Week 15 Fantasy Football Matchups

Editor's note: Dave Richard breaks down every game from a Fantasy perspective each week with the help of CBSSports.com NFL Insider Pat Kirwan, who will provide his unique take to assist owners in their lineup management.

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning If Terrell Suggs is out, Manning will have all day to throw. Redskins totaled 272 yards, 2 TDs vs. Ravens last week without Suggs (three sacks).
RB Knowshon Moreno Ravens have allowed 136.3 total yards per game to RBs over last three with two rush TDs. Knowshon has 20+ carries, 80+ total yards in each of last three.
WR Demaryius Thomas Has at least 8+ Fantasy points in each of last five and 9 of last 10. Ravens have allowed 184.7 yards per game and three TDs to WRs in last three games.
WR Eric Decker Had eight-catch, nine-target game at OAK last week but for 88 yards. Don't expect more than 10 Fantasy points, which he hasn't had in each of last five. Ravens have allowed multiple 10+ point Fantasy WRs to two of 13 opponents.
TE Jacob Tamme Only four tight ends have posted 6+ Fantasy points on Ravens. Tamme (or Dreessen) could do it based on coverage but trusting them a major factor.
DST Broncos Only four DSTs have posted double digits against the Ravens all season but Broncos have delivered 11+ Fantasy points in 7 of last 8.
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Don't look now but Broncos have allowed 2 TDs to 4 of last 5 QBs they've faced, though they have yet to allow a 300-yard passer. Could take some guts to go with Flacco.
RB Ray Rice Broncos have allowed just two total TDs & 104.6 total yards per game to RBs in last five but Rice should land big workload. Start him.
WR Torrey Smith The good: 6 of 7 TDs this season have come at home. The better: Broncos have allowed a TD to a WR in two straight. No-huddle offense would help Smith out as well.
WR Anquan Boldin Boldin has exploded over last two games: 15 targets, eight catches for 159 yards and three TDs. Boldin last scored in three straight games in 2008 and has come up empty in two career games vs. DEN.
TE Dennis Pitta Denver has given up six TDs to TEs over its last eight games and Pitta has been effective in favorable matchups lately.
DST Ravens Six of the last seven DSTs vs. DEN have been held to single-digit Fantasy points. No way should the Ravens start if Suggs is out.

With Cam Cameron out of the picture, the expectations are for Joe Flacco to have more flexibility at the line of scrimmage to manipulate the offense. Jim Caldwell wasn't a play caller but he did observe how much Peyton Manning did at the line of scrimmage in Indianapolis. The Ravens worked hard on their no-huddle offense this summer and have over 200 snaps of it this year but in recent weeks it seemed to be on the back burner. I expect it to be back for 20-to-30 snaps a game, especially at home. Against a lesser opponent I'd expect a great game from Flacco but the Broncos will make it tough. -- Pat Kirwan

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Soldier Field
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Had very passive game vs. CHI in Week 2, much like his last three overall. Has 30 pass attempts or fewer in 4 of last 5 games. Tough to sit but Bears have been good vs. pass for much of season.
RB Alex Green Bears have allowed a 100-yard rusher in four of last six games -- two by Adrian Peterson. Green is no Peterson.
RB DuJuan Harris   Don't mind stashing him on the bench but starting him just doesn't seem safe.
WR Randall Cobb Has 100+ yards and/or a touchdown in 7 of last 9 games, should be a bail-out receiver for Rodgers vs. Bears tough pass rush.
WR Greg Jennings Bears haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver in six games but have allowed four TDs to WRs. Jennings not trustworthy after two quiet games.
WR James Jones Has under 50 yards in each of last four games with one touchdown in that span. Though he began the year hot, please consider another option.
TE Jermichael Finley Has 70+ yards and/or 1+ TD in four of his last five against Bears. Did disappoint last week but has been more active lately.
DST Packers Vikings crowned Bears thanks to defensive score last week but the Packers held Chicago to under 200 total yards and just 10 points in Week 2. They're a good choice.
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Seven of last eight QBs vs. GB have posted 1 passing TD or less. Cutler has seven TDs & 16 INTs in seven games as Bear vs. GB.
RB Matt Forte Has just one TD in nine career games against the Packers (four w/ 100 total yards). but Packers have allowed 170.7 total yards & 4 rush TDs in last four. Forte can top 100 total yards.
WR Brandon Marshall Had worst game of the year at GB in Week 2 thanks to dropped TD. Packers have allowed 159.0 yards per game and five TDs to receivers over their last five games.
WR Alshon Jeffery If the Bears are going to throw, Jeffery could produce. Has 3 TDs in seven games.
DST Bears Nine of the last 10 DSTs to play the Packers have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. Bears had 11 Fantasy points in first meeting (five sacks) and have produced under 10 points in three of last four weeks.

