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Week 4 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Not many Fantasy players are complaining about Jahvid Best through three weeks, but he's in for a challenge in Week 4. The Cowboys have been tough on opposing run games, allowing on average 61.3 yards per, and only Frank Gore has barreled for a touchdown against them in 2011. Best's rushing yardage has dropped in each of his first three contests, due in part because of a drop in carries (21 in Week 1, 16 in Week 2, 12 in Week 3). Best also has one run on the year for more than 10 yards. Not so good.

But this is good: Best's receiving yardage has gone up in consecutive weeks (42 in Week 1, 66 in Week 2, 74 in Week 3). And the Cowboys aren't perfect against running backs catching the ball: Cumulatively running backs have 153 receiving yards on 17 catches with a touchdown on Big D this season. This sure seems like a week where Best's Fantasy owners should count on a big day as a receiver, and anything he gives as a rusher is just a bonus.

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium
Cleveland Browns
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBBrandon Weeden Ravens haven't allowed a QB to throw two or more TDs in 23 straight games. Make it 24 after Thursday.
RBTrent RichardsonRavens have yielded a rush TD to a back in every game this year. Defense's focus will be on Richardson but he could still be solid.
WRTravis BenjaminSpeedy outside receiver who could see more reps with Mohamed Massaquoi hurt. Keep an eye on him.
WRGreg LittleMight be on his final straw with coach Pat Shurmur after more drops through the first three weeks.
TEJordan Cameron Deep sleeper. Big size, decent speed. Getting an opportunity to play more because of veteran injuries.
DSTBrowns A problem: Ravens posting 32.7 points and 419.3 total yards per game. Allowed just 44 points in two games vs. BAL last year.
Baltimore Ravens
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBJoe FlaccoBrowns have allowed back-to-back 300-yard, multi-TD passers. Great week to gamble on him.
RBRay RiceThough they've allowed every starting RB to get 10+ Fantasy points, Browns have yet to allow a rushing score. Rice should change that.
WRTorrey SmithTwo touchdowns last week in emotional game put Smith back on the map. Had just 60 yards in two games vs. CLE in 2011. More is expected here.
WRAnquan BoldinGood sleeper. Browns have allowed 5 TDs to WRs since Joe Haden's suspension started.
TEDennis PittaCleveland D has been OK vs. tight ends but Pitta is averaging 10.0 Fantasy points per week.
DSTRavensBrowns have given up eight sacks, six INTs through three weeks with two sub-17 point games. Ravens DST should roll.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Georgia Dome
Carolina Panthers
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBCam NewtonFalcons have made minced meat of opposing QBs (2 pass TDs, 7 INTs). Cam totaled 513 yards, 2 TDs and 5 INTs (with 83 yards & one rush TD) vs. ATL last year.
RBJonathan StewartPanthers run better with Stewart active. Has scored in last three overall, scored at Atlanta last year.
RBDeAngelo WilliamsFalcons run defense has allowed 5.1 yards per carry to RBs with three TDs. Panthers could lean on RBs to aid Newton.
WRSteve SmithKind of a risk. Hasn't scored this season, hasn't scored in last three vs. ATL and Falcons have allowed just one TD to WRs so far.
WRBrandon LaFellWait-and-see. LaFell's hot start weakened by horrible Week 3. Falcons pass D has been solid.
TEGreg OlsenFalcons have given up one TD to TEs this season and no TE has more than 37 yards receiving. Olsen scored in last game vs. ATL.
DSTPanthers Falcons scoring 31.3 points per game, Panthers giving up 26.3 points per game. Look elsewhere.
Atlanta Falcons
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMatt RyanHas 2+ pass touchdowns in 6 of last 8 games with one INT. Had 5 TDs, no INTs vs. CAR last year.
RBMichael TurnerPanthers have allowed five RBs to post 10+ Fantasy points. With TDs in two straight, Turner should roll.
RBJacquizz RodgersStarting to play more and had most productive game of his career last week with 15 total touches.
WRJulio JonesCharred the Panthers for 2 TDs in only game against them last year.
WRRoddy WhiteHas one TD in each of last three seasons vs. Panthers, two of which came at home.
TETony GonzalezGraham declawed Panthers in Week 2; Bennett hurt them in Week 3. Gonzo's turn.
DSTFalconsFive INTs of Newton in two games last year and 7 INTs so far this year. Pretty good choice.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Minnesota Vikings
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBChristian PonderDET defense progressively worsening vs. good (not great) QBs, allowing 276.3 pass yards per week. Ponder ran for career-high 71 yards vs. DET last year.
RBAdrian PetersonHad over 100 total yards last week vs. SF. Lions run D has been OK. Has 8 TDs & over 1,000 total yards in nine games vs. DET.
WRPercy HarvinHas one TD in each of last three seasons vs. Lions, two in Motown. Harvin has at least 98 total yards per game.
WRJerome SimpsonMakes Vikings debut after three-game suspension. Had 100 yards and/or a TD in 6 of last 11 games last year.
TEKyle RudolphLions have allowed 3 TDs to TEs over last two games. Rudolph has scored three TDs in last two games.
DSTVikingsLions averaging 29.0 points per game this season, scored 30.0 points per game vs. MIN in 2011. Stafford sacked 10 times by MIN in 2011.
Detroit Lions
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMatthew StaffordHas 275+ yards in 2 of 3 games this year, is improving on turnovers but needs to score more. MIN has allowed 5 passing TDs so far.
RBMikel LeshoureVikings run D has yet to allow TD or over 77 rush yards to a RB. They're a handful. Temper expectations.
WRCalvin JohnsonIn case you were wondering, he's had at least 90 yards and/or a TD in each of last seven overall.
WRTitus Young Took eight games for Young to score his first TD last year. Vikings have allowed just two TDs to WRs so far.
TEBrandon PettigrewMust-start. Vikings have allowed red-zone touchdowns to tight ends in three consecutive games.
DSTLionsHaven't scored more than 8 Fantasy points in a game this season, allowing a gross 31.3 points per game.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ralph Wilson Stadium
New England Patriots
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBTom BradyTrack record firmly on Brady's side: Has 3+ TDs in each of last four vs. BUF. Totaled 725 yards passing in two games against Bills in 2011.
RBStevan RidleyBills have yet to allow 100 total-yard RB and just two rush TDs. Ridley might score, might fall short on 100 total yards but should be a factor.
WRBrandon LloydReceivers have scored six touchdowns in three games against the Bills. Lloyd still leads Patriots in targets with 33.
WRWes WelkerOnly has 2 career TDs vs. Bills as a member of the Patriots. Both came at Buffalo last year.
TERob GronkowskiBuffalo native kills the Bills. In four career games Gronk has 314 yards and seven TDs against them. Obvious must-start.
DSTPatriotsBills have scored more points per game (29.0) than the Pats have (27.3). Might not be worth starting.
Buffalo Bills
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBRyan Fitzpatrick300 yards and two TDs per game vs. Pats in 2011 (with six interceptions). Fitzpatrick is on a roll & New England just gave up big numbers to Flacco.
RBFred JacksonRisky choice coming back from knee injury, might split reps. Has crushed Pats in the past including 161 total yards & TD last meeting in 2011.
WRSteve JohnsonHas a TD in 3 of last 4 vs. NE, has a TD in each of last four overall. Big-play receivers have burned Pats in 2 of 3 games this year.
TEScott ChandlerLow-end choice this week. Pats have allowed at least 6 Fantasy points to starting tight ends every week this season.
DSTBillsThey've been on a roll last two weeks but Pats present big test. Not the week to trust them.

