Already reeling from injuries to Vincent Fuller and Cortland Finnegan, the Titans secondary took another hit on Sunday night when cornerback Nick Harper was knocked out of the game with a broken arm. While it’s unlikely that they can get much worse (being second to last in passing yards given up per game), this will slow down any future improvement by the unit. The Titans may find some defensive success before the season is over, but for the immediate future this is a premiere matchup for your QB’s, WR’s, and TE’s. You might not have Peyton Manning, but the Titans will make your QB look like him.

Let’s recap how the system works here: start with your basic ranking of players, and then consider -1 and +1 ratings to move the player to the bottom or top of their current tier. A -2 and +2 rating bumps them into the tier below or above their normal position. A new addition from last week is the team’s ranking in pass defense (measured in passing yards allowed per game) in parentheses — thanks, Drew, for the idea.

1 PM games

Houston (16th) @ Cincinnati (22nd)

The rankings are a little misleading here — just over 6 passing yards per game separates the pass defenses of Houston and Cincinnati. They are essentially even in most categories, with the notable exception of Cincinnati’s ability to pressure the QB (14.0 sacks compared to just 6.0 sacks for Houston). This is slightly worrying for the Texans, given Schaub’s fragility — but if he has time to stand and throw, expect success. Depending on which Leon Hall shows up, Andre Johnson may have a harder time than usual, but Hall isn’t Revis or Asomugha, and he has occasionally been abused. Carson Palmer took advantage of a below-average Ravens pass defense last week, and the Texans defense shouldn’t pose much more of a problem. Both defenses are above average in suppressing passing TD’s, but that may be an early season aberration.

HOU: Schaub +1, Johnson +1, Walter +1, Daniels +1, Jacoby Jones 0
CIN: Palmer +1, Ochocinco +1, Caldwell +1, Coles 0

Detroit (27th) @ Green Bay (17th)

Amazingly, Daunte Culpepper threw for 282 yards against the Pittsburgh defense. Unfortunately for Calvin Johnson owners, the 6’5″ Megatron of Speed, Muscle, Agility, and Hurt Kneesā„¢ left the game in the 1st quarter and has been missing practice this week. The Detroit passing game will be a question mark against any defense until Stafford and Johnson are both healthy. Play CJ at your own risk — he will likely be a gametime decision. Stafford has returned to practice but give him a week before you rely on him. Pettigrew is a safer option as he’s less likely to be hurt by Culpepper’s presence. Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Jermichael Finley are all excellent plays this week as the Packers may finally be able to provide some pass protection for Rodgers to set and throw. I particularly like Jennings’ chances of finally busting some big plays coming off the bye week.

DET: Culpepper -1, Stafford 0, Johnson -1, Pettigrew +1
GB: Rodgers +2, Driver +1, Jennings +2, Finley +1

Baltimore (26th) @ Minnesota (18th)

Seems like a old-school, hard-hitting, 3 yards and a cloud of dust kind of game right? Well, given the excellent run defense units on both sides of the ball, don’t be surprised if teams are forced to throw the ball — and both Favre and Flacco aren’t scared of throwing downfield (or to the wrong team! Oops, sorry Brett!). If the defensive lines succeed in stuffing the run, you may see AP and Rice used in designed screen pass plays to get them past the line of scrimmage. Upgrade both pass offenses this week, but keep an eye on Derrick Mason’s role if the Vikings shift defensive coverage his way. Shiancoe continues to get red zone targets.

BAL: Flacco +2, Mason 0, Clayton +1, Heap +1
MIN: Favre +2, Berrian +2, Harvin +1, Shiancoe +2

New York Giants (1st) @ New Orleans (11th)

I admit, I’m having a hard time calling this one. New York has been beyond dominant in pass defense. The rest of the league ranges from 303 passing yards allowed per game (ARI) to 165 passing yards allowed per game (CAR) — the Giants lop another 60 yards off the second best total, giving up just 105 passing yards per game. But this is Drew Brees of the 6 TD season opener, Drew Brees of the 2 subpar weeks and a bye week to get pissed and fix the problems. Irresistable force vs immovable object. If I have to make a guess, I can see the Saints having success of a sort, but don’t expect Brees to carve up the Giants, and a disaster is possible. If you’ve got a playable backup with a nice matchup, it’s worth sitting your Saints. Conversely, the Saints rate as above average on pass defense, but I’m not sure I believe it yet. Keep in mind Kevin Boss is dinged up with an ankle injury, so don’t rely on him this week even if he plays.

