Week 17 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.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Paul Brown Stadium
Baltimore Ravens
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Joe Flacco Expect the Ravens to use this game to fine-tune offense in advance of playoffs. Flacco has 2+ TDs in each of last three with 250+ yards in each of last two but only two of the last 13 QBs to face Bengals have thrown multiple TDs.
RB Ray Rice Rice has crushed the Bengals, scoring 2 TDs in each of last three vs. Cincy with 90+ yards! Bengals' run defense has been good (one rush TD allowed in last six) but Rice's history and re-invigorated role in the offense can't be ignored.
WR Torrey Smith Cincy allowing 145.7 yards per game to WRs over its last three with a TD to WR in each. The Ravens should keep taking shots downfield with Smith.
WR Anquan Boldin Assuming his shoulder is OK, Boldin sizes up to be a good flex option. Boldin has 90 yards and/or 1+ TD in three of last four. Has 6+ targets in each of last two since Jim Caldwell became Ravens' play caller.
TE Dennis Pitta Has a TD in three of last five and scored on Bengals back in Week 1. He's one of five TEs to score on Bengals, who haven't allowed 75 yards to a TE in seven straight.
DST Ravens The last four DSTs vs. Cincy have posted 11+ Fantasy points. Each of the last three defenses have sacked Andy Dalton at least five times.
Cincinnati Bengals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andy Dalton Ravens have allowed 2 TDs to one QB in their last six and Dalton's stats have come back to earth since Mohamed Sanu injury (four straight with 1 or no pass TDs). Dalton has never passed for 2+ TDs vs. Ravens.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Ravens run defense isn't scary: 137.0 total yards per game to RBs over last three with four rush TDs. Green-Ellis romped on this defense back in Week 1 but it wouldn't be a surprise to see his reps limited in this one.
WR A.J. Green Green has never scored on Ravens, something he could try for this week. Ravens have allowed four TDs to receivers in their last three, so there's a chance.
TE Jermaine Gresham Only four tight ends have posted 6+ Fantasy points on Ravens and only one has scored in their last eight. With zero TDs in four tries vs. BAL and under 70 yards in three straight, Gresham is a definite risk.
DST Bengals Bengals DST has scored at least 11 Fantasy points in seven straight with 24+ points in each of last two. Ravens' offense has some potential to go off so it's not a slam dunk but there's potential.

Baltimore is beat up and needs to rest a number of players, but the Ravens also have a chance for the No. 3 seed. Does that mean anything to them? If they secure it with a win and Patriots loss they would meet the Bengals again next week, except the game would be in Baltimore. I'm not sure if that means enough to them. I would stay away from all Ravens players in Fantasy Football this week. The Bengals on the other hand have a young team and could still get some production out of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green as they try to build momentum in front of their fans heading into the playoffs. -- Pat Kirwan

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Carolina Panthers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Cam Newton Expect a lot of offense. Cam has six TDs in three career games vs. NO. Saints have allowed two QBs to throw 4 TDs each over their last three games and Cam's red hot.
RB DeAngelo Williams Has scored in 4 of last 5 against Saints including 69 yards & a TD in Week 2. New Orleans' run defense has improved over last two weeks and Williams is risky with or without Jonathan Stewart on the active roster.
WR Steve Smith Has 100 yards or a TD in each of last three vs. Saints, who allowed four TDs to WRs just last week. Smith also has 100 yards and/or a TD in four straight overall.
WR Brandon LaFell Had over 100 total yards in Week 2 game vs. Saints, his best outing in three tries against them. Saints have allowed a ridiculous 235.0 yards per game to WRs over their last three with seven TDs.
TE Greg Olsen Olsen's yardage has nudged its way to basically 50 yards per game over his last five with two TDs in that span. Expect him to get at least that statistically against the Saints.
DST Panthers   The Bucs and Cowboys DSTs totaled one point in their games against the Saints. Not much hope for the Panthers DST this week.
New Orleans Saints
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Drew Brees Brees only had one TD at Carolina in Week 2 but has had 3+ TDs in 6 of 7 home games and scored five on the Panthers in Week 17 last year. He's also 219 yards shy of 5,000.
RB Darren Sproles Has 128 receiving yards against the Panthers in Week 2 and is coming off a 100-yard receiving game this week. Sproles has 10+ Fantasy points in each of his last three.
RB Mark Ingram Carolina's run defense has come alive, allowing just 48.7 rush yards per game to RBs over their last three. Ingram scored at Carolina in Week 2, has TDs in each of last two and 13+ carries in each of last three but could get lost in a shootout.
WR Marques Colston Only one of Colston's last seven vs. CAR has been real nice: In Week 17 at home last year. Panthers yielding 114.3 yards per game to WRs over their last three with two TDs. History's awful here but Colston too big a part of Saints offense to ignore.
WR Lance Moore Has four catches and a TD in each of his past two overall. Hasn't scored on Panthers since 2010 but remains someone Drew Brees looks for in the red zone.
TE Jimmy Graham Has at least 10 Fantasy points in each of last four against Panthers. Carolina has allowed a TD to a TE in three of their last six and Graham's still playing a sizable role for the Saints.
DST Saints Panthers have held five of the last six DSTs they've faced to 6 Fantasy points or less. Forget about this defense.

