Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em: Week 10

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco throws a pass as offensive tackle Michael Oher (R) blocks Buffalo Bills defensive end Spencer Johnson (91) during the second quarter of their NFL football game in Baltimore, Maryland October 24, 2010.   REUTERS/Joe Giza (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Every week, I will highlight a few players to start and a few players to sit at each position. I’m a firm believer in starting your studs, so I won’t suggest you bench Drew Brees or Adrian Peterson because they have tough matchups – just go ahead and keep them in your lineup. Instead, I’ll focus on the borderline guys – players you’ll only start under the right circumstances.

As usual, I’ll discuss these players within the context of my weekly positional rankings, so remember — everything is relative.

Joe Flacco (#4) is hot (250+ yds and 2+ TDs in his last three games) and is facing the Falcons’ 26th-ranked pass defense…Last time we saw David Garrard (#6), he was torching the Cowboys to the tune of five TDs (four pass and one rush). The Texans are terrible against the pass, so I think Garrard is in for a big day…Shaun Hill (#10) is back under center for the Lions, and given his play earlier in the season (283 yards, 2.0 TDs in Weeks 2-5), he should be able to post nice numbers against the Bills, who have given up 2.1 pass TDs per game on the season.

The Bills are brutal against the run, so this should be the week that Jahvid Best (#12) breaks the 100-total-yard mark once again…The Lions give up 4.7 yards per carry, so Fred Jackson (#20) should be able to find success on the ground…Need a spot starter? Give Mike Goodson (#26) a shot. He’s going to start for the Panthers this week and can catch the ball out of the backfield. The Bucs are 30th against the run, so there’s opportunity here.

DeSean Jackson (#3) and Jeremy Maclin (#12) should be in for big days against the Redskins’ 31st-ranked pass defense…Look for Mike Sims-Walker (#17) to keep the good times rolling against the Texans, who are brutal against the pass. Mike Thomas (#27) is also a nice start. His numbers have been solid with David Garrard under center, and he’s a threat to run the ball too…No one can argue with what Steve Johnson (#11) has done this season. Detroit isn’t great against the pass and Johnson has averaged 5.8-81-1.0 over the last six games.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up before a game against the Cleveland Browns on November 07, 2010 in Cleveland. UPI / David Richard Photo via Newscom

I’m probably not as high on Tom Brady (#11) and his flowing locks as most pundits out there. Since the Randy Moss trade, Brady has averaged just 229 yards and 1.3 pass TDs per game, and this week he faces a Steeler defense that has given up just eight pass TDs in eight games. Plus, he’s dealing with a sprained foot…It hasn’t been pretty for Jon Kitna (#21) thus far, but he has been able to post decent numbers for the most part. The Giants have the league’s #2 pass defense, so I’m not optimistic about Kitna throwing 2+ TDs this week…Brett Favre (#20) has to go into Chicago to face a Bears defense that has only given up five pass TDs all year. He may rack up some yards, but the Bears are unlikely to give up more than one pass TD on Sunday.

They’re both still startable, but ratchet back those expectations for Peyton Hillis (#14) and Steven Jackson (#15) who face the Jets (#4 against the rush) and the 49ers (0.5 rush TD allowed per game)…The Browns have given up just one rush TD all season, so don’t count on BenJarvus Green-Ellis (#32) finding the endzone this week…Felix Jones (#37) has been underperforming and he has a terrible matchup against the Giants’ 2nd-ranked rush defense this week. Steer clear.

I’m not high on Mike Williams (SEA) (#42). He has been quiet the last two weeks and there are reports that he’s dealing with a knee injury…I’m a little worried about Brandon Marshall (#18), who has only scored one TD on the season and now has to deal with a change at QB. Throw in a fairly stingy Titans’ pass defense (239 yards, 1.1 pass TDs allowed), and it’s not a recipe for success…Miles Austin (#25) hasn’t thrived with Jon Kitna under center. Kitna has been targeting Dez Bryant (#20) just as often and having a much better success rate. And with the Giants’ 2nd-ranked pass defense on tap, I don’t see Austin breaking out of his funk this week (though he could post some decent garbage-time stats if the G-Men pull ahead).

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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