Greetings survivors.  Unless you’ve got a lot riding on the consolation game, I’ll assume that you guys have one of four teams remaining in your respective leagues.  Let me be one of the first to say congratulations and good luck in the semifinals.  This past week there weren’t many meaningful surprises in the target department but what I’ll try to do is give you a list of guys who you may be able to snag off of waivers for flex replacements and give you a couple of guys that I like as starters.  As always, good luck.

Doug Baldwin-Baldwin’s coming off a huge Monday night performance, during which he caught seven of his team high eight targets for 93 yards and a score on top of blocking a punt that turned into a defensive touchdown.  While Baldwin is not exactly a well-kept secret, he continues to be widely available and though he is only the third wide receiver on the Seahawks’ roster, he has more targets over the last three weeks than guys by the name of Vincent Jackson, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, and Eric Decker.  Also, over the last three weeks Baldwin is averaging 7.8 fantasy points per game (standard), good for 31st among WR’s and ahead of guys like Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, and Santana Moss.  Though he faces a tough Chicago D on the road this week, Baldwin should be a big part of the Seattle game plan.

Titus Young-the youngster has certainly made plenty of rookie mistakes this season and on Sunday he nearly lost the football before crossing the goal-line.  However, the td did count, as did his four catches for 87 yards and team high seven targets.  He racked up sixty yards on only two catches the week before and the Lions are sure to throw it around a lot at Oakland on Sunday given the woes of the their ground game.  Titus is more of a desperation flier but he’s almost sure to be available and he is averaging 7.3 fantasy points per over the last three games, good for 37th overall among WRs.

Nate Washington-before the game, Titans’ coaches were concerned that Nate may be forced into a limited role due to his nagging ankle sprain.  It turned out that during the game he also suffered back spasms, but his menagerie of ailments did not stop him from catching six of his nine targets for 130 yards and a score.  He did a nice job cutting into Damien Williams’ production as well.  Though the young receiver did lead the team with ten targets, he only managed to catch two passes for 62 yards.  Washington and Williams have been inconsistent, but the Titans do have a great matchup against Indy this weekend which makes them both WR3/flex worthy.

Jabar Gaffney-despite Moss’s comeback, Gaffney has remained productive in what is always sure to be a pass heavy Redskin offense.  Last week, Gaffney grabbed six passes for 92 yards and a touch on a team high eight targets.  Teammates Moss and Stallworth were also productive, gaining 81 and 96 yards through the air respectively.  The Redskins will need to air it out again this weekend as they face the hungry Giants who are not going to leave anything to chance.  While it’s tough to recommend any Redskin receiver with certainty, I like Gaffney in PPR formats, even over Moss.

Julio Jones-I don’t expect him to be available, but he has really come on strong after his series of hamstring injuries.  After putting up respectable numbers last week, catching four passes for 68 yards, Jones showcased his big play dominance this past weekend, catching three passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.  His big play potential and strong upside is undeniable, and fantasy owners who need a high ceiling out of their flex position may want to give him a look.  The Falcons play the Jaguars on Thursday night. 

Demaryius Thomas-Thomas has lit it up the past two weeks, catching eleven passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns.  His 13 targets were far and away team best this past weekend and he seems to be nudging out Decker as Tebow’s favorite target.  In the past three weeks, Decker has only managed to catch eight passes for 123 yards and one touchdown and over that same span, Thomas is ranked seventh among WR’s in fantasy points per game with 13.4 (standard).  He’s near the top in wide receiver production as of late and in the fantasy playoffs it’s usually a good idea to play the hot hand.  I don’t own him in any of my leagues and he’s not available for me, but if I did own him, I would sure have a hard time sitting him against the beleaguered Patriots secondary.

Kyle Williams-I wrote about this speedster last week and once again he turned in a productive day.  In addition to his solid four catches for 42 yards, the most important stat is that Williams commanded six targets, only one behind Crabtree for second on the team.  Like Young, he is a somewhat risky play, but he’s been giving steady production in three of his last four games (he put up a donut two weeks ago) and it looks like he has clearly surpassed Braylon Edwards in both playing time and production.  He’s a speedy guy with big play potential, and that could be important this Monday when the ‘Niners take on the stingy run defense of the Steelers.

Donald Driver-with Jennings out for the remainder of the fantasy playoffs, my money is on Driver being the biggest beneficiary of Jennings’s injury.  This past weekend, Driver garnered a second best six targets (Nelson) and hauled in four passes for 75 yards and a td.  Last week he was also very productive, catching four passes and two touchdowns.  Jones, Driver’s logical target competitor, has tremendous upside and youth, but his production has fallen off over the last few weeks.  He did score a touchdown three weeks ago, but in his last three games, Jones has only caught five passes for 123 yards.  Both could be potential plays this week against K.C. but I like the old dog to continue to show us some new tricks.

Keep Starting These Guys

Stevie Johnson-Johnson has been on a tear these last few weeks, ranking 10th in fantasy points per game over the last three (12.1 standard).  His ten targets were tops on the team this past week and he managed to pull in four of those passes for 116 yards.  Expect the Bills to throw it a lot against that tough Dolphin run D that held Lesean McCoy to 38 yards on 27 carries last week.

Percy Harvin-Harvin’s production over the last three weeks has been off the charts.  His 18.7 points per game (standard) is over two points greater than runner-up Wes Welker’s for the NFL lead among receivers.  He’s been utilized in the run game as well as the pass game and even if AP gets back on his feet this week, Harvin remains a must start.

  1. Nick says:
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    @Jones: Hey man big week coming up. I’m the #2seed in a 10-team league and face off against the #3. My lineup is a follows with a formidable bench to boot. this is where i run into line-up decisions at flex mainly….

    QB-Tebow (sanchez backup)
    RB- Helu & Felix (I was a Murray owner, now in Felix-i trust!
    WR-Calvin Johnson, Laruent Robinson, Antonio Brown.
    Gornk @ TE. Akers & Jet D for K & Defense respectively.

    Leaves me with the flex decision of Holmes (who i have penciled in-reliable 7-14 pt. and Eagles might force Sanchez to throw)…or T Smith, K Smith (if he plays- I likey), Starks, Demaryius Thomas (intriguing flex with Tebow starting for me as well) & Golden Tate.

    Help me Jones, what is your advice? I’m leaning K Smith if he starts or D Thomas but I need every point I can get & Holmes might be able to deliver that!

  2. Nick says:
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    ALSO, Titus Young, Donald Driver & Ivory are available but I don’t think have any more upsides than my current bench…maybe Young or Driver or Golden Tate….but thats just bench spots

  3. Dakota says:
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    WR/Flex question

    3 WR, 1 WR/TE, non-PPR league

    Options: Nicks, B. Marshall, S. Johnson, A. Brown, Julio Jones, Jimmy Graham

    Thoughts?

  4. Rocky says:
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    With Gore hurt and Mendenhall playing 49ers d, I am forced to start a 3 wr’s. Nicks and Marshall are going to be top 2, but for my flex who is more valuable, Crabtree or Manningham?

  5. Nick P says:
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    I need 2 WR out of these 3: Dez Bryant, Demarius Thomas, or AJ Green. Would you trust Thomas more than either of the two listed?

  6. elwood blues says:
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    Last week I started Damian Williams over DeSean Jax at WR3 (it worked out, I won)
    This week Dam.Will has Indy, D-Jax did have a touchdown last week, but has the Jets.. stick with Williams, right?

    What about Fasano vs. Daniels.
    Buffalo looks like a nice matchup for Fasano, again Daniels had a real nice game last week (but didn’t get in the endzone again), he has Carolina this week.

  7. anthony says:
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    Hey man!
    I see you like harvin this week. I been going with him at flex the past 3 weeks and it has worked.
    Would beanie be a better start at flex with him going against the browns? Or maybe santana or desean?
    Or stick with harvin?

  8. Randy04 says:
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    In a standard league, I need to start 3 WRs. Who would you choose out of the following? (I’m specifically wondering if you think starting Demaryius Thomas over others is smart given his matchup, or too risky…) Fitzgerald, Marshall, Austin, Lloyd, Moss, and Thomas. Thanks!

  9. Haley Joe Osmond says:
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    Would you rather have Driver over Decker?

  10. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Nick-I agree that Holmes is the solid play because he has a great chance of scoring every single week. The risk however, is that if he doesn’t score, his stat line looks very weak. If you look at his receptions and yardage over the last few weeks it is horrendous 2-3 catches 20-30 yards. Kevin Smith is an enticing play but he’s unbelievably fragile. Honestly, I like DThom against that awful Patriots secondary more than Holmes or Smith.

    I’d leave those other guys on the waiver wire. Your bench is solid.

  11. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Dakota-I’d play Nicks, Marshall, Stevie, and Graham if it were my team. Brown is shaky with Roth limited and Jones, though he is a great playmaker, will not see nearly as many targets as those other guys.

