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Gut feelings on Week Eight

Let's start in Kansas City, where the Bills meet the Chiefs. Six of the top 16 fantasy running backs are on bye this week, which for me means I'm starting Bills RB Fred Jackson for the first time this season. I think Fred goes for 100 combined yards today. The big question will be can he reach the end zone? I'll say yes.

For more thoughts on today's game, check out my column from Football Friday.

Bengals QB Carson Palmer was who I thought we was last week (a relevant fantasy QB). I'm saying he'll continue that this week against a Miami secondary that has given up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.

Tony Romo owners would have done well to pick up his backup this week. I'm starting Cowboys QB Jon Kitna in one of my leagues (my QBs, Joe Flacco and Eli Manning, are on bye) based solely on his matchup with the Jaguars at home.

I never thought I'd advocate using Patrick Crayton, but the Chargers WR is a decent start with Malcom Floyd out. Crayton has averaged 100 yards the past two weeks.

The sun has come up, the world is still spinning and Brett Favre will start. This one might backfire on me, but I'd start the Vikings QB today if I had him. With seemingly the whole world against him, I could see Favre rising to the occasion. The fact he's playing a poor New England pass defense and has a motivated Randy Moss on his side helps.

Amazingly enough, Seattle WR Mike Williams has 21 catches over the past two weeks. Even though he's the clear-cut No. 1 option for the Seahawks, I'd sit him this week against Oakland. He faces receiver-erase Nnamdi Asomugha.

I like Beanie Wells as a low-end No. 1 RB this week for Arizona. The Cardinals are facing a Bucs' run defense that has allowed a league-high 5.3 yards per carry.

Indy QB Peyton Manning threw the ball 57 times against the Texans in Week One. I'm thinking the Colts will try and achieve a better run-pass balance today against Houston. Just who will run the ball for the Colts with Joseph Addai out is the problem. If you have him, give third-stringer Mike Hart a start today as a No. 3 RB or flex player.

Washington QB Donovan McNabb has killed me this season. His play hasn't been that bad, but he's yet to throw for at least two touchdowns in a single week. I'm giving him one more chance today, partly out of necessity, against the Lions.

Good luck in Week Eight!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Gut feelings on Week Seven

First things first: Indianapolis, Detroit, Houston and the New York Jets are on bye.

He's been brutal this season at times, but you can start Bengals QB Carson Palmer today. The Falcons' pass defense was lit up last week by Kevin Kolb, and if the Bengals fall behind, they'll be throwing a lot.

I have stubbornly started Redskins QB Donovan McNabb this season, but that stops today. The Bears have allowed just three passing touchdowns this season, and McNabb's biggest problem is he hasn't thrown enough.

The Philadelphia defense is good, but it's not particularly strong against tight ends, which means Titans TE Bo Scaife could be a sleeper today. 

In the same game, even though I don't love the matchup, I'm starting Eagles QB Kevin Kolb against the Titans. Tennessee gets after the QB, with an NFL-high 24 sacks, so Kolb will need to get the ball out quickly.

I'm hoping Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe rides the momentum of a good performance against Houston last week. I'm starting him against the Jaguars, even though KC doesn't throw the ball a ton.

The Saints' offense outside of QB Drew Brees hasn't produced like fantasy owners had expected. Call it a hunch, but I'd start WR Marques Colston today. He has to break out at some point.

The San Francisco-Carolina game might be the worst on this week's schedule, but it still has relevant fantasy implications. I'd start 49ers TE Vernon Davis, who seems to be coming on, but I'd sit WR Michael Crabtree, who has been a huge bust this season.

Did you ever think you'd be in a position to start Seahawks WR Mike Williams? I certainly didn't, but you can today against Arizona. I'm also standing by my belief that RB Marshawn Lynch will be a fantasy stud with the Seahawks, so I'd start him again, even if he had a less-than-stellar debut last week.

San Diego is a mess, and that goes for its fantasy prospects as well even though they are facing a New England defense that has been less than dominant this year. Since it's a 4 p.m. start, you almost have to sit TE Antonio Gates, as painful as that is, because of how questionable he is. Better to get some points than none if Gates can't go.

Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno has been hampered by injury, but he returned last week and looks to be healthy today. He's a borderline No.1/definite No. 2 back against an Oakland run defense giving up 5.0 yards per rush.

Vikings QB Brett Favre is finally showing his age, but I expect him to recapture some of that magic today when he heads back to Green Bay to face the Packers. I'd start Favre today. Call it another hunch.

Good luck in Week Seven!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

It's Me, Sully

Ooops. Forgot to sign my post yesterday about joining an NBA league. Sure enough, the newspaper teased it on page 2 this morning and said it was Skurski. Well, Jay, if you're not in an NBA league, this might be the time to do it. Might be an opening in our league.

--- Jerry Sullivan.

 

NBA Fantasy

Happily, I have joined an NBA Fantasy league on Yahoo Sports this year. I took last year off and really missed it. Perusing the fantasy guide, I'm reminded that my knowledge of the league isn't as deep when I'm not involved in fantasy. It helps me be a better fan and better at my job.

I picked up Rotoworld.com's guide. It's among the best I've ever seen in any sport. I recommend it highly -- though it's pricy at $9.99. Hey, you get what you pay for.

The burning question is, when does Stephen Curry get taken in drafts? I'll admit, I wasn't aware how much Curry came on late in his rookie season. Over the final two months, he averaged 22.1 points, 7.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and sank 2.7 threes a game. Wow. He also shot 90 percent from the foul line. And people wondered if Curry would be too small and weak for the league.

Gut feelings on Week Six

In Friday's column, I looked at the fantasy points allowed by opposing defenses as a tool in making roster decisions.

Since I'm starting Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe today, and advocating you too, as well, I obviously believe in it. Bowe is facing the worst pass defense in the league today in the Texans, so if he's every going to put up fantasy points, today's the day.

For comparison's sake, I'm starting Bowe over 49ers WR Michael Crabtree, who I think will be effectively shut down by Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha.

I also like Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki, who has good hands (which Bowe doesn't) and a pair of touchdowns already this season.

Same matchup reasoning goes for Titans QB Vince Young. The opposing Jags have allowed 12 passing touchdowns this season. That makes Young and receivers Kenny Britt and Nate Washington start-worthy.

I love former Bills RB Marshawn Lynch's potential with the Seahawks, but feel like you should wait a week to start him. The Bears' run D is giving up just 79 yards per game.

I'm keeping Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno out of my starting lineup. He won't be 100 percent if he plays with a hamstring injury, and the Jets are the best team in the league defending the run.

I like Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, even if he is coming off suspension. The matchup at home against Cleveland is a great chance for him to get his season started off the right way.

Rams WR Danny Amendola is getting plenty of love as a sleeper candidate against the Chargers this week, but I say don't bother. San Diego plays the pass pretty well, and rookie QB Sam Bradford of St. Louis is due for a stinker.

Sitting Lions WR Calvin Johnson is never easy given his draft status, but given the matchup against the Giants and his shoulder injury, owners should do it today.

I have Bears TE Greg Olsen and Cowboys TE Jason Witten on one team. I'm starting Witten, who seems to be improving each week, and who gets a Vikings secondary that's banged up.

Good luck in Week Six!

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Gut feelings on Week Five

Let's start here in Buffalo. I love the Marshawn Lynch trade for both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. I'm comfortable in starting either against the Jaguars. I like Spiller to get his first touchdown at The Ralph.

I can't explain it, but I've never been a big Matt Ryan guy. That changes this week. I love the Falcons' QB against the Browns as much as I love his No. 1 receiver, Roddy White.

With Bears QB Jay Cutler out, I expect backup Todd Collins to play it safe. That means TE Greg Olsen could be in line for a lot of work, start him if you've got him.

Expect Cardinals RB Beanie Wells to get a lot of work. Arizona is starting a rookie QB in Max Hall and the Saints' run defense isn't great. Wells can be a No. 2 RB this week.

I drafted Michael Bush in one of my leagues, so I'm happy to see the Raiders' RB starting today. He's a good option as a No. 2 or 3 RB. In the same game, I don't expect Ryan Mathews to remain a secondary option behind Mike Tolbert as the Chargers' RB for long. I'd start Mathews.

Just because Mike Bell might start at RB for Philadelphia because of LeSean McCoy's rib injury doesn't mean YOU should start him. The 49ers have a decent run defense, and I expect them to make Kevin Kolb show he can beat them.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Gut feelings for Week Four

Let's start our trip around the NFL for the Week Four games right here in Buffalo.

I like Lee Evans. There, I said it. I know Evans has been brutal for fantasy owners so far this season, but without Darrelle Revis in the lineup for the Jets, I can see Evans getting behind the New York defense for a big play.

I'd stay away from New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas this week. I took him out of my starting lineup because I don't think his injured ankle is going to be ready.

A pair of 49ers, TE Vernon Davis and WR Michael Crabtree, have disappointed so far. I'd be comfortable benching Crabtree, but not so much Davis, since he plays a position with less depth.

Just because Browns RB Peyton Hillis had a breakout game last week against Baltimore doesn't mean he's going to do it again. I would be ok sitting Hillis against the Bengals' tough run defense.

Denver QB Kyle Orton leads the NFL in pass attempts and is second in yardage. He can actually be used as a fantasy starter. The Titans' secondary is just OK.

I expect a huge game from Green Bay WR Greg Jennings. Pack QB Aaron Rodgers will be throwing a lot with the uninspiring combination of Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn, so look for Jennings to have a breakout game.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh just screams defense, as it should. Still, don't do anything crazy like bench Steeler RB Rashard Mendenhall. After all, the Ravens were hurt by Hillis on the ground last week.

If Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew is going to have fantasy output similar to what he had last season, it will start today against the Colts. Use him confidently as a No. 1 RB.

I'd bench Texans WR Andre Johnson this week. There's no guarantee he'll even play with an ankle injury, and if he does he gets Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who for my money is every bit the CB the Jets' Revis is.

Donovan McNabb has gotten off to just a mediocre start so far this season, but I think the Redskins' QB will have a big game in his return to Philadelphia. I'm starting him, 1) because I don't have any other options, and 2) because I see an inspired effort.

Good luck in Week Four!

---Jay Skurski