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
San Diego Chargers
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBPhilip RiversBig matchup: KC has allowed 8 passing TDs in three weeks to big-armed QBs. But Rivers has 4 INTs and (ack!) no TDs in last 2 vs. KC.
RBRyan MathewsMight be the right opponent for him after knocking off rust last week. Has had double-digit Fantasy points in each of last three vs. KC.
WRMalcom FloydWow: Has TD and/or 100+ yards in 8 of his last 11 overall. Chiefs have allowed at least 1 TD to WRs every week so far.
TEAntonio GatesThis has got to be the week: Chiefs have allowed TD to TE in every game this year. Gates has 70+ yards and/or a TD in 5 of last 6 vs. KC.
DSTChargersHeld the Chiefs to 40 total points last year but that was without Jamaal Charles. Charles will be a handful for the Bolts.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMatt CasselChargers have been ripped for 275+ pass yards in 2 of 3 games & allowed 3 pass TDs to Matt Ryan last week. Cassel a deep sleeper.
RBJamaal CharlesMichael Turner had 80 yards & a TD last week vs. SD. Charles is a little bit faster. Expect good numbers.
RBShaun Draughn One of my favorite long-term sleepers in deep leagues. Might even be a desperation starter if Hillis is out.
WRDwayne BoweChargers have yielded one TD to WRs per game but no more than 67 yards. Bowe has 1 TD vs. SD in last four meetings w/ weak yardage.
WRJon Baldwin Had best game of 2011 vs. SD last year. Has six catches for 98 yards in last two games, could see role increase this week.
TETony Moeaki Chargers have clamped down on tight ends after struggling against them late in 2011.
DSTChiefsMassive risk: Chiefs DST has been awful but Chargers offense hasn't crushed KC, scoring 20 points or less in 3 of last 4 meetings.

Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Edward Jones Dome
Seattle Seahawks
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBRussell WilsonRams have allowed 2 pass TDs w/ 5 INTs. It'll take a Hail Mary for Wilson to be solid.
RBMarshawn LynchHad 80+ yards & TD in each game vs. Rams last season. Rams have allowed four total TDs to running backs through three games.
WRSidney RiceScored in one game vs. Rams last year but has yet to exceed even 40 receiving yards in a 2012 game.
WRGolden Tate Emerging talent? Has 3+ catches in last seven overall. Maybe game-winning
DSTSeahawksTough turnaround for Seahawks DST but they held Rams to 20 total points in two games last year.
St. Louis Rams
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBSam BradfordSeattle has limited QBs to under 2 pass TDs in 10 of last 11 games including Aaron Rodgers last week.
RBSteven JacksonHas 120+ total yards and a TD in last meeting vs. SEA, but was healthy then. Groin injury limited him last week.
WRDanny AmendolaPhysical Seahawks cornerbacks should be trouble for Amendola, but he should still reach five-catch, 70-yard level.
WRBrandon Gibson Only two double-digit receivers allowed by Seahawks this season, neither had more than 63 yards receiving.
TELance Kendricks Seahawks have allowed one TD to tight ends in last eight overall.
DSTRamsOnly one DST has posted 10+ Fantasy points vs. Seahawks this season. Rams more of a desperation option.

San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
San Francisco 49ers
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBAlex SmithSmith's accuracy through three weeks a real improvement. Jets allowed 2+ pass TDs in 2 of 3 games with Darrelle Revis. Now he's out.
RBFrank GoreJets have allowed a rush TD to RB in each of first three games. Gore should be next.
WRMichael CrabtreeKing Crab becoming PPR machine with 6+ catches per game this season.
WRMario ManninghamEven with Jets secondary less of a threat, tough to trust Manningham (zero TDs) in return to MetLife.
TEVernon DavisJets have given up 2 TDs to tight ends on the year. Davis is 3 for 3 in finding the end zone this season.
DST49ersAfter Week 1 explosion, Jets offense has totaled 26 points, 607 yards in two games. Niners should rebound.
New York Jets
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMark Sanchez No one's trusting Sanchez in Fantasy though Niners have allowed six total TDs to QBs this season.
RBBilal PowellJets could give him more of a look in the offense but the matchup is a disaster.
RBShonn GreeneAveraging 2.6 yards per carry on the year. Niners allowing 3.4 yards per carry. Nightmare should continue for Greene.
WRSantonio HolmesOnly James Jones of the Packers has managed to top 10+ Fantasy points among WRs Niners have faced.
WRJeremy KerleyOnly eight catches on the year but two touchdowns in three games. Jets will have to throw more this week.
TEJeff CumberlandNiners have allowed red-zone touchdowns to tight ends in three straight. Major sleeper.
DSTJetsNo Revis, declining run defense makes the Jets DST a mediocre Fantasy option.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Reliant Stadium
Tennessee Titans
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBJake LockerWill have to throw a lot but will do so vs. pass D allowing 5.8 yards per attempt & 3 TDs in three games.
RBChris JohnsonTexans have yet to allow a rushing score; have held RBs to under 70 rush yards/game. Bench this guy.
WRNate WashingtonHouston gave up first TD to WR last week. Washington has scored in 2 of last 3 vs. Houston and 2 of last 3 overall.
WRKenny BrittHas one 100-yard game, one TD in three career games vs. HOU. Did not play them in 2011. Britt had 11 targets last week.
WRKendall WrightPosted first seven-catch game last week but is more of short-area threat. No 20+ yard catches, averaging 7.3 yards per catch.
TEJared CookHad 60+ yards or a TD in each game vs. Houston last year. Texans gave up first TD to TE last week.
DSTTitans Texans averaging over 150 rush yards per game and 29.3 points/game. Tough matchup.
Houston Texans
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMatt SchaubTitans have given up 8 pass TDs, two 275+ yard passers. Schaub has 2+ TDs in five straight vs. TEN. Rock-solid starter.
RBArian FosterTitans have allowed four 1-yard touchdown runs through three weeks. Foster, Tate might each get one.
RBBen TateHad at least 90 yards rushing in each game vs. TEN last year w/ 1 TD. Foster played in only one of two games.
WRAndre JohnsonTitans pass D got ripped for three TDs last week including a Hail Mary. Scored in five straight vs. TEN until getting hurt against them last year.
WRKevin Walter Desperation starting option given the juicy matchup. Last score vs. TEN came in 2010.
TEOwen DanielsWeek 3 was first time Titans didn't allow TD to TE this year (five in first two weeks). Daniels has delivered 8+ Fantasy points in 2 of 3 games.
DSTTexansShould come up with turnovers vs. sloppy QB Locker. Look for a rebound week after struggling at Denver last week.

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBAndy DaltonStunning: Has back-to-back 300-yard, 3 TD games on just 58 total pass attempts. Had 2 TDs at Jags last year. Brave owners will start him.
RBBenJarvus Green-EllisJags have allowed three 20-point Fantasy RBs and one 9 point Fantasy RB this season. He's a must.
WRA.J. GreenGreen should thrash Jags pass D that couldn't contain T.Y. Hilton's speed last week. Green had 90 yards & TD at JAC last year.
WRAndrew HawkinsA boost in targets could be around the corner after showing moves in last two games. Sleeper.
TEJermaine GreshamStarting tight ends have caught at least 5 passes per game vs. Jaguars this year. No TDs, though.
DSTBengalsJaguars 29th in points per game with 17.3, 30th in total yards with 268.3. Good sleeper .
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBBlaine GabbertBengals pass defense is poor. Every opposing QB has had at least 24 Fantasy points. Still wouldn't trust Gabbert.
RBMaurice Jones-DrewDream matchup for MJD: Bengals have allowed at least 13 Fantasy points per week to opposing RBs.
WRJustin Blackmon15 targets, four catches, 31 yards, no TDs. Matchup is ripe for a turnaround. Keep him benched, don't cut him.
TEMarcedes LewisBengals have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to opposing TEs in two of three weeks this season.
DSTJaguars The way Bengals are scoring (28.3 points/game) and the way the Jaguars are allowing them (23.3 points/game) makes this DST a pass.

Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
Miami Dolphins
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBRyan Tannehill Cardinals have slowed down Tom Brady & Michael Vick in consecutive weeks. Hard to love Tannehill's chances.
RBDaniel ThomasArizona has yet to allow a 100-total-yard RB or a TD to a RB rushing or receiving. Tough week for Thomas.
RBLamar Miller Could get some work as the coaching staff likes his game. There's some nice long-term potential here.
WRBrian Hartline The likes of Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker and DeSean Jackson have been slammed by the Cards so far. Don't like Hartline's chances.
DSTDolphinsCards are 3-0 but offense has put up exactly 20 points in three games. Kolb's been sacked four times, hasn't been picked off yet. Not worth the risk.
Arizona Cardinals
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBKevin KolbMatchup is okay (Miami's allowed 250+ passing yards per game) but Kolb's playing efficient football. Stats aren't booming.
RBRyan WilliamsBig opportunity starts against tough run defense. Dolphins allowing 2.5 yards per carry to opposing RBs with two rush TDs allowed.
WRLarry FitzgeraldFitzgerald should pummel the Miami secondary. Fins have allowed two 100-yard receivers through three games.
DSTCardinalsMust-start. Tannehill has five turnovers, been sacked four times and has totaled two TDs this season. And Reggie Bush isn't 100 percent.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Oakland Raiders
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBCarson PalmerPalmer's throwing the ball a ton, Broncos allowing just over 250 passing yards per game with at least 2+ TDs per opponent. Palmer's sneaky.
RBDarren McFaddenBroncos have given up double-digit Fantasy points to RBs in each of last two. McFadden has had 150+ total yards in each of last 3 vs. DEN.
WRDenarius MooreHas yet to score on Broncos (played them twice last year) but Denver was done in by the big pass play last week. That's Moore's specialty.
TEBrandon MyersGreat sleeper if he plays. Broncos have allowed a TE to score every game this season. Myers has 55+ yards per game.
DSTRaidersBroncos averaging 25.7 points/game and 348.3 points/game. Raiders defense can't hang.
Denver Broncos
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBPeyton ManningManning has had 240+ yards per game, 2TDs in 2 of 3 games. Raiders got decimated by Big Ben last week. Manning should do the same in his easiest matchup to-date.
RBWillis McGaheeOnly one team has really run on the Raiders (Miami) and they crushed them. McGahee crushed them too in last meeting (163 yards, 2 TDs).
WRDemaryius ThomasHas 90+ yards and/or 1+ TD in 7 of last 10 games. Obvious Fantasy starter despite last week's bomb.
WREric DeckerScored on OAK for first time in last meeting. Raiders have allowed at least one WR to get 11+ Fantasy points per game.
TEJacob TammeRaiders have allowed three TDs to TEs over last two weeks. Tamme's in line for a pretty solid game.
DSTBroncosRaiders putting up 20.3 points/game, 346.0 yards/game. Broncos should be able to land some sacks, INTs.

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field
New Orleans Saints
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBDrew BreesThrew for 419 yards & 3 TDs at Green Bay last season, has 3 TDs in 2 of 3 games this year. Packers defense good but he's a must.
RBDarren SprolesHad seven catches for 75 yards last year at the Pack. Reps have fluctuated wildly this season. Big-play potential keeps him relevant.
RBPierre ThomasHas 10+ touches in each of last two games with very different results. If you need 5 or 6 Fantasy points, Thomas should come through.
RBMark IngramAfter getting gashed by Frank Gore in Week 1 the Packers have allowed just under 4.0 yards per carry to RBs with no TDs. Ingram's a risk.
WRLance MooreCounter-intuitive to start Moore when he's not indoors but the Saints will throw plenty and Moore should benefit.
WRMarques ColstonHere's all you need to know: Colston's fourth on the Saints in targets through three weeks. If Brees is recognizing he's not 100 percent, we should too.
TEJimmy GrahamGuy has scored at least one TD in eight straight games. Scored at Green Bay last year. No brainer.
DSTSaints Packers averaging 19.0 points/game, 304.3 total yards/game. Expect them to 'get well' vs. lowly Saints DST.
Green Bay Packers
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBAaron RodgersCould be a back-to-basics week for Packers: Look downfield more vs. 25th-ranked pass defense, run a little more too.
RBCedric BensonSaints have allowed six TDs (five rushing) and over 200 total yards per game to RBs through three games.
WRGreg JenningsHas 19 targets in two games (10 last week). Eventually he'll break through. Saints pass D should give up some good numbers.
WRJordy NelsonNext two games should yield big numbers for Nelson vs. poor pass defenses. Has to improve 12.8 receiving average.
TEJermichael FinleySurprisingly, Saints have been efficient vs. tight ends, allowing 85 total receiving yards on the year.
DSTPackersSaints offense still going strong, posting 377.3 total yards/game and 27.7 points per.

