I'm baaaaacccckkkk! Rejoice in the streets! Brian picked me up last week, like a good leader does, and filled in admirably. Since the last time I wrote this article, prior to the Miami game, the Buffalo Bills have gone from a 1-2 team getting ready to face a pair of winless teams and looking to get back into the division race to a 1-4 mess headed to New Jersey to face the fired up New York Jets. In case you've been hiding in a cave for the last two weeks, things ain't too pretty these days in Buffalo.
Not only have the actual outcomes and performances in these games been excruciating to watch, but there has also only been one fantasy relevant individual performance since the Tampa Bay win (Marshawn Lynch's 125 total yard, 6-reception game last week). It doesn't look like it'll get any easier this weekend when the Bills face the New York Jets, and the league's 8th ranked defense. Come on in after the jump and find out which individual players might be worth considering for your fantasy starting lineups this week:
Trent Edwards - I don't really know what else to say about Trent anymore. It's painful watching him play, almost torture-like. He's been so bad the last three games that it's impossible to even consider him for a fantasy start. How bad has he been, you ask? Well he's completed just 50 of 92 passes, for 500 yards, one touchdown, five interceptions, 5.4 yards per attempt and a fantastic 51.0 quarterback rating. Oh, and he's been sacked 12 times, as well. I'd say that's almost Jamarcus Russell-like, but he hasn't been that bad. Don't expect anything to change anytime soon, though. The Jets have been tough against the pass this year, allowing just 194.4 yards per game (8th in the NFL) and an excellent 54.2 completion percentage (3rd in the NFL). As well as the Jets defense has played at time this year, they do have just four interceptions and four sacks. Expect those numbers to increase, unfortunately. One sliver of hope: Edwards threw for a career best 289 yards in his only game against the Jets last year. Of course, he turned it over three times and was sacked five teams, but that's not the point! Steer clear and avoid wasting a roster spot on Edwards at this point. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Mark Sanchez - The Sanchise (or is it the Franchez?) has been a nice surprise for the Jets with his solid all-around play, but it has yet to translate to much in regards to fantasy football. After throwing for 272 yards in the opener against the Texans, Sanchez has yet to top 175 yards since. He's had his moments and made some excellent throws, but he's still a rookie that will have plenty of growing pains. His numbers are quite similar to Edwards', though his play has been a bit more composed and effective. The Bills have improved their pass defense of late (thanks to the Dolphins not needing to pass and the Browns' receivers being awful), moving up to 6th in the NFL against the pass and allowing just one touchdown pass in the past three games. Still, don't bother considering him as a starter unless you are absolutely desperate. Sanchez, at home with a good running attack propping him up, would make for the better start if you somehow had to choose between the two. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Marshawn Lynch - Lynch returned to fantasy relevance last week after his three game suspension and one game lack of production. He rushed for 69 yards on 17 carries (4.1 ypc) and added 6 receptions for 56 yards. He's still looking for his first touchdown on the year and it looks like it'll be a tough year in that regard, going forward. He'll again get more of the carries, although it'll hardly be a majority ownership of the workload. In two games, Lynch has also added 11 receptions for 99 yards, a major boon for PPR owners. Look for that to continue while Trent Edwards searches for the long lost city of downfield passing. I expect Lynch to have a pretty good performance this week against a Jets defense that is 19th in the NFL, allowing 110 yards per game on the ground and 4.2 yards per carry. It won't be easy, especially since they couldn't run it that well against a terrible Browns defense, but there will be some opportunities to pick up some chunks of yards. I expect Lynch to get around 15 carries, add another 4-6 receptions and probably end up with in the neighborhood of 80 total yards. If you get points for receptions, Lynch makes for a good flex play. Other than that, I might keep him out of the lineup. Verdict: Start 'Em as a flex only
Fred Jackson - What happened to the Fred Jackson of the first three games? The easy answer is Marshawn Lynch, but Jackson hasn't looked like the same player either. Of course, the offensive line has done him no favors, but Jackson is no longer a fantasy starting option with Lynch back. His role in the passing game has been reduced, which limits his usability as a flex, and he's only seeing 13 touches to Lynch's 18. It's doubtful he'd be the goal line back either if the Bills were to stumble upon that part of the field again anytime soon. If you have a guy like Marion Barber, Joseph Addai, Ronnie Brown or Frank Gore, or have used Donald Brown, Tashard Choice or Ricky Williams in your flex position, Jackson may be worth a gamble as your flex starter, but I'd be looking elsewhere. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Thomas Jones - Jones just keeps chugging along picking up small chunks of yards and short yardage touchdowns. He's only averaging 54 yards rushing per game and 3.7 yards per carry, but does have five touchdowns. With the Bills and their terrible run defense coming to town, expect Jones to see a spike in production this week. Buffalo's defense has allowed 154.6 yards per game on the ground, 4.7 yards per carry and 7 rushing touchdowns. Against the Bills in 2008, Jones ran for 147 and a pair of touchdowns on 4.6 ypc in the Jets' two victories. I think his final line will look like what he averaged against the Bills last season, something in the vicinity of 60-80 yards and a touchdown. I wouldn't hesitate starting him against one of the league's worst run defenses. Verdict: Start 'Em
Leon Washington - Washington has put up some big plays against Buffalo in the past, despite limited touches in those games. Last year, he had a 40 yard reception in the first meeting and a 47 yard touchdown rush in the second. The Jets continue to talk about getting him more touches and have actually done a good job of doing that thus far this year with four 10+ carries out of five so far. He hasn't really broken any big plays yet, which leads me to believe he's going to bust out any game now. Knowing the Bills, it'll be happening this Sunday. The Bills have given up six rushes of 20+ yards so far this year, 4th most in the league. Washington will have his opportunities and it's likely he'll hit at least one big play this week. If I owned him, I'd consider using him as my RB2, and definitely as a flex. Verdict: Start 'Em in all
