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Week 5 Fantasy Football Matchups

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard breaks down every game from a Fantasy perspective each week with the help of CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan, who will provide his unique take to assist owners in their lineup management

Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, FedExField
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Has 2+ pass TDs in 7 of last 9 and 3 TDs in 3 of 4 games this year. Redskins' secondary a huge mess.
RB Michael Turner Appears to be running more fluidly with better acceleration. Redskins' run defense will be challenged to contain him.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers Has 9+ touches in three of four games. Not the best bye-week replacement but is an option.
WR Roddy White Just 3 TDs outdoors on grass over last 13 outdoor games, but the matchup is way too good to sit him.
WR Julio Jones Hand injury was non-factor last week vs. Panthers, just good defense. Should rebound BIG.
TE Tony Gonzalez It took the Bucs' weak TE corps to stop the Redskins' 3-game skid vs. TE scoring against them. Gonzalez should get it going again.
DST Falcons Redskins offense has found a way to put up points and Falcons couldn't contain Cam Newton last week.
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Falcons have allowed 200+ yards to 3 of 4 QBs and 4 pass TDs along with 2 rush TDs. RG3 should keep it rolling.
RB Alfred Morris Atlanta is allowing 114.5 rush yards per game & allowed 4 rush TDs to RBs. Morris still solid.
WR Pierre Garcon Good news: He's healthy. Bad news: Falcons have allowed 2 TDs to WRs & none with more than 82 yards. Might be best as a flex.
WR Leonard Hankerson Getting involved more (11 catches last two weeks) but might not have same impact with Garcon back.
TE Fred Davis Falcons have been hit or miss vs. tight ends (TDs to Kevin Boss, Greg Olsen, Antonio Gates & Jacob Tamme held in check). Davis has 160 yards in last two games.
DST Redskins Redskins have been putting up points, amassing at least 24 points per game. Not the right week to use the Falcons DST.

No matter how Robert Griffin III gets the job done, the Redskins will lean on him. After all, they're in the NFC East race because of him, so they'll continue to do what it takes to win games. RG3 has four passing touchdowns and four running touchdowns, making the most of all of his talents, but the hits he takes as a result is a bit of concern with 11 sacks and close to 30 tackles in the open field. RG3 has 16 first downs with his feet and averages 6.5 yards per carry, putting him on pace for over 1,000 yards rushing. The 2012 formula is in place and it isn't changing. The real problem RG3 faces this week is that Matt Ryan and the Falcons will score a ton of points. Can he keep up? I'm not sure, but it will be fun to watch. -- Pat Kirwan

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Arrowhead Stadium
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Chiefs have allowed 2+ pass TDs in every 2012 game, something Flacco's done in 3 of 4. Historically, Flacco not as sharp on the road (just 7 games w/ 2+ TDs in last 17 on road).
RB Ray Rice KC has allowed 192.7 total yards and 5 total TDs to RBs in their last three games.
WR Torrey Smith Has 3 TDs in last two games, Chiefs have allowed 5 TDs to receivers so far.
WR Anquan Boldin Has seen an increase in targets over last two games (19 total), but hasn't had consecutive 100-yard games since '09.
TE Dennis Pitta Tight ends have scored in three of last four vs. Chiefs. Would start him again despite last week's goose egg.
DST Ravens Ravens run defense makes them susceptible to Charles' runs, rest of D should shine.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Cassel On the verge of getting benched? No one should start him vs. vicious Ravens pass D.
RB Jamaal Charles Ravens run D not as scary as before: They've allowed 5 TDs to RBs so far.
WR Dwayne Bowe Ravens have allowed two TDs to WRs so far, but they're allowing 211.3 yards per game to WRs.
TE Tony Moeaki   Door is open for decent numbers now that Kevin Boss is out for the season.
DST Chiefs   Can't use them. Chiefs tied for 30th among DSTs in Fantasy points scored.

