Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Week 3 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

To prepare you as best we can for your week of Fantasy Football, we've devised this series of previews for each NFL game. We'll give you a taste of what to expect, then rank each significant Fantasy contributor on a scale from 0-5 logos (with five logos suggesting can't-miss; a player or unit without any logos suggests you probably shouldn't start him under any circumstances). The rankings take the matchup into account, but injuries and other significant factors also contribute. You should be able to compare the ratings for the players on your team and make an educated pick on who should start -- and sit -- in your lineup .

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
The Bills' Fantasy options are hardly appealing, and chances are you won't start them regardless of what I say, so I'm going to use the next few sentences to lay out what I'd do if I was gameplanning for the Patriots: I'd keep quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the sideline, and with a nod to my colleague Jamey Eisenberg, I'd use the option. It was two years ago when the Patriots were embarrassed at home by the Dolphins when the Wildcat was born out of desperation. The Bills should use the option, and perhaps the Wildcat, to do the same thing. A big difference is that the Patriots' defense is much faster now, but any sort of creative use of C.J. Spiller in a role he can easily understand would do wonders for this team. Back to reality with the Patriots, who have shown a propensity for big statistics against Buffalo through the years. Obviously the passing game is going to be a factor, including young tight end Aaron Hernandez staying in the mix, but it wouldn't be a shock to see the Pats run the ball a bit more than normal. They're down to a three-headed monster between Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and the guy I think could end up being a real asset down the stretch, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Starting any of these backs is a crapshoot, but the long-term potential for Green-Ellis makes him worth stashing on your bench.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Ryan Fitzpatrick   QB Tom Brady
Fred Jackson RB Fred Taylor
Marshawn Lynch RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Lee Evans WR Wes Welker
Roscoe Parrish WR Randy Moss
Jonathan Stupar   TE Aaron Hernandez
Rian Lindell K Stephen Gostkowski
Bills DST Patriots
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
Jahvid Best will have a hard time scoring two touchdowns on the ground in this game. The Vikings' run defense is as strong as they come, and with the team desperate for a win they're going to focus on him like he's Barry Sanders. Detroit gave up on the run fairly easily on their last visit to Minnesota, and the same thing could happen here even with Best in their backfield. Expect Minnesota to play with a single-high safety with the other helping cover Calvin Johnson. While that could open the door for the Lions' tight ends to put up some catches, it will ultimately make it hard on Shaun Hill to be a strong passing choice, though there's always a chance of him ending up with a nice stat line with some garbage-time success. The Vikings should instill confidence in their offense pretty easily against a Lions defense that's never been able to contain Adrian Peterson. Expect the Vikings to lean on him while letting Brett Favre run a toned-down gameplan, especially if Percy Harvin doesn't play.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Shaun Hill QB Brett Favre
Jahvid Best RB Adrian Peterson
Calvin Johnson WR Percy Harvin
Bryant Johnson   WR Bernard Berrian
Brandon Pettigrew TE Visanthe Shiancoe
Jason Hanson K Ryan Longwell
Lions DST Vikings
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
The 49ers have seemingly righted their ship and should continue to lean on Frank Gore here. The Chiefs have done well against the run but haven't played against an elite rusher like Gore yet. Expect a good game from him. The Chiefs have also shown some deficiencies against tight ends, so those people who have been patient with Vernon Davis should get rewarded. And because the Chiefs have been burned by a long touchdown catch in each game this year, the door is open for Michael Crabtree or Josh Morgan (or Ted Ginn Jr. if he's healthy) to make a play. Alex Smith isn't awful this week if you need help there. Matt Cassel has been awful every week, so hopefully he's not someone you have to trust. The 49ers secondary looked a lot better against the Saints than the Seahawks, which tells you that Week 1 was a bit of an aberration. The Chiefs are going to struggle if they lean on Thomas Jones all game -- the 49ers' front can shut him down. If they get creative with Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster, they can really throw off the Niners and find ways to throw the ball halfway decently. But of those are big ifs. When you look at the Chiefs offense and see that rookie tight end Tony Moeaki is leading the team in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (79) through two weeks, you know something's not working right in the offense. Expect the 49ers' blitz to hamper Cassel early, and if the Chiefs can't negate it with their versatile weapons, this one will be over with quickly.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Alex Smith QB Matt Cassel
