Calvin Johnson

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

 

When giving advice on who to play I prefer not to say ‘Start player x’ or ‘Sit player y’ because I don’t know who everyone has on their bench.  Telling you to sit a borderline QB when all the options available to you in your league are worse doesn’t do you much good.  So instead I’ll make references to the classic spaghetti western.  Assume the players who aren’t mentioned here should produce within their usual point range.

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to ask questions about your specific scenario in the comments section below and I’ll try and answer before game time.  Make sure you include league type, number of players, etc.

 

Legend:

 

Good – These players have promising match ups and should provide owners with 10-25% above their usual fantasy production.

 

Bad – These players have challenging match ups and will likely produce 10-25% less than their usual fantasy points.

 

Ugly – These players should not be started this week if at all possible.

 

 

Week Nine

St. Louis, New England, NY Jets and San Francisco on their bye week.  Besides the Patriots not a lot of premier players to worry about replacing from your starting lineup.

 

 

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals

Weather: 32/64f Mostly Sunny

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Peyton Manning

Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker

Willis McGahee

Andy Dalton

A.J. Green

Jermaine Gresham

 

Both passing games have a decent match up, don’t expect lights-out on either side but most players should exceed their usual fantasy production

 

Bad:

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

 

Denver defense is in the top half of the league with respect to giving up fantasy points on the ground while the Bengals run game is not impressive.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Weather: 40/63f Partly Sunny

Playing Surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Joe Flacco

Ray Rice

Torrey Smith/Anquan Boldin

Dennis Pitta

Trent Richardson

 

I don’t expect any of these players to go crazy but maybe 10% over their usual production is in order.  Despite the presence of Joe Haden it sounds as though he won’t be shadowing Smith exclusively so Smith should still get plenty of targets.

 

Bad:

Brandon Weeden

 

The Ravens aren’t scaring teams like they used to but this is still not a very good match up for Weeden, who’s also banged up.  Expect a dip in his usual production.

 

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers

Weather: 29/54f Partly Sunny

Playing Surface: Hybrid Grass

Home Field Advantage: Good

 

Bad:

John Skelton

Larry Fitzgerald

Alex Green

 

Likely more a product of horrible QB play than the match up the Cards are facing, but the Packers pass D has improved markedly from last season.  The Cards D has been more effective vs. the pass than the run but Green Bay cannot seem to get a decent ground game going against anyone.

 

Ugly:

LaRod Stephens-Howling

 

There’s got to be someone available in your league that has a better chance at putting up points than Hyphen.

 

 

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans

Weather: 45/69f Partly Sunny

Playing Surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Matt Forte

 

Expect pretty good production on the ground this week from Forte.

 

Bad:

Matt Hasselbeck

Jared Cook

Kenny Britt

Nate Washington

 

None of these guys scare Da Bears and their results will reflect that.

 

Ugly:

Chris Johnson

 

I’m not buying his resurgence one bit, and Chicago is giving up the second fewest fantasy points to RB’s.  You may not have a choice whether to start Johnson depending on your bench RB’s but hopefully by this point in the season you have acquired an adequate replacement for him.

 

 

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts

Weather: 33/49f Mostly Sunny.  As yet no word if roof will be open

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas

Reggie Wayne

Dwayne Allen

 

Get Bush into your lineup if you have him, he should have a stellar game versus the Colts.  Expect more than usual from Thomas, Wayne and Allen.  Allen is a nice waiver pickup for a week or two while Fleener is out.  Actually he’s out-producing Fleener but seems to be the less popular pick at tight end.

 

Bad:

Ryan Tannehill/Matt Moore

Brian Hartline

Anthony Fasano

Donald Brown/Vic Ballard

 

All will likely have a little difficulty putting up decent fantasy points.  Having Brown and Ballard in a timeshare situation now will only worsen both player’s numbers this week.  Hartline is battling groin issues but apparently is good to go.

 

 

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins

Weather: 37/58f Partly Sunny

Playing Surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Alfred Morris

RGIII

 

A real nice match up for Morris to put up big points.  For RGIII he will likely struggle some in the passing game but should do well with his feet.

