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 Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson or any other top-tier players.
This has to be such a strange week for Packers fans. Seeing Brett Favre come back to Lambeau Field wearing a Viking jersey must be surreal.
Favre played 16 years in Green Bay and established himself as a Hall of Fame quarterback. He has a steakhouse named after him that is located on his own street, Brett Favre Pass. And now he's the enemy.
Unfortunately for Packers fans, Favre is playing at a high level. He's having one of his best years, and that should continue in this highly-anticipated showdown, which is why Favre is our Start of the Week. Favre is averaging 240 passing yards per game with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
Green Bay already got a taste of what's ahead in Week 4 in Minnesota when Favre put on a show with 271 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 30-23 victory. He has the chance to post similar stats against the Packers secondary on Sunday.
Green Bay has allowed nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but they've thrived on matchups against Detroit and Cleveland the past two games. The Packers also only have 12 sacks, and they didn't come close to Favre in the first matchup.
You should also consider starting Sidney Rice, who leads the NFL in receiving yards the past two weeks with 312 on 16 catches. Rice had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Packers. And Visanthe Shiancoe is a good start also since he had three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay.
But this game is all about Favre. He has been waiting for this moment since he unretired for the second time in as many years. And he couldn't be more motivated to play again at Lambeau Field.
Sit of the Week
Frank Gore is not having a good season. He has not played like a top 10 Fantasy running back this year.
Sure, Gore had one big game in Week 2 against Seattle with 16 carries for 207 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored two touchdowns in Week 1 at Arizona.
But if you look closer at his production, Gore has struggled. And let's not forget that he missed two games and the majority of a third with an ankle injury, which could still be bothering him.
Against the Seahawks, Gore scored on a 79-yard run and an 80-yard run. Take away those carries, and he had 14 carries for 48 yards, which is 3.4 yards per carry. That's more in line with how he's run all season.
He averaged 1.4 yards per carry against the Cardinals and 2.5 yards per carry against Houston last week in his first game back from the injury. Along with that, the 49ers have injuries on the offensive line with right tackle Tony Pashos (shoulder) going on injured reserve.
This week, Gore could be limited again, so consider putting him on your bench. The Colts won't allow Gore to beat them.
Indianapolis hasn't been dominant against the run as Ronnie Brown (136 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Week 2) and Steven Jackson (134 rushing yards in Week 7) can attest, but they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since the Dolphins game. And with Bob Sanders back, the run defense should continue to improve.
Let's also keep in mind that if the Colts build a big lead as expected, that should negate Gore and the running game. And he wasn't much of a factor as a receiver out of the backfield in last week's comeback attempt at Houston with only two catches for 15 yards.
Gore should rebound once the offensive line improves and when he has an easier matchup, but this should be a tough week for him. Keep Gore reserved in all leagues.
|Starts that made us look good|
|Player||Stats||Fantasy Points||Week 7 Start %|
|Tony Romo, QB, Dallas||311 pass yards, 3 TDs, 31 rush yards||33||71%|
|Miles Austin, WR, Dallas||171 rec. yards, 2 TDs||29||72%|
|Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis*||64 rush yards, TD||12||92%|
|Sits that made us look good|
|Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia||156 pass yards, TD||12||72%|
|Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota||334 pass yards, INT, fumble||9||20%|
|Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh||69 rush yards, fumble||4||69%|
|Starts that made us look bad|
|Eli Manning, QB, N.Y. Giants||243 pass yards, TD, 3 INT||9||49%|
|Santonio Holmes, WR, Pittsburgh||59 rec. yards||5||78%|
|Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City||49 rush yards||4||59%|
|Sits that made us look bad|
|Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati||233 pass yards, 5 TDs||39||41%|
|DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia**||67 rush yards, TD, 69 rec. yards, TD||24||90%|
|Steve Slaton, RB, Houston||67 rush yards, TD, 22 rec. yards, TD||18||88%|
|Our favorite Week 7 sleeper pick was ... Austin Collie, who caught four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown, which was worth nine Fantasy points.|
| * -- Week 7 Start of the Week |
** -- Week 7 Sit of the Week
Jay Cutler (vs. CLE): Cutler has struggled with turnovers the past two weeks at Atlanta and Cincinnati with three touchdowns and five interceptions, but the Browns shouldn't pose much of a threat. Cleveland has given up 663 passing yards and five touchdowns the past two games against Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, and Cutler should post solid stats. In two home games this year against the Steelers and Lions, Cutler has four touchdowns and no interceptions, so he's obviously comfortable at Solider Field.
Tony Romo (vs. SEA): Thanks to the emergence of wide receiver Miles Austin, Romo has looked like an elite quarterback the past two games. He has 662 passing yards and five touchdowns against Kansas City and Atlanta and should play well again this week against the Seahawks. Seattle has allowed seven touchdown passes in three of its past four games against Jay Cutler, Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner, and Romo had 331 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception against Seattle last year. The Seahawks are dealing with injuries on defense, and Romo should be able to pick apart this secondary. Romo's outlook has improved after a rough stretch earlier this season.
