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Start/Bench List - Week 10
John Tuvey
Updated: November 7, 2008
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Thur Night
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Sunday Early
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Monday Night
* Updated
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
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Seattle (2-6) at Miami (4-4) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Seneca Wallace B

Since getting lit up the first two weeks of the season the Dolphins have settled into a one-touchdown-pass-per-game groove... though they still are giving up around 280 passing yards per contest. Not that you should expect big yardage from Wallace, whose top outing this season is 222 yards. Something north of 200 yards and a touchdown is about what you can expect from Wallace, and that's not enough to get him a fantasy start.

RB Julius Jones
Maurice Morris

B

It's bad enough that Jones and Morris are splitting what meager running game production the Seahawks can muster; that they'll both be dipping from the shallow cup of a Miami defense that is giving up barely 80 rushing yards per game and has allowed just four RB rushing TDs in eight games suggests—nay, demands—that you keep both backs on your bench.

WR

Bobby Engram
Koren Robinson

B

The wide receiver situation in Seattle is similar to that of the running back situation: lots of moving parts, but very little movement. If you think lightning can strike twice and KoRo can go for 90 yards again go ahead and roll the bones. Odds are you'll be looking at snake eyes.

TE John Carlson
B Nope, nothing to see here, either. Carlson has three catches the past two weeks and the Dolphins haven't allowed a tight end touchdown this season.
DT Seahawks B The Seahawks have surrendered 98 points in three trips to the Eastern time zone this season. Last I checked, Miami was in that neighborhood.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2

Chad's been north of 225 passing yards in six straight and seven of eight. Touchdowns have been a little trickier to come by, but the Seahawks have allowed at least one passing score in every game this season—and at 270 passing yards allowed per game they're bound to help Pennington in that area as well..

RB

Ronnie Brown

S3

The Seahawks haven't been particularly easy to run on—Brandon Jacobs owns the only 100-yard game they've given up, and they've surrendered just four RB rushing TDs all year. Seattle does mix in a little RB receiving yardage, and Brown has had 30 receiving yards in two of his last four outings. Post-Wildcat Brown hasn't topped 60 yards on the ground and has scored just twice in four games, so he's hardly a great play. But between the occasional scores and the pass catching he should give you at least something of fantasy note.

RB

Ricky Williams

B

There isn't enough on either side of the ledger—Miami's ground game producing or Seattle's run defense allowing—to suggest that a back with just 20 touches over the past three games is worth a fantasy start.

WR Greg Camarillo
Ted Ginn Jr.
S3 Ginn and Camarillo have each had a 100-yard game in the past fortnight, and against a Seahawks secondary that's allowing 180 WR yards per game and seven WR touchdowns in its last five there's enough to suggest either or both are worthy of a starting gig in deeper leagues.
TE Anthony Fasano
David Martin
U

Seattle has surrendered 323 receiving yards to tight ends over the last three weeks, including 131 to Brent Celek last week alone. Over that same span both Fasano and Martin have six catches, with Martin edging Fasano on yardage 91-79. That's what you call a split, and unfortunately it renders both TEs useless in all but the largest of TE-mandatory leagues.

DT Dolphins S3 One more week of Seneca Wallace, combined with Joey Porter getting after the quarterback, at least puts the Dolphins D in play as a bye week plug in.
 
Green Bay (4-4) at Minnesota (4-4) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Rodgers S2

Rodgers completed 82 percent of his passes making his first NFL start against the Vikings back in Week 1, throwing for 189 yards and one TD while running for another. And he's gone upwards from there, averaging 258 passing yards and two TDs per game. Minnesota has allowed at least 280 passing yards to three of its past four foes, giving Rodgers room to improve on his initial performance. The return of Madieu Williams from injury could help the Vikings close some holes in their secondary, but that may be offset by Jared Allen's absence due to a shoulder injury. The Pack had success containing Allen in the first meeting anyway, so there's little reason to expect Rodgers' numbers to decline from that solid initial showing.

RB

Ryan Grant

S3

Green Bay's ground game appears to be hitting its stride, so this matchup may not be as lopsided as you might initially think. Grant has at least 83 yards in each of his past four games and just put up 86 against a pretty good Titans defense; he's also had success against the Vikings, with 211 yards and a touchdown in his past two meetings. The Vikes have allowed just one RB TD in the past four games, and no back has come closer than within 30 yards of the 92 Grant posted in the opener. But Grant's past success suggests the Pack knows how to run on the Vikings. Don't go out of your way to start him, but neither should you cower in the corner, either.

WR Greg Jennings
Donald Driver
S2

After a quicker start Jennings has taken a back seat to Driver the last couple of games; over the past month, the duo is separated by one target, five catches, and 10 yards. Both should find success against a defense that's allowing almost 140 WR yards and better than a touchdown per game over the past month. Jennings had the bigger day back in Week 1, and the two had identical stat lines in the second meeting last season. Unless the Vikings commit Antoine Winfield to one of the two—and let us know about it ahead of time—each should find a way to get free against one of Minnesota's other defensive backs and contribute to your fantasy stat sheet.

WR

James Jones
Jordy Nelson

B

The Packers' previous quarterback made a living working his tertiary receivers into the mix, but Rodgers has been content to work Jennings and Driver and involve his tight end from time to time. The temptation might be to reach for Jones or Nelson against the Vikings this week, but don't give in.

TE Donald Lee S3 Lee has 11 catches and two touchdowns over the past month; in that same span the Vikes have allowed 100, 133, and 146 yards to the tight end position against the Saints, Bears, and Texans, respectively. There's definitely an opportunity here.
DT Packers S3 You can't argue with a defense that's had as much success creating turnovers—then turning them into points—as the Packers have had this season.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte S3

Frerotte's first sub-200-yard start also yielded his first three-touchdown game of the season; that's how the Vikings would prefer their passing game work, as a complement that takes advantage of run-focused defenses rather than their primary method of moving the ball. That especially holds true this week against Green Bay's opportunistic secondary, as any time Gus puts the ball in the air there's a chance it could be heading back the other direction. Only one of Green Bay's previous five opponents has thrown for more than 200 yards, but three of those foes rushed for at least 140 yards so they didn't need to throw—and that's where the Vikings would like this game to head. Put it this way: Frerotte throwing 40 times and soaring beyond the 200-yard mark is not Plan A.

RB Adrian Peterson S1

Last year Peterson had a big first game against the Pack but was stifled in the rematch. This year Peterson had a big first game against the Pack; will it be deja vu all over again? Unlikely, as Green Bay has struggled to stop the run since All Day's 19-103-1 Kickoff Weekend. Four of Green Bay's past six opponents have rushed for at least 140 yards and five have scored a rushing touchdown. Peterson, meanwhile, brings a three-game string of 100-yard efforts into this content, with three touchdowns in his last two outings. Sure, the Pack wants to stop ADP; however, their run over the past six games suggests they might not be as capable of slowing the Vikings' ground game as they were for last year's rematch.

RB Chester Taylor B

This may be a favorable matchup, but don't expect the Vikes to use Taylor any more than necessary to give Peterson the occasional rest.

WR Bernard Berrian
S2

Berrian has been on a role since returning from injury, with at least 78 yards in each of his past six games, a touchdown in each of his last four, and triple-digit yardage in three of his last four. Tough to bench a guy that hot, but at least lower your expectations against a secondary that has allowed only one wide receiver to top 75 yards (and just two to top 50) over the past five games, and just two WR TDs in that span.

WR Sidney Rice
B

Rice appears to be healthy, which would return Bobby Wade to fantasy waiver-wire status. Against a secondary playing as well as Green Bay's you don't want to reach for a running team's second wideout, so while Rice is always a red-zone threat he'll best serve you potentially scoring a touchdown on your bench—as opposed to tossing up a goose-egg in your lineup.

