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Week 8 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer

Everyone's excited about DeMarco Murray after his 25-carry, 253-yard, one-touchdown game against the Rams last week. And everyone's pumped for Murray to have the chance to do it again versus an Eagles run defense that's been horrid for all but one 2011 game (their most recent game).

Murray is worth starting, but there are some concerns about him having the opportunity to not only speed off with a breakaway run but have the chances to get that run. The 25 carries he had last week were the most for a Dallas running back since Marion Barber had 25 against the Bucs in October 2008. No Cowboys back had more than 17 carries (Felix Jones, Week 1) this season, and only one back (Jones) had more than 20 carries in a game last year (at Indianapolis in Week 13). The point is, Jason Garrett typically doesn't run the football a lot, and unless Murray opens the game with another monster touchdown run, he's going to have a tough time getting a lot of work. Additionally, the Eagles will put up plenty of points themselves and force the Cowboys to match if they want to win. They typically don't get that done by handing off.

And here's one other note: Only two running backs -- Fred Jackson and Michael Turner -- have actually been given 20 or more carries against the Eagles this year (Cadillac Williams had 19, no one else has had more than 15). What do those guys have in common? They're proven rushers on teams that typically have a run-first mentality. The Cowboys have a pass-first mentality. Here's hoping it doesn't kill DeMarco Murray's week.

  Go deeper into the week's matchups with our Interactive Fantasy Matchup Magnifier!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Mall of America Field
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QBJosh FreemanHas dominated last two games, but against weak pass defenses. Vikes have allowed 240.2 yards/game, 4 pass TDs in last 5 to QBs.
RBDoug MartinAfter the Cardinals shocked them on the ground Martin's an option but only 2 RBs have topped 80 total yards on MIN.
WRVincent JacksonYou'll start him, but Vikings have allowed just 3 TDs to WRs all year & have done well vs. big wideouts.
WRMike WilliamsWilliams has 4 receptions in each of last 3. Vikings allowing 63.9 yards per game to WRs with 4+ catches.
TEDallas Clark Not sure if I'd buy into Clark even after last week's game. MIN has allowed 4 TDs to TEs this year.
DSTBuccaneersRisky sleeper. 3 of last 4 DSTs to play Vikings have had 10+ Fantasy points, Bucs have done that once in last three games.
Minnesota Vikings
QBChristian PonderPonder has responded to weak games with big ones. Bucs have allowed 275+ yards to 5 of 6 opponents.
RBAdrian PetersonBucs have allowed rush TD to RB in 4 of last 5. AP averaging 102.8 rush yards per game at home.
WRPercy HarvinReceivers averaging 240.3 yards per game against the Bucs. Harvin has 100+ yards in 2 of last 3.
TEKyle RudolphRudolph hasn't gone scoreless in back to back games yet in '12, Bucs have allowed just three TEs to get 7+ Fantasy points.
DSTVikingsToo hot to sit - they've posted 14+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5. But Bucs have scored 22+ points in 4 of last 5.

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Atlanta Falcons
QBMatt RyanThree of last 4 QBs to play PHI has 2 TDs against them. Ryan threw four TDs against them in 2011.
RBMichael TurnerOnly one true RB has scored on the Eagles (a fullback also scored), only four have topped 80 total yards. Not a ton of upside.
WRJulio JonesFive WRs have 10+ Fantasy points against the Eagles in their last four. Jones will keep the Eagles' hands full.
WRRoddy WhiteEagles have allowed four 100-yard receivers in their last four games. Roddy has 1 TD in his last 7 road games.
TETony GonzalezNo starting TE has posted more than 6 Fantasy points vs. PHI this year, only one TD has been allowed to a tight end by Philly.
DSTFalconsFive of six DSTs to play PHI this year have posted 11+ Fantasy points.
Philadelphia Eagles
QBMichael VickTough call: Falcons' D line & secondary should pressure Vick but Eagles have been stellar with backs against the wall before.
RBLeSean McCoyThree RBs have totaled 90 yards in Falcons' last two games. RBs have averaged 171.0 total yards per game in last two vs. ATL.
WRJeremy MaclinHas played ATL each year of his career. Totals: 24 catches, 413 yards, four TDs! Falcons have allowed TD to WR in each of last three.
WRDeSean JacksonWas shut down by Falcons in 2011 and limited in 2010 but faces Atlanta after they surrendered 104 yards & TD vs. Denarius Moore in Week 6.
TEBrent CelekJust one TD allowed to TE s in the Falcons' last five games. Struggled in 2 of last 3 vs. ATL.
DSTEaglesExpect more blitzing from this defense but not enough to make them valuable against the Falcons.

