There are also a good number of players you should probably sit each week as well. But then, there are those players whom you have no idea whether to start or sit.
Here are a few not-so-obvious guys at each major fantasy position who you might not know what to do with, but for whom the stats and other information dictates one way or the other.
Start 'Em: Quarterbacks
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington
Rashard Mendenhall is out, and whether Isaac Redman comes back to play or not doesn’t really matter as he’ll be at less than 100 percent if he does.
Jonathan Dwyer looked good last week, but do the Steelers really trust him to carry the load?
Either way, the Redskins' rush D is far better than what they trot out there against the pass, so I expect Roethlisberger to continue with his weekly aerial assault and come close to 40 passing attempts yet again.
In seven games this season, the Redskins have allowed six 300-yard passers; and do you know what the seventh guy did? It was Josh Freeman, and he threw for 299 yards.
Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and even Emmanuel Sanders should all have their way out there, which can only mean big numbers for Big Ben this Sunday.
Others with QB1 Potential
- Andrew Luck (at Tenn)
- Philip Rivers (at Cle)
- Michael Vick (vs. Atl)
- Carson Palmer (at KC)
- Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Ind)
- Brandon Weeden (vs. SD)
- Sam Bradford (vs. NE)
- Alex Smith (at Ari, Monday night)
Chris Johnson vs. Indy
Chris Johnson’s monster 195-yard output against the worst rushing defense in the league last week has him leading the NFL in rushing from Weeks 4 through 7.
However, it cannot be overlooked that he still ranks 24th in the league in fantasy points per game. That’s how bad he was in four of his seven games this year, and though he’s been awesome three of the last four weeks, I still have my reservations.
This week, however, I can’t help but put him in the top 10, as he’s facing an Indianapolis Colts defense that allows 4.95 yards per carry and the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.
I know it’s scary to press “submit” when you see CJ2K in your lineup, but this is one of those weeks you kind of have to get him in there.
Others with RB1 Potential
- Matt Forte (vs. Car)
- Willis McGahee (vs. NO, Sunday night)
- Ryan Mathews (at Cle)
- Alfred Morris (at Pit)
- Darren McFadden (at KC)
- Darren Sproles (at Den, Sunday night)
- Stevan Ridley (at Stl, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
- Jonathan Dwyer (vs. Was)
- Rashad Jennings (at GB)
- Felix Jones (vs. NYG)
- Alex Green (vs. Jax)
- Pierre Thomas (at Den, Sunday night)
Start 'Em: Wide Receivers
Randall Cobb vs. Jacksonville
Get ready for the onslaught, folks, because it’s coming whether you like it or not.
I was singing his praises all offseason and had him ranked up in the top 25 wide receivers right as the season started—and now it seems my preseason intuition will be coming to fruition.
Randall Cobb has been putting on a clinic out there the last few weeks, and he just might be the most versatile player in the league other than Percy Harvin.
With Greg Jennings unlikely to be back for at least a month and now Jordy Nelson a bit gimpy with a bum hamstring, Cobb will see even more action than he has been, which is quite a bit considering he’s in the top five in fantasy points over the last three weeks.
The Jaguars' defense, though not terrible, won’t be able to contain this dynamo in Green Bay on Sunday.
Others with WR1 Potential
- Demaryius Thomas (vs. NO, Sunday night)
- Mike Wallace (vs. Was)
- Marques Colston (at Den, Sunday night)
- Hakeem Nicks (at Dal)
- Antonio Brown (vs. Was)
- Jeremy Maclin (vs. Atl)
- Dez Bryant (vs. NYG)
- Lance Moore (at Den, Sunday night)
- Kenny Britt (vs. Ind)
- Jeremy Kerley (vs. Mia)
- Nate Washington (vs. Ind)
- Brandon Gibson / Chris Givens (vs. NE, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
- Josh Gordon (vs. SD)
- Sidney Rice (at Det)
- Titus Young (vs. Sea)
- Brandon Stokley (vs. NO, Sunday night)
- Mario Manningham (at Ari, Monday night)
- Robert Meachem (at Cle)
Antonio Gates at Cleveland
Gates has been targeted enough this season to the point that he should be making fore of a fantasy dent than he has.
With the talent he possesses, seven passes thrown his way each game should equate to top-five fantasy numbers, which it hasn't at this point, with Gates coming into this game with the ninth-most fantasy points per game.
However, after a nice bye week to rejuvenate his bones, I believe we’ll see a different player from here on out.
His last game against Denver two weeks ago was clearly his best of the year, catching six passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns, but more importantly, he looked real good doing it.
