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Week 6: Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Terrell Owens

Breaking up is the hardest thing to do. I just pulled out that cliché because it holds true in both real life and fantasy football.

Over the years, I have learned that you do not win fantasy football leagues by holding onto big names waiting for them to start producing for you. I have found out that you have to make as little of an emotional connection to your roster as possible. You can’t be afraid to drop players like Terrell Owens and Derrick Ward for guys like Mike Sims-Walker and Ricky Williams because believe it or not, the owner who owns the latter pair is feeling a lot better about his team than the other guy.

So I am here to tell you it’s OK to drop big name guys who aren’t producing because if they haven’t done anything positive five weeks into the season, then what can you expect going forward? Obviously I am not talking about players that have been underachieving due to injury because clearly they can come back and contribute positively to your team. I am talking about these guys, who I think are the biggest names that you should feel free to drop at this point in the season:

Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, LenDale White, Darren McFadden, Derrick Ward, Laveranues Coles and Torry Holt- see you guys next year.


Start ‘Em

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle (vs. ARI)

When healthy, Hasselbeck has been a fantasy monster. No, not the scary kind, but the kind that throw for seven touchdowns in two games. No team has let up more passing yards than the Cardinals, so look for Hasselbeck to have a field day on Sunday.

Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati (vs. HOU)

Last week, I told you to bench Carson Palmer, but this week Palmer is a great play. Fantasy football is funny like that. It’s all about the matchups and this week should feature a shootout between the Texans and Bengals.

Other Mentions: David Garrard (vs. STL), Brett Favre (vs. BAL), Jake Delhomme (@ TB)

Sit ‘Em

Matt Cassell, QB, Kansas City (@ WAS)

Cassell has secretly been a very solid fantasy option this season with three straight two-touchdown games. However, this week he faces a Redskins defense that has let up the ninth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Cassell usually scores his points in garbage time (hey it still counts in fantasy), but there will probably be no garbage time this week against a pretty bad Redskins team.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver (@ SD)

Orton enjoyed a nice game against the Patriots last weekend, but this week he faces another tough task with the Chargers. San Diego’s defense has let up the eight fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and has four interceptions on the season. The Chargers are awful against the run so I expect the Broncos offense to focus on establishing the run game on the road.

Other Mentions: Eli Manning (@ NO), Joe Flacco (@ MIN), Mark Sanchez (vs. BUF)

Running Backs

Start ‘Em

Willie Parker/Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh (vs. CLE)

Reports out of Pittsburgh are that Parker is a full participant in practice, which is good news because he is just in time to face the second worst defense against the run. Mike Tomlin has said that Parker is still the starter, but with what Mendenhall has done in Parker’s absence, it’s hard to dismiss him completely. I see this as more of a timeshare moving forward so obviously you are safe and encouraged to start Mendenhall this week as well.

Cadillac Williams, RB, Tampa Bay (vs. CAR)

He’s the starter in Tampa Bay and Derrick Ward has looked awful so far this season. The Panthers have given up six total touchdowns to running backs, including three receiving TDs, where Cadillac tends to excel. The Bucs offense will have to control the clock if they want to give themselves a chance to win, so they will give Williams a healthy amount of carries.

Other Mentions: Knowshon Moreno (@ SD), Leon Washington (vs. BUF), LeSean McCoy (@ OAK)

Sit ‘Em

Willis McGahee, RB, Baltimore (@ MIN)

The Ravens give most of the work to Ray Rice, but near the goal line is where McGahee has shined. This has made McGahee a touchdown or bust type of player, which doesn’t bode well for him this week because the Vikings have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.

Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit (@ GB)

Smith has looked awful since injuring his shoulder in Week 3. In the last two weeks Smith has a total of 146 yards and is averaging 2.1 yards per carry. He did manage to score two short touchdowns against the Bears so he hasn’t been a huge disappointment, but he has looked far from the Kevin Smith we saw at the beginning of the season. He faces a Packers defense that has let up the fourth fewest points to running backs this season.

Other Mentions: Jamal Lewis (@ PIT), Marshawn Lynch (@ NYJ), Larry Johnson (@ WAS)

Wide Receivers

Start ‘Em

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville (vs. STL)

Sims-Walker let a lot of fantasy owners down last week by violating some team rule and being ruled inactive just an hour before game time. This week, barring any other events that will keep him from playing, Sims-Walker should redeem himself against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Jaguars pass game has been very good at home and Sims-Walker still leads the team in receiving touchdowns.

