Week 14 Fantasy Football Matchups

To prepare you as best we can for your week of Fantasy Football, we've devised this series of previews for each NFL game. We'll give you a taste of what to expect, then rank each significant Fantasy contributor on a scale from 0-5 logos (with five logos suggesting can't-miss; a player or unit without any logos suggests you probably shouldn't start him under any circumstances). The rankings take the matchup into account, but injuries and other significant factors also contribute.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Thursday, 8:20 pm, Cleveland Browns Stadium
It goes without saying that this should be a get-right game for the Steelers. Defensively they're a mess, but offensively they're still rolling along. The Browns' defense has holes all over so it's tough to imagine the Steelers leaning on one part of their offense more than the other. Based on their tendency to throw, Ben Roethlisberger will lead the charge. In their earlier matchup with the Browns, Roethlisberger threw for over 400 yards and helped provide strong games for Hines Ward , Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller . Ward's hamstring will keep him out, giving the playing time to rookie Mike Wallace . He's hit a rookie wall it seems but should have a lot of opportunities to make plays. They'll do well as should Rashard Mendenhall . As predicted, the Browns offense has picked up a little bit with Jerome Harrison in the mix. He's good enough to give the Steelers' defense a little trouble (more than Jamal Lewis would have, anyway), especially out of the backfield as a receiver. Look for the Browns to spread things out and attack the Pittsburgh secondary, which played miserably last week. In theory, Mohamed Massaquoi would have a shot to have some long catches (he had 83 yards on five catches earlier in the season), but it's tough to trust anyone on the Cleveland offense. Harrison is the only one who is worth using in Fantasy, albeit as a flex option. One last note: The weather in Cleveland might be really bad (strong winds and snow). If so, don't expect either team to air it out successfully, leading to both running games seeing a lot of work. This is a game where checking the weather in Northeast Ohio leading up to kickoff isn't a bad idea. Cleveland's current forecast for Thursday night from the National Weather Service: Scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Wind chill values as low as -4. Windy, with a west wind between 25 and 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Ben Roethlisberger QB Brady Quinn
Rashard Mendenhall RB Jerome Harrison
Mewelde Moore   RB Chris Jennings
Santonio Holmes WR Mohamed Massaquoi
Mike Wallace WR Josh Cribbs
Heath Miller TE Evan Moore
Jeff Reed K Phil Dawson
Steelers DST Browns
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Reliant Stadium
Quietly, the Texans' defense has improved after some bad play through most of the first five weeks of the season. Only Peyton Manning , Dallas Clark , Chris Johnson and Chad Johnson have hung big yardage performances against them since Week 5. This spells big trouble for the Seahawks offense, which has had a hard time coming up with points against good defenses. The Seahawks continue to insist on running Julius Jones while Justin Forsett has been far more impressive when given the chance. That is expected to continue, so expect Seattle to turn to the pass fairly soon. That might help Forsett pick up some catches out of the backfield, but it's otherwise hard to count on any other Seahawks to put up outrageous stats. Matt Hasselbeck won't feel a ton of pressure from the Texans' defense but he's got a bumbling receiving corps in a tough matchup, and he's struggled on the road this year. The Texans should find the going good. Steve Slaton is on injured reserve, meaning that Ryan Moats and Chris Brown will share the rushing workload from here on out. Expect both to see work early on and the coaching staff to ride the hotter runner in the second half. Brown is expected to be the goal-line guy, though. The Texans should also pass a lot and they'll do well going against a Seattle secondary that's allowed nine passing touchdowns over its last four games, including eight in three matchups against prolific passers Kurt Warner , Brett Favre and Alex Smith (don't laugh!). Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are extremely safe options.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Matt Hasselbeck QB Matt Schaub
Justin Forsett RB Chris Brown
Julius Jones RB Ryan Moats
Nate Burleson WR Andre Johnson
T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR Kevin Walter
John Carlson   TE James Casey
Olindo Mare K Kris Brown
Seahawks DST Texans
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Lucas Oil Stadium
