Week 9: Start 'em
2 weeks ago when I did my weekly article I wrote that keeping Shaun Alexander in the lineup was a good idea because he had a very good match up vs. the St. Louis Rams. Unfortunately that didn't work to well, but here I am again recommending that you start Alexander because he faces a weak Cleveland Browns defense. Alexander has been brutal this year, actually he has been brutal for the past 2 years, but this week should be different. The Browns' defense isn't very good at stopping the run and with Seattle coming off a bye, look for them to be fresh and ready to rumble. The best way for the Seahawks' offense to get going would be with the help of Alexander, so look for them to run the ball early and often. QB Matt Hasselbeck has been getting hammered the pas few games and the easiest way to take some pressure off of him would be to establish the run. Look for Alexander to be the answer to that problem, as he is fresh coming off a bye.
Going into the season, no one was sure what kind of fantasy player Kevin Jones would be coming back from a horrible injury last season and playing for a team that likes to throw the ball most of the time. Well he came along slowly in the first few weeks of the season and has since been named the starter. In the last 2 weeks (vs. solid run defense's Tampa Bay and Chicago), he gained 181 yards and scored 2 TD's, proving he is fully healthy and capable of being a low end RB1 or a very good RB2. This week he faces the Denver Broncos at home - a team with the worst rush defense in the NFL - making K. Jones a great start this weekend. Hopefully you were smart enough to have him in your lineup the last 2 weeks, if not, make sure not to make that same mistake again this weekend. 100 yards and a TD is more then likely.
Lynch has been one of the more productive offensive rookies so far this year, even on a crappy offensive team like the Bills. It seems that the only thing holding Lynch back from being a top notch fantasy stud is that he plays on the Bills and being behind in most games means they don't have the luxury to run the ball as much as they would like. This week they face the Bengals, who have problems stopping the run and the pass. Watch for the Bills to try and establish Lynch early and take some pressure off whichever QB starts the game. Lynch is a very good RB2 and should be started every week, especially when he faces poor running defenses like Cincinnati. No reason he can't get over 100 yards and a TD this week.
When it was finally looking like WR Deion Branch and QB Matt Hasselbeck were getting in sync, Branch injured his foot and has missed the past 2 games. With Seattle coming off a bye (giving Branch 3 weeks to rest up his injured foot), look for him to make his return this week vs. a Cleveland defense giving up 270 yards per game through air. Perfect timing, ain't it? Before Branch got injured, he had finally established himself as Hasselbeck's go to when a big play was needed. Branch combines good hands with good speed, making him a threat to make plays all over the field. The Browns are giving up an average of 14 receptions for 191 yards and about 1.5 TD's a game to opposing teams WR, meaning if Branch is healthy this week he is a must start in all leagues.
No one knew what to expect when Chambers was traded to San Diego from Miami before this season's trade deadline. With LT and Gates getting most of the attention, many fantasy owners were worried that there wouldn't be enough carries to go around for Chambers to be a viable fantasy option. Still, in Chambers' first game with San Diego, he caught 2 passes for 35 yards and a TD. This week the Chargers face the Minnesota Vikings, who give up 288 yards passing the most in the league. With a tough run defense, the way to beat the Vikings is through the air and with most of the attention on LT and Gates, look for Chambers to get plenty of opportunities to make plays. The Vikings are giving up 12.5 catches for 182 yards per game, ideal for Chambers to make his mark.