So, last night a friend of mine, Teddy D., served me up with one of those “I have so many good players, I just don’t know who to start” questions. On the one hand, he could have been fishing for compliments on his team management prowess, but, on the other hand, we’re now at a point in the season where the bye weeks are over and his skill players have escaped injury (except his QB, Matt Schaub), so of course he has seven legitimate starters to fill 5 slots.
I’m going to go on record with my advice…see how it pans out:
Ray Rice – TD was considering benching Rice because he clearly has the toughest match-up of his RBs, in that he’s facing the 49ers on Thursday night. Yes, that’s scary, but I don’t think you can get cute here. You don’t bench Ray Rice. The Ravens need the win, and the need Rice to have a big game in order to win. Cincy are no slouches at the line, and Rice put up 104 yards and two touchdowns against them last week. I don’t think he’ll repeat that, but I bet he’s good for 90ish all purpose yards and 1 touchdown. START HIM.
Michael Bush – Michael Bush has been on fire the last few weeks filling in for DMC. (This especially pains me, because I had Bush last year, loved the guy an was constantly waiting for him to break out from under DMC.) Chicago is probably the hardest match-up he’s faced since starting, so, again, I don’t think he’ll repeat last week’s performance, but with the roll he’s been on you can’t sit him. START HIM.
Marshawn Lynch – OK, so TD is a Giants fan, and as a Redskins fan myself, we clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye on this match-up. Lynch has had three great weeks, and has a touchdown in each of the last 6 weeks, but he (and the Seahawks) are so inconsistent. It pains me to make judgement on what Lynch’s week will be like. If this were my team, I’d sit him, but only because I’ll be rooting against him.
Chris Johnson – Who would’ve thought last summer that CJ would be the RB4 on anyone’s team? Well, here he is, and TD traded AJ Green to get him (a good trade, I think). As disappointing as CJ has been, he’s actually been more consistent than Marshawn Lynch. Tampa Bay has a porous defense, which should hide some of the problems with the Titans O-line. I think I like CJ this week, with something in between his performances against Cincy and Carolina. START HIM.
Hakeem Nicks – Again, given our team allegiances, hard for me and TD to see eye-to-eye on this one. But with a gimpy Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs being Brandon Jacobs, I think the Giants will be throwing the ball a lot. Nicks seems to have lost a step a little since his hammy injury, but my guess is the Giants will be down and Eli will be throwing long a lot in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Hopefully TD will have enough padding in his score so that it doesn’t come down to the 4th quarter of the Monday night game for him to win, but even if it does, I think Nicks will pull him through. START HIM.
Antonio Brown – Coming off a bye to face KC, you’d think Brown would be an automatic start, but the Chiefs are actually giving the 3rd fewest fantasy points to WRs in the last 5 weeks. Whether or not Kyle Orton starts at QB for KC is a big question mark, but I think the Steelers take a commanding early lead and most of their yards come from the ground, so given better options, I actually don’t think he’s an automatic start.
Percy Harvin – On an every-week basis it’s hard to argue starting Harvin over Brown, but this is an attractive week for him. The Falcons defense is soft on receivers, and he should be getting at least 4-5 touches from the backfield with AP sidelined. Brown may be the safer start, but I think Harvin has more upside. START HIM.
We’ll see what Teddy D. ends up deciding…good luck!