Winning Fantasy Calls for Week 12
What better time than Week 12 to set the optimal Fantasy lineups? Our Dave Richard share his take on all of the lineup decisions you may be facing.
Panthers at Dolphins, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Most would expect the Panthers to come off the bus running given the matchup, but many thought that would happen last week. Instead, Carolina threw a few more times and Cam Newton specifically tossed three touchdowns while leading the team in carries with seven and rush yards with 62. The Dolphins have been great against quarterbacks, but Newton can buy time and hit downfield throws, making this challenge tough on Miami.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: My Projection: 22 FPTS
Newton will take on a Dolphins defense that has allowed only two quarterbacks to throw multiple scores against them this year, with none in their last six games. Only one quarterback to play Miami has posted 20 or more Fantasy points. Newton, however, will be the first running quarterback the Dolphins have faced this year, making him a handful for their defense to take care of. Newton has struggled in tougher matchups and based on analysis we did on him earlier this year, he needs his receivers to really help him out if he's going to have a big game. The Dolphins are outstanding against receivers. He's still worth a start, but there could be some rough patches on Sunday.
I'd start him over: Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III
Mike Tolbert, RB, Panthers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
This is a terrific matchup for the Panthers run game, though it's nearly impossible to expect great things from any of these guys. The Dolphins have allowed six rushing touchdowns to running backs in their last five with an average of 133.2 rush yards per game given up. The problem is that they all take away from each other, making them risks for Fantasy. To wit: Williams led the way in touches last week -- with eight. They're all risks but Tolbert is the one scoring touchdowns more often, so maybe give him a nudge.
I'd start Tolbert and Williams over: Montee Ball, Rashard Mendenhall, Lamar Miller
I'd rather start over Stewart: Andre Ellington, Montee Ball, Chris Ogbonnaya
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers: My Projection: 4 FPTS
This could be a game to gamble on LaFell rather than settle for Smith. Brent Grimes has played really well against all receivers he's faced this season and will likely be locked on Smith (they used to face each other when Grimes was with Atlanta). That opens the door for LaFell to get involved like he did last week with eight targets for seven catches, 59 yards and a touchdown. LaFell has quietly seen at least eight targets in each of his last three games, catching 17 passes for 181 yards and a score. Of the 12 receivers with at least eight targets against Miami this season, only five have had eight or more Fantasy points and none have scored (the Dolphins have allowed just one touchdown to a receiver this year).
I'd rather start: Tavon Austin, Aaron Dobson, Emmanuel Sanders
Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Olsen has scored in three of four and could make it four of five. The Dolphins' five-game streak of playing well against tight ends came crashing down last week when the Chargers' trio posted 146 yards and a touchdown on nine grabs. Olsen has been a staple in the offense and actually looked a little more explosive last week. He's worth a shot this week.
I'd start him over: Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Jordan Cameron
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins: My Projection: 15 FPTS
I'd expect Tannehill to take the reins of the offense in this game because the run game is going to struggle. That doesn't mean he'll do well -- the Panthers haven't allowed a quarterback to do any better than 17 Fantasy points against them this year. That includes Tom Brady falling way under the 20-point mark last week, though he was close to being better. Tannehill's receiving corps has become underwhelming and his offensive line could have real problems protecting him in this game.
I'd rather start: Scott Tolzien, Joe Flacco
Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins: My Projection: 4 FPTS
Forget it. Miller has 11 carries and four catches over his last two games and takes on a Panthers defense that has allowed just four touchdowns (three rushing) to a running back all season long. The unit is allowing just over 4.0 yards per carry on the season, but not many runners get a lot of reps against the Panthers. Miller isn't expected to get much work. This is an easy sit.
I'd rather start: Pretty much anybody
Rishard Matthews, WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins: My Projection: 5 FPTS
I'll take my chances with the hard-working slot guy who will draw single coverage and work underneath over the overrated, overpaid receiver who doesn't make plays and the veteran hands man who doesn't score very often. The Panthers haven't allowed a touchdown or 100 yards to a receiver since Week 2. You should be able to do better than all three of these players.
I'd rather start: Santonio Holmes, Nate Burleson, Jerricho Cotchery
Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins: My Projection: 8 FPTS
The Panthers' defensive weakness is against tight ends -- five of them have scored on the Panthers over their last seven games, including three in their last four. Clay re-emerged last week as a threat in the Dolphins offense and should find some favorable matchups this week.
I'd start him over: Jordan Cameron, Heath Miller
Vikings at Packers, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
The Packers haven't been quite as aggressive with the run over their last two games, though that has had to do with the scoreboard more than anything else. Chances are they'd rather run then let Scott Tolzien throw 35-plus times. They'll get their opportunity here -- the Vikings have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on the year and an average of 4.1 yards per carry over their last three. The Packers spiked them for 151 rush yards and two touchdowns back in Week 8, so chances are they'll try to get the run game out in front again this week.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Jarius Wright, WR, Vikings: My Projection: 5 FPTS
These guys are risky low-end options against a Packers defense that has allowed 197.3 passing yards on average and six touchdowns to receivers in their last three games. Patterson has picked up more targets of late (nine last week, 17 over his last three) and Wright has been rediscovered, but their hopes hinge on good quarterback play from the Vikings, a problem they've had all year.
Low-end WR Flow chart: Rishard Matthews > Rod Streater > Vikings WRs > Steve Smith > Mike Wallace
Scott Tolzien, QB, Packers: My Projection: 17 FPTS
No doubting the matchup here -- Minnesota has afforded four straight quarterbacks to get multiple touchdowns and at least 225 yards. The Vikings have picked off one pass in their last six. This all spells good news for Tolzien, but there's concern on this end that the Packers won't let him air it out. He's a very serviceable backup who can run the West Coast offense fine, but he's not a stat machine. Tough to trust him in Fantasy when he could end up having a very pedestrian game.
