Everyone knows to start Peyton
Manning every week, regardless of the match-up. But not all decisions
are as easy at that one. So to help you decide who you should
start and who you should bench I have identified the players at
the QB, RB and WR positions that should excel this week and should
be started, as well as the players who will struggle this week
and should be benched.
Let's start with the QB position. You shouldn't have to be told,
but just in case... always, always start the following players:
Romo and Philip
Rivers. Now onto the question marks…
Bye Weeks: Dallas, Kansas City,
Minnesota, Tampa Bay, so that means Tony Romo, Matt Cassel, Brett
Favre and Josh Freeman are all benched.
Quarterbacks Who Will Outperform Relative
To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype
Matt Ryan vs. SF
The 49ers only give up 217 yards per game, but they are horrible
in most other passing categories. They’ve allowed a league
high 7 TDs, the fifth worst yards per attempt average (7.7), the
second worst completion percentage (71%), the second worst QB
rating allowed (109.8), and they have only 3 sacks in 3 games
– in addition to allowing a league high 87 points (tied
with Buffalo). Ryan is averaging 235 yards per game and has a
5-to-1 TD / INT ratio. He should pick apart the ‘Niners
and pad his stats.
Mark Sanchez @ BUF
Sanchez shut me up last week with his second consecutive solid
outing. Is it possible that Mr. Inconsistent is becoming Mr. Reliable?
He should easily continue his success this week against Buffalo.
The Bills are allowing 221 yards per game, give up 7.7 yards per
completion, have given up 5 TDs without a getting a single INT,
have just 4 sacks, and are tied for the league lead in points
allowed (87),. Sanchez only averages 183 yards per game but has
6 TDs, 0 INTs and a QB rating of 104.9 – the sixth best
in the league. Look for him to have his third straight impressive
Vince Young vs. DEN
Take the FPts and don't ask questions.
Vince Young takes on a Denver defense currently giving up 7.4
yards per completion, 240 yards per game, a league high 7 TDs,
the fourth highest number of big plays (20+ yards), a 96.7 QB
rating and just 2 sacks. Young, meanwhile, is averaging just 112
yards per game, has 3 TDs and 2 INTs, but has a 96.9 QB rating
and is completing nearly 70% of his passes. He hasn’t done
much on the ground (except fumble) so I’m predicting a big
rushing game for him in addition to his passing stats. Clearly
this is a vote against Denver’s pass defense more than a
vote for Young’s quarterback skills, but hey, you take it
anyway you can get it.
Alex Smith @ ATL
Now that offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye has been fired how long
will it be before a QB switch is made to David Carr? Smith is averaging
a decent 244 yards per game, although mostly because they’ve been
getting their butts kicked and need to throw. He has just 2 TDs
to go along with his 5 INTs, and his QB rating is second lowest
in the league for starting QBs – right behind Brett Favre (Matt
Moore’s is worse but he’s no longer the starter – for now). Atlanta
gives up the fourth most yards per completion (7.9) and 238 yards
per game, and while their other pass defense stats are good, I’m
anticipating a 49ers coming out party this weekend led by Mr. Smith.
Eli Manning vs. CHI
For as good as the Bears run defense is, their pass defense is
can be exploited. Chicago is 28th in the league, giving up 279
yards a game. The Bears give up the third most pass attempts per
game at 43. They don’t give up big plays or many TDs (just
2), but they also don’t get to the passer (just 2 sacks)
– a trend Eli would love to see continue. Manning is averaging
270 yards a game., has 5 TDs and 6 INTs, but at least half of
those INTs were no fault of his own. Let’s excuse his stupidity
(last week’s goal line “flick” that was intercepted)
and look for Eli to have another big day through the air, at least
with yardage if not TDs.
Quarterbacks Who Will Under Perform
Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype
Bruce Gradkowski vs. HOU
The Houston Texans pass defense; you all remember them, right?
The team giving up a league high 369 yards per game, and the only
team to allow 1,000+ yards passing. The team giving up the second
highest yards per completion (9.1), and one of only three teams
with 0 INTs. The team giving up the second most big plays (20+
yards) in the league and the worst QB rating allowed at 116.8.
And yes, the team allowing the highest completion percentage in
the league at 73%. However… Gradkowski is still settling in, has
completed just 50% of his passes to date, and is only averaging
208 yards per game. It’s true, you can’t run on the Texans so
Gradkowski will get his opportunity but my hunch is we may see
Jason Campbell before it’s all said and done.
Jimmy Clausen @ NO
Is he better than Matt Moore? Yes! I could’ve told you that
as soon as the Panthers drafted him. Getting rid of Delhomme was
the right thing to do, but counting on Matt Moore was not. Clausen
made his debut last week and had basically the same average stats
that Moore had in his first 1½ games. New Orleans’
pass defense is nothing special – pretty average across
the board but after an OT loss against a division rival (Atlanta)
last week the Saints will be head hunting. I would not want to
be this rookie QB this week.
Charlie Batch vs. BAL
Headline: Third string QB takes on league’s best pass defense.
Baltimore gives up 117 yards per game – best in the league, has
allowed 1 TD – best in the league, and only 4 big plays (20+ yards)
– the best in the league. They have 0 INTs and only 5 sacks, but
opposing QBs only complete 55% of their passes (4th best in the
league). There’s no way Batch has a big game against the Ravens.
Now Rashard Mendenhall, that’s another story…
Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. NYJ
Big deal, Trent Edwards was cut and is now in Jacksonville. All
that means is fans will start screaming for Brian Brohm in a week
or two. It’s not Fitzpatrick (or Edwards’) faults – the Bills
coaching choices have been as perplexing as the Raiders over the
years. The Jets pass defense is as surprisingly bad as the Ravens
run defense this year. The Jets are allowing 275 yards per game
– 27th in the league! Guess they should’ve had things worked out
with Revis sooner. Revis is unlikely to play this week with his
bad hammy but even without Revis and the poor start the Jets have
gotten off to I don’t see Fitzy lighting up the scoreboard.