Some interesting history here: Peyton Manning has owned the Broncos in meaningful games over his career, going 6-1 over regular season and postseason matchups. In his last four against them where he's played a full game he's totaled 15 touchdowns. But the Broncos' defense has changed under head coach Josh McDaniels, who is very familiar with the Colts from his days with the Patriots. With the Broncos offense running well, expect Denver to lean on their O-line and deliver Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter a decent amount in an effort to keep Manning on the sideline. The Broncos should also be able to throw in some changeups with short-area passing to further keep the clock moving. It's tough to expect a huge performance from Brandon Marshall considering that potential game plan and the Indianapolis secondary, but if McDaniels attacks the Cover 2 scheme like he did with the Patriots, it might mean a decent amount of work for tight ends Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler . The Broncos' secondary isn't bad either, and Manning will likely have to look past Dallas Clark (covered by Brian Dawkins ) and whoever Champ Bailey is assigned to (it might actually be Pierre Garcon ). Reggie Wayne has been great against the Broncos over his recent career for seven touchdowns in his last four overall against them, so even though he's been bottled up for the last three weeks you have to like his chances to get some numbers. Joseph Addai can offset things by running the ball, and even though the Broncos' run defense has made some improvements over their last couple of games, they're still ripe for exposure against the Indy O-line here, especially near the goal line.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Kyle Orton QB Peyton Manning
Knowshon Moreno RB Joseph Addai
Correll Buckhalter RB Chad Simpson
Brandon Marshall WR Reggie Wayne
Eddie Royal   WR Pierre Garcon
Brandon Stokley   WR Austin Collie
Tony Scheffler TE Dallas Clark
Matt Prater K Matt Stover
Broncos DST Colts
N.Y. Jets at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Raymond James Stadium
It almost doesn't matter who starts at quarterback for the Jets -- they're going to continue their plan of running the football. Thomas Jones should lead the way with Shonn Greene helping out. That's really the extent of the Jets' offense right now. Kellen Clemens might lean on Dustin Keller a little more than Mark Sanchez normally might but Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery have been inconsistent and it won't help them much that Clemens is under center. The Buccaneers have some life offensively, and they'll need it. Expect the running game to struggle, meaning that Josh Freeman will take center stage once again. After throwing five interceptions at Carolina, two concepts that will likely be stressed this week are: play smart, safe ball and keep your passes away from Darrelle Revis . Kellen Winslow makes sense as a reliable option against the Jets' smallish safeties, but Antonio Bryant two-game hot streak is in jeopardy if Revis is his primary defender.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Kellen Clemens   QB Josh Freeman
Thomas Jones RB Cadillac Williams
Shonn Greene RB Derrick Ward
Jerricho Cotchery WR Antonio Bryant
Braylon Edwards WR Maurice Stovall
Dustin Keller TE Kellen Winslow
Jay Feely K Connor Barth
Jets DST Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Mall of America Field
A big reason why the Vikings were unable to slow down the Cardinals last week was because their pass rush couldn't get their hands on Kurt Warner . Arizona's offensive line came up big in that game, just like the Cincinnati offensive line has come up big all season. Carson Palmer should be well protected, but his receiving corps isn't talented enough to cause problems for the Vikings like the Cardinals' did. Chad Johnson will see coverage rolled his way and Palmer will have to surprise everyone with other successful options if he's going to have a productive day. We don't expect that to happen given his performance over the course of the season. Plus, the Bengals will continue to lean on Cedric Benson , and while the matchup looks tough for him, who's to say he can't beat it after he rolled over the Ravens and Steelers this year? The Vikings' offense really got away from using Adrian Peterson last week, and while the Bengals' run defense ranks high they're missing some key defensive players up front. Expect Peterson to regain his carries and have a decent outing while the Vikings run a balanced offense. The Bengals' secondary is no slouch, so Minnesota will have to utilize its three-receiver sets and let Brett Favre make smart decisions when he throws. That should work out as the Bengals' pass rush won't be enough to put pressure on Favre like the Cardinals' did. Expect a solid win for the Vikings.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Carson Palmer QB Brett Favre
Cedric Benson RB Adrian Peterson
Larry Johnson   RB Chester Taylor
Chad Johnson WR Sidney Rice
Laveranues Coles WR Percy Harvin
Andre Caldwell   WR Bernard Berrian
J.P. Foschi   TE Visanthe Shiancoe
Shayne Graham K Ryan Longwell
Bengals DST Vikings
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Arrowhead Stadium
Both teams should run at each other as neither one is especially strong against the run. The going might be tougher for Buffalo since its offensive line still isn't playing well and there are a couple of good run stoppers on Kansas City. Fred Jackson should post good totals because of his versatility, but don't expect a huge game from him or Marshawn Lynch (they'll split reps). The matchup is good for Terrell Owens as the Chiefs don't put much pressure on quarterbacks and their secondary has a few suspect starters. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Ryan Fitzpatrick try a deep ball to him in this one if he's in single coverage against Brandon Flowers . Buffalo's defensive secondary has played well and should be able to cover the Chiefs' receivers enough (this wouldn't be the case if Dwayne Bowe was playing, but he'll sit out for this one last game). Where the Bills will struggle is containing Jamaal Charles , who has simply exceeded every expectation and has become a dangerous player. The Bills' front seven is slow on the edges and Charles should enjoy a big day.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB Matt Cassel
Fred Jackson RB Jamaal Charles
Marshawn Lynch RB Tim Castille
Terrell Owens WR Chris Chambers
Lee Evans WR Lance Long
Shawn Nelson   TE Leonard Pope
Rian Lindell K Ryan Succop
Bills DST Chiefs
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Georgia Dome
Great spot for the Saints -- the Falcons' secondary remains a mess and very exploitable. Brees should make the most of 35 to 40 pass attempts, hitting Marques Colston and Robert Meachem for big plays. Getting Reggie Bush back with some rust knocked off helps too -- Bush has been a thorn in the side of the Falcons for years as he's scored in his last three against them. The Falcons' run defense isn't anything special but don't count on a lot from Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell . Atlanta's problem on offense is along the offensive line, where they're missing some starters. If they get healthy there they can run the ball more effectively and better protect Chris Redman . Then they'd have a chance to spread the ball among Roddy White , Tony Gonzalez and the running backs. The Saints were beat by big plays by fast receivers at Washington last week, and the Falcons really only have White as a guy who can do something like that. He'll see a lot of coverage, which might open the door for Gonzalez to see opportunities in single coverage, but the Saints pass rush and blitz schemes could be too much for Redman, who was awful in the face of the Eagles' blitz last week.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Drew Brees QB Chris Redman
Pierre Thomas RB Jason Snelling
Reggie Bush RB Jerious Norwood
Mike Bell RB Ovie Mughelli
Marques Colston WR Roddy White
Robert Meachem WR Eric Weems
Devery Henderson WR Marty Booker
Jeremy Shockey TE Tony Gonzalez
Garrett Hartley K Matt Bryant
Saints DST Falcons
Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Gillette Stadium
The Panthers should be very run-oriented here, especially now that DeAngelo Williams is practicing again and looking like he'll make the game. Look for the Panthers to grind down the clock as much as possible with Williams and Jonathan Stewart . But this isn't a great matchup for the Carolina run game because the Patriots have been decent defending opposing running backs and should sell out to stop the run and make Matt Moore pass. Even with the Patriots' secondary on the verge of breaking down, they should be able to blanket Steve Smith and put a little pressure on Moore. The Patriots shouldn't have a hard time doing things against the Panthers, especially after seeing Josh Freeman connect with his big-play receiver last week. The Panthers' pass rush has calmed down and they've taken another hit at defensive tackle, so don't count on Tom Brady , Randy Moss and Wes Welker struggling. One thing the Dolphins did last week was double-team Welker and go with man coverage on Moss. It might get interesting if the Panthers try that, but expect the Patriots to adapt. Laurence Maroney , so long as he keeps the majority of the rushing workload, should be effective. No reason to believe he won't see at least 12 total touches.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Matt Moore   QB Tom Brady