 

Bad:

Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson

 

Hopefully you have better options than these two, both will likely struggle in this match up

 

 

Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Weather: 58/73f Dense Fog.  Forecast calls for it to clear before game time.

Playing Surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Calvin Johnson/Titus Young

Brandon Pettigrew

 

I thought this could be the week Megatron breaks out, but with him being a game time decision he’ll likely have a reduced role.  Regardless you can’t sit him if he plays.  Pettigrew should have some success and in fact Tony Scheffler if he’s available could be a decent bye week replacement for Gronk, Hernandez or Davis.

 

Ugly:

Jacksonville

 

Easier than listing every single skill position player on the Jags offense.  Maybe Jennings can have a decent day but other than that you should glue these guys to your bench if you are unfortunate enough to have any.

 

Take Your Chances With: Ryan Broyles – If you snapped Broyles up off waivers this week, go ahead and plug him into your lineup if you need a bye week or injury replacement.  It’s a good match up for him.

 

 

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans

Weather: 65/80f Chance Thunderstorms

Playing surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

GOLD:

Arian Foster

 

Listing his match up as simply Good just doesn’t do it justice.  The Bills are giving up the most fantasy points to running backs in the league, and Houston is putting up the third most.  Imagine what Foster could do.  If you have Foster as your RB1 and an empty RB2 spot, don’t worry about it.  Pick up a warm body and plug him in.  Foster should gain enough for two RB’s, especially if the weather forces the teams to keep it on the ground more than usual.

 

Good:

Matt Schaub

Andre Johnson/Kevin Walter

Owen Daniels

 

Besides getting run over the Bills D is getting regularly scorched through the air as well.  Granted their stats are skewed from a couple of horror shows against the Pats and Niners, but this defense is simply not performing nearly as well as they should be.

 

Bad:

C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson

 

Houston is number one against the run but the Bills do have a strong ground game and may have some success unless and until Houston gets out to a big lead.  Overall though it would be helpful to look elsewhere at RB if you can find a decent option.

 

Take Your Chances With: Justin Forsett – If the Texans do get out to a big lead, or the weather forces them to run a lot, Forsett should get quite a few carries.  Not enough to count on him to produce but if you’re in need he might be able to help you out.

 

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks

Weather: 50/46f Rain Likely

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Good

 

Bad:

Adrian Peterson

Russell Wilson

Sidney Rice/Golden Tate

Zach Miller

 

Two bad offenses against two good defenses means lots of bad to go around.  Peterson is still a must-start of course but other than that I’d stay away if you have other options.  If Vegas has the Over/Under at higher than 13.5 bet the Under.

 

Ugly:

Christian Ponder

Percy Harvin

Kyle Rudolph

 

Seriously, bet the Under.  And bench the above players.

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders

Weather: 52/58f Sunny

Playing Surface: Grass

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Josh Freeman

Vincent Jackson/Mike Williams

Carson Palmer

Denarius Moore/Darius Heyward-Bey

Brandon Myers

 

Both QB’s should do well in this match up, and look for big days from Moore and/or Jackson especially.

 

Bad:

Darren McFadden

 

The Raiders and McFadden just can’t seem to get the running game on track although last week they had some success.  The Bucs run defense has been real solid so I don’t expect McFadden to have a very good day.

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ NY Giants

Weather: 35/56f Mostly Sunny

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Average

 

Good:

Ben Roethlisberger

Mike Wallace/Antonio Brown

Heath Miller

 

The G-men are improving in the secondary but they certainly aren’t elite, and they aren’t getting pressure on the quarterback like they should be.  The Steelers passing game should do quite well this week.

 

Bad:

Jonathan Dwyer/Rashard Mendenhall/Isaac Redman

 

Looks like Redman gets the start against New York, and he is likely not going to have a lot of success on the ground.

 

Take Your Chances With: Chris Rainey – I touted him as an option week seven, but Dwyer more than held his own.  I don’t see Redman doing the same which means maybe this is the week Rainey sees more time in the backfield.  It’s a long shot but if you’re desperate he’s probably available.