Shonn Greene - Greene is starting to get some carries for the Jets, but it'd be hard to imagine him getting enough work to do any fantasy damage, barring injury. Keep an eye on him though. If the Jets were up big in the second half, Green would likely see a lot of carries. For fantasy, it's not worth taking that risk though. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Terrell Owens - T.O. has been quiet this year, on the field and off, which is a surprise to many (most). With Edwards and the offensive line struggling so much, it's hard to imagine Owens breaking out unless the gameplan is to get it to him as much as possible. That isn't likely to happen, so T.O. should remained planted on your bench. He'll also likely see a ton of Darrelle Revis this week, so expectations for a big game are hard to envision. At some point he'll have a big game, but it doesn't look like this will be the week. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Lee Evans - I've already said I'm never recommending starting Evans again this year, and I'm sticking with that. I do think Evans has a good chance to hit on a big play when Revis is blanketing Owens. I expect the game plan to involve more fly patterns this week to give Edwards a chance to make a big play (and maybe to appease an angry fanbase). However, I'd hardly count on any of this to happen, so continue benching Evans. In shallowing leagues, I'd probably cut the cord and go fishing in the free agent pool for someone who is in a more stable situation. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Braylon Edwards - Edwards looked good against Miami on Monday night scoring his first touchdown as a Jet. It's tough to figure out if he'll rise to the challenge of his new situation or slink back to his underachieving, butterfinger ways. This week, the matchup isn't a bad one for Edwards. It's looking like Jerricho Cotchery won't be playing because of a bad hamstring, so there will be extra opportunities for Edwards against the Bills banged up secondary. It's his first home game as a Jet, so I expect him to be fired up while the team looks to get him involved early. He also had one of his better games last season against the Bills (8 for 104). As always, he'll be a good option for Sanchez in the red zone due to his size and leaping ability. Verdict: Start 'Em
Jerricho Cotchery - As I just mentioned, Cotchery is unlikely to play. Even if he does end up playing, make sure he's on your bench. It's never good to rely on a WR with hamstring issues. Verdict: Sit 'Em
David Clowney - With Cotchery out, it's likely that Clowney will get the start opposite Edwards. He has just five career receptions, but four of them came last week for 72 yards when he was given the opportunity to get extended playing time. He should get the extra looks this week with Cotchery likely out, and fellow backup WR Brad Smith banged up, so he might be worth considering. If you need help at WR, you may want to take a risk on Clowney. I'd look elsewhere, though. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Brad Smith - Smith also missed practice on Thursday, so his status is up in the air. He's not an option when healthy anyway, so move along.
Derek Fine - After catching five passes against New Orleans, Fine has just one receptions for eight yards in the two games since. We all figured he'd pick up some of Derek Schouman's receiving slack, but apparently not. Look elsewhere unless you start 3 TE's. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Shawn Nelson - Bills' fans want to see more of Nelson in the passing game, and it'd be nice if it were to happen, but it's not something anybody should be relying on. Maybe by the end of the year he'll be a decent option here, but not now. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Dustin Keller - After a solid rookie season and a good week 1 performance, big things were expected out of Keller. It has yet to materialize, however. In the past four games, Keller has just 8 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown, which includes getting shut out last week. Going against the Bills defense who has been TE friendly, Keller could see a nice rebound performance. With Cotchery and Smith looking very iffy, Keller could see an expanded role in the passing game this week. If you are a Jason Witten, Dallas Clark or Vernon Davis owner, Keller makes for a solid bye week fill-in. Verdict: Start 'Em as a fill-in
Rian Lindell - Like the rest of the Bills, Lindell hasn't seen too many scoring opportunities of late. In the past three games he has just seven total points. Look elsewhere for your kicker. Verdict: Sit 'Em
Jay Feely - Feely is a perfect 8-for-8 on the season (as well as connecting on 22 straight overall) and looks to be a decent option against the Bills this week. Since this position is such a crapshoot on a weekly basis, start Feely if you have a gut-feelying. Harf harf harf. Verdict: Start 'Em
Buffalo D/ST - The Bills defense continues to lack big plays and turnovers, but have done a surprisingly reasonable job of getting to the QB. With terrible Special Teams and an overall lack of production regarding fantasy defensive statistics, it's not worth bothering with this unit. Verdict: Sit 'Em
New York Jets D/ST - The Jets, on the other hand, look like an excellent option this week going up against a bad Bills' offensive line and a quarterback who is regressing. The Bills are likely to start a rookie 5th rounder plucked off the Packers' practice squad (Jamon Meredith) at right tackle. Pressure has been on Trent Edwards, figuratively and literally, all season. The Jets only have four sacks, but I'd be surprised if they didn't double that this weekend. Don't forget Leon Washington in the return game either. Verdict: Start 'Em
Lee Evans - I'm not going to pull a Brian and say no one, but there really aren't too many options here. I'll roll with Evans since nobody expects much of him for the rest of the season, as sad as that is for a $9M per season WR. As I mentioned above, I expect the Bills to try to get it to him deep this week and he should see a fair share of the returning Lito Sheppard. It wouldn't surprise me if he were to hit on a long one this week.
David Clowney - I don't consider Leon Washington a sleeper this week because most people seem to think he'll have a good week, so let's go with another WR here. As a starting WR, Clowney will get some extra looks and has shown some playmaking ability the past two preseasons. Plus, doesn't it seem like guys always have their breakout performances against the Bills?
Week 6 is already upon us, and it's time to make your move in your fantasy leagues. As always, take this "advice" with a grain of salt and good luck! Enjoy the games everyone.