Hello Razzball readers! My name is Mike Braude, and I’m a new contributor here on Razzball. I’m going to be writing this column weekly, and I look forward to answering your questions and helping you guys win your leagues! Asher Molk and I will be working as a team and editing each other’s columns so feel free to ask either of us any questions; we’d love to help! And check us out on Twitter at @BraudeM and @AsherMolk.

Carolina at Atlanta

This game looks like it’s going to be a fun one to watch. Cam Newton has the look of an elite QB1, he’s going to have to keep up with the Falcons offense and is always a good bet for a rushing TD as his team’s proven goal line option. If you’re lucky enough to have him, keep him going. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart are two extremely talented RBs. If one of them gets injured, expect the other one to produce like a RB1. However, facing a pretty good Falcons run defense, it’s hard to recommend either one as more than a low-end RB2/flex option. Williams is a little better in non-PPR, as Stewart gets the nod in PPR leagues. Keep Steve Smith going as a full-blown WR1- him and Newton are proving to be an unstoppable duo so don’t expect it to end against a sub-par Falcons pass defense. Brandon LaFell isn’t getting a significant chance to prove himself with only 2 targets last week and only 18 on the year, don’t expect anything to change. Legedu Naanee is getting the targets, but lacks the talent of a fantasy starter – keep on waiver wires. Olsen has emerged as the fantasy option on the Panthers, he has shown to talent to put up numbers but his ceiling is capped by the presence of Shockey. Olsen can be started, but only if you must – leave Shockey on your bench or the wavier wire.

Matt Ryan has been a huge disappointment thus far and it’s only a matter of time until his season turns around. The Carolina defensive has proven it can stop the pass but I expect Ryan to put up at least low-end QB1 numbers. This could be the week he gets it going. Michael Turner has shown signs of slowing down but should provide high-end RB2 numbers in this plus matchup- he often saves his games with a TD. I look for the Falcons offense to come together as a whole in this one, starting with Turner on the ground. With Julio Jones likely out, look for Roddy White to explode. Roddy should have one of his best games of the season, expect elite WR1 production that comes with a plethora of targets. In Julio’s absence I was looking for Harry Douglas to have an impact, but Mike Smith has said they will use a rotation to replace their injured WR. Tony Gonzalez has provided solid TE1 value this season; expect more of the same, as he should get an increase in targets with Julio out.

Indianapolis at Cincinnati

The Bengals defense is going to provide a tough matchup for the Colts offense. Last week Curtis Painter provided the Colts offense with the passing game they’ve been looking for, but only for one half. In the second half Painter struggled, showing the inconsistency we’ve been expecting. This week leave Painter on your benches; he has a tough matchup with a very underrated Bengals defense. With Addai likely out, expect Delone Carter and Donald Brown to split the load. Last week Carter was in on 24 snaps to Brown’s 21. The two will not be able to generate enough against a good Bengals run defense to consider starting either one but if you must, go with Carter, as he’ll get the goal-line carries. Pierre Garcon has been fantastic lately, showing he has a special connection with Painter. Consider him a WR3 right now, but expect defenses to start giving him more attention, which will open up more for Wayne. Garcon just doesn’t possess the special talent to warrant forced throws, therefore expect the production to be spread around more in the future. Do yourself a favor and drop Dallas Clark.

The Bengals offense should be more productive this week against the Colts. The Colts haven’t been very good against the pass, but leave Andy Dalton on the bench. He’s an inconsistent rookie QB and the Bengals will look to get Benson the rock against the undersized Colts. The Colts are second to last against the run, meaning a great matchup for Benson – consider him a RB2 with upside. I expect a similar performance to what Blount did two weeks ago on Monday Night Football. A.J. Green is proving that talent can overcome a bad situation and with 8 targets last week, it should be more of the same for him. After struggling with Bowe last week, look for the Colts secondary to struggle with Green, he’s an off the charts WR2 this week. Jerome Simpson had 7 targets last week and should benefit from Green receiving extra attention, but he’s not an option in fantasy leagues but is the next best bet out of the Bengals WRs. Jermaine Gresham is averaging 41.6 yards a game but his 3 TDs in five games gives him low-TE1 consideration.

San Francisco at Detroit

Alex Smith is coming off a nice 3 TD performance, but the 5-0 Lions are coming to town. Leave Smith on your bench – there’s a chance he will be running from the Lions pass rush all game. Gore has now strung together two nice performances and should continue to be productive, but temper your expectations against a tough Lions run defense. Gore should provide owners with high-end RB2 numbers. Michael Crabtree is the only 49ers WR deserving of fantasy consideration, however he played just 21 snaps last week and should stay on fantasy benches until we see some production. Vernon Davis is never worth sitting, but don’t let your expectations run wild against a tough Detroit defense.