DeAngelo Williams RB Laurence Maroney
Jonathan Stewart RB Sammy Morris
Steve Smith WR Randy Moss
Muhsin Muhammad   WR Wes Welker
Dante Rosario   TE Benjamin Watson
John Kasay K Stephen Gostkowski
Panthers   DST Patriots
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
Chad Henne will have the chance to build on his breakout game against the Patriots by taking on a Jaguars secondary that is still very suspect. True, Jacksonville recorded three interceptions last week against Houston but only one was from Matt Schaub ; backup Rex Grossman and running back Chris Brown threw the other two. The Dolphins don't have a trustworthy speedster to take advantage, but Davone Bess and the other wideouts should be able to accumulate a good amount of catches to keep the chains moving. Expect Jacksonville to handle Ricky Williams ; they've been excellent against the run and Williams shouldn't be able to overpower them. Maurice Jones-Drew might have to apologize to Fantasy owners again after failing to score over the last two weeks. He hasn't gone three weeks without a score since the start of the 2007 season, but the Dolphins' run defense will likely be up to the task of limiting him. The problem in doing that becomes covering Jacksonville's receiving corps, which isn't supremely talented beyond Mike Sims-Walker but is deep. With the Dolphins' secondary running hot and cold there's a shot that David Garrard could do as well as he did last week, especially if the Dolphins' offense forces him to keep up.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Chad Henne QB David Garrard
Ricky Williams RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Lex Hilliard   RB Rashad Jennings
Davone Bess WR Mike Sims-Walker
Brian Hartline WR Torry Holt
Anthony Fasano TE Marcedes Lewis
Dan Carpenter K Josh Scobee
Dolphins DST Jaguars
Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday, 1:00 pm, M&T Bank Stadium
All signs point to Daunte Culpepper starting for the Lions, which doesn't help anybody. Culpepper hasn't been a great passer since arriving in Detroit and can only be expected to produce modest totals. Calvin Johnson has three career touchdowns from Culpepper but no 100-yard games. The Ravens should be able to contain him while trying to force Culpepper into some mistakes. Kevin Smith might total 75 yards. Meanwhile, Ray Rice should have a field day. A week after getting stuffed by the Packers, Rice should carve up the Lions for a boatload of yards and take a lot of pressure off of Joe Flacco . Before his stats bottomed out, Flacco and the Ravens would throw even against weak opponents. Now it's not a lock they'll do it -- surely the Ravens are more concerned with winning than developing Flacco's confidence. Expect the running backs to be involved heavily; the only way Flacco posts a monster stat line is if Rice helps him out.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Daunte Culpepper   QB Joe Flacco
Kevin Smith RB Ray Rice
Aaron Brown   RB Willis McGahee
Calvin Johnson WR Derrick Mason
Dennis Northcutt   WR Mark Clayton
Will Heller   TE Todd Heap
Jason Hanson K Billy Cundiff
Lions   DST Ravens
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Sunday, 1:00 pm, Soldier Field
As good as Ryan Grant has been against the Bears (four touchdowns in four career meetings), it's hard to expect the Packers to lean on him and not on their explosive passing game. Aaron Rodgers had his lowest passing total against the Bears in Week 1 (184 yards) on his second-fewest attempts on the year (28). But so much has changed since then in Green Bay and the expectation is that Rodgers will throw against a beatable Bears secondary. Keeping Rodgers clean won't be a big issue for the Packers either. Grant should still get good numbers but Rodgers will lead the way, thus giving his receivers a really good chance to make some plays. The Bears played scared offensively against the Rams, leaning more on Matt Forte than Jay Cutler . With two of the Packers' defensive linemen banged up and Charles Woodson continuing to play very well, it wouldn't be a complete shock to see Chicago run the ball a lot here again. Forte has had at least 22 touches in each of his three career games against the Packers; expect him to make it four. And because the Packers' secondary has been playing so well (cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Nick Collins deserve credit too) and did a number on Cutler in Week 1, expect Chicago to keep it safe with short passes to Earl Bennett and Greg Olsen for much of the game. That likely won't result in big numbers for Cutler.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Aaron Rodgers QB Jay Cutler
Ryan Grant RB Matt Forte
Brandon Jackson   RB Kahlil Bell
Donald Driver WR Earl Bennett
Greg Jennings WR Johnny Knox
Jermichael Finley TE Greg Olsen