Frank Gore RB Jamaal Charles
Anthony Dixon RB Thomas Jones
Michael Crabtree WR Dwayne Bowe
Josh Morgan WR Chris Chambers
Vernon Davis TE Tony Moeaki
Joe Nedney K Ryan Succop
49ers DST Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
The Panthers' defense -- be it the run or the pass -- has played to low expectations and will be very challenged against a Bengals offense looking to get on track. This game will be a good opportunity to get the Bengals' run game going while taking advantage of a beleaguered secondary that's given up five passing touchdowns, four to wide receivers. Cedric Benson should have a big game, as should Chad Ochocinco and perhaps Terrell Owens even though he's begun to show his age a little bit (11-yard receiving average). Meanwhile, the word is out on how to beat the Panthers: Load up vs. the run, play a single-high safety on Steve Smith's side and react accordingly. The Bengals have the perfect defensive personnel to do this, and facing rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen will only make it easier. Clausen has a big arm and should connect at some point with Smith, but the Panthers will call for a lot of runs and simple passing plays just to get their young quarterback acclimated. They should be able to contain the Bengals' pass rush, but Cincinnati's secondary will be able to make it hard for Clausen to make any easy reads. It's going to be tough sledding for the Panthers.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Carson Palmer QB Jimmy Clausen
Cedric Benson RB DeAngelo Williams
Bernard Scott   RB Jonathan Stewart
Chad Ochocinco WR Steve Smith
Terrell Owens WR David Gettis
Jordan Shipley WR Dwayne Jarrett
Jermaine Gresham TE Dante Rosario
Mike Nugent K John Kasay
Bengals DST Panthers
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
Expect a safe, ball-control type of game plan from the Falcons in an effort to win the time of possession battle. The longer Michael Turner and Matt Ryan make plays, the more it keeps the Saints' offense off the field. Tony Gonzalez should have a pretty good game -- he should at least double his receiving totals on the year. The Saints are going to see a Falcons defense that has yet to allow a passing touchdown and go right after them. Drew Brees has been especially consistent against the Falcons, tossing two scores in each of his last five against them with at least 296 yards in four of those meetings. Atlanta's secondary is better with the addition of Dunta Robinson, but the Saints will still look for mismatches against the likes of Chris Owens and Thomas DeCoud. One major sleeper: Lance Moore, who picked up a lot of catches in 2008 when Reggie Bush was out. Bush is on the shelf again, so look for Moore to get in and replace him as far as the passing game is concerned; Pierre Thomas will have a huge workload on the ground which should help him total a good stat line.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Matt Ryan QB Drew Brees
Michael Turner RB Pierre Thomas
Jason Snelling RB Ladell Betts
Roddy White WR Marques Colston
Harry Douglas   WR Robert Meachem
Michael Jenkins   WR Devery Henderson
Brian Finneran   WR Lance Moore
Tony Gonzalez TE Jeremy Shockey
Matt Bryant K Garrett Hartley
Falcons DST Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
With or without Charlie Batch under center, this is a tough matchup for the Steelers. Through two games the Buccaneers have allowed a total of 21 points, 420 pass yards and 223 rush yards this season with four sacks, four interceptions and four forced fumbles. Their defensive front is maturing quickly against the run (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart collectively averaged 3.88 yards per carry last week) and their secondary is underrated. They could pin down the run like they did last week and force Batch to throw. If that's the case, and it could very well be, Rashard Mendenhall could struggle a bit and the Pittsburgh receivers could flounder. Protecting the quarterback on passing downs will be huge for the Steelers because the Bucs will come after their statuesque passers. Not that it's going to be easy for Tampa Bay to move the chains, either -- the Steelers come into this game allowing a total of 20 points, 467 pass yards, 104 rush yards over two weeks with six sacks, four interceptions and six forced fumbles. Don't even think about using Cadillac Williams because the Bucs will be hard pressed to use him. Instead, figure Tampa Bay to use Josh Freeman's mobility and have him make mid- and long-range passes on bootlegs and other out-of-the-pocket plays. Ultimately, this could be a low-scoring game; both kickers could do all the scoring and both DSTs could be valuable. I wouldn't be shocked to see Antwaan Randle El attempt some passes, either.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Charlie Batch   QB Josh Freeman
