Week 13: Start 'em
As week 13 approaches, most fantasy regular seasons are coming to an end. For some of you it's the end of the season, but for most this last weekend will decide if you make into the playoffs or not. Once again last weekend, more starters fell to the injury bug, leaving some starting spots open for new players. If you're fighting for one of those last playoff spots and recently lost a player due to injury, here are a few players you might want to plug into the lineup to make that last push towards the playoffs and the promise land. Good luck to everyone.
Who would have thought that anyone would be talking about starting Kurt Warner at this point in the season? Since Warner has taken over as the #1 QB in
Like the rest of the New York Jets, Thomas Jones has been one of the biggest disappointments of 2007, breaking the 100 yard mark only 3 times and failing to score a TD all season. Usually a player with numbers like this doesn't warrant a starting spot in your lineup on the last week of the regular fantasy season, but Jones had one of his best games of the season (110 yards) when he faced the Dolphins earlier in the season. The Dolphins are 0-11 and have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, not being able to stop anyone and giving up an average of 148 yards per game on the ground. While Jones has been a bust for the Jets and fantasy owners, this isn't the week to give up on him. He is still a starting RB who averages 18 carries a game, giving him plenty of opportunity to gain good yards vs. the Dolphins. Keep him active this week.
After gaining over 1200 yards and scoring 6 TD's in 2006, you would have thought that Chester Taylor would be a must start every week. That was until the Vikings drafted rookie RB Adrian Peterson, who after only a few weeks took the starting spot from Chester, until he injured his knee 3 weeks ago. Since then Chester has come back to fill in admirably, gaining close to 300 total yards and scoring 4 TDs in two starts. While it appears that Peterson should be back this week, expect them to be careful with their rookie sensation and probably split carries to avoid a setback to Peterson's knee injury. While it's not normally recommended to start a RB who will be splitting carries, the Minnesota Vikings' running game is different. The Vikings have a lot of problems passing the ball, leaving them to focus on the running game and hope they could win running behind the strength of their OL. Keep Chester started as a RB2 or solid flex option.
Joey Galloway is the classic boom or bust fantasy player. Almost all of his TDs have come on a big play, so he either breaks off a big play for a TD or he is kept relatively quiet. Galloway has great speed, so if he is able to get open and his QB can find him, it's very rare any DBs in the NFL can catch him. This weekend Galloway and the Bucs will be playing the New Orleans Saints, a team giving 245 passing yards and 22.9 points per game. Look for a lot of points and a lot of big plays, two things Galloway lives for. The Saints are weak at DB and have been picked on since opening night when Reggie Wayne torched the Saints' DBs for 7 catches for 115 yards and 2 TDs. Look for something similar from Galloway.
With receivers like Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson and even Mike Furrey, it's no surprise people don't talk about Shaun McDonald very much. While being targeted 16 less times then big name WR Roy Williams, he only has 5 fewer catches, 100 fewer yards and 1 less TD; numbers most people probably didn't know about. He isn't known for the big play or for putting up crazy offensive numbers, but quietly he has been very consistently putting up better fantasy numbers (in point per reception leagues) than some highly drafted WR like Lee Evans, Santana Moss, Chris Chambers, Jerricho Cotchery - not to mention his own fellow WRs Calvin Johnson and Mike Furrey. This weekend the Lions face the Minnesota Vikings, the team that is allowing the most passing yards this season (283 yards per game). As has been the case for most of the season, teams focus on Williams and Johnson, leaving McDonald open underneath. McDonald is a great flex option this weekend.To view our weekly rankings for all offensive positions, visit our who to start rankings.