On this side of the ball, expect a heavy dose of Matthew Stafford and the Lions pass offense. The 49ers have been very good against the run and the Lions won’t waste their time getting stuffed. Keep Stafford rolling as a QB1. This is a tough matchup for Jahvid Best, he will carry much more value in PPR leagues this week. He is much better at home on the Ford Field turf, but the 49ers from seven has been as good as anyone – consider him a RB2/flex option in non-PPR and RB2 in PPR leagues. Calvin Johnson cannot be stopped by anyone, as always he’s an elite WR1. Burleson and Titus Young continue to cancel each other out, each only receiving 4 targets last week, but if you have to play one go Burleson – he’s on the field more. Pettigrew has been targeted the second most on the team and should be considered a low-end TE1 in this matchup. The 49ers give up fewer points than most teams but with the Lions likely abandoning the run expect more of the same from the passing offense.

St. Louis at Green Bay

This one is gonna get ugly. The Rams are coming off a bye, so hopefully they are a little more prepared than they have appeared. Either way, the Packers are just a much better team. Bradford has had one good passing game all year and considering the struggles of his receivers and offensive line, I don’t expect anything to change against the former champs. Steven Jackson will likely struggle in this game, as he’s not going to get a lot of attempts with his team falling behind – consider him a low-end RB2 in PPR leagues and a flex in non-PPR. It is very tough to recommend any Rams WRs. They have been extremely inconsistent this year and have all struggled with catching Bradford’s passes. Sims-Walker and Danario Alexander lead the group but aren’t fantasy options, and neither is Lance Kendricks. Until proven wrong, continue to bench these guys weekly.

The Packers should build an early lead in this one, so I expect to see a little more of their rushing attack than usual. Aaron Rodgers has been fantastic and will tear apart the Rams pass defense early and often – as always, start him. The hot-hand committee has been tough to predict but Starks has much more talent and potential. Either Grant or Starks are playable as a flex; this is going to be a game where at least one of them gets the touches to produce, but bet on it being Starks. Keep Jennings going as a WR1, he’s a special player and finds a way to produce every week. It’s tough to predict who will produce from the rest of the WRs but my money is on Jordy Nelson this week. The Packers love Nelson’s blocking and in a game that they will be running the ball a lot he should see a lot of snaps. James Jones is an option but I would prefer not to rely on him for consistent fantasy numbers. Jones has overtaken Driver on the depth chart, thus Driver is not an option in fantasy leagues. Finley tied for the lead in targets last week and continues to provide TE1 numbers, keep him starting.

Buffalo at New York Giants

Ryan Fitzpatrick has finally returned to Earth: over the last two weeks he has 404 yards and only one touchdown. The Giants provide a similar matchup to last week, when the Bills played the Eagles, so the statistics may not be too different. The Giants have been gashed by the run, but their pass rush has proved to be strong when other teams drop back to pass. Leave Fitzpatrick on the bench, but keep Fred Jackson rolling. Fred Jackson had one of his best games as a pro last weekend and will continue to provide RB1 value in this plus matchup. Stevie Johnson hasn’t been himself recently but with Donald Jones out, he should provide WR2 value in this one. David Nelson’s situation is becoming a little alarming – after the injury to Donald Jones last week, he was moved to the outside and only received two targets in the game. If he moves out of the slot, his value is greatly diminished. Do yourself a favor and don’t play any of the Buffalo TEs.

Eli Manning has been great recently and should continue this week against the poor Buffalo pass defense. Consider Eli a QB1 in this plus matchup. My colleague Asher Molk wrote a Buy Low/Sell High column recently and suggested buying low on Ahmad Bradshaw. I agree with him and would go as far as saying Bradshaw will produce RB1 numbers for the next few weeks. There’s no question Bradshaw has the talent and with Jacobs out, his situation is extremely promising. Keep him in your lineups this week, as Buffalo provides Bradshaw with an easy start to his upcoming hot streak. Hakeem Nicks is an elite WR1 this week; he should be great as always. Victor Cruz looks like a solid WR2; when he plays, he has produced, and that leaves us with no reasons to sit him. During the bloated bye week, I’d have a hard time sitting Manningham; this game should be a shootout, expect him to get involved as a WR3. Jake Ballard has been a popular free agent pickup but is much better suited for a blocking-TE role. I’m chalking the last two games up as a fluke – Eli has plenty of targets to throw to downfield and I’m not buying Ballard as a consistent member.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh

This matchup will be a tough one for rookie QB Blaine Gabbart: a rookie QB with no special receivers is never a recipe for success – leave him on the wavier wire. Jones-Drew will get plenty of touches against a seemingly average Pittsburgh run defense. He’s still a high-end RB2 but don’t expect huge numbers in this tough matchup for the bowling ball. Mike Thomas has been the target king in Jacksonville but this seems like a matchup to avoid if you have other options. Thomas is going against Ike Taylor with a rookie QB throwing to him… Jason Hill’s game looks like a fluke, mainly because his 74-yard touchdown was blown coverage. Marcedes Lewis has a miniscule 16 targets on the year; he’s no longer a viable fantasy option.

