Just win, baby!!! The famous words of
Skeletor Al Davis ring true especially this week, as virtually all of you are either in your final regular season week, in the first round of your playoffs, or at or near your championship game. Start Percy Harvin or Jamaal Charles at Flex? Sidney Rice or Robert Meachem? Tenn D/ST or Minny D/ST? Sure, you have your must-starts, and you know who they are and will start them, but making the right call in the above-referenced-type of situations can be the difference between hoisting the Sheeva (watch The League on FX, and you'll get it) and starting a long, bitter offseason early. Accordingly, without further ado......
QUARTERBACKS TO START
1. Donovan McNabb @ NYG. His favorite toy is back in the lineup, the Eagles are moving the football well, and its December, so its time for another one of those patented winning streaks for the Eagles where they look like they are playing at level 99 on Madden. He should have a nice game.
2. Tony Romo vs. SD. 700ish PaYds and 5 PaTDs since eeking one out over WAS. He and Roy Williams clearly are on the same page and are facing a SD defense that has given up yards and points to the underwhelming KC and CLE offenses.
3. Philip Rivers @ DAL. Cowboy defense stopping the run well, but giving up big plays in the passing game, which plays right into the red-hot Philip Rivers' hands.
QUARTERBACKS TO SIT
1. Jay Cutler vs. GB. Packer defense peaking and Bears' passing offense is boom or bust with Knox, Bennett, and Hester. With the pressure the Packers are bringing and the high-level that Woodson is playing, consider sitting Cutler, especially in leagues that penalize for QB sacks.
2. Eli Manning vs. PHI. Philly's aggressive blitzing confused Eli last time and Eagle defense is playing at a high level right now.
3. Alex Smith vs. SF. Yes, he's been hot lately, but the ARI defense, which has played well most of this season, just shut down Favre and the Vikings. I don't like Smith's chances to put up a big number if you need it.
RUNNING BACKS TO START
1. Jamaal Charles @ BUF. Tasty matchup against Buffalo defense that let Thomas Jones walk all over them last week (mmmmmm, Buffalo wings.... tasty).
2. Ray Rice vs. DET. Plenty of opportunities for desperate Baltimore team to score against weak Detroit defense and Rice is the cog to move that offense along.
3. Ricky Williams @ JAX. Dolphins comfortable with letting Ricky carry the offense, and he's obliging by running like a man possessed lately. Has solid RB2 value in this matchup, if not more.
RUNNING BACKS TO SIT
1. Matt Forte vs. GB. Packers' front has gone from swiss cheese to an impregnable force in a matter of weeks.
2. Beanie Wells @ SF. Made little of his opportunities against the Vikes and SF run defense ranks 5th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and is coming off an impressive performance against the Seahawks.
3. Marion Barber vs. SD. Hasn't rushed for over 100 yds since Week 2 and hasn't scored since Week 8. Do you want to risk your fantasy season on this substandard level of production? Possible flex value, but not much more.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO START
1. Miles Austin vs. SD. Dallas has too many weapons for Chargers to focus on taking him out, and he's still getting plenty of targets (and making them count) even with Roy Williams vulturing his TDs.
2. Robert Meachem @ ATL. Now a trusted option in the Saint passing attack, he and his must-start compadre Colston should both cash in Sunday against Atlanta's suspect secondary.
3. Donald Driver @ CHI. Although likely not drafted very high, he's certainly established himself as the #1 option and a basic must-start for the pass-oriented Packers. Only reason not to start him against the Bears' defense is if you're absolutely loaded at the position.
WIDE RECEIVERS TO SIT
1. TJ Houshmandzadeh @ HOU. Not getting enough targets to warrant the WR1/2 position you drafted him at and is not likely to put up solid numbers against a Houston secondary that has limited the fantasy productivity of opposing WRs.
2. Devin Hester vs. GB. With Woodson locking up the boom-or-bust speedster, I think bust is more likely this week than boom.
3. Santana Moss @ OAK. WAS offense, will have his targets likely limited due to Redskins' offensive game plan. When he is looked to, he will be blanketed by Asomugha. Pass.
TIGHT ENDS TO START
1. Brent Celek @ NYG. Did you see what Jason Witten did last week against the Giant defense? With another high-calibur TE that has trust from his strong-armed QB taking on that defense, I expect to see some solid, if not spectacular numbers.
2. Kellen Winslow vs. NYJ. Freeman has really locked onto K2 as his security blanket, and if Darrelle Revis is able to shut down or limit Antonio Bryant, K2 will likely get alot of attention from Freeman.
3. Visanthe Shiancoe vs. CIN. Red-zone monster keeps getting first looks inside the 20 from Mr. Favre.
TIGHT ENDS TO SIT
1. Zach Miller @ WAS. WAS defense has done a nice job containing Shockey and Witten in recent weeks, plus Gradkowski is spreading the ball around alot more than Russell did.
2. Ben Watson vs. CAR. Carolina safeties and LBs are good enough to stay with the big fella.
3. John Carlson @ HOU. Hasn't hit double-digit fantasy points in standard leagues since WEEK 1. Hopefully, you've moved on to other options. If not, limit your expectations against Houston's pretty decent pass defense.
DEFENSES TO START
1. Tennessee vs. STL.
2. Baltimore vs. DET.
3. Green Bay @ CHI.
DEFENSES TO SIT
1. San Diego @ DAL.
2. Indianapolis vs. DEN.
3. New York Giants vs. PHI.
Have any lineup-specific questions? Fire away, and we'll give you our two cents...