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Carolina Panthers
QBCam NewtonEasy week to pass on Newton. No QB has tossed 2 TDs vs. CHI, Cam has 2+ TDs in just two games.
RBJonathan StewartWas on the field for 55 of Panthers' 62 plays last week, led the team in carries. He's the better Panthers RB in a bad matchup.
RBDeAngelo Williams Can't trust him after getting two carries last week. Bears haven't allowed a rush TD to a RB since Week 1.
WRSteve SmithScalded Chicago for 181 yards in '11 but has 175 yards in his last three. Bears have given up just two 100-yard games to WRs so far.
WRBrandon LaFell Scored last week but has a long way to go to earn the trust of Fantasy owners. CHI has allowed just 4 TDs to WRs all year.
TEGreg OlsenHe scored on his old team last year but has just four TDs since then (18 games).
DSTPanthersThree of last four DSTs to face Bears didn't top 10 Fantasy points. Bears have allowed just 5.0 sacks in last three games.
Chicago Bears
QBJay CutlerCarolina might be 1-5 but QBs have one or fewer TDs against it in all but one game this year.
RBMatt FortePanthers allowing 184.3 total yards to RBs this season but only one TD (a catch) to backs in their last three.
RBMichael BushPanthers haven't allowed a rush TD since Week 3 but all three rush TDs scored by RBs have been from a yard out.
WRBrandon MarshallPanthers have allowed 4 TDs to WRs in their last four games with three WRs topping 90 yards.
DSTBearsThe unit's on fire: 15+ Fantasy points in 5 of last 6 games. Panthers have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to 3 of last 4 DSTs.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, LP Field
Indianapolis Colts
QBAndrew LuckTitans have given up 16 pass TDs (at least 2 per week), four 250+ yard passers. Luck has four 2+ TD games, but all at home.
RBVick BallardTitans run D has allowed 119.3 rush yards to RBs per game and has given up a 100-total-yard running back in each of last three. Ballard had first 100 total yard game last week.
WRReggie WayneTitans' pass defense got rocked last week, has allowed 3 TDs to WRs in last two weeks.
WRDonnie AveryAvery continues to get looks but do little with it, but that could change vs. porous Titans pass D.
TECoby FleenerWorth considering. Tennessee has allowed 6+ Fantasy points to seven TEs in 7 games.
DSTColtsDon't look now but DSTs vs. TEN haven't had double-digit weeks since Hasselbeck started. Colts defense iffy as it is.
Tennessee Titans
QBMatt HasselbeckGreat sleeper for Week 8. 5 of 6 QBs vs. IND have thrown at least 2 TDs, four have 240+ yards.
RBChris JohnsonColts run D has allowed 8 rush TDs & 124.5 rush yards per game. Must start.
WRKenny BrittColts have allowed 7 TDs to WRs in their last three, though no WR has topped 90 yards vs. IND since Week 2.
WRNate WashingtonHad season-high six catches at Buffalo last week, scored in each game vs. Indy in 2011.
WRKendall WrightMultiple receivers have caught touchdowns in each of last three vs. IND, so Wright has some sleeper appeal.
TEJared CookHad a 100-yard game vs. Indy in 2011 but has yet to score on Colts. Indy's been awesome vs. TEs this year.
DSTTitans Don't use them. Defenses are sacking Luck (16 on the year) but not getting much else.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lambeau Field
Jacksonville Jaguars
QBBlaine Gabbert Packers' pass defense stats are on the up and up and will continue to be vs. Jacksonville.
RBRashad JenningsPackers have allowed 3 TDs to RBs over last two. Jennings a versatile threat with 100+ total yards last week.
WRCecil ShortsWRs have caught 6 TDs vs. GB in last five but just 1 in their last two. Shorts a deep sleeper.
WRJustin Blackmon Can't trust him. Plays a ton, has potential, but hasn't scored since the preseason.
TEMarcedes Lewis Only one TE has scored on the Packers over their last five games. Don't like Lewis' chances.
DSTJaguars The 49ers, Bears and Texans DST have totaled 11 or fewer Fantasy points vs. the Packers. Jags can't be trusted.
Green Bay Packers
QBAaron RodgersOf course you're starting him. Jags have allowed 240+ yards & 2 TDs in each of last four games to QBs. Rodgers should destroy them.
RBAlex GreenJags run defense has gotten tough (1 rush TD to RBs in last four) and Green could start losing carries.
WRJordy NelsonJaguars have allowed 4 TDs, 181.0 yards to WRs in last three games. Nelson's a must.
WRRandall CobbRidiculous: Has 19 catches for 273 yards & 3 TDs in last three games. Losing Cedric Benson was best thing for Cobb's workload.
WRJames JonesMissed his first red-zone target of the season last week in game with season-high 10 targets overall. Keep him active.
TEJermichael FinleyJaguars have been surprisingly good vs. tight ends, Finley's been a major disappointment.
DSTPackersEach of last three DSTs to play Jaguars have had 11+ Fantasy points. Even without Woodson they should play well.