For the Bears to keep this one close they must first protect Jay Cutler, who is starting to take a weekly beating. Second, they better be ready for the Packers' run game, which has been consistent. Chicago has given up a 100-plus-yard rusher for seven weeks in a row and the Packers are trying to establish a running game (which helps explain why Aaron Rodgers hasn't been on fire recently). -- Pat Kirwan

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Reliant Stadium
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Texans pass defense still struggling: 1,046 yards and 7 pass TDs allowed over their last three games. Luck should continue to throw plenty.
RB Vick Ballard Houston has allowed three rushing touchdowns over its last three games but just 87.6 rush yards per game over that span. Ballard should be a decent flex.
WR Reggie Wayne Has 10+ Fantasy points in two of his last three but has yet to score away from Indy. He also has scored in five straight vs. Texans with 100+ yards in each of last two against Houston.
WR T.Y. Hilton Texans have allowed 241.7 yards per game to receivers with five TDs in their last three. Hilton should get a piece.
WR Donnie Avery Had another nine targets (good!) but couldn't put up much with them (bad!). Dropped a touchdown (bad!) but played on 64 of 70 snaps (good!). Use at your own risk.
TE Dwayne Allen   Don't get excited about Hernandez scoring twice last week on Texans & applying it to Allen. Rookie has five or fewer targets each of last two weeks, a drop off from Weeks 11 and 12.
DST Colts   Only one of the Texans' last seven opponents have put up 10+ Fantasy points. Don't trust this DST.
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Only two of last seven QBs vs. IND have posted 2+ TDs but many of them were weak. Schaub has 2+ TDs in 4 of last 5 at home but has only one career game with more than one passing TD vs. Colts!
RB Arian Foster While the Colts have allowed 120.3 yards per game and one score over their last three, Foster has 20+ Fantasy points in each of three career meetings with Colts.
WR Andre Johnson Colts have allowed a 100-yard receiver each of last three games (173.0 yards per game to WRs over last three) with one TD. Andre has 90+ yards & a TD in each of last two vs. Indy.
TE Owen Daniels Colts have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in four straight after keeping them scoreless since Week 2. Makes it easy to start Daniels, though he doesn't have a TD in each of last five vs. Indy.
DST Texans Three of the last four DSTs to play the Colts have posted 12+ Fantasy points thanks in big part to touchdowns and sacks (4 TDs, 11 sacks, nine interceptions).

What kind of chance does Andrew Luck have for some big stats after a let-down last week? Did you see what Tom Brady and his offense did to the Texans last week?! Houston will rebound but Brady left a lot of clues for Luck to study and build a game plan. Up-tempo offenses with exotic formations put stress on Houston and Luck is capable of that style. Though I think Luck has a better chance in the rematch game in Indianapolis to end the season to put up winning numbers, he should put up plenty of passes this week. -- Pat Kirwan

Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sun Life Stadium
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Chad Henne Four of last five QBs vs. MIA have scored under 20 Fantasy points (five pass TDs allowed). Doesn't bode well for ex-Dolphin Henne.
RB Montell Owens Averaged 5.0 yards per carry on first 11 carries, scored from 32 yards on 12th carry last week. Fins have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to RBs in three of last four and 9+ Fantasy points in seven of last eight. Playing time the only issue.
WR Cecil Shorts Has TD in four straight, has 100 yards and/or a touchdown in 6 of last 7. Expect more solid play vs. Miami, which has allowed 142.8 yards per game to wideouts over last six.
WR Justin Blackmon Dolphins have allowed one WR to land 10+ Fantasy points over last five (another had nine points). With Shorts back it's hard to count on him for big numbers in standard leagues.
DST Jaguars DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in nine of last 11 weeks. Problem: Jags have 10+ Fantasy points just three times all year.
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill Jags pass defense have held three straight mediocre QBs to 3 pass TDs (four total) and 161.3 yards per game. Tannehill can't be trusted.
RB Reggie Bush Expect a lot of running. Jags have allowed 155.7 total yards per game to RBs over last five with three TDs. Wouldn't be a shock to see Bush total 90+ yards.
RB Daniel Thomas Six of last seven rush TDs allowed by Jags have come from 10 yards or out. Playing time is slipping away but he could be worth desperation use.
WR Brian Hartline Wouldn't trust him outside of the deepest of PPR formats. Jags have held opposing WRs to a low 99.7 yards per game over last three with two TDs.
DST Dolphins DSTs have put up 11+ Fantasy points in 8 of last 9 vs. Jaguars. Dolphins are a must vs. their former quarterback.

Montell Owens is a tough player who has been waiting his turn patiently for seven years, and he didn't disappoint last week. But he has a tough assignment against the Dolphin run defense this week and I don't believe he will get enough carries to crack the 100-yard mark. I would be more inclined to grab David Wilson or Bilal Powell and count on them in Fantasy. -- Pat Kirwan

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Edward Jones Dome
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder   Rams' pass defense has allowed three passing scores over its last five. Ponder has four passing TDs in his last five.
RB Adrian Peterson Rams have allowed 115.8 total yards per game to RBs over their last five with six rushing scores. Peterson should inflate those numbers.
TE Kyle Rudolph Rudolph really let us down last week (two targets, no catches), though he's scored following 2 of 3 zero-point Fantasy performances. Rob Gronkowski is the only TE to post 10+ Fantasy points on the Rams this year.
DST Vikings Four of the last five DSTs to play the Rams have scored single-digit Fantasy points including the Niners twice. Vikings a low-end option.
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Vikings have allowed multiple passing scores in 4 of last 6 with 266.0 pass yards per game over last three. Bradford might sling it a little.
RB Steven Jackson Pretty good matchup for Jackson: Vikings have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to each of last three RBs. Jackson has 10+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5.
WR Chris Givens Vikes have allowed eight TDs to WRs in their last five games. Rams could take more shots with Givens if Amendola is back.
WR Danny Amendola Minnesota has allowed 179.2 yards per game to WRs over its last five. Amendola should be back and busy for Rams (5+ catches in 6 of 8 games).
DST Rams Three of the last four DSTs vs. MIN have posted single-digit Fantasy points but Vikings have scored 21 points or less in eight of 13 games.

Many expect the run games to dominate this matchup but there is some room for passing. I don't like the Vikings receivers because Christian Ponder struggles to put up passing yards. In the last seven games Ponder has averaged 137 yards passing a game and only six touchdowns. On the other hand Chris Givens of the Rams is starting to look like a big-play receiver. He has been targeted 30 times in the last three games. Teammate Brandon Gibson caught six passes for 100 last week, so look for the Rams receivers to play moderately well and potentially be the difference in the game's outcome. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Georgia Dome
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning Falcons have allowed 2+ pass TDs in just three games all year and secondary is getting healthy. Manning had 277 yards & 3 TDs vs. ATL in playoffs last year but has had mixed results vs. Mike Nolan, current Falcons defensive coordinator.
RB David Wilson His speed is off the charts. Falcons have stunk vs. RBs: 138.8 total yards per game over last five with six total TDs to RBs. Has a chance for some numbers even if he loses some passing downs work.
WR Victor Cruz Falcons have allowed just 6 TDs to WRs all year (none in last four) but have allowed 100-yard receivers in consecutive games. That sounds like Cruz.
WR Hakeem Nicks Had two TDs vs. ATL in playoffs last year, has 2 TDs in last three. Knee issues will keep him at less than 100 percent healthy and tough matchups have not been kind to Nicks this year.
TE Martellus Bennett Atlanta has given up 84.0 yards and 3 TDs to TEs over last four games. Bennett has 5 catches, 30+ yards & a TD in each of last two.
DST Giants Six of the last seven DSTs posted 8 Fantasy points or fewer vs. Falcons. Giants just beat up the Saints last week, so it's a tough call on whether or not to start them.
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Giants have held Rodgers, RG3 & Brees to one TD each over last three weeks (but four TDs to Andy Dalton four weeks ago). Ryan was chewed up by NYG in '11 playoffs. He also hasn't thrown 2+ TDs at home since September (four home games).
RB Michael Turner Has a TD in four straight & 5 of last 6 but has posted limited yardage pretty much every week. Giants have allowed 120.0 rush yards per week over last three (two total TDs).
RB Jacquizz Rodgers Quizz has scored 6 Fantasy points or less in five of last six games. Tough to trust him even with serious playing time.
WR Roddy White Has 10+ targets in 4 of last 6 games. Giants have allowed 100 yards and/or a TD to 8 of 11 WRs with at least 8+ targets this year. Plays better at home but injury could hold him back.
WR Julio Jones Giants have allowed a 100-yard receiver in two straight, 7 TDs to WRs over their last five. Julio still looking for first home score of the season.
TE Tony Gonzalez You'll start him but Giants have allowed 2 TDs to TEs all year and have allowed just one TE to get 10+ Fantasy points.
DST Falcons Eight of last 11 DSTs to play the Giants have posted single-digit Fantasy points. Pass on the Falcons.

