NY Jets at Denver (Thursday night) – John Fox was quoted this week as saying about his quarterback, Tim Tebow, “If we were running any other type of offense with him, we’d be screwed”. The Detroit Lions might question Tebow’s effectiveness in his current offense, but the fact remains that he’s 3-1 as a starter, and the Jets are banged up on offense. Still, New York should be able to ride Shonn Greene and their defense to victory; if Mark Sanchez has to throw the ball much more than 30 times, chances are it will be the Jets who are screwed. Expect Lance Ball to have an effective game for the Broncos, even if Willis McGahee is “healthy” enough to play. New York 21, Denver 20.
- NY Jets
- Start: RB Shonn Greene, WR Santonio Holmes (Probable-foot), TE Dustin Keller, DEF
- Neutral: QB Mark Sanchez, RB Joe McKnight (Probable-toe), WR Plaxico Burress (Probable-back)
- Sit: RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Out-knee), WR Jeremy Kerley (Out-knee), K Nick Folk
- Start: RB Lance Ball, DEF
- Neutral: QB Tim Tebow, WR Eric Decker, TE Daniel Fells
- Sit: RB Willis McGahee (Questionable-hamstring), WRs Demaryius Thomas & Eddie Royal, K Matt Prater
Buffalo at Miami (Sunday early) – This has been labeled a “must-win” game for the Bills, but with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing ineffectively the last few weeks, his two top wide receivers in danger of missing the game, and Miami playing much better the last two weeks, the Dolphins will thwart the Bills’ efforts. Dolphins’ running back Reggie Bush will continue his resurgence, and quarterback Matt Moore will have a field day passing to Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess. Miami 27, Buffalo 24.
- Start: RB Fred Jackson, TE Scott Chandler
- Neutral: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WRs David Nelson (Probable-ankle) & Donald Jones, DEF, K Dave Rayner
- Sit: RB C.J. Spiller, WR Steve Johnson (Questionable-shoulder), K Rian Lindell (Out-shoulder)
- Start: QB Matt Moore, RB Reggie Bush, WRs Brandon Marshall & Davone Bess
- Neutral: RB Daniel Thomas, TE Anthony Fasano (Questionable-ankle), DEF, K Shayne Graham
- Sit: WR Brian Hartline, K Dan Carpenter (Out-groin)
Dallas at Washington – Once one of football’s best rivalries the Cowboy-Redskin matches have lost most of their luster in recent seasons. Dallas is currently on the upswing; Washington is quickly descending to its projected position at the bottom of the NFC East. Tony Romo will continue his good play, and DeMarco Murray won’t lose too many carries to Felix Jones. Dallas 27, Washington 17.
- Start: QB Tony Romo, RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Dez Bryant & Laurent Robinson, TE Jason Witten, DEF
- Neutral: K Dan Bailey
- Sit: RB Felix Jones (Questionable-ankle), WR Miles Austin (Out-hamstring)
- Start: QB Rex Grossman, WR Jabar Gaffney, TE Fred Davis
- Neutral: WR Anthony Armstrong, DEF
- Sit: RBs Roy Helu, Tashard Choice (Probable-hamstring) & Ryan Torain, WR Terrence Austin, K Graham Gano
Oakland at Minnesota – Funny how no one refers to this as a “rematch of Super Bowl XI” - the term “rematch” must have an expiration date, and 35 years later is obviously well beyond it. You may be tempted to start Michael Bush after last week’s performance, but that wouldn’t be wise - Minnesota’s run defense is still one of the top in the league. The Vikes’ secondary is another story, however - Carson Palmer should continue his resurgence by having a field day against the Minnesota defensive backfield. Oakland 31, Minnesota 21.
- Start: QB Carson Palmer, WR Denarius Moore, DEF, K Sebastian Janikowski (Probable-hamstring)
- Neutral: RB Michael Bush, WRs Darrius Heyward-Bey & Jacoby Ford, TE Kevin Boss (Probable-knee)
- Sit: RBs Darren McFadden (Out-foot) & Taiwan Jones, WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh & Jacoby Ford (Out-foot)
- Start: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Percy Harvin, TE Kyle Rudolph
- Neutral: QB Christian Ponder (Probable-hand), WR Michael Jenkins (Probable-knee), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Questionable-hamstring), K Ryan Longwell
- Sit: RB Toby Gerhart, WR Devin Aromashodu, DEF
Tampa Bay at Green Bay – Tampa Bay sure won’t get in the way of the Green Bay Undefeated Express train (still plenty of time to hop aboard), and even though Josh Freeman will look slightly better for the Bucs than he has in recent weeks, the lack of healthy running back options will ultimately prove to be their undoing. Green Bay 41, Tampa Bay 14.
- Tampa Bay
- Start: QB Josh Freeman (Probable-thumb), WRs Mike Williams & Preston Parker, TE Kellen Winslow
- Neutral: RB LeGarrette Blount
- Sit: WR Arrelious Benn, DEF, K Connor Barth
- Green Bay
- Start: QB Aaron Rodgers, WRs Greg Jennings & Jordy Nelson, TE Jermichael Finley, DEF, K Mason Crosby
- Neutral: RB John Starks, WR James Jones
- Sit: RB Ryan Grant (Probable-knee), WR Donald Driver
Carolina at Detroit - Cam Newton is one of the few quarterbacks who can still have significant fantasy value even if he’s not throwing for 250+ yards, and Detroit’s run defense has been less-than-stellar. On the Detroit side of the ball their running back by committee approach renders all of their current options mediocre at best. Detroit 24, Carolina 21.
- Start: QB Cam Newton, RB DeAngelo Williams, WR Steve Smith, TE Greg Olsen
- Neutral: RB Jonathan Stewart, WR Legedu Naanee, DEF
- Sit: WR Brandon LaFell, TE Jeremy Shockey (Out-ribs), K Olindo Mare
- Start: QB Matthew Stafford (Probable-finger), WR Calvin Johnson, TE Brandon Pettigrew, DEF
- Neutral: RBs Maurice Morris & Kevin Smith, WRs Nate Burleson & Titus Young, K Jason Hanson
- Sit: RBs Keiland Williams & Jahvid Best (Out-concussion)
Jacksonville at Cleveland – Neither of these teams’ offenses will be confused with the Packers’ scoring-machine anytime soon. In fact, these two teams will combine for fewer points than Green Bay will put up this week. Running back Chris Ogbannaya was a pleasant surprise for most people last weekend; he and his Jaguar counterpart Maurice Jones-Drew are two of the few players involved in this game with any fantasy value. Jacksonville 17, Cleveland 13.
- Start: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR Mike Thomas, DEF
- Neutral: RB Deji Karim, WR Jason Hill, TE Marcedes Lewis
- Sit: QB Blaine Gabbert, WR Brian Robiskie (Questionable-hamstring), K Josh Scobee
- Start: RB Chris Ogbannaya, TE Ben Watson, DEF
- Neutral: WRs Josh Cribbs & Greg Little, TE Evan Moore
- Sit: QB Colt McCoy, RBs Peyton Hillis (Out-hamstring) & Montario Hardesty (Questionable-calf), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (Probable-concussion), K Phil Dawson
Cincinnati at Baltimore – Here’s another game where the two teams will combine for fewer points than Green Bay will score this week. Andy Dalton has had an impressive rookie season, but he’s not someone you’d want to start against a defense as strong as the Ravens’. Not much fantasy value for either team in this game, but it’s a good bet that if any player makes a significant fantasy contribution in this week’s game, it will be Ray Rice. Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 10.
- Start: TE Jermaine Gresham, DEF
- Neutral: WR Jerome Simpson
- Sit: QB Andy Dalton, RBs Cedric Benson & Bernard Scott, WRs A.J. Green (Doubtful-knee) & Andre Caldwell, K Mike Nugent
- Start: RB Ray Rice, TE Ed Dickson, DEF
- Neutral: QB Joe Flacco, WRs Anquan Boldin & Torrey Smith, TE Dennis Pitta
- Sit: RB Ricky Williams, WR Lee Evans (Questionable-ankle), K Billy Cundiff
Seattle at St. Louis (Sunday late) – Last weekend was the first time since the current NFL division alignment was created that all four NFC West teams were winners. Sadly, it seems that the schedule-makers were anticipating this amazing feat, and in a cruel twist of fate scheduled two intradivision games for this weekend. Neither team has much offense going for it, but Sam Bradford will win his personal “battle” with Tarvaris Jackson and lead the Rams to victory. St. Louis 24, Seattle 21.
- Start: RB Marshawn Lynch, WRs Sidney Rice (Probable-concussion) & Doug Baldwin (Probable-concussion), TE Zach Miller
- Neutral: QB Tarvaris Jackson (Probable-pectoral), WRs Ben Obomanu & Mike Williams, DEF
- Sit: RB Justin Forsett, K Steven Hauschka
- St. Louis
- Start: QB Sam Bradford (Probable-ankle), RB Steven Jackson, WR Brandon Lloyd, DEF
- Neutral: WR Austin Pettis & Brandon Gibson (Probable-groin), TEs Lance Kendricks (Probable-foot) & Michael Hoomanawanui, K Josh Brown
- Sit: RB Cadillac Williams (Out-calf), WR Danario Alexander (Doubtful-hamstring)
Arizona at San Francisco – The second game in the Sad Sack Division’s slate this weekend faces a team with a pretty good offense (Arizona) vs. a team with a pretty good defense (not-the-Arizona). The Cardinals have been somewhat more respectable the last few weeks with their “Skelton Crew”, but the 49ers’ defense will prove to be the most valuable fantasy entity in this game. San Francisco 24, Arizona 20.
- Start: QB John Skelton, WR Larry Fitzgerald
- Neutral: WRs Early Doucet & Andre Roberts, TE Jeff King, DEF
- Sit: QB Kevin Kolb (Questionable-toe), RBs Beanie Wells (Questionable-knee) & LaRod Stephens-Howling (Probable-shoulder), TEs Todd Heap (Questionable-hamstring) & Rob Houssler (Questionable-groin), K Jay Feely
- San Francisco
- Start: RB Kendal Hunter, WRs Michael Crabtree (Probable-foot) & Braylon Edwards (Probable-knee), TE Vernon Davis, DEF
- Neutral: QB Alex Smith, K David Akers
- Sit: RB Frank Gore (Questionable-knee), TE Delanie Walker
San Diego at Chicago – Philip Rivers has yet another match-up that seems close to ideal on paper, but as we’ve all seen the last few weeks, games are won by real-life players who don’t throw crucial interceptions late in games. Earl Bennett has emerged as former college teammate Jake Cutler’s favorite target the last few weeks; meanwhile, Johnny Knox continues to be one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy this season. San Diego 27, Chicago 24.
- San Diego
- Start: QB Philip Rivers, WR Vincent Jackson & Vincent Brown, TE Antonio Gates
- Neutral: RBs Mike Tolbert & Ryan Mathews, DEF, K Nick Novak
- Sit: WR Malcom Floyd (Out-hip)
- Start: RB Matt Forte (Probable-shoulder), WR Earl Bennett
- Neutral: RB Marion Barber, DEF, K Robbie Gould
- Sit: QB Jay Cutler, WRs Roy Williams, Devin Hester (Probable-ankle), Johnny Knox; TE Kellen Davis
- Start: RB Matt Forte (Probable-shoulder), WR Earl Bennett
Tennessee at Atlanta – Unfortunately for Chris Johnson owners, one week after a game in which he looked more like his old productive self again, Johnson has a very tough match-up with Atlanta’s run defense. Atlanta continued its Jekyll & Hyde act against the Saints in an overtime loss, but don’t shy away from Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Tony Gonzalez this week. Atlanta 24, Tennessee 21.
- Start: QB Matt Hasselbeck, WRs Nate Washington & Damian Williams
- Neutral: TE Jared Cook, DEF
- Sit: RBs Chris Johnson & Javon Ringer, K Rob Bironas
- Start: QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, TE Tony Gonzalez, DEF
- Neutral: RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Harry Douglas (Probable-thigh), K Matt Bryant
- Sit: WR Julio Jones (Questionable-hamstring)
Philadelphia at New York Giants (Sunday night) – If Atlanta isn’t the Jekylliest & Hydiest team in the NFL, then the Eagles certainly are. Another fourth-quarter collapse last weekend at home against the Cardinals has the Philly “faithful” calling for Andy Reid’s head coaching head, if not his GM head. Michael Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and the remorseful DeSean Jackson will all be in fine form Sunday afternoon, and the Eagles will prevail. Philadelphia 28, New York 21.
- Start: RB LeSean McCoy, WR DeSean Jackson, TE Brent Celek, DEF
- Neutral: QB Vince Young, WR Jason Avant, K Alex Henery
- Sit: QBs Michael Vick (Out-ribs) & Mike Kafka, WR Jeremy Maclin (Out-shoulder)
- New York
- Start: QB Eli Manning, WR Victor Cruz
(Questionable-judgment)& Hakeem Nicks, TE Jake Ballard
- Neutral: RB Brandon Jacobs, DEF, WR Mario Manningham (Probable-knee)
- Sit: RBs Ahmad Bradshaw (Out-foot), D.J. Ware, & Da’Rel Scott; K Lawrence Tynes
- Start: QB Eli Manning, WR Victor Cruz
Kansas City at New England (Monday night) – This game would have been interesting if both teams had all of their key players, but with the Chiefs’ sideline looking like a triage unit these days, nothing could be further from the truth. Matt Cassel is the latest key Kansas City offensive player to suffer a season-threatening (if not season-ending) injury, and it’s difficult to imagine Tyler Palko being up to the task of competing mano-a-mano with Tom Brady. Somewhere Charlie Weiss is laughing. New England 38, Kansas City 14.
- Kansas City
- Start: WR Dwayne Bowe
- Neutral: QB Tyler Palko, RB Jackie Battle, WR Steve Breason
- Sit: WR Jonathan Baldwin, TE Leonard Pope, DEF, K Ryan Succop
- New England
- Start: QB Tom Brady, WRs Deion Branch & Wes Welker (Probable-knee), TEs Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez, DEF, K Stephen Gostkowski
- Neutral: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Questionable-toe)
- Sit: RBs Stevan Ridley & Kevin Faulk (Questionable-knee), WR Chad Ochocinco
Good luck this weekend!
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