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Quarterback - Cam Newton: The idea in many people’s heads may be to pick up Cam Newton after his big game against the Cardinals. I’m all for that, just don’t play him against the Packers defence, as he will be eaten alive. Sure, Drew Brees put up good numbers against Green Bay, but there is a clear difference is quality between Cam Newton and Drew Brees.
Quarterback - Matt Cassel: The Lions are slowly building up a great defence and now is not the right time to be playing them. They are full of self-confidence after the win over the Buccaneers and now they have a chance to start 2-0, which is much different from the more regular 0-2 starts from Detroit. They will be pumped up, angry and determined to make their case, all of which bodes badly for Matt Cassell.
Running back - Mark Ingram: The logic is there. With a few Saints receivers out with an injury, they will run the ball more. This may be the case, but the Bears are a very good team against the run and we all saw the timeshare New Orleans had against Green Bay. Darren Sproles was a bigger factor than most of us expected and Pierre Thomas also got a fair share of the load. Ingram’s inability to convert on the goal line against the Packers surely must be a cause for concern. Put it all together and you shouldn’t be expecting anything big out of Ingram.
Running back - Chris Johnson: It’s official, I’ve gone crazy. By no means am I saying you should bench Chris Johnson if he is your star player, as he is one of those players who can still put up good fantasy numbers against a tough matchup. What I am saying is for those people who have three capable fantasy backs. For example, if you drafted three running backs who were drafted quite high, don’t be afraid to leave Johnson out. For example, if you have Chris Johnson, Peyton Hillis and Matt Forte (very possible considering their pre-draft rankings), don’t be afraid to bench Johnson, as Forte and Hillis both have better matchups. We all saw how well the Ravens did against the Pittsburgh run game and we all saw how poorly Chris Johnson performed against the Jags. These issues don’t magically fix themselves, you won’t be seeing CJ2K at full tilt until he has a few games under his belt.
Wide receiver - Julio Jones: Jones wasn’t all that impressive against the Bears, but that could be said for most of the Falcons. As a rookie receiver, it’s hard to go up against some of the elite cornerbacks, which is exactly what the Eagles have. Nnamdi Asomugha on one side and Asante Samuel on the other, there is no escaping the defensive backs who will stick to you like glue. And if you thought you could get away from them by putting him in the slot, then Rogers-Cromartie may have something to say about that. This may contradict my pick but I can’t see Julio Jones having a good game against the Eagles.
Wide receiver - Mike Thomas: He’s up against Darrelle Revis and has Luke McCown throwing the ball his way. As Snoop Dogg would say, drop it like it’s hot.
Tight end - Scott Chandler: I can count all the passes Scott Chandler caught before last week on two fingers, and I would have one spare finger. That’s right. He caught one pass before this. Feel free to pick him up if you are in need of a backup tight end, but don’t be expecting the same kind of fireworks from his coming out party against Kansas City.
Tight end - Marcedes Lewis: Lewis is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Jets and if that wasn’t enough, you still need to remember that Luke McCown has a direct impact on any fantasy player for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Other than Maurice Jones-Drew, you can disregard any Jags as viable fantasy players. Consider Jacksonville the black hole of fantasy football.
Team defence - Kansas City D/ST: The Lions looked hot against a reasonably strong Tampa Bay defence, and to continue from the reason why you should bench Matt Cassel, the Lions have momentum and are full of confidence. Matt Stafford was looking promising and Calvin Johnson looked impossible to cover, though he did not practise this week. If Johnson is fit to play, you should look for other defences to play.
Team defence - San Diego D/ST: I apologise if this looks like I’m hating on the AFC West this week, but both the Chiefs and Chargers have tough road games against offenses with the skills to put up plenty of points. The Chargers take a cross-country trip to New England and I don’t think I need to explain what Tom Brady can do when the Patriots have the ball. There are much better matchups out there in free agency so feel free to pick up a defense with a nice matchup, even if it is only for short term use.