I hit on this point last week, but a lot of times a career game from a mid-level fantasy player will cloud owners into thinking their player is all the sudden an elite fantasy option.  This is virtually never the case – the career game an outlier more than a shift in offensive output.

But even for bigger-name players, a career game is often followed by disappointment.  Take a look at these two games:

Week 9: 30 Rushes 296 Yards 3 TDs

Week 10: 11 Rushes 45 Yards 0 TDs

That was Adrian Peterson in his 2007 rookie season, as I’m sure a few of you know –  the NFL single game rushing record.  Given Peterson sprained his ankle in the third quarter in that Week 10 game, but it’s not like he went crazy before going down.

My point is that huge games are often followed by disappointments.  I’m sure you could find a bajillion exceptions to this, but I’m sticking with my gut that told me Brian Hartline was a bench last week and telling you to bench Ahmad Bradshaw.  Terrible matchup for a mid-tier NFL RB, and there’s no reason to expect even half the game he had last week.  But more on that below.

Looking at last weeks picks, Kendall Hunter had a solid day if you had to use him, Andrew Hawkins was usable in PPR, but Jon Baldwin, Jackie Battle, and Greg Olsen didn’t hit on their sleeper potential.  Olsen I chalk up to Cam Newton playing horrifically.

For my benchers, Brian Hartline had a slow game as mentioned above, and Fred Jackson and Martellus Bennett both had quiet days.  Willis McGahee had a tough game on the ground, but with 51 yards receiving ended up having 102 total yards, so was pretty solid, and mother F James Jones just had to score two TDs even though he had otherwise a bad game. Jones is now my nemesis – I still don’t trust him in the least, but I’m not going to say bench him again because he’ll just score 3 TDs on 4 catches for 7 yards or something ridiculous.  Sorry again about James Jones everyone, grill me if it caused you an L.

Here’s five guys not started in enough leagues and five guys started in too many leagues that should be benched, along with their % started in ESPN leagues and Yahoo leagues, respectively.  And remember, these picks are not always suggestions for direct 1-for-1 swaps if you own players in both sections, but merely picks for guys not started enough and started too often.

Possible Starters

Sidney Rice (21.8%, 30%) With two consecutive decent weeks the past two Sundays, Sidney Rice is finally fitting in as Russell Wilson’s #1 target.  Now of course the Seahawks passing offense is anemic, but they play in the toughest division of defenses in football, and the passing game hasn’t been relied on too often.  However, with the Patriots coming into town, Pete Carroll is going to have to open up the playbook a bit.  I think the Patriots roll in this one, not allowing another NFC West team to embarrass them like the Cardinals did in week 2.  The Seahawks are going to have to throw, plus I think there’s some good junk time in the 2nd half.  I like Rice to have his biggest game of the year.

Jacquizz Rodgers (3.3%, 13%) I thought Rodgers would have a bigger game last week, but give credit to the Redskins who hung tough with the Falcons and almost got the upset victory.  I figured some junk time would benefit Rodgers in that one, but this time I know it to be true.  Michael Turner is still the #1, but he wasn’t great last week, salvaging his day with his longest run of 13 yards being a score and game-winner with just over 2 minutes to go.  With the Raiders traveling from the West Coast to the East Coast for a 1:00 PM EST kickoff, I think the Falcons throttle it in this one.  Matt Ryan didn’t look sharp last week, but at home in the dome, I think the Falcons get up huge early.  I see Rodgers getting 12-13 touches and about 70 yards in this one – not bad if you’re absolutely strapped for a RB this week.

LeGarrette Blount (3.0%, 4%) With Doug Martin ineffective two weeks ago before the bye, and with reports coming out that Blount is impressing in practice, I think we see something closer to a time share with the Bucs backs against the Chiefs.  And hey, the Chiefs are starting Brady Quinn.  I see a lot of punts from Kansas City, plus a few turnovers giving the Bucs a good lead and letting Blount get some work.  Plus it looks like he’s the goal-line back.  I like Blount to get 15 carries, 80-ish yards and a TD in a bye-week fill-in play.

