Cleveland (92.3 The Fan) – Again, a quick explanation at the extremely encrypted color code that Kenny Kidd and I use for our weekly Preview & Sit/Start articles:
Red– Warm, hot, fire, good, Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing. We’re high on this particular player. Not saying start him at all costs (use judgement, obviously), but we feel they will have a solid week in their match up.
Blue– Cold, frigid, ice, the movie Van Helsing (Honestly, did the director recommend that every actor learn their accents from Keanu Reeves? This is what happens when I leave the TV on while I write these). Avoid these players IF you believe you have a better option.
If you see Player A in Red, and Player B in Blue, it does NOT necessarily mean we believe A should start over B. It simply means that, for this particular week, we believe A’s value is higher than normal and B’s is lower.
The top half of the article is the Sit/Start section, followed by the Game Previews. Kidd and I will rotate scribing each section every week.
Specific questions can be directed to our Twitter accounts each Sunday if you’re really pressing.
Start – Philip Rivers SDC, Rivers has had a disappointing 1st quarter of the 2012 season and should not be your weekly starter, but this week the matchup against the Saints makes perfect sense.
Sit – Mark Sanchez NYJ, The loss of Santonio Holmes, the lack of a solid running game & playing one of the best defenses in the league in the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football spells disaster for Sanchez & the Jets.
Start – Ryan Matthews SDC, The Saints give up a league worst 186.6 rushing yards a game. If ever there was a game for Matthews to break out in this is it.
Sit – Buffalo Running Backs, Fred Jackson & C.J. Spiller are facing one of the league’s toughest defenses in the San Francisco 49ers.
Start – Domenik Hixon NYG, With Hakeem Nicks or Ramses Barden both out this week for the Giants, Hixon is a very strong option for you against the Browns.
Sit – Devery Henderson NOS, Henderson should get a few more looks this week w/ Lance Moore ruled out, but I would temper my expectations for this vet. Realistically Moore being out will only translate to Colston, Graham & Sproles having more touches.
Start – Greg Olson CAR, Olson seems to be finally getting on the same page as Cam Newton. The Panthers are playing a tough Seattle Def. but I look for Olson to get a ton of targets and possibly be the most productive offensive player for Carolina.
Sit – Aaron Hernandez NEP, Even though he has made tremendous strides in practice this week, with a 4:25pm start he’s a risky play. I’d leave him on your bench and set my sights on Week 6 for his return to your line up.
Start – Chicago Bears, The Bears Def. has been playing out of their mind lately and I fully expect that to continue against a Jacksonville offense that struggles to move the ball through the air.
Sit – Cleveland Browns, The Browns defense has played relatively well fantasy wise, but they are still without Joe Haden and are up against a very tough Giants team in New York. I expect Eli Manning to have a tremendous game and exploit every opportunity he is given.
Game Previews (Fillar)
Sunday 1pm Games
Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
Wait, wait, wait… the most consistent fantasy quarterback stud in the past three weeks in Andy freakin’ Dalton? Alright then. It may be fun to play with your news toys, but the Bengals haven’t been a great match up for wide receivers so Brian Hartline may not quite hit that 250 yard mark again, just yet.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers
You may recognize a couple of the names returning to the Steelers this week: James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and Rashard Mendenhall (although, eased back in). A turnover prone Philadelphia offense will be running into hungry Pittsburgh ball (and head) hawks. I’m no weather man, but I’ll assume Heinz field is going to be a muddy, ugly disaster from what I’ve seen on radars. Mike Vick is going to have some problems.
Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts
Cedric Benson remains a nice flex play after McCarthy discovered that Aaron Rodgers sack rate dramatically falls when he hands the ball off. The Packers may run away with this game, but that doesn’t mean that Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and maybe even TY Hilton can’t get theirs. However, if things haven’t been frustrating enough for Jermichael Finley, the Colts have given up five receptions to tight ends all season. RECEPTIONS.
Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn‘s name is beginning to get mentioned? This. May. Get. Ugly. Good luck, Jamaal Charles and ankle of Peyton Hillis.
Atlanta Falcons @ Washington Redskins
Holy Roddy White. Matt Ryan isn’t shy about who’s still the favorite target. Maybe the Redskins should try RGIII at safety too, because the Washington defense has already given up more than 1,000 yards to opposing wide receivers. There should be plenty to go around for White and Julio Jones. It’s also nice to see Michael Turner returning to form, but he may not get much chance while the Falcons are busy lobbing the ball over the secondary’s heads.
4 pm Games
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
Nobody in the NFL has given up more yards from scrimmage than the Panthers. That, combined with the fact that Carolina safeties and corners are confused about how to defend enormous, game breaking passes, is a good thing for a Seattle offense that’s looking to spark their season again (without the, you know, national outrage). Looks like a big game is coming for Marshawn Lynch, and it will be interesting to see if Pete Carroll follows through with a promise to get Doug Baldwin more involved. Also, if you were fist pumping for Greg Olsen last week – stop it, you look ridiculous, and the Hawks have yet to give up a touchdown to a tight end this season.
Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s probably fair to say that Jacksonville is slightly one-dimensional, and the Bears are very good at taking that dimension away. Blaine Gabbert is very good at throwing the ball to the other team, and the Bears are very good at receiving throws from the other team. Bears defense, good. Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Blackmon, Marcedes Lewis, bad.
Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings
Lick your chops, Kyle Rudolph. It’s finally your turn to go through the Titans tight end turnstile. The Minnesota defense and special teams appears to be returning to it’s former glory, which is bad news for Chris Johnson. The Vikings are the only other team besides San Fran that have yet to give up a rushing touchdown.
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
When Manning and Brady clash, it has the feel of a Fast and Furious race. High octane the entire time, each taking their turn hitting the NOS, and all without Paul Walker’s terrible acting. Peyton’s last two match ups against the golden boy resulted in over 700 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Buffalo Bills @ San Francisco 49ers
Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are now in a time share. Add that to a road game in San Francisco and it turns into a very tough situation for owners of both. If the Bills are able to move the ball, gargantuan tight end Scott Chandler will probably continue to be the red zone threat. The Niners aren’t too keen on allowing tailbacks across the goal line. As much as it hurts, it’s time to drop one of my sleepers, Randy Moss, for better options. If Mario Manningham struggles in this one, it’s time to heave him off the bench too.
Sunday Night Football
San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints
Apparently, San Diego has allowed less footballs through the uprights than any other team in the NFL except for Houston, so, uh, there you go. Kick advice, I guess. Since that quota is filled, I can now tell the Ryan Matthews owners that yes, you are probably screwed with Norv’s waning trust toward his hands and health. On the bright side, Phillip Rivers is likely set to have an enormous day. Everybody else has against the Saints. And with Sean Payton in attendance, you can bet Brees and the boys will light up the scoreboard too.
Monday Night Football
Houston Texans @ New York Jets
The Green Machine has had it’s share of embarrassing games already this year, but now they can finally showcase their ineptitude on nation television with no other games to distract the viewers! Well, unless you count postseason baseball. Odds aren’t awful that the Yankees and Orioles outscore Mark Sanchez’ skidding train wreck. Obviously, it’s safe to request that fantasy players start all of their Texans and maybe some of their cheerleaders too (Flex play? Yeah, flex play).
Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants
With a thin receiving corps that will rarely be able to rest, it’s time for Trent Richardson to get the bulk of touches for the Browns. Handoffs, screens, checkdowns – this could be big. On the flip side, we’re going to see a lot of salsa dancing with Victor Cruz alone to take advantage of a Cleveland secondary that loves giving up touchdowns more than they love taffy. And those are men who enjoy their taffy. The Browns have actually been stellar against tight ends this season, but again, Martellus Bennett is going to see a lot of looks.