We have a new addition to “Game Day Companion” that should help your team out some weeks.  I have been talking about Bye weeks a lot lately. There are times when you have multiple players out and you have to start players you normally would not consider. Then you have injuries that can wreak havoc on your roster.

What we’re going to do each Sunday, in addition to our extensive tiered buy-sell list, is to talk about players at each position who you can spot start for today if you’re really stuck. We are focusing on fringe-type players that are likely free agents in your league. I’m not going to tell you to pick up Ahmad Bradshaw, LeSean McCoy, or other players who have no business being on the wire. Enjoy!

Week 5 Matchup Savers


Shaun Hill- The least appreciated NFL QB other than David Garrard. Look I’m not saying he’s the second coming of Joe Montana or anything but this guy has been an above-average signal caller since he won this job.

Derek Anderson– He pushed the ball down the field last week and did some positive things on Offense. The Bills Defense isn’t that great and Anderson could have a decent week.

Trent Edwards- If T.O. and that receiving core can’t put up some production against this horrible Defense they ought to be ashamed. Edwards actually had two decent games to start the season so he might be respectable in this matchup.

Jason Campbell- He really is a bad NFL Quarterback. But the Panthers Defense has put zero pressure whatsoever on the QB this season. Campbell could have a decent game.

Running Back:

Mewelde Moore- Willie Parker is out so Mendenhall is going to be the feature back in Pittsburgh. Moore is the primary pass-catching back and he will get some carries also. I think he’s a really nice start as a flex player in super deep leagues.

Lawrence Maroney- Fred Taylor’s out no so I guess this perennial disappointment will be the feature runner out of necessity. He could be sneaky good this week. His Yahoo picture is sketchy.

Ryan Moats- He is going to get some carries this week, probably 10 at least with the potential to get 15 like he did last week. I LOVE him as a stash, also.

Chester Taylor- The Vikings could be up by a large chunk by the 4th quarter and Taylor could get some nice mop-up duty.

Jerious Norwood- He is finally back from his concussion trouble.  He’s not going to do a ton against San Francisco, but could help you in a pinch in ppr leagues.

Wide Receiver

Andre Caldwell- Ochocinco is relevant again and as he draws more coverage I anticipate better looks for the other receivers. Maybe Caldwell can be the new T.J.

Donnie Avery- The #1 by default in St. Louis. They have to throw it to somebody!

Louis Murphy- See Donnie Avery

Jason Avant- The Eagles have a cupcake matchup this week so you have to love the potential from any of their Offensive players.

Austin Collie- Peyton Manning. Need I say more?

Mark Bradley- Defenses are really starting to key in on Dwayne Bowe. Bradley has been pretty decent this season and maybe he’ll start to get even better looks.

Sam Hurd- With Roy Williams out Miles Austin is a very good play, but Hurd is also a good emergency play if Austin has been snatched up.  His targets should increase markedly with this bump up in the depth chart.

Tight End

Mercedes Lewis- Probably my favorite spot starter at TE this week.

Dante Rosario- Hopefully Jake Delhomme looks his way again this week.

Kevin Boss- The G-men are taking on the lowly Oakland Defense. If you’re stuck for a TE Boss will be fine.

Bo Scaife- Nothing sexy about Bo but he should give you a few points.


Miami (vs. NYJ): This was a “Sleeper” Defense coming into the season. The Jets haven’t been uber-explosive offensively and if you have a poor matchup there are worse starts out there than this one.

Atlanta (@SF): A classic example of betting against a particular team (the San Francisco offense). The Falcons are nothing to brag about defensively. They are not a pressure-oriented scheme that you could anticipate creating a lot of turnovers.

Alright so now it’s time for our watch list of players to either trade and get or look to unload from our teams depending on what happens this weekend.

Buy High

Rashard Mendenhall- This guy is on the verge of having a true breakout season.

Ronnie Brown-Doc has been touting this guy since the preseason. I didn’t think he was going to be that big but I was wrong. He is the real deal and I love what they do with him in the Wildcat. Definite potential to be a top 10 Fantasy Scorer.

DeSean Jackson-Obvious big-time breakout candidate. The big knock on him now is that he isn’t getting enough catches. Maybe you can use that against his owner.