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
Washington Redskins
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBRobert Griffin IIIAnother great matchup for RG3. Bucs allowing 275+ pass yards per game & Griffin has been running wild.
RBAlfred MorrisStats say Bucs are best vs. run. Reality is that they've given up double-digit Fantasy points to opposing RBs over last two weeks.
WRPierre GarconIf back should dominate Bucs secondary that has allowed four 100-yard receivers through three weeks.
TEFred DavisHad solid game last week, no longer lost in Redskins offense. If Garcon's out, look Davis' way again.
DSTRedskinsBucs had 36 points in one game, 26 total in other two. Freeman's been sacked twice per week with four interceptions on the year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBJosh FreemanGutsy sleeper. Redskins have allowed 10 pass TDs & over 300 pass yards per QB this year. Freeman has yet to top 250 pass yards.
RBDoug MartinFor all of Redskins' defensive issues, they've allowed just one RB (Darren Sproles) to top 10 Fantasy points. Not sure Martin is a must-start.
WRVincent JacksonSix receivers have scored on Redskins including three last week. Three of those six WRs also had 120+ receiving yards. Jackson's a must.
WRMike WilliamsDecent sleeper given the Redskins' pass defense woes. Problem is he has seven catches in three games, so not many chances for big stats.
TELeGarrette Blount Schiano says he'll use Blount more. Perhaps he means it, perhaps he wants to light fire under Martin.
DSTBuccaneers Redskins' offense has posted 40, 21 and 24 points in three games. Bucs defense has allowed 22.3 points/game. Not a good matchup.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
New York Giants
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBEli ManningHas 4 TDs in 2 of last 3 vs. PHI. Eagles ranked third vs. pass but have only taken on one legitimate passing team.
RBAndre BrownBrown's health, quickness give him edge over Bradshaw. No running back (one fullback) has scored on Philly so far.
RBAhmad BradshawHad 130+ total yards & a receiving TD in only 2011 game at Eagles. Lost 7 carries to Brandon Jacobs in the game. Not sure he'll lose that little this time.
WRVictor CruzEagles killer: Followed up last year's breakout 110-yard, 2 TD game at PHI with 128 yards & TD at home.
WRHakeem NicksHas one TD in last four against Eagles but has too much potential to sit outright. Consider some other options before going with Nicks.
TEMartellus BennettWith a TD and 40+ yards in each game he's too hot to sit. Eagles have yet to allow a TD to a TE but Bennett will test that.
DSTGiantsGood start. Eagles have topped 21 points once through three weeks, totaled 33 points vs. NYG in two games last year.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBMichael VickVick's last 4 TD game came at NYG in 2010. Other two meetings as PHI starter vs. NYG: 1 rush TD, no pass TDs. Risky.
RBLeSean McCoyHas 110+ total yards in 3 of last 4 with two TDs. Giants run D has allowed 12+ Fantasy points to 2 of 3 starting RBs.
WRJeremy MaclinHad 3-game streak of double-digit Fantasy point games vs. NYG snapped in last 2011 meeting. Giants pass D still a concern.
WRDeSean JacksonTouchdownless in last four vs. Giants. Last score came in Vick's breakout game back in 2010. D-Jax has yet to score this year.
TEBrent CelekGiants have yet to allow a TD to a TE this season. Celek failed to score on Giants last year, has yet to score this year.
DSTEaglesEagles have allowed 50 points in last two games but just 617 total yards. Low-end option.

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
Chicago Bears
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBJay CutlerCompleting a gross 52.7 pct. of passes at 6.9 yards/attempt. Has been sacked 11 times. Cowboys have allowed 1 pass TD per game.
RBMatt ForteStarting to look like he'll play. Has 110+ yards in 8 of last 11 games with at least 10 carries.
RBMichael Bush Cowboys have allowed 13+ Fantasy points to RBs in 2 of 3 games. Bush can't get there if Forte's healthy. Is Bush's shoulder healthy?
WRBrandon MarshallDAL has yet to allow a TD or even 60 yards to any WR this year, but he crushed Dallas for 103 yards & TD w/ Miami last year.
DSTBearsGood start. Romo's been sacked 7 times, thrown 3 INTs in three games. Cowboys averaging 15.7 points/game.
Dallas Cowboys
Pos.NameRatingComment
QBTony RomoHas 250+ yards in each start but has 1 TD in last two games. Bears have only allowed 2 passing TDs so far.
RBDeMarco MurrayOnly RB to not post 10+ Fantasy points vs. Bears is banged-up Steven Jackson. DeMarco still has appeal.
WRMiles AustinOnly one WR has topped 100 yards vs. CHI. Two have scored. Austin's big-game streak in some jeopardy.
WRDez Bryant21 straight games without 100 yards receiving. Five straight without a TD. Tough matchup. Keep him benched.
TEJason WittenNine straight games without a TD. Five straight without even 70 yards receiving. Bears defense has not allowed a TE to score.
DSTCowboysDespite offensive struggles Bears averaging 24.7 points/game. But Cutler has a BIG target on his back. Cowboys are worth starting.

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Player News
Aaron Rodgers taking on a tough task Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:02 pm ET) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has his work cut out for him Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Rodgers entered the season as one of the top Fantasy options at quarterback, but will take on the best defense in the league. Last season, Seattle held Fantasy quarterbacks to just 10.89 points per game. That was the lowest rate in the league. The Seahawks DST ranked tops in the league in limiting points and yards last year. On top of that, the team forced the most turnovers.

While Seattle lost three members of the defensive line during the offseason, the club is still expected to have one of NFL’s best defenses. If Seattle struggles to get to Rodgers, that could open things up for the Packers offense.

Given the cost to acquire Rodgers, in a snake or auction draft, he’s probably going to start for most Fantasy teams despite his tough Week 1 matchup. While there are better quarterback options for this week, Rodgers still has a strong potential for dominance. He’s healthy and still has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. It might not be Rodgers best game of the season, but he’s shown that he can put up numbers against even the best defensive clubs.


Percy Harvin looking to start the year on the right foot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:37 pm ET) Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is looking at a strong matchup Week 1 against the Packers.