NYG: Manning -1, Smith 0, Manningham 0, Hixon 0, Boss -2
NO: Brees -2, Colston -2, Henderson -2, Shockey -2

Cleveland (10th) @ Pittsburgh (14th)

Cleveland’s pass rating gets a big push from the snoozefest with Buffalo, boosting them into the upper third of the league. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has seen its pass defense suffer the last few weeks, but Polamalu’s likely return means you should downgrade all the Browns from bad plays to really bad plays. Losing DE Aaron Smith for the season will hurt Pittsburgh’s ability to pressure the QB, but that may not matter this week. Hold on to Massaquoi (and Derek Anderson in 2 QB leagues), but don’t start them until the situation settles. Roethlisberger, Holmes, Ward, and Miller are all good plays — the Cleveland defense won’t look nearly as good without Trent Edwards helping them. Mendenhall’s emergence means the Steelers don’t have to throw quite as much; downgrade Mike Wallace a bit.

CLE: Anderson -2, Massequoi -2, Stuckey -2, Royal -1
PIT: Roethlisberger +1, Holmes +1, Ward +1, Miller +2, Wallace -1

Carolina (2nd) @ Tampa Bay (21st)

Carolina’s defense is a bit of an odd-ball. The Panther’s are allowing a 68.8% completion rate (30th), but only 166 passing yards a game (2nd). Fortunately, you shouldn’t be considering any of the Bucs, with the exception of….wait for it….Kellen Winslow! That’s right, the guy I said to bench last week (in my defense, I rated him -2 compared to the rest of TB at -5). Antonio Gates he’s not, but if you’re going to roll the dice at TE, it’s hard to argue with the guy who dropped 100+ yards and 2 TD’s against the Eagles. Tampa Bay got burned badly by Eagles passing attack, so if you’re stuck don’t feel too bad about starting Delhomme, and I guarantee Steve Smith (CAR) will be even better than DeSean Jackson was last week. Stone cold lock, lead pipe lock, early morning sports radio forced camaraderie YOU CAN TAKE IT TO THE BANK. No really, he’ll be better than DeSean.

CAR: Delhomme +1, Smith +2, Rosario +1
TB: Johnson -2, Everybody -2, Winslow 0

Kansas City (29th) @ Washington (3rd)

Oddly, Washington is actually allowing a higher completion percentage than Kansas City (60.7% vs. 56.1%), but is also giving up almost 100 fewer passing yards per game (171.2 vs. 270.0). Jason Campbell is a much, much better fantasy QB than he is a real life QB, but that’s fine for our purposes (because our purpose is playing fantasy football!). Great matchup to play Campbell as a bye week fill-in. Santana Moss will benefit as well. Cooley disappeared last week but he’s a must start against the Chiefs. Don’t downgrade Cassel, Bowe, or Sean Ryan too much — the Redskins limit yardage and big plays, but I think Cassel is smart enough to take what’s there.

KC: Cassel -1, Bowe -1, Ryan 0
WAS: Campbell +2, Moss +2, Cooley +1

St. Louis (25th) @ Jacksonville (30th)

Barring some sort of gentleman’s agreement in which the game is decided by a Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew tetherball match (edge: S-Jax, MJD is too short), this should be a nice week for both pass offenses. The Jaguar’s pass defense is particularly horrible; unfortunately, the only Ram good enough to take advantage of it is Donnie Avery. The Jaguars provide some good plays as well, with Garrard, Holt, and Sims-Walker (assuming he’s been a good boy this week) all startable. Marcedes Lewis remains a low-risk, low-reward option at TE — cross your fingers for a TD to go with his 40-60 yards.

