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Week 12 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer

Two running back situations have rocked the Fantasy world this week: Kevin Smith went from out-of-the-NFL to the Lions' starter in three weeks time, and Fred Jackson will miss the rest of the season with a fibula fracture. What does it mean for this week?

Let's start with Smith, who looked fantastic last week as he throttled the pitiful Panthers run defense for 201 total yards and three total touchdowns. While doing that he proved to the Lions coaches that he can deliver the versatility, speed and even pass protection skills they've been desperate for since Jahvid Best went down. Don't forget that as a rookie he led the Lions with 1,262 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 starts before struggling and getting hurt in 2009. Best is still sidelined -- who knows if he'll return this year -- and Maurice Morris will probably accept a role as a change-of-pace back. The team is desperate to get their run game going to take some pressure off of Matthew Stafford. Just like that, Smith has snared a rare 20-touch job.

Now he'll take on a Packers defense on Thanksgiving that has allowed a rushing touchdown in four straight games and a running back to top 100 total yards in three of their last four. The timing is right and the matchup is favorable for Smith to at the very least be productive. How about 201 total yards and three touchdowns? Won't happen. But if he gives you a third of that, you'll be pleased that you started him.

The end of Jackson's season in Buffalo signals a similar opportunity for C.J. Spiller to become a big-carry back in Buffalo. But the former first-round pick has been anything but effective through 24 NFL games, totaling 398 rush yards, 239 receiving yards, two touchdowns from scrimmage and a lot of limited action. He's never had more than nine carries in a game, never more than five receptions at once. Why? A combination of never adjusting to the NFL game and not knowing the Bills' playbook has always been suspected. Fred Jackson playing consistently well has also pushed Spiller to the sideline. With Jackson gone, Spiller will be the Bills' top back for better or for worse.

However, this isn't the week to ride him and expect big things. Buffalo's offensive line has fallen apart as multiple starters have been lost for the year, none bigger than center Eric Wood. Additionally, the Bills claimed running back Tashard Choice off waivers and have rookie rusher Johnny White on staff. Both could get in the mix, especially if head coach Chan Gailey still isn't ready to trust Spiller for more than a dozen touches. Choice worked with Gailey while in college at Georgia Tech and White was a fifth-round draft pick by the Bills and has some decent versatility and speed himself. The hunch is that Spiller will start and White will get a crack to play in short-yardage situations. Choice's role is totally up in the air. White is actually an intriguing deep sleeper given Spiller's lack of production.

What's more, the Bills are playing at the Jets, who have started to improve against the run. They've allowed one touchdown to a running back over their last five games (Tim Tebow had one last week, though) with one 100 total yard running back in that span -- Fred Jackson. It would be a huge surprise for Spiller, who has never totaled more than 84 yards in a game in his career, to nick up the Jets.

