We’re only five or six weeks away from the fantasy football playoffs. Thankfully we’re almost at the end of the bye weeks, so from this point on your best teams will be on the field for the rest of your schedule. Only a few very lucky teams can afford to lose games now. Don’t let your lineup suffer from lack of information on who your players are facing.
If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Carson Palmer (QB – Oakland)
The days of Palmer’s elite status are long gone, but he’s still viable for fantasy purposes as a bye week fill-in. Palmer’s been generally effective this year, scoring 14 points or more in all but one of his seven starts. The Buccaneers’ defense he faces this week has been quite porous and should allow Palmer to do his thing.
Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina)
There’s been a changing of the guard in Carolina. The Panthers have decided to make Jonathan Stewart the guy going forward, to the disappointment of DeAngelo Williams’ owners. Stewart is arguably the more talented player, but the fact that he’s getting a lion’s share of the carries makes him worth starting nowadays. Jonathan Dwyer gashed the Redskins last week, so look for Stewart to find success this week as well.
Mikel Leshoure (RB – Detroit)
Don’t be alarmed that Alex Green couldn’t be productive against Jacksonville last week. The guy hasn’t been good against anyone. The Jaguars have given up plenty of points to the running back position this year, including four 100-yard games. Leshoure was slightly banged up last week, but all signs point to him being a full go this week.
Jeremy Maclin (WR – Philadelphia)
It’s been a rough season for Maclin. He’s found the end zone three times, but has had less than 40 yards in five of seven games. Things should get better for him this week since the Saints haven’t been able to stop anyone’s passing game this year. There’s enough production to go around. Just look at how Denver’s receivers were both successful last week.
Brian Hartline (WR – Miami)
Folks were touting Brian Hartline as the kind of receiver you could start every week after his 253 receiving yards against Arizona in Week 4. Unfortunately he’s been unable to muster much since, scoring only nine points in three games. He should be able to come alive this weekend even if Matt Moore has to start for an injured Ryan Tannehill. The Colts are giving up the seventh-most points to fantasy receivers.
Jacob Tamme (TE – Denver)
Times are tough for bye week fill-ins this week. There really aren’t that many great options there. I’m taking a chance with Tamme on a couple of my teams, so I’m suggesting him to the masses. The Bengals are giving up the sixth-most points to fantasy TEs this year.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Phil Rivers (QB – San Diego)
I’ve got zero confidence in Rivers right now. I’m sitting him for Josh Freeman in one league because I can’t put up with Rivers’ incompetence until he proves he can get back to his productive ways. Teams usually struggle to put up strong offensive numbers playing on Thursday nights, so it’s just another reason to keep Rivers on the bench.
Fred Jackson (RB – Buffalo)
The Texans have been a very stiff running defense this year. They’ve only allowed one 100-yard rushing game this year and haven’t yet given up a rushing touchdown. That doesn’t bode well for Jackson since he’s already splitting carries with C.J. Spiller and is the less explosive of the two RBs.
Chris Johnson (RB – Tennessee)
Johnson has seen success in recent weeks, giving hope that he might return to his old form. That hope will be tarnished for one week at least since Johnson is facing the Bears. The Bears hold fantasy RBs to the fewest amount of points in the league.
Dez Bryant (WR – Dallas)
Bryant has had an up and down year and career. He’s yet to show the consistency expected when he was taken as a first round pick. He’s dealing with a bruised hip, but that’s not the biggest of his issues this week. He’s facing a Falcons’ secondary that has been great at limiting fantasy wide receivers. They’ve only given up four touchdowns to receivers all year and have limited opposing WRs to under 140 yards in five of seven games.
Kenny Britt (WR – Tennessee)
There was talk last week that Britt wouldn’t full recover from knee surgery until next year. He’s back on the field, but his production has been incredibly poor in the six games he’s played. The Bears’ cornerbacks have been the best in the league this year, so Britt will likely struggle to succeed yet again.
Brandon Pettigrew (TE – Detroit)
The Jaguars are the second best team in the league at defending fantasy TEs, so Pettigrew owners might want to look elsewhere this week. Pettigrew has struggled to be productive this year having only grabbing one touchdown and not passing 80 yards in any game. If you have solid alternatives, you should use them.