Another week, another set of agonizing decisions to make as we head towards the fantasy season homestretch. Here's looking at some players that you may be trying to decide between that have a favorable/unfavorable outlook this week.
QUARTERBACKS TO START
1. Joe Flacco at Cleveland. May not be an automatic weekly start, but is two times out of the year when Cleveland is on the schedule.
2. Tony Romo at Green Bay. It may not be 2007-esque, Romo has quietly put up a solid fantasy season after a three-week hiccup in September. He's thrown for 300+ yards and/or multiple TDs each week since week 4 and should be in line for another solid, if not great, performance against a Packer defense that let first-time starter Josh freeman throw for over 200 yds and 3 scores.
3. Brett Favre vs. Detroit. Forget the groin injury... the Viking offense is humming and the old gunslinger should feast on the Lions' porous defense.
QUARTERBACKS TO SIT
1. Carson Palmer at Pittsburgh. If he's your only QB, you obviously gotta roll with him. However, if you have a 2nd viable option, consider it. PIT defense/special teams looks nasty after the return of Polamalu.
2. David Garrard at New York Jets. With Darrelle Revis locking down his best receiver, Mike Sims-Walker, don't expect big stats from Garrard.
3. Matt Cassel at Oakland. Raider pass defense isn't terrible and Asomugha takes away half the field. The last 2 QBs to come to Oakland put up poor numbers, both with better offenses than the Chiefs' unit (McNabb and Sanchez).
RUNNING BACKS TO START
1. Pierre Thomas at St. Louis. Still appears to be the man over Mike Bell facing a bad team.
2. Joseph Addai vs. New England. Has scored double digit fantasy points in standard league scoring in every week except Week 3. Scored 2 TDs last week. Ride the wave.
3. Jamaal Charles at Oakland. Raiders rank 29th vs. run. Charles should get the majority of work ahead of Kolby Smith and should have a solid chance to score.
RUNNING BACKS TO SIT
1. Ladell Betts vs. Denver. If you're looking for a replacement play for Portis, keep looking. Betts questionable w/limited practice this week. 'Skins claim he'll split w/Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther. Too risky to recommend.
2. Darren McFadden vs. Kansas City. Should be finally active, but Raiders will use 3-back rotation in all likelihood. Wait and see how he's used before throwing him back out there.
3. Kevin Smith at Minnesota. Minny's Williams Wall and bad Detroit offense make Smith risky.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO START
1. Derrick Mason at Cleveland. #1 WR on a team with a steady QB and balanced offense facing Browns D. You do the math.
2. Anquan Boldin vs. Arizona. Full week of practice and seems ready to go. Overdue for a breakout game.
3. Miles Austin at Green Bay. The guy just keeps on making big plays and looks like he's no fluke. He's scored in 4 straight games. Keep playing him, especially against a Packer defense that suddenly can't stop anybody.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO SIT
1. Dwayne Bowe at Oakland. If you have other viable options, at least consider them. Will be covered by the great Nmadi Asomugha. If you start him, temper your expectations somewhat.
2. Mike Sims-Walker at New York Jets. Like Bowe, another victim of the elite cornerback matching up with him.
3. Donnie Avery vs. New Orleans. If you're thinking "the Rams will be down, so they have to throw, and he's their best guy," think again. Avery has had opportunities in single man coverage, but has failed to produce. Moreover, Will Smith and the Saints' rush will give Bulger little time to get off deep throws.
TIGHT ENDS TO START
1. Kellen Winslow at Miami. Dolphins typically fodder for opposing TEs, and Freeman looked Winslow's way last week plenty of times. Start with confidence.
2. Jeremy Shockey at Minnesota. Even though he only caught 3 passes for 26 yards last week, Shockey continues to receive a large number of targets each week from Brees. He should have a good chance of putting up a nice number against St. Louis' poor pass defense.
3. Heath Miller vs. Cincinnati. Still a big red zone target and a threat to score each week.
TIGHT ENDS TO SIT
1. Donald Lee vs. Dallas. Dallas has pretty much held down opposing TEs the whole season. Lee and Rodgers haven't been connecting recently.
2. John Carlson at Arizona. Hasn't scored or scored more than 5 fantasy points in standard league scoring since Week 1. ARI safeties have the cover skills to stick with Carlson.
3. Brandon Pettigrew @ Minnesota. I have a feeling he'll be asked to stay in and help pass protect often against the Vikings' crazy-good pass rush.
DEFENSES TO START
1. Minnesota vs. Detroit. The only question is how many sacks will Jared Allen get?
2. Baltimore at Cleveland. Regarding Brady Quinn, in the immortal words of that Cobra Kai member from Karate Kid... "get him a bodybag! Yeaaa!!!". Browns will be lucky to score 10 points.
3. Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati. After watching them play like they did against Minny and Denver, I'm sold. They're back. Even though 'Nati can put up points, I see the Steelers neutralizing Benson and the running game, putting Cincy in passing situations and positions to turn the ball over. Start them with confidence.
4. New Orleans at St. Louis. Saints' corners good enough to cover Rams' weak WRs one-on-one, allowing safeties to stuff Steven Jackson. Bulger is good for a few turnovers per game also.
DEFENSES TO SIT
1. Philadelphia at San Diego. Cross country trip to face Philip Rivers, V-Jack, and red-hot San Diego offense? Not a recipe for fantasy success for Philly defense owners.
2. Indianapolis vs. New England. Colts' D has made plays all year, but it's Tom Brady and the Patriots, so see if you can snare the Saints defense or another alternative off the waiver wire.
3. Green Bay vs. Dallas. Forget the fact that Dallas is rolling. The Packer defense just can't be trusted right now, having been shredded by the Vikings and Buccaneers recently.