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

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions -- Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Houston Texans
QBMatt SchaubLions have allowed 2 pass TDs in 7 of last 9 games but less than 250 yards in four straight. Schaub is safe, not sensational.
RBArian Foster5 of 7 stud RBs have posted 10-plus Fantasy points vs. Lions this season.
WRAndre JohnsonLions have allowed 5 TDs to WRs over last four but no 100-yard games given up since Week 6.
TEOwen DanielsLions have allowed 3 TDs to TEs over last four. Daniels has 4+ catches in 5 of last 6.
DSTTexansLions averaging just over 400 yards per game & 23 points per game on the season. Could be rocky week for the Texans.
Detroit Lions
QBMatthew StaffordAfter Jags went bombs away vs. Texans you can expect Stafford to do the same. Has rebounded with big numbers after each of his last four with under 20 Fantasy points and is coming off such a game.
RBMikel LeshoureHOU hasn't allowed a rush TD all year, only have allowed three 100-total-yard RBs. Matchup might result in limited work for Leshoure, who has under 10 receiving yards in each of last four.
RBKevin SmithDecent flier in deep PPR leagues. Texans have seen three RBs get 5+ catches over their last four games.
WRCalvin JohnsonTexans have allowed back-to-back 100-yard WRs with Justin Blackmon go off for 236 yards last week. Of course you're starting Calvin (24 targets last two games).
WRRyan BroylesThe good: has caught 100 percent of his targets over last three weeks. The bad: Has had nine targets over those three. Should play a lot, decent sleeper with Titus Young out.
TEBrandon PettigrewHas 7+ targets in three of last four games but TEs vs. HOU with 7+ targets have done zilch. Only one No. 1 TE (Marcedes Lewis last week) has scored on Houston.
DSTLions Matt Schaub has thrown two INTs in each of last two games with two-plus sacks in four of last five. Lions would be hard pressed to post big numbers.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys -- Thursday, 4:15 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
Washington Redskins
QBRobert Griffin IIIDon't look now but Dallas has allowed 2 pass TDs in each of last two games. Expect RG3 to fire off some deep balls and test the Cowboys secondary.
RBAlfred MorrisDallas has allowed 100 total yards to three straight RBs and Morris is doing more work on third downs. He should do well.
WRSantana MossMoss' last six games are unreal: 25 targets, 15 catches, 277 yards, five TDs. Has 7+ Fantasy points in each of last four vs. Dallas.
WRPierre Garcon Two of his catches last week went for negative yardage and he's clearly not 100 percent. Only five WRs have scored 10+ Fantasy points vs. DAL this season.
TELogan PaulsenIf the Browns exposed the Cowboys secondary for a couple of TE scores last week, the Redskins can too. Paulsen has 6+ targets in three of last four.
DSTRedskinsFour of the last six DSTs to play the Cowboys have scored under 10 Fantasy points. Don't expect a big week from the Skins.
Dallas Cowboys
QBTony RomoWith running backs a question mark Romo might have to throw a ton. Washington has allowed 21+ Fantasy points to 7 of 10 QBs they've faced, allowed 250+ yards to Romo in each of last four meetings (just 5 TDs).
RBLance Dunbar Undrafted rookie averaging 3.4 yards per carry this year, might not get a ton of work. Skins have allowed one rush TD over last three games.
WRDez BryantWRs have scored at least one TD in 8 of 10 games vs. WAS this season (just one in last three). Dez has scored in two straight, has 10+ Fantasy points in three of his last four and has a TD in 7 of 11 career November games.
WRMiles AustinSeems Dez is the No. 1 guy for Dallas. Austin has under 80 yards in 7 of 10 games. Redskins have allowed two 80-yard WRs in last four.
TEJason WittenWashington has given up seven TDs to TEs & 6+ Fantasy points to eight TEs in 10 games. Witten has scored in 2 of last 3 vs. WAS.
DSTCowboysOnly three DSTs have topped 10 Fantasy points vs. WAS all year. Cowboys have posted 10+ Fantasy points just four times. Can't trust them.

New England Patriots at New York Jets -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
New England Patriots
QBTom BradyWhat great Jets pass defense? Gang Green rocked for 2+ pass TDs in three of last four including Brady going for 259 yards with the scores. Brady has 6 TDs in last 3 vs. NYJ.
RBStevan RidleyJets allowing 116.0 rush yards per game over last three with 2 rush TDs. Ridley has scored in three straight, was held to 65 yards (no TDs) vs. Jets in Week 7.
WRWes WelkerNew York has allowed five touchdowns to wideouts over its last two games. Welker's targets could head North with Gronkowski out.
WRJulian EdelmanBig time sleeper. Had seven targets last week when Gronk was healthy. Should continue to see some playing time. Jets allowing 135.5 yards per game to receivers over their last two.
WRBrandon LloydHad eight targets in Week 7 meeting vs. Jets. Hasn't had that many since and has had under 50 yards in four straight games.
TEAaron HernandezJets kept him under wraps last year (97 total yards, no TDs in 2 games) but he's too explosive a player to keep on the sideline (unless he's inactive of course).
DSTPatriotsThree of the last four DSTs vs. NYJ have scored 18+ Fantasy points (Rams got smashed up last week). Jets have allowed 3+ sacks and at least one forced fumble each of last four games.
New York Jets
QBMark SanchezPats have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 6 of last 8 with six QBs getting 300+ yards in that span. But Sanchez had 328 yards & one TD in Week 7 meeting.
RBShonn GreeneNew England likely to key in on run game, though that didn't stop Greene before (88 total yards & TD at NE in Week 7). Pats have allowed 3 TDs to RBs in their last two.
RBBilal PowellPlayed mostly in passing situations last week but scored on third-down red-zone carries. Has two career games with 10+ carries so not a guy to trust.
WRJeremy KerleyHasn't scored in seven games, under 60 yards in five of those seven. You can do better than this, even in a positive matchup.
TEDustin KellerPats have allowed 60+ yards to three of last four starting TEs they've face with 2 TDs.
DSTJetsNo DST has posted more than 10 Fantasy points vs. NE this year with the last three totaling one whole point. Can't use the Jets.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
Atlanta Falcons
QBMatt RyanTricky: Bucs have allowed 250+ yards to 9 of 10 opposing QBs but Ryan has never had a 20-point Fantasy game at Tampa. Does have three 2 TD games at the Ship but two came with two INTs.
RBMichael TurnerBucs have allowed just four RBs to total 90+ yards but has allowed a TD to RB in 7 of last 9. Only hope is that Turner scores, which he's done in 3 of last 4 vs. TB.
RBJacquizz RodgersFalcons can exploit Bucs with heavy dose of Rodgers on screens. Bucs have allowed 223 receiving yards to RBs over the last three weeks!
WRRoddy WhiteYou'll start him at the Bucs and their weak pass defense (WRs averaging 202.3 yards per game in last three against TB with 1+ TD in each) but White hasn't scored in four outdoor games this season.
WRJulio JonesHad 10 catches for 191 yards and two scores in two games vs. TB last year.
TETony GonzalezBucs have yielded three TDs to TEs in the last three weeks. Gonzalez will be vital if the Falcons go without Julio Jones.
DSTFalconsBucs have scored 27+ points in each of last six, totaled 400+ yards in five of six. Not a great week to trust the Falcons defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QBJosh FreemanOnly two QBs have thrown multiple scores on Atlanta this year but Freeman has thrown 2+ TDs in six straight!
RBDoug MartinFalcons allowing 128.3 total yards per game to running backs in their last four with four TDs given up. Martin should lock into a big game.
WRVincent JacksonOnly three receivers in the Falcons' last five have posted 9+ Fantasy points. That's tough, but Jackson has 16+ Fantasy points in three of his last four at home.
WRMike WilliamsFalcons have allowed 128.3 yards per game to WRs over their last four. Williams has had under 70 yards in five straight with two TDs.
TEDallas ClarkHas scored in two straight and 3 of last 5. Will get involved if this turns into a shootout, which is possible given the opponent.
DSTBuccaneers Falcons have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to a DST just three times. Unless Matt Ryan has another meltdown, the Bucs DST won't be great.

