Hate is a strong word. At least, that’s what my mom always told me. I
don’t hate anyone. Well…I don’t hate many people. And I certainly don’t
hate the gentlemen listed below that I have little to no personal
For those of you that are new to this type of column, “hate” simply refers
to players that I’m suggesting to keep on the bench this week in your
fantasy football lineup. Read what I have to say. Soak it in for all it’s
worth…which evidently isn’t much.
Players that I particularly “love” are those that I’m starting in any
league that I happen to have them in. I’m not going to sit here and say I
love Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson. That does you no good. You’re
(hopefully) starting them regardless of whether or not I mention them.
The “lust” section of this column is a nice, little twist that I think can
come in handy for those of you fighting through an injury-riddled roster,
the inevitable bye weeks, and/or those brave enough to compete in deeper
leagues. You know what they say: girls like guys that play in deeper
leagues. Pro-tip for any of you single guys out there looking for a little
Players that I “lust” are those that you’re not going to be accustomed to
starting in 10-team leagues, but are guys that could be sneaky fliers for
a single week. You know, the guys you see on the weekly high-scorers list
that make you scratch your head.
For those of you curious about my order, I generally work from QB to RB to
WR to TE on my players. I don’t mention kickers or defense. With that
said, let’s get to the meat.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo- Not that you had him on your bench anyways,
but Romo is facing the abysmal Rams secondary. With Felix Jones out and
Jerry Jones in Jason Garrett’s ear, I expect Romo to throw it at least 40
times. Little known fact: the Rams are one of only 5 teams to have given
up more than 10 passing TDs through 6 weeks…and they’ve already had
Broncos QB Tim Tebow – A player that probably won’t see this side
of the list often. But this is too good of a match-up to pass on. Tebow is
starting his first 2011 game in Miami, where they are honoring him for his
time at the University of Florida. Yes, the home fans are honoring the
Chiefs QB Matt Cassel – I’m not saying you should start him over
Aaron Rodgers. But if you’re a guy looking at Tom Brady on a bye week,
Cassel isn’t the worst of options. Don’t look now, but over the past 3
weeks his fantasy numbers have increased in every game. He now faces a
Raiders defense that is bottom 3 this season in opponent-QB fantasy
Redskins RB Ryan Torain – He’s facing the weakest run defense in
the land and has something to prove. I’m all in.
Raiders RB Michael Bush – What do you mean this is the wrong
Raider? DMC will get his, don’t fret about that, but I expect this team to
run a lot. If Palmer starts, the game plan is going to be extremely
simplified and I could see this team running over 45 times meaning a good
15 touches for Bush.
Saints RB Mark Ingram – First home game in a month. Primetime
football. Ingram has scored 3 TDs in the past 4 weeks. He’s had 18 carries
in the past two games combined, but I see him matching that number this
Sunday night against a weak Colts team.
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch – I think the Seahawks offense could
surprise some people this week. Lynch’s fantasy points have increased
every game from week 2 as the young offensive line gels. This is a Browns
run defense that has been stomped on by (lethargic) Chris Johnson and
Darren McFadden the past two weeks.
Colts WR Pierre Garcon – Garcon has 4 TDs in 3 games with Curtis
Painter as the starter. Let’s just say Painter likes him. Greg Williams
blitz happiness should lead to island coverage for Garcon.
Cowboys WR Miles Austin – Didn’t get the great start many were
hoping for when he returned from injury last week. But let’s be clear, he
still caught 7 balls last week and was a top 3 fantasy scorer before his
injury. He’s facing the worst team in the NFL when it comes to fantasy
points to opposing WRs. Dez Bryant is a solid play as well.
Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall – He’s been very underwhelming since
joining the Dolphins, but is getting the type of yardage to make you think
he’d be a top 10 guy at this point. Unfortunately, his TD numbers are low
but I expect him to be as motivated as he’ll be all year against his
Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin – Even though he’s not the #1 guy, Baldwin
is effected by Joe Haden being scratched from the lineup. The depth of the
Browns is a weak spot and Baldwin has been on fire regardless of who’s
under center. Who’s your favorite Baldwin brother?
Vikings WR Percy Harvin – If he’s ever going to catch fire, this is
the week that I’d predict him to spark the match. He had a season-high in
yards last week, and most of those came when Ponder was put at QB. The
Packers secondary has been surprisingly weak this season.
Browns TE Ben Watson – Seattle is traditionally weak against
receiving TEs and Shurmur came out and said the Browns plan on using a lot
of no-huddle offense this game. I interpret that as even more high
percentage plays to none other than Mr. Watson.
Texans TE Owen Daniels – Look at last weeks game as an anomaly. The
Ravens spied Daniels all game long and it shows in the boxscore. He’ll now
see a Titans defense that will be forced to put extra guys in the box to
stop Foster, unlike the vaunted Baltimore run defense, meaning more
cushion for him.
