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.
Andy Dalton vs. Oakland
Dalton started the season throwing up at least one interception in his first eight games.
In his last two games, however, the Cincinnati youngster hasn’t thrown a single pick while he has quietly put up six TDs in back-to-back Bengals victories.
It may be a bit hard to believe, but Dalton actually ranks eighth for quarterbacks in fantasy points per game right now and could jump up a notch or two against the lowly Raiders defense this Sunday.
Each of the last three QBs to face the Raiders (Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco and Drew Brees) put up over 20 fantasy points against them, so it stands to reason that Dalton will do the same with the roll he’s currently on.
Others with QB1 Potential
- Cam Newton (at Phi, Monday night)
- Andrew Luck (vs. Buf)
- Colin Kaepernick (at NO)
- Matthew Stafford (vs. Houston, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: Thirty-one-for-61, 441 yards, two TDs, zero INTs // two rushes, seven yards, zero TDs
- Sam Bradford (at Ari)
- Chad Henne (vs. Ten)
- Mark Sanchez (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Twenty-six-for-36, 301 yards, one TD, one INT // two rushes, two yards, zero TDs
Start 'Em: Running Backs
C.J. Spiller at Indianapolis
Even though his fellow backfield mate, Fred Jackson, will be returning to action this week, coach Chan Gailey has already stated that Spiller will not only start, but also receive the majority of the snaps throughout the game.
Maybe Gailey finally took a look at the fantasy stats for the year and realized that C.J. is not only averaging the sixth-most fantasy points per game but also the most yards-per-carry in the entire league.
Either way, Spiller is finally getting his due—and not a moment too soon with the Bills taking on a Colts defense that has allowed the second-most touchdowns to running backs and the eighth-most fantasy points per game.
If Spiller can somehow get 20 or more touches in this one, then 150 total yards and a touchdown or two isn't out of the question.
Marcel Reece at Cincinnati
Marcel Reece has been kind of a beast the last three weeks, putting up the third-most fantasy points in non-PPR and second-most in PPR leagues.
Though he did have a 100-yard game against the Saints last week, he’s not normally much of a runner as his area of expertise lies more in the passing game than on the ground.
However, I don’t think it will matter much this week as the Bengals have allowed the third-most receptions to running backs this season and the ninth-most fantasy points per game.
Others with RB1 Potential
- Trent Richardson (vs. Pit)
- Jamaal Charles (vs. Den)
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Oak)
- Alfred Morris (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: Twenty-four rushes, 113 yards, one TD // zero catches, zero yards, zero TDs
- Jalen Parmele (vs. Ten)
- Vick Ballard (vs. Buf)
- Steven Jackson (at Ari)
- Bryce Brown (vs. Car, Monday night)
- Ronnie Hillman (at KC)
- Beanie Wells (vs. StL)
- Andre Brown (vs. GB, Sunday night)
- Shane Vereen (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Ten rushes, 42 yards, zero TDs // two catches, 91 yards, one TD
Start 'Em: Wide Receivers
Randall Cobb at New York Giants, Sunday night
After watching that touchdown catch he pulled off last week against the Lions, I really can’t say it enough—this kid is really something special.
As we heard the entire offseason, Randall Cobb is a superstar in the making, and I have no doubt he’ll continue his hot play this weekend against the Giants.
Cobb has now put up six straight games with either 100 yards or a touchdown, and it seems Aaron Rodgers has noticed as he continues to target him more and more every single game.
The Giants’ pass D has allowed the most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this year and the fifth-most fantasy points per game, so look for Randall to show us something special again this Sunday night.
Julio Jones at Tampa Bay
I know Julio Jones is listed as “questionable” this week and probably bummed some fantasy owners out last weekend by not being able to last the whole game, but he practiced more this week than he did last week and should be ready to go on Sunday.
If he is, he’s an absolute must start as a WR1 due to his indescribable fantasy prowess away from home.
In 12 career regular season games on the road, the absolute worst Julio has done was catch four balls for 68 yards at Houston in Week 13 last season.
Others with WR1 Potential
- Victor Cruz (vs. GB, Sunday night)
- Eric Decker (at KC)
- Vincent Jackson (vs. Atl)
- Michael Crabtree (at NO)
- Denarius Moore (at Cin)
- Hakeem Nicks (vs. GB, Sunday night)
- Wes Welker (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Seven catches, 71 yards, one TD
- Danario Alexander (vs. Bal)
- Cecil Shorts (vs. Ten)
- T.Y. Hilton (vs. Buf)
- Darrius Heyward-Bey (at Cin)
- Sidney Rice (at Mia)
- Brandon Gibson (at Ari)
- Mohamed Sanu (vs. Oak)
- Ryan Broyles (vs. Hou, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: Six catches, 126 yards, zero TDs
- Julian Edelman (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Two catches, 64 yards, one TD // one rush, three yards, zero TDs
- Jeremy Kerley (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Seven catches, 86 yards, zero TDs
Start 'Em: Tight Ends
Vernon Davis at New Orleans
Vernon might have been held in check during the middle portion of the season, but after a bit of complaining a couple of weeks ago, the 49ers got him back involved in the offense to which Davis responded with maybe his finest game of the season.
