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.