A quiet preseason was a good preseason for Harvin. After missing nearly all of last season due to a hip injury, Harvin was able to play in all but the final game of the preseason. He missed the fourth game due to a personal issue, and not because of an injury. Harvin caught seven balls for 92 yards in August.

The Packers didn’t boast a strong pass defense last season. The team allowed opposing wide receivers to average 22.94 Fantasy points per game. That wasn’t one of the worst rates in the league, but it was below-average. The team attempted to address this during the offseason, taking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. Despite that, there’s no guarantee the team will perform better in the defensive backfield.

Despite the fact that Harvin is a five-year veteran, there are questions about how he’ll be used with the Seahawks. While Harvin was able to play during the club’s playoff run, it was unclear whether he was actually fully healthy last year. Harvin has shown the ability to be a game-changing wide receiver, so it’s assumed the Seahawks will find ways to get arguably their best playmaker the ball. The club has been been incredibly run-heavy over the past few seasons, but a healthy Harvin could make them more balanced. 


Marshawn Lynch ready to roll Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:35 pm ET) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking to get off to a good start Week 1 against the Packers.

Lynch had an abbreviated preseason, carrying the ball just three times for 16 yards. That’s probably not a bad thing considering his high workload over the past couple years. Lynch also had a brief holdout during the offseason, but reported to camp in shape, and should be ready to roll.

The Packers weren’t particularly strong against the run last season, giving up 19.18 Fantasy points per week to running backs. That was the eighth worst figure in the league. While the team tried to shore up things defensively during the offseason, the loss of B.J. Raji should make it easier for teams to gash the Packers up the middle. 

With that in mind, Lynch should be a strong start. The Seahawks modus operandi the past couple years has been the run game, and that probably won’t change now. There are concerns about Lynch’s workload and lack of preseason reps, but his pedigree and matchup make this a strong start Week 1. 


Russell Wilson ready to shine Week 1?
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:33 pm ET) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson begins his post-Super Bowl year with a strong matchup against the Packers Week 1. 

Wilson performed well during the preseason, completing 78.6 percent of his passes. He threw for three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Wilson also managed three rushing touchdowns to cap off a strong preseason.

His ability to put up solid Fantasy numbers should be tested Week 1. The Packers did not boast a great defense against the pass last season. The team allowed quarterbacks to score 20.65 Fantasy points, which was the seventh worst clip in the league. Green Bay has been proactive in resolving the issue, drafting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round, but it’s unclear how much better the team’s defensive backs will perform. 

The bigger question will be whether the Seahawks open up the offense for Wilson this season. With Marshawn Lynch out for much of the preseason, Wilson showed the ability to carry the team with his arm. Now that Lynch is back, the team could opt to get back to conservative play-calling with the franchise quarterback. Wilson has all the makings of a strong matchup here, but could get the short end of the stick if the Seahawks pound Lynch.


Matt Forte should live up to billing in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:25 pm ET) Bears running back Matt Forte was ranked as a top five Fantasy running back going into the season, and he falls in the top five in both weekly running back rankings from CBSSports.com experts. After setting career highs in rushing yardage, rushing touchdowns, receptions and receiving yardage in 2013, will Forte get this season started off on the right foot in Week 1 against the Bills?

While Buffalo put together a strong defense last season, the team's particular strength was against the pass. Rushers were able to gain 4.4 yards per carry against the Bills, leaving them 23rd in the league in the category. While the Bills did a good job defending against pass-catching backs last season, they now have to play without linebackers Kiko Alonso (season-ending injury) and Nigel Bradham (suspended for Week 1) as well as safety Jairus Byrd (signed with New Orleans).

New defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense was just average defending passes against running backs in Detroit last season. Forte has been excellent against Schwartz, who was the head coach of the Lions from 2009 through 2013. He has rushed for 1,005 yards and averaged 4.74 yards per carry while catching 38 passes for 360 yards in 12 career games against the Lions. Ten of those contests came with Schwartz at the helm, and Forte should be able to continue giving the Bills defensive coordinator nightmares this Sunday.


Martellus Bennett worth starting in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:09 pm ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett posted career-best numbers in 2013, catching 65 passes for 759 yards while matching his career high of five touchdowns. Three of those five scores came in the first two weeks of the season, and he could be on the verge of starting off hot for the third straight season.

