Ready ... set ... no!
Tiering your players on a weekly basis not only is a good way to determine whom to draft in fantasy football, but also is great way to break ties for tough lineup decisions each week. Delving into the tiers this week, a few players regain their rightful place among the fantasy elite, we examine the ever-present running back by committee conundrum, and I confront his inexplicable obsession with
In case you were wondering, it's not a typo, I'm not a Bengals fan and I didn't lose a bet. I've had Week 4 targeted as Palmer's breakout since the start of the season, and after watching him throw for 286 yards in the Meadowlands last weekend, I feel supremely confident that he ends the week as the top-ranked QB. I could bring up the 401 yards and six touchdowns that he put up against the Browns last September, or the fact that he's never lost to Cleveland at home, but I don't need to. This call isn't about the stats or the history. It's all about the feeling that comes from knowing that when you have a premier quarterback, two game-breaking receivers and a reliable running game, good things are bound to happen. It was evident last weekend that
Edwards has increased his yardage total and thrown a touchdown in each game this year. Next up is a Rams defense that's surrendering over 275 passing yards and 38 points a game. Make sure he's in your lineup ... Let's see, the Ravens defense has given up 180 passing yards in two games, they're allowing an outlandish 3.6 yards per attempt and they've gotten to the quarterback seven times. Roethlisberger has shoulder and hand injuries, is coming off a game in which his offensive line allowed nine sacks, and he's yet to throw for 200 yards. Thanks, but no thanks ... Don't get caught chasing Griese's 407-yard outing (on a
The dreaded running back by committee is hardly a new thing in the world of fantasy football. Helped along by the weasel-y Mike Tanahan (I kid, I kid), many NFL coaches have gone to using multiple backs to carry the rushing workload, and it's wreaking havoc on lineup decisions for those who enlist the services of these duty-sharing plow horses. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few of the more troublesome time-shares, and what you should do with them this week:
Of course Shanahan would employ the most strict (and thus most difficult to predict) running back committee in the league. Young starts and gets five plays. Regardless of whether he receives a single touch or breaks a long one, Hall replaces him after five snaps. Hall then sees the same amount of action before Young re-enters the game. This repeats itself until the Broncos find themselves in a short-yardage situation. Then it's Pittman's turn. What should you do with them this week against a punch-less Kansas City defense that's giving up over 200 rushing yards a game? I like Young the most based on his breakaway ability, but depending on what five plays he's in on, Hall could easily top 100-yards as well. One thing I'm definitely doing is benching Pittman. A "tough-yardage" back against K.C. just doesn't seem necessary.
The Johnson/White combo has hardly been problematic, but despite their early season dominance, there's no way I'm inserting them both into my starting lineup against Minnesota. Over the past year, the Vikings have allowed just four backs to notch double-digit fantasy days (assuming standard scoring rules). Portis, Grant, Tomlinson, and, shockingly,
Heading into Week 4, there are three receivers who stand out as having grossly underachieved (alright, there's really four, but since New England's on bye, we'll deal with
I know I put Edwards on double-secret probation last week, and he responded by catching three balls for 27 yards, but that's the beauty of double-secret probation. It's so ambiguous that only the dean (we the fantasy owners) gets to decide when to suspend him fully. With Anderson getting one more shot at keeping his job, he's going to be looking Edwards' way every time he drops back against the battered Bengals secondary. Edwards, with his reputation virtually at stake, will be 100 percent on top of his game. Even if
On the surface, the decision to bench
All Chambers does is catch touchdowns, literally. He's only got six catches on the year, but four touchdowns. Hey, I'm not complaining, but would it kill him to catch a few 15-yard posts every now and again? ... Alright, so I was wrong about Santana Moss last week. I apologize. Feel free to ride him while he's hot ... Until the Steelers offensive line can prove they can protect Roethlisberger, I'm proceeding very cautiously with Holmes and Ward, especially against the heavy-blitzing Ravens ... OK, it's time we start taking this Stuckey fella seriously. He's doubled his catch total each week (2,4,6) and is apparently Favre's top target in the red zone (three touchdowns) ... No Colston. No Shockey. Hellloooo Meachem. Look for the explosive deep threat to become a Brees favorite near the goal line, especially if Patten is limited or unavailable (he strained his groin last week).
Since we're running short on space, let's take on the tight ends quick hitter style.
Ten catches for 86 yards and a touchdown isn't going to blow anyone away, but it's not bad. If you're looking for a bye week fill-in, you could do a lot worse than starting Royal in that sexy St. Louis matchup .... There's absolutely no statistical evidence to indicate that you should even own Davis, let alone consider him as a possible starting option, so let's just label this one the "Gut-Feeling Call-of-the-Week" shall we? ... I just can't help myself. Miller is as talented as nearly all of the guys in the "Ready" group, but is prohibited by the Raiders need for him to pass protect. I keep thinking that eventually his talent is going to shine through, and maybe the signing of