Ahmad Bradshaw has foot and knee issues, so David Wilson is in a perfect spot to get more work based off of last week's performance. Atlanta gives up 127 yards on the ground per game and in the last five games it has allowed six rushing touchdowns. Wilson could have big day with well over 100 yards and a touchdown. -- Pat Kirwan

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman Freeman has 250+ yards in each of last four vs. NO including 420 yards & 3 TDs in Week 7 meeting in Tampa. Saints pass D is a mess.
RB Doug Martin Totaled 122 yards with a touchdown in first meeting with Saints, who have allowed 158.7 total yards per game to RBs over last three with four total TDs.
WR Vincent Jackson No receiver has decimated Saints like Jackson did in Week 7 (216 yards and a TD), but the Giants' three WRs each scored on the Saints last week.
WR Mike Williams Had a quiet game last time against New Orleans but is still a good bet to be effective here with the Saints likely focused on Jackson. Has a TD in two straight.
TE Dallas Clark Saints have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in four of last five with 70.6 yards per game in that span. Clark looks good.
DST Buccaneers Thanks to nine interceptions, seven sacks, two forced fumbles, three defensive touchdowns and some low scores by the Saints, DSTs vs. NO have posted 17+ Fantasy points. It would be a shock to see the Bucs get at least half that.
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Bucs have allowed 250+ yards to 11 of 13 opposing QBs with 2+ TDs to 4 of last 6. Brees had 377 yards and 4 TDs at TB back in Week 7. Expect him to get back on track.
RB Darren Sproles Has posted 50+ yards and a TD in each of last two vs. TB. Expect a bunch of receptions with a good chance to score.
RB Mark Ingram Bucs have given up 54.7 rush yards per game over last three, just smacked Bryce Brown around last week. Can't trust Ingram.
WR Marques Colston Has 5+ catches in each of last six against NO including seven grabs for 73 yards & a TD in Week 7. WRs have at least 1 TD in each of last six vs. TB.
WR Lance Moore Major risk but you have to like his chances playing at home vs. pass defense that's allowed 215.7 yards to WRs over last three.
TE Jimmy Graham Might be playing hurt after going three straight with weak stats (Graham missed first game vs. TB). Bucs allowing 68.0 yards per game to TEs over last three with a score.
DST Saints   Six of the last eight DSTs vs. TB have posted four Fantasy points or less! No one's using the Saints DST.

Every week I talk about the Saints' inside vertical passing attack and the last few teams seem to be sitting on those routes. Compounding things is the lack of protection Brees is getting and as a result there's an increase in sacks and hits to go along with the interceptions. Brees loves to throw from the pocket but it may be time for more perimeter passing and working the sideline routes. The timing could be right to experiment against a soft Buccaneers pass defense. -- Pat Kirwan

Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Cleveland Browns Stadium
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Mobility could be an issue for RG3 given his knee sprain, if he plays. Making things worse, the Browns have allowed one 2+ pass TD game in their last seven.
RB Alfred Morris Jamaal Charles blew the doors off the Browns last week, and of the nine RBs with at least 18 carries vs. CLE, all but one have 9+ Fantasy points. ALF has 20 carries in four straight, 110+ yards in three straight.
WR Pierre Garcon Garcon has stepped up big over his last three with TD in each. Joe Haden assignment is tough but Browns have allowed 158.5 yards to wideouts over their last four. If RG3 is out, Garcon's value dips.
DST Redskins Three of the last four DSTs to face the Browns have posted under 10 Fantasy points. Redskins have 8 or fewer Fantasy points in 6 of last 7.
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brandon Weeden The good: Redskins pass defense has allowed 21+ Fantasy points to 9 of 13 QBs. The bad: Weeden has two games all season with 21+ Fantasy points. Can't trust him.
RB Trent Richardson Redskins have allowed 100-yard rushers in consecutive games along with two total TDs to RBs over last three. Even with a low rush average, Richardson's fine.
WR Josh Gordon WRs have scored at least one TD in 10 of 13 games vs. WAS this season. They've also had 185.3 yards per game vs. Redskins over their last three. Gordon is solid again.
DST Browns Only three DSTs have topped 10 Fantasy points vs. WAS all year. Browns do have 11+ Fantasy points in 3 of last 4, might be sleeper material.

