Winning Fantasy Calls for Week 11
Redskins at Eagles, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
The Eagles have held opponents to 20 points or less in five straight. They've looked especially good in their last four games but that's been against mostly inferior passers ( Eli Manning , Terrelle Pryor , Scott Tolzien ). Robert Griffin III had an excellent game last Thursday and has completed at least 62 percent of his passes in three of his last four (multiple touchdowns in two of them).
No-brainers: Alfred Morris , Pierre Garcon ; LeSean McCoy , DeSean Jackson
Robert Griffin III
, QB, Redskins: My Projection: 22 FPTS
It's not going to be as easy for Griffin as it was last week as the Eagles have allowed six passing touchdowns and picked off 10 passes in their last six. They're much improved after their Week 1 win at Washington. Griffin also hasn't been consistent -- he had a monster game at Minnesota after two lousy performances and you never know how many rushing yards he'll contribute. Philly has held four straight quarterbacks to a touchdown or less. Makes the matchup tough for Griffin, which isn't good since he's struggled against even decent pass defenses this year.
Flow chart: Tom Brady > Cam Newton > Robert Griffin III > Case Keenum > Andy Dalton
, TE, Redskins: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Reed has exceeded the expectations we had for him back when we were calling him a promising breakout candidate back in Weeks 6 and 7. He has at least nine Fantasy points in three of his last four games and is essentially acting as the No. 2 receiver for the Redskins. Philadelphia has been really good against tight ends this year, despite allowing 10 Fantasy points to Packers youngster Brandon Bostick last week -- it was the first touchdown the unit allowed this season.
I'd start him over: Tony Gonzalez , Antonio Gates
, QB, Eagles: My Projection: 22 FPTS
Foles has mastered the Eagles offense, throwing with continued accuracy while taking some deep shots. He got a little lucky to have three touchdowns last week but he was still good despite limited pass attempts. He should throw a moderate amount this week against a Redskins defense that's allowed at least 19 Fantasy points to quarterbacks in three straight and 20-plus points to five of nine opponents. Washington's secondary is a mess and the unit as a whole isn't tackling well. The bottom line: If the only wet blanket we can throw on Foles is that he's playing at home, where the Eagles haven't won in over a year, then there's simply not enough evidence to consider him a lousy quarterback option.
I'd start him over: Tom Brady , Robert Griffin III
, WR, Eagles: My Projection: 12 FPTS
He's way too hot to sit, which is awesome since his matchup suggests he shouldn't sit at all. A wide receiver has scored in seven of the Redskins' nine games this season with 11 total getting at least 10 Fantasy points. Also, Washington has allowed multiple receivers to get at least 10 Fantasy points in four games this season. Cooper should be locked into lineups.
I'd start him over: Jordy Nelson , Torrey Smith , Josh Gordon
, TE, Eagles: My Projection: 6 FPTS
If you're desperate for a sleeper tight end, take a look at Celek. The matchup helps: The Redskins have afforded a score to a tight end in a ridiculous seven of nine games. Celek has a touchdown in three of his last five against Washington.
Bye-week TE Flow chart: Scott Chandler > Rob Housler > Brent Celek > Dallas Clark > Garrett Graham
Browns at Bengals, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
How much magic can Jason Campbell stir up this week? Against Baltimore it was his receivers -- and the forgotten ones at that -- making plays after the catch. He just got them the ball without wilting. Despite the game last week against Baltimore we've seen Cincinnati's pass defense play well. It'll take a repeat effort from all of Cleveland's receivers to stay competitive.
No-brainers: A.J. Green
, QB, Browns: My Projection: 17 FPTS
Campbell's been efficient, tossing five touchdowns with no turnovers in his last two games against the Chiefs and Ravens. This is another tough matchup for him, but if he sticks with the quick-tempo, short-passing scheme that's been working for him, he could end up being surprisingly productive. It's just a matter of him throwing multiple touchdowns again -- the Bengals have allowed five quarterbacks to do that in 10 games. Joe Flacco did it last week and still had well under 20 Fantasy points, a number only four quarterbacks have hit against the Bengals this year.
I'd rather start: Carson Palmer , Eli Manning
, WR, Browns: My Projection: 10 FPTS
You're most likely going with Gordon regardless of what I write, but it's worth noting the Bengals have been really good against receivers this year. Only six have scored on them this season with two guys -- Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson -- topping 100 yards. Four have had over 10 Fantasy points -- two of them had more than six catches. Gordon has two games this year with more than six grabs, none with Campbell. He's caught just 10 of his last 23 targets. There is some risk to starting him, but there's too much potential to completely sit.
I'd start him over: T.Y. Hilton , Keenan Allen , Larry Fitzgerald
, WR, Browns: My Projection: 9 FPTS
The Bengals had tight coverage on tight end Dallas Clark last week but he still managed to score on a broken play last week. It was the fourth touchdown allowed to a tight end in the Bengals' last seven, a quasi-skid that began with a big game from Cameron back in Week 4. Cameron is the only tight end to exceed 50 yards on the Bengals this season. It's enough to trust him.
I'd start him over: Tony Gonzalez , Antonio Gates
, QB, Bengals: My Projection: 19 FPTS
Cleveland's pass defense isn't nearly as good as you might think, giving up multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in four straight. Each of those four quarterbacks, a list that includes Alex Smith and Joe Flacco , posted at least 24 Fantasy points. More importantly, the Browns have just six interceptions on the season, a welcome sight for Dalton, who has six interceptions in his last two games. He did struggle against the Browns earlier this season and will be without guard Kevin Zeitler, capping his upside.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Mike Glennon > Ben Roethlisberger > Andy Dalton > Josh McCown > Ryan Tannehill
, RB, Bengals: My Projection: 10 FPTS
BenJarvus Green-Ellis , RB, Bengals: My Projection: 2 FPTS
Bernard has been the much better running back the last two weeks and that should be expected to continue here. The Browns' run defense is pretty good -- they've allowed just one rushing touchdown to a back over their last four games but have seen rushers catch two touchdowns in that span. And of the 130.5 total yards per game running backs are averaging in those four games, just over 50 of those yards are coming through the air. If the Bengals notice then Bernard could have an easy path to over 100 total yards.
