By Alan Squatrito
Bills vs. Lions
The Bills have their greatest chance this week to get their first win playing at home. They play the Lions with Matthew Stafford out with a shoulder separation. Shaun Hill is as good of a backup you can possibly have and it won’t be easy for the Bills to stop him. I expect this to be a very good game down the wire and I also expect Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best to be great flex fantasy plays this weekend. Calvin Johnson was shut down last weekend against the Jets but I think he will bounce back in a big way. I like Steve Johnson to have a good fantasy numbers as well for a number two wide out this week. The Lions gave up an average of 3.7 yards a carry last weekend so Fred Jackson should be contained but will have a decent day. C.J. Spiller has a lot more upside, they just need to give him the ball.
Bears vs. Vikings
The Vikings squeaked out a much-needed win last week but they only started to play well when their backs were against the wall against one of the worst teams in football. Luckily for the Vikings their defense finally stepped up to play getting 6 sacks in the game. They had six sacks all season prior to week 9. The Chicago Bears offensive line has major problems protecting Cutler and they barely give him time to throw the deep ball. I picture Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Devin Hester having the most impact this week for the Bears. Devin Hester is due to have at least one breakout game this season. Besides Percy Harvin, Greg Camarillo seems to have the most upside as a wide receiver for the Vikings with Bernard Berrian questionable with a groin injury. Coach Childress also said that Camarillo will be on the field a lot more going forward. I like Shiancoe in this game as well because he is a clutch player and a much-needed go to guy for Favre. I am not a big fan of Forte this weekend unless they spread him out wide for a couple nice plays. All in all I like the Vikings to win this game in Soldier Field because they are still in do or die mode and are looking forward to Sidney Rice coming back on the field soon to give them better chances to win games outright going forward. There is a chance Rice plays in this game, but don’t expect a big workload if he does play.
Browns vs. Jets
The Jets are giving up 3.7 yards a carry on the ground and an average of 16 points a game to their opponents. With Peyton Hillis carrying their team each week I expect him to struggle this week against a solid Jets run defense. To make matters worse Colt McCoy is going to have another difficult challenge to deal with this weekend against Rex Ryan’s blitz first defense. They come from all over the place. Don’t get me wrong I can picture Peyton Hillis having a decent fantasy day, but not enough to carry over for a Browns’ win. I like Ladanian Tomlinson a little more than Shonn Greene this week despite that they are both good plays. Ryan has said it will be a 50/50 split, will see. Look for Santonio Holmes to have another good game and Jets defense to have an event better one. This really should be a blowout as long as the Jets don’t turn the ball over.
Colts vs. Bengals
Ochocinco was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday despite an ankle injury he sustained during week 9 vs. the Steelers. If the Bengals don’t win this game, they will definitely keep it close. Can the Bengals lose 6 times in a row? Cedric Benson and Ochocinco will have great games this week, as well as Carson Palmer. This game will probably go back and forth and there will probably be one huge turnover in the game to differentiate the difference of which team wins and loses. I don’t picture Donald Brown having the best fantasy day even if Bengals do let up 4.2 yards a carry. He is a low fantasy flex. I like Jacob Tamme and Pierre Garcon. Would I be surprised if Reggie Wayne had the best game of the wide receivers for the Colts? No, I would not be that surprised, but I think the Bengals defense is going to step up and I believe they are going to win this one on the road.
Jaguars vs. Texans
The Jags always give the Texans a tough time, but Schaub hasn’t been playing his best as a quarterback in the last couple of games. I don’t think he can be brought down for too long and I believe he will explode this game along with Joel Dreessen, Andre Johnson, and of course Arian Foster. I like Garrard as a number one quarterback as well and I expect Mike Sims-Walker to have a big day. This game can and should very likely go back and forth with two potent offenses and not so potent defenses facing off. I like the Texans to start competing again and beat the Jaguars this Sunday.
Dolphins vs. Titans
What a battle this game is going to be. Coach Sparano is sitting Chad Henne who has a 62 quarterback rating and is starting his old buddy Chad Pennington. This seems to be the smarter move with Henne playing poorly lately despite the great caliber teams they have beaten thus far. I don’t know if Davone Bess will keep up his consistent 6-9 catches a game but I can assure you that Chad Pennington will be very accurate with all his throws. I think that Ronnie Brown will have a good game and is a solid number two running back. Brandon Marshall needs to step up his play and stop dropping so many balls. I think he will turn it around and help the Dolphins get a much-needed win at home; this will be their first home win this season. Randy Moss usually owns the Dolphins and I expect him to have a big day with Kerry Collins (a.k.a. The Statue) throwing deep to him a few times this game. This is going to be a great game.
Buccaneers vs. Panthers
This game isn’t last on my list for a reason, but now that it is, sure why not. This is the worst game of the week with Mike Goodson starting at running back and rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen running the show. Yuck. The Buccaneers defense plays well at home and I expect them to play exceptionally well this weekend. Goodson is known to have fumbling problems and Clausen is known to have throwing interception problems. LeGarrette Blount will be a solid number one start this weekend and he will chew off the clock in the fourth to close the game out. I expect Mike Williams to keep his great play continuing but I also like Kellen Winslow to emerge this weekend as the coaching staff was talking earlier in the week how they want to devise a game plan to get him more involved. This should be a blowout.