TE Vishante Shiancoe S2

Green Bay has given up tight end touchdowns in three of its last five games; Shiancoe has scored in two straight, three of four, and four of six. Those are some favorable trends worth following in tight end-mandatory leagues.

DT Vikings S3 If Jared Allen is healthy the addition of Madieu Williams makes this defense as formidable as it was supposed to be after spending all that offseason money.
 
Buffalo (4-3) at New England (5-3) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards B

The New England secondary is still searching for its identity and has allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of its last five games. That would be super-duper for Edwards if he'd have thrown multiple touchdowns in a game at any point this season. He hasn't, so brace yourself for another 230 passing yards and a touchdown. Yawn.

RB Marshawn Lynch S3

Lynch was abysmal last week, rushing for 16 yards against the Jets and giving his fantasy owners the same nausea he was experiencing. Marshawn scored and rushed for 74 yards in his only meeting with the Pats last year, and he's done nothing to suggest a major uptick should be expected. Ronnie "Wildcat" Brown is the only back to rush for a touchdown against the Pats, and aside from a Frank Gore receiving touchdown New England hasn't allowed enough running back receiving yardage to lead you to believe Lynch can make up ground there. If 75 yards and a touchdown is Lynch's upside, he's at best a borderline start.

RB Fred Jackson B

Produced 40 yards on 10 touches last week while Lynch was ill. That's not enough to warrant more touches—or more fantasy consideration.

WR Lee Evans B

Talk about a team having your number. In eight career games against New England Evans has 18 catches, 287 yards, and no touchdowns. In last year's season series Lee totaled five catches for 47 yards. You have to assume Bill Belichick can teach his tricks to whatever cornerbacks he's dragging in off the street this week, so even though Evans has been as consitent this year as he's been in his career... might be a good time to give him the week off.

WR James Hardy
Roscoe Parrish
B If the quarterback's a bench and the No. 1 receiver's a bench, odds are the secondary targets aren't particularly good fantasy plays, either.
TE Robert Royal B Royal at home: 19-209-1 in four games. Royal on the road: 4-42-0 in four games. This one has an @ sign, so sit Robert and wait for him to return to Buffalo.
DT Bills S3 The Patriots aren't the offensive juggernaut they were last season, but they also aren't taking many chances with the ball, either.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Cassel B

Cassel has climbed to the ranks of serviceable, and his pedestrian 204-yard, no-TD performance last week came against a pretty good Indy defense so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately for Matt and his fantasy owners, the Bills are just a couple notches above Indy on the "fantasy friendly" list, so he's likely facing another outing in the low 200s with a touchdown if he's lucky. That's hardly worth plugging into your fantasy lineup.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Kevin Faulk


S2

With Sammy Morris and LaMont Jordan both likely out again, the running back duties will fall once again to Faulk and BJGE. Over the past five games the Bills have given up roughly 80 rushing yards and 60 running back receiving yards per game, allowing six RB TDs over that span. The receiving yards and at least a chunk of the rushing yards are earmarked for Faulk, while Green-Ellis is the goal line guy. Both have a good chance to put up helpful fantasy numbers, Faulk in a performance league and BJGE in a touchdown-heavy scoring format.

WR Randy Moss
Wes Welker
S2 If Ted Ginn and Johnnie Lee Higgins can get behind the Bills secondary, if Larry Fitzgerald can score twice, if Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson can both score... you'd like to believe that Bill Belichick will find it in his grinch heart to let Cassel take a couple deep shots with Moss. He torched the Bills twice last year, 5-115-2 in the opener and 10-128-4 in the rematch—but as every Moss owner is painfully aware, this is not last year. Settle for a little less, but not too much. Welker remains an idol in PPR leagues, but he's probably an S3 or lower if you don't use that scoring format.
TE Ben Watson

B

Watson scored in both meetings last year, but we just got done pointing out this isn't last year. Not only is Watson sharing tight end duties with Dave Thomas, this matchup against a Bills defense that has allowed just one TE TD all season isn't particularly favorable.

DT Patriots S3 The Bills have scored a total of 23 points in the last three meetings between these teams. Yeah, yeah, yeah, this isn't the same Patriots team... but this Patriots team has allowed just 41 points in the past three games, so they can stand on their own merit as well.
 

St. Louis (2-6) at New York Jets (5-3)

Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S3

The Jets have plenty of talent in their secondary, but it hasn't prevented merely ordinary quarterbacks like Tyler Thigpen (280 and 2) and Trent Edwards (289 and 1) from posting solid fantasy games. Bulger followed his first 300-yard game of the year with his first multiple-touchdown outing of 2008, and the Jets might offer him the opportunity to combine the two. At minimum he's looking at the potential for a solid game if for no other reason than with or without Steven Jackson the Rams are likely to struggle running the football against the Jets.

RB Steven Jackson
Travis Minor
B

Jackson continues to nurse a thigh injury, and while he's optimistically listed as doubtful all indications are that he won't play this weekend. Minor passed a neuro-psych exam following a concussion but is still expected to sit this one out as well.

RB Kenneth Darby
Antonio Pittman
Samkon Gado
B

A matchup with the vastly improved Gang Green run defense—no opposing back has topped 75 rushing yards, only three have exceeded 50—is an iffy proposition at best. The one possible shot at redemption is the Jets' proclivity to allow receiving yards to backs; three have already topped 50 yards in a game. A touchdown is much less likely; the Jets have kept running backs out of the end zone in four straight contests. If one back—say, one as talented as Jackson, for example—were getting the bulk of the touches I could see him cobbling together a decent combo-yardage game. However, it appears as if we'll be treated to the running back stylings of Pittman, who is still somewhat limited by a hamstring injury; Darby, who ran with the Rams' first team in practice this week and has all of nine career rushing yards; and/or Gado, whom the Rams picked up off the scrap heap earlier this week. None are an advisable start against the Jets' solid run defense.

WR Torry Holt
Donnie Avery
S3

It says something positive about the Rams' ability to assess talent or something less than positive about Holt's career arc that the one-time Pro Bowler and the first rookie off the board in April's draft can be lumped together like this. The Jets talented secondary has been inconsistent: three Cardinals reached triple-digit receiving yards, as did Dwayne Bowe a couple weeks back, but on the season Gang Green has allowed just five wide receiver touchdowns—and only two in the past month. Holt is still capable of delivering the unexciting yet semi-productive fantasy line of 60-70 yards and a touchdown, while Avery is a true home-run threat. Neither is a lock this week, but if the Rams don't have any running backs they'll have to throw—and Holt and Avery are the top two targets.

DT Rams S3 The Rams warrant bye-week plug-in consideration if only because Brett Favre is still capable of keeping both teams in any given game.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S3

Four straight opposing quarterbacks have topped 200 yards against the Rams, a marker Favre has flirted with consistently this season. Multiple touchdowns are a little less likely, given that Favre has thrown one or none in three of his past four while the Rams have held five of the past six quarterbacks to face them to one or none. It's hardly a gaudy stat line, one that barely boosts Favre over the start/bench border.

RB Thomas Jones S2

It's a great time to be Thomas Jones. He's scored in three of the last four games, and in the game he didn't score he rushed for 159 yards. Against a defense that's surrendering 145 rushing yards per game to running backs and has allowed 15 RB TDs already this season, you have to like his chances of another fantasy helper.

RB Leon Washington S3

No team has allowed more RB receiving touchdowns than the Rams; between that possibility and Leon getting a taste of Jones' leftovers, Washington could easily cobble together a stat line worthy of starter status during the final bye week.

WR Laveranues Coles
Jerricho Cotchery

S2

The pendulum has swung back Cotchery's way, as Jerricho has been Favre's preferred target each of the past three games. And yet it's been a month since he last scored; actually, Coles has only scored once in that span as the Jets have turned to their running game for scoring. That could change against a Rams' secondary that ranks third in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Again, not a go-out-of-your-way-to-play-them matchup for either Coles or Cotchery, but if they're regulars in your rotation you certainly don't have to avoid them, either.