Ever since Joe Vitt came back from suspension, Mark Ingram has received more work and that should continue against the Panthers. Last week the Panthers did a good job against Darren McFadden but this Saints run game should be better with the threat of Drew Brees' passing game. Look for Ingram to get 18-to-20 carries, 100 yards and a screen pass or two to get to 115 yards in total. -- Pat Kirwan

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ford Field
Chicago Bears
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jay Cutler Cutler's first three vs. DET with Bears were great. The four since? 189.0 pass yards per game with 1 TD or less per game.
RB Matt Forte Says he'll play on sore ankle. Forte has 100+ total yards in seven of last eight vs. Lions and 9+ Fantasy points in each of those eight.
WR Brandon Marshall Lions allowed three TDs and 230 yards to WRs last week! Expect Marshall to finish his career season strong.
DST Bears Detroit has scored 20 points or less in 4 of last 5 vs. Bears and each of last three games. DSTs have put up 10+ Fantasy points in each of last three vs. DET.
Detroit Lions
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matthew Stafford In five career meetings, Stafford has never posted 20+ Fantasy points vs. the Bears, who have allowed three 20+ Fantasy point QBs all season (and they've all come since Week 11). Stafford hasn't posted 20 Fantasy points in three straight.
RB Mikel Leshoure Bears have allowed 106.3 total yards per game to RBs over their last three with two TDs. Leshoure 65 total yards shy of 1,000, one TD shy of 10.
RB Joique Bell Looking better with 80+ total yards in three of his last four. If Lions are playing from behind, this is who will catch a bunch of short passes.
WR Calvin Johnson Bears have held Calvin Johnson to under 100 yards in five of their last six games. That's nice. Won't happen this time as Calvin's 108 yards from 2,000.
TE Tony Scheffler Chicago hasn't allowed a touchdown to a tight end in four straight and Scheffler has grossly disappointed with Brandon Pettigrew sidelined.
DST Lions Each of the last three DSTs vs. Chicago (GB, MIN, ARI) have posted at least 11 Fantasy points. But what happened the last time you trusted the Lions DST, perhaps in Week 15?

Detroit is a pass-happy team and won't mind calling 40-plus pass plays. I still expect Calvin Johnson to get eight-to-10 targets as he fortifies his new receiving record and casts an eye toward 2,000. I would think the Lions need to find out more about Mikel Leshoure and get him closer to 20 carries. Look for Matthew Stafford to throw for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Jay Cutler continues to pad Brandon Marshall's stats with 10 targets, eight receptions and a touchdown. Last week Marshall had more targets than the rest of the Bears players combined. Neither pass rush presents great problems and both quarterbacks can deal with a sack or two. In the end, count on Stafford to have more yards and points than Cutler. -- Pat Kirwan

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Heinz Field
Cleveland Browns
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Thaddeus Lewis   First NFL game with the Browns minus Trent Richardson playing at the Steelers? Um, no.
RB Montario Hardesty He's shown some flashes in limited reps this year but matchup is a tough one: Steelers have held RBs to 81.7 total yards per game over last three with one TD.
WR Greg Little Little actually played one more snap than Gordon last week. He has 7+ targets in each of last three but has no experience with Lewis.
WR Josh Gordon   Gordon has fallen off the map over the last three weeks, totaling 120 yards with no scores. Can't see Lewis hitting him for deep gains.
DST Browns Even with Big Ben back DSTs vs. PIT are posting 10+ Fantasy points (eight straight). Roethlisberger has been sacked 10 times and picked off four times in three games. Browns a sleeper.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ben Roethlisberger Without Heath Miller and Mike Wallace, Ben Roethlisberger might not be able to take advantage of a defense that's allowed five passing TDs in their last two.
RB Rashard Mendenhall Looked like the best PIT RB last week, is a sleeper this week. Browns have allowed 167.3 total yards per game to RBs over last three with five rush TDs.
RB Jonathan Dwyer Save for two TDs, Dwyer's struggled over his last five in part because of inconsistent carries. He shouldn't be counted on in the finale with Mendenhall back.
WR Antonio Brown Has 27 targets in three games since Roethlisberger's return with a TD in each. Expect a lot of passes his way with Mike Wallace unlikely to play.
WR Emmanuel Sanders   Might be a deep sleeper if Joe Haden sticks on Brown all game long, but doesn't have the pedigree to hold up using in Fantasy unless desperate.
DST Steelers The Browns won't have Brandon Weeden or Trent Richardson in a meaningless game at Pittsburgh. Sounds like a good finale for the Steelers defense.

