Bills at Giants
I am very excited to watch my Bills play this weekend as they go on the road to face Eli Manning and the Giants. The last time Buffalo played on the road they were beat by an inferior Bengals team as Fitzpatrick struggled against a stout defense. The Giants defensive front is phenomenal and finally healthy. Jason Pierre-Paul is quietly having a breakout season and with Osi Umenyiora back, the Bills’ offensive line is in for a long day. It will be up to Scott Chandler and the running backs to aid in protection because if they can give Fitzpatrick time, Steve Johnson and David Nelson will be able to get open. Terrence McGee will finally be on the field after injuring his hamstring in the season opener and this is very good news for Bills fans. The Giants have one of the best wide receiver trio’s in the NFL now that Victor Cruz has emerged as a play maker. Hakeem Nicks is one of the best red zone targets in the NFL and Manningham is a very complete receiver with great hands who runs very crisp routes. The story of this game will be simple: turnovers. Buffalo’s secondary has been incredibly opportunistic and has forced 4 INTs from both Tom Brady and Michael Vick this season. Eli Manning had issues with turnovers last week against the Seahawks, throwing 3 interceptions. If the Giants want to win this game, they have to protect the football and pressure Fitzpatrick. Rookie Chris Hairston has a tall-task in his second start filling in for the injured Demetrius Bell at left tackle, but nothing slows down the pass rush like an effective run game and I like Buffalo to win a close game this week on the shoulders of Fred Jackson. I would not sit any of your fantasy players in this game because these offenses are not going to be stopped completely. Eli Manning remains an good QB2 option, but I am too nervous about him throwing too many INTs to start him in standard leagues. Ahmad Bradshaw has the best match up here and will see a lot of use unless the game gets out of hand. David Nelson makes a very nice flex play because the loss of Donald Jones should lead to an increase in targets for Nelson.
Cowboys at Patriots
This game should be an entertaining one to say the least. Tony Romo is always the deciding factor in big games for the Cowboys, he either makes unbelievable game winning plays or bonehead mistakes that hand the game to his opponent. Maybe it’s wishful thinking as a Bills fan but I think that with an extra week to prepare and Miles Austin back in the lineup, the Cowboys will be able to squeak out a victory in a nail-biter. The deciding factor for me is on defense; in the last 5 years no one has tallied more sacks than DeMarcus Ware who tallied 72 in that time frame. Of the two defenses, Dallas’ is the one that I think has the best chance to impact the game and force a couple turnovers. The smart money is certainly on New England because Dallas is not going to be able to contain Wes Welker and Tom Brady WILL score points. Neither defense is a scary match up for fantasy owners of all players in this game. I think Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are must starts along with Wes Welker who is on pace to break a few records this season. Tom Brady and Tony Romo should both be started with confidence as well but I don’t know as though any running back will have a huge game here. Each team has a weak secondary and plays a pass-first style of offense.
49ers at Lions
San Francisco has really impressed me after a slow start on offense. An easy schedule and a few timely punt returns have gotten them off to a 4-1 start and they have really started to impress me over the past two weeks on offense. Alex Smith is playing smart and safe football and Frank Gore has been over 100 yards for the past two games. Detroit has been almost perfect over the first 5 games and they look to remain undefeated. This game will need to be won in the trenches. Detroit has invested a lot of high draft picks on their defensive line and San Francisco has invested their recent draft picks in their offensive line. So far this season these young groups of lineman have been a huge part of their teams success and I think whoever wins THIS match up wins this football game. San Francisco has to keep Stafford and Megatron on the bench with a heavy dose of Frank Gore. Carlos Rogers is playing the best football of his life for the 9ers and has a pick in three straight games after returning one for a TD last week. I actually like San Fran to win a close game with a big play on defense giving them the edge. You have to start all your Detroit Lions though; Jahvid Best will be one of the best RB2 options for fantasy owners until he gets hurt and Calvin Johnson is by far the best receiver in the NFL for fantasy-purposes. Matthew Stafford is a very viable starter, but I don’t think he has too much big-game potential against this defense. Alex Smith is an option in a pinch for 2 QB leagues if your having bye week issues, but I would stay away if possible.