James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Miami Dolphins fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and get all your NFL news before it hits the national media.
The problem with the middle weeks in the NFL is that as fantasy football players, we have to contend with bye weeks. While the real players get rest, we stress out because we have to find replacements either on our bench, the waiver wire or via a trade to fill out the best possible lineup. The problem with that is the waiver wire is bone dry at this point, and most people only do a trade if they CLEARLY think they are winning.
I offered one GM a trade of Alfred Morris for Tony Gonzalez, and he countered back with Gonzalez and the Dolphins defense for Percy Harvin. I felt like Mike Tyson at a Scrabble contest; I didn’t know what to say!
If you have those deeper player questions, just find me on Twitter or Facebook and I will sort through the mess that is a bye-week filler for you. Now let’s get to who you want to sit and start to keep the winning streak going (or starting for those not so lucky).
Robert Griffin III – QB, Redskins: There is a lot of concern from fantasy owners about RGIII’s ability to come back from a concussion so quickly. Griffin will play this week and I have him as a top 5 fantasy QB against a Vikings defense that allows 19.2 PPG to opposing QBs.
Andrew Luck – QB, Colts: The battle of the rookie QBs this week in fantasy football. Luck has been a great fantasy QB so far this season, and I expect that to stay true as he faces a depleted Jets defense. The Jets are falling apart offensively and defensively, and Luck could have another HUGE game in Week 6. I have him as a top 10 QB, with possible upside into the top 5-7.
Reggie Bush – RB, Dolphins: You would be surprised at how many people I have emailing me and asking if they should start Bush this week against the Rams. The answer is unequivocally YES. The Rams give up 18.4 PPG to RBs and Bush has the dual-threat ability to catch and run his way to fantasy glory.
Vick Ballard – RB, Colts: Balard is going to take over for Donald Brown and faces a Jets defense that allows the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs this season at 26.2 PPG. Ballard will come out on all passing downs, but should see 15-20 carries and could score. He is a low-end RB2 or a solid flex option in all formats.
Vincent Jackson – WR, Buccaneers: It has been an up and down season for V-Jax in 2012, as he has had a pattern of one good game, followed by one bad game all season long. This week the Bucs are coming off a bye, and the Chiefs are not doing all that well at stopping WRs (18.4 PPG) this year. The Chiefs are also without starting QB Matt Cassel, so I expect the defense to be on the field more and therefore be winded most of the game.
Owen Daniels – TE, Texans: I’m not a big fan of Daniels as a fantasy TE, but the Packers defense has given up 250 yards and 3 TDs to TEs this season. Daniels has scored in his last three games, and the Texans will need to keep that up if they want to stay undefeated this season. Dare I say that Daniels might just finish the week with mid-TE1 numbers?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense: This will probably be the only time this season you see me recommend playing the Bucs defense. But, alas, I am James Morris, and I approve this message. The Chiefs are without their starting QB and No. 2 WR (Jonathan Baldwin), which means they should just double-cover Dwayne Bowe, stack eight men in the box to stuff Jamaal Charles, and dare Brady Quinn to beat them with his arm. All signs point toward them being worth a start this week.
Joe Flacco – QB, Ravens: Flacco is one of those bye week filler players I was talking about earlier. This week the Ravens face a Cowboys defense that is allowing just 14.6 PPG to QBs, good enough to rank No. 4 in the NFL. I really think we could see stats similar to what he put up last week against the Browns (187 yards passing and no TDs).
Matthew Stafford – QB, Lions: This is a little bit of a reach for me, but the numbers are there for Stafford to have a bad game this week. The Eagles give up just 15.5 PPG to QBs, and Stafford doesn’t really have a quality No. 2 WR to take the heat off Calvin Johnson. I have a feeling that Stafford disappoints this weekend, and I am actually playing Christian Ponder over him in my NFL.com league this week.
Ahmad Bradshaw – RB, Giants: The 49ers defense is allowing just 7.8 PPG to RBs, and hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown this season. This ranking also isn’t just about the defense, but rather the emergence of David Wilson in the backfield. With a cloudy backfield situation, coupled with a ferocious run defense, Bradshaw is not someone I feel comfortable starting in Week 6.
Mikel Leshoure – RB, Lions: This is more about Leshoure than the Eagles run defense. Granted, they allow just 13.9 PPG to RBs, but Leshoure has shown not even a HINT of big-play ability for the Lions. You can bet that if Jahvid Best can hit the field healthy in Week 7, he will be the Lions starting RB sooner rather than later and Leshoure’s shelf-life will have come to an end.
Denarius Moore – WR, Raiders: Not that I look to start anyone on the Raiders not named Darren McFadden, but 75.9 percent of people playing NFL.com’s fantasy football game own him. The Falcons are giving up just 17.2 PPG to WRs, a number good enough to place them 6th in the NFL. Darrius Hayward-Bay is over his case of the dizzies, so that means Moore will see his targets drop as DHB gets into the flow of the offense.
Brandon Lloyd – WR, Patriots: I know as soon as I say to sit Lloyd, he is going to rattle off a 10-catch, 150-yard, and 2 TD day on me. But, the Seahawks defense is a tough one and Tom Brady hasn’t been looking Lloyd’s way the past two weeks (6 catches for 84 yards). I have also begun to notice that he is even sliding down the rankings on the big-box websites as well.
Brandon Pettigrew – TE, Lions: Wouldn’t you know that I happen to own Pettigrew in that same NFL.com league! The Eagles give up just 4.9 PPG to TEs this season, and Pettigrew should struggle to find the kind of stats we need from a fantasy TE this week. I am actually going with Dennis Pitta off the waiver wire as opposed to Pettigrew this week, and would suggest you find someone else to play in his place as well.
Seattle Seahawks Defense: Any time the New England Patriots take the field, you will want to sit the opposing team’s defense. To make it worse, the Seahawks offense has turned one-dimensional (all Marshawn Lynch) and that means the defense ends up spending more time on the field and gets tired quicker. And, with how fast the Patriots are capable of scoring, this one could get real ugly, real quick if the Seahawks don’t have the right gameplan heading into this weekend.