  12. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Rocky-that’s a tough call. You have to think Crabtree is going to see more targets with Gore banged up but Manningham could be a stud on any given day. I think Crabtree is the safer play to get you some decent points but if you need to take a risk for a higher ceiling I’d go with Manningham.

  13. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @NickP-I think you have to go with AJ and Bryant. I wouldn’t be surprised if DThom has a better game than either of the two however.

  14. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Elwood-DWill has a much better matchup for sure and you have to think Revis will blanket DJax. I think it’s kind of a toss up between Fasano and Daniels but going on pedigree scoring opportunities I’d have to suggest that you start Daniels.

  15. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Anthony-I would stick with Harvin

  16. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Howard-probably not. The Cowboys will be hungry and should pile on the points if they can. Jones could make some big plays but I don’t envision him getting as many targets as the other guys.

  17. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Randy04-I’d probably start Fitz, Marshall and Austin. What’s tough about fantasy football is seeing past the big names and focusing on opportunity and practicality but there is a reason that fitz marshall and austin are considered wr1/2’s and DThom is not. Those guys will be the focus in the redzone and should see more targets consistently over time. The word consistently is the key. I like DThom a lot this week and as I mentioned to Nick P earlier, I wouldn’t be surprised if he emerged as one of the top fantasy WR’s for the week but it comes down to how you want to manage your team. I am a huge fan of consistency, especially during the playoffs, but it’s not to say that taking a risk can’t pay off either and sometimes a risk is what you really need to get over the top. My advice about fitz, marshall, and austin is one based on consistency but DThom is a great risk/reward play and his chances of having a solid day are high. If you had to leave one of those three out in favor of DThom I would probably make it Austin. Good luck.

  18. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @HaleyJoeOsmond-Kind of a toss up but I would rather play Decker this week.

  19. Benwa says:
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    Jones-

    In a PPR league, need to start 3 WR’s and have B.Marshall, L.Robinson, M.Austin, M.Williams(tb), S.Breaston. Would you recommend playing both Autin and Robinson?

  20. Plainview says:
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    I need to start 3 WRs – I will start Megatron although I’m becoming a doubter. Which two of these should join him:

    Santonio Holmes
    Mario Manningham
    Demaryius Thomas

  21. Amish Gangster says:
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    @Jones
    The theme is wr’s to start this week….I too have to decide who to start, any thoughts?
    Starting Megatron/Wallace…who gets the last WR nod from these remaining?:
    Laurent Robinson
    Julio Jones
    D.Thomas

    I was leaning towards benching Wallace too?!

  22. Jhern says:
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    Im in a PPR league and having trouble to decide if i should start 2 WRs from the same team. I have:
    Laurent Robinson
    Miles Austin
    James Jones
    Damiam Willams

    Which 2 should i go with?

  23. Cam says:
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    i have felix jones, helu, lynch, and blount and can start two this week. which two would you start this week?

  24. Plainview says:
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    I would like to pick up a back-up for Big Ben but have no room on my bench. Is it safe to drop Run DMC at this point – I can’t see him going this week and even if he comes back in Week 16, he probably splits time with Bush, who I have on my roster. On the other hand, my opinion is that Ben will play and the only backups I would consider are Alex Smith or Batch, on the theory that even a few points would be better than a zero. What do you think?

  25. ashlyn says:
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    non-PPR:

    I lost Murray and my other RB’s are Mendenhall, Blount and Greene. My WR’s are Wallace, Steve Johnson, L. Robinson and Crabtree. Because of Mendenhall’s matchup I think I am going to start Greene and Blount at RB and Wallace and Johnson at WR. Who would start at the flex position?….Mendenhall, Robinson or Crabtree?

  26. Nick says:
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    As always, it would appear as though I’m having a receiver dilemma. With Thursday Night Football fast approaching, I have a decision to make. Which two of the following would you start (keeping in mind Julio Jones plays tomorrow). Oh and it’s a non-PPR league too by the way.

    Julio Jones
    Dwayne Bowe (Rumor has it Orton is getting the start Sunday)
    Laurent Robinson
    Santonio Holmes
    Malcom Floyd

  27. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Plainview-I’d go with Manningham and Thomas

  28. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @JHern-I’d go with Austin and Robinson regardless of the same team factor.

  29. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Cam-I’d go with Lynch and Helu

  30. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Plainview-Is DMC really the only guy you could drop? What about Yates or Locker? I like Locker a lot but obviously you’d have to make sure that Hasselbeck is out. Even Yates has a great matchup. Even as a Niners fan I don’t like Alex Smith and Batch is not a very good option against that Niners D. If DMC is the only guy to drop you might as well but I’d try some other QB options.

