|Fantasy Football: Week 10 starts, sits||11.08.13 at 10:29 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 10 starts and sits. Just to clarify, these are not the top-rated players at their positions this week. Rather, they are players who are on the edge in terms of the weekly value. If you want my top ranked players at every position, go to Rotobahn.com for our full lineup rankings. Jim Hackett and I will back later Friday with our weekly podcast, and please join us for a Sunday morning chat, as I’ll be here at 11 a.m. to answer all of your lineup questions.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bills
I’m sticking with Big Ben after he came through for me last week. His matchup gets better going from the Patriots at Foxboro to the Bills on his home field. The Steelers also have a full complement of weapons for the first time in a while with the return of WR Markus Wheaton, who we like a lot. Roethlisberger can help in any league this week.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders at Giants
He’s the fulcrum of the Oakland offense. Nothing happens without him involved. Pryor should be good for a few big plays against the Giants, who have been giving up plays all year. Pryor is a good option, especially in bigger leagues, and he has big-game potential if things break right.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Raiders
Yes, there’s risk, but if you are hurting for options, he looks like a good start to me this week. The Giants have slowly become functional on offense, and I think the return of tailback Andre Brown will be another boost — giving Manning another way to make plays in passing situations. He can help you in most formats this week.
Jake Locker, Titans vs. Jaguars
He is playing better, and he should perform well in a sweet home matchup this week. His running game has kicked in, and that opens things up downfield. Plus, Locker can get you extra points with his feet. He can help you this week if you need an option in a big league.
|Fantasy Football: Week 7 starts, sits||10.18.13 at 10:37 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 7 starts and sits. I’ll be back later today with Jim Hackett for the Fantasy Football Podcast. Check it out in our audio on demand section. For those of you looking for further lineup clarity, feel free to head over to Rotobahn, where we do full weekly positional rankings and update them every Saturday. And, don’t forget to join me here at WEEI on Sunday mornings for our weekly chat for all of your lineup questions.
Jay Cutler, Bears at Redskins
Cutler is becoming a weekly play, and his offense is supporting him well. The pass protection is the key, but so is the play of his receivers. With Alshon Jeffery stepping up and with the excellent play of new tight end Martellus Bennett, the Bears offense has more than just Brandon Marshall. Cutler should do well this weekend in Washington.
Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Cowboys
He may or may not have the starting gig for the remainder of the season, but he is a very strong play at home vs. Dallas. The Cowboys are giving up consistent fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Vikings
Yes, I know. The idea of playing Eli Manning right now is unsettling. I get it. The thing is, he should do very well at home vs. a Vikings team that has been a get-well matchup for passers all year, including Cam Newton in Week 6. Manning may not be a QB1 in 12-team leagues this week, but he’s a solid option if you are looking for answers. He’s going to have a lot of open receivers.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Bills
He’s a playable option in 12-team leagues if you are looking for an option. The Bills should be a bit better vs. the pass this week as they are finally getting healthy on the back end, but Miami throws the ball getting off the team bus, so you’ll have volume on your side. Make Miami’s refusal to run the ball work for you.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Ravens
If you are in need this week, Big Ben makes a serviceable option, even in a tough matchup. Roethlisberger’s teammates have taken their games up a notch and the Steelers have welcomed back both tight end Heath Miller and starting tailback Le’Veon Bell. That has helped out a lot.
Geno Smith, Jets vs. Patriots
Smith has shown to have some moxie and some fantasy upside when the matchup is right. That being said, I don’t think the matchup is good enough to bet on this weekend. The Patriots have injury issues on defense, but it’s going to set up more opportunities on the ground than through the air.
Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Texans
Smith is a system guy and he’s doing a nice job, but he is unlikely to post the kind of fantasy numbers that will help your team, especially against a stingy pass defense like the Texans.
|Fantasy Football: Week 4 starts, sits||09.27.13 at 9:48 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 4 starts and sits. It’s a tough week, with the byes finally upon us. We lose Green Bay and Carolina this week, so I have some options if you are looking to replace Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton. Later Friday, Jim Hackett and I will be doing our weekly podcast sponsored by Mohegan Sun. Check back for that. We’ll be talking about Thursday night’s game, and we’ll take a look at this week’s matchups. If you have more lineup questions, check out our full lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com. I’ll be updating them in full Saturday. Finally, as always, I’ll be here at 11 a.m. on Sunday to take all of your lineup questions. I hope to see as many of you there as we had last week.
Tom Brady, Patriots at Falcons
He should never be on this list, but I hear people talking about benching Brady these days, so it seemed appropriate. I’m not benching Brady. The youngsters are coming around, and they seem to have found an old weapon in Brandon Bolden. Brady may not be posting any huge games until the lineup is closer to full, but he can still be your QB1 this week.
Jay Cutler, Bears at Lions
The Bears are playing very good football and Cutler is getting pass protection that he’s never gotten in the past. That and his new weapons make him a weekly option. The Lions won’t be able to shut the Bears or Cutler down. He’s a solid QB1 option in Week 4.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Browns
It’s a tough matchup on the road, but Dalton and company have handled the Browns well in the past. Dalton can be used as a QB1 in 12-team leagues. His top receiver, A.J. Green, has a solid history against CB Joe Haden and the Browns defense.
Michael Vick, Eagles at Broncos
There’s some risk in this tough road matchup, but Vick will need to pull out all the stops and use his feet, which means points for you. My big concern with Vick is his week-to-week availability, but he’s ready for this one. He has plenty of upside and is a solid QB1 if you need him.
|Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts, sits||09.20.13 at 10:48 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 3 starts and sits. I have added a few extra running backs with all of the injuries at the position. If you require further assistance, check out my complete lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com, which are posted on Thursdays and updated on Saturdays. As always, I’ll be back at WEEI on Sunday morning for a chat to answer all of your lineup questions. Check back later Friday for the WEEI Fantasy Football Podcast sponsored by our friends at Mohegan Sun.
Sam Bradford, Rams at Cowboys
Ride him while he’s rolling. As I have said many times, the weaponry in St. Louis is outstanding, and Bradford is playing well enough to exploit his matchup advantages. He makes a solid start in any format this week.
Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Packers
This is the best matchup he’s had so far this year, and he hasn’t really posted a stinker yet by fantasy standards. Dalton, like Bradford, has matchup advantages all over the field. He may not be pretty, but the numbers should be there at the end of the day. He can play for you in any format this week.
Eli Manning, Giants at Panthers
There’s some risk here, but Manning is going to throw the ball a lot. You can bank on that being the case when you look at the state of the New York backfield. Fringe QB1 numbers are expected for those in 12-team leagues.
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Titans
Rivers is rolling right now, and his offensive line has played far better than we projected it to. Though the Chargers have lost some significant weapons, Rivers still has a healthy Antonio Gates and a smoldering Eddie Royal. I also expect more production from Vincent Brown, who is playing better than his statistics show. Rivers is a viable play this week in larger formats.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders at Broncos
We like his fantasy potential, but this is a brutal road matchup. You should have a better option available to you. If not, you can roll with Pryor, but temper expectations this week.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Bears
Big Ben is just fine. It’s what surrounds him that is giving me pause and giving Steelers fans indigestion. His offensive line is falling apart at the seams and his receivers are not winning enough battles outside, but most of all, there is no ground game until Pittsburgh gets Le’Veon Bell up to speed. He’s close, having practiced in full Thursday, but his return is unlikely to be this week. Oh, and the Bears are a nasty matchup.
|Fantasy Football: Week 2 starts, sits||09.13.13 at 2:08 pm ET|
Welcome to the Week 2 starts and sits. I’ve got a solid list of suggestions this week, and for those of you who have further questions, please feel free to join me for a Sunday morning chat right here at WEEI.com where we’ll discuss all of the Week 2 injury situations as well as your key lineup choices. For those of you looking for updates on our content at Rotobahn.com and here are WEEI, I strongly suggest that you follow us on Twitter. I tweet links to our fresh content every day as well as key injury information on game days. Good luck to all this week.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Broncos
The younger Manning will have no choice but to throw and throw often in this game. With his trio of quality receivers, that should point to a good fantasy day.
Terrelle Pryor, Raiders vs. Jaguars
The matchup is solid, and Pryor’s style of play is fantasy gold, as we’ve been saying for years. Unlike a lot of the other read-option-style quarterbacks, Pryor is not being saved for later. The Raiders are letting it all hang out with the young QB and will let him get first downs by any means necessary. That’s good for you if you start him.
Sam Bradford, Rams at Falcons
It’s a road matchup against a quality opponent, but it’s indoors, which is good for all the Rams’ speed weapons, of which there are many. Look for Bradford to have another solid day. The Rams have more quality options than the Falcons can cover.
Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Vikings
The offense looked good last week, and Cutler will have some good one-on-one matchups in this game. The new Bears system is a very good change for Cutler, who seemed comfortable last week against a quality Bengals defense. He should provide QB1 level production in this plus home matchup.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers vs. Saints
There’s just too much bad karma in Tampa right now. Freeman always has upside in this matchup because the Saints will post some points, but you should have at least one stronger option on your roster. Freeman could go either way this week. You can do better.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Bengals
It’s very rare that I’d even consider Big Ben on a sits list, but he’s lost his best offensive lineman and has a broken backfield and still no healthy Heath Miller. If you factor in the road matchup against a very formidable defense, you have a player to avoid in Week 2.
|Fantasy Football: Week 14 starts, sits||12.07.12 at 9:24 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 14 starts and sits. It’s a high-stakes week and I have found some matchups worth highlighting, but a lot can change between now and Sunday, so stop by our Sunday morning chat if you need any last-minute help or a second opinion on a lineup decision. We’ll kick off the chat at 11 a.m. I hope to see you there. We also have full lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com and I will update them over the weekend, so check that out, too.
Josh Freeman, Buccaneers vs. Eagles
Freeman will get back on track after a few rough weeks of tough matchups. The Eagles at home looks like a get-well game to me. Start the Bucs QB if you normally would.
Matthew Stafford, Lions at Packers
Don’t overthink. Stafford has a few red flags, like injuries to his receivers and a road matchup against Green Bay, but he also has a piping-hot Calvin Johnson to work with, and Stafford himself has played a bit better recently. The Lions also have solid depth players like Tony Scheffler, who can replace guys like Titus Young and Ryan Broyles in the slot. Unless you have a really strong second option, just roll with Stafford in Week 14.
Eli Manning, Giants vs. Saints
He was OK last week despite the medium statistical output. Look for Manning and the Giants to post better numbers at home against a weak Saints defense. I have him ranked 12th overall this week in our preliminary rankings.
Chad Henne, Jaguars vs. Jets
Henne is likely to be playing without Cecil Shorts and already has lost Laurent Robinson for the year. The Jets play solid defense, so this is a situation to avoid for Week 14.
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Steelers
He’s going bad and his team is in turmoil. Throw in a bad road matchup against a very motivated team and you have a reason to look elsewhere. Rivers is viable but very risky and he lacks the upside he’s had in recent years. Avoid him if you can.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 8: Falcons stay on top, Ravens tumble||10.23.12 at 9:22 am ET|
Matt Ryan and the Falcons survive another week at the top of the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. The undefeated Falcons had the week off and will try to improve to 7-0 when they take on the Eagles. The Texans jump the Giants (3) and reclaim the No. 2 position. The only team to drop out of the top five was the depleted Ravens. A blowout loss and an endless amount of injuries was enough to drop Baltimore to No. 8.
The NFC is dominating the top five with four teams occupying spots. At the other end of the spectrum, the AFC is in full control taking up four of the bottom five positions.
