Fantasy Doc: Week Nine lineup dilemmas

Posted Nov. 06, 2010 @ 1:15 p.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the regular season is in full swing, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at

Hey Doc,
Here are my options. I have to pick one out of Ryan Mathews and LeGarrette Blount at RB, one of Jeremy Shockey and Jermaine Gresham at TE, and either Jason Campbell or Jay Cutler at QB. Thanks for your help.

— Rodney

I like some of your options this week, Rodney, and have some definite suggestions for you.

At RB, Blount would be my choice. He just ran over the Cardinals last week for 120 yards and two TDs on 22 carries, the second game in a row in which he has played well. He's a beast for defenses to bring down and is a solid bet to score in any given game. Now that he's the Bucs' lead back, he's going to be tough to bench most weeks. He's a safer play than Mathews, who is still in a timeshare and has yet to take off this season.

I'd go with Shockey as your tight end. It's not like he has been anything spectacular, but he has chipped in with at least two or three grabs every week and has a decent matchup against the Panthers. Gresham, meanwhile, has cooled off after a hot start and faces a tremendous Steelers "D" this Monday night.

Finally, I would stick with Cutler at QB. I know his last outing, in which he tossed four interceptions, was a horrible one, but I expect him to bounce back somewhat against a Bills pass defense that gives up plenty of big plays and has allowed 15 TDs through the air. Campbell could actually have a decent day vs. the Chiefs, but his lack of quality targets limits his upside.

Hi Doc,
I have a tough call at QB and would like your advice. Who is the better start: Eli Manning or Michael Vick? Thanks.

— Judge

That's a very tough call, Judge, as I see both guys playing well this week. While it seems like many pundits are pegging Vick to have the better outing, I'm going the other way here.

I know Vick was putting up ridiculous numbers before he suffered an injury to his ribs, but he has to face a Colts pass defense that has been very good this season and gave Texans QB Matt Schaub all sorts of trouble on Monday night. Plus, this is Vick's first action in more than a month, and he might not be playing as freely as he was before if he's trying to protect his ribs from taking another shot. He's always a threat to do damage on the ground if the passing game isn't working, but I'd hold off a week before reinserting him in my lineup.

Manning, meanwhile, has been a fantasy stud over the past three weeks, tossing nine TD passes in that span. He also has thrown five picks in his last three outings, but that's not the end of the world. This week he faces a Seattle secondary that's allowing 267.7 passing yards per game, so I expect him to light the Seahawks up through the air and continue his hot streak in this one.