The second half of the season ushers in a couple of new additives to the Fantasy landscape especially in the WR department. At this point we know for sure there are at least 5 teams that will certainly not make the playoffs, which means you should start seeing a trickle of WRs beginning to get playing time so the coaches can get better looks; this happens particularly with rookies and widens the waiver wire options just a bit.
The other aspect is, we’ll start to see who’s who as the weeks go by. Players who have bursted onto the scene will start to cool off making the gravy train a bit arid, while the more reliable hands will start stepping up to afford their teams a better chance of making the playoffs; something that will boad well for mid-range managers also looking to make the playoffs.
My colleague Rustyn Rose offers a great Fantasy perspective on this here.
This week you may find a few surprises on the Start-Sit list, but keep in mind the season is ever changing, and what has been, may not be going forward; now’s the time to really keep a discerning eye on just about everyone. Make sure your updated on every little happening so you don't lose your edge.
Let’s take a look.
1. Derrick Mason
Mason is going to be looking for a bounce back week vs. Cleveland.
In their last meeting, Mason tagged the Browns for 118 yards and a score.
It’s crunch time for the Cardinals and their top priority is getting Seattle off their backs permanently.
The last time these two teams met, Fitz burned the Seahawks for 100 yards and a TD.
The Saints can’t be stopped, The Rams can’t cover; a perfect Fantasy situation for Colston. I expect one of the Colston’s biggest days to come at the hands of the Rams.
If this guy isn’t racking up yardage he’s racking up TDs and no matter who he plays he just can’t seem to be slowed down.
The Eagles will try their hand at it, but the Birds don’t have a very good track record when they go to the West coast.
5. B. Marshall
Marshall was the only bright spot for the Broncos on Monday night and if he can perform that way against the Steelers he should have a bounce back day against the Skins.
Top Ten Starts:
|#1 Anquan Boldin: The Cardinals were smart in sitting Boldin last week and here’s why: He is that much healthier, and now he’s angry! Start him with confidence.
|#2 Percy Harvin: Harvin was the top WR in the last meeting between the two teams and now Harvin is 100% healthy making him extremely dangerous, and a top start.
|#3 Calvin Johnson: Congratulations to Megatron for finally making it to the Start list! The game plan will be to get Johnson more involved against the Vikes and he should, at the very least, be good for 6 catches 70 yards and a TD.
|#4 Sidney Rice: Rice’s turn in Favre’s fantastic merry-go-round passing style is due; the Lions are a perfect matchup for him.
|#5 Wes Welker: Start calling Welker Mr. Slot Machine let’s see if it catches on! He’s money all day!
|#6 Reggie Wayne: The Colts vs. the Pats is always a big deal and Wayne always seems to have his best days against better teams. He’s good to go against the Pats this week.
|#7 Hines Ward: Ward caught 4 balls for 82 yards the last go around with the Bengals and considering the Bengals will put more focus on Wallace, it could open up more targets for Ward.
|#8 Mike Wallace: He’ll get more attention, but it is hard to forget his breakout game the last time (7 catches for 102 yards) make sure he is starting no matter how good Cincy is playing right now.
|#9 Miles Austin: if there is one glaring problem the Packers have on D is that they cannot cover man to man and rolling safety help in coverage seems to be something the Packers don’t like doing which means Austin could catch fire again in Lambeau.
|#10 Donald Driver: Driver is the go to guy and is solid every week for yards and scores making him a nice start for both PPR and Standard leagues; especially against Dallas.
Must Sit of the Week:
I bet you never thought you would see someone recommending you SIT Mike Sims-Walker did you; well before you go reaching for the reply button to call me rude and obscene names here me out.
Sims-Walker gets the biggest challenge of his career as he goes up against THE best corner in the league; Darrell Revis and his unprecedented “shadowing” style of coverage. As good as Sims-Walker is you have to take this matchup seriously lest you could get hurt this week in Fantasy points.
Revis has already shut down Marques Colston, Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, and Justin Gage, and when I say shut down I mean shut down!
Think About it, if Drew Brees and Marques Colston can’t get it down against this guy, are you really gonna trust David Garrard and Mike Sims-Walker?
Two Through Ten:
|#2 Roy Williams: Williams is not a good matchup vs. Green Bay and considering his lack luster season thus far shouldn’t be an option.
|#3 Steve Smith (Car): The consensus in Carolina is there is no trust in Delhomme and now the play calling for the Panthers is becoming suspect as well. Avoid this situation if possible.
|#4 Antonio Bryant: His season is on the verge of a bust and Miami is too good of a coverage team even IF Bryant gets the start, which he may not.
|#5 Ocho Cinco: Pittsburgh seems to be peaking on defense and I can’t see him having a good day on the road @ Pittsburgh. His last time playing against the Steelers he was good for only 54 yards.
|#6 Santana Moss: I would recommend avoiding Moss entirely unless he plays a really weak team; something the Broncos are not.
|#7 Donnie Avery: This should be a no brainer, but just in case some of you are toying around with the notion of giving him a start…don’t!
|#8 DeSean Jackson: Suddenly the Chargers can cover and the Eagles have a very poor track record on the West Coast making Jackson a poor option.
|#9 Austin Collie: Collie has a neck problem that will limit him in practice this week, and considering Clark is getting a lot of looks and Reggie Wayne always seems to fare well vs. the Pats Collie may be relegated to situational downs only.
|#10 Nate Burleson: One week a starter; one week a bench option. I don’t see Burleson getting many opportunities against the Cardinals making him a poor start in this divisional showdown.
High Risk/High Reward?
Roddy White vs. Chris Gamble: White has been up and down all season long, not because his play has declined, but rather teams are putting much more pressure on Matt Ryan; apparently it’s working. Last week I missed the mark with Larry Fitzgerald as he had a monster day, but I was right about White and this week could be similar.
Chris Gamble has been playing good enough to garner the trust of the Panthers in a lot of isolation coverage allowing for better utilization of the free safety for help over the top. Gamble has enough size and speed to neutralize White, but if White finds separation during the game he could explode.
The other thing to consider is the Panthers lost their best tackler WLB Thomas Davis for the year which is huge considering the Panthers are already thin and can’t stop the run; they will plug in Landon Johnson. The Panthers play cover 2 against the run making the WLB particularly important, so the Falcons may not even need White if they can get Turner going.
If you are out of options then give White the nod; just don’t expect much this week.
Fantasy Player Highlight: Robert Meachem-Saints
Meachem had his first breakout game last week vs. the Panthers catching 5 balls for 98 yards and a TD, and it is this sort of performance that could be on deck for this week’s matchup against St. Louis. Teams are starting to double team Colston, and Lance Moore has been MIA opening up the door for Meachem.
This week, we may see Moore out again, but even if he starts there are serious doubts about him being 100% and the Rams will do everything in their power to try and shut down Colston making Meachem an intriguing start.
What’s even more interesting is they have Tampa Bay next week which gives owners two solid weeks of possible Fantasy fodder out of Meachem. He is available in most Yahoo leagues considering he has an average 15% ownership and is a low-end buy in Salary Cap leagues.
I can see a tandem of Meachem and Colston being split by half.
For a look at TEs.
For a look at RBs.
For a look at DEF.
Good Luck this week everyone.