The Cleveland defense got better when its defensive linemen and cornerback Joe Haden returned to the lineup a few weeks ago. While going 5-3 in their last eight games, the Browns are giving up just 17 points a game. Robert Griffin III will not be at 100 percent and that should give the Browns the edge as the better defensive unit in the game. -- Pat Kirwan

Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Chargers have allowed QBs to get 20+ Fantasy points in 4 of last 5 and Cam continues to dominate weak pass defenses. Expect big stats.
RB DeAngelo Williams Two things I don't trust: Chargers run defense (140.2 total yards per game to RBs over last five) and DeAngelo (16 Fantasy points last week, 6 the week before). I'd lean toward DeAngelo as a flex.
WR Steve Smith San Diego has allowed 173.8 yards to receivers over its last five with seven touchdowns (three last week). Smith is a must and should lock in at least 10 Fantasy points.
TE Greg Olsen Chargers have fallen apart vs. tight ends, allowing two scores over last three games & 6+ Fantasy points to each of last three. Olsen has 40+ yards & TD in two straight.
DST Panthers Can't trust them with secondary losing steam but four of the last five DSTs vs. SD posted 14+ Fantasy points. It helps that the Panthers coaching staff knows this offense.
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers Panthers have allowed 2+ TDs to QBs in 3 of last 4 and floodgates could open with a rookie free safety. Rivers isn't safe but with Alexander he's got potential.
RB Ryan Mathews Not that Mathews can take advantage but the Panthers have allowed 152.2 total yards per game to RBs with five rushing scores. Remaining schedule very favorable but he's hard to trust.
WR Danario Alexander Both Falcons' receivers pounded the Panthers into submission last week, most of it coming in the second half. Alexander too hot and too good to sit.
WR Malcom Floyd Panthers allowing 153.2 yards per game and five TDs to WRs over their last five. Floyd has a TD in four of his last six but has had under 70 yards in each of those six.
TE Antonio Gates Hasn't scored in four straight & hasn't topped 60 yards in seven straight but Panthers aren't perfect vs. TEs (60 yards and/or a TD to three of last four they've faced).
DST Chargers   Panthers have held five of the last six DSTs they've faced to 6 Fantasy points or less. Tough to like the Chargers.

I talked with Chargers safety Eric Weddle this week and it was clear to me the team respects Norv Turner and wants to win for him even if things are going bad for the coach. The more the Chargers go to Danario Alexander, the better. He is the first legitimate replacement for Vincent Jackson's production and he's not going anywhere. Defensively, Weddle & Co. have to contain Cam Newton, which can be challenging especially since Ben Roethlisberger ran for 31 yards against them last week and he's no Cam. It could mean more passing for the Chargers and more numbers for Alexander. -- Pat Kirwan

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, University of Phoenix Stadium
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford The last three QBs to play Arizona haven't had to throw much (22.7 attempts, 182.3 yards per game with four TDs). Still like Stafford but numbers might not be huge.
RB Mikel Leshoure Cards have allowed four 100-yard rushers over last three weeks with four rushing touchdowns scored last week. Leshoure's rushing average over his last five: 3.35, hence his split with Bell.
RB Joique Bell Seems to be involved late in many of the Lions' games but could pick up more early-game work. Has 10+ touches each of his last two games and has 7.11 rush average over last five.
WR Calvin Johnson Cards have allowed just one TD to a WR over their last four, a by-product of their horrible run defense. Still, no reason to believe Calvin won't get some scoring chances.
WR Kris Durham Not expected to be huge this week but with the Falcons and Bears next for the Lions he could be useful in PPR leagues.
TE Tony Scheffler Arizona has given up a touchdown to tight ends in three straight with another tight end getting over 100 yards last week. If Pettigrew is out, Scheffler is a great sleeper.
DST Lions All but one DST all year vs. ARI has posted 10 or more Fantasy points. Seahawks wrecked them last week; it'll be tough for Lions to do the same in Arizona.
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Lindley   Lions have allowed 2+ pass TDs in 5 of last 7 but Cardinals' offense anemic with Lindley or anyone else under center.
RB Beanie Wells Detroit has allowed 106.7 rush yards per game to RBs over its last three with four rush TDs. It wouldn't be a shock if Wells was decent but trusting him behind that O-line is a problem.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Huge opportunity: Lions pass defense has allowed 221.7 yards per game to WRs over their last three with three TDs. This is the first defense he's seen in a month that doesn't have a shutdown cornerback. Think about it.
WR Andre Roberts Sneaky PPR flex option given the Lions' weak secondary. Has at least 7 targets in seven games.
DST Cardinals   Five of last seven DSTs vs. Lions have posted single-digit Fantasy points; only the Packers have had 10 or more points. Pass on the Cards.