  31. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Nick-I’d go with Jones and Robinson or Robinson and Holmes. Jones has been hot lately and I’m leaning his way.

  32. bfeels says:
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    I lost Murray and my other RB’s are Mendenhall, Blount and Greene. My WR’s are Wallace, Steve Johnson, L. Robinson and Crabtree. Because of Mendenhall’s matchup I think I am going to start Greene and Blount at RB and Wallace and Johnson at WR. Who would start at the flex position?….Mendenhall, Robinson or Crabtree? It is a non-PPR

  33. CL says:
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    Jones:

    Need 2 (for WR & flex); 10 team, 1pt PPR, return yards:

    L. Robinson, Crabtree, and/or Pettigrew?

    Thanks!

  34. HOLLA(R) says:
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    Jones: I’ve got to start three out of Julio Jones, L. Robinson, A. Brown, S. Moss and D. Thomas. ‘not the worst problem to have, but I could use some help whittling it down. Standard ESPN scoring. Any thoughts?

  35. Ted says:
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    Hi again Matt … I need two in a 1 point ppr between Nicks, Fitzgerald, Nelson and Moss

    And for a running back 2 i need 1 of (again 1 point ppr) Donald Brown, Ben Tate, Maurice Morris, Keiland Williams, Kahlil Bell and Brandon Saine … that is quite the mess I have accumulated on my bench!

    Help Jonesy!

  36. Fernando says:
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    My starting line up for wk 15

    QB: Romo, Wr: Welker, Rb: Peterson or Gerhart, TE: Gates, W/R: ? , W/R: ? , W/R: ? , K: Hanson, Def: ?

    Normally, my choices of who to start would be simple, but the match ups, injuries, and recent performances has left me confused.
    Consequently, I need help filling three W/R slots. Please help and can you explain your choices. Thank you.

    Here are my options for the two W/R slots: S. Moss, C.J. Spiller, S. Jackson, F. Gore, A. Bradshaw, R. Grant.

    As for the DEF I can play one SEA, CINN, or TENN?

  37. sean says:
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    Ryan (home v. JAC) or Stafford (@ OAK) this week?

  38. The Burghler says:
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    ppr league, pick 2 wrs

    Crabtree, Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, Decker

  39. Benny says:
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    Which fantasy defense should I roll with this week?

    Cowboys (vs TB)
    Falcons (vs Jax)
    Giants (vs WAS)

  40. Emily says:
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    In a standard scoring league, I get 1 RB, 2 WR, and one flex. I’m having trouble deciding between:

    Kevin Smith, Chris Johnson, Felix Jones (who I JUST pickedup off waivers)
    and for WR: Victor Cruz, Laurent Robinson, Demariyus Thomas, and Damien Williams.

    Normally, I’d go with CJ, Cruz, Robinson, and Smith (if healthy).. but the matchups make feel like Thomas and Jones are better options…Need help! Thanks!!

  41. eltoo says:
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    Have Demaryius on the bench in a PPR league. My RBs are decimated so I start 4 WRs. Would you start Demaryius over any of the following:

    Antonio Brown
    Lance Moore
    Hakeem Nicks
    Calvin Johnson

    In a related question: Tebow or Big Ben. I’ve yet to start Tebow, but with Big Ben being banged up and being a Monday night game I think I have to play Tebow. It also makes me worry about Antonio Brown because the Steelers passing game disappears when Batch is at the helm. That versus the complete randomness/inconsistency of the Bronco’s passing game makes it a tough call for me.

  42. BOZZ says:
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    Jones:

    Semi-finals this week and it looks like Peterson will play. I’m worried he will only get limited carries coming off injury. I have done very well the past two weeks starting Helu and Lynch at RB. I would hate to not start Peterson and have him go off.

    My 2nd dilemma I have Newton at QB and Texans defense, not a big fan of playing my QB1 vs my starting defense so I picked up the Cardinals defense. I’m thinking I should defintitely start them over Texans, let me know your thoughts.

  43. billy ray says:
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    need one, non ppr, Crabtree, Holmes or Gafney?

  44. paulzone72 says:
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    fantasy semifinals, 0.5 ppr, 6 pts for passing tds, 3 pt bonus for 300/100/100 pass/rush/rec

    qb: stafford @ oak or cam @ hou
    rb (pick two): gore vs. pit, jacobs vs was, bradshaw vs was, pierre thomas @ min
    3rd wr: antonio brown @ sf, moss @ nyg, or driver @ kc
    d/st: titans @ ind, falcons vs jax, or nyg vs. was

    my te is finley if that influences picking driver

    tough calls, i know. thanks!

