Week 15: Start 'Em
Nothing worse than being in the playoffs and losing one of your top guns or starters to injury. Last week we saw Brandon Jacobs, Frank Gore, Gus Frerotte and others leave the game early. Not to mention teams that are out of the playoffs very often like to try out new players to see what they have for the future. If these players and others miss the upcoming week, you might be in major need of help with your starting lineup. If that's the case, take a look below for some help.
While Tyler Thigpen hasn't helped the Chiefs to many victories (1), he has kept them competitive. He has completed over 50% of his passes in every game he has started, averaging 219 yards passing and just under 2 touchdowns a game. The Chiefs have only won 2 games this year, so more often than not they must come from behind, meaning that Thigpen gets plenty of opportunities to throw the ball. This week the Chiefs face the San Diego Chargers, who are giving up 249 yards per game through the air. Last time Thigpen faced the Chargers he threw for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns. If you're in need of a quarterback this week, Thigpen has a great match up and should be in your lineup.
If the Colts are to go deep in the playoffs they will need 2 things to happen: First, they need to get healthy and second they need to get the running game going to take some pressure off of Manning and the passing game. To say Joseph Addai has been the biggest fantasy bust this season is not far from the truth, as he was drafted in most leagues no later then #6. Addai started off slow, then got injured and hasn't been able to bounce back to the production from last season. This week the Colts face the Detroit Lions who have the worst run defense in the NFL, giving up an amazing 173 yards per game on the ground. As the Colts must win this week, look for them to get out to an early lead and run the ball all game, Addai is a must start this week.
The Seahawks' running game has been a complete bust this year, no matter if it's Julius Jones or Maurice Morris or even TJ Duckett, no one has been able to run the ball. None of those backs seem to be able to take control of the running game. The Seahawks only have 2 wins, so they are always behind and they usually have to give up on the run early -- meaning less opportunities for the backs to run. Last week Seattle decided to feature Morris and even though he didn't put up great numbers, he was the leading ball carrier; he should be this week as well when he faces a Rams defense giving up 154 yards per game on the ground. Morris makes a solid RB2 and/or flex start this week.
In the 2 years that Sammy Morris has been in New England he seems to be the favorite to run the ball and get the bulk of the carries. Unfortunately in the Patriots offense that isn't always that often. Since returning from injury 4 weeks ago, Morris once again has taken over as the lead back and he has scored a touchdown in each of his last 2 games. The Patriots are known to try and expose their opponent's weaknesses and this week they face a Raiders team that is giving up 159 yards per game on the ground. Facing a tough pass defense, look for the Patriots to try and establish the run early by giving Morris a ton of first half carries; once they get the lead they will just feed Morris the ball. Look for 15-20 carries for at least 90 yards and 1 touchdown, making him a solid RB2 or flex start this week.
No one was sure who would take over for Greg Camarillo as Chad Pennington's favorite target when Camarillo went down with an injury. Well, Bess is that guy. Since taking over for Camarillo, Bess has 20 receptions for 245 yards -- pretty good numbers for anyone, let alone a rookie receiver. Pennington might not have the strongest arm, but he is accurate and will complete a high % of his passes, making Bess an even better option in point per reception leagues. The Dolphins (who are fighting for their division and a wild card) will need every weapon they have and Bess seems to be the biggest weapon they have in the passing game. This week he faces a poor 49ers defense, making him a must start.