First, I want to say I hope that all our readers affected by Sandy are safe. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. This storm was truly devastating to many people including ravaging my home state of New Jersey. It is very sad to see areas that I experienced many memories, now destroyed. The Jersey Shore is a special place to many and it may not be the same for a while. I also feel for the people in Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Maryland, Connecticut, and all the other areas that were severely affected.
As we look to bounce back from this tragedy, I know many people will be looking to escape from all the stories on the news and get their mind away from thinking about the storm. This is where sports is great, it helps us get our minds off the present conditions for a little while and enjoy something we love. In a time like this Fantasy Football can seem truly insignificant, but at the same time it provides a good outlet to make things seem normal again, even for a few hours. Due to the storm, this weeks start ‘em, sit ‘em will be somewhat of an express version. I have also been affected by the storm and haven’t been able to prepare for this article as I normally would have. If you guys have any questions you can always hit me up at SteveDeAngelo@gmail.com or @FantasySavvy on twitter. Everybody keep your heads up and enjoy this weekend of Football. God Bless.
You won’t see the obvious names on here, that would be pointless. Maybe occasionally to give you a reminder, but rather we are looking to identify some guys that you may be on the fence with and encourage you to either start or sit them. Matchups will be broken down, stats will be used, some projections will be provided and some “gut” feeling will be mixed in. But when it comes down to the come down, it’s your “gut” you need to roll with.
*Players listed in order of projected effectiveness in the start ‘em category and ineffectiveness in the sit ‘em category.
Cam Newton @ Washington Redskins
I mentioned last week that this is the perfect time to trade for Cam Newton. He just went through a brutal stretch in his schedule playing Dallas, Seattle and the Bears, but now his schedule eases up bigtime. In one of my leagues, I just saw him get traded for Matt Schaub! Make sure you put out some offers before Sunday and if you acquire Cam, start him Sunday. He is going to have a solid finish to the season.
Matt Schaub vs Buffalo
Schaub hasn’t been great this year, but against Buffalo and their swiss defense, he’s a very solid play. Look for close to 300 yards passing and at least 2 TD’s.
Michael Vick @ New Orleans
I may be crazy, but I am contemplating starting Vick over Aaron Rodgers this week. The New Orleans defense is that awful. They are giving up the most fantasy points and are on track to being one of the worst defenses of all-time. Vick is battling for his job, but expect him to produce nicely in this game.
Christian Ponder @ Seattle
Ponder was hot a few weeks ago, but has now has come back to reality. He needs to be benched in all formats.
Matt Hasselbeck vs Chicago
Hasselbeck will continue to start with Jake Locker out, but stay away from him against Chicago.
Joe Flacco @ Cleveland
Cleveland’s secondary is currently ranked 28th in points allowed to QB’s, but remember Joe Haden was out for four weeks. Since his return they have been stingy against QB’s and completely shut down Phillip Rivers last week. This was a Browns secondary that was one of the best statistically last year. Flacco has also returned to his normal shenanigans, keep him on your benches.
Jamaal Charles @ San Diego
Normally a player of Charles’ caliber would not be on this list, but since Charles has struggled in his last two games and got just five carries last week, you may need to be reminded to start him. Against the Raiders I believe the Chiefs rested Charles after the game got away, knowing they had a short-week ahead of them. Expect Charles to be the focal point of the offense against San Diego and to produce. Charles will most likely get around 20-25 carries tonight. Make sure he is active, you can never bench a player as talented as him.
Willis McGahee @ Cincy
Continue to roll out Willis in matchups like this. Cincy has been bad against the run ranking 27th in Fantasy points allowed to RB’s, so McGahee will enjoy a nice day. The Broncos have a very nice schedule ahead of them, so he also is a nice trade target.
Joique Bell @ Jacksonville
Bell surprisingly got the majority of the second half touches last week against Seattle and showed his versatility. With Mikel LeShoure questionable for this week, Bell could get a boatload of touches against a weak Jacksonville defense. This looks like a good plug and play for Week 9.
Alex Green vs Arizona
Alex Green is about to lose his job, this guy just has not taken advantage of his opportunities. Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy has already said that James Starks will get more looks this week. Trade Green if you can, because after this week he may have no more value.
Donald Brown vs Miami
Brown is back healthy, but it looks now that he and Vick Ballard will share the backfield. This matchup is also rough this week against a stout Miami run D so keep Brown benched.
Chris Johnson vs Chicago
Johnson has succeeded in tough matchups vs the Texans and Steelers, but Chicago is a different animal to me. I think he struggles mightily in this game and is held under 80 total yards without a score.
Steve Smith @ Washington
After doing nothing for consecutive weeks, it was good to see Smith succeed in a tough matchup against the Bears by going over 100 yards. This week he is a must-start against the Skins. He will abuse their secondary.
Dwayne Bowe @ San Diego
With Brady Quinn at QB Bowe is hard to trust, but with Cassel playing tonight Bowe needs to be back in Fantasy lineups. The Chargers are also 10th worst in points given up to Fantasy WR’s.
Denarius Moore vs Tampa Bay
Denarious has been beasting of late finding the endzone for three straight weeks. Palmer will have success against Tampa Bay and their vunerable secondary ranked third worst in fantasy points allowed to WR’s, so get Moore in your lineups.
Torrey Smith @ Cleveland
I mentioned the return of Joe Haden to the Browns secondary and how it spells bad news for Joe Flacco. Well, Haden could be lined up against Smith for much of this matchup. Reserve him.
Malcom Floyd vs Kansas City
I know owners sometimes get giddy and want to start their players in primetime games, but you need to be patient. Floyd has one TD all season, Rivers has not looked good and Floyd will be matched up with Chiefs stud CB Brandon Flowers. Be weary of starting Floyd tonight.
Kenny Britt vs Chicago
Britt was held under 40 yards receiving in favorable matchups against Buffalo and Indy, so no reason to expect him to succeed against Chicago. Britt is still working his way back from his injuries and has not looked like the same player to me.
Jermaine Gresham vs Denver
Good spot to start Gresham here coming off their bye and facing Denver who are 4th worst at defending the Tight End position.
Greg Olsen @ Washington
The Skins defense is hot garbage as we all know, so Olsen has a great shot to thrive in this game.
Dwayne Allen vs Miami
With Coby Fleener out abut two weeks, Allen has full reigns at Tight End for the Colts. If you need a tight end this week, the talented rookie is a decent option.
Dennis Pitta @ Cleveland
Maybe some owners are expecting to bounce back after the Ravens bye week, but don’t expect it to happen against the Browns who are third best against Fantasy Tight Ends.
Martellus Bennett vs Pittsburgh
Bennett has worn down after a strong start to the season and can’t be trusted against Pittsburgh. Wait for him to show up once again before putting him back in lineups.
Brandon Pettigrew @ Jacksonville
Sit the overrated Pettigrew against the Jaguars who are allowing the 5th fewest points to Fantasy Tight Ends.
Chad Greenway @ Seattle
Richard Sherman vs Minnesota
Akeem Ayers vs Chicago
Antrel Rolle vs Pittsburgh
Greg Hardy @ Washington
Patrick Peterson @ Green Bay