looked like world beaters last week after a sluggish showing against the Broncs
the previous week. The "good" Pats team will show up again and
handle the Dolphins. Play QB Tom Brady in this one and plan on a couple
of TDs. RB Laurence Maroney (the likely steal of your draft) will have another
big game and should be started in all formats (with or without the presence
of Corey Dillon). The Dolphins have struggled this season. QB Daunte Culpepper,
RB Ronnie Brown, and WR Chris Chambers are all NFL studs,...but things aren't
clicking for Miami and playing any one of the trio is a risk against a stellar
looking New England team. If on your roster, then they should be in your
starting lineup...but the Dolphins really need to find their stride before
either of the three can be counted upon for fantasy points - and their schedule
is only getting tougher.
The Bucs have struggled through 3 games,
but I believe this is where they get it together...at least a little bit.
RB Cadillac Williams needs to get it going here and should be able to
find some holes. The Bucs are starting rookie QB Bruce Gradkowski
have their fingers crossed that he can somehow find WRs Joey Galloway
and Michael Clayton. Fantasy-wise, Williams is an okay play...but stay
away from the rest of your Bucs until we see what Gradkowski is able to
do against the Saints. I like both Saints RBs here - Deuce McAllister
and Reggie Bush
. I also like QB Drew Brees
to have a nice game. But other
than Bush and WR Marques Colsten, no other Saint stands out as a strong
fantasy play in the receiving game.
are coming off of a tough 3 starts and a bye week...which should help their
effort against the Skins. I like QB Eli Manning, WR Plaxico Burress, and
TE Jeremy Shockey for New York. RB Tiki Barber will have a tough time running
the ball against the Washington front, but his versatility keeps him a solid
play. The Redskins' feast-or-famine connection of Mark Brunell to Santana Moss can't be ignored...it feasted last week with 3 TDs! I like Moss again
this week. RB Clinton Portis proved he is healthy and will get a healthy
dose against the Giants.
|The Detroit Lions
may be 0-4, but their offense isn't as terrible as their record indicates...and
still provides owners a couple of fantasy plays. I really like WR Roy Williams
as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL and like him in this game. I
also like RB Kevin Jones here as the Detroit offense continues to adjust
to Mike Martz' offense. QB Jon Kitna is a decent play here (esp. for those
in need of a bye week replacement). The Lions have had huge success stopping
running backs up the middle this season, but I still like RB Chester Taylor
with his ability to break it outside and receiving out of the backfield.
I also like WR Troy Williamson to have a nice game as the Vikes throw the
ball (as the Rams did last week). Similar to Kitna, QB Brad Johnson is a
decent bye week replacement and will put up nice yards and a couple of scores
against a weak Lions secondary.
|Cleveland has struggled
and had some difficulty in handling the Raiders last week. Carolina will
make it tough for RB Reuben Droughns to run (if healthy) against them and
force QB Charlie Frye to go to the air. I do like Frye and WR Braylon Edwards
a little in this game. TE Kellen Winslow Jr. should play and be a nice start
for leagues requiring a tight end. For Carolina, I think they get it together
in this game. Expect big numbers from RB DeShaun Foster, QB Jake Delhomme,
and WR Steve Smith in a high scoring game for the Panthers at home.
Like a broken record, I'll keep saying it. Bench anyone facing the Chicago
Bears and their tenacious defense. Any person who watched the Bears on
MNF against the Seattle Seahawks saw what their D was able to do against
last year's NFC champs...holding them to a mere 2 field goals through
4 quarters. But the winds of change in Chicago are on the offensive side
of the ball. The Bears seem to be capitalizing upon the defense's ability
to provide opportunities. I like QB Rex Grossman and RB Thomas Jones here.
WRs Muhsin Muhammad and Bernard Berrian are decent plays as the Bears
will try to move the ball primarily through the air and take quick advantage
of what their defense provides. TE Desmond Clark is a good pickup for
leagues requiring a tight end and will get some nice looks in the red
|Don't look now, but
the Rams are 3-1 with a chance to notch another win. Rams RB Steven Jackson
is the NFL leader in total yards and will pad his numbers against the Pack.