  45. Bluety says:
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    Need help— Can only start two RB; F. Jones, W. Mcgahee or M. Bush.
    Need 3 WR; A. Boldin, J. Jones, A. Brown, D. Thomas. Thanks

  46. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Bfells-I like Robinson at the flex and agree with your assessment of starters for whatever it’s worth.

  47. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @CL-I’d go with Robinson and Crabtree

  48. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Holla-for now I’d go with Jones, Robinson, and Thomas. It’s too early to give Brown the nod with Roth iffy.

  49. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Ted-I like Ben Tate at RB and I’d probably go with Nicks over Fitz given the matchup

  50. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Fernando-your toughest RB matchups are Gore and Spiller. I think you have to play Steven Jackson because of the number of touches he will receive in the passing and running game. If Bradshaw is practicing fully I like his matchup a lot. At D, I’m rolling with Seattle over those two. Their hot right now even though their on the road.

  51. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Sean-Stafford

  52. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @TheBurghler-I’d go with Thomas for sure and either Decker or Wayne. It depends on how comfortable you are starting two wide receivers on the same team with a quarterback who will complete fifteen passes tops.

  53. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Benny-those are all intriguing choices. Freeman is limited with a deep tissue bruise in his throwing shoulder and they may roll with Josh Johnson. If that’s the case, I like the Cowboys. Washington can put up points but they can also turn the ball over. It really depends on your defensive scoring system. If you’re looking for the defense to hold the opposing team to fewest points I’d go with Falcons, Cowboys, Giants. Cowboys and Giants will force more turnovers however.

  54. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Emily-I’d go with CJ, Jones, Cruz, and Thomas

  55. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Eltoo-I would definately start Tebow and I would definately start Thomas over Lance Moore first, Brown second.

  56. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Bozztime-you’re still alive despite my bad/unlucky advice! The Cardinals D should be solid but you’ve got to consider what will get the most points. Houston will force turnovers and a way it will cover your butt if Cam has an off day. The great thing about Newton is that he can throw two picks and still put up twenty points. It’s tough to sit AP against the Saints but I’d understand if you want to roll with the hot hands. That would be a last minute decision for me as I would pay very close attention to the practice reports. Check out rotoworld.com for daily updates on AP. Call me Sunday and I’ll have a better answer.

  57. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Billyray-I’d actually go with Gaffney out of that group in PPR this week.

  58. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Paulzone-those are some really tough toss up decisions man. Given your bonuses and six points for passing td’s I like Stafford at QB and Bradshaw if healty. For your second running back I like Thomas if it’s PPR, but if not, I kind of like Jacobs as the guy most likely to get the second most points out of those guys. I know it’s outrageous playing two rbs from the same team but if you look at matchup wise it may not be so dumb. However, if Batch starts I would be inclined to play Gore simply because the Steelers may lose the field position battle/cough up the ball in their own territory, giving him more opportunities.

  59. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Paulzone-forgot your WR situation. It’s between Brown and Moss and completely dependent on whether or not Big Ben plays. If he plays it’s a coinflip with a lean toward Moss. If not, it’s clearly Moss.

  60. zandercage says:
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    Hey Matt –

    Need Flex help this week. Pick one, standard scoring –

    Blount
    Harvin
    Tate
    Antonio Brown
    Jonathan Stewart
    Spiller

    Thanks!!!

  61. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Bluety-I’d roll with McGahee and Bush at rb and take Brown or Jones out at WR. Tough call since Jones plays tonight. That one’s up to you grasshopper.

  62. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Zandercage-pick 1!!!!! You’ve got a lot of good flex options there but it’s between Harvin and Tate. I like Tate a lot against that Carolina run D, or lackthereof, but Harvin is on fire and the Vikings will have to utilize his versatility to hang with the Saints. Gun to my head I guess I’d go with Harvin over Tate but those two guys stand out from the rest of the pack.

  63. zandercage says:
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    Thanks. Starting Foster in one of my RB slots, so not sure on doubling up there, unless you suggest Tate over Felix Jones.

    Another league question – if Big Ben doesn’t go, who should I pick up – Grossman, Locker or Ponder?

    Thanks again!

  64. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Zandercage-sorry for the late reply. By now I’m sure you know Hasselbeck is sloted to start. Out of Grossman and Ponder I like Ponder a bit more. However, I own Big Ben in one of my leagues and I am benching him for T.J. Yates. It’s a bit risky but you have to like the matchup against Carolina and I actually think the game could be fairly high scoring.

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