STL: Avery +2
JAC: Garrard +2, Sims-Walker +2, Holt +2, Lewis +1

4 PM games

Arizona (32nd) @ Seattle (9th)

Seattle allows a high completion rate (65.6%) but they are limiting yardage and touchdowns. I expect that to change — the Arizona WR’s are too physically gifted not to turn catches into big plays. The Seahawks (14.0 sacks) may be able to pressure Warner, so keep expectations in check. After facing the Swiss-cheese Jacksonsville secondary, Hasselbeck gets another nice matchup. Upgrade Hasselbeck, Burleson, Houshmandzadeh, and Carlson, especially if Seattle has to throw to keep pace with Arizona’s offense — just look at what Houston did against the Jags last week.

ARI: Warner 0, Fitzgerald +1, Boldin +1, Breaston 0
SEA: Hasselbeck +2, Burleson +2, Houshmanzadeh +2, Carlson +2

Philadelphia (4th) @ Oakland (15th)

The Eagles should dominate this game, but I wouldn’t assume that means a run-heavy attack, as they will try to keep Westbrook and McCoy healthy. After DeSean Jackson’s near no-show last week, the Asomugha effect could be cause for concern, but DeS-Jax is too talented to bench. Grab Maclin if he’s available, but don’t start him (see: Mohamed Massaquoi). Zach Miller showed enough in Week 5 to consider him as a bye-week fill in again, but I still don’t recommend it against the Eagles despite Kellen Winslow’s performance. Chaz Schilens just avoided being required to legally change his name to Chaz Schilens(foot)…keep an eye on him. Not for your team. Just because it’s fun.

PHI: McNabb +1, Jackson 0, Maclin 0, Celek 0
OAK: Russell +2 (just kidding, -5), Zach Miller 0, Chaz Schilens +foot

Tennessee (31st) @ New England (13th)

Page up. All the way. Read the intro. Start ALL your Patriots. Brady, Moss, Welker…they’re all getting yards and touchdowns. I think Ben Coates might even get a TD in this game somehow. Ben Watson is a decent play, but he doesn’t get that many looks so if Brady throws downfield all game, he may not be that productive. Last week Orton exposed the Pats defense…but I wouldn’t feel great about starting Kerry Collins. Nate Washington, Justin Gage, and Scaife are all risky plays this week.

TEN: Collins -1, Washington 0, Gage -1, Scaife -1
NE: Brady +2, Moss +2, Welker +2, Watson +1

Buffalo (6th) @ New York Jets (8th)

Buffalo shut down Cleveland’s passing game (ahem) in Week 5. The Jets defense didn’t dominate on Monday night like they have been, but Miami’s offense was a bad matchup for them. Downgrade both passing offenses — at this point, you shouldn’t be starting any of the Bills if at all possible, and while the addition of Braylon Edwards looks to improve the Jets’ big play ability, this isn’t the week to test it out. Legit corners on both defenses means interceptions and low yardage, and Mark Sanchez won’t even get a Hispanic tribute before the game. Don’t expect Clowney to lead the Jets in receiving yardage again.

BUF: Edwards -2, Owens -2, Evans -2
NYJ: Sanchez -2, Cotchery -2, Edwards -2, Clowney -2, Keller -1

8 PM game

Chicago (20th) @ Atlanta (23rd)

I’m expecting a bit of a shootout in this one. Both secondaries have limited passing touchdowns, Chicago having given up 4 in 4 games, and Atlanta 3 in 4 games, but both give up plenty of yardage. Upgrade both offenses, especially the Falcons as they build on their 45-10 romp over the prematurely-praised 49er defense. Ryan relied heavily on Roddy White last week, so watch for Gonzalez to be targeted a few more times. Hester should be healthy after the bye week giving Cutler a full arsenal. Keep an eye on Olsen — he has underwhelmed but is too good to be ignored (and Cutler wasn’t afraid of throwing to Scheffler in Denver). Knox remains a good play in return yardage leagues.

CHI: Cutler +1, Hester +1, Knox +1, Olsen +1
ATL: Ryan +2, White +1, Gonzalez +1

Monday game

Denver (5th) @ San Diego (12th)

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Denver let off the gas after an emotional Sunday night win over New England. Nevertheless, until this defense falters, you have to downgrade the San Diego starters a bit. Rivers and Vincent Jackson can be benched if you have comparable options, but don’t go overboard; Gates remains a must start unless you drafted 2 top TE’s in a 1 TE league (and you should trade one of them immediately). Orton, Brandon Marshall, and Eddie Royal are safe starts — the SD corners can be picked on. Scheffler is an option as a bye week fill in.

