Philip Rivers @ Chiefs
Yes, it’s getting to that point with Philip Rivers that we have to start thinking about whether or not to bench him on a weekly basis. The Chargers are running the football more often, and with Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson constantly banged up, Rivers isn’t the same quarterback he was for most of last year.
Truthfully, Rivers' play declined in the second half of the season when Gates was out of the lineup, but at least his star tight end returned and posted a touchdown against the Jets.
Kansas City’s secondary amassed six interceptions against the Raiders, but their quarterback situation was poor, to say the least, as Kyle Boller started the game and was pulled after throwing the first three picks. Then, Carson Palmer came in to throw the final three interceptions, but that’s to be expected when he just got to the team on Tuesday.
Rivers will have better success as the Chiefs secondary has given up big plays down the field and the Chargers are one of the better deep -ball teams in the league. Look for Rivers to target Jackson and Malcom Floyd as he should throw for 300 yards and at least two touchdowns.
Ben Tate vs. Jaguars
Jacksonville did a great job against the Ravens, but after a physical game, it’s unlikely they can duplicate that success in short rest and on the road. This plays right into the Texans hands and I expect both running backs to have good weeks after a huge win in Tennessee. With so many running backs injured around the league, Tate is a worthy flex play start.
Knowshon Moreno vs. Lions
With Willis McGahee out at least one week, Knowshon Moreno should draw the start against a Lions defense that has struggled against the running game in recent weeks. Moreno isn’t a big playmaker, but he should have a respectable yardage total by the end of this game. Even if the Lions get out to an early lead, look for Moreno to make some headway in the passing game.
Antonio Brown vs. Patriots
I’ve been talking up Antonio Brown since the summer, and with Hines Ward suffering an ankle injury against the Cardinals, consider Brown a must-start this week. The Patriots have played better against the pass in recent weeks, but Browns should have a respectable game as he will likely draw the start.
Joe Flacco vs. Cardinals
After a horrible performance against the Jaguars, it’s painfully clear that Joe Flacco is a roll of the dice at best as a starting quarterback in fantasy leagues. His up-and-down play can look good at times but kill you other times, and while he has a great matchup, I wouldn’t go with him unless your desperate this week.
Matt Schaub vs. Jaguars
After a physical game against the Ravens, look for the Texans to pound the football at the Jaguars defense. Unless Andre Johnson is ready to play this week, Schaub is better off on your bench, as Houston won’t have to worry about the Jaguars scoring a lot of points.
DeAngelo Williams vs. Vikings
After a couple hot games, DeAngelo Williams' production has fallen off the table as Jonathan Stewart has taken over as the top running back in the Panthers backfield. Williams loses out on goal-line opportunities to Stewart and Cam Newton and doesn’t receive enough carries or touches in the passing game to be a credible start most of the time. With production like this, it’s amazing the Panthers brought him back for the money they paid him.
Sidney Rice vs. Bengals
One of the top-10 defenses in football the Bengals should contain a Seahawks offense that looked horrible against the Cleveland Browns. Marshawn Lynch is likely to miss another game with his back problems and if Charlie Whitehurst starts again, it will be a fun day for all of Cincinnati’s pass-rushers.
Like the Browns, it’s unlikely that the Bengals will run away with this game by scoring a bunch of points, so look for the Seahawks to play another conservative game on offense.
Victor Cruz vs. Dolphins
The Giants spent most of their time on offense playing in a two tight end set with two receivers against the Bills, and they will likely do it again this week. Keeping two tight ends on the field is useful for the running game, and it would be in the Giants' best interest to run the football against the Dolphins as their offense won’t put up many points.