Roethlisberger finally broke out last week and should continue this week. Jacksonville has had strong rush defense and the Steelers haven’t run the ball well. Until we see one more strong performance, I’m going to call Big Ben a low-end QB1. Mendenhall has avoided the injury report and looks to return. The good news is the job remains his and he has the talent to be an important player down the stretch, however this is a tough matchup for him coming off an injury; expect low-end RB2 numbers this week. Wallace is an obvious start as a WR1, but the rest of the Pittsburgh WRs are canceling each other out. Antonio Brown is second on the team in targets but has yet to turn those looks into production. Hines Ward caught 2 TDs last week, but his diminishing skills are beginning to hurt the Steelers offense- they would be much better suited giving his role to Brown or Emmanuel Sanders. Brown looks like the better play but he was only on the field for 18 snaps – leave all of them on the bench this week. Miller had a TD last week but with only two TDs in his last 14 regular season games, he belongs on your bench.

Philadelphia at Washington

This game is a must win for the Eagles and Vick should be racking up fantasy points, obviously keep him in your lineup. Same goes for LeSean McCoy: even though this is a bad matchup for him, he’s going to get the ball and will produce solid RB1 numbers. DeSean Jackson has the look of a WR1 in non-PPR leagues and a high-end WR2 in PPR. Maclin is a high-end WR2 in both but a better bet for PPR. Avant had a great game last week but can’t be counted on for consistent production on a team with so many weapons; leave him on your bench. Celek has to stay in to block too frequently for fantasy production.

Grossman is not an option in this game against the Eagles tough secondary; leave him on your bench. Torain is a very interesting play in this game; it was reported Mike Shanahan gave Hightower a lecture and I expect the coach’s favorite, Torain, to get a lot of touches in this one – I’m expecting high-end RB2 production. Santana Moss is, as usual, a solid WR2 play as the Redskins best passing option. Gaffney is not a good start against this secondary; only play him if you must. Fred Davis should provide another weapon in the passing game for Grossman; he should provide TE1 production.

Cleveland at Oakland

Colt McCoy is averaging a whopping 43 pass attempts per game coming into this matchup. However, the Browns have made it clear that Peyton Hillis will be featured until further notice. McCoy is a bye week filler in 2 QB leagues at best. Speaking of Hillis, trot him out there as a low-end RB2 with a decent bet for a TD. If he has a strong showing here, try to sell him high while you can – the breakdown may be coming earlier than it did last year. Hardesty dropped passes last week and he’s not startable in fantasy leagues. However, the most major development to come out of the Brown’s bye week was the announcement of Greg Little moving into the starting lineups. He will play on all three downs, and at 6’3”, 230lbs he can make things happen after the catch – a good asset to have with the weak-armed McCoy throwing the ball. Grab him off waiver wires, especially in PPR leagues but wait and see how he produces this week before starting him. The only other Browns skill player worth mentioning is Benjamin Watson. The Browns consider him a three down player, but at this point he’s just a low upside bye week plug-in. Start him if you must, but expecting anything over 70 yards will likely end in disappointment.

After coming off an emotional win at Houston following the passing of Al Davis, Oakland has momentum coming into this game. Darren McFadden has been slightly disappointing the past two weeks, but pat yourself on the back if you bought low. He had long gains called back due to penalties last week while still breaking tackles and juking people out of their shoes. Teams have dared Jason Campbell to beat them, and he’s proven more than capable. McFadden has the potential to run wild against the 25th ranked run defense. Campbell has done just what head coach Hugh Jackson has asked – manage the game while handing off to McFadden, and make teams pay when they stack the box. He doesn’t have too much upside against Joe Haden and Co., but he’s a safe option if you have a QB on bye. Of the Raiders pass catchers the only two worth consideration are Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Joe Haden is missing practice, and if he misses the game both of these guys get huge boosts. Consider them high risk/high reward WR3s… both of them are capable of long touchdowns, but also capable of complete clunkers. Kevin Boss is nothing more than a weak TE2 – he isn’t a priority in the passing game at all.

Houston at Baltimore

This game is going to be an interesting test for a Houston team recovering from a loss. One thing is certain – there will be a heavy dose of Arian Foster against a Ravens defense giving up under 73 rushing YPG. Not to worry however: if he cannot get going on the ground, he will still save his fantasy day by catching passes, as evidenced by his 117 yards on 5 catches last week against a Raiders team dead-set on stopping him. He is an elite RB1 and will continue to be as long as he is healthy. With the Raiders stacking the box against Foster, Matt Schaub tore apart the secondary to the tune of 416 yards and a couple of scores. Although he doesn’t have as much long term upside as other QBs, the Ravens could employ the Raiders strategy of stopping the run (a strategy that lead to a win). Asking for another 400yd game would be a stretch, but Schaub is an efficient QB who doesn’t put up clunkers. Put him in lineups if he’s your QB1. As far as the pass catchers go, TE Owen Daniels will continue his impressive season so far as Schaub’s first option until Andre Johnson returns. Keep in mind the Ravens shut down TEs, but he is far and away the best pass catcher the Texans have. Kevin Walter made impressive plays last week, but could easily put up a 2 catch for 27-yard kind of game. Keep him going if you are being killed by the bye week, however. Jacoby Jones, Joel Dreessen, and Derrick Mason are way off the radar screen. Keep moving.

