Every week in fantasy football, there are a few players who ascend to the ranks of what I like to call "week-winners." In essence, these are players that had such a huge performance they've probably bailed out any other slackers you had on your team and earned you a fantasy win.
Last week for example, Aaron Rodgers (38 fantasy points), Shonn Greene (34), Robert Griffin III (34) and Jordy Nelson (30) all fit the bill.
But what players will offer dominating performances this week? Which stars will go beyond simply having very good weeks and almost single-handily get you a win?
I'm glad you asked. Let's project some week-winners.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
Despite the many struggles of the Saints this season, Brees has been excellent for fantasy owners in 2012, averaging 23.7 fantasy points per week. What else is new?
He has an excellent matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend, who have the 31st-ranked pass defense (allowing 312.2 passing yards per week) but are just 11th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks per week (14.1 fantasy points).
The Bucs haven't given up a ton of touchdown passes, but against this Saints offense I expect that trend to change. Brees should be a week-winner for his owners.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
There are certain players that you don't bench, no matter how bad the matchup may be. A few of them are on this list, Foster included. So there's nothing more tantalizing for owners of those players than when they have a juicy matchup to exploit.
This week, Foster faces the Baltimore Ravens. Yes, the Ravens, once a defense fantasy owners tried to avoid. But this year, Baltimore has the league's 26th-ranked rushing defense (136.5 yards allowed per week) and is 22nd in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs (20.89 per game).
Plus, the Texans have the added incentive to run given how dangerous the Baltimore offense can be. They'll want to control the clock and grind out a win. It doesn't get much better than that for Foster owners.
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
The Washington Redskins don't stand a chance at slowing down Victor Cruz. Expect a few salsa celebrations from Cruz and the guy who owns him in your fantasy league.
While the explosive receiver has picked up where he left off last year—only A.J. Green has more fantasy points at wide receiver this season—the Redskins have been extremely vulnerable to the pass, giving up 328.3 passing yards per game (32nd in NFL) and 34.2 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (32nd in NFL).
Let's just say the Redskins' secondary has taken the notion of "Southern Hospitality" to heart. Cruz is a week-winner without question.
Eli Manning, WR, New York Giants
See Cruz, Victor.
Of course, Manning has a slightly more difficult matchup than Cruz in this one, as the Redskins are only 29th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. It should be a very good week for the Giants' passing attack.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
It's hard to believe that Wayne is the sixth-best receiver in fantasy thus far this season. What a difference a year and an Andrew Luck makes.
The Colts play the Cleveland Browns this week, so I don't think I need to tell you that Wayne has a fantastic matchup you'll want to exploit. I will, however, because that is my job. The Browns are 30th in passing yards allowed (294.2 per week) and 31st in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers (33.5 per week).
This is a no-brainer. And potentially a week-winner.
*Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills
Chandler gets an asterisk because, unlike the players above, he is not a fantasy star. In fact, he's pretty hit or miss, and the last two games have been huge misses.
But his next opponents, the Tennessee Titans, are a tight end's best friend. They are giving up 16.6 points to opposing tight ends per week (32nd in the NFL, obviously) and are 29th in the NFL in pass defense (292.3 yards per game).
I won't recommend you start Chandler most weeks. He's too unpredictable. But if ever there was a week for him to post huge numbers, this is the one.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets never need help from the refs on the goal line.