Start or Sit - Week 11

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Can you believe that it's already Week 11?

This season is flying by and before you know it the playoffs will be here, making it essential for you to pick up some wins in the next two to three weeks.

That's where we come in.

Like I tell you every week, you probably won't find your stud players on this list. Guys like Adrian Peterson, Brian Westbrook and Larry Fitzgerald should always be started, regardless of who they're playing so it's a waste of time to even mention them.

This week we'll ANSWER EVERY QUESTION we get and post them on Friday for our Fantasy Mailbag column.

Send your questions to: molsen@chicagosuntimes.com

and between Ricky and myself, we'll do the best we can to help you out.

Otherwise, good luck this weekend.

Quarterbacks

Must starts: Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning

Start

Tony Romo - Cowboys vs. Redskins - While I understand the trepidation my fellow fantasy writers possess when considering whether or not to recommend starting Romo, I think they're crazy.

Remember, you're talking about a guy who lit the league on fire only a year ago and never underestimate the lift a team will get just by having their franchise QB back on the field with him. Those 'Boys are ready to run wild and Romo will be unleashing the deep ball against a Redskins secondary that can be had.

Broken pinky or not, give him the go.

Aaron Rogers - Packers vs. Bears - I really blew it last week with Rogers when I predicted he'd throw like a man possessed against the Vikings. Then again, I didn't think the Packers offensive line would resemble a turnstile for the better part of last Sunday.

But the Bears are coming a calling and if you haven't heard by now, their pass defense is garbage. Matt Ryan, Brian Griese, Kerry Collins and any other washed up veteran or wet behind the ears rookie can easily rip them to pieces.

Rogers will deliver this week.

Tyler Thigpen - Chiefs vs. Saints - When you think about it, has there been a crazier story in the NFL this year than Thigpen's?

Think about it. Back in Week 3, Thigpen got the start after Damon Huard and Brodie Croyle went down and promptly threw three interceptions and finished with a paltry QB rating of 23.8.

Thigpen has since made the most of his second chance and in the past three games produced 6 TDs and 710 yds passing. The Saints defense, already one of the softest secondaries in the league, is now without CB Mike McKenzie and certainly can be had. I love this matchup.

Jay Cutler - Broncos vs. Falcons - Simply put, the Broncos can't do anything but pass now that the running game relies on a rookie fullback and a guy they just picked up off the street (Tatum Bell).

Cutler is going to air it out all day Sunday and will clear 300 yds and will toss at least a pair of TDs.


Sit

Chad Pennington - Dolphins vs. Raiders - The honeymoon is over and Pennington is back to fantasy reality against a dominating Raiders secondary this weekend.

Attacking the Raiders run defense is the way to beat this team, evidence by Jake Delhomme's dreadful Week 10 performance in which he threw 4 INTs. Pennington's got some nice matchups in the not too distant future, but wait until then and don't try to force it this week.


Trent Edwards - Bills vs. Browns - The matchup looks nice on paper, but Edwards production has plummeted in recent weeks and the Bills have struggled mightily because of it.

He's thrown five picks in his last three games and can't seem to find the rhythm that made him so successful in the first half of the season.

Until he finds it, sit him.

Joe Flacco - Ravens vs. Giants - You may be very happy with yourself at the moment for taking a chance on Falco, whoops, Flacco. He's managed to find a way to produce halfway decent fantasy numbers the past four weeks, highlighted by his 248 yd, 2 TD day against the Browns in Week 9.

This is the week to look elsewhere because Flacco and his mind blowing uni-brow are going to be eating turf all day against that ferocious front four of the Giants defense.


Running Backs

Must starts: Adrian Peterson (Min), Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, LaDanian Tomlinson

Start

Marshawn Lynch - Bills vs. Browns - Frankly, if he can't deliver a good game this weekend I may very well have to give up on Lynch.

The numbers don't lie and in this case you almost wish that they would. Lynch has yet to record a 100-yd rushing day this season and hit an embarrassing low with only 16 yds on nine carries against the New York Jets in Week 9.