I'd start Bernard over: Le'Veon Bell , Darren Sproles
I'd rather start over Green-Ellis: Chris Ogbonnaya , Mark Ingram
, WR, Bengals: My Projection: 9 FPTS
The Browns are starting to slump against non-No. 1 receivers again. Secondary options have scored at least once in three straight against Cleveland and five straight non-No. 1 receivers have culled at least 54 yards. Despite some bad stats the past coule of weeks he has remained a big part of the offense, getting at least seven targets in each game (and in three straight).
Flow chart: Keenan Allen > Danny Amendola > Marvin Jones > Jarrett Boykin > Marques Colston
Ravens at Bears, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Ravens coach John Harbaugh's comment about playing the better running back suggests the team isn't about to ditch their ground game. That's smart considering the matchup and depleted Bears defense. Problem is that we've seen nothing from Ray Rice lately to suggest he'll snap out of his funk, nor can we have confidence in a much bigger workload from Bernard Pierce . The Ravens had a hard time trying to kill the clock in part because of the inefficient run game last week.
No-brainers: Matt Forte , Brandon Marshall , Alshon Jeffery
, QB, Ravens: My Projection: 17 FPTS
Weird stat: The Bears have allowed multiple touchdowns to five of nine quarterbacks this year but none in consecutive weeks, and the Bears allowed multiple passing scores last week. Flacco has two passing touchdowns in three of his last four, but delivered 20 or more Fantasy points in just two of them.
I'd rather start: Eli Manning , Jason Campbell
, RB, Ravens: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Bernard Pierce , RB, Ravens: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Rice played 69 percent of the Ravens snaps last week, Pierce was in on the rest. That's still a hefty amount for a guy who isn't playing with any burst or quickness. More significantly, when the game was closing out in the fourth quarter, Pierce played one snap to Rice's 19. That's proof that the Ravens still want Rice on the field even if he's not exactly tearing it up, though Pierce could see more chances if he can make some plays. The dandy matchup against a bad Bears run defense (nine-plus Fantasy points to each of the last six starting running backs they've faced) gives some hope for a Rice rebound, but neither back is overly trustworthy.
Flow chart: Pierre Thomas > Ray Rice > C.J. Spiller > Bernard Pierce > Joique Bell
, WR, Ravens: My Projection: 11 FPTS
Marlon Brown , WR, Ravens: My Projection: 6 FPTS
After allowing seven touchdowns to receivers in their first eight games, the Bears gave up three to Lions wideouts last week. They'll also play the rest of the regular season without stud cornerback Charles Tillman , opening the door for an already beleaguered defense to give up more yardage. The Ravens will definitely take shots with Smith, who scored last week but didn't have a ton of numbers otherwise (he nearly caught a deep bomb). Three of the last five touchdowns the Bears have allowed to receivers were scored by non-No. 1 guys, but that might have been because they weren't locked down by Tillman. Brown is questionable after popping up on the Friday injury report.
I'd start Smith over: Josh Gordon , T.Y. Hilton , Larry Fitzgerald
I'd rather start over Brown: Emmanuel Sanders , James Jones
, QB, Bears: My Projection: 19 FPTS
McCown's been better than good -- he's completing 60 percent of his passes this season at a 7.7 yards per attempt clip with four touchdowns and no turnovers. The matchup vs. the Ravens isn't exactly easy -- though they've allowed five passing touchdowns in their last two games (one being a Hail Mary) they've also picked off three passes and held quarterbacks to under 275 yards. The Bears' receiving threats and offensive scheme are the equalizer here, making McCown a decent bye-week replacement even in the face of a tough matchup.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Case Keenum > Mike Glennon > Josh McCown > Ryan Tannehill > Carson Palmer
, TE, Bears: My Projection: 8 FPTS
The Ravens have allowed two touchdowns to tight ends in their last three and three in their last five. But they've also held each tight end they've faced in their last three to 55 yards or less. They are susceptible to the tight end, and McCown has connected with Bennett a few times already. That should be enough to at least consider Bennett a low-end option.
Flow chart: Timothy Wright > Tony Gonzalez > Martellus Bennett > Antonio Gates > Coby Fleener
Jets at Bills, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Buffalo is in a real pickle for this one -- they don't have an established receiver for EJ Manuel to lean on and their run game could be in for a long week against the Jets' top-ranked unit. We've seen the Bills get creative on offense and maybe they can find ways to move the chains between burner Marquise Goodwin and their tight ends, but it's a longshot to expect them to put up a lot of points.
, QB, Jets: My Projection: 17 FPTS
Smith had himself a big game against the Bills back in Week 3, throwing for 331 yards with three total touchdowns. Smith should at least be efficient this week, even though the Bills have been great against the last two quarterbacks they've faced. Trusting him, even as a bye-week option, is the tricky part.
I'd rather start: Jason Campbell , Eli Manning
, RB, Jets: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Look for the Jets to lean on Ivory as much as they can. The Bills have improved against rushers on the ground after a rough start but still allowed 92 rush yards to backs two weeks ago and 111 yards last week to the Steelers. That doesn't include receiving yards, where they've struggled with guys coming out of the backfield. That last part won't help Ivory, but as far as volume running backs go, he should be good for plenty of yardage. Touchdowns might not be as much of a cinch -- the Bills have allowed two to running backs on the ground all season -- including one last week to Le'Veon Bell .
I'd start him over: Saints RBs, Bills RBs
, WR, Jets: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Stephen Hill , WR, Jets: My Projection: 7 FPTS
The Bills have done a pretty good job against No. 1 receivers this season. Non-No. 1 receivers are a different story. Twelve of the 16 touchdowns the Bills have allowed to wideouts have gone to non-No. 1 receivers. Both Holmes and Hill each had over 100 yards with a touchdown against the Bills back in Week 3. They're both deep sleepers who can't be trusted for big games.
I'd rather start: DeAndre Hopkins , Rishard Matthews
, RB, Bills: My Projection: 8 FPTS
C.J. Spiller , RB, Bills: My Projection: 6 FPTS
If the Bills had a healthy receiving corps then maybe they wouldn't be so obvious to run. But they're going to run -- it's what they do -- and the Jets should be more than prepared for them. The top-ranked Jets run defense has given up five rushing touchdowns this season, yielding 3.1 yards per carry. Only four running backs this season have posted 10-plus Fantasy points on the Jets, but Jackson was one of them with 109 total yards in Week 3 (on just 11 touches).
Flow chart: Darren Sproles / Pierre Thomas > Fred Jackson > Ray Rice > C.J. Spiller > Steven Jackson
, TE, Bills: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Chandler is an interesting sleeper in that he should see plenty of targets with the Bills receiving corps missing so many players, including Steve Johnson . The Jets have also struggled against tight ends, giving up a touchdown in five of their last seven. They've also allowed a tight end to pick up at least seven Fantasy points in each of those games. Chandler's worth a shot.
Bye-week TE Flow chart: Timothy Wright > Scott Chandler > Tony Gonzalez > Rob Housler > Brent Celek
Raiders at Texans, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
The last time we talked about the Texans getting a "get-right" game at home they were blasted by the Rams. That was two quarterbacks ago, and now that Case Keenum has been rolling the past couple of weeks this should be a ... no, can't say it. Won't say it. Don't want to jinx it. But seriously, if Oakland is without Terrelle Pryor and Darren McFadden , their defense will have a hard time trying to stay afloat on the scoreboard.
No-brainers: Andre Johnson
, RB, Raiders: My Projection: 7 FPTS
We're up to Jennings falling below 10 Fantasy points in nine of his last 10 starts, though he came very close last week with 88 rush yards and 19 receiving yards on 22 touches at the Giants. He could end up with that kind of volume again given the Raiders' offensive deficiencies, and the O-line could be a little stronger if Jared Veldheer starts at left tackle. The Texans have allowed just one touchdown to a running back in their last four and have afforded just six total on the season.
I'd rather start: Fred Jackson , Ray Rice
, WR, Raiders: My Projection: 7 FPTS
No Pryor? No way! Moore's best games have come with a healthy Pryor under center, and as much as we'd like to give Matt McGloin some credit, we're just not ready to give Moore a big projection. It does not help his cause that he's playing against a Texans team that has allowed just four wide receivers all season to get over 10 Fantasy points.
I'd rather start: Harry Douglas , Cecil Shorts
, QB, Texans: My Projection: 20 FPTS
The Raiders have allowed just one quarterback to exceed 20 Fantasy points against them in their last four games, but in that stretch they've taken on Eli Manning , Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger -- three of the most underwhelming quarterbacks in the NFL this season. Keenum's done something none of them have done: Thrown for three touchdowns in more than one game this year. He's done it in consecutive games, making him worth trusting in what amounts to a very good matchup.
I'd start him over: Andy Dalton , Andrew Luck , Philip Rivers
, RB, Texans: My Projection: 11 FPTS
Expect a large workload for Tate, particularly if the Texans build a decent lead. The Raiders have allowed a touchdown and 11-plus Fantasy points to a running back in each of their last seven games. Tate has piled up at least 17 touches in each of his last three. Even with Tate sporting a sub-4.0 rushing average in those three games, this one seems like a no-brainer.
I'd start him over: Chargers RBs, Saints RBs, Bills RBs
, WR, Texans: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Hopkins' numbers haven't quite perked up like Andre Johnson has with Keenum under center, but his three games with Keenum are better than his previous three without him. The Raiders have allowed a non-No. 1 receiver to score in three straight, so maybe he has a chance here.
Flow chart: Rueben Randle > Steve Smith > DeAndre Hopkins > Denarius Moore > Roddy White
Lions at Steelers, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
This is a big test for the Steelers, who rebounded nicely at home last week against an inferior offense. The Lions are a much different story. Matthew Stafford has only one game this year where he's been sacked more than once (it was at Green Bay, when he didn't have Calvin Johnson ), so he's doing a good job of getting the ball away and avoiding the pressures of blitz schemes. That's a factor the Steelers have to take into account -- it could be a long week for this defense.
No-brainers: Matthew Stafford , Reggie Bush , Calvin Johnson
, TE, Lions: My Projection: 4 FPTS
Pettigrew has at least six Fantasy points in two of his last three. Normally the Steelers are great against tight ends, but they've allowed a touchdown to the position in three of their last four. I'd put Pettigrew in the bye-week replacement category.
I'd rather start: Scott Chandler , Rob Housler
, QB, Steelers: My Projection: 19 FPTS
The Lions have allowed multiple passing touchdowns and at least 20 Fantasy points to quarterbacks in four straight games, a sign their secondary is coming back down to earth after a hot start. The problem is that Roethlisberger hasn't been a great Fantasy option for much of the year, throwing two or more scores just twice this year and once in his last six. But if guys like Brandon Weeden and Andy Dalton can play good games against the Lions, then Roethlisberger should too -- assuming his offensive line doesn't get him crushed first.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Case Keenum > Mike Glennon > Ben Roethlisberger > Josh McCown > Ryan Tannehill
, RB, Steelers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
The Lions have allowed one touchdown -- a catch, not a run -- to a running back over their last four games. In that span, they're allowing 86.3 total yards per game to rushers. That makes for a dangerous matchup for Bell, who has been very good for Fantasy purposes. He's delivered at least nine Fantasy points per game over his last four and five of six games this season, making him tough to bench. But if the Lions could contain Matt Forte last week and Giovani Bernard two weeks earlier, then it's hard to have big expectations for Bell this week.
Flow chart: Ryan Mathews > Chris Ivory > Le'Veon Bell > Saints RBs > Bills RBs
, WR, Steelers: My Projection: 12 FPTS
Emmanuel Sanders , WR, Steelers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Jerricho Cotchery , WR, Steelers: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Brown is basically a must-start anyway, but playing a Lions defense that has given up eight scores to wideouts over their last four games certainly makes for an easier decision. Sanders is in play as well as the Lions have allowed seven wideouts to get 10 or more Fantasy points in those last four. Cotchery is a candidate to score, but if he ends up not finding the end zone then you're looking at a low score since he doesn't always catch a ton of passes.
Flow chart: Riley Cooper > Antonio Brown > Giants WRs > Emmanuel Sanders > Rishard Matthews > Jerricho Cotchery
, TE, Steelers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Has Miller fallen off Big Ben's radar? In his last three games, he has eight catches on 16 targets for 68 yards and no touchdowns. That's trouble heading into a difficult matchup against a Lions defense that has held all but one tight end to under 10 Fantasy points -- and all but two to under seven Fantasy points.
I'd rather start: Martellus Bennett , Coby Fleener , Dallas Clark
Cardinals at Jaguars, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Jacksonville capitalized off of turnovers and a weak run defense to find its first win of the season last week in Tennessee. Unless the Cardinals come off the cross-country trip exhausted, the Jags will have to find another way to win. Arizona's defense has been solid of late, allowing an average of 19.8 points per game over their last six. The Jaguars have scored 20-plus points in a game just twice this season.
, QB, Cardinals: My Projection: 18 FPTS
Jacksonville's defense is bad all over. While that's fantastic for Palmer, the reality is that he might not have to throw a ton. Last week, the Titans' guys did because they were playing from behind, a rarity against the Jaguars. Palmer has thrown two scores in three of his last four but doesn't have 20 Fantasy points in any of the games. He's a bye-week replacement quarterback at best.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Mike Glennon > Ben Roethlisberger > Carson Palmer > Eli Manning > Geno Smith
, RB, Cardinals: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Rashard Mendenhall , RB, Cardinals: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Look for success from the Cardinals run game here. The Jaguars have allowed seven rushing touchdowns to running backs in their last four games, giving up an average of 170.8 total yards per game. The Jags might also be without run-stopping linebacker Paul Posluszny . It wouldn't be a surprise to see both backs get double-digit carries and potentially double-digit Fantasy points, though we'd bank on the explosive Ellington over the slower Mendenhall. The veteran fumbled late last week, something that might not sit well with the coaching staff. The rookie will play this game relatively near his hometown in South Carolina, so it could be a bit of a homecoming for him.
I'd start Ellington over: Chargers RBs, Chris Ivory
Mendenhall Flow chart: Shane Vereen > Steven Jackson > Rashard Mendenhall > DeAngelo Williams > BenJarvus Green-Ellis
, WR, Cardinals: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Michael Floyd , WR, Cardinals: My Projection: 6 FPTS
This duo should lead the way for the Arizona receivers, though the matchup isn't exactly fantastic. Only two wideouts have scored on the Jags through their last four games with none of them getting more than 78 yards. That's partially because the Jaguars are worse off against the run and partially because tight ends have done fairly well. Fitzgerald specifically has been a disappointment and shouldn't be considered a lock -- the one game he has over 100 yards this year came in part because of broken coverage on one play.
I'd start Fitzgerald over: Mike Wallace , Giants WRs
I'd rather start over Floyd: Santonio Holmes , Kenny Stills
, TE, Cardinals: My Projection: 7 FPTS
We've seen Housler get more involved lately, picking up at least four catches and at least five targets in three of his last four games. The Jaguars have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in their last two games and eight in their last seven overall.
I'd start him over: Coby Fleener , Heath Miller
, RB, Jaguars: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Jones-Drew was saved by a touchdown last week, otherwise he would have been a massive disappointment. Now he'll take on a tough run defense that's allowed just two total touchdowns to running backs all year. Only two running backs have had 10-plus Fantasy points against them as well. Even with an improved role in the passing game, MJD shouldn't be trusted this week.
I'd rather start: Ray Rice , Mike Tolbert
, WR, Jaguars: My Projection: 7 FPTS
The Cardinals pass defense has allowed four receivers to get at least 11 Fantasy points in their last three games. Only one of them -- Andre Johnson -- was a No. 1 guy for his team like Shorts is for the Jaguars. We didn't see him get a lot of work because the Jags had a lead for the entire game and chose not to throw as much as when they're playing from behind. It's more likely they'll pass plenty this week, meaning a nice number of targets for Shorts. The matchup is juicy and the opportunity will be there, but Shorts has been given chances like this before and left stats on the field.
I'd rather start: Marques Colston , Hakeem Nicks
Falcons at Buccaneers, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
The Falcons have turned into a one-dimensional team over their past three games and it's led to losses. The coaches talked this week about getting Jackson more involved, which makes sense because if they run more they become less predictable and take pressure off of Matt Ryan in the process. The problem is that Jackson is more of a grinder than a do-it-all back -- he's physical but not speedy. Also working against him is a patchwork offensive line that holds him back when he hits the gaps. Tampa Bay struggled against the Falcons back in Week 7, but this is a much different looking team in Week 11.
No-brainers: Vincent Jackson
, QB, Falcons: My Projection: 17 FPTS
Ryan has played poorly the last three weeks, totaling just 32 Fantasy points in those games. His last good game was against these Bucs in Week 7, albeit at home. He's always been a little worse when he has to play outdoors, and that goes for his receivers too. Helping his cause is the Bucs pass defense, which has allowed multiple passing scores and at least 19 Fantasy points for each of the last five quarterbacks they've faced. If White and Gonzalez were healthier we'd feel better about Ryan, but as it stands now he's tough to trust.
I'd rather start: Jason Campbell , Geno Smith
, RB, Falcons: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Jacquizz Rodgers , RB, Falcons: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Tampa Bay's run defense metrics got a great boost last week when the Dolphins decided to call 13 run plays. But the fact is, the Bucs are good against the run, allowing just one rushing touchdown to running backs on the year. Where the Bucs have been ripped is through the air -- running backs have caught three touchdowns in Tampa Bay's last four games. That might not help Jackson much in this game and a touchdown could be too much to ask for from Rodgers. The game just doesn't set up well for either back.
I'd rather start: Lamar Miller , Shane Vereen
, WR, Falcons: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Roddy White , WR, Falcons: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Darrelle Revis and the Bucs have done a great job taking away the opposing No. 1 receiver over the last three weeks. But who is the Falcons' top guy? White has the pedigree but it's been Douglas getting the better numbers week in and week out (and against the Bucs back in Week 7 while White was on the shelf). If Revis is on him it'll open the door for White to get a lot of targets, but he didn't run well on grass before he messed up his ankle. I'm not sure he'll be great, making both guys more like Flex options rather than reliable starters. The Bucs have allowed four touchdowns in their last two to non-No. 1 Fantasy options.
Flow chart: Marques Colston > Harry Douglas > James Jones > Roddy White > Michael Floyd
, TE, Falcons: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Gonzalez is questionable. If he plays he'll take on a Tampa Bay defense that has allowed just one touchdown in their last six games to a tight end, holding down the likes of Gonzalez and Greg Olsen to under 50 receiving yards each. Gonzalez has had seven Fantasy points or less in each of his last four against the Bucs in Tampa Bay.
Flow chart: Jordan Reed > Timothy Wright > Tony Gonzalez > Rob Housler > Heath Miller
, QB, Buccaneers: My Projection: 20 FPTS
The matchup is perfect for Glennon: Each quarterback to play the Falcons this season has posted at least two touchdowns, including Glennon in Week 7 (21 Fantasy points). In fact, five of the last six quarterbacks to face the Falcons have had 19 or more Fantasy points. Glennon should not only throw with ease but the Tampa Bay offense has some major running back issues to deal with, meaning more passing for Glennon.
