By Steve DeAngelo
Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) @ Denver Broncos (2-6) 4:05 est
The Broncos come back from their bye where they went in really struggling. Kyle Orton was lighting up every defense he faced at one point but the last couple games has come back down to earth some. It seemed like once Eddie Royal got injured and was playing through injury, Orton started to struggle. However, Royal is healthy now and completes the trio with Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney. The Chiefs rank 21st against the pass and despite having a solid corner in Brandon Flowers he can’t cover all three of these receivers. Orton should be able to move the ball through the air. At one point Orton had 4 straight 300 yard passing games and he could get back to the 300 yard mark this week with a couple of scores.
Josh Mcdaniels says that Knowshon Moreno is healthy and will get a heavy workload going forward. Good news for Orton, without Moreno healthy Orton failed to have a running game to take pressure off him with having to rely on the ineffective Lawrence Maroney and Corell Buckhalter. This still isn’t a good matchup for Moreno against a pretty tough K.C. run D ranked 9th overall and only having allowed 5 rushing TDs. Maybe wait a week to see how Moreno looks, again this isn’t a good matchup.
The Chiefs should have won last week vs Oakland, but some bad coaching decisions, special teams and a big drop by Dwayne Bowe late in the game cost them the game. The Chiefs running attack is among the best in the league, but Matt Cassell continues to hold this team back from being a complete team. The Chiefs focus should once again be to run the ball while giving Jamal Charles more carries than Thomas Jones. Both backs should be in for nice games against the 31st worse Run D in the league. Denver is letting up 157 yards on the ground per game and have let up a league high 14 running TD’s. Expect Solid games from both Charles and Jones. Dwayne Bowe has scored in 4 straight games but hasn’t racked up many yards. He only has 1 100 yard game this year. He draws a tough matchup against Champ Bailey, but still is a threat to score because of his size. Look for Tony Moeaki to have a nice game as Denver is letting up the 23rd most points to Tight ends and the athletic LB D.J. Williams will not play Sunday because of suspension after his DWI. Not good news for a Broncos D that has already been struggling mightily. Expect a lot of points in this game as neither defense will be able to contain each others strengths on offense.
Seattle Seahawks (4-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-5) 4:15 Est
The return of Matt Hasselback should help, but Seattle is still a very poor road team. This is a good matchup for Hasselback but he simply cannot be relied upon. He has one reliable option in Mike Williams but he isn’t a big play threat. No other Seattle receiver should be started. Williams is a decent flex, because Hasselback will target him at least 10 times and around the endzone.
Despite getting good matchups against TB, Arizona and Oakland Marshawn Lynch has done nothing at RB for Seattle. He is averaging 3 yards per carry. This is a good matchup but Seattle isn’t blocking for him and Lynch lacks explosivness to get through holes, just keep him on your bench unless you don’t have better options.
Whisenhunt went back to Derek Anderson after his Max Hall experiment failed miserably. I guess he thought Hall was better than Leinart? haaa, Again he should have gave Leinart a chance. Anyway, he has Derek Anderson who is bad but at least he helps out Larry Fitzgerald. Beanie Wells like Lynch has been brutal despite good matchups. Beanie isn’t healthy, his knee has to be bothering him and it shows. Keep him on your bench, he may not even play Sunday. Fitzgerald is the only guy worth starting for the Cardinals. This will probably be the most boring game this Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys (1-7) @ New York Giants (6-2) 4:15 est
The Giants trounced the Seahawks last week without Matt Hasselback, just completely dominating the football game. This week, they get another opponent that they could possibly trample on in Dallas. Ahmad Bradshaw is one of the most talented runners in the league and is always in lineups. Brandon Jacobs makes for a decent flex play and could score this week. Steve Smith is out for the Giants which is a shame because he would have had a big day matched up with Orlando Scandrick. Mario Manningham fills into his role and should fine. CB Terrance Newman is not playing healthy and his performance has suffered. Michael Jenkins has also been brutal for Dallas all year. Hakeem Nicks should find the endzone once again and Manningham will be a nice play in PPR leagues. Eli Manning should be in for a nice day unless somehow Dallas plays to the level of their talent on defense, don’t bet on it.
Jon Kitna was the biggest reason for Dallas’ poor play against the Giants. They can blame it on Wade Phillips, The offensive line, the defensive line the secondary, but Kitna was the main problem. He just kills this offense. He can’t get the ball downfield and can’t create any plays. However once in a while Kitna will have a game where he steps up, could it be this week? Who knows but you still gotta sit Roy Williams who has done nothing since Kitna arrived and consider sitting Miles Austin who has also suffered. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are the biggest benefactors because of Kitna and both should be in your lineups. Felix Jones has been a disappointment since moving into the starting role and should be benched along with Marion Barber. Tashard Choice should be on your roster if you have room, especially for keeper leagues.
San Fransisco 49ers (2-6) at St. Louis Rams (4-4) 4:15 Est
Despite a 0-5 start the 49ers still have a chance to win the NFC west being only 2 games back. This is a huge game for them this week. They will start Troy Smith at QB and Smith could give them a little spark on offense. Smith will rely heavily rely on Vernon Davis who is healthy coming back from his ankle injury which knocked him out early in week 8. Frank Gore will also be relied upon heavily, but it’s not like he wasn’t already. Gore and Davis are the only guys worth starting and both should have nice games. Michael Crabtree scored in his first game with Smith and had 53 yards but wait and see how they connect this week and go with other options.
Sam Bradford should be on teams in keeper leagues, but you should have better options than Bradford right now. He really only has 1 receiver to go to and that is Danny Amendola who is a nice start in ppr leagues. Steven Jackson will be relied upon heavily. It’s not a great matchup for Jackson against a tough 49ers run D, but he has to be in lineups.
New England (6-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) Sunday Night 8:20 Est
Peyton Hillis abused this New England Run D last week. Peyton Hillis is good but his offensive line is better. Still the Patriots took bad angles all game and just played the run poorly. Rashad Mendenhall should provide similar problems this week as he should find holes and be able to get to the edge just like Hillis did. Rothlisberger should enjoy throwing against this young secondary even though Safety Patrick Chung should return. Mike Wallace should continue his production since Ben came back and is a must-start as is Hines Ward. Heath Miller is also a good start this week as New England is 24th in points allowed to tight ends.
Right now I’m not overly impressed with this Patriots offense. They are missing the deep threat that Randy Moss gave them and lack explosiveness. Wes Welker still hasn’t gone over 75 yards yet this year and hasn’t scored since week 2. Brandon Tate has been extremely inconsistent and had one lucky catch that went for a TD since Moss left. Deion Branch is supposed to be back and healthy, so will see he could help get this passing game going, but keep him out of lineups. Aaron Hernandez will continue to be the main receiving threat in this offense and is a must start at Tight End. Danny Woodhead is a decent flex play most weeks but should be swallowed up by Pittsburgh and their No 1 Run D, keep him and Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis on your bench. Pittsburgh’s secondary isn’t that good ranked 24th in the league, but you still may want to consider benching Tom Brady this week as the pressure from the Steelers D might cause him to struggle.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) @ Washington Redskins (4-4) Monday Night 8:30
The big question in this game is how will Donovan Mcnabb perform after being benched for one of the worst QB’s in football in Rex Grossman. Mcnabb should be motivated to prove the Shanahan’s wrong and get another win against his former team. However, I just don’t see a good performance from Mcnabb. He may throw for 200 yards but probably will be limited to 1 TD. Santana Moss historically hasn’t been good against Philly and will be matched up with Asante Samuel. Chris Cooley has to be in lineups as Philly has been exposed by Tight Ends all year. Start Santana if you have too, but don’t expect a big game. Ryan Torain should get the start but is banged up coming into this one, he’s not a great option. Clinton Portis will most likely be out one more week, so expect Keiland Williams to get some carries and catch some passes, not worth starting though.
Michael Vick is playing the best football of his career and right now is playing like one of the best QB’s in the league. His deep balls have pinpoint accurate with some help from Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin because they can catch up to his bombs. Vick should have a very nice day against a struggling Redskins secondary ranked 2nd to last in the league. Jackson and Maclin are must-starts. Keep Brent Celek on your bench unless you have to start him, Vick has yet to find a chemistry with him, but be patient it should be coming, maybe this week. Lesean Mcoy should also enjoy a nice day. The Eagles are just the better overall football team coming in red-hot and should get a W here on Monday Night.