I’m Sorry… There were no major screw-ups last week, and Ricky Williams even exceeded the 100 yards and two touchdowns I predicted. So instead, I’ll use this space to apologize for the lack of video this week due to my incompetence with a video camera and without the assistance of Short Michelle. Just imagine me reading the following notes, and fumble a name or two in your head to get the most realistic effect. To make it up to you, I’ll list a few additional players in each category.
Players to Start: I’ve mentioned Matt Ryan as someone to bench several times this year, but after netting two TDs against the Giants last week, he gets to face the Tampa Bay Bucs, who give up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Consider him a QB1 this week.
Just in case you’re thinking of being cute and benching Ray Rice against the Steelers, remember that he’s averaging over 120 total yards per game and that Pittsburgh has been burned by pass-catching running backs in recent weeks.
With Kyle Orton back healthy — I can’t believe I’m using this as a positive — Brandon Marshall goes back to being a WR1 against a susceptible Giants defense that has given up multiple TDs to wide receivers in four of the last five weeks.
Other Starters: Joe Flacco, Thomas Jones (pains me to write it, but he’s facing an awful Panthers defense), Michael Crabtree
Players to Bench: Despite his career game last week, Eli Manning should be on fantasy benches. No quarterback has thrown for 300 yards against the Broncos, and only Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have thrown more than one TD pass.
Pierre Thomas is continuing to split carries with Mike Bell, getting only 11 rushing attempts in each of the last two weeks. Facing the Patriots, and with Reggie Bush likely back to steal goal line carries, Thomas should only be seen as a flex option.
Miles Austin’s numbers have taken a tumble in recent weeks as opposing defenses have made adjustments to cover him. He’s barely reached 100 yards receiving in his last three weeks combined, and it won’t get much easier against the Raiders and Nnamdi Asomugha (and since it’s Thanksgiving and all, I’m thankful this isn’t recorded and I don’t have to pronounce his name).
Other Bench Warmers: Brady Quinn (I’m willing to bet he won’t get four TDs during the rest of the season combined), Matt Forte, Steve Smith 1.0 and Steve Smith 2.0.
Players to Think About: If you have an extra spot on your roster, you might want to use it on everyone’s favorite party boy, Matt Leinart. Kurt Warner is tentatively slated to start this week, but should the oft-injured QB miss any time, Leinart has the weapons (and ridiculously easy schedule) to be a viable fantasy starter.
Rock Cartwright is the newest starting RB in Washington after Ladell Betts was placed on IR. He picked up 140 total yards against a tough Cowboys defense, making him, well, um, solid as a rock (note that we would’ve also accepted, “Can you smell what the Rock is cookin’” if this were 1998).
Brandon Gibson has caught 12 passes for 154 yards in the last two weeks, though unfortunately, he has Kyle Boller throwing to him this week. And I’m using the word “throwing” very loosely.
Other Sleepers: Vince Young, Fred Jackson (just not against Miami this week), Laveranues Coles
That’s it for this week. Remember to keeping checking DolfansNYC.com for all of the latest Dolphins news, and send us an email if you’d like to be included in next week’s video. If you’re in the New York area, stop by Third and Long on 35th Street and 3rd Avenue to watch the games with the rowdiest fans around. Until next week, I’m Alex with “What’s Your Fantasy?” Go Dolphins!