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Posted: Thursday November 12, 2009 6:02PM; Updated: Friday November 13, 2009 10:28AM

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Week 10

Which fantasy players are poised to shine and which should ride the pine?

By Andy Bottoms,, Special to

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Baltimore's Joe Flacco has struggled over the past few weeks, but a meeting with the Browns should reverse his fantasy fortunes.
Damian Strohmeyer/SI

11/9/09 - Dear Diary,

So Lawrence Taylor got arrested again, this time for leaving the scene of an accident. Luckily, no one was injured, but the real crime is LT's crazy purple outfit and poor acting in those Nutrisystem commercials with Dan Marino.

Here are my starts for the week.


Brett Favre -- If Favre can toss four TDs against a respectable pass defense like the Packers, imagine what he'll do against a Lions' D that's allowed 19 passing TDs. While we're using our imaginations diary, let's envision a world where Favre actually stays retired. Now that is fantasy football.

Joe Flacco -- Flacco has been struggling a bit lately, but a matchup with Cleveland should turn that around. In his last two games against the Browns, Flacco has 590 passing yards and three TDs.

Matt Hasselbeck -- Sure, Hasselbeck struggled against Arizona in their first matchup, but the pass-happy Seahawks threw it 52 times on Sunday. Meanwhile, Arizona gave up 369 passing yards and three TDs last week and currently ranks 29th in the league in pass defense.

Running Backs

Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams -- Against a Tampa Bay run defense surrendering 163.4 yards per game, Brown is a must-start and Williams a strong flex play. In standard scoring leagues, Williams has at least 9.6 fantasy points in six of eight games.

Thomas Jones -- With 433 rushing yards in his last three games, Jones has exploited some of the league's worst run defenses and should continue that trend against 22nd-ranked Jacksonville this week. Jones also has five TDs in five games, and with Leon Washington injured and Mark Sanchez struggling, the Jets will continue to focus on the run game.

Knowshon Moreno -- On the heels of a five-carry, three-yard performance, why on Earth would I recommend starting him, diary? First off, Kyle Orton is starting to play like ... well, himself. While Washington has a solid pass defense, they got carved up on the ground last week to the tune of 166 yards and two TDs from Michael Turner, so look for a similar game plan from Denver.

Pierre Thomas -- Last week, Thomas received 18 touches compared to five for Mike Bell, and their recent stats suggest that trend should continue. Over the last four games, Thomas has gained 243 rushing yards on 50 carries while Bell has just 180 yards on 49 attempts. In addition, Thomas has eight receptions while Bell has failed to record a catch.

Wide Receivers

Davone Bess -- Here's one for deep PPR leagues after Bess was targeted 14 times last week. He was a solid option down the stretch last season and had seven catches in a pair of early-season games.

Nate Burleson -- With at least six catches and 74 yards in five of eight games, Burleson is on pace for a career year and has become a strong WR3.

Jerricho Cotchery -- With an extra week to rest his balky hamstring, Cotchery should be primed for a decent game against a Jacksonville secondary that allowed three different Chiefs receivers to gain at least 70 yards last week. Seriously diary, I didn't even know the Chiefs had three receivers.

Percy Harvin/Sidney Rice -- The Lions allow the fifth-most points to opposing wideouts, making both speedsters excellent options.

Derrick Mason -- Mason torched the Browns for 118 yards and a score in their first meeting and is averaging seven receptions and 91 yards in their last five meetings.

Hines Ward -- In his last five games, Ward has averaged 19.1 fantasy points in PPR leagues and 12.9 in standard leagues. Even though the Bengals have been tough against the pass, Ward has at least 82 receiving yards or a TD in four of his last five games against Cincinnati.

Tight End

Brent Celek -- If you look only at the numbers, it appears the Chargers have been better at covering the TE this year. However, those stats have been aided by games against Miami and Kansas City, whose tight ends are a joke. Celek, meanwhile, has TDs in two straight games and has at least 7.5 fantasy points in all but two games.

Kellen Winslow -- The soldier had a great TD grab on Sunday and looked like a nice security blanket for rookie QB Josh Freeman. This week he faces the Dolphins who have allowed 17 catches and 229 yards to opposing TEs over the past three games.

Until tomorrow, diary...

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