I've fielded a lot of questions about what to expect from Dennis Pitta going forward. The Ravens have Ray Rice in the backfield and that stresses the Chiefs'safeties more than the Saints or Chargers running games did, which makes Dennis Pitta the perfect conflict to the run game. Pitta isn't as talented as Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates, but he takes advantage of his situation. As teams decide to cover Pitta look for Flacco to check-down to Rice. Last week Rice was targeted 11 times with a season high eight receptions, caused directly because the Browns chose to cover Pitta. The Chiefs might be more interested in containing Rice, so those receptions could easily swing back to Pitta this week. -- Pat Kirwan

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brandon Weeden After meltdown vs. Dallas, Giants pass D has averaged 242 pass yards with 3 pass TDs in three games. Can't start Weeden.
RB Trent Richardson A must. Giants have allowed 60 yards & a TD or 140 total yards to 3 of 4 RBs they've faced.
WR Greg Little Wouldn't surprise me one bit if his next drop meant serious bench time.
WR Josh Gordon   Wouldn't surprise me if he stepped up this week. Browns will pass a lot, Gordon should see some opportunities.
TE Jordan Cameron Still a player to scout, not add or start. Giants have been solid vs. 3 of 4 TEs they've faced.
DST Browns   Giants landing 27.8 points & 411.0 yards per game. Browns allowing 24.5 points & 403.2 yards per game. Move along.
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning Eli should dominate. 3 of 4 QBs vs. CLE have topped 300 yards, every QB has totaled at least two TDs.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Though they've allowed every starting RB to get 8+ Fantasy points, Browns have yet to allow a rushing score.
WR Victor Cruz Browns have allowed 6 TDs to WRs since Joe Haden's suspension started.
WR Domenik Hixon Phenomenal sleeper. Should have plenty of playing time and targets vs. lowly Browns secondary.
TE Martellus Bennett Cleveland D has been good vs. tight ends but Bennett too valuable to Giants offense down two receivers.
DST Giants Browns have given up nine sacks, seven INTs through four weeks with three sub-17 point games. Giants DST should roll.

It looked like Ahmad Bradshaw came back with renewed athleticism in Week 4. What can we expect from him here knowing that the Giants are sure to attack the Browns' depleted secondary? Since the beginning of the 2011 season, Bradshaw has played in 19 games including the postseason and averaged 14 carries and three receptions per contest. Last week he had 16 touches, which is right in line with his average. I don't see the Giants letting that number spike significantly, and with the Browns yet to allow a rushing touchdown, expecting a lot of stats from Bradshaw might be a reach. -- Pat Kirwan

Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Colts haven't faced tough QB yet, but still have allowed 5 pass TDs through three games.
RB Cedric Benson Must-start. Every starting RB has had at least 80 total yards, three RBs have totaled at least 16 Fantasy points!
WR Jordy Nelson Of the four WRs who have scored vs. IND, three have had at least 80 yards to go with it. Nice week to use Jordy.
WR James Jones Should see bump in targets with Jennings out. Has 50+ yards in 3 of 4 games, has TD in 2 of 4 games.
WR Randall Cobb Worth a flier. Colts have allowed 181.3 yards per game just to wide receivers.
TE Jermichael Finley Colts have faced only one tough TE (Kyle Rudolph) and he scored. Finley hasn't scored in three straight, though.
DST Packers Colts scoring 21.3 points, averaging 357.0 yards per game. Packers have allowed 20.2 points and 314.2 yards per game. So-so start.
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Decent sleeper. Packers have allowed 3 of 4 opposing QBs to total 18+ Fantasy points. Luck has 22+ points in each of last two.
RB Donald Brown Hard to trust. Has seen increased touches through three games but Packers have settled down vs. one- dimensional runners (Brown has one catch this season).
WR Reggie Wayne Packers have allowed 5 TDs to WRs through four games and it could be higher. Wayne's been money every week.
WR Donnie Avery Colts will have to pass a bunch, Avery a lock for lots of looks from Luck. Lance Moore had 15 target last week vs. GB.
TE T.Y. Hilton Major sleeper. Of the 4 WRs with 10+ Fantasy points vs. GB this year, three are non-No. 1 options. Hilton's speed makes him intriguing.
DST Colts   Return of Freeney, Angerer will help an inspired Colts defense without Chuck Pagano, but the Packers' offense too explosive.

