After a huge week four, I wrote a special article reviewing the entire week. Let’s list the yearly recap and head into week five predictions.
Week 1: 11-5, Week 2: 15-8, Week 3: 12-9, Week 4: 11-6
Larry Johnson vs. Dallas Cowboys—I know some of you think I’m crazy, but child please. The Dallas Cowgirls have given up 11 rushing TDs this season. With their passing defense even worse, Matt Cassel should be able to provide some red zone carries for the once fantasy stud. I wish Johnson was more PPR friendly—because this matchup would be even sweeter—but still consider Johnson a strong flex play and capable RB2 spot start.
Rashard Mendenhall @ Detroit Lions—This one is as easy as they come. I don’t trust Mendenhall, but a renewed Steelers offensive line should be able to push down the Lions. The Steelers will do what the Bears were unable to, which is to open up consistent big gains for their second-year RB.
Knowshon Moreno vs, New England Patriots—This matchup is being hyped more than it deserves, but the Denver Broncos have the offense to make the Patriots pay. Pass catching RBs have had great PPR days against New England and, without Buckhalter available, Moreno looks to fulfill plenty of roles on Sunday. The only concern owners should have is his ability to carry a full load. But one game shouldn’t kill the young man. Start with confidence the former Bulldog.
Timothy Hightower vs. Houston Texans—The de-vaunted Texans' run defense has been way overblown. They have been fairly consistent in stopping the run and, when they do get beat, letting themselves get beat bad. However, I don’t see Hightower breaking off too many deep runs. I do see plenty of goal-line carries and numerous chances to get into the secondary in the passing game. Hightower is a better PPR start this week, but should be a flex start in every league that has the position.
Cedric Benson @ Baltimore Ravens—This is a gimme. Just avoid any RB that plays the Ravens or Titans. However, if bye weeks force you into this spot, Benson will do better against the Ravens than the average RB. Being a division game will help both teams move the ball, but only start Benson as a desperate flex or RB2.
Ronnie Brown vs New York Jets—The Jets' defense is giving up 100 yards a game and looks prime for a decent game from the Brown led Dolphins. However last year’s Jets defense only provided Ronnie Brown games of 23 and 57 yards, despite giving up 94 yards per game for the year. Now, it is correct to say that one of those games was the first game of the season, but let's look at what a Rex Ryan defense did to Ronnie Brown last year: 27 yards on 13 carries (week seven) and 19 yards on 12 carries (wild card weekend). Do you see what I’m getting at? Rex Ryan could help the Jets play even better against the Dolphins on Monday night.
Justin Fargas @ New York Giants—This again goes without saying. But someone out there is excited he’ll be starting and will make the mistake of spot-starting him against a great NY defense. Bench Fargas everywhere.
Peyton Manning @ Tennessee Titans—This game reeks of trap. I have half a mind to put Manning in the “sit” section simply out of fear. But the stats don’t lie (and neither does the video tape). The Titans' pass defense is the league’s worst and they are going up against the league’s best (damn straight I just said it) QB. This should be a no-brainer. So on to the fun ones!
Seneca Wallace/Matt Hasselbeck vs Jacksonville Jaguars—Like the Titans, the Jags can’t put it together on defense. Whichever QB starts for the Seahawks will put up good numbers for the week. Last week, the offense seemed to find a little more cohesion, and that should pay off this week.
Matt Cassel vs Dallas Cowboys—Much of this matchup has already been described above with LJ. The Cowboys are not playing great defense (in terms of yardage) and may find themselves spread thin at DB (even with the poor KC WRs). Matt Cassel is a better bye week starter than he is a normal starter, so don’t be pulling him off your bench in every circumstance.
Ben Roethlisberger @ Detroit Lions—This is another gimme. The Lions have given up more passing TDs then any other team in the league. I actually believe that Big Ben will score more TDs than Mendenhall. All in all, most Pittsburgh players should be starting for your team.
Josh Johnson @ Philadelphia Eagles—Two weeks to study the offense, one week to study the fresh-meat QB? This one will get ugly. If it’s between Johnson and an empty position, you may risk rolling the dice with Johnson.
Tony Romo @ Kansas City Chiefs—The Chiefs have gotten ripped up by passing attacks recently (most memorably Eli and Steve Smith). This is a very risky call on my part, but something in my gut thinks the KC pass rush (yes, they actually have one) might get to Romo. KC has some decent young CBs I think can handle the clunky Clayton and Roy Williams. This is a big boom/bust prediction.
Mark Sanchez @ Miami Dolphins—I hope Sanchez learned from last week, but I’m not sure he will have learned enough. The Dolphins can stop the run and they can provide open passing lanes, but Sanchez will have to refine the timer in his head this weekend. The Dolphins aren’t the best blitzing team but they are physical. If Sanchez finds himself in too many long-distance passing downs it could spell serious trouble for the young passer.
All Colts and Steelers vs. respective opponent—Should be pretty clear at this point, good matchups through the air for both teams. Should see plenty of passing TDs with few favorites being shown the by the QBs. Start all WRs with confidence.
Eddie Royal vs. New England Patriots—I just heard an audible gasp. OK, maybe it was from the tv. But still, it was there. NE can be had through the air. Eddie Royal is the zone coverage man to do the job, too. Royal has been nothing more than a novelty on the field up to this point, but he should have a great week. Extra note: I dropped Royal this morning because I felt long-term there were better WR options. However, I do regret not being willing to wait till Monday to make a trade.
Ted Ginn vs. New York Jets—He’ll have Darrell Revis on him most of the game. Enough said.
Steve Smith vs. Oakland Raiders—I’m assuming he’ll draw coverage from Nnamdi Asomugha. Enough said.
Roddy White @ San Francisco 49ers—I believe Matt Ryan will have a sufficiently good day. But I think he’ll have to settle on many plays. Should be good for Tony G and/or Jerious Norwood (if he is healthy), but not White.
Brandon Pettigrew vs. Pittsburgh Steelers—I don’t feel the Steelers will matchup well against this big beast. Detroit would be smart to match him up in single coverage to beat any blitzes the Steelers bring. Pettigrew should have at least a TD along with plenty of yards. Look for him to be a major waiver pickup next week.
Kellen Winslow @ Philadelphia Eagles—Hopefully he isn’t on anyone’s roster. But if he is, do yourself a favor and don’t start him this week.