I'd rather start: Case Keenum, Josh McCown
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: My Projection: 12 FPTS
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
James Jones, WR, Packers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
The matchup for Tolzien helps give these guys a chance to improve on their numbers from last week, but there's some concern about just how much the Packers will throw. Minnesota has allowed at least one score to a receiver in every game since Week 1, including two to Nelson in Week 8. Boykin has caught 28 of 38 passes thrown his way in his five games as a starter, getting at least 80 yards in four of them. He's second best behind Jordy.
I'd start Nelson over: Antonio Brown, Pierre Garcon
I'd start Boykin over: Terrance Williams, Rueben Randle
I'd rather start over Jones: Steve Smith, Dolphins WRs
Jaguars at Texans, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Lost in the mess that is the Texans' disappointing season is the reality that their run defense isn't as good as many think. They're allowing 118.6 rush yards per game but have only given up seven scores on the ground. The weird thing is that they're actually the top-ranked pass defense at 167.5 pass yards per game, but they've yielded an atrocious 18 touchdowns with just four interceptions. What might Jacksonville do with this information? Probably lean on Maurice Jones-Drew and use two-tight end sets to find pass situations that are as favorable as possible.
No-brainers: Andre Johnson
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: My Projection: 10 FPTS
MJD has been decent in his last three games, getting at least nine Fantasy points in each. That's been helped by the Jags using him more as a receiver -- he's had at least four catches in each of those three games and it's supplemented his pedestrian rushing stats. He's also scored in two straight. The Texans have allowed a rusher to get at least nine Fantasy points just once in their last three games, but there's an asterisk attached to that. Houston has taken on a number of teams that use multiple running backs, so only one of the last three rushers they've faced has actually had more than 15 total touches. Of the eight 15-touch backs this defense has played against, seven have at least nine Fantasy points and six have at least 11 Fantasy points. Jones-Drew is actually a safe No. 2 running back this week.
I'd start him over: DeMarco Murray, Chris Ivory, Chargers RBs
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Shorts vented last week that he wanted the ball more. Sometimes when that happens the player will get more opportunities the following week. The Texans are giving up just 104.6 yards per game to receivers on the year but have allowed 11 touchdowns to the position, including two last week and six in their last three. Of the eight receivers to land at least eight targets against the Texans this season, five have posted at least nine Fantasy points (the three who didn't were Griff Whalen, Kenny Britt and Dwayne Bowe). I think Shorts has a chance to get close to that nine-point mark at a minimum, particularly after the Texans defense got exposed by the Raiders pass attack under Matt McGloin last week. It's risky to go with him but when you realize that the Jaguars should end up throwing a decent amount in the game, he's worth a look.
Flow chart: Michael Floyd > Keenan Allen > Cecil Shorts > Hakeem Nicks > Dwayne Bowe
Case Keenum, QB, Texans: My Projection: 19 FPTS
I don't fear another quarterback switch mid-game like we saw last week -- the Texans have eight losses and probably realize it's time to stick with Keenum just to see if he's their guy for the future (even if this coaching staff won't be the ones with him). I also am not convinced he's a bad start, as the Jaguars have allowed multiple passing touchdowns to seven of the last eight quarterbacks they've faced. I think there's a chance Keenum rebounds after an iffy game last week, enough to be a good bye-week Fantasy quarterback.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Carson Palmer > Case Keenum > Eli Manning > Josh McCown > Scott Tolzien
Ben Tate, RB, Texans: My Projection: 10 FPTS
I think Tate has a chance at another good game. The Jaguars run defense looked good on paper last week in part because of who they played and how they used their running backs. But going into last week the Jaguars had allowed an average of 170.8 total yards per game in their four previous games with seven rushing touchdowns to running backs. I'm not ready to say they've become a stout run defense just because they stuffed Rashard Mendenhall (who scored, which means the Jags have allowed eight rushing touchdowns in their last five).
I'd start him over: Maurice Jones-Drew, Le'Veon Bell
Garrett Graham, TE, Texans: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Much of Graham's big Week 11 game came on a 42-yard touchdown catch, but even if you take that play out he had six grabs for 94 yards, plenty of it with Keenum before he got benched for Schaub (Graham caught two passes for 37 yards from Schaub). The Jaguars have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in their last three games, eight in their last eight and allowed a tight end to get at least seven Fantasy points in seven of 10.
Flow chart: Delanie Walker > Tony Gonzalez > Garrett Graham > Jordan Cameron > Heath Miller
Jets at Ravens, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
This should be fun, one that amounts to a playoff game -- if the Ravens lose they're 4-7 and pretty much out of the playoff hunt and if the Jets lose they're 5-6 and lose the tiebreaker to the Ravens in the Wild Card race. I'd expect the Jets to play it close to the vest for much of the time before taking some deep shots downfield to Santonio Holmes, who has roasted the Ravens in his better, younger days. The Ravens might be more willing to air it out given the Jets' tough run defense and their own rushing issues.
Chris Ivory, RB, Jets: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Baltimore's run defense is good but the Jets' run game is not only strong, but the lifeblood of anything they can confidently do offensively. We've seen the Ravens allow a lot of rushing yards to four of their last five opponents (91.2 rush yards per game) with more yardage given up through the air to backs (runners have caught touchdowns on the Ravens in consecutive weeks, each posting 14-plus Fantasy points). It feels like Ivory could get to 90 yards or more given the workload he's gotten in three of his last four games.
I'd start him over: Chargers RBs, Bobby Rainey, Ray Rice
Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Holmes can still get it done on deep passes, catching two long passes last week. The Jets tried long passes to him four times and will take shots against a Ravens defense that had help from mother nature last week in containing the Bears passing game but allowed a 100-yard receiver in four of their previous five before Week 11.
Bye-week WR Flow chart: Kendall Wright > Jerricho Cotchery > Santonio Holmes > Marlon Brown > Rishard Matthews
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: My Projection: 17 FPTS
The Jets have allowed three straight quarterbacks to throw two or more touchdowns including EJ Manuel last week. Manuel did it with long passes, both coming against the blitz and one far more fluky than the other. Other quarterbacks have attacked in the red zone, and none are necessarily afraid to go after Antonio Cromartie. It's all well and good but confidently starting Flacco is a problem given his lack of big games this season (just three over 20 Fantasy points -- his fourth-best game is 15 Fantasy points).
