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.
Vince Young- I am so not a fan of Vince but he did play well last week and the 49’ers have been as bad against the pass this season as they’ve been good against the run. It is real ugly out there for spot starting QB’S this week.
Jason Campbell- For obvious reasons I’m not optimistic about starting him. The ‘Skins are playing against the hapless Falcons pass defense so Campbell could be respectable.
Kevin Faulk- (in PPR) The Dolphins defense is extremely stout against the run but struggles against the pass. This is right in the Patriots wheelhouse. I expect them to pass the ball quite a bit and if so Kevin Faulk should benefit.
Bobby Wade- Probably not available in your league even though he’s not exactly a world-beater. If he is throw him in there if you’re short on wideouts.
Mike Thomas- He’s an under-the-radar guy from Jacksonville (hard to believe, I know). They are facing the Chiefs this week so he’s got a decent opportunity to continue/improve his quality production as of late
Jerheme Urban- Only grab him if Boldin’s not going to play. If that happens Breaston will become the #2 and Urban should be the #3 guy.
Bess/Camarillo- Nothing to get excited about here. These two should be touching the football a lot more than they are. Not the greatest matchup in the world against New England. But hey, we’re dredging the bottom of the barrel here!
Mercedes Lewis- The Jags are playing the Chiefs so there should be a lot of wealth to spread.
Tony Scheffler- Horrible matchup against the Steelers but he’s a nice long term option if you got hit by the Chris Cooley or Owen Daniels sledgehammer of injuries.
Arizona- I don’t care if they’re on the road. More than likely this defense is already owned in your league. You have to love their chances of creating turnovers this week against the Bears.
And now for our tiered Buy/Sell list of players. Keep in mind that if your trade deadline hasn’t already passed it will be very soon in most leagues! There is a limited window of opportunity to get the studs you want and dump the duds you don’t!
Percy Harvin- You know what playmakers do? They make plays. There aren’t many of them in the NFL and it is evident that Percy Harvin is one. Brett Favre man-crushes young, nubile receivers. They make him feel younger or something. This stud should only continue to see an increase in his targets.
Jamaal Charles- I really hope that he has a big role in the Kansas City offense from here on out. Firstly because I own him like crazy. Secondly because I’ve been screaming and yelling at everyone else to own him like crazy. You still have a chance to grab him now, relatively cheap before he breaks out.
Ronnie Brown/Maurice Jones-Drew/Adrian Peterson/Chris Johnson/Steven Jackson- OK so in my mind these are the elite fantasy backs; the studs that are going to carry your team. No injury concerns, undisputed role on the roster, etc. There could arguably be some other players included in this discussion but I’m rolling with these for now. As I mentioned above the trade deadline is looming so swap now or forever hold your peace.
Jeremy Maclin- (in PPR). I see him as a poor man’s Torry Holt (back when Torry Holt was actually good at football). He is going to be good for 4-5 catches every game with some upside. The price shouldn’t be that outrageous at this point so I can see him worth trading for.
Reggie Wayne- I don’t feel that I should need to make an argument here.
Brett Favre- The old man has had a huge season so far and the Vikings are clearly a strong team offensively. Could he continue to play this well? He might but that’s never been his track record. Also, there are a lot of things working against him (fatigue, etc.). If you can involve him in a trade (especially to someone who has a man-crush on him) I would do it. He’s probably your backup quarterback anyway and your starter had his bye week.
Frank Gore- Since he’s come back from injury he has been a beast. Gore truly is a special talent at running back. Even so I am a big believer in trading guys that have been injured once they come back and are healthy/productive, ESPECIALLY at running back. He should command high value in the trade market. If you can’t get enough just hang on to him and pray he stays healthy.
Miles Austin- First let me say that I am talking only about one year leagues (or keeper leagues where you’re clearly not holding on to him anyway). I know how dominant he’s been and the whole world is drooling over him (rightfully so I might add) but you should try to cash in now and take your profits.