The Packers have to continue to work toward a balanced offense and that means more running plays for Cedric Benson. That being said, Aaron Rodgers still averages 43 pass plays per game, which he can handle, but Andrew Luck at 42 pass plays per game needs to reduce his number or suffer the consequences of pressure. Randall Cobb has been getting much of the targets Greg Jennings would be getting if he weren't out with a groin injury. He's a terrific target this week for Rodgers. The Colts may feature Reggie Wayne but Donnie Avery already has been targeted 27 times in three games and will continue to see plenty of passes come his way. -- Pat Kirwan

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill Three of four opposing QBs vs. CIN have had at least 23 Fantasy points. Not sure Tannehill can get that many.
RB Reggie Bush Bengals did great job vs. MJD last week, allowed at least 13 Fantasy points per week to opposing RBs before then. Bush should be OK.
RB Jorvorskie Lane   Desperation RB to claim off waivers in hopes of a goal-line plunge.
WR Brian Hartline Cincy hasn't allowed a 100-yard receiver, but neither had Arizona until last week.
WR Davone Bess Five-plus catches in 3 of 4 games. 2 of 3 WRs with at least 5 catches vs. CIN have had 9 or more Fantasy points.
DST Dolphins Bengals in Top 10 in points and total yards. Makes the Dolphins a risky start, especially with Andy Dalton playing well.
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Last 3 QBs to face Dolphins have put up 300+ yards; Kolb had 3 TDs last week. Dalton has 3 total TDs & 300+ yards each of last three games.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Dolphins have been phenomenal vs. run, even holding Arian Foster to 79 rush yards in Week 1. Green-Ellis will need a TD to be solid.
WR A.J. Green No. 1 receivers have been excellent vs. Miami this season. No one's sitting this guy.
WR Andrew Hawkins Not a bad option after Andre Roberts torched Miami last week, but has just 7 catches after landing 8 in Week 1.
TE Jermaine Gresham Dolphins truly haven't been tested vs. tough tight ends, not that Gresham (17 catches, 178 yards, 1 TD) is one.
DST Bengals DSTs vs. Miami scoring 10.5 Fantasy points on average but Bengals defense banged up.

Ryan Tannehill may be raw and lack quarterback experience at the NFL level, but he has a lively arm and escape-the-rush skills. He reads defenses better than I thought he would at this point in his young career and he trusts Brian Hartline. Defenses could start to treat Hartline like a No. 1 receiver because of his big game a week ago but the truth is that he is a smart zone beater with better speed than advertised. Even though he ran 4.4 coming out of college, he is looked upon as a possession receiver. That notion could change as Hartline is on pace for 1,800 yards receiving. I don't think he gets that many but 1,000 yards wouldn't be a surprise when you consider Tannehill targets him 12 times a game. He should keep it up against the Bengals. -- Pat Kirwan

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Michael Vick PIT allowed just six total TDs to QBs in eight home games last year. The last QB to run for over 50 yards vs. the Steelers: Vick, in 2002!
RB LeSean McCoy You'll start him but Steelers will play tough after getting trampled by McFadden in last game. PIT has allowed 11 TDs to RBs in last 19 games.
WR DeSean Jackson Hasn't scored in consecutive games since 2010 but Steelers have struggled with speed receivers in recent past.
WR Jeremy Maclin Tough spot but should be OK after knocking off rust last week. Five WRs have at least 6 Fantasy points vs. PIT in three games.
TE Brent Celek Close call. Celek has 65 or fewer yards in three of four games; Steelers have allowed TD to TE in two of three games.
DST Eagles Steelers averaging nearly 26 points per game and will get Rashard Mendenhall back. Tough to love them.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Eagles have allowed back-to-back 2 TD performances by QBs with one INT. Ben has 8 TDs in first three games.
RB Rashard Mendenhall Can't expect him to run wild in first game in nine months, but he's a monster at Heinz Field (22 TDs in 27 games).
WR Mike Wallace Has TD in three straight, playing like a man in a contract year. Eagles have struggled with Fitzgerald & Cruz in consecutive games.
WR Antonio Brown Should be a factor. Has 70+ yards in five straight. Eagles have allowed three 100+ yard receivers in last two games.
TE Heath Miller Tough matchup for Miller: Eagles let TE catch TD for first time all year last week and it was a backup tight end. They'll have an eye on Miller.
DST Steelers Starters Polamalu, Harrison back. That helps. Eagles offense has topped 20 points just once this season.