I'm skeptical here a tiny bit because the Browns run defense has occasionally stepped up to the plate with Shaun Rogers leading the way. But I think Lynch will reward those of you who have stayed patient in a big way.

DeAngelo Williams - Panthers vs. Lions - Two weeks in a row not that I've suggested you start a running back that plays the Lions.

Sensing a pattern here?

After starting the season in a RBBC with stellar rookie back Jonathan Stewart, Williams has snatched the starting role for his own by posting back to back 100-yd efforts with a TD in the past two weeks.

Michael Turner - Falcons vs. Broncos - Anytime the 'Burner' is playing at home he becomes an automatic start. And when the opposing defense has allowed the eight most rushing TDs in the league, he's a no brainer.

While the focus of many will be on the matchup of Drew Brees vs. Matt Ryan, those wise enough to snag Turner on draft day can sit back and relax as he slices through the Broncos defense line like a hot knife through butter.

Matt Forte - Bears vs. Packers - By now I'm sure you've seen the highlights of Vikings RB Adrian Peterson running roughshod over the Packers defense. And now that LB Nick Barnett is down for the season with a knee injury, the matchup is even more enticing for Forte owners.

He's proven to be more than capable of catching the ball out of the backfield and the Bears have actually split him out wide as a WR on various occasions. He's the ultimate weapon and the Bears are going to have to come out guns-a-blazing to get a much needed win up in Titletown.

Sit

Willie Parker - Steelers vs. Chargers - The once vaulted Chargers defense has been a shell of its former self this year and on paper I love this matchup for 'Fast Willie'.

That being said, you should bench Parker.

Word out of Pittsburgh suggests Parker will be fitted with a shoulder harness to help alleviate the pressure of a shoulder injury that kept him out of last week's game against the Colts.

Coupled with Mewelde Moore's impressive play in Parker's absence and I have no choice to expect nothing but mediocrity at best from Willie.


Cedric Benson - Bengals vs. Eagles - You weren't seriously considering this were you?

Granted he did have a 100-yd day against a disappointing Jaguars defense before the Bengals had their bye week. But remember who you're talking about while trying to decide whether or not to give him the starting nod.

And also remember who he's playing. The Eagles are still one of the league's best defenses and blitz-master Jim Johnson will have plenty in store for Ryan Fitzpatrick.


Maurice Jones-Drew - Ravens vs. Titans - One week after MJD has his best showing of the season, he finds himself right back on the sit list with a brutal matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

Wide Receivers

Must starts: Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Calvin Johnson,

Start

Steve Smith - Panthers vs. Lions - Smith's here for two reasons.

1. He's playing the Lions. I'd honestly consider starting Mike Ditka at TE if he happened to suit up and play against this team.
2. He only caught one pass last week for nine yards. I'd bet my dog that won't happen again and is set to explode on Sunday.


Dwayne Bowe - Chiefs vs. Falcons - After being the only dependable option for the Chiefs since he was drafted last year, Bowe has seen his production take a slight dip with the emergence of Mark Bradley as the number two wideout.

But against this Saints secondary, Bowe is going to find plenty of room and Thigpen will make it a point to confirm Bowe's status as this team's number one WR.


Terrels Owens - Cowboys vs. Redskins - Get your popcorn ready.


Sit

Braylon Edwards - Browns vs. Bills - Brady Quinn's numbers in his debut (239 yds, 2 TD) were deceptive because most of his throws were between five and ten yards.

Head coach Romeo Crennel is trying to keep things simple and let Quinn progress slowly in an offense that was such a powerhouse in 2007. Until they open up the playbook and let Quinn loose, Braylon will be a WR3 option at best.


Chad Johnson - Bengals vs. Eagles - Scoring a pair of touchdowns against the Jaguars in Week 9 was an absolute fluke.

Expect the same 'Ocho Cinco' we've seen all year long: 4 catches, 40 yds.


Plaxico Burress - Giants vs. Ravens - It almost seems as if Plax is being phased out of this Giants offense completely and only merits a toss deep in the red zone where they can take advantage of his height.

It was only a matter of time before his off the field antics became a wedge between himself and his teammates. It's starting to show and it's been a huge blow to fantasy owners who expect him to carry the WR1 load for their team.

