Fantasy Focus

Play Him: Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants

Nicks has been sitting on my bench the entire season, basically rotting away as I continued to start his teammate Steve Smith. I’ve finally decided he needs to be placed in a Ziploc container, preserved safely in the confines of a starting slot. The receiver has been a monster so far, racking up back-to-back 100-yard games and totaling six touchdowns in five games. Nicks has quickly replaced the incarcerated Plaxico Burress as the Giants’ big-play threat and has emerged as bona-fide fantasy star.

Sit Him: Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions

If you take away his 40 fantasy points in week 2, in a standard ESPN league, the Lions’ little spark plug hasn’t really been all that great. In fact, Best hasn’t even surpassed 100 yards in a game this season, and he hasn’t made a trip to the end zone in any of his last three games. But the real reason to leave him on the pine this week is the menacing Giants defensive line that has been wreaking havoc on offenses this year. Two weeks ago it nearly turned Bears quarterback Jay Cutler into Ichabod Crane, and last Sunday it held the league’s leading rusher, Arian Foster, to just 25 yards. Expect New York’s front four to turn the Lions’ line into swiss cheese this weekend. Leave Best on the bench.

Get Him: Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos

Who would have thought Captain Neckbeard would be ranked as a top-five quarterback in standard ESPN leagues? Not me. But Orton won me over with a good performance against the league’s best defense last week, and with Brandon Lloyd catching everything but a cold in Denver, it looks like Orton will continue to produce solid, if not great, numbers. He’s still available in 15 percent of ESPN leagues and is worth having on your bench for the ever important bye week.