The return of Troy Polamalu and James Harrison to the Steelers defense spells trouble for Michael Vick & Co. A big part of their game is the ability to disguise what coverage the Steelers are planning on defense, and it's something that could give Vick some trouble. Since 2010 the Steelers are 15-4 at home giving up 12 points per game and averaging three sacks per game on defense. The Eagles defense will struggle to match up with the Steelers' receivers, giving them an edge. I'm not so sure the Eagles will have the same edge. The Steelers have allowed four touchdowns this season to wideouts, but this is a better unit now that all of their starters are ready to go. -- Pat Kirwan

Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Jacksonville has allowed two pass TDs & 244+ yards in each of last two games. But will Cutler have to throw it more than 25 times?
RB Matt Forte Jags giving up a minimum of 87 total yards to opposing starting RBs so far (6 total TDs allowed too).
RB Michael Bush Given the matchup it's possible Bush plunges for a TD. BJGE fumble saved Jags from allowing goal-line score last week.
WR Brandon Marshall Jags have given up 110 yards & a TD to a WR in each of last two games. Marshall could make it three.
DST Bears If the Bears can put the clamps on MJD like the Bengals did last week the DST should shine. Gotta start them.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Blaine Gabbert Bears have only allowed 4 passing TDs -- and 11 INTs. Probably a good week to pass on Gabbert.
RB Maurice Jones- Drew Bears have improved vs. RBs each of last two games. Still not enough to put MJD on the bench, though.
WR Justin Blackmon Impossible to start Blackmon and have even moderate hopes. He's playing a lot but expectations remain small.
TE Marcedes Lewis Wouldn't be surprised to see him more involved thanks to thinned-out receiving corps. Bears struggled to contain Witten late last week.
DST Jaguars Bears offense hasn't posted over 20 points since Week 1. On the year they're posting just 307.5 yards per game. Still, Jags DST a Hail Mary Fantasy pick.

This should be a game where the Bears look great on offense, but you never know with the volatile Jay Cutler. The Jags couldn't get to Andy Dalton last week and they couldn't cover A.J. Green either. Cutler should connect with Brandon Marshall, who he targets 10 times a game. The Jaguars' corners aren't as good as the Cowboys corners so look for a 100- plus-yard day for Marshall. -- Pat Kirwan

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson 3 of 4 QBs vs. Carolina have had 1 TD through the air. That's about as many as we can expect from Wilson.
RB Marshawn Lynch Panthers have allowed six RBs to post 10+ Fantasy points this season. Marshawn will be No. 7.
WR Sidney Rice Major sleeper. Rice has been held under 50 yards every game with one TD but Seahawks could take some shots with him.
WR Doug Baldwin   Expected back this week. Worth stashing on your roster before Week 5 games in case he can get something going.
DST Seahawks Tough spot for the Hawks coming across the country to take on Panthers offense averaging 373.8 yards per game.
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Still a risk/reward QB. Seattle has allowed just 2 pass TDs so far but they haven't faced anyone like Cam in two years.
RB DeAngelo Williams Tough matchup. No RB has topped 60 rush yards or 74 total yards vs. Seahawks this season.
RB Jonathan Stewart Seahawks have given up just two rush TDs so far this season. 'Stew averaging 58.0 total yards per game.
WR Steve Smith Should be a phenomenal battle vs. Seahawks' physical corners. Only 2 TDs have been scored by WRs vs. Seahawks' defense.
WR Brandon LaFell   The guy has LaFallen off the Fantasy map. Just eight targets in his last two games. Can't trust him.
TE Greg Olsen Seahawks have allowed one TD to tight ends in last nine overall.
DST Panthers Desperation option. Panthers' pass rush has improved but run defense is shaky, and that's Seattle's strength.

The Seahawks have very fast players in the secondary and at linebacker. A number of them are up to the task of spying on Cam Newton. Kam Chancellor could handle Newton all day if asked. Cam needs to win from the pocket, but most importantly he needs to stay mentally tough if adversity hits. The Seahawks will play a lot of man coverages and Newton will not see wide open receivers, which in turn will force him to take off. There will be times when the Seahawks use a two-man rush and not trigger Cam to run with little pressure, but multiple players waiting for him to try and run. -- Pat Kirwan

