andrew luck

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.






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 Eleven



Tennessee, Minnesota, NY Giants and Seattle on their bye week.  A few premier players to worry about replacing from your starting lineup this week but overall the impact shouldn’t be too bad.




Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons


Weather: Dome


Playing Surface: Artificial Turf





John Skelton


Larry Fitzgerald


Andre Roberts



The bad match up is more due to the ineptitude of the Cards than the strength of the Falcons but still, don’t expect much from these three.




Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys


Weather: 43/66f Increasing Clouds


Playing Surface: Artificial Turf





Tony Romo


Dez Bryant


Miles Austin


Jason Witten



Expect Romo and his pass catchers to have a good day through the air as long as his line can handle the improving Brown’s interior D line.





Brandon Weeden


Josh Gordon



The mostly ineffective Brown’s offense goes up against a Dallas defense  that is top five for fantasy points through the air.  These are borderline Ugly but I’m feeling generous.  Still a great idea to sit both these guys if you have any other valid options.




Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions


Weather: Dome


Playing Surface: Artificial Turf





Calvin Johnson


Titus Young


Brandon Pettigrew


Aaron Rodgers


Matthew Stafford



Yep, expect a bit of an offensive display, but both defenses actually playing half-decent so temper expectations a little.  Nelson, Cobb or Jones aren’t on this list.  I wouldn’t hesitate to start them too, just that the numbers don’t point to as much of a favorable match up.  Check the injury report on Johnson, he’s listed as questionable but is expected to play.





James Starks



Whoever gets the lead role for the Packers is likely in for a long and unproductive day.  Detroit’s run defense is good though inconsistent but the Pack haven’t been able to – or interested in – running against anyone.





Alex Green



In case you haven’t heard, the Packers’ coaching staff confirmed this week that Starks is the starter in week 11.  Don’t start Green, and I wouldn’t be afraid to drop him entirely if you need the roster spot.




Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs


Weather: 40/59f Mostly Sunny


Playing Surface: Grass





Jamaal Charles


Andy Dalton


A.J. Green


Jermaine Gresham



Charles should have real good day, if you’re desperate Peyton Hillis may be an option as well.  Dalton and Green will be their usual selves while Hawkins and Gresham should see an improvement over their usual production.





Matt Cassel


Dwayne Bowe



I would sit Cassel but not Bowe unless you have enough strong options.  He’ll still get his targets and probably put up enough fantasy points to warrant being in your lineup.



Take a chance on:


Andrew Hawkins



Hawkins hasn’t done much fantasy-wise lately is listed as questionable.  If he plays I have a hunch he will put up some points this week.




Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins


Weather: 35/51f Partly Sunny


Playing Surface: Grass





Nick Foles


DeSean Jackson


Brent Celek


Alfred Morris



Great spot for the rookie to get his first career start versus the 31st ranked defense for fantasy QB points against.  Word of warning though, the Eagle’s offensive line is bad and getting worse by the minute it seems.  So temper expectations despite the good match up ‘on paper’.  Morris should be good to go and do well.




Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers


Weather: 38/59f Slight Chance Rain


Playing Surface: Grass






Doug Martin



‘He who has the dumbest nickname in NFL history’ should continue to put up good numbers this week.





Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams



Stellar Bucs run D shouldn’t have too much trouble with this pair.  Neither one has been performing anywhere near starting RB territory anyway so hopefully you’ve already found other options.




Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans


Weather: Dome


Playing Surface: Grass





Arian Foster



The Jags are giving up the second most fantasy points to running backs on average, the Texans are putting up the fourth most.  ‘Nuff said.








Still no MJD, still no fantasy relevant players on the Jags.  Sit them all versus Houston.




New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams


Weather: Dome


Playing surface: Artificial Turf





Steven Jackson



Jackson had a pretty good day against a strong Niners defense last week.  It appears the time share with Richardson may be ending and Jackson still has enough in the tank to be fantasy relevant.





Jeremy Kerley


Mark Sanchez


Sam Bradford


Danny Amendola



Not a lot to like here, best bet is sit all of these guys if it’s an option for you.  If you are starting any of them don’t expect much.




New Orleans Saints @ Oakland Raiders


Weather: 49/61f Chance Showers


Playing Surface: Grass





Carson Palmer


Denarius Moore


Darius Heyward-Bey


Brandon Myers


Marques Colston


Lance Moore


Jimmy Graham



The Saints D looked better last week but I chalk that up to their rivalry with the Falcons more than any tangible improvement.  The Raiders passing game is in the top ten for fantasy points so I expect all of the above to have good games.  The Oakland secondary on the other hand has been gifting opposition passing games all season long and there’s no reason to think it will end against New Orleans.  Heyward-Bey is questionable and the word is he probably will not play so check the injury reports.