Rashard Mendenhall RB Cadillac Williams
Mewelde Moore RB Earnest Graham
Hines Ward WR Mike Williams
Mike Wallace WR Sammie Stroughter
Heath Miller TE Kellen Winslow
Jeff Reed K Connor Barth
Steelers DST Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans at N.Y. Giants - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
A curious matchup for the Giants: They know they'll have a tough time running the ball but might not have a good idea about how they'll do throwing. The Titans have looked great against the pass in home games against the Jason Campbell-led Raiders and the Dennis Dixon/Charlie Batch-led Steelers. Not exactly world-class offenses. Expect the Giants to be balanced but to have their hands full. They should have some success passing in a three-receiver set and finding single coverage. Steve Smith might catch a decent amount of passes on the underneath stuff. Tennessee should be able to get back to running the ball here as the Giants' run defense couldn't contain the Colts on the ground a week ago. Expect the Titans to follow suit with a lot of Chris Johnson and over-the-top play-action from Vince Young. That's about it. Should be a close game.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Vince Young QB Eli Manning
Chris Johnson RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Javon Ringer   RB Brandon Jacobs
Nate Washington WR Hakeem Nicks
Justin Gage WR Mario Manningham
Kenny Britt   WR Steve Smith
Bo Scaife TE Travis Beckum
Rob Bironas K Lawrence Tynes
Titans DST Giants
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
The Browns offense has little chance to score more than 13 points here. The run game has stalled, their best receivers are Benjamin Watson and Josh Cribbs, their quarterback this week is a career backup and their offensive line isn't pulling the weight it used to. As they typically do against the Browns, the Ravens will smell a chance for a convincing victory and try to dominate. I don't see anyone on Cleveland who will help Fantasy owners this week because the Browns will have a hard time even moving the football consistently. If anything, they'll get a little creative and utilize Josh Cribbs more than they have. The Ravens offense has been in neutral since the season kicked off, and this is offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's chance to get out of the mud. Don't expect an intricate game plan that will have Joe Flacco throwing a ton -- instead, figure that the Ravens will lean on the ground game. Not only does that play to their strength, but it takes pressure off of Flacco after throwing five interceptions in two games. Flacco should be fairly decent, but as I said in our weekly Faceoffs, it's Ray Rice and Willis McGahee who have the overwhelmingly successful history against Cleveland, not Flacco.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Seneca Wallace   QB Joe Flacco
Peyton Hillis RB Ray Rice
James Davis RB Willis McGahee
Josh Cribbs WR Anquan Boldin
Mohamed Massaquoi   WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Brian Robiskie   WR Derrick Mason
Benjamin Watson TE Todd Heap
Phil Dawson K Billy Cundiff
Browns   DST Ravens
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans - Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
To be honest, there's not much the Cowboys are doing wrong offensively. Tony Romo has played well, the offensive line was better in Week 2 and the team has simply been on the wrong end of two close games. This is going to be another close one with a lot of offense, and the Cowboys will like their matchup. Houston's secondary got exposed a little bit last week against Washington and it's not going to take long for Dallas to start throwing downfield. Houston has had trouble with tight ends through two weeks and Jason Witten should be deployed enough to make some things happen. Marion Barber remains the only worthwhile rusher for the 'Boys, and with Houston giving up a pair of goal-line TDs to Clinton Portis last week, it's certainly fair to expect Barber to have a chance to punch one in. Houston's run defense has barely been tested -- opponents have run a total of 27 times on them over two games. Wow. The Texans will fight back with their passing game -- this isn't an easy matchup for Arian Foster though he could contribute as a receiver. Dallas' safeties have been a bit of a problem as the Bears got some good gains down the middle of the field last week -- perhaps this is a chance for Owen Daniels to break out. If not, look for Andre Johnson to run a bunch of post routes and to clear out chunks of the field for Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones to make plays. All told, Matt Schaub should pass for well over 300 yards for the second week in a row.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Tony Romo QB Matt Schaub