In a matchup of two superior pass defenses, it’s going to be the Ray Rice show for Baltimore. No one should need to tell you that you need to start him, and like Foster, is an elite RB1 even against a Texans defense giving up the 26th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. The rest of the Ravens squad is less promising. Joe Flacco can be played as a low-end QB1 in another bloated bye week, but has a Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde quality to him and has yet to turn into a true QB1 in fantasy. Anquan Boldin has lost a step and against shutdown corner Jonathan Joseph he is a low-end WR2 play even with the new deep threats theoretically opening up the intermediate parts of the field. With Lee Evans returning, he and Torrey Smith cancel each other out – they are no more than bench stashes until one of them carves out a consistent role. The Ravens strategy of rotating their TEs caps the upside of Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, with Dickson being the better desperation play.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

This division matchup features two teams that are trending in complete opposite directions. After losing their opening game against the Super Bowl champions, Drew Brees and Co. have gone 4-0. Against a reeling Tampa Bay squad, this game has the potential to be over by halftime. Drew Brees has not gotten the credit he deserves as an elite QB, in real life and in fantasy. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect 3 or 4 touchdowns against a middle of the pack Buccaneers pass defense. Brees’ number one target in the passing game in this game and going forward is freak-of-nature Jimmy Graham. Following in the footsteps of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates, this ex-basketball player’s athleticism is unsurpassed. He is the number one TE until further notice, and is capable of WR2 production, if not more… start ‘em. The rest of the Saints skill position players are tangled in committees. Darren Sproles is fast becoming an RB2 in PPR leagues and a viable flex in standard leagues. This coaching staff really knows how to use him. Captain Efficiency Pierre Thomas will surely get his fair share of touches, which makes him a flex option during the bye week. Mark Ingram has frustrated owners so far who used a top 50 pick to get him, but hang tight in this matchup, as New Orleans may find themselves with a sizeable lead. This means more clock killing time to rack up the yardage, and a great bet for a TD. The breakout is coming, and you don’t want to have the talented rookie on benches when it comes, he’s an RB2. Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore are all stuck in limbo – there simply aren’t enough targets to go around. Colston is safe to start as an unexciting but usually reliable play, while Moore is a low-end WR3 in PPR leagues. In standard formats, opt with Meachem over Moore because he is the better bet for a long TD. One of these three will usually produce every game, but who will come through is anyone’s guess.

This Tampa Bay team reeling from an embarrassing 45-point loss lacks playmakers across the board. Josh Freeman is one of the lowest upside QBs going… hopefully you didn’t draft him as your QB1. However, he may rack up some garbage time stats if this game gets out of hand. A decent QB2 is a fair grade for him. With LeGarrette Blount riding the pine, the painfully slow, straight line Ernest Graham is in line for carries. Although he has as much playmaking ability as a snail, he will still catch a healthy amount of passes and have goal line duties against a decent but not great Saints rushing defense. He can be an RB2/flex option in standard leagues, but carries more value in PPR. Mike Williams isn’t separating from corners like he did last year, and is suffering from any semblance of playmakers opposite him. But he is running more underneath routes trying to get something going, and is the only red zone threat in this WR corps. Temper expectations for this WR2/3. Preston Parker can’t create after the catch, and is a low-upside PPR option. The only thing saving him is the possibility of a high volume of pass attempts by Freeman, and the Saints taking away the deep ball while playing with a lead. If you want an assured 40-50 yards from your TE position, look no further than Kellen Winslow. Only use him if your starter is on bye. Arrelious Benn and Dezmon Briscoe are unusable in fantasy leagues.

Dallas at New England

This has the biggest shootout potential of any game this week as two of the league’s most identifiable quarterbacks face off. Coming off a much needed bye week, the entire Cowboys passing game is looking at a juicy matchup against a dead last New England pass defense giving up big play after big play. Tony Romo is a high upside top 7 QB play this week, as he finally has a healthy Miles Austin to throw to. Trot him out as a WR1. The Patriots defense has been especially generous against opponents’ number 2 receivers. This bodes well for the refreshed and mega-talented Dez Bryant, who has the potential to explode. It’s vitally important that he is in lineups this week. The oft-injured Felix Jones should be in line for a full workload, and like Jahvid Best, has the game-breaking ability to turn in a dominant fantasy performance. It doesn’t hurt that the Patriots are giving up the 8th most points to opposing RBs. He is a high upside RB2 in this contest. “Old Reliable” Jason Witten will continue the role as safety blanket for Romo. As usual, he is a top 5 TE play with a very high floor. Laurent Robinson, Tashard Choice and Demarco Murray are all complete non-factors, and they will continue to be barring injury.

You cannot name 3 better fantasy or real life QBs than Tom Brady. It wouldn’t be foolish to expect 300 passing yards and two scores – I’d take the “over” on both of those figures. Danny Woodhead is back and ready to assume passing down duties – he’s a slightly risky flex option in PPR formats and not startable in non-PPR leagues. This means reduced snaps for BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley, however. The former is the team’s primary runner and goal line back for the time being, but don’t expect another 130+yard, 2 touchdown outing. Ridley still has a role, but belongs on benches for the time being – do not drop him though. However, I will caution that predicting Bill Belichick’s running back workloads can be tricky to predict, and all of this is subject to fluctuation. Wes Welker is on pace to destroy records, he is a top 3 WR weekly. The number two receiving option on this squad is Aaron Hernandez. He is listed as a TE, but on the field he is 100% receiver. However, do not relegate real TE Rob Gronkowski to benches – he is the best bet for a TE touchdown every week.  Both should be in lineups if possible. Deion Branch came back to life last week, and is a risky play but has played consistently well when Hernandez is in the lineup. He isn’t a bad play as a WR3 or flex, especially in PPR leagues.

Minnesota at Chicago

In Minnesota, the coaching staff is as much to blame for their rough start as the players. However, with Percy Harvin’s snap count increasing and Devin Aromashodu seeing some time over Bernard Berrian, they may be starting to turn the corner. Adrian Peterson proved that he is still the best pure runner in the NFL last week; you’re never benching him. The writing is on the wall for Donovan McNabb, who managed to have a terrible game even in a blowout win. He cannot be in lineups… it’ll be Christian Ponder time sooner rather than later. Aromashodu is the team’s most dynamic pass catcher besides Harvin, but he barely even belongs on benches until he gets a bigger role. As long as you have almost any other WRs on your roster, you can do better than Berrian and Michael Jenkins, who make up arguably the worst WR corps in the league; they should not be rostered. Until one of them emerges as the primary option (which probably won’t happen), stay far away from Kyle Rudolph or Visanthe Shiancoe. As far as Percy Harvin goes, you can bench him until he starts to produce and the coaching staff comes to their senses for good. But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you wanted to insert him into lineups – he is an incredibly versatile and explosive playmaker, it’s just a question of opportunity. In summary, no Vikings should even be rostered outside of Peterson and Harvin.

With a 55:48 pass-to-run ratio the past two weeks, the coaching staff is realizing that Mike Martz’s pass happy system isn’t working, especially with one of the worst offensive lines in football. Matt Forte has been the only bright spot on Chicago’s offense – but oh, how bright that spot has been. He has proven to be a matchup proof top 5 RB1, and definitely top 3 in PPR leagues. Keep him rolling against a Vikings defense giving up the 11th most fantasy points to RBs, just don’t be surprised if Marion Barber snags a goal line score from Forte. Jay Cutler is a QB2 due to his woeful pass blockers, and at this rate is doubtful to make it through the season upright. Bench him if possible, but his talent alone will sometimes be enough to give you a decent amount of points from your QB spot. I do not recommend using any of the Bears pass catchers, but if you must, use Johnny Knox. He is far and away their most talented receiver, but along with the rest of this Bears aerial attack, is always a threat for a 0 or 1 catch game. Dane Sanzenbacher is nothing more than a PPR desperation play, and the other WRs are waiver wire material.

Miami at New York Jets

The leaders of the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes, the Miami Dolphins are coming off a bye week in which they lost their starting QB Chad Henne for the season. Matt Moore gets an immediate test against the best cornerback in football, do not use him. The aforementioned cornerback, Darrelle Revis, will spend his time guarding the talented yet enigmatic Brandon Marshall. If you have another option, feel free to bench Marshall as he gets used to a new QB and will most likely be shut down by Revis. If you have no other options though, put him in lineups and hope for the best. A quick note on Marshall’s value going forward: Although Henne seemed to be progressing, he was no Dan Marino. The aggressive Matt Moore is not much of a downgrade and will still target Marshall relentlessly. A suddenly average Jets run defense makes Daniel Thomas an intriguing RB2/flex play with upside. Plug him in and see what happens, I imagine they will run him all game with Moore at the helm. Reggie Bush is relegated to passing duties, and is only a desperation play in deep PPR leagues – as is Davone Bess, who doesn’t possess the playmaking ability to be worth starting in fantasy leagues. No other Dolphins player is remotely on the fantasy radar.

