Week 15: Start 'Em
For most of you, this week is the semi-finals of your league and to all those still alive, good luck. As I said last week, go with what got you there. I still say this even though I was eliminated from league this week because Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald put up stinkers and I had the pleasure of facing Andre Johnson and Adrian Peterson. Regardless of that, you still have to go with your best players. Do not over analyze things, it usually only gets you in trouble. The only position I would look to change might be your kicker, if your kicker is kicking outdoors in bad weather. Its always safer to go with a kicker in a dome or in warm weather. That being said, if you have any injuries and need a starter, take a look at one of these guys and put him in your line up.
Since Ronnie Brown went down with a season ending injury in week 10, Chad Henne has gotten a chance to throw the ball more often and has put up some very solid games. In week 13 he posted career highs in yards (335 yards) and touchdown passes (2 TD passes) in a victory over New England, and followed that up last week with 220 yards passing and his first career rushing touchdown. Without Brown the Dolphins have run the Wildcat much less, leaving Henne on the field and giving him more chances to put up points. The Dolphins are fighting for their playoff lives and have a big game this weekend vs. the Tennessee Titans, who also happen to be one of the worst pass defenses in the league -- giving up an average of 271 yards per game through the air, to go along with 2 TD passes. With this great match-up, Henne should have no problem putting up good fantasy numbers.
After another week where Chris Brown was ineffective and Ryan Moats lost another fumble; Coach Gary Kubiak came out on Monday and told reporters that Arian Foster will be moved to the top of the depth chart. Foster hasn't been on the active roster for very long, but last week he got the first real action of his career, sharing the load with Moats and to a lesser extent Brown. Foster was able to carry the ball 13 times for 34 yards to go along with 4 receptions for 54 yards. While those numbers don't jump out at you, they are still very solid numbers and should go up this week as he is now the #1 back in Houston. This week Houston faces the St. Louis Rams and so Foster should have no problem putting up some solid fantasy numbers, making him a solid flex and RB2 start.
It's very hard to find a starting running back this late in the season, but that's exactly what Ganther is. With Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts gone for the season (and Rock Cartwright being moved back to special teams), Ganther has become the main running back in Washington. Now let's keep this in perspective: he is still running for the Redskins and that didn't do much for Portis or Betts, but a starting back is a starting back. In his first career start, he rushed for 50 yards and scored two 1 yard touchdowns, as well as catching 3 passes for 43 yards; not super numbers, but definitely worthy of a RB2 or flex.
The Browns have been a disaster all season long, having issues on offense and defense. Luckily for them they were able to upset their bitter rivals -- the Pittsburgh Steelers -- to salvage something from this season. The Browns had Jamal Lewis as their running back when the season started, then Jerome Harrison played a few games when Lewis was injured and now it looks like it's Chris Jennings' turn. Last week in the victory over Pittsburgh, Jennings led the Browns' running attack with 20 carries for 73 yards and 1 touchdown (it was the first rushing TD by a Cleveland RB in over a year). This week the Browns face the Kansas City Chiefs, who can't stop anyone from running all over them. Just last week they gave up 183 yards rushing to the Bills. If you need a RB, Jennings should have a good week.
There is a good chance that many of you have already begun to use Pierre Garcon in your starting line up. If you haven't and need help at the receiver or flex position, Garcon has a great match-up and would make a great start this week as Indianapolis faces the Jacksonville Jaguars. When Anthony Gonzalez went down in week 1, the Colts weren't sure if Garcon and/or Austin Collie were ready to step into Gonzalez' place. Well, one of the main reasons the Colts are 13-0 to start the season is the emergence of both those young receivers. While defenses have tried to focus on Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, Garcon and Collie have forced teams to pay attention to them as well. Garcon faces a Jags defense that is giving up an average of 13.2 receptions for 175.5 yards and 1.2 touchdowns. Look for Garcon to make some big plays and even get into the end zone. Start Garcon this week.