I'd start him over: Colin Kaepernick , Matt Ryan
, RB, Buccaneers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Brian Leonard , RB, Buccaneers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
I'd figure both backs to get a good amount of work with Leonard doing a lot of damage as a receiver in passing downs and the two-minute drill. I would expect the Bucs to trust Leonard with the passing downs role because of his very good pass protection skills. Rainey probably doesn't know a lot about that, he just knows about making moves on the ground and getting to the edge. There's more upside with him than the slow Leonard, though I'd bank on Leonard catching more passes. The Falcons have allowed a rushing touchdown in three straight games to running backs and have been burnt by big play runners, but they're getting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon back this week and he should help their ailing run defense.
I'd rather start: Ray Rice , Mike Tolbert , C.J. Spiller
, TE, Buccaneers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
I'd give Wright one more week to step back into your team's good graces. That's because he's taking on a Falcons defense that's allowed a touchdown to a tight end in five of their last seven. The last time he had under 30 yards in a game he rebounded with over 40 yards and a touchdown in two straight games.
I'd start him over: Tony Gonzalez , Antonio Gates , Coby Fleener
Chargers at Dolphins, Sun., 4:05 p.m. ET
I think you'll see some familiar gameplans for both teams. The Dolphins' run defense is awful and there's no doubt the Chargers will take notice and attack with their running backs. The Chargers' pass defense is awful and there's no doubt the Dolphins will lean on Ryan Tannehill to put points on the board.
, QB, Chargers: My Projection: 18 FPTS
If the matchup goes as planned then we could see Rivers post weaker-than-expected stats for the fourth time in five games. He's had 17 Fantasy points or fewer in three of his last four in part because of a lack of attempts and touchdowns. Against the Colts, Jaguars and Broncos he attempted between 26 and 33 passes, completing more than 65 percent of them but not finding the end zone more than once per game. All but one of his multi-touchdown games has meant Rivers throwing over 40 times. The Dolphins have allowed two quarterbacks to throw multiple scores against them this year -- none in their last five. Additionally, every quarterback they've faced who has attempted 33 passes or fewer has finished with single-digit Fantasy points! You might want to go in another direction than Rivers.
I'd rather start: Case Keenum , Mike Glennon , Ben Roethlisberger
, RB, Chargers: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Ryan Mathews , RB, Chargers: My Projection: 10 FPTS
I'd expect a lot of work from these two. The Dolphins have given up 11-plus Fantasy points to running backs in each of their last eight games. They struggle more against the run than the pass when it comes to running backs, a factor that could give Mathews an edge to get better yardage -- he'd definitely get carries in the second half if the Chargers have a lead. But Woodhead has at least nine Fantasy points in three straight games.
I'd start them over: Saints RBs, Bills RBs, Colts RBs, Panthers RBs
, WR, Chargers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Miami's secondary, specifically cornerback Brent Grimes , has been lights-out. Receivers have caught just one touchdown all year on the Dolphins with four getting over 100 yards. Allen has under 70 yards without a score in two of his last three. This matchup is difficult enough to expect that skid to hit three of his last four. I'd call him no better than a low-end No. 2 receiver.
Flow chart: Josh Gordon > Percy Harvin > Keenan Allen > Larry Fitzgerald > Giants WRs
, TE, Chargers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Gates continues to see a ton of playing time and a nice amount of targets, but he's just not the same guy he once was. His last four games, which includes some nice matchups: 20 catches on 32 targets for 174 yards and zero scores. Miami has given up six touchdowns to tight ends this year, but none in the last five games. It's hard to project Gates for a good game.
Flow chart: Tony Gonzalez > Martellus Bennett > Antonio Gates > Heath Miller > John Carlson
, QB, Dolphins: My Projection: 18 FPTS
Still looking for his first 20-point game of the Fantasy season, Tannehill takes on a Chargers defense that allowed its first 20-plus-point effort in four games to Peyton Manning last week. But don't assume the secondary is solid just because they were excellent in the three games prior, because they opened the season with five straight blow-ups to opposing passers. Tannehill has a chance for multiple scores and the chance to get over the 20-point hump.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Case Keenum > Mike Glennon > Ben Roethlisberger > Ryan Tannehill > Eli Manning
, RB, Dolphins: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Last week was disappointing as the playcalling went with way more passing than rushing. Miller had seven carries and two catches. I'd expect more work for him this week against a Chargers defense that's starting to soften against the run. They've allowed four rushing touchdowns and 148.0 total yards to running backs over their last two games after shutting rushers out of the end zone in their first seven games. That's great, but Miami's offensive line is a mess right now and that might be more of a factor than anything else. Miller shouldn't be considered a great option.
I'd rather start: Rashad Jennings , Mike Tolbert
, WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Rishard Matthews , WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Brian Hartline , WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 6 FPTS
The Chargers secondary is a mess. They've given up 209.8 yards per game just to receivers and 10 scores on the year. They had been playing well going into last week before Demaryius Thomas schooled them for three touchdowns. In fact, a lot of outside receivers have crushed the Chargers, proof that their cornerbacks stink. Wallace should get a few chances to make them pay and Matthews could continue to get force-fed the ball on chain-moving downs to keep his stats relevant.
I'd start Wallace over: Marques Colston , Aaron Dobson
Flow chart: James Jones > Rishard Matthews > Jets top WRs > Brian Hartline > Greg Jennings
, TE, Dolphins: My Projection: 5 FPTS
The Chargers allowed a big play to Julius Thomas last week for a score, the first touchdown they've allowed to a tight end since Week 1. San Diego is adept against opposing tight ends, holding all but Thomas to under 60 yards since Week 2. It's enough to pass on Clay, who has been under 50 total yards in three straight.
I'd rather start: Brent Celek , Dallas Clark
49ers at Saints, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
I don't know why Colin Kaepernick didn't try to run even a little more last week against the Panthers, but he'd be better served to do so this week. In fact, the Niners should focus on the ground game against the Saints for some obvious reasons. For one, New Orleans has struggled against the run this year, tied for worst in the league at 5.0 yards per attempt. And if the Niners run and work the clock to their advantage, it's less time Drew Brees has to work with. It's a tall order to stay on schedule against the Saints, but the Jets did it recently and the Niners have the personnel to do so as well.
