Native Texans headline fantasy must-starts

David Leffler

Did you see that Alabama-A&M game? Yeah, it was weird for me to root for the Aggies. With the NFL and college football in full swing, it’s hard not to bring the two together. With that in mind, this week’s fantasy starters all have something in common: they’re from the Lone Star State and played their college ball in Texas, too.


1) Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

The former TCU Horned Frog has been lighting it up this year, exceeding expectations and stymieing the always dreaded sophomore slump. Dalton looked polished and efficient last Sunday against the Giants, tossing four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 31-13 drubbing. With the Chiefs’ generous defense up next on the schedule, Dalton should have a fine day through the air.

2) Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams

After missing the last three games with a shoulder injury, the Texas Tech alumnus returned in a big way against the 49ers’ stout defense, snagging 11 catches for 102 yards. Not only is he fully healthy, he is clearly Sam Bradford’s favorite receiver. No other receiver was targeted more than three times last week. Although the Rams face a Jets defense that is stingy against opposing wideouts, Amendola will be looked for early and often by Bradford, which bodes well for fantasy owners.

3) Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The ex-Longhorn has been anything but consistent this year, rushing for a combined 83 yards in his previous three games before breaking out for 100 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. Although it’s risky to expect Charles to produce two weeks in a row, the Chiefs would be crazy not to keep feeding him the ball this week against a Cincinnati defense that is nowhere near as good as Pittsburgh’s.


1) Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Set to make his first career start against the Washington Redskins on Sunday in place of a concussed Michael Vick, Foles is no doubt a hot commodity on the fantasy waiver wires. However, expecting the local product from Westlake High to produce in his first start might be asking a bit much, even if it is against a bad defense.

2) Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Boldin has not earned double-digit fantasy points since Week 4 against the Browns and has not scored a touchdown since Week 1. Even last week in the Ravens’ 55-20 embarrassment of the Raiders, in which Baltimore’s punter scored a touchdown, Boldin was held to 38 yards on four catches. With Pittsburgh’s physical defense up next, Boldin should be in for another quiet game.

3) Danny Woodhead, RB, New England Patriots

Woodhead was everywhere last weekend against the Bills, rushing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass. While fantasy owners are understandably happy with his recent production and a favorable matchup against the Colts Sunday, don’t expect lightning to strike twice, especially in a New England offense that loves to spread the ball around.