Pittsburgh is in a tough spot with Cleveland coming to town. The Steelers are done and the Browns have a roster full of young players (82 starts from rookies) that will treat this game like their Super Bowl. Last week the Steelers defense dominated the Bengals offense, limiting them to two field goals, under 1.0 yard a carry while intercepting Andy Dalton twice and sacking him six times, and they still lost. Can the Steelers defense rise up to this occasion with nothing on the line? Even with the Browns' injuries on offense I don't think it will be as good as the Bengals effort but it will be good enough. The Steelers run game should be the back bone of this offense but typically the Steelers drift away from the run and let Big Ben do his thing. The Browns front seven are good enough to slow the run down but I do expect Rashard Mendenhall to get one last chance to prove he should be in Pittsburgh in 2013. I don't think he does enough to get a contract. -- Pat Kirwan

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Lucas Oil Stadium
Houston Texans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Schaub Only two of last nine QBs vs. IND have posted 2+ TDs including Schaub at home back in Week 15. Schaub has only one career game with more than one passing TD vs. Colts!
RB Arian Foster Should be good to go and he should dominate. Colts have allowed a ridiculous 192.0 total yards per game to RBs over their last three with a touchdown. Foster has 16+ Fantasy points in each of four career meetings vs. Colts.
WR Andre Johnson Let's keep this simple: Andre has 90+ yards & a TD in each of last three vs. Indy. He's a great start.
TE Owen Daniels Colts had been awful vs. TEs until they stopped Owen Daniels in Week 15 and held all Chiefs TEs out of the stat book last week. Daniels doesn't have a TD in each of last six vs. Indy.
DST Texans Texans DST posted 19 Fantasy points on Luck's Colts in Week 15 thanks to touchdown, five sacks. Luck's been sacked at least three times in 4 of last 5. Colts have also posted under 300 yards of offense in three straight.
Indianapolis Colts
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Andrew Luck Luck posted 186 yards and two TDs on Houston two weeks ago. Colts don't have anything to play for but Coach Chuck Pagano plans to play his starters in front of raucous home crowd.
RB Vick Ballard In Week 15 Ballard was the first 100-yard rusher vs. Houston since Chris Johnson in Week 4. Texans run defense bounced back with good effort vs. Adrian Peterson last week, though. Think flex.
WR Reggie Wayne Has 10+ Fantasy points in two of his last three and typically plays better at home. He nearly extended his TD streak vs. HOU to six in Week 15 but had score called back due to penalty.
WR T.Y. Hilton Had a nice game (78 yards & TD) at Houston in Week 15. Texans have cleaned up vs. the pass but have still allowed 153.0 yards per game to WRs over their last three with 3 TDs (Hilton's included).
TE Dwayne Allen Traditional tight ends have scored four TDs on Houston over its last three games. Allen is a decent sleeper for Week 17.
DST Colts The Vikings were able to corral Arian Foster and hold the Texans to under 200 total yards of offense last week. They were the first DST in six weeks to post more than 8 Fantasy points on the Texans. I don't like the Colts' chances.

Emotions will run high in Indianapolis on Sunday with Chuck pagano back, maybe too high to stay the course against a Texans team that has to right their ship after a home loss to the Vikings. Andrew Luck has been solid at home but still has too many turnovers. The Texans could lose home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a defeat, plus the franchise has never won in Indianapolis. I expect the Texans to weather the storm and get a close, low scoring win. -- Pat Kirwan

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, LP Field
Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Chad Henne Titans have allowed 19+ Fantasy points to 11 of 15 QBs, including Henne in Week 12. But without Cecil Shorts, there's just too much risk in Henne, who has 1 passing TD or less in each of last four.
RB Montell Owens Did you see what the Packers (the Packers!) did to the Titans run defense last week?! Rushers are enjoying 137.0 total yards per game vs. TEN over last three with 4 TDs scored. With a good rushing average in each of his last four, Owensis a legit sleeper.
WR Justin Blackmon Has 11+ targets and 6+ catches in each of last three games. Titans have allowed 7 TDs to WRs over last five including three last week.
WR Jordan Shipley He's settled into Jacksonville, landing 7+ targets and 5+ catches in two of last three. Titans have allowed 139.3 yards to WRs over their last three.
DST Jaguars Since Jake Locker returned opposing DSTs have posted 9+ Fantasy points in five of the last six. Jags defense is very tough to trust, however.
Tennessee Titans
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Jake Locker Jaguars have allowed 2 TDs to opposing QBs in three of their last four games. Locker hasn't thrown two TDs in five straight and has under 200 yards in each of last two.
RB Chris Johnson Matchup's great, but he's not. Jags allowing 143.7 total yards per game over last three to RBs with four total TDs. Johnson averaging 80.4 total yards per game over his last five with one rush TD. Johnson had 109 total yards vs. JAC in Week 12 but has gone scoreless vs. Jags in last four matchups.
WR Kenny Britt Britt has 100 yards or a TD in four of last five overall including one at Jags in Week 12. Jags have improved vs. pass, allowing 116.3 yards per game to WRs over last three games with one TD.
DST Titans DSTs have put up 11+ Fantasy points in all but three games this year vs. Jaguars. Titans a decent desperation option.

Chad Henne threw for over 340 yards last week on 51 pass attempts against the Patriots. Justin Blackmon was targeted 12 times, and with Cecil Shorts going on injured reserve, his targets could go up to as many as 16. The Jags can't run the ball and Tennessee struggles to stop the pass. Henne wants the starting job next year and he will feed Blackmon. Look for 10 receptions, 120 yards and a touchdown to wrap up a solid rookie season considering the circumstances in Jacksonville. -- Pat Kirwan

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Ralph Wilson Stadium
New York Jets
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Mark Sanchez   No one can trust him even though Bills have allowed 7 TDs to QBs over their last three. Sanchez also has scored 7 TDs in last two vs. BUF.
RB Shonn Greene Had first TD vs. BUF in six tries back in Week 1. He scored twice last week, Bills have allowed a rush TD by a RB in three straight.
RB Bilal Powell Actually played one more snap than Greene last week, likely because Jets played from behind. Matchup is good but he's had under 60 total yards in three of last four.
DST Jets Five of the last six DSTs vs. BUF have posted 15+ Fantasy points. With four straight weeks with 10+ Fantasy points, Jets are a good Week 17 option.
Buffalo Bills
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick   Has 2+ TDs in three of last four vs. NYJ including 3 TDs in each of last two (this is with Darrelle Revis playing). Too bad he has one game in his last six with multiple scores.
RB C.J. Spiller Motored over Jets for 194 total yards and a TD in Week 1 (F-Jax got hurt). Has 10+ Fantasy points in each of nine games with 10+ touches this year. He's a stud in 2013.
WR Steve Johnson Has a TD in each of last two vs. Jets. He's also 65 yards shy of 1,000 on the season. Only one WR has had 65+ yards vs. the Jets in four games (one TD to WR vs. NYJ in last four too).
DST Bills Eight of the last nine DSTs vs. NYJ have scored 11+ Fantasy points. Chargers sacked McElroy 11 times last week! This is a decent sleeper.

The Jets defense played well enough to beat the Chargers last week if their offense didn't allow 11 sacks and turn the ball over two times. The Chargers were 2 of 17 on third down and 0 for 3 in the red zone. If the Jets contain C.J. Spiller -- and they should be able to keep him around 100 yards -- they should be able to keep Buffalo under 24 points. Meanwhile the Bills defense gave up 182 rushing yards to the Dolphins last week, and that should mean the Jets get 100 yards on the ground. With Mark Sanchez under center for the Jets, the Bills defense will have a better day than the Jets defense. -- Pat Kirwan

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium
Philadelphia Eagles
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Michael Vick Typically Vick has not fared well vs. Giants, but with New York's defense just as big of a mess as the Eagles, and with Vick auditioning for 2013, he could do well. High risk, high reward. Giants have allowed 933 pass yards and six pass TDs over their last three.
RB LeSean McCoy McCoy has 110+ rush yards in four of last five vs. NYG. The Giants allowed 293 total yards to running backs last week! McCoy looked great in Week 16 and should finish strong.
WR Jeremy Maclin Giants have allowed 188.3 yards per game to receivers over their last three with 3 TDs allowed. Maclin has as many TDs with Michael Vick this year (eight games) as he does with Nick Foles (seven).
DST Eagles Five of the last seven DSTs to play the Giants have posted double-digit Fantasy points. The Eagles defense is the worst in Fantasy, however, and shouldn't be trusted.
New York Giants
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Eli Manning Each of the last nine QBs to play Philly have totaled 2+ TDs against them. Eli posted excellent stats in three of his last four vs. PHI, making him starter worthy in spite of his recent numbers.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw The last four starting RBs to play the Eagles have each had over 100 total yards and a TD. Bradshaw isn't 100 percent but he should have at least decent totals vs. this shoddy run defense.
WR Victor Cruz Philly has allowed at least one 10+ Fantasy point WR in eight of last nine games with two WRs to score last week (nine TDs to WRs in their last five). Cruz has over 100 yards & a TD in each of three career games vs. Philly.
WR Hakeem Nicks Eli came out and said this week his timing with Nicks is off because of limited practice reps. Not sure he should be counted on in the finale, even with the favorable matchup.
TE Martellus Bennett Bennett had all of 2 yards at Philly back in Week 4. Eagles haven't allowed a TD to a TE in four straight. In his last eight games Bennett has under 50 yards in seven and no TDs in six.
DST Giants Eagles have allowed 9+ Fantasy points to each of last 10 DSTs they've faced. Giants' track record vs. Vick is great but their pass rush is not producing these days.