After the thrashing the Ravens gave them two weeks ago, Rex Ryan vowed to revert to the ball control/ground n’ pound offense. He kept his promise, but it yielded few positive results in a loss to New England. Shonn Greene finally turned in a game in which he exceeded 60 yards rushing, but this untalented back is a low-upside flex option at this point. The matchup is not a tough one however, so if he’s the only option available, pencil him in. But keep expectations very low and sell high when you get the chance. After attempting only 26 passes in this now run-first offense, Mark Sanchez is nothing but an unexciting QB2 – do not lean on him unless entirely necessary. The only Jet receiver with any upside whatsoever is Santonio Holmes, who got going last week with 60 yards and a score. He will be Sanchez’s first option most of the time he drops back. Keep the faith and start him. Plaxico Burress has nothing left in the tank, and must be on benches- a red zone TD is his ceiling nowadays. The biggest loser in the switch to the run-first offense has been and will continue to be Dustin Keller. Once a very acceptable TE1, Keller only received two targets last game even though he played a vast majority of the snaps. He is quickly falling into TE2 territory, and only use him in a bye week pinch.

Once again, feel free to contact and follow me on Twitter @BraudeM!

  1. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    Jacobs is out for sure, Bradshaw is a RB1 this week. Haden is out, big boost for Oakland WRs – look for Moore to produce.

  2. Mike says:
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    Gut check for B Marshall…bench him for Manningham? Both seem like a crap shoot this week.

  3. timmy riggins says:
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    @Mike Braude: hi, good article. whod you recommend as WR3 in .5ppr: D.moore, little, gaffney. TE: F.Davis or Keller?

    would you trade cam newton, fred jackson, keller for arod,djax,gronk

    thanks

  4. The Vaporizers says:
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    Start Harvin or Meachem this week?

  5. The Vaporizers says:
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    and thats in a PPR league

  6. Phil says:
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    Hey Mike, B. Marshall or James Jones this week at WR2? Std scoring, Non-PPR
    Thanks!

  7. Rocky says:
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    Marshall, Little, or Crabtree? I am thinking Little since Oakland’s pass D looks suspect.

  8. Dezzed says:
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    With that said…Start Matt Ryan vs. Carolina or Sanchez vs. Miami (with their lowsy pass D).

    Thanks hombre

  9. Willy D says:
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    Couple questions here…

    Mendy, Torain, D. Thomas, or Deangelo Williams, reggie wayne or victor cruz as my flex??

    And would you start victor cruz or reggie wayne?

  10. exactly says:
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    i can start greene or sanchez in a flex position, which one would you go with?

  11. Calmer Than You Are says:
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    I need a replacement for Blount just for this week.

    Torain, E. Graham, or D. Thomas?

    I will not abide another loss.

  12. Chris says:
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    I need a replacement for Blount.

    Who’s the best option both for this week, as well as the next month (as Blount might be out for a while):

    E Graham, K Lumpkin, D Carter, D Brown, or S Ridley?

  13. DFresh says:
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    Can’t decide between Gronk and Daniels. Gronk’s burnt me two weeks in a row now but Daniels against Balt scares me. Also gotta decide between SJax and Best against two tough defenses. Leaning SJax but Best’s explosiveness is intriguing. Thoughts?

  14. jake says:
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    pick two from Torain, D. Thomas and Best

  15. DW says:
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    Denarius Moore or Greg Little?

  16. Jhern says:
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    I cant decide whats my best option. Right now my starting line up is:
    RB: Steven Jackson, Graham
    TE: Hernandez
    Flex: Sproles

    I also have Gronkowski on the bench. Would you move Sproles to RB and move Jackson or Graham to bench and put Gronkowski in the flex?

  17. dreap town all stars says:
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    Need two ppr rb got a mess. Ridley, Starks, Daniel Thomas, high t and torain. I’m thinking starks and torain. Opion? Thanks.

  18. AlexW says:
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    Great article Mike, I’ll be reading your posts from here on out.

    Couple questions for you in a PPR setting:

    Daniel Thomas or Earnest Graham as RB2 behind Matt Forte?
    Expectations for Crabtree this week? Better or worse than say, Denarious Moore or Johnny Knox?

  19. sos says:
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    Dynasty Question, would you trade Felix and Brandlon Lloyd for Mendy and Jordy Nelson? They would cost the same for next year combined with the only difference being that Lloyd could be kept the following year as well…

  20. money says:
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    PPR league ROS which 2 do you want: Djax, Maclin, Austin or Stevie Johnson?

  21. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Mike: You have to go Brandon Marshall, he should still be a target monster. Sadly you can’t rely on Manningham.

  22. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @timmy riggins: Have to go Greg Little, he’s going to be an every down player and he looks like a special talent. At TE, it’s a much closer call but I would go Keller because he’s been more consistent and I don’t relying on Rex Grossman… The trade looks tough to predict without knowing your team. Send me your roster and I’d be happy to help you out.