 

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons

Weather: Dome

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Good

 

Bad:

Tony Romo

 

Overall these two teams are pretty evenly matched when looking at fantasy points for and against at the various positions.  Romo barely falls into the Bad category but if you have him you likely also have a backup/timeshare so depending on the match up I’d think about benching Tony.

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints

Weather: Dome

Playing Surface: Artificial Turf

Home Field Advantage: Good

 

Good:

Michael Vick

LeSean McCoy

DeSean Jackson/Jeremy Maclin

Brent Celek

Drew Brees

Marques Colston/Lance Moore

Jimmy Graham

 

With the Saints this season it’s pretty much stating the obvious that they have a good match up in the passing game and their opponents have a good match up overall on offense.  Start any and all of the above with confidence.

 

Bad:

Pierre Thomas

 

I’m seeing that the Sproles injury moves Thomas into RB1 territory this week.  I’m not buying it.  It does move Thomas up from Ugly to Bad given he should catch a few balls out of the backfield.  But he’s no Sproles and the Saints won’t use the same offensive game plan using Thomas in his place for the same number of plays as a pass catching back.

 

Ugly:

Mark Ingram

 

The Saints are last in the league in both rushing yards and rushing TD’s with a measly 508/3 stat line through seven games.  Part of the reason is that they don’t even try.  They are last in the league by a fair margin in rushing attempts.  Philly’s run D is good so don’t expect New Orleans to suddenly discover the ability, or appetite, to run the ball in this one.

 

 


Write comment
Comments (6)add comment

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
... I hear ya Southpaw, it sucks when a player decides to perform the week you bench him. You must have a killer team to have the most points scored if you started CJ2K every week at the start of the season :-)
My take is Johnson has done literally nothing this season unless his line opens holes for him. He has hardly made anything happen on his own. The line won't be opening many holes against the Bears this week, so unless Johnson truly does find his previous form he will struggle to get anything going on the ground.
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Southpaw20 said:

Southpaw20
... I actually would not be starting Felix. I currently have McGahee in my flex spot so what I would do is take Brown off my bench and slide him into the flex spot and move McGahee into CJ2K's RB spot....effectively demoting CJ2K to my bench.
It is a tough decision as it is always hard to demote a guy who is starting every single week for me. It would hurt bad to see CJ2K put up some numbers this afternoon.
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
... Assuming you're starting Brown and Jones and you want to know who to start as a flex. If that's what you mean then I would go with Harvin. If it was non-PPR league maybe I'd look at CJ2K but in your league I'd go Harvin for sure.
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Southpaw20 said:

Southpaw20
... Thanks Steve. the other thing I could do is use my flex spot in this equation. So assuming Brown is a must start in my situation, who would you pick for the flex spot - Johnson or Harvin?
Once again, thanks and much appreciated
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Steve Braun said:

steve_oshp
Southpaw20 I know it's tough to leave a Percy Harvin on the bench but I do like Brown's chances better this week. That said, as Ponder's main target he's the type of player who could produce no matter the match-up. If it was me I would go with Brown though.
If Jones were fully healthy I would absolutely put him in over CJ2K. But I think it's 50/50 that Jones makes it to the second half and even if he does Tanner may get the tougher goal-line carries. In this case I would hold my nose and start Johnson and hope he can do something for you.
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Southpaw20 said:

Southpaw20
Starting Options Hey Steve, little late but I am having trouble figuring out who to start. A few guys (Harvin + Chris Johnson) get not so favourable reviews in this article. I agree with you however would either (or both) be better benched in favour of Antonio Brown or Felix Jones? Harvin is my highest scoring player so far so I have a tough time seeing him on the bench.
Currently I am sitting in 1st place and have the most points scored in the league but am projected to lose this week. Scoring setts below:
TD's (Rush or Rec) - 6 points
10 yds Rec - 1 point
Reception - 1 point
10 yds Rush - 1 point

Thanks a lot!
Southpaw20
November 04, 2012
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy