Wondering whether or not to start Drew Brees and Dwayne Bowe, or bench Derek Anderson and C.J. Spiller? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for real help with your starting lineup conundrums, read on.
Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 13 of the 2010 season.
Sam Bradford, QB, Rams at Cardinals. He threw three interceptions in his first meeting with the Cardinals, which also was his first game as a pro. Arizona won’t recognize the Bradford they see Sunday, who is playing lights-out despite his supporting cast of no-names.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers at Seahawks. After rushing for nearly 100 yards in Week 12 against the Browns, Stewart appears to be back at full strength. Though Mike Goodson has earned a share of the carries going forward, he has been missing practice this week due to the “stress” associated with his wife’s late-term pregnancy. Hmm. Seattle’s pathetic run defense awaits.
Matt Forte, RB, Bears at Lions. He has been a little better than average over the last several weeks, but at least Chester Taylor is no longer a major competitor for carries. Now Forte faces the team he torched for 201 combined yards and two TDs in Week 1.
Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets at Patriots. He’s taken a backseat to Santonio Holmes, who is now an every-week fantasy starter. But Edwards should be in your lineup, too, against a Patriots secondary that is coughing up a league-worst 288 passing yards per game.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos at Chiefs. Denver’s wideouts all had fun the last time these teams met, with Gaffney pulling in one of five passing TDs. Look for Kyle Orton, Brandon Lloyd and Gaffney to have another fine afternoon against Kansas City’s slumping secondary.
More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, David Garrard, Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez; RBs Jamaal Charles, Felix Jones, Brandon Jacobs, LaDainian Tomlinson, Knowshon Moreno; WRs Larry Fitzgerald, Stevie Johnson, Santonio Holmes, Pierre Garcon, Johnny Knox, Davone Bess, Percy Harvin, Mario Manningham, Mike Williams (TB), Derrick Mason, Dez Bryant.
Roll ‘em back
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers at Ravens. He has been limping through practice on an injured foot – either broken or sprained, depending on whom you believe – but he should play Sunday night. Just don’t count on much against the Ravens’ stingy pass defense. Big Ben hasn’t connected on more than a single TD pass in a game against Baltimore since 2007.
Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders at Chargers. McFadden’s production has fallen off precipitously over the past three weeks, and he appears to be wearing down with the heavy workload. The NFL’s second-ranked run defense is an unlikely opponent to allow him to rebound.
Keiland Williams, RB, Redskins at Giants. His 15 minutes of fantasy fame may be over, even though Ryan Torain (hamstring) is unlikely to return this week. James Davis is now sharing backfield carries and Washington’s offensive line isn’t opening holes for either rusher lately.
Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals vs. Saints. New Orleans continues to hold opposing receivers out of the end zone, while Cincinnati’s starting wideouts were shut down by the Jets in Week 12. Look for both trends to continue this weekend.
Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers at Packers. He has caught all three of Troy Smith’s TD passes over the past four games, which tells you all you need to know about Smith’s fantasy value. But Crabtree’s yardage and targets have been mediocre. Green Bay has allowed just 10 passing TDs all season, so don’t expect much from the duo on the frozen tundra.
More thumbs down: QBs Brett Favre, Kerry Collins, Joe Flacco, Donovan McNabb, Carson Palmer, Jason Campbell; RBs Ronnie Brown, Maurice Morris, Marshawn Lynch, Donald Brown, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brian Westbrook, Mike Goodson; WRs Malcom Floyd, Santana Moss, Ben Obomanu, Miles Austin, Jacoby Ford, Deion Branch, Donald Driver, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall.
TAKING A FLIER
Seyi Ajirotutu, WR, Chargers vs. Raiders. Vincent Jackson barely made a cameo appearance before injuring his groin; Malcom Floyd is still bothered by a hamstring; Antonio Gates may not play due to his feet issues and Patrick Crayton (wrist) is already ruled out. Ajirotutu and Legedu Naanee may be Philip Rivers’ last healthy wideouts standing, which could open the door for solid production from one or both vowel-blessed receivers.
DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHOfails to check on Adrian Peterson’s playing status on Sunday morning (on your own or via my tweets). He’ll be a game-time decision; and if he doesn’t go, Toby Gerhart could be in for a monster outing against the Bills’ sieve-like run defense.