I'd rather start: Case Keenum, Josh McCown
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: My Projection: 7 FPTS
I wouldn't expect Rice to come close to the kind of numbers he had last week against the Bears, though that game did prove that he's not so banged up that it impacts his ability to pick up yardage when he has the room to get it. That's the problem with this matchup -- the Jets are outstanding against the run, allowing 2.9 yards per carry. The Ravens might try to keep the Jets honest with some token runs, but Rice's best chance to rack up some numbers is to catch the ball out of the backfield, something he's done 25 times in his last six games.
I'd rather start: Bobby Rainey, Mike Tolbert
Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: My Projection: 11 FPTS
Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens: My Projection: 7 FPTS
This is where the Ravens need to make waves in order to win, and they should. The Jets have allowed 184.0 pass yards to wide receivers in their last four games with six touchdowns. Smith has the skills to either reel in a long catch or a short touchdown and Brown will give the passing game a needed boost.
I'd start Smith over: Victor Cruz, Pierre Garcon
Bye-week WR Flow chart: Jerricho Cotchery > Nate Burleson > Marlon Brown > Rod Streater > Tavon Austin
Chargers at Chiefs, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
If the Chargers are going to give the Chiefs a game they'll have to get creative. Kansas City's run defense has allowed 318 rush yards, 77 receiving yards and two touchdowns to running backs, so there could be a big dose of the run game in store. That'll keep the Chiefs from trying to knock around Philip Rivers in the early going. I also have a feeling we'll see more from Danny Woodhead than we did last week when he curiously didn't get as much work as he had in the past.
No-brainers: Jamaal Charles
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers: My Projection: 18 FPTS
There's no doubting Kansas City's defense, and considering how poorly Rivers has played of late, it makes sitting him pretty clear. Only two quarterbacks have posted more than 17 Fantasy points on the Chiefs this season (both over 20), only one quarterback has thrown multiple touchdowns on the Chiefs (Jason Campbell thanks in part to a flea-flicker bomb) and only one quarterback has thrown for over 300 yards on the Chiefs (Peyton Manning last week). Rivers has thrown one touchdown in each of four of his last five games, bringing his Fantasy value back down to earth. He'll be under a lot of pressure, which could hurt his accuracy and deep throws.
I'd rather start: Mike Glennon, Robert Griffin III
Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
The only way Mathews has a big game is if the Chargers are successful at running the ball. Once the Chargers decide to go into hurry-up mode, Mathews isn't as much of a factor. This could still be a game like last week where the game is close heading into the fourth quarter, giving Mathews a shot at 15 touches. But Woodhead still figures to be a factor, even though his yardage has drifted due south over the last two weeks.
Flow chart: Maurice Jones-Drew > Chris Ivory > Chargers RBs > Shane Vereen > Bobby Rainey
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Allen has been in a tailspin after a breakout. Part of the problem has been a lack of targets -- just six in each of his last two games. He also hasn't seen a lot of deep targets, in part because Rivers doesn't have a ton of time to set up the throws. The Chiefs have allowed four receivers to get over 100 yards this season, including Demaryius Thomas last week, but all four had plenty of opportunities -- at least 10 targets each. Unless we see the Bolts rededicate the passing game in Allen's favor, we could see his numbers get capped again. Playing against tough, physical cornerbacks won't help his cause either.
Flow chart: Anquan Boldin > Roddy White > Keenan Allen > Cecil Shorts > James Jones
Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Last week, Julius Thomas was the first tight end to score on the Chiefs this season. Before that, only one tight end had even eight Fantasy points against Kansas City. A big reason for that has been how the Chiefs defend tight ends, usually using Eric Berry along with assorted linebackers. In the three career games Gates and Berry have faced off, Gates has scored twice but has been kept under 80 yards three times. The big guy is worth starting, but I'm not sure he'll have a monster game.
I'd start him over: Delanie Walker, Garrett Graham
Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs: My Projection: 15 FPTS
Part of me really wants to like Smith in this game because the Chiefs need to start proving they can throw the ball downfield effectively and this matchup, at least based on San Diego personnel, should afford him the chance. But the Chargers have allowed multiple touchdowns to a quarterback just once in their last five games (Peyton Manning with four touchdowns in Week 10). It's not enough evidence to trust Smith.
I'd rather start: Ryan Tannehill, Scott Tolzien
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: My Projection: 7 FPTS
If there's any Chiefs receiver who could take advantage of a suspect Chargers secondary, it's Bowe. There's some reason for optimism after having 26 targets over his last two games, but it counted for just 11 catches, 124 yards and one score. The only receiver to score on the Chargers in their last five games has been T.Y. Hilton (he had three!) and the only receivers to get over 80 yards are Hilton, Pierre Garcon and Mike Brown. It'll take a lot of targets to get Bowe going, but it's possible he'll get them given the Chiefs' need to establish they can actually pass the ball downfield.
I'd rather start: Kendall Wright, Jerricho Cotchery
Buccaneers at Lions, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
This has the look of a high-scoring game as two teams with potent passing games (featuring two big receivers) and shoddy pass defenses will square off on a fast track. The Lions better get Reggie Bush back on the field quickly as he's the biggest difference maker in the game -- unless the Bucs can figure out a way to crack Detroit's front seven with Bobby Rainey and/or utilize him as a receiver like the Lions do with Bush. It's going to be interesting to see how Rainey does in this tough matchup.
Mike Glennon, QB, Buccaneers: My Projection: 20 FPTS
Last week, Glennon threw two touchdowns on just 23 pass attempts. The feeling here is he'll have to attempt more passes this week and potentially score more touchdowns to keep up with the Lions. Fortunately, the matchup is beneficial. Detroit has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games with 290-plus yards in four of those five. There will be a pass rush element he'll have to deal with (he's been sacked two or three times in every start) but other than that we should see Glennon continue his solid passing. I consider him a Top 12 quarterback this week.