Mason Crosby K Robbie Gould
Packers DST Bears
St. Louis Rams at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 4:05 pm, LP Field
Expect the Rams to use Steven Jackson as much as possible, and expect the Titans to stuff the box to keep him as limited as they can. At this point there's no reason to respect the Rams' passing offense and the Titans will surely keep one safety back and go with man coverage by their corners. Throw in Tennessee's pass rush and it's asking a lot of Kyle Boller to be productive. A lot of people are looking to Vince Young as a spot starter because of the matchup, and he should do fine. But if the Rams aren't scoring much, the Titans will lean on Chris Johnson and the run game to bring home the victory. St. Louis doesn't match up here at all as far as the battle along the line of scrimmage, and Johnson should have plenty of room to get into open field. You know what happens then -- he's gone. Even LenDale White could see extended reps, but don't be surprised to see Young's stats pale in comparison to what he's delivered over the last two weeks when he's needed to throw.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Kyle Boller   QB Vince Young
Steven Jackson RB Chris Johnson
Kenneth Darby   RB LenDale White
Donnie Avery WR Kenny Britt
Danny Amendola WR Nate Washington
Randy McMichael   TE Bo Scaife
Josh Brown K Rob Bironas
Rams   DST Titans
Washington Redskins at Oakland Raiders
Sunday, 4:05 pm, Oakland Coliseum
Jason Campbell has taken over on offense (six total touchdowns and 79 pass attempts in his last two games) but the Redskins should try to take advantage of the Raiders' suspect run defense. Even though they won last week, the Steelers used Rashard Mendenhall to run all over them. Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther should total over 100 total yards (Cartwright is also a good-hands man). A huge key to Campbell's success has been spreading the ball around -- in each of his last two games he connected with nine different Redskins. That game plan should work against the Raiders considering that stud cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha can only cover so much ground. If Devin Thomas can get open deep then the Redskins might be in for a good week. The Raiders are going to have to throw -- their run game isn't getting the job done and the Redskins have continued to be good stuffing the run. Bruce Gradkowski success against the Steelers came because he had time to throw -- the Steelers were duped by his play-action -- and he kept plays alive by moving in the pocket and his receivers got open against suspect defensive backs. He'll need all those things to happen again for the Raiders to have a chance. No Raiders receivers are worth starting even with the Redskins' secondary still a liability. But Louis Murphy has shown plenty of upside and Chaz Schilens is a good enough receiver for the Raiders. If Zach Miller can draw LaRon Landry away from covering the ball deep then Murphy, Schilens and even Johnnie Lee Higgins might have some success. One factor: Gradkowski is building momentum to have a job with the Raiders in 2010, so he's going to continue playing gutsy football.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Jason Campbell QB Bruce Gradkowski
Rock Cartwright RB Justin Fargas
Quinton Ganther RB Darren McFadden
Devin Thomas WR Louis Murphy
Santana Moss WR Chaz Schilens
Antwaan Randle El WR Johnnie Lee Higgins
Fred Davis TE Zach Miller
Graham Gano   K Sebastian Janikowski
Redskins DST Raiders
San Diego Chargers at Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 4:15 pm, Cowboys Stadium
This has shootout written all over it. The Chargers have gotten LaDainian Tomlinson more involved in the offense but Philip Rivers is still the man at the controls. With the Cowboys' defense solid against running backs in spite of last week's shortcomings against Brandon Jacobs , Tomlinson might struggle a bit to put up a lot of yards. That will lead to Rivers having the chance to throw against a Dallas secondary that's been tested off and on over the last few weeks and has done well. Rivers has done a great job of taking what defenses have given him, seeing single coverage on Antonio Gates while Vincent Jackson has been double-teamed. There's a shot here for Jackson to not see that kind of coverage because the Cowboys will give Gates his due and also come after Rivers with the blitz. Rivers has been sacked once in his last three games and twice against the Eagles four weeks ago. He's been great and the Cowboys will have a hard time finding a way to stop him. Since their bye week, the Chargers haven't allowed a rusher to top 100 yards and also have given up just two rushing touchdowns. That's a span of eight weeks, a very telling sign that they've long fixed their run defense problems. One reason for the surge is because their offense has gotten on top of their opponents quickly, forcing their opponents to throw on every down sooner than they'd probably like. The Cowboys won't have that problem as they've had to beat back their desire to throw on every down. Tony Romo has rediscovered Jason Witten over the last couple of weeks and this could be another 100-yard game for him since the Chargers typically have trouble with opposing tight ends. San Diego's secondary will have trouble covering all of Romo's receivers, especially Miles Austin . So long as Romo has time to throw, he and the Dallas offense should put up some big points. This one will be fun to watch.