Mark Sanchez vs Houston
Analysis: Sanchez is on-fire right now. He has averaged 317 passing yards over the past two weeks, and now faces the worst pass defense in the NFL. Houston has given up 22 touchdown passes in just nine games, and they have only intercepted five passes. With Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Dustin Keller, and LT out of the backfield, Sanchez has the weapons. This week, he also has the matchup.
David Garrard vs Cleveland
Analysis: Here’s another hot quarterback with a great matchup. Over the past two games, Garrard has averaged 300 yards and three touchdowns. Over the past five games, Garrard has 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Cleveland ranks 23rd against the pass.
QB’s With Good Matchups: Matt Cassel vs Arizona, Shaun Hill vs Dallas, Josh Freeman vs San Francisco
Jamaal Charles vs Arizona
Analysis: Charles is a solid #2 running back on any fantasy team and should probably be starting each week. He catches plenty of passes and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Arizona has struggled against the run, ranking 28th in the NFL.
Felix Jones vs Detroit
Analysis: Last week, under new Head Coach Jason Garrett, Dallas actually ran the ball more than they passed. Jones reminded us of how talented he is by gaining 136 total yards and a touchdown. Detroit is allowing 128 rushing yards per contest, which ranks 26th in the NFL.
RB’s With Good Matchups: Cedric Benson vs Buffalo, Mike Tolbert vs Denver, BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs Indianapolis, Ray Rice vs Carolina, Peyton Hillis vs Jacksonville
Dez Bryant vs Detroit
Analysis: Dez Bryant keeps getting better and better. Dallas’ offense is clicking, and Jon Kitna is looking his way often. Bryant should be starting on most fantasy teams this week.
Dwayne Bowe vs Arizona
Analysis: Bowe had a monster game last week, catching 13 balls for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Bowe now has eight touchdowns in his last five games and has averaged 90 receiving yards per game over that stretch. Arizona’s defense gives up nearly 270 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
WR’s With Good Matchups: Santonio Holmes vs Houston, Nate Washington vs Washington, Pierre Garcon vs New England, Robert Meachem vs Seattle, Danny Amendola vs Atlanta, Steve Breaston vs Kansas City
Brandon Pettigrew @ Dallas
Analysis: Dallas has not handled opposing tight ends very well. Kevin Boss and Marcedes Lewis have done damage against them over the past two weeks. Shaun Hill uses his tight ends more than Matt Stafford, which is good news for Pettigrew owners. Hill targeted Pettigrew eight times last week and should be looking his way again this week.
TE’s With Good Matchups: Jacob Tamme vs New England, Dustin Keller vs Houston, Ben Watson vs Jacksonville, Jeremy Shockey vs Seattle, Chris Cooley vs Tennesse
Baltimore @ Carolina
Analysis: It looks like Carolina, already the worst offense in the NFL, will go with Brian St. Pierre at quarterback and third string running back this week. The Ravens defense isn’t the great defense of old, but they should exploit this matchup against Carolina.
Defenses With Good Matchups: Kansas City vs Arizona, New Orleans vs Seattle, Miami vs Chicago, Cincinnati vs Buffalo
STEELER FANTASY IMPACT
QB Ben Roethlisberger
Analysis: Roethlisberger had a terrific second half vs the Patriots last week and finished with season-high numbers. He was 30 of 49 with 387 yards and three touchdowns, and did that without the services of Hines Ward. Oakland owns the second best pass defense in the NFL, but Roethlisberger remains a must-start regardless of the matchup.
RB Rashard Mendenhall
Analysis: Mendenhall was held to 50 rushing yards last week and had a season-low 11 carries. Outside of a big 34-yard run, Mendenhall was limited to just 1.6 yards per carry vs the Patriots. Mendenhall lost a lot of playing time to Mewelde Moore, who should probably be picked up as a hand-cuff for Mendenhall. Oakland has one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, so look for Mendenhall to have a solid game.
WR Hines Ward
Analysis: Ward was knocked out of the Patriots game with a concussion, but passed his neurological test on Tuesday and is cleared to play this week. Ward has been quiet the past three weeks totaling six receptions, 25 yards and a touchdown. Barring any set-backs, Ward is a solid 3rd receiver this week.
WR Mike Wallace
Analysis: Wallace set new career –highs in both catches and receiving yards last week vs the Patriots. Wallace finished the game with eight receptions, 136 yards and two touchdowns. Wallace has emerged as a solid #2 receiver.
TE Heath Miller
Analysis: Miller also had season-best numbers last week. He finished with six catches for 60 yards, but was held out of the end zone for the fourth straight week. Owners have been waiting for Miller to break-out since Roethlisberger’s return, but he remains a risky start.