I'd start him over: Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III
Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
A week ago I suggested Rainey would get a chance at working the rushing downs for the Bucs and that sure seems to be the case. He looked great last week, flashing not only speed and quickness but also excellent field vision as he could hit his hole effectively. This matchup isn't nearly as favorable: The Lions haven't allowed a rushing touchdown to a back since Week 5 and only gave up their second receiving touchdown in that span last week to a fullback. In their last five games, they're allowing 89.2 total yards per game to rushers. Rainey got so much work last week because the Bucs controlled the time of possession and needed to grind out the game in the second half. It's unlikely that will be the case against the Lions.
No. 2 RB Flow chart: Chris Ivory > Shane Vereen > Bobby Rainey > Ray Rice > Steven Jackson
Timothy Wright, TE, Buccaneers: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Wright has disappeared, picking up three targets in his last two games. There's no sense in trusting him given the sudden surge in breakout tight ends available on the waiver wire. Despite nearly allowing a touchdown to Heath Miller last week, the Lions have held all but one tight end to under 10 Fantasy points -- and all but two to under seven Fantasy points.
I'd rather start: Rob Housler, Mychal Rivera
Nate Burleson, WR, Lions: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Burleson should assume his role as the No. 2 receiver opposite from Calvin Johnson, though it should mean a lot of coverage from Bucs cornerbacks not named Darrelle Revis. Don't be surprised in the least if Stafford catches rookie corner Johnthan Banks in single coverage against Burleson -- that's been a win for a lot of receivers and would be a win here. Of the 10 receivers to catch a touchdown against Tampa Bay (some have caught two), six were non-No. 1 receivers. Recovered from a broken arm, Burleson had 23 targets and 19 catches for 239 yards in three games before the injury.
Low-end WR Flow chart: Dwayne Bowe > Nate Burleson > Kenny Stills > Aaron Dobson
Steelers at Browns, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
I fully expect Dick LeBeau to fire up a ton of blitzes to harass Jason Campbell and force him into plenty of check downs and turnovers. Other than an occasional successful long ball to Josh Gordon, Campbell really hasn't been all that special as a passer. Throw in the Brown's inability to effectively run the football, and the Steelers defense should come up with a pretty good effort.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: My Projection: 20 FPTS
The Browns secondary did a nice job last week against Andy Dalton, but he still threw three touchdowns in a weird game. Cleveland has given up multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in five straight, with all but Dalton getting over 20 Fantasy points (Dalton had two turnovers and under 100 yards). Meanwhile, Big Ben has thrown nine touchdowns in his last three games. He and the coaching staff have rediscovered the art of the forward pass, and it should lead to another solid effort for Roethlisberger, even if his top receiver gets covered by cornerback Joe Haden.
I'd start him over: Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
For the second week in a row, Bell doesn't have an easy matchup. The Browns allowed 100 yards rushing to a team for the first time in four games last week, and that includes dates with the Packers and Chiefs. The Browns also have allowed just one rushing touchdown to a back over their last five games. While it sounds like rough news for Bell, there's a glimmer of hope, as rushers have caught two touchdowns and averaged 44.3 receiving yards per game. Bell should be able to get close to 100 total yards -- scoring a touchdown is another story.
I'd start him over: DeMarco Murray, Chris Ivory
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: My Projection: 9 FPTS
It's hard to sit Brown given how hot he's been the past several weeks, but my colleague Nathan Zegura made a great point: A.J. Green was hotter than anyone this side of Calvin Johnson coming into the game against the Browns last week and he finished with 7 yards against Haden. Where I hesitate is in how many different ways the Steelers use Brown -- he'll go over the middle and make things hard on Haden and I suspect there will be plays designed to get Haden away from Brown. Ben Roethlisberger also has had a little success against Haden. The cornerback played in a completely different defensive scheme last year where Roethlisberger knew where he'd be on every play and he still threw at his receivers covered by Haden five times, scoring twice in the red zone -- and one of them was by Brown. I couldn't sit Brown for just anybody.
I'd start him over: Eric Decker, Terrance Williams, Rueben Randle, Danny Amendola
Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Steelers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers: My Projection: 5 FPTS
The neat thing about the matchup against the Browns is that if Haden is covering Brown all game long, it leaves other defenders on Sanders and Cotchery. Cotchery specifically has become a red-zone weapon for Roethlisberger, leaning on him as a third option near the stripe. He's scored in three straight games. Sanders is over a foot injury suffered last week and could get going against the Browns. Both of these guys are in the No. 3 receiver conversation, as the Browns have allowed at least one touchdown to a non-No. 1 receiver in four straight games.
Flow chart: James Jones > Jerricho Cotchery > Dwayne Bowe > Aaron Dobson > Emmanuel Sanders
Heath Miller, TE, Steelers: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Miller nearly caught a touchdown last week while regaining attention from Roethlisberger. There are some things to like about the matchup for Miller: The Browns allowed two tight ends to score last week and three in their last four games. But my hunch is that the Browns overcompensate for the touchdowns they allowed last week and aim to take Miller out of red-zone consideration. Also of note: Both tight ends that scored last week against the Browns failed to get even nine Fantasy points, so yardage tends to be tough to come by in the matchup.
I'd rather start: Charles Clay, Delanie Walker
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Browns: My Projection: 6 FPTS
I'd bank on Ogbonnaya being the Browns' best rushing threat the rest of the season. He's experienced and he's versatile, meaning Cleveland won't tip its hand as to whether it's a run or a pass when he's on the field. I wouldn't count on Ogbonnaya as anything more than a one-week replacement option, but he could catch plenty of check down passes from Jason Campbell, making him a viable threat in PPR leagues compared to standard leagues.
I'd rather start: Montee Ball, Cardinals RBs
Josh Gordon, WR, Browns: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Most everyone starts Gordon, and rightfully so. Over the Steelers' last three games they've allowed three receivers to get over 120 yards and score (two scored twice). There's plenty of film out there on how to take down this defense through the air; that combined with the reality that the Browns will pass a lot keeps Gordon in the game as a solid Fantasy option.