Andy Reid has great respect for Michael Vick and I believe he will showcase whatever talent Vick has left in order to help him get a good job next year. The Giants pass rush has disappeared, the secondary is full of injuries and Vick is motivated to look good and play great. Look for Mike to throw for 225 yards, run for another 75 yards and throw or run for two touchdowns. -- Pat Kirwan

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons -- Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, Georgia Dome
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Josh Freeman Even the Falcons backups might limit Freeman after he's thrown eight INTs over the last two weeks. He had three INTs (and 2 TDs) in Week 17 at Atlanta last year.
RB Doug Martin His last two games have been underwhelming but Falcons have allowed 12+ Fantasy points to each of the last four RBs with 15+ carries they've faced.
WR Vincent Jackson Already has a career-high in receiving yards and is one TD away from tying career-high in that category. Falcons haven't allowed a WR TD in six straight but have allowed four to get 90+ yards in those six games.
WR Mike Williams Is 69 yards short of 1,000. Seems like a cinch but Williams has topped 70 yards once in five games vs. ATL including 28 yards in Week 12.
TE Dallas Clark Had 65 yards on four catches vs. ATL in Week 12. Falcons have given up one score to tight ends over their last five games.
DST Buccaneers Eight of the last nine DSTs vs. Falcons posted 8 Fantasy points or fewer. Unless Matt Ryan is made inactive, the Bucs DST can't be trusted.
Atlanta Falcons
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Ryan Might not play a full game but should still do well in limited action. Bucs have allowed 12 total TDs to QBs over last four games with over 1,100 pass yards.
RB Jason Snelling Figures to be the Falcons' best running back if they pull their starters out. Bucs have allowed 100.3 total yards per game to RBs over last three with three total TDs.
RB Michael Turner Falcons could hold him out to keep him fresh for the postseason but he's scored in 4 of last 5 vs. TB.
WR Roddy White Falcons might choose to rest White with his knee not at 100 percent, though you could have fooled me last week. Bucs have allowed 179.3 yards to wideouts over their last three.
WR Julio Jones In three games vs. the Bucs Jones has 16 catches for 338 yards and three scores. Could do damage in one half of play.
TE Tony Gonzalez If he's active and starts then he's a must: Bucs have allowed a TD to a TE in three straight.
DST Falcons Three of the last four DSTs to play the Bucs have posted 11+ Fantasy points; the last two have notched 20+ Fantasy points. But with nothing to gain by playing their starters, the Falcons could roll with backups and that could limit their upside.

With everything locked up for the Falcons, a number of key starters should be done by halftime. Keep in mind teams only activate seven offensive linemen and there's no way to rest all of them. Same goes for the receivers and tight ends as well as the defensive line and secondary. The Falcons have a bye and Mike Smith doesn't want his key players going from last Saturday night all the way to January 5 before they play. That's 21 days between games. If some key starter gets hurt early in this game then he could pull starters earlier than he wants to, otherwise a smart conservative gameplan with more running plays than usual is what we might see from the Falcons. -- Pat Kirwan

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Candlestick Park
Arizona Cardinals
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brian Hoyer   Can't expect much from Hoyer in his first NFL start. Niners have allowed just five QBs to throw 2 TDs against them all year.
WR Larry Fitzgerald Had 50 yards with Hoyer in less than a half last week. Fitz has a TD in three of last four vs. SF but was limited in Week 8 and has the obvious QB issue. Niners have allowed just eight TDs to WRs all season and two in their last four overall.
WR Andre Roberts Might be a PPR sleeper: If the Niners build a lead and focus on Fitzgerald, Roberts could pick up a slew of catches on underneath routes.
DST Cardinals   The last two DSTs to post over 10 Fantasy points on the Niners needed a touchdown. Cardinals defense has some talent but can't be trusted here.
San Francisco 49ers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Colin Kaepernick Niners have to play hard for chance at No. 2 seed. Arizona has allowed five pass TDs vs. 12 interceptions in its last six.
RB Frank Gore Cardinals have allowed a ridiculous six TDs to RBs over last three games along with 182.3 total yards per game to RBs. Gore should be a monster.
WR Michael Crabtree Had 2 TDs in Week 8 matchup with Cardinals and four games with 10+ Fantasy points in last six against them. He's a must.
WR Randy Moss   Don't be so sure Moss will see huge bump in playing time just because Manningham is out. He has six targets or less in every single game this season. Cards allowing 117.0 total yards per game to WRs over their last three.
DST 49ers All but two DSTs all year vs. ARI has posted 10 or more Fantasy points. Niners had 16 Fantasy points on them in Week 8 and should contain Arizona's offense.