No-brainers: Frank Gore ; Drew Brees , Jimmy Graham
, QB, 49ers: My projection: 19 FPTS
Kaepernick didn't have a great game last week, but it's not all on him. Vernon Davis got hurt, the Niners had at least four drops in the game and the playcalling was also suspect. It would serve the Niners well to revert to the plan they had against run-deficient teams like the Titans and Jaguars. Sticking to the ground also would mean avoiding throwing, which is a good move. Each of the last four quarterbacks to play the Saints have posted 15 Fantasy points or fewer, a list that includes Tom Brady and Tony Romo . It's hard to get overly excited for Kaepernick, but he'll suffice if you're thin on options.
Flow chart: Case Keenum > Ben Roethlisberger > Colin Kaepernick > Philip Rivers > Matt Ryan
, WR, 49ers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Remember when Boldin had 208 yards and a touchdown in Week 1? Well, he's totaled 202 yards over his last five games with zero touchdowns. He went from stud to dud quickly. The Saints have allowed five touchdowns to receivers in their last five overall, though two of those wideouts fell under 10 Fantasy points. They don't let up a lot of yardage to wideouts.
I'd rather start: Aaron Dobson , Stephen Hill
, TE, 49ers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Davis is expected to play following a concussion that shipwrecked his Week 10. The concern is that the Saints will opt to double cover him in an attempt to force Kaepernick to throw in another direction. If that happens, Davis might not have a monster game but rather a "good enough" one for Fantasy purposes. The Saints have been great against opposing tight ends, holding all but two out of the end zone and all of them to under 75 yards. Tony Gonzalez , Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten all have been held to under 10 Fantasy points against the Saints this year.
Flow chart: Jordan Reed > Vernon Davis > Greg Olsen > Martellus Bennett
, RB, Saints: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Pierre Thomas , RB, Saints: My Projection: 8 FPTS
We've seen the Saints lean on their backs plenty this year -- last week was a prime example. With Jimmy Graham covered tightly, Saints rushers totaled 28 touches out of 45 plays in the first half alone. I think a similar plan could be hatched this week as the Niners have surprisingly struggled with backs, allowing nine total touchdowns and 124.4 total yards to them per game (40 yards per game receiving!). A running back has posted 10-plus Fantasy points in eight of nine games against the Niners. I'm encouraged by how often the Saints dialed up Sproles while building a first-half lead last week and would assume they'd involve him as much this week with Thomas keeping his five-game streak of 80 total yards or more alive.
I'd start them over: Ray Rice , C.J. Spiller
, WR, Saints: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Kenny Stills , WR, Saints: My Projection: 6 FPTS
I know Colston had a big game last week, but I wasn't overly impressed. He's definitely more heavy-footed than in the past. He broke a tackle for his touchdown but otherwise didn't get much after the catch in the game. He's become a possession receiver who needs a lot of targets to keep his stats strong. Stills doesn't need as many targets -- one big catch can make his week anytime, and playing at home definitely helps. The Niners have been very good against receivers this year, allowing 10-plus Fantasy points only to the five receivers who have caught a touchdown on them. I'd be nervous to start either one.
I'd rather start: Bills RBs, Lamar Miller , Maurice Jones-Drew
Packers at Giants, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
I thought Scott Tolzien was good, not great, last week. I expect him to be as good if not better with a week of practice under his belt. Tolzien is a very good fit for the Packers' offense -- he can make throws to the sidelines and has good enough accuracy. If the Giants had a dominant pass rush then I'd be nervous about the Packers' chances through the air, but as it stands I think the Packers receivers will have some opportunities some of New York's previous opponents didn't have.
No-brainers: Eddie Lacy
, QB, Packers: My Projection: 15 FPTS
You'd have to be desperate to start Tolzien, but I'd still expect a fairly decent game from him. Yes, the Giants haven't allowed a passing touchdown in three straight, but in those games they've taken on Josh Freeman , Michael Vick / Matt Barkley and an injured Terrelle Pryor . Not exactly a trio of fantastic quarterbacks (and not that Tolzien is a fantastic anything), but his receivers will challenge this secondary.
I'd rather start: Jason Campbell , Alex Smith
, WR, Packers: My Projection: 12 FPTS
Jarrett Boykin , WR, Packers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
James Jones , WR, Packers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Look for a lot of short and mid-range throws to the receivers here. Boykin has caught 22 of 30 passes thrown his way in his four games as a starter, getting at least 80 yards in three of them. He'll keep that up, but Nelson will continue to have the most upside as a gamebreaker and Jones as the red-zone threat. The Giants' numbers against receivers have been awesome over the last three weeks because of the lack of great quarterbacks they've faced.
I'd start Nelson over: Keenan Allen , Danny Amendola
Flow chart: Victor Cruz > Jarrett Boykin > Marques Colston > James Jones > Denarius Moore
, QB, Giants: My Projection: 18 FPTS
The Packers have allowed 500 passing yards and five passing touchdowns (all to receivers) in their last two games without an interception. That's a nice matchup for Manning, but he's had a number of good matchups this year and still been terrible statistically. I don't hate Manning this week but wouldn't start him with glorious expectations -- I think you need to see something from him before putting him in a typical Fantasy lineup.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Case Keenum > Ben Roethlisberger > Eli Manning > Jason Campbell > Matt Ryan
, RB, Giants: My Projection: 12 FPTS
I might expect the Giants to lean on the ground game, bolstered by Brown, to try and clinch a win. It takes pressure off of Eli and kills the clock. The ground game has been a factor in all of New York's wins this year, so you could expect the coaches to stick with it. And the matchup is great -- the Packers have allowed over 120 rush yards to a running back in two straight and at least 14 Fantasy points to a starting running back in three straight. Those running backs were legendary -- Adrian Peterson , Matt Forte and LeSean McCoy -- but Brown proved last week he can still play well.
I'd start him over: Ben Tate , Chargers RBs
, WR, Giants: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Rueben Randle , WR, Giants: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Hakeem Nicks , WR, Giants: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Cruz has finished with under 90 yards and without a touchdown in five straight. Nicks hasn't scored all season and has under 90 yards in seven of his last eight. Randle, meanwhile, has touchdowns in four of his last five games! I'd give the guy catching touchdown passes a shot against a defense that's allowed five passing touchdowns to receivers in its last two games. That's what the Packers have given up, a positive sign for these guys.
