START: Rams QB Sam Bradford, @ Cardinals. McDaniels has helped Bradford with a gameplan that will attack the same corners that Anquan Boldin ate alive last week. The Cardinals are another one of those NFC West defenses that is solid against the run, bad against the pass. At least St. Louis has the excuse of their top three corners being on IR.
SIT: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, vs. Ravens. It’s foolish to expect Roethlisberger to have a great game against this defense. Literally no quarterback has. If you have no other option, you should start him but there are spot start guys out there like Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, Matt Hasselbeck and even Carson Palmer that have more favorable match-ups.
START: Buccaneers RB LaGarrette Blount, @ Saints.This is a bit of a risky play, because the Buccaneers need the passing game to be more effective to get defenses to not stack the box. That said, Blount is going to get the ball a lot and the Saints have been rummaging for any sort of way to improve their run defense. New Orleans has allowed a minimum of 155 rushing yards in three of their last four games. The only team that was under that total was the Buccaneers, who didn’t have Blount. Earnest Graham still tore off 17 rushes for 109 yards and added 2 receptions for 22 yards out of the backfield. When Blount gets to 22 carries, the Bucs are 4-0.
SIT: Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray, vs. Seahawks. The way to beat the Seahawks is through the air, not by handing off (3.2 ypc allowed). I also expect good field position and Romo will be the main beneficiary, as he seeks to improve his red zone throwing.
START: Jets WR Santonio Holmes, @ Bills. Rex Ryan’s had two weeks to prepare for this game. The much-maligned Brian Schottenheimer and Mark Sanchez will show up big and I expect them to design ways to take deep shots to Santonio Holmes.
SIT: Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi, @ Texans. Over the past four weeks, Massaquoi has 2 TDs – as many as he had last season -, however the Texans pass rush is disruptive and the pass defense is 5th in yards allowed, 6th in TDs and 9th in INTs despite facing the Steelers, Saints, Raiders and Ravens. If you want a one-week rental in free agency, I suggest Jabar Gaffney, Pierre Garçon and Steve Breaston.
START: Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, @ Steelers. At this point, he has to be a weekly start unless you only play two WRs in your league and you have some combination of Welker, Steve Smith and Calvin Johnson. On a non-fantasy level, Boldin had said when he landed in Baltimore that he had revenge on his mind in regards to the Steelers, who beat him while he played for the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Anquan has been impeccable against the Steelers.
SIT: 49ers WR Braylon Edwards, @ Redskins. This doesn’t have as much to do with him being rusty. Smith has started developing a rapport with Crabtree (14 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD last two weeks) and Edwards is also generally a good play, but the Redskins pass rush will eliminate huge plays down the field.
START: Raiders TE Kevin Boss vs. Broncos. There is a certain boom or bust factor when a quarterback is making his first start in a new offense but what makes this a little more comfortable for Palmer is that he’ll have Houshmandzadeh out there. Boom or bust is inherit with tight ends as so few of them put up great fantasy numbers but look for Palmer to use Boss as a checkdown as running back Michael Bush has no career receiving touchdowns.
SIT: Colts TE Dallas Clark, vs. Falcons. The Atlanta defense, hungry coming off a bye, hasn’t given up a touchdown to a tight end since week 1: Jay Cutler’s 1-yard toss to Matt Spaeth.
BONUS! START: Rams TE Lance Kendricks @ Cardinals. Pitta and Dickson put up good stats for tight ends against the Cardinals last week and I expect the offense to be more innovative with Bradford back in the line-up. Obviously, if you have Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis or Jermichael Finley, you will want to start them every week but Kendricks is a good free agent pick-up many have ignored due to poor stats (13 catches, 175 yards), as Lloyd should free things up for the Rams to get a better look at their 2nd round pick. Kendricks wound up with 4 catches for 71 yards in his last game with Sam.
START: Texans DST vs. Browns. The Browns haven’t scored a lot of points and the Texans have annihilated average and bad offensive lines.
SIT: Giants DST @ Patriots. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to the Patriots is to lose. They’ve won 5 straight games off of a loss and Brady has been victorious in 31 straight regular season games at home. Brady will put up points on the Giants defense that has let up above average points to the Dolphins, Cardinals and Seahawks in the last four weeks and is thin at cornerback.
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