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Philip Rivers QB Tony Romo
LaDainian Tomlinson RB Marion Barber
Darren Sproles RB Felix Jones
Vincent Jackson WR Miles Austin
Malcom Floyd WR Roy Williams
Antonio Gates TE Jason Witten
Nate Kaeding K Nick Folk
Chargers DST Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles at N.Y. Giants
Sunday, 8:20 pm, Giants Stadium
The hunch here is that the Giants will be more concerned with the Eagles' passing attack than their run game. That might lead to some blitzes to keep Philly's speedy receivers in front of them so they don't get beat deep. That works out for the Eagles since their basic West Coast principles are to connect on short passes and have the receiver make the play. Ultimately, LeSean McCoy won't see eight or even seven in the box, but are the Eagles disciplined/willing enough to take advantage? Donovan McNabb was excellent in his meeting earlier with the Giants while McCoy and Leonard Weaver each scored and totaled over 150 rushing yards. The Giants will find it difficult to contain this offense (despite beating the Cowboys last week they allowed nearly 400 passing yards), and that goes double if DeSean Jackson returns -- something he predicted earlier this week. One more note: the Giants have allowed 21 passing touchdowns and six in their last three games. When on offense, look for the Giants to run the ball plenty. Philadelphia's defensive weak spot is at linebacker and New York will have an eye toward keeping the pressure off of Eli Manning , so Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw should see plenty of work. Bradshaw showed signs of life last week after missing a game to rest his ankles. The Giants' other likely offensive mantra will be to attack the deep middle of the Philadelphia offense with lobs to Kevin Boss and quick-hitters to Steve Smith . The Eagles will get nickelback Joselio Hanson back for this contest and that will help them in covering Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks . If the Giants can run effectively early, the play-action pass will be a huge help for them later on. Eli Manning will have to overcome a sore foot, a Philadelphia pass rush and a poor history against the Eagles to be successful.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Donovan McNabb QB Eli Manning
LeSean McCoy RB Brandon Jacobs
Leonard Weaver RB Ahmad Bradshaw
DeSean Jackson WR Steve Smith
Jeremy Maclin WR Mario Manningham
Jason Avant   WR Hakeem Nicks
Brent Celek TE Kevin Boss
David Akers K Lawrence Tynes
Eagles DST Giants
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Monday, 8:30 pm, Candlestick Park
The Cardinals have got to be salivating at this matchup. The 49ers have been consistently good against the run, consistently awful against the pass. Expect the Cardinals to capitalize with a heavy dose of throwing by Kurt Warner . Tim Hightower had double-digit catches in the first meeting with San Francisco and had over 100 receiving yards. He'll make a bigger dent as a receiver than as a rusher ( Beanie Wells should too), but expect Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald to do a lot of the heavy lifting. Before Alex Smith took the wheel of the 49ers offense, we might have expected a lot of Frank Gore on the ground, but the Niners have bypassed Gore and become smitten with their passing game. It's not hard to stop when you load up on Vernon Davis and bring a pass rush to rattle Smith, which is what the Cardinals should do here. Arizona matches up well with San Francisco's receiving corps, and between that and the opportunity to put a clamp on repeating as NFC West champs with a win, count on the Cardinals to keep the momentum from Week 13 going.
Name Rating Pos. Name Rating
Kurt Warner QB Alex Smith
Tim Hightower RB Frank Gore
Beanie Wells RB Glen Coffee
Larry Fitzgerald WR Michael Crabtree
Anquan Boldin WR Josh Morgan
Steve Breaston WR Isaac Bruce
Ben Patrick   TE Vernon Davis
Neil Rackers K Joe Nedney
Cardinals DST 49ers  
Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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