I'd start Cruz and Randle over: Aaron Dobson , Marques Colston , Hakeem Nicks
I'd start Nicks over: Harry Douglas , James Jones
Vikings at Seahawks, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
I'd expect the Seahawks to rough up the Vikings in this one, like they did the Jaguars at home earlier this season. The Seahawks want to start showing off what they can do with Percy Harvin and the motivation for Harvin to do well against his old team should be enough to make the Seahawks romp via the pass. You know Marshawn Lynch can pick up the rest.
No-brainers: Adrian Peterson ; Marshawn Lynch
, QB, Seahawks: My Projection: 23 FPTS
Getting Percy Harvin on the field should turn Wilson from a very good quarterback into a great one. Wilson has already thrown for multiple touchdowns in four straight and takes on a Vikings defense that's allowed two-plus passing scores in all but two games this year. Adding Harvin into the mix -- especially in the red zone -- should be icing on the cake. In my mind, Wilson is a must start.
I'd start him over: Tom Brady , Cam Newton , Robert Griffin III
, WR, Seahawks: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Golden Tate , WR, Seahawks: My Projection: 10 FPTS
The Vikings have allowed a score to a receiver in each of their last eight games with multiple scores in two of their last five. Receivers average 187.9 yards per game against the Vikings this year. The way Wilson has been running and the potential both of these receivers have, it only makes sense to consider both for Fantasy play.
I'd start them over: Keenan Allen , Larry Fitzgerald , Jarrett Boykin
Chiefs at Broncos, Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET
The Chiefs tried to get their passing game going against the Bills in their last game and struggled. Smith has thrown touchdowns in just one of his last five games after doing so in three of his first four. The Broncos' goal should be to get on top of the Chiefs and force Smith to throw downfield. That's when he might start making a lot of mistakes and cost Kansas City its perfect record.
No-brainers: Jamaal Charles ; Peyton Manning , Knowshon Moreno , Demaryius Thomas , Wes Welker , Julius Thomas
, QB, Chiefs: My Projection: 16 FPTS
Only one quarterback has posted multiple touchdowns on the Broncos in their last four games, a roll call that includes Robert Griffin III and Philip Rivers . We already have seen just how risky Smith is as a Fantasy quarterback. The reality is that he shouldn't even be owned in a standard league -- only in two-QB leagues should he have a roster spot. There's just no confidence in him given his recent track record and the matchup.
I'd rather own: Case Keenum , Mike Glennon , Jason Campbell
, WR, Chiefs: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Dexter McCluster , WR, Chiefs: My Projection: 6 FPTS
The Broncos have allowed nine touchdowns to receivers this season but just two in their last four games. Bowe might have 58 targets and could see a lot of catches given the likelihood that Kansas City will play from behind, but neither receiver is worth trusting.
I'd rather start: Roddy White , Marlon Brown , Jerricho Cotchery
, WR, Broncos: My Projection: 11 FPTS
Manning might need Decker this week, even if only to attract one of the Chiefs' quality corners. The thinking here is that Kansas City will play a lot of man coverage, and if Decker draws Dunta Robinson he could make plays against him. Decker has also played well one week, stunk the next, and if that trend were to continue then he'd be on schedule for a big week. Remember, the Chiefs are bound to put pressure on Manning, meaning any target he has in single coverage will be utilized. I'd rank Decker the least threatening of the Broncos receivers and if the Chiefs do too, then he'll get the most one-on-one action.
I'd start him over: Seahawks WRs, Patriots WRs, Giants WRs
Patriots at Panthers, Mon., 8:40 p.m. ET
I always like the Patriots to devise a well-prepared plan when they have an extra week to work, which is the case here. Chances are they'll recognize the front seven of the Panthers as the strength of the defense and make plans to attack the secondary. The Panthers' corners and safeties play a lot of disciplined football and they're fast, but they're beatable in terms of receivers getting open. I don't think the Panthers have played an offense as deep as New England's and it will pose a major challenge.
, QB, Patriots: My Projection: 22 FPTS
The last time I said to sit Brady in a bad matchup he torched the Steelers for four touchdowns. I'm not doing it again, but it's not because of anything he did as much as how strong his receiving corps has become. Gronk will do his thing but Danny Amendola , Aaron Dobson and Julian Edelman all contribute to help Brady rack up numbers. Now throw in Shane Vereen catching passes out of the backfield and Brady won't have any excuses if he doesn't put up some nice stats. And while the Panthers have held every quarterback they've faced to one touchdown or less, they really haven't played anyone. Russell Wilson in Week 1, Eli Manning in Week 3, Matt Ryan in Week 9 (without Julio Jones ) and Colin Kaepernick in Week 10 (without Vernon Davis for a half) are the toughest matchups they've had. Brady and his receiving corps is better than all of them. I'd be nervous to sit Brady this week.
I'd start him over: Robert Griffin III , Colin Kaepernick
, RB, Patriots: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Stevan Ridley , RB, Patriots: My Projection: 6 FPTS
The Panthers run defense is among the best in football. They've given up just two touchdowns to runners and only two guys -- C.J. Spiller and Frank Gore -- have totaled over 100 yards against them this year. I think it's hard to count on Ridley extending his touchdown streak or getting a lot of carries, save for a blowout win. That makes me inclined to give the nod to Vereen as the better back this week, simply because he'll see work in passing situations.
Flow chart: Ray Rice > Shane Vereen > C.J. Spiller > Stevan Ridley > Steven Jackson
, WR, Patriots: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Aaron Dobson , WR, Patriots: My Projection: 8 FPTS
You've got to love what both of these guys did in the Pats' last game against the Steelers. Amendola showed he's still a big part of the offense and Dobson was able to stretch the field. Brady might not have a ton of time to throw on every play, but when he does he'll likely target Amendola a bunch in the short- and mid-area while gunning deep for Dobson a couple of times. The Panthers haven't allowed a touchdown or 100 yards to a receiver since Week 2, but these guys did a number on the Steelers two weeks ago and Dobson is the lone wideout to score on Miami this year, so the matchup might not matter as much.
I'd start them over: Steve Smith , Hakeem Nicks , James Jones
, QB, Panthers: My Projection: 22 FPTS
Newton had his worst stat lines of the season last week but don't let it change your mind about starting him. Each of the last four quarterbacks to play the Patriots totaled at least two touchdowns and three of them had 20-plus Fantasy points. The Patriots getting cornerback Aqib Talib back will make the matchup tougher for Newton, but I suspect the Panthers will lean on the run to set up the pass with Newton doing more with his legs this week than last.