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Candlestick Park
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Two of four QBs vs. SF have posted 2 TDs, only one has over 250 yards. Fitzpatrick should top both but it's clear he's overaggressive when he passes.
RB Fred Jackson It's the Niners (83.3 total yards to RBs per week) and Jackson's splitting reps. Only start him if you must.
RB C.J. Spiller Only one RB this year has 100 total yards vs. SF so far this season. Spiller would need 15+ touches to get to that point.
WR Steve Johnson Only one receiver (James Jones) has scored on the Niners this year. Four receivers have had between 80 and 99 receiving yards; that might be Johnson's target.
TE Scott Chandler Niners have given up four TDs to tight ends so far. Chandler had two scores last week and has four on the season.
DST Bills Bills might get run over by the Niners' ground game. Can't trust them.
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Alex Smith Not sure how much he'll have to throw but 3 of 4 QBs vs. BUF have had 250+ yards & 2+ TDs.
RB Frank Gore Four RBs have had 10+ Fantasy points vs. BUF this year including three starters. Gore is a must.
RB Kendall Hunter Good sleeper. BUF allowing 167 total yards per week to RBs. Hunter has at least 7 touches per game so far.
WR Michael Crabtree Receivers have scored seven touchdowns in four games against the Bills. Maybe Crabtree sneaks in at home.
WR Mario Manningham   Has raised his yards per catch average in each game since the season opener.
TE Vernon Davis Bills were Gronked for over 100 yards & a TD last week. Expect Davis to get back on track.
DST 49ers Bills' offense threatening, but down two starting OL. Expect a bunch of sacks and INTs from the Niners.

Heading to the West Coast against the 49ers run defense is not a good situation for Buffalo. Since Jim Harbaugh took over the 49ers, no one has come into San Francisco and rushed for 100 yards as a team or scored a rushing touchdown. That spells a long day for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. It also signals Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to throw to beat the Niners, but again since Harbaugh came to town his defense has 16 interceptions and 25 sacks in nine regular-season home games. The Bills are walking into a buzzsaw. -- Pat Kirwan

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning Has 300+ yards & 4 TDs in last 2 games vs. Belichick's Pats -- and that's with his IND receiving corps, not who he has now. Pats have allowed 7 pass TDs in last two games.
RB Willis McGahee A little risky. Pats have allowed just one 100-yard RB and 1 TD to RBs through four weeks.
WR Demaryius Thomas Receivers have totaled 4 TDs in last three vs. Pats. Thomas has 100+ yards and/or a TD in 3 of 4 games.
WR Eric Decker After slow start Decker has posted back-to-back 13 point Fantasy outings. Hard to sit him given the matchup.
TE Jacob Tamme Wouldn't call Tamme safe but the Pats have allowed at least 6 Fantasy points to starting tight ends every week.
DST Broncos   They were awesome vs. OAK last week but struggled vs. HOU week before. Pats at home always put up points.
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Big game at home and coming off of a 4-touchdown outing, it's impossible to sit him.
RB Stevan Ridley Pretty much have to start him despite tough matchup. Broncos have allowed 2 TDs to RBs and one 100-total-yard game. Ridley could score, yardage might not be huge.
RB Brandon Bolden Could sneak in for a score but might be locked into a clock-killer role, not a featured role like Ridley.
RB Danny Woodhead If Pats have to get into hurry-up mode, he'll have a chance to be a factor. Has TD in each of last two games.
WR Wes Welker Anyone still questioning Welker's role in offense? 5 of 7 passing TDs allowed by DEN from 5 yards or less.
WR Brandon Lloyd Double-digit Fantasy points in each of his last two games while leading the Pats in targets.
TE Rob Gronkowski Broncos have already allowed three TDs to tight ends, Gronk has three TDs in four games.
DST Patriots DSTs against Denver have failed to top 7 Fantasy points in three of four tries. Pats DST seems risky.

It always sounds like Peyton Manning's passing game is short-to-intermediate, but he will take shots down the field to keep a secondary honest and that will be the case Sunday whether the Broncos build a lead or play fron behind. Moreover, Manning's offense runs the ball enough to keep the linebackers in a bind and that will also be a factor. Believe me, his arm is almost as good as it was when he was 30 years old. He has excellent receivers to work with and Willis McGahee is dying to rush for 100 yards like he did last week. I expect the Broncos to keep up with the Patriots. -- Pat Kirwan