DeSean Jackson- Another disclaimer here; don’t give him up unless you’re getting the value at which he’s produced so far AND you’re in a PPR league. I really thought that he’d be an 80-90 catch player but the Eagles offense is just too Marxist-Lenninist for that. In PPR he kills you any week that he doesn’t break one long. I own him on a few teams and what I’ve been trying to do is swap him and another good player to upgrade and get a Reggie Wayne/Andre Johnson type. I think that’s the best play with DeSean.
Ryan Moats- You mean he’s not going to score three touchdowns every week? No, sorry to break the news to you. Congratulations on stashing him though, how cagey of you! The situation in Houston could ultimately work out one of three ways: Slaton wins his job back, Moats remains the feature guy, or they spilt duties. I think it’s almost certain that this will wind up a splitting situation. Moats will still be usable player at that point. But right now there’s a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be the guy in Houston and if you find one of them make it happen.
Michael Turner- The Falcons have a tough schedule ahead of them. Turner has been running strong lately but he hasn’t been as effective as he was a season ago. If you move him it’ll need to be as part of a multi-player deal.
Brandon Jacobs- Same logic as I’ve been going with lately on him- he’s bound to get in the end zone more often and Bradshaw is one play away from breaking his foot.
Steve Breaston- Boldin still hasn’t quite gotten healthy; it looks like he won’t play this week. Breaston has been battling injuries of his own this season but he seems to be playing better every week. As Doc and I have talked about a lot lately the Cardinals have a very favorable playoff schedule and Breaston could be a solid producer for you.
Jason Witten- He still hasn’t produced the way he normally does. There are no injury concerns. As teams start to pay more and more attention to Miles Austin expect the middle of the field to open up for Witten. He’s also bound to receive more red zone targets than he’s gotten thus far.
Jerome Harrison- I will repeat what I said last week: 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.
Jerricho Cotchery- He had a fairly solid game on Sunday and looks fully healthy. The Jets have a bye this week which is good if you’re trying to trade for him because he won’t produce at all. I’m not the biggest fan of rookie quarterbacks but the Jets have a very dynamic rushing attack that teams have to respect and Sanchez will have time to throw the football behind that solid offensive line.
Brian Westbrook- This is a contract year for him. He really wanted to come out and be productive from the start of the season but the injury bug has continued to plague him. I think he’s a better buy in PPR leagues because any week he’s capable of catching 8-10 balls. His price will never be lower than it is right now.
Darren Sproles- LT is back playing well and Sproles really hasn’t done a lot since the first two games of the season when he broke out. Even so you have to think the chances of LT getting hurt again are fairly high; if that happens Sproles could be huge again. In deeper leagues Sproles is a respectable flex play (especially in PPR) regardless.
Donald Brown- He was dinged up last week but now he’s supposed to be back in action. Owners shouldn’t be asking a whole lot for him and you have to love that he’s getting all the goal line work in Indianapolis.
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.
Steve Slaton- Depending on the makeup of your league you might not get enough to make a reasonable trade. Hopefully this Sunday Kubiak implements him in to the game plan and he gets things straightened out. If Slaton plays fairly well I think you’d be smart to put a multi-player deal together with him and get yourself a stud.
Dwayne Bowe- There are some guys you just don’t like. I hate Dwayne Bowe. I hate the Kansas City offense, I hate his work ethic, I hate his inconsistency, etc. He hasn’t been that bad (be thankful). Some people are so fixated on big names and high pre-season ADP’s and that allows you to dump a guy like this on him. He has been worse than Santana Moss this season. Think about that…
Jay Cutler- If you love inconsistent gunslingers man-crush away on this loose cannon. His playoff schedule is horrible, he has no weapons, and he is only good for picking on weak teams. Sometimes he even lays eggs against bad teams. Some people still like him for some reason, I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because he throws far and is “confident.” Find one of these fools and unload him.
Matt Forte- I have been down on Forte all season. Doc did an awesome breakdown that laid out how difficult or easy the “playoff” schedule will be for various running backs. Not only is Forte less effective within the offensive scheme but he’s also going to face Green Bay, Baltimore, and Minnesota the final three weeks of the season.