I'd start him over: Robert Griffin III , Philip Rivers
, RB, Panthers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
DeAngelo Williams , RB, Panthers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Jonathan Stewart , RB, Panthers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
I'd expect a decent workload for these guys, which makes for a headache when projecting them. The Patriots' run defense is bad -- in the last five weeks the Patriots have allowed 168.6 total yards per game to running backs with four total touchdowns. One expectation is for Williams and Stewart to split around 20 touches with Tolbert working in situationally, including at the goal line.
Flow chart: Donald Brown > Mike Tolbert > Bucs RBs > Williams/Stewart > Bilal Powell
, WR, Panthers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Smith just hasn't gotten the job done. With Talib coming back it could be a long week for him. With Talib on the field the Patriots have held No. 1 receivers to 10 Fantasy points or less. Smith has just two games this year with at least 10 Fantasy points.
I'd rather start: Aaron Dobson , Hakeem Nicks
, TE, Panthers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Olsen has a touchdown in two of his last three and might be an attractive red-zone target for Newton given the matchup. New England will play this game without safety Steve Gregory , making the matchup a little bit easier for Olsen. The Pats have allowed one tight end to score on them all season -- every other tight end they've faced has had 61 yards or less. If you're starting Olsen, you're counting on a touchdown. Given how the Panthers operate, a play-action pass from near the goal line to Olsen would make sense.
Flow chart: Timothy Wright > Greg Olsen > Martellus Bennett > Antonio Gates
Colts at Titans, Thurs., 8:25 p.m. ET
The Colts have to find answers for their run game here or else it'll be a long night. Tennessee's pass defense is legit, allowing just seven touchdowns through the air this season (tied for best in the league). The run defense, however, is the pits. The Titans are allowing nearly 115 rush yards per game with a dozen rushing scores allowed, tied for second-worst in the NFL. If Trent Richardson doesn't answer the bell early, we could see plenty of Donald Brown .
, QB, Colts: My Projection: 18 FPTS
There's a lot working against Luck here: He had one touchdown in each game vs. Tennessee last year and he's been less productive outdoors on grass than indoors on turf. Most importantly, he's taking on a Titans defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score multiple touchdowns and get better than 19 Fantasy points all season.
I'd rather start: Ben Roethlisberger , Colin Kaepernick
, RB, Colts: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Trent Richardson , RB, Colts: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Richardson still dominated the snap count last week but that might change as the Colts finally come to grips that the rusher they traded for isn't as effective as the rusher they've had all along. Brown has posted better Fantasy points than Richardson in three of the team's last five and is simply the better weapon right now. Tennessee has allowed eight touchdowns to starting running backs in its last five and multiple touchdowns to rushers in four straight with an average of 151.0 total yards per game in that span. So the matchup is good and Brown has been the better back for the Colts. Hopefully the coaches get the memo.
I'd start Brown over: Lamar Miller , C.J. Spiller
I'd rather start over Richardson: Ray Rice , Steven Jackson
, WR, Colts: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Most people will start Hilton no matter what, but this matchup is definitely tough. The Titans have held receivers to two touchdowns all year; only one has had over 100 yards and none in their last four games have had more than seven Fantasy points (12 in a PPR). I suspect the Titans will keep their secondary's focus on him, so don't go in with high expectations.
Flow chart: Torrey Smith > Josh Gordon > T.Y. Hilton > Seahawks WRs > Danny Amendola
, TE, Colts: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Despite continued playing time, Fleener just hasn't been productive for the Colts. He had a team-high 10 targets but caught just four passes for only 33 yards last week. He's disappointing and tough to trust. The Titans have given up just one touchdown to a tight end over their last five games and one 10-plus Fantasy point total to a tight end all season.
I'd rather start: Scott Chandler , Rob Housler
, QB, Titans: My Projection: 17 FPTS
Fitzpatrick has never shied away from throwing downfield and that's exactly where the Colts are weak defensively. They've allowed two-plus passing scores in four of their last five and quarterbacks have finished with at least 19 Fantasy points in those four. Fitzpatrick doesn't have a legit deep threat (Justin Hunter?) but I expect him to take some shots and maybe surprise some people.
I'd rather start: Carson Palmer , Eli Manning
, RB, Titans: My Projection: 11 FPTS
Shonn Greene , RB, Titans: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Johnson really laid an egg last week, fumbling early on and never getting a ton of chances thereafter (just five second-half carries). It's very possible he'll rebound on a short week coming off a game where he didn't get a ton of work. The Colts have allowed 131.8 total yards per game to rushers in their last five with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Four of the last five starting rushers have hit at least 10 Fantasy points. The yardage should easily favor Johnson but Greene could sneak in for a short touchdown, giving him some relevance as a low-end flex.
I'd start Johnson over: Chargers RBs, Chris Ivory , Le'Veon Bell
I'd start Greene over: Buccaneers RBs, Trent Richardson
, WR, Titans: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Justin Hunter , WR, Titans: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Nate Washington , WR, Titans: My Projection: 4 FPTS
Another great matchup for the Titans receivers as the Colts have given up eight touchdowns to receivers over their last three games with five of them big plays (at least 30 yards). They've also allowed a wide receiver to get at least 100 yards in each of their last four. Washington's last four games: Seven catches on 19 targets for 106 yards and no touchdowns. Wright's last four: 24 catches on 35 targets for 314 yards and no touchdowns. Wright is the best bet but keep an eye on Hunter, who played 74 percent of the snaps last week and had a season-high seven targets, snaking some opportunities from both Wright and Washington.
I'd start Wright over: Marques Colston , Steve Smith
I'd rather start over Washington: Cordarrelle Patterson , Kris Durham
I'd rather stash Harper over: Greg Jennings , Brian Hartline , Eddie Royal , Kenbrell Thompkins
, TE, Titans: My Projection: 4 FPTS
Walker has had at least five targets in five of his last seven and touchdowns in two of his last three. He has 12 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown over what amounts to three games with Fitzpatrick. One problem is that the Colts have been excellent against tight ends this year -- only one has scored and only one has over 50 yards receiving. It's a risk to try Walker this week.
I'd rather start: Brandon Pettigrew , John Carlson