I'd start him over: Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker
Jordan Cameron, WR, Browns: My Projection: 7 FPTS
The Steelers have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in three of their last five games, but only one had more than 40 yards to go with it. Normally that's an issue worth buying into, but Cameron has been pretty much invisible with Jason Campbell. Over all of Campbell's pass attempts he's targeted Cameron once inside the red zone. It came last week on a play where Cameron was wide open in the end zone and Campbell took too long to recognize it and throw accurately. Cameron runs a lot of longer routes and Campbell often throws short. It's a headache. I wouldn't blame you for sitting Cameron this week but the Browns coaching staff is wise and will eventually realize they need to get their tight end going again.
I'd rather start: Delanie Walker, Garrett Graham
Bears at Rams, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
This is a big challenge for the Rams, who haven't faced a receiving corps this strong in a while. I might expect a few blitzes from St. Louis, but they'll try to get to Josh McCown with just their front four, putting pressure on him while covering the Bears' receivers as well as they can. That happened against the Colts two weeks ago (three sacks on Andrew Luck) and it helped earn a surprising win.
Josh McCown, QB, Bears: My Projection: 18 FPTS
A big reason to step back from McCown is because the Rams have held seven straight quarterbacks to 18 Fantasy points or less. Of those seven, three threw two touchdowns but didn't have a lot of yardage and/or had multiple turnovers. I'm impressed with how McCown has played, but St. Louis' defense has really been coming together over the past few weeks.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Mike Glennon > Case Keenum > Carson Palmer > Josh McCown > Joe Flacco > Scott Tolzien
Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears: My Projection: 6 FPTS
You're not alone if you're frustrated with Bennett. The big guy has six Fantasy points or less in six straight games and is headed for a matchup against a defense that is habitually strong against tight ends (two scores allowed on the year, no tight end has more than 67 yards against them through 10 games). Try to move on from Bennett if you can.
I'd rather start: Heath Miller, Rob Housler
Tavon Austin, WR, Rams: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Chris Givens, WR, Rams: My Projection: 7 FPTS
I'm nervous to buy into Austin because he did all of his damage against the Colts two weeks ago on three catches and 15 snaps of offense. His quarterback is also a risky proposition. But the coaches have had two weeks to go over their last game and find new wrinkles to bake into the offense and chances are Austin will be involved. The Bears have allowed five touchdowns to receivers in their last four games but just 113.0 yards per game on average. That average could get busted open because this is the first game the defense will play without Charles Tillman and not in a windy storm, so the Rams might take some well-timed shots off of play-action.
I'd rather start: Santonio Holmes, Marlon Brown
Colts at Cardinals, Sun., 4:05 p.m. ET
This should be a good one, particularly because Cardinals coach Bruce Arians coordinated the Indianapolis offense last year and is awfully familiar with this team. I'd expect the Cardinals defense to bring heavy heat on to Andrew Luck and ultimately keep the game close. Arians has coached well against the AFC South so far this year (2-0). The battles between Patrick Peterson and T.Y. Hilton will be fun to watch too.
No-brainers: Larry Fitzgerald
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: My Projection: 19 FPTS Arizona's
defense has definitely had its good and bad moments but the reality is
they've allowed just two quarterbacks to top 20 Fantasy points in their
last seven games. The "Arians advantage" they'll have against Luck will
also help them immensely. We've seen Luck throw just one touchdown and
run for another in his last two games, but it's been the rushing that
has made his numbers salvageable. He'll need to rush for a score and
throw for another for his stats to be even close to expectations.
Flow chart: Carson Palmer > Andrew Luck > Case Keenum > Eli Manning
Donald Brown, RB, Colts: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Trent Richardson, RB, Colts: My Projection: 4 FPTS
The Colts can say whatever they want to about Richardson, the reality is that Brown's been the better of the two. It might not matter much in the matchup as Arizona has allowed just three total touchdowns to running backs all year including one last week to Maurice Jones-Drew. But only two rushers have had 10-plus Fantasy points against them -- MJD didn't do it last week. I don't love either back but if I had to pick one to use as a low-end No. 2 option it would be Brown.
Flow chart: Ray Rice > Steven Jackson > Donald Brown > Rashard Mendenhall > Trent Richardson
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Hilton's going to have a big game for the Colts to have a chance. Arizona's allowed four wideouts to get 11-plus Fantasy points in its last four games but the defense has given up just four scores to receivers in its last six. Only two receivers have topped 100 yards against Arizona this year -- and they're the only ones to get more than 78 yards (no receiver has had between 79 and 99 yards). Hilton's track record on a grass surface is decent, not great. He's a definite boom-or-bust receiver this week, one most people will start because of his amazing potential.
Flow chart: Eric Decker > Jarrett Boykin > T.Y. Hilton > Rueben Randle > Danny Amendola
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Since Reggie Wayne's been lost for the season it's become increasingly clear that Fleener is Luck's second option, and certainly his top short-range option. In the Colts' last three games Fleener has had 25 targets (10 in each of the last two weeks). By comparison only Hilton has more (29) in that span; the next closest is Griff Whalen with 17 and he's since been cut! The Cardinals have been miserable against tight ends, allowing 10 touchdowns on the year, four in their last four games and a big one to a backup last week. Fleener is a definite starter.
I'd start him over: Jason Witten, Antonio Gates
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals: My Projection: 19 FPTS
Palmer's thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight weeks. This should be four. Indianapolis has allowed two-plus passing scores in three of their last four and quarterbacks have finished with at least 19 Fantasy points in those three games. He's especially done well against AFC South opponents his playcaller is familiar with. He's terrific as a bye-week replacement and even works as a matchup-based option.
