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Week 11: Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Ronnie Brown

There’s going to be a change to the Start/Sit this week. Before the riots start let me just say it involves more work for me and more information for you so this is a good thing. The reason? Well, now that the bye weeks are over you are going to be starting your main guys most of the time. So I’m ranking 130 players for you with some analysis mixed in.

I’m new at this ranking thing and it’s harder than it looks, but I’m upping my game because the games are more meaningful now. You need to know where I stand on every player so that you can make those little decisions that win fantasy match-ups. The playoffs are just around the corner and every point could mean the difference between glory or doom. Let’s get it on!


Rank Player (Opponent) Comment
1 Drew Brees (@ TB) Brees has thrown for the second-most TDs (19) and he is facing a Bucs defense that has let up the second-most passing TDs (19). ‘Nuff said.
2 Peyton Manning (@ BAL) The Ravens’ defense isn’t as dominant as it used to be. Not that it matters because we’re talking about Peyton Manning here.
3 Tom Brady (vs. NYJ) You better believe Brady is going to be hungry for revenge; both for week two and Sunday night.
4 Kurt Warner (@ STL) Kurt Warner has been on a tear the last two weeks (601 yards, 7 TDs) and it should continue against the 25th ranked pass defense.
5 Matt Schaub (vs. TEN) Coming off a bye week, expect Schaub to eclipse 300 yards and two touchdowns like he did in week two against the NFL’s worst pass defense.
6 Ben Roethlisberger (@ KC) Big Ben jumps to sixth after a rough game vs. the Bengals thanks to his match-up with the lowly Chiefs’ defense.
7 Aaron Rodgers (vs. SF) Fantasy’s top scorer faces an average pass defense, but 49ers have let up two rushing TDs to QBs so maybe we see a rushing score this week.
8 Donovan McNabb (@ CHI) Without Westbrook, the Eagles are going to air it out often and McNabb has the weapons to put up great numbers every week.
9 Brett Favre (vs. SEA) Favre has one of the friendlier schedules the rest of the way and it begins this week against the 10th-worst pass defense in the NFL.
10 Phillip Rivers (@ DEN) Threw for 274 yards and a touchdown in last meeting vs. DEN, but had three fumbles; if he can hold onto the ball you will enjoy a nice fantasy day.
11 Carson Palmer (@ OAK) Will be a nice change of pace after facing the Steelers and Ravens defenses that last two weeks.
12 Matt Hasselbeck (@ MIN) You can throw on Minnesota and Hasselbeck aired it out 52 times last week; expect more of the same with better results.
13 Eli Manning (vs. ATL) Manning gets to face a banged up Falcons’ secondary; unfortunately the weather is getting colder and they will feature the run game more often.
14 Tony Romo (vs. WAS) Tough matchup for Romo, but the Redskins’ defense was beat deep by Brandon Marshall twice last week so I can see Romo connecting on one as well.
15 David Garrard (vs. BUF) Sometimes the best defense is a good offense; in this case, MJD will have a monster day and the Jaguars won’t need much from Garrard.
16 Matt Ryan (@ NYG) The hate for Ryan continues; he faces a home team coming off a bye and he is personally on an awful four-game point streak (9, 9, 7, 8).
17 Jay Cutler (vs. PHI) Cutler is coming off a horrific five interception performance on Thursday night and a game vs. the Eagles is not what the doctor ordered.
18 Marc Bulger (vs. ARI) Cardinals’ defense has let up back-to-back 300-yard games, but Rams’ offense is centered around Steven Jackson.
19 Kyle Orton (vs. SD) Has torn ligaments in his ankle, but still a chance to play; I would avoid him this week and see how he reacts to the injury.
20 Matthew Stafford (vs. CLE) The only way you aren’t a top 15 option against the Browns is if you are on a bad offense and a rookie; Check and check.