Tight Ends

Must starts: Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow Jr., Owen Daniels, Tony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark

Start

Kevin Boss - Giants vs. Ravens - Love this kid's moxie week in and week out. He's Never afraid to go across the middle and never afraid to take the big hit. Boss is a great fantasy play from this point moving forward and especially against a defense like the Ravens.

Sit

Marcedes Lewis - Jaguars vs. Titans - Lewis has quietly been putting together a very nice fantasy season for owners who waited until the closing rounds of their draft to snag a TE.

But like most players, he'll find it tough to get himself open against this Titans defense.

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3 Comments

I have a couple dilemmas this week.

I know you said sit Edwards, but should i start Garrard(vs Ten) over Edwards? Tennessee is tough.

Guess in place of Bush Ill start Addai (sigh) again this week.

Alright, I first want to say I took your advice and picked up Mark Bradley. Everybody was like "Who?" And it paid out so thanks. This week I have to start two of the following:

Kevin Curtis
Mark Bradley
Matt Jones

Think i am leaning toward the latter two. Advice?

Olsen responds: There are always exceptions to the rule and this is definitely one of them.

Forced to choose between Edwards and Garrard, I think you'll have to ignore my bench advice and start Edwards. The matchup is infinitely better and if the Jags have any chance of winning that game it'll start up front with the run game.

And at least Edwards has Lee Evans on his side, leaving the possibility of a deep ball score at some point in the game wide open.

Go with Edwards.

As far as your receivers are concerned, I think you stick with the hot hand in Bradley against the Saints. The beauty of that situation is opposing defenses spend so much time worrying about Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez and not Mark Bradley.

Your second option is a little harder to peg, but the choice here is Curtis. The Bengals are just garbage and McNabb will have his way with them, to your benefit.

I know you've been disappointed with the tremendous bust Joseph Addai has been this year. When it's all said and done, he may earn back some of your trust with some stretch run magic. But the sad truth is you may have to start him on Sunday.

After practicing on Wednesday, Reggie Bush was given the day off yesterday but is expected back on the field today. Depending on how his knee responds, the Saints will make a decision on whether or not he's in the lineup. At best it sounds as if he's a game time decision and for a guy that makes a living off of stop on a dime cuts, a bad knee is a death sentence.

Addai's matchup is ideal in this situation and this could be the final indicator of what you can expect from him the remainder of the season. If he can't produce against a soft Houston Texans defense, it may be over for Addia this year and become Dominic Rhodes time to shine.

I keep going back and forth with my WR's and RB's. I like to start 3 RB's and 2 WR's each week. I picked up Tyler T. from KC to start at my QB cause I picked up Mark Bradley. Here is a list of my RB/WR's.
RB:
Ronnie Brown
Ricky Williams
Reggie Bush
Chris Johnson
Mewelde Moore
WR:
Steve Smith
DeSean Jackson
Mark Bradley
Michael Jenkins

I know I should start Ronnie B, Chris J, and S Smith but as far as another RB and WR I just cant decide. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Ricky responds: Mewelde Moore has been pretty awesome for Pittsburgh since Parker went down. With Roethlisberger banged up, you know the Steelers are going to have to run the ball. The Chargers D has been underwhelming this year, so I'd start Moore.

At receiver, DeSean Jackson seems like a good choice. The Eagles are going up against a pitiful Bengals secondary and it's a game they need to win to remain in the playoff hunt.

I have two calls I need your take on:

TE: Bo Scaife or Kevin Boss. I'm leaning Scaife due to Ravens D history against TEs, but...?

K: Akers (PHI) or pick up free agent (Rackers and Bryant(TB) are available).

Thanks,

Bill from VA

Ricky responds: Well the Eagles are going up against the Bengals this week so they should score lots of points. I think David Akers is a safe bet at kicker.

I think you're a little confused on the tight end situation. Boss is playing Baltimore, Scaife is going against the Jaguars. You are right about the Baltimore D, so I'd go with Boss.

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About the bloggers

Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on November 13, 2008 9:07 AM.

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