Not quite the same number of byes for AFC teams this week, but there is one key team: Denver. If you’re like me, you have the pleasure of not having to face Peyton Manning or any of his receivers this week. However, that may leave some gaps in your team.
Oh yeah, and the Jaguars are on a bye. Bench Chad Henne accordingly.
Jake Locker (vs. STL): I only say it because I am starting him this week in my 2 QB league. I guess I have real reasons too. Even though the Rams are coming off a strong defensive effort against the Seahawks, they are on a short week. The Titans had a bye last week, so they’ve had extra time to prepare. Plus, Locker had 329 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers a couple of weeks ago, which is enough to give me confidence.
Darren McFadden (vs. PHI): Ok, I was wrong. Last week, I said bench DMC until I saw something good from him. Two touchdowns later, here he is in Start ‘em. He draws the Eagles this week, and while Philly is in the top 10 in rush defense, McFadden gets enough touches to warrant a start.
Dexter McCluster (vs. BUF): Need to fill in one of your Denver receivers? Here’s a shot in the dark. McCluster has led the Chiefs in targets the past two weeks, and he even found the endzone for the first time as a receiver last week with a great diving catch. He plays the Bills this week, who give up the most points to opposing wide receivers. Bonus points if you get points in your league for punt return touchdowns, as he can break one at any time.
Tom Brady (vs. PIT): So we meet again, Mr. Brady. I still would have a hard time playing him. Last week’s performance didn’t help him any, as he had just 6 points in standard play with only 1 touchdown. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has only given up 1 touchdown through the air in the last 3 weeks.
Ray Rice (vs. CLE): Rice gets another shot at Cleveland, but frankly he didn’t do very well the first time. He only had 36 yards, including a fumble, in the team’s first meeting with the Browns this season, good for 1 point. Rice has a career low in yards per carry this year (2.8) and has only had one real great game this year (against Miami a month ago). Sit him if you have other options.
Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. HOU): I could see why you want want to take a chance with DHB. Reggie Wayne is out, and someone has to catch the ball for the Colts. I just can’t see it this week. The Texans give up the fewest points to opposing wide receivers, and Heyward-Bey injured his hamstring during the week. If you’re desperate, go for it, but I would wait and see what this Colts offense looks like without Wayne.
Sorry, don’t forget about Cecil Shorts. The only decent fantasy player left for the Jaguars after Justin Blackmon’s suspension (jaguars.com).
Until next time,