QB: Cam Newton vs. ATL – Over Newton’s last three games, he completed 58 out of 75 passes (77.3%) for 667 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. During that span, he also rushed 30 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. To say he is hot is an understatement… On Sunday he faces a Falcons’ defense that is allowing the most points to opposing quarterbacks out of teams playing this week.
RB: DeMarco Murray vs. MIN – Despite sitting out two weeks, Murray is practicing early this week and looks due for a full workload. Facing off against a Vikings’ defense that has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Murray is a must start. In their last four games, the Vikings have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs.
Ryan Mathews at WAS – With two 100-yard rushing performances in a row, Ryan Mathews will look to continue his streak against the Redskins. Luckily for Mathews, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Redskins. With the Redskins allowing seven touchdowns to running backs in their last three games, I expect Mathews to find the end zone.
Giovani Bernard at MIA – Although he’s coming off two lackluster performances, I like Giovani Bernard this week against the Dolphins. Since Week 1, the Dolphins have allowed an opposing running back to score a touchdown every week. During the last four games, the Dolphins have allowed opposing running backs to score seven touchdowns.
Zac Stacy vs. TEN – Since Stacy took over for Daryl Richardson, he has carried the ball 75 times for 344 yards (4.59 YPC). Although he hasn’t scored a touchdown, Stacy has certainly proven himself as the best Rams’ running back. He looked fantastic last week, consistently gaining yards after contact and becoming the only running back this season besides Arian Foster to rush for 100+ yards against Seattle. Facing a Titans’ defense that has been favorable to opposing running backs, Stacy is a solid start.
WR: Pierre Garcon vs. SD – Although he hasn’t topped 70 yards since Week 3, Pierre Garcon is one of my favorite buy-lows in fantasy football. Garcon has seen 34 more targets than anyone on his team and leads his team in red zone targets. We know Garcon has the talent and it’s just a matter of time before he gets on the same page with RGIII. With the Chargers allowing the 4th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, there’s reason to believe the breakout will happen this week.
Steve Smith vs. ATL – Yet to top 70 yards in a game this season, Steve Smith hasn’t been his typically explosive self. This week against the Falcons, he has a solid chance to change that. The Falcons have been abysmal in pass defense and have already allowed 96 receptions for 1,260 yards and 11 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers.
Keenan Allen at WAS – Over his last four games, Allen has caught 23 passes for 369 yards and two touchdowns. He has quickly become one of Phillip Rivers’ trusted targets and now he gets his most favorable matchup of the season. Facing a burnable Redskins’ secondary that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, Allen should have a solid fantasy day.
Dwayne Bowe at BUF – Although it’s very tough to trust him, Dwayne Bowe hasn’t had a more favorable matchup all season. The Bills have allowed 2+ touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in six of eight games this season. If there is a game for Andy Reid to game plan and take advantage of an opposing team’s dreadful cornerbacks, it is this week.
TE: Jason Witten vs. MIN – Despite not topping 48 yards in three weeks, Jason Witten has an appetizing matchup on deck. Facing a Vikings’ defense that has struggled to defend tight ends, I expect the Cowboys to look to reincorporate Witten this week.
QB: Tom Brady vs. PIT – You will be hard-pressed to find a bigger Tom Brady fan than me but the facts are simple: the Patriots are struggling to generate offense and now they face the defense that has allowed the least passing touchdowns in the league (5). Brady has thrown just two touchdowns in his last four games. In seven games the Steelers have allowed 2+ passing touchdowns just once, while they have intercepted the opposing quarterback twice in two games.
RB: Willis McGahee at BAL – Averaging just 34.7 rushing yards in his last three games, Willis McGahee is not an acceptable fantasy play. He’s averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and has caught just three passes for two yards all season. This week he faces a Ravens defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.
DeAngelo Williams vs. ATL – Despite proving to be an acceptable fantasy play for the first eight weeks, DeAngelo’s time is running out. With the return of Jonathan Stewart looming and the continued presence of Mike Tolbert, DeAngelo will no longer receive the voluminous workloads that made him valuable. This week he has an unfavorable matchup against a stout Falcons’ defense.
Mike James at SEA – While James has filled in for Doug Martin admirably, the Bucs have struggled to generate rushing yards all season. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have been strong against the run. It’s unlikely James will find running room against one of the NFL’s best defenses.
WR: Vincent Jackson at SEA – While Mike Glennon is sure to look Jackson’s way, the Seahawks will do whatever they can to stop Vincent Jackson. Proving to be the Buccaneers’ only weapon, Jackson has caught 24 passes in the three games. Richard Sherman, arguably the game’s top corner, will lock up Jackson on Sunday.
Darius Heyward-Bey at HOU – Despite inheriting a lot of buzz with the season-ending injury to Reggie Wayne, this isn’t a good week to trust Heyward-Bey. DHB faces off with a Texans’ defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. The Texans have allowed a league low catches (54) and receiving yards (619) to opposing wide receivers.
Stevie Johnson vs. KC – There’s no question that Thad Lewis has helped save Stevie Johnson’s fantasy value – leading to 13 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks. The problem arises with his matchup – the Chiefs have been stout against the pass and will force Lewis to make difficult throws while constantly dealing with pressure.
TE: Garret Graham vs. IND – Already struggling with just 63 yards in his last two games, Graham draws a tough matchup against the Colts. The Colts have allowed a league low 25 catches and just one touchdown to opposing tight ends in seven games this season.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week. Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!