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Week 10 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.

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, EverBank Field
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Road games haven't agreed with Luck, but matchup is too good to pass up.
RB Vick Ballard Has to be used as at least a flex after the Lions rumbled for four rushing TDs vs. JAC last week.
RB Donald Brown   Not sure if he'll get a full workload on a short week after his knee bothered him vs. MIA.
WR Reggie Wayne Had eight grabs for 88 yards vs. JAC in Week 3, Jags have allowed six TDs to WRs since.
WR Donnie Avery Should be a decent third receiver for Fantasy owners assuming he's active. Made some nice plays before getting hurt last week.
WR TY Hilton Scorched Jags for 113 yards & TD back in Week 3, should be a big factor if Donnie Avery is out.
TE Dwayne Allen Jaguars have been good vs. TEs (zero TDs allowed this year). Only one TE has 60+ yards vs. JAC in 2011.
DST Colts Big-time sleeper. Each of last six DSTs to play Jaguars have had 11+ Fantasy points.
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Blaine Gabbert Desperation option. IND has allowed one 275+ yard passer in last seven, 6 pass TDs in last four.
RB Rashad Jennings Colts run D has allowed 9 rush TDs & 149.9 total yards per game. Despite limited production, Jennings worth another start.
WR Cecil Shorts Seven WRs have had 8+ Fantasy points vs. IND in their last five games. Could be a rebound game for Shorts, who caught an 80-yard TD vs. IND in Week 3.
WR Justin Blackmon Scored first TD last week but still had just 32 yards on five catches (nine targets). Would take a lot of guts to start him.
TE Marcedes Lewis   Colts have allowed just one TD to a TE all year, none to 10 Fantasy points. Lewis had 8-yard catch vs. IND in Week 3.
DST Jaguars The Vikings, Dolphins and Packers all failed to land 10+ Fantasy points vs. IND this year. No way are the Jags an option.

I don't see the Jaguars offense doing much against the Colts here. Without Maurice Jones-Drew, defenses can play the situation and not the player, putting the Jags at a disadvantage. Jacksonville beat Indianapolis the first time but Blaine Gabbert threw for 155 yards and had MJD behind him for 177 yards rushing. Jacksonville is headed south and the Colts are in the middle of a playoff run. Andrew Luck threw for 333 yards the last time he faced Jacksonville and he will top that number this time. Even with Justin Blackmon scoring last week and Cecil Shorts playing some good football, do not use any Jacksonville players in Week 10. -- Pat Kirwan

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Should post big game. 4 of last 5 QBs vs. NO have topped 300 yards, all four also had 2+ TDs. Ryan had 350+ yards in both games vs. NO last year but just 3 total TDs.
RB Michael Turner Every NO opponent has had at least one 10+ Fantasy RB, all but one have had 12+ Fantasy points. Turner should roll.
WR Julio Jones A must. Saints giving up 223.3 yards to WRs over last three. Eight receivers have 90+ yards against them on the year.
WR Roddy White New Orleans has allowed 12 TDs to wideouts in their last five games. White has 10+ Fantasy points in 3 of last 4 vs. NO.
TE Tony Gonzalez Tough call here: Obvious potential but Saints have allowed just one TE to get more than 6 Fantasy points all season!
DST Falcons Last five DSTs to play the Saints have posted single-digit Fantasy points. Tough to like the Falcons this week.
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Only one QB has thrown 2 TDs vs. ATL but 2 of last 3 QBs topped 300 yards. Brees has topped 300 yards in last 4 vs. ATL with 2+ TDs in three of them.
RB Pierre Thomas Falcons have allowed 127.0 total yards per game to RBs with 3 TDs over last three. Thomas should stay busy.
RB Mark Ingram   Played on just 18 of 56 snaps last week, has more than 7 carries in just one game this season.
RB Chris Ivory   Was more of clock-killing back in Week 9, getting 7 of 10 carries in second half. Not sure he'll get much work vs. Falcons.
WR Marques Colston Falcons have given up just five TDs to WRs all year, only two No. 1 receivers have scored. But Colston did very well vs. ATL last year (11+ Fantasy points in each game).
WR Lance Moore His last three vs. ATL have been duds (no more than 53 yards, no TDs). Only two opponents have produced two WRs with 7+ Fantasy points each vs. ATL all year.
TE Jimmy Graham Falcons still might not have answer for him. Has scored in three straight vs. ATL, but the Birds have only allowed 2 TDs to TEs this year.
DST Saints   No miracle this week. Only two DSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points against the Falcons.

