Hey gang.  This is the first week in a while that we are finally sans bye week.  No one is off limits and your only problem is figuring out whom to bench.  Let the games begin!

Week Niner…Are You Calling From a Walky Talky?

Vincent Jackson-I guess it’s either three touchdown receptions or nothing with this guy, as V-Jax atoned for a series of putrid weeks by putting up seven receptions for 141 yards and three scores, not to mention 12 targets, good for second in the league among receivers.  The Charger offense actually looked pretty good last week and if it weren’t for two pick sixes, the Bolts could have stolen one from the champs. Jackson, along with that Charger offense, looked healthy and a nice matchup against a key divisional opponent in Oakland on Thursday looks promising.

Laurent Robinson—Mr. Robinson was solid on Sunday, catching a team high five passes on five targets for 32 yards and a score.  He looks to be the starter for the next couple of weeks while Miles Austin nurses his hammy.  However, even with Austin in the lineup, Robinson put up big numbers last week with a five catch, 103 yard and one touchdown performance.  He should be a priority waiver add in all leagues.  I like him more than Torrey Smith, Earl Bennett, Jacoby Ford, and Denarius Moore who will also get a lot of waiver looks this week.

Denarius Moore-speaking of the devil,Moore came out of the woodwork this past weekend, amassing a team high 12 targets, hauling in four for 61 yards. Moore started alongside Jacoby Ford who also had a huge day, catching five of his six targets for 105 yards and a score.  With Run DMC still licking his wounds, the Raiders relied heavily on the aging arm of Carson Palmer—who actually looked half way decent at times. It was good to see some production again from Ford and Moore but after watching this game I was dying to ask the Raider coaching staff one question:  where the [email protected]$% was DHB?  The leading receiver for the Raider’s over the last five weeks was nowhere to be found on Sunday, coming in as the fifth, yes, fifth receiver.  Baby Huey claims that DHB wasn’t benched which is either a big fat lie or a big fat let down for DHB owners.  I wouldn’t by the no benching thing.  DHB must have done something stupid or selfish and he was being punished.  Don’t drop DHB just yet and be careful about adding Moore or Ford based on their performances this past week.  A healthy DMC means more attention on the run game and the addition of Housyourmama means fewer targets for everyone else. 

Julio Jones-We have to talk about Julio’s rediculousness on Sunday, a rediculousness that allowed him to torch the Colts for 131 yards on only three catches and let’s not forget the two touchdowns.  Those who held onto Jones were rewarded, though I’m sure many of you did not play him.  If he was dropped, he’s the priority WR add ahead of Robinson, but it is fair to note that Jones only commanded four targets on the day, five behind leader Roddy White who put up a mediocre four catch, 76 yard performance.  Though I’d still scoop him up in a heartbeat, he probably won’t get as much attention as White, though his playmaking ability allows him to capitalize on his opportunities.  Smoke him if you got him.

Roy Helu-what the Helu just happened?  Minutes before game time it was announced that Helu would be the starter which was surprise number one.  Surprise number two involved Helu becoming the only player in Redskin history to record 14 catches in one game.  Helu commanded an insane 17 targets and he also took to the ground with 10 carries combining for 146 total yards.  With Torain as the supposed starter, Helu is available in many leagues and he should clearly be the number one RB waiver add and probably the number one add overall depending on how deep your league is.  Though Shanahan is, well, Shanahan, I don’t see any reason why Helu won’t get another start this week against Miami.  The Dolphins, despite their overall atrociousness, are rather good at stopping the run, but to say that he will be involved in the passing game seems to be a laughable understatement.

Steve Breaston-he’s been solid for a while now, but after playing second fiddle to young upstart Jonathan Baldwin last week, Breaston was most likely overlooked this week.  If you played him you were rewarded with a man who caught seven of his team high 11 targets for 115 yards.  Young buck Baldwin caught only one pass for 12 yards on five targets and it looks like he can still learn a thing or two from the old man.  The bottom line is that though Baldwin is rosterable for his upside, we need to see some more consistency if we are going to crown him the number two in K.C.

Earl Bennett-Bennett’s chemistry with Cutler was once again apparent as he led all receivers with 95 yards off of his five catches and five targets, not to mention a touchdown.  A lot of people will add Bennett this week but you should know that he was one of four Bears players to receive at least five targets (Williams, Hester, Forte) and there is never any consistency in that Chicago offense unless it’s named Matt Forte.  Play at your own risk.