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Miami Dolphins
QBRyan TannehillJets have allowed just three pass TDs, no 300 yard games since Revis' injury. Tannehill went scoreless vs. NYJ in Week 3.
RBReggie BushJets held Bush to just 61 rush yards in Week 3, but he had just 10 carries. They've allowed 152.3 total yards per game to RBs over their last three.
RBDaniel Thomas Jets have allowed 7 rush TDs this year but just one in their last three games.
WRDavone BessDecent PPR option. Has 5+ catches in each of last two vs. NYJ including five for 86 yards in Week 3.
WRBrian HartlineJets' pass D is solid vs. WRs. No TDs since Week 2, no 90+ yard wideouts allowed all year.
TEAnthony FasanoDesperation sleeper. Jets have allowed at least 4 Fantasy points to all but one starting TE they've faced, including Fasano.
DSTDolphinsJets QBs have been picked off seven times, sacked 15 times, scored under 24 points four times.
New York Jets
QBMark SanchezThough only one QB has 2+ TDs vs. MIA this year, Fins giving up 303.0 pass yards per game. Sanchez had 306 with a score in Week 3.
RBShonn GreeneMiami hasn't allowed an 80-yard rusher or a rush TD since Week 1. Greene had 49 yards on 21 touches vs. MIA in Week 3.
WRJeremy KerleyHas 70+ yards in each of last two vs. MIA including a 7-yard TD in Week 3. Dolphins have allowed eight WRs to get 7+ Fantasy points through six games.
WRStephen HillHas seven targets in 2 of last 3 (17 overall) but just seven catches in those three games.
TEDustin KellerNo TE has scored on Miami but three have had 60+ yards against them. Keller has 4 TDs in last 5 vs. MIA.
DSTJetsSleeper. Every defense except Oakland has posted 12+ Fantasy points vs. Miami. Jets have topped that number three times.

