Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is our weekly look at the best and worst matchups from around the NFL and how they might affect lineup decisions for your Fantasy Football team. We are not in the business of stating the obvious, so you won't be reading here why you need to start Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson or any other top-tier players.
The Ravens and Willis McGahee got just what they were looking for last week at Miami. Finally.
When Dolphins defensive tackle Jason Ferguson left with an oblique injury, McGahee played like the running back we all expected this year. He played like a standout Fantasy option.
Remember, coming into this year, there were high hopes for McGahee playing for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who has a good history with running backs, including LaDainian Tomlinson and Ronnie Brown. But McGahee began the year looking like a big-time bust.
Sure, there was the knee injury in training camp followed by a scratched eye lid and bruised ribs. But it was obvious the Ravens were disappointed with McGahee, especially with LeRon McClain playing well and the potential of Ray Rice.
But last week, McGahee returned to his hometown and was rejuvenated. He had 19 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 47 yards against the Dolphins and re-established himself as someone Fantasy owners can count on.
This week, that continues, which is why he's our Start of the Week. It also helps that he has a great matchup against Oakland.
For the season, Oakland is allowing 136.2 rushing yards per game and nine touchdowns. The Raiders also are coming to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, which is never good for West Coast teams.
Look for McGahee to stay hot against Oakland, and he has the chance to put together a nice streak with games against Cleveland and Houston following this matchup. McGahee is back, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Ravens and Fantasy owners.
Sit of the Week
When this season started, Eli Manning was coming off the amazing Super Bowl run and ready to show Fantasy owners he could be a legitimate No. 1 option. It worked with an impressive start. Manning averaged 258 passing yards with seven total touchdowns and one interception in the first four games. He was among the league leaders and a top Fantasy quarterback. And then it happened.
|Eli Manning has looked like anything but a No. 1 option the past two weeks. (US Presswire)|
Then last week, Manning had a pedestrian game with 161 passing yards and one touchdown. The Giants won and Manning wasn't terrible, but he wasn't an elite Fantasy option either.
Are the good days done? This is a good week to find out -- but not a good week to trust Manning at Pittsburgh. The Steelers are No. 1 in pass defense at 158.7 yards per game with five touchdowns and six interceptions. They also lead the NFL with 25 sacks.
The Steel Curtain has only allowed two quarterbacks (Matt Schaub and David Garrard) to pass for 200 yards, with Schaub the best opposing passer with 202 yards. Derek Anderson (166 passing yards and two interceptions) and Donovan McNabb (196 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception) have also struggled against Pittsburgh.
Manning said the chest injury isn't a problem, and he does have the benefit of Plaxico Burress motivated in his first trip back to Pittsburgh since he played there from 2000-04. But Burress is dealing with a shoulder injury and stiff neck and might not be 100 percent.
That would be one less thing working in Manning's favor, so consider sitting him this week. It's a bad matchup and Manning is struggling right now, so don't count on him to lead your Fantasy team at this time.
Instead, look at these quarterbacks not listed below who have better matchups this week with Jason Campbell (at DET), J.T. O'Sullivan (vs. SEA) and Matt Cassel (vs. STL). Campbell passed for 248 yards and two touchdowns last year against Detroit, O'Sullivan had 321 yards and a touchdown against Seattle earlier this year and Cassel is coming off his best game last week against Denver when he had three touchdowns.
Matt Schaub (vs. CIN): Schaub continues to emerge as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and it helps playing with the talent of Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter, Steve Slaton and Ahman Green. It also helps his past two opponents have been Miami and Detroit, and this week he faces a Bengals defense that is among the league leaders in passing touchdowns allowed with 10. Schaub has passed for 952 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions and also ran for a score against Jacksonville, Miami and Detroit the past three games. He has the Texans going in a positive direction after an 0-4 start, and Fantasy owners are enjoying the ride.
Donovan McNabb (vs. ATL): There are plenty of reasons to like McNabb this week. He's getting Brian Westbrook, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown back from injury. He's coming off a bye week, and he has at least 250 passing yards in each of his past three games following a bye. And he's facing a Falcons defense that has allowed 231.7 passing yards per game and 10 touchdowns this year. McNabb has passed for at least 260 yards in two of his past three games and had 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his last outing at San Francisco in Week 6. He is off to another good start with eight touchdowns and only three interceptions this year, and that should continue this week.