David Garrard (at TEN): It's a risk to start Garrard on the road most weeks, but not against the Titans, who are still last in pass defense and lead the NFL with 19 touchdowns allowed. In their first meeting in Week 4, Garrard passed for 323 yards and three touchdowns and also ran eight times for 38 yards with a lost fumble. As long as Mike Sims-Walker obeys his curfew, Garrard should be fine in this matchup. Five of the six quarterbacks the Titans have faced this year have passed for 300 yards and five have scored multiple touchdowns. Look for Garrard to be a solid bye-week replacement if you're missing Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer or Tom Brady this week.
Joe Flacco (vs. DEN): It goes against the matchup to start Flacco this week. The Broncos are No. 8 in pass defense and have only allowed three passing touchdowns with six interceptions. They also are among the league leaders with 21 sacks and are playing well behind new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, a former defensive coordinator with the Ravens. But Flacco has been amazing this year with five games at 17 Fantasy points or more. At home, Flacco has two 300-yard outings, five touchdowns and three interceptions in three games against Kansas City, Cleveland and Cincinnati. He will have a hard time against the Broncos secondary, but with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron getting two weeks to prepare for Denver, I'll take my chances with Flacco. He also gets left tackle Jared Gaither (neck) back for this game, which will help settle things on the offensive line.
Sleeper alert: Marc Bulger (at DET): I hate to admit this, but with Tom Brady on a bye in our Podcast League, I'm turning to Bulger against the Lions. This is a 14-team league, and there were no other good options on the waiver wire. Now, I'm not calling Bulger a sleeper with the hopes it will turn into good fortune for my Fantasy team. He should do well against the Lions, who are No. 2 in passing touchdowns allowed with 17. Granted, the majority of that production was against Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers, but even Jason Campbell passed for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against Detroit. Bulger hasn't passed for more than 213 yards in a game this season and has three touchdowns and three interceptions in four full games, but Steven Jackson, Donnie Avery and Randy McMichael should make enough plays to help Bulger finish as a Top 15 Fantasy quarterback based on the matchup.
|Top Flex Players for Week 8|
|1. Steven Jackson, RB, STL||at DET||18|
|2. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC||at TEN||17|
|3. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN||vs JAC||17|
|4. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU||at BUF||17|
|5. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN||at GB||16|
|6. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC||at TEN||16|
|7. Marques Colston, WR, NO||vs ATL||15|
|8. Miles Austin, WR, DAL||vs SEA||15|
|9. Matt Forte, RB, CHI||vs CLE||15|
|10. Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ||vs MIA||15|
|11. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, SD||vs OAK||15|
|12. Sidney Rice, WR, MIN||at GB||15|
|13. Joseph Addai, RB, IND||vs SF||15|
|14. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI||vs CAR||15|
|15. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI||vs NYG||15|
|16. Ray Rice, RB, BAL||vs DEN||14|
|17. Roddy White, WR, ATL||at NO||14|
|18. Marshawn Lynch, RB, BUF||vs HOU||14|
|19. Dallas Clark, TE, IND||vs SF||14|
|20. Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA||at NYJ||14|
|21. Steve Slaton, RB, HOU||at BUF||14|
|22. Braylon Edwards, WR, NYJ||vs MIA||14|
|23. Donald Driver, WR, GB||vs MIN||14|
|24. Marion Barber, RB, DAL||vs SEA||13|
|25. Greg Jennings, WR, GB||vs MIN||13|
|26. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND||vs SF||13|
|27. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, SEA||at DAL||13|
|28. Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN||at BAL||13|
|29. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD||vs OAK||13|
|30. Steve Smith, WR, NYG||at PHI||13|
|31. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA||at NYJ||13|
|32. Beanie Wells, RB, ARI||vs CAR||13|
|33. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET||vs STL||13|
|34. Brian Westbrook, RB, PHI||vs NYG||12|
|35. Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG||at PHI||12|
|36. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG||at PHI||12|
|37. Kevin Smith, RB, DET||vs STL||12|
|38. Michael Turner, RB, ATL||at NO||12|
|39. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL||vs DEN||12|
|40. Devin Hester, WR, CHI||vs CLE||12|
|41. Brent Celek, TE, PHI||vs NYG||12|
|42. Vernon Davis, TE, SF||at IND||11|
|43. Lee Evans, WR, BUF||vs HOU||11|
|44. Jason Witten, TE, DAL||vs SEA||11|
|45. Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL||at NO||11|
|46. Pierre Garcon, WR, IND||vs SF||11|
|47. Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, MIN||at GB||11|
|48. Nate Burleson, WR, SEA||at DAL||11|