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium
Buffalo Bills
QBRyan FitzpatrickBrady was first QB in four games to throw multiple TDs on Colts. Fitzpatrick has zero TDs in 4 of last 6 games (three of them on the road).
RBC.J. SpillerColts cleaning up vs. run (99.3 total yards to RBs over last three) but Bills duo have run well vs. tough defenses. Spiller has 10+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5.
RBFred JacksonShould be back on the field after missing a week. IND has given up three rushing touchdowns over their last three games. Two last week came from inside the 5.
WRSteve JohnsonTen WRs have had 8+ Fantasy points vs. IND in their last seven games. Colts have allowed a 10+ point Fantasy WR in each of last six.
WRDonald Jones Six non-No. 1 WRs have scored 6+ Fantasy points vs. IND over last five games. Jones is OK if you're desperate.
TEScott ChandlerRob Gronkowski was first tight end to upend the Colts for over 10 Fantasy points. Not sure Chandler (three games with 10+ Fantasy points) can repeat the feat.
DSTBills Pats jhad three touchdowns last week to rock Colts. They were the first three TDs scored by a DST vs. IND. They would have been limited otherwise.
Indianapolis Colts
QBAndrew LuckBills haven't given up 300+ yards in each of last five but have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 2 of last 3. Luck has 2+ touchdowns in each home game this season.
RBVick BallardDecent sleeper. Bills have allowed RBs to score 8 TDs (7 rush) & average 171.5 total yards per game over last four. Ballard had 16 carries at NE last week.
RBDonald Brown Multiple running backs have 10+ Fantasy points in two of the Bills' last four games but Brown's role in offense looks like it's slowing down.
WRReggie WayneYou'll start him but Bills' secondary starting to play well -- after allowing 11 TDs to WRs in first six games, they've yielded two in their last four.
WRT.Y. HiltonFantastic sleeper. Has 100 yards and at least one TD in 3 of 4 games with 4+ catches. With Avery out expect a lot of work for Hilton.
TEDwayne AllenDeep sleeper. Bills have allowed three TDs to tight ends over their last three games.
DSTColtsRisky sleeper. DSTs vs. BUF have scored 10+ Fantasy points in five of last seven. Colts have 10+ Fantasy points in just three games in 2012.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
Denver Broncos
QBPeyton ManningChiefs have allowed 2+ passing scores in 8 of 10 games. With run game a question mark, Peyton should throw a bunch.
RBRonnie HillmanSaw the most work of Broncos RBs last week after McGahee got hurt. Was a total yardage dynamo in college but won't hog snaps vs. KC, who is allowing 156.0 total yards per game to RBs over its last four.
WRDemaryius ThomasChiefs have allowed nine TDs to WRs in their last five. Thomas finally found the end zone last week, snapping a two-game skid.
WREric DeckerKansas City has given up touchdowns to wideouts, not yardage (115.3 yards per game to WRs over its last three). Decker's a must but might not have big yardage.
WRBrandon StokleyHas a TD in 4 of 6 games, 40+ yards in 4 of 5 games. Peyton's looking for him, which never hurts.
TEJoel Dreessen Still has playing time and target edge over Jacob Tamme, but only two TEs have had 7+ Fantasy points in Chiefs' last eight.
DSTBroncosA must. Every DST vs. KC has posted at least 11 Fantasy points, 6 of last 7 have had 15+ Fantasy points.
Kansas City Chiefs
QBBrady Quinn You shouldn't start any Chiefs QB unless desperate even though Broncos have allowed four of the last five QBs they've faced to get 2 passing TDs.
RBJamaal CharlesBroncos have allowed one rush TD 107.2 total yards per game to RBs in last five. Charles about the only Chief you can start but he might struggle to do more than total 100 yards.
TETony MoeakiDeep sleeper. Chiefs receiving corps is banged up, Broncos' track record vs. tight ends isn't as sharp as the rest of the team's numbers.
DSTChiefs Against Peyton Manning? You have to be nuts.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Minnesota Vikings
QBChristian PonderBears allowed first QB to throw multiple TDs on them last week. Don't think Ponder is a safe bet to be the second.
RBAdrian PetersonChicago will key in on AP but reality is that Bears have allowed two 100-yard rushers and two total TDs to RBs over last three games. AP's obvious.
WRPercy HarvinAnkle needs to heal up for big divisional game. If he's out, take a long look at Jairus Wright as a desperation option.
TEKyle RudolphSome optimism for Rudolph after Vernon Davis had breakout game vs. Bears last week, but who knows how much blocking he'll have to do.
DSTVikingsDSTs vs. the Bears have posted 13+ Fantasy points in four of their past five. Vikings had seven sacks vs. CHI in Week 17 last year.
Chicago Bears
QBJason Campbell Three straight quarterbacks have thrown three TDs on the Vikings, two have had 250+ yards. Doubt Campbell could put up those kinds of numbers.
RBMatt ForteVikes have allowed 176.3 total yards per game over last four with five total TDs to RBs. Forte's getting opportunities, just needs a good matchup.
WRBrandon MarshallVikings have done well vs. No. 1 WRs but Marshall playing like the monster we hoped for (TD in 5 of last 7).
DSTBearsFour of the last five DSTs to play Vikings have had 13+ Fantasy points. Bears should rebound.