Running Backs

Rank Player (Opponent) Comment
1 Chris Johnson (@ HOU) There is no hotter player in fantasy right now and last time against the Texans he was pretty good (284 total yards, 3 TD).
2 Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. BUF) He apologized to fantasy owners for taking a knee at the one-yard line, but he won’t have anything to apologize for after this game.
3 Adrian Peterson (@ SEA) Falls to number three this week, but to no fault of his own; third best is still pretty good.
4 Stephen Jackson (vs. ARI) Cardinals just let up 123 rushing yards to Justin Forsett so expect Steven Jackson to keep up his pace.
5 DeAngelo Williams (vs. MIA) Listed as questionable, but will play and be the main guy in the Panthers’ backfield; just like last week.
6 Ray Rice (vs. IND) Rice has been a gem all season and should be a great play because the Colts struggled to contain a similar player, Kevin Faulk, on Sunday night.
7 Ricky Williams (@ CAR) The loss of Ronnie Brown means that Ricky Williams will see an increase in goal line carries; Panthers’ run defense is also eighth-worst against the run.
8 Rashard Mendenhall (@ KC) Mendenhall had a rough outing against the stout Bengals’ defense so look for him to get back on track against a much, much worse Chiefs’ defense.
9 Pierre Thomas (@ TB) Thomas is the clear-cut guy in the Saints’ backfield, which is why I see him as a top-10 option this week against the Bucs’ defense.
10 Kevin Smith (vs. CLE) The Browns are probably the worst team the NFL has seen in 10 years and that includes last year’s Lions; it would be foolish not to expect at least one TD.
11 Frank Gore (@ GB) Packers are a tough matchup, but Gore has three straight games with a TD; 49ers will get him enough touches for him to be a great play this week.
12 Thomas Jones (@ NE) Jones has been one of the more consistent backs this season and now doesn’t have Leon Washington to steal touches.
13 Brandon Jacobs (vs. ATL) I expect the Giants to get Jacobs more involved as they prepare to play in colder weather games; Falcons defense ranks 10th-worst against the run.
14 Matt Forte (vs. PHI) Forte has been getting involved in the pass game so if you’re in a PPR league then his value gets a boost; he still looks awful running the ball.
15 LaDanian Tomlinson (@ DEN) LT surprised many owners with a solid game after he was surprised that he was going to be a father; congrats to the Tomlinson family and to the owners who didn’t sit him.
16 Joseph Addai (@ BAL) The Colts are adamant about getting Addai his work in both the run and pass game and Baltimore’s defense hasn’t been the juggernaut it used to be.
17 Ryan Grant (vs. SF) It’s been a very up and down season for Grant, but you can’t sit him because he sees enough work that he should produce double-digit fantasy points every week.
18 Cedric Benson (@ OAK) Keep an eye on Benson because he may not play; if he does move him up ahead of Addai, but temper expectations because he could be limited.
19 LeSean McCoy (@ CHI) Westbrook is out indefinitely so McCoy will get a lot of playing time and in games where he was the starter he has scored double-digit points (14, 15, 11).
20 Beanie Wells (@ STL) He’s starting to get more work and he cashed in with two TD’s last week; look for him to keep getting more touches, which means good things against the porous Rams’ defense.
21 Knowshon Moreno (vs. SD) With Orton questionable to play this week, look for Moreno to get more work and possibly a score; Charger’s have been rather stout against the run recently though.
22 Jason Snelling (@ NYG) With Turner out and Jerious Norwood still hurt, Snelling will be the main guy on a team that loves to run the ball; Giants defense has also struggled against the run recently.
23 Cadillac Williams (vs. NO) The Saints can be run on, as shown by their four straight games with 130+ rushing yards allowed; if the Bucs want to stay in this game they will need a healthy dose of Cadillac.
24 Tim Hightower (@ STL) Hightower has been getting less work thanks to the rise of Beanie Wells, but against the Rams defense he should be fantasy worthy especially in PPR leagues.
25 Ladell Betts (@ DAL) Betts stepped into the starter’s role rather nicely with 120 total yards and one score vs. Denver; Dallas has only let up three rushing TDs this year so Betts gets flex consideration.
26 Marion Barber (vs. WAS) Barber has been a disappointment this season with just 4 TD and one 100-yard game; Washington’ defense has been 4th-best against the run so don’t expect much improvement.
27 Jonathan Stewart (vs. MIA) He could score you 20 points or just five, which is why I never recommend him as more than a flex play, especially against a good run defense like Miami’s.
28 Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. ATL) Who would’ve thought Bradshaw would have more TDs than Jacobs going into week 11? I think the Giants focus on getting Jacobs the ball, but Bradshaw makes a nice flex play.
29 Marshawn Lynch (@ JAC) He has yet to top 70 rushing yards in a game this season, but he is still the main back in Buffalo and should receive the goal line carries; hasn’t worked out yet.
30 Justin Forsett (@ MIN) Looked great against a supposedly tough Arizona defense last week (149 total yards, 1 TD); Vikings’ defense is better, but Forsett is the guy in Seattle so expect another solid day.
31 Jamal Lewis (@ DET) Lewis will score one TD this season and if it’s not going to be against the Lions then who?
32 Steve Slaton (vs. TEN) This backfield is a mess and there is no telling who will start and who will get the goal line touches; until Kubiak comes out and tells us I suggest sitting Slaton.
33 Laurence Maroney (vs. NYJ) There’s something to be said for being the #1 RB in New England; then there’s something to be said for sucking, but he should still get his one gift TD from the one-yard line.
34 Reggie Bush (@ TB) Has really gotten involved in the pass game, but I can’t trust that he will score twice with fewer than ten touches per game.
35 Ryan Moats (vs. TEN) Moats started in week 9 but did nothing to help him keep his job; wait on word from Kubiak before you make any decisions.
36 Bernard Scott (@ OAK) Will get the start if Benson isn’t ready to go on Sunday and if that’s the case then he should have a nice fantasy day; move him up to #30 if he starts.
37 Jamal Charles (vs. PIT) Charles finally had his breakout game last week (117 total yards, 1 TD); that was Oakland and this is Pittsburgh.
38 Justin Fargas (vs. CIN) He’s the #1 guy in a crowded backfield and there’s no telling who will emerge on a given week; it doesn’t matter because against the Bengals I expect no one will emerge.
39 Fred Jackson (@ JAC) Can’t expect him to throw for a TD pass very often so keep your expectations low as he continues to play second fiddle to Lynch.
40 Donald Brown (@ BAL) Slowly getting back into the offense, but I wouldn’t trust him until I see some production.

