Welcome to our Halloween Edition of Sits/Starts. What makes it Halloween Edition–The pictures of course! On to the show…
QB Starts (Chairman Mao)
1. Jon Kitna vs. Jax
Start Percentage: 13%
Projected Line: 24-40-375-3-2
Analysis: I’m not the kind of guy to recommend picking up the Kitna-tor as your regular go-to QB. I will definitely give him the nod over some regular names and for anyone facing a bye week now (Matty Ice, anyone?). While Kitna’s career TD/INT ratio is in a dead heat to see which comes out on top, his YPA of 6.63 is encouraging. What excites me about him this week is 1) he has been given the reins to an offense with so much talent it could model for Playboy and 2) HE’S PLAYING THE JAGS. Jacksonville is giving up more fppg to QBs than anyone but the Texans. I make no promises for what the rest of Kitna’s 2010 season may hold, but for week 8, play him.
Who I’d Start Him Over: Tom Brady vs. MIN (86%), Carson Palmer vs. MIA (44%), Donovan McNabb @ DET (41%)
2. Matthew Stafford vs. WAS
Start Percentage: 15%
Projected Line: 20-42-300-2-2
Analysis: This is his week. Megatron is coming off of an incredible performance and is finally ready to consistently show his superior talents (maybe). Washington is 6th worst in fppg to QBs. I’m expecting to see a shootout in this one with Stafford being the no. 1 beneficiary.
Who I’d Start Him Start Over: Drew Brees vs. PIT (94%) , Brady, Palmer, McNabb
QB Sits (Chairman Mao)
1. Carson Palmer vs. MIA
Start Percentage: 44%
Projected Line: 20-38-240-1-2
Analysis: I was all aboard for the perceived Carson Palmer gravy train on draft day (again). Fortunately, events turned what I thought was a black eye into a real feather in my cap (namely, LukeNukem drafting him way ahead of his ADP). Carson’s inconsistencies aren’t the only thing hurting his stock. He just isn’t the same player he used to be. He doesn’t have the luck of a Favre or the brain of a Manning (A Manning, just one of them) to age gracefully and continue being good. For fantasy purposes, that will translate into errant passes when his mind forgets that he’s a broken down old jalopy. This means missed long balls. This means plays that used to earn you six could easily deduct two. Miami is pedestrian against QBs, but in their defense they have faced a who’s who of NFL names.
Who I’d Start Over Him: Josh Freeman @ ARI (18%), Jon Kitna vs. JAX (13%), Kyle Orton @ SF (61%)
2. Donvan McNabb @ DET
Start Percentage: 41%
Analysis: This isn’t advice to sit a player because he has a tough defense facing him this week. I’m advising you to sit McNabb because Detroit is so God-awful against the run that opposing QBs don’t find themselves needing to do much. I predicted a shootout for this game earlier and I meant it but most of the work should go to the increasingly useful Ryan Torain.
Who I’d Start Over Him: All Above QBs, Ryan Fitzpatrick @ KC (29%)
RB Starts (KCCB)
1. Marshawn Lynch @ OAK
Start Percentage: 43%
Projected Line: 15-60-1 (Rushing), 3-17-0 (Receiving)
Analysis: You know, Carroll isn’t that bad. He’ll make you scratch your head by beating teams he shouldn’t beat and losing to teams he should’ve beat. However, he’s got the Seahawks in the playoff hunt…which isn’t saying much, but it’s true. Also, Oakland isn’t exactly a run stopping team. Their lowest point total to RBs is 14, which ain’t bad.
Who I’d start him over: Brandon Jackson @ NYJ (39%)
2. LeGarrette Blount @ ARI
Start Percentage: 13%
Projected Line: 12-74-1 (Rushing), 1-7-0 (Receiving)
Analysis: Blount had a great showing last week and the Bucs are planning on using “Cadillac” as their 3rd down back. In an effort to keep pressure off of Freeman, expect both to get their opportunities. Cardinals are susceptible to running backs. However, keep in mind he is only probable as of this writing.
Who I’d start him over: Mike Tolbert vs. TEN (27%), or perhaps over a Lance Moore caliber WR if you’re using Blount as your flex option.
RB Sits (KCCB)
1. Danny Woodhead vs. MIN
Start Percentage: 41%
Projected Line: 6-18-0 (Rushing), 2-10-0 (Receiving)
Analysis: It appears as if Woodhead is making the most out of his opportunities and attempting to become the 2nd coming of Kevin Faulk. However, I’d bench him on name alone. If that’s not enough for you, despite MIN’s foibles, they’re still a stout run D. Expect Brady to distribute to Welker and Branch while Woodhead serves to protect him. Good for football, bad for fantasy.
Who I’d start over him: Fred Jackson @ KC (22%)–it appears that KC is a good team against the run, but they’re still giving up points to RBs.
2. Carnell Williams @ARI
Start Percentage: 22%
Projected Line: 4-15-0 (Rushing), 3-12-0 (Receiving)
Analysis: I know this isn’t much of a reach, but I write it as I notice that someone in the Ninja’s league is actually starting Cadillac. His production has benefited from a lack of Blount. With Raheem Morris on the Blount-Bandwagon, expect Caddy’s production to slip–though he may have potential to score a garbage TD here or there.
Who I’d start over him: Ronnie Brown @ CIN (54%)
WR Starts (LukeNukem)
1. Dwayne Bowe vs. BUF
Start Percentage: 80%
Projected Line: 5-77-1
Analysis: The logic here is simply if a WR has gone 9-189-4 over the last two games, you can’t bench him. Yet 20% of his owners are. I know he’s been unimpressive all year, and you can take one of two things from his previous two matchups: A. He simply manhandled the 2nd and 3rd most generous (to WR) defenses in the NFL or B. He’s starting to get off the schneid. Why can’t it be both? BUF is middling vs. the pass, and allowed 28 fps to BAL WRs in a shootout last week. I expect much more effective running from KC this week, but there still should be room for Bowe to catch at least a TD. And if he doesn’t, you’re not going to point to his last two games as indicators of that. You might as well universally go with him here and hope for another multi-TD game.
Who I’d Start Him Over: Brandon Marshall @ CIN (93%), Wes Welker vs. MIN (83%)
2. Pierre Garcon vs. HOU
Start Percentage: 53%
Projected Line: 3-78-1
Analysis: You’re starting all your Colts skill position players. Trust me. According to our matchup tool, the Texans are allowing a whopping 110 PPR fppg to the QB/RB/WR/TE combined. 110. That’s nuts. And we have reason to believe the Colts will eat them alive at home Monday night (at least on the stat sheet). In their week 1 loss, Indy put up 137.3 fps against HOU. So there’s potentially 137 fps on the table to go around, it’s obvious you’re starting Wayne and Manning, and they only accounted for around 60 of them last time. Who’s going to soak up the rest? Well, Dallas Clark’s out, Austin Collie’s out, Joseph Addai is too, and Donald Brown will be limited. So my money’s on passing, and lots of it…passing to Garcon, and whoever is left standing (hint: like the next guy on this list).
Who I’d Start Him Over: Brandon Lloyd @ SF (86%), Chad Ochocinco vs. MIA (76%)
3. Anthony Gonzalez vs. HOU
Start Percentage: 3%
Projected Line: 9-95-0
Analysis: Despite what Adam Schefter says, it looks like Gonzalez will play Monday night. If it were me, I’d have Blair White on hand too, just in case he’s a last-minute scratch, but he practiced Thursday, and as of this writing is one of only four healthy WRs the Colts have on their roster. Seriously. If you think Manning isn’t going to throw it, just because he’s without his second and third best receivers, you’re mistaken. LISTEN TO ME, all you people who aren’t starting Gonzalez! Peyton put it in the air 50 times in week 1. Four receivers had 6 or more receptions. There were 35 fantasy points scored in receptions to those receivers alone! The money’s on the table, you just have to take it. And oh yeah, Wayne and Garcon will almost certainly draw the double teams (as if that will matter) and Gonzo should benefit by catching all the underneath stuff. I know we’ve said in the past that you can go ahead and drop him, but if he’s widely available in your league and you’re hurting because of the byes (Roddy White, Anquan Boldin and DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin owners) he’s a consensus top 20 WR among all ninjas for this week. And this is a guy who only has one catch and 12 yards on the season. That’s how good his situation will be on MNF. Don’t miss out.
