Wondering whether or not to start Tom Brady and Calvin Johnson, or to bench Ryan Lindley and Jerome Simpson? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your realstarting lineup conundrums, read on.
This was a great week to start…
Some “no-brainers” are more equal than others. And no, I’m not referring to the cast of Jersey Shore.
Good morning, Fools. I trust you are having a great, long weekend.
Let's see what we need to know for the remaining games of Week 12.
First, on Monday night, we know that both Vick and Shady are out due to their respective concussions, leaving Nick Foles under center (yuck) and Bryce Brown starting at RB (interesting). As I said in Thursday's column, don't expect much from the Eagles receivers. And yes, you gotta love the Panthers defense this week.
It will be interesting to see what rookie Ronnie Hillman and third-stringer Jalen Parmele can do as starting RBs for the Broncos and Jaguars, respectively, today. I'm actually fairly high on both of them.
Both RunDMC (Darren McFadden) and Mike Goodson will sit out with bum ankles, leaving the Raiders backfield in the versatile hands of Marcel Reece. I like his chances today in Cincinnati. Not too high on Oakland's aerial attack in this one, though.
Beanie Wells is returning from his turf toe injury today. I've received a lot of tweets asking about starting him over "so-and-so." So-and-so always gets my vote. I don't trust Beanie when he's fully healthy, much less in his first game back from a seven-week absence. His return is bad news for LaRod Stephens-Howling as well.
We also know that Jay Cutler will start for Chicago, which gives a nice boost to Forte and Marshall -- not that we wouldn't have started them anyway.
Percy Harvin did not travel with the team to Chicago, so I wouldn't expect much from any Viking whose initials aren't A.P.
I don't own Julio Jones (ankle); but if I did, I'd start him against the Bucs' woeful secondary. That is, unless I was completely stocked at WR. But you don't have to go far down the list before you get to a receiver who's no match for Julio at 80-90%. There's just too much upside there to ignore. Word is that the pace of the game will dictate how much action Julio gets. And methinks Michael Turner won't go anywhere against that run D; so passing will be the order of the day.
Antonio Brown claims that he will suit up today, but Pittsburgh's beat writers aren't buying it. I would love to see him get out there and get a game under his belt. But I wouldn't risk him in my starting lineup this weekend.
Don't expect to see Danny Amendola today. His foot injury is expected to sideline him for at least a game. Could be good news for Brandon Gibson, if you're looking for a flier.
Okay, Fools, that's it for the morning updates. Inactive reports are coming now (www.twitter.com/ladd_biro), and then I've gotta scoot for church. I'll answer as many tweets as I can before I roll. Good luck to all!
Here are a few snippets from yesterday's 4th & Long column, along with some other updates from around the league.
The way to move the ball against the Bucs is through the air, not on the ground. Michael Turner has had an up-and-down season, but this game has all the trappings of a disaster.
Good morning, Fools, from all of us at the Fantasy Fools. (That would be me, myself and I.)
Wondering whether or not to start Doug Martin and Andre Johnson, or to bench Ryan Lindley and Michael Jenkins? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your realstarting lineup conundrums, read on.
This was a great week to start…
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos. If Willis McGahee’s knee injury grounds him for a game or more, Hillman is the backup to grab. The rookie’s running style has been likened to that of Darren Sproles, but he also offers every-down upside. With Peyton Manning at the controls, he could be a very busy man indeed.
Good morning, Fools. Is it just me, or is it getting a little chillier out there?
Here's what's up around the NFL as we make our last-minute starting lineup decisions...
Alex Smith hasn't yet been cleared to play tomorrow night, but he most likely will be. He's the only one of the concussed QBs from Week 10 (which also includes Jay Cutler and Michael Vick) with a chance to play this week.
Big Ben, as you know, is out. Probably for quite a while. Byron Leftwich takes his place, and faces a soft Ravens pass defense. Don't start him, but don't bench Mike Wallace or Heath Miller either. Antonio Brown (ankle) is not expected back until Week 13, in the best-case scenario.
Darren McFadden and DeMarco Murray are out again. Marcel Reece and Felix Jones are their proxies.
We won't know whether Ryan Mathews is suiting up until the early games have begun, so better make sure you've got another option to fall back on if you're hoping to play him. As mentioned here earlier, I don't like his chances at less-than-100% against the Broncos.
We'll know shortly if Julio Jones (ankle) is a go or not. I'm guessing he'll give it a go.
Plug Jordy Nelson back in your lineup if you own him, and hope he doesn't make another early exit.
We're expecting to see Pierre Garcon back on the field today for the first time in forever. I wouldn't start him unless he's clearly your best option; but he should be a good bet next week barring any set-backs.
That's it for this morning. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ladd_biro) for all the inactives and other late-breaking news throughout the day.
Good luck, Fools! Oh, and how 'bout them Baylor Bears?!!! Sic 'em, Bears!
This was a great week to start…
Sunday of Week 10 will likely be remembered as the day a trio of starting quarterbacks was knocked out – almost literally – with concussions.