After the Cardinals' 58-0 loss last week I'm not so sure there's much left for the Lions to attack. The Cardinals have bad quarterback issues and the Lions will get after whoever plays under center. As for attacking the Cardinals defense, make sure Calvin Johnson gets at least 12 targets and feed Mikel Leshoure the ball 20 times. He only has two games all year with 20 or more carries -- this could be number three. -- Pat Kirwan

Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills -- Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Rogers Centre
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Six of last eight QBs vs. Bills have posted one touchdown and under 250 yards (16 Fantasy points or less). Could be another week where Wilson hands off more than throws.
RB Marshawn Lynch Every RB to face Bills & get at least 14 carries has scored and posted at least 12 Fantasy points. After scoring on three of 11 carries last week, Marshawn's obvious.
WR Sidney Rice Bills pass defense improving but they've still allowed a 100-yard receiver in two of last three and a TD in each of last four. That's tough for Rice, who might not be close to 100 percent with a foot injury.
WR Golden Tate Boom or bust: 15+ Fantasy points in three of last five, five points or less in other two. Bills have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to multiple WRs in same game just four times all year and just once in last eight games.
DST Seahawks Three of last four DSTs vs. BUF have posted 15+ Fantasy points. The Seahawks are coming off a great game and should be fine against the Bills in Toronto.
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick   Only three QBs have thrown multiple TDs vs. Seahawks, only four have topped 250 yards. Fitzpatrick won't help you.
RB C.J. Spiller Three '12 games without F-Jax: 41 carries, 230 yards, 2 TDs, eight catches, 128 yards, TD. Seahawks are tough but have allowed two rush TDs & pass TDs to RBs over last three games.
WR Steve Johnson Can't expect a big game here with Richard Sherman on his hip. Seahawks have allowed one TD to a WR over their last six games.
TE Scott Chandler No TE has posted more than 7 Fantasy points on the Seahawks since Week 7. Chandler's not an ideal start.
DST Bills   Five of the last six DSTs vs. Seattle have posted 6 Fantasy points or less. Can't go with the Bills unless totally desperate.

The Seahawks are a run-first team and they want to get close to 60 percent run on first down. That goal was easily accomplished last week. The Bills run defense over the past four games has been very good, giving up just 275 yards at 2.8 a rush and only two rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks are going to have to pass more than 13 times in this game. The good news is Wilson has thrown two touchdown passes in each of his last three road games and the Rogers Centre atmosphere in Toronto could be an equalizer he would normally not have in a road game. -- Pat Kirwan

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, O.co Coliseum
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brady Quinn   Raiders pass defense has allowed just one TD to opposing QBs over last two games (including Peyton). They're obviously in rough shape but Quinn can't be trusted.
RB Jamaal Charles A must. Oakland has given up 174.7 total yards per game and 3 TDs to RBs in their last three. Seven straight starting RBs have posted 12+ Fantasy points on OAK.
WR Jon Baldwin Seems like he's the Chiefs' top receiving threat. Raiders have allowed 194.7 yards per game and three TDs to WRs over their last three to receivers.
TE Tony Moeaki Tight ends have produced at least eight Fantasy points in five straight vs. Raiders. Moeaki has at least 40 yards in four of his last five.
DST Chiefs Four of last five DSTs vs. OAK have totaled 11+ Fantasy points on the Raiders. But Chiefs have just four games with 11+ Fantasy points and only scored four vs. OAK in Week 4.
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Carson Palmer Chiefs have allowed 2+ passing scores in 10 of 13 games including one to Carson Palmer in Week 8 (209 yards, two TDs, one interception). Expect the Raiders to throw plenty.
RB Darren McFadden Chiefs allowing 110.0 total yards per game to RBs over its last three with two touchdowns. McFadden had 137 total yards vs. KC in Week 8 meeting. If he's active, he's worth starting.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey No. 1 WRs have scored in seven of last eight vs. KC. DHB has 4+ catches in five of his last six with 60+ yards in four of those five and two TDs. Had a TD at KC in Week 8.
WR Denarius Moore Chiefs allowing 174.3 yards per game to WRs over last three. Moore had 96 yards & a TD at KC in Week 8 but in six games since then has just two TDs with 2.7 catches and 43.2 yards per game.
WR Rod Streater Evolving as a big-play threat for Raiders with 50+ yard catches in consecutive weeks -- along with 90+ yards in each of last two. Played on 78 pct. of snaps last week.
TE Brandon Myers Chiefs have given up a TD to a TE in two of last three and 40+ yards to a TE in seven straight. Just a matter of getting targets.
DST Raiders Save for the Panthers, every single defense that's played the Chiefs has posted at least 11 Fantasy points. Raiders had 17 in Week 8.