DEN: Orton 0, Marshall +1, Royal 0, Scheffler 0
SD: Rivers -1, Jackson -1, Chambers -2, Gates 0

  1. steve slaton @ CIN, kevin smith @ GB, or ray rice @ MIN?
    i can only pick two

  2. Drew

    Drew says:

    @purple&gold: slaton, smith

  3. cleaver596 says:

    PPR league.

    Hakeem [email protected] or Eddie Royal @SD?

  4. ThePoonTycoon says:

    @purple&gold: slaton and smith no doubt

    @cleaver596: pretty close to a toss up i’d say

  5. cleaver596 says:

    also, I need to drop someone to pick up a kicker. Who do you think has the least long term value. Derrick Ward, Jamaal Charles, Jerome Harrison. I dropped my kicker to grab Royal off of waivers.

  6. ThePoonTycoon says:

    @cleaver596: i’d tentatively say drop charles, but really all of them could probably be dropped and still be there in a week or 2 if you had a change of heart. charles just seems to be the least liklely to ever be a full-time starting RB imo.

  7. Calogero says:

    With Megatron looking unlikely to play, who should my contingency plan be (opposite Fitzgerald)?

    Breaston, Sidney Rice or Caldwell

    I’d also probably start whoever I pick up next week since Megatron has a bye.

  8. daves says:

    So with what you said about Brees at NYG would you start Hasselbeck over him?

  9. Calogero says:

    @Calogero: Sorry – next 2 weeks

    Breaston (@Sea, @NYG), Rice (Bal, @Pit), Caldwell (Hou, Chi)

  10. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @Calogero: I’d lean Breaston for next week but avoid the NYG matchup…switch to Caldwell for that week if you can.

    @daves: Yes, I would. Is it possible Brees does what no one has been able to do, and drops 250-300 yards and 2 or 3 TD’s on the Giants? Sure, it’s possible, but it’s not a good bet. If Hasselbeck is healthy, play him.

    And a question for you guys…LenDale AND Fast Willie have been dropped in my league. Worth dropping anyone out of Fargas, McFadden, or Hester to pick up either one?

  11. Matt B says:

    Best Flex Play in PPR this week:
    M Lynch @ NYJ, J Cotchery vs. BUF, P Harvin vs BAL, J Knox @ ATL?

  12. stumanji says:

    @mgeoffriau: Another great post. Keep it up, razzballers!

    I’d drop Fargas to grab FWP. Oakland is turrible and who knows what is going on in that backfield. Looks like Bush is getting the most carries now, but McFad is coming back in a few weeks. That’s just a headache that I want no part of.

    Don’t get me wrong, I also think FWP is awful but I think he has a better chance of becoming the starter again than Fargas.

    While we’re hating on everyone, LenDale and Hester both stink.

  13. Mark says:

    I have Randy Moss and Megatron as my starting WRs. Was recently offered Colston and Bowe for Megatron. With him being questionable for this week and having a bye next week, would you pull the trigger on this deal?

  14. Christopher says:

    I’m starting Smith (NYG) as 1 of 3 WRs, so who are the two other plays this week in 10-team PPR:
    – Knox @ ATL
    – Hester @ ATL
    – Caldwell v. HOU
    – Royal @ SD
    – Maclin @ OAK
    – Holt @ STL
    – Avery v. JAX
    – Clayton @ MIN

  15. Ian says:

    pick 2 in a 0.5 ppr:

    Chris Johnson

  16. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @Mark: It’s not a bad offer — Colston isn’t too much of a dropoff from CJ. I’d wait just a bit though; if CJ’s knee isn’t serious and Stafford returns, he could have a great season.

    @Christopher: Royal and take a chance on Avery.

    @Ian: Chris Johnson and Ray Rice. Then Slaton, Lynch, and Moreno.

  17. Art Vandelay says:

    2 QB league, I have Brady, Flacco, and Garrard. Need to deal one of Flacco and Garrard b/c they have the same bye week. Deal Flacco for Welker?

