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Fantasy Football: Start these studs regardless of matchup

Hakeem Nicks

Hakeem Nicks Photo Credit: Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I can live without racking my brain every week over lineup decisions.

That’s why I’m a big fan of the following players. They’ve played big even in unfavorable matchups, earning them spots among the fraternity of players who should be considered automatic starts every week.

That honor doesn’t guarantee they’ll never let you down. But then again, no player can promise that.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver
Orton has passed for at least 295 yards in every game this season. In Week 5 against Baltimore, the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense at the time, Orton racked up 314 yards and two touchdowns.

Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants

Nicks is the top-scoring fantasy wide receiver to date and leads all NFL wideouts in touchdowns with six. In standard-scoring leagues, the second-year stud has scored at least nine points in four of five games.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland
The eighth-best fantasy running back so far, Hillis earned plenty of respect when he rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games against the tough Baltimore and Cincinnati defenses. He has scored a touchdown in every game this season.

Arian Foster, RB, Houston
Yes, he struggled against the Giants in Week 5. But Foster is still the top-scoring fantasy running back to date and has had at least 126 yards of offense in his other four games.

Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego
With the exception of a 56-yard reception by Tennessee’s Nate Washington in
Week 1, wide receivers had done next to nothing against the Raiders before last week. Then Floyd exploded against Oakland with eight receptions for 213 yards and a touchdown. Admittedly, Floyd has had a pair of forgettable games, too. But he’s on pace for 1,584 yards and has a soft schedule ahead.

Ryan Chatelain  ( is amNewYork’s fantasy football columnist.


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