By: Steve D.
NYJ @ Denver 4:05
The Jets are arguably the best team in the NFL sitting at 4-1 on the year. All parts are working right now as they continue to impress each week. Mark Sanchez has yet to throw a INT this year and has 8 TD’s, but I think a pick or two could be coming this week. Playing in the thin air in Denver in a hostile environment, the Jets will look to rely on the legs of Ladainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. Running behind that impressive offensive line and being healthy as he’s been in 3 years L.T. is averaging 5.7 YPC just behind Jamal Charles 6.5 and Arian Foster 5.8. Denver got chewed up on the ground last week by Ray Rice and the Jets will look to do the same. L.T. is a solid #2 and Greene makes for a safe flex this week. Greene is starting to accept his backup role more now and is running with more confidence.
We’ve seen what Champ Bailey can do to wideouts this year as he remains a shutdown corner. Anquan Boldin was held to one catch last week against Champ so that doesn’t bode well for Braylon Edwards who Champ should be matching up on most of the game. Santonio Holmes is still getting in rhythm with Sanchez so he doesn’t make for any more than a flex play this week. Dustin Keller should bounce back after a bad game last week as Sanchez looks to find his favorite option again.
Kyle Orton has proven the doubters wrong, including myself and is now a matchup proof #1 QB. He now has 4 straight 300 yard passing games as he continued his streak last week against Baltimore’s #1 pass defense. Watching Orton, he is reading coverages, spreading the ball around nicely and has a great understanding of Josh Mcdaniels offense. Brandon Lloyd also has proved the doubters wrong as he is currently the #1 fantasy wideout. You can’t sit him either as he has just been a monster this year (30-589-3 TD’s). Cromartie did a good job against Moss last week but all Moss was really doing was running streaks. With Revis most likely out to rest his hamstring, Cromartie will most likely match up with the athletic Lloyd who I think will give him problems with his route running. Lloyd is for real, don’t doubt him. Eddie Royal and Jabaar Gaffney both make for solid flex plays against a Jets Pass defense without Revis and letting up 234 yards per game. Please make sure Lawrence Maroney and Corell Buckhalter don’t sniff your lineups. If you were considering them, then your name is Turgy Smintzhoff.
Oakland @ San Fran 4:05
What a disappointing year for San Fran sitting at 0-5. This team really does have a lot of talent with Gore, Davis, and Crabtree but Alex Smith has hurt them with his play, proving once again how important it is to have a quality QB. Phillip Rivers torched this Oakland secondary last week for 400 yards but that doesn’t’ mean Alex Smith will have similar success. Crabtree should draw Ashmoughababa most of the game so he is tough to start this week ,but is a decent flex as he’s starting to get hot. Obviously Alex Smith is not a good start right now. What the 49ers will really look to do this week is pound the run with their best player Frank Gore against Oakland’s poopy Run D which ranks 31st in the league. Singletary is going to put the ball in Gore’s hands and rely on his defense to win this game. This game is basically the 49ers season. Vernon Davis will be the next best option Sunday as Davis will be heavily involved in the gameplan. Look for him to have a big game, he will be Smith’s safety net.
Bruce Gradkowski is out this week with a shoulder injury so Jason Campbell gets the start after beating the Chargers last week, although his performance was nothing to write your Aunt Cindy about. He was an efficient 13 of 18 and didn’t turn the ball over however and that is what he needs to continue to do. That said he isn’t worth starting and neither are any of the Oakland wideouts not named Zach Miller. I’m still not as high on Miller as others, but he is talented and is Oakland’s best target. I wouldn’t expect anything special from him this week, however. 40-50 yards?
As I’ve been saying for 3 weeks, you should have been trying to trade away Darren Mcfadden because of his injury concerns and tougher schedule commencing. Well the injury bug hit Mcfadden once again and now his backfield partner Michael Bush has come back healthy and run well. Although Mcfadden should take back #1 duties eventually he is still not a good bet to remain healthy and now Michael Bush will see a bigger role. For this week it looks like Mcfadden is out but either way keep him on your bench. Michael Bush will probably see a big workload around 20 carries so he’s a decent #2 this week against the 49ers. Overall, I’m not crazy about any Raiders this week because I believe the 49ers will shut them down on offense.
Cowboys @ Vikings 4:15
This is easily the best game of the week as it’s desperation for both teams as they each sit at 1-3 . Whoever loses this game will most likely miss the playoffs as they try to battle back from 1-4 with tough schedules ahead. Wade Phillips could be playing for his job this week.
Brett Favre is playing this week. I don’t care what you hear about his elbow tendinitis, he is not going to miss this game, the Vikings need to win. Last week was Brett’s best game of the year despite a horrific first half he bounced back with 3 TD’s in the 2nd. Dallas is sitting at 12th in pass defense but they can be had. Mike Jenkins hasn’t been playing all that well lately and Randy Moss who he will be matched up with this week, obviously is no easy task. The Cowboys would be smart to have Terrance Newman cover Percy Harvin because nickel back Orlando Scandrick cannot keep up with Harvin in the slot. However, I think Moss and Harvin will both make big plays this week similar to last Monday Night against the Jets. According to our Cowboy Expert Mike D, Cowboys Strong Safety Gerald Sensabaugh is up to the task to take away one of Farve’s favorite targets Vishante Shiancoe, but I still think Shiancoe could slip in for a TD. Despite, the elbow injury I think Brett is up to the task at home to put up some fairly good numbers this week. 250+ with a couple TD’s is possible.
Adrian Peterson was shut down in last year’s playoff game to only 63 yards on 26 against the Cowboys but as Mike D pointed out the Boyz haven’t been so hot against good backs this year letting Chris Johnson go for 135 and Arian Foster go for 100. Adrian could easily break that 100 yard mark as well depsite being held under 70 last year.
Tony Romo threw for a career high 406 yards last week, but the Cowboys still lost as Romo also threw 3 picks and was sacked 6 times as a result of throwing it 46 times. Dallas is 8-13 with Romo as a starter when he attempts more than 35 passes, while it’s 31-7 otherwise. Hopefully Dallas realizes they need to stop throwing so much and rely on the run game a little bit more. Felix Jones, Marion Barber and Tashard Choice can handle the load. Regardless of what the Cowboys do, Miles Austin remains a rock solid #1 option and the emerging Roy Williams has now become a fairly solid flex play after back to back solid weeks with a combined 11 catches for over 200 yards and 3 TD’s. Dez Bryant says his ankle is feeling better and will play this week, but has yet to really make a statement on this offense. We may see a couple big games from Dez over the course of the year but he will mostly inconsistent as Austin, Witten and even Roy Williams are better options than him right now. Jason Witten finally saw the endzone last week and it was good for Witten Owners because he hasn’t been seeing that area often lately. He still remains a #1 Tight End even though he’s not as good as he used to be.
Jerry Jones backed up his words and Felix Jones got the ball more last week. Jones, who received his biggest workload of the year got 15 carries which he took for 109 yards. After averaging just 9 touches a game before last week, Jones got 19 touches against the Titans. Marion Barber should still remain a factor especially on short yardage and around the goal lines , but Felix is the back to own because he will be getting the majority of carries from now on. This is not a great matchup for Jones, but he still makes for a low-end #2 and a good flex play. Keep Barber on your bench this week.
Indy @ Washington Sunday Night 8:20
Peyton Manning was held without a TD last week against Kansas City so expect him to throw at least 3 this week to make up for it. Pierre Garcon returned last week and played well with 6 catches for 57 yards giving Peyton Manning yet another weapon. Reggie Wayne nuff said, Austin Collie practiced Friday and looks to be a go but check back with us Sunday morning just to make sure. Dallas Clark nuff said. Basically all these guys are in your lineups, even Garcon is a good option again as a flex, especially against Washington.
Joseph Addai left the game early last week, but is expected to be a go for Sunday and is a good #2 RB in ppr leagues. Donald Brown did not travel with the team to Washington that means 3rd stringer Mike Hart who had 50 yards and a TD last week filling in for Addai will back him up this week. Avoid him though, he’s not worth a start.
Coming off back to back wins against Philly and GB, Donovan Mcnabb will look to make it three in a row at home this week against the Colts. Mcnabb put up 357 last week through the air against GB and I think he stay productive against the Colts this week. He is only going to get more and more comfortable playing in Shanahan’s system. I think Mcnabb goes for 250+ with 2 TD’s this week. Santana Moss bounced back last week with a 100 yards receiving after a 1 catch performance in Philly in week 4. He is the master of the double move and I expect him to find holes in the Colts Cover 2 zones. Moss just needs to get his TD’s up and he can turn into a every week #1 WR.
FantasySavvy’s Alan Squatrito recommended WR Anthony Armstrong two weeks ago on his hit&recovery report and Armstrong delivered last week with 3 catches for 84 yards and a TD. Armstrong is extremely fast and Mcnabb has the arm to get the ball to him. It also appears that Armstrong is about ready to take the #2 WR job from Joey Galloway as he was on the field more than him last week. If you’re in need of WR help go grab him and put him in your lineup this week. As I’ve stated Chris Cooley has been revived with the arrival of Mcnabb. Him and Moss both have always been talented they just needed a real QB to get them the ball.
Mike Shanahan continues to state that Ryan Torain can be a very special back, but I just don’t really see it. He’s not that quick or fast and isn’t a physical type back that scares you. However as we have seen with Shanahan’s backs over the years in his zone blocking system he can make average backs look studly. With Clinton Portis out for at least 3-4 more weeks and possibly out for the year Torain should be a nice RB to own as he will be the feature back. Torain is a good play this week against the Colts Run D that is ranked 29th letting up 143 yards per game.
Tennessee @ Jacksonville Monday Night 8:30
Even though this game will be on while the Yankees are playing Game in 3 in the BX vs the Rangers, I will still be tuning into this game to watch my boy Vince ” The Prince” Young. Watching Young last week he looked very, very focused against Dallas. He made some really nice throws. He opened up the game with a bomb right on the money to Kenny Britt but the pass went incomplete because Mike Jenkins interfered. Young didn’t throw for a great percentage and didn’t get to 200 yards throwing but I really think it’s a sign for things to come. He just needs to start using his feet more. This week Young has a great matchup playing against Jacksonville and their 29th ranked pass D. This is the week Young will throw for over 200 and I think he may get to 300 yards with at least 2 TD’s. Young could really have a huge game this week on Monday Night in front of the whole country. Vince has a knack for shining in big games as we all know.
Kenny Britt was very impressive last week as he once again stepped up in the absence of Justin Gage with 4 catches for 86 yards and a TD. He now has TD’s in 3 straight games. He’s a must-start this week. Nate Washington is also worth a look as a flex play. Chris Johnson, don’t start him this week he’s not good :).
After a brutal week 2 and week 3 David Garrard has come back hot in weeks 4 and 5 stepping up his play. I still believe he is teasing Jacksonville and is not the answer there but he’s doing his best to remain the QB for now. Mercedes Lewis has been a big surprise this year with 5 TD’s in 5 games. If you can sell high do it, he won’t keep this up and may only finish with 7 TD’s on the year. Mike Sims-Walker finally got back into action last week with 4 catches for 46 yards and a TD. Garrard plays much better at home than on the road and he should get Sims-Welker and Mike Thomas involved some this week. Garrard is a decent start this week at QB while Sims-Welker is a decent flex play, although I don’t trust either.
Maurice Jones-Drew is not his usual self although he has been running better the past two weeks. His offensive line isn’t really opening anything as well also causing him to struggle some. Still, he is a top 8 option at RB he’s just not that solid Top 3 or 4 back he used to be, I’m not sure if he can get back there. It looks like Deji Karim has taken over the #2 back behind Jones-Drew over Rashad Jennings and could be used more as the season goes on. Look for Jones-Drew to get more involved in the passing game this week and finish with a fairly nice game on Monday Night.
Miami @ Green Bay 1:00
The bye week came at a good time for Miami who dropped two straight to the Jets and the Patriots. It also came at a good time for Chad Henne who really played poorly at home against New England throwing 3 terrible interceptions. Henne has a solid arm and mechanics but still struggles with accuracy. But I like Henne this week coming off the bye working more with Brandon Marshall and playing against a Clay Matthewless (doubtful)Packers defense. After Matthews left last week against the Skins, the Packers D was not able to get consistent pressure and Mcnabb ended up with 357 yards. Charles Woodson is still a problem but I think Henne can hit the 250+ range even if Miami is more geared towards the run this week. Never sit Brandon Marshall, it doesn’t matter if Charles Woodson is there, we should all know that. It will be interesting to see if Marshall and Henne’s progression this week. Davone Bess is a very talented Wideout and I hope people aren’t sleeping on him. He runs crisp routes and is extremely quick. He is going to be a solid option almost every week in PPR leagues. I have seen some sites continue to doubt him, don’t doubt this guy. Get him in your lineups as a nice flex play in PPR leagues.
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will probably be the main focus this week for Miami as the Dolphins don’t want Henne to throw away games for them. Until he proves he can make better decisions and throws then he will not be trusted. Look for Miami to try to run the ball to open up the Play Action Pass. Green Bay’s run D has been slipping a bit of late and with that said Brown is a nice #2 this week and Williams is a decent flex.
The Packers took another big hit last week as Jermichael Finley looks to be lost for the year, although he could be back for the playoffs. Still, that doesn’t help us fantasy leaguers. Finley was a great option for Rodgers and that will definitely hurt the Packers but they can survive that. It only means better things for Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. The Green Bay coaches in preparation for the absence of Finley and to increase Jennings production, had a meeting on Monday discussing ways to get Jennings the ball more. He’s a solid buy-low candidate right now. James Jones get’s a decent little boost but still I wouldn’t rely on him. What is really hurting this Packers team is their lack of a consistent running attack. Ryan Grant was a big injury back in week 1, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn just are not getting the job done. Keep RB James Starks in the back of your mind as he is eligible to come of the PUP in week 7 and he could eventually emerge as the starter. Maybe he was the reason why Ted Thompson refrained from trading for Marshawn Lynch or it could be that Thompson is a dope, I think it’s the latter, either way he should of made the trade.
Aaron Rodgers should be fine to play after suffering a concussion last week so get him in your lineups , but make sure you check his status tomorrow. The Packers don’t have a great matchup against Miami and their number 4 pass D, but Jennings , Driver and Rodgers all have to be in your lineups. With backup TE Donald Lee probably out as well Rookie Tight End Andrew Quarless is worth a look if you need help at Tight End. If he starts this week he could easily put up 50 yards receiving with Rogers throwing him the rock.
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