Life works as a series of memories; those that are accessed with greater ease and more difficulty that all define who we are. What’s great about fantasy sports (and sports in general) is that they work the same exact way.

Now maybe I’m just way too into fantasy and maybe I have an overactive memory, but I will always have the memories of putting up one of my highest scores with Billy Volek, Drew Bennett, an Derrick Mason shredding the Chiefs secondary (albeit in a loss), losing in the playoffs with an OK lead to Brett Favre having a huge game where he was questionable because his dad died, and last year when I had what seemed to be no shot against a Redskins fan with no one but Michael Vick left on Monday Night; I somehow took the lead, then subsequently lost because he had the Eagles’ D and McNabb threw a pick six with the score 52-21. The Redskins giveth; the Redskins taketh away.

That’s why you gotta love sports. I invite you all to share some of your big fantasy moments to help expand our collective conscious and fantasy memories.

For last week’s picks, it was an up and down outing highlighted by Laurent Robinson going off (even though he was a popular “sleeper” play) and LaGarrette Blount and Brandon Jacobs having slow days. Jake Ballard, Torrey Smith, Josh Cribbs, and Daniel Thomas didn’t do much but at least all got a few points; and for the guys I didn’t like, Marques Colston had a pretty solid game as Atlanta couldn’t cover him on third downs (you got me this time Collmenter), Brandon Lloyd had his lowest yard total as a Ram but got a TD, and of course Vernon Davis chose last week to return to the end zone. Meh.

Here are some guys that I like this week that aren’t getting started enough and guys I think you should bench (along with their starting percentages in ESPN and Yahoo respectively):

Possible Starters

Maurice Morris (35.2%, 30%) As a Panthers fan, I know how bad our run defense is. It especially doesn’t help that Thomas Davis and Jon Beason, two really solid LBs, are hurt for the year. Enter Maurice Morris who is getting the lion’s share (womp womp) of the carries for Detroit. Matthew Stafford is looking to rebound but the Lions won’t want to push the passing game too hard with his fractured finger. I expect at least a 20-touch day for Morris for maybe 80 yards and a score. He’s still out there in a lot of leagues and makes a great bye week or injury fill-in.

David Nelson (8.5%, 27%) With Steve Johnson questionable (even though he’s expected to play) I think he’ll be slightly limited and I see Nelson getting a lot of work against a shaky Dolphins secondary. I have pumped up Nelson a few times this season and like him a lot (maybe I’m a Cowboys cheerleader – don’t ask me how my interview with Jerry Jones went), he’s a big agile target and perfect in the slot (lines like that are why Herman Cain can’t be a sports writer…). He’s a definite redzone threat and even if he doesn’t get a big amount of targets or yards, he’s always in line for TDs. I like the Bills to bounce back against the Fins and Nelson to have plenty of opportunities.

Earl Bennett (24.3%, 29%) Bennett has been a beast since activation off the PUP list, and Jay Cutler finally has a consistent primary target (sorry Roy Williams). Against a below average Chargers secondary (remember when everyone went nuts over Jonathan Baldwin?), I could easily see a third straight nice game for Bennett. Definite starter for me.

Brent Celek (9.8%, 23%) More a gut feeling than any sort of stat I can bring to the table, I see Celek having a solid game on Sunday Night. The Giants got ripped by the Gronk/Hernandez combo, then last week by Vernon Davis, and while Celek obviously isn’t close to that class of TE, I think the Eagles are going to look for a lot of TE support, with Vince Young starting for Vick and Jeremy Maclin out. Remember when Young started in Tennessee how often he looked for Tight Ends? I certainly do, and I think Celek will be a big part of the game plan. He’s a risky play, but I think he has a lot of upside.

Jerome Simpson (4.3%, 27%) Recommending a guy coming off a goose egg is tough, but with A.J. Green doubtful, I don’t think I’m too high to recommend Simpson. The Ravens will be without Ray Lewis, and with Simpson’s experience in the slot, I think he’ll have a nice game exploiting the middle of the field. I still think the Ravens will be able to limit the run and a lot of pressure is going to be put on Dalton and the Bengals passing game, especially without Green. I think Simpson is the benefactor.