Donnie Avery, WR, St. Louis (@ JAX)

On the other side of the matchup, Donnie Avery finally looks healthy and Bulger should be back on the field. The Jaguars are awful against the pass and Avery is really the only threat the Rams have to catch the ball. He should find the end zone at least once as the Rams fight to keep up with the Jaguars offense.

Other Mentions: Nate Burelson (vs. ARI), Hines Ward (vs. CLE), Bernard Berrian (vs. BAL)

Sit ‘Em

Terrell Owens, WR, Buffalo (@ NYJ)

The numbers don’t lie. Owens has been a colossal disappointment so far this season with just 12 receptions for 202 yards and one touchdown. That’s worse than Miles Austin’s stat line from Sunday afternoon. The Jets have been the third toughest against wide receivers in fantasy football this year, so don’t look for Owens to turn his season around this week. Or ever.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City (@ WAS)

I was wrong on Bowe last week, but this week Bowe faces a tougher defense and I don’t see him getting into the end zone. He has yet to eclipse the 100-yard mark in a single game this year, so if he doesn’t score, his fantasy output will be limited.

Other Mentions: Devery Henderson (vs. NYG), Vincent Jackson (vs. DEN), DeSean Jackson (@ OAK)

Tight Ends

Start ‘Em

Todd Heap, TE, Baltimore (@ MIN)

The Vikings have allowed the most points to opposing tight ends and Todd Heap has been productive, especially in PPR formats. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2, but in the last three weeks, Heap has collected 15 receptions for 128 yards.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay (vs. DET)

Finley has emerged as Green Bay’s top tight end and has been getting a lot of looks from Aaron Rodgers in the red zone. The Lions have let up a league-high six touchdowns to tight ends so far this season, so it’s a safe bet that Finley finds pay dirt this weekend.

Other Mentions: Benjamin Watson (vs. TEN), Visanthe Shiancoe (vs. BAL), Tony Scheffler (@ SD)

Sit ‘Em

Jeremy Shockey, TE, New Orleans (vs. NYG)

Shockey faces his former team this week, but I think the Giants get the best of him in this matchup. Drew Brees has proven to be mortal in his last two games and the Giants defense has actually been pretty tough against the pass game.

Dustin Keller, TE, New York Jets (vs. BUF)

Fantasy owners had high hopes for Keller this season, but he has disappointed greatly. He didn’t register a single catch Monday night against Miami and afterwards, Sanchez said that he needed to look for Keller more often. With the addition of Braylon Edwards it will be easy to forget about Keller. So until I see it, I am not playing him in any leagues.

Other Mentions: Zach Miller (vs. PHI), Brandon Pettigrew (@ GB), Bo Scaife (@ NE)

Defense/Special Teams

Start ‘Em

Redskins D/ST (vs. KC)

The Redskins face a very mediocre Chiefs offense this week and have forced at least two turnovers in their last two games. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins defense forced a couple turnovers this week as well.

New Orleans D/ST (vs. NYG)

The Saints are normally known for their offense, but it’s their defense that has been dominating recently. The Saints have forced 13 turnovers in just four games and have scored three touchdowns. This week they get the Giants offense, which has been clicking on all cylinders, but with Eli Manning hurting, there is a good chance the Saints will get to play against David Carr.

Sit ‘Em

Baltimore D/ST (@ MIN)

Rarely do you see Baltimore’s defense on the “do not start” list, but this week they are facing the white hot Vikings. The Ravens have been vulnerable against the pass game, so expect Brett Favre to have a nice game and Adrian Peterson should be himself. I don’t see the Ravens having a great day in fantasy.

Seattle D/ST (vs. JAX)

Seattle’s defense has recorded two shutouts this season, but don’t let that fool you. When facing a good offense this defense does not perform well. In two games (STL, JAX) the Seahawks defense scored 40 points, but in three games against the 49ers, Bears and Colts, the Seahawks defense only scored a combined six points. Consider the Cardinals a part of the latter group.

