Stick with Gore, Dalton, Morris

Posted: October 06, 2012

Wondering whether to start Drew Brees and Arian Foster, or to bench Mark Sanchez and Austin Collie? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you're looking for help with your real starting-lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 5 of the 2012 season.

Watch 'em roll

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals vs. Dolphins. Dalton has collected three TDs in each of his last three games and exceeded 300 passing yards in two of them. This weekend, he's facing a porous, and reeling, Miami secondary that just allowed Kevin Kolb to stage a backbreaking, last-minute comeback.

Frank Gore, RB, 49ers vs. Bills. He's been forced to share a lot more than normal, but Gore is still the leader of this offense. Though he may yield a goal-line carry or two to others, Gore should roll against one of the league's worst run defenses.

Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins vs. Falcons. The rookie notched his first 100-yard outing last week against what was then the NFL's top run defense. On Sunday, Morris will face one of the weakest units in the game. Atlanta has already coughed up six rushing scores this short season.

Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants vs. Browns. Hixon emphatically restaked his claim to the No. 3 wideout role in the Giants' offense with last weekend's 114-yard outing against the Eagles. With Hakeem Nicks (foot) already declared out and Ramses Barden (concussion) likely to follow, Hixon should be in line for another productive day.

Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers at Saints. New Orleans keeps losing, but it still puts up plenty of points. Fortunately for opposing offenses, the Saints' secondary is a very giving unit. Philip Rivers should be very busy in this matchup, with Floyd, his most targeted receiver, reaping the most rewards.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Eli Manning, Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger; RBs Matt Forte, Ryan Mathews, Trent Richardson, and Reggie Bush; WRs Percy Harvin, Torrey Smith, James Jones, Lance Moore, DeSean Jackson, Reggie Wayne, Brian Hartline, Brandon Lloyd, and Antonio Brown.

Roll 'em back

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills at 49ers. You loved his 350 yards and four TDs last weekend. The four interceptions? Not so much. Expect more of the latter against the stout 49ers pass defense.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers vs. Eagles. The veteran is expected to play for the first time since he blew out his knee in last season's finale. And while he should quickly reclaim his role as Pittsburgh's workhorse, that likely won't happen in his first game back. Not to mention, he'll be facing a tough Eagles run defense.

Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, RBs, Bills at 49ers. The two dinged, but prolific, tailbacks are limiting each other's value by splitting carries. Now, they're headed across the country to face one of the most fearsome run defenses on the planet.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins vs. Falcons. It was good to see Garcon back on the field last week, though he was targeted just once all day. Against a solid Falcons secondary, let Garcon work himself back into game shape on your bench.

Nate Washington, WR, Titans at Vikings. You'd think the veteran would be exploiting Kenny Britt's virtual invisibility, but Washington has no more than three receptions in any game thus far. With Matt Hasselbeck back at the controls against a decent Vikings pass defense, a breakout performance is not in the cards.

More thumbs down: QBs Matt Hasselbeck, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, and Matt Cassel; RBs Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Chris Johnson, Mark Ingram, and Shonn Green; WRs Kenny Britt, Brandon LaFell, Justin Blackmon, and all Jets WRs.

Taking a flier

Ben Tate, RB, Texans at Jets. Need bye week help in your backfield? Assuming a minor toe injury doesn't imperil his playing status Monday night, Tate should see plenty of action. Houston should stomp all over the imploding Jets, who rank 31st against opposing rushers. Arian Foster could be pulled early, leaving a huge opening for Tate to accumulate serious garbage-time stats.

Don't be the idiot who . . .

. . . bails on Dennis Pitta after one lousy outing. Sure, his goose egg was awful, but even after that, the tight end is still the most-targeted receiver on the Ravens. Joe Flacco trusts him, especially in the end zone, which is encouraging news this week. Kansas City has surrendered 10 passing TDs (second-worst in the NFL) and the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends thus far.


Follow Ladd Biro at the Fantasy Fools blog, fantasy-fools.blogspot.com, on Facebook and @ladd_biro on Twitter.

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