New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams -- Sunday, 5:00 p.m. ET, Wembley Stadium
New England Patriots
QBTom BradyThe Rams' pass defense might have been figured out: They've allowed five pass TDs (no INTs) over their last two games.
RBStevan RidleyInteresting matchup. Rams have held opposing RBs to zero TDs & 36.0 rush yards per game over their last three but Ridley's busted through tough run defenses.
RBShane VereenStill like the idea of stashing Vereen on deep-league rosters.
WRWes WelkerRams were solid vs. WRs until last three weeks: 177.0 yards per game to WRs with four TDs in that span.
WRBrandon LloydSixty-five targets, 35 catches, one touchdown. Even with a good matchup you have to wonder if you can trust him.
TERob GronkowskiRams have been great against tight ends but Gronkowski still a threat to do damage.
TEAaron HernandezHad his share of targets and end-zone passes go his way last week. Remains a must-start.
DSTPatriotsDSTs have totaled between 9 and 11 Fantasy points over last four weeks. Not the best option but OK to start.
St. Louis Rams
QBSam BradfordBig-time sleeper. Pats have allowed 290+ yards to each of last 5 QBs (four with 3+ TDs).
RBSteven JacksonJackson's been hot but only three RBs have totaled over 80 yards vs. Pats with 2 TDs allowed.
RBDaryl RichardsonHas had 10+ touches each of last two games for an average of 89.0 yards per game.
WRChris GivensHas a 50+ yard catch in each of last four games. Five-plus targets in each of last three. Played more snaps than S-Jax last week.
WRBrandon GibsonHas 16 targets in last two as the Rams' top-targeted WR. Pats have allowed 7+ Fantasy points to 7 WRs in their last three games.
TELance KendricksSleeper. Pats have allowed a TD to TE in 4 of last 5. Kendricks hasn't had more than 4 targets since Week 3.
DSTRams There isn't a DST yet to exceed 10 Fantasy points vs. the Pats and the Rams aren't expected to be the first.

San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Cleveland Browns Stadium
San Diego Chargers
QBPhilip RiversThis is a get-right game, if not a shootout. 4 of last 6 QBs vs. CLE have thrown 3 TDs and every QB has had 2+ TDs.
RBRyan MathewsWouldn't be surprised to see Chargers turn to him more out of the bye. Browns allowing 194.7 total yards per game to RBs
WRMalcom FloydShould get a piece of the 202.8 yards per game the Browns allow to wide receivers. Has 5 catches each of last two weeks.
TEAntonio GatesBrowns have cleaned up vs. tight ends (2 TDs allowed, no 70-yard receivers) but Gates too big a factor in Chargers offense.
DSTChargersAfter allowing four DSTs to top 12+ Fantasy points, Browns have held last three to 8 Fantasy points or fewer.
Cleveland Browns
QBBrandon WeedenHas 2 TDs in each of last three games, Chargers have allowed 2+ pass TDs in each of last four games.
RBMontario HardestySD has allowed 9+ Fantasy points to four RBs through six games, allowed 4 total TDs to RBs.
RBChris Ogbonnaya Deep, deep PPR sleeper if Trent Richardson winds up missing the game. Has been effective in the past as a third-down back.
WRJosh GordonTD streak should stay alive vs. SD defense that's allowed 7 TDs to WRs over last two games!
WRGreg LittleGood sleeper. Not only are Bolts yielding tons of TDs but have given up 240.5 yards per game to WRs.
WRJosh CooperAnother deep sleeper. Has 11 targets over last two weeks, could figure as eventual red-zone target.
DSTBrownsChargers have allowed 18 sacks, nine interceptions and nine forced fumbles. Browns could get a piece.

Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Seattle Seahawks
QBRussell WilsonLions have allowed 2 TDs in 3 of last 5 games and 30+ rush yards to QBs in 3 of last 4.
RBMarshawn LynchDetroit hasn't allowed a rush TD to a RB since Week 2 but has given up at least 80 total yards to every RB with 17+ carries.
WRSidney RiceSleeper. Lions have given up 389 yards and two TDs just to WRs in their last two games.
DSTSeahawks5 of 6 DSTs vs. Lions have posted double-digit Fantasy points. Seahawks have 10+ Fantasy points in all but one game.
Detroit Lions
QBMatthew StaffordAnother difficult matchup. Only Tom Brady has posted over 20 Fantasy points on Seahawks. Stafford has just two 20+ Fantasy games.
RBMikel LeshoureThe Niners used excellent blocking to gash the Hawks last week. Not sure Lions can do the same thing to help Leshoure.
WRCalvin JohnsonYou'll start him but the matchup is tough. Can you believe Calvin has yet to catch a TD pass from Stafford this year?
WRTitus YoungWill see a major bump in playing time with Burleson out. Had season-high 81 yards last week.
WRRyan BroylesIs the NCAA all-time leader in receptions. Gives Stafford a good-hands man out of the slot.
TEBrandon PettigrewSeahawks have done well vs. TEs (Vernon Davis went catchless last week). Pettigrew hasn't scored in four games, has under 40 yards in each of last two.
DSTLionsWeek 8 sleeper. Seahawks have scored under 20 points in all but two games including all of their road games.

Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Washington Redskins
QBRobert Griffin IIIRG3 too hot to sit but Steelers' defense has come around over last few games, have played better at home.
RBAlfred MorrisOpposing RBs have posted 11+ Fantasy points in 3 of last 4 vs. PIT.
WRSantana MossPlaying time should go up for Moss after scoring in 3 of last 5 games. Steelers have allowed 6 pass TDs to WRs this year.
TEChris Cooley Use him at your own risk. Steelers have been hit or miss vs. TEs but not sure how much Cooley can be trusted.
DSTRedskins Each of the last five DSTs vs. PIT have posted 9 Fantasy points or fewer. Redskins DST can't be trusted.
Pittsburgh Steelers
QBBen RoethlisbergerMust start. Every QB vs. WAS has 299+ yards passing, all but two have 2+ pass TDs. Big Ben should thrive.
RBRashard MendenhallIf he's active he's pretty good. Redskins allowed two rush TDs last week and 8+ Fantasy points to four RBs in their last three.
RBJonathan DwyerWorth a start if Mendenhall's out. Every RB vs. WAS with 15+ carries has posted at least 9 Fantasy points.
WRMike WallaceRedskins secondary looked pretty good last week until Victor Cruz burned them on a 77-yard bomb. Wallace can do that.
WRAntonio BrownSkins have allowed a WR to get at least 7 receptions each of last three games. Brown has 7 catches in 3 of his last 4 games.
TEHeath MillerRedskins have allowed TEs to score and/or get 70+ yards all but one game this year. Miller's a threat to score again.
DSTSteelersGiants sacked RG3 four times, intercepted him once and recovered three fumbles last week -- and only got 13 Fantasy points.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
Oakland Raiders
QBCarson PalmerFive of six QBs vs. KC have 2+ TDs. Palmer's thrown 2+ TDs just once this season but has 290+ yards in 4 of 6 games.
RBDarren McFaddenDMC's recent history vs. KC is rather ugly but Chiefs have allowed 196.3 total yards to RBs in their last three games.
WRDenarius MooreChiefs have allowed 8 TDs to WRs this year including three in their last game at Tampa Bay. Moore has scored in two straight.
WRDarrius Heyward-BeyHe's a sleeper. DHB played in 78 pct.of Raiders plays last week and looked fresh (seven targets, four catches, 85 yards).
TEBrandon MyersLow expectations here. Chiefs have come around vs. tight ends over last three weeks, Myers averaging 55.6 yards per game.
DSTRaidersEvery DST vs. KC has posted at least 11 Fantasy points, three have found the end zone. Raiders are a sleeper again.
Kansas City Chiefs
QBBrady Quinn Not only have two QBs had 2+ TDs vs. OAK but only two have 250+ yards passing against them. Quinn might struggle.
RBJamaal CharlesRaiders have allowed 100 total yards & a TD to 3 of 6 starting RBs they've faced. Charles has good track record vs. KC, but will Hillis impact him?
WRDwayne BoweQB situation makes him a risk but he scored in last meeting vs. OAK with Kyle Orton as his QB. OAK has allowed 163.0 yards on average to WRs over last three.
DSTChiefsEach of last three DSTs to play OAK have posted 10+ Fantasy points (8.0 sacks, two fumbles recovered, two INTs).