TE Chris Baker
Dustin Keller

B

There hasn't been enough production from this position, nor is the matchup favorable enough to warrant taking a risk as to which target Favre frequents this week.

DT Jets S3 Gang Green has held three of its last four foes under 20 points, while the Rams have busted out of the teens just once this season.
 

Carolina (6-2) at Oakland (2-6)

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Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S3 Delhomme's S3 is part Raiders defense—Nnamdi Asomugah may be the best shutdown corner in football, and Oakland has held five of eight opposing quarterbacks to one or zero TD tosses—and part Carolina ground game. You have to expect the game plan to involve heavy doses of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, which might leave Jake lacking for opportunity. He does have multiple touchdown passes in four of five and 235 or more passing yards in a similar share of games, but it's unlikely the Panthers will have to depend on him to carry their offense this week.
RB

DeAngelo Williams

S1 Can you get upgraded from an S1? With Stewart potentially out of the mix, or at minimum limited by his heel injury, Williams should see most if not all of the touches against the soft-as-Charmin Oakland run D. Williams as two 100-yard efforts in his last four and should feast on a defense that has given up at least 150 running back rushing yards in each of its past three; he may very well be pressed into goal line duty as well, against a defense that has allowed running back rushing touchdowns in six straight.
RB

Jonathan Stewart

X Stewart has spent most of this week in a walking boot and is listed as questionable. While I have no doubt he could throw down his crutches on Sunday morning, hobble onto the field, and rush for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders' abysmal run defense, with Williams on the roster he won't have to. If he's active on game day you could consider plugging him into the lineup, but given his lack of practice time this week I'd expect him to be deactivated and not worth the risk.
WR Steve Smith S2

All the trends on Smith's side are positive: three straight 100-yard games, five straight with at least 96 yards, three touchdowns in his past two games. So long as the Panthers find a way to keep Smith away from Asomugah's blanket coverage (who singlehandedly turns Smith's S1 to an S2 here) at least some of the time, he'll put up his numbers. If not...

WR Muhsin Muhammad

S3

...the alternative on the other side in Oakland is whomever the team plugs in to replace DeAngelo Hall after they kicked his overpriced tail to the curb. Muhammy's numbers have declined steadily over the past month as Smith's ascended, but if Asomugah spends the afternoon in Smith's pocket Muhammad could pull a Michael Jenkins (64 and two last week while Asomugah locked down Roddy White). Of the six paltry WR TDs the Raiders have allowed this season, only one could be construed as having gone to a team's No. 1 wideout.

DT Panthers S2 The "O" in Oakland doesn't stand for "offense", as the Raiders have produced just two offensive touchdowns in their past five games. That "O" could very well be a second straight "0", which sets the Panthers D up quite nicely this weekend.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB JaMarcus Russell B

To call Oakland's offense anemic would be an insult to anemics everywhere. Russell is capable of producing a touchdown or two, by land or by air, and he's been known to throw for 200-plus yards every now and again. But to expect him to do so on demand, specifically against a defense that's allowed just seven passing touchdowns in eight games... well, that's just a special kind of crazy.

RB Justin Fargas
Darren McFadden

B

McFadden might just be healthy enough to participate in this game, but even if he does there's no logical reason to advocate a gimpy rookie who's sharing carries against a defense that's allowing less than one RB TD per game and around 90 rushing yards per game. Same goes for the veteran, Huggy Bear-sired half of this backfield committee.

WR Javon Walker
Chaz Schilens
Ashley Lelie
Johnnie Lee Higgins
B The Panthers have shut out wide receivers in six of eight games this year, while the Raiders have managed a WR TD in three of their eight games. Nope, nothing to like here either.
TE Zack Miller B

Miller is the lone bright spot in this offense, but it's all relative—and it'll likely be relatives only who will be plugging Miller into fantasy lineups this week.

DT Raiders B Not even Asomugah can elevate this defense to anything worth a fantasy look.

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