Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Week 11
Which fantasy players are poised to shine and which should ride the pine?
11/16/09 - Dear Diary,
Let's hope this week's Thursday night game is bit more watchable than last week's after school special starring Jay Cutler as Ryan Leaf. Here are a few matchups I like on Thursday.
Steve Smith -- The Panthers have re-established their identity as a running team (finally), but that plays to the strength of the Miami defense. On the flip side, the Dolphins have young corners who might bite on a double move and allow a big play.
Ricky Williams -- Carolina is 25th against the run, allowing 128.1 yards per game, and Williams should expect a full workload with Ronnie Brown sidelined. With a short week to prepare for the Wildcat, Williams is a strong option.
11/17/09 - Dear Diary,
Obviously it's tough to get excited about the Browns-Ravens Monday nighter, but I just spent an hour with my daughter listening to the Glee soundtrack and playing with her baby dolls, so I'll take anything I can get to feel more masculine. I also intend to drink nine beers and hammer up some drywall.
Here are my starts for the week.
Brett Favre -- Even the biggest Favre supporters wouldn't have predicted 17 TDs and three picks through nine games. After torching the Lions (not exactly a huge accomplishment), Favre faces a Seattle defense allowing 273 passing yards per game and nine TDs in their last four games.
Eli Manning -- The Falcons are struggling against the run, so look for them to load up to stop Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. That should give a rested Manning some opportunities against a secondary allowing 264 passing yards per game and 10 TDs over the last five contests.
Ben Roethlisberger -- Kansas City allowed Oakland to throw for 113 yards. At the current conversion rate, Roethlisberger should be able to throw for 746 yards in this one. OK diary, that might be high, but he'll have a good game.
Rashard Mendenhall -- After listing Mendenhall as a sit for two straight weeks (with a 50 percent success rate), I'm extending the olive branch by recommending him. It doesn't hurt that the Chiefs give up 141.3 rushing yards per game and have allowed opposing RBs to rush for at least 92 yards in five of six games.
Knowshon Moreno -- He had a nice bounce-back game with 97 rushing yards against Washington, and with Kyle Orton injured, the Broncos should lean more on the run against the Chargers.
Bernard Scott -- The shifty Jamaal Charles racked up 117 total yards and a score against the Raiders. Scott has some wiggle as well (ask the Pittsburgh kick coverage team) and runs behind a much stronger offensive line. Cedric Benson may try to play, but I like Scott as a flex option against Oakland.
Kevin Smith -- With high draft picks and pride (I guess) at stake, the Browns and Lions will hook up on Sunday. I'll take my chances with Smith against a defense allowing 166.4 rushing yards per game.
Beanie Wells -- Yes diary, I know we left Week 7 thinking Wells had finally overtaken Tim Hightower after a big game against the Giants. Here we are after Wells outplayed him again (by a wide margin). I can only assume Ken Whisenhunt actually watches game film, so Wells should see an increased workload against St. Louis.
Donald Driver/Greg Jennings -- The 49ers are strong against the run, which means Ryan Grant will have a tough time moving the chains. Without Nate Clements though, the 49ers have struggled against the pass, so look for Aaron Rodgers to air it out early and often.
Santonio Holmes -- After a slow start, Holmes has 13 catches and 181 yards the past two weeks. Roethlisberger targeted him 14 times last week, and Kansas City is completely inept in the secondary.
Sidney Rice -- There were times Lions defenders weren't even in the picture during Rice's big-play bonanza on Sunday. While Seattle will put up more resistance, you saw how many passing yards they're giving up lately, right?
Steve Smith -- No diary, I'm not intoxicated and listing the same guy twice. I mean the Giants' Steve Smith. The New York version hit a lull in the middle of the season but has eight catches in each of his last two games. As I mentioned with Eli, I think the Giants can make some big plays in the passing game.
Dustin Keller -- This week's Owen Daniels replacement has 14 catches and 134 yards in his last two games. He caught a TD in the first matchup with New England and had eight catches for 87 yards last November against the Pats. Is it possible I'm just trying to talk myself into this one? Absolutely.
Greg Olsen -- Cutler is force-feeding him the ball and the Eagles have allowed at least 70 yards to opposing TEs in five of their last six games. They've also surrendered five TDs over that span.