Is it already Thursday again? Seems like just yesterday I was watching Eli Manning throw interceptions on Monday Night Football. I guess that could be any game he’s played in, though, which is probably I’ve got my days of the week all out of whack. Anyway, I’m excited this morning because we’ve got bye weeks and big games coming our way this weekend, as well as my inability to remember to crowd-source for those Tough Calls™. Before the Seahawks and 49ers face off tonight, we’ve got everything you need to know to make sure you’re not starting DeAnthony Thomas while one of your stars is out of action.
Five Guys that You Have to Start This Week
- Mark Ingram, Saints. New Orleans is heading to Indianapolis for a Super Bowl rematch; and while I won’t be satisfied by Peyton being forced to remember how he threw that game away, your team can be satisfied by the Colts’ still-terrible run defense.
- Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals. At this point in the season I’m starting pretty much any receiver who is going against the atrocious Baltimore pass defense. I’m still trying to figure out how the Ravens fell so far, so fast, but regardless I’m loving every minute of it.
- Amari Cooper, Raiders. Coming off of a bye week and heading into his first Raiders – Chargers grudge match in San Diego, I expect Amari to put on a show and make sure the Chargers take full note of his arrival.
- Greg Olsen, Panthers. If you want to know how under-rated Greg Olsen is, look no further than the fact that I picked him up in free agency last weekend. The same Olsen who went for 8 catches, 134 yards, and 2 touchdowns against the Saints just two games ago. There’s not a huge pool of talent at tight end, so don’t get cute and pick up Austin Sefarian-Jenkins while Tyler Eifert is on a bye this week.
- Keenan Allen, Chargers. Allen has three games this year with 10+ catches and 100+ yards, the most recent being his 14-catch, 157-yard performance in Green Bay last Sunday. Allen suffered a hip flexor injury towards the end of that game, so his status is being monitored, but if he’s on the field then he sure as heck better be in your lineup.
A quick PSA, because we love you: CHECK YOUR TEAMS FOR PLAYERS ON A BYE. The deeper we get into the season, it never fails that one guy in your league will lose a playoff-deciding game because he forgot to switch a player on a bye out of his lineup. Don’t be that guy. This week is particularly dangerous, as the Packers, Bears, Bengals, and Broncos are all on a bye. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Five Guys That I Wouldn’t Start This Week Because Eh…
- Sam Bradford, Rams. With Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, and Jay Cutler on a bye, I know you may be looking for love in all the wrong places at your QB position this week. However, Bradford is not the answer. After a three-pick performance against the Giants I don’t expect Bradford to be on the upswing against Carolina’s stingy defense this week.
- Duke Johnson Jr, Rams. Cleveland’s backfield is an uninviting place for fantasy owners right now with Mike Pettine engaging a full-on running back committee. There’s really no chance to tell who will be the lead from week to week, and Duke needs to prove himself to the coaching staff before he can seize control of the situation.
- Kendall Wright, Titans. He may look like a potential game-changing grab on the waiver wire, but Wright has been wildly inconsistent since his 101 yard, 1 touchdown performance in Week 1.
- Matt Stafford, Lions. I know, I know, that big (read: first) win over the Bears last week convinced you that Stafford’s found his stride and now here I am telling you not to start him. Last time Stafford saw this Vikings defense they absolutely battered him all afternoon, and I expect more of the same this Sunday. Unless you’re replacing Rodgers or Dalton on the bye, leave Staff alone this weekend.
- Josh Hill, Saints. Martellus Bennett and Tyler Eifert are out on bye weeks. You need to find a deep-value tight end to step in and pick up where they left off. Josh Hill is absolutely not that guy. Don’t outsmart yourself, people. Please.
Get to the Waiver Wire!
- Kyle Rudolph, Vikings.
- Michael Crabtree, Raiders.
- Eric Ebron, Lions.
- Jordan Cameron, Dolphins.
- Stefon Diggs, Vikings.
Fantasy Victory of the Week
I know all of the recent heart-breaking sob stories have been weighing you guys down, so this week I pulled off an especially great win just to inspire some hope around here. My much-maligned Dough Babies were sitting at 2-3 and in serious danger in falling out of playoff contention very early in the season. As commissioner this would obviously be incredibly embarrassing and could not be allowed to happen. Going into Monday Night I was losing to Wild Bill’s Big Mountain Ballz, 101-95. My only remaining starter was Demarco Murray and his, Sam Bradford. All seemed lost until Murray turned in 21 points to Bradford’s 11 and lead the Dough Babies to a 116-112 win. With that win and the new Star Wars trailer that aired at halftime of the game, I was on Cloud 9. Victory is sweet.
Thursday Night Start/Sit
Start: Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin, Marshawn Lynch, Jimmy Graham,
Sit: Carlos Hyde, Thomas Rawls, Jermaine Kearse, Torrey Smith,
The Seahawks defense has been less than spectacular as of late, particularly in the fourth quarter. The 49ers are on the upward trend and looking to prove themselves against the team that has dominated their division for the past few years at what seems to be a vulnerable time. I’m expecting a higher scoring affair than we’re used to seeing out of these two teams. Ultimately, I’m going with the Seahawks to pull out the win and salvage their hopes of seeing the post-season again.
Again, as always, you can always email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @4thandGyas if you have any fantasy questions you need answered. Tough Calls ™ will be back next week, but for now just enjoy the hard hits tonight on NFL Network and CBS at 5:30 pm (Pacific Time). Until next time!