Alright, alright, alright – it’s that time of week folks. Game time is almost here and I must make my predictions. So, buckle up your chinstraps, get your ankles taped and let’s get to getting.
The red-hot Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller will keep up their high production this weekend against the porous Bills defense. Keller is a must start, and Sanchez a great bye week fill in. Bills backs should be avoided this week, not only due to the timeshare, but also based on the fact that they’re going against the Jets defense.
Don’t drink the negative cool-aid that the Bengals offense has been putting out there recently. They will bounce back in a big, big way against the Cleveland Browns’ defense. Feel free to start Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, of course Cedric Benson and even rookie TE Jermaine Gresham. The Browns, however, should probably be avoided – with the exception of Peyton Hills – against the solid Bengals D.
The amazingly potent Broncos’ passing offense faces one of the league’s top passing defenses this week in the Tennessee Titans. Still, guys like Kyle Orton and Jabar Gaffney should definitely be in lineups. Avoid the Broncos RB situation. Consider Titans WRs like Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Justin Gage solid sleepers against a vulnerable Broncos defense.
Going out on a limb, keep the faith in Ray Rice even though he’s nicked up against the Steelers. You drafted him in the first round for a reason. Put him in your lineup even if you have a guy who happens to be hotter right now. Risking being captain obvious, the same goes for Rashard Mendenhall against the equally stout Ravens defense. He’s a stud and should not be benched. That said, I’d avoid almost everyone else – except Anquan Boldin in PPR formats.
Even though the Lions will lose at Green Bay, Shaun Hill will hook up with Maurice Morris through the air enough to make him a decent bye week PPR flex fill-in in deep leagues. With Jahvid Best sidelined, Calvin Johnson is Detroit’s go-to guy and will score multiple times in a shootout. Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley are top fantasy options against Detroit.
The Niners’ passing attack finally gets in sync against the Falcons, and Michael Crabtree becomes fantasy-worthy for the first time all year. Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are all must-starts – along with Frank Gore, of course.
Matt Hasselbeck and Sam Bradford are great bye week fill-ins at QB against one another. So are Deion Branch and Deon Butler. Mark Clayton is a borderline must-start.
Pierre Thomas is a game time decision. I think he’ll play, but if he doesn’t, consider adding Ladell Betts late as a flex play. Bench everyone on the Panthers offense. Saints D is a must play.
Believe it or not, despite a heel injury, Austin Collie will have his third double digit catch game of the year against the Jags. Blair White will have another big game, and is a great deep sleeper bye week fill-in. Reggie Wayne is a must start. Look for Maurice Jones-Drew to finally show owners why he’s a top five fantasy pick.
What to do, what to do? You own Andre Johnson, but he plays in the late games. Well, the best answer is to snag a guy like Louis Murphy or Darrius Heyward-Bey off waivers and plop them in if Johnson is a late scratch – but both of them are also listed as questionable. Look, chances are, all three will play, so roll with Johnson if you have no safer/better option. Also – Jacoby Jones would shoulder more of the load should Johnson miss time, so consider him a solid sleeper.
Malcom Floyd is a must-start against Arizona, and rookie Ryan Mathews should start to prove his worth. Mathews is a legit RB2.
Despite Washington having solid corners, Jeremy Maclin will have another huge game as they double DeSean Jackson. LeSean McCoy will struggle against Washington’s front seven, but still may have enough receptions to warrant starting consideration in PPR leagues.
Bears/Giants will be a shootout, making Steve Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks solid starts. Mario Manningham is questionable though, so proceed with caution there. Victor Cruz may be an interesting fill-in if Manningham is a scratch. Look for Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Jay Cutler to have big games.
Look for Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline to continue their solid play against the Pats’ poor secondary. Marshall is a must-start and Hartline a decent sleeper.