Mike Sims-Walker-He looks like the real deal. Hopefully his owner is looking to cash in on his bump up in value. Don’t give up an elite player for him but a lesser starting running back seems like reasonable value.

Bernard Berrian- He’s finally getting on the same page with the Old Man.

Jerome Harrison- He will continue to get a lot of work and Lewis will continue to breakdown.

Sell High

Braylon Edwards- The hype alone from this trade has increased his value despite his previous poor play. Maybe he will flourish in New York but I think it’ll take a while. If Edwards does ANYTHING in this game a lot of people are going to lose their minds and give up too much for him.

Cadillac Williams- I’ve heard all the reports about how they want to make him an “every down back,” etc. When a guy has the type of injury history that he does don’t get greedy. Get some production out of him then sell high. You are going to get burned if you don’t.

Clinton Portis- He has a great chance to have a good game against the weak Carolina rush defense and that would give you a great chance to sell him.

Ryan Grant- The Packers offensive line is horrid and Grant hasn’t looked much better.

Buy Low

Darren Sproles- LT is not even close to where he once was, but he may be able to rest up enough to look decent and drive Sroles price down.  Grab him if you can.

Cedric Benson- He is getting all the work and looking good doing so, but the Ravens should be able to hold him in check.  See if you can grab him after a down game.

Brian Westbrook- You should be able to get Westbrook very cheaply.  McCoy will continue to get some carries which might actually help Westy stay a little healthier.  A part-time Westbrook is still worth a lot of fantasy bucks.

Wes Welker- His constant game-time decision status may have given his owner an peptic ulcer.  Give him or her some relief and take Welker for a song.

Marion Barber- His injury history and amount of good backs around him might worry some owners. The guy is still a beast and will get into the endzone a lot.

Percy Harvin- He is going to just keep getting better.  His numbers aren’t quite there, but the skill is along with the confidence of his team.

Sell Low

Larry Johnson- The guy is getting a lot of work and that was a bit of a worry going into the season, but a lot of work is not turning into a lot of production.

Laverneus Coles- Ocho, Caldwell, and Henry are the best wide receivers on the team.  Coles’ name might be interesting to someone living in 2002.

Willie Parker- Mendenhall is the Steelers’ future and as long as he continues to run with a purpose he’ll continue to start while Willie will continue to get injured.

Jamal Lewis- Mangini will give him the ball in an attempt to have a power runner, but it won’t work.  Hopefully someone will want a “starting” running back.

Terrell Owens- He could still be a decent fantasy player, but he has lost a step and Trent Edwards cannot make him better, he’ll only make him worse.

  1. Marvin N. says:

    So, should I start Shaun Hill over Kyle Orton? Rivers is on bye for me and I need some help here…Thx.

  2. Matt B says:

    Anderson @ Buffalo or Cassel vs. Dallas?

  3. AL KOHOLIC says:

    doc,or anyone,owens or m busch?

  4. hideousmutants says:

    Getting cold feet about Roddy White given 49ers D (which I’m also starting this week). Could swap in Massoquoi or Manningham. Any thoughts?

  5. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Matt B: anderson ,i think he throws 2 td`s and of course 2 int`s but i think he fairs better than cassel

  6. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @hideousmutants: roddy has to break out soon,my gut says massaquoi but im waiting another week to see what he and anderson can do,but massaquoi will get the targets for sure

  7. Denys says:

    lee evans or antonio bryant today?

  8. Doc

    Doc says:

    EDIT!! Jonathan Stewart will play.

  9. Doc

    Doc says:

    Culpepper is starting today

  10. Denys says:

    @Doc: also – Culpepper or Orton??

  11. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Denys: Orton

  12. ETMcgee says:

    i need 2 RBs and a flex play:
    RB- RRice, JHarrision
    Flex – KSmith v PIT

    or should i play LMcCoy v TB, or FJackson v CLE instead of any of the above?

  13. Calogero says:

    Romo or Garrard?

  14. Doc

    Doc says:

    @ETMcgee: Tough, I’m going with Jackson’s matchup.

  15. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Calogero: Romo

  16. Doc

    Doc says:

    Eli Manning looks like he’ll go.