  18. eldee says:

    1) Does LeSean McCoy do to the Raiders this week what Bradshaw did to them last week?

    2) Would that make him more attractive as a RB2 than Leon?

    3) Does the loser of that RB2-off make a better flex option than Kevin Walter (great historicals vs. Cincy) or Eddie Royal (welcome back to the offense)?

    Or, I could just give you my password and let you set my lineup for me.

  19. hacienda says:

    Berrian or Sproles at flex this week in a .5PPR league?

  20. Probable Party Starter says:

    Easy on the two TE in 1-TE league comments in regards to Gates, as he’s coming off a bye (I fell into Heap as his replacement). That being said, should Heap get the nod here and shop Gates? Or the other way around?

  21. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @eldee: McCoy is a good play but Bradshaw’s line was a unique situation. The Eagles don’t seem to pound the ball, even with a big lead — Westbrook and McCoy both got just 8 touches last week. McCoy/Leon is pretty close, both splitting carries, both matched up against horrible run defenses. I’d lean McCoy just out of the likelihood of Westbrook being rested with a lead. Play Walter at flex, the Bengals shift coverage to the #1 WR, and the the #2 WR will see a lot of action.

    @hacienda: Berrian until we have a better picture of Sproles offensive role.

    @Probable Party Starter: I’d hold Gates unless someone is willing to seriously overpay…I haven’t seen enough from Heap to separate him from most waiver wire TE’s in a 12 team league. If you can get something in return for Heap, go for it.

  22. Bofum says:

    would you trade percy harvin and reggie bush for boldin and tomlinson in a non ppr league?

  23. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Bofum: yes i would,i think boldin beats harvin(this year)and tomlinson is better than bush

  24. ultCB says:

    @mgeoffriau: Which two do you like in PPR this week? K. Walter, D. Hester, E. Royal, S. Rice. Thanks!

  25. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @ultCB: Walter and Royal.

  26. eldee says:

    His Forte for my Leon and Bowe?

  27. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @eldee: Assuming you can absorb the loss at WR reasonably well, absolutely do that deal.

  28. eldee says:

    I have Moss, Walter and Royal. 2-2-flex league. So yeah, I think I can manage.

  29. ultCB says:


  30. Doc

    Doc says:

    @ultCB: I like Royal

  31. Bofum says:

    who do you think will have a better year percy harvin or derrick mason?

  32. Christopher says:

    @mgeoffriau: Thanks! Now starting Smith (NYG), Avery and Royal.

    What about RBs for this week in this same PPR league:
    CJ @ NE
    Rice @ MIN
    Forte @ ATL

    Leaning to CJ and Rice…

  33. Marvin N. says:

    12 Team PPR League:

    With Reggie Wayne on bye this week, I have the following to choose from as his fill-in:

    Mark Clayton
    Muhsin Muhammad
    Andre Caldwell

    Also, I’m not feeling Lynch’s matchup this week against the Jets and pondered the idea of running 4 wides. Good idea and, if so, which two of the three above should I run with?


  34. Steve says:

    QB-wise, Orton or Campbell?

    And is it worth picking up The Jags’, Bucs’ or Falcons’ D to start ahead of my Bengals’ D?

  35. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Christopher: i dont like rice vs that minn line,id go cj and forte

  36. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Steve: orton

  37. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Marvin N.: i like lynch better than any of those 3,so lynch and caldwell

  38. Steve says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Thanks. My autodraft was kind to me RB-wise (AP and Ronnie Brown), but QBs, not so much.

  39. Kristina says:

    Looking at the matchups this week, I have a little bit of a hard time setting the line. My QB (A-Rod) and TE (Tony Gonzalez unless I get Finley after waivers are processed) are a lock. This is a 10 team league and there is no PPR.

    For WR, I need two out of these four (with spectacular matchups this week): Fitz, Driver, Housh., and Sims-Walker. I am leaning towards Fitz and Driver, but I like Sims-Walker at STL and Housh. at Arizona.

    RBs: I have Grant, Portis, P. Thomas. I am leaning towards Grant/Portis because of NY Giants def and Bell’s return.

