QB: Ben Roethlisberger vs. WAS – Despite throwing just three touchdowns over his last three games, Ben Roethlisberger is a solid start this week. Only Sam Bradford, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers have been better matchups than Big Ben this week. Allowing a league worst 328.4 passing yards per game, the Redskins will be torched by Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown this week.
RB: Willis McGahee vs. NO – Speaking of good matchups, no running back has a better matchup than Willis McGahee this week. He faces a porous New Orleans defense that has allowed an awful 161 rushing yards per game, good for 2nd worst in the league. Despite looking iffy at times this season, McGahee should be started with confidence this week.
Chris Johnson vs. IND – Arguably the most difficult player in the league to predict, Chris Johnson simply has to be started this week. With Arian Foster, Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, and Fred Jackson on bye, it’s a slow week for running backs. Facing the putrid Colts run defense that allowed Shonn Greene to run for 161 yards and three touchdowns, CJ could quite possibly match last week’s totals.
Reggie Bush at NYJ – Despite rushing for just 132 yards on 48 rushes (2.75 YPC) in his last three games, Reggie Bush should be started this week. Bush has struggled since injuring his knee but had last week’s bye to get healthy. Also, it’s reported that the Dolphins focused on fixing their struggling run game during the bye. Allowing a third-worst 147.7 rushing yards per game, the Jets aren’t the imposing defense that owners used to fear. Don’t be afraid to start Bush this week.
Darren McFadden at KC – Darren McFadden has underperformed throughout and season and while it seems like a good idea to sit him, owners have to stay the course. He’s still receiving a heavy workload each week and has a nice matchup with the Chiefs 22nd ranked run defense. Denarius Moore should help distract some of the defensive attention away from McFadden. Like Chris Johnson last week, there are many reasons to believe that McFadden will breakout of his slump soon.
WR: Demaryius Thomas vs. NO – Despite catching just two passes in his last game, there may not be a better wide receiver play this week than Demaryius Thomas. Facing a Saints defense is ranked 30th against the pass, he’ll have little problem roasting them for big plays like Vincent Jackson did a week ago.
Dez Bryant vs. NYG – Another maddeningly inconsistent player – Dez Bryant struggled last week, with just 14 total yards. The dud can be attributed to Bryant’s lack of being part of the game plan because of his missed practice, due to his nagging groin injury, and his possible in-game concussion that forced him to miss several offensive possessions. Still, Bryant is capable of exploding in a shootout with the Giants, who will force the Cowboys to pass throughout the game – wasting fewer plays on running the football and focusing more on throwing the ball downfield. Just 24th against the pass, the Giants secondary will provide Bryant with ample opportunities to make plays.
James Jones vs. JAX – Considering Rodgers has gone off to the tune of 1,234 passing yards and 16 touchdowns over his last four games, there’s plenty to go around in the Green Bay. James Jones was inches away from having a big game last week and could benefit from Jordy Nelson’s new hamstring injury. Despite the slow game last week, I’d feel confident starting Jones as a WR2 against the Jaguars.
Jeremy Kerley vs. MIA – Since the Dolphins run defense is among the best in football, the Jets will be forced to gain most of their yards through the air this week. Although Santonio Holmes was still starting the last time the Jets faced the Dolphins, Jeremy Kerley finished with 73 yards and a touchdown. Now he’s drawing a full slate of snaps and has a growing connection with Mark Sanchez, who called Kerley a “special talent” this week.
TE: Heath Miller at WAS – Heath Miller isn’t my favorite option at tight end, but he’s been surprisingly solid this year. Already up to five touchdown catches on the season, Miller is averaging six catches over his last four games. Don’t be afraid to start him against Washington’s leaky secondary this week.
QB: Matthew Stafford vs. SEA – Still yet to top one passing touchdown in any game this season, I’d be sitting Stafford this week against Seattle. Allowing the third fewest points per game at just 15.1, Seattle is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Already in the midst of a season-long slump, Stafford can’t be trusted this week.
RB: LaRod Stephens-Howling vs. SF – Before last week’s game against the Vikings, LaRod Stephens-Howling had 23 rushes on the season for a measly 23 yards. Simply not an every-down back, LSH is more of a scat-back who should only be used in passing situations. Last week the Vikings weren’t too concerned about Stephens-Howling and gave him plenty of room to run but I wouldn’t be betting on the same outcome against the 49ers.
Mikel Leshoure vs. SEA – Despite being his team’s every-down back, Mikel Leshoure will run into Seattle’s brick wall run defense this week. Allowing just 85 yards per game and two touchdowns on the ground this season, Leshoure will struggle to find much running room. It doesn’t help that he’s yet to show much difference-making talent.
Michael Turner at PHI – Running for just 33 yards against the Raiders, Michael Turner shouldn’t be trusted against the Eagles solid run defense. Turner gains most of his points by rushing for touchdowns and the Eagles have allowed just of those this season. I know it’s a bye week and not everyone has this luxury, but if you do, bench Turner.
WR: Titus Young vs. SEA – Despite being one of my favorite wavier wire additions this week, owners will have to wait another week to play their newest player. Although he’s an intriguing talent, Titus Young matches up very poorly with Seattle’s strong physical corners. Young’s weakness has been his physicality and no one harasses receivers at the line more than Seattle. Young could still prove to be a valuable addition, just not this week.
Brian Hartline at NYJ – In his last start Brian Harline didn’t record a catch; he struggled with the physicality of Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. This week’s matchup against shutdown corner Antonio Cromartie is even more difficult. Cromartie has arguably been playing at the highest level of any cornerback this season, impressively holding Brandon Lloyd to one catch for 6 yards last week. Don’t expect much from Hartline this week.
Andre Roberts vs. SF – Despite topping 100 yards and a touchdown last week, Andre Roberts remains a shaky fantasy play against the 49ers. Considering the 49ers are allowing the second-fewest points per game at 14.3, there’s little reason to believe that the Cardinals will have many yards or touchdowns. Don’t rely on Roberts for production.
TE: Brandon Pettigrew vs. SEA – With just one touchdown on the season, Brandon Pettigrew isn’t a solid starting option – although he is acceptable in PPR leagues. Throw in the fact that he faces the Seahawks this week and I’d leave him on fake football benches.
Thanks for reading! Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!