Jay Cutler @ Detroit
Analysis: Cutler has eight touchdowns and one interception in his last three games against Detroit. The Bears are playing great football right now, and Detroit is reeling. Start Cutler this week.
Mike Vick vs Houston
Analysis: Vick should shred the Houston defense on Thursday night. Vick has been putting up big numbers, and Houston owns the NFL’s 2nd worst pass defense. This is a great matchup for Vick.
QB’s With Good Matchups: Mark Sanchez vs New England, Eli Manning vs Washington, Sam Bradford vs Arizona, Josh Freeman vs Atlanta, David Garrard vs Tennessee, Kyle Orton vs Kansas City, Peyton Manning vs Dallas
Jamaal Charles vs Denver
Analysis: Although he will continue to split carries with Thomas Jones, Charles has been highly productive and remains a great option. Start him this week against a soft Denver rush defense.
Mike Tolbert vs Oakland
Analysis: Tolbert is coming off of consecutive 100 yards games and has nine touchdowns on the year. San Diego is usually a pass-first offense, but Tolbert has gotten 25 carries over the last two games. Oakland is ranked 28th against the rush.
RB’s With Good Matchups: Toby Gerhart vs Buffalo, Steven Jackson vs Arizona, Felix Jones vs Indianapolis, Michael Turner vs Tampa Bay, Brandon Jacobs vs Washington, Matt Forte vs Detroit
Santonio Holmes @ New England
Derrick Mason vs Pittsburgh
Analysis: These are two names that Pittsburgh fans are familiar with. Holmes is a big-game player, and this Monday night is a big game for the Jets. I think Sanchez and Holmes team-up against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Derrick Mason always seems to play well against Pittsburgh, so if you have a WR injured this week, take a chance on Mason.
WR’s With Good Matchups: Jeremy Maclin vs Houston, Nate Washington vs Jacksonville, Mike Williams (Tampa Bay) vs Atlanta, Mike Sims-Walker vs Tennessee, Brandon Llyod vs Kansas City, Blair White vs Dallas
Kevin Boss vs Washington
Analysis: After a quiet start to the season, Boss is starting to make some noise. He has three touchdowns over the past four weeks and appears healthy and active in that Giant offense. He has a good matchup this week and should benefit from the absence of Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith.
TE’s With Good Matchups: Dustin Keller vs New England, Brent Celek vs Houston, Tony Gonzalez vs Tampa Bay, Greg Olsen vs Detroit
Seattle vs Carolina
Analysis: If you are looking for a defense with a good matchup, Seattle is a solid option. Carolina is the worst statistical offense in the league, and they have to travel across the country to play this week. The Seahawks always seem to elevate their game at home.
Defenses With Good Matchups: St. Louis vs Arizona, Minnesota vs Buffalo, NY Giants vs Washington, Miami vs Cleveland
Donovan McNabb @ NY Giants
Analysis: McNabb could be running for his life this week against a tough NY defense. Only two quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Jon Kitna have thrown for more than one touchdown against New York this season, and McNabb has thrown for more than one touchdown just once this year.
Carson Palmer vs New Orleans
Analysis: Palmer has thrown seven interceptions over the past three games. Cincinnati has lost eight straight and is tied with Buffalo with the worst record in the AFC. The Saints are a top-5 pass defense that have limited opposing quarterbacks to a total of seven touchdown passes and fewer than 200 passing yards per game.
Other QB’s With Tough Matchups: Colt McCoy vs Miami, Jon Kitna vs Indianapolis, Ben Roethlisberger vs Baltimore, Matt Hasselbeck vs Carolina
Brandon Jackson vs San Francisco
Analysis: Jackson is averaging 43.7 rushing yards over his last six games, rushing for no more than 58 yards in any of them. The Packers have learned to win without Jackson, and that should continue in Week 13 against the 49ers.
LeGarrette Blount vs Atlanta
Analysis: Blount is going through a tough stretch in the schedule that will continue this week against a stout Falcons’ run defense. After this week, Blount’s opponents get much easier: Washington, Detroit, and Seattle.
Other RB’s With Tough Matchups: Ray Rice vs Pittsburgh, Jahvid Best vs Chicago, Darren McFadden vs San Diego, BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs NY Jets, Fred Jackson vs Minnesota, Knowshon Moreno vs Kansas City
Chad Ochocinco vs New Orleans
Analysis: The Saints are very tough against the pass, and Ochocino has seen his looks diminish with Terrell Owens in town. There are better options than Ochocinco this week, including some guys that are probably still on the waiver wire in your league.
Sidney Rice vs Buffalo
Analysis: Could this be the week Rice breaks out? Over the last two weeks he has a total of four catches for 76 yards. I’d wait to see some production from Rice before starting him.
Other WR’S With Tough Matchups: Santana Moss vs NY Giants, Louis Murphy vs San Diego, Mike Wallace vs Baltimore, Michael Crabtree vs Green Bay, Deion Branch vs NY Jets
Jermain Gresham, Heath Miller, Ben Watson, and Todd Heap
Analysis: I wouldn’t start any of the AFC North tight ends this week. They all have tough matchups.
Other TE’S With Tough Matchups: Chris Cooley vs NY Giants, Aaron Hernandez vs Jets
Arizona vs St. Louis
Analysis: Arizona gave up 27 points to Troy Smith and the 49ers last week. St. Louis has been hot and has proven they can play well on the road. Arizona looks tired and worn-out.
Other Defenses With Tough Matchups: Oakland vs San Diego, New England vs NY Jets, Houston vs Philadelphia, Washington vs NY Giants, Cincinnati vs New Orleans
STEELER FANTASY IMPACT
QB Ben Roethlisberger
Analysis: Roethlisberger injured his right foot last week, but was able to stay in the game. If that injury lingers, it could hamper Roethlisberger’s ability to scramble away from a blitz-crazy Raven team that had Josh Freeman running all over the place last week. The Ravens are tough at home and will be a big challenge for the injury-depleted Steelers. Roethlisberger has failed to throw multiple touchdowns against Baltimore in their last three regular season meetings. If Ben has time in the pocket, he might be able to exploit the Ravens secondary which has appeared ordinary on occasion.
RB Rashard Mendenhall
Analysis: Mendenhall picked up his third 100-yard game of the season when he racked up 151 yards on a career-high 36 carries in Week 12. Mendenhall has scored in eight games this year and remains a must start. In his last game against Baltimore, Mendenhall had 79 yards and two touchdowns.
WR Hines Ward
Analysis: Ward busted out of a little funk with seven catches for 107 yards in a Week 12. The Raven’s pass defense is a top-ten unit, but can be exploited at times. This is a big game for the Steelers, and Ward usually shows up in big games.
WR Mike Wallace
Analysis: Wallace saw his three-game 100-yard receiving game streak come to an end Sunday when he caught three passes for 33 yards in Week 12. I’m not sure Roethlisberger will have the time to go deep this week, but if he does, Wallace could have a nice day.
TE Heath Miller
Analysis: Unfortunately, Miller is a non-factor in fantasy football this year. Guys like Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki, Greg Olsen and Joel Dreessen are putting up better numbers and may be available on your league’s waiver wire.