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.
Mike Shanahan has done it again. He has turned an unknown running back into a Fantasy star.
From Olandis Gary to Mike Anderson to Mike Bell, Shanahan has given Fantasy owners a surprise option almost every year. This year it's Peyton Hillis, and he's our Start of the Week against Kansas City in Week 14.
Forgotten as the third running back from Arkansas behind Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, Hillis has taken over in Denver following injuries to Selvin Young, Andre Hall, Michael Pittman and Ryan Torain. Hillis could be better than all of them and could finish as the best rookie running back for the Razorbacks with Jones out and McFadden struggling.
Hillis has four touchdowns in his past three games, and ran for 129 yards at the Jets last week when New York's run defense seemed impenetrable. Shanahan has praised Hillis for having the best hands on the team, and his receiving skills have shown with 13 catches for 168 yards and one touchdown on the season.
He faces a Chiefs run defense this week that is No. 31 with 163.7 yards allowed per game with 20 touchdowns. They are tied for second in the NFL with Denver for 17 runs of 20-plus yards.
It's not like Hillis is going to display breakaway speed because that's not his game. But he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and should run well against Kansas City.
If you were able to pick up Hillis several weeks ago as we suggested, start him this week as the Fantasy playoffs begin. And if for some reason he's still available on the waiver wire, pick him up and plug him into your lineup.
That's what Shanahan did, and Fantasy owners should follow suit.
Sit of the Week
If Clinton Portis' knee and neck are hurting before this game, imagine how he will feel after playing the Ravens this week? Baltimore knows how to inflict pain on opposing running backs.
Take away the debacle three weeks ago against the Giants, and the Ravens have been dominant in run defense. They are still No. 3 at 78.2 yards per game with only three rushing touchdowns allowed and have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 30 games.
On top of being hurt, Portis has struggled recently. He hasn't scored a touchdown in his past five games with only one game over 100 yards over that span. He was held to 37 total yards against the Giants last week.
The Ravens play well at home, and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed typically gear up for meetings with fellow University of Miami running backs. They held down Frank Gore (52 yards rushing and no touchdowns in 2007), Edgerrin James (57 yards rushing and no touchdowns in 2007) and Willis McGahee (23 yards rushing and no touchdowns when he was with Buffalo in 2006).
Portis has faced the Ravens three times in his career and has combined for 55 carries for 194 yards and no touchdowns, even though he hasn't faced them since 2004. Portis should struggle again this week and is worth keeping on your bench.
Now, we know it's hard to sit Portis, especially with the Fantasy playoffs starting in many leagues this week. But you might have drafted well with DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson or Matt Forte on your team, and all have better matchups this week.
You could also start Hillis or any of the other running backs listed below. And here are some other alternatives to consider this week based on the matchups: LenDale White (vs. CLE), Derrick Ward (vs. PHI), Warrick Dunn (at CAR), Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk (at SEA), Ricky Williams (at BUF) and Brandon Jackson (vs. HOU) if Ryan Grant (thumb) is out.
|Matt Ryan should be able to take advantage of a soft New Orleans defense. (US Presswire)|
Matt Cassel (at SEA): We expected Cassel to struggle last week at Pittsburgh, and he did with 169 passing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions and also two lost fumbles. But this week he gets back on track against a pass defense that has fallen to last in the NFL. The Seahawks gave up over 300 passing yards against Dallas last week and have allowed 19 passing touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. Cassel did struggle in two trips to the West Coast earlier this year at San Francisco and San Diego when he passed for 462 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, but Seattle isn't a tough opponent. Look for Cassel to bounce back as the Patriots go back to their spread offense with Randy Moss and Wes Welker leading the way.
Brett Favre (at SF): Can you trust Favre at this point? He hasn't given you much reason this season with his inconsistent play. After throwing four touchdowns and one interception at New England and Tennessee he comes back with a stinker against Denver with 247 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He's still looking for his first 300-yard game, and his last trip to the West Coast in Week 7 at Oakland was a disaster with 197 yards and two interceptions. But the 49ers are No. 28 in pass defense with 18 touchdowns allowed and 10 interceptions. They struggle with opposing receivers, so look for Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery to play well. Favre should post enough quality stats to help your Fantasy team this week.