Flow chart: Mike Glennon > Carson Palmer > Andrew Luck > Eli Manning > Robert Griffin III
Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Cardinals: My Projection: 7 FPTS
We can all see that Ellington is the superior talent to Mendenhall. We're just not seeing him get work like it. Both backs struggled last week against the poorly-ranked Jaguars defense, making the matchup almost a non-issue this week. That's too bad because the Colts run defense has allowed four touchdowns in the last four games with an average of 110.5 total yards given up per game. Ellington is averaging just under nine touches per game in his last eight with Mendenhall active.
I'd rather start: Montee Ball, Donald Brown
Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Floyd has looked good recently and the more problems he causes for a defense the more open Larry Fitzgerald can get. The Colts have given up eight touchdowns to receivers over their last four games with five of them going for over 30 yards. That's a number that seems more relevant for Floyd than it does Fitzgerald, who hasn't been a yardage monster for much of this year. The Colts have allowed a 100-yard receiver in four of their last five so they're ripe for the picking against the Cardinals.
No. 3 WR Flow chart: Rueben Randle > Michael Floyd > Anquan Boldin > Keenan Allen > Cecil Shorts
Rob Housler, TE, Cardinals: My Projection: 6 FPTS
Housler has two streaks going: He has at least four catches and at least five targets in four of his last five games. He also has two straight with at least seven Fantasy points. The matchup isn't great as the Colts have been good against tight ends all year, though Delanie Walker tore them up for 91 yards and a touchdown last week and they've given up at least 10 Fantasy points to tight ends in two of their last four. Housler is fine as a low-end option.
I'd rather start: Jordan Cameron, Heath Miller
Titans at Raiders, Sun., 4:05 p.m. ET
I came away very impressed with Matt McGloin last week. The kid threw well and with some velocity -- I counted all but four passes as on-target and catchable. He also ran a mostly vanilla game plan with a lot of three-step drops and single reads (there were some deep passes too), so he'll need to keep improving in order to stay a step ahead of defenses. The Raiders will need another mistake-free game from him as well as another strong effort from Rashad Jennings in order to pick up the win.
No-brainers: Chris Johnson
Kendall Wright, WR, Titans: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Wright pretty much is what he is: a volume receiver that doesn't score very often. On paper, Oakland's secondary is getting thin but they hung in well against the Texans last week, ending a three-game skid of allowing a touchdown to a receiver. But what they have done is allow at least 11 Fantasy points to at least one wideout in their last four, so if you're expecting another modest game from Wright you should get it.
No. 3 WR Flow chart: James Jones > Hakeem Nicks > Kendall Wright > Dwayne Bowe > Steve Smith
Delanie Walker, TE, Titans: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Maybe the most encouraging thing about Walker is that his numbers with Ryan Fitzpatrick are mostly better than with Jake Locker. He has more targets, more catches and more yards with Fitzpatrick in fewer snaps. That includes a 10-catch, 91-yard, one-score game last week against the Colts. The Raiders have allowed three touchdowns and 35 cumulative Fantasy points to tight ends in their last three games.
I'd start him over: Tony Gonzalez, Jordan Cameron, Heath Miller
Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders: My Projection: 10 FPTS
The matchup is gold for Jennings, who still had enough work to have a good game last week, even if he didn't get loose on an 80-yard touchdown run (the Texans defense was awful on the play). Tennessee has allowed 10 touchdowns to starting running backs in its last six and multiple touchdowns to rushers in five straight. In their last five games they're averaging 141.0 total yards per game to running backs. Dare I eat my own words and call Jennings a must-start this week? He's pretty close.
I'd start him over: Ben Tate, Le'Veon Bell
Rod Streater, WR, Raiders: My Projection: 7 FPTS
I might hesitate to lean on Streater this week because of how well the Titans secondary has played this season. But it is worth noting that McGloin had eyes for Streater last week, not only targeting him eight times (tying a season high) but also looking in his direction a number of other times only to get pressured and/or sacked. The Titans have held receivers to two touchdowns all year; only one has had over 100 yards and none in their last five 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 use him with high expectations.
I'd rather start: Kenny Stills, Marlon Brown, Rishard Matthews
Cowboys at Giants, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
Many are expecting a high score but something tells me defense will play a big role in the game. The Giants have been doing a great job lately, allowing 11.8 points per game over their four-game winning streak. The caveat is that they haven't taken on a quality quarterback in that span and Romo is the best they'll have faced early October. And the Giants offense has gotten better, but the Cowboys are among the tops in the league in getting turnovers with 22. If the team that runs the ball better ends up winning the game, then the Giants are set to extend their winning streak.
No-brainers: Dez Bryant
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys: My Projection: 23 FPTS
Romo is rested and ready for an opponent he posted 263 yards and two touchdowns on back in Week 1. He's done well in favorable matchups, not well in unfavorable matchups, but I don't think this is necessarily an unfavorable one. The Giants defense has collected seven interceptions versus no touchdowns against quarterbacks through their four-game winning streak, but the best quarterback they played might have been Terrelle Pryor. With the Giants run defense expected to put a hurt on DeMarco Murray and the coaching staff showing a willingness to get away from the run, I'd expect a nice game from Romo.
I'd start him over: Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: My Projection: 9 FPTS
There might not be a more impressive defensive streak against the run than what the Giants have done in their last seven games. Against the likes of Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy twice, the G-Men held running backs to 2.9 yards per carry, 57.5 rush yards per game and two rushing touchdowns. The Giants have been hurt through the air by running backs in that span (49.6 receiving yards per game), so we could see a healthy dose of receptions from Murray, but I'm not sure we'll see him have a big stat line otherwise.
I'd start him over: Chargers RBs, Chris Ivory
Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys: My Projection: 9 FPTS
The Giants' great run against bad quarterbacks has produced this stat: No receiver has scored on the Giants since Week 6 with only one (Jordy Nelson) going over 100 yards. Another came close -- Jarrett Boykin had 91 yards -- and both came last week. To me, that's an indication that this pass defense isn't as good as their stats suggest and the Cowboys should expose them. Williams might lose some targets with Miles Austin coming back, but he's scored in four of his last five and continues to play better than the single coverage he's received.
