TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 03: Tight end Dallas Clark #44 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball against Safety Sean Jones #26 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Curtis Painter QB - In a week with Tom Brady, Michael Vick and Eli Manning on a bye, there is slim pickings at QB. While Painter has been far from impressive in the win department, his match up with New Orleans on Sunday night is favorable in the fantasy department. New Orleans should be up from opening kickoff, forcing the Colts to pass the ball early in the first quarter. The Colts might be winless but the problem for Indianapolis has been defense, as Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne have played well, even if they haven't met your expectations. Last Sunday in Tampa, the Saints defense got torched by Josh Freeman and the trend of getting torched through the air continued (ranked 23rd against the pass). Painter is far from a sexy play, but 200-225 yards and two touchdowns against a soft secondary is more than sufficient with your starters on a bye.
Daniel Thomas RB - Last week vs. the Jets, many thought Thomas would break out, but people must have forgotten how stout the New York run defense can be. On the other hand, the Broncos defense even with a week off to prepare is borderline pathetic. Denver is giving up over 123 yards per game on the ground, making Tomas and Reggie Bush both solid starts fun Sunday’s game. Thomas has run well behind the young Dolphins offensive line and is averaging 4.4 ypc. This game should get ugly, but Miami’s ability to run the ball should be the bright spot that makes it worth watching. Thomas is a top 12 running back this week, and Bush makes for a nice flex play.
More of Evan's Start'em Sit'em after the jump:
Doug Baldwin WR - Baldwin made an impression on Peter Carroll while at Stanford, so it wasn't shocking to see him scooped up by the former Trojans Head Coach. Training Camp was short this season, but the other Seahawks took notice and over the last week Baldwin has 13 catches for 220 and a touchdown. No matter whom the QB is between Tavaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst, the matchup is favorable against an awful Browns secondary that will be without Joe Haden. A deep threat whose skills are comparable to DeSean Jackson's, Baldwin is worth owning in all 12 team league formats.
Dallas Clark TE – I mentioned Painter earlier so it’s clear that I like their passing game. A high draft pick, Clark has failed in meeting expectations and for the first time in years, isn’t owned in 100% of leagues. Clark is one of the best route runners in the NFL, so it was beyond me that Painter until last week had trouble finding Clark. Peyton’s right hand man went off for six catches and a touchdown. He won’t finish in the top five this season, but I still look at Clark as a top ten tight end with or without the bye week. Start Clark as a fill in, while Indianapolis plays catch up in New Orleans.
Seattle Seahawks DT – There is a lot not to like about the Seahawks defense especially in the secondary. I acknowledge this and still like the play heading to Cleveland where Colt McCoy has been anything but impressive. McCoy has looked like Trent Edwards in his short NFL Career, throwing five yard passes with the offense going nowhere. The Seahawks have a stout run defense and with Peyton Hillis questionable, they should have no problem stopping Montario Hardesty. With more then a week to prepare for Cleveland, I like Seattle as a sleeper on all sides of the ball on Sunday.
Matt Schaub QB – If you own Schaub I doubt you bench him, but after last week’s game in Baltimore, its obvious Andre Johnson is missed on the field. Schaub isn’t the greatest decision maker, and with questiobale receivers in Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones, expect him to force passes against that stout Titans defense. Houstons’ game plan will involve a heavy run offense against this 12th ranked Tennessee pass defense. It’s understandable that Schaub is in your lineup, but with more than a week to prepare, Schaub who is slow to get rid of the ball, will see a lot of white and blue in his face all game.
Steven Jackson RB – If you are new to fantasy you might now know this, but Jackson hasn’t been worth the hype since 2007. A talented running back, Jackson is consistently dinged up and when healthy never sees the end zone. While those two facts are irrelevant for this game, the Cowboys run defense has been impressive recently so expect eight in the box with Sam Bradford currently in a walking boot with a high ankle sprain. Jackson is more of a low end running back number two for this game, who should be benched for Earnest Graham and Marshawn Lynch.
Eric Decker WR – This one could come back to bite me, but with Tim Tebow under center, I don’t know what to expect from the Broncos passing game. Tebow isn’t your regular pocket passer, so I expect short to intermediate passes and tons of rushes from Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee. I understand with Brandon Lloyd in St. Louis that Decker is a popular play this week but the unpredictability of Tebow worries me. I would look for other options outside of Decker until I see that he and Tebow are on the same page.
Dustin Keller TE – A late first round pick three years ago Keller has yet to live up to the hype. For the second season in a row Keller was off to a hot start, but as it gets colder he slows down. In the last three weeks Keller has five receptions for 70 yards, having his fantasy owners wanting more. At this rate I am not sure Keller is worth owning and I would rather take a flier on Kevin Boss or Ed Dickson. Stay away from Keller this week as San Diego has taken away the tight end in four out of five games this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT – Even after picking off Drew Brees three last week, Tampa Bay had a measly three points in what was one of their best defensive performances of the season. The Buccaneers don’t rush the passer, and if Jay Cutler has time he will pick you apart. Last week the Bears protected Cutler against Minnesota keeping seven guys in at a time and if they do that again, expect Cutler to go off and the Tampa Bay secondary to get torched. Giving up just over 24 points per game, their bend don’t break defense has been breaking so avoid the Buccaneers in the NFL’s annual London game.