San Francisco knows the Cardinals can't beat them, but they could beat themselves. I look for a conservative gameplan dominated by the running game for the Niners while they aim to keep Patrick Peterson & Co. from getting any interception returns for touchdowns. The Niners need to settle Colin Kaepernick down after the Sunday night game in Seattle. I would think the coaches don't want many, if any, runs by Kaepernick that would jeopardize his health. Frank Gore should lead the way. -- Pat Kirwan

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Mall of America Field
Green Bay Packers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Aaron Rodgers Has 3+ TDs in three of last four vs. MIN but only one in Week 13 meeting at home. Vikings' secondary is ailing a bit and Packers playing for a bye week. Expect another good one from Rodgers (3 TDs in each of last two).
RB Ryan Grant Vikings have allowed 10+ Fantasy points to four of last five RBs they've faced. Packers' three-headed run game is ugly but Grant could have clock-killing role.
WR James Jones With Nelson and Cobb out, expect Jones' targets to remain high. His last two games: 17 targets, 12 catches, 160 yards, four TDs. Also scored on the Vikings back in Week 13.
WR Greg Jennings The TD last week was nice, but the seven catches was really an eye-opener. Jennings has a great track record vs. Vikings (at least 1 TD in five of his last six) and should be effective.
TE Jermichael Finley Got into the act with six catches for 60 yards against Minnesota in Week 13. He has 60+ yards in three of his last four but still not scoring.
DST Packers Five of the last six DSTs vs. MIN have posted single-digit Fantasy points but Packers too strong of an option to sit.
Minnesota Vikings
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Christian Ponder   Nine of last 10 QBs vs. GB have posted 1 passing TD or less. That sounds perfect for Ponder, who hasn't thrown multiple touchdowns since Week 10.
RB Adrian Peterson Has a touchdown in 8 of last 9 vs. Green Bay and steamrolled them for 210 rush yards in Week 13. Even with the Packers allowing just 119.3 total yards per game to RBs over their last three with no TDs, Peterson still has sky-high expectations.
WR Jarius Wright   If you're desperate for a receiver, Wright is probably the Vikings' top playmaker (though we're using that term loosely). Packers allowing 109.0 yards per game to WRs over their last three.
TE Kyle Rudolph Rudolph one of two TEs to score on Packers over last four weeks. Always a gamble with him but who else will Vikings throw to in the red zone?
DST Vikings Eleven of the last 12 DSTs to play the Packers have scored 10 Fantasy points or less. Hard to trust the Vikings even after their great outing against the Texans.

Ryan Grant knows he is showcasing what he has left for the rest of the NFL with every carry he takes. With Aaron Rodgers and the threat of the Packers passing game, Grant will get his touches against a Vikings defense playing the pass all game long. The Vikings did stop the Texans running game last week but they played the run with their calls a lot more than they will in this game, plus Arian Foster didn't look good for reasons that became understandable after the game. Look for Grant to get 50 yards rushing and 20 receiving with a possible touchdown. I would look elsewhere if I needed a top running back for my Fantasy team this week but would settle for him if I needed a third. -- Pat Kirwan

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Kansas City Chiefs
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Brady Quinn   This might come to you as a surprise but Quinn was held to 126 yards and no touchdowns vs. Broncos back in Week 12. It would be stunning if he was significantly better this time.
RB Jamaal Charles Denver hasn't allowed a rush TD in seven straight and have held RBs to 98.4 total yards per game over that span. Charles was the last RB to have over 100 rush yards vs. DEN (last over 60 rush yards, actually).
TE Tony Moeaki   Broncos have allowed a gross 11 touchdowns to tight ends this season including three in their last four games. Moeaki should be able to get at least 40 yards if not much more.
DST Chiefs   Eight of the last nine DSTs vs. DEN have been held to single-digit Fantasy points. Can't trust this DST.
Denver Broncos
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Peyton Manning KC has allowed 2+ passing scores in 10 games this season but none in its last three. Only one QB has topped 300 yards vs. KC and three total have 250+ yards all season. Peyton was one of the three with 250+ yards along with two scores in Week 12.
RB Knowshon Moreno Chiefs allowing 154.0 total yards per game to RBs over its last three with two touchdowns. Moreno's been too effective to consider sitting.
WR Demaryius Thomas Only three WRs have posted 100+ yards on Chiefs all year. Demaryius had 82 yards with a touchdown against them in Week 12.
WR Eric Decker Decker's last three games: 26 targets, 22 catches, 286 yards & 3 TDs. Impossible to resist him against the Chiefs.
DST Broncos Save for the Panthers, every single defense that's played the Chiefs has posted at least 11 Fantasy points. The last three have 19+ points. The Broncos are gold.