Wide Receivers

Rank Player (Opponent) Comment
1 Larry Fitzgerald (@ STL) Best WR in the league vs. one of the worst defenses in the league; no-brainer.
2 Andre Johnson (vs. TEN) Last time against TEN Johnson caught 10 balls for 149 yards and 2 TDs.
3 Reggie Wayne (@ BAL) One of the best WRs in the last couple of years so why should it stop now?
4 Roddy White (@ NYG) The loss of Turner could mean more targets for White; Giants defense has been struggling although they are coming off a bye.
5 Marques Colston (@ TB) Colston will be fighting for targets, but I doubt that Brees will ignore him, especially in the red zone; Saints should put up 30+ on the Bucs’ defense.
6 Vincent Jackson (@ DEN) Rare bad day for Jackson last week; chalk it up as a fluke and he will get back on track against a recently struggling Broncos team.
7 Calvin Johnson (vs. CLE) Would be higher if I had more faith in Stafford, but still showed signs that he is back from injury and ready for a strong second half.
8 Hines Ward (@ KC) One of Big Ben’s favorite targets in the red zone and anywhere else on the field; I could see an eight-catch day with a score.
9 Wes Welker (vs. NYJ) The Pats are going to try to get up big in this game and Welker will benefit from not having to deal with Darelle Revis in coverage.
10 Donald Driver (vs. SF) Driver has been the better of the duo in Green Bay because the offensive line hasn’t given Rodgers enough time to find Jennings on the deep routes; expect much of the same.
11 Mike Sims-Walker (vs. BUF) MSW’s fantasy production at home this season (16, 21, 12, 20); did I mention the Jaguars are hosting the Bills this weekend?
12 Chad Ochocinco (@ OAK) No. 85 will be facing one of the NFL’s best corners in the league, which is why he isn’t top 10; I still think he sneaks in a score because Benson will be limited.
13 Randy Moss (vs. NYJ) Revis had Moss’ number in week 2, but I don’t expect that to happen again; Moss’ value takes a small hit, but by no means are you benching him.
14 Steve Smith (vs. MIA) Steve Smith has owned the Falcons this year, but it’s about time he turns his season around; I choose the week he faces a banged up secondary on a short week.
15 Steve Smith (vs. ATL) The “other” Steve Smith will face his own banged up secondary this week and I expect Manning to look his way often; he has been the only consistent Giants’ WR.
16 Anquan Boldin (@ STL) Finally had a productive week with 10 targets and 8 receptions, which both led the team; just in time too because the Cardinals have a very friendly schedule coming up.
17 Sidney Rice (vs. SEA) Rice has emerged as Favre’s favorite target and has been racking up the yards recently (553 yds in last 4 gms); I’d like to see him get in the end zone before I put him in the top 10.
18 DeSean Jackson (@ CHI) Boom or bust; I say he booms as the Eagles will be airing the ball out without Brian Westbrook on the field.
19 Brandon Marshall (vs. SD) Marshall had two big plays that resulted in TDs last week, but with Chris Simms a possible starter Marshall’s value could take a hit.
20 T.J. Houshmandzadeh (@MIN) “Who’s your daddy” finally produced like all of us expected in the preseaso; it’s not too late to turn his season around and the porous Vikings’ pass defense can help with that.
21 Devin Hester (vs. PHI) Hester has become a favorite of Cutler’s and I would have him higher if he wasn’t matched up with Samuel; Hester will get his touches and has big-play capabilities.
