Fantasy Football Sunday Morning Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Decisions: Week 10

Eric StashinSenior Writer INovember 13, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 30:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 30, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Just hours before the start of Week 10 I know many people have questions running through their heads.  Who should I start?  Who should I sit?  Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham/Victor Cruz – Wide Receivers – New York Giants
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York (click here for the article):

“Hakeem Nicks made the trip to California and is hoping to return to the field from a hamstring injury. But the Giants added Mario Manningham to the injury report with a knee injury and listed him as questionable. Manningham experienced swelling in the knee Saturday morning, according to a source.

Manningham had practiced fully all week. It is not known how he injured his knee.”

This just has disaster written all over it, doesn’t it?  With a 4:15 start time, we most likely won’t get definitive word until the early games have started.  The indication all week has been that Nicks was going to play, though he clearly is a little bit of a risk.  With only five games starting at 4:05 PM or later, replacements will be limited, but I think he is worth rolling the dice on unless you have a high-level alternative.  Make sure you have an alternative, just in case, though.

Manningham, on the other hand, is a little bit more concerning.  The injury comes out of nowhere and Cruz can easily step into his role and perform just as well (if not better).  I would consider Cruz a must play at this point and, if you have a suitable replacement, slide Manningham to your bench.  There is a lot of risk since the injury has come on so late in the week.

Jason Beck – Quarterback – Washington Redskins
Mike Jones of The Washington Post (click here for the article) is reporting that:

“This week, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had Beck split first-team snaps with second-string quarterback Rex Grossman, who opened the season as the starter but was benched four games ago, according to three people with knowledge of the situation”

In other words Beck’s leash may be short this week against the Miami Dolphins.  If you are in a two-quarterback format you should look towards another option just in case.

Wes Welker – Wide Receiver – New England Patriots
It will be interesting to see how the Jets run the coverage on Welker this time around.  Will Darrelle Revis shadow him, even when he is lined up in the slot?  As ESPN’s James Walker (click here for the article) pointed out:

“Now only New England get the win, but Welker had a good day. He caught five passes for 124 yards. Most of his yards came when he beat zone coverage by Revis and safety Eric Smith for a 73-yard reception. Outside of one big play, Welker had just four catches for 51 yards.  Expect New York to put even more emphasis on slowing Welker in the rematch. In the first meeting the Jets mixed it up with mostly Revis, but also some coverage by Kyle Wilson and Donald Strickland in the slot.”

It’s worth noting that in Week 13 of 2010 Welker had 7 receptions for 80 yards and 1 TD against the Jets.  Tough play or not, Welker has been way too good this season (and in his last two games against New York) to consider moving to your bench (66 receptions for 960 yards and 6 TD).  It’s worth noting the matchup, but it shouldn’t change anyone’s plans.  Keep him active in all formats.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Quarterback – Buffalo Bills
Things have definitely turned since a great start to the season for Fitzpatrick.  Over the first three games he threw 9 TD passes and averaged 280.3 yards per game.  In the five games since he has thrown 6 TD passes and averaged 217.8 yards per game.  His best game has been 262 yards (Week 8 against the Redskins) and he has three games of fewer than 200 yards.

It’s not that the Cowboys have been among the best in the league against the pass (they are in the middle of the pack with 232.5 passing yards per game).  However, Fitzpatrick’s play is enough to force him to all fantasy benches.

Tim Tebow – Quarterback – Denver Broncos
Do we turn him into a must use option after one impressive game (124 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT as well as 118 rushing yards).  Depending on your rules Tebow probably yielded around 24.76 points with that performance (1 pt per 25 yards throwing, 4 pts per passing TD, 1 pt per 10 yards rushing).  It’s an impressive number, especially when you consider that Matt Moore tore apart the Chiefs, Tebow’s Week 10 opponent, a week ago for 3 TD.

There’s no guarantee that Tebow is going to be quite as good, especially considering he gets a lot of his value from his legs.  Does anyone really think he’s going to run for 100+ yards again?  Of course, he also could run for a TD, helping him offset that.  There is some risk, but there’s also plenty of reward depending on your other options.

Donald Brown – Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
According to Philip B. Wilson (via Twitter), “The #Colts promoting RB Darren Evans from PS means Joseph Addai (hamstring), a DNP all week, wasn’t going to be able to play Sunday.”  Addai’s absence means that rushing duties in Indianapolis again falls to Donald Brown and Delone Carter.  Brown got the bulk of the carries in Week 9 (16 carries for 70 yards), though prior to that 10 carries had been his season high.  With Carter having fumbled in two of the previous three games (losing both of them), Brown should probably be considered the better option today against the Jaguars.  However, he shouldn’t be considered more than a FLEX play due to the chance Carter eats into his touches.

Make sure to check out all the rest of our Week 10 articles: