Jamal Charles vs. Buffalo Bills
As good as the Bills are against the pass, they are terrible against the run. I still doubt Charles and his ability to be a feature RB in the NFL, but this Sunday, that doesn’t matter. Start Charles at the RB2 position over just about anyone.
Laurence Maroney vs. Carolina Panthers
Maroney has seen a resurgence in his style of running as the year has progressed. This week, Maroney has a better than average matchup against the Panthers. The only thing that could hurt him is if the Patriots (aka Moss and Brady) try to make a statement in this game after two resounding losses.
Timothy Hightower @ San Francisco 49ers
The last time these teams met, Hightower led the Cardinals in receptions. I don’t expect him to put up the same mind blowing PPR numbers, but the Cardinals would be wise to utilize Hightower’s pass receiving strengths to run him out of passing formations.
Ladanian Tomlinson @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys had a bad week against the monster Brandon Jacobs last week. However, LT2 will only be productive against this physical Dallas D if Rivers is able to set him up for multiple goal-line plunges for TDs. Avoid except as a flex spot.
Cedric Benson @ Minnesota Vikings
Good news? Benson will get to play on turf. Bad news? Its against the typically high scoring Vikings who might be a little pissed after their national TV loss last week.
Benson could be removed from the game completely if the Bengals start slow and Favre/Peterson start out hot. I don’t like Benson’s chances to rack up yards and I don’t like banking on TDs against this defense.
Kevin Smith @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have been beat by RBs all year. Kevin Smith and the pathetic Detroit Lions blocking will not be among that list. Sadly, Smith provides the Lions with the very key to beating the Ravens…a good screen game.
Smith is an excellent runner behind good blocking. Much like the Bears and Matt Forte, the Lions should be using Smith in the passing game more. Instead, they have settled for pour deep passes from Stafford. Bench Smith in non-PPR leagues. In PPR, consider him a flex at best that SHOULD be productive but likely won’t due to the Lions gameplan.
Joe Flacco vs. Detroit Lions
Part of me thinks the Ravens can beat the Lions in whichever fashion they desire. The other part of me thinks that this game can, and should, be used as a confidence builder for Flacco. The guy has been struggling lately and is in need of some explosive down the field plays to put a spring in that injured ankle’s step. Not sure the yardage will be exceptional but three TDs should make for excellent fantasy production.
Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Kansas City Chiefs
After having a rough week against the Jets, Fitzpatrick gets the Chiefs. Ryan is a high level QB2 at best so unless your team is 1) really hurting, 2) you're in a 2QB league, or 3) you’re crazy adventurous, don’t consider him a certain start above your other options!
Chad Henne @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Much like Fitzpatrick, another low level QB with a good opportunity to surprise. Deep leagues and 2QB leagues should consider a late season spot start for Henne.
Matt Cassel vs. Buffalo Bills
Don’t look now, but the Bills are a QB eating, INT creating nightmare. This does not bode well for the often hurried Cassel. Thankfully, Jamal Charles should be able to bail him out. Avoid Cassel at all costs.
Peyton Manning vs. Denver Broncos
Manning has historically owned the Broncos. But, this is an entirely different team defensively from the players to the coordinators. That said, this is not a bench Manning for anyone. This is a bench Manning if you have another top 10 QB with a decent matchup. The Broncos have been very strong on defense all year against fairly good QBs. Manning is good enough to be fairly productive but he’ll be outscored by a few more QBs this week.
Matt Ryan vs. New Orleans Saints
Ryan is still wishing he could go back to last season. This week? He’ll be wishing it even more. The Saints' defense has terrorized QBs while allowing RBs to gain yards on the ground. Either the Falcons will take the ball (and game) out of Ryan’s hands or Ryan will struggle. Either way, don’t expect many points this week.