James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for well over a decade. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers fantasy sections, as well as the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz fantasy basketball sections in the NBA. Last season James finished with an 82 percent accuracy rating for fantasy predictions and will be here to answer any questions you may have about your specific team. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
Last week Matt Hasselbeck returned and put up an impressive four passing TDs to go along with his 241 yards. On the opposite end we have Joe Flacco, who came crashing back to Earth with his 186 yards, 2 INTs and one TD. This week we have some favorable fantasy matchups to take advantage of while other weekly starters are going to be forced to the bench. The good news is you have me here to help you navigate through the muddy waters that are known as fantasy football.
Byes: Cowboys, Colts, Dolphins, 49ers
Asterisk: I feel like I must say that you need to understand my sit 'em rankings. If I say to sit a player, understand that it means they will not perform to their usual level. QB1s are expected to perform as QB2s or lower; RB1 as RB2, etc.
Tom Brady: OK, I've been pretty down on Brady all season long, but this week the Patriots hit this season's most surprising team, the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are ranked 31st in pass defense (287.6 YPG) and second in passing TDs against (13). If there were ever a week to get back on track, this would be it.
Matt Hasselbeck: I know this looks like a bandwagon pick, but the Cardinals are dead last in the NFL for passing defense (303 YPG) and are tied for sixth for TDs allowed with nine. He is on some waiver wires still and since the Seahawks have a less than stellar running game, I have no problem ranking him in the top 5 for QBs this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD has been a disappointment to a lot of owners this season and many of them are contemplating sitting him in favor of someone else. Well, don't do it this weekend as the Jaguars face the helpless Rams. Not to mention the fact that the team is hungry to avenge its shutout last week and put some serious points on the board.
Knowshon Moreno: San Diego is ranked 27th against the run (151 YPG allowed) and Moreno is still looking for his first 100-yard game. The Chargers are much better against the pass (No. 12) and I see the Broncos setting up the pass by establishing the run early and often.
Steve Smith (CAR): OK, I'm going out on a limb by picking the disappointing WR this week. The Bucs are ranked 21st against the pass and the Panthers need to get Smith involved if they want DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to have success.
Nate Burleson: I'm not a fan of Burleson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but I can't ignore the matchup and what they did last week. I'd have to give them both a start this week, but Burleson made the cut for the article over Housh.
Jermichael Finley: The kid is widely unknown and on a lot of waiver wires. I could see him putting up low end TE1 stats this weekend and is a better play than say Greg Olsen, Chris Cooley or even Kellen Winslow.
Washington Redskins Defense: The Redskins defense is on a lot of waiver wires currently, so you can snag them if you have the Giants or Bears defense. The Chiefs are a terrible team right now and I would have no problems picking up the Redskins for a week.
Eli Manning: Don't get too excited, Manning is an asterisk mark player this week. Manning has been playing so far ahead of anyone's expectations that he is a must start each week. However, this week the Giants face the Saints and they are ranked 11th against the pass. QB2 numbers are likely.
Mark Sanchez: Everyone is all high on the rookie because the Jets are 3-2 and on top of the division. But, the Bills are ranked sixth against the pass and held Derek Anderson to just 23 yards last weekend. I know, Anderson isn't very good, but he is the starter in Cleveland.
Steve Slaton: Slaton has not been the top 10 RB we expected him to be, and this weekend the Texans face off against the Bengals 12th-ranked run defense (98.8 YPG). It is also noteworthy that there is a talk of Slaton losing carries to Chris Brown.
Willis McGahee: I am still getting emails about McGahee and his value, but I am sorry to tell you that you missed that ship. It looks like the Ravens have finally grasped the fact that Ray Rice is the future and McGahee is gone after this season. If you can find someone to take him, you'd better hurry and get rid of him.
Lee Evans: I had some solid hopes for Evans this season, but those are out the window now. I wouldn't even be mad if someone told me they dropped Evans in favor of Maclin!
Jeremy Maclin: Now, since we are on the subject, I had to mention Maclin here because I have received so many emails from people who jumped on him just like they did with Mohammed Massaquoi and Louis Murphy. Maclin has a better QB than either of the previous two did, but DeSean Jackson is the man in Philly and I don't get excited over one week performances.
Greg Olsen: If you have other options at TE this week, you may want to look into using them. I have Olsen ranked at around No. 15 for TEs and he is more of an asterisk player than anything. I'd expect yards in the 50-70 range, but I'm not sold on him scoring.
Chicago Bears: The Bears defense has looked much different without Brian Urlacher and this week they run up against a rejuvenated Atlanta Falcons team. Michael Turner, Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez can wreak havoc against fantasy defenses and I don't have as much faith in the Bears defense as I once did.
Should I trade Rashard Mendenhall for Ryan Grant to the guy with Willie Parker on his bench? I am so eager to do it, but ...
--Brian Schenker, Bengals fan for life*
A: I wouldn't. Mendenhall is the real deal and Grant is spotty with production. Beat writer Ed Bouchette believes that there's been a "changing of the guard" in the Steelers backfield. Mendenhall has earned the lead back job. Bouchette projects him and Willie Parker to see a "2-1" carry split if Parker can return this week.
I would consider Mendenhall a fantasy starter the rest of the way and a better option than Grant.