Jackie Battle joined forces with Norv Turner and A.J. Smith last week to troll Ryan Mathews fantasy owners. Will he do it again?
The reality is he averaged just 2.6 yards per carry and got most of his fantasy output on two touchdowns. While he is technically the starter and is likely to get the goal-line work, the Chargers cannot possibly think he gives them a better chance to win than Mathews, right?
Find out where Mathews stands in this week's rankings and much, much more.
20. Russell Wilson (at Carolina)
The Carolina defense is a bit lighter than the NFC West powerhouses, which should help Wilson get out of his funk a bit.
19. Ryan Tannehill (at Cincinnati)
This was a much nicer matchup before Dre Kirkpatrick, Leon Hall and Nate Clements all practiced. The Bengals pass defense just got a major booster shot.
18. Andrew Luck (vs. Green Bay)
He will not typically have horrible fantasy days, but this matchup is not all it's cracked up to be. The Packers have been good defensively outside of their matchup against the elite Drew Brees.
17. Alex Smith (vs. Buffalo Bills)
The 49ers have another nice matchup this week against the Bills, but Smith might have another low output if San Francisco can rush the ball the way it did last week.
16. Jay Cutler (at Jacksonville)
In a surprising turn of events, Jay Cutler did not throw an interception against the Cowboys despite that vaunted pass rush. The Jaguars are a bit lighter in that department, but the Bears might be doing a lot of their damage on the ground.
15. Matt Schaub (at New York Jets)
Speaking of doing all their damage on the ground, the Texans have Arian Foster, and the Jets have an awful run defense.
14. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Philadelphia)
As long as Big Ben has Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller, he should produce consistent fantasy numbers.
13. Christian Ponder (vs. Tennessee)
Last week was a bit of an aberration as the Vikings secondary took care of business. This is a nice matchup for Ponder.
12. Andy Dalton (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Dalton could be in for a huge day against a sagging Miami secondary.
11. Joe Flacco (at Kansas City)
Flacco has put up good fantasy scoring numbers all season, and he gets another good matchup this week.
The Steelers were last seen giving up a ton of fantasy points to Carson Palmer and the woeful Oakland Raiders.
They get Troy Polamalu and James Harrison back this week, which should help. Will it be enough to shore up an unusually porous defense?
Michael Vick has finally gotten into a bit of a groove with DeSean Jackson. Whether it sticks or it is short-lived remains to be seen, but his other weapons are healthy too.
Will we get Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde this week?
Philip Rivers is coming off a nice week against the Chiefs on the road, and the Saints are another soft matchup for the Chargers quarterback.
Considering the matchup, expect Rivers to have a pretty good game, even though it is on the road.
Thankfully for Cam Newton and the Panthers, this game is at home. The Seahawks defense can be awfully tough when augmented by the 12th Man.
Which version of Newton will we see: The one who looked lost against the Giants, or the one who almost beat the Falcons last week?
Eli Manning gets in under the wire before Joe Haden makes his triumphant return to the Browns defense.
Even without their stud cornerback for the past three weeks, however, the Browns are giving up just over 11 standard points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Manning will also be without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden this week.
Joe Flacco seemed to solve them last week, though, and Manning still has a few weapons to throw to.
The rivalry renews as Peyton Manning visits an old foe.
Manning's last pass against New England might have ended in an interception, but he has fared well against the Patriots far more often than not. He has averaged 25.8 standard fantasy points against them throughout his career.
The New England secondary is improved, but not particularly good yet. This should be a shootout.
The Falcons have not given up a lot of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but Cam Newton went to Atlanta and did some damage last week.
Robert Griffin III is teetering on the brink of a bad game. He has just four touchdown passes on the season; if any team contains him on the ground, he could put up a surprise goose egg.
Drew Brees shredded a good Green Bay defense on the road last week, nearly pulling out an improbable victory in the process.
The Chargers have an average defense that has only faced one other elite quarterback, Matt Ryan. He did a pretty good job against them.
Tom Brady did his best Cam Newton impression last week when he rushed for a four-yard touchdown. He also threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns, netting him the top fantasy week at quarterback.