Food For Thought

Jacquizz Rodgers-Mike Smith claimed they were going to start giving Rodgers more touches this week and he kept true to his promise.  The season ending injury to Ovie Mughelli means that Snelling moves to fullback and Rodgers officially takes over as Turner’s backup.  Rodgers got ten carries on Sunday, compared to Turner’s 19, gaining 44 yards while catching one pass for 16 yards.  His 4.4 yards per carry were better than Turner’s, who averaged slightly under four yards per.  While he is still not a number one waiver priority, he is worth a speculative add if you have the room and this is certainly a situation to monitor in the weeks to come.

Jacob Tamme-Tamme took over in the second quarter after Dallas Clark went down with a lower leg injury, an injury that may sideline him for the rest of the season.  Those of you who remember what Tamme did last year in relief of Dallas Clark know that he is a more than capable backup who can put up TE1 numbers.  However, this is obviously a different team without Manning and Tamme may be forced to block more often just as Clark was in order to protect Indy’s stable of inept quarterbacks.  Tamme did manage to lead the team in receiving targets with seven in little over two quarters time though he was only able to come down with two catches for six yards.  Not a guy you break the piggy bank for, but a guy I’m definitely going to keep an eye on.

Leonard Hankerson-the Redskin rookie got his first start on Sunday and ended up third in targets with 5, catching four passes for 34 yards.  The Redskin offense is nothing short of stagnant but with Moss out, Hankerson will continue to start and new blood could mean big, or at least moderate, things in the future.  Depending on his performance this coming Sunday, Hankerson may be a desperation deep league play when bye weeks resume next week.

Vincent Brown-with Floyd out and a pass happy Rivers at the helm, Brown came up big with four catches for 79 yards on six targets (2nd among receivers).  If Floyd is out again, Brown could be a desperation play but I should note that aside from this past week, Brown has a total of two catches for 26 yards.  I guess we all have to start somewhere.  He’s worth keeping an eye on.

Torrey Smith-Smith was the talk of the weekend after his game-winning catch on Sunday night, atoning for a horrible drop a few plays earlier.  Smith grabbed five passes for 71 yards on 9 targets (2nd on team) and Flacco threw for over 300 yards for the second straight game.  While Smith is clearly the Ravens best deep threat, he will remain the third or fourth best receiving target on a run heavy team.  His upside is worth an add if you have the space, but asking for consistency from Smith will be tricky in the weeks to come.  He’s not a terrible play this week however against the strong run defense of the Seahawks.

Ground Control to Major Dumb Award

Chad Ochocinco-five targets, no catches, feebly running around like a lab rat in a labyrinth…priceless.  Poor guy.

  1. Fernando says:
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    My leagues playoffs are wk 14-16. Gore (arz, pit, sea) S. Jax (sea, cin, pit). Ive got depth (Peterson, Bradshaw, Murray, Battle, D. Thomas). Although, they have been good this season, I’m concerned about playoff match-ups. So, should I shop them and see what I get offered?
    Also, what do you think about MJD and Mendehall playoff value wk 14-16? Another opponent said he would part with either.

  2. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Fernando-wow man, you are deep. Are you in a six team league? I personally would not shop either of those guys for other running backs. I have to assume that if you’re this deep at RB, you are thin at receiver. I would shop S.Jax first and see what you could get at that position. To answer your question, I don’t really like Mendenhall a whole lot due to the fact that he is simply inconsistent. He has great matchups week 14 (Browns) and 16 (Rams) however, but a brutal matchup with San Fran week 15. MJD has decent matchups every week of the playoffs but that offense is just terrible which limits his chances of scoring. If it were my team, I wouldn’t get too cute with playoff matchups, especially with Gore and S-Jax as both guys are beasts who will get a ton of touches. Something of note: Joseph Addai ran for 86 yards against Pitt earlier in the year and Rice and Foster went over 100.

    Another strategy may be to consolidate a couple of your other running backs such as Battle and Bradshaw and see if you can get MJD. That way you don’t have to give up two of your studs.

  3. ChiSox says:
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    I take it you think Reggie Bush is too much to give up for Julio Jones? What about A.J. Green in a ppr?

  4. Harley says:
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    Antonio Brown or Julio Jones for the rest of the season? Also, are either worth giving up straigh up for Aaron Hernandez? Im in a deep league and have some WR depth but no TE and not much available on waivers.