Who I’d Start Him Over: Mike Sims-Walker @ DAL (33%), Lance Moore vs. PIT (33%)
WR Sits (LukeNukem)
1. Steve Johnson @ KC
Start Percentage: 46%
Projected Line: 3-45-0
Analysis: While it’s fun to think that Steve Johnson can go a fifth straight game with a TD, it’s unlikely. That’s not an indictment of Johnson; I like him. The truth is, it’s rare for the best WRs in the league to go five straight games with a TD. And it’s not like Johnson can yet be seriously considered a stellar, every-week start at your WR1, I mean, unless your team is just devoid of depth and talent, or decimated by byes. He’s gone over 100 receiving yards just once this year, and it was during the week 7 shootout. Let’s not go crazy with the unanimous start talk. The Ravens clearly looked past Johnson, Lee Evans and the Bills’ entire passing game last week, and it cost them in yardage (and four Ryan Fitzpatrick passing TDs). This week it won’t happen with the Chiefs, who themselves have been looked past by many opponents, and will want to maintain that “us against the world” mentality that’s gotten them this far. The Chiefs are also the 6th-best team against opposing WRs. Look elsewhere if you can.
Who I’d Start Over Him: Any Colt, Michael Crabtree vs. DEN (52%)
2. Mike Wallace @ NO
Start Percentage: 76%
Projected Line: 2-56-0
Analysis: Wallace and Robert Meacham will be having a contest to see who can have the flukier, harder-to-predict fantasy game. Wallace is my odds-on favorite. While he’s been good for a TD in each of the last two games, he’s yet to shed the “speedster who can’t catch or run routes” label, as he’s yet to eclipse three receptions in a game this year. Don’t expect that trend to change against a NO defense that ranks #1 against opposing WRs according to our matchup tool. They’ve yet to allow more than 24 points to an opposing WR corps all season. For perspective, that’s 20 fewer than the Redskins allow per game. Only roll with your Steelers if you have to, though Hines Ward should be much safer (considering he’s actually good at things).
Who I’d Start Over Him: Mike Williams (SEA) @ OAK (31%), Robert Meacham vs. PIT (33%)
3. Donald Driver @ NYJ
Start Percentage: 56%
Projected Line: 3-32-0
Analysis: This has nothing to do with the start/sit column, but I just want to use this space to point out how much of a punk-bitch Aaron Rodgers is. Clearly, Donald Driver was hurting on Sunday night, but he suited up anyway, as he has for every game since 2007 (and as he’s done in all but 5 games since 2000). Up until Sunday, Driver had caught a pass in 133 consecutive games (a streak he’d built since 2001). He didn’t catch a pass against Minnesota. It wouldn’t bother me, considering he was injured and playing a divisional foe with a tough defense, except for the fact that Aaron Rodgers only targeted him one time. Once. For the franchise’s most celebrated active player. One target. All he needed was a quick slant, one bubble screen, one little cross. It’s not like the Vikings were doubling him all night. I don’t know if Driver cares about the streak. If he doesn’t, then I guess I don’t. But if it were me, I’d care that my QB wasn’t even aware of what was at stake. By the way, don’t bother starting him against the Jets if he even plays. There are tons of better options.
