Stevan Ridley, RB, NE – There are a lot of people out there that are under the assumption that the Patriots are a pass-first offense. New England has attempted 276 rushing plays and 323 passing plays. A surprisingly even split when the perception is that they almost never run. Ridley is the lead back on the NFL’s 4th best rushing offense and he is playing against the NFL’s 31st ranked rushing defense.
Matthew Stafford, QB, DET – Stafford didn’t knock his fantasy owners’ socks off last week with points. He did however play pretty well and the team was running the ball with an effectiveness that we have really never seen before. This ability to run the ball opened up Calvin Johnson in the passing game. Stafford should bounce back well in the second half of the season.
Stevie Johnson, WR, BUF – Johnson has been a fairly large disappointment in the past few weeks. The Bills passing offense has fallen apart and they are leaning heavily on their running game. But, I’ve got news for fantasy owners… New England’s secondary is awful. Aqib Talib is not eligible to play for the Patriots yet as he finished out his suspension and it is reasonable to look for 100 yards and a score from Johnson this week.
Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC – It may be hard to get excited about a back up running back on the worst team in the NFL. Sorry Jaguars fans, I don’t mean to offend, but they really are that bad. I am excited because this is a winnable game for Jacksonville. They are playing at home against the 5-3 Indianapolis Colts, who have a terrible run defense. They have been gashed by a variety of backs this season and Jennings will have more room to run in this game than any Jaguar back has all season. Get this guy in your lineup unless your team is stacked.
Brandon Meyers, TE, OAK – The only thing that I am nervous about with Meyers is that he is on a west coast team that is traveling to the east, to play at 1pm. Carson Palmer is playing pretty well as of late and Oakland is starting to improve. Darren McFadden is banged up and even if he gets out there, which I doubt, he will have a limited role. This means that Oakland will be opening up the passing game even more this week and Meyers has been a VERY sure-handed and reliable threat for Palmer all season. He’s close to being a top 10 guy until further notice.
Brian Hartline, WR, MIA – If after last week, you still require more proof to believe me when I say that Tennessee is a bad team, your insane. The offense was turning the ball over like crazy and the secondary couldn’t contain Brandon Marshall, who was the primary AND secondary receiver on every pass that Jay Cutler threw. Hartline is no Brandon Marshall but he is a reliable weapon for Tannehill and could be in-line for his second best game of the season.
Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ – The Jets offense has struggled, to say the least, at times this season and while Greene has been able to put up some very good statistical performances, he has yet to WOW me when I watch the game film. Seattle has one of this season’s best defenses and when they are at home, they can shut down ANYONE. This is not a good week to risk your fate on Greene or any New York Jet.
Mike Williams, WR, TB – A LOT of fantasy analysts have listed Mike Williams as a top 20 guy this week and honestly, I think that this is absurd. He has not had a 100-yard game in 3 weeks and while he has 3 TD’s in 4 games, I am not sure that there is any real certainty that he will be continuing this trend. Don’t get me wrong, his value is on the rise and he is a viable flex option but a WR #2? Get real… not yet.
Tony Romo, QB, DAL – IF you still love this guy, you haven’t seen his games. You should have been in the market for a new QB already and Josh Freeman, Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck all found their way above Freeman in my rankings. Sit Romo down or you are asking to lose.
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN – I was really upset when Johnson pulled the fluke 80 yard TD run out of thin air as the Titans were DOMINATED by the Bears last week. If you take away that ONE play, Johnson would have gotten you just two fantasy points. He is not a top 20 guy and just a flex-option because it is possible that he pulls another big play out of nowhere.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI – Dallas’s defense has been incredibly improved from last year. That goes double for the secondary, which was simply awful last season. Between that and how poor Vick has been playing lately, there is not much chance of quality production from Maclin. DeSean Jackson gets ranked higher this week because he is far more likely to take a short pass the distance but even he is just a flex-play in a week where big-plays are not very likely. If your desperate, you can use Maclin because NFC East games tend to be tough to analyze… anything can happen.