Could the top ten teams be safe for another week? None of them will play a fellow top-ranked team. Week 8′s most intriguing games include the Falcons at Eagles, the Giants at Cowboys and the Saints at Broncos.
1. (1) Falcons (6-0) — The undefeated Falcons saw defensive tackle Corey Peters return to practice Monday for the first time this year. The 6 foot 3, 300-pound defensive lineman should help improve the run defense which is currently ranked 28th in the league.
2. (3) Texans (6-1) — The Texans got their first win against an opponent over .500 on Sunday. It was against an injury-plagued Ravens team but it still was a very impressive victory. Houston ranks in the top of the league in many different offensive and defensive statistical categories.
3. (2) Giants (5-2) — If your team is trailing or tied in the fourth quarter, Eli Manning is the quarterback you want behind center. For the 27th time in his career, the Giants QB led his team on a game-winning drive when he hit Victor Cruz for a 77-yard touchdown pass Sunday against the Redskins.
4. (5) 49ers (5-2) — They don’t have an elite offense and a top three quarterback but the Niners are still an extremely entertaining team to watch. They play a different brand of football than what we’ve grown accustomed to watching in the NFL. This team plays tough, is extremely physical, and loves running the ball down the opponents throat.
5. (6) Packers (4-3) — Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense has come alive over the past two weeks. They’ve scored 72 points in two games and that’s without Greg Jennings. They did suffer a crushing blow with the injury to Charles Woodson. The Packers defensive captain is expected to miss six weeks.
6. (7) Bears (5-1) — The Bears defense can carry the team into the playoffs if Jay Cutler continues to protect the football. The Bears have outscored their opponents by a total of 84 points this season and are allowing an average of just 13 points per game on defense.
7. (8) Patriots (4-3) — The Patriots pass defense is horrendous and the team’s inability to close games is certainly alarming, however if the past has taught us anything, Bill Belichick‘s team will improve. The Pats are 16-2 the last two years once November hits and are undefeated in December. This team has to get better in a lot of different areas but they have plenty of time to do so in a mediocre division.
8. (4) Ravens (5-2) — The Ravens have been decimated by injuries and that caught up with them against the Texans. However, a lack of Ray Rice has also contributed to the loss and that is usually the case when Rice’s carries are limited. Rice had just four carries in four drives in the first quarter and two carries in the second quarter. John Harbaugh has to utilize his best offensive weapon more.
9. (10) Broncos (3-3) — Peyton Manning has thrown for over 300 yards in each of his last four games and has 11 touchdown passes with just one interception in that span as well. John Elway‘s gamble on Manning has paid off so far. The Broncos are easily the most well-rounded team in their division.
10. (11) Steelers (3-3) — Not even injuries could prevent the Steelers from evening up their record at 3-3. They had standout performances from a third-string running back, Jonathan Dwyer, and a heavily criticized cornerback, Ike Taylor. Dwyer rushed for over 100 yards and Taylor held AJ Green to just one catch.
11. (9) Seahawks (4-3) — The Seahawks are in a division filled with some of the best defensive teams in the league. The passing offense must improve. Seahawks receivers dropped five passes against the Niners on Thursday night. Having a strong defense is important but you have to be able to put points on the board as well and Seattle ranks 31st in the league in average points scored.
12. (13) Eagles (3-3) — Coming off their bye week, it’s obvious where the Eagles need to improve most — turnovers. The team is on pace to turn the ball over 45 times this season.
13. (14) Cowboys (3-3) — Jason Garrett‘s squad stymied a two-game losing streak but lost offensive lineman Phil Costa in the process. That’s a tough loss to an already shaky line. The Cowboys have a key divisional game against the Giants Sunday and they’ll attempt to take the season series.
14. (16) Vikings (5-2) — It’s always important to put a W in the column but Christian Ponder‘s play of late has been alarming. He’s been making some real questionable decisions with the ball and has thrown two interceptions in each of his last three games.
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