  23. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @The Vaporizers: Have to go Harvin, Meachem is only the fourth option on his team behind Graham, Colston and Sproles. Harvin just needs McNabb and the coaching staff to come through and he could breakout any week, hopefully this one

  24. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Phil: Have to go Marshall, James Jones is only in on 40% of the Packers offensive snaps

  25. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Rocky: It’s Marshall or Little, I’d prefer Marshall but he’s going against Revis so if you’re feeling risky – it would be an intriguing play to give Little a go

  26. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Dezzed: Have to go Matt Ryan – Sanchez isn’t going to get the attempts you’re used to seeing with the new ground n’ pound offense in New York

  27. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Willy D: I would say Mendenhall unless Hightower is inactive, then you must play Torain with his high-upside matchup against the pathetic Eagles run defense. For WR, I have to say Victor Cruz, whenever he’s played he’s been fantastic – tough to sit when he’s producing week in and week out

  28. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @exactly: Usually a QB is going to score more than a RB so I would say Sanchez but it’s tough to give you an answer without knowing your scoring system

  29. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Calmer Than You Are: Torain has huge upside against the Eagles pathetic excuse for a run defense – he could easily go off… especially if Hightower is out

  30. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Chris: Graham for this upcoming week and most likely the month. Lumpkin doesn’t have a role yet and the coaching staff seems to like the veteran. Graham just isn’t a special talent – so I would love to say Ridley but I don’t see him getting the touches within the next few games. Brown and Carter cancel each other out, both splitting in a struggling offense.

  31. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @DFresh: For TE, I would recommend Daniels with Andre out but I imagine he may have to stay in at times to block against the Baltimore blitz. Gronk should at least get a TD in the Patriots/Cowboys shootout. For RB, it depends if you are in a PPR league, if it’s not PPR you have to go SJax. The San Fran run defense is just too good to start Best against, as he already struggles running inside. They have yet to allow a rushing TD this year.

  32. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @jake: PPR or non-PPR, I have to think Best and Torain – close one though, Thomas is a very intriguing against the Jets struggling run defense

  33. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @DW: I would say Greg Little because he doesn’t have much competition for targets but this one is really a toss-up. I wouldn’t blame you for playing Moore with Haden out, he has the potential to explode.

  34. kratos says:
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    Start 2 non ppr
    Sproles, Torain, D.Thomas, Felix

    Start 3 non ppr
    Dez, Crabtree, Harvin, Little

    Start 1 non ppr
    Cam or Brees

    Thx

  35. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Jhern: The answer depends on whether the is a PPR league, if it’s not, I would take Graham out and put Gronk at flex. There’s going to be a lot of points to go around in the Patriots game and having Gronk and Hernandez can be dangerous. Graham’s upside just isn’t that high but for PPR leagues he catches a lot of balls out of the backfield

  36. zandercage says:
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    Hey Mike –

    Standard scoring FLEX => Danario Alexander or Antonio Brown?

    Thanks!

  37. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @dreap town all stars: Starks and Torain is the direction I would go in too. With Hightower banged up and Torain being Mike Shanahan’s favorite, I think it’s a recipe for a big game against the poor Eagles run defense. Starks is going to get the opportunity to produce in this game against St. Louis and I don’t see what’s stopping him from producing nicely. The third best option would be Thomas going against a struggling Jets run defense, he just doesn’t add catches for PPR and that’s the deal-breaker in my mind.

  38. BigChibbs says:
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    Who are my best 2 options for this week?

    Fred Davis, Daniel Thomas, Mark Ingram, DHB

    Thanks!

  39. BigChibbs says:
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    non ppr

  40. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @AlexW: In PPR I have to say Graham, he could easily catch 5 balls and with Bush in Miami I don’t see Thomas catching any balls. In non-PPR, I would say Thomas as I think his talent is superior but Graham’s catches make the difference. For WR, I would rank them Moore, Crabtree, Knox. I think Crabtree will get better as the year goes on but the Lions defense is stronger than people think and he’s gonna have to step up if he wants to produce. Ideally you would wait and see with him.

  41. Commish Cauda says:
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    12-team, 0.5 ppr

    My RBs are Benson, DeAngelo Williams, Earnest Graham, and D. Murray
    My WRs are Fitz, VJax, V. Cruz, Little & Burleson

    Trade Fitz for Felix Jones & Deion Branch?

  42. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @sos: I would say do it but it’s extremely tough based on not knowing Lloyd’s future. I think Mendenhall is the best player in the deal because he’s a more complete back than Felix. I definitely see the Cowboys adding a RB next year. Nelson has a nice future but he’s only a third option behind Jennings and Finley – plus don’t forget Randall Cobb, who has the look of a special talent. I would say do it but definitely not a slam-dunk

  43. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @money: Miles Austin and DJax, Miles Austin could easily explode – he’s a WR1. It’s impossible to sit DJax after his last two games.

  44. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @kratos: Felix and Torain. Mayo, the Patriots best tackler, is most likely going to miss the game so Felix could explode. Torain also has a lot of upside against the Eagles poor rush defense. Dez, Harvin, Little in that order. Crabtree just needs to produce before you can start him over those guys. At QB, good problem to have – I would say Brees by a hair.