Peyton Manning reads coverage and goes to the right receiver. It is even more obvious with the tight ends. He may force an occasional deep ball to Demaryius Thomas but not to his tight ends. Jacob Tamme gets more vertical work than Joel Dreessen but both guys are usually fourth- and fifth-read guys in this offense. Unless the Chiefs pass rush becomes a problem, and it could if Justin Houston and Tamba Hali get rolling, this passing game is going downfield away from Eric Berry. -- Pat Kirwan

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
Miami Dolphins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Ryan Tannehill Probably too risky to go with. Pats have allowed just one QB to throw 2+ TDs over their last five games, Tannehill didn't throw a TD in Week 13 matchup but does have 2 TDs in each of last two.
RB Reggie Bush Seeing plenty of work these days, and that's led to some great stats. Should be OK vs. Pats defense that's allowed 143.7 total yards per game to RBs over their last three with one TD.
WR Brian Hartline Topped 1,000 yards on the season but hasn't had a TD in 11 games or over 90 yards in seven straight. Can't trust him.
DST Dolphins   The Niners were the first DST to top 10 Fantasy points vs. the Patriots this year. The Dolphins won't be the second.
New England Patriots
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tom Brady Brady has multiple touchdowns in 4 of last 6 vs. Miami but only threw one in Week 13. In fact, Dolphins have allowed just four QBs to toss 2+ TDs on them all year. Brady just 21 completions away from 400 on the year.
RB Stevan Ridley For the most part, Miami has struggled with good rushers and contained lesser ones. Ridley had 71 rush yards & a TD back in Week 13. The Dolphins were improved vs. the run until C.J. Spiller blasted them for 138 yards on the ground last week.
WR Wes Welker Has double-digit Fantasy points in four of last five vs. Miami including 103 yards and a score four weeks ago. But it's the last touchdown Miami has allowed to a receiver.
WR Brandon Lloyd With a slow stat line in Week 16 and Rob Gronkowski on the way back, people are jumping off the Lloyd train. Matchup vs. Miami doesn't help either.
TE Rob Gronkowski A must-start if he plays: Has a TD in two of last three vs. Miami. Dolphins have been great vs. tight ends (none have even 10 Fantasy points against them) but Gronk is a beast.
TE Aaron Hernandez Kind of alarming that he had just five targets last week after having 11+ in three previous games. If Gronk plays those targets could stay limited as they were back when both tight ends were healthy for the Pats.
DST Patriots DSTs vs. MIA have posted 10+ Fantasy points in five of last seven weeks. With the Patriots fighting for the playoffs, expect the defense to play well.

The Dolphins sound like they want to re-sign Reggie Bush, and Bush wants to stay in Miami. He should finish the year with 1,300 total yards, and I expect the Dolphins to give him 20-to-25 touches in this game to finish strong. The Patriots are home and have something to play for which means they will jump out to an early lead. If that's the case, will the Dolphins stick with the run and short pass if down two touchdowns? I like Reggie to get 90-to-100 combined yards and a touchdown. With third- and fourth-string running backs last week the Jaguars still averaged 4.0 yards a carry against the Patriots, and Bush is better than the Jags running backs. -- Pat Kirwan

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Qualcomm Stadium
Oakland Raiders
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Matt Leinart   Though the Chargers have allowed QBs to get 20+ Fantasy points in 5 of last 7, Leinart just can't be trusted.
RB Darren McFadden Chargers have allowed 128.3 total yards to RBs over last three with five total TDs. Every single RB w/ 15+ carries vs. SD has at least 9 Fantasy points & 7 of 8 have 11+ Fantasy points. DMC the only Raider you can trust.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey   With Leinart at quarterback DHB led the Raiders in targets but only had two catches. There's no good reason to start DHB.
DST Raiders   Six of the last seven DSTs to play the Chargers have posted 10+ Fantasy points. Raiders have 12+ Fantasy points in consecutive games, but no one's trusting them.
San Diego Chargers
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Philip Rivers Raiders pass defense has allowed just one or zero TDs to opposing QBs over last four games (including Peyton & Cam). Rivers tough to trust but he might play big in Norv Turner's last game as coach.
RB Jackie Battle Another Charger tough to go with: Raiders run defense better of late with 102.0 total yards per game to RBs over their last three with just one TD allowed. Battle probable the safest bet of the Chargers rushers but still not ideal for Fantasy.
WR Danario Alexander Should end the year with a bang. Raiders have allowed 120.3 yards per game to WRs over last three with a score. No. 1 WRs in 4 of last 5 have had at least 8 Fantasy points.
TE Antonio Gates Don't look now but the old man has scored in consecutive games and takes on a Raiders defense he's crushed for much of his career. Tight ends have posted 8+ Fantasy points in 5 of Raiders' last 7 games.
DST Chargers Should be a rout for the Chargers, who registered 11 sacks last week and take on a punchless Raiders passing game. Oakland totaled just 189 total yards and six points last week.

