To win your fantasy league, you’re going to have to make some aggressive decisions. One or two points could be the difference between a first-place cash prize and a money-back second place finish. If you honestly believe Brandon Weeden will put up more points than Peyton Manning, you should absolutely start Weeden. You should also quit fantasy forever.

This week, I’m giving one first overall draft pick the red light to stay on your bench, while another first overall pick gets the green light to be started in all formats. We also examine the “problem” facing Marshawn Lynch this Sunday – otherwise known as the 49ers.

Green Light: Sam Bradford @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy is all about matchups and this week Sam Bradford has the easiest matchup of any QB in the league. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t just the worst pass defence in football – they’re the worst by large margin. Tampa gives up an average of 311 pass yards per game. The second worst pass defence (New Orleans) gives up just 287 pass yards per game. Last week against the Vikings, a strong second half led to 377 yards and 3 TD’s for Bradford. That was no fluke, as Bradford has been attempting an average of 38.8 passes during his last 6 games. St. Louis is becoming more of a pass-first offence with weapons emerging on the perimeter like Danny Amendola and Chris Givens. The table is set for a huge day from Bradford and you shouldn’t hesitate to start him over names like Stafford, Rivers, Dalton and Eli Manning.

Yellow Light: Marshawn Lynch vs San Francisco 49ers

It’s tough to bench a guy who has these totals in his last two games: 21 car, 241 yds, 4 TD’s. There is only defence that forces you to consider benching any running back in the league, and it’s the 49ers. They give up the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and the 3.6 yards per carry they allow, is the second best mark in the league. A unit that hasn’t had a lot of personnel changes, allowed 3 rushing touchdowns all of last season. They are truly in a class by themselves. Earlier this season, Lynch posted a somewhat successful 103 rushing yards on 19 carries against San Fran. Benching Lynch this week is a decision that each owner must make based on the depth they have at running back. I would favour guys like DeMarco Murray, Ridley, DMC, Moreno and Michael Turner over ‘Beastmode’.

Red Light: Matt Stafford vs Atlanta Falcons

Look no further than last week against the New York Giants, to see why the Atlanta Falcons are an emerging force on the defensive end. The addition of pro bowl CB Asanta Samuel has made life easier for everyone else in the defence – unless the opposition is running sweeps to Samuel’s side. Even if Atlanta chooses not to shadow Calvin Johnson with Samuel, they will almost assuredly be throwing lots of double-teams at Megatron. Detroit’s wide receiving corps has been decimated by injuries, forcing tight end Tony Scheffler to run some receiver routes. These circumstances will make it very difficult for Matt Stafford to have a successful day against a Falcons defence that is surrendering the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing QB’s. If your league only allows teams to start one QB, there is no excuse for playing Matt Stafford this week (unless you’re in a 32-team league).

If you have any start/sit decisions that are keeping you up at night, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll give you my two cents worth.

Comments (5)

  1. Do you think Matt Ryan is a good start this week or is Joe Flacco better, or should i pick up Sam Bradshaw and start him. I am worried that the falcons play conservative and if they get a lead Ryan might be sat. Thoughts? Thanks

    • I would definitly pick up the Sam Bradshaw guy…..whoever he is.

    • Definitely not Flacco. He has been brutal the last three weeks. If the Falcons go up big on Detroit, it will be because Ryan has thrown 3 or 4 TD’s. Stafford and Megatron can put up points as well, so I don’t necessarily think it will be a blowout. Roddy White will be healthier than he was last week, which is another point in Ryan’s favour.

      Ryan’s carried you this far, it’s not the time to get cute. He’s a safer bet than Bradford – higher floor.

  2. I’m in the finals this week and am projected as a 22-point underdog, so I can’t play it too safe this week.

    2 questions:

    1. I currently have the Jets D/St (vs SD), and think it’s a fairly safe play for 8-10 points. But the Was and Pit D/ST are available. With Was playing the turnover prone Eagles, and Cin (playing against Pit this weekend) having bunch of turnovers the past few weeks, should i take the chance to cash in on turnovers, and if so, with which D/ST? or play it safe and hope that Rivers throws an INT or two?

    2. We are in a two QB league, and i have Newton, Kaepernick and Wilson. I’m playing Newton for sure, but am back and forth with the other two. My thought is that Wilson is money at home, but if Seattle is missing Sherman (and Browner) that Kaepernick has the better chance at putting up points. Thoughts?


    • The Steelers have totaled just 11 std. fantasy points in the last three weeks. The Bengals don’t traditionally make a lot of turnovers either (only one game with over 2 INT’s). Nick Foles has been surprisingly careful with the ball. Only one INT in the last three weeks. I don’t think you can count on them having 3-4 fumbles again with Shady McCoy returning. He also presents another reason not to use Washington. The Chargers have given up over 10 fantasy points to the opposing D/St in 5 of the last 6 games.

      I completely agree about the QB’s. It all depends on if Sherman plays. If he doesn’t play that’s huge for Michael Crabtree and in turn Kaep, who has used crabtree a lot. If he does play I would ride Wilson’s hot hand. He’s been lights out at home and can pick up points on the ground. I think he is a safer bet than Kaep, who is more mistake-prone. Despite that, I would let Sherman decide this one for you

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