Who I’d Start Over Him: Colts, Deion Branch v. MIN (49%)
TE Starts (LukeNukem)
1. Jacob Tamme vs. HOU
Start Percentage: <1%
Projected Line: 5-63-0
Analysis: Okay, this one’s a gamble. We know a few things for sure. First, we know the Colts will put up passing yards in bunches (see the Garcon and Gonzo recs above). We know the Texans will most likely not be able to stop Manning from passing all over them (see all of recorded history since the Houston Texans’ franchise inception, plus, of course, our matchup tool). We also know that Colts TEs will be the third or fourth receiving options. To clarify, the “third or fourth” options have, in the past, been huge for Indy. The third option to this point has been Austin Collie (with Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne being #1 and #2 respectively) who is 3rd in the NFL in receptions (Wayne is tied for #2…yes, this offense is dominant and puts the ball in the air non-stop). The operative phrase, however, is “Colts TEs.” What we don’t know is which one will be on the field most in passing situations, and will therefore become the #3 option. Will it be Tamme, who Bill Polian seemed to endorse recently on his radio show? Will it be recently re-signed Gijon Robinson? Will it be rookie run-blocking specialist Brody Elridge? Most importantly, one or more of them will be involved, as some combinati0n of Wayne, Garcon, Gonzalez and Mike Hart/Donald Brown won’t be able to account for the 30-40 completions Manning will most likely finish the game with. If your league is deep, and your TE is hurt or on bye, consider taking a gamble on the most talented of the Colts TE question marks…Jacob Tamme. Beware though, to this point, like Gonzalez, he’s not been very involved. But unlike Gonzalez, we’re not incredibly confident he can become immediately startable. He is the Colts best special teams tackler, and they may keep him in that role. So definitely don’t take this rec to the bank (sorry…have to cover my ass).
Who I’d Start Him Over: Marcedes Lewis @ DAL (49%), Jermaine Gresham v. MIA (13%)
2. Kellen Winslow @ ARI
Start Percentage: 50%
Projected Line: 7-76-1
Analysis: Though the Cards are coming off a game where they absolutely neutralized the Seattle Seahawks TEs, they’re still allowing the 5th-most fantasy points to TEs on the year, and Winslow has been pretty consistent recently. Though he still hasn’t scored a TD this year, he’s caught 18 balls over the last three, and I’m marking him down for his first trip to the end zone this week. Tampa has played solidly on offense, but expect even the lowly Cards to rush all over the Bucs’ hapless front 7, who spearhead the NFL’s second-worst rush D. This will keep the game close, and keep Josh Freeman firing. If not rookie Mike Williams, it’ll be Winslow catching all those passes.
Who I’d Start Him Over: Heath Miller, Vernon Davis vs. DEN (93%)
TE Sits (LukeNukem)
1. Chris Cooley @ DET
Start Percentage: 64%
Projected Line: 5-49-0
Analysis: Cooley’s been a modle of consistency to this point, even after a concussion scare. That said, the Lions are actually good against TEs (7th-best in fact), allowing just around 9 fppg. However, they’re not so good against opposing WRs and RBs. In fact, they’re the absolute worst against rushers, which tells me, as the Chairman mentioned above, the ‘Skins will pound it with Ryan Torain as much as possible. I see Cooley flirting with double digit points in PPR leagues, but not much more than that.
Who I’d Start Over Him: Aaron Hernandez vs. MIN (57%), Visanthe Shiancoe @ NE (45%)
2. Tony Moeaki vs. BUF
Start Percentage: 35%
Projected Line: 3-22-0
Analysis: I’ve spent plenty-a-Start/Sit columns rec’ing Moeaki, as he’s been more consistent than some of the big names (cough, Tony Gonzalez, cough). But he’s clearly starting to hit that rookie wall. His three-game streak of double-digit PPR fps to start the year ended week 5 vs. IND, and he hasn’t re-started one yet. The Bills have struggled against TEs (allowing the second-most fps to them on the year) but this should be a pretty obvious and predictable game plan for the Chiefs. KC boasts the league’s best rushing offense, while Buffalo has the league’s worst rushing defense. It’s pretty open and shut; the Chiefs will pound it down Buffalo’s throat with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, and guys like Moeaki will have to be content to block more than run routes.
Who I’d Start Over Him: Hernandez, Shiancoe, Dustin Keller vs. GB (55%)