The Chargers and Raiders have a real dislike for each other but with Chargers fans staying home there will be a significant number of Raiders fans at the game. The Chargers get another backup quarterback to defend this week and no running game behind Matt Leinart. The Chargers players know this is Norv Turner's last game and they really like their coach. Philip Rivers & Co. will play hard and should put 24-to-30 points on the board against a poor Raiders defense. -- Pat Kirwan

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks -- Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CenturyLink Field
St. Louis Rams
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Sam Bradford Bradford was shut out against the Seahawks back in Week 4. Seattle's allowed only three QBs to throw multiple touchdowns against them through 15 games.
RB Steven Jackson Seahawks bottled up S-Jax for under 70 total yards back in Week 4. He wasn't on much of a roll then, though. Seahawks have allowed just 76.7 total yards to RBs over their last three with one rush TD.
WR Danny Amendola Tough call: Amendola scored and caught six passes for 55 yards on the Seahawks earlier this year but Seahawks have given up 113.0 yards to receivers over last three with one TD.
DST Rams   Seven of the last eight DSTs vs. Seattle have posted 6 Fantasy points or less. Can't trust the Rams.
Seattle Seahawks
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Russell Wilson Wilson's last bad game was vs. SF in Week 7. Since then he's totaled 2+ TDs in 7 of 8 games. Rams' pass defense has allowed four passing scores over its last eight; Wilson went touchdownless in Week 4 at STL.
RB Marshawn Lynch Lynch has 80+ yards & TD in each of last three vs. Rams. St. Louis has allowed 145.7 total yards per game to RBs over its last three with a rushing score.
WR Golden Tate Rams pass defense got beat up last week as both Bucs WRs had over 100 yards. Tate's a threat deep but his numbers have slumped lately.
WR Sidney Rice Rice's last three games: 12 targets, 7 catches, 125 yards, no TDs. Seems like he's not 100 percent. Rice had just 41 yards & no TD vs. STL in Week 4.
DST Seahawks Four of the last five DSTs vs. the Rams have posted single-digit Fantasy points. Seahawks had just 10 points at STL in Week 4 but have been playing too well to sit.

While Danny Amendola was injured and on the sideline, other receivers emerged in St. Louis. Sam Bradford sees the field and goes to the open man much like any competent quarterback would. Bradford targeted 10 different receivers last week but Amendola still led the way with seven, he just couldn't do much with it. Teams bracket Amendola in certain situations and that's why tight end Lance Kendricks had a big day. Check out some of the blocks Amendola put on people when the passes didn't come his way. He's still contributing to the Rams week in and week out, just not always with Fantasy owners. With the Seahawks excited about their playoff chances, this could be a long week for all the Rams. -- Pat Kirwan

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins -- Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, FedExField
Dallas Cowboys
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Tony Romo While the Redskins have limited quarterbacks to under 20 Fantasy points in three of their last four games, Romo's been too hot (757 yards, six TDs over last two games). Romo had 441 yards and 3 TDs with 2 INTs vs. WAS in Week 12. Expect a shootout.
RB DeMarco Murray Skins have allowed 136.0 total yards per game to RBs over last three with four rush TDs. Redskins have given up a rush TD to a RB in three straight. Murray should be fine.
WR Dez Bryant Dez crushed the Skins for 145 yards and two TDs on Thanksgiving. And he's crushed everyone else too: TD in seven straight with 80+ yards in five of those seven.
WR Miles Austin Redskins have allowed 171.3 yards per game to WRs over their last three. They've also allowed multiple receivers to score 7+ Fantasy points in consecutive weeks and nine times over the year.
TE Jason Witten Had nine grabs for 74 yards on Thanksgiving vs. Redskins. Washington has since allowed 59.3 yards per game to TEs with two TDs over four games.
DST Cowboys Only three DSTs have topped 10 Fantasy points vs. WAS all year. Six straight have scored 6 Fantasy points or less. Forget the Cowboys defense.
Washington Redskins
Pos. Name Rating Comment
QB Robert Griffin III Cowboys have allowed five pass TDs over their last two with 785 passing yards. RG3 had four touchdowns in spotlight on Thanksgiving but he seems more focused on passing than rushing. He's posted just under 20 Fantasy points in three straight.
RB Alfred Morris Morris had 113 rush yards & a TD at Dallas on Thanksgiving. Since then he's scored in three of four and had 90+ yards in each game, and the Cowboys have allowed 180.8 total yards and five TDs in their last four.
WR Pierre Garcon Non-No. 1 WRs haven't scored on Dallas in last four games, but No. 1 WRs have had at least 90 yards in two straight. Meanwhile the Cowboys have allowed a TD to a WR in four straight. Garcon had 93 yards & a TD on Dallas in Week 12.
WR Santana Moss Has 7+ Fantasy points in each of last five vs. Dallas including 42 yards & a TD on Thanksgiving. Moss is a great sleeper this week.
DST Redskins Only two of the last eight DSTs to play the Cowboys have posted 11 Fantasy points. The other five have been in the single digits. That's probably where the Redskins are headed.

Jason Witten is Tony Romo's go-to guy to move the chains and Miles Austin benefits from teams now overplaying Dez Bryant. Bryant has more touchdown receptions than any receiver in the league over the last six weeks. I'm sure Dallas would like to run more than 11 times like they did last week in the Saints game but this is still a passing team. Figuring that ultimately the Cowboys will throw against the Redskins, Witten should be expected to get 10 targets, seven receptions and 70 yards while Miles Austin gets 10 targets, seven receptions, 80 yards and a touchdown. -- 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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