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
Oakland Raiders
QBCarson PalmerComing back to Cincinnati to take on his old team. That alone is enough to start him, but four straight with 2+ TDs & three straight with 300+ yards doesn't hurt either.
RBMarcel ReeceSo long as McFadden is out, Reece is in. Cincy allowing 131.7 total yards per game to rushers in last three. Reece averaging 130.7 total yards per game over his last three.
WRDenarius MooreBengals' pass defense has been all right (6 TDs allowed, zero 100+ yard games but four with 90+ yards). Moore has done well in tough matchups.
WRDarrius Heyward-BeyCincy hasn't allowed 10+ Fantasy points to multiple receivers in the same game this year. DHB has at least 60 yards in four of last five.
TEBrandon MyersBengals have been good vs. tight ends in their last two but Myers has three TDs in his last three. Too hot to ignore.
DSTRaiders DSTs vs. the red-hot Bengals have totaled six Fantasy points over the last two weeks. Raiders shouldn't be expected to do much.
Cincinnati Bengals
QBAndy DaltonDalton has seven TDs in his last two games and will see a Raiders defense than has allowed QBs to toss 3 TDs in back-to-back games. Feel good about Dalton this week.
RBBenJarvus Green-EllisRaiders allowing 5.9 yards per carry to RBs over last three with at least one rush TD per game. After a nice game last week, Green-Ellis should shine again.
WRA.J. GreenRaiders could bring back Michael Haynes and Lester Hayes and Green would still rock 'em. Must start receiver.
WRMohamed SanuGreat sleeper. Raiders have allowed 158.0 yards per game with 6 TDs to WRs over their last three games.
TEJermaine GreshamTight ends have rocked the Raiders in two straight games. Gresham is in the swing of the Bengals offense and is worth a start.
DSTBengalsDST touchdowns have buoyed the Raiders' last two opponents. Cincy's racking up sacks but they'll contend with an offense putting up 24.2 points per game over its last five.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Cleveland Browns Stadium
Pittsburgh Steelers
QBCharlie Batch Browns have allowed two pass TDs over last four, held Tony Romo to one score last week. Batch had 3 TD game at TB in 2010, no TDs in two starts since.
RBJonathan DwyerStill scoreless this year but has 15+ touches in each of last four games. He's the best Steelers rusher right now. Browns allowing 111.0 rush yards per game to RBs over their last four.
RBRashard MendenhallExpect a lot of carries for both Steelers RBs. Browns have allowed three rushing TDs to RBs over their last two games.
WRMike WallaceBrowns have allowed a TD to top opposing WRs in each of last two games but Wallace's quarterback limits him.
WREmmanuel Sanders Desperation option. A week after getting 30 yards with Roethlisberger, Sanders got 82 yards with Leftwich.
TEHeath MillerMiller's on a cold skid: Has under 50 yards in each of last three games. Only three TE s have posted 6+ Fantasy points on the Browns.
DSTSteelersBrowns haven't allowed a DST to post over 11 Fantasy points over last six games. Steelers should change that with lots of pressure packages on Brandon Weeden.
Cleveland Browns
QBBrandon Weeden Steelers pass defense has held each of last six QBs to 1 TD or less. Weeden will have tough time in this matchup.
RBTrent RichardsonWe've been waiting (fearing?) this matchup since April. Steelers have allowed 106.7 total yards per game to RBs over last three with two TDs. Richardson has 13+ Fantasy points each of his last three.
WRJosh GordonNo receivers have had 100+ yards vs. PIT since Week 1, only three have scored on Steelers in last five. Pass on Gordon.
TEBenjamin Watson Had 2 TDs last week but TEs have gone scoreless vs. Steelers over their last seven. Only one tight end has double-digit Fantasy points vs. PIT this season.
DSTBrownsRavens DST pummeled Steelers last week thanks to kick return. Not sure the Browns have the chops to do the same, even with Charlie Batch under center.

Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Seattle Seahawks
QBRussell WilsonDolphins have allowed 2 TDs to 2 of last 3 QBs they've faced. Wilson has at least 19 Fantasy points in four of last five. Really not a bad sleeper.
RBMarshawn LynchShould dominate Dolphins, especially coming off bye. Dolphins have allowed 100+ total yards to 3 of last 4 RBs with one score.
WRSidney RiceMiami has allowed 168.0 yards per game to WRs over its last four with four touchdowns. Rice has scored in three straight games.
WRGolden TateTate has four total TDs (three receiving, one passing) in last two games. Not a cinch to score but should play a lot and have some opportunities.
DSTSeahawksDSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in six of the last eight weeks. Even on the road, Seahawks DST looks great.
Miami Dolphins
QBRyan TannehillOnly two QBs have thrown multiple TDs vs. Seahawks. Tannehill has one game with two passing scores. Stay away.
RBDaniel ThomasIn time, Thomas should start seeing even more work. Already playing more snaps than Reggie Bush.
RBReggie BushCan't trust him. Losing playing time and touches to Daniel Thomas, plus the Seahawks' run defense is pretty stout.
WRBrian HartlineStill worth starting in PPR formats: Has 4+ catches in 6 of last 7, averaging 14.7 yards per catch in that span. Only two of 12 WRs with 4+ catches vs. SEA have had 100+ yards.
WRDavone Bess Scored last week, has 26 grabs in his last five games but just the one score. Tough matchup vs. Seahawks strong cornerbacks.
DSTDolphins Dolphins' run defense has been falling apart, pass defense has struggled of late too. Tough to love vs. Seahawks.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Tennessee Titans
QBJake LockerJags pass defense better at home (2 TDs to five QBs) but Matt Schaub just lit them up. Locker shaky but does have 2 TDs in each of last two full games.
RBChris JohnsonJohnson hasn't scored on Jags in three straight but Jacksonville has allowed 5 total TDs and 160.3 total yards per game to running backs over its last three.
WRNate WashingtonHas only eight catches from Locker, but two early-season TDs. Not sure if he's the No. 1 WR for Titans but No. 1 WRs have done very well vs. Jaguars over last five.
WRKendall WrightHas 6+ Fantasy points in two of four games with Locker. Five WRs have scored 6+ Fantasy points vs. Jags over their last three.
WRKenny BrittCoaches say they're working on getting Britt more involved. Chemistry with Locker an issue? Britt has nine catches (19 targets) for 96 yards in three games with Locker.
TEJared Cook Jaguars were decimated by Texans tight ends last week (139 total yards, 2 TDs). Cook had 169 yards & a TD in last game vs. JAC. Tough to expect even a third of that production.
DSTTitansWhat was a juicy matchup vs. hamstrung Jaguars offense can no longer be trusted with Chad Henne under center.
Jacksonville Jaguars
QBChad HenneHigh risk, high reward. Titans have allowed 19+ Fantasy points to 8 of 10 QBs and Henne will sling it, but he's also turnover prone. Matchup might be too juicy to ignore.
RBJalen ParmeleAnother risky Jaguar. Made first career start last week and needed 24 carries over four-plus quarters to get 80 yards. Titans suspect vs. run but Parmele needs a lot of touches to be good.
WRCecil ShortsHas 11+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 overall. Titans have allowed 6 TDs to WRs in last five weeks with 5 WRs getting 9+ Fantasy points in that span.
WRJustin BlackmonMade some ridiculous plays with Henne under center last week. Targets will be there vs. pass defense that's allowed 306 yards & 3 TDs to WRs over last two games.
TEMarcedes LewisTitans have improved vs. tight ends, allowing 67 yards or less to them in five consecutive games. Wish he had more than four targets from Henne.
DSTJaguars Four of last five DSTs vs. TEN had single-digit Fantasy points. Jags have two games with 10 Fantasy points, eight with less.

Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium
Baltimore Ravens
QBJoe FlaccoChargers have given up 2+ TDs to QBs in 6 of last 8 games. Matchup is great but you know how Flacco is away from Baltimore. He had 226 yards with two TDs & two INTs in San Diego last year.
RBRay RiceChargers have allowed 143.3 total yards per game to rushers over last four but with just two TDs. Rice had 112 total yards at SD last year.
WRTorrey SmithBroncos receivers totaled three touchdowns vs. Bolts last week. Smith had 77 yards & a TD at Chargers last year.
WRAnquan BoldinAnquan hasn't scored since Week 1 but has had 4+ catches in 7 of last 8 games. Nine of 15 WRs with 4+ catches vs. SD in '12 have had 7+ Fantasy points.
DSTRavensFive of the last six DSTs vs. SD have posted 11+ Fantasy points. With Ed Reed playing, the Ravens are OK to start.
San Diego Chargers
QBPhilip RiversThree of last five QBs vs. BAL have thrown for 250+ yards & 2+ TDs. Rivers should hit those marks, albeit with some turnovers.
RBRyan MathewsSeven RBs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in the Ravens' last seven games. We'd love it if Mathews could get 9+ Fantasy points.
WRDanario AlexanderHas 15 catches for 291 yards & 3 TDs in last three. Not bad for a guy who was out of the league a month ago! Ravens have allowed three WRs to 80+ yards in last two games.
WRMalcom FloydCould start to see lesser coverage with Alexander exploding. Had 96 yards & a TD vs. Baltimore last year.
TEAntonio GatesRavens held Gates to 31 yards in meeting last year. Ravens have allowed one TD and two 10+ Fantasy point games to tight ends all season.
DSTChargersDSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points on BAL twice -- when they held them to 13 points or less. That won't happen here.

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
San Francisco 49ers
QBColin KaepernickKaep's a sleeper. Six of last seven QBs vs. NO have topped 300 yards, all six also had 2+ TDs. Kaepernick coming off great first start against a much better defense.
RBFrank GoreSaints have allowed all but one opponent to have at least one 10+ Fantasy RB. Matchup is great for Gore.
WRMichael CrabtreeFinally living up to his potential. Saints have allowed 210.4 yards per game and 7 TDs to WRs over last five.
TEVernon DavisSaints' defense vs. tight ends deteriorating as they've allowed 3 TDs to TEs over the last two weeks. I like Davis if Kaepernick is in there.
DST49ersLast seven DSTs to play the Saints have posted single-digit Fantasy points but the 49ers' unit is pretty special. Hard to sit them.
New Orleans Saints
QBDrew BreesYou'll start him but Niners pass defense has been good. Only two QBs have thrown 250+ yards and 2 TDs against them.
RBDarren SprolesShould return to a receiving role. Niners allowing 8.3 yards per catch to running backs over their last four.
RBMark IngramAppears to be the Saints' top running downs back but will split his duties. Niners have allowed 120+ total rush yards to three of their last five opponents.
RBChris IvoryHe'll play but it seems like Fantasy owners need a long run to get any good production out of him. Might not chance him against this defense.
WRMarques ColstonDespite allowing three touchdowns to WRs over their last two games, the Niners have not allowed a receiver to over 10 Fantasy points in their last four.
WRLance MooreHas three or fewer catches in three of last four games yet has 6+ Fantasy points in three of them. Has only scored vs. weak pass defenses, which the Niners are not.
TEJimmy GrahamNiners haven't allowed a tight end to even 5 Fantasy points over their last seven games, but they haven't played anyone tough. They don't come tougher than Graham.
DSTSaintsEight of 10 DSTs Niners have faced have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. The Saints' defense is improving but they can't be trusted.