The Broncos will be a tougher matchup, but he should still be in for a big fantasy game.
The NFL's MVP favorite after four weeks travels to Washington, which has given up enough fantasy points this season to make Joe Gibbs blush. He still has Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to throw to.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons are in for a nice fantasy day.
As predicted, the Swiss cheese Saints defense was good medicine for Aaron Rodgers, who more than doubled his season touchdown total in one game.
The Colts will not put up much more of a defensive fight, especially with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis ailing. Rodgers' only obstacle to score more points will be Cedric Benson, who figures to get in on the scoring eventually.
20. Donald Brown (vs. Green Bay)
This is not the best matchup for Brown, but he will have the opportunity to score points on the ground and in the passing game.
19. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. Cleveland)
He looks just fine. Andre Brown could continue to steal some playing time, but Bradshaw appears to have taken his gig back.
18. Michael Turner (at Washington)
Do not let his incredible Week 4 fool you; Turner will probably never catch a touchdown pass again.
17. Willis McGahee (at New England)
His late-career Renaissance continues regardless of quarterback. He travels to New England to face Vince Wilfork and a pretty good defensive front on the Patriots defense.
16. Darren Sproles (vs. San Diego)
He continues to put up oodles of fantasy points as a receiving back.
15. Cedric Benson (at Indianapolis)
Benson has quietly been effective when he has not had to face tough run defenses. When he gets into the end zone one of these weeks, he will have RB1 numbers.
14. Stevan Ridley (vs. Denver)
Apparently Bill Belichick trusts Ridley just fine. Brandon Bolden had a huge day last week too, but only after Ridley had worn them down and gotten his.
13. Reggie Bush (at Cincinnati)
Perhaps injury has hampered Bush, who has not put up big numbers the past two weeks. He is nursing a new hip injury, but he remains an integral part of this offense.
12. Trent Richardson (at New York Giants)
His stat line might look ugly, but his fantasy production has been consistently good after a poor Week 1 thanks to some touchdowns.
11. Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. Chicago)
This is a tough matchup for the Jaguars offense as a whole. If there is one guy who is up to the challenge, it's MJD.
Fantasy owners collectively held their breath after Matt Forte limped off the field last Monday coming off his first touch of the game. Fortunately, he was fine and had a decent game despite not getting into the end zone.
The Jaguars have given up a lot of fantasy points to running backs this season. With Forte seemingly back to form, look for him to get back into the end zone this week. That is, unless Michael Bush vultures one from the goal line.
Kendall Hunter might be nipping at his heels, but Frank Gore is doing everything he can to fend him off.
The 29-year-old back is stiff-arming Father Time thus far this season, scoring 49 standard points in the process. He gets a Buffalo team that has struggled against opposing running backs, much like the Jets had before the 49ers ran them over last week.
Alfred Morris keeps daring you to rank him lower, and he keeps producing.
Mike Shanahan sticks with running backs who are consistent and hang on to the ball, and Morris looks like he is tightening his grip on the starting job with each week that passes.
The only area of concern with him is his snap percentage—he has been in on just over 50 percent of offensive snaps the past few weeks. Still, he has gotten plenty of work when he has been in there, and he should get plenty more this weekend.
There are a couple of points of concern for Ryan Mathews.
First, he is currently not the starter for the Chargers. Jackie Battle is, however temporary, as A.J. Smith and Norv Turner appear to be continuing their message to Mathews about not fumbling, denials notwithstanding.
Even if Battle is a starter in name only, the Chargers utilized Mathews curiously last week. He had just four carries for one yard until the fourth quarter, when he salvaged his fantasy day by rushing 10 times for 60 yards.
All that aside, Mathews is most certainly San Diego's best running back. The Chargers must realize that, deep down.
On paper, this might seem like a tough matchup, but the Steelers defense is not playing at an elite level this season.
They get a bit healthier, which could be an issue for LeSean McCoy, but he will be difficult to contain.
Thankfully for Jamaal Charles and his fantasy owners, the Chiefs do not bench their best players in attempts to punish them for fumbles. (As if players did not realize they were not supposed to fumble.)