|49. Tim Hightower, RB, ARI||vs CAR||10|
|50. Terrell Owens, WR, BUF||vs HOU||10|
|51. Robert Meachem, WR, NO||vs ATL||10|
|52. Donnie Avery, WR, STL||at DET||10|
|53. Greg Olsen, TE, CHI||vs CLE||10|
|54. Frank Gore, RB, SF||at IND||9|
|55. Dennis Northcutt, WR, DET||vs STL||9|
|56. Randy McMichael, TE, STL||at DET||9|
|57. Owen Daniels, TE, HOU||at BUF||9|
|58. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR||at ARI||9|
|59. Darren Sproles, RB, SD||vs OAK||9|
|60. Ryan Grant, RB, GB||vs MIN||9|
|61. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR||at ARI||9|
|62. Percy Harvin, WR, MIN||at GB||8|
|63. Devery Henderson, WR, NO||vs ATL||8|
|64. Michael Bush, RB, OAK||at SD||8|
|65. Reggie Bush, RB, NO||vs ATL||8|
|66. Jeff King, TE, CAR||at ARI||8|
|67. Austin Collie, WR, IND||vs SF||7|
|68. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG||at PHI||7|
|69. Mike Bell, RB, NO||vs ATL||7|
|70. Willis McGahee, RB, BAL||vs DEN||7|
|71. Antonio Gates, TE, SD||vs OAK||7|
|72. Johnny Knox, WR, CHI||vs CLE||7|
|73. Correll Buckhalter, RB, DEN||at BAL||6|
|74. Muhsin Muhammad, WR, CAR||at ARI||6|
|75. Anquan Boldin, WR, ARI||vs CAR||6|
|76. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO||vs ATL||6|
|77. Brian Hartline, WR, MIA||at NYJ||6|
|78. Zach Miller, TE, OAK||at SD||6|
|79. Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, CLE||at CHI||6|
|80. Josh Morgan, WR, SF||at IND||6|
|81. Torry Holt, WR, JAC||at TEN||6|
|82. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ||vs MIA||5|
|83. Justin Fargas, RB, OAK||at SD||5|
|84. Julius Jones, RB, SEA||at DAL||5|
|85. Jamal Lewis, RB, CLE||at CHI||5|
|86. Bo Scaife, TE, TEN||vs JAC||5|
|87. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET||vs STL||5|
|88. David Clowney, WR, NYJ||vs MIA||5|
|89. Jeremy Shockey, TE, NO||vs ATL||5|
|90. Danny Amendola, WR, STL||at DET||5|
|91. Steve Breaston, WR, ARI||vs CAR||5|
|92. Michael Crabtree, WR, SF||at IND||5|
|93. Nate Washington, WR, TEN||vs JAC||5|
|94. Jabar Gaffney, WR, DEN||at BAL||5|
|95. Steve Smith, WR, CAR||at ARI||5|
|96. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN||at BAL||4|
|97. James Jones, WR, GB||vs MIN||4|
|98. John Carlson, TE, SEA||at DAL||4|
|99. Donald Lee, TE, GB||vs MIN||4|
|100. Todd Heap, TE, BAL||vs DEN||4|
|101. Greg Camarillo, WR, MIA||at NYJ||4|
|102. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI||vs NYG||4|
|103. Isaac Bruce, WR, SF||at IND||4|
|104. Mark Clayton, WR, BAL||vs DEN||4|
|105. Earl Bennett, WR, CHI||vs CLE||4|
|106. Malcom Floyd, WR, SD||vs OAK||4|
|107. Kenny Britt, WR, TEN||vs JAC||4|
|108. Roy E. Williams, WR, DAL||vs SEA||4|
|109. Marcedes Lewis, TE, JAC||at TEN||3|
|110. Mario Manningham, WR, NYG||at PHI||3|
|111. Kelley Washington, WR, BAL||vs DEN||3|
|112. Louis Murphy, WR, OAK||at SD||3|
|113. Tony Scheffler, TE, DEN||at BAL||3|
|114. Greg Lewis, WR, MIN||at GB||3|
|115. Eddie Royal, WR, DEN||at BAL||3|
|116. Chester Taylor, RB, MIN||at GB||3|
|117. Kevin Walter, WR, HOU||at BUF||3|
|118. Deion Branch, WR, SEA||at DAL||3|
|119. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF||vs HOU||3|
|120. Patrick Crayton, WR, DAL||vs SEA||3|
|121. Jerome Harrison, RB, CLE||at CHI||3|
|122. Josh Cribbs, WR, CLE||at CHI||3|
|123. Davone Bess, WR, MIA||at NYJ||3|
|124. Kevin Boss, TE, NYG||at PHI||3|
|125. Michael Jenkins, WR, ATL||at NO||3|
|126. Lance Moore, WR, NO||vs ATL||3|
|127. Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI||vs NYG||3|
|128. Felix Jones, RB, DAL||vs SEA||2|
|129. Chad Simpson, RB, IND||vs SF||2|
|130. Ted Ginn Jr., WR, MIA||at NYJ||2|
|131. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ||vs MIA||2|
|132. Justin Gage, WR, TEN||vs JAC||2|
|133. Brian Robiskie, WR, CLE||at CHI||2|
|134. Chris Brown, RB, HOU||at BUF||2|
|135. Bryant Johnson, WR, DET||vs STL||2|
|136. Keenan Burton, WR, STL||at DET||2|
|137. Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA||at NYJ||2|
|138. Sam Hurd, WR, DAL||vs SEA||2|
|139. Mike Thomas, WR, JAC||at TEN||2|
|140. Eric Weems, WR, ATL||at NO||2|
|141. Justin Forsett, RB, SEA||at DAL||1|
|142. Mike Hart, RB, IND||vs SF||1|
|143. Maurice Morris, RB, DET||vs STL||1|
|144. Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC||at TEN||1|
|145. Garrett Wolfe, RB, CHI||vs CLE||1|
|146. Glen Coffee, RB, SF||at IND||1|
|147. Hank Baskett, WR, IND||vs SF||1|
|148. LenDale White, RB, TEN||vs JAC||1|
|149. Brandon Jackson, RB, GB||vs MIN||1|
|150. Martellus Bennett, TE, DAL||vs SEA||1|
Eli Manning (at PHI): Manning hasn't been good the past two weeks, and he hasn't played well against the Eagles recently. In his past five games against Philadelphia, Manning is averaging 190 passing yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. And in his past two games at New Orleans and against Arizona, Manning has two touchdowns and five interceptions with a fumble. The foot injury he sustained in Week 4 against Kansas City has to still be bothering him since he looks like a different quarterback than before he got hurt. The Eagles have allowed 10 passing touchdowns, but they also are among the league leaders with 12 interceptions and 21 sacks.