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Mall of America Field
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Hasselbeck Low-end sleeper. Averaged 310 yards per start last year when Britt was healthy. MIN has allowed 5 passing TDs so far.
RB Chris Johnson Vikings run D has yet to allow TD or over 77 rush yards to a RB. They're a handful. Temper expectations.
WR Nate Washington Vikings have allowed just two TDs to WRs so far but would have been beat up by Lions last week if not for drops.
WR Kenny Britt Expected to return after missing last week. Only one receiver (Donnie Avery) has more than 75 yards vs. MIN.
WR Kendall Wright Caught a TD from Hasselbeck in garbage time last week, had TD in 2 of last 3 games. Risky sleeper.
TE Jared Cook Vikings have allowed red-zone TDs to TEs in 3 of 4, Pettigrew had end zone drop last week. Sleeper.
DST Titans Other than ridiculous special-teams game vs. DET, Titans DST has scored 6 or fewer Fantasy points per game.
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder Titans have given up 10 pass TDs (at least 2 per week), two 275+ yard passers. Ponder stunk last week, worth a gamble this week.
RB Adrian Peterson Titans have allowed four 1-yard touchdown runs, 2 100-yard rushers. AP should destroy them.
WR Percy Harvin All 3 of TDs caught by WRs vs. TEN came in shootout vs. DET, includes Hail Mary. You'll start Harvin anyway.
WR Jerome Simpson Vikings took shots downfield to Simpson last week, drew penalties. Just a matter of time before he explodes.
TE Kyle Rudolph Worth starting. Tennessee has allowed a TD to TE in 3 of 4 games and six TDs overall this season.
DST Vikings Tremendous one-week option. 3 of 4 DSTs vs. TEN have had 15+ Fantasy points. Vikings have tallied 17+ Fantasy points each of last two games.

Chris Johnson had a solid game against the Texans in Week 4, but I wouldn't call him impactful. He didn't score on 25 carries and he picked up 41 of his yards when the score was 38-7 late in the fourth quarter. In fact he had 55 yards in the fourth quarter with the game decided. Let's see what he does against an underrated Vikings defense in a head-to-head match with Adrian Peterson. Chad Greenway, Jared Allen and the Vikings still haven't allowed a running back to score or even total 100 total yards. -- Pat Kirwan

San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers Saints have allowed 7 pass TDs and three 250+ yard games to QBs through four weeks. Rivers will have to throw a lot.
RB Ryan Mathews If Norv lets him run more, Mathews should rack up the yardage. Saints allowing 189.3 total yards per week to RBs.
RB Jackie Battle Worth the risk. Saints have allowed six TDs (five rushing) through four games. Battle has 4 TDs in last two.
WR Malcom Floyd Of the seven TDs the Saints have allowed through the air, six have been caught by wideouts. Four wideouts have had 90+ yards vs. NO.
WR Robert Meachem Not many will start him but matchup vs. old team/terrible pass defense the perfect elixir for what ails him.
TE Antonio Gates Saints pass defense has managed to do well vs. tight ends, a Steve Spagnuolo trait. Gates will still start for many but might struggle.
DST Chargers Chargers DST feasted on Chiefs last week. Not sure they can do the same thing vs. Brees' high-scoring Saints.
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Brees has 3 TDs in 3 of 4 games this year, shouldn't slow down. Chargers allowed five pass TDs over last two games.
RB Darren Sproles Like Brees, is an ex-Charger facing off vs. old team for first time. Has 9+ Fantasy points in 3 of 4 games this year.
RB Pierre Thomas Needs a long run or TD to be relevant on 10 touches. Bolts have allowed 2 rush TDs to RBs so far.
RB Mark Ingram   Sit him. Carries haven't been there, nor have goal-line opportunities. Get ready for another Saints shootout.
WR Marques Colston Chargers allowing one TD per game to receivers. Colston was back to his old self last week.
WR Lance Moore Hamstring injury is cause for concern but is still heavily targeted and plays well at home.
TE Jimmy Graham Has gone nine straight games without back-to-back touchdownless outings. Should get rolling; Tony Gonzalez gashed Chargers in Week 3.
DST Saints   Three of four opposing DSTs have put up 7 or fewer points vs. SD. Can't trust this porous unit.

Philip Rivers' play has been a hot topic this week. With a high-profile matchup against the high-powered Saints on Sunday, he needs to get his act together. Can he do it? One problem is his receiving corps not helping him like it has in the past. Vincent Jackson would go up for a jump ball and win. Robert Meachem isn't that kind of receiver and he's vanished. The run game hasn't scared anyone yet and when 10 of Rivers' 18 completions went to running backs last week it tells you the receivers aren't getting open or are as effective as they once were. Antonio Gates isn't the guy he was a few years ago and at 32 years old -- and with an injury history -- he's effective but not necessarily explosive. In my opinion, Rivers is doing the best he can with what he has to work with right now. That might not translate well to Fantasy. -- Pat Kirwan