22 Greg Jennings (vs. SF) Jennings has suffered mightily thanks to an 0-line that can’t protect Rodgers; it wouldn’t shock me if he caught a deep TD, but I wouldn’t be shocked at a 2 rec, 35-yd day either.
23 Nate Burleson (@ MIN) The Seahawks will air it out, which means plenty of targets for both T.J. and Nate; Burleson has been a red zone favorite so there’s a good chance he scores a TD in this one.
24 Miles Austin (vs. WAS) Austin has been contained ever since his three game fantasy spree; the only way he scores big is on a big play and the WAS pass defense is the NFL’s best.
25 Santonio Holmes (@ KC) In his last 2 weeks, Holmes has put together two very nice games and the matchup this week is much friendlier than CIN or DEN.
26 Jerricho Cotchery (@ NE) Cotchery is playing second fiddle to Braylon Edwards, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; with defenses less focused on him, he has a better chance at breaking off a long TD catch.
27 Derrick Mason (vs. IND) The entire Baltimore offense was out of sync Monday night, but I expect them to be more focused and ready to play against a tougher Indianapolis team.
28 Braylon Edwards (@ NE) Edwards didn’t face the Patriots in week 2, so he will be introduced to the rivalry on Sunday afternoon; he will also be introduced to Leigh Bodden, which is why he’s a #3 WR this week.
29 Donnie Avery (vs. ARI) Avery is coming off a 2-TD performance against the Saints and is the Rams’ only pass-catching option; could make for a decent flex play in deeper leagues.
30 Lee Evans (vs. JAC) Evans is showing some life with double-digit games in 3 of his last 4 outings; however, it’s hard to trust a guy as inconsistent as him especially with constant QB changes.
31 Percy Harvin (vs. SEA) Harvin is the ultimate big play receiver and could beat the Seahawk’s defense deep for a score; with no more bye-weeks he is only a play in deeper leagues.
32 Laveranues Coles (@ OAK) Could Coles be a sleeper in the second-half of the season? The Raiders could focus their attention on Ochocinco, which would mean good things for Coles.
33 Jeremy Maclin (@ CHI) Maclin has been pretty consistent with receptions recently and if the Eagles choose to throw the ball 40+ times on Sunday; if that’s the case then it should be a nice day for Maclin.
34 Michael Crabtree (@ GB) Crabtree is still a rookie, but the Packers have let up 10 touchdowns to WRs this season; I would like him more if he had another WR to take the pressure off.
35 Steve Breaston (@ STL) Breaston is the smallest of the Cardinals’ three-headed pass attack, but that hasn’t stopped him from stealing TDs; he has 3 TD in his last 5 games.
36 Pierre Garcon (@ BAL) Manning forced the ball to Garcon against the Patriots (11 targets) so it’s clear that he likes the WR; however, those 11 targets turned into just 3 receptions so we can’t expect greatness.
37 Mike Wallace (@ KC) Wallace has been a nice surprise and he has a nose for the end zone; this week he is worthy of flex consideration thanks to the generous matchup.
38 Roy Williams (vs. WAS) There might be something to this whole complaining thing; he has five catches in each of his last two games.
39 Santana Moss (@ DAL) Moss has been more bust than boom this year and the Cowboys have held Donald Driver and DeSean Jackson in check the last two weeks.
40 Chris Chambers (vs. PIT) Even though Bowe’s absence means Chambers is #1 in Kansas City, I could see the Steelers’ defense shutting the Chiefs out in this one.