Brandon Myers has been hot and cold. He usually follows a double-digit target game with a very low number of targets the next game. Last week he had one catch, the week before he had 14 receptions. He's due for a heavy workload this week. And because there are protection issues with the Raiders and the running backs are always injured, Marcel Reese should get back into the flow of this game. -- Pat Kirwan

Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Cowboys Stadium
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Cowboys have allowed 10 pass TDs over their last five along with four 250+ yard passers in their last six. After last week it should be bombs away for Big Ben.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Dallas has given up five rushing TDs and 100+ total yards to primary RBs in six straight games. Should be a no-brainer but Dwyer disappointed in limited reps last week. Think flex.
WR Mike Wallace Seems clear he's back (two TDs and seven catches on 11 targets played on all but four snaps last week). Dallas has allowed 7 TDs and 176.2 total yards per game over its last five to WRs.
WR Antonio Brown Expect him to rack up a lot of catches on underneath stuff. Before getting hurt he had 7 catches in 4 of 7 games. Has never scored in consecutive games, though the matchup here could give him a chance.
TE Heath Miller The Cowboys have gone weak vs. tight ends, allowing 7+ Fantasy points to three of the last four they've faced. Miller a candidate to score as always.
DST Steelers Each of the last four DSTs to play the Cowboys have posted either 8 or 11 Fantasy points. No DST has hung more than 11 points on DAL in the last six games.
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo If Dez plays, expect Romo to play well. Steelers pass rush was sloppy last week, cornerbacks were decimated by Chargers. Way more risky if Dez is out.
RB DeMarco Murray Steelers have allowed a rush TD to a RB in 4 of last 6 but have otherwise allowed 120.0 total yards per game to RBs over that span. Murray a candidate for 100 total yards.
WR Dez Bryant After Danario Alexander crushed the Steelers in Pittsburgh it's easy to like Dez, even with nine fingers. Guy's got 7 TDs in his last five.
WR Miles Austin Real good opportunity if Dez sits out but still solid if Dez plays. Steelers have allowed 124.7 yards per game to WRs over last three including 162 yards last week.
TE Jason Witten Steelers have allowed one TD to a TE over their last eight and no more than 68 yards to a tight end all season. Witten will be involved but can't be counted on for a ton of points.
DST Cowboys With Big Ben back it's tough to expect the Cowboys to post good stats. Dallas has 11 Fantasy points or less in 9 of its last 10.

Dez Bryant is the Cowboys' big-play receiver with nine touchdown passes -- the same number Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree have combined. The Cowboys can't replace that production at this point in the season, so they'll do whatever it takes to get him on the field. Catching with a broken finger isn't easy but Bryant has shown enough lately to prove he's a gamer so I wouldn't put it past him to play and play well. If he doesn't play it means more opportunities to blitz or double-team Witten and the Cowboys offense could become undone. -- Pat Kirwan

San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Colin Kaepernick Tough spot for Kap, especially considering he hasn't thrown a touchdown in two straight. Pats have allowed just seven passing TDs in its last seven games -- but two rushing TDs by QBs in its last two.
RB Frank Gore Pats have allowed a touchdown to RB in four of last five games but haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 3. You'll still start Gore.
RB LaMichael James Love this speedster. Has fresh legs and incredible burst. Just can't use him in Fantasy -- but he is the handcuff to Gore.
WR Michael Crabtree Since Aqib Talib arrived in NE, receivers have scored two TDs (none in last three weeks) and averaged 167.0 yards per game. If he plays, Crabtree is in trouble.
DST 49ers   No DST has posted more than 10 Fantasy points vs. NE this year. Try the Lions, Jets, Titans or (gulp) Raiders DSTs as alternates.
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Of the four QBs who have thrown 2+ TDs vs. SF, three have done so with Niners visiting them. Don't sweat Brady.
RB Stevan Ridley Tough call. Has scored in six straight but Niners haven't allowed a rush TD since Week 10 (and have allowed just two all year). Ridley has 71 yards or less in each of the four games where he hasn't rushed for a score.
WR Wes Welker Despite drops last week, expect Welker to stay involved if only as a quick target to help slow down Niners' pass rush. Niners allowing just 138.0 pass yards per games to WRs over last four, but Pats have a way of blowing that number up.
WR Brandon Lloyd After averaging 4.75 targets in four games since bye, Lloyd had nine last week good for one of his best games w/ New England.
TE Aaron Hernandez Hernandez's last two games: 24 targets, 16 catches (eight in each), 155 yards, two TDs. Of course you're starting him.
DST Patriots Five of last six DSTs Niners have faced have scored 7 Fantasy points or less. Not the greatest week ahead for the Patriots DST but they could come close to 10.