QB Marc Bulger and WRs Torry Holt / Isaac Bruce are all great plays here
against a weak Green Bay defense. For the Packers, both Donald Driver and
Ahman Green appear to be healthy enough to play this week...but guessing
how much or to what impact is a bit of a crapshoot (although the Rams defense
is very beatable by either if healthy - monitor closer to gametime). QB
Brett Favre is a bit dinged as well, but he should definitely play and come
out throwing. WR Greg Jennings is a decent play for the Packers here.
|If there was ever
a one-sided game on paper, then it's this one. I'm not sure of the line,
but it has to be triple digits. Plan on the Colts scoring a half-hundred
and play every Colt on your roster...including QB Peyton Manning, WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, TE Dallas Clark, and RB Joseph Addai (who should
really bust out). For the Titans, they'll get opportunities as this game
gets out of hand early. WR Drew Bennett has had a nice season with many
opportunities late and will get them here...and Bennett has torched the
Colts in Indy before - he's a great play here. Rookie QB Vince Young is
worth a gamble here and will get it going late against the Colts' 2nd and
3rd string defense in the second half...look for some nice rushing stats
|Don't expect Jet RB
Kevan Barlow to chalk up 2 TDs on the Jags like he did the Colts. Jax will
shut down the NYJ running game and force Jet QB Chad Pennington to the air.
Pennington has over 1000 passing yards through week 4 with a 102.3 passing
rating, but he'll have to be on top of his game to put up similar numbers
on the road at Jacksonville. WR Laveranues Coles, who is basically tied
with Marvin Harrison for the league lead in receptions and receiving yards,
will be Pennington's target when he throws. TE Chris Baker and WR Jerricho Cotchery (3 TDs on the season) will also be involved as secondary options.
For the Jags, I like QB Byron Leftwich...but WR Matt Jones is doubtful and
Reggie Williams / Ernest Wilford should split catches. Rookie RB Maurice Jones-Drew is taking over numbers from Fred Taylor and is a nice play against
The battle of the bay no longer has the fanfare that it had in previous
decades. However, this game will still be a battle...and one to save a
little face. As horrible as the Raiders have looked this season, I believe
they score some points in this game and provide some fantasy opportunities...namely
RB LaMont Jordan and WR Randy Moss. Jordan is a workhorse and should get
some nice yardage and a score in this one. Moss is too good to bench and
will shred the SF secondary - but it remains a question of whether his
quarterback can get him the ball. For the Niners, RB Frank Gore should
have a nice game...but his propensity to fumble has made him more of a
risk. Gore is likely to be yanked in goal-line situations, but the Raiders
will still provide him with some nice opportunities. QB Alex Smith may
do okay against Oakland and should be considered for owners of Carson Palmer, Matt Hasselbeck, or Michael Vick and in desperate need of a bye
QB Damon Huard looked really good last week...as if he'd been playing in
the league for years. But Huard's inexperience still makes him a risky start
(even as a bye week replacement). I do like RB Larry Johnson (who doesn't?)
and TE Tony Gonzalez against the Cardinals D. Arizona rookie QB Matt Leinart
is making his first NFL start and may do well (especially as the season
progresses)...but we'd advise to sit him for a week or two until he adjusts
to the speed of the NFL. If you have either of AZ's wide receivers (Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin), then you have to play them and hope for the
best. RB Edgerrin James may be the best AZ fantasy play in this game and
is due to breakout under the circumstances.
Philly QB Donovan McNabb certainly found his groove on MNF, but the Dallas
defense will look nothing like the Green Bay Packers this Sunday. I still
like McNabb and make him a must start if on your roster, but don't expect
to see numbers resembling the bushel basket of stats he put up last week.
RB Brian Westbrook and WR Donte Stallworth will produce if they play,
but each backed out of starts over the last two weeks with a lingering
knee and hamstring injury...watch the injury report closely prior to gametime,
but try to come up with alternatives if a gametime decision since a late
afternoon game. For the 'Boys, I really like WRs Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn here. T.O. has had this game earmarked on his calendar for a year
and will definitely produce against a banged up Philly secondary. I also
like QB Drew Bledsoe in this game. RB Julius Jones will do okay, but Dallas
fantasy owners will get most of their points from the passing game.
|Both of these teams
have defenses capable of holding the other team in check. But I think the
Chargers are the best fantasy plays in this one. RB LaDainian Tomlinson
and TE Antonio Gates will still produce even though Pittsburgh has a relatively
stout defense. RB Willie Parker will be limited by the San Diego D and have
a tough go of it. QB Ben Roethlisberger will look for WR Hines Ward, but
neither will have huge numbers in a game that will likely be low-scoring.
Similar to the SNF game, this one smells of another defensive low-scoring
contest. I don't really like any Ravens here other than TE Todd Heap.
For the Broncos, I do like RB Tatum Bell somewhat and believe QB Jake Plummer throws for at least one TD. WR Javon Walker will be a target of
Plummer's tosses, but the Ravens will also target Walker to make sure
he's held scoreless. Look away from this game if you have other options...unless
you are in a league that requires a defense and you have one of these
two on your roster.
BYE WEEKS - Atlanta, Cincinnati, Seattle, Houston
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Check here every Thursday for game-by-game fantasy analysis. We give fantasy owners the edge heading into week five of the NFL fantasy season.