Marion Barber RB Arian Foster
Felix Jones RB Steve Slaton
Miles Austin WR Andre Johnson
Dez Bryant WR Jacoby Jones
Roy E. Williams   WR Kevin Walter
Jason Witten TE Owen Daniels
David Buehler K Neil Rackers
Cowboys DST Texans
Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
Michael Vick should have another excellent outing as he takes on a terrible secondary for the second week in a row. Between the threat of him moving around and out of the pocket and him throwing deep to any of the Eagles' speedy receivers, the matchup is impossible for the Jaguars -- especially when you also consider how LeSean McCoy has been playing. There's no way Jacksonville will be able to contain this offense, arguably the fastest offense in the league. The Jaguars will have a hard time keeping up on the scoreboard if they get too far behind. One way to avoid that is to control the clock with a big, big dose of Maurice Jones-Drew. A week after the Eagles were trounced by Jahvid Best, it's clear that Jacksonville will look that way with a lot of screens and dump-off passes to MJD. It also wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Mike Sims-Walker in the end zone again. It's unlikely they'll keep up, but they should still boast a couple of good Fantasy performers.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Michael Vick QB David Garrard
LeSean McCoy RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Mike Bell   RB Rashad Jennings
DeSean Jackson WR Mike Sims-Walker
Jeremy Maclin WR Mike Thomas
Brent Celek TE Marcedes Lewis
David Akers K Josh Scobee
Eagles DST Jaguars
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams - Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
These teams met in 2009 and St. Louis nearly won. The Redskins' coaches have changed, but one thing remains the same: Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo is familiar with who he's going up against. Spags probably knows Donovan McNabb personally from their days together in Philadelphia, and Spagnuolo coached pretty well against him when he went to New York. One problem: His personnel isn't the same, and so whatever scheme the Rams put in place probably won't be as effective. In the wake of their release of Larry Johnson, look for the Redskins to utilize Clinton Portis quite a bit. His rushing average is awful so far (3.1 yards per) but the Rams have been torched by Tim Hightower and Darren McFadden this year, and Portis should follow suit. The Redskins will likely use play-action following their established run attack and look for Chris Cooley and Santana Moss in space. Moss was blanketed in the meeting vs. St. Louis last year and will likely draw a lot of attention here too. Don't laugh: Joey Galloway could end up being a solid contributor. The Redskins will expect a lot of Steven Jackson but they'd be unwise to stack eight in the box on every play. Sam Bradford has played pretty good football and has made his receivers much better. That's saying something. The Redskins will do their diligence on Mark Clayton and try to keep him under wraps, but with Laurent Robinson unlikely to play, Clayton is the most likely scoring candidate.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Donovan McNabb QB Sam Bradford
Clinton Portis RB Steven Jackson
Keiland Williams   RB Kenneth Darby
Santana Moss WR Mark Clayton
Joey Galloway WR Danny Amendola
Roydell Williams   WR Mardy Gilyard
Chris Cooley TE Daniel Fells
Graham Gano K Josh Brown
Redskins DST Rams
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos - Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
