Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/11/11

Thursday games return to the NFL schedule and for another year they once again annoy fantasy owners. The shortened week requires increased diligence in keeping up with injury reports and lineup changes. With the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, this is no time to start slacking. Do the extra work and reap the rewards.



Could Impress: Ben Roethlisberger. The transformation of the Steelers offense looks to be complete after Big Ben posted three 300 yard passing games against some tough defenses. Expect Roethlisberger to continue to sling the ball around the field for the rest of the year, with some very easy fantasy matchups coming up in all but week 15.

Could Disappoint: Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills QB finally got his big money, but has not been earning it the past few weeks. He’s committed 8 turnovers in the last four games, but has still been able to find the end zone in each matchup. He was my ‘Keep an eye on’ nominee last week, and that hasn’t changed. The key for Fitzpatrick is to not overvalue him. Good story, easy to root for, but he’s a QB2 and should not be started on a weekly basis.

Keep an eye on: Matt Hasselbeck. He’s been extremely reliable as a fantasy fill-in, putting up double-digit fantasy points in all but one game. The most impressive thing about Hasselbeck is that his best games are likely still ahead of him, with Tennessee facing New Orleans, Indianapolis and Jacksonville in the fantasy playoffs.

Injury Replacement: Mark Sanchez. It’s not often that I will mention Sanchez as a fantasy option, but the Patriots defense has done a good job of making a number of quarterbacks look much better than they actually are. At least for one week, you could do worse than Sanchez.

QB Rankings

1. Aaron Rodgers GB (vs. Minnesota)

2. Michael Vick PHI (vs. Arizona)

3. Cam Newton CAR (vs. Tennessee)

4. Drew Brees NO (@ Atlanta)

5. Matthew Stafford DET (@ Chicago)

6. Tom Brady NE (@ New York Jets)

7. Ben Roethlisberger PIT (@ Cincinnati)

8. Tony Romo DAL (vs. Buffalo)

9. Eli Manning NYG (@ San Francisco)

10. Philip Rivers SD (vs. Oakland) ** Thursday game

11. Matt Schaub HOU (@ Tampa Bay)

12. Matt Ryan ATL (vs. New Orleans)

13. Tim Tebow DEN (@ Kansas City)

14. Jay Cutler CHI (vs. Detroit)

15. Joe Flacco BAL (@ Seattle)

16. Matt Cassel KC (vs. Denver)

17. Carson Palmer OAK (@ San Diego) ** Thursday game

18. Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF (@ Dallas)

19. Mark Sanchez NYJ (vs. New England)

20. Josh Freeman TB (vs. Houston)

21. Matt Hasselbeck TEN (@ Carolina)

22. Andy Dalton CIN (vs. Pittsburgh)

23. Sam Bradford STL (@ Cleveland)

24. Christian Ponder MIN (@ Green Bay)

25. Alex Smith SF (vs. New York Giants)


Has CJ2K finally turned the corner?


Running Backs

Could Impress: Chris Johnson. Fantasy owners have waited all season for CJ2K to break out of his slump, and they may have seen that happen last week. If not, there’s a very good chance he’ll regain his form against Carolina. No one allows more fantasy points to running backs than the Panthers and it’s expected that Johnson will see plenty of carries while the Titans try to slow down the tempo of the game.

Could Disappoint: Daniel Thomas. Once thought to have a real chance at becoming a fantasy factor this season, Thomas has been hampered by injury and ineffectiveness. With Reggie Bush (and his huge contract) getting things done the last two weeks, don’t expect much from Thomas for the foreseeable future.

Keep an eye on: Roy Helu. Fantasy owners have one again been Shanahan-ed. Right before tipoff, the world’s biggest fantasy football hater announced that Helu would get the start for the Redskins, and the rookie actually had a pretty good game, catching 14 passes and getting 10 touches on the ground. If Shanahan doesn’t change his mind again, Helu is a good flex play.

Injury Replacement: Maurice Morris. It looks like Jahvid Best will be out once again, meaning that Morris will once again carry the load. Best was able to run all over the Bears in the last matchup, but expect most of Morris’ contributions to come through the air. He’s a good flex play in a PPR league.

RB Rankings

1. Arian Foster HOU (@ Tampa Bay)

2. Adrian Peterson MIN (@ Green Bay)

3. Matt Forte CHI (vs. Detroit)

4. Maurice Jones-Drew JAX (@ Indianapolis)

5. Ray Rice BAL (@ Seattle)

6. LeSean McCoy PHI (vs. Arizona)

7. Fred Jackson BUF (@ Dallas)

8. Frank Gore SF (vs. New York Giants)

9. DeMarco Murray DAL (vs. Buffalo)

10. Michael Turner ATL (vs. New Orleans)

11. Michael Bush OAK (@ San Diego) ** Thursday game

12. Steven Jackson STL (@ Cleveland)

13. Chris Johnson TEN (@ Carolina)

14. Willis McGahee DEN (@ Kansas City)

15. Rashard Mendenhall PIT (@ Cincinnati)

16. Shonn Greene NYJ (vs. New England)

17. Darren Sproles NO (@ Atlanta)

18. Beanie Wells AZ (@ Philadelphia)

19. LeGarrette Blount TB (vs. Houston)

20. Ryan Mathews SD (vs. Oakland) ** Thursday game

21. BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE (@ New York Jets)

22. Mike Tolbert SD (vs. Oakland) ** Thursday game

23. Cedric Benson CIN (vs. Pittsburgh)

24. Roy Helu WAS (@ Miami)

25. Jonathan Stewart CAR (vs. Tennessee)

26. Brandon Jacobs NYG (@ San Francisco)

27. Marshawn Lynch SEA (vs. Baltimore)

28. Jackie Battle KC (vs. Denver)

29. James Starks GB (vs. Minnesota)

30. Reggie Bush MIA (vs. Washington)

31. Ben Tate HOU (@ Tampa Bay)

32. DeAngelo Williams CAR (vs. Tennessee)

33. Pierre Thomas NO (@ Atlanta)

34. Chris Ogbonnaya CLE (vs. St. Louis)

35. Maurice Morris DET (@ Chicago)

36. Daniel Thomas MIA (vs. Washington)

37. Chris Ivory NO (@ Atlanta)

38. Donald Brown IND (vs. Jacksonville)

39. Delone Carter IND (vs. Jacksonville)

40. Ryan Grant GB (vs. Minnesota)

41. LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ (vs. New England)

42. Marion Barber CHI (vs. Detroit)

43. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG (@ San Francisco)

44. Knowshon Moreno DEN (@ Kansas City)

45. Keiland Williams DET (@ Chicago)

46. Javon Ringer TEN (@ Carolina)

47. Joseph Addai IND (vs. Jacksonville)

48. Kendall Hunter SF (vs. New York Giants)

49. Ricky Williams BAL (@ Seattle)

50. Danny Woodhead NE (@ New York Jets)


Stephen Kelley is a contributor at The Sports Bank where he covers Fantasy Sports and Pro Drafts. You can follow him on Twitter @stephen_tsb.

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want


Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker