James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
OK, here is where the test starts for the Bengals as the defenses get much tougher from here on out. What that means in fantasy football terms is that you will have to be selective when and where you play guys like A.J. Green, Cedric Benson and Andy Dalton for those in two-QB leagues.
Benson might actually benefit with the coming schedule since the next four games (Ravens, Browns, Steelers and Texans) are all good at stopping the pass, but struggle somewhat with the run. Green is nursing a bad knee right now and might not even play, so you will want to sit him down until further notice; Dalton is only an option in two-QB leagues or 18-team or deeper leagues moving forward. The schedule is just too tough right now when we need him the most.
There are some solid waiver-wire pickups like Kendall Hunter and Earl Bennett sitting out there. Hunter is someone you want to stash on the bench for when the 49ers lock up the division and rest Frank Gore for the playoffs. Bennett on the other hand is someone to play right now because his value is as high as it is going to get. Sooner or later he is going to remember that he is Earl Bennett and go back to being a very average WR for the Bears.
Byes: Texans, Colts, Saints, Steelers
Vince Young: The Iggles haven't ruled Vick out yet, but I think Young starts and Vick is the emergency backup against the Giants. The Giants are giving up the 12th-fewest points to QBs this season, but the Eagles offense hasn't really clicked yet either. I see Young as a possible low-end QB1 with some upside if DeSean Jackson decides to prove his critics wrong this weekend.
Carson Palmer: Palmer has shown that the time off has done his body some good, and this weekend he gets the Vikings, who give up the third-most fantasy points to QBs. Denarius Moore has shot up the fantasy rankings and Palmer is the reason for it, and with the woeful Vikings secondary, there is no reason to think Palmer won't finish the weekend as a solid QB1.
Marshawn Lynch: Good things happen to fantasy players when the Rams defense is on the field, and that is who Lynch faces this weekend. Not only has Lynch posted back-to-back 100-plus-yard games, but he has scored a TD in 5 of his last 6 games and the Rams give up over 21 PPG to RBs this season. I'm thinking Lynch is a RB2 with solid upside this week. I had Lynch as a sleeper in my preseason rakings, and it looks like he has finally awakened from his slumber.
James Starks: The Buccaneers defense is allowing the most fantasy points to RBs this season at 26.3 PPG. And, Starks is getting 67 percent of the carries between he and Ryan Grant, and Starks is racking up 76 percent of the rushing yards. Look for Starks to finish with solid RB2 numbers this weekend if Aaron Rodgers gets out to an early lead.
Laurent Robinson: Robinson showed great rapport with Tony Romo last week and rewarded his owners by racking up 73 yards and two scores. This week he gets the Redskins, who are allowing the sixth-fewest points to WRs, but I think Robinson has a good shot at 70-plus yards and a score this weekend. He is a solid WR2/3 and could nicely fill your flex spot if your starters are in place.
Denarius Moore: Moore was a training camp sensation that looked good heading into the season, but fizzled out in his first game of the season. He did bust out with 5 catches for 146 yards and a score in Week 2, but regressed in the weeks that followed. He finally decided to show back up last week with 5 catches for 123 yards and 2 TDs, and one has to wonder if he will regress all over again. I am going to give him a play this week since the Vikings do give up fantasy points, but I am hedging my bet by saying there is a real chance of him being a bust after a breakout performance last week.
Fred Davis: The Redskins are so desperate to find something in the way of a passing game that they re-signed WR Donte Stallworth this week. Fred Davis is the lone bright spot in the passing attack, and the Cowboys are allowing the second-most points to TEs this season at 10 PPG. This is a rivalry game and the Redskins can always forget to play offense, but TE is an all-or-nothing position in fantasy football, and Davis is not a bad option this week.
New England Patriots Defense: The Patriots defense is among the worst in the NFL, but the Chiefs offense is about to be the worst in the NFL. I will give the Patriots credit for at least having starting-caliber players on the defense, but the fact that Palko is starting at QB tells me that an offense that was already bad is about to go nuclear and completely melt down. I'd play the Patriots as a top 5 play this week and feel just fine about it.
Tyler Palko: I've received numerous emails asking if people should start Palko and the answer is unequivocally NO. As I said earlier, Palko isn't someone that has the skills to succeed at this level, and the only reason he is going to play for the Chiefs is their lack of anyone else to put under center. I'd cut bait with him right now and let some other owner lose his fantasy matchup because of Palko. Sometimes the best move you can do is to cut a player so someone else will pick him up and play him!