Robert Meachem (16.8%, 21%) Meachem finally emerged with two touchdowns last Sunday Night, and I think he has another solid game this week at home against the Broncos.  Peyton Manning is going to look to light up the scoreboard after a tough loss to the Pats last week, and I think this one gets into pass-heavy mode early.  With Malcolm Floyd questionable (although all reports indicate he’ll be playing), I think Meachem gets an uptick in work with Floyd’s groin ailing.  Definitely a high-risk, high-reward play, but I think Meachem gets a score this week as well.

Brent Celek (33.9%, 53%) Somehow buried in the percentage started amongst TEs, Celek is having a fantastic season.  Sure last week was a dud, but the Steelers kept Vick from getting comfortable, something I think the Lions will have a tougher time doing.  The Lions give up the 3rd most points to opposing TEs, and I see Celek being a primary target in this one.  Start with strong confidence.

 

Son of a Bench

Ahmad Bradshaw (84.4%, 74%) As I teased above, I honestly think a lot of teams should be benching Ahmad Bradshaw this week.  You probably think I’m crazy, but last week was a fluke against a bad, bad run defense.  This week the Giants are at San Francisco and that extremely tough run-D giving up the least fantasy points to opposing RBs.  Sure it’s tough benching a guy coming off a two hundo (30 carries for 200 yards and a TD), but his entire season prior to that was 35 carries for 134 yards and 1 TD.  If you have no other decent options, of course you’re still playing him, but Bradshaw wasn’t exactly a top-tier pick and you could have a lot of other options I’d rather play.  Definitely assess your line-up, but know not to expect much if you have to roll with him.

Matthew Stafford (62.4%, 58%) I’ve been down on Matthew Stafford as early as the beginning of summer.  If you don’t believe me, check out the Mock Draft in Lindy’s Fantasy Football Magazine where I state Stafford in the 2nd round was the reach of the draft in our experts’ mock.  He’s a good QB, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not all he was cracked up to be in fantasy.  The Eagles defense is also a formidable front line, and I think Stafford has a tough game in this one as well.  As it has been the whole season, I think the yards will be there, but only a single touchdown at most.  He’s a bench for me.

Dwayne Bowe (87.0%, 85%) Brady Quinn is not a good QB.

Brandon Lloyd (74.5%, 73%) Coming off of his worst output on the season, I think Lloyd has another slow game this week at Seattle.  There has been way too much coverage on Wes Welker’s comments after his big game last week directed at Bill Belichick, with some assumptions out there that Lloyd will be getting a ton of work.  I don’t buy it.  Welker and Gronk are going to dink and dunk all day yet again, and a defense like Seattle isn’t going to let a big play get by them by Lloyd.  I’d go with other WR options.

Brian Hartline (58.4%, 45%) I’m sticking with Hartline again this week as a bench play, mainly due to the vastly improved Rams defense who I think are going to get after Tannehill and keep the Dolphins passing game from getting in rhythm.  The Rams give up the 7th least amount of points to opposing WRs, and I think this game stays low scoring with minimal offense.  Another WR I would look to replace.

If you have any last second decisions, shoot some comments below or tweet me @jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone today in week 6!

  1. paulzone says:
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    luck or stafford?

    6 pts pass tds, 3 pt bonus 300 yds, 1 pt = 20 yds, -2 for int / fmbls

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @paulzone, Luck. I think both get 300 yards, Luck has more TDs.

      • paulzone says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin, okay…i was leaning luck too.

        different league – who would you start at wr, can only pick one of these. non-ppr, 1.5 pts for every 10 rec yds:

        denarius moore
        brandon lloyd
        jeremy maclin

        thanks again…

        • JB Gilpin

          Jonathan Gilpin says:
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          @paulzone, I might roll the dice on Maclin. I think he breaks out in this one. But it’s between he and Lloyd for sure for me.