  40. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Kristina: i agree on rb`s,although thomas could still produce a td,wr i like those matchups,i like fitz ,sims-walker and hous in that order,i like driver but i see green bay really trying to get jennings going

  41. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @Steve: nice to hear from you,nice rb`s, and orton isnt bad,i have big ben and got lucky to grab favre as a week 8 fill in,plus he`s looked good so far since he isnt needed every game to throw it 40 times,if you have room on your bench,lienart wouldnt be a bad thought in case warner gets hurt

  42. vargo says:

    Starting 4 Wr’s in a standard scoring league,

    Fitz, Sims – walker, hester, harvin, royal, bennet

    Def starting Fitz, and walker

    then which two out of the three, Harvin, Royal, or Hester?

  43. AL KOHOLIC says:

    i like hester and royal,you might want to have doc or 1 of the other experts on here confirm that but denver vs san diego could be an air show by the half,and hester with the gunslinger cutler,the minn baltimore game will be more of a ball control i think,favre will pick his spots but he probably wont throw it as much as the others

  44. hideousmutants says:

    Just read this on rotoworld:
    The Eagles reportedly had “the process already set in motion” for Jeremy Maclin to replace Kevin Curtis in the starting lineup before the team’s Week 4 bye.
    Curtis’ knee is getting “closer and closer” to 100 percent, but he’s not over the hump yet. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg says the team will “find some places” for Curtis going forward, which would certainly seem to indicate that Maclin will remain the starter with Curtis filling in as a role player.

    Does that bump Maclin up ahead of guys like Royal in anyone’s opinion?

  45. hideousmutants says:

    @hideousmutants: also wondering about Maclin compared to Miles Austin

  46. AL KOHOLIC says:

    @hideousmutants: both should be owned,i just think that thier numbers will be sporatic,good 1 week,not much 1 week then a big game

  47. Christopher says:

    Non-PPR (but return yds = 1pt/20 yds) 12-team standard league. Which WR do I start at W/T:
    Nicks @ NO
    Caldwell v. HOU
    Jacoby Jones @ CIN

    The only WW fodder out there is Northcutt v. GB.

  48. vargo says:


    standard scoring which 2 wr should i start

    Hester, Harvin, or Royal?

  49. Doc

    Doc says:

    @vargo: Harvin and Royal

    @Christopher: Nicks and Caldwell

    @hideousmutants: I like Maclin, but I agree that the number will be all over the place.

    @vargo: I like Harvin and Royal

  50. Kristina says:

    @Al Koholic Thanks a lot! I had been having a lot of success with DD that I overlooked the Jennings factor with the deep ball.

  51. Christopher says:

    @Doc: Thanks Doc, but I can only start one.
    My other three WRs are:
    White v. CHI
    Driver v. DET
    DJax @ OAK

    So who starts b/n Nicks and Caldwell?

  52. Nick says:

    Is there anyone I should grab before the wire gets frozen…I have Folk and Crosby at K and Folk is on bye so why not just dump him and get something that could turn into a solid 3rd WR or flex…MaClin, M. Moore, Choice, Collie, F or C Taylor…someone not to popular, 10 team h2h non-ppr…

  53. Nick says:

    Also Glen Coffee available the 17th…

  54. Nick says:

    Or Mike Bell…who I had in the past…

  55. Greg says:

    I rarely ask for help but you have been money this year and I’m losing my mind. PPR league – Northcutt or Caldwell?

  56. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:

    @Greg: Not sure if you wanted my help or Doc’s, but I’m happy to answer. Northcutt is interesting because of CJ’s absence, but I’m generally loathe to start WR’s on teams with as bad a situation as Detroit’s. Caldwell is a much safer start and is more likely to toss in a bonus TD than Northcutt.

  57. Greg says:

    Thanks for the help. Doesn’t matter if it is you or Doc. I dunno I think I’m gonna gamble and role w. Northcutt. It’s a gut call and I typically agree with your thoughts that you never play a WR on a bad team. But it’s not Stafford throwing which is a plus. Add to that the fact that they will be forced to throw the ball early and often gives a slight nudge to Northcutt at least for this week. I might live to regret this.

Comments are closed.