Falcons at Saints
Monday Night Football promises to be a great game and it has quite an impact on the NFC playoff picture. The Saints are looking to wrap up the division title at home against the Falcons this week and Atlanta is hoping to cling to clinch a playoff spot with a win. Atlanta will need to lean heavily on Michael Turner in an effort to keep Drew Brees on the sidelines. Brees has been the MVP of the second half of the season and the offense as a whole is playing as well as it has since their Super Bowl season. Darren Sproles is the only Saints runner worth the risk this week against a stout Falcons rush defense ranked 4th in the league. The New Orleans defense is not scary enough to downgrade any Atlanta offensive players but Julio Jones is always a risk to have a weak game despite his spot in my rankings at 16. Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham are both must-starts and should see an increase in targets with the running game struggles. I like the Saints to win this game on the arm of Drew Brees with home field advantage, they have been too good lately to expect a sudden collapse.
Chargers at Lions
The situation is slightly different for each team here but each will be desperate for a win. If Detroit wins they are in the playoffs and if San Diego loses they are out. For some reason San Diego always seems to live up to their expectations at the end of the year but it is usually a matter of whether or not they can dig out of the hole they dug for themselves earlier in the year. They dug a deep hole this time but two more wins just might dig them out of it. They are one game back from both the division lead, which Denver is currently trying to hold on to, and the second wild card spot. Detroit can lock-in a wild card spot with a win as they are 2 games ahead of a sea of 7-7′s who are all hoping to squeak their way into the post season. Ryan Mathews remains a quality start for fantasy owners this week with Detroit allowing over 130 yards per game on the ground. San Diego is ranked 6th in the league and could decide that two people are a must on Calvin Johnson every play, which would turn Titus Young into a nice flex option. I like Detroit to win this game but they will have to find a way to exploit the Charger defense and if Calvin Johnson does draw double teams, he needs to beat them anyways.
Giants at Jets
The Jets are officially listed as the home team in this game but it won’t affect anything but the coin toss. I am very interested to see how the Jets deploy Revis between Nicks and Cruz. We can be sure that the majority of the snaps will be for Nicks, who has been on a bit of a hot streak over the past three weeks. The gap between the two receivers is as small as it’s been in a while with Cromartie the more likely corner back to be exploited. The Giants have generally been a let down recently and I think it all starts on defense. They have had a lot of trouble stopping the run and hundred yard rushers are common. Shonn Greene is a must start this week as he looks to continue his own hot streak. Greene will be the story of this game and I think the Jets pull out the win.