  17. quimmy says:

    help. 12 team ppr

    flex options – harrison, massaquoi, leon washington or beanie wells?

    pick one

  18. Calogero says:

    Eli Manning looks like he’s missing chromosomes

  19. Doc

    Doc says:

    @quimmy: Harrison

  20. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Denys: Evans

  21. cincinnasty says:

    Pierre Garcon or Antonio Bryant as my 2nd wideout

    Ahmad Bradshaw or Julius Jones at my flex w/r

  22. Bofum says:

    donald brown or j. harrison

  23. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    @Doc: Dwayne Bowe vs. DAL or Ahmad Bradshaw vs. OAK as a flex play? Thanks

  24. Stumanji says:

    Where does LT fit on the Buy/Sell list?

  25. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Stumanji: he’s a sell. Hopefully he does something next week

  26. Stumanji says:

    @Doc: What would be a good target in a 1 for 1: Injured Gore, Benson, S-Jax, Kevin Smith, Moreno, Barber…? Would I be aiming too high or too low with any of those guys?

  27. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Stumanji: I’d try for Moreno/Smith

  28. cleaver596 says:

    what the hell’s going on in cleveland? Jamal Lewis has 14 carries all ready to Harrison’s 3. I don’t like this.

  29. Doc

    Doc says:

    @cleaver596: Agreed. So stupid.

  30. Doc

    Doc says:

    Mike-Sims Walker inactive for violating team rules

  31. daves says:

    Maclin = real deal?

  32. Doc

    Doc says:

    @daves: Yeah, DJax should actually get some catches in future games, but with the amount of passing the Eagles do MaClins should continue to get enough looks.

  33. matthole says:

    fyi….sims-walker inactive

  34. hideousmutants says:

    I know it’s just one data point and the weekend isn’t over but I LOVE RAZZBALL! And, hats off to Grey for getting great fantasy sports minds on to football.

  35. hideousmutants says:

    I mean to mention the “sticking with Roddy” advice in that last post.

  36. AL KOHOLIC says:

    might get lucky in all 3 leagues with sims walker in my lineup,and my pickup of lewis might turn out pretty nice after all,i think derrik anderson is a crack head,thats the only thing that scares me about massaquoi,and we found out today what us dallas fans already knew,austin is better than williams

  37. tenken says:

    chris brown vultures the TD. should slaton owners start getting worried?

    also, what are your thoughts on trent edwards? is their any hope that buffalo’s offense improves?

  38. Josh says:

    OK, that does it. I’m putting 100% of my trust in Razzball from now on. You guys tried to tell me Miles Austin was gonna blow up. I picked him up this morning, only to cut him 20 minutes before kickoff because I got panicked that Welker might not play and so I needed another WR option with a late game.

    I’ve still looking pretty good to win my matchup, but MAN do I feel like a dunce for cutting Miles Austin. Of course, the guy I actually started, the guy I deemed too valuable to cut instead of Austin…the immortal Mohamed Massaquoi. Only a 36 point swing between those two dudes!

  39. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @tenken: i own slaton in a shallow family league and im cutting him AGAIN SHALLOW LEAGUE HERE .i think he will still be good and in 12 team leagues ,you either play him or trade him for another starting rb,you have a good number of big name backs starting slow this year,forte,deangelo,westbrook,tomlinson,jacobs,rice, portis,jackson-no td`s,and turner untill today

  40. tenken says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: I don’t know about cutting him man. I was watching the end of the game and Slaton made some really sweet cuts. Only thing that’s bugging me is Chris Brown getting the goal line carries.

    Slaton gained weight for a reason this offseason and Chris Brown hasn’t really pulled through when it counted (fumble at the goal line for the lost a few weeks ago as well as getting stuffed like a turkey today at the 1 yd line for the tie.)

    Hopefully, the coaching staff starts giving slaton the goal line carries.

  41. Drew

    Drew says:

    @tenken: agree with you about Slaton. I feel like he’s very good buy going forward. Chris Brown is horrible it’s only a matter of time before Kubiak stops giving him the ball. You have to take risks to win and right now buying low on Slaton is one of them.

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