QB: Russell Wilson vs. MIN – Despite the loss of Sidney Rice, Russell Wilson has played some of the best football of his career over the past four weeks. Wilson has thrown for 878 yards with a TD:INT ratio of 9:2. He’s also added 101 rushing yards and a score on the ground. This week it looks like Wilson will get Percy Harvin back. Harvin is a huge boost to the passing game, as there may not be a player in the NFL better with the ball in their hands. Combine these factors with the fact that Wilson couldn’t have a better matchup this week and you have every reason to start him. Besides the Cowboys – who are on bye this week, the Vikings have allowed the most points to opposing quarterbacks. For teams who have Tony Romo on bye, Mike Glennon is an interesting streamer against the Falcons.
RB: LeSean McCoy vs. WAS – I know LeSean is an obvious must-start; I put him on here because he is my No. 1 overall flex play. Facing a pathetic Redskins defense that he carved up for 184 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 1, Shady should have no problem having a huge day. The Redskins have allowed opposing running backs to rush for 887 yards on 202 carries (4.39 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. I expect the Eagles offense to be firing on all cylinders.
Andre Ellington at JAC – It’s a shame the Cardinals don’t give him more touches over the plodding Mendenhall but Ellington is talented enough to produce without a heavy workload. In the four games that Ellington has received at least seven rushes, he has topped 50 rushing yards every time. Averaging 15 touches over his last two games, Ellington should have little trouble tearing up one of the league’s worst run defenses. On top of the fact that they’ve allowed seven rushing touchdowns in their last four games, the Jaguars will likely be without middle linebacker Paul Posluszny.
Ben Tate vs. OAK – Although Tate isn’t playing up to his typical standards because of his fractured ribs; I still believe he can take advantage of this plus matchup. Andre Brown returned to rush for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders last week. I’d call Tate a quality RB2.
Trent Richardson at TEN – Although I’m beginning to question Richardson’s talent, this is a positive matchup to exploit. I was certainly a Richardson proponent to start the season because of his high floor with the Browns – he was playing three downs, catching passes, and receiving goal-line carries. Now everything has changed and there’s legitimate reason to question his talent. The Browns knew his talent better than anyone and were willing to deal him, what does that say about him? That being said, don’t go and sit him for someone like DeAngelo Williams, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, or Mark Ingram this week. Richardson has a prime matchup to exploit against a Titans defense that has allowed eight rushing touchdowns to running backs in their last four games.
WR: Pierre Garcon at PHI – Finally Garcon and RGIII have gotten on the same page, just in time for a matchup with the woeful Eagles secondary. This game is sure to be a shootout as two bad defenses play two plus offenses. Coming off two straight 115+ yard performances, Garcon has at least five catches in every game this season. The Redskins will be sure to use their best weapon against a defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. They’ve allowed a league-high 176 receptions and 2,210 yards to wide receivers. No other defense has allowed over 135 receptions or 1,992 yards to opposing wide outs.
Vincent Jackson vs. ATL – Despite catching just five passes for 39 yards over his last two games; Vincent Jackson is certainly worth starting this week. Squaring off with a Falcons secondary that he torched for 138 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7, Jackson should be in starting lineups. The Falcons have struggled mightily guarding opposing wide receivers.
Emmanuel Sanders vs. DET – With a matchup against the Lions on the horizon, Emmanuel Sanders has the chance to be a value play. Although he struggled last week, the Lions force their opponents to pass because of their high scoring offense. This has led to the Lions being the 3rd most favorable matchup for opposing wide receivers. This also applies to Antonio Brown; he is a must-start.
Rishard Matthews vs. MIA – Rishard Matthews looked like the best Dolphins receiver on Monday Night, exhibiting reliable hands and route running ability. If you’re thin at receiver, give Matthews a roll of the dice. He’s facing a Chargers defense that has allowed the 4th most points to opposing wide receivers.
TE: Rob Housler at JAC – With the tight end position so thin, I want to give desperate owners someone to start. Housler presents as a sneaky play facing a Jacksonville defense that has been dreadful against tight ends. In nine games this season the Jaguars have given up eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends. It’s an additional bonus that Michael Floyd is questionable.
QB: Philip Rivers at MIA – It appears Rivers is cooling off from his hot start. Throwing for 13 touchdowns in his first five games, Rivers has passed for just five in his last four games. It doesn’t help that now he faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed a TD:INT ratio of 10:12.
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew vs. AZ – Despite being serviceable over his past two games, there’s a good chance Jones-Drew comes back to reality against the Cardinals. Allowing the 2nd fewest points to opposing running backs, the Cardinals have allowed just two rushing touchdowns in nine games this season. They’re also allowing just 3.39 yards per carry to opposing running backs.
Fred Jackson vs. NYJ – Yet to allow over 90 rushing yards to opposing running backs, the Jets have proven to be a difficult matchup. The Jets have allowed an opposing running back to rush for a touchdown in just three of their nine games this season. The Jets are currently allowing a minuscule 3.11 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Splitting carries with C.J. Spiller will make him an even riskier fantasy play.
Steven Jackson at TB – Sporting the No. 5 run defense, the Buccaneers will make Steven Jackson an undesirable play. Already struggling since being re-inserted to the lineup, Jackson is averaging just 2.24 yards per carry over his last three games. I’m sitting him against a Bucs defense that has allowed just one rushing touchdown on the season.
WR: Aaron Dobson at CAR – No team has been more unfavorable for opposing wide receivers than the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have allowed just two touchdowns to wide receivers this season – none since Week 2. With a questionable WR3 like Dobson, I let the matchup dictate whether or not to start the player. This matchup dictates an affirmative no.
Greg Jennings at SEA – I hope no one is relying on Greg Jennings because his quarterback play makes him undesirable. Facing the Seahawks this week makes him extremely undesirable. The Seahawks have allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers – avoid him this week.
Vincent Brown at MIA – It’s about time to give up on Vincent Brown – it’s clear that Keenan Allen is much more talented. This week is unfavorable for both as the Chargers face a Dolphins defense that has allowed just one touchdown to an opposing wide receiver all season.
TE: John Carlson at SEA – Despite blowing up for 98 yards and a touchdown in his first start, Carlson will come back to reality against the Seahawks. Playing the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field with Christian Ponder as your quarterback makes for an undesirable play.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week. Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!