I'd start him over: Keenan Allen, Cecil Shorts
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys: My Projection: 9 FPTS
The first thing I always look for when looking at Witten is how badly Tony Romo will need him. Well, considering how quickly Romo will need to get rid of the ball when the Giants call a blitz along with how often they'll pass, I think he'll need Witten plenty. He definitely needed him in Week 1 against the Giants when Witten scored twice. Those represent just two of the four touchdowns the Giants have allowed to tight ends this year, but they really haven't been challenged by many good tight ends (or quarterbacks) during their four-game winning streak. That'll change.
I'd start him over: Jordan Reed, Antonio Gates
Eli Manning, QB, Giants: My Projection: 18 FPTS
The biggest problem I have with Manning is that I can't trust him to deliver a big game. He hasn't done it since Week 1, when he obliterated the Cowboys defense for 36 Fantasy points. Defenses are still trying to put a lot of pressure on Manning with the idea that it leads him into hurrying into his throw and misfiring. The Giants, meanwhile, are likely to stick with their successful run game and not put Manning into a position where he'll have to throw 40-plus times, because that's when he'll turn the ball over. Dallas has generated 12 interceptions this season, including three from Eli back in Week 1.
Bye-week QB Flow chart: Carson Palmer > Case Keenum > Eli Manning > Josh McCown > Philip Rivers
Andre Brown, RB, Giants: My Projection: 12 FPTS
Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: My Projection: 6 FPTS
The target is squarely on the Cowboys run defense this week as they'll play without two starters, including middle linebacker Sean Lee. Over the last three weeks the Cowboys have allowed six rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and an average of 247.7 total yards to running backs! There's no way the Giants ignore that -- expect them to attack with a big dose of the run, making Brown a near must-start and Brandon Jacobs a low-end sleeper.
I'd start Brown over: Alfred Morris, Stevan Ridley
I'd start Jacobs over: Dolphins RBs, Trent Richardson
Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Rueben Randle, WR, Giants: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants: My Projection: 8 FPTS
Dallas has allowed 20 passing touchdowns but strangely just 10 have gone to receivers. They've also given up just five 100-yard games on the season -- three to the Giants back in Week 1. Since then, they've made a lot of defensive adjustments, the biggest of which was moving Morris Claiborne out of the starting lineup and putting J.J. Wilcox in at safety. Wilcox missed some time but should be back for this week's game and could make a difference. Cruz remains the receiver with the most upside, but I'll take Randle's touchdown track record over Nicks' ineffective play this week.
I'd start Cruz and Randle over: Danny Amendola, Cecil Shorts, Keenan Allen
No. 3 WR Flow chart: Roddy White > James Jones > Hakeem Nicks > Dwayne Bowe > Mike Wallace
Broncos at Patriots, Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET
Expect plenty of points as both teams will not only sport prolific offenses but run a ton of plays. The Broncos average 71.7 plays per game, the Patriots average 70.0 per game. Last year, the Patriots ran for three touchdowns on the Broncos including 151 yards from Stevan Ridley and goal-line jobs from Shane Vereen and Tom Brady, but this time around the Patriots might find the losses of cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Rahim Moore too appealing to ignore.
Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: My Projection: 9 FPTS
While other Broncos players have done well, Decker's delivered just one touchdown in his last five games -- and 71 yards or less in four of those five games. Over the last three weeks, Decker has been third, tied for fourth and third in targets on the team, meaning he's clearly not Manning's No. 1 option (he was against the Colts, for whatever that's worth). The good news is that the Patriots have allowed non-No. 1 receivers to score in four of their last five games, so there could be some end-zone chances for Decker against New England's smaller corners.
I'd start him over: T.Y Hilton, Danny Amendola
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: My Projection: 23 FPTS
Brady was darn close to scoring two touchdowns against a tough Panthers defense last week -- this matchup is cake by comparison. The Broncos enter the game without safety Rahim Moore and a defense that was rattled for two touchdowns by Alex Smith last week. Overall, Denver has allowed six passers to hit at least 20 Fantasy points against them. Brady should throw enough to make it seven, particularly thanks to his receiving corps playing at full strength.
I'd start him over: Tony Romo, Andrew Luck
Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots: My Projection: 8 FPTS
I'd expect a good amount of work from these guys. Last year they were difference-makers in the Patriots win over the Broncos. The Broncos enter this matchup allowing 124.7 total yards per game to running backs over their last three games with four total scores allowed. In fact, the Broncos have been susceptible to running backs making plays as receivers as a byproduct of building leads early and teams playing from behind. That suggests that either way the Pats' running backs will be utilized.
I'd start Ridley over: Ben Tate, Le'Veon Bell, DeMarco Murray
I'd start Vereen over: Bobby Rainey, Ray Rice, Panthers RBs
Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots: My Projection: 9 FPTS
Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots: My Projection: 5 FPTS
The Broncos have begun to play well against receivers, giving up just three scores in their last five games to the position. That's the same number of wideouts to post 10-plus Fantasy points in a game against them. I don't love either guy but admit Dobson will get some deep targets and Amendola should be a regular target over the middle of the field like he was last week.
Flow chart: Antonio Brown > Danny Amendola > Keenan Allen > Nate Burleson > Aaron Dobson > Mike Wallace
49ers at Redskins, Mon., 8:40 p.m. ET
I know the Redskins are at home and in the national spotlight, but this matchup is going to be tough for them. San Francisco's run defense is actually worse than its pass defense -- only four opponents have thrown for more than 250 yards on the Niners and only three teams have caught multiple scores against them. That isn't necessarily a problem for Washington because they can run the ball fairly well, but if the 'Skins fall behind and have to throw there could be some serious complications. And that's what the Niners' plan will likely be all about.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers: My projection: 19 FPTS
You have to like the matchup for Kaepernick. The Redskins have allowed at least 19 Fantasy points to quarterbacks in four straight and 20-plus points to three of four. Washington has also had problems this year with running quarterbacks -- two have scored on them this year and three have at least 30 rush yards against them. Kaepernick should run a little more than he has in the past while having an easy time targeting Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.
I'd start him over: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III
Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers: My Projection: 8 FPTS
We're hastily getting back on the Boldin bandwagon if only because of the matchup. We saw the Niners exploit Saints backup cornerback Corey White last week, proof positive that they'll respond to a favorable matchup. That will be the case against a Redskins defense that has allowed a wide receiver to score in seven of the Redskins' 10 games this season.
I'd start him over: Keenan Allen, Cecil Shorts
Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins: My Projection: 18 FPTS
Look, if Cam Newton and Drew Brees couldn't do well against this Niners defense in consecutive weeks, what makes you think Griffin can? Two quarterbacks have gotten 20-plus Fantasy points against the Niners this season, one more has had 19. The rest -- including Newton and Brees -- had 16 points or less. Griffin's numbers have been great the last two weeks as he has five touchdowns in that span, but the Niners match up well for this game, able to put plenty of coverage on Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed ... if Reed plays.
I'd rather start: Carson Palmer, Case Keenum
Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins: My Projection: 10 FPTS
You're probably starting Garcon no matter what, but it's worth noting that the 49ers have allowed just three 100-yard receivers and five touchdowns to the position this year. Throw out a wild Week 1 and it's one 100-yard wideout and just three receiving scores to wideouts in their last nine games. Just three of the nine receivers with 10-plus targets against the Niners this year had double digits in Fantasy points. Be careful with Garcon.
Flow chart: Victor Cruz > Josh Gordon > Pierre Garcon > Eric Decker > T.Y. Hilton
Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins: My Projection: 5 FPTS
Assuming Reed plays, he'll take on a Niners defense that has allowed just three touchdowns to the tight end this year. No tight end has more than 60 yards on the Niners, including Jimmy Graham last week and Greg Olsen the week before.
I'd rather start: Delanie Walker, Garrett Graham
Saints at Falcons, Thu., 8:25 p.m. ET
Familiarity helps both teams in this series, especially given the short week of preparation. The Falcons desperately miss having a good ground game -- they got off to a nice start last week against the Bucs but had to give it up to chase points. Something similar should happen in this contest, making Steven Jackson a candidate for another game without a big yardage total. If there's a glimmer of hope for the Falcons it's that the Saints lost cornerback Jabari Greer for the season, meaning they'll take shots at cornerback Corey White.
Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: My Projection: 13 FPTS
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: My Projection: 7 FPTS
I'm expecting a huge game from these two with Thomas leading the way early and Ingram picking up the work later. Atlanta's run defense was whipped by Bobby Rainey last week and has allowed 167.8 rush yards per game to backs with five rush scores in its last four. Thomas has at least 13 touches in each of his last four and at least 80 total yards in his last six. Ingram is a candidate for garbage time numbers.
I'd start Thomas over: Knowshon Moreno, Andre Brown, Alfred Morris
I'd start Ingram over: Brandon Jacobs, Jonathan Stewart
Marques Colston, WR, Saints: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Kenny Stills, WR, Saints: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Awesome matchup for these guys. Atlanta has allowed receivers to score seven times in its last five games, giving up an average of 168.0 yards per game to the position. The Falcons' pass rush won't put much pressure on Brees, meaning he can take some deep shots to Stills, making him a No. 3 receiver gamble. Colston seems to be getting more work of late and makes sense as a good starting option.
I'd start Colston over: Pierre Garcon, Harry Douglas, Eric Decker
Low-end No. 3 WR Flow chart: Dwayne Bowe > Santonio Holmes > Kenny Stills > Marlon Brown > Rishard Matthews
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: My Projection: 17 FPTS
The Saints are in the Top 5 in allowing the least amount of Fantasy points to quarterbacks, meaning a tough matchup for Ryan. Only one of the last nine quarterbacks to face the Saints has done better than 18 Fantasy points. There's a little bit of hope for Ryan in that several tight ends have been serviceable against the Saints and that his receivers could take advantage of a slightly depleted unit, plus he'll also throw a lot while playing from behind. But this defense is sure to blitz him wildly, a problem for Ryan given his offensive line.
I'd rather start: Josh McCown, Joe Flacco
Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons: My Projection: 7 FPTS
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons: My Projection: 4 FPTS
You had to be impressed with how the Saints stacked up to defeat the Niners run game last week. San Francisco running backs totaled 56 yards on the ground on 19 carries! It's a welcome change for the Saints defense that had previously allowed 10-plus Fantasy points to each of the last four starting running backs they faced. Jackson is still playing ferociously but isn't getting a lot of work from week to week. I might expect him to see a decent amount of work early on and have a chance to do better than the six Fantasy points he's maxed out at since coming back from his injury, but not much better than that. Rodgers is still not playing enough to warrant serious consideration.
I'd rather start: Shane Vereen, Bobby Rainey, Mike Tolbert, Ray Rice
Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons: My Projection: 10 FPTS
Roddy White, WR, Falcons: My Projection: 8 FPTS
I think you'll see the Falcons take shots here against Saints cornerback Corey White. Before Jabari Greer got hurt last week the Niners receivers had nothing. After the injury the receivers had seven catches for 64 yards and a score (still weak numbers) but the touchdown came against White. Of course, the Niners also got picked off by White. It's still a tall order for the youngster on a short week to prepare for even these receivers. Douglas has six or more catches in four of five games; while four of six receivers to have at least six catches against the Saints have scored. White looks healthier than ever but caught just one of six passes from Ryan last week for 16 yards.
I'd start Douglas over: T.Y. Hilton, Rueben Randle
No. 3 WR Flow chart: Michael Floyd > Roddy White > Cecil Shorts > James Jones
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons: My Projection: 7 FPTS
I'd expect the Falcons to try and keep Gonzalez involved, even if he's not running a lot of deep routes anymore. New Orleans has had some trouble with big-time tight ends, including Gonzalez scoring on them back in Week 1.
Flow chart: Antonio Gates > Delanie Walker > Tony Gonzalez > Garrett Graham > Jordan Cameron
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