Kyle Orton (at BAL): The Ravens have struggled in pass defense this year with nine touchdowns allowed, seven interceptions and only 14 sacks. But at home, Baltimore has been better with only three passing touchdowns allowed in three games. And the quarterbacks who have done well against the Ravens this year -- Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Brett Favre -- are all better than Orton. He has been fantastic this season and comes into this game with six touchdowns and one interception in his past three games. But I'll take my chances with the Ravens defense coming off a bye and playing at home, and they should be able to harass Orton this week.
Matt Hasselbeck (at DAL): Hasselbeck knows that left tackle Walter Jones (knee) is out for the season after he was placed on injured reserve, and that's bad news for a battered offensive line. It doesn't help that Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware is starting to get hot with four sacks in his past two games. Hasselbeck was injured in his last road game this year in Week 2 at San Francisco, and Dallas has done well in pass defense in its past two home games against Carolina and Atlanta. The Cowboys limited Jake Delhomme and Matt Ryan to 418 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in those two games, and Hasselbeck could struggle like he did in his previous game against Arizona in Week 6 when he passed for 112 yards, one interception and one fumble.
Donovan McNabb (vs. NYG): It's hard to figure out which McNabb will show up on a weekly basis. He looked great in Week 5 against Tampa Bay with 264 passing yards and three touchdowns, but then he struggled the past two weeks at Oakland and Washington with one touchdown combined. The Giants looked better in pass defense last week against Arizona after getting run over by New Orleans in Week 6, holding Kurt Warner to 13 Fantasy points. McNabb also hasn't passed for more than 200 yards against the Giants in his past four meetings, although he does have four touchdowns and one interception over that span. New York also remains No. 2 in pass defense on the season.
Bust alert: Matt Ryan (at NO): Ryan has become turnover happy the past three games with five interceptions and a lost fumble against San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. That's out of character for him, and he does have seven touchdowns over that span. But Ryan better fix his turnover problems this week since New Orleans is tied with Buffalo with 13 interceptions. And New Orleans has become a tough place to play as Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning combined for 316 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions in the Saints last two home games. Ryan did have 315 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception, a rushing touchdown and a fumble last year at New Orleans, but this Saints defense is much better than the 2008 product thanks to Darren Sharper and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Ray Rice (vs. DEN): For all of you looking at Denver's defense and saying the Broncos are good against the run, which could impact Rice, keep in mind his last opponent. The Vikings are great against the run also, but Rice scored the first two touchdowns against Minnesota this year in Week 6. He had 194 total yards in that game and has over 100 total yards in four games this year. Rice has 766 total yards for the season with three touchdowns and will do well against Denver. The Broncos have allowed at least 100 total yards to three running backs this year (Cedric Benson, Sammy Morris and LaDainian Tomlinson), and Rice should follow suit. In fact, you might not bench him again this season if he continues to run well against tough opponents.
Kevin Smith (vs. STL): Smith has been a disappointment the past two games, but he faced some tough opponents in Pittsburgh and Green Bay, rushing 35 times for 114 yards and no touchdowns. In a standard-scoring league he has combined for just 15 Fantasy points. But this week should produce a good performance against the Rams, who have been dominated by opposing running backs all year. St. Louis gives up almost 25 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. In the past three games against Minnesota, Jacksonville and Indianapolis, the Rams have allowed eight rushing touchdowns to Adrian Peterson (two), Chester Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew (three), Joseph Addai and Chad Simpson. Smith should be back in your starting lineup for this matchup.