  45. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @zandercage: Not loving either one this week but with a solid Jags run D, I’m expecting a lot of passing from the Steelers – go Brown.

  46. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Commish Cauda: Usually I go with the best player theory and Fitz is the best player – but with your team you have no RBs and the Cardinals have the hardest schedule the rest of the way for passing offenses. In a tough call, I think you need to do it but if Felix goes nuts against the Patriots struggling defense this week you probably want to sell high on him.

  47. DeeMan says:
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    Green-Ellis was just waived. I have Gore, Starks, D.Thomas and JStew.
    Standard league. Would you waive either for Ellis?

  48. Rocky says:
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    Would you start Mendenhall or Best this week? I am thinking Mendenhall since Pittsburgh found some of that running game groove back last week, and 49ers shut down the run well. Agree?

  49. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @DeeMan: Very tough – obviously Gore needs to be kept and I believe Thomas does too. From there it gets difficult, Ellis seems to have the strongest grasp on the job. I would say drop Stewart – DeAngelo is getting more touches than him and Newton is handling the goal line carries…. I believe he has the least upside of this group.

  50. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @BigChibbs: Definitely Thomas, he stands out on that list. From there I would say Ingram – mainly because I expect the Saints to blow the Bucs out (goal-line carries) and with Gerald McCoy injured for the Bucs, there should be somewhere for Ingram to run

  51. BigChibbs says:
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    Who are my best 2 options for this week (non ppr)?

    Fred Davis, Daniel Thomas, Mark Ingram, DHB

    Thanks!

  52. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Rocky: Agree, good thinking – with Starks back in the lineup Mendenhall should fare better

  53. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @BigChibbs: I don’t know if you got this last time but: Definitely Thomas, he stands out on that list. From there I would say Ingram – mainly because I expect the Saints to blow the Bucs out (goal-line carries) and with Gerald McCoy injured for the Bucs, there should be somewhere for Ingram to run

  54. Commish Cauda says:
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    12-team, 0.5 ppr

    Starks or Ingram this week?

  55. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Commish Cauda: I would go Starks, he should have the opportunity to have a very good game. He’ll see more touches than Ingram against a worse defense

  56. FFGramma says:
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    PPR league
    QB-Playing Eli Manning over Curtis Painter?
    RB-Playing Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson, Darren McFadden over Peyton Hillis?
    WR-Playing Jeremy Maclin
    then should I play WR-Lance Morre or TE-Ed Dickson?
    TE-playing Fred Davis?
    Def-Bills over Raiders?
    K-Playing Billy Cundiff over Jay Freely?
    Really need your help, thanks

  57. timmy riggins says:
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    @Mike Braude: thanks, 10 team, .5ppr w/flex.
    1pt-10yds rushing/receiving, 1pt-25yds passing, 6pts-all TDs. qb: cam,tebow WR-nicks,vjax,colston,dmoore,little.RB-rrice,fjax,beanie,greene,ridley.TE-keller

    would you trade cam,fjax,keller for arod,djax,gronkowski (has VD too)? thanks

  58. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @FFGramma: They all look good, I would say Moore and change to the Raiders defense, they have a much easier matchup. However I would definitely trade Hillis or Fred Jackson for a top flight WR and your team is gold.

  59. clodbuster says:
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    Hey Mike, your column is now at the top of my weekly list, great work! Help me choose between D. Thomas at the Jets, and Starks hosting the Rams please. I’ve been fli flopping all week. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  60. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @timmy riggins: I like the idea but if you go through with it, I would follow by doing a trade for a RB with Tebow to someone who needs a QB, maybe something along the lines of Greene, Tebow and one of your WRs who previously had a nice game (maybe Little) for a Bradshaw or Mendenhall.

  61. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @clodbuster: Thanks man, yeah this is a tough choice, PPR makes a big difference. For PPR, I’m going Starks – he’ll catch some balls unlike Thomas. For non-PPR, I’m going Thomas – Bush won’t steal as many carries from him as Grant will from Starks.

  62. KingTino says:
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    @DFresh: honestly I would consider benching both guys you can’t trust either week in or week out, maybe also look to see if another owner has Montario Hardesty and or Neil Rackers and offer him either Best or S.Jax for both of those up and coming studs

  63. dion says:
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    Nice first piece. Heads up, the names of Jonathan Stewart and Blaine Gabbert are misspelled.

  64. Jimmy says:
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    great column mike. e. graham or j. starks for my RB2 spot? thanks

  65. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
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    @Jimmy: Only play Graham if it’s PPR, otherwise Starks – who is the much better upside option

  66. Brian says:
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    Nice informative article man. Would you start Fred Davis over O.Daniels? OD has been really solid for me the last 3 wks but I don’t know about this matchup. Tough for me to call and I really like Davis.

  67. Mike Braude

    Mike Braude says:
    (link)

    @Brian: Thanks, yeah I agree it’s tough but stick to your guns – Houston is going to need to pass the ball and Daniels should be included.

Comments are closed.