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
New York Giants
QBEli ManningHas at least 300 yards & 2+ TDs in each of last three in Dallas, but Boys limited him in Week 1 & have allowed just one QB to throw 2+ TDs all year.
RBAhmad BradshawBradshaw has tallied 12+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 vs. Dallas, has 12+ Fantasy points in each of last three overall.
RBAndre BrownDesperation choice. Each of last 4 rush TDs allowed by DAL have been from 3 yards or closer from the goal line.
WRVictor CruzCowboys did nice job against him in Week 1 and have allowed just 4 TDs to WRs all year, but Cruz too explosive to even think about sitting.
WRHakeem NicksLooks like he's getting closer to 100 percent. Matchup's tough but he's scored and/or caught for 100 yards in 4 of 6 career games vs. DAL.
TEMartellus BennettDallas has allowed 6+ Fantasy points to TEs in 4 of 6 games including a TD with 40 yards to Bennett in Week 1.
DSTGiantsProbably worth rolling with; Cowboys offense did well in Week 1 but have scored under 24 points four times in five weeks since.
Dallas Cowboys
QBTony RomoEvery team has thrown for 240+ pass yards vs. NYG, four have 2+ TDs. Romo has 275+ yards & 2+ TDs in 4 of his last 5 against the Giants.
RBFelix JonesExpected to be limited if he plays, which is a problem. Giants have struggled vs. physical, volume-carry running backs. Felix isn't one of those backs.
RBPhillip TannerIf Murray and Felix are out for this one, Tanner's a decent sleeper for 15 carries and a possible touchdown. Otherwise he's a desperation choice.
WRDez BryantHas at least 70 yards or 1+ TD in every game vs. NYG (18-363-4 in five games). Giants allowing 182.1 yards per game to WRs with 10 TDs.
WRMiles AustinHas never had two solid games vs. NYG in a year, but Giants secondary in '12 is hit-or-miss. Austin surprisingly third on DAL in targets.
TEJason WittenWitten's gone scoreless in last four vs. NYG with 69 yards or fewer in each game. Giants have yet to allow a TD to a TE, only one has had 60+ yards.
DSTCowboysThe last five DSTs to take on the Giants have averaged 4.2 Fantasy points. Cowboys DST averaging 8.0 points per week.

