After going through defensive stats and offensive stats, I was able to come up with certain matchups that look really good on paper to take advantage of.
Most of these matchups are based strictly on what each team has done so far up to this point in the season. Other matchups I decided were favorable due to a player's history. Finally, some matchups are just based on a feeling I have.
I tried to keep the most obvious matchups you must exploit left out of this list and went instead with surprising favorable matchups, with players you may still be able to pick up off the waiver wire if you are in a bind with your team.
Here's the list.
Besides starting the usual players—Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew from the Lions, who are a mismatch every week so far—I’m going to suggest starting 49ers WR Michael Crabtree in this one.
Josh Morgan, the 49ers No. 1 WR looks like he’s going to be out for a while after fracturing his ankle against the Bucs. His injury bumps Crabtree up the depth chart, and I believe he will produce in the No. 1 slot for the rest of the season.
If you can get him, do it.
The Rams are ranked dead last in the league at stopping the run, giving up very close to 180 yards per game.
Packers RB James Starks or Ryan Grant would be good to start in this game.
The two backs are splitting time, with Starks getting the majority of the carries so far, with 55 carries to Grant’s 39. Both are averaging right around 4.5 yards per carry.
If the Packers go up big early, they probably will rely on the running game to finish up.
The Panthers and Cam Newton are averaging a robust 311.6 yards per game.
The Falcons' passing defense is suspect, ranking 27th in the league.
It’s obvious to start Cam and Steve Smith by now if you have them on your team.
However, with the Falcons keying in on Smith, I would see if you can pick up and start Legedu Naanee, Cam’s second-most targeted receiver this season. That is if you are in a bind at the WR position.
While only rushing for 53 yards on 24 carries last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, I expect Cedric Benson to rebound with a big game.
He is living on borrowed time, waiting patiently to see when his three-game suspension will go into effect.
The Colts are allowing 145 rushing yards per game, by the way, bad enough to be next to the worst in the league.
Coming off that ridiculous loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which can be blamed on Eli Manning, I think it’s that time again for him to have a big game.
Although he did have 420 yards passing last week with three TDs, he also had those three INTs. I expect him to have a clean game this week.
The Bills, on the other hand, may be due for a letdown. Even though they are 4-1, they have been giving up a ton of yards and points per game.
A rookie QB playing the Steelers for his first time at Heinz Field?
It’s easy to see how this one may turn out.
Start the Steelers defense if you got them—I don’t care if they’re getting old.
I'm all in on Redskins RB Ryan Torain—my fellow Sundevil has skills.
With Tim Hightower nursing a shoulder injury combined with Torain’s performance against the Rams last week (19 rushes for 135 yards and a TD), I don’t see how he does not get the bulk of the carries.
The Eagles have not figured out how to stop the run just yet, allowing 140 yards per game.
If you can get Torain, get him quick and start him.
This may turn out to be a very ugly game. I’m talking NY Jets/Ravens ugly.
If you have Ray Rice, start him—that's a given.
I think the Ravens will win this one with their defense just like they did against the Jets.
The Ravens defense ranks second against the rush and ninth against the pass and just may come away with more points than any other starter in this game.
After two sub-par back-to-back weeks that saw Darren McFadden rush for 75 yards against New England and 51 yards against the Texans, it’s time for him to get back on track against the Browns.
I would be baffled if he doesn’t go for more than 100 yards against a rush defense that has been relinquishing almost 125 yards per game.
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant said he’ll be 100 percent on Sunday for the Patriots game.
The Pats pass defense is dead last in the league, giving up close to 327 yards per game.
Dez Bryant is a big-game player. If you have and don’t start him, it would not be a smart move.
I’m calling it right now—Dallas will win this game.
Besides starting the obvious (Drew Brees), I would also start Saints RB Mark Ingram.
Ingram is starting to overshadow Pierre Thomas, at least in the running game, and is getting into the game in red-zone situations to punch it in.
The Bucs rush defense ranks 23rd in the league and just gave up 125 yards on 20 carries to 49ers RB Frank Gore.
Gore is 5’9”, 217 lbs. Ingram? He’s 5’9”, 215 lbs.
I’m just saying.
It will be ludicrous if you have Adrian Peterson and don’t start him here against the Bears shoddy run defense.
The thing is, you know what’s worse than the Bears rush defense? The Bears pass defense, which is ranked 30th in the league.
I would figure if you start Percy Harvin, he will have a very productive game for you.
I cannot believe that I’m going to recommend starting someone who is part of the horrific Jets offense, but I am.
It’s Santonio Holmes’ time.
Holmes loves the spotlight, and he’ll get it when the Jets play the Dolphins on Monday night.
It also helps that the Dolphins pass defense is next to the worst in the league.