Aaron Rodgers (vs. HOU): Rodgers deserved to win last week against Carolina until a late interception cost the Packers the game and a possible playoff berth. Rodgers had 298 passing yards, three touchdowns and the interception and now has seven touchdowns and five interceptions in his past three games. He's posting similar stats to what Brett Favre used to do in Green Bay. The Texans come in at No. 15 in pass defense with 18 touchdowns allowed and 10 interceptions. If Ryan Grant (thumb) misses the game or is limited, Rodgers will be throwing, and he should do well. He has 12 total touchdowns and three interceptions at home this year.
Shaun Hill (vs. NYJ): For the second year in a row Hill is helping Fantasy owners toward the end of the season. He now has eight total touchdowns and three interceptions since taking over for J.T. O'Sullivan, and he has a great matchup this week. The Jets are No. 30 in pass defense with 17 touchdowns allowed and 10 interceptions. In the past three weeks, Matt Cassel (400 yards and three touchdowns), Kerry Collins (243 yards and one touchdown) and Jay Cutler (357 yards, two touchdowns and one interception) have all played well against the Jets. Hill is playing for a job next season, and he should take advantage of the Jets this week.
Sleeper alert: Tyler Thigpen (at DEN): The Broncos secondary did a good job against Brett Favre last week, and Champ Bailey (groin) is hopeful to return this week. But we're still talking about Denver's pass defense, which has been bad all year and still ranks at No. 27 with 15 touchdowns allowed and only five interceptions. Thigpen has cooled off lately with 162 passing yards, no touchdowns and one interception against Oakland last week and now has four interceptions in his past three games. But he will be able to make some plays against the Broncos, especially with Tony Gonzalez on top of his game, Dwayne Bowe having a fantastic year and Mark Bradley making plays. Larry Johnson should dominate the offense, but don't be afraid to trust Thigpen. Some other potential sleepers in Week 14 include Ben Roethlisberger (vs. DAL), Marc Bulger (at ARI), Kyle Orton (vs. JAC) and David Garrard (at CHI).
Jake Delhomme (vs. TB): The one thing in Delhomme's favor this week is he's at home, where has played well this year with nine touchdowns and one interception. But the teams he's faced at home -- Atlanta, Kansas City, New Orleans, Arizona and Detroit -- all struggle in pass defense. That's not the case with the Bucs, who are No. 3 in pass defense with 16 touchdowns allowed and 17 interceptions. In their first meeting this year Delhomme had 242 passing yards and three interceptions, and he has five touchdowns and five interceptions in his past five meetings with Tampa Bay.
Philip Rivers (vs. OAK): History is not on Rivers' side in this matchup. In his past five games against the Raiders, Rivers has only two games over 150 passing yards and none over 200 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. At home, Rivers has no passing touchdowns against Oakland. And the Raiders are starting to click in pass defense, holding down Jake Delhomme (72 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions), Chad Pennington (174 yards and no touchdowns), Jay Cutler (204 yards and an interception) and Tyler Thigpen (162 yards and an interception) the past four weeks.
Jason Campbell (at BAL): The Ravens lead the NFL with 20 interceptions, which says a lot given all their injuries in the secondary. They come into this game at No. 2 in pass defense and should harass Campbell all day. He has two touchdowns and four interceptions in his past four games, and last week's 232 passing yards against the Giants was his best outing in November. Against teams with a good pass defense this year in the Giants, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Campbell has one touchdown and three interceptions in four games with two games under 200 passing yards.
Matt Schaub (at GB): Schaub is expected to return this week after missing the past four games with a knee injury. It's a tough matchup for him because the Packers are No. 5 in pass defense with 15 touchdowns allowed and 17 interceptions. Going into Lambeau Field on a short week of preparation will be tough for the Texans, especially for Schaub not getting the full amount of practice time. It will probably take him at least a week to shake off the rest, so don't plan on using Shaub in this matchup, but he is worth adding off the waiver wire as insurance.
Jeff Garcia (at CAR): Garcia has struggled with the Panthers in his past two matchups with 349 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Earlier this year at home, Garcia only had 173 passing yards and one touchdown. Garcia only has one game with multiple touchdowns this year, and that was at Detroit. The Panthers are No. 12 in pass defense with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and will keep Garcia under wraps in this matchup.