Brandon Jacobs (at PHI): I like what I saw from Jacobs last week against the Cardinals when he had 13 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. It was his first touchdown since Week 3 at Tampa Bay, and he could be on the verge of a breakout performance. Last year at Philadelphia, Jacobs had 22 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and the Giants will likely lean on him this week with Eli Manning struggling. If Jacobs can get 20-plus carries again he should be in line for a good outing. The Eagles have allowed three rushing touchdowns this year, and even with the addition of Will Witherspoon in a trade from St. Louis, they are thin at linebacker. Jacobs should get double digits in Fantasy points this week.
Ricky Williams (at NYJ): Williams has been the best backup running back this year. In standard-scoring Fantasy leagues, Williams is the No. 9 running back with 70 carries for 396 yards and five touchdowns and 13 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins are dominating opponents on the ground, and the Jets are well aware of what Williams and Ronnie Brown can do. In Week 5 in Miami, Williams had 11 carries for 68 yards and three catches for 70 yards. Williams is now joining Brown in taking snaps with the Wildcat, and Williams should continue to play as a No. 2 Fantasy running back. The Jets have done better against the run the past two weeks against Buffalo and Oakland, but the loss of Kris Jenkins (knee) should be evident in this matchup.
Marshawn Lynch (vs. HOU): Lynch is starting to get going the past three weeks in terms of his Fantasy production. He has two games in his past three outings with double digits in Fantasy points, and last week at Carolina he scored his first touchdown this year. He now faces a Texans defense that has allowed nine rushing touchdowns and 10 touchdowns to opposing running backs on the season. Houston has improved its run defense the past four weeks against Oakland, Arizona, Cincinnati and San Francisco, but the Texans have still allowed two rushing touchdowns over that span. Lynch should again get double digits in Fantasy points even if the Texans key in on trying to stop him.
Sleeper alert: Beanie Wells (vs. CAR): Wells showed last week at the Giants that he's ready to be a viable Fantasy option. He had 14 carries for 67 yards and scored his first NFL touchdown against the Giants and now faces a Panthers team that has allowed a touchdown to a running back in every game this season. Brian Westbrook, Michael Turner, Tashard Choice, Clinton Portis, Cadillac Williams and Marshawn Lynch have all scored against Carolina, and Wells should follow suit. The Panthers are also giving up 133 rushing yards per game, and while they have improved the past three weeks against Washington, Tampa Bay and Buffalo, each starting running back has totaled at least double digits in Fantasy points. Wells will lose touches to Tim Hightower, who should also play well this week and is worth using in leagues where receptions count, but Wells is on the verge of being a quality Fantasy running back. Some other sleepers for this week include LeSean McCoy (vs. NYG), Justin Fargas (at SD) and Darren Sproles (vs. OAK).
Knowshon Moreno (at BAL): The Ravens might have lost their impressive streak of 40 games in a row without allowing a 100-yard rusher when Cedric Benson (120 yards) and Adrian Peterson (143) ran through them the past two weeks, but they should get things corrected for this matchup. Moreno had two excellent weeks at Oakland in Week 3 and against Dallas in Week 4 with double digits in Fantasy points, but he's tailed off the past two games against New England and at San Diego. With Correll Buckhalter returning against the Chargers, Moreno had 18 carries for 44 yards. Moreno also has just two touchdowns on the season, and sharing carries with Buckhalter limits his Fantasy value.
Julius Jones (at DAL): Jones is going back to Dallas for the second time in as many years after he spent the first four seasons of his career there, but he hasn't been playing well lately. Since gaining 136 total yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against Chicago, Jones has combined for 76 total yards in his past three games. The Cowboys have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher or any running back to gain 100 total yards. They did give up a rushing touchdown against Michael Turner last week, but Dallas held Turner to 50 yards rushing. And Turner's rushing touchdown was the first one Dallas has allowed since Week 1 at Tampa Bay. This should be a quiet homecoming for Jones just like last year when had 11 carries for 37 yards and lost a fumble at Dallas.
Ahmad Bradshaw (at PHI): This cracked bone in his foot has become a cause of concern since he traveled to North Carolina on Wednesday to see a specialist. He's expected to play against the Eagles, but he might not be 100 percent. And his production has tailed off the past two games against New Orleans and Arizona with 22 carries for 80 yards, one touchdown and one fumble. Tom Coughlin wasn't upset with the fumble against the Cardinals, but he won't tolerate that going forward. Brandon Jacobs should lead the way for the Giants this week, and it might be a good idea to let Bradshaw prove this ankle problem isn't something that will ruin his breakout year.
Willis McGahee (vs. DEN): It's interesting that the Ravens have lost three in a row with McGahee not being a factor. In three losses against New England, Cincinnati and Minnesota, McGahee has 13 carries for 12 yards and no touchdowns. In the first three games of the season, McGahee had 32 carries for 190 yards and seven touchdowns, and Baltimore was 3-0. The Ravens like to use McGahee in short-yardage situations near the goal line, which hasn't happened much the past three games, and the emergence of Ray Rice has limited McGahee's touches as well. And if you're looking for McGahee to score against the Broncos, they have only allowed two rushing touchdowns this year and none in the past two games against New England and San Diego.