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
St. Louis Rams
QBSam BradfordCards have allowed 7 pass TDs over their last three games but just manhandled Matt Ryan. Still can't trust Bradford unless it's as a No. 2 quarterback.
RBSteven JacksonOnly one RB has touched 10 Fantasy points vs. ARI in their last three games (Michael Turner last week). Jackson has 7 Fantasy points in each of last two vs. Cardinals.
RBDaryl RichardsonHas eight or fewer carries in four straight, under 60 total yards in three straight. Can't trust him.
WRDanny AmendolaOf the 11 receivers vs. ARI with at least 9 targets, eight have at least 8 Fantasy points. Amendola still in the flex conversation.
DSTRamsNine of 10 DSTs vs. ARI have posted 10 or more Fantasy points. Cards have allowed 3+ sacks in 7 of last 8 games. And rookie Ryan Lindley is starting.
Arizona Cardinals
QBRyan Lindley Can't trust him. Completed 9 of 20 passes last week, found Larry Fitzgerald one time. Rams allowed one pass TD in each of last two games.
RBBeanie WellsShould cut into LSH's workload in return from IR. Rams have allowed 435 rush yards & 5 TDs to running backs in last four games.
RBLaRod Stephens-HowlingHas a touchdown along with 50+ total yards in three of last four. Also has 24+ touches in three of last four. Matchup's fine but Beanie's back.
WRLarry FitzgeraldExpectations have to be reeled in with Lindley under center. Too bad -- Rams have allowed 7 TDs to WRs over their last four games.
WRAndre RobertsTough to trust after some mediocre performances and an inexperienced rookie under center. Helps that Rams are giving up 146.0 yards to WRs over their last four.
DSTCardinalsRams have topped 21 points just once in their last eight games, only five games all year with over 300 total yards of offense. Cards are a sleeper.

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Green Bay Packers
QBAaron RodgersThree of last four QBs vs. NYG have posted 2+ TDs with Andy Dalton slinging four last week. Rodgers has two sub-20 point Fantasy games in his last three but is too valuable to sit.
RBAlex Green Will split reps with Starks, short-circuiting any Fantasy value. Giants' run defense has been sloppy at home but Green too risky to use.
RBJames Starks Couldn't get going when given the chance to run last week. Can't count on him for more than 10 carries.
WRRandall CobbGiants have allowed seven touchdowns to WRs over their last four games. Cobb has a touchdown in five of his last six.
WRJordy NelsonHad only five targets last week after having 6 or more in five of his first seven games. Can't expect him to stay under-utilized.
WRJames JonesHad second-worst game of his season last week, usually a lock for around four catches per game. One TD in his last four games makes him risky.
TEJermichael FinleyAfter being strong vs. tight ends all year, Giants have allowed two TDs to TEs over their last three games. But only one TE has 10+ Fantasy points vs. the Giants. Low expectations for Jermichael.
DSTPackersGiants' skid has left last two DSTs with 14+ Fantasy points against Big Blue. Eli is typically hot coming out of the bye, however, so keep expectations in check.
New York Giants
QBEli ManningHas been a monster coming out of the bye and has been a monster in two games last year vs. GB (677 yards, 6 TDs & 2 INTs). Packers haven't allowed multiple passing scores in five straight but have allowed four straight passers to top 250 yards.
RBAndre BrownWith a TD and 20+ total yards in each of his last four, Brown productivity seems easy to trust. With Bradshaw banged up, he could be the primary rusher.
RBAhmad BradshawLast five starting RBs vs. GB have totaled 100 yards and/or totaled 10+ Fantasy points. Bradshaw's banged up & has lost touches in three straight games.
WRVictor CruzPackers have allowed 214.5 yards per game to WRs over their last four with three TDs. Cruz didn't score but totaled 193 yards in two games against GB in '11.
WRHakeem NicksSays he's as healthy as ever, had nine grabs in last game. He also had 2 TDs in both matchups vs. Packers last year. Time's right to trust him again.
TEMartellus BennettPackers haven't allowed 10+ Fantasy points to a tight end since Week 1. Bennett's done nothing to earn Fantasy owners' trust.
DSTGiantsThe last seven DSTs to play the Packers have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. It would take a huge game for the Giants to be effective.

Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Carolina Panthers
QBCam NewtonMatchup is awesome. Seven of last eight QBs to play PHI have 2+ TDs against them. Philly's pass rush and deep-ball defense is a mess.
RBJonathan StewartEagles allowing 107.3 rush yards per game to running backs over last three. Stewart always a grab bag but he could produce in two straitght (has at least 5 points in each of last four).
RBDeAngelo Williams Desperation option if you're real thin on running backs. Looks like Stewart is back in the saddle as the Panthers' primary rusher.
WRSteve SmithEight WRs have 9+ Fantasy points against the Eagles in their last five. Smith has the matchup in his favor -- can he connect otherwise?
WRBrandon LaFellSleeper. Has 8+ Fantasy points in 3 of his last 4 with 2 TDs in that span & 80+ yards in 2 of his last 3. 27 targets too.
TEGreg OlsenThe good: Philly has allowed a TD to a TE in 2 of its last 3. The bad: Olsen couldn't get anything going with a great matchup last week. He's OK to start but it's a risk.
DSTPanthersEagles have allowed 20+ Fantasy points to three straight DSTs. Consider the Panthers a sleeper vs. an Eagles team without Vick & LeSean.
Philadelphia Eagles
QBNick FolesWas a nightmare to watch last week vs. bad pass defense. Panthers have held 5 of last 6 QBs to one passing score, so the matchup is even worse.
RBBryce BrownBrown set to start, see majority of reps. Currently has 7.1 rush avg. Panthers allowing 134.3 total yards per game over last three to RBs.
RBDion Lewis Not worth a start but is worth watching. Might play passing downs behind Brown.
WRDeSean JacksonPanthers have allowed just 4 TDs to WRs in last seven overall but have allowed 90+ yards to No. 1 WRs in 4 of last 5.
WRJeremy MaclinHow bad has it been for non-No. 1 WRs vs. CAR? Brandon Stokley was the first to get over 50 yards this season!
TEBrent Celek Carolina just allowed its first double-digit tight end in seven games last week (Dallas Clark). Celek just can't be trusted with Foles in there.
DSTEaglesPanthers have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to 4 of last 6 DSTs they've faced.

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Player News
Report: 49ers dump S Craig Dahl
by Marty Gitlin |
(2:56 pm ET) Former Rams standout safety Craig Dahl has been released by the 49ers, a source has told

Dahl played in all 16 games last year for San Francisco. He contributed to 23 tackles.

Report: 49ers release LB Philip Wheeler
by Marty Gitlin |
(2:51 pm ET) The 49ers have released veteran linebacker Philip Wheeler, according to NFL Network. He signed a one-year contract in the offseason before missing most of training camp with a leg strain.

Wheeler did see action in 21 plays in the final preseason game Thursday and recorded a sack, but his performance was apparently not encouraging enough to save his job.

Bills release QB Matt Simms
by Marty Gitlin |
(2:40 pm ET) Quarterback Matt Simms was among the cuts made by the Bills on Friday as they work to pare their roster down to 53, per the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Simms, who was released by the rival Jets in late May, completed 19 of 39 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown over the last two seasons.

Bills CB Leodis McKelvin out at least six games with ankle issue
by Marty Gitlin |
(2:12 pm ET) Bills cornerbak Leodis McKelvin has been placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list after suffering a setback in his rehab from ankle surgery, per the team website. He will be lost for at least the first six games of the regular season.

McKelvin initially broke the ankle in Week 11 last year. Previous to that he had started in nine of 10 games and recorded 45 tackles and four interceptions.

Titans trade G Andy LeVitre to Falcons for sixth-rounder
by Marty Gitlin |
(1:34 pm ET) The Titans have announced that they have gained a sixth-round pick from Atlanta for guard Andy Levitre, per

LeVitre did not miss a start with Tennessee in two seasons despite nagging injuries.

Report: Bills set to cut LB Quentin Groves
by Marty Gitlin |
(12:44 pm ET) The Bills are releasing pass-rushing linebacker Quentin Groves, a source has told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Groves has just 9 1/2 sacks over seven seasons, but did play in every game for Buffalo in 2014, when he contributed to 18 tackles.

Report: Steelers trade P Brad Wing to Giants
by Marty Gitlin |
(12:22 pm ET) The Giants have acquired punter Brad Wing from the Steelers for a future late-round draft pick, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Wing will replace the released Steve Weatherford.

Wing averaged 43.7 yards per punt last season for Pittsburgh.

Buccaneers dump disappointing DL Da'Quan Bowers
by Marty Gitlin |
(11:55 am ET) Defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers has been released by the Buccaneers after four disappointing seasons, has reported.

The former second-round draft pick signed a one-year deal with the team in July, but struggled in exhibition play with just one sack in four games.

Bowers, who has also dealt with injuries since joining the NFL and lost two games in 2014 for violating the NFL drug policy, has recorded only seven sacks in his career.

Report: Giants waive P Steve Weatherford
by Marty Gitlin |
(11:28 am ET) The Giants have released veteran punter Steve Weatherford, a source has told NFL Network.

Weatherford has been a starter for New York teams - two years with the Jets and four with the Giants - since 2009. He averaged 45.5 yards per punt last season, which is higher than his career average.

Report: 49ers release DT Darnell Dockett
by Marty Gitlin |
(11:05 am ET) The 49ers have released veteran defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, a league source has told Pro Football Talk.

Dockett missed all of last season with a knee injury, but had been a mainstay with Arizona before signing with San Francisco. He was deemed ready to go with no limitations in early August.

He played in every game but two for the Cardinals from 2004 to 2013 and earned Pro Bowl berths in 2007, 2009 and 2010.