Bust alert: Donovan McNabb (at NYG): You may think I'm crazy for benching McNabb after he passed for 260 yards and four touchdowns against Arizona last week, but he had everything in his favor in that matchup with the Cardinals coming across the country on a short week. Arizona also leads the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed. But now he faces a Giants defense that's much better than Arizona and comes into this game at No. 10 in pass defense and No. 2 in sacks with 40. They will attack McNabb, who had 194 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Giants earlier this year. But in New York, McNabb has struggled. In his past five trips to the Meadowlands, McNabb has averaged just 177.3 passing yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. I see him taking a step back this week, and I just don't know if you can count on him in this matchup.
Larry Johnson (at DEN): We all remember the last time Johnson faced the Broncos in Week 4 when he ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He now has four-straight games with more than 125 yards against Denver with five touchdowns over that span. Denver just gave up 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Thomas Jones, and Johnson has 173 rushing yards and a touchdown in his past two games against Buffalo and Oakland. He should run over the Broncos again in this matchup.
Steven Jackson (at ARI): Jackson looked like his old self against the Dolphins last week with 21 carries for 94 yards. He likely could have done more if he didn't get taken out of the game in the fourth quarter. Look for Jackson to be a factor running and catching the ball since Arizona just gave up four touchdowns against Brian Westbrook last week. Jackson has at least 120 total yards in two of his past four meetings with the Cardinals.
Steve Slaton (at GB): Slaton lived up to expectations last week against Jacksonville with 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns and two catches for 52 yards. The best part was he had his second game with 21 carries and actually looked fresh in the second half. The Packers allowed four rushing touchdowns against DeAngelo Williams last week, so look for Slaton to stay hot. Green Bay is No. 27 in run defense with 17 touchdowns allowed, and the Packers won't be able to stop Slaton this week.
Brandon Jacobs (vs. PHI): He looked like the knee injury that kept him out in Week 12 against Arizona didn't bother him last week against Washington with 21 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. In his last game against the Eagles in Week 10, Jacobs had 22 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Jacobs has six touchdowns in his past four games and has returned as a No. 1 Fantasy option this week.
Sleeper alert: Tim Hightower (vs. STL): Hightower ran for 109 yards and a touchdown in his first start this season against the Rams in Week 9. St. Louis has since allowed eight rushing touchdowns to Thomas Jones, Frank Gore, Matt Forte and Ronnie Brown, and the Rams come into this game No. 30 in run defense with 21 rushing touchdowns allowed. Hightower should get back on track this week after struggling the past four games with 85 combined rushing yards. He does have two touchdowns over that span, and he should find the end zone in this game.
Jamal Lewis (at TEN): Lewis hasn't scored in his past three games, and he will struggle to find the end zone this week. The Titans have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns this year, but Tennessee will load up against Lewis with Ken Dorsey at quarterback. Lewis has yet to rush for 100 yards this year, and his season high is 88 yards against the Giants in Week 6. The Browns aren't going to do much on offense this week so keep Lewis reserved in all leagues.
Justin Fargas (at SD): Fargas missed the earlier game against the Chargers with a groin injury, and he has struggled against San Diego in his career with 21 carries for 77 yards and no touchdowns in three games. The Chargers are No. 15 in run defense with six touchdowns allowed and held Michael Turner out of the end zone last week. Fargas only has one touchdown this season and has run well against Denver and Kansas City the past two weeks, but those are two of the worst run defenses in the NFL. San Diego is slightly better and should contain Fargas this week.
Fred Taylor (at CHI): Taylor is not back, he just had a good game against Houston last week with 67 rushing yards and a touchdown. He only had nine carries and has just 15 carries the past two games. This is still Maurice Jones-Drew's offense, and Taylor is clearly the No. 2 option. Even though the Bears have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns, they are still No. 6 in run defense and should be able to contain Taylor in this matchup.
Jonathan Stewart (vs. TB): Stewart dealt with cramping last week against Green Bay, which kept him from getting carries near the goal line and allowed DeAngelo Williams to score four touchdowns. The Panthers realize Williams can handle the role also, which should cut into Stewart's production. Stewart also faces a tough Tampa Bay defense this week that has allowed just one rushing touchdown on the season. In Week 6 at Tampa Bay, Stewart had six carries for 12 yards, and he should struggle against the Bucs again. Unless Williams gets hurt, plan to keep Stewart reserved the rest of this season.
