Holy cow, we’re already to Week 10, which means fantasy playoffs are around the corner! If you’re still hanging out in places like this reading advice, congrats, you’re probably in contention. So let’s get to this week’s Startability Index which is fully made up of reader requests this week. (Thank you!) If you want a Startability score for a player not listed, please ask below in the comments and I will oblige.
Best of luck and hope to “see” all of you back here next week!
Gio Bernard at Baltimore (6): Bernard has been spectacular of late, rushing for 79 yards and two touchdowns on just NINE carries last week. You would think an increase of carries would be on the horizon but according to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, it is not.
Andre Brown vs. Oakland (4): Love Brown’s talent but he hasn’t played in a football game in some time. No running back has amassed 100 yards rushing against the Raiders this season. I’m generally weary about starting any running back in his first game after a serious injury.
Arian Foster at Arizona (3): Given Foster’s absence from practice this week, there is little reason to believe he will carry a full workload of he even plays at all. Please have a backup plan in place.
Rashad Jennings at New York Giants (5-): Love what Jennings did last week in McFadden’s absence (176 all-purpose yards and a touchdown). But I don’t have faith we’ll see a repeat performance Sunday. It’s going to be cold in New York and the Giants have held almost every opposing running back in check.
Lamar Miller at Tampa Bay (6+): Miller comes off stellar back-to-back performances, with a nice increase in carries to boot. Would like to see more separation from Daniel Thomas but Miller is headed that direction. Tampa has allowed opposing rushers to gain at least 100 rushing yards in two of their last four games.
Trent Richardson vs. St Louis (4): To say the Richardson trade has not worked in Indy’s favor would be an understatement. The good news is they aren’t giving up and incorporating other looks as some teams might have done by this point. TRich has the talent to break out at any time but until he does it’s hard to watch him struggle on a weekly basis.
C.J. Spiller at Pittsburgh (7): Spiller had four few carries in his return game than Fred Jackson but dominated with 9.7 yards per carry and 116 rushing yards. Spiller is officially off the injury list and should be aided by E.J. Manuel’s return Sunday.
Pierre Thomas vs. Dallas (4+): New Orleans is just not a running team and even in high scoring games Thomas is lucky to get 12-15 carries. First and goal on the three? It’s Jimmy Graham time, not Thomas time.
Riley Cooper at Green Bay (6+): In any other circumstance I may be skeptical of Cooper, wondering if he’s an anomaly. But aside from his monster three-score game last week, Cooper has games of 88 and 120 yards in recent weeks. Green Bay should not strike much fear.
Harry Douglas vs. Seattle (7): Douglas has consistently put up solid fantasy numbers since assuming a starting role three weeks ago. Roddy White’s return this action should actually help defense. Beware: Seattle’s pass defense is second in the league in yards allowed.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Houston (5+): Fitz has scored twice in his last three games but has only totaled 65 yards in his last two – with only six receptions to boot! Houston remains the top pass defense in football, and it’s fairly obvious who they’ll be looking to hold in check.
Lance Moore vs. Dallas (5-): Moore’s value is almost directly tied to the status of Marques Colston. As of this publishing, Colston had returned to practice and was questionable for Sunday night. This game may be a shootout but be warned: the Cowboys have only allowed one touchdown to a receiver in their last four games.
Rueben Randle vs. Oakland (6): Four touchdowns over his last five games but a big disappearance prior to the bye. The Giants offense is so unpredictable and you get the feeling they could return to being a powerhouse at a moment’s notice. Let the Raiders’ awful secondary (and penchant for giving up big plays) guide you on Randle this week.
Torrey Smith vs. Cincinnati (6): Welcome to Baltimore, also known as the field goal fiesta. The Bengals boast an elite secondary but have allowed seven plays of 40 yards or more on the season. Perhaps Smith racks up some numbers that way.
Terrance Williams at New Orleans (5): Williams came back to Earth last week with a pedestrian 33 yards on just two catches. The Saints haven’t allowed a monster game from an opposing receiver since Alshon Jeffery’s 200-yard performance in Week 5. However, with rumors of a bulging disk in Dez Bryant’s back Williams could be in line for enhanced targets.
Jake Locker vs. Jacksonville (5+): Despite being the loser in several blowouts, the Jags have not allowed a ton of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. And quite frankly, Locker didn’t look very good against the Rams last week. Maybe he’s good for one passing touchdown and/or one rushing touchdown in this game but I wouldn’t expect much more.
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Buffalo (7+): Big Ben has put up big numbers in recent weeks, capped off by 400 yards and 4 touchdowns last week at New England. Buffalo has allowed 20 passing touchdowns, one behind the league high.
Matt Ryan vs. Seattle (5): Seven interceptions in two games – yikes. This is clearly a different team without Julio Jones. Roddy White returns this week but that doesn’t exactly put the fear factor into the Seahawks. And it shouldn’t elevate your expectations for Ryan.
Coby Fleener vs. St Louis (6-): Fleener can be relied upon for about 4-8 targets per game. But what he does with them is a different story. Tight ends are averaging just 38.7 receiving yards against the Rams
Greg Olsen at San Francisco (7): Olsen comes off back-to-back games with a score. With San Francisco continuing to tinker with their secondary (Nnamdi Asomugha out, Eric Wright out), Olsen could easily snag a touchdown in this one.
Tim Wright vs. Miami (7): Hate judging a player almost entirely on what he has done lately. But Wright’s back-to-back scores are encouraging, as are his 13 targets over the same period. You see a chemistry brewing Wright and Mike Glennon.