Bennett is in danger of getting lost offensively on a week-to-week basis, as there are only so many opportunities to go around for Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and the tight end. He faces a plus matchup in Week 1, with the Bills dealing with a depleted linebacker corps and the loss of free safety Jairus Byrd. While the one thing new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense did well in Detroit last year was defend the tight end, the Bills don't appear to have the personnel to match up with the imposing Bennett.

Bennett falls inside the top 12 in the weekly rankings of both CBSSports.con Fantasy experts, designating him as starter material in standard leagues. We could see a similar line to his opener against the Bengals last season: three receptions, 49 yards and one touchdown.


Khiry Robinson looking to solidify role
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:03 pm ET) Of the Saints' top three running backs, Khiry Robinson's role is the most unclear heading into Week 1 at Atlanta, making him a risky choice in Fantasy despite the favorable matchup.

Mark Ingram is expected to start for the Saints and get the largest percentage of the carries. Pierre Thomas, who led all running backs with 77 receptions last season, still figures to play a big role in the passing game. Robinson, who wasn't nearly as effective as Ingram this preseason, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, could end up being just a change-of-pace option.

If he gets a decent number of touches, he could surprise against a defense that ranked 31st against the run last season, allowing 135.8 yards per game, but that's too big of a gamble for standard 12-team leagues.

Neither Jamey Eisenberg nor Dave Richard ranks Robinson among his top 48 running backs for this week.


Mark Ingram could begin 2014 on right foot
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:58 pm ET) Coming off an impressive preseason in which he started three of the Saints' four games and ran 22 times for 156 yards (averaging 7.1 yards per carry), running back Mark Ingram has a chance to make an even bigger impression Week 1 at Atlanta.

The Falcons ranked 31st against the run last season, allowing 135.8 yards per game.

Ingram didn't do much in two games against them then, rushing nine times for 11 yards in the first and nine times for 32 yards in the second, but he picked up his pace later in the year, rushing 44 times for 249 yards in his final four games (including two playoff games) for an average of 5.7 yards per carry.

Beginning his fourth NFL season, Ingram is expected to play his biggest role yet for the Saints. He'll still split carries with Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson, but with a strong matchup after a favorable preseason, he's not a bad third running back for Week 1. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank him as a top-30 option in non-PPR leagues.


Alshon Jeffery owners should temper Week 1 expectations
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:54 pm ET) Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery enjoyed one of the biggest breakouts of the 2013 season, racking up more than 1,500 total yards and scoring seven touchdowns. As a result, he's been selected in the top 10 at his position in most 2014 Fantasy drafts, placing him in WR1 territory as owners look for a big follow-up. But it's entirely possible his third season may get off to a slow start Sunday when the Bears face the Bills at Soldier Field.

Jeffery feasted on big plays last year, scoring from 45, 46 and 80 yards out, but only one of his touchdowns came over the middle of the field, where the Bills project to be weakest on Sunday. Buffalo was the best team in the league against No. 2 receivers in 2013, per Football Outsiders, thanks to quality cornerback play from Stephen Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin. The latter allowed just two touchdowns all season while breaking up 13 passes, so even if the supremely talented Jeffery gets isolated on the corner, he's no lock to come through with a long score.

Jeffery, who caught just three of his seven TDs on passes from starter Jay Cutler last year, should be primed for another big season. But before Cutler's injury, Jeffery hauled in just one catch in two of his team's first six games. Cutler could favor Brandon Marshall Sunday if he continues to face a soft defense over the middle, potentially leaving Jeffery owners a little disappointed in his Week 1 numbers.


Pierre Thomas could make statement
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7:44 pm ET) Carrying the ball just three times in two games this preseason games didn't exactly relieve concerns of Pierre Thomas playing a reduced role in the Saints running game this season -- a possibility he acknowledged earlier this preseason -- but he has the right matchup to make a statement Week 1 at Atlanta.

The Falcons were dreadful against the run last season, allowing 135.8 yards per game, second-most in the league. Thomas himself took advantage in the second of the two games the Saints played against them last year, picking up 73 yards on 10 carries and 57 on five catches Week 12 at Atlanta.

That second number should give Fantasy owners hope for this matchup. With Darren Sproles and Lance Moore out of the picture, Thomas should still play a significant role in the passing game. He led all running backs with 77 catches last year and had four catches for 66 yards in one of his two preseason games.

CBSSports.com Fantasy Football analyst Jamey Eisenberg likes Thomas enough with this matchup to rank him 21st among running backs this week. Dave Richard isn't as optimistic, ranking him 37th.


 
 
 
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