START ‘EM & BENCH ‘EM WEEK 8

Dan Lehto October 27, 2011 0

 

Columnist’s Rants

 

Let me just start this week by saying that fantasy can be a love/hate relationship. Wouldn’t you agree? We are all supposed to have fun with it and overall, it is very fun. You win some, you lose some. But as all good coaches say, you fight to see another day.
 
For those of you with Darren McFadden, you know what I mean. My guess is that there are a bunch of you out there that should have steamrolled your opponent last week, but McFadden’s injury-plagued self went down almost immediately this past weekend. Wouldn’t it be great if that hadn’t happened? Sure, but then you wouldn’t have anything to talk about.
 
Or what about those with Chris Johnson? At this point you have to be wondering what is going on with him mentally and what is going on with his coaching staff. Is the best of CJ over now that he signed the mammoth deal? Are his teammates and coaches not scheming appropriately for him, because they hate how much he got paid? Who knows for sure, but he is way too talented to be playing like this.
 
How about those meaningless fantasy points to end a game? This week was best explicated by Fred Davis, TE of the Redskins. The Skins were down 17 with 5 minutes to play when he punched it in. The Skins went on to lost by 13 and this was truly another case of meaningless stats.
 
And finally, for those of you who listened to ESPN’s “awesome” update that Tashard Choice would be starting on Sunday, minutes before game time, you know what I mean. This may have gotten you to start someone of the likes of Jackie Battle (As you know, I am not a fan), and lost out on a once in a lifetime fantasy performance from DeMarco Murray.
 
Alright, now that the venting session is over, I hope you feel better. There are countless such episodes like this that happen from week to week. You just never know what is going to happen. I am a firm believer that if you have taken your hit this week or even over the past few weeks, you will get your share on the other side soon. Stay with it and pay close attention to the waiver wire. It is this time of year where players will be going down left and right. Being near the cellar can actually work in your favor on the waiver wire. For those of you on the other side, enjoy it now, because it most likely will not last.
 
 

Week 8: START’EM & BENCH’EM

 
This section is for recommendations on who to start/bench when it does not involve your studs. You always, always start your studs. Always! The one time you play the matchup is the one time you get burned. If you have a bye week or don’t have studs to start, then this section is for you.
 
 

Guys I was right on last week:

 
Crummy Performances
 
All Seahawks, Jaguars & Chargers: Can’t believe just how dismal even the Chargers were last weekend. The Seahawks D was the shining star out of this group.
 
Percy Harvin: Ribs…I had ribs for lunch…that’s why I’m doing this (R. Burgundy). Harvin needs to find a way to stay on the field.
 
Beanie Wells: Injury poses an opportunity for someone else on the squad.
 
Jackie Battle: So his YPC was solid, would you rather have started Battle, Hardesty or DeMarco Murray?
 
Daniel Thomas: Dolphins are horrible.
 
NOT So Crummy Performances
 
DeMarco Murray: No explanation necessary.
 
Marques Colston & Lance Moore: They looked like all-pros. Especially Colston. Circus catches and 2 TDs in the first half.
 
Tim Tebow: He doesn’t do it the traditional way, but he is going to be a fantasy machine.
 
Packers WRs: Why is it that every time the Vikings play the Packers in MN, they let the #1 WR on the Packers get open by about 40 yards?
 
Montario Hardesty: His YPC were not good, but he put up respectable numbers at the end of the game. Cleveland believes in him.
 
Steven Jackson: The only player worth anything against the Dallas D.
 
 

Guys I was wrong on last week:

 
Earnest Graham: Injured on one of the first plays of the game. What’s with these soft NFL players these days?
 
Eric Decker: 3 targets and 2 catches. Hopefully Elway will put a bug in Tebow’s ear this week.
 
Dane Sanzenbacher: 3 targets and 2 catches. Cutler, get the OSU product the ball! Tough week for white WRs from the Big Ten.
 
 

START’EM

 
All Chargers: The Raiders made the Chiefs look good. I even bet people will begin picking the Chiefs D up off of waivers. Don’t fall prey to the trendy thing. The Chiefs D is really not that good. I expect the Chargers to pick them apart and not even allow Dwayne Bowe to get going.
 