Pierre Thomas just doesn't get the ball enough to consider him as a great Fantasy back, especially in a game like this one. Thomas has 58 carries in seven games (8.2 per game) and he only has one rushing touchdown. Michael Turner is not the back he once was but he will get his 16 carries a game and the short-yardage/goal-line carries. If I had to take one of these backs it would be Turner against the Saints defense. Turner has a 4.1 average for his career against New Orleans. -- Pat Kirwan

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Has 300+ yards, 2+ TDs & 2+ INTs in each of last three vs. NE but has zero TDs in 3 of last 4 overall.
RB C.J. Spiller Has second-worst game of season vs. NE in Week 4 but has 100+ total yards in each of last three games.
RB Fred Jackson Averaging 15 touches per game over last five but with just 70.2 total yards per game & two TDs.
WR Steve Johnson Had just 23 yards vs. NE in Week 4 but scored in 3 of previous 4 against them. Bills will throw a lot.
WR Donald Jones Deep sleeper. Pats have allowed 195.0 yards & 6 TDs in last four to WRs. Jones playing a bunch.
TE Scott Chandler Scored twice vs. NE in Week 4. Pats have allowed two TDs to TEs in four games since.
DST Bills   No DST has posted more than 10 Fantasy points vs. NE this year, and that shouldn't change this week.
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Has 3+ TDs in each of last five vs. BUF with 325+ yards in each of last three! You better start him!
RB Stevan Ridley Had 106 rush yards & 2 TDs vs. BUF in Week 4. Bills have allowed 142.3 rush yards to RBs per game w/ 12 TDs.
RB Shane Vereen Desperation option. Has TD in two of last four and 8+ touches in each of his last two.
WR Wes Welker Has 10 or fewer Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 vs. BUF (and each of last two overall). BUF has allowed 90+ yards to WR in 4 of last 5.
WR Brandon Lloyd Scored on Bills in first '12 meeting, one of 12 TDs Bills have allowed to WRs this year.
TE Rob Gronkowski Gronk is a Bills killer. In five career games Gronk has 418 yards and eight TDs against them. Obvious must-start.
TE Aaron Hernandez If healthy should be a big factor. Had 138 yards & TD in last game vs. BUF (in '11).
DST Patriots DSTs vs. BUF have scored 11+ Fantasy points in four of Bills' last five. Pats should be solid.

We've heard Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick say the team needs to get C.J. Spiller more touches, but I'd be careful using Spiller or Fred Jackson against a strong Patriots defensive front that's coming off a bye. Right now Spiller averages 13 touches per game and Jackson 10 per game over the season. Even if Spiller gets a spike in touches it still will probably be under 20. Playing the rested Patriots in New England sounds as bad as it will be, especially since the Bills probably won't be able to stay with the run game long enough for either guy to pile up numbers. -- Pat Kirwan

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Bank of America Stadium
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning You'll start him, but Panthers' pass rush has come alive, pass D has allowed just one QB to throw 2+ TDs against them all year.
RB Willis McGahee Maybe a little risky. Panthers holding opposing RBs to 78.0 rush yards per game over last three -- but with 2 rush TDs allowed.
WR Eric Decker Incredibly hot with 5-game TD streak (7 in that span). Still worth it vs. CAR, who have allowed just 2 TDs to WRs in last five.
WR Demaryius Thomas Little nervous about him after he tweaked knee but still has immense potential. CAR hasn't allowed a 100-yard WR since Week 4.
DST Broncos Panthers have yielded 10+ Fantasy points to 3 of last 4 DSTs. Broncos have 9+ Fantasy points in each of last three.
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Two of last three QBs vs. DEN have tossed 2 TDs but none have 300+ yards (two over 250 yards). Cam has 2+ total TDs in 3 games this year.
RB Jonathan Stewart Broncos giving up 150.5 total yards to RBs over last four with 4 total TDs, but Stew has yet to exceed 80 total yards in a game.
RB DeAngelo Williams Started to see more playing time last week, especially cutting into Stewart's snaps. Still can't trust enough to start.
WR Steve Smith You'll start him but DEN has held WRs to two 80+ yard games & two TDs over their last five.
TE Greg Olsen Another good matchup for Olsen -- DEN has allowed 10+ Fantasy points to the last three TEs they've faced. Can he take advantage?
DST Panthers No DST has more than 13 Fantasy points vs. DEN, only three have 10+ points. Can't lean on the Panthers.