Charles got off to a horrendous start last week, fumbling twice early and showing a negative fantasy score to the horror of his owners. One electrifying 40-yard touchdown run was all it took to mend the damage, and Charles went on to have a great fantasy game.
The Ravens might seem like a tough matchup, but they are in the middle of the pack when it comes to giving up fantasy points to running backs.
After two weeks of tough rush defenses, Adrian Peterson gets a lighter matchup against the Titans.
Tennessee should finally afford All Day with his first touchdown since Week 1.
Marshawn Lynch has been a steady producer this season, and he goes up against one of the worst defenses against running backs in Carolina this week.
There is little reason to believe he will not have another nice day.
The Ravens seem intent on keeping Ray Rice fresh, otherwise he might be getting more opportunities to score fantasy points.
The Chiefs are not exactly a stout defense, though, and Rice is as elite as they come.
Ben Tate's toe is balky this week, as is the Jets defense.
Perhaps they will be motivated by the whooping they got at the hands of the 49ers, who ran all over the Jets in a rout last week.
Unfortunately for New York, Houston is a better team with a better running game. This is a rather good matchup for one of the league's best running backs.
20. Brian Hartline (at Cincinnati)
His fantasy explosion last week put him on the map. Is he a flash in the pan or will he produce at a high level all season long?
19. Eric Decker (at New England)
It seems the rapport has finally shown up between Decker and Manning during the regular season.
18. Marques Colston (vs. San Diego)
Just when you start to wonder if Colston deserves a fantasy "bust" label, he goes out and has a monster game.
17. Reggie Wayne (vs. Green Bay)
Wayne continues to be a favorite target for Andrew Luck.
16. Brandon Lloyd (vs. Denver)
His fantasy day was saved with a late touchdown grab last week. He gets a tough matchup against Champ Bailey this week.
15. Mike Wallace (vs. Philadelphia)
It seems like all the contract hullabaloo did not affect him much after all.
14. Wes Welker (vs. Denver)
It seems like all the snap-count hullabaloo was much ado about nothing.
13. Dwayne Bowe (vs. Baltimore)
Bowe has quietly been one of fantasy football's best receivers this season, but a tough matchup against the Ravens might cool him off a bit.
12. Steve Smith (vs. Seattle)
Richard Sherman comes to town with the Seahawks, which could spell a down fantasy day for Smith.
11. Brandon Marshall (at Jacksonville)
A roller-coaster fantasy season continues for Marshall. He had a huge game against the Cowboys, who seemed to lose track of him in the slot last week. This is not a bad matchup for the Bears receiver.
The Chiefs are a bit better defensively than they were when Brandon Flowers was out earlier this season, but they are only slightly improved from being absolutely atrocious.
Torrey Smith is living up to the expectations some experts laid at his fantasy feet this year, taking over the reins as the top receiver in Baltimore. He will not score a touchdown every game, but the Chiefs are a good matchup.
Jordy Nelson finally got it going last week against the Saints after a slow start. With Greg Jennings out again this week, look for him to have another great day.
This is a bit of a high ranking for Malcom Floyd, but he has a fantastic matchup.
The Saints have been one of the worst defenses against fantasy wide receivers this season. The entire passing game should have a good day, with Floyd benefiting the most.
It appears that Roddy White has plenty left in his tank at 30.
The wily veteran has used the attention defenses have paid to Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez to his advantage, abusing second cornerbacks when they dare disrespect him in the Falcons offense.
He has likely gotten the attention of defensive coordinators, meaning Julio Jones might have an easier time. Washington is a pretty good matchup for Atlanta's offense all around, so it would not be surprising to see multiple top-10 scorers.
The Eagles did not do as good of a job on Victor Cruz as expected, and he had a nice fantasy day as a result.
The Browns might try to limit Cruz with Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden out, but he is capable of going off at any time. He should break loose a few times against Cleveland.
Andre Johnson is nursing a sore groin, but the veteran receiver should be fine for this weekend.
Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets will turn to Antonio Cromartie to shadow the big receiver. He is no Darrelle Revis.
Expecting a shootout in New England means expecting fantasy points to fly around. Demaryius Thomas is being effectively utilized in the screen game by Peyton Manning, and he has the speed and length to go up for deep balls.
He should have a nice game against that New England secondary.
Percy Harvin has been shut out of the end zone thus far—at least on the offense—but he is due for a huge fantasy game. He has been targeted a lot; his game-breaking ability will eventually burn a defense.
Plus, the Titans do not exactly have a great defense.
Sean Smith will likely shadow A.J. Green this weekend. He did a decent job last week against Larry Fitzgerald, including two interceptions. Fitzgerald was still able to have a good day and find the end zone.
Green might be contained at times, but he will break loose against a weak secondary sooner or later.
He has vacillated between hot and cold this season, and he is coming off a down week.
That means he should have a hot one, eh?
Julio Jones faces a Washington defense that has not defended receivers particularly well this year. They must also try to stop Roddy White, who has had some huge games when Julio was contained.
The talented sophomore should have a nice bounce back this week.
20. Coby Fleener (vs. Green Bay)
Rookie tight ends are predictably bad in fantasy football, and Fleener has proved no different. He will continue to get plenty of opportunity to score fantasy points if he can stay healthy, though, and that buoys his fantasy value.
19. Heath Miller (vs. Philadelphia)
He has had a great season thus far, but do you expect him to score 16 touchdowns?
18. Jared Cook (at Minnesota)
The Titans do not have a terribly good matchup this week against the Vikings, and Cook has Matt Hasselbeck in at quarterback.
17. Martellus Bennett (vs. Cleveland)
Bennett came crashing back to earth last week with one catch for two yards. Will he benefit from Hakeem Nicks' and Ramses Barden's absences, or does that mean he is in for another long day?
16. Anthony Fasano (at Cincinnati)
The Bengals might have three cornerbacks back from injury, but their linebackers still have trouble covering players.
15. Jacob Tamme (at New England)
This would be the week for Tamme to get things rolling against a New England defense that has allowed a good number of fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
14. Scott Chandler (at San Francisco)
If there is one position the 49ers have given up fantasy points to, it is the tight end.
13. Greg Olsen (vs. Seattle)
Olsen has been a focal point of the Carolina offense in recent weeks, but the Seahawks are tough against tight ends.
12. Dennis Pitta (at Kansas City)
The big goose egg knocked Pitta from his perch near the top of the tight end standings last week. He was not targeted a ton, but he did fall down on a potential touchdown catch.
11. Jermaine Gresham (vs. Miami)
The Dolphins have a history of poor performances against opposing tight ends.
Brent Celek has yet to get into the end zone this season, but he will eventually get there. The Steelers, however, have done a pretty good job against opposing tight ends, including Antonio Gates.
Their other opponents were Anthony Fasano and Brandon Myers, though—not exactly the fantasy elite. It will be interesting to see if Celek can break through against Troy Polamalu and the Steelers.
The Jets appear to be soft against opposing tight ends, but they have tightened up their defense against the position in the past two weeks.
Vernon Davis scored just 2.8 points last week, though the 49ers did not really need to do much in the passing game considering how thoroughly they ran the Jets over on the ground.
Look for Owen Daniels to have a solid game.
In a shocking turn of events, Jermichael Finley dropped a touchdown pass last week that would have given him a great fantasy score. Instead, he had to settle for 5.4 standard points.
Indianapolis is a nice matchup, and Finley is bound to get back to the end zone after being shut out the past three games.
Antonio Gates had a better day against the Chiefs last week after tormenting his fantasy owners through the first three weeks of the season. He did not get into the end zone, but his 59 yards receiving was an improvement.
He goes up against a Saints team that has actually limited opposing tight ends in fantasy scoring, despite the soft nature of the defense.
Fred Davis has picked it up in the past two weeks, catching 11 passes for 160 yards in that span.
He is a score or two away from having a top-five day.
If this week is anything like last week, Vernon Davis might not be needed.
The 49ers clubbed the Jets with their running game, and the Bills do not exactly have a good run defense. They are a rather generous bunch on defense, however, and Davis is still Alex Smith's favorite target.
The big Vikings tight end had a great matchup last week, but the entire offense was given an off day by a special teams unit that scored twice en route to beating the Lions.
He has an even better matchup this week against the Titans, who have given up seven receiving touchdowns to opposing tight ends. The offense should bounce back to have a nice day, and Kyle Rudolph could be the biggest beneficiary.
Tony Gonzalez is still at the top of the league in fantasy scoring despite a relatively quiet Sunday last week. He tallied just 51 yards receiving with zero touchdowns after having scored in each of his first three games.
The Redskins have not done a great job limiting opposing tight ends, which makes for a nice day for Gonzalez. Incidentally, if these rankings shake out this way, the Falcons will put up 42 points this weekend.
Jimmy Graham continues to be Drew Brees' favorite target, though he failed to score a touchdown last week against Green Bay.
His volume is good enough to rank him at the top on a weekly basis, regardless of matchup. The Chargers have not been particularly good or bad against opposing tight ends, and Graham is a titan among men at the position.
Gronk smash Denver.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Chicago)
The threat of a Jay Cutler meltdown is ever present, otherwise the Jaguars might be ranked lower.
14. Miami Dolphins (at Cincinnati)
Without Richard Marshall, this already-weak secondary might give up 400 yards passing. The run defense and pass rush will need to be extra stout, like a Guinness.
13. New England Patriots (vs. Denver)
The Broncos have a good offense, but New England has forced a good number of turnovers this season. Perhaps Demaryius Thomas will drop another ball while running.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Miami)
Being at home will help, and Ryan Tannehill has had his share of turnovers this season. Getting three cornerbacks back from injury is huge.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia)
Will Troy Polamalu and James Harrison be able to turn this defense around? Back before their bye, they gave up a ton of points—both fantasy and real—to the lowly Raiders.
Robert Griffin III will be contained on the ground one of these weeks. The Falcons had some trouble against Cam Newton; will they do better against the rookie?
Considering the state of the Pittsburgh offensive line, Philadelphia's defensive front might have a field day getting to Ben Roethlisberger. They just need to make sure to bring the behemoth down when they hit him.
Minnesota's special teams provided all the fireworks the Vikings needed last week. They are not a good bet to score two special teams touchdowns per game, but the defense has been quietly solid against some good teams this season.
The Titans, meanwhile, are playing their backup quarterback.
This was not the easy matchup it looked like two weeks ago for the Giants defense. Brandon Weeden has improved, and the Browns have put up some points.
Unfortunately, they have also put up some points for the opposing team. The pick-six Weeden threw against the Ravens last week proved to be the difference in the game.
The Seahawks are a decidedly better team at home, and that goes for the defense more than any other unit. The 12th Man buoys and energizes them.
That is not to say they are terrible on the road, but they get a tough matchup against Cam Newton and the Panthers this week.
This is a rather tasty matchup for the Ravens, who should be wetting their beaks at the thought of harassing Matt Cassel into some turnovers.
The Chiefs have a pretty good offense when they are clicking, though, so this is no slam dunk.
The Saints may have shredded the Packers defense last week, but Andrew Luck is no Drew Brees. Not yet, anyway.
The Packers have a solid defensive unit that had a bad day against an elite quarterback. They will get back on track on the road in Indianapolis, starting with a fearsome pass rush led by Clay Matthews.
Last week was likely the best defensive showing San Francisco will have thanks, in part, to a terrible offense sported by Gang Green.
The Bills have a much better offense at this point in time, but that does not mean they will get a ton of points against the 49ers. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been turnover prone, and not even garbage time might save him this week.
The Bears might be licking their chops even more than the Ravens this week as they go up against Blaine Gabbert and the woeful Jacksonville offense. They will be without Laurent Robinson to boot.
Gabbert may not go "Full Romo," but this figures to be a low-scoring affair for the Jaguars with at least a turnover or two sprinkled in.
If you had to pick a better defense than San Francisco's, it would be Houston's.
The Jets are not likely to have an abysmal day quite like they did last week on offense, but the Texans are not going to let them score many points.
The way Mark Sanchez has been playing, coupled with the way J.J. Watt has been playing, spells doom for the Jets again this week.