Son of a Bench

Chris Johnson (95.6%, 86%) I know what you’re thinking… I’m again over here telling you to bench a guy where there’s virtually no situation where you would. But I think this is going to be a bad, bad game for Johnson. Of course you can say he’s coming off his best game of the year, but let’s remember it was against my horrible Panthers. Johnson reminds me of Dexter McCluster right now; if there is a tackler anywhere near him he’s going down. He doesn’t have any explosive moves and he’s not breaking tackles. Good think for Johnson that the Panthers didn’t have tacklers near him the entire game last week. The Falcons run D is giving up the 5th least fantasy points to opposing RBs and have been especially stout the last three games. I’d go as far as saying Maurice Morris is definitely a better play this week. Start Johnson with extreme caution.

Ryan Mathews (69.8%, 63%) Mathews is still laboring his way back into prominence in the Chargers backfield, and against a solid Bears run D, I don’t think he’s worked his way back to sure-fire starter. I think we’re going to see a lot of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates against that cover 2, and a lot of Mike Tolbert for some tough running. Mathews is a sit for me.

Aaron Hernandez (66.6%, 68%) After the first two weeks of the season, people were talking about Hernandez as maybe the best keeper TE in all the land. I was a little dumbfounded because I didn’t even think he was the best keeper TE on the team. Rob Gronkowski is a manbearpig, just an absolute monster, and if you remember two weeks ago against the Giants with the game on the line, Brady went to Gronk three times in a row including on 4th and long. Talk about faith in your big man. Hernandez is very talented, don’t get me wrong, but his knee injury has slowed him down and he’s not getting the targets like Gronk is. Add into the mix the Patriots are going to trounce the Cassel-less Chiefs, and I’m afraid Hernandez just isn’t going to get the looks. A bench for me.

Marshawn Lynch (51.1%, 62%) Ahhhh, beast mode! Lynch is killin’ it again, let’s put him on the front page of virtually every fantasy site! Ok, let’s take a breath here. It’s Marshawn Lynch. It’s the Seahawks. I think he is setting himself up for just a complete bomb this week with all the hype. A lot of people are going to argue he’s going against the Rams, one of the league’s worst run Ds. Well they were, but the Rams run D has been playing much better lately , especially in the past three weeks, giving up 3.3 yards per carry and only one rushing touchdown. And don’t forget starting lineman John Moffitt and starting center James Carpenter are both done for the year. I’ve got a big feeling Lynch falls back down to Earth this week and reminds everyone why he’s not a undisputed fantasy starter. Be careful if you’ve got him.

Beanie Wells (57.2%, 46%) You know, I’m starting to feel like I’m kicking Wells while he’s down… kinda like JoPa’s health issues now making headlines. But he’s still getting a ridiculous amount of starting nods with a bum knee and facing off against the league’s best run D in the 49ers. If you’re starting him and reading this, bench him. Bench him now.

If you have any last second decisions, shoot me some comments, or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone in week 11!

  1. keithr says:
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    Celek or Winslow?

    Any upside with DHB, now that Ford is out? I have j.jones and s.johnson listed as questionable coming off 1 point games and a.brown on a bye. i might realistically be starting, robinson, d.williams and DHB at WR this week. god help me

  2. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @keithr: I’m gonna go on a limb and recommend Celek. I think Young is going to be given a fairly conservative game plan and he’s used to throwing to TEs. DHB definitely has upside, but he’s definitely a frightening play… You could do worse than Robinson and Williams though! And I bet Steve Johnson is playing, so you should be aight.

  3. Art Vandelay says:
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    Trade question for you: Have been offered DeMarco Murray and D. Neslon for VJax, Marshall, and Ogbonnaya.

    Context: I am in first and trying to line up my roster for the playoffs. I am carrying the following: Rice, F. Jackson, Ingram, and Ogbannaya; Nicks, VJax, Marshall, L. Robinson, and Earl Bennett.

    I was hoping to move Nicks because he has brutal matchups in the playoffs. I offered Nicks, Robinson, and Ogg for Murray, and he countered with the above offer. I don’t trust VJax, but I still feel like giving both he and Marshall for Murray could be too much. It would leave me thin at WR, especially with Nicks’ tough matchups ahead.

    Sorry for the long-winded question. Thoughts?

  4. jonnycat says:
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    2004 I went 11-0 to start the year. In Week 12 I was ahead of my opponent by 35 points and he had Julius Jones left to go on MNF. Jones had 200 yds and 3 TDs and I lost. I lost the following week also, which cost me a 1st Round playoff bye. I lost in the first round of the playoffs. Started 11-0, ended 0-3; and it all started with Julius Jones’s big game. I kept score after the playoff loss and if I had that bye I would have won the championship. Julius Jones!

  5. matchew says:
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    None of these guys have great matchups but I need help.
    Blount, Dan Thomas, Battle or Kevin Smith… I know.. its bad.
    Also, Im starting Cam Newton over Matt Ryan. good call?
    Thanks!

  6. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Art Vandelay: I love Murray… That trade is as coin flippage as you could imagine. I know it seems like a lot, but if you’re starting Rice, Jackson and Murray (I assume you have a flex or RB3) that’s pretty unreal. And if it’s a standard 2 WR format, I’d probably do the deal with Nicks and Robinson as pretty solid WR starters as well. I think Robinson has played his way into prominence even when Austin returns and that gives you stake in the rushing and passing attack of the Boys. I know it seems like a lot to give up, but Ogbonnifacio is just that and VJax and Marshall could give you some 1 point outings in the playofffs.

  7. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @jonnycat: Damn that Julio Jones! My biggest bane against a specific player is Lee Evans, who I had 5 or 6 years ago when he was good, he had like 80-some odd straight games with a catch, and I need 2 points from him on Monday Night. It was his first game without a catch in his career I think. And the Sportscenter the next day literally said, “Lee Evans held without a catch, I wonder if anyone lost their fantasy games because of him.” Thanks for rubbing it in Sportscenter!

  8. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Jonathan Gilpin: Oops, typo, Damn that Julius* Jones!

  9. Blain Train says:
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    Hey Jonathan! Thanks for the last minute help. I’m really struggling with my line-up this week in a must-win game for playoff chances.

    Without Foster or AJ Green, I’m currently starting Ryan Mathews, L Robinson, Roddy White & Antonio Gates. That leaves big question marks at RB2 & Flex position. The choices on my bench are Tolbert, Blount, or Vincent Brown. All that’s left on the wire is junk like Gaffney, Donald Jones, or Kevin Smith.

    I’m leaning towards Tolbert at RB2 & Blount at Flex, but I don’t like how Blount disappears when TB is down and I expect GB to be up big. I could go with Brown at Flex, but then I’m starting four Chargers against an improved Bears defense. Standard league… Help!

  10. Some guy says:
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    Wow, maybe some of the worst advice I’ve ever seen in fantasy on Lynch – anywhere . He’s not Peterson or Foster, but he’ll produce against the Rams… if not through explosive running, than at least through volume.

    You’re acting like he tore through the ravens run defense, in actually it was because he got 32 carries and I see no reason why that would decrease this week.

  11. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Blain Train: No problem man! I really dislike Blount as well, I almost wrote about him as a bench again this week, but I dislike Wells even more for my “he’s obviously not a good starting option at RB” last pick. I think who you’re starting is what I would do as well. Blount is always a goalline threat, so even if TB is down 48-3 and get to the 2 yards line he could vulture a score. Vincent Brown scares me too much in that cover 2 and I think Gates is going to have a great outing. I’m without Foster and AJ Green as well in my most important league and already got burned by McGahee! We need some help!

  12. jonnycat says:
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    2009 I lost in the first round of the playoffs by one point because Randy Moss had one catch for 16 yds and lost a fumble.

  13. Randall says:
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    Vincent Brown or Beanie in the flex?

  14. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Some guy: Hmmm, not sure where you got that I’m “acting like he tore through the Ravens defense” when I’m clearly mocking those that are acting that way. You’re acting like the Seahawks are some sort of unstoppable, goliath offense. Losing 2 OLs is nothing to sneeze at either. We’ll see man, just my opinion!

  15. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Randall: Buzz’s girlfriend… Woof! That’s like asking if you wanna die being burnt alive or drowning. I’d guess Wells and hope he gets a score, I think the Bears cover 2 will keep Brown in check.

  16. Randy04 says:
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    Would you start Celek over Fred Davis? I know Davis is the only show in town in Washington, but I think defenses are focused on taking him away, and I’m a bit concerned. Also, do you think starting Palmer over Romo is a sneaky good move, or too risky? Lastly, would you start the Jaguar DEF/ST at Cleveland, or the Patriots vs. Tyler Palko and the Chiefs? I have to win here on out to have a shot at the playoffs, so I need all the advice I can get. Thanks!!

  17. Rocky says:
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    For the playoffs, I have 5 rb’s: Mendenhall, Mccoy, Murray, Gore, and best. I have Nicks and Marshall as my wr’s but no reliable backups (Crabtree, J. Ford). I was thinking of trading Gore, so would you trade Gore for Welker, A. Johnson, or Mike Wallace? (whom I may have to give more than Gore to get)

  18. Robert says:
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    JB! Hope the week has been good to you, sir. Here are my problem spots…

    WRs (Pick TWO): Roddy, VJax, Denarius Moore (+ return yards), Boldin

    THOUGHTS: Roddy is frustrating as hell everyweek and is matched up against Cortland Finnegan this week. VJax seems destined to be shutdown by the CHI Cover-2, which probably means he’ll go off. Denarius seems like he could have a good day against that soft MIN secondary. And Boldin, well, you never know when he’s gonna churn out 2 or 14 points. In the end, I guess I’m leaning toward Roddy and Denarius…thoughts?

    FLEX (Pick ONE): Gates, Finley, (Any one of the leftover WRs from above)

    THOUGHTS: Gates isn’t 100%, but looks like a nice play against CHI (if Rivers can keep from throwing INTs…HA!). Finley has an nice matchup against TB, but with his inconsistency, he’s the TE equivalent of VJax. I guess I’m thinking Gates…what are you thinking?

    Thanks, man!

  19. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Randy04: I gotcha man, here’s how I see it. I would start Celek, I think Davis is trending the wrong way and Celek has some nice upside. I do think starting Palmer is too risky, and I like Romo a lot this week to put the pedal to the metal against his rivals. And I think the Pats D is a lock for you, it’s going to be a brutal day for Chiefs fans. Good luck man, hope you make the postseason!

  20. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Rocky: Given your situation, I definitely do a deal for any of those guys. As you said you’re loaded at RB and I think Gore will see his touches diminish as the 49ers (possibly) lock up that #2 spot in the NFC playoffs. Hunter is going to get more and more touches and I think moving Gore is a smart decision.

  21. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @matchew: Blount is definitely a tough start, and I’m playing Daniel Thomas over Jackie Battle and Chris Ogbannifacio in a league hoping that it’s the right move. So I’m gonna say Thomas and hope he still gets half the carries against a below average Bills run D. I do like Cam over Ryan, Ryan’s been hot lately but the Sherminator (he looks just like that guy from American Pie) is tough to rely on. Cam is still a little scary too as we saw what the Lions front line did to Tebow, and while Cam is a much better passer, he certainly wasn’t too hot last week.

