Ray Rice, RB, BAL – It is almost inevitable that the running back that has to face the Bills each week will be on this list. It didn’t pay off for MJD owners, but you can’t ignore the numbers. The Bills give up over 20 points a game to opposing RBs and are allowing an AVERAGE of 182 rushing yards per game.
Frank Gore, RB, SF – The 9ers, under Mike Singletary, are a run-first team and despite their struggles this is not going to change. With their new offensive coordinator, they are striving for more balance but they are still running to set up the pass… not the other way around. With the Panthers giving up 134 yards per game to the run, Gore is sure to at least tally a hundred yards.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC – The Jaguars pass defense is just about as bad as the Bills run defense. The corner backs of the Jaguars have not been able to stop opposing WRs all season and after his best game in years, you may as well use him in the best match-up possible.
Matt Forte, RB, CHI – The Redskins have the worst overall defense in the NFL. They allow over 100 yards per game rushing and just under 300 yards passing. This suits Forte and the Bears offense perfectly, The Skins have not been able to generate much of a pass rush and with Forte being an integral part of the passing game and running game… as scary as this sounds Forte could have his best game of the season this week. (but, given he has two 30 point games so far this season I am not making that prediction… just saying it is possible)
Ryan Mathews, RB, SD – As the injuries stack up for the struggling Chargers offense, the likelihood that they lean on Mathews over the next couple weeks increases. The Patriots defense has been terrible this season and if Gates and Floyd are out, expect a lot of carries for Mathews.
Josh Freeman, QB, TB – The Buccaneers defense has been solid against the pass, but has struggled with the run. This will be a game of two franchises struggling to return to playoff form and the Buccaneers have been far more consistent and successful thus far. After seeing the Rams completely collapse to the Lions two weeks ago I am expecting big games from both Freeman and Mike Williams this week. What has really turned me into a Freeman believer is his ability to close out games in the 4th quarter.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI – Max Hall is definitely not the reason that Fitz is on this list, but the Seahawks pass defense is. Seattle allows 290 yards per game through the air and while that wont happen, I would say it is likely that the best receiver in football is able to beat a bad defense deep at least once.
Marques Colston, WR, NO – I understand your frustration about him having yet to score a receiving TD, but I am seeing flashbacks of Anquan Boldin scoring three times in one game against this secondary. Colston may not have reached double digit points yet this year, but this is the week that changes.
Todd Heap, TE, BAL – Believe it or not there are two things that the Bills suck at. First is defending the run… but after that its defending opposing Tight Ends. They are the only team to give up 5 TDs to the TE position and Heap will match up well against the Bills linebackers and secondary.
49ers, D/ST, SF – The Panthers offense has been inept all season. DeAngelo Williams has been their only bright spot and with zero consistency at the QB position the 9ers defense should have little trouble containing them. So far this season the Panthers offense has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing defenses (averaging 13 per game).
Fred Jackson, RB, BUF – He ran very well in his first game after the Marshawn Lynch trade, but going up against the Ravens is not where you want to start someone on this struggling Bills offense. I expect a very lopsided game this week, even with the Bills having an extra week to prepare.
Ricky Williams, RB, MIA – Apply this to Ronnie Brown too. The only person on the Dolphins worth starting against the Steelers is Brandon Marshall.
LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI – The Titans defense has been quietly great this season and especially against the run. The Eagles also have some injury concerns on the offensive line so given the pass rush of the Titans I think the Eagles lose the game before their bye week. With a bad match up and being on an almost pass-only offense, McCoy’s only chance at a big day will come through the air. With his high level of play so far this season you still need to start him, but lower expectations.
Kenny Britt, WR, TEN – With all the talk about the Eagles being about the Quarterback position, it has largely gone unnoticed how effective their pass defense has been. The Eagles have only allowed an average of 15 fantasy points per week to all WRs on the opposing offenses. Since we can’t assume that Britt catches every pass in this game, its is extremely unlikely he is able to have a good week.
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF – I think he will be able to maintain value for fantasy owners, but this is not the best week to use him. The Panthers are 5th in the NFL in pass defense and it is largely due to the ease in which people are able to run on them. Knowing this makes it all the more likely that Frank Gore has a huge game and Crabtree sees his lowest targets in 3 weeks.