Tight Ends

Rank Player (Opponent) Comment
1 Dallas Clark (@ BAL) Clark has been the NFL’s top TE so by no means should you ever bench him, unless he’s injured of course.
2 Tony Gonzalez (@ NYG) The Giants have let up the 7th-most points to TEs and the Falcons will throw the ball more without Turner.
3 Antonio Gates (@ DEN) It’s a tough matchup for Gates, but he is Rivers’ favorite target for a reason.
4 Vernon Davis (@ GB) Packers have let up six touchdowns to TEs so expect Davis to find the end zone this weekend.
5 Brent Celek (@ CHI) Celek has not slowed down as he has a TD in three straight games.
6 Greg Olsen (vs. PHI) Olsen followed up a 3 TD performance with 7 catches for 75 yards; looks like Cutler finally realized he has a TE on the team and the Eagles let up the 2nd-most points to TEs.
7 Kellen Winslow (vs. NO) Rookie QB Josh Freeman has been checking down to the TE a lot, which really benefits Winslow in the pass game.
8 Jason Witten (vs. WAS) Witten has been a disappointment and he has a tough matchup, but it’s tough to bench him becuase he can go off at any time.
9 Jeremy Shockey (@ TB) Shockey will be fighting for red zone targets, but you can’t ignore the potential with this matchup against the Bucs.
10 Visanthe Shiancoe (vs. SEA) The Seahawks have let up just 2 TDs to TEs this season, but recently let up a huge game to Brandon Pettigrew; Shiancoe should get into the end zone at home.
11 John Carlson (@ MIN) Vikings are the worst team at defending the TE position so Carlson is a decent option despite his struggles this season.
12 Kevin Boss (vs. ATL) Boss is coming off a bye week and facing a Falcons’ defense that is 9th-worst against TEs; he should see a healthy amount of targets this week.
13 Heath Miller (@ KC) He gets a boost if you are in a PPR league, but if not, he hasn’t really been racking up enough yards to give him “start” status.
14 Fred Davis (@ DAL) Davis has only a couple more weeks before Cooley returns from injury and he hasn’t done much with the opportunity yet, why start now?
15 Brandon Pettigrew (vs. CLE) The matchup is there, not if only his QB could find him in the red zone.

Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player (Opponent)
1 Cincinnati Bengals (@ OAK)
2 Pittsburgh Steelers (@ KC)
3 New Orleans Saints (@ TB)
4 Minnesota Vikings (vs. SEA)
5 Philadelphia Eagles (@ CHI)
6 Arizona Cardinals (@ STL)
7 New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)
8 Dallas Cowboys (vs. WAS)
9 Green Bay Packers (vs. SF)
10 Miami Dolphins (@ CAR)
11 San Diego Chargers (@ DEN)
12 Indianapolis Colts (@ BAL)
13 New York Giants (vs. ATL)
14 Baltimore Ravens (vs. IND)
15 Detroit Lions (vs. CLE)

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4 comments for “Week 11: Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em”

  1. good analysis man. gotta think snelling should be higher than 22, especially since he is definitely going to be the feature back, has performed well in very limited duty, and the fact that matt ryan has struggled mightily in recent weeks. probably a good bet for 80 yards and a TD in my opinion.

    Posted by Bryan | November 20, 2009, 1:57 am
  2. forgot to post my week 11 start/sit on here. so here it is!

    Posted by George Fitopoulos | November 21, 2009, 6:28 pm
  3. Excellent analysis!! You should do this for the rest of the season. I’m bookmarking this site!!!!

    Posted by Nino | November 22, 2009, 8:29 pm
  4. amen, George. This was pretty helpful for me this week. Great work!

    Posted by KC | November 23, 2009, 5:38 am

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