Most leagues are heading into the playoffs this week, so it’s a big one. Don’t forget to get those lineups set ahead of Thursday’s game between San Diego and San Francisco.
QB Matt Schaub, HOU
The wheels have completely come off the Tennessee Titans as they ride a six game losing streak. The defense that was relatively strong through the first seven games of the season has lost its edge and opposing teams have completely dictated the tempo, running or throwing all over them at will.
The Texans were responsible for one of those six consecutive losses, but Matt Schaub was relatively quiet with 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However, Schaub was without his top wide receiver threat Andre Johnson for most of the second half, as Johnson was sent off for fighting Cortland Finnegan. I expect a huge day of out of Andre Johnson, who should be motivated from the first snap. I can’t think of a better way to humiliate Cortland Finnegan than Andre Johnson going for over a 100 yards and grabbing a couple of touchdown passes.
QB Josh Freeman, TB
Freeman continues to be a strong start, thanks to his consistent play and the Bucs’ cupcake schedule. A two touchdown performance should be almost guaranteed this week out of Freeman.
QB Tom Brady, NE
The questionably coiffed Pats’ QB looks to be this year’s fantasy MVP (and NFL MVP for that matter). His ability to put up gaudy touchdown and yardage totals, even in wintry conditions in Chicago last week. If you are lucky enough to have Brady, you don’t need to be told to get him in the lineup.
QB Jon Kitna, DAL
Kitna is a solid play this week. In Tony Romo’s absence, Kitna has stepped up and helped the Cowboys to their improved play of late. Kitna faces a Washington defense that is in total disarray, as evidenced by the drama surrounding Albert Haynesworth and his subsequent absence.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
With the AFC South title in the Jags’ sights, Maurice Jones-Drew has gone into total beast mode, reaching the century mark in rushing yards in five straight, including a 186 yard performance last week. Jack Del Rio has made Maurice Jones-Drew undisputed focus of the offense in pounding the ball on almost every down. With Maurice Jones-Drew facing a Colt defense that continually to be one of the league worst against the run, you can be virtually guaranteed that Jones-Drew will carve them up. No fantasy running back this week is as safe a play as Maurice Jones-Drew. In fact, Jones-Drew’s backup, Rashad Jennings is a decent play in deeper leagues.
RB Darren McFadden, OAK
Run DMC went for 196 total yards and 4 TD’s the last time he faced Denver. Denver’s defense has seemingly played worse since then. I would be shocked if McFadden doesn’t get a 100 yards and at least 1 TD.
RB Peyton Hillis, CLE
The Avalanche should get back on track this week aganist the Bengals. With the crappy weather/field conditions the Browns should give Hillis the ball early and often. Hillis has been one of the most consistent RB’s this season, now if he can only cut down on the fumbles (eight this year).
RB Jonathan Stewart, CARlooks to be finally fantasy relevant this season as the back has gotten over 90 yards of rushing his last 3 games. Stewart strong play and the fact that he is playing a Arizona rush defense that would have a hard time stopping a high school running back should equate to big day.
WR Wes Welker, NE
With Tom Brady virtually on fire in the passing game, no one has benefited more then Welker. Welker has scored a TD in three straight games and is an even better play in PPR league.. Welker should be once again be Brady’s favorite target this week with how much the Packers love to blitz. No duo in football is better then Brady/Welker in exploiting teams who blitz with the quick, underneath passing game.
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC has put in back to back terrible performances after emerging as one the best fantasy receivers in the league.. However, Matt Cassel should return this week. Besides, they will be playing a weak Rams pass defense in the comfort of a dome.
WR Mike Williams, TB managed only 12 yards last week. Williams will get back on track this week against the Lions. It’s crazy to think that Williams who went undrafted in many leagues is on pace for 900 yards and 9 TD.
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB
With it being fantasy playoff time this is not the time to take a risk in starting a player whose status is so uncertain. The word out of Packers camp as of right now is Rodgers will play, but last week’s concussion was his second this season, so do not be surprised if the Packers rest him this week. Even if Rodgers play if he takes one bad sack or hit, he could be on the bench once again as the Packers will not risk any long term damage to their franchise QB. If you have another reliable option, think about putting Rodgers on the bench.
QB Kyle Orton, DEN
Orton is dealing with his a rib injury that has clearly affected him these last two weeks. Orton’s strength is his accuracy, which virtually disappeared of late. He also faces a Raiders defense that sacked him 4 times the last time he played them. It’s hard to be optimistic that he will even get through the entire game.
QB Mark Sanchez, NYJ
The Sanchize should either go on your bench or on the free agent wire for the rest of the season. His play and his tough remaining schedule make him a terrible play.
QB Eli Manning, NYG
The Giants’ lack of healthy wide receivers makes it hard to put him in your starting lineup. The Giants also seem to be content in using their running back duo of Bradshaw and Jacobs on every down instead of Manning trying to connect with backup wide receivers.
Saints Running Backs
With Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Reggie Bush all getting snaps, it doesn’t look like there are any good fantasy options on this squad. Also, both Thomas and Ivory are dealing with nagging injuries and Bush seemingly is always one hit away from going back on the injury list. The Saints also face a tough Baltimore Ravens defense. Not much upside here.
RB Adrian Peterson, MIN
It seems a bit crazy to think about sitting AP, but he might not be the best option this weekend. Peterson is a lock to get a bunch of carries with both Brett Favre and Tavares Jackson likely on the fritz, but will have to deal with the Bears’ second ranked rush defense. You better believe the Bears will stack the line. However, you need to think about picking up Joe Webb, who is set to start this week. He’s probably not going to be very good, but he has WR eligibility in many leagues, making him a worthwhile pickup.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ
LT should struggle to find openings this week against the Steelers. After a strong start, Tomlinson has struggled as of late and without solid quarterback play these struggles should continue.
WR Brandon Lloyd, DEN
Kyle Orton’s terrible play has almost completely killed Brandon Lloyd’s fantasy value. Lloyd has managed just five catches for 63 yards the last two weeks, which was a half for Lloyd earlier this year. With Orton questionable to even play this week and the possibility that Tim Tebow would take his place, you would be wise to go in another direction.
WR Kenny Britt, TEN
The former Rutgers star is back, but doesn’t have a quarterback who can get him the ball. Put him away this season, but keep him in the back of your brain as a nice sleeper pick for next year.
Packers WR’s Not Named Greg Jennings
With Aaron Rodgers’ health in doubt starting any Packers wide receiver other then Greg Jennings seems risky. Matt Flynn showed last week in a scoreless second half that the Packers’ offense is totally reliant on Rodgers.