Week 4 is fading in our memory and now it is time for serious contemplation. A caveat…fantasy draft was a complete mockery…sure if you were lucky (or as you tell your friends- brilliant enough) to pick up LT in round 4 then kudos to you, or let’s say you had the foresight to shun the stats of a year gone by and went ahead and picked up Jay Cutler as your starting quarterback…who is laughing now (besides the Giant defense that is). But nay, this is the year of the waiver wire my friend and waiver wire pick-ups mean dissecting match-ups as if you were House.
First suspensions are OVER! That means the 3-1 Steelers will come off a bye week with Ben Roethlisberger; the 3-1 Houston Texans will shore up a shaky defense and now be able to support Mario Williams 5 sacks with rookie of the year Brian Cushing; and the 3-1 Jets will give Mark Sanchez a weapon with Santonio Holmes! Which of these will make the most impact---my money in on the Steelers and Big Ben (Hmm saying that just makes me feel smarmy? So he needs a new moniker).
But that is week 6 and my fantasy standings make it paramount to pay attention to week 5. So a couple of match-ups that may be important:
Titans v Cowboys: you have the 27th ranked offense against the 8th ranked defense. Can you guess which is which? The Cowboys defense will try to contain Chris Johnson, which if you consider the Denver game may not be as hard as it appears. Against Denver Chris Johnson averaged 2.8 yards a carry with zero TD’s and one fumble. Tony Romo has had an extra week to prepare, Roy Williams has seen Dez Bryant in his shadow, and Jason Witten has renewed his status as Romo’s BFF…so play the Cowboys offense with reckless abandon, Josh McDaniel and Kyle Orton be damned!
Chargers v Raiders: the Raiders are 3rd versus the pass and 31st against the rush. Mike Tolbert against the Arizona Cardinals carried the ball 16 times for 100 yards and one TD. Ryan Matthews was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and still returned to the field to amass yardage and cause pain to the defense of the Cardinals. Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert anyone? Chargers are a notoriously bad road team (so far) but really how far are they going? I want to believe in the Raiders offense…but…the defense has given up 14TD with 684 rushing yards. Can the Black Hole swallow up the tandem of Tolbert and Matthews?
Chicago v Carolina: am I the only one hearing Julius Peppers smiling? Peppers against the Giants had four tackles, one sack and one forced fumble! Jimmy Clausen in his brief career has one TD and two INT with 393 yards…it’s seems like a perfect day for the Chicago defense to let loose and pad those stats. The Panthers are ranked dead last in points scored and 30th in total yards. Even if Cutler doesn’t play I see really good things for Matt Forte and really…really…really bad things for Jimmy Clausen without Steve Smith. And without the threat of a passing game will double trouble running backs be able to get started?
Most interesting Match-up has to be Minnesota v New York Jets: Brett Favre is coming off the bye week…but he is still minus Sidney Rice, making those Randy Moss whispers of a transfer to Minnesota tantalizing. Even more tantalizing when you realize that against Detroit Mr. Favre amassed 201 yards with one TD and two INT’s. While Mark Sanchez is tantalized because he is getting Santonio Holmes …doesn’t seem quite fair does it Brett?
Remember it is all about the match-ups, and the bye week, and the injuries…but most important the match-ups.