After listing players I thought were worthy of fringe start-and-sit options this week, I had to laugh as many are found in just a few games. Below you will see a lot of players involved in the Bengals vs. Giants game and Patriots vs. Bills contest. Both of those games should be fantasy friendly for many of the offensive players.
Two other matchups in which you will see players listed are the Jets/Seahawks game and the Chiefs/Steelers contest. The Steelers should pull out a victory, but keep in mind that the Chiefs have played them tough in recent matchups.
QB: Andy Dalton vs. Giants
The Bengals defense held tough against the Broncos through the first half, but Peyton Manning still threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns by game's end. That was on a good day for the Bengals defense, and we should expect the Bengals to find themselves in another high-scoring affair as they face the Giants this week.
QB: Andrew Luck @ Jaguars
Surprise! Luck is one of the next-generation stars at the quarterback position and will likely win a few championships before his days are done. For now, the Colts are reliant on Luck to throw the football to win games as the rookie is averaging 42 passing attempts per contest.
In Week 3, Luck posted 313 yards and two touchdown passes, and he ran for 50 yards against the Jaguars. Consider the rookie a QB1 option this week.
QB: Eli Manning @ Bengals
Sure, Manning has struggled in recent weeks, but credit his misfortunes in part to playing against some darn good secondaries. It’s time to squash the thought that Pittsburgh has an over-the-hill defense, incapable of playing shutdown football after solid performances against the Bengals, Redskins and Giants.
Cincinnati doesn’t have the corners that Dallas has nor does it have the overall personnel or scheme of Pittsburgh. Don’t buy into the Eli Manning slump because New York will have success against this defense.
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw @ Bengals
Bradshaw has struggled in recent weeks as continued problems with his feet have opened the door for Andre Brown to take over the goal-line responsibilities. While the Bengals played well against Willis McGahee last week, I’m not convinced they’ve fixed their issues defending the run that still have them listed as 17th overall against the run and 25th in the league in points given up.
RB: Rashad Jennings vs. Colts
While Jennings has struggled since taking over for Maurice Jones-Drew, he should have a big game against the Colts on Thursday. Active in the passing game, Jennings has added value for those of you in PPR leagues, but we should expect him to top the century mark in the running game and find the end zone.
RB: Shane Vereen vs. Bills
The Bills have one of the worst defenses against the run and for good reason. It gives up an average of 169.5 yards on the ground per week, so Vereen should have plenty of opportunities to rush for big numbers playing behind Stevan Ridley.
Back in Week 4, both Ridley and Brandon Bolden rushed for over 100 yards and I expect both Vereen and Ridley to post over 75 yards and a score.
WR: Brandon Lloyd vs. Bills
Tom Brady and Lloyd have struggled to hook up down the field, but let’s hope Lloyd’s two touchdowns in the Patriots' last contest against the Rams is a sign of big things to come. Brady will spread the football around, but the deep ball should come soon and Lloyd will be the receiver who benefits when that happens.
WR: Hakeem Nicks @ Bengals
Nicks has struggled through injuries since OTAs, and while he was a nonfactor against the Steelers, you should stick with him against the Bengals this week. If he fails to get it done as a WR3 option this week, it’s time to bench him.
WR: Stevie Johnson @ Patriots
A leg injury slowed Johnson down last week, but he should be fine for this week against the Patriots. Johnson had a down week against New England back in Week 4, but I can’t imagine he won’t get it done this week. New England has regressed as a pass defense since the previous matchup between these two teams, and Johnson should be a lock for 75 yards and a score this week.
D: Steelers Defense vs. Chiefs
Just like it did last year, the Steelers defense started out slow and is coming on in the middle of the season. Pittsbugh’s offense tends to have problems against the Chiefs, but the defense will be solid against Kansas City’s offense.
D: Seahawks Defense vs. Jets
The Seahawks were disappointing last week, but it was a terrific effort from Adrian Peterson that spoiled what should have been a strong performance from this defense. Thankfully, the Jets don’t have a running back with the same skills of Peterson, and Mark Sanchez will have a rough day. This should be a big week for Seattle.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger vs. Chiefs
Big Ben has struggled in the past against the Chiefs, and the loss of Antonio Brown to an ankle injury won’t help matters. Stay away from Roethlisberger this week, as the Steelers will rely on the defense and an emerging ground game to win.
QB: Tony Romo @ Eagles
Romo was horrible against the Eagles both times last year, and his struggles to throw touchdowns doesn’t help his odds of finding the starting lineup in fantasy leagues. With Dallas and Philadelphia both having dysfunctional offenses, we could see a 13-10 football game with Romo owners disappointed.
RB: Felix Jones @ Eagles
I don’t care if DeMarco Murray is out again and the Cowboys are insistent on Jones working in the running game—stay away. If you must start him, then make sure you're at least in a PPR league because you can maximize his work in the passing game.
RB: Jonathan Stewart vs. Broncos
After it appeared the Panthers were ready to use Stewart as the main option in the running game, they reverted back to a committee approach using DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert more often. Stewart ran well last week, but eight to 10 carries a game won’t cut it—keep him on the bench.
WR: Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens @ 49ers
The Rams will face one of the tougher defenses in football this week, and Danny Amendola’s return stands to threaten both Brandon Gibson's and Chris Givens' looks in the passing game.
WR: Jeremy Kerley @ Seahawks
After a big game against the Patriots, the Dolphins made a point of taking Kerley away with double coverage at times. This will be another tough week for Kerley as he faces one of the better young secondaries in the league.