I don’t know if you saw his last outing against the Bears on Monday night, but did he look good!
This week the Niners will be going up against a Saints team that Davis absolutely scorched in the playoffs last season to the tune of seven catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
A performance like that won’t happen again, but I definitely see good things coming his way on Sunday.
Brandon Myers at Cincinnati
Myers is certainly one of the biggest surprises at the tight end position this season, especially when you consider the fact that he was always a blocking tight and had caught just 32 balls in three years prior to this 50-catch (so far) campaign.
However, he seems to be a natural pass-catcher as he has converted 50 of his 67 targets, including the first three TDs of his career.
Cincinnati has been less than average against TEs this season, allowing them the eighth-most fantasy points per game, so there’s definitely reason to be stoked here.
When you add in that the Raiders have become a big-time passing team with McFadden and Goodson going down and that Myers has seen 30 targets over the last three weeks, there should be no question about getting him in there as a TE1 this weekend.
Others with TE1 Potential:
- Jermaine Gresham (vs. Oak)
- Jermichael Finley (at NYG, Sunday night)
- Kyle Rudolph (at Chi)
- Dallas Clark (vs. Atl)
- Dwayne Allen (vs. Buf)
- Marcedes Lewis (vs. Ten)
- Tony Moeaki (vs. Den)
- Kellen Davis (vs. Min)
Philip Rivers (vs. Bal)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at Ind)
Matt Schaub (at Det, Thanksgiving day)—FINAL STATISTICS: Twenty-nine-for-48, 315 yards, one TD, one INT // two rushes, one yard, zero TDs
- Alex Smith (vs. Chi, Monday night): PROBABLE (head), practicing in a non-contact jersey, but won’t start anyway
- Jay Cutler (at SF, Monday night): PROBABLE (head), declared active for today's game
- Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Bal, Sunday night): OUT (shoulder, ribs), will be out for awhile as his rib injury has been said that it could actually kill him if hit the wrong way
- Michael Vick (at Was): OUT (head), has been ruled out for Monday Night Football
- Kevin Kolb (at Atl): DOUBTFUL (ribs, shoulder;), has resumed running and throwing, but is reportedly still a few weeks away from returning
Sit 'Em: Running Backs
Rashard Mendenhall (at Cle)
Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. GB, Sunday night)
Michael Turner (at TB)
Reggie Bush (vs. Sea)
Shonn Greene (vs. NE, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Fourteen rushes, 71 yard, zero TDs // one catch, nine yards, zero TDs
Felix Jones (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: Six rushes, 14 yards, zero TDs // three catches, 47 yards, one TD
- LeSean McCoy (vs. Car, Monday night): DOUBTFUL (concussion), hasn’t resumed practicing yet and has been ruled out for Monday Night Football
- Willis McGahee (at KC): OUT (knee, leg), placed on I.R. with a designation to return
- Darren McFadden (at Cin): OUT (ankle), declared inactive for Week 12
- Mike Goodson (at Cin): OUT (ankle), declared inactive for Week 12
- Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. Ten): OUT (foot), is no longer on crutches or in a boot, but unlikely to play until at least Week 13
- DeMarco Murray (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon): OUT (foot), Murray is inactive for the Thanksgiving afternoon game
Sit 'Em: Wide Receivers
Mike Wallace (at Cle)
Larry Fitzgerald (vs. StL)
Dwayne Bowe (vs. Den)
Brandon Lloyd (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night)—FINAL STATISTICS: Three catches, 26 yards, zero TDs
Pierre Garcon (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon)—FINAL STATISTICS: Five catches, 93 yards, one TD
- Julio Jones (at TB): QUESTIONABLE (ankle), declared active for today's game
- Percy Harvin (at Chi): OUT (ankle), has been declared inactive for today's game
- Danny Amendola (at Ari): DOUBTFUL (heel), highly doubtful to play, but will test his heel in pregame warm-ups
- Antonio Brown (at Cle): DOUBTFUL (ankle), declared active for today's game
- Alshon Jeffery (vs. Min): OUT (knee), went in for a minor scope and should be out 2-4 weeks
- Laurent Robinson (vs. Ten): OUT (concussions), Robinson was put on I.R. and will miss the remainder of the 2012 season
- Greg Jennings (at NYG, Sunday night): DOUBTFUL (groin), getting in limited practices now, but still unlikely to suit up in Week 12
- Kevin Ogletree (vs. Was, Thanksgiving afternoon): OUT (concussion), declared inactive for the game
- Pierre Garcon (at Dal, Thanksgiving afternoon): QUESTIONABLE (foot), has been declared active for today’s game
Sit 'Em: Tight Ends
Brent Celek (vs. Car, Monday night)
Martellus Bennett (vs. GB, Sunday night)
Heath Miller (at Cle)
Jared Cook (at Jax)
- Coby Fleener (vs. Mia): QUESTIONABLE (shoulder), declared inactive for today's game
- Rob Gronkowski (at NYJ, Thanksgiving night): OUT (broken left forearm), scheduled to be out for 4-8 weeks
NFL injury report.
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