After week 9, the Fantasy Football landscape began to undergo a huge transformation, beginning with the myriad of injuries that eventually led our notice towards the importance of the Waiver Wire.
Shortly thereafter, came the importance of knowing which starter will have the biggest day, in an effort to accommodate our teams with the best possible roster combination.
Now, as we approach week 12, there is yet another piece to the puzzle that we should begin taking notice to as we all try to fight out way to Fantasy Dominance.
The race towards the postseason will take center stage from here on out, and that gives you—the Fantasy Manager— a world of information to consider as you still strive for that perfect roster set.
In the NFL, there are currently 11 teams that are fighting for their lives to keep the dream of a postseason berth alive: 5 in the NFC and 6 in the AFC. What this means in regard to Fantasy is that those said teams—or most of them anyway—will play with much more intensity, and it is this sort of situation that should be taken into consideration as you decide who to start or sit.
Let’s take a look.
1. Wes Welker
Mr. Slot Machine is the biggest no brainer start in just about every weekly matchup.
This week, he goes against a very banged up Saints’ secondary that just won’t have enough players to cover everyone.
The Detroit Lions put up a ton of yards against the lowly Browns, so just think about what the Bengals are going to do to them.
Ocho has been quiet for a while, but should resume his path towards a career year.
V-Jax has been another quiet stud for the past two weeks, but that is about to change against a porous K.C. defense.
The Chiefs may have beaten the Steelers last week, but they gave up a ton of yards in the process.
He is the go to guy in Minnesota, he is Favre’s favorite target, he is the leading receiver for the Vikings and the Bears are on a huge skid defensively.
The bears will be too concerned with Peterson AND Taylor making this matchup a sweet one for Rice.
5. Terrell Owens
I admit that after one good week it’s a huge risk putting T.O in the Top 5 but the Miami pass defense is so bad that it’s kinda hard not to.
Obviously the Bills are going to do whatever they can to start winning games; using T.O. is a fine way to get things rolling.
Top Ten Starts:
|#1 Roddy White: Roddy White has been affording owners more and more consistency, and this week’s matchup against the Bucs should be the culmination of what we all thought he was going to do all year. He deserves a confident start.
|#2 Reggie Wayne: Wayne, Manning, and getting that much closer to a clinch against the Texans is a manager's ambrosia.
|#3 Nate Burleson: Burleson has been relatively quiet for the past couple of weeks as he has faced better coverage and more attention, but the Rams won’t offer much in the way of stopping him from finding the end zone.
|#4 Andre Johnson: Although Indy will be firing on all cylinders, they have become prone—as of late—to give up the big yards to marquee receivers. Look for Johnson to bounce back this week for sure.
|#5 Anquan Boldin: Two straight games of 100+ yard performances is enough to make me, and Warner, believe Boldin is 100% again, and since Fitz has been drawing a lot of attention Boldin is primed once again to out duel his co-worker.
|#6 Mike Sims-Walker: I HAVE OFFICIALLY come to terms that this guy is the real deal after facing two teams in a row with pretty good coverage and playing marginally well. His start against San Fran and their declining pass coverage is a must.
|#7 Donald Driver: The Packers are able to spread the ball around more with Finley back relegating Driver to a WR3 option last week; it didn’t help that Jennings made a fool out of me showing that his knee was in fact good to go….bummer. Anyway, Driver will no doubt bounce back on turkey day.
|#8 Hines Ward: Ward is beginning to do what he always does this time of year; turn things up. Baltimore’s 19th ranked coverage won’t be able to deal with him and everyone else catching the ball.
|#9 Larry Fitzgerald: Despite the fact Fitz is not having the season he wants to have, Fitz is still consistently providing points every week; this week will be no different.
|#10 Randy Moss: Moss is a stud for both PPR and Standard leaguers against the banged up Saints.
Must Sit of the Week:
Steve Smith makes yet another appearance on the Must Sit list simply due to Delhomme’s inability to hit his one-time favorite target.
But what makes matters worse is he goes up against shutdown corner Darrell Revis who hasn’t been beaten by anyone this year yet—the guy is just that good.
The Jets are still somewhat in the hunt for a playoff spot but they are in must win mode all year long now sitting at the number 11 spot chasing Miami, Houston, Baltimore, and Denver just for the chance of a wildcard.
Smith will have a very bad day and should be benched of a more favorable receiver.
Two Through Ten:
|#2 Braylon Edwards: Cotchery is healthy, and Edwards has more issues than the Browns entire organization so considering his lack of oomph it would be wise to bench him until—if ever—he picks tings up.
|#3 Maurice Stovall: Stovall has been the most consistent WR for the Bucs, but their Qb situation and upcoming schedule doesn’t boad well for his value. Expect his Fantasy worth to begin taking a hit.
|#4 The Chicago Bears’ Receivers: Cutler has officially fallen of the map, the Bears entire offense is feeling the uncertainty, and there is no reason to trust them going forward…especially against the Vikings.
|#5 Roy Williams: It is being speculated that the rib injury Williams sustained against the Broncos is interfering with his willingness to put himself in traffic, not a good sign for a starting WR. If you can afford to drop him, do so now.
|#6 Kenny Britt: Kenny Britt is the number one guy in Tennessee with Gage still out, but the Cardinals and Rodgers-Cromartie WILL give the Titans a world of problems.
|#7 Jeremy Maclin: Washington is the number one ranked passing defense and fourth overall, and Maclin has shown that against the better cover teams he doesn’t ever do well. He deserves a sit this week.
|#8 Calvin Johnson: The Packers are ranked third overall in pass coverage and there is little reason to think he will duplicate last week’s performance against the Packers with Stafford likely out for Thursday’s game.
|#9 Santana Moss: Moss has been MIA and should be dropped in all leagues going forward period.
|#10 Brandon Marshall: Corey Webster seems to be back in town, and the Broncos aren’t entirely sure Orton is healthy. In addition to all of this last week’s emergence of Marshall’s alter ego Super Angry Shoving Guy reared its ugly head. This isn’t a good situation in regard to Fantasy despite Marshall being who he is. I say sit him this week until the Broncos get their ship righted.
High Risk/High Reward?
Mohamed Massaquoi: There is no denying that the Bengals are a good team defensively, but over the recent weeks the team has dropped in rank in overall coverage, and what makes things worse for the Bengals, is the added pressure of holding on for dear life to number one in the division.
Enter in Massaquoi, and the peculiar Browns.
Brady Quinn really likes this guy and it shows whenever Quinn and Massaquoi are on the field together. The last time Massaquoi faced the Bengals he burned them for 148 yards and I really believe Massaquoi has more upside than down vs. Cincinnati.
If you take into account there is really no one else providing Quinn with a consistent target, Massaquoi makes a very intriguing—albeit risky—prospect this week.
Fantasy Player Highlight: Chris Chambers-Kansas City:
Well, here we go the game that nobody’s been waiting for: The Return of Chris Chambers!... well it has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?
Chambers has surprisingly been effective for Kansas City—Dwayne Bowe has had a lot do with it though.
There is a member who contributes to our Waiver Wire section that stated to pick him up earlier this year and I debated not to, so it’s only fitting that I give him props for making the better call than myself—I think his name was Jim..so thank you for your insight.
This game will be a great game to watch: The resurgent Chiefs riding the high of downing the Steelers in convincing fashion vs. the rising and nearly unstoppable Chargers as they play king of the mountain from here on out.
I think Chambers will have a really good day against his former team as a form of redemption, and if you have the room on your roster, or are looking for a quick plug in, he makes for a great pick up!
Top Fantasy Football Directory:
Good Luck this week everyone.