Reggie "Beat Around the" Bush got outside for a TD against the Redskins. Can he do it against the Bills as well? (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
As of 10pm on Thursday night, it looks bleak if you're forced to start any Jets or Broncos. Additionally, the future looks bleak for the Jets as they struggle more than they should vs a poor Denver team. Hopefully you were able to sit those involved in Thursday Night's
Sleeper game, but let's see who you should actually put out on the field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: His play has dropped the past few weeks, but he's still thrown a TD in each of his past five games and has thrown seven total during that period. Unfortunately, he's also thrown an interception in each of the past five games as well with a total of nine interceptions. Fortunately for him, Miami doesn't make a habit of picking off opposing QBs. It's pretty likely his interception streak will come to an end, but it's unlikely Miami will stop his streak of TDs.
Carson Palmer: He has thrown for over 300 yards in each of his two starts and though he hasn't been great, he's also put up five TDs. He may throw some more interceptions, but his TDs and yards will make up for it. He'll be facing the 30th ranked pass defense with the Vikings, but they'll be without CB Antoine Winfield.
Tim Tebow: He gets an honorary position for beating the Jets on Thursday Night. The Jets are 5-5 and their competition for the Wild Card, the Raiders (5-4), Ravens (6-3), and Broncos (5-5) beat the Jets and hold tie-breakers over them. That gives Tebow the honorary Start 'em position this week.
Vince Young: He may get the start over Michael Vick, but the Eagles offense won't adjust just for Young. His WRs are banged up and he's going against a formidable defensive front four with the New York Giants.
Andy Dalton: He did pretty good against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but now he goes on the road to Baltimore this week. The Ravens have a very strong defense as well, but the killer blow is a banged up A.J. Green. A hobbled Green won't make it any easier for Dalton.
DeMarco Murray: Yes, Felix Jones may return. Don't take that as a sign that Murray will play second fiddle. He's coming off back-to-back games where he topped 130 yards rushing and has three 100-yard rushing games in the past 4 weeks, including his 253 yard breakout against the Rams.
LeGarrette Blount: When the Bucs trail in the game, which has been often, they tend to abandon the running game. Instead, Kregg Lumpkin tends to come in as a receiving back for Tampa Bay. Blount is a great RB when the Bucs are playing close or are in the lead, but they play the Packers. Unless the Bucs drop 17 points or more by halftime, which they won't, they'll resort to the pass for the second half.
Jackie Battle: The Patriots are going to force Tyler Palko to beat them, meaning they're going to shut down Kansas City's running game. Being that Battle is ineffective catching the ball out of the backfield, it's unlikely he'll contribute in that aspect. He just screams bad play.
Arian Foster: Because he's been on such a tear, owners may forget to look at him in the lineup. Often they tend to neglect checking on the star players because you don't remove them no matter their opponent. Except Foster has a bye week this week. Make sure you move him, but only this one time.
Denarius Moore: 9 receptions, 284 yards, and 2 TDs. Those are his numbers in the past two weeks when Palmer became Oakland's starting QB. That should be enough to play him against Minnesota's poor passing defense.
Brandon Marshall: He's constantly targeted by Matt Moore and was 2 yards shy of getting back-to-back 100-yard games. He will get plenty of targets and should haul in at least 4 passes so it's likely he'll get yards against Buffalo's 27th ranked pass defense. If the Bills regain their offensive form, they will force Miami into the air, increasing Marshall's targets.
Jabar Gaffney: He's done pretty well so far, but without Santana Moss or Leonard Hankerson playing opposite of him, he's going to be the focal point for opposing secondaries. Dallas' pass rush and their 13th ranked pass defense won't make it any easier.
Mike Williams (TB): I wouldn't start Seattle's Mike Williams either, but the Tampa Bay WR hasn't scored since opening week and still is without a 100-yard game. At some point you have to pull the plug and William's plug should've been pulled three weeks ago. He's bench fodder at this point in the season. In case you need another reason, Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams will be lined up opposite of him.
Tony Gonzalez: He's scored two weeks in a row now and is always a good bet to get at least 60 yards. Being that he's scored a TD in 5 of 8 games, you have to like his chances against the Titans.
Vernon Davis: Perhaps a gut feeling on this one, but Davis appears to being involved more in the offense after a slow October. The Cardinals have a pretty decent set of CBs on the outside so Davis will be a great option in the middle of the field for Alex Smith.
Jermaine Gresham: A large part of this decision goes to him playing the Ravens, who have good safeties to match up with Gresham. Additionally, the loss of Green will make Gresham less of a threat. Gresham is a good red zone target fot Dalton so it may be possible he ends up with 20 or fewer yards, but may get a TD. Still, banking on a TD for a decent day is a poor gamble.
Ed Dickson: It's easy to overreact after his 10-catch, 2 TD performance against the Seahawks. The Bengals are a bit stingier on defense and I expect the matchup to be a more ground-and-pound game. Part of this may be due to Joe Flacco's inconsistency. The Ravens would be wise to run more and pass less, allowing their suffocating defense to take more of a burden.
Miami Dolphins Sleeper of the Week:
Miami's Defense: Well, I already mentioned Bush and Marshall above. This one could be a flip between Moore and Anthony Fasano as well, but Miami's defense has been improving in recent weeks. The Bills offense has been struggling and the loss of their center, Eric Wood, may cause some communication lapses on the line. Steve Johnson is banged up for the Bills and his availability remains in question. Miami may make another interception if a WR happens to slip on their route again as well. Maybe...