Top Kicker Matchups

  • Stephen Gostkowski (vs. TEN)
  • Mason Crosby (vs. DET)
  • Josh Scobee (vs. STL)
  • David Akers (@ OAK)
  • Lawrence Tynes (@ NO)

Worst Kicker Matchups

  • Steven Hauschka (@ MIN)
  • Jason Hanson (@ GB)
  • Shane Andrus (vs. CAR)
  • Robbie Gould (@ ATL)
  • John Carney (vs. NYG)

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14 comments for “Week 6: Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em”

  1. QB: Rivers or Big Ben

    TE: Gates or H. Miller

    W/R, RB: Need 1 RB and Flex

    Santana Moss, Kevin Smith, Ahamad Bradshaw, Sammy Morris,

    What to do. or try to go and get?

    Posted by Tap | October 16, 2009, 11:56 am
  2. Thanks for the question Tap!

    I would start Big Ben, Gates, Moss and Bradshaw

    Posted by George | October 16, 2009, 3:25 pm
  3. At the flex, would you start Jermichael Finley or Jeremy Maclin?

    At RB, Willie Parker or Tim Hightower (I’m guessing you’ll say the former – I’m just worried he won’t get enough carries. In my league, Hightower has averaged 12 pts a game).


    Posted by Bill | October 16, 2009, 4:10 pm
  4. Thanks for the comment Bill! Keep it up guys.

    Believe it or not, I think Finley is the safer bet to score a TD this week, but Maclin has much more upside. If you wanna score that home run I would stick with Maclin, but beware he is a candidate to put up a real stinker here and there.

    As for the RBs, I would stick with Willie Parker vs. the Browns assuming he is fully healthy and ready to go by Sunday. If your league is PPR though Hightower would be the safer play here.

    Posted by George | October 16, 2009, 5:10 pm
  5. i have a problem and i am stumped on my fantasy can some1 help me out. heres my whole team tell me who i should start. 14 player league as well. i am (4-1)……..
    joe flacco,brett farve, wes welker, hines ward, brian westbrook, mike turner,jermicheal finley(te for GB), leSean McCoy, torry holt, jamal lewis, roy williams(bye), mason crosby. DEF: who to start. jacksville, or saints, or denver. for my league you need a QB,2 WR’s,2 RB’s, TE, FLEX(RB/WR) DEF, KICKER?

    help me out by emailing me at [email protected] thanks!,

    Posted by Riley | October 16, 2009, 5:59 pm
  6. Who would you start at flex in a 12 team ppr league? jonny knox or sidney rice?

    Posted by taps | October 17, 2009, 12:27 am
  7. Riley-
    I would start Flacco, Turner, westbrook,welker, ward, McCoy, finley, Crosby and the Jacksonville defense.

    I would probably go with sidney rice this week because he has been receiving a helalthy amount of targets from Favre recently.

    Posted by George | October 17, 2009, 1:09 am
  8. Who would you start.. chargers def or jacksonville def for this week.. Thanks

    Posted by Jarrod | October 18, 2009, 12:30 am
  9. who do you say to start? It’s my bye week blues…



    Posted by Anthony | October 18, 2009, 4:09 am
  10. wr question. moss, braylon edwards, s smith (nyg)…should i start edwards and sit smith? i have s. holmes too.

    Posted by kevin orr | October 18, 2009, 10:20 am
  11. JAX defensa hasn’t looked very good this year but it’s hard to ignore the matchup they have this week. Playing host to the 0-5 Rams who have scored just 34 points so far. Gotta start the Jags D.

    Posted by George | October 18, 2009, 11:05 am
  12. Thanks for the info.. Need help with my flex.. Start sammy morris or dwayne bowe

    Posted by Jarrod | October 18, 2009, 11:25 am
  13. Torn between Big Ben and Jay Cutler. Any insight?

    Posted by Ed | October 18, 2009, 11:53 am
  14. Anthony – start matt Ryan/boldin/Avery/Peterson/mendenhall/Jets D

    Kevin- I would start steve smith against the saints D

    Jarrod- I would go with Sammy morris

    Ed- big ben agaisnt CLE

    Sorry for not getting to these in time guys, but hopefully some of my answers help you for the later games.

    Next week I will try harder to get to all questions before 1 pm. Thanks for all the comments! Keep
    them coming!

    Posted by George | October 18, 2009, 1:06 pm

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