Sunday 1 PM games
Tampa Bay (32nd) @ Atlanta (24th)
Coach Morris said that Ernest Graham’s role will increase in the offense. This is terrible news for Cadillac and Ward owners. The uncertainty of the touch splitting renders all three of them irrelevant. Even though this is a decent matchup I’d only start Williams and Ward if you absolutely have to (Graham should be on your bench or not owned at all).
Buccaneers: Williams -1, Ward -1, Graham +1
Turner might actually end up playing this week (he’s a game time decision). If he does play he’ll probably get the start and you have to put him in your lineup because of the matchup. Snelling is a little trickier. If Turner’s ruled out Snelling becomes an enthusiastic start. If Turner plays Snelling’s still tempting to start but I wouldn’t do so enthusiastically. Norwood’s supposed to play but he’s nothing more than a stash right now.
Falcons: Turner 0, Snelling +2, Norwood 0
Washington (25th) @ Philadelphia (10th)
Rock Cartwright’s actually done a nice job when he’s been in there. The Eagles have a good defense but I’d still start him and feel good about it. There are a few guys behind him right now but they aren’t important enough to talk about until after this game when we have a better idea of how they’re divvying things up.
Redskins: Cartwright 0
McCoy hasn’t had the huge games I expected of him since he’s become the main man in Philadelphia. This is an ideal matchup for him to put up those types of numbers. Westbrook is supposed to be back in a couple weeks but right now all you can do is stash him on your bench and hope for the best.
Eagles: McCoy +3
Carolina (26th) @ New York Jets (16th)
DeAngelo Williams’ injury concerns seem to have passed. Consider him stud material regardless of opponent from here on out. Jonathon Stewart is the guy who will really suffer if the Panthers run game gets bogged down. I still really love Tyrell Sutton as a stash in deeper leagues. For this week I give Williams a neutral matchup rating and Stewart just below average.
Panthers: Williams +1, Stewart -1
You have to love this matchup for Thomas Jones. In deeper leagues Shonn Greene could warrant a flex start if you don’t have better options. There have been a lot of rumors that Jones is going to get re-signed for next year. This would ruin Greene’s value as a Keeper which is what we’ve all been looking forward to.
Jets: Jones +4, Greene +2
Seattle (15th) @ St. Louis (28th)
It sounds like Julius Jones might actually play this weekend which is disheartening to Justin Forsett stashers such as myself; it sort of ruins the allure of the matchup with the Rams this weekend. If I owned Julius Jones I’m not sure how enthusiastic I’d be about starting him (do it if you need to). Forsett’s a little more alluring start in PPR because you have to envision him getting the passing down looks regardless.
Seahawks: Jones 0, Forsett 0
Ummm…. Does it really matter who they’re facing? If I had something clever or informative to say I would.
Rams: Jackson 0
Miami (12th) @ Buffalo (31st)
Ricky Williams is poised for another huge game but there’s nothing surprising about that. This could be the breakout game for Lex Hilliard. If you were cagey enough to pick him up I think you’ll reap the rewards relatively soon. I’d start him over a lot of other spellbacks so don’t be too timid about putting him in your lineup in deeper formats.
Dolphins: Williams +4, Hilliard+3
Marshawn Lynch may not play this Sunday- it’s still up in the air. If that’s the case Fred Jackson instantly becomes starter material. Lynch hasn’t been nearly as productive as expected lately so if he is declared active be cautious about starting him.
Bills: Lynch -2, Jackson 0
Cleveland (29th) @ Cincinnati (2nd)
Jamal Lewis may or may not play against Cincinnati. I wouldn’t start him either way. Chris Jennings is a spectacular stash for the last few weeks of the season but leave him on the bench for now.
Browns: Lewis -3, Jennings -4
Cedric Benson is creating a conundrum for both himself and Bernard Scott. Earlier in the week there were a lot of reports that Benson was going to play after all. As I write this the news has become a lot more pessimistic. Keep an eye on the injury reports. If he’s active you have to play him with this matchup. If he’s inactive and you own Scott then start him. If Benson’s active I wouldn’t play Scott.
Bengals: Benson -1, Scott +1
Indianapolis (13th) @ Houston (22nd)
Donald Brown’s shoulder bothered him during the Patriots game. He only carried the ball four times for ten yards. I would leave him on the bench this week in case his workload is limited again. This has to boost Joseph Addai’s projected production- could be a monster week for him. The favorable matchup with Houston helps also.