Everyone's waiting for Cam Newton to be amazing. But he doesn't need to be amazing, he needs to be consistent. People just aren't giving NFL defenses and coaches the credit they deserve for scheming against Newton. Cam has the skills and work ethic to be great player but is struggling like other second-year quarterbacks (Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert). Denver comes to town this week and the scoring pressure that Peyton Manning will apply is going to force Newton to play from behind and that's when he makes mistakes. I would stay away from Newton this week figuring that he's had a hard time consistently putting up big stats and could struggle again. -- Pat Kirwan

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mall of America Field
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford Vikings have allowed three passing touchdowns in back-to-back games. No excuses for Stafford, who has 300+ yards in 2 of last 3 vs. MIN.
RB Mikel Leshoure Must start. Vikes have allowed 138.3 rush yards per game over last two with 4 total TDs to RBs.
RB Joique Bell MIN has given up 194 receiving yards just to RBs over last three games. Bell should be useful in a pinch.
WR Calvin Johnson Vikings have done well vs. No. 1 WRs but Johnson seems healthy after drubbing Jags last week. No way you sit him.
WR Titus Young Non-No. 1 WRs have torched the Vikings with Golden Tate the latest benefactor. Young worth using again.
WR Ryan Broyles Still not playing a ton (about 40 pct. of snaps) but productive for a few points, which should continue vs. MIN's weak secondary.
TE Brandon Pettigrew Pettigrew had one of his better games vs. MIN in Week 4. Since that game only one TE has scored on Vikings.
DST Lions Each of last four DSTs to play Vikings have had 13+ Fantasy points. Lions should keep up its hot streak.
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder   Lions have allowed 2 pass TDs in 5 of last 7 games but Ponder had no TDs earlier this year against the Lions. Can't trust him.
RB Adrian Peterson Has 8 TDs & over 1,100 total yards in 10 games vs. DET. Lions have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to RBs in 4 of last 5.
RB Percy Harvin If he plays has the chance to score. Lions have allowed 5 TDs to WRs in last 4.
WR Jerome Simpson   Can't be trusted even though Lions have allowed 148.7 yards per game to WRs over the last three games.
TE Kyle Rudolph Only one TE has scored on DET over last five games. Coaches say they want to get Rudolph more involved but owners might want to see it first.
DST Vikings Lions' offense starting to roar: 3 of last 4 DSTs vs. DET posted 4 Fantasy points or less. Lions avg. 410.9 total yards per game.

The Lions might have had their most satisfying win of the season last week and it came when the run game woke up and delivered four touchdowns. That run game along with the production two weeks ago by Titus Young should open things up for Calvin Johnson, who has one touchdown all year. The Lions offense has some balance to it right now and that could mean a big day against the Vikings this week. Keep in mind, Stafford is only 2-3 against the Vikings as the starter and was sacked 20 times in those five games. The run game could even out Stafford's record, especially since the Minnesota defense has gone soft over the last few weeks against the run. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning He's been abysmal in 4 straight but could perk up vs. CIN. Bengals have allowed 2+ TDs, 250+ yards to QBs in 2 of last 3.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Rush average has been in the tank for last three games (3.4 avg.), CIN has held RBs to 97.3 rush yards over last four.
RB Andre Brown Has scored in three straight with 20+ yards per game too. CIN has allowed four rush TDs over last 4 games.
WR Victor Cruz Cincy has allowed a 90+ yard receiver in each of last three, gave up 2 TDs to Eric Decker last week.
WR Hakeem Nicks Need to see him play well before considering him, even in a matchup vs. 19th-ranked pass defense.
TE Martellus Bennett This could be the week. Tight ends have scored in each of last three vs. CIN.
DST Giants Dalton has been picked off at least once per game this year, sacked 2+ times in 6 of 8 games. Roll with the Giants.
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Eight of nine teams have thrown for 240+ pass yards vs. NYG, six have 2+ total TDs. You'd have to be desperate to trust Dalton though.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Weird stat: RBs that get 15+ carries have decimated Giants, scored 12+ Fantasy points. Kind of like the Law Firm.
WR A.J. Green A must. Giants allowed two WRs to score last week & 12 TDs to WRs on the season.
TE Jermaine Gresham Coming off career-high 108-yard game, has scored 10+ Fantasy points in half of his last six games.
DST Bengals Giants have scored 28.6 points per game over last five, Bengals allowing 23.2 points per game over last five. Don't do it.