Cleveland is normally exceptional at guarding tight ends, but if both Brent Celek and Jermaine Gresham can do well against them (as they did earlier in the season), then I like Antonio to go a bit off in this one.
Others with TE1 Potential
- Heath Miller (vs. Was)
- Brent Celek (vs. Atl)
- Coby Fleener (at Ten)
- Greg Olsen (at Chi)
- Jason Witten (vs. NYG)
- Martellus Bennett (at Dal)
- Dustin Keller (vs. Mia)
- Joel Dreessen (vs. NO, Sunday night)
- Dwayne Allen (at Tenn)
- Anthony Fasano (at NYJ)
- Lance Kendricks (vs. NE, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks
Jay Cutler (vs. Car)
Matthew Stafford (vs. Sea)
Cam Newton (at Chi)
- Jake Locker (vs. Ind): OUT (shoulder), could return in Week 9
- Kevin Kolb (vs. SF, Monday night): OUT (sternum, ribs, shoulder), out at least 6-8 weeks
- Baltimore: Joe Flacco
- Buffalo: Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Cincinnati: Andy Dalton
- Houston: Matt Schaub
Sit 'Em: Running Backs
Mikel Leshoure (vs. Sea)
Steven Jackson (vs. NE, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
Jonathan Stewart (at Chi)
Shonn Greene (vs. Mia)
LaRod Stephens-Howling (vs. SF, Monday night)
- Maurice Jones-Drew (at GB): OUT (foot), won’t need surgery, but should be sidelined for multiple games
- DeMarco Murray (vs. NYG): OUT (foot), questionable to return in Week 9
- Rashard Mendenhall (vs. Was): OUT (achilles), could return in Week 9
- Isaac Redman (vs. Was): QUESTIONABLE (ankle)
- Brandon Bolden (at Stl, Wembley Stadium, London, England): OUT (knee)
- Donald Brown (at Tenn): QUESTIONABLE (knee), limited in practice all week and will be a game-time decision
- Bilal Powell (vs. Mia): DOUBTFUL (shoulder), questionable to return in Week 9
- Joe McKnight (vs. Mia): QUESTIONABLE (ankle), hasn’t practiced all week but could still play Sunday
- Baltimore: Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce
- Buffalo: Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller
- Cincinnati: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cedric Peerman, Brian Leonard
- Houston: Arian Foster, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett
Sit 'Em: Wide Receivers
Brandon Lloyd (at Stl, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
Denarius Moore (at KC)
Dwayne Bowe (vs. Oak)
Michael Crabtree (at Ari - Monday night)
Malcom Floyd (at Cle)
Brian Hartline (at NYJ)
- Greg Jennings (vs. Jax): OUT (abdominal surgery), could be out 3-6 weeks
- Jordy Nelson (vs. Jax): QUESTIONABLE (hamstring), will test it out either Saturday or Sunday
- Pierre Garcon (at Pit): OUT (foot), week-to-week
- Danny Amendola (vs. NE, Wembley Stadium, London, England): QUESTIONABLE (clavicle), limited in practice this week
- Nate Burleson (vs. Sea): OUT (broken leg), placed on IR and will miss the remainder of the season
- Laurent Robinson (at GB): QUESTIONABLE (concussion), will be a game-time decision
- Alshon Jeffery (vs. Car): OUT (hand)
- Mohamed Massaquoi (vs. SD): QUESTIONABLE (hamstring)
- Doug Baldwin (at Det): OUT (ankle), could miss some time with a high ankle sprain
- Harry Douglas (at Phi): OUT (ankle, knee)
- Joseph Morgan (at Den, Sunday night): OUT (chest)
- Baltimore: Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones
- Buffalo: Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones, T.J. Graham
- Cincinnati: A.J. Green, Andrew Hawkins, Armon Binns, Mohamed Sanu, Brandon Tate
- Houston: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Keshawn Martin, Lestar Jean
Sit 'Em: Tight Ends
Aaron Hernandez (at Stl, Wembley Stadium, London, England)
Jared Cook (vs. Ind)
Brandon Myers (at KC)
- Jimmy Graham (at Den, Sunday night): QUESTIONABLE (ankle), limited in practice all week and will be a game-time decision
- Aaron Hernandez (at Stl, Wembley Stadium, London, England): OUT (ankle), late scratch traveling overseas, but should return in Week 10 after the bye
- Fred Davis (at Pit): OUT (achilles), was placed on IR and is done for the season
- Baltimore: Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson
- Buffalo: Scott Chandler
- Cincinnati: Jermaine Gresham
- Houston: Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham
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