  2. tom says:
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    spiller @ ari or bradshaw @ SF?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @tom, Still Bradshaw. Think Spiller has more upside though. Tough matchup for both, Bradshaw bigger role though.

  3. Dave the Barber says:
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    Peace God,
    Let’s get right to it. Every update and report I’ve read thus far (Pats work injured guys into the line-up slowly, Seattle has the best defense of all time, it may rain and the field is slippery, Belichick is a douche, Mars is in the 11th house of Virgo, etc.) says to bench Aaron Hernandez. Should I stay true to my team name sake (PittaFool) and play Pitta or go ahead and start A.Ron? I mean I know it’s a huge risk and if Belichick pulls a Belichick and uses A.Ron strictly for EP formations and I lose by the 3.28 points Pitta will net me I’m gonna kill four people, but come on, shouldn’t I just go for it anyway? No nuts no glory yahmean?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Dave the Barber, No guts no glory indeed! Here’s what my plan would be. Start Hernandez, and if he is a surprise inactive, drop Pitta and pick up someone usable for the 4:00 games or Sunday or Monday nighters. Pitta doesn’t seem to be the TE he was the first few weeks, and dropping him isn’t a big loss.

      • Dave the Barber says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin, hmmm … I like your style, but I think all moves lock up at 1 p.m. lemme check.

        • JB Gilpin

          Jonathan Gilpin says:
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          @Dave the Barber, Ohhhh that’s no good! Yea then I think you have to go Pitta and at least know a guy is playing.

  4. Tim says:
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    Bye week kinda hurting me. Non-ppr.
    WR2: Mike Williams or Domenik Hixon (definelty not Bey, right)
    and
    Hyperextended Bennett or Monday Night Dressen

    Thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Tim, Mike Williams and Dressen. Feel pretty good about both of those.

  5. jared says:
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    Andy dalton or mike vick??

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @jared, Still Vick. Like him in this game vs. the Lions. I sure need him to be big!

  6. It's my Vick In A Box says:
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    Eagles or Bucs D today? Eagles really F’d me last week with their 1 point contribution so I’m hesitant to hop back on that train.

    [Reply]

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @It’s my Vick In A Box, Yea I hear ya, I was gonna say Bucs either way. Brady Quinn is terrible. Should give up some bad turnovers and get sacked a lot.

  7. dsimon says:
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    I’ve got a whole host of questions.

    1. In a two QB league I’ve got a choice between Stafford and Christian Ponder for my 2nd QB this week. Thoughts on that?

    2. I had Ryan Williams, and with other RBs on a bye now I am forced to start Alex Green. Other options include Vick Ballard, Brian Leonard, and Larod Stephens Howling.

    How do you rank those guys?

    3. Reggie Bush vs. Alfred Morris?

    4. Doug Martin vs. CJ Spiller?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @dsimon, You came to the right place! 1. Think you stick with Stafford, just when you think you can trust Ponder he’ll let you down. 2. Agree you start Green. This week, I like Green/Ballard/S-Howling/Leonard. ROY Green/S-Howlind/Ballard/Leonard. 3. Morris this week. 4. Martin. Better matchup, bigger role as of now.

  8. Bry says:
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    Am I crazy for wanting to start Vick over rg3?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Bry, Definitely not crazy… RGIII wasnt doing well before his concussion anyway. I’d actually start Vick, Vikings defense is pretty strong.

  9. TheMizer says:
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    Good Day to the Razzball football gurus. Four men enter, one man must survive. The contenders for the coveted one running back start are: Doug(Damn This Blount guy in practice)Martin, Jacquizz(yes two zz’s please)Rodgers, C.J(will Fred Jackson die already)Spiller or Brandon(Ridley keep fumbling please)Bolden. Standard league. Thanks for entertaining me this morning.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @TheMizer, Haha, thanks for reading man! I’m sticking with Martin, he has the biggest defined role heading into game, pretty good matchup against the Chiefs, and should have a good game. I like both Bucs backs in this one, so I think Martin is your man.