Houston Texans at New York Jets -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Might not have to pass a lot, which could limit his production. Better options out there.
RB Arian Foster Jets have already allowed 6 rush TDs to RBs. No one is sitting Foster.
RB Ben Tate Risk to start him since twice already this season he's had a favorable outlook only to deliver minimal stats.
WR Andre Johnson Jets still haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver. Johnson's a fine start but has 1 TD in last three.
TE Owen Daniels Jets have allowed 2 TDs to tight ends, Daniels has scored in two straight. Still nervous starting him.
DST Texans Must-start. Who on the Jets is going to put up yardage and points?!
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez   Texans have allowed back-to-back 2 TD games to QBs, but Sanchez has been cold since Week 1.
QB Tim Tebow   Bump in playing time could begin this week. What else do the Jets have to lose?
RB Shonn Greene Texans still haven't allowed a rushing touchdown this season. Greene's still struggling to get 4 yards per carry.
RB Bilal Powell   Powell dominated playing time last week but had fewer carries. Still worth stashing.
WR Jeremy Kerley Has 2 TDs in four games, 45+ yards in 3 of 4. Getting a heck of an opportunity with Santonio done for the year.
WR Chaz Schilens   Was a sleeper for me a long time ago but knee injuries have robbed him of playing time and speed.
DST Jets   No Revis, no pass rush and the Texans coming to town? Steer clear.

Houston wants to run the ball every chance it can get and this could be a 40 run-attempt game. Matt Schaub has only thrown the ball 13 times in the fourth quarter this season and it looks like another day with three or four throws in the last quarter is ahead against the Jets. The Houston defense is going to reduce the Jets offense to virtually nothing and there will be no reason for Houston to throw it all over the field, especially with a shootout looming at home against Green Bay the next week. -- Pat Kirwan

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Edward Jones Dome
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Kevin Kolb Opportunistic Rams D has 8 INTs with just two pass TDs allowed. Very tough matchup for Kolb.
RB Ryan Williams Matchup is nice but his OL is in rough shape. Rams get big DT Michael Brockers back. Starting Williams is a risk.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Battle vs. Cortland Finnegan will be fun. In '09 meeting vs. Finnegan, Fitzgerald had under 40 receiving yards. Rams secondary has been great but 'Fitz is a must-start.
WR Andre Roberts Good bye-week receiver. Has at least five Fantasy points per game -- and a TD in 3 of 4 games.
WR Michael Floyd   Don't start him but keep an eye on him. Starting to get involved in Cardinals offense.
DST Cardinals Must start. Rams offense has produced 16 or fewer points in 3 of 4 games.
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford QBs have torched Cards for yardage but not touchdowns. Arizona has allowed only 3 pass TDs.
RB Steven Jackson Great first half dwarfed by ridiculously terrible second half last week. Cards awesome vs. run this year, held S-Jax scoreless last year (allowed 220 total yards in two games though).
WR Danny Amendola Ankle injury on top of good Cardinals secondary suggests another good, not great, game for Amendola.
WR Chris Givens   One to watch. Rams have been looking for him deep. If Brandon Gibson isn't 100 percent, he could be a factor.
DST Rams Sleeper. Secondary has played very well this year, addition of rookie DT Brockers should help run defense.

Kevin Kolb lost his job last year because he couldn't get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald when the coverage dictated to go somewhere else. Kolb stood on the sidelines and watched John Skelton throw to Fitzgerald no matter what the coverage told him to do. Now Kolb throws to Fitzgerald all the time. When Kolb came off the bench Week 1 he threw to Larry on three of his first four passes and already has targeted him 32 times with 24 receptions and two touchdowns. The Rams will be very aware of Fitzgerald out there, but they might have a difficult time containing all of the Cardinals' options. Todd Heap should be back and Kolb has done well targeting Andre Roberts and Early Doucet a combined 29 times with 18 receptions. -- Pat Kirwan, CBSSports.com NFL Insider

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Report: Chargers hold workout for Austin Pettis
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Chargers held a workout for former Rams wideout Austin Pettis, according to ESPN.

Pettis was cut by St. Louis in October, and hasn't hooked on with a team just yet. The Chargers are dealing with a number of injuries at the receiver position, and are looking to sign Pettis as depth. Pettis caught 12 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown before he was cut. 


Report: Chargers punter Mike Scifres could end up on IR
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Chargers punter Mike Scifres could wind up going on injured-reserve, according to FoxSports.