Eli Manning went through a four-game losing streak last year, but he also threw eight touchdowns in those four games. Though he suffered his first loss in over a month, Manning's numbers have been pretty bad since a win against the Browns. What he needs is someone besides Victor Cruz to step up and be a playmaker. You'd think Hakeem Nicks would be over his knee injury by now but he's suffered more swelling and probably needs an operation. What will help him this week is the matchup against the Bengals, who didn't sack his brother Peyton last week. Figure Eli will get the time to throw in this game and have a chance. The Bengals have given up 89 points in the last three weeks and six of those touchdowns were through the air. Andy Dalton has his own struggles and the Giants pass rush will put more pressure on him than the Bengals defense can put on Manning. Dalton was sacked five times by the Broncos and it could be more of the same from the Giants. I think Eli will have the better game. -- Pat Kirwan

Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Carson Palmer Should throw a ton. Two of last three QBs vs. BAL have thrown for 250+ yards & 2+ TDs. Palmer hasn't topped 20 Fantasy points in four road games.
RB Marcel Reece Six RBs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in the Ravens' last five. Reece a physical threat with excellent hands (caught 75.7 pct of targets over last 2 years).
RB Taiwan Jones Unreal speed but has just 17 career carries. Ravens have allowed 176.0 rush yards to RBs over last four games.
WR Denarius Moore BAL has allowed 133.7 yards to receivers over their last three. Moore has at least 8 targets per game.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Has 7+ Fantasy points in each of his last three. Ravens have allowed 11 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points this season.
TE Brandon Myers Scored 2 TDs last week but Ravens have allowed just one TD to tight ends all year.
DST Raiders   Don't use them. DSTs have posted 10+ Fantasy points on BAL twice -- when they held them under 13 points. OAK allowing 28.6 points per game.
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Back home against a pass defense that allowed 247 yards & 2 TDs last week. Flacco could match those numbers.
RB Ray Rice After Martin racked up four TDs & 272 total yards at OAK last week you can bet on Rice getting a lot of work.
WR Torrey Smith Raiders have allowed 565 yards & 5 TDs to WRs over their last four games. Torrey should be solid.
WR Anquan Boldin Has 82 or more yards in 3 of last 5 games but hasn't scored since Week 1.
DST Ravens Raiders have totaled 340+ yards, scored 20+ points in each of last four games. Ravens DST just an OK option.

Much has been made about Joe Flacco playing at home versus on the road. While the Raiders coming over from the West Coast seems like the perfect matchup for Flacco, it's really a 'get-right game' for Ray Rice. The Raiders couldn't stop Doug Martin and his 251 yards rushing when both of his All-Pro guards were gone for the season. Well, the Ravens' offensive line is mostly fine and Rice has to be seeing stars after Martin's game last week. The Ravens gave the ball to Rice 25 times last week at Cleveland for 98 yards -- he will get 150 yards if he gets the same touches. What Flacco can do off of play-action will be good, but I don't know if it will be helpful enough for Fantasy. -- Pat Kirwan

San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Raymond James Stadium
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers Bucs have allowed 250+ yards to 7 of 8 opposing QBs and 2 of last 3 have thrown four TDs! Rivers has 2 TDs in 4 of last 5.
RB Ryan Mathews Tampa Bay has allowed a TD to RB in 6 of last 7 (five rushing) but just four RBs have totaled 90+ yards on the Bucs.
RB Ronnie Brown Has 5+ catches in 3 of his last 4 games. TB allowed 17 catches for 151 yards and a TD to OAK last week.
WR Malcom Floyd Receivers averaging 200.3 yards per game in last 4 vs. TB with a TD in each. Floyd could be effective again.
WR Danario Alexander If Chargers' WRs are still banged up, he's the desperation option for Fantasy. Has good size but brittle knees.
TE Antonio Gates No longer a tricky matchup after Brandon Myers scored his first two TDs of the year vs. TB last week.
DST Chargers Bucs have scored 28+ points & totaled 400+ yards in each of last four. No magic for the Chargers this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman No one's been hotter over last four weeks. Bolts allowed four straight 2+ TD passers before shutting out Weeden & Cassel last two weeks.
RB Doug Martin You'll start Martin and for good reason: SD has allowed 264 total yards & 2 TDs to RBs over last two weeks.
WR Vincent Jackson Big-time revenge game. Ex-Charger faces pass defense that allowed 7 TDs to WRs before shutting out Browns & Chiefs last two weeks. Jackson should shine.
WR Mike Williams Nine WRs have posted 8+ Fantasy points on the Bolts this year. Williams has 7+ Fantasy points in 6 of 8 games.
DST Buccaneers Chargers have scored 24+ points in 4 of 5 games, though DSTs put up 10+ Fantasy points in 2 of those 4.