  10. Purewater says:
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    League 1: Vic Ballard or Randall Cobb?
    League 2: Alex Green or Randall Cobb?

  11. Herschel says:
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    PPR league, start two of the following:
    Dez @ Bal
    Morris vs min
    Decker @ sd
    Who do you like?
    Thanks.

  12. rak says:
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    .5 ppr james jones or mike williams?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Try Jones

  13. Nico says:
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    Jacquizz or Kendall Hunter in a .5ppr? Thanks!

    • @Nico, Quizz, should at least get more touches with Atlanta putting up points.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Jacquizz

  14. BroncoFeld says:
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    Non ppr 12-team hurt by byes and injuries.

    Mikel LeShoure or Alex Green? Or should i go pick up Blount he is a FA.

    • BroncoFeld says:
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      @BroncoFeld, Also in another league which has a flex positions (including QB) should I go Flacco, R. Wilson, or LeShoure. Thanks!

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Flacco

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      LeShoure has a clear role in his offense, gotta go with him.

  15. Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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    hey JG,I have a bunch of questions here….

    .5 ppr league,1 WR and 1W/R….James Jones,Hartline,Bradshaw or Alex Green?….also,same league,Stafford or Flacco?

    non ppr w/rtn yds….K. Hunter,Manningham,r. cobb or Joique Bell?

    non ppr w/rtn yds….start Andre Roberts ahead of Alex Green or R. Cobb?

    1pt ppr,need 2 WR’s….Maclin,Hartline,James Jones or Meachem?
    same league,start Hernandez or wait one wk and stick w/ Chandler?

    and finally,would I just be getting cute to start Ponder over Stafford?

    thnks a lot.

    • @Oilcan Giuseppe, Geeze dude.

      • Oilcan Giuseppe says:
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        @WhineSpritzer, yeah,normally I do some homework throughout the wk but Im sorta cramming right now.8 leagues….maybe a bit more than I can chew right now.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      JG out for a bit,

      Jones/Bradshaw/Flacco

      Manningham

      sure, RE: Roberts

      Maclin/Jones/Chandler

      Have no problem with Ponder

  16. Chillmodious says:
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    Good morning!

    Would love your input on some lineup decisions…

    1. Martellus or Aaron Hernandez at TE (I own both)?

    2. OR drop Martellus for Celek to play at TE?

    3. Flex spot: Garçon, Fred Jackson, William Powell, or Blount? (I’m starting Doug Martin at RB, so I can hedge with Blount or reach for more with one of those other guys. Right now I have FJax slotted in)

    Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      1. Martellus

      2. No

      3. Tough but I’d roll with Powell.

  17. Hoog says:
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    I’m in a 2QB league. 1pt per 20 yards, 2pts at 300, 3 at 400. 4pts pass td, 6pts rush td. Would you start RGIII or Kolb as the second qb today?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      If RGIII is healthy, you gotta start him.

      • Hoog says:
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        @Sky, I completely agree, but coming off the concussion is he healthy and worth the risk?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Your other choice is Kolb. I think RG3 is worth the risk

          • Hoog says:
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            @Sky, yeah, you were right. And in our league you get extra points for runs over 40 yards AND TD runs over 100 yards. That last run alone was worth over 20 points in my league! it didn’t really matter because i’m winning 168 to 88, and i still have Matthews tomorrow (he has decker and Prater). It was a good week. Great Call!!!

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Well you gave me Kolb as my other choice. You forced my hand :)

  18. drew says:
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    RGIII or Peyton??

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @drew, I’m going safe with Peyton.

  19. Sawx10 says:
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    Jb,
    Gamble with Hernandez or play it safe with chandler?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Sawx10, SF not great against TEs, Bills will have to throw, I go safe with Chandler.

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