Cam Newton, QB, CAR – Newton showed us all, last week, that he can still put up some BIG numbers against bad teams. The team lost Jonathan Stewart and while fantasy owners wouldn’t believe it, it will have a negative impact on the team. DeAngelo Williams has been the worse of the two and with him getting the lion’s share of the work, I believe the running game will suffer significantly because of it. Expect them to ask Cam to pick up the slack around the goal line and expect him to have a nice day throwing as well. He falls just outside my top 10 but only because Kaepernick has a little more upside to me.
Jamaal Charles, RB, KC – The Chiefs are pretty bad and unfortunately that can mean abandoning the run and looking to the air but Carolina is ranked 25th at defending the run and Charles is better than your average running back. I think Crennel would like to keep his job and if that means winning more games, he just might give Charles another 30 carry game. Don’t rely on that but if Charles starts strong, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see it.
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND – The way to beat the Lions is by passing. They will be throwing a ton themselves (the leagues top passing offense), so you will have to keep up and their secondary is pretty porous. Andrew Luck has been solid and Wayne has been great as he is on pace to beat his personal record for single season receiving yards.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG – I don’t think he can hold up all the way through a playoff run, physically, and history backs me up on that. However, the Giants need to MAKE the playoffs first and a key to that will be keeping Robert Griffen III off the field by running the ball with Bradshaw. I don’t expect Coughlin to suddenly throw David Wilson out there more than he has to. The Redskins defense is really bad too so i’m looking for a great performance from Bradshaw as well as the passing game.
Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC - I ranked Cecil Shorts considerably higher but Blackmon was the more surprising to me, considering that he was the second guy to make it into the top 25. Buffalo’s defense has been pretty stout in recent weeks but that doesn’t mean that there isnt fantasy production to go around. The weak spot, still, is the secondary and if Henne and the Jags wanna win some games, they will pass a TON this week. Even if MJD makes it out there, you have to think it’s a limited touches scenario and the passing game will remain the feature of the offense.
Danario Alexander, WR, SD – He’s started three games and even with one of them being as a tight-end, he has been the most effective receiver in every single one. This is a really good flex-option and he is fast approaching WR 2 territory with another strong game this week.
Trent Richardson, RB, CLE – I didn’t know I hated Richardson till I finished my rankings and looked at what the other websites had up… TOP THREE?! Not for me. He’s been great and I think he is one of the best RB2′s you can ask for but he’s a Cleveland Brown and that limits your upside significantly. I would not start him over any of the elite guys just because of his nice match-up. So, if you own Peterson, Doug Martin and CJ Spiller, which is incredibly possible, you just keep Richardson on your bench and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL – I wouldn’t blame PPR owners for playing him but even there he is a flex play at best against the incredibly stout 49er defense.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN – People, hear me now and remember how right I was later… THIS IS NOT A TOP 10 RUNNING BACK. He’s put up far too many awful performances, he plays behind an awful offensive line and plays against the Texans this week.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE – I really thought he was going to be a flex play again for one more week but I just couldn’t do it. Not with your playoff chances on the line. Sit him down and live to fight another week.
Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ – I really like Keller but he hasn’t been consistent and all I can think about is the fact that the Cardinals picked off Matt Ryan 5 times a couple weeks ago and now they play Sanchez.