Jonathan Stewart (at ARI): It might surprise you that the Cardinals are No. 1 in run defense at 67.5 yards per game with only three rushing touchdowns allowed. Most of that has been a result of teams playing from behind against Arizona, but in terms of rushing totals, the Cardinals have clamped down on Frank Gore (30 yards and a touchdown), Maurice Jones-Drew (66 yards), Joseph Addai (63 yards), Steve Slaton (39 yards) and Brandon Jacobs (76 yards and a touchdown). That's an impressive list, and even though you probably can't afford to bench DeAngelo Williams, Stewart is another story. He only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points this year in Week 6 at Tampa Bay, and last year against the Cardinals in two games, including the playoffs, Stewart had 11 carries for 22 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 39 yards.
Bust alert: Pierre Thomas (vs. ATL): This should be a bust alert for the rest of the season if the past two weeks are an indication. Since Mike Bell came back from his knee injury, Thomas has been limited in his production. He had 15 carries for 72 yards against the Giants but only eight carries for 30 yards at Miami with no touchdowns in either game. Bell has 27 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown in those games and has been the better Fantasy running option. And let's not forget about Reggie Bush, who has the fewest touches of the trio the past two games (nine), but has two touchdowns. Thomas was fantastic against the Falcons last year with 16 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown and a 7-yard receiving score, but he might not get that many touches this week. He could have a breakout game, but it's a risk with how the Saints are using Bell. Along with that, Atlanta has only allowed one 100-yard rusher this season in Week 3 against Fred Taylor and has locked down Ronnie Brown (43 rushing yards), Matt Forte (23 rushing yards) and Marion Barber (47 rushing yards) this year.
Mike Sims-Walker (at TEN): Sims-Walker should pick up where he left off prior to the bye week when he had 28 catches for 398 yards and three touchdowns in four games. One of those games was against the Titans, and Sims-Walker caught seven passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans have allowed over 100 yards receiving against six receivers this year, and five receivers have scored multiple touchdowns against Tennessee. Don't expect the Titans to stop Sims-Walker in this matchup, and consider Torry Holt a sleeper as well.
Miles Austin (vs. SEA): There hasn't been a better receiver over a two-game stretch than Austin the past two games against Kansas City and Atlanta when he accounted for 16 catches, 421 yards and four touchdowns. There's no reason to think he can't stay hot for three games in a row against the Seahawks, who have allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in the past four games and five receivers to gain more than 75 yards in a game this season. Austin didn't play in the game against the Seahawks last year, but he has become Romo's favorite target. Austin, not Roy Williams, has been the wide receiver in Dallas.
Devin Hester (vs. CLE): Hester is starting to heat up with 14 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown in his past two games at Atlanta and Cincinnati, and there's no reason for him to slow down this week. The Browns have allowed a league-high 33 passing plays of 20 yards or more, which means Hester should have the chance to get some long passes in his direction. Three wide receivers have scored touchdowns against the Browns in the past two games, and five wide receivers have gone over 75 yards against Cleveland this year.
Austin Collie (vs. SF): It's hard to question Collie's value based on his production the past three games. He has four touchdowns against Seattle, Tennessee and St. Louis, and the 49ers secondary has been exposed the past two games against Atlanta and Houston. Peyton Manning has made Collie his No. 3 option behind Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, and if Wayne is limited this week due to the groin injury, that should allow for more targets to Collie and Pierre Garcon. As long as Anthony Gonzalez (knee) remains out, Collie will continue to be a solid Fantasy option.
Donnie Avery (at DET): Avery should be a useful No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver or flex option this week based on the matchup. The Lions have allowed 17 passing touchdowns, and Avery has two touchdowns in his past three games. He's dealing with a hip injury, but he wasn't on the injury report Wednesday and was able to play in Week 7 against the Colts. That's a good sign that he could post solid stats this week. The Lions have allowed four receivers to gain at least 85 yards and have given up eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season.
Sleeper alert: Braylon Edwards (vs. MIA): The Dolphins lost cornerback Will Allen (knee) for the season, and he was their best cover option. Edwards now gets the chance to face one of two rookie corners in Vontae Davis or Sean Smith, which should give him an advantage. Along with that, the expected return of Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) should free Edwards from extra coverage. Edwards faced Miami in his first game with the Jets in Week 5, and he had his best Fantasy production of the season with 12 points on five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. He should have the chance for another good outing in his second game in New York. Edwards has struggled the past two games against Buffalo and Oakland with four catches for 54 yards, but this is a better matchup for him. Some other sleepers for this week include Nate Burleson (at DAL), Nate Washington (vs. JAC), Lee Evans (vs. HOU) and Devery Henderson (vs. ATL).
Roy E. Williams (vs. SEA): It's clear that Williams is not going to be a good Fantasy option any time soon even if he plays well this week against the Seahawks. He had one catch for 16 yards last week against Atlanta and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1 against Tampa Bay. He also has only one game with double digits in Fantasy points, and Miles Austin is playing the way Cowboys fans -- and Fantasy owners -- expected Williams would this year. Seattle might not have a great secondary, but you can't trust Williams in Week 8 and beyond.
