Week 11: Start 'Em
When it comes to setting your lineups for each week of the fantasy season, a good rule of thumb is simply to not over think it. You drafted players for a reason and in almost all cases, it is to play them from the jump. Then again, don't let draft day pride interfere with a basic - or detailed - look at the match-ups, something you most likely do throughout the season. That's why we offer the "Start 'em" column, where we look beyond the obvious names to offer suggestions on potential lineup options, perhaps someone sitting on your bench right now that you may have simply overlooked. Throughout the season check back here for sleepers and oh so subtle plays and also sneak a peak at our Matchup Analyzer page.
With the Eagles struggling, there has been lots of talk about the possibility of Michael Vick being benched and replaced with rookie Nick Foles. Well that decision was made much easier for Andy Reid when Vick had to leave the game with a concussion that looks like it will keep him out this week and possibly many more weeks. In his first career game action, the Rookie was able to pass for 219 yards and 1 touchdown despite only playing part of the game. The good news for Foles is that he will get his first start vs. the Redskins, who have had a lot of trouble stopping the pass (3rd worst in the NFL, 301 yards per game). If you had Vick or one of the other QBs injured or on bye, I would definitely give Foles a look in your starting lineup.
I don't normally discuss a player two weeks in a row, but it seems Marcel Reese was on most owners' benches and probably will be again this week; that's a mistake, especially if you're in PPR leagues. With the Raiders' top 2 RBs out with injuries, Reece played 58-of-75 snaps, racking up 48 yards on 13 carries(both career highs) as well as 7 receptions for 56 yards. With both RBs looking like they will once again be out, Reece is the guy to start. While Reece won't overwhelm you with his rushing stats, his total yards and receptions are nothing to sneeze at. If you need a starter at flex or RB2, don't hesitate for a minute to start Reece as he faces one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Saints. Give Reece a shot, he won't disappoint.
DHB has always been long on talent and short on production. Since being drafted #7 overall in the 2009 NFL draft, expectations have been high for DHB, but he has rarely lived up to his potential. His first two seasons were riddled with injuries and inconsistencies before finally coming on strong in the 2nd half of the 2011 season. There were high hopes that with Carson Palmer at the helm for a full season, DHB would finally have a season that showed why he was picked so high in the draft. Well, so far, it looks like another bust of a season for DHB. Luckily for his fantasy owners, he will face a juicy matchup this week when the Raiders face the Saints. The Raiders will most likely be playing from behind and will need to rely heavily on the passing game, which is a good thing since the Saints are giving up the 2nd most passing yards, at 307 per game. If you need help at WR3 or flex, DHB might be your man
After a slow start to the season, Jones has really come on lately. In the last three games, he has caught 16 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, making him a very viable injury or bye week fill at flex or even WR3. With most of the attention focused on CJ Spiller and Stevie Johnson, Jones usually gets single coverage and has been making it count the last weeks. While he isn't making big plays and putting up huge yardage, he is averaging more than 5 receptions per game over his last three and that shouldn't change as he faces a Dolphins team that is 5th worst against the pass. If you need help at WR3 of flex, give Jones a look.
Over the past few years Emmanuel Sanders has had a hard time getting many looks playing behind Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. This past week with Brown out due to injury, Sanders was targeted 7 times. Unfortunately he only caught 2 of them, but a lot of that had to do with the ridiculously poor weather conditions. He got most of his looks once Big Ben was out of the game injured and was replaced by Byron Leftwich. It looks like Sanders will get another start this week with Brown most likely out again. As well, Big Ben looks to be lost for multiple weeks, so Leftwich will get the start, another good sign for Sanders. If you have a need for a flex starter this week, give Sanders a long serious look.