Scifres is progressing from a shoulder injury, but the team is pressed for roster spots. Scifres has already missed two games due to the injury, and was ruled out of for the team's regular season finale. The Chargers need to add a center to the active roster, and Scifres could be in danger of losing his spot so the team can add another lineman. 


Saints' Marques Colston reflects on down year
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints wideout Marques Colston reflected on his less than stellar season on Friday, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

Colston, who rarely gives interviews, expressed his frustrations with the season. He's currently on pace to register his second-lowest yardage total in his nine seasons, and needs one touchdown in order to avoid setting a career-low in the category. Colston admitted the struggles got to him during the year. "It’s not a secret I didn’t play up to my own standards," he said. "I’ve got to live with that." He added, "I pride myself on trying to be part of the solution. Instead this year, I feel like I was part of the problem at times."

Colston did not want to address his future in New Orleans, instead opting to look forward to the team's final game this Sunday.


Marshawn Lynch among Seahawks' probables
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable for Week 17 against the Rams.

Lynch was listed on the injury report with a back injury, but has been able to battle through the issue all season. He did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to put in a full practice on Friday.

The team should also have Tony Moeaki and Russell Okung. Both players were listed as probable on the final injury report. 

Cooper Helfet, Chris Matthews, Tharold Simon and Max Unger are listed as questionable, and will be game-time decisions. 

Both Demarcus Dobbs and Jermaine Kearse have already been ruled out for the contest. 


Report: Saints' Jimmy Graham to have MRI on shoulder
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will have an MRI on his shoulder next week, according to the New Orleans Advocate

Graham initially injured his shoulder back in Week 5, but has been able to play through the injury all season. While his touchdown total has remained solid, Graham's yardage is down this year. It's possible he's more injured than he's let on all season, and the injury is serious enough that the team will send him for the MRI. Once the team has a diagnosis, Graham will evaluate with team doctors.


Rams list Scott Wells, Janoris Jenkins as probable, E.J. Gaines doubtful
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Rams have listed center Scott Wells (back) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) as probable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks after both were able to participate fully in practice Friday.

Cornerback E.J. Gaines, who is dealing with a concussion, is considered doubtful for the game. If he is unable to go, rookie Lamarcus Joyner or Marcus Roberson could see an uptick in playing time.

The Rams 12 1/2-point underdogs against the Seahawks Sunday.


Cardinals list four as questionable for Sunday against San Francisco
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) With quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) already declared out, the Cardinals listed four players as questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers including Deone Bucannon (knee), John Carlson (calf), Johnathan Cooper (wrist) and Dan Williams (foot).

Linebacker Larry Foote is also listeed as doubtful for the game with a knee injury. Foote has not missed a game this season, totaling 84 tackles and two sacks.

The Cardinals have also listed the following players as probable: Lorenzo Alexander (knee), Jaron Brown (toe), Calais Campbell (hip), Larry Fitzgerald (knee), Rashad Johnson (ankle), Ted Larsen (shoulder), Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) and Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder).


49ers rule out three for Sunday against the Cardinals
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The 49ers have deemed running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee) and safety Eric Reid (concussion) as out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

It is the second straight game out for both Hyde and Johnson. Hyde finishes his rooke season with 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns while Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns this year.

Wide receiever Bruce Ellington (hamstring), cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (hamstring) and Perrish Cox (shoulder) and linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb) are all listed as questionable.

Michael Crabtree (knee), Chris Culliver (knee), Brandon Lloyd (groin), Marcus Martin (illness) and Justin Smith (back) are all listed as probable.

The 49ers are currently 6 1/2-point favorites against Arizona Sunday.


Lions' Dominic Raiola loses appeal, remains suspended for Week 17
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Lions center Dominic Raiola's one-game suspension was upheld by the league following his appeal. Raiola received the one-game suspension earlier in the week after stomping on the leg on Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson in Week 16.

The Lions are currently 7 1/2-point underdogs on the road against the Packers in Week 17.


Raiders list seven player on Week 17 injury report
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Raiders listed seven players on its final injury report for Week 17 against Denver. Wide receiver Vincent Brown (groin), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), and wide receiver Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) were ruled out for for Sunday. Cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), linebacker Khalil Mack (hamstring) and tackle Menelik Watson (foot, ankle) were labeled questionable.

Meanwhile, defensive back Ras-I Dowling (hamstring) got the green light after being a limited participant all week. He was deemed probable for the final game of the season.


 
 
 
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