New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
New Orleans Saints
QBDrew Brees4 of 6 QBs vs. DEN have tossed 2+ TDs but none have thrown for 300+ yards. Bet Brees will be the first.
RBDarren SprolesBroncos have allowed only three RBs to top 10+ Fantasy points in six games, but if Saints throw a bunch he'll get his.
RBPierre ThomasDesperation option. Has 10+ carries in each of last five games but just two with over 50 total yards.
WRMarques ColstonNo one's hotter than Colston but it's worth noting Broncos secondary has held WRs to one 80+ yard game and one TD over their last three.
WRLance MooreIndoors or out, the guy's hot. 47 targets, 28 catches in five games and has been good for 6+ Fantasy points in four of them.
TEJimmy GrahamExpect a solid game if he plays. Broncos have struggled with tight ends all year, allowed 2 TDs to Antonio Gates in Week 6.
DSTSaints Saints have yet to exceed 11 Fantasy points this year. Don't like their chances against a strong and rested Broncos offense.
Denver Broncos
QBPeyton ManningGotta love him. Saints' pass D is awful, yielding 319.0 pass yards per game with 13 total TDs to QBs. Peyton has 300+ yards in each of last four overall.
RBWillis McGaheeSaints allowing 187.1 total yards per game to RBs, have allowed a 100+ total yard RB in each of last 4. McGahee is a must.
WRDemaryius ThomasNew Orleans has allowed 8 TDs to wideouts in their last four games including three last week.
WREric DeckerA must. Saints giving up 216.7 yards per game to wideouts. Six receivers have 90+ yards against them on the year.
TEJoel DreessenDallas Clark, who hasn't done diddly since 2009, managed to burn the Saints for a TD last week.
DSTBroncosSaints have been tough on DSTs, so it might not be the right week for this one unless you're expecting around 10 Fantasy points.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
San Francisco 49ers
QBAlex Smith No QB has had 20 Fantasy points against the Cards this year. Smith's exceeded 20 Fantasy points thrice in 2012.
RBFrank GoreWheels have come off the Cards run defense: They've given up 295 rush yards & 3 TDs to good RBs over last two weeks.
WRMichael CrabtreeThough Crabtree has a decent history vs. Cardinals (three games with 10+ Fantasy points in last five), not sure he can be trusted.
WRMario Manningham Take away the game vs. Miami and the Cardinals haven't allowed a 100-yard WR. Only 4 WRs have 10+ Fantasy points against ARI.
TEVernon DavisThe good: Has a TD in 3 of his last 5 vs. ARI. The bad: Those 3 TDs came in SF. The ugly: Cards 2nd best in Fantasy points allowed to TEs.
DST49ersObvious must start. Each of the last four opposing DSTs vs. ARI have posted 15+ Fantasy points.
Arizona Cardinals
QBJohn SkeltonNiners have allowed one passing TD over last four with no more than 193 yards passing per game.
RBLaRod Stephens-HowlingTrue, Niners have allowed back-to-back 100-yard games and LSH is coming off one of his own, but still a very risky pick.
WRLarry FitzgeraldHas TD in each of last 3 vs. SF and a stud, but Niners have allowed just two TDs to WRs and 133.7 yards per game to wideouts.
WRAndre RobertsWeird: Has had 6 Fantasy points or less in each game following a matchup in which he scored.
DSTCardinalsFive of seven DSTs Niners have faced have scored 10 Fantasy points or less but Cardinals have posted 10+ Fantasy points in every game this year.

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Player News
Vikings sign defensive end Caesar Rayford
by Jason Butt |
(9:31 pm ET) The Vikings signed defensive end Caesar Rayford on Wednesday, Rayford's representation, the Willis & Woy Sports group announced.

Rayford attended the NFL veterans combine, which gave him another look for NFL teams. Rayford was last in the CFL and the Arena League. He was last in the NFL in 2013 when he was with the Cowboys. 

Broncos LB Reggie Walker said he'll add versatility to position
by Jason Butt |
(9:19 pm ET) Linebacker Reggie Walker is all right with doing whatever the Broncos coaching staff asks of him. 

Walker, in an interview with, said one of his biggest assets as a football player is the ability to play multiple positions as a linebacker. However, his primary position is at inside linebacker. 

"I’ve had to play in multiple positions throughout my football career; I can do a lot," Walker said. "I think I can do a lot very well. Hopefully I can come out here and show that and I’m going to be ready to compete."

Walker will earn his pay check on special teams. That was a role he played with the Chargers and one the Broncos will rely on him for as well. 

"Special teams is all a mindset," Walker said. "It’s all just about who’s willing to work harder and I’m going to work as hard as I can so I’ll be great at it."

Browns' Randy Starks wants to 'take care of the defensive line'
by Jason Butt |
(9:03 pm ET) One attribute that defensive lineman Randy Starks is looking to bring to the Browns is leadership. 

Coming from Miami, Starks is hoping to be an outspoken leader to the younger members on the defensive line. Starks added that he doesn't necessarily want to try and assert his authority over the whole defense. 

“I’m not trying to come here and take over the whole defense," Starks said on Sirius XM radio, via "I’m just trying to take care of the defensive line, and that will help take care of the defense itself. Because we have (Karlos) Dansby and Joe Haden to take care of their respective positions.”