Ray Rice (vs. WAS): It's hard to count on any of the Ravens running backs at this time with no defined role for Rice, Willis McGahee or LeRon McClain, although McClain remains the best option recently. But coach John Harbaugh has said McGahee is still going to get carries, and that could happen this week, which means Rice is not worth using. Washington has struggled to stop the run the past few games, but Rice won't get enough touches to help your Fantasy team this week. Keep him reserved until we find out how each running back will be used and only count on McClain if needed.
Bust alert: Marion Barber (at PIT): Barber comes into this game with 91 rushing yards in his past two games against San Francisco and Seattle, and he suffered a dislocated pinkie toe against the Seahawks last week. The Steelers are No. 1 in run defense, so Barber playing hurt is not a good thing. The Steelers have only allowed five rushing touchdowns on the season, and Barber might not have the same push with his foot hurting. Look for the Cowboys to be throwing a lot in this game, and Barber could lose some carries to Tashard Choice, especially if he's hurting in the cold weather.
Lee Evans (vs. SF): Once again, Evans played well last week against San Francisco with Josh Reed on the field with seven catches for 80 yards. It doesn't matter if Trent Edwards (groin) or J.P. Losman starts this week because Evans should do well against the Dolphins. He had seven catches for 116 yards at Miami in Week 8, and he should put on a show in Toronto. Evans has 16 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns in his past four games against the Dolphins, who have struggled in pass defense all season.
Marques Colston (vs. ATL): Colston has been overshadowed by Lance Moore this year and rightfully so, and you should start Moore this week also. But Colston showed in Week 13 at Tampa Bay why he remains an elite receiver with six catches for 106 yards. It was his best game since catching seven passes for 140 yards at Atlanta in Week 10. Colston has a good history against the Falcons with 26 catches for 274 yards and two touchdowns in four games. He should do well again this week.
Marvin Harrison (vs. CIN): Everyone likes to be at home, especially around holiday time, but no one more than Harrison. He has been solid at home this year with 28 catches for 326 yards and all four of his touchdowns. Compare that to seven road games where he has 20 catches for 179 yards and no touchdowns. Good thing for Harrison he plays three of his next four games at home, so Fantasy owners can count on him, including this week. The Bengals are banged up in their secondary, and Harrison and the Colts should take advantage.
Bernard Berrian (vs. DET): Like Harrison, Berrian likes to be home and indoors. He scored a touchdown last week against Chicago with four catches for 122 yards. It was his first touchdown in four games, and Berrian continues to play well indoors. He has four of his five touchdowns this year indoors, and he doesn't play another game in a true outdoor stadium the rest of this year. In Week 6 against the Lions, Berrian had five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, and the Lions secondary hasn't improved since then, so expect another good game from Berrian this week.
Davone Bess (at BUF): It's a good thing this game is indoors in Toronto otherwise the Dolphins would be in trouble. But weather won't play a factor here, which means Bess has a chance to be a solid No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week. Terrence McGee will likely cover Ted Ginn Jr., which means Bess will match up against rookie cornerback Leodis McKelvin, who has played well in place of the injured Jabari Greer (knee), but Bess should still make some plays. He has done a nice job replacing the injured Greg Camarillo (knee) with 11 catches for 171 yards the past two games.
Sleeper alert: Deion Branch (vs. NE): The Patriots come into this game with a weakened secondary that has allowed 21 touchdowns, which is tied for second with San Diego behind Arizona (26). Branch continues to work his way back from knee and heel injuries this season, but he had five catches for 56 yards last week at Dallas and has shown improvement. You know he would love to hurt his former team, so expect Matt Hasselbeck to give him some opportunities to make plays. You should consider Branch a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week. Some other wide receivers to consider this week include Matt Jones (at CHI), Isaac Bruce (vs. NYJ), Donald Driver (vs. HOU), Eddie Royal (vs. KC) and Torry Holt and Donnie Avery (at ARI).