All Saints: You can find me in St. Lou-ee, or so says Nelly. If you saw the final score against the Colts, just imagine how it will end up against the Rams.
 
All Cowboys including: DeMarco Murray, Dan Bailey & Cowboys D: The Cowboys did not look amazing against the lowly Rams. That’s ok though. They just need to make baby steps and get their QB’s confidence back. Romo did not look all that great against the Rams, but Murray made up for it. And Murray gets to go up against the Eagles this week, which should be a fine matchup for him. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t imagine the defensive “consultants” helped work out all the problems with their defense during their bye week.
 
The passing games of the Steelers & Patriots: This one should be a doozy. I expect to see Belichick getting back to what he loves to do. That is airing it out with Brady. I expect Brady over 400 yds passing for the game and Big Ben over 300 yards. I don’t expect either team to get a lot going with the run. The only player remotely involved in either teams’ passing attack that I would not start is Ochocinco.
 
Tim Tebow: How can you not believe in this guy? Yes he is a slower, lesser armed version of Cam Newton, but he is going to get you 20+ fantasy points every week. I actually think he will be a top 6-8 QB the rest of the way.
 
Christian Ponder: Why not? I think he will play like a top 12 QB the rest of the way. He’s got a gun.
 
Billy Cundiff: The weather is still not too bad for a kicker in Baltimore and they are playing the Cardinals. The Ravens are going to put up a million points this week. Start Michael Oher if you can.
 
Maurice Morris: Mo-Mo was not very impressive against the Falcons, but my belief is that he is going to get the rock a lot more than Keiland Williams this week. If that proves to be true, he will put up 10+ fantasy points this week.
 
Montario Hardesty: This is going to be a tough matchup for him, but what else are the Brownies going to do? Colt loves to hand it to him and dump him short passes.
 
Knowshon Moreno: Lance Ball ain’t getting the ball. Moreno has skills if he can stay off the injury report.
 
Eric Decker: Last week was a warm-up. The staff didn’t let Tebow air it out. Once they do, which will be this week, Decker will catch everything within two arms reach of him.
 
Jabar Gaffney: Not sure how I feel about Beck, but the matchup has potential for him to do what he has been doing. 6 straight games of 50+ yards. You could do a lot worse.
 
Greg Little: In the event Colt does air it out, Little is sure to rebound from his not-so impressive week this past week.
 
Michael Crabtree: Hoping to see more of the same from him this week and for the rest of the season. Who could play poorly under Harbaugh? Even Gore is playing well, although I still think he is going to fall apart. If only they still had Bubba Paris blocking in SF.
 
49ers D: It’s infectious in SF right now. If they had Bill Romanowski, they could really start to make things interesting.
 
David Akers: Note comments from above about the 9ers.
 
Texans D: Blaine Gabbert is going to get smoked by this defense. Arian Foster will run all over the Jags and then the Texans will tee off on everything Gabbert throws.
 
 

BENCH’EM

 
All Cardinals: My column last week talked about how scared we should all be about the Ravens D. I imagine they are all like Lattimer & Mack (The Program). “Kill everyone and let the paramedics sort’em out.” Kolb, good luck buddy.
 
All Chiefs: Matt Cassel is awful and they are not sticking to one RB. Not a huge Battle fan, but he is easily the best RB they have. It’s just too bad that some coaches don’t want to continually win football games or Battle would probably see more time.
 
Patriots RBs: It’s under the Belichick regime. You never know who to trust, so stay away from them all against the Steelers. Plus, there is a couple week trend that RBs have done well for NE, so don’t expect it to continue. Not Belichick’s style.
 
Rashard Mendenhall: Everyone seemed to be big on this guy after his performance two weeks ago. He came tumbling back down to earth this past week and the Pats are not going to let him run wild.
 
Ryan Fitzpatrick: I have had him on here for a few weeks now. I don’t expect to see much out of Fitzpatrick the rest of the way. The $10M contract talk doesn’t help him either, because it will put added stress on him that he doesn’t need. It’s like he’s having to take the MCAT & LSAT at the same time or something.

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