Take a chance on:


Rod Streater



If Heyward-Bey does sit out, Streater would likely be the biggest beneficiary.  Even if DHB plays Streater could provide some desperation fantasy value




San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos


Weather: 31/62f Mostly Sunny


Playing Surface: Hybrid Grass





Eric Decker


Demaryius Thomas


Peyton Manning



Manning and co. at home should be able to do some damage.  Start all three with confidence.





Ryan Mathews


Willis McGahee



Neither running back should fare very well in this matchup.  You may not have a better option though, expect 7-10 pts from each of them and start/sit accordingly.  For Mathews his first practice of the week was Friday and it was limited.  He’s listed as questionable but likely won’t play so make sure you check the injury reports.  It’s a 4:25 p.m. start so there’s even more reason to start someone else unless you have a viable alternative who isn’t playing in the early games.





Jackie Battle/Ronnie Brown



Some would suggest using Battle or Brown as Mathews’ handcuff.  If Mathews sits out I wouldn’t put either of these guys in unless you’re happy with max 5 pts.




Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots


Weather: 26/49f Sunny


Playing Surface: Artificial Turf





Stevan Ridley



The Pats are putting up the second most fantasy points on the ground and the majority of that comes from Ridley.  Expect a stellar output this week.





Tom Brady


Wes Welker


Brandon Lloyd


Rob Gronkowski


Reggie Wayne


Donnie Avery


Andrew Luck



Assuming Aaron Hernandez sits as expected, the remaining Pats air attack should do well against the Colts suspect secondary.  The Colts passing game should do well also, but a bit of a caveat that Belichick historically has done very well against rookie QB’s.  Luck is not your average rookie QB though, so he should do better than most.  The Pats are becoming legendary for listing everyone with worse than a hang nail as questionable.  But Welker’s first practice of the week was on Friday and it was limited.  He’s still expected to play but it’s a late game so my advice is make sure you have any remotely serviceable WR who’s not playing at one o’clock to put in just in case.  Lloyd and Gronkowski were also limited in practice and listed as questionable but all signs point to both playing.





Donald Brown/Vick Ballard



It’s not a great match up if either one was going on as the lead back.  The expected time share means don’t expect either one to produce much.



Take a chance on:


TY Hilton



A great option to pick up off the wire if he’s available in your league, especially if you have a WR who’s questionable in a late game.  He and Luck are developing chemistry and I think there’s a good chance he can continue the worrisome trend of wideouts getting behind the Pats secondary for a long score.




Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers


Weather: 33/56f Mostly Clear


Playing Surface: Grass





Torrey Smith


Anquan Boldin


Joe Flacco


Byron Leftwich



The Steelers D has picked it up lately, and lucky for them Ryan Clark looks to be healthy enough to suit up.  I don’t think Flacco and the gang will be very successful.  However, with Lord Byron at the helm for Pittsburgh he may gift the Raven’s offense with good field position at various points throughout the game in which case the prospects for these players would improve.




Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers


Weather: 48/61f Slight Chance Rain


Playing Surface: Grass





Brandon Marshall


Jason Campbell



This match up would have been listed as Ugly before Cutler got concussed last week.  Now, it’s only here because I couldn’t think of a term worse than Ugly.  Don’t bother picking up Campbell and as hard as it is you may want to sit one of the top WR’s in fantasy.  He and Cutler had great chemistry which obviously won’t be there with Campbell.  I am predicting somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 points for Marshall so use that as a comparison with your other WR options and set your lineup accordingly.





Michael Crabtree


Vernon Davis


Alex Smith


Matt Forte



A little better match up than for the Bears passing game, it’s still not looking good for the Niners.  You may not have an alternative for Davis at TE, but if you do I’d seriously think about sitting Davis along with the other Niners.  Smith is supposed to play but I wouldn’t start him or Kaepernick if he gets the call.  I wouldn’t sit Forte but don’t expect a banner day against San Fran.



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Comments (2)add comment

Steve Braun said:

Update Thanks for the heads-up letnry
With Hawkins out hard to say whether any of the other WR are viable. If desperate I'd go with Brandon Tate
November 18, 2012
Votes: +0

letnry said:

... Just a heads up, Hawkins is inactive today.
November 18, 2012
Votes: +0
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