Jake Delhomme (vs. ARI): Arizona is the poster child for West Coast teams coming to the East Coast for 1 p.m. starts. The Cardinals have done it twice this year, and both times their pass defense has faltered. Against Washington, Jason Campbell passed for 193 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Against the Jets the following week, Brett Favre passed for 289 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. This week, Delhomme will try to stay hot at home. He is averaging 213 passing yards at home with six touchdowns and two interceptions in four games. All six touchdown passes have come in his past three home games against Atlanta, Kansas City and New Orleans, all wins, and he should play well again this week. The Cardinals are tied with Denver for the most passing touchdowns allowed with 12.
Philip Rivers (vs. NO): I figured it's time to give Rivers some love after calling him a bust the past two weeks, which was true at Buffalo when he had 208 passing yards, two touchdowns an interception and a fumble. This week, Rivers faces his former mentor in Drew Brees, so you can expect some passing highlights for both sides. It helps that both pass defenses are among the worst in the league. For Rivers, the Saints are allowing 222.4 passing yards per game and nine touchdowns on the year. And with LaDainian Tomlinson struggling, Rivers will again be asked to carry the offense. If he gets Chris Chambers back from an ankle injury, that will only enhance what Rivers can do in London this week.
Jeff Garcia (at DAL): It's funny how an injury can turn around another player's season. Brian Griese (elbow) goes down, and Garcia steps up and starts playing like a Pro Bowl quarterback again. It helps that he's still looking for a contract. Last week, Garcia passed for 310 yards and a touchdown against Seattle and has three touchdowns and one interception since replacing Griese against Denver. He now gets a Dallas secondary that has allowed 203.1 passing yards and nine touchdowns and is missing Roy Williams, Adam Jones and Terrence Newman. Look for Garcia to again be efficient and put up enough quality stats that he can be a useful bye-week replacement this week.
Sleeper alert: Trent Edwards (at MIA): Edwards had his best day as a rookie last year against the Dolphins when he passed for four touchdowns and 165 yards in his only meeting. He should post solid stats again this week since Miami is allowing 235.3 passing yards per game and nine touchdowns this year. Edwards has a touchdown pass in every game he has finished this year (he was knocked out against Arizona in Week 5), and he has at least 215 passing yards in four of six starts. The Dolphins defense has looked vulnerable the past two weeks, and Edwards should take advantage of it with another good game.
Derek Anderson (at JAC): The Jaguars passing defense hasn't been good this year, allowing 229.7 passing yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. But coming off a bye week and getting some defensive backs healthy will help. It's also good to face Anderson on the road where he's averaging just 133 passing yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Anderson appeared to turn the corner with his game against the Giants two weeks ago, but he reverted back to form last week against Washington with only 136 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 37.8 percent completions. It's hard to trust Anderson on the road right now, especially against a rested defense.
Brad Johnson (vs. TB): We'll see a better performance from Johnson at home against the Bucs than he showed last week at St. Louis but not enough to instill confidence for your Fantasy team. Johnson passed for 234 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions against the Rams, and Tampa Bay comes into this game allowing 201.1 passing yards per game with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Bucs will try to force Johnson into some tough throws, and coach Jon Gruden knows Johnson well from their time together in Tampa Bay. You still have to start most of the Cowboys offensive players and hope that Johnson can get them the ball, but don't plan on Johnson having a good enough game to use him on your Fantasy team this week.
Chad Pennington (vs. BUF): Pennington has been throwing the ball well this year with at least 225 passing yards in five of six starts with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He's averaged 290 passing yards the past two games against Houston and Baltimore. But the Dolphins don't want to see Pennington throw the ball 30 times a game, which is what he averaged the past two outings, and if the game gets out of reach, rookie Chad Henne could get on the field. The Dolphins want Pennington to manage the game and not take chances, so don't expect him to make a lot of plays. And Buffalo is only allowing 185.8 passing yards per game with six touchdowns this season.
Matt Ryan (at PHI): This will a good test for the rookie quarterback, who is getting rave reviews following his last game against Chicago when he passed for 301 yards and a touchdown in leading the Falcons to a last-second victory. Ryan has been great against the blitz, but that's what the Eagles do better than anyone else. Philadelphia has 21 sacks on the year and will test Ryan's ability to avoid the rush. The Eagles also have a tremendous secondary, so look for Ryan to struggle on the road. In two road games at Tampa Bay and Carolina, which do well against the pass, Ryan had no touchdowns and two interceptions. He has two touchdowns and three interceptions in three road games this year.
Marc Bulger (at NE): Here we go again with Bulger on the road, where he has struggled. He has less than 200 passing yards in seven of his past eight games outdoors with three touchdowns and 10 interceptions over that span. The Patriots are banged up in the secondary with Rodney Harrison out, but the Rams just don't perform the same away from home. Bulger is getting great production from rookie Donnie Avery, but Torry Holt needs to step up as well. I just don't think you can use Bulger on the road until he proves his road woes are a thing of the past.
Bust alert: David Garrard (vs. CLE): Garrard has started to look like the Garrard of old the past three weeks with 712 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against Houston, Pittsburgh and Denver. He did that with a thin receiving corps already, but now Matt Jones might be suspended and Mike Walker is out with a knee injury. Jerry Porter is still there, Reggie Williams is also a threat and Marcedes Lewis has turned into a decent receiver at tight end, but Cleveland's pass defense has also been solid. The Browns are allowing just 183 passing yards per game with five touchdowns and nine interceptions. This is a game where Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor should carry the Jaguars offense with Garrard doing plenty of handing off.
Thomas Jones (vs. KC): This is a week where you can use Leon Washington also because the Chiefs run defense is horrible. Kansas City has allowed 12 rushing touchdowns, 14 carries of 20-plus yards and gives up 207.2 rushing yards per game. Last week, Chris Johnson (18 carries for 168 yards and a touchdown) and LenDale White (17 carries for 149 yards and three touchdowns) were untouchable against the Chiefs. Jones is coming off an outstanding game against the Raiders where he rushed for 159 yards. He now has 224 rushing yards and three total touchdowns his past two games. Washington scored against the Raiders last week and should see carries against Kansas City, making him a solid flex option.
LenDale White (vs. IND): Last week we told you Chris Johnson was our Start of the Week and to use White also, and the results were off the charts against the Chiefs. Well, start both again this week against the Colts. Indianapolis allows 153.5 rushing yards per game with six touchdowns this year and should struggle to stop this duo. White scored against the Colts in their home meeting last year and has a chance to rumble for at least 52 yards and a touchdown, which is what he averages per game. Johnson also is averaging 92 rushing yards per game, so he should again be the yardage guy for the Titans.
Steve Slaton (vs. CIN): Continuing our theme of good tandems, this is another week for Slaton and Ahman Green to produce positive stats. Slaton had 80 rushing yards and a touchdown against Detroit last week, and Green had 62 rushing yards and a touchdown. Both should get enough carries against the Bengals to be successful since Cincinnati is allowing 152.3 rushing yards per game with 10 touchdowns this year. Last week, Mewelde Moore ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals. Slaton has four touchdowns in his past five games and has thrived against poor run defenses. Green is just warming up with 34 carries for 150 yards in his past three games, which makes him an excellent flex option this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. CLE): If we're talking about tandem running backs, how can we not mention the team that set the standard for Fantasy owners the past two seasons? Jones-Drew is starting to look like an elite Fantasy option again. He had 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 23 yards at Denver in his last game with Fred Taylor dealing with a head injury. Jones-Drew has scored in four of his past five games and should do well against the Browns, who are allowing 146.3 rushing yards per game with eight touchdowns. He also might be Jacksonville's best receiver this week. Taylor, who is more of a flex option at this point, has a good history against the Browns with 462 rushing yards and five touchdowns in three meetings. The only problem is the last time he faced Cleveland was 2002, but the Browns run defense is still just as bad now as it was then.
Earnest Graham (at DAL): Warrick Dunn is a little banged up with a pinched nerve in his neck, which should give Graham more carries this week. When Dunn left the game against Seattle last week, Graham finished with 23 carries, which was his high for the season. Graham still started at fullback, but that could change if Dunn is out or limited. But no matter what role Graham plays, count on him to do well this week. The Cowboys run defense looked awful last week against the Rams and is missing Roy Williams, who is out with a broken arm. Steven Jackson ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys last week, so look for Graham, who has four touchdowns in his past six games, to do well in this matchup.
Sleeper alert: Cedric Benson (at HOU): Who would have thought that Benson would be worth starting in a Fantasy league this year? Well, Benson started for the Bengals last week against Pittsburgh and had 14 carries for 52 yards and one catch for 10 yards. Chris Perry had no carries against the Steelers, so he doesn't appear to be a factor any more. The Texans also have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns, which leads the NFL, along with 122 rushing yards per game. Benson is only owned in 40 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, so if you need help at running back, add him and start him this week against Houston.
Edgerrin James (at CAR): There are some stats that work in James' favor this week along with him coming off a bye. He does better on the road than at home with 222 rushing yards and two touchdowns compared to 141 rushing yards and one touchdown in three games home and away. Last year, James had 78 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Panthers at home. But Carolina has done well against the run this year, allowing 107 yards per game with three touchdowns. While James has scored three touchdowns, he still loses goal-line carries to rookie Tim Hightower. And this is another game for the Cardinals playing on the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start. In two games against Washington and the Jets in that same scenario, James had 27 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Michael Turner (at PHI): Against tough defenses this year, Turner has struggled. He's faced Tampa Bay (14 carries for 42 yards), Carolina (18 carries for 56 yards) and Chicago (25 carries for 54 yards), which rank in the Top 14 in run defense this year, and has been limited. The Eagles are in that group also since they allow just 91.5 rushing yards per game and three touchdowns on the year. Philadelphia has a chance to take an early lead here, which could negate the Falcons chances to run the ball as often as they would like. That means fewer touches for Turner and less chances for him to help your Fantasy team.
Willie Parker (vs. NYG): Parker is expected to return against the Giants after missing three games with a sprained knee, but he's going to be rusty, so don't be surprised if he shares carries with Mewelde Moore, who has played well with Parker out. Parker also faces a Giants defense that is allowing just 84.5 rushing yards per game and two touchdowns. The Giants also get defensive leader Antonio Pierce back after he missed last week with a quadriceps injury. Let Parker knock the rust off against this tough Giants defense before putting him back in your Fantasy lineup. He has some easier matchups ahead, especially in Week 10 against the Colts.
Kevin Smith (vs. WAS): Smith has played well in a limited role this year. He only has three games with at least 10 carries, but he does have at least 50 total yards in five of six games this year with three touchdowns. He's still sharing carries with Rudi Johnson, but it would be nice to see what Smith could do with increased touches. That's not likely to happen against the Redskins, who allow just 86.4 rushing yards per game and three touchdowns. Smith may eventually turn into a solid Fantasy option if the Lions make him a featured back, but don't make him a Fantasy starter this week because of the tough matchup against Washington.
Darren McFadden (at BAL): I watched quite a bit of the Raiders game against the Jets last week and thought McFadden looked quick. He didn't seem limited by the toe injury with eight carries for 39 yards and three catches for 50 yards. But I also didn't like that McFadden came off the field in the red zone in favor of Justin Fargas, and Fargas had 28 carries for 74 yards. McFadden needs to be more involved in the offense, but his matchup this week is brutal. The Ravens are No. 1 in run defense for a reason, and last week Baltimore limited Ronnie Brown to just 27 rushing yards on 13 carries. The Ravens are allowing just 67.2 rushing yards per game with one touchdown this season. And, keep in mind this is another West Coast team playing on the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start, which is never a good thing.
Bust alert: Dominic Rhodes (at TEN): Joseph Addai is expected to miss his second game with a hamstring injury, which gives Rhodes another start. Last week at Green Bay, Rhodes had 20 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns, and he also had 25 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore when Addai got hurt. Rhodes is the only player to score a rushing touchdown against the Ravens this year, but he has another tough matchup against the Titans. Tennessee has allowed six rushing touchdowns this year but only gives up 89.5 yards per game. Rhodes may score this week, but it's doubtful he'll get many yards and should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option at best. Start him only if you need to this week.
Lee Evans (at MIA): Evans is trying to continue some impressive streaks. He has a touchdown and at least 88 receiving yards in his past three games against St. Louis, Arizona and San Diego. Now he faces the Dolphins, who he has hurt the past three years with 16 catches for 347 yards and six touchdowns in the past five meetings. He hasn't scored in his past two games at Miami, but the Dolphins have allowed nine passing touchdowns this year and are susceptible to the deep ball, which is something Evans does well.
Santana Moss (at DET): Moss didn't play against the Lions when they squared off last year, and he missed a good day for the Redskins, who won 34-3. This could be a similar game for the Redskins offense since Detroit allows 251.2 passing yards per game with 11 touchdowns. Moss ended his two-game funk with four catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland last week, and as we know, he is streaky. He had three touchdowns in his first three games before going scoreless in the next three. Hopefully this is the start of another good stretch.
Vincent Jackson (vs. NO): Jackson has stepped up as the No. 1 playmaker for the Chargers with Chris Chambers (ankle) out and LaDainian Tomlinson struggling. Jackson has nine catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns the past two games and also had a 31-yard run last week at Buffalo. The Saints pass defense isn't good, so look for Jackson to stay hot, especially if Chambers is out again. New Orleans has allowed nine passing touchdowns and could struggle with Jackson's height and speed. He's hot right now, and hopefully he will stay that way for the rest of the year.
Antonio Bryant (at DAL): The good news for Bryant is Joey Galloway (foot) is still hurt, and even if he returns, Bryant will remain a starter. It also helps that Bryant is facing the team that drafted him in 2002, which should provide extra motivation. And Bryant is coming off a phenomenal game when he caught six passes for 115 yards and a touchdown against Seattle. The Cowboys secondary is banged up, which should help Bryant and Jeff Garcia have another solid game. Bryant could be available in some leagues, so add him and start him this week if he's still sitting on your waiver wire.
Marques Colston (vs. SD): Colston was disgusted with himself for returning last week at Carolina and not recording a catch. That will change this week now that the rust is off with his injured thumb. He expects to get back in a groove with Drew Brees, who is facing his former team for the first time. It helps that San Diego is last in the NFL in pass defense with 254.6 passing yards per game allowed with 11 touchdowns. Look for Colston to get back on track in London in what should be a high-scoring game.
Sleeper alert: Dwayne Bowe (at NYJ): Bowe's quarterback shuffle continues with Tyler Thigpen starting for the injured Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard. But even with all three playing this year, Bowe has still posted solid stats with 34 catches for 410 yards and two touchdowns. With Larry Johnson suspended this week, the Chiefs will be throwing. And they'll do so against a Jets pass defense that allows 229.8 yards per game with eight touchdowns. Bowe will remain a quality Fantasy option even with Thigpen at quarterback. Don't be afraid to start Bowe even though he has a bad quarterback situation right now.
Bobby Engram (vs. SF): Poor Engram. With Matt Hasselbeck (back) out, Engram is dealing with Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye as his quarterback, which is not a good thing. Engram has one catch for 8 yards in his past two games and shouldn't fare much better this week. The 49ers defense should be fired up with new coach Mike Singletary, and Engram and the rest of his teammates will likely suffer. And unless Hasselbeck returns any time soon, don't plan on using Engram on your Fantasy team.
Marvin Harrison (at TEN): Harrison has been hit or miss the past four games with a touchdown in every other game, so this could be a week he scores. But he could also post another game like he did last week with two catches for 11 yards. It's too hard to trust Harrison at this point. And he's facing a team that has allowed just one passing touchdown and only 179 passing yards per game. The Titans will try to limit Harrison and the Colts passing offense, and if Indianapolis can't keep the Titans running backs off the field, Harrison won't have many chances to make plays.
Roy Williams (vs. TB): It appears like it's going to take some time for Williams to work his way into the offense. It could happen this week in his first home game, but are you willing to take that chance? The Bucs pass defense isn't overwhelming with 201.1 passing yards allowed per game and nine touchdowns, but they also have 12 interceptions. Williams didn't have a catch last week against the Rams in his Dallas debut, and with Brad Johnson still the starter, it could be another long week. He will have better days, but don't count on Williams this week.
Javon Walker (at BAL): Walker had his best game since coming to Oakland with five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against the Jets last week. But this doesn't mean it's time to trust him. Prior to that, Walker had five catches for 59 yards on the season. The Ravens secondary has enough talent to contain Walker and the Raiders passing game. Baltimore is No. 4 in pass defense with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. And Walker hasn't scored a touchdown on the road since December of 2006.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (at HOU): Houshmandzadeh continues to post solid catch numbers but not enough yards and no touchdowns with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. He had eight catches for 58 yards against Pittsburgh last week and now has 21 catches for 157 yards in three games with Fitzpatrick replacing Carson Palmer (elbow). My colleague Dave Richard likes Houshmandzadeh this week because the Texans have a suspect pass defense, and Dave is right. But I need to see Houshmandzadeh have a good outing before I can trust him again on my Fantasy team. And he's been playing through an ankle injury, which could be part of the problem with the lack of big plays.
Bust alert: Calvin Johnson (vs. WAS): The good thing about Johnson last week in his first game without Roy Williams was he had 154 receiving yards and a touchdown. The bad thing was it came on two catches against a Texans defense that isn't exactly the best at defending the pass. Washington, however, is much better with only 192.3 passing yards allowed per game with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. The Redskins held Braylon Edwards to four catches for 58 yards last week and will focus on stopping Johnson. It's hard to sit Johnson any week because he's capable of big performances like he did last week against Houston. But with Dan Orlovsky at quarterback, there's always a chance Johnson can post a stinker here and there, and I think that happens this week.
Owen Daniels (vs. CIN): If Daniels starts scoring touchdowns he's going to be unstoppable. He's already established himself as the second-best receiving option for the Texans and is emerging as a Top 5 Fantasy tight end. He had six catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns last week against Detroit and has at least 65 receiving yards in four games this year. The Bengals are No. 6 in pass defense but they are among the league leaders with 10 touchdowns allowed. Look for Daniels to have another good game this week.
Jeremy Shockey (vs. SD): Shockey isn't going to miss this game, so don't worry about his hernia. He has a chance for an outstanding day. Remember, the Chargers have struggled with tight ends all year with Dante Rosario (seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown), Tony Scheffler (six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns), Dustin Keller (four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown) and Zach Miller (five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown) all playing well. The defense has done better in recent weeks against Miami, New England and Buffalo, but Shockey is a whole different challenge. He had five catches for 50 yards last week against Carolina and said he was still bothered with the injury, but he will play and help Drew Brees get revenge against his former team.
L.J. Smith (vs. ATL): Smith might not catch many passes with Brian Westbrook, Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown expected to return this week, but Smith remains a solid red zone target. You might get a similar stat line from his last game in Week 6 at San Francisco when he had one catch for 2 yards and a touchdown. Donovan McNabb likes throwing to Smith near the end zone because he's a big target and has good hands. The Falcons have allowed 10 passing touchdowns this season, so look for McNabb to come out throwing and keep his tight end involved.
Sleeper alert: Steve Heiden (at JAC): With Kellen Winslow suspended for this game, Heiden gets another start. The last time Winslow was out in Week 6 against the Giants, Heiden had five catches for 59 yards. Jacksonville has struggled with tight ends this year. In the Jaguars past three games, Heath Miller and Daniel Graham have scored touchdowns, and Owen Daniels led Houston with seven catches for 87 yards. The Jaguars are getting healthy in the secondary, but look for Derek Anderson to rely on Heiden much like he does with Winslow. This is a tight end-friendly offense.
Anthony Fasano (vs. BUF): Fasano has disappeared from the offense the past three weeks with six catches for 84 yards and no touchdowns against San Diego, Houston and Baltimore. The Bills defense has played well with only six passing touchdowns allowed. Last week, Buffalo limited Antonio Gates to four catches for 55 yards. The Dolphins have gone away from Fasano and started using David Martin more. Martin has eight catches for 127 yards the past three games, which is part of the reason Fasano has struggled and is worth sitting this week.
Bo Scaife (vs. IND): Scaife has been solid this year, especially recently with the Titans receivers banged up. He has 10 catches for 120 yards in his past two games against Baltimore and Kansas City. But he should not be used against the Colts, who are No. 3 in pass defense with two passing touchdowns allowed. One of those touchdowns came from Donald Lee last week, but opposing tight ends (Owen Daniels, Todd Heap and Lee) have just eight catches for 83 yards against the Colts the past three games. Last year, Scaife had only four catches for 40 yards against Indianapolis in two games.
Zach Miller (at BAL): Miller has finally started playing like a quality Fantasy option the past three weeks with 12 catches for 198 yards and a touchdown against San Diego, New Orleans and the Jets. But the Ravens present a tougher challenge. Baltimore has only allowed seven passing touchdowns and is No. 4 in pass defense. The Ravens have already shut down Kellen Winslow (two catches for 14 yards), Heath Miller (two catches for 8 yards), Dallas Clark (two catches for 17 yards) and Anthony Fasano (two catches for 25 yards) this year. Look for Miller to also struggle in this matchup against Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Bust alert: Dallas Clark (at TEN): Clark had his best game of the season last week against Green Bay with eight catches for 81 yards. But he's still looking for his first touchdown and has struggled sharing the ball with Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Anthony Gonzalez. Backup tight end Tom Santi even has a touchdown instead of Clark. This week, Clark gets the Titans, who lead the NFL with only one passing touchdown allowed. Clark did play well at Tennessee last year with seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown, but that was his only good game against the Titans in his past five meetings (he has nine catches for 104 yards in the other four games). The Titans should be able to stay with Clark this week and keep him from scoring again.
New York Jets (vs. K.C.): The Jets defense has played well recently even with a sub-standard outing against Oakland last week. Prior to that, the Jets had 10 sacks, four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns against San Diego, Arizona and Cincinnati. Now the Jets get the Chiefs, who are starting third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen because of injuries to Brodie Croyle (knee) and Damon Huard (hand). On top of that, the Chiefs are without suspended running back Larry Johnson. The Jets secondary has some holes in it, but the run defense is solid and should be able to contain most of the Chiefs weapons this week. Kansas City is also last in the NFL in scoring offense at 12.5 points per game.
Other DSTs with good matchups: Buffalo (at MIA), Jacksonville (vs. CLE) and Houston (vs. CIN)
San Diego (vs. NO): The Chargers defense has a tough test this week even with Reggie Bush (knee) out for the Saints. New Orleans still has plenty of weapons, and this is Drew Brees' first game against his former team, which has a decimated secondary allowing 254.6 passing yards per game with 11 touchdowns. You know Brees is going to come out throwing. San Diego has 12 sacks in its past four games, but only two interceptions over that span. Last week at Buffalo, the Chargers had no sacks or turnovers and should struggle again in this matchup. This game has a chance to be high-scoring depending on the weather, which could be tricky in London.
Joe Nedney (vs. SEA): The last time Nedney faced the Seahawks in Week 2 at Seattle he made four field goals and three extra points for his best day of the season. He also hit four field goals in his last home game against Philadelphia in Week 6. Look for the 49ers to be inspired with new coach Mike Singletary and play well against the Seahawks, who are No. 29 in scoring defense at 28.5 points per game with 15 field goals allowed this season. Seattle's defense just isn't putting up much of a fight this year. Nedney could be a solid bye-week replacement since he's only owned in 62 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com.
Adam Vinatieri (at TEN): Vinatieri has missed at least one field goal in all three road games this year. He hasn't kicked more than two field goals in a game and is struggling with the Colts offense not playing up to its usual standards. The Titans also lead the NFL in scoring defense at 11 points per game and have given up an average of just one touchdown and one field goal per game. Vinatieri was 4-of-5 on field goals against the Titans in two games last year, but he also missed an extra point at Tennessee. Unfortunately, Vinatieri is becoming less reliable on a weekly basis and shouldn't be used this week.
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