  5. herschel says:
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    @Fernando: ppr league, i was offered lloyd and d’angelo for my harvin and bjge. bjge is my flex right now switching with battle and hopefully felix if does anything when he comes back. thoughts?

  6. Fernando says:
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    Hi Matt. To shed light on Question #1 and response #2. I’m 7-2 and in third place in my league. 10 team standard league scoring qb, wr, rb, te, w/r, w/r, w/r,k, def, and 6 on the bench

    My team:
    qb Romo, wr R. White and Manningham; rb Peterson, S. Jackson, F. Gore, Bradshaw + Ware, D. Murray, D. Thomas, Battle, te Pettigrew, Celek; K Hanson; Def this wk eagles.

    I trade to get Romo, White and Bradshaw. The rest are draft and waiver wire pickups.

    So, with this extra info, do you think I should ride this team. Cause other than improving on rb’s no one is giving up te’s or wr’s

    Thanks for your time.

  7. herschel says:
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    ooops, meant @Jones: ppr league, i was offered lloyd and d’angelo for my harvin and bjge. bjge is my flex right now switching with battle and hopefully felix if does anything when he comes back. thoughts?

  8. barker says:
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    trade 12 team league

    i give cj and garcon i get vick

    other qb schaub
    other rb rice jstew grant felix
    other wr colston manningham williams tb decker moss

  9. Rocky says:
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    Would you trade A. Brown and Gates for Nicks right now? I still have Gronk as my other TE.

  10. barker says:
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    the trade ended up being johnson williams garcon for vick and harvin

    the kid accepted

    i already have an offer of scaub for green-ellis out right now

    the kid has hasselbeck at qb and turner green-ellis mcgahee and hillis as rbs
    and hes in last place

    is it worth it to try hillis for scaub if it comes down to it??

  11. MrHappyTime says:
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    Who you like between Decker and L. Robinson for this week?

  12. will says:
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    I need some trade help. I am in a 10 team league with 3 WR and 2 RB’s. should I make this trade based on my roster

    trade: Ryan Matthews for Wes Welker.

    Roster: Big Ben, Stafford, Gore, Matthews, Foster, Mike Wallace, Brandon Marshall, Steve Johnson, Percy Harvin, Helu, Tony Gonzalez, Mike Williams (TB), Crabtree, Detroit Defense, Jason Hanson

    Any thoughts?

  13. Jhern says:
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    I have a bunch of middle of the pack receivers on my team and i need some help deciding which 3 to start. my WRs are:

    Erick Decker
    Victor Cruz
    Antonio Brown
    Pierre Garcon
    Heyward-Bey
    Laurent Robinson

  14. Jones

    jones says:
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    @ChiSox-it really depends on the makeup of your team. Bush is a great PPR running back and he has looked good lately. That Dolphin offense seems to be improving in general. Typically, I am hesitent to give up running backs in a PPR league who are guaranteed to catch a lot of passes. The thing about Jones and A.J. Green is that though they have tremendous upside, there is still a lot of competition for targets and production on their respected teams. Take A.J. Green for instance and compare him to Mike Wallace. Green and Wallace are obviously the number one receivers for their respective teams but compare Simpsons production to Greens and Browns production to Wallaces. In both cases, they are nearly identical over the past three weeks, with Brown actually outplaying Wallace from a fantasy standpoint. My point is that you need to look for the value that you are actually going to get out of that trade. What you would need to give up for Simpson or Brown would obviously be a lot less than Green or Wallace for instance, and the production may not be all that different. The same thing goes for Roddy White. My advice would be to hold onto Bush, but again it depends slightly on the makeup of your team. It may be worth it if you are really deep at running back and really thin at receiver.

  15. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Harley-I still like Antonio Brown but they are pretty interchangeable. I don’t know if I would give up either for Hernandez. Take a look at his production, or lack there of over the last few weeks. I would honestly rather have a guy like Fred Davis and you might not have to give up as much to get him. Is Jake Ballard on waivers? I like him a lot going forward and I like about as much as Hernandez as crazy as that sounds.