Colts: Addai +4, Brown -2
Make up your mind Gary Kubiak!!! So let me get this straight- Slaton is fumbling so you put Moats in. Moats dominates and plays well. Then you give him no touches and instead Chris Brown gets all the opportunities ahead of both Slaton and Moats? I don’t feel good about any of these guys this week. Slaton is a flex option but I wouldn’t touch the other two with a ten foot pole.
Texans: Slaton -2, Brown -2, Moats -4
Sunday 4 PM games
Jacksonville (17th) @ San Francisco (6th)
Pocket Hercules sat out practice on Wednesday and there was some concern that he might be dinged up. Turns out they were just resting him coming off a heavy 29 carry workload. I still absolutely love Rashad Jennings as a stash in case the collective workload takes a toll on MJD and he gets hurt. This is a tough matchup for the Jaguars on the ground so look for them to throw it more. MJD should still get plenty of receptions but this isn’t as much of a feast for him as other matchups have been lately.
Jaguars: Jones-Drew -2, Jennings -3
Hopefully Frank Gore will stay healthy the rest of the season because if he does your Fantasy team will be tough to beat. This is slightly better than a middle of the road matchup for him. Anyone who posts start/sit questions involving Frank Gore should be kicked in the junk.
49’ers: Gore +1
Kansas City (27th) @ San Diego (21st)
It’s time for the Jamaal Charles show again. This is a great matchup for him and I see no reason why he shouldn’t be dropping 15 for you on Sunday. Yahoo has him projected for 10.81 in PPR but I think it should be way higher. Kolby Smith tweaked his ankle against the Steelers but supposedly he looked good this week in practice. He needs to stay on your bench as a stash regardless.
Chiefs: Charles +2, Smith 0
It looked like Sproles’ role would increase as the season progressed. Since LT’s come back, however, he’s had much fewer touches than anticipated. If you’re going to play him this is an ideal game to do it; but he should be no better than a flex player for you and I wouldn’t start him ahead of better options. LT is what he is- awesome to own until/unless he gets injured.
Chargers: Tomlinson +3, Sproles +2
Arizona (8th) @ Tennessee (9th)
You have to love Ken Whisenhunt because he doesn’t throw you any curveballs. You know what Wells and Hightower are going to get in terms of opportunities. The only thing that could change is Wells might see an increase in goal line opportunities. He punched one in last week but I still think they’ll feed Hightower the rock in short distance situations. Tennessee’s rush defense is only ranked this high because they are so much fun to pass against (a phenomenon I’ve discussed before). Don’t be scurred to start both Wells and Hightower.
Cardinals: Wells 0, Hightower 0
Chis Johnson does what he does. LenDale White’s not touching the ball enough for me. I’m starting to not even like him that much as a stash even if Johnson gets hurt.
Titans: Johnson -1, White -2
Chicago (23rd) @ Minnesota (3rd)
Rushing against stout defenses is not Matt’s *pinkie to mouth* forte (tribute to Grey). Unless he gets in the end zone don’t expect too much from him in this game. It could get ugly quick.
Bears: Forte -4
Adrian Peterson was limited in practice but it doesn’t seem to be anything that’s going to linger- he’s had the same “issue” in previous weeks. Chester Taylor could become a viable option for you if you need a flex player.
Vikings: Peterson +2, Taylor +2
Sunday 8 PM game
Pittsburgh (1st) @ Baltimore (5th)
Mendenhall’s a must start week in and week out since he’s basically become a feature back in Pittsburgh. This is a tough matchup for him but the yardage loss should be offset by a touchdown at some point. If you own Willie Parker you should’ve dropped him a long time ago. Time to swallow your pride and start stashing better dudes on your bench.
Steelers: Mendenhall -2
This might finally be the week where Ray Rice looks somewhat human. With Polamalu out the Steelers defense should return to the form they were in earlier in the season (good, but not great). You can’t start Willis McGahee in this game unless you’re super stuck for someone to play in a deep league.
Ravens: Rice -3, McGahee -5
Monday 8:30 PM game
New England (14th) @ New Orleans (19th)
This game should be a shootout. Sammy Morris is supposed to play and it’ll be interesting to see how many and what type of touches he takes away from Maroney. Kevin Faulk can still be your fill-in Snuggie in PPR leagues if you need him. Maroney’s clearly a must-start until he stops scoring touchdowns.
Patriots: Maroney +1, Morris 0, Faulk +1
Reggie Bush’s health seemed in question earlier in the week but reports are he’s all set to go for Monday Night. As I mentioned earlier this should be a shootout but the Saints are always projected to score big. Therefore I’m not going to upgrade any of the trio of running backs in New Orleans.
Saints: Thomas 0, Bush 0, Bell 0