Colts TE Dallas Clark – Here’s to hoping Clark can put his week 6
performance on repeat. Faces a defense that has been favorable to opposing
Panthers QB Cam Newton – Going against the grain here. Newton has
turned the ball over 7 times in the past three weeks and faces a
better-than-you-think Redskins defense.
Jets QB Mark Sanchez – I doubt I’m the only one. “Sanchize” has a
tough matchup here and hasn’t exceeded 225 yards the past three weeks,
only once going over 200.
Raiders QB Carson Palmer – Just in case you were thinking of
getting cute and starting him…don’t. Even if he starts, it’s going to be
a simple offense primarily to get his feet wet before the bye. I’m
avoiding Raider receivers as well.
Browns RB Peyton Hillis – Even if he does play, he’s only scored a
touchdown against one team this season. The Seattle run defense is #1 in
the NFL in yards per carry against and are one of only 8 teams to allow
less than 100 yards per game on the ground. If Hillis sits, Hardesty is no
better of a play.
Rams RB Steven Jackson – Bradford is hurt and the Rams play a top
three run defense in the NFL. Need I say more?
Jets RB Shonn Greene – He’ll probably be called for an encore on
the ‘hate’ list in the coming weeks, considering how underwhelming he’s
been this year. Or his career for that matter. The Chargers know what the
Jets want to do, and I doubt they let them do it.
Buccaneers RB Earnest Graham – Graham is looking like a hot play
around fantasy leagues, but I’m still uneasy about starting him. Let’s not
forget that he’s over 30 years old and is not the most durable guy in the
world. The Bears showed this past week that they can stop the run when
they want to.
Chargers WR Vincent Jackson – It’s really, really simple. If you’re
the #1 WR playing against Revis, I’m not starting you. Too much risk.
Nothing personal Vincent.
Colts WR Reggie Wayne – It’s not just the fact that Wayne has yet
to have a double-digit game or even a TD since week 1. It’s not just the
fact that Painter is the starter and he barely looks to Wayne’s side.
Jabari Greer has been quietly solid for the Jaguars this season and should
be able to handle Wayne.
Broncos WR Eric Decker – I’m not willing to take the risk of
starting him if I have other safe options. Decker was awful last week and
Tebow has yet to prove that he can be an efficient passer. I know Lloyd is
gone, but Decker being the #1 guy isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Packers WR Jordy Nelson – You’re probably starting him regardless,
but I don’t expect big things this week. Look at his home numbers compared
to his numbers on the road. 3 TDs in 3 games at home. Only 1 TD in the
same amount of away games. If you have other options, use them.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen – He’s been solid this year, but he’s facing
a defense that is great at limiting yards. This defense is also very good
in the redzone, where Olsen does most of his work.
Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis – If you’re one of the few to still be
carrying him, I think it’s time to stop holding your breath. It’s clear
that he’s just not going to be the TD monster he was with Garrard and this
Ravens defense is stingy against the TE.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder – I know it’s risky considering he’s
making his first start, but this is the same defense that allowed Cam
Newton to throw for over 400 yards. In deep leagues or 2-QB leagues, he
could be a nice play.
Seahawks QB Charlie Whitehurst- Desperate move to put him in the
lineup. Whitehurst should keep the tempo going that Tarvaris left behind
and he looked good last week against the Giants.
Redskins RB Roy Helu – Deeper leagues should have him in. Shanahan
has raved about him whenever he’s had the chance and I expect him to get
more touches if Torain ever shows signs of weakness. Great match-up here to
get him going.
Cowboys RB Tashard Choice – With Felix Jones out, many are jumping
on the Demarco Murray bandwagon. Not so fast, I say quietly to myself.
Choice is an electric back that usually gets the most out of his touches.
He’s historically very good when he gets 12+ touches.
Seahawks WR Golden Tate – His touches seem to double when
Whitehurst is playing. The two certainly have a chemistry which could be
used for very deep leagues.
Steelers WR Antonio Brown- He hasn’t put up great numbers, but he
actually is second on the team in targets. Against a very weak Arizona
secondary, I think he can finally put it all together.
Jaguars WR Mike Sims-Walker – Everyone is talking about the Brandon
Lloyd trade, but this deal is a true sleeper. MSW already knows the
offense and walks into a situation with a presumably huge chip on his
shoulder. He’s going prime-time for his first game back so he could burst
out with the lights over top. I would have no problem starting him in very
And that’s going to wrap up this week’s edition of “Love, Hate, and Lust”.
I hope to see this advice column prove helpful to those reading it,
otherwise I truly am good for nothing. Good luck to all of you.