Quarterback Shaun Hill– Matthew Stafford is out for the season with a separated shoulder, so Hill will step in and the Lions won’t miss a beat. Detroit have a top five receiver in Calvin Johnson and a solid number two in Nate Burleson who are matchup problems for every secondary. When Hill starts and completes the game, he’s thrown for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns. The Bills defense is giving up 21 points a game to quarterbacks, so start Hill with confidence as the Lions should rack up points.
Running Back Tim Hightower –Beanie Wells is questionable with swelling is his knee, leaving Hightower as the featured back for the Cardinals. Hightower hasn’t run the ball well this season, but the Seahawks have given up 436 yards on the ground in their last two games. Hightower should see full bulk load getting 20 carries and should get five to seven receptions as Hightower has excellent receiving skills. Stay tuned to the news on Wells, but Hightower makes for a low tier number two running back if he’s in the starting lineup.
Wide Receiver Lee Evans – Last week I recommended benching Evans because of the Bears ability to stop the big pass. Evans ended up with three catches for 31 yards, but with the Lions inability to stop the pass Evans is back in my starting lineup. Detroit has the 22nd ranked pass defense and they are 24th in terms of yards per attempt. After watching Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes spread the field vs. the Lions, Evans is a must start in week 10.
Tight End Brandon Pettigrew – Pettigrew has now scored in back to back games, and is becoming a reliable option in the red zone. Even when Pettigrew has a poor game in terms of yards, he’s always a threat to score a touchdown. Six different right ends have scored against the Bills this season, so Pettigrew is likely to be celebrating in windy Orchard Park.
Defense San Francisco 49ers – Coming into the season, the 49ers were thought of as a top five defense, and are living up to the hype as of late. Over their last three games San Francisco has given up a measly 45 points, forcing seven turnovers in two victories. The Rams are up and coming, but have struggled on the road averaging 12.3 points per game. Start the 49ers defense with confidence as they back in the hunt in the not so Wild West.
Quarterback Tom Brady –People who miss Randy Moss the most are the fantasy owners of Tom Brady. Since Moss departed for Minnesota and now Tennessee, Brady has thrown five touchdowns through four games, as opposed to 11 when Moss was a Patriot. New England has struggled to get Wes Welker involved in the offense and Deion Branch appears to have been a one game wonder. I have Brady outside of my top 12 this week, as the Patriots offense has been stagnant of late. Start Josh Freeman and David Garrard over the man with the best hair in the NFL.
Running Back Matt Forte – Against the worst rushing defense in the league Forte ran for 49 yards on 14 carries, leaving me with zero confidence in him going forward. Forte has only rushed for over 50 yards once this season and Chester Taylor is slowly stealing carries away. This week, I like the previously mentioned Hightower as well as Donald Brown and Fred Jackson as better running back options.
Wide Receiver Miles Austin – I hate to do this, but can anyone say Austin can be counted on vs. the Giants? Austin hasn’t caught a touchdown since October 10th and has been third receiving option in the Cowboys’ offense behind Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. John Kitna is struggling to move the ball, and the New York pass defense (number one in football) won’t give him any breaks on the road. Continue to bench Austin until he shows up on Sunday, as he’s far from the man we thought he was on draft day.
Tight End Brent Celek – Speaking of disappointments, can anyone tell me what happened to Celek? He’s been a double digit fantasy producer once this season, and has 0 points in his last two games. Michael Vick is a different quarterback then he was as a Falcon, and is taking advantage of downfield threats DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Owners hoping for a bounce back second half should part ways with Celek as long as Vick is slinging the ball around.
Defense St. Louis Rams – The Rams have been a middle of the pack defense this season, and with teams on a bye week, many fantasy owners will take a flier on St. Louis. Even with Troy Smith as the opposing quarterback, the Rams are 0-3 on the road and are giving up 26 points per game. Tight Ends are scoring the third amount fantasy of points this season vs. the Rams this season, so expect a lot Vernon Davis and for that to open up lanes for Frank Gore. Start the Browns and Redskins defense over the Rams this weekend as they have a lot to prove.