The 49ers have to establish a running game if they want to keep Tom Brady off the field and have a chance to win. Colin Kaepernick has three touchdown passes in 127 throws (one every 43 passes) which isn't near enough against Brady's scoring production. Brady throws a touchdown one every 17 throws and he is at home where he's 40-2 in his last 42 regular season games and runs the no-huddle offense to perfection. Keep in mind the Patriots score quickly and a team like San Francisco could be playing catch up, which would put a lot of pressure on Kaepernick. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans -- Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, LP Field
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez   Titans have allowed 19+ Fantasy points to 10 of 13 QBs but somehow Andrew Luck didn't get there last week. No one should trust Sanchez.
RB Shonn Greene This is where the power lies: Jets will go run heavy vs. Titans defense allowing 101.1 rush yards per game over their last three with three TDs. Just a matter of opportunity for Greene.
RB Bilal Powell Reasons to like Powell: Has 11+ carries each of last four, consistenly playing about 45% of snaps over that span with 4.0 rush average and 1+ TD in 3 of last 4. Reasons to not like Powell: A toe injury and Shonn Greene.
WR Braylon Edwards   Return to New York is nice but the offense has changed since his last time in town. Matchup isn't bad: Titans have given up 162.3 total yards per game and four TDs to wideouts over their last three.
DST Jets Since Jake Locker returned opposing DSTs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in three of the last four including 13+ Fantasy points to each of the Titans' last two opponents. The Jets are worth it.
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker Jets haven't faced many quality QBs lately but they haven't allowed a passing TD in two straight. Locker has just two games all year with multiple passing TDs.
RB Chris Johnson Seven games with Locker: Two 100-total-yard games, one TD. Six games without Locker: Five 100-total-yard games, three TDs. Jets allowing 137.0 total yards per game over last three to RBs with three TDs.
WR Kenny Britt Jets have allowed 7 TDs to WRs in their last five but have done a nice job vs. No. 1 receivers. That stands to mean a tough week for Britt.
DST Titans Five of the last six DSTs vs. NYJ have scored an unreal 11+ Fantasy points. Titans have quietly posted 11+ Fantasy points in three of last four.

Defenses play the run first when they play the Titans. Jake Locker isn't at the point where he's the No. 1 threat on the offense. Chris Johnson can become a stop-and-start back and doesn't always just hit the hole. When he gets into the stop and peak style there are lots of negative runs. Johnson might as well become a receiver in games where he hesitates in the run game. The last time Johnson played a Rex Ryan Jet team he had five negative runs and didn't crack the 100-yard mark in 22 carries. The Jets will be prepared for him. -- Pat Kirwan

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles -- Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Lincoln Financial Field
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Each of the last seven QBs to play Philly have 2+ TDs against them. Eagles haven't intercepted a pass in six straight. Dalton should rebound.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Riding a four-game streak with 100+ total yards. Philly has allowed 100+ total yards to each of last two starting RBs along with a score to each. Count on him.
WR A.J. Green Would have had another big game if not for two costly drops last week. Philly has allowed at least one 10+ Fantasy point WR in each of last eight games. The Eagles have been torched on deep passes, a specialty of his.
WR Andrew Hawkins Deep-league gamble. Bengals seem enamored with his speed, should continue to see targets. Very much a boom-or-bust type.
TE Jermaine Gresham Here's a weird stat: Only one TE with more than three targets vs. PHI has scored all year. Might mean a long week for Gresham.
DST Bengals Eagles have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to each of last nine DSTs. The Bengals a safe haven in a sea of tough DST choices in Week 15.
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Nick Foles Finally broke through last week for Philly but it came vs. Bucs' awful pass defense. Only two of the last 11 QBs to face Bengals have thrown multiple touchdowns.
RB Bryce Brown Tough call for a big rebound game. Has potential but Bengals run defense has allowed just four 100-total-yard running backs all season amd two rush TDs in their last six.
WR Jeremy Maclin Cincy allowing 116.2 yards per game to WRs over its last five with just two passing scores. This isn't Tampa Bay. Maclin's an iffy flex.
TE Clay Harbor Has a chance to be useful with Celek out. Caught all six of his targets last week. Bengals have improved vs. tight ends, holding opponents to 52.2 total yards per game with no TDs over last five.
DST Eagles The last two DSTs vs. Cincy have posted 11+ Fantasy points but Eagles haven't exceeded eight points since Week 1.

I talked with Nick Foles last week and he is one relaxed, confident player. He has great size and a strong arm like Joe Flacco. He will be confronted with a very good Bengals pass rush which will make things difficult for him. The short week doesn't help his cause but I still think he can find a way to throw for over 200 yards and a touchdown after building even more confidence last week. -- Pat Kirwan

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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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