Kevin Walter (at BUF): Walter has been horrible the past four weeks with 11 catches for 128 yards and no touchdowns, and Owen Daniels has clearly replaced him as the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Andre Johnson. Even Steve Slaton and Jacoby Jones are more reliable targets for Matt Schaub, and Walter has a tough matchup this week against the Bills. Buffalo is the best team against opposing wide receivers, and while you can't afford to bench Johnson, you certainly can reserve Walter this week. The Bills are tied with the Saints for the NFL lead in interceptions with 13 and have only allowed one receiver to score a touchdown this year in Week 4 to Brian Hartline. They haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 1 against Randy Moss.
Terrell Owens (vs. HOU): It's shocking to see Owens still started in 40 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. He has been horrendous and is probably taking up a roster spot that could be used for someone who is actually doing something. He has one touchdown on the season and hasn't topped 60 yards in seven games this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is starting again for the injured Trent Edwards (concussion), is leaning on Lee Evans, and the Texans should be able to contain Owens. Everyone else has, and he looks like his best days are behind him. This experiment in Buffalo has been a failure.
Michael Crabtree (at IND): The Colts have done a great job in pass coverage this year and have only allowed one receiver to score a touchdown, which was Anquan Boldin in Week 3. Indianapolis has allowed five wide receivers to gain more than 75 yards receiving, but it's unlikely Crabtree will reach that total. He had a solid debut in Week 7 at Houston with five catches for 56 yards, but the Colts won't be surprised by Alex Smith as the starting quarterback. Smith played well last week in a comeback attempt against the Texans, but he's going to struggle this week also. Keep Crabtree reserved and wait to use him in Week 9 against Tennessee, which should be a great matchup.
Jeremy Maclin (vs. NYG): Maclin had one good game this season, which was Week 5 against Tampa Bay when he caught six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Since then he has six catches for 59 yards at Oakland and at Washington, and Donovan McNabb has also struggled, which could be part of the problem. Maclin will likely get his share of targets (he had seven in Week 7 against the Redskins), but DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek will be the primary playmakers in the passing game, especially if Brian Westbrook (concussion) is out or limited. The Giants are also the No. 5 team against opposing wide receivers this year in terms of Fantasy points allowed, and Maclin should be reserved for this matchup.
Bust alert: Hakeem Nicks (at PHI): This is the week when the touchdown streak will end. Nicks has scored a touchdown in his past four games against Kansas City, Oakland, New Orleans and Arizona, but the latest one was a fluke play off a deflection last week against the Cardinals. Take away that 62-yard touchdown "catch" and he had three catches for 18 yards. Steve Smith is still the go-to guy in the passing game (he had 10 targets while Nicks had seven), and Mario Manningham is also a factor. Along with that, the Eagles have done well against opposing wide receivers this year. They have yet to allow a 100-yard receiver, and only Marques Colston and Devin Thomas had double digits in Fantasy points against Philadelphia this season. The only wide receiver for the Giants who should be considered a must-start is Smith.
Brent Celek (vs. NYG): Celek is coming off his worst game of the season with three catches for 8 yards at Washington, but the Giants have struggled with tight ends this year. They have allowed an average of eight Fantasy points per game with four touchdowns to Chris Cooley, Jason Witten, Sean Ryan and Jeremy Shockey. Three tight ends have gone over 50 yards receiving and three have at least five catches in a game. Celek hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3 against Kansas City, but he has four games over 55 yards receiving this year and should rebound from his poor game against the Redskins.
Jeremy Shockey (vs. ATL): Shockey didn't have many good games in 2008, but his outing against the Falcons at home in Week 14 was one of his better performances with five catches for 64 yards. Shockey, as expected, has been solid this season and is playing like a No. 1 Fantasy tight end again. He had four catches for 105 yards last week at Miami and has at least four catches in every game this season. He's also averaging 51 yards per game with three touchdowns, and the Falcons should be another favorable matchup for him. They have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year, and three tight ends have gone over 50 yards receiving against Atlanta. Look for Shockey to remain a good Fantasy option as one of Drew Brees' favorite targets.
Visanthe Shiancoe (at GB): Shiancoe's touchdown streak ended at three games last week at the Steelers, but he's looking to start a new one against the Packers. It was against Green Bay that the last streak started when he had three catches for 18 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. The Packers have done well for the most part against tight ends this season with only Shiancoe and Daniel Fells (two) scoring three touchdowns against them, but we know how Brett Favre loves throwing to the tight end. With Bernard Berrian (hamstring) and Percy Harvin (shoulder) less than 100 percent, Shiancoe could see an increase in targets this week, which will only further improve his outlook.
Sleeper alert: Zach Miller (at SD): There aren't many Raiders you can trust these days, especially in the passing game, but Miller is one of them. He loves facing the Chargers. In five career games against San Diego he has 30 catches for 356 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 1 this year he had six catches for 96 yards in Oakland. The Chargers have allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season and three of them have gone over 70 yards receiving. We had Miller as a sleeper in Week 1, and we expect him to have another good outing in this matchup. Some other sleepers to consider this week include Marcedes Lewis (at TEN), Donald Lee (vs. MIN) and Randy McMichael (at DET).
