Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Week 9
Which fantasy players are poised to shine and which should ride the pine?
11/2/09 - Dear Diary,
Just when you think JaMarcus Russell can't get any funnier, he threw out another comedic gem after Sunday's loss to the Chargers, uttering the words "I did a pretty good job" after throwing for 109 yards and completing two passes to wide receivers. I'm curious to know what he thinks a bad job looks like, but then again, Derek Anderson would kill for that stat line.
Here are this week's starts.
Matt Hasselbeck -- Hasselbeck's best games have come against pass defenses ranked 22nd or lower. Oh look diary, they play 27th-ranked Detroit this week.
Donovan McNabb -- After a pair of erratic outings, McNabb got back to basics and looked sharp against the Giants with 240 yards and three scores. Another division rival awaits as the Eagles take on a Cowboys defense that has allowed two passing TDs in five of their last six contests.
Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams -- After being shut down against the Jets, this may seem like a stretch. However, the Patriots have allowed four running backs to tally at least 124 total yards, and they've allowed double-digit fantasy points to five. Outside of letting their opponents score and hoping Ted Ginn returns the kickoff, these guys are Miami's best chance to score and keep Tom Brady off the field.
Jamaal Charles -- With Larry Johnson suspended, Charles will draw the start versus a Jacksonville run defense that got embarrassed last week. While KC has struggled to run the ball, Charles is averaging 5.3 YPC in his two-year career and has proven to be an effective receiver as well.
Ryan Grant -- After being bottled up by Minnesota's run D, Grant will find Tampa Bay's unit far more accommodating. Grant registered his best games against St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland, which all rank toward the bottom of the league against the run. Guess where Tampa Bay falls? Very good diary, they're 30th.
Brandon Jacobs -- He's this week's do or die play. Matt Forte and LaDainian Tomlinson responded in similar situations last week.
Julius Jones -- There aren't many opportunities to recommend a running back averaging 30 rushing yards in his last four games. Still, Jones continues to see the bulk of the carries, which makes him worth a shot against Detroit's generous run defense.
Bye Week -- Yes diary, this player isn't a household name, but since he's playing Cleveland this week, he's a lock for 120 yards and two scores.
Dwayne Bowe -- Two Chiefs in the same column? I know diary, I need to lay off the sauce. Still, Bowe has touchdowns in four of six contests and posted six catches and 109 yards in another. He had the bye week to rest and faces a Jacksonville defense yielding 247 receiving YPG.
Steve Breaston -- Yes diary, I know he let me down a couple weeks ago, but Anquan Boldin's ankle is severely limiting his game, which means more targets for Breaston. In PPR leagues, he's posted double-digit fantasy points in all but one game, and even in standard leagues he's a solid WR3.
Nate Burleson -- Burleson has been alternating good and bad games, but against the Lions secondary, he should buck that trend. Overall, Burleson has at least four catches in six of seven games. There are also two key differences between Burleson and teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh. First, Burleson can get separation from opposing corners, and second, he's not incessantly whining about getting the ball.
Michael Crabtree -- I took a wait-and-see approach with Captain Holdout, but I like what I've seen so far. With limited practice and no game action, Crabtree has 11 catches and 137 yards in two games. More importantly, he and Alex Smith have some chemistry, which should net him a couple extra targets against Tennessee's secondary.
Kevin Walter -- With Owen Daniels out, opportunity is knocking for Walter. So far this season, though, he's hasn't answered, kind of like I do when kids selling overpriced wrapping paper and cheese logs ring my doorbell. He has a tough matchup against the Colts, but without Daniels, I like Walter to become the underneath-route security blanket for Matt Schaub.
John Carlson -- At this point the only Seahawks I am not recommending against Detroit are the mascot and the peanut guy in section 134. Carlson has been rough lately but the Lions have surrendered seven TDs to opposing tight ends in seven games.
Fred Davis -- If you're like me and lost Owen Daniels, your immediate reaction was to wreck your living room. Now you need TE help, and a new coffee table. Enter Davis, who will keep Chris Cooley's spot warm as he recovers from ankle surgery. Davis had eight catches for 78 yards and a score against the Eagles, and he faces an Atlanta D allowing 11.3 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends over their last six.