Ten. That's the number of touchdowns Peyton Manning has thrown against the Broncos in his last three regular-season games against them, including a four-TD outing last December (Dallas Clark caught three). That was when the Broncos had Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman, two guys they very well might be without here. This shouldn't be close if those guys are out and two rookies have to play, as Manning should be able to connect with all of his receivers for good stats. That's not a cop-out -- that's a reality. By the way, with Pierre Garcon missing practice Friday, don't be surprised if he's out, boosting Austin Collie 's value big time. How do the Broncos' battle back? They'll likely start with a ball-control-type of offense, especially now that Knowshon Moreno is out. Correll Buckhalter is a sneaky flex play since he could get close to 15 touches; I wouldn't trust Laurence Maroney in his first game coming off an injury with a new team. Look for lots of screen passes from Kyle Orton as well as longer stuff. The Broncos could end up spreading five wide themselves and look for mismatches. Demaryius Thomas will absolutely get recognition by the Colts defenders based on his play last week and could end up catching a couple of big passes as he'll be a matchup nightmare for Indy's cornerbacks. And if they play too much to his side, Jabar Gaffney could see easy coverage on his side. Expect Denver to settle for underneath routes, which ultimately helps everyone so long as one receiver is stretching the defense. It wouldn't be a shock to see both teams put up over 24 points.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Peyton Manning QB Kyle Orton
Joseph Addai RB Correll Buckhalter
Donald Brown RB Laurence Maroney
Reggie Wayne WR Jabar Gaffney
Austin Collie WR Eddie Royal
Pierre Garcon WR Demaryius Thomas
Dallas Clark TE Daniel Graham
Adam Vinatieri K Matt Prater
Colts DST Broncos
San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
Philip Rivers is red hot right now, and with Ryan Mathews nursing a high-ankle sprain, the time couldn't be better for the Chargers to lean on the passing game. The time also couldn't be better to give Mike Tolbert a bunch of reps against the Seahawks. Tolbert -- and Darren Sproles -- could find room to run in this game given the state of the Seattle run defense after last week. Rivers should continue to bomb away on the Seahawks. Antonio Gates should be excited about a potential matchup with either rookie Earl Thomas or uber-veteran Lawyer Milloy. Seattle has been leaning on Matt Hasselbeck so far this year, partially because they've had to. Their run game has not done well, partially because the split between three backs has hurt any one of them to get into a rhythm. The playcalling hasn't been very good, and this matchup doesn't look to be very good. If there's one receiver who has a shot it's Deon Butler, who leads all wideouts with 71 yards and a 13.5 receiving average. Hasselbeck liked him a lot at the start of Week 2 and could check him out a little more in Week 3. His numbers aren't much, but he's been targeted nearly as much as Deion Branch and has way more potential. P.S. He's unowned in 98 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Philip Rivers QB Matt Hasselbeck
Mike Tolbert RB Justin Forsett
Darren Sproles RB Leon Washington
Malcom Floyd WR Deon Butler
Legedu Naanee WR Mike Williams
Antonio Gates TE John Carlson
Nate Kaeding K Olindo Mare
Chargers DST Seahawks
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
Another matchup made in heaven for Darren McFadden; the Cardinals last week got destroyed by the Falcons' ground game and McFadden has the speed, hands and agility to keep this defense struggling. That's good, because even though Bruce Gradkowski had a nice second half last week, it came at home against the Rams. Arizona's secondary should match up real well with the Raiders' receivers and Adrian Wilson could be a big reason why Zach Miller disappoints in Week 3. The Cardinals are fortunate to have another matchup where they can run the ball well. It sounds like Beanie Wells will play, but expect the Cards to ease him into action and not completely take away Tim Hightower's big role. Remember, Wells was a clear backup to Hightower during the preseason -- all bets are off as to what he'll do coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery. Hightower's 80-yard touchdown run last week was very unexpected, just as were the remainder of his carries for a 3.5-yard average. Oakland can get away with dropping a safety and pressuring Derek Anderson because they'll have Nnamdi Asomugha on Larry Fitzgerald for a good portion of the game, if not the whole game. Oakland made a philosophical change this offseason and is expected to let Asomugha shadow Fitzgerald instead of keep him on one side. We saw Asomugha do this last week against Mark Clayton. This could spell trouble for Fitzgerald, not to mention Anderson, though Clayton did post two touchdowns last week, including one that needed a review to get counted. Point is, with Anderson struggling to attain accuracy and the Raiders able to take away a chunk of the field and put on a semblance of a pass rush, it's not a guarantee that the Cardinals will put up a lot of stats.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Bruce Gradkowski QB Derek Anderson
Darren McFadden RB Tim Hightower
Michael Bush RB Beanie Wells
Louis Murphy WR Larry Fitzgerald
Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Steve Breaston