John Skelton: After last week's performance, people are thinking they may find waiver wire gold in the Skelton Mountains. Guess again. Skelton got off on maybe the most overrated defense in the NFL last week, but this week he faces the most physical and dominating defense, the 49ers. As much as I loathe Palko, it would be a close call if I had to pick from these two QBs this weekend.
Beanie Wells: Wells is one of those guys I keep playing in my leagues because you keep thinking he will bust out eventually and Kevin Kolb will get defenses scared enough to open up some running lanes. While that may happen, it won't happen this weekend against the league's top ranked run defense. Wells is going to play, but he wouldn't play on my fantasy team.
Jackie Battle: You guys don't understand how bad Palko is going to be, I get it. The guy would be a third-string QB on just about any other team in the league, which means teams will just stack eight in the box and shut down the run when he can't move it through the air. I'd be a seller of ANYONE in a Chiefs uni ASAP!
Stevie Johnson: The Bills came out of the gate with a burst and had fans around the NFL thinking they were contenders. I personally never put faith in them because the talent level on the Bills isn't high enough for them to do real damage in the AFC East. Over the last four weeks Johnson has averaged 3.7 catches and 49.7 YPG, down from the 5.6 receptions and 68.6 YPG he had over the first five games of the season. Johnson scored in four of his first six games, but has failed to score since the bye in Week 7. Johnson's value is dropping like a rock and you should trade him if at all possible.
Steve Breaston: Breaston is in a lot of lineups as a WR3, but with the downgrade to Palko, I want no part of Breaston now or going forward. If I had him on my squad, I'd look to trade him as soon as possible and take just about whatever I could get for him before Palko completely kills his fantasy value.
Brandon Pettigrew: The Panthers are solid against the TE, ranking 13th in fantasy points to TEs this season. Couple that with Matthew Stafford nursing a broken right (throwing) index finger and you have a recipe for failure for Pettigrew.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense: This defensive unit is a fantasy rollercoaster for sure, and this week I think they are on the downswing as they face Eli Manning and the Giants. I am not a big fan of Manning, but I also have to recognize the elite level at which he plays from time-to-time. Add to that a solid running game and the lack of ability to stop anyone on defense for the Iggles, and you have a defense that is owned in just over 80 percent of fantasy leagues that should be sat down this week in 100 percent of formats.
Q: I am a lifelong Bengals fan. I check Bengals.com daily and I read your articles every week on there. I figured it might be time to finally ask a couple of questions. I'm trying to set my lineups for Week 11. I have questions about 2 of my teams. In one league, here are my RBs: LeSean McCoy, Michael Turner, DeMarco Murray, and Marshawn Lynch. This is a standard Yahoo League (so no flex). The other league I have questions at RB and WR. It is a 10-team league that plays a flex position that can be an extra QB/RB/WR/TE. I always start a second QB because of the added points. My 2 QBs are Aaron Rodgers and Andy Dalton. At RB, I have DeMarco Murray, Cedric Benson, LeGarrette Blount, Daniel Thomas, Jackie Battle, and Chris Ogbonnaya. I am definitely starting Murray, but I have been leaning towards Battle at the other RB spot. At WR, I have Greg Jennings, Damian Williams, Earl Bennett, A.J. Green, Jonathan Baldwin, and Marques Colston. I do like playing guys who play in prime time, but I'm not sure if I should give Baldwin a shot over Bennett or Williams. I could clinch playoff berths in all 3 leagues this week. My other league I am pretty well set because almost all of my bench players are on bye. I am 8-2 in an 18-team league and 7-3 in both of the leagues I asked about.
--Joe Elder, Indianapolis, IN
A: Thanks for reading every week; I appreciate all the page hits and Bengals fans I can help!
I'd go McCoy and Murray at RB. Better matchups and the Iggles might very well be without Vick. If they are forced to use Young, I am sure you will get a heavy dose of McCoy.
The Bengals schedule gets VERY tough from here on out with regards to the passing game, so I am not a fan of Dalton moving forward. I'd go Murray and Benson at RB. Battle has Palko at QB and the guy is a third-string QB for any other team in the NFL, so teams are going to shut them down on offense.
At WR, Green is hurt and dealing with the same problems Dalton is with the pass defenses. Go with Jennings, Williams and Bennett until the latter two start sputtering.
In the flex I'd use Blount.
We are both Bengals fans, but in fantasy football there is no loyalty. I traded Green in the leagues I owned him in because the schedule is just too tough right when the fantasy playoffs hit. I think this kid is the real deal, but fantasy football is all about stats.