One thing that is new this week, as BTB guru Dave Halprin announced on Thursday afternoon, is the BTB Private League over at FanDuel. I encourage everyone who enjoys fantasy football to try their skills at FanDuel, and this is a great way to earn some BTB bragging rights at the same time. Heck, you can even earn a bit of extra pocket change while doing so. Now on to the topic at hand.
Tony Romo - Yes it is a division game, and anything could and usually does happen when these NFC East rivals get together, but this is one week where I would want Romo to be my starter. In week 7 Tony had a very solid outing against the New York defense (279 yards and three scores) and the Giants defense is more battered now than it was back then. I look for Romo to go off this weekend.
Josh McCown - The former Chicago Bears passer returns to the Windy City this weekend, and he is riding a hot streak since his return from injury. Since getting back on the gridiron McCown has been averaging nearly 300 yards per game. The Bears defense has left a lot to be desired this season, and they present opposing passers with one of the better match up opportunities this season.
Jay Cutler - Staying in the city by the lake, The Tampa Bay defense is not much better than the one the home team is going to put on the field. Cutler is coming off of a solid game against Minnesota and the Bucs D will present him with an opportunity to get a hot streak of his own started.
Matt Ryan - Matty ice has had opportunity after opportunity against favorable match ups this season, but he is just not putting up the points like he should. It is time for him to ride the pine. That decision is made easier when you consider that the Falcons will face a stingy Cleveland Browns defense which has been a nightmare pairing for QBs this season. (If you are looking for a defense for this week, there might be a hint in here somewhere.)
Robert Griffin,III - Last week Griffin looked anything but worthy of the plethora of draft picks that Dan Snyder invested in him and there appears to be trouble in paradise so don't look for a major rebound anytime soon. Griffin's conduct recently and his attitude might have Jay Gruden wishing that he could been his quarterback but he does not have that luxury. Fantasy owners do and they should exercise that option.
DeMarco Murray - Not one bit of homerism in this choice. DeMarco Murray is the NFL's top rusher this season and he is facing the league's worst run defense. Nothing else needs to be said.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy is having a very un-Shady-like season but at times he has flashed the skills that took him to the NFL rushing crown last season. Against the Tennessee Titans, who are doing their best to compete with the Giants, it stands to reason that this could be a flash weekend. Add in the fact that Mark Sanchez regressed to the mean last week and you know that Chip Kelly is going to give his top back every opportunity to get going.
Eddie Lacy - The last time the Pack and Vikings met, Lacy played his best football of the season. He put a pair of scores on the board and was well over 100 yards on the afternoon. Look for more of the same this time around.
Alfred Morris - Morris is the kind of back who can hurt you, but this week he faces the kind of defense that shuts down very good backs. The Niners have not given up a rushing touchdown in nearly a month and they have been stingy to backs all season long. The deck is stacked against Morris this weekend, so look for a Plan B for your line up.
Mark Ingram - The Saints RB struggles with good rushing defenses, and they don't come any better than the one the Baltimore Ravens will put on the field this weekend. Not only have the Ravens not allowed any back to break the 100 yard mark in 2014, they have not given up a 100 yard effort to any team. Ingram and the Saints will not be the ones to reverse that trend.
T. Y. Hilton - Again we look to the early season match up between these two clubs for some guidance. When the Colts and Jags hooked up last time, Hilton was going off on the Jacksonville defense before foot issues forced him from the game. The Jags pass defense is a train wreck most of the time, and Hilton is healthy so look for him to continue to dominate against this division rival.
Anquan Boldin - As long as Boldin does not hurt himself from laughing when he sees Tracy Porter line up across from him, the veteran receiver should turn in another outstanding effort. Look for Colin Kaepernick to find Boldin early and often as the 49ers pile insult on top of injury to a beleaguered Washington Redskins secondary.
Mike Evans - The rookie from Texas A&M has started to come into his own as an NFL receiver. He is riding a wave of 100+ yard efforts and is becoming something of a scoring machine for the Bucs. As long as Josh McCown finds his rhythm, look for him and Evans to light up a struggling Bears defensive secondary.
Reuben Randle - The new look New York Giants offense still has not found its groove and the tandem of Randle and Manning are struggling to make a connection this season. It has been almost two months since the Giants once promising prospect has found pay dirt and things do not show signs of improving against Dallas. Sterling Moore carried Randle around in his hip pocket earlier this season.
Julio Jones - Yeah he is one of those guys that you probably never want to bench, but don't expect a payday if you start Julio this week. Not only is Jones' quarterback struggling this season, but this week he has the added challenge of facing a team that features some guy named Joe Haden. The Cleveland Browns (at least the 2014 edition) are a damned good football team and they are playing some very solid defense right now. Jones will have an OK day, but that is all you can hope for.
Pierre Garcon - You know how much it pains me to say and Redskins player is struggling, but Garcon is. He is averaging one catch per every two games over the last month of the season. That does not get it done at any level of football, and with the quarterback situation in Washington, Pierre cannot count on his passer to help him get out of his funk.
Larry Donnell - It seems like every week I am telling you to start Donnell or to start whomever the Dallas Cowboys face because stopping the tight end is a weakness for the Dallas defense. This week I will tell you to take your pick since they are one and the same. In the first meeting with the Boys Donnell caught seven passes for 90 yards. Expect similar numbers this time around.
Delanie Walker - The Tennessee tight end is in a serious slump right now, and he faces the best team at defending the position this week in the Philadelphia Eagles. With the issues Philly is having, this might be the week the Titans get lucky but it will have to start with someone other than Walker.
Owen Daniels - The Saints are about as nasty of a match up for tight ends as the Eagles. Only Jermaine Gresham has been able to do any serious damage to New Orleans from the TE slot, and Daniels is nowhere near the receiving tight end that Gresham can be.
I just filled out my roster for this weekend using primarily players from this post (I had to drop a RB and a WR to be able to afford Split 'em as my kicker) so I am putting my money where my mouth is. Come on over and have some fun and compete for BTB bragging rights and some extra pocket change, to join click here.