Zach Miller TE Stephen Spach
Sebastian Janikowski K Jay Feely
Raiders DST Cardinals
N.Y. Jets at Miami Dolphins - Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
What would you do if you were Rex Ryan and you had to determine Braylon Edwards' playing time? The right thing to do is bench him and send the right message. But this is a must-win game for the Jets to avoid a 1-2 start, and they're short on receivers as it is. Odds are the Jets are desperate enough to use Edwards in some capacity, but that doesn't mean Fantasy owners have to. The Jets got creative last week to upend New England and they'll get crafty here too. One idea, if they bench Braylon, is to use LaDainian Tomlinson out of the slot and put Shonn Greene in the backfield. Certainly that would eliminate any box-stacking by the Dolphins. Don't put stuff like that past the Jets, nor should you expect the Dustin Keller stat-train from slowing down. It's so obvious that Keller and Mark Sanchez have chemistry, and the Dolphins' TE-covering woes from a season ago reared its ugly head last week at Minnesota. Keller had a touchdown in his last game vs. Miami and could again this week. The Jets' run game will attack the Dolphins' front, but judging by the way they've been playing the only trustworthy guy is Tomlinson, who could end up playing as a receiver as suggested earlier. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are going to continue to do what they do best: Run the football. Yes, the Jets have been strong against the run this year but Ronnie Brown had their number in a home game last season and should have the opportunities to have their number again. One big difference is Brandon Marshall; if you don't think the Dolphins will test the Jets secondary without cornerback Darrelle Revis, you're crazy. Marshall should have his biggest game as a Dolphin, and his presence forces the Jets to play two safeties back on most downs. That helps Brown, not to mention the rest of the Dolphins offense. No doubt the Jets will be a little tight heading into this game with a lot riding on the line and a week's worth of distractions bothering them.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Mark Sanchez QB Chad Henne
LaDainian Tomlinson RB Ronnie Brown
Shonn Greene RB Ricky Williams
Jerricho Cotchery WR Brandon Marshall
Braylon Edwards WR Brian Hartline
Dustin Keller TE Anthony Fasano
Nick Folk K Dan Carpenter
Jets DST Dolphins
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears - Monday, 8:30 p.m.
For all intents and purposes, this is a playoff game in September. The winner will be 3-0, in total control of the NFC North and in control of its own destiny for a playoff bye. Head coach Mike McCarthy's admission this week that the Packers will run by committee only cements that the Packers' game plan will run through Aaron Rodgers' hands. You probably knew that already, though. This should be an excellent opportunity to use both Brandon Jackson out of the backfield and tight end Jermichael Finley on the seams against Chicago's safeties. Those targets could open up the deep passing attack and give the Packers some chances to score -- chances the Cowboys couldn't cash in on against Chicago last week. One key point is how the Packers protect Rodgers from Julius Peppers and the Bears' pass rush; the Cowboys used plenty of personnel to keep Tony Romo clean last week, and the Packers are likely to follow suit. A lot of two-tight end sets and/or blocking running back John Kuhn taking on more work could impact how the Bears defend against just two or three receiving targets. It won't be easy for Rodgers, but he should still do enough to get some nice totals. The Bears also have protection issues to solve, namely keeping Clay Matthews off of Jay Cutler's back. Last week Chicago negated the Cowboys' blitz with a lot of short-area passing, and that was enough to move the chains and lull the Dallas defense into giving up the big play. The Packers aren't that much different from the Cowboys and the Bears should be able to take a lot of keys from their Week 2 game and apply them here. This also means that Matt Forte is likely to contribute as much or more as a receiver than as a rusher. A high-scoring game wouldn't be a big surprise.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Aaron Rodgers QB Jay Cutler
Brandon Jackson RB Matt Forte
John Kuhn RB Chester Taylor
Greg Jennings WR Johnny Knox
Donald Driver WR Devin Hester
Jermichael Finley TE Greg Olsen
Mason Crosby K Robbie Gould
Packers DST Bears
  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Ex-teammate: Marshawn Lynch to hold out of training camp
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who's reportedly unhappy with his contract, is expected to hold out of training camp, former teammate Michael Robinson told NFL Network Total Access on Thursday.

