Sunday’s finally here! To start things off we have our “Matchup Savers,” players that you can start today if you’re in a pinch due to the bye week, injuries, etc. I do all of this within the context of 12 team leagues that are competitive. Often there will be more talented/valuable players than these available- take them unless you are really enamored with a certain matchup.
Mark Bulger- You have to love the matchup with the hapless Lions pass defense. The Rams really have some nice skill position players and if Bulger gets time to throw the football he could have a big day.
Alex Smith- This isn’t a matchup to get too excited about (vs. Indianapolis). I know how exciting his play was in the second half of Sunday’s game but we need to tame our expectations. In 2 QB leagues he is a respectable fill in.
LenDale White (Ten)- He is on waivers in a lot of leagues and for good reason; he has been horrible this year. There is another way to think about this situation, however. Last year LenDale was a productive fantasy back and he was fat and lazy. This offseason he got himself in shape (because it’s his contract year) so it’s not unreasonable to think he might have a good second half. You’ll see him below in the “Buy Low” category.
Jason Snelling (Atl)- Jerious Norwood’s been injured and Snelling has played really well in his stead. He is a hybrid back with surprisingly good pass catching skills and breakaway speed. The Falcons are playing the Saints so unfortunately it’s not a great matchup for him. He will definitely get some carries and receptions in this game though.
Lee Evans (Buf)- He is starting to pop up on a lot of waiver wires due to the Bills offensive struggles this season. They get the Texans this week and this should be an opportunity for them to move the football.
Brandon Stokley (Den)- I spoke earlier this week about how the Ravens defense is a shell of its former self. Stokley might get some really nice opportunities underneath the coverage with Marshall spreading them out.
Hakeem Nicks- Mario Manningham injured his shoulder in practice this week. He’ll still probably play in this game but even so that has to increase Nicks’ value. The Eagles should be focusing on the Giants running game and Steve Smith so Nicks could get some opportunities to make plays in the passing game.
Bess/Camarillo- With “Revis envy” overtaking Ted Ginn Jr. Henne should be looking in the direction of Davone Bess and Greg Camarillo.
Tony Scheffler- He has been scooped up in a lot of leagues, particularly with the injury to Chris Cooley. If he is still available I would feel comfortable grabbing him and throwing him in there.
Todd Heap- This wily veteran is always good for a few catches. I have nothing exciting to say about him otherwise.
Indianapolis- You have to assume that the 49’ers offense won’t be that explosive against the Colts, a defense that is highly underrated. They get after the quarterback fairly well and there’s a good chance that Alex Smith will have some loose throws.
Jamaal Charles- I’ve been telling you to get him all season and now he’s not going to be as cheap. He’s still worth giving up some value for because there’s just enormous upside here. We know that Larry Johnson is going to miss at least next week’s game and it’s hard to tell what the situation will be after that. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chiefs just decided to move on since Charles is the running back of the future there anyway.
Ronnie Brown- I have covered this one for several weeks in a row. STUD.
Jeremy Maclin- It looked like the Eagles were going to take DeSean Jackson and turn him in to a Torry Holt/Marvin Harrison type of receiver; giving him 90+ catches and running all the routes with him. Now it is apparent that the Eagles are going to feature him as their deep threat/playmaker because they have a lot of faith that Maclin can and will be the short to intermediate route runner for them. I absolutely love him in PPR.
LeSean McCoy- We still don’t know what’s going on with Westbrook’s concussion. Either way it’s clear that McCoy is the running back of the future in Philadelphia so expect him to keep touching the football more and more. This week it looks like Westbrook won’t play.
Shonn Greene- His owner might be unreasonable in terms of asking price. Look he’s not going to go for 140 yards and 2 TD’s like he did last Sunday all the time. But he is the future there and with Washington out you have to imagine Greene being the recipient of all those touches.
Marques Colston- Elite WR’s have been a disaster this season. With all of the injuries/ineffective play Colston should end up a top 5 WR by the end of the season fairly easily.
Steve Smith (NYG)- I have said this before and I stand by it- he is NOT going to lead the league in receptions, yards, or touchdowns. Like Cedric Benson below him you need to make sure that you get good value for Steve Smith- he’s a legitimate Sleeper who will put up good numbers .
Cedric Benson- Let me be clear about this one: only trade him if you get close to what he’s worth in return. I own Benson in two leagues this season and I have been attempting to trade him in a multi-player deal to get an elite receiver in return. What I have found from shopping him around is that people want to pay for what his ADP was (around 70th) and that’s ludicrous to me. The guy is a top 10 player. So what I expected (and you should, too) was to get late 2nd, early 3rd round value out of him. If you don’t get that then it’s not worth moving him because there’s no reason to believe he’ll slow down.
Thomas Jones- He continues to stay healthy and has had a really good season so far. I would look to capitalize on that by moving him and trying to get a receiver or something else you need in return. Last week I told you not to move Larry Johnson immediately, to not be greedy.
Ben Roethlisburger- Trading Quarterbacks is always tricky. You can’t reasonably move Big Ben unless you have another great QB or you are getting an elite guy in return. I just refuse to believe that Pittsburgh is going to be able to throw the football like the ’99 Rams all season.
