After a big week five from Ahmad Bradshaw, Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck, should we start 'em, sit 'em, or just let them be?
Always active and interested in the lives of you, our fine and flawless readers, this week Playboy.com premieres the newest addition to our sporting family, our “Start ’Em, Sit ’Em” Fantasy Football guide. Each week, we’ll sort through the rubble of waiver wires and underappreciated players to find sneaky good players to start (or in some cases sit) to help you win your fantasy week. Please keep in mind that we’re not going after the big fish here; you should start Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Arian Foster all the times. These are the guys you might be on the fence about or find rotting on the wire. You can thank us later.
Matt Schaub: As he is wont to do, Drew Brees shredded the Packers for 400-plus yards two weeks ago, but the big surprise was Andrew Luck raining down majors and yards on the Green Bay secondary. Schaub isn’t always the most appealing fantasy signal caller (as Houston’s game is squarely grounded on the ground), but if a rookie can rip them 362 yards and two scores, you gotta believe Schaub can, too.
Rashard Mendenhall: Pittsburgh was without a bona fide back through the first four games, and if you’re wondering whether they missed Rashard Mendenhall, just check out his 15-point week five fantasy performance. He only saw 22 snaps, but that was enough for 68 yards and a score through the air. With another week to heal up he should see more snaps as the Steelers match up against the 28th-ranked run defense in Tennessee.
Andre Roberts: The Bills’ supposedly improved defense has been anything but; they’ve allowed ten touchdowns and the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers through the first five games. In an effort to avoid another scorching, they’ll likely focus their attention on Larry Fitzgerald, leaving Roberts, who’s already got four TDs, in man coverage down the other sideline.
Owen Daniels: Daniels is oddly still a free agent in some shallower leagues, but the veteran tight end has had a touchdown in three straight games and sits third in fantasy points at the position. Given the Packers’ “outscore the opposing offense” style of play, Daniels should again see plenty of open passes.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are well known for their D, but it’s been shaky at best in 2012 with injuries to key playmakers Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. Whether they play or not this week, the Steelers D looks like a safe bet against a Tennessee team that has struggled to get anything going on either side of the ball.
Check out who we’ve got on the bench on Page Two…
Matthew Stafford: Talk surrounding the Eagles has centered around offensive turnovers but has ignored what they’re capable of on the other side of the ball. They’ve held opposing quarterbacks to just 11 fantasy points a game, and Stafford has struggled to get a once 5,000-plus yard arm going. Sit him if you can.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Fantasy owners will struggle to sit Bradshaw after he lit up the Browns for 200 rushing yards and a score in week five. But with a different week comes a different beast, and the San Francisco 49ers lead the league in rushing yards surrendered. Take our advice: fight the urge, bench Bradshaw.
Brandon Lloyd: Despite a sizeable number of looks in his direction from a premier play-caller, Brandon Lloyd has yet to really reward fantasy owners who drafted him in the early rounds. Compounding matters this week is the return of one of Brady’s favorite targets, Aaron Hernandez, whom Lloyd will have to fight for fantasy relevancy, all the while fending off Seattle’s NBA forward-esque cornerbacks.
Scott Chandler: Chandler’s week four explosion against the Pats had a lot of fantasy owners salivating over his red zone potential, but here’s the real deal: Scott Chandler gets four catches a game. Now maybe they’ll be red zone targets, maybe they won’t, but there will be four of them. Against the Cards, there is little YAC potential, and Arizona hasn’t made a habit of surrendering scores to tight ends.
Seattle Seahawks: Seattle has become something of a set-and-forget defense; they’ve posted double-digit points in four of their five games and have yet to give up more than 20 points a game. But when is the last time you felt safe leaving a defense in against the Patriots?