  16. Nate says:
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    Going to pick up a back: Ivory or Rodgers ?

  17. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Fernando-it’s very strange that people aren’t giving up WRs in a standard scoring league. What if you make them an offer they can’t refuse? I would find it difficult to turn down Roddy White and say Bradshaw for really any #1 receiver, i.e. Welker, Wallace, Calvin Johnson, etc. If you did want to consolidate for an RB I would stay away from Mendy and MJD simply because they are not an improvement over what you have. I would target Forte, McCoy, or Ray Rice and given your team I would give up Steven Jackson and anyone other than Peterson, Gore, or Murray for those guys.

  18. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Fernano-Fred Jackson should also be a target

  19. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Hershel-that’s not bad. It’s a pretty even trade really. I like Lloyd a lot but Williams is iffy. It is possible for him to wake up at some point this year.

  20. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Barker-I’m not a fan of that accepted trade but what’s done is done. Waiting for Hillis is risk reward. If he’s healthy, he’s clearly a better option than BGE but that’s a big if. If you need to win now, I would take the BGE trade. If not, it may be worth taking the risk.

  21. Jones

    jones says:
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    @MrHappyTime-for sheer offensive production and opportunity I like Laurent Robinson

  22. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Will-if you’re getting Welker yes. If you’re giving Welker, no. I think you can get Mathews and another decent player with some upside like a Brandon Lloyd, Percy Harvin, Antonio Brown, etc.

  23. Jones

    jones says:
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    @JHern-I would start Cruz, Brown, and Robinson this week

  24. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Nate-tough call. Ivory may have more immediate value but less long term. If Ingram doesn’t play this week or it looks like he’ll be limited, I would take Ivory if you need to win now. Rodgers won’t have any startable value unless Turner gets injured unless you are desperate. He is a better long term investment however, and could be a potential keeper if you are in a keeper league.

  25. Chisox says:
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    @jones…… Thank you very much for your imput

  26. principal blackman says:
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    Drop Addai for Rodgers?
    14 team ppr.
    my other RBs are McCoy Mcgahee and Starks.

    thanks.

  27. will says:
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    i offered Ryan Matthews for Wes Welker. This guy is in last place and has extra WR’s, but only 1 decent RB. His 2nd RB is Bernard Scott.

    Another trade I am looking at is trading Ryan Matthews and Brandon Marshall for Chris Johnson and Jeremy Maclin.

    My reason is that I don’t need to play Matthews, since I have Gore and Foster, but during week 15 (the 2nd round of the playoffs), Matthews plays Baltimore and Gore plays Pitt, while Johnson plays Indianapolis. My thought is to upgrade at WR and have Johnson as my backup RB for week 15 and if something else happens.

    Is that a good idea or should I stick with Matthews and Marshall.

  28. principal blackman says:
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    … and by Rodgers I mean Jacquizz.

  29. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Principal Blackman-I think the Colts are simply being cautious with Addai’s injury and when he is healthy, he will be back in the starting lineup, my estimation is that this could happen as early as this week. He is simply the best running back on the team at this point in time and therefore he is worth keeping over a guy like Rodgers who will really only be fantasy relevent if Turner goes down. In other words, if both are healthy, Addai is a low end RB2/Flex and Rodgers will never be anything more than a low end Flex barring injury to Turner. In short, it’s not worth dropping Addai for Rodgers.

  30. Jones

    jones says:
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    @will-Johnson’s playoff schedule is terrific, I’ll give you that. I like Maclin a lot but your second trade offer is a bit risky. It basically hinges on Johnson’s production. If he stays where he’s at, that trade is really bad for you as you would essentially be giving up B. Marshall for Johnson as Mathews and Maclin are fair one to one trades. I am actually trying to grab Johnson and Gore for Fred Jackson in one of my leagues because of his cushy playoff matchups as well so I can’t tell you not to do it, but it is week 10 and one has to wonder when it’s too late to continue to make excuses. If you can get Welker for Mathews I would take it. the second one is risky and really it’s a personal call. If you really don’t need Mathews at all than I probably would push for that trade.

  31. Clueless says:
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    Who should I start @ FLEX (PPR) – M Bush, A Brown, S Greene, L Robinson, J Ford – I’m thinking either Bush or Brown??

    My Starters are
    Stafford
    G Jennings
    V Jax
    R Rice
    D Sproles
    J Finley

    Thanks!

