Things are pretty bleak for a lot of fantasy owners right now. Elite players like C.J. Spiller, Jimmy Graham, and Roddy White may not play to add to the long term injuries of Reggie Wayne, Doug Martin, and Jermichael Finley. Lineups are being crippled as we speak, but I promote players being rested. I’d rather have Spiller, Graham, and White healthy for the remainder of the season then have them put up another week effort this week and not being healthy going forward. Sometimes you just have to know it’s time to sit for the better of your long term health.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. 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 – Arizona)
Honestly, part of me doesn't believe I’m recommending Palmer in this space because I hate his guts. Not because he slept with my girlfriend or anything, but because he’s a terrible fucking quarterback and he seems to screw both my picks and the fantasy performance of Larry Fitzgerald, who I own in a few fantasy leagues. (I will admit that Fitzgerald’s hamstring injuries haven’t helped him either.) Despite all that, the going should be good for Palmer this week. Atlanta has given up at least two passing touchdowns to every quarterback they’ve faced this year. It’s also a home game for Palmer, which gives him an edge in this space over Ryan Tannehill. I like Terrelle Pryor too because he brings the running game, but the Steelers have been doing a good job against fantasy quarterbacks this year.
Le’Veon Bell (RB – Pittsburgh)
Bell hasn’t run for a hundred yards in any game yet and didn’t score touchdowns in the last two games, but he you can’t expect him to go at 100% coming off his injury. The patience and vision he showed last week against Baltimore is terrific and now he has a perfect situation to take the next step. The Raiders are just average against the run and Pittsburgh’s offensive line seems to be rounding into form.
Roy Helu (RB – Washington)
Last week’s three touchdown performance by Helu was a little surprising. Two of the touchdowns were scored near the goal line and we were all under the assumption that Alfred Morris got the goal line carries in Washington. It might’ve been a gameplan thing for Washington to use more hurry-up offense, which features Helu over Morris or it might be Mike Shanahan’s usual running back games. I’m going to go with the former and expect Helu to be a solid flex play as Washington chases Denver this weekend.
Terrance Williams (WR – Dallas)
It looks like Dallas is being smart with Miles Austin, realizing that he just doesn’t have the juice in his legs after a recent hamstring injury. Instead of rushing him back into full snaps, they seem to be inclined to rest him from playing this week after last week’s poor effort. Williams has been exceptional in recent weeks and will continue to produce in Austin’s absence. Detroit’s poor secondary surely won’t stop him.
Reuben Randle (WR – N.Y. Giants)
With the talent the Giants have at receiver, Randle is getting worse coverage than colleagues Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Philadelphia’s best cover man is in the slot, so that means Cruz might be slightly neutralized this week. Hakeem Nicks doesn’t seem to be all there, so Randle has been the one to find the end zone three games in the row. The Giants are obviously looking to get him the ball and that won’t stop against the Eagles’ lackluster secondary.
The two defenses giving up the most fantasy points to tight ends are going against Rob Gronkowski and Tony Gonzalez this week, so you would obviously be playing those guys anyway. But if you’re looking for a bye or injury week replacement, you could do worse than Kyle Rudolph this week. He faces the Packers, who give up the third most points to fantasy tight ends. Christian Ponder is also back under center and he’s been known to check down.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Russell Wilson (QB – Seattle)
There are a lot of QBs with good situations this week, but I have to pick one. Wilson has been inconsistent this season. He’s had four games with one passing touchdown or less. Obviously part of his value is in his legs, but how often will he use them when Seattle’s beating St. Louis by 20 points in the third quarter?
Mike James (RB – Tampa Bay)
You’re excited because you just acquired an RB who’s going to grab 20 touches per game. It’s a shame those 20 touches won’t amount for much this week. The Panthers have a tenacious run defense, having allowed over 100 yards only once this season. Tampa Bay couldn’t necessarily run the ball with Doug Martin. The running game won’t appear overnight because a less-talented Mike James showed up.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis (RB – Cincinnati)
The Law Firm isn’t exactly an elite running back that you’d be starting every week, but he’ll get looks from some teams this week because of all the byes. I’m here to tell you the other options are better. The Jets are a dominant run defense and Green-Ellis only gets half the carries. The Bengals will resort to more passing looks, which means even less work for Green-Ellis because Giovanni Bernard handles those formations.
Dwayne Bowe (WR – Kansas City)
Bowe doesn’t put up large receiving yard totals anymore. Last week’s total of 66 yards is his high so far, which is rather embarrassing. This week he goes up against Joe Haden, a dominant corner who’s only allowed one touchdown against so far this season. Bench Bowe and pursue other options.
Harry Douglas (WR – Atlanta)
I knocked Douglas last week on Twitter because of his talent level and he came through with a strong effort. If Tampa Bay actually knew how to play coverage and had Darrelle Revis marking him the whole game, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Arizona’s not that stupid, so expect Patrick Peterson to swarm Douglas all game since there are no other worthwhile receivers to cover.
Greg Olsen (TE – Carolina)
The Buccaneers’ defense has taken its lumps this year, but they’ve been able to handle fantasy TEs. They’ve held the position to under 33 yards in the last four games, while also keeping TEs out of the end zone. Greg Olsen is banged up as it is, so look for a poor effort from him in tonight’s game.