We've seen many sides to Philip Rivers over the past couple of weeks with him playing very well against the Chiefs last Thursday. Now he'll take on a Bucs defense that saw Carson Palmer throw for 414 yards and four touchdowns against the Bucs. Rivers is coming off an extended rest from the Chiefs game last Thursday and his offense is starting to click. I see him popping off again, throwing for 300 yards and at least two touchdowns. The deep outside go routes looked good for Palmer last week and I could see Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander having five or six receptions each for 90 yards or more. -- Pat Kirwan

Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker QBs have topped 250+ yards in 7 of 8 games vs. MIA but only two have 2+ TDs. Locker might have to shake rust off first.
RB Chris Johnson Miami hasn't allowed a rush TD since Week 1, only have allowed one 100+ total yard RB. Will he get a big run late again?
WR Kenny Britt Tough to trust: Has just one game with more than 7 Fantasy points this season, but MIA has allowed 12 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points this year.
WR Nate Washington Leads Titans WRs with four TDs. Dolphins have allowed 9 TDs to WRs on the year including 4 in last four games (two last week).
WR Kendall Wright Dolphins allowed two 100-yard receivers last week, giving up on average 213.8 yards per game to WRs over last four.
TE Jared Cook No TE has scored on Miami but five have had 60+ yards against them. Cook has under 50 yards in 5 of last 6.
DST Titans Titans defense is weak, can't be trusted even though DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in four of last six weeks.
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill Great matchup. Titans have allowed 20 pass TDs, five 250+ yard passers and 8 of 9 QBs have 19+ Fantasy points against them.
RB Reggie Bush Titans have allowed 202.3 total yards & 4 TDs to running backs in last three. Wish Bush averaged more than 14.7 touches per game over last three.
RB Daniel Thomas Another good matchup for Thomas if you're thin at running back. He played more than Bush for the second week in a row.
WR Brian Hartline Might be another sleeper week for him. Titans have allowed 6 TDs to WRs in last four weeks with 5 WRs getting 9+ Fantasy points in that span.
TE Anthony Fasano   Desperation option. Tennessee has allowed 6+ Fantasy points to seven TEs in nine games.
DST Dolphins After Bears pummeled Titans last week, Dolphins should be salivating. Miami's D should be solid.

Ryan Tannehill is really growing into the quarterback position and the Dolphins coaches aren't afraid to call 40 pass plays per game for him. Throwing touchdown passes is his biggest problem, however -- the yardage is already there for him. Brian Hartline always benefits from big passing days for Miami and there are no excuses for him not to have one against the lowly Titans. Hartline was targeted 12 times last week and caught eight passes for 107 yards. To date he has been targeted 71 times with 41 receptions but just one touchdown. Maybe after this weekend he'll have two. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CenturyLink Field
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez Could throw for decent amount of yardage but tough to envision him having a good game.
RB Shonn Greene After AP blew through the Seahawks there's some optimism for Green who has 9+ Fantasy points in each of his last three.
WR Jeremy Kerley Seahawks have struggled with short, shifty receivers but still boast solid secondary. Kerley has 5+ catches in 3 of last 4.
TE Dustin Keller Has been huge for Jets' passing game but Seahawks have the defensive backs to limit him. No TE, not even Gronk, has 10+ Fantasy points vs. SEA.
DST Jets Three of last four DSTs vs. SEA posted under 9 Fantasy points, but Jets have the defense to make things challenging for Seahawks, even at home.
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Jets have only allowed four passing TDs over last six games, will make it tough on Wilson to have another big game.
RB Marshawn Lynch NYJ have given up just 2 rush TDs over last four games along with 108.3 rush yards in that span. Lynch has 100+ rush yards in three straight.
WR Sidney Rice Sick: No WR has scored on the Jets since Week 2! None have totaled 100+ yards either.
WR Golden Tate After big game last week, expect mediocre numbers here as Jets' secondary should be able to contain him.
DST Seahawks Four of the last five DSTs to take on the Jets have posted 13+ Fantasy points. Get the Seahawks active.

