Week 8: Start 'Em
Another crazy week of football (especially in the fantasy world, as has become the norm if you are a fantasy football player). In a week where Westbrook goes down in the 1st quarter (as did Chris Cooley --you got it, I had both guys and lost my week, good times J) and not to mention Leon Washington going down for the season, there were also some bright spots. Shonn Greene getting to see some action with Leon Washington out, rushed for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns; Miles Austin had another wild fantasy day with 6 receptions for 171 yards and 2 more touchdowns. So once again with all the injuries and bye weeks and people stepping up to take over starting spots, here are some guys you might want to start this week if you're in a bind and need a starter.
The Jags have had an up and down season and so have most of their players, but this week they play the Titans who they beat easily (37-17) in week 4. In that game QB David Garrard had his best game of the season (and one of his best games of his career), when he went off for 323 passing yards and 3 touchdowns with no interception -- not to mention another 38 yards rushing. Luckily for Garrard owners, he gets to play the Titans (who are giving up some god awful passing numbers to opposing teams QB's -- an average of 325.8 passing yards and 3.2 touchdowns). With all the teams on bye this week, Garrard makes for a great start. Make sure he is in your line-up.
If Brian Westbrook doesn't play this coming week vs. the New York Giants then you must start LeSean McCoy. Earlier this season (when Westbrook was out) McCoy was able to post very respectable numbers, 84 yards rushing and 1 touchdown to go along with 1 reception for 9 yards. If Westbrook is out, the Eagles will be counting on McCoy a lot and he will get the bulk of the carries -- not to mention a lot of shot passes out of the backfield. Keep a close watch on the Eagles' injury report; if Westbrook is held out, then get McCoy in.
I will be the first to say I'm not a big Beanie Wells fan, but at the same time I will tell you he looked great running against the Giants last week (I was at the game, so I saw it first hand). While he only had 67 yards rushing, he looked good on every run and set career highs in all categories -- including rushing attempts (14), yards rushing (67), he scored his first career touchdown, and also caught 3 balls for 10 yards. Although he has yet to be named the starter, the Cardinals' coaching staff can't hold Wells back much longer. If he has been on your bench this whole time, switch it up and get him in your starting line-up this week.
Like most rookie receivers, Kenny Britt has had an inconsistent first half to his rookie season, but that should be expected from a guy on a 0-6 team. The Titans' offense has been brutal this season, but a great match-up this week should help them try and get back on the right track. This week the Titans are at home facing Jacksonville (who give up the 2nd most points in the league to receivers -- an average of 14.7 receptions for 184.7 yards and 1.7 touchdowns). Britt's best game of the season came against the Jags in week 4 when he had 7 catches for 105 yards. With so many players off this week due to bye weeks, Britt makes for a decent low end WR3 and a very good flex start this week.
Playing in his first football game in over 8 months Michael Crabtree showed some of the skills that everyone heard about but hadn't seen yet. No one was sure what to expect from a guy who hadn't played football yet this season due to a long hold out, as well as the last time we saw him do anything he was dealing with some injuries to his foot. So in his first game of what the 49ers hope to be a long career, Crabtree had 5 receptions for 56 yards, not bad, especially in point per reception leagues. With a lack of playmakers, the 49ers will try as hard as they can to make Crabtree a part of this offense. The 49ers play the Colts this week and should be in tough, so they will need all the help they can get from Crabtree. Start Crabtree from here on out, especially in ppr leagues.