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updated: 10/17/2013 7:01 PM

Flip-flopping can cause major headaches

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  • Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has made life tough on fantasy football owners with inconsistent performances in his last three games.

    Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has made life tough on fantasy football owners with inconsistent performances in his last three games.
    Associated Press


For years, I've preached that fantasy owners should avoid doing the "flip-flop".

For you newbies, that's basically when you decide to play a player one week after a huge performance, and you sit a solid player because he had an off week.

It's so much easier said than done, and it's easy to fall into the trap ... as I've proven all season with Panthers QB Cam Newton.

Week 3 -- didn't start him and he piles up 4 TDs against the Giants. (Tony Romo is my other starter. His stats: 3 TDs, 210 yards).

Week 4 -- Panthers on bye

Week 5 -- started him and he turns the ball over four times against the Cardinals. (Romo: 506 yards, 5 TDs).

Week 6 -- didn't start him and he manhandles the Vikings with a 4-TD performance. (Romo: 170 yards, TD).

This flip-flopping back and forth -- and always being wrong -- cost me the weekly points win in Week 5 and a victory in Week 6. And the 50 points I lost in Week 5 may very well cost me a playoff berth because we determine our final two spots based on total points.

So that's the big lesson this week: stop flip-flopping! Pick one guy and roll with him.

The big question for Newton owners is what should we do with this roller-coaster quarterback? Should he start for us every week? Or should he ride the pine while we trust a more reliable quarterback?

Here's my answer: It depends on the makeup of your team.

If the rest of your team is mediocre, I'd have Newton in there every week. You need his potential explosive games.

If the rest of your team is solid, or even lights out, I'd go with someone like Romo, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler or Matt Ryan. They have put up consistent points all season and that's all solid teams need for a solid shot a a playoff run.

Go get Percy: If you can afford the roster spot and need help at wide receiver, it's time to put a claim in on Seahawks WR Percy Harvin if he's available. The dynamic play-maker is practicing and could return to game action in 2-3 weeks.

My teams: An ugly week as I fell 68-50 in my unit league (4-2), ending a three-week run of most points scored. Tony Romo, Anquan Boldin, Jimmy Graham and the Broncos D all laid big eggs. In the regular league (2-4), I fell 100-79 thanks to Romo's ineptness and the fact that Cam Newton was affixed to my bench.

Good bets

(These five QBs are in order for this week)

•Eagles QB Nick Foles vs. Dallas. This assumes Michael Vick sits, of course. Foles had a monster week against the Bucs and now faces a defense that must generate a pass rush without DeMarcus Ware.

•Giants QB Eli Manning vs. Minnesota. Putting Manning No. 2 on this list seems insane considering he's thrown an absurd 15 INTs. But trust me when I tell you that Manning will join Jay Cutler (290 yards, 3 TDs), Brian Hoyer (321-3), Ben Roethlisberger (383-1) and Cam Newton (242-4) in abusing this sieve-like unit.

•Colts QB Andrew Luck vs. Denver. All eyes will be on Peyton Manning in his return to Indy, but Luck's fantasy owners will be treated to at least a 3-TD evening.

•Falcons QB Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay. Not expecting monster numbers, but the Falcons must throw because the Bucs do a good job in stopping the run. Watch for 240-260 yards and 2 TD passes.

•Browns QB Brandon Weeden at Green Bay. With New Orleans on the bye, Drew Brees owners will get decent numbers from Weeden (58 percent passing last two games with 292 yards and 2 TD passes last week).

•Giants RB Brandon Jacobs vs. Minnesota. After shredding the Bears, Jacobs' comeback tour will continue against the hapless Vikings.

•Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams vs. St. Louis. A solid RB2 this year, Williams has gone over 80 yards from scrimmage in four of five games.

•Bengals RB Giovani Bernard at Detroit. With 4 TDs already, the rookie quietly sits 12th among RBs in fantasy points.

•Cowboys WR Terrance Williams at Philadelphia. A somewhat risky call here seeing as Williams has just 6 targets the past two weeks. But he's a decent flex/WR3 play against this Eagles defense.

•Chargers WR Keenan Allen at Jacksonville. With 15 catches for 222 yards and 2 TDs the past two weeks, Allen has rightfully become the hottest waiver-wire add around. There is potential for massive points against the Jags.

Bad bets

•Niners QB Colin Kaepernick at Tennessee. Only Matt Schaub has thrown for multiple TDs against the Titans.

•Ravens QB Joe Flacco at Pittsburgh. Normally I wouldn't even bother putting Flacco in here, but three out of four ESPN rankers have Weeden above Flacco, and I don't see that playing out.

•Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell vs. Baltimore. After getting stuffed by the Jets, Bell now gets to face the league's best run defense. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

•Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew vs. San Diego. Don't go getting all excited about MJD's "breakout" 71-yard, 1-TD game last week in Denver. He's still nothing more than flex material.

•Patriots RB Stevan Ridley at N.Y. Jets. Wasting away on most fantasy benches, Ridley had a top-5 performance among RBs last week. Owners who trust him against the Jets, though, will be severely disappointed.

•Texans WR Andre Johnson at Kansas City. Two of the league's toughest defenses (Baltimore and San Francisco) held Johnson below 40 yards. I expect the Chiefs to do the same.

•Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe vs. Houston. The most disturbing number from Bowe so far has been this: 34. That's his total TARGETS through six games, and that just won't cut it.

•Broncos defense at Indianapolis. The Colts allow the fourth-fewest points to fantasy defenses, and even with Von Miller returning, Denver's a dicey play.

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