Tony Scheffler (at BAL): Forget about the game Scheffler had in Week 6 at San Diego with six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. That was a career performance and not something to expect on a regular basis. The Chargers have struggled with tight ends all season, and Scheffler had seven catches for 71 yards and one touchdown in five previous games. Baltimore's last game was also a bad one against Visanthe Shiancoe when the Ravens allowed him to catch four passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns, but the Ravens are only allowing an average of 6.5 Fantasy points per game. If the Ravens blitz Kyle Orton as expected then Scheffler could be asked to do some extra blocking and less catching, so keep that in consideration.
John Carlson (at DAL): The Cowboys struggled with tight ends earlier this season with two touchdowns allowed in the first three weeks against Kellen Winslow and Dante Rosario, but they have clamped down since then, including holding Tony Gonzalez to four catches for 37 yards last week. The Cowboys are also getting healthy in their secondary, and the Seahawks still have issues on the offensive line. Carlson hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1, and he has only 18 catches for 199 yards in his past five games. Matt Hasselbeck has stopped looking for Carlson, which has become a problem for his Fantasy production.
Todd Heap (vs. DEN): The Broncos have been fantastic against tight ends this season, including holding down Zach Miller (two catches for 17 yards), Jason Witten (four catches for 31 yards) and Antonio Gates (five catches for 70 yards). Only Benjamin Watson scored a touchdown against the Broncos this year, and Heap hasn't found the end zone since Week 2 at San Diego. He has averaged just four catches for 45 yards in his past four games and hasn't reached double digits in Fantasy points since Week 1 against Kansas City.
Bust alert: Tony Gonzalez (at NO): Gonzalez is looking for his first touchdown on the road this season. In three games at New England, San Francisco and Dallas, he has 11 catches for 108 yards and no scores. He also has only one touchdown in his past four games and no games over 75 yards receiving this year. The Saints have done well against opposing tight ends this year thanks to the addition of Darren Sharper. New Orleans is No. 2 against opposing tight ends with only 21 catches for 219 yards and no touchdowns allowed. The Saints are one of three teams yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing tight end with Oakland and Indianapolis, so keep that in mind with Antonio Gates (vs. OAK) and Vernon Davis (at IND). Jason Witten (vs. SEA) also hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2 and only has one for the season, so some of the elite tight ends are struggling and might be worth benching this week.
Arizona (vs. CAR): The last time Jake Delhomme faced the Cardinals started what has been one continuous nightmare. It was the second round of the playoffs, and Delhomme had six turnovers with five interceptions. In his six starts this season, Delhomme has 13 interceptions and two fumbles, with at least one interception in every game. The Cardinals are coming off a tremendous defensive performance against the Giants with three interceptions and a forced fumble and have only allowed 20 points in their past two games. They also have eight sacks and four interceptions over that span and should play well again this week. Arizona is among the league leaders in run defense, and if the Cardinals force Delhomme to throw, that should lead to a couple of turnovers.
Other DSTs with good matchups: San Diego (vs. OAK), Chicago (vs. CLE) and Indianapolis (vs. SF)
Denver (at BAL): The Broncos DST has been among the best units this season with five games in double digit Fantasy points in a standard-scoring league, including 20-point outings against Cleveland, Oakland and San Diego. The Chargers game was on the strength of two touchdowns on special teams from Eddie Royal, but the defense has six interceptions and 21 sacks on its resume. But this should be a tough test for the Broncos, with the Ravens coming off their bye week and healthy on the offensive line with the return of left tackle Jared Gaither (neck). Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are playing at a high level, and the Ravens are No. 5 in scoring offense at 28.2 yards per game. The Broncos have been a great DST this year, but this is a week where they should struggle.
Robbie Gould (vs. CLE): Gould only has one game with double digits in Fantasy points, but it was a similar scenario to what he's facing this week against the Browns. It was Week 4 against Detroit, and Gould had two field goals and six extra points. He only has three games this season where's attempted two field goals, but the Browns have allowed at least two field goal attempts in all but one game this season and 15 total attempts in seven games. Cleveland has also allowed at least three extra points in all but one game, so Gould could have the chance for another week with double digits in Fantasy points. It also helps that the Browns allow more than 25 points a game and have struggled on defense all season.
John Kasay (at ARI): Kasay has been almost as bad as the Panthers offense this season. He has missed three field goals in his past two games and only has one made field goal since Week 2. For the season, Kasay is 4 of 7 on field goals and has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points. The Panthers offense just isn't generating enough production to make Kasay worth owning in any leagues. And this week he faces the Cardinals, who are among the best teams against opposing kickers. Arizona has only allowed nine field goal attempts in six games with six made field goals. Opposing kickers are 1 of 3 on field goals against the Cardinals in their past two games vs. Indianapolis and Houston.
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