Your first- or second-round selection of Cam Newton might finally pay off for you this week - if your team isn’t already out of the playoff hunt. The Panthers travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Monday Night Football, and if recent performance means anything Newton should be in line for a big week. The Eagles are in the bottom half of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and Robert Griffin III put up 32 points against the Eagles last week. Newton’s had three respectable-to-good games the last three weeks, and this week he should have his best game of the season. He’s a top-five play out of the remaining quarterbacks for this week. His counterpart, Nick Foles, is expected to start again for the concussed Michael Vick. Foles isn’t worth a start in any league.
No running back is start-worthy in a standard 10- or 12-team league, and only Bryce Brown is flex-worthy in deep leagues. The Panthers rank in the bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed to running backs, but that number is deceiving. After giving up about 26 points a game to running backs in the season’s first four weeks, the Panthers haven’t allowed more than 16 in any of their other games. Brown, who’s scheduled to start for the concussed LeSean McCoy, is unproven, and Foles showed us last week he isn’t capable of doing much in a game yet so the Panthers will be keyed in on stopping Brown. I’ve been tricked too many times starting an unproven back just because he’s starting due to an injury. This week will be different. Brown’s a sit this week.
Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo WIlliams are certainly living on their past performances now. Both still have talent, but it’s not showing up on fantasy scoreboards. Stewart had his “best” performance of the season last week, scoring 13 points - only his second double-digit point total of the season. But that number was what it is only because he scored a touchdown; he averaged less than three yards a carry. Williams has back-to-back one point outings and shouldn’t even be rostered in any leagues right now. If you’re debating between Brown and Stewart, I’d roll with Brown just because we know what Stewart is and since I said above to sit Brown I’m sure he’ll go off.
Speaking of going off when I sit someone, Jeremy Maclin I’ll never draft you again. You were one of my favorite players, but last week’s zero-catch performance put me over the top. Oops. Sorry guys. The Panthers actually rank eighth against wide receivers in fantasy scoring, and with Foles’ lack of getting-his-receivers-the-ball ability Maclin and DeSean Jackson are sits this week as well. Choosing between the two? Go with D-Jax who’s more of a home-run threat. The Eagles rank just worse than average against receivers, and they’ve allowed at least one touchdown to a wideout for five straight weeks. Steve Smith has been underwhelming this year, to say the least, but he’s a good start this week against an over-rated secondary. Brandon LaFell scored a touchdown last week, but he’s been inconsistent this year. In deeper leagues LaFell’s an OK start as a WR4 or 5.
Brent Celek only has one double-digit scoring output this year, all the way back in Week 2. He had 42 yards last week, but he could easily just catch one ball this week. Sit him if you have Kyle Rudolph or Martellus Bennett. Greg Olsen, on the other hand, has been a fairly nice surprise for fantasy owners, at least in PPR leagues. Olsen makes for a good start this week as a bottom-tier TE1.
Written by Andrew Miller exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com.
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Unless otherwise noted, the following lineup and roster advice assumes a standard 10- or 12-team league with roster spots as 1 QB/2 RB/2 WR/1 RB/WR/1 TE. If I don’t mention a player it means I feel he isn’t worthy of starting in any league except very deep leagues. For advice regarding deeper leagues feel free to ask me on Twitter @44AMiller.