Don't be fooled by Adrian Peterson getting 182 yards rushing against the Seahawks last week. Just because he did that doesn't mean Shonn Greene will have a big day too. On the road Greene has 46 carries for 117 yards (2.5 per) against stingy run defenses like the Seahawks. Mark my words: Pete Carroll will firm up his run defense this week in response to last week's meltdown and force the Jets to lean on Mark Sanchez to beat him. -- Pat Kirwan

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo Five of last six QBs to play PHI have 2+ TDs against them, but Romo has one 2 TD game in his last four overall and in last four vs. PHI.
RB Felix Jones Eagles allowing 163.3 total yards per game to running backs. Jones had best start of the season last week, hopefully sees 15 touches this week.
WR Miles Austin Terrible recent history vs. Philly, but Eagles pass defense is awful. Five WRs have 9+ Fantasy points against the Eagles in their last three.
WR Dez Bryant Hard to trust him with injury & chemistry issues. Has under 20 yards in 2 of last 3 games, has 90 total yards in two career games vs. Eagles.
TE Jason Witten Has 6+ catches in each of last five games (80+ yards in three). Both TEs with 6+ catches vs. PHI have at least 6 Fantasy points.
DST Cowboys After the Saints sacked Vick seven times, Cowboys should tee off. Eagles have had under 20 points in all but two games this year.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Michael Vick Cowboys have held all but one QB to 1 pass TD or less including Matt Ryan last week. Only two have 250+ pass yards. I'd sit Vick.
RB LeSean McCoy Has 10+ Fantasy points in all but one game this year & 3 of last 4 vs. DAL when he played more than a few snaps.
WR DeSean Jackson Four of last five vs. DAL have resulted in single-digit Fantasy point scores. Only four WRs have scored 10+ Fantasy points vs. DAL this season (two last week).
WR Jeremy Maclin Maclin has TD in each of last two vs. DAL but has one score in his last five overall with four games under 40 yards.
TE Brent Celek Only two TEs have posted 7+ Fantasy points vs. DAL and none since Week 2.
DST Eagles Three of the last four DSTs to play DAL have scored under 10 Fantasy points, something the Eagles DST have done in their last seven games.

The Cowboys are going to love watching the most recent Eagles game film. They'll quickly gather some game plan ideas while watching Jimmy Graham of the Saints come open, which will lead them to more passing to Jason Witten. Witten has already been targeted 78 times before last Monday's game but Tony Romo is not afraid to target him 22 times like he did in the Giants game. The Eagles pass rush isn't what it used to be, nor is the Eagles secondary, and Romo will get time to throw to open receivers. Romo is 5-5 as a starter vs. Philadelphia with 11 interceptions, 3 lost fumbles and 20 sacks so don't expect a smooth game, but he should still come down with a win and some good stats. -- Pat Kirwan

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Candlestick Park
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Niners have allowed one passing TD over last five with only one 200+ yard passer in that span.
RB Steven Jackson Totaled 95 rush yards, 26 receiving yards and no TDs in two games vs. SF last year. Run defense remains strong.
RB Daryl Richardson   Has averaged 11.0 touches over last four games with 5+ Fantasy points in three. That's about all you can expect vs. SF.
WR Danny Amendola Has 5+ catches in each game he's finished in '12. Only 4 of 10 WRs with 5+ catches vs. SF have had 7+ Fantasy points.
WR Brandon Gibson Production could decrease with Amendola coming back, but did score both TDs while Amendola was on the field.
WR Chris Givens Niners have allowed just 138.8 yards per game to wideouts. Givens' 50-yd catch streak definitely in jeopardy.
DST Rams Six of eight DSTs Niners have faced have scored 10 Fantasy points or less.
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Alex Smith Risky start. Rams' pass defense has been shattered for 9 TDs over last three games (with no INTs). Smith has two 3 TD games in last four -- and four with 1 or no TDs in last six.
RB Frank Gore Rams' three-game streak vs. RBs came to halt when NE totaled 152 rush yards & 2 TDs against them. Gore remains quality starter.
WR Michael Crabtree Five of Crabtree's 15 career TDs have come vs. STL including one in each of last four vs. Rams. STL has allowed five TDs to WRs in last two games.
WR Mario Manningham   Has 4+ catches in 5 of 7 games but 10+ Fantasy points in zero games. Hard to trust, even with a good matchup.
TE Vernon Davis Matchup is not bad: STL has allowed TD to TE in 2 of last 3. Davis has to get back into the swing of the Niners offense.
DST 49ers Every DST vs. STL has posted 9+ Fantasy points over last seven games. Niners have posted at least that much in five games.

The Niners always prefer to get the ball to 'big play' Vernon Davis but he only has been targeted seven times in the last three games and hasn't scored a touchdown in the last five games. Davis' best game against the Rams was the last time he met them and had eight receptions for 118 yards. I'm not sure Davis is targeted more than five times with four receptions this week. There are other weapons available to Alex Smith, who likes to spread the ball around in his offense, and Michael Crabtree has an incredible track record against the Rams. -- Pat Kirwan

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Hard to trust. No QB has tossed 2 TDs vs. Chicago this year but Schaub has 2+ TDs in 4 of last 6. Has been sacked seven times over last three games.
RB Arian Foster No way you're sitting him; he's done well in tough matchups before. CJ2K's garbage-time TD last week ended CHI's streaks vs. RBs.
WR Andre Johnson Should be OK. Has 8+ catches in each of last three games. All three WRs with 7+ catches vs. CHI topped 100 yards this season.
WR Kevin Walter Bears have allowed 11 WRs to 7+ Fantasy points including three over last two weeks.
TE Owen Daniels Bears among toughest vs. TEs (only two have topped 40 yards) but Daniels has shined in tough matchups before.
DST Texans Texans should sack Cutler a bunch and that's enough to keep them active. Two of last three DSTs vs. CHI have posted 13+ Fantasy points.
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Only 2 QBs have 20+ Fantasy points vs. HOU in 2012. And only two have 250+ yards passing. Not a good week for Cutler.
RB Matt Forte HOU hasn't allowed a rush TD to a RB all year but they have yielded three 100-total-yard RBs. MIA, BUF did OK vs. HOU passing to RBs.
WR Brandon Marshall Can't sit him. Texans have allowed one TD to WRs after the debacle vs. Green Bay. Marshall has 9+ Fantasy points in each of his last five.
DST Bears No DST has posted more than 11 Fantasy points against the Texans, but the Bears are too hot to sit.

Houston rarely plays in these three critical situations: When the team is losing, passing in the fourth quarter and third downs with eight or more yards to go. No one is calling the Texans soft but these are some issues Chicago will force Houston into, and they're the same tough situations that caused the Texans to lose to the Packers a few weeks ago. I'm not so sure Matt Schaub will respond with a big passing day and would avoid him this weekend in Fantasy. Jay Cutler will struggle as well against J.J. Watt and the Texans pass rush as sacks are back in the equation for the Bears offense, giving up 14 in the last three games. -- Pat Kirwan

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Cassel   Steelers pass defense has held each of last four QBs to 1 TD or less. Your only hope here is for garbage time stats.
RB Jamaal Charles Primary RBs haven't scored on PIT since Week 3 but Steelers have allowed rush TD in 3 of last 4. How much work can we really expect from Charles?
WR Dwayne Bowe Steelers have allowed TD to WR in three of last four and 5 of last 7. Bowe could clean up in garbage time.
DST Chiefs   Six of the last seven DSTs vs. PIT have posted 9 Fantasy points or fewer. You can definitely find a better DST.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Seven of eight QBs vs. KC have 2+ TDs, something Big Ben's done in 5 of 8 games. Should let loose against terrible secondary.
RB Isaac Redman Chiefs have allowed 181.7 total yards to RBs in their last three. Redman has best chance to lead Steelers in carries.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Seems tough to trust for big stats considering how well Redman played last week, but matchup should yield some numbers.
WR Mike Wallace Chiefs have allowed 11 TDs to WRs this year including six in their last three games. Wallace should shine.
WR Emmanuel Sanders Good sleeper thanks to extended playing time with Brown sidelined. Multiple receivers have scored on Chiefs in two of last three games.
TE Heath Miller Eric Berry couldn't keep up with Antonio Gates last week, could get lost in the end zone covering Miller this week.
DST Steelers Must start. Every DST vs. KC has posted at least 11 Fantasy points, four have found the end zone.

In the last three games the Chiefs only handed the ball to Charles 29 times for 83 yards and zero touchdowns. He didn't do much as a receiver in the same games (eight receptions, 40 yards and no touchdowns). The Kansas City defense doesn't get off the field and the offense settles for field goals if it doesn't turn the ball over. Matt Cassel has four interceptions and four lost fumbles in his last three games. In what should come as no surprise to anyone, expect a lot of stats from the Steelers defense. -- Pat Kirwan

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Player News
Reggie Bush says he doesn't plan to retire
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Three days after being released by the Lions, RB Reggie Bush said he has no plans to retire. 

TMZ reporters confronted Bush outside a Beverly Hills restaurant and asked if Bush, who turns 30 on Monday, was going to quit football. Bush responded with, "No." 

Bush rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Cowboys will let RB DeMarco Murray test the free-agent market, according to a report from Fox Sports Southwest

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said that negotiations with Murray's agents have been "slow". 

Jones said that Murray "is probably going to get some peace and see what's out in the market, and then we'll talk and see. I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."

Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Cowboys will use the franchise tag on WR Dez Bryant on Monday, according to a report by Fox Sports Southwest

The team has been trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Bryant, a free-agent to be. If a deal can't be made by Monday's franchise tag deadline, the Cowboys will use the tag to keep Bryant a Cowboy. 

"I still think that (it) would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told Fox. "Looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal. ... We just don't want to lose his rights."

Bryant had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. 


QB Josh McCown's contract with Browns worth $14 million
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Quarterback Josh McCown's deal with the Browns will pay $14 million over three years, a league source told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

With incentives related to playing time and playoff berths, McCown could earn $20 million over the course of the deal.

McCown will earn $6.25 million in fully guaranteed money, with $5.25 million of it coming in the first year of the deal.


Report: Panthers won't re-sign Greg Hardy
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Panthers DE Greg Hardy is scheduled to become a free agent on March 10. He missed most of last season while appealing his conviction for domestic violence. 

Even though the charges were dropped on appeal, the Panthers have no intention of bringing Hardy back, multiple league sources told BlackandBlueReview.com's Bill Voth


Texans' Brian Cushing has had three offseason surgeries
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Texans LB Brian Cushing has had three surgeries since the end of the season. 

In a public appearance on Saturday, Cushing told the Houston Chronicle's John McClain that he's had surgery on his broken right wrist as well as arthroscopic procedures on his left knee and left ankle. 

"It’s not uncommon for stuff like that to happen," he said of the two arthroscopic surgeries. "It’s just little things here and there, the residual effects of two major surgeries and injuries, the wear and tear of playing throughout the season. There were still some things bothering me a little bit. Just went in there and had real good success in both areas."

Cushing has a cast on his wrist. “It’s coming along real well,” he said. “I’m going to start working out a little bit. From a pain standpoint, there’s really nothing going on there. I’m real happy about that. I’m real happy to get the cast off and start doing some physical therapy on it, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore."


Report: 49ers to release wide receiver Steve Johnson
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The 49ers are expected to release wide receiver Steve Johnson, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington D.C.

The move will reportedly save the team $5.5 million in cap space. Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season.


Patriots running back Stevan Ridley: 'I have something to prove'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is expected to become a free agent in the coming weeks and he is ready for the experience.

"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


Patriots' Aaron Dobson doing well in rehab of hamstring injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that ended his season in 2014. Trainer Brett Fischer said Friday he thinks Dobson is going to turn heads when he heads back to Foxboro for training camp, according to the Boston Herald.

"He was talking about, 'When I go up there (to Foxboro) and they see me again, I want to make sure they know I'm in the best shape of my life.' He is really determined," Fischer said. "That is the underlying theme every day: 'Hey, I've got to be ready when April comes, be ready as far as the best shape of my life.' It's frustrating with two years of freaky-type stuff."

Dobson finished a disappointing 2014 season with three catches for 38 yards.

"He is doing great," Fischer said. "I'm really excited for him. He has put the time and effort into it, comes in early, gets all his work in and he is hungry. There are a few specific things we found, minor little things we're working on, that make his program a little bit unique to everybody else's. Nothing major."


Report: Should be a 'very active market' for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas turned down a five-year, $40 million contract for a reason. That's because it's believed he will have a "very active market" when the new league year begins on March 10, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

Two teams that are expected to target Thomas in free agency are the Raiders and Jaguars, both of which need to upgrade considerably at their skill positions to help out their young quarterbacks. The expectation is for Broncos general manager John Elway to let Thomas test the waters in free agency to see what he's offered. 

The Falcons have also reportedly been interested, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. 

Injuries slowed what was an otherwise fast start to his 2014 season. Thomas' season ended with 489 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


 
 
 
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