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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Greg Jennings on bye, I have to pick one of these guys for my team this week: Miles Austin, Wes Welker or Mario Manningham. Any gut feeling? Who would have thought Austin would no longer be considered a must-start?! Thanks.
I agree, Donna: Who would have thought before the season Austin would be someone to consider benching? Certainly not me, but I think that's what you have to do this week.
Although he hasn't had a bad season overall, Austin simply has too tough of a matchup this week to put in your lineup if you have other options. He's facing a Giants pass defense that's ranked No. 2 in the league and is allowing 169.8 yards per game. Considering how much pressure they're likely to put on QB Jon Kitna, it's hard to envision the Dallas offense putting up much of a threat this week. That includes Austin, who was shut down by New York in the teams' last meeting (3-38-0).
My gut is telling me to go with Manningham. With Steve Smith (pectoral) out this week, Manningham should start and see plenty of snaps against the Cowboys, who have given up 121 points in their last three games. Dallas also has given up a startling 18 passing scores. Manningham has scored in two of his last three contests, and he's a great bet to find paydirt on Sunday. I'd roll with him.
I've been playing Matt Schaub hoping he would catch fire. Is it time to switch to Kyle Orton this week? Or should I wait one more week?
Schaub definitely has been frustrating to own lately, Ken, but this isn't the week to abandon ship on the Houston QB.
That's because he's facing one of the league's worst secondaries in the Jaguars. Jacksonville is getting gashed for 267.1 passing yards per contest and has surrendered 17 TDs through the air this season. With the Texans also boasting a terrible pass "D," there's a very good chance this game will turn into a shootout, in which case Schaub could go off. Although he has only two 300-yard games and three multi-TD outings in 2010, Schaub has a great chance at doing both this week.
Orton, meanwhile, is certainly not a bad play with how well he has been airing it out, but he doesn't have huge upside this week. The Chiefs have been a stellar defense, and while they have been vulnerable through the air at times, they have given up just 10 passing scores. This could be a fairly low-scoring game, so the odds of Orton having a monster day are slim. He might be a better fantasy play than Schaub in some weeks during the second half, but I don't expect this to be one of them.