Jets at Patriots
The Battle for the AFC East will be fought on Monday night this week as the Patriots play host to the cardiac Jets. The Jets managed to win this match up when they were at home in week 2 this year, but in order to demonstrate they are a true threat to make it to the Super Bowl… they will need to prove they can go on the road and beat an elite team. Despite the fact that the Patriots have the same record, I don’t foresee them being able to beat the Jets in this match up. The Patriots’ pass defense has fallen to last place in the NFL and with the development of Sanchez coming along smoothly and the integration of Santonio Holmes into the Jets offense being finished, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Jets complete a comeback win inside the last two minutes of the game. Because of the Jets defense you should stay away from starting any and all Patriots players on your fantasy team… except Brady. Upgrade Sanchez and his receivers as the Patriots have proven they are not able to keep receivers covered for very long at all. The Patriots run defense is solid, but they are not good enough to lower expectations for LT or Shonn Greene.
Texans at Eagles
The number two game on my list of must-see games this week is the Thursday night game on NFL Network tonight. The Texans are another pass defense that does not seem to be able to cover anyone and until last week they appeared to have a strangle-hold on the worst ranked pass defense in the NFL. On the other side of the ball Michael Vick is having an MVP season this year. He has thrown just ONE interception thus far and while facing off against such a terrible secondary, Vick is sure to have a huge performance in this game and he has been locked in as my top ranked QB for the week. Also look for great performances from each of the Eagles’ top two receivers as each has been a beneficiary of Vick’s play. Lots of people have lowered their expectations for DeSean Jackson, largely due to the consistency of Jeremy Maclin… but no receiver in the league has the big-play ability that Jackson does and I feel he is a must start for the rest of the way. The Eagles defense has been able to contain most of the RBs they have faced this season, but with Foster being the top rusher of the season… he remains a must start and it is reasonable to expect a good game from him this week. Andre Johnson is still a stud and since he was not suspended, you still have to start him as he is the best all-around receiver in the NFL. I expect a big win for the Eagles if they get Asante Samuel back in their lineup for this match up, but if not… this game could go just like the Bears game did.
Steelers at Ravens
A football fan’s favorite match up comes in as the third must-watch game of the week. The past 10 or so years have featured elite defenses from both the Steelers and Ravens every year. Since they face each other twice a year, there is also a rivalry element when these teams meet… which almost always leads to a hard-fought and entertaining defensive battle. So, if you want to see long passing TDs and breakout offensive performances… your going to want to find a different game to watch. Downgrade EVERYONE involved in this game on the offensive side of the ball, though with the struggles of the Ravens defense this year… your Steelers are likely still starters for your week 13 fantasy match up. I expect the Steelers to create a big play or two with Big Ben’s scrambling ability and that should be enough to get the win in this game. As for the Ravens on your fantasy team, don’t expect a big game from Boldin… but with Ray Rice’s involvement in the passing game he will remain a top 20 RB.