Arizona (v. Rams): The Cardinals are the winner of the “Who’s playing St. Louis” lottery this week. Sure, Bulger threw for an impressive 298 yards last week, but the Cardinals, who have been very respectable if you ignore the Carolina and Indy hiccups, possess a tremendous pass rush defense which could result in several sacks and turnovers.
FAIL game of the week:
Cleveland v. Detroit: Wow, this is going to be a terrible game. Somebody better get “Yakety Sax” ready to play on an extended loop. Seriously, the only thing more depressing than this matchup is the economy of each team’s respective hometown. As you can tell, I’m not expecting anything from this game. In fact, I’m just hoping that the winner of this matchup will come from the home state of the losing team of the big Ohio State-Michigan game this weekend. No, I’m not a fan of either team, I just don’t want to have an entire state erupt in riots because their NCAA and NFL teams lost to their rival state. Ok, more relevant to fantasy football, there has been some chatter this week that starting the Lions defense might be a good sleeper pick. Well, I can see that, the Lions have home field advantage and don’t play “Guess Who: Quarterbacks Edition” prior to weekly matchups while the Browns have been a virtual goldmine for fantasy owners starting their defenses against them. However, there really isn’t any indication of how this one will go; this game can be even, lopsided, high-scoring, low scoring, non-scoring, and nobody would even bat an eye.
INJURY & IMPACT
Baltimore Ravens (v. Colts)
*LB, Terrell Suggs, Knee, Out
*DL, Haloti Ngata, Ankle, Questionable
* LB, Tavares Gooden, Probable
Ok, so the Colts are undefeated, Peyton Manning has thrown for over 300 yards in every game but one (a 42-6 victory over the Rams) and 20 touchdowns this season, and the Ravens’ weakness has been a solid pass attack by their opponents. How about we sit this one out?
Minnesota Vikings (v. Seattle)
*DB, Antoine Winfield, Foot, Questionable(Limited Practice)
CB, Benny Sapp, Groin, Limited Practice
They would always fare better against a team with Winfield guarding downfield, but the reality of the situation is that Seattle it a 3 win team and those wins have come against the Rams, Jaguars and Lions. However, you might want to take into consideration that Hasselback has thrown for high yardage in several of their losses. (a.k.a. be mindful of your scoring system) Overall, expect a good, not great, fantasy number.
New England Patriots (v. Jets)
*LB, Eric Alexander, Groin, Limited Practice
DL, Jarvis Green, Knee, Did not practice
*DL, Ty Warren, Ankle, Did not practice
LB, Tully Banta-Cain, Abdomen, Did not practice
LB, Gary Guyton, Sick, Did not practice
LB, Rob Ninkovich, Knee, Did not practice
DT, Ron Brace, Ankle, Limited practice
The Patriots Defense has been scraping by thanks to their high-flying offense. However, Sanchez’s interceptions outnumber his touchdowns on the year 4:3. Why is this that important? Because to keep up with Brady and the Pat’s Offense, the Jets are going to have to throw and depending on how rookie Sanchez plays this week, that could be a very good thing for the Pat’s D. Still, don’t expect great numbers from the Patriots defense this week.
New Orleans Saints (v. Tampa Bay)
*DB, Tracy Porter, Knee, Out
*DL, Sedrick Ellis, Knee, Limited Practice
*DB, Jabari Greer, Groin, Limited Practice
*DB, Darren Sharper, Knee, Limited Practice
Saints potentially minus 3 defensive players still equals better than Tampa Bay. Start.
New York Jets (v. New England)
LB, Vernon Gholston, Hamstring, Did not practice
*S, Jim Leonhard, Thumb, Did not practice
*DE, Shaun Ellis, Knee, Limited Practice
Tom Brady was named “Comeback Man of the Year” for a reason, namely, his 2, 739 yds and 19 touchdowns this season. Even in last week’s loss he still threw for 3 TDs and 375 yards. Even if the Jets win this one, it’s not going to be a low scoring affair.
Philadelphia Eagles (v. Chicago)
*DB, Sheldon Brown, Hamstring, Limited practice
DB, Quintin Demps, Ankle, Did not practice
* LB, Akeem Jordan, Knee, Did not practice
DB, Joselio Hanson Suspension, Out
The Bears have been on a steady decline and Jay Cutler has become what we women refer to as a “hot mess” lately. (Note: Hot Mess has nothing to do with being hot) So, there is a high chance that the Eagles will have several turnovers to capitalize on this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (v. Kansas City)
*DB, Troy Polamalu, Knee, Questionable (Did not practice)
* DL, Travis Kirschke, Calf, Limited participation in practice
Though they started out shaky, the Steelers have found their rhythm this season while Kansas City continues to struggle winning just 2 of their 9 games. Add to the mix that top receiver Bowe has been suspended for violating the league’s ban against performance enhancing drugs and it’s pretty safe to start the Steelers Defense this week even without their marquee player.