Alex Smith QB – After watching Smith come away clean against the dreaded Giants defense, I think it’s safe to say that Smith is not who we thought he was. He was always be remembered as the guy who was the number one pick overall who didn’t pan out, but in 2011 Smith is erasing the past with a fairy tale season. It’s easy to look at Smith’s numbers and see game manager (averaging a touchdown per game over his last four contests) but with Frank Gore banged up, I expect Smith to air it out 25-30 times. With healthy receivers and Vernon Davis showing life a week ago, we could be staring at a 250 yard two TD performance as San Francisco faces Arizona on Sunday.
Reggie Bush RB – From the former first overall pick to the second overall pick, Bush is finally getting the job done on the ground. With an increase in workload Bush has averaged 5.8 yards per carry over his last three games leading the Dolphins to two victories. What’s been key is Bush is getting the goal line carries, something he was never given the opportunity to do in New Orleans. Buffalo is giving up over 125 yards per game on the ground, making Bush a low tier number one running back on Sunday
Jason Avant WR – Last week Avant was a last minute add with news that DeSean Jackson would be benched for missing a meeting. The veteran disappointed, but with Jeremy Maclin likely out I am willing to give Avant another chance. Far from a deep threat, Avant runs great intermediate routes and whether it’s Vince Young or Michael Vick under center, against the Giants defense I don’t see big plays over the top to Jackson happening. In ppr leagues, Avant has a chance for a big day especially if New York is blowing out the Eagles by the time it’s the second half.
More of Evan's Start em Sit em after the jump:
Anthony Fasano TE – More of a gut call than anything else, but the Bills over the last three seasons have been awful against the tight end position. Fasano is used mostly as a blocker, but against a team where passing over the middle against slow linebackers can lead you to victory, Fasano should be Matt Moore’s favorite target. With 30 fantasy points over the last four weeks, we aren’t talking about a slouch in the passing game. Many people are without a tight end because of the bye week, so adding Fasano could pay dividends that you never expected.
Broncos D/ST – A lot has changed in Denver recently. Not only have the Broncos won 3 of 4 under the leadership of Tim Tebow, but the defense is stepping up. Since Champ Bailey has returned Denver is averaging 7.6 fantasy points a game in standard leagues. No, that’s not a huge number but they are steadily improving behind rookie of the year candidate Von Miller. The Jets come in on a short week with an erratic Mark Sanchez and no LaDanian Tomlinson, making the Broncos a sneaky fantasy play on Thursday evening.
Andy Dalton QB – Everyone is overly impressed with Dalton’s performance in his rookie season and I am one of them. He has outperformed expectations through nine games and almost led the Bengals to a victory on Sunday. While I am gung ho on his future, passing against the Steelers and passing against a Ravens team that was embarrassed a week ago are two different stories. Dalton heads to Baltimore against the league’s best defense and he might be showing up without AJ Green. Dalton is due for a clunker, and I see at Baltimore without his best play maker staring at Ed Reed in the face as the time when it happens.
LeGaRrette Blount RB – Considered a strong number two running back to start the season, Blount has become nonexistent in the Buccaneers offense. With Tampa Bay struggling to stop anyone on defense, they have become a pass first team and Blount doesn’t play on passing downs. As they head to Green Bay to face a Packers team that will likely be up by 14 after the first five minutes of the game, Blount could become a non factor quickly. Blount is better suited to go against offenses that are similar to his since the Tampa Bay defense couldn’t catch a cold.
Eric Decker WR – He’s been on this list before, so it must seem like I have a vendetta against Decker. If anyone has noticed Tim Tebow under center has not worked in the passing game. Many would make the argument that Decker has scored in three straight games, but is this reliable? Darellle Revis will be matched up to take away Decker from going over the top like he did against the Chiefs last weekend, so I woul favor the best corner back in the league in this matchup. If I am wrong on Decker this week I will never doubt him again, but I say ‘’Welcome to Revis Island’’.
Jermaine Gresham TE – As talented as anyone coming out of Oklahoma, Gresham has only been used as a red zone target. Jerome Simpson has received more looks then Gresham in an offense that should be utilizing the tight end Gresham has struggled to get open, as speed was supposed to be strength of his coming out of college. Take away the touchdowns and we are looking at a tight end that gets four catches a game for just over 20 yards per contest. I would stay away from Gresham unless you want to take a chance of him putting six on the board.
Titans D/ST – Don’t be fooled by what took place in Carolina last week. The Tennessee defense should be over looked as they face a rookie Cam Newton who has been overachieving through the first half of the season. This week they go against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense which has been hitting on all cylinders of late. Expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner and some play action to Tony Gonzalez in a game that Falcons should win by double digits. Yes, the Titans defense gained confidence this week, but Atlanta has a top 10 offense and that will be too much for Tennessee to stop.