Ah, what an exciting game NFL fans will be treated to tonight when the 2-8 Carolina Panthers take on the 3-7 Philadelphia Eagles.
It promises to be an exciting clash for the ages (said no one ever).
But it will have major ramifications for fantasy football players, namely those with matchups coming down to the wire on Monday Night Football. And while players such as Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy won't be available, there still remain a slew of relevant fantasy options to keep an eye on.
So let's rank them, because that's we do. Here's to hoping one of these five players helps you out tomorrow night and, you know, the game itself doesn't put you to sleep.
5. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
It only takes one long play to Jackson for him to be worthwhile as a fantasy play. Unfortunately, we haven't seen that play very often this season. Can he and Nick Foles pair up down the field and make the Panthers pay?
I doubt it, but I would guess that Foles will make an effort to find Jackson more than he did a week ago. Jackson was a pretty consistent if unspectacular fantasy producer with Vick, and I expect he and Foles will find a rhythm this week.
4. Panthers Defense/Special Teams
The Eagles have allowed opposing defenses 61 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues over the past three weeks, and they'll be without Vick and McCoy. In other words, this should be a good matchups for this Panthers defense.
Carolina's unit has been inconsistent this year, but when it's been good, owners have been rewarded with four double-digit performances on the year. I would guess Monday Night will be No. 5.
3. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers
Steve Smith hasn't scored more than 11.8 fantasy points in any games this season. He's due for a big game, and against the talented but often disorganized Philadelphia secondary, I expect he will go off.
The Eagles have allowed six touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in their last four games. Smith will keep that trend going.
2. Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Though fantasy owners would rather have Shady McCoy to start, Bryce Brown should be a very capable replacement.
He's looked very good in limited work this year, and the Panthers currently give up 19.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week in standard-scoring leagues, so Brown should have a very solid evening against the Panthers.
1. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Robert Griffin III just finished putting up 32.4 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues against the Eagles a week ago. Newton owners should be licking their lips...or doing something less creepy that denotes anticipation.
Since Todd Bowles has taken over as the Eagles defensive coordinator in Week 7, the Eagles have basically handed opposing teams touchdowns. Given the dual-threat nature of Newton, I'd expect him to blow up against Philly.
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