"Marshawn Lynch just called me, we just talked. He said he will be holding out from training camp," Robinson said on the show.

Lynch attended the team's mandatory minicamp and is subject to fines if he holds out of training camp. He totaled over 1,500 yards of offense with 14 total touchdowns last year but had over 400 total touches between the regular season and postseason.


Chris Johnson looks 'light on his feet, and fast'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:56 pm ET) Jets running back Chris Johnson, who had offseason knee surgery, "looked light on his feet, and fast" at practice Thursday, reports ESPN.com. "I haven't really [gone] 100 percent with the team since I have been here so being able to go out there and run and do all the team periods felt good," Johnson said.

The Jets used him on rushing plays and also lined him up wide as a receiver. Johnson fumbled on a running play but overall "seemed right at home," the website said. "I felt good," Johnson said. "I felt no pain or anything like that."

His main competition for carries, Chris Ivory, sat out with a hamstring problem.


Bills make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) The Bills claimed center Jared Wheeler off waivers from the Panthers and waived/injured cornerback Brandon Smith.

Giants working extensively on no-huddle
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:46 pm ET) The Giants ran 59 no-huddle plays all of last season. That represented 4.7 percent of their total plays. In contrast, the Eagles ran a league-high 705 no-huddle plays (51.1 percent) and the Broncos ran 537 (35.4 percent).

It appears the Giants plan to have Eli Manning operating out of the no-huddle more often. Their first three practices featured frequent use of the no-huddle.

"It keeps defenses on their toes," running back Rashad Jennings said. "[Offensive coordinator Ben] McAdoo has a way to keep the defense on their toes, put pressure on them, get the long shots, get the grinding yards. It’s a lot of different ways to attack a defense. Also, it puts a lot of ownership on the players to learn the playbook. It puts the capability in the quarterback’s hands to make decisions."

Jennings said the team can run its entire offense out of the no-huddle. Wideout Rueben Randle also loves it.

"It gives us time to get set and see what the defense is going to do, to keep them out of position," he said. "Switching in our personnel to take advantage of the personnel they have out there. Hopefully, they’re in regular [defense] and we’re in three-wide, so we can spread the ball out a little bit and use our speed to make a few plays."


Steve Smith 'puts on a show'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:29 pm ET) New Ravens receiver Steve Smith "put on a show" in the team's first training camp practice, reports ESPN.com. Smith faked out starting corner Lardarius Webb on an out route, then beat Webb and projected No. 3 corner Chykie Brown on deep passes, the report said.

The website also credited Smith with raising the intensity level at practice.


Vince Wilfork practicing without limitations
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:15 pm ET) Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who's coming back from a ruptured Achilles, looked good during the team's first practice and said he's working without restrictions.

"If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be practicing," Wilfork told the Boston Herald. "My job is to help my teammates the best way I can, whatever that may be. The only way for me to help my teammates is to be on the field and be healthy. Right now, I’m on the field and I’m healthy. If anything happens in the future, I can’t predict that. But right now my job is to help this team the best way I can and get better each day and that’s what I’m going to do."


Ronald Leary has strained hamstring
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:08 pm ET) Cowboys starting guard Ronald Leary strained his hamstring taking a conditioning test Monday, reports ESPN.com. He's starting camp on the PUP list. It's unclear how long he'll be out.

Jamaal Charles gets $8.3 million guaranteed
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:02 pm ET) Jamaal Charles' four-year contract extension includes $8.3 million guaranteed but no guaranteed money beyond this season, reports Pro Football Talk. The Chiefs' star running back is now signed through 2017.

Marcus Lattimore on NFI list with two injuries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:58 pm ET) 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said running back Marcus Lattimore is starting camp on the non-football injury list because that's what doctors and trainers recommended, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Asked if the problem was Lattimore's surgically reconstructed knee or the hamstring strain he suffered in the spring, Harbaugh replied, "A combination of the two." Harbaugh declined to elaborate.

Other reports indicate Lattimore is not too far away from being ready. He could be activated at any time.


'Won't be too long' until Knowshon Moreno returns for Miami
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:44 pm ET) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he's not worried about Knowshon Moreno coming back in bad shape. The team opens training camp on Thursday and will begin practicing soon thereafter. Moreno had offseason knee surgery after reportedly showing up to camp out of shape. 

"Not full throttle 100 percent reps yet but won't be too long," Philbin said of Moreno via the Miami Herald.


 
 
 
Rankings