Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at Houston
The Houston Texans passing defense is the second best in the league allowing a meager 175.8 passing yards per game (as well as 11 TD versus 15 INT). So, why is Ryan still someone to use?
First of all, Ryan has been rolling of late with 1,204 yards, nine TDs and two INTs over his past four games (including a pair of 300-plus yard games). Second is the fact that Houston has not faced the best of the quarterback class for the majority of the season.
Among the quarterbacks who led their team’s against the Texans are Blaine Gabbert (twice), Colt McCoy and Chad Henne. Just ask Drew Brees (31-44, 370 yards, three TDs, two INTs) if it is possible to put up good numbers against them.
Sit – Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Pittsburgh
Dalton has been surprisingly good this season throwing for 2,509 yards, 16 TDs and 12 INTs in his rookie campaign. However, this week the matchup keeps him from being a recommended option.
He is just a few weeks removed from facing off against the Steelers at home, throwing for 150 yards, two TDs and two INTs. The Pittsburgh defense is tough against the pass (181.3 passing yards per game) as it is. How can we expect Dalton to perform any better with the game now being played in Pittsburgh?
Start – LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
Not only is he a must start, but he can be considered one of the better plays of the week. The Carolina Panthers are allowing the fifth most rushing yards per game (137.5) and are tied for the most rushing touchdowns allowed (15).
Blount has finally started to turn things up as well, rushing for over 100 yards in each of his past two games. Last season he faced the Panthers once, taking 19 carries for 91 yards and a TD. Get him active in all formats.
Start – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Indianapolis
It is tough to depend on a Patriots running back, but when Green-Ellis tends to lose carries is when the Patriots fall behind and need to go pass happy to get back into a game. Does anyone really expect that to be the case this week (though, it is possible they rest him after getting a big lead)?
Throw in the fact that the Colts have allowed 15 rushing touchdowns and the second most rushing yards per game (150.6), and there’s a lot to like. Green-Ellis scored 2 TD in Week 12 and should be inline to score a TD or two this week as well.
Sit – Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at Jacksonville
Slowly but surely things in San Diego are starting to look less like a timeshare and more geared towards Ryan Mathews. Over the past three weeks Tolbert has a total of 21 carries and 90 yards.
Yes, he does add a little bit in the passing game (13 receptions for 80 yards), but it’s not enough to overcome things. With Mathews coming off a big day (137 rushing yards), you have to think that he is once again going to handle lead back duties.
Sit – James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at New York Giants
The fact that he came out of Week 12 a little banged up isn’t even the reason that he finds himself in the sit column (though it doesn’t help). The fact is Green Bay just doesn’t run the ball very much.
While the Giants defense has allowed 13 rushing TD, Starks hasn’t scored since Week 1. His high for the year is 85 rushing yards and only twice has he managed 75 yards or more. Look towards other options at this point.
Wide Receivers (Two Receiver Formats)
Start – Dwayne Bowe – Kansas City Chiefs – at Chicago
Even if it is Tyler Palko under center, Bowe has proven that he can still post pretty good numbers. Over the past two weeks he has 14 receptions 156 yards. What happens if the Chiefs realize that Kyle Orton really is the better option at some point?
Throw in the fact that the Bears are allowing 270.5 passing yards per game (third most in the league) and there is no reason to shy away from Bowe this week.
Sit – Santana Moss – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Jets
We all saw what Stevie Johnson did to Darrelle Revis and the Jets in Week 12. Does that mean that it’s going to happen again? In Moss’ return to the lineup last week he managed four receptions for 29 yards and is way too big of a risk to trust in shallower formats.
Wide Receivers (Three Receiver Formats)
Start – Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
After waiting 10 weeks for him to wake up, Mike Williams is finally showing us why he was a highly sought after pick heading into the year. Over the past two weeks he has 13 receptions for 167 yards and two TDs (one in each game). It is the touchdowns that make him alluring and what drew people to him (he had 11 TDs in ’10).
The Panthers defense has been pretty good against the pass this season, but they have allowed 12 TD (12th in the league). In deeper formats he is worth using depending on your other options.
Sit – Darius Heyward-Bey – Oakland Raiders – at Miami
In reality, the Raiders receiving corps is just constantly in flux making any of the options tough to depend on. Even without Denarius Moore or Jacoby Ford in Week 12 Heyward-Bey managed just four receptions for 42 yards.
What happens if Moore and/or Ford are back this week? There’s too much risk to depend on him unless you are desperate.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 articles: