Matt Forte @ Baltimore Ravens: No time to get cute here; Forte and the Bears have struggled.
Forte is still a RB1 play this week, because the Ravens can easily get burned by the screen game.
We’ve seen plenty of games this year where Forte turned in excellent PPR numbers and wrecked fantasy shop for opponents. This is one of those types of games.
If the screen game is abandoned, Forte could bust. But I’m expecting big things.
Laurence Maroney @ Buffalo Bills: Maroney went for 94 yards last week against the Panthers. He also added two receptions.
In reality, he was one TD away from an excellent game last week.
Now he gets to face a division rival giving up more YPC, yards/game, and rushing TDs.
Maroney is almost an RB1 in my book this weekend. He shouldn’t be benched in any league, in my humble opinion! (Yes, some would argue that I have no such thing.)
Julius Jones and Justin Forsett vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Many experts may tell you to avoid this time share, but the chance of one or both of these guys putting up serious points on the Bucs is to good a chance to pass up.
Both should get some flex-spot consideration (Forsett more so in PPR leagues) while being very risky RB2 starts. Owners who lost Kevin Smith might entertain picking one of them up if available.
Arian Foster @ St Louis Rams: As with Forsett and Jones's favorable matchup, Foster gets to pound the rock against the lowly Rams. Even in a time share, an easy blowout could be in the works, with plenty of rushing attempts and underneath passes.
Foster is a RB with PPR potential, but is obviously a very risky move after only one solid game under his belt. However, if you have injured RBs and need a waiver pickup, you could do much worse than Foster.
Rashard Mendenhall vs. Green Bay Packers: This matchup would have been poor for Mendy under normal circumstances, but with the loss of Chris Kemoeatu, the Steelers’ offensive line will be missing their meanest ground-and-pound blocker.
Mendenhall could see some RB2 or flex value if Big Ben gets it moving and puts him in goal line positions, but it's not worth banking on.
LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver vs. San Francisco 49ers: Much like the Cardinals, the Eagles are liable to struggle on the ground against the 49ers.
Given that the Eagles have no dedication to the running game, I can’t in good conscience recommend starting either of these guys. McCoy is a flex starter in PPR leagues at best.
LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Last week I said LT2 would struggle, but could make do with some short TDs; this prediction proved true.
The same goes for this matchup as well, except that I expect Rivers and the San Diego passing game to struggle a little bit more at moving the ball through the air.
Fewer short goal line attempts should lead to a low output by Tomlinson. Bench him.
Kurt Warner @ Detroit Lions: Warner isn’t bipolar; he just can’t perform against good defenses anymore.
Thankfully for Warner, the Lions' defense is the furthest thing from good.
Top five QB potential for Warner. A must-start in every league.
Matt Cassel vs. Cleveland Browns: Who? Oh, that guy that played in high school, then for the Patriots, then tricked me into believing he really could be a fantasy option?
He’s still around? Amazing.
The Browns could surprise and make Cassel look even worse, but I’m not betting on it. Cassel could start as a low QB1 with upside and in all 2QB leagues.
Matt Ryan or Chris Redman @ New York Jets: Let’s talk about the Jets' defense real fast: First in QB completion percentage, first in QB rating, 1:2 TD to INT ratio, and first in yards per attempt and yards per game.
Yeah, just bench whoever is starting for Atlanta.
Joe Flacco vs. Chicago Bears: I was shocked to find the Bears near the top of a lot of pass defense statistics.
Flacco was not as productive as I predicted against the Lions, and I fear his injury might still be causing him to be slightly out of sync.
Bench the occasional QB1 this week.