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 – Tim Tebow – Denver Broncos – vs. New England
We all know about the Broncos' struggles over the first three quarters, and they are true. Regardless, at the end of the day, does Tebow always seem to post results? Absolutely!
Throw in the fact that he has a matchup with the worst passing defense in the league (308.7 passing yards per game) and always has the potential to reward you with a rushing touchdown, and there is too much upside to have him on your bench.
Sit – Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Dallas
Has there been a more disappointing fantasy player in 2011? He was supposed to be one of the breakout performers at the quarterback position, yet on the year has thrown for 2,896 yards, 12 TD and 18 INT.
He missed Week 13, but he’s thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three of his past four games. He has thrown multiple interceptions in four of his past six games. He hasn’t thrown more than two touchdowns in any game.
Yes, the matchup against the Cowboys looks good on paper, but with your fantasy title hanging in the balance, it is tough to actually have faith in him, given his actual performance throughout the year.
Start – Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
Frustrations with Johnson have been extremely high for fantasy owners throughout 2011. In one of the most important weeks of the season (Week 14) he had 11 carries for 23 yards (though he did add five receptions for 43 yards).
With the fantasy playoffs in full swing, how can you possibly trust him now?
For one, we cannot ignore the fact that he had over 100 total yards in four of the previous five games (including three games of 130 rushing yards or more). You also have to look at the matchup, as Indianapolis is allowing not just yards (144.3 rushing yards per game), but 18 rushing TDs (second most in the league).
Start – Roy Helu – Washington Redskins – at New York Giants
Over the past three weeks Helu has emerged as the focus of the Redskins offense. He’s rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games, while also proving to be a factor in the passing game (13 receptions for 102 yards).
While I would expect the Giants defense to show up to play, they have “showed” up in recent weeks as well, yet continue to get torched. Don’t shy away from Helu now.
Sit – Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – at San Francisco
I feel like a broken record every week, but starting a running back against the 49ers is a mistake (outside of maybe as a FLEX). They are on a record-setting pace for rushing touchdowns allowed, and it is impossible to see Mendenhall putting up any type of a usable line.
Sit – DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at Houston
It’s a two-for-one package here, as this situation continues to frustrate owners. Who is going to be the top running back in this one? That unknown, coupled with a matchup against a Texans defense that is allowing the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (91.5 yards) and just six rushing touchdowns, makes it impossible to trust either running back this week.
Wide Receiver (Two-Receiver Format):
Start – Laurent Robinson – Dallas Cowboys – at Tampa Bay
I know the return of Miles Austin and the presence of Dez Bryant clouds this situation a little bit, but the fact of the matter is that all three are viable wide receiver options in two-receiver formats this week.
The Buccaneers are allowing 248.8 passing yards per game as well as 22 passing touchdowns. With DeMarco Murray injured, there shouldn’t be a shortage of throws for Tony Romo to all three receivers. With eight TDs in his past eight games, there is no doubt that Robinson has emerged as a top target for Dallas.
Sit – Pierre Garcon – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
The Colts are just bad. There’s no reason to sugarcoat it at this point. While Garcon has shown flashes (150 yards and two TDs in Week 13), he’s also posted 46 yards or less five times since Week 7. There is too much risk involved at this point.
Start – Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – vs. New England
There is a lot of risk involved in Thomas, which is why I wouldn’t recommend him in shallower formats. Just the style of Denver’s game, as well as the chance that Eric Decker is the go-to receiver, casts some doubt over his potential performance. However, he has 11 receptions for 222 yards and three TDs over the past two games, telling you just how high the ceiling could be with this positive matchup.
Sit – Malcolm Floyd – San Diego Chargers – vs. Baltimore
The Baltimore passing defense is becoming similar to the San Francisco run defense. It’s just hard to score on (nine passing TDs allowed all year), making it tough to trust people going up against it. Considering the other options the Chargers have, there’s too much risk in Floyd because Philip Rivers doesn’t have to throw him the ball.
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