Santana Moss (at BAL): Moss has been terrible the past four weeks with 15 catches for 170 yards and no touchdowns. Now he faces the Ravens, who are No. 2 in pass defense and should be all over Jason Campbell and the pass attack. Moss has either been boom or bust this season, and this is a week where he should be more bust than boom. If you have to start him, consider him a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week but count on him for about four catches for 60 yards and no touchdowns based on his past four games.
Chris Chambers (vs. OAK): During Chambers' hot start to open the season, his touchdown streak ended at three games when he faced Oakland in Week 4 and had two catches for 42 yards. The Raiders pass defense has shut down opposing receivers the past four games, so look for Chambers and Vincent Jackson to struggle. Chambers has five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown in his past two games against Oakland, and he only has 15 catches for 131 yards and no touchdowns in his past five games this season. If Nnamdi Asomugha matches up against Chambers, he won't do anything. The same goes for Jackson, so don't count on either one.
Braylon Edwards (at TEN): Dropped passes, a losing season and now his third quarterback have Edwards waiting for next year to come already. It's been a long year for Edwards, and now he has to deal with Ken Dorsey as his starter with Derek Anderson (knee) and Brady Quinn (finger) out for the year. On top of that, Edwards will see extra coverage this week with Kellen Winslow (ankle) out. Tennessee is No. 4 in pass defense and second in the NFL with only eight passing touchdowns allowed.
Justin Gage (vs. CLE): Gage will do a lot of blocking downfield and not a lot of catching passes with the Titans expected to run all over the Browns this week. That's what happened to Gage last week when he had two catches for 40 yards at Detroit with Chris Johnson and LenDale White doing the heavy lifting. Gage has only three catches for 77 yards and no touchdowns the past two games against the Jets and Lions and won't be involved much this week.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (at IND): Three of his four touchdowns have come on the road this year, but it's too hard to trust Houshmandzadeh at this time. He has eight catches for 84 yards the past two weeks against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and the Colts pass defense has been just as good as those two teams. Indianapolis leads the NFL with only four passing touchdowns allowed, so don't expect much from Houshmandzadeh or Chad Johnson. This has just been a bad year for the Bengals receivers, and they will continue to struggle this week.
Bust alert: Amani Toomer (vs. PHI): Toomer has picked up the slack with Plaxico Burress out and now has two touchdowns his past two games. But I'm concerned with the matchup against the Eagles. Philadelphia has enough talent in the secondary even if Asante Samuel is out to contain Toomer. In his last three games against the Eagles, Toomer has 12 catches for 144 yards and no touchdowns. He had five catches for 53 yards against Philadelphia in Week 10, and Eli Manning can still get by with Domenik Hixon, Kevin Boss and Derrick Ward out of the backfield if Toomer struggles as expected.
Kevin Boss (vs. PHI): Boss had his best game this season against the Eagles in Week 10 when he had six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles have struggled with tight ends all season because of their love for blitzing, which leaves the middle of the field open. With Plaxico Burress out, look for Eli Manning to continue to rely on Boss. He has a touchdown in four of his past six games and should stay hot in this matchup.
Owen Daniels (at GB): I own Daniels in one of my leagues, and he has let me down with no touchdowns in his past six games and a combined seven catches for 73 yards the past four weeks. The last four games coincide with Sage Rosenfels at quarterback for Matt Schaub, but Schaub is expected to return this week from a knee injury. That should mean Daniels will return to form since the two have a tremendous rapport. Green Bay's secondary is solid, but tight ends can hurt them, so look for Daniels to get back on track.
Zach Miller (at SD): The Chargers have struggled with tight ends all year, including Miller in Week 4 when he caught five passes for 95 yards and a touchdown at home. He has two touchdowns in his past three games against the Chargers with 16 catches for 196 yards over that span. He's also played well recently with 15 catches for 227 yards in his past four games, becoming the best receiver for the Raiders this year.
Sleeper alert: Vernon Davis (vs. NYJ): The Jets typically struggle with the middle of the field, which is why Davis has a chance here to be a useful Fantasy option in deeper leagues. In the past three weeks, Benjamin Watson (eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown), Bo Scaife (three catches for 40 yards) and Tony Scheffler (seven catches for 90 yards) have done well against the Jets. Davis has two touchdowns in his past four games but only three catches for 67 yards over that span. He's a risky play, but he could reward you with some quality production. Some other tight ends to consider this week include Jeremy Shockey (vs. ATL), L.J. Smith (at NYG), Steve Heiden (at TEN), Donald Lee (vs. HOU), Heath Miller (vs. DAL), Watson (at SEA) and Scheffler (vs. KC).
Greg Olsen (vs. JAC): This will likely be the week Olsen goes off since Jacksonville can't defend the pass any more, but he's been terrible the past two games with one catch for seven yards and no touchdowns in the past five games. The Bears just aren't looking in his direction, and it's hard to trust him at this time. Until Desmond Clark is gone and Olsen is the lone tight end of worth in Chicago, don't count on Olsen to help your Fantasy team.
Jerramy Stevens (at CAR): Alex Smith's return hurt Stevens' Fantasy value since the two share time. Stevens had two catches for 21 yards last week against New Orleans after catching eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown in the previous two games. Carolina has done well in pass defense this year and has enough speed and skill at linebacker and safety to stay with Stevens. Unless Smith is out, keep Stevens reserved.
Anthony Fasano (at BUF): Fasano remains too inconsistent to trust at this time. He has one catch for seven yards in his past three games and hasn't scored a touchdown in his past five games. His last touchdown was against Buffalo in Week 8, but he hasn't had more than two catches in a game since Week 5 against San Diego. Chad Pennington isn't looking for Fasano, and the Dolphins aren't throwing out of the Wildcat offense much any more, which was part of Fasano getting open and making plays.
Bust alert: Chris Cooley (at BAL): Cooley has averaged six catches for 62.5 yards the past four games, but he hasn't scored a touchdown in seven games and has just one on the season. The Ravens have done well against tight ends this year. Already this season Kellen Winslow (seven catches for 78 yards in two games), Heath Miller (two catches for 8 yards), Dallas Clark (two catches for 17 yards), Anthony Fasano (two catches for 25 yards), Zach Miller (two catches for 56 yards), Owen Daniels (one catch for 13 yards) and Kevin Boss (no catches) have struggled against Baltimore. Look for Cooley to struggle again this week. Also, be careful with Dustin Keller (at SF) this week. The 49ers have done a good job against tight ends all year, holding down quality options in Boss (no catches), John Carlson (one catch for 13 yards) and Jason Witten (one catch for 11 yards) over the past six games.
Indianapolis (vs. CIN): The Bengals will be glad to escape the AFC North after the past two weeks against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, where they combined for 13 points. But the Bengals, who have been bad all season, have been worse on the road with 16 points in their past two games at Houston and the Steelers. The Colts are coming off their best defensive game when they held Cleveland to six points. The Bengals offense is just as inept, and Cincinnati's strength -- throwing the ball -- plays into Indianapolis' hands since they lead the NFL with only four passing touchdowns allowed.
Other DSTs with good matchups: New England (at SEA), Arizona (vs. STL) and San Diego (vs. OAK)
Dallas (at PIT): DeMarcus Ware (knee) is banged up, and that's a bad sign for the Cowboys if he can't play or is limited since he's their best pass rusher. The Steelers offense is starting to play well with Ben Roethlisberger looking like his old self and Willie Parker healthier than he's been in weeks. Dallas has allowed at least 30 points in three of its past four road games. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has scored 60 points the past two games against Cincinnati and New England.
Matt Prater (vs. KC): The last time Prater faced the Chiefs in Week 4 at Kansas City he became Fantasy relevant. Prater hit 4-of-5 field goals, including a long of 56. He has since cooled off, but the Chiefs are still terrible against opposing kickers. Kansas City is among the league leaders with 27 field goals allowed and 28.3 points per game. Look for Prater to get several opportunities, and he was 2-of-2 on field goals last week against the Jets.
Phil Dawson (at TEN): There are several things working against Dawson this week. Ken Dorsey is starting at quarterback for the Browns, who are on the road. The Titans lead the NFL in field goals allowed with 12 and are second in points per game allowed behind Pittsburgh (14.2) at 14.6. In Dawson's last two meeting with the Titans he is 3-of-5 on field goals, and he's missed at least one field goal in each of his past two games. The Browns offense should struggle to move the ball this week, and Dawson will suffer. Last week, the Titans held Jason Hanson to one field goal and one extra point.
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