Wondering whether or not to start Aaron Rodgers and Chris Johnson, or bench Tyler Thigpen and Donte Stallworth? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for real help with your starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 12 of the 2010 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets vs. Bengals. Cincinnati just surrendered 316 yards and 4 TDs to Ryan Fitzpatrick, while Sanchez has tallied 950 yards, 8 TDs and just 3 INTs over the past three weeks. Look for both trends to continue Thanksgiving night.
Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers at Colts. With Ryan Mathews unlikely to suit up (again), Tolbert will have the chance to continue his improbable run to fantasy stardom. Indy has coughed up nine rushing TDs to date, and you know San Diego is going to rack up the points in this one.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants vs. Jaguars. With their two top receivers out, New York will likely turn to its lethal ground game for production. Jacobs has reclaimed his starting job from Ahmad Bradshaw thanks to the latter’s fumbling problems. Jacobs should have little trouble powering through the Jags’ weak run defense.
Donald Driver, WR, Packers at Falcons. Now that he has put his quad injury behind him, get Driver back in your lineup against an Atlanta secondary that is giving up plenty of scoring passes lately. Greg Jennings can’t keep doing it all himself.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers at Colts. He’s had three good weeks of practice with Philip Rivers and he’s returning to a hobbling receiver corps that will be missing Patrick Crayton and possibly Antonio Gates as well. Malcom Floyd’s hamstring is still acting up too, so don’t hesitate to plug V-Jax in for his first game back. He should start off with a bang.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Shaun Hill, Ben Roethlisberger, Sam Bradford, Matt Hasselbeck; RBs LaDainian Tomlinson, Knowshon Moreno, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, Ronnie Brown, BenJarvus Green-Ellis; WRs Santonio Holmes, Dwayne Bowe, Deion Branch, Robert Meachem, Sidney Rice, Mario Manningham.
Roll ‘em back
Jay Cutler, QB, Bears vs. Eagles. Coming off his subpar fantasy performance in Miami, look for a repeat appearance of “Bad Jay” against the ball-hawking Philly secondary. Cutler has yet to post good stats against a strong pass defense.
Fred Jackson, RB, Bills vs. Steelers. He’s had a terrific run over the past two weeks, but that should come to an abrupt end against the league’s stingiest run defense.
Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers at Falcons. Atlanta has allowed only two rushing scores all season. Jackson, whose quality fantasy outings have been relatively scarce, is unlikely to make it three.
Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals at Jets. Nothing cools off a hot receiver like a trip to Revis Island. Though TO has been one of the most prolific wideouts in the NFL this season, Darrelle Revis has shut down Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson in recent weeks. Owens is next on his hit list.
Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys vs. Saints. He has caught just two passes apiece in each of the last three games, though he managed to turn three of them into scores. Austin won’t be so lucky against a New Orleans secondary that’s allowed a league-low three TDs to opposing receivers all season.
More thumbs down: QBs Carson Palmer, Jon Kitna, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Colt McCoy; RBs Joseph Addai, Beanie Wells, Felix Jones, Keiland Williams, Ryan Torain, Ryan Mathews, Jahvid Best; WRs Brandon Marshall, Bernard Berrian, Eddie Royal, Pierre Garcon, Johnny Knox, Lee Evans.
TAKING A FLIER
Derek Hagan, WR, Giants vs. Jaguars. Hakeem Nicks is out with a leg injury and Steve Smith is still nursing a torn pec. Hagan, who was just re-signed by the team prior to last weekend’s game, will start alongside Mario Manningham. Hagan found the end zone in his first outing, and now gets to play against one of the most generous secondaries in the business.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…benches Randy Moss this weekend. Yes, I realize he has stunk it up in his first two games as a Titan, and Rusty Smith is his new quarterback. But Smith and Moss actually connected on a 36-yard TD pass against Washington (it was nullified by Moss’ offensive interference), so there are grounds for optimism. Even better, the duo is facing the woeful Texans secondary. And everybody torches them.