BYE: Packers, Saints, Raiders, Chargers
David Garrard vs Houston
Analysis: With three great quarterbacks on bye this week, Garrard might be a very nice filler. He is coming off of a five touchdown game vs Dallas, and this week he faces the worst pass defense in the league. Houston has given up 20 touchdowns in eight games.
Joe Flacco vs Atlanta
Analysis: Flacco is red-hot right now. He has tossed seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games. Atlanta is ranked 26th against the pass, allowing an average of 250 yards per game.
QB’s With Good Matchups: Mike Vick vs Washington, Ben Roethlisberger vs New England, Matt Hasselbeck vs Arizona, Mark Sanchez vs Cleveland, Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Detroit
Jahvid Best @ Buffalo
Analysis: Best hasn’t been great recently, but he has a terrific matchup this week against Buffalo. Matt Stafford injured his shoulder again which means the Lions may lean heavy on Best to move the chains.
Jamaal Charles/Thomas Jones @ Denver
Analysis: It’s hard to tell which one of the running backs will have the best day, but both should do well this week against the second worst rush defense in the NFL. Jones gets more carries but Charles is the home-run hitter. I wouldn’t hesitate to start either this week.
RB’s With Good Matchups: Carolina RB vs Tampa Bay, Cedric Benson vs Indianapolis, Marshawn Lynch vs Arizona, Ahmad Bradshaw vs Dallas, Rashard Mendenhall vs New England
Steve Johnson vs Detroit
Analysis: Johnson has six touchdowns in his last six games, and continues to be the main target in Buffalo. Detroit is 22nd against the pass. If you own Johnson, he should probably be starting every week regardless of the matchup.
Braylon Edwards @ Cleveland
Analysis: It appears that Mark Sanchez is back on-track. The way to beat Cleveland is through the air, and Edwards is the deep-threat. The Jets should have a nice game vs Cleveland.
WR’s With Good Matchups: Mike Sims-Walker vs Houston, Hines Ward vs New England, Anquan Boldin vs Atlanta, Devon Bess vs Tennessee
Marcedes Lewis vs Houston
Analysis: Lewis has seven touchdown catches on the season, and Houston’s pass defense gave up two touchdowns to Randy McMichael last week.
TE’s With Good Matchups: Todd Heap vs Atlanta, Aaron Hernandez vs Pittsburgh, Dustin Keller vs Cleveland
Minnesota @ Chicago
Analysis: The Vikings sacked Derek Anderson six times last week, and now face Jay Cutler, the most sacked quarterback in the NFL. The Bears offense ranks 29th in the total yards.
Defenses With Good Matchups: Tampa Bay vs Carolina, San Francisco vs St. Louis, NY Jets vs Cleveland, Miami vs Tennessee
Jon Kitna @ NY Giants
Analysis: Kitna has thrown six interceptions in the past two games. A head coaching change might spark the underwhelming Dallas team, but they face a stout Giants defense this week that ranks 2nd against the pass.
Carson Palmer @ Indianapolis
Analysis: Palmer looked good against Pittsburgh’s leaky secondary, but I don’t trust him this week in Indianapolis. The Colts have a Top-10 pass defense and an exceptional pass rush.
Other QB’s With Tough Matchups: Matt Cassel vs Denver, Matt Ryan vs Baltimore, Jay Cutler vs Minnesota
Matt Forte vs Minnesota
Analysis: Forte was a bust last week against the worst ranked rush defense in the NFL. With Chester Taylor now stealing goal line opportunities, it’s time to consider other alternatives.
LaDainian Tomlinson @ Cleveland
Analysis: LT has just 101 yards over the last two weeks on 33 carries and zero touchdowns. He has caught 11 passes over the last two weeks though, so you probably DO want to start LT in PPR leagues. Surprisingly, the Browns have only given up one rushing TD this season.
Other RB’s With Tough Matchups: BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs Pittsburgh, Marion Barber vs NY Giants, Knowshon Moreno vs Kansas City
Chad Ochocinco @ Indianapolis
Analysis: Ochocinco was visibly upset on Monday night vs Pittsburgh, and was taken out of a few series. He is averaging 59 yards per game and has just two touchdowns on the season. Terrell Owens has clearly cemented himself as Carson Palmer’s go-to receiver.
Roy Williams @ NY Giants
Analysis: Williams has vanished from the fantasy football radar over the past four weeks. I don’t see a possibility of that changing until Tony Romo returns.
Other WR’S With Tough Matchups: Mike Williams (Tampa Bay) vs Carolina, Nate Burleson vs Buffalo, Dwayne Bowe vs Denver, Michael Jenkins vs Baltimore
Jermaine Gresham @ Indianapolis
Analysis: The Colts shut down Brent Celek last week and Owen Daniels the week before. Gresham’s numbers have been fairly insignificant all season. No reason to think that will change this week.
Other TE’S With Tough Matchups: Jason Witten vs NY Giants, Kellen Winslow vs Carolina, Tony Moeaki vs Denver, Greg Olsen vs Minnesota
New England @ Pittsburgh
Analysis: New England’s defense got torched last week against the one-dimensional Browns. The Steelers offer a much more dynamic challenge.
Other Defenses With Tough Matchups: Dallas vs NY Giants, Cincinnati vs Indianapolis, Washington vs Philadelphia, Jacksonville vs Houston
STEELER FANTASY IMPACT
QB Ben Roethlisberger
Analysis: Roethlisberger hasn’t been impressive from a fantasy football standpoint over the past two weeks. He has thrown for just 358 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His offensive line is banged up now, which is cause for concern. New Orleans and Cincinnati had success bringing constant pressure, so you have to guess New England will do the same. The good news is that New England allows an average of 270 passing yards per game which ranks 29th in the NFL.
RB Rashard Mendenhall
Analysis: While Mendenhall failed to reach 100 yards for the fifth straight game, he finished the game with 130 total yards and a touchdown. Mendenhall got 22 rushing attempts which is good news for fantasy owners since he only had 15 in the two previous games. Mendenhall has seven rushing touchdowns on the season and remains a must-start. New England is allowing 117 rushing yards per game.
WR Hines Ward
Analysis: Ward extended his receptions streak to 186 straight games this past week. However, he only has six receptions for 25 yards in the past two games. Hopefully, Ward gets back on track this week against a weak New England secondary.
WR Mike Wallace
Analysis: Last week, Wallace enjoyed his second 100 yard game of the season and found the end zone for the fifth time. Wallace averaged 22 yards per reception and leads the NFL in that category. He now has three touchdowns in the past four games. I expect the speedster to have a decent outing against the Patriots.
TE Heath Miller
Analysis: Miller was targeted five times vs Cincinnati but finished with just three catches for 21 yards. He has yet to record more than four catches in a game this season, and has only recorded more than 40 receiving yards once. Miller’s fantasy value has diminished this season, and he isn’t worth a starting spot at this time.