The bigger impact could be felt by LeSean McCoy, who will surely draw the lion’s share of opposing defenses’ attention with Vick out of the picture.
Wow, this season (and year) is flying by. Already we're at Week 10. The postseason isn't far ahead. Let's cover what we need to know to make all the right lineup decisions today.
Darren McFadden and his immediate backup, Mike Goodsen, are both out today. My flier of the week, Taiwan Jones, should be the primary ball-carrier, with FB Marcel Reece also in the picture (though more effective as a receiver). Can't say I'm crazy about either, but Jones is a viable desperation play.
Doesn't look like there's any reason not to start Ahmad Bradshaw, but I'm still worried about Hakeem Nicks, who is also active. He hasn't done diddly in four games; nor has his QB. I'm reserving him; but with a guy like Nicks, he could certainly make me regret it. All I know is I've regretted starting him for the last four weeks...
Percy Harvin is out. The only Viking to trust is AP.
Amendola will play, but he draws a stout 49ers defense. If you're in a PPR league, he's not a terrible option. But I'm still giving him another week to get in shape, and to face a less formidable opponent.
Antonio Brown and Rashard Mendenhall will sit out Monday night's game. Still like Emmanuel Sanders and Isaac Redman in their respective spots. Jonathan Dwyer should backup Redman and could have a decent night too, if only because the Chiefs are so bad.
Both Megatron and Titus Young are active today. Obviously, the former is a must-start. Young, not so much. You probably have more reliable/consistent alternatives.
Updating a previous blog post, Aaron Hernandez will NOT play due to his lingering ankle injury. He and the team have decided not to rush him back early, as they did before. Get him out and find another option. Gronk, Lloyd and Welker are all playing.
Owen Daniels will be a game-time decision tonight. You'd be best served going with someone safer in the earlier games.
Okay, Fools; that's it for the blogging. Inactive reports have begun. Make sure you're following my tweets (www.twitter.com/ladd_biro). Good luck today!
Here are a few updates from yesterday's 4th & Long column on SportingNews.com:
This was a great week to start…
Rather, I propose a simpler solution to address the unfair aspects of the early-injury exit: If a player at any position is injured in the first half of his game and does not return, that player’s owner may substitute one bench player of his choosing at the same position into his starting lineup.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers. I reluctantly dropped Finley last week to make room for another player, then agonized over whether his little “chat” with Aaron Rodgers would make me look like an idiot. So far, so good. As Green Bay heads into its bye, feel free to eject Finley as well. If he can’t prosper with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson out of the picture – and Tom Crabtree can – there’s something seriously wrong.
Good morning, Fools. I'm reporting from San Antonio this morning, and it's a beautiful day.
Let's canvass the NFL for the latest news as we prepare for another glorious afternoon and evening of football.
There's all sorts of speculation about who will benefit from Darren Sproles' absence due to hand surgery (expected to be out 4-6 weeks). Chris Ivory is getting lots of love, but the more logical result is more touches for Pierre Thomas (first), then Mark Ingram. Thomas should be a solid start Monday night, with Ingram a decent flier. I wouldn't mess with Ivory until we see what this game holds.
Donald Brown had some swelling in his knee yesterday and is now questionable for today's game. We'll keep an eye on this, as Vick Ballard would be a decent start if Brown is out. If Brown plays, they're both bad bets. Miami's run defense is strong, and there certainly won't be enough fantasy production for two RBs.
Megatron will be a game-time call, and speculation is that he will be limited to third-down situations if he's active. I'm not buying that (if he's active, he'll play more than that, even if only as a decoy). In any event, he's a risk; but I'd still start him if I owned him. Titus Young should get more attention either way, and he's a decent play for those in need of help at WR.
Jordy Nelson is a game-time call as well. Start him if he's active; but either way, Cobb and James Jones are nice plays.
There's a good chance Ryan Tannehill will start, which is good news for Brian Hartline. I wouldn't start the rookie QB, who could exit at any time if he struggles with his injured knee; but Hartline is due for a rebound and Indy is a favorable opponent for the job.
Looks like Jimmy Graham has gotten the worst of his ankle injury behind him. Don't hesitate to cement him in your starting lineup.
OK, that's it for now. I'll be tweeting soon with the day's inactives (www.twitter.com/ladd_biro). Have a great day, and good fantasy luck, Fools!
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers at Giants. Though dealing with a sore quad, Dwyer is still the only back in the Steelers’ stable to trust this weekend. He has exceeded expectations over the past two games, and the team clearly trusts him with a heavy load. Barring any further setbacks in practice, look for more positive returns against the so-so New York defense, even though Isaac Redman (ankle) is on track to return in a change-of-pace role.
About the author
Ladd Biro was named 2010 "Football Writer of the Year" by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Ladd's nationally syndicated columns have appeared in more than 20 publications -- including the Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times and Sporting News magazine -- since 2003. During the NFL season, he can be heard nationwide on Sporting News Radio as host of the weekly "Fantasy Files" program, dispensing his unique blend of wit and wisdom. Since 2009, all his written fantasy content can be found on the Fantasy Fools blog.