Last weeks games were strange, to say the least. Some big time names, the likes of Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, Austin Collie, and pretty much the entire Saints team against one of the bottom ranking defenses in the Cardinals, failed to even approach expectations. Where were you on that one Brees? All bitterness aside it’s new week, that’s the magic of fantasy football. We move on.
We have some players who have returned to fantasy relevance. Topping the list is Big Ben Roethlisberger (spelled it right, I checked) will be back and this should bolster a floundering Steelers pass game. Santonio Holmes’ return last Monday showed he was not going to be left out of the game plan. All good things.
Let’s take a look at this week.
Starters and Bench Warmers
Ben Roethlisberger vs CLE – Big Ben hasn’t played since week 17 of last season, however, reports are showing that he looks strong and is passing with incredible accuracy. Temper expectations, as he has been out and may show some rust, but he will revive what has been to now a staggering pass game.
Philip Rivers vs STL – Rivers takes losing personally, and losing last week to the Raiders may light a fire under him this week. Look for Rivers to take out some frustration against a Rams team that Detroit QB Shaun Hill picked apart last week.
Shaun Hill vs NYG – Though I spoke well of Hill just above, and last week as well, I wouldn’t have high expectations this week against a surging Giants defense that now ranks 1st in the league. Best to steer clear of this match up if you can.
David Garrard vs TEN – Garrard had a good week last week, throwing for 3 TDs. But that was against the Bills, probably the worst team in the league right now. Tennessee doesn’t look to be as giving as the Bills. Don’t have too high of expectations for him in this game.
Ahmad Bradshaw vs DET – Bradshaw has been a solid play all season long, and doesn’t look to disappoint this week against a Lions D that will give up yards. He is 4th in the league in rushing and is averaging 89 yards a game. Be aware though, he may lose a few goal line carries to Brandon Jacobs.
Frank Gore vs OAK – Gore has struggles at times this season, but in fantasy Gore is a must play. Oakland ranks almost dead last against the run and even if when teams slow down Gore on the ground, he is one of Alex Smith’s favorite options to pass to.
Peyton Hillis vs PIT – Pittsburgh has shut down the run, shutting down Michael Turner, Ray Rice, and Chris Johnson. It doesn’t help that Hillis is battling a hip injury coming into the game. Hillis has a reputation of running hard and could make some leeway against the Steelers, just don’t aim to high in this one.
Darren McFadden vs SF – McFadden played a high level early on in the season and should warrant consideration, however, he will be splitting time with Michael Bush and may lose goal line duties. He, may be coming back too soon from a injury issue that has plagued his professional career. It’s probably better to wait until next week to see how this game pans out.
Hakeem Nicks vs DET – Alright, if you have a Giant player it may just be a good idea to run them this week. Nicks has been phenomenal this season and is easily Manning’s favorite target. He may not duplicate last week against Houston, but look for another solid week out of Nicks.
Mike Wallace vs CLE – The Cleveland secondary game up a deep TD to Roddy White last week and have been vulnerable to the deep pass over the past 2 weeks. Wallace is primarily a deep threat and the Steelers will look to exploit this. Remember Wallace hasn’t been much of a possession receiver, so he’ll will likely be all or nothing. I just think it will be all.
Dez Bryant vs MIN – the rookie has played well all season, but he reinjuried his ankle last Sunday and is a game time decision. On top of the rise in the play of Roy Williams, tread carefully playing Bryant.
Bernard Berrian vs DAL – Berrian became all but invisible with Randy Moss showing up in Minnesota. Berrian is primarily a deep threat and didn’t see many targets last week. That probably won’t change much this week.
Zach Miller vs SF – Last week Jason Campbell figured out that Miller is a reliable target, so Miller should continue to have value whether Gradkowski or Campbell is throwing the ball. Miller should be a good every week TE.
Tony Moeaki vs HOU – Moeaki has seen the most targets and leads the Chiefs in receptions. The Chiefs don’t really throw the ball much, but if they do there’s a good chance that it will be to Moeaki. He’s probably only good as a filler for the week and has a good match up against Houston.
Mercedes Lewis vs TEN – Lewis has been a bit of a surprise this season, but if he doesn’t score then his numbers aren’t very spectacular. Run him with caution.
Owen Daniels vs Chiefs – Daniels could be getting back into form soon, but he’s facing a Chiefs D that shut down Dallas Clark and Peyton Manning last week at their house. Keep him stashed, but be weary this week.
Nate Kaeding vs STL – The Chargers should be taking out some frustration this week and Kaeding should see some opportunities plain and simple. He is a highly accurate kicker to boot.
Ryan Longwell vs DAL – Longwell suffered in fantasy much the same as their offense did early on. But with their offense starting to get back on track with the addition of Randy Moss, so should Longwell’s attempts.
Josh Scobee vs TEN – It’s hard to say bench a guy who put up 27 points from the kicker’s position just the week before. But Jacksonville’s offense hasn’t exactly been clicking all season long. I won’t say don’t play him at all, but beware.
Neil Rackers vs KC – The Texans have been a mess on offense lately, largely in part to the absence of starting left tackle Duane Brown, who is out on a 4 game substance abuse suspension. Until he gets back the Houston offense will likely struggle and so will Neil Rackers. He is an iffy play.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.