  32. will says:
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    @jones: thanks for the advice. I only need a RB next week when Foster has a bye. My options would be Helu and Johnson (if I traded Matthews for him). Johnson will play Atlanta and Matthews is playing Chicago next week. The only other time I would use Johnson would be during the playoffs. Most weeks I will use Foster and Gore. My WR’s are Wallace, Steve Johnson, Marshall, Harvin, Crabtree, and Mike Williams

  33. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Clueless-DMC is highly unlikely to play this week, which means Bush is really a must start. Brown would also be my number two.

  34. will says:
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    @jones: oh, and Helu plays Dallas next week. So he is not a bad start in place of Foster during his bye

  35. Jones

    jones says:
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    @Will-You’ve got a great team man. I think that sounds good to me.

  36. will says:
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    any thoughts about trading Ryan Matthews for Roddy White?

  37. will says:
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    @jones: thanks, my weakest link early in the season was Foster being injured and Rothlisberger. However I recently traded Flacco, Heyward-Bey and Deion Branch for Stafford and Harvin. So now I have Stafford and Rothlisberger to choose from. My only other options to upgrade would be TE – Tony Gonzalez and defense – Detroit. However they have both been playing well this year.

  38. JacquizziBath says:
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    Week 10 sit/start question:
    Hakeem Nicks @ SF
    Antonio Brown @ Cin
    Mike Williams (TB) @ Hou
    Earl Bennett @ Det

    Obviously Nicks hamstring is an issue but assuming he can go, which one of these 4 do you pick? It’s basically a 3-way tie of injured talent vs. targets vs. chemistry in my eyes.

  39. Rocky says:
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    Would you trade Forte, A. Johnson, and Gronk for A. Pete and Dez? I have Gates as my other TE, and I figure I can’t lose too much from using Dez instead of Andre, while there is no Marion Barber taking A. Pete’s td’s. Also, the guy was willing to trade Roddy White and A. Pete as well. My other rb’s are Mendenhall, Murray. D. thomas while other wr’s are Crabtree, A. Brown, Julio Jones, and D. Moore.

  40. Fernando says:
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    Hi Matt. Thanks for the advise. It’s helpful to have clarity on some of the decisions I’m trying to make. My push to dominate in the playoffs is helped, because of Razz. Thanks.

    I’m taking your advise (#17) and targeting Welker. His owner is 4-4-1 and is in seventh place. He’s fighting for the 6th and final slot for a playoff birth. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how it works outs.

    The only other spot I would like to improve is te (Celek and Pettigrew). I’m using a te committee. An owner has Graham and F. Davis. Of Course, I’d prefer to have Graham, but how would you approach and target with what?

    My team:
    qb Romo, wr R. White and Manningham; rb Peterson, S. Jackson, F. Gore, Bradshaw, D. Murray, D. Thomas, Battle, te Pettigrew, Celek; K Hanson; Def Eagles, Buff.

  41. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Will-don’t trade Mathews for Roddy White. Try trading for Jeremy Maclin or Vincent Jackson

  42. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Jacquizzibath-I don’t see that as a three way tie at all. It would be tough to sit Nicks if he’s healthy, especially considering that the Niners secondary is their weak spot. If he’s not, Brown is the clear frontrunner and he should have a huge day in a big game that should be close. Sanders will be out for 2-3 weeks and Ward suffered a concussion which once again puts Brown in the drivers seat for a big day.

  43. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Rocky-you’re giving way too much away in my opinion. What about Mendy, Johnson and Gronk for the same two guys? I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that Forte is the NFL leader in yards from scrimmage and I actually consider Peterson a slight downgrade. Therefore Johnson and Gronk is way too much for Bryant, a guy who is just as injury prone as Johnson.

  44. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Fernando-given the depth of your team I would offer Bradshaw for Graham or D. Thomas for Davis. If Davis were my backup I’d take Bradshaw in a heartbeat.

  45. zandercage says:
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    Hey Matt –

    Dig your column. Need some lineup help this week.

    I can start 2 RBs, 2 WRs and then a Flex (RB-WR-TE).

    RBs of note – A. Foster, L. Blount, J Stew, Ben Tate
    WRs of note – Megatron, Wallace, Antonio Brown and P. Harvin

    So, basically – Foster and a RB#2 Blount or Stew?

    and

    Flex spot – Blount/Stew/A. Brown/Harvin

    Thanks for your help!

  46. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Zandercage-thanks man. I’d start Foster and Blount and Megatron and Wallace at receiver. For flex I would start Antonio Brown.

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