Ray Rice- Same as Cedric Benson and Steve Smith- you probably won’t be able to trade him because people won’t give you near what his value is. But I’d still try and use him to get one of the few elite receivers that are out there right now.
Jeremy Shockey- There’s a lot of depth out there at tight end this season. People are enamored with what Shockey’s done thus far but I just question whether he can maintain the pace he’s on or stay healthy all year. If you can cash him in and get solid value I’d do it.
Hines Ward- I warned about the correction that was coming in Hines’ huge numbers and last week it came crashing down. He has been one of the top receivers in the NFL this year and he’s simply not that good. Plus there are too many mouths to feed in that passing offense with Holmes and Wallace playing really solid football right now.
LenDale White- I covered the logic behind this above in the Matchup Savers section. I’ m not going to rehash it here because I hate when people triple stamp a double stamp.
Brandon Jacobs- Bradshaw is not fully healthy and it doesn’t look like he will be all year. That bodes well for Jacobs owners because it ensure he’ll be the feature back from here on out. I still can’t believe how allergic he’s been to the end zone. I have to believe he’ll start to punch it in more often.
Glen Coffee- Frank Gore wasn’t that great last week. I question whether or not he’ll be able to stay healthy all year. That makes Coffee a great stash and I can’t see his acquisition cost being that high considering he hasn’t done anything for owners in weeks.
Steve Breaston- He has found himself on waivers in a lot of leagues. That is hard to believe considering last year he had over 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie. He’s had some injury issues but he’s shown that he is going to fight through them. I like his chances of getting healthy and being a solid flex option in the very near future.
Jason Witten- It’s only a matter of time before he gets his. I know how twitterpated everyone is with Miles Austin right now but Witten’s going to be the man in Dallas the second half of the season. I thought he would have taken off right at the start of the year with T.O. gone but the production hasn’t quite been there. I’m throwing it out there now- Jason Witten’s about to reclaim his status as the top TE in Fantasy football.
Anquan Boldin- He really is the ultimate warrior. Last season he broke his face, came back, and was a stone cold killer. Anquan Boldin’s not sitting out with turf toe people. He wants a new contract and he is determined to finish the season strong.
Jerome Harrison- It is only a matter of time before Jamal Lewis gets hurt again or is completely useless. Harrison is the guy in Cleveland; maybe I’ll turn out to be wrong on this one but I’m taking a stand.
Calvin Johnson- No one’s really sure what to expect out of Megatron on Sunday. We were initially led to believe that his injury wasn’t a big deal but he’s missed a lot more time than was originally predicted. The ceiling is so high on this guy that you have to be a buyer if the price is right, however.
Jericho Cotchery- Reportedly he had several days of good practice this week and should be close to full strength if/when he plays on Sunday. The Jets took their time bringing him back which was probably the smart thing to do. I am excited to see whether or not my prediction about the “Braylon Edwards Effect” comes to fruition. Don’t sleep on this sleeper folks!
Jay Cutler- I’m sorry Bear fans but he’s a poor man’s young Brett Favre. That’s not a compliment, in case you couldn’t tell. Jay Cutler is the Santana Moss of quarterbacks. I just refuse to put up with that sort of erratic production from my field generals. I hope you can find someone who still thinks he has lots of upside and that the high turnover games were just exceptions to the rule.
Greg Jennings- As regular readers know we here at Razzball made our minds up several weeks ago that this guy wasn’t going to turn it around and lay out numbers even close to his ADP. What the Packers are doing now is running a lot of 2 Tight End sets (max protection) and only sending out 2 or 3 route runners. This might give Jennings time to get through his breaks but the problem is going to be the coverage. He might be a decent receiver from here on out but I just can’t envision anything close to where he got drafted.
Pierre Thomas- You know what’s awesome about splitting touches between three running backs? Nothing, that’s what. There were nitwits all over the interweb touting Thomas as a “solid” pick in the late 2nd, early 3rd round. He had a couple big games a few weeks ago; you should’ve traded him then. Now with the deadline approaching (if it hasn’t already) you have to hope that he has a big game so you can unload him. It makes it tough to put up big digits like that when Bush is getting your catches and Bell is getting your goal line carries.
Larry Johnson- “He’ll be on here all season just to remind all of his owners that you’re playing with fire by not dealing him. The production has been decent this season- don’t get greedy!” As Grey would say, that’s me quoting me last week. You still might be able to get something for this scumbag and something’s better than nothing.
Clinton Portis- He will be on here all season. Don’t be surprised if he does/says things along the lines of what Larry Johnson has done/said.
Willis McGahee- For non-PPR this is a little bit different since Touchdown vultures are a lot more valuable. But in PPR get rid of him and get whatever you can out of the deal.
Marion Barber- Injured running backs are terrifying to me. His value has plummeted significantly but if he stays relatively healthy there might be a good game in his future. Once that happens you’d better ship him out.
Terrell Owens- I may just have him in this category until the trade deadline!