Must Start: The Top 15
1. Steve Smith @ BUF –
If you think Jake Delhomme only has eyes for Smith, you’re
right. Case in point? Last week’s loss to Chicago. The former
Spartan caught 14 of the 22 completed passes and accounted for
roughly 75% of the yardage accumulated in the passing game. Only
problem? He didn’t score. That should change this weekend
when Carolina travels to Orchard Park, desperately in need of
2. Chad Johnson v. BAL –
Love him or hate him, you gotta hand it to the guy. He talks a
good game and then goes out and plays a better one. It wasn’t
enough last Sunday, but we’ll take 189 yards and a score
any day of the week. Expect more modest but still spectacular
figures this weekend against the Ravens, a team he’s owned
3. Randy Moss v. MIA –
He’s taken a back seat to Jerry Porter recently but we know
better than to think that’s a permanent situation. Randy’s
now 100% and will look to get back in the swing of things against
a Dolphins secondary that doesn’t have the size (or the
talent) to contain him.
4. Larry Fitzgerald v. JAX –
Is there a better duo in the league right now than Fitzgerald
and Anquan Boldin? Shake your head. Only problem now is figuring
out which one will be the favored target week in and week out.
Didn’t matter last week as they posted almost identical
numbers in the upset win over St. Louis. Go with Fitzgerald if
you must choose as he’s now topped the century mark in three
5. Torry Holt @ HOU –
Holt managed to outgain both the Arizona wideouts last Sunday
(129 yards and a touch) but ended up on the losing end thanks
to a sieve-like D and a punchless ground attack. Now that Bulger
is out, he could struggle to put up huge numbers on a regular
basis. Nevertheless, the matchup is juicy in Week 12 and I’ve
a sneaking suspicion he’ll be just fine. Start him as usual.
6. Plaxico Burress @ SEA –
As predicted, Plax bounced back from a couple of lousy weeks to
post solid numbers last Sunday (six catches for 113 yards and
a TD). This week, he draws a Seahawks D that, like most teams,
doesn’t have the size to stop him. Manning Jr. would be
wise to look for him early and often if the Giants hope to keep
7. Marvin Harrison v. PIT –
Marvin was practically the only Colt NOT to put up big numbers
last Sunday, proving once again that more (weapons) can sometimes
mean less when it comes to fantasy ball. He’s never made
it a habit of stringing together back-to-back duds, however, so
there’s no reason to think he’ll start now. Keep him
8. Donald Driver @ PHI –
Favre to Driver is about all the Pack has going for them at the
moment but opposing defenses still can’t seem to prevent
them from hooking up. The pair teamed up for two big scores last
Monday night and you can bet they’ll be looking to do so
again at the Linc this Sunday. Expect 75-100 yards and at least
one six-pointer for Driver in the loss.
9. Anquan Boldin v. JAX –
Option 1B for Warner in the Arizona passing game but option 1A
for you, provided you don’t also own one of the above wideouts.
He isn’t the most durable pass-catcher in the league but,
when healthy, is surely one of its best. Give him the start against
Jacksonville’s league-best pass defense and hope the unstoppable
force gets the better of the immovable object.
10. Santana Moss v. SD –
I warned you he wouldn’t capitalize on his newfound success.
The Redskins are fading faster than President Bush’s popularity
but can stay in the thick of things with a “dubya”
this weekend. To get it, they’ll need a couple of game-breaking
plays from Moss. I think they get one instead, not enough to secure
the victory but enough to make him worth a start in all formats.
11. Antonio Gates @ WAS –
Just one of the reasons Washington will come up short this weekend.
It’s bad enough having to corral L.T. all day but then you
thrown in this guy and wonder how you’re ever going to slow
the Bolts down. Expect the usual (80 yards and a score) in the
San Diego victory.
12. Joe Horn @ NYJ – Donte
Stallworth is finally emerging but I’m loath to anoint him
the new go-to guy for New Orleans. Horn has done nothing to lose
the title and is still hauling down his fair share of balls (six
for 80 yards in Week 11). Keep relying on him.
13. Brandon Lloyd @ TEN –
Look who decided to join the party again. The switch to Ken Dorsey
gave Lloyd a fighting chance of catching a real live pass &
he didn’t disappoint, grabbing seven balls for 119 yards
and a score in the almost upset against Seattle. This week, he
draws the fairly crummy Titans secondary, a group he should be
able to exploit with his ideal size and top notch hands.
Best of luck, folks!