Starks recorded 28 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks in 15 games in 2014. In 11 seasons, Starks has only been to the playoffs twice. He's hoping that changes with the Browns. 

“That’s the same thing I told (coach Mike Pettine): I’m trying to win games," Starks said. "I’m trying to get to the playoffs. And we’re on the same page.”

Cardinals' Kareem Martin could move from DE to OLB
by Jason Butt |
(8:49 pm ET) Cardinals pass-rusher Kareem Martin could be going from having his hand in the dirt to standing up with the intent of rushing the passer. 

Martin, who spent his rookie season at defensive end, is being considered for a move to outside linebacker, coach Bruce Arians told the team's website

"With his length, I wouldn't say he's (San Francisco’s) Aldon Smith at this point in his career, but he's got that body style and he's shown some stuff off the edge,” Arians said. “So we are going to look at him to see if he can play in space at all. That might be a spot where he can find his niche as a pass rusher.”

Martin actually spent one day during his rookie year in the outside linebackers meeting room before making the move to defensive end. When Martin worked with the scout team, he would occasionally work as an outside linebacker.

“Being on the edge won’t be so foreign to me,” Martin said. “I’m ready for it.” 

Ravens' Steve Bisciotti: Haloti Ngata could return in 2016
by Jason Butt |
(7:38 pm ET) In a conference call with PSL ticket holders, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti didn't rule out the possibility of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata returning to the organization in 2016. 

The Ravens tried to restructure Ngata's contract but were unable to, and thus traded him to the Lions. Ngata is in the final year of a four-year, $48.5 million contract he signed after the 2011 season started. 

Ngata was drafted by the Ravens in the first round in 2006. In his nine-year career, he's totaled 445 tackles and 25.5 sacks. 

Ravens working on contract extension with G Marshal Yanda
by Jason Butt |
(7:22 pm ET) The Ravens are working on a contract extension with right guard Marshal Yanda, owner Steve Bisciotti said on a conference call with PSL ticket holders. 

Yanda is slated to earn a $5.5 million base salary and carry an $8.45 million cap number heading into 2015, the final year of his contract. Yanda's regarded as one of the top interior linemen in the NFL, making him a prime candidate for the Ravens to work a new deal out with. 

Jets re-sign offensive tackle Ben Ijalana
by Jason Butt |
(5:44 pm ET) The Jets announced on Wednesday that they have re-signed offensive tackle Ben Ijalana

Ijalana has been with the Jets the previous two seasons after the organization claimed him of of waivers from the Colts prior to the beginning of the 2013 regular season. The Colts selected Ijalana in the second round of the 2011 draft. 

Reports: Stefan Wisniewski visited Jaguars, Patriots
by Jason Butt |
(5:30 pm ET) The Jaguars hosted free-agent center Stefen Wisniewski on a visit on Wednesday, according to a report from the Florida Times-Union.

Wisniewski also recently visited the Patriots, according to, with both New England and Jacksonville in need of interior offensive linemen. Wisniewski spent the past four years with the Raiders, appearing in 61 games. 

Jets sign linebacker Jamari Lattimore
by Jason Butt |
(5:24 pm ET) The Jets announced on Wednesday that they have signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Jamari Lattimore

Lattimore spent the previous four seasons with the Packers. Lattimore signed with the Packers in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State. He's played inside linebacker and special teams for Green Bay. 

In 2014, Lattimore started five games and totaled 35 tackles. 

Vikings sign backup quarterback Mike Kafka
by Jason Butt |
(5:20 pm ET) The Vikings have signed free-agent quarterback Mike Kafka , according to his agent Mike McCartney

Kafka recently threw at the first-ever NFL veterans combine. He's been a career backup since being selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Eagles. Kafka has only appeared in four career games, going 11 of 16 for 107 yards and two interceptions. 

Kafka has also had stints with the Patriots, Jaguars and Buccaneers.