  22. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Robert: Hey man! Thanks again for reading each week! I’d actually lean towards Moore and VJax, but that’s just me. I 100% agree on Gates, I think he has a big game, and Moore gets a shot at being a clear cut #1 with Antoine Winfield now out for the year. Plus his punt return yards will be a nice little boost. I have White on my most important team and it’s mind boggling how underutilized he is right now, and I think it’s getting to him as well as he had a pass late in last week’s game go right through his hands for an INT. Pairing VJax and Gates will give you an all in in the Chargers passing game, but I don’t think they’re gonna have any breathing room on the ground and it’ll be a big game for both of them. Good luck this week!

  23. Randy04 says:
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    Thanks for your earlier reply! If possible, I’d love to get your thoughts on a couple other questions too…

    For ROS in a standard league, how would you rank Bennett, Harvin, Jacoby Ford, and Damien Williams? I’ve currently got Fitzgerald, Lloyd, Ford, and Bennett.

    Also, I’ve been weak at RB beyond my top two (Foster and Murray) since I lost Jahvid Best to injury. I still have him, in addition to Felix and Jonathan Stewart. Can you think of anything I can do to help myself out here? You were high on Kendall Hunter in your podcast…should I try to trade Felix for him, or is it too risky to lose Murray’s backup? Should I drop Best to take a flier on someone who might pan out, either due to high upside coupled with injury (e.g. Spiller, Bernard Scott) or potential opporunity (e.g. Kevin Smith, Tashard Choice)? I’m just wondering what you’d do in my situation…

    Thanks again!!

  24. PPR League flex play this week: Gresham, Vincent Brown or Titusin Young? cerc

  25. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Randy04: Sure thing man! For this week I’d rank them Bennett, Williams, Harvin, Ford (out – injury) and for the season I’d probably put Harvin number one and bet on his upside and hope he gets integrated into the offense a little more, with the other 3 in that order. If you can get anything for Felix in a trade I’d do it; even if Murray does get hurt, Felix isn’t going to all the sudden be huge. Based on who you listed I’d hold onto Best for now, but if a big name gets hurt, he’s immediately expandable to grab a back up on your wire. But for now it’s looking like Best might be back in a few weeks and they’ll need him. Hope that helps ya out man!

  26. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @vultures: I like Brown the most in that list, I think he gets the most targets.

  27. timmy riggins says:
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    @Jonathan Gilpin: im no lynch fan, but hes been playing well and is playing a soft STL run defense this week.

    Who’d you start in .5ppr: djax, EBennett

  28. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @timmy riggins: Interesting, I didn’t think I’d get this much flack for Lynch! We’ll see tomorrow… Can’t bench DJax for Bennett, even with Vince Young at QB… It’s really close and definitely a valid question, but I’d stick with Jackson.

  29. exactly says:
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    who would you rather start in PPR? stevie johnson @ MIA or burleson home against CAR?

  30. Chris says:
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    Vick is out and Big Ben is on BYE, I need help at QB for this week only….

    Bradford vs SEA
    A Smith vs ARI
    Skelton @ SF
    Dalton @ BAL
    Palko @ NE

    Currently have Bradford, but I am second guessing myself quite a bit.

  31. elwood blues says:
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    See any reason to start Dam. Williams over DeSean or V-Jax? (.5 ppr)

    Or (crazy notion) Skelton over Rivers??

    my starting-o right now–
    QB: Rivers
    RB: MJD, Rice
    WR: Dez, V-Jax, DeSean
    TE: Olsen

  32. Rags says:
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    Thoughts on battle in my flex? They might run to try and protect Palko, but he tends to come out as soon as they’re down, which could be quickly, against the Pats. I also have Obie, but he’s meh and the Jags can stop the run.

    Other options on the wire include Doucet, Pettigrew, Gresham, Avant and Ochocinco. Non-PPR.

