    the thinking being that brady quinn will just game-manage and they’ll run JC into the ground and so there won’t be sack/int opportunities?

    also available is detroit at philly and cinci against cleveland.

    and somehow of all the defenses left in my league, StL has the most points? I haven’t watched a single one of their games. are they actually good? they have the most INT of anybody left, and are tied for third in tackles for a loss (which we use instead of sacks). middle of the pack in yards allowed and second fewest in points allowed. they’re not worth a start against MIA are they?

    thanks again for the help!

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags, Also would you drop Andrew Hawkins or DHB to pick them up. My receiving core is Megatron, Austin, Britt, Hartline, and James Jones right now.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Rags, Tampa looks a little better since KC will be without Cassel and will have to rely on Jamaal Charles to get the offense going. I really like Buffalo for the sacks that I expect from them. It would be a shock if they got fewer than five since Air-i-zona will have to pass to get anything going.

      I saw St. Louis when they dismantled the Cardinals last week on TNF but keep in mind that was against a shaky team. They also did well against Washington too.

      So here’s my thought: They could be worth a start but keep your expectations in check a little. When they played a team with a good running back (Seattle, Marshawn Lynch) they recorded just 5 TFL. With the way Reggie Bush is running more straight ahead he’s less susceptible to TFL.

      If you want a sneaky one, get New England. They play Seattle, the Jets and St. Louis in their next three games before the bye.

      I would dump DHB since he’s coming back off getting his bell majorly rung and Carson Palmer hasn’t looked totally impressive yet in his stint in Oakland.

  18. Pat says:
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    Right now my fantasy team is not doing as well as I would’ve expected since I’m 1-4. But nevertheless I have two quick questions

    1. I have McFadden, Ridley, Bradshaw, and Mendall and can start 3. Normally I would sit mendenhall but he’s going up against a poor titans defense, and also I’ve been a little reluctant to start McFadden because of his obvious underperformance thus far. Who should I start/sit?

    2. I’ve also been disappointed with Andre Johnson’s performance thus far. I have Malcolm Floyd but I have not been starting him because I have been using Andre and Percy harvin. Also I do have Greg Jennings. Should I play Johnson? Who should I sit? Thank you

    • Murph says:
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      @Pat,

      1.Not sure how @AndrewNormeier feels but you have some tough matchups this week I would rank it
      McFadden/Mendehall/Bradshaw/Ridley
      Even though the run aspect of the matchups is brutal you have running backs that are proven to be effective in the pass game.

      2. Yes Andre Johnson has been ineffective to this point and is not producing to his average draft position but you need to hold strong opposing defenses are going to have to attempt to stop the run game at some point and with Ben Tate having toe problems Arian Foster will not be able to carry the load of 30 plus carries a game so they will have to start passing. This could be Andre Johnson’s big week to breakout as Greenbay’s defense tends to put them in shootout situations and no telling what the effect of Brian Cushings injury will have on the Texans D. Floyd is a decent play and Jennings is dealing with a groin injury. Drafting Johnson is hurting now but production should rise in the near future.

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Pat, Here’s my thoughts. Go McFadden, Mendenhall and Ridley. Bradshaw had the killer game last week but plays SF this week. We all know how it is running on SF. Before he went off, he had 134 yards and 1 TD on 35 carries. That doesn’t really scream out “Start Me!” Ridley, by comparison, already has three games of 100 or more yards.

      Ridley looks like a must-start even against a tough Seattle defense; the other two should be obvious. McFadden will be run into the ground to keep Matt Ryan and the Atlanta passing attack on the sidelines as much as possible.

      Give Floyd a try on Monday night against Denver in what could be an AFC West shootout. Andre has been great as a name but isn’t putting up the numbers. One catch for 15 yards against the Jets without Revis? Really?!?! Still stick with him for this reason: four of his first six games after the bye are against crummy teams in pass defense. Patience is a must with him this season but you can see big rewards if you wait a little longer on Andre.

      • Murph says:
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        @Andrew Nordmeier,

        I think Bradshaw is a safer pick over Ridley by being the lone back in that offense. You just never know how Bilicheck will respond to Ridleys fumble last week I wouldn’t be shocked if Bolden received slightly more carries. Bradshaw won’t have a breakout game but will be more productive because he will be rewarded for last week where Ridley might get punished for last week.

        SF Rush Defense: 81 YPG
        SEA Rush Defense: 66 YPG

  19. pat says:
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    @Murph, Thank you

  20. Murph says:
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    Donald Brown out for 3-4 weeks…

    Thoughts on the rookie Vick Ballard as a waiver pick up?

    • Andrew Nordmeier

      Andrew Nordmeier says:
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      @Murph, He would be a nice fill in to get through the bye weeks since the Colts already had theirs. And Luck can’t throw it every play.

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