Wondering whether or not to start Arian Foster and Calvin Johnson, or to bench John Skelton and Chad Ochocinco? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 10 of the 2011 season.
Watch ‘em roll
Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos at Chiefs. I don’t know any leagues that award style points, so Tebow’s unconventional approach to racking up fantasy production is irrelevant. The Chiefs have a lousy pass rush and give up plenty of passing TDs. Add in Tebow’s rushing prowess, and you’ll love the results.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys vs. Bills. The rookie has solidified his role as Dallas’ featured back; and after this weekend, he’ll be cemented in as an every-week fantasy starter. Buffalo’s run defense can be gashed, as the Jets proved again last week.
Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos at Chiefs. Just two weeks removed from hand surgery, McGahee left no doubt last week that this is his backfield. It’s hardly even worth calling it a committee at this point. Look for more big runs and scores against Kansas City’s mediocre run defense.
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers at Bengals. Brown is my new favorite fantasy wideout. More important, he appears to be Ben Roethlisberger’s new fave as well. Brown has been targeted a whopping 34 times over the last three games, nearly matching Mike Wallace’s production during that time span. Even against the Bengals’ solid pass defense, lock Brown into your lineup.
James Jones, WR, Packers vs. Vikings. Here’s the thing: When Aaron Rodgers is en fuego, and he’s facing the league’s 30th-ranked pass defense, you go all-in with his receivers; including Jones, his fourth option.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Stafford; RBs Jackie Battle, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Ryan Mathews; WRs Dez Bryant, Laurent Robinson, Stevie Johnson, Victor Cruz, Eric Decker, Plaxico Burress, Julio Jones, Anquan Boldin, Percy Harvin, A.J. Green, Jeremy Maclin, Jordy Nelson.
Roll ‘em back
Jay Cutler, QB, Bears vs. Lions. Cutler posted 249 yards and a score in the first meeting at Detroit in Week 5. He has been up-and-down since then, but the Lions’ fearsome pass rush will make it difficult for Cutler to shine; especially if the Windy City lives up to its name on Sunday.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants at 49ers. He is expected to lead the charge while Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) sits out again. But the league’s stingiest run defense won’t make life pleasant for Jacobs. The 49ers force opponents to score through the air, and Jacobs is unlikely to be the first to crack the end zone on the ground.
Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals vs. Steelers. Over the past two seasons, Benson has alternated good and bad games against his division rivals. With just two scores to show for 2011 thus far, it’s hard to feel good about his chances this week against Pittsburgh’s stout run defense.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, Rams at Browns. He has been targeted a dozen or more times in every game he’s played as a Ram, so PPR leaguers have some incentive to start him. But facing the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense, including soon-to-be All Pro corner Joe Haden, Lloyd won’t deliver impressive returns.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts vs. Jaguars. Thanks to stellar outings in Weeks 4 and 5, Garcon ranks among the Top 15 fantasy receivers. Yet he’s been largely absent most other weeks, thanks to the Colts’ unsteady quarterback play. Keep him benched against the Jags’ stout pass defense.
More thumbs down: QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer; RBs Daniel Thomas, Maurice Morris, Marshawn Lynch, James Starks, Chris Ogbonnaya, Colts RBs; WRs Mike Williams (Bucs), Early Doucet, Deion Branch, Austin Collie, Earl Bennett, Braylon Edwards.
Taking a flier
Jason Hill, WR, Jaguars at Colts. With no teams on bye this week, you may not be desperate for help. But if you are, give Hill a look. He’s become Blaine Gabbert’s go-to target, and he has reached the end zone in three of his last four games. Oh yeah; the Colts have coughed up a league-worst 18 passing TDs.
Don’t be the bonehead who…fails to set their lineup for the Thursday night games. Starting tonight, and running through Week 16, you’ll need to adjust your schedule early to avoid giving your opponent an undeserved head start.