  33. Great Info @ razzball cheers to Chet and ur staff for the articles. With So Many FFB Sites and not to get over loaded w/info I’ve narrowed it dow to THREE I trust and ESPECIALLY FAN FRIENDLY! Razzball, RotoWorld and Bruno Boys (who invited me over the summer to participate in a mock PPR draft w/their staff) …You Guys (especially Chet) are much appreciated for returning “tweet” questions and LUV the Fan Duel & Roster Challenge.. also the above mentioned are the rankings I usually agree and TRUST the most.. Thanx for all the time, effort and info you do here

  34. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    10 team ppr league….which two would you start?

    Robinson,Hunter or Thomas?

    also,non ppr flex spot….Robinson,Helu or Thomas?

    thnks

  35. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @exactly: I think it’s still Johnson; even though he’s questionable, he’ll be playing. Burleson just isn’t a trustworthy starter, and sticking with my column, I think Morris and Kevin Smith get a lot of touches.

  36. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Chris: Yea, I don’t blame ya, it’s a tough week for your QBs… I actually like Alex Smith. Hunter is going to get a lot of work and Gore will be limited a tad, and anything other than 100% Gore isn’t quite as good of a backfield. Look for Smith to complete some throws when the running game isn’t working and get a couple TDs.

  37. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @elwood blues: I think you stand pat man. I know Rivers has been inconsistent and a turnover machine (mmm I could go for some apple turnovers right now!), but I think he has a nice fantasy game against the Bears. I think VJax bounces back and anytime you bench a skills guy like Jackson, he’ll have one of those 2 catches for 78 yards and a TD game. So I think you’re good.

  38. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Rags: If it was PPR I’d say Doucet, and he’s actually really close either way, scoring 7 or more points the past 5 weeks, not losing a step with Kolb out. It’s a coinflip between him and Battle, who I think gets a score on Monday Night. Chris Ogbannya is Chris Ogbonnifacio to me, I won’t start him after he burned me 2 weeks ago.

  39. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Steve Coppola: Thanks man! We really appreciate it! If you want another opinion, shoot me some tweets as well, I usually answer any question I get: @jbgilpin

  40. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Oilcan Giuseppe: I think it’s Laurent in both cases… He’s really worked his way into that offense and is going to get the work. I’m starting Thomas in a league with Foster out and I’m horrified, who knows exactly how much work Hunter will get, and starting Redskins RBs have caused mass suicides.

  41. paulzone says:
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    i have vincent brown as my wr3 right now, would you play simpson instead (if aj green is out)?

    thanks

  42. Joe says:
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    Earl Bennett or Santana Moss ROS in a non-PPR? Both are FAs in my 10 team league and I was just looking to stash someone.

  43. Randy04 says:
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    Who is the better bench stash, ROS in a standard league? Kevin Smith or Tashard Choice? Also, would it be wiser to stash Santana Moss over someone like Jacoby Ford, Damien Williams, or Vincent Brown? Thanks!!

  44. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @paulzone: Green is almost definitely not playing, so yea I’d go with Simpson.

  45. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Joe: Bennett. The Redskins lack of QB talent scares me too much.

  46. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Randy04: I guess I’d reach for Choice because maybe he gets a shot? I don’t think Kevin Smith is ever really going to have bankable value. I think Moss is a better stash than Ford, even though Ford has the more upside talent. Ford’s battling an injury and might miss more time and if the Skins get anything out of their QBs Moss could have some value.

  47. elwood blues says:
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    @Jonathan Gilpin: Thanks. I’ve gotten to 8-2 with Rivers(despite?) so I’ll stick with him.

  48. paulzone says:
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    cam or stafford this week?

    i have megatron too if that matters and also 6 pts for passing tds

  49. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @paulzone: I think it’s still Cam, Stafford’s shaky previous game and fractured finger has me scared just a tad, plus my Panthers can’t stop the run.

  50. Random Collmenter says:
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    Bench CJ and Mathews? That’s crazy talk!!!

    I think CJ is back and Mathews is so talented he’s a low-end RB1 now that he’s healthy.

    Whats our head to head record at this point?

  51. JB Gilpin

    Jonathan Gilpin says:
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    @Random Collmenter: Well it was 3-2, but now it’s 5-2!

Comments are closed.