This is a special edition of my Sit/Start reserved solely for Thursday night’s game.
Sometimes the added pressure of making an early week decision compounds the effects of basic fantasy logic (of which no such thing really exists). So let's take a team-by-team look at some of the names playing (or not playing as the playoffs approach).
Peyton Manning QB: For now, Manning and the other Colts starters will be playing on Thursday night. If that remains true up until kickoff, Manning has to be one of the top three QBs going into this week.
His struggles last week were overshadowed by his insane hookup marathon with Dallas Clark. This week he shouldn’t need to overcome three INTs to be productive. Even if the starters don’t finish the game, 200+ yards and 2+ TDs is a reasonable projection.
Joseph Addai RB: The Jaguars provide a much stiffer running test for the Colts as they are both a top 12 rushing defense and a division rival. However, Addai could see some excellent underneath looks against the Jaguars and should be considered a lower RB1 in PPR leagues this week.
Donald Brown RB: Remember the promising rookie that was supposed to push Addai for the starting role late? Yeah, me neither. Brown has been injured and/or inactive enough this season to give Chad Simpson and Mike Hart chances to earn jobs for next season. Dynasty owners need to be patient; everyone else should be ignoring him on the waiver wire.
Reggie Wayne WR: Peyton Manning’s favorite target has been heavily favored by defenses the last two weeks. Since those teams had both a decent secondary and DL, Wayne has been kept quite. But this week, Wayne should return to his WR1-type numbers.
Start with confidence.
Pierre Garcon WR: Before last week, Garcon had registered either 100 yards or one TD in the last four games. In his last five games, he has only caught fewer than five balls once!
Case in point, Garcon should be an excellent WR2 this week in TD/yards heavy leagues. PPR owners might drop him to a lower level WR2, but still an easy start this week.
Austin Collie WR: The rookie has TDs in the last two games. But in a game where both Wayne and Garcon should see more looks and big plays, Collie is a dangerous WR3 player and should likely be placed on your bench.
Dallas Clark TE: Do you really need to know what to do with Dallas Clark? Just start him.
David Garrard QB: The Jaguars OL struggled against the older (but experienced) Miami DEs and OLBs. This week, I would expect nothing different as they go up against possibly the best DE duo in the NFL.
Garrard isn’t worth starting (since no top QBs are being benched yet) unless you are desperate in a two-QB league.
Maurice Jones-Drew RB: The little bowling ball has had some down weeks (at least for him) after a sizzling middle of the season run.
However, he gets to return to the Colts who he averaged 4.6 YPC against the last time they met. Granted, that was week one and the Colts are a better overall team, but the Colts defense may not be playing with the some passion and fire needed to contain MJD.
Starts as a RB1 in all leagues.
Mike Sims-Walker WR: The surprise WR to own this season has been nursing some injuries and costing owners good weeks of production. Three games without a TD and an average of about two receptions per game are a good thermometer for the struggles he will endure against the Colts if Garrard is hassled.
Start as a WR3 with hopes that he will make a big play for a TD.
Tory Holt WR: This poor guy is struggling in a pass-deprived offense. His catch of 63 yards last week was the longest passing play for the Jags all season. Without the deep threat, the underneath is taken away.
The Jaguars have been inefficient at game planning to their players strengths and that is unlikely to change this year. Leave Holt on the waiver wire.
Mike Thomas WR: This guy has zero redraft/seasonal value. Just tell dynasty league owners to watch out for this guy. He and Sims-Walker could be quite the duo moving forward, after getting an upgrade at QB.
All TEs: Didn’t even know they had them. I thought they just ran with extra OL at the position.