Matt Ryan has not been having the season he had last year. He currently sits as the 13th overall quarterback, making him a borderline start depending on the matchup. This week it’s a great matchup for him. The Washington Redskins rank 27th against quarterbacks this year. Ryan hasn’t scored 20 or more fantasy points since Week 7, but I think this is the week he’ll break above that mark. Last year he had 10 20-plus point fantasy games. This year he has just five, while Washington has allowed seven so far this season. With Roddy White looking to be fully healthy again, Ryan gets a bump up and he’s a good call for you to start this week.
San Francisco’s trip to Tampa Bay should be a good game for you to get Colin Kaepernick into your starting lineup. The Buccaneers have allowed 24 touchdowns so far this season, while only being in the middle-of-the-league in passing yards given up. Kaepernick has seven touchdown passes and just two interceptions over his past four games. While he’s not having the season most people thought he would when they drafted him this summer, he’s still a good quarterback with a good matchup right when you need him to have one. Start him with confidence this week.
Every time I say to bench Tom Brady I feel like I’m committing a crime. It just doesn’t feel right, but this week is another time I’m going to say to sit him. With Rob Gronkowski out for the season and a bad matchup against Miami, this is not the week to be starting Brady. The Dolphins have allowed just 15 passing touchdowns this year, or just over one a week on average. With this game being on the road, Brady’s chances of a good game just don’t look good. The odds just aren’t in his favor this week and he’s a guy who shouldn’t be in your starting lineup this week.
If you’re on the edge about starting Pierre Thomas verses someone else, go with Thomas. He gets a great game this week, and should have no problem putting up points for you. You might be scared off after his six- and seven-point games the last two weeks, but those were against Carolina and Seattle, two of the toughest run defenses in the NFL. This week against the 28th-ranked St. Louis defense he’ll get back on track. The Rams have allowed 12 different running backs to score on them this year, and Thomas should be the lucky number 13.
Le’Veon Bell is a guy you’re not going to want to start this week. Bell has been solid this year, but this game comes at just the wrong time. Cincinnati hasn’t allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 3, and no 20-plus point running backs since then, either. Those good stats mean that the Bengals rank fifth against running backs in fantasy football. My best bet for Bell this week is a low double-digit game at best. If you can handle that type of score in your semifinal playoff game, start him. Otherwise, look elsewhere for a better matchup this week.
Surprisingly, the toughest rush defense for a fantasy running back to go against this year is Arizona. This week Chris Johnson gets to be the lucky guy with that matchup. The Cardinals have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards and the fifth-fewest touchdowns in the league this year. Just one running back has more than 100 combined yards against Arizona. The Cardinals are not the defense you want your running back matched up with, and he’s a bad call for you to start this week.
Roddy White is the healthiest he’s been all year, and this is the week to start him. Not only has he produced well over the past two weeks, so you can feel safe that he’s back to full strength, he’s also got a good matchup this week. The Redskins allow the sixth-most receiving yards and the third-most receiving touchdowns in the league. Nine wideouts have more than 100 yards receiving or two receiving touchdowns when playing Washington. Matt Ryan will be looking for his top pass catching option a lot this game. White is a good call this week.
Cordarrelle Patterson will be a good wide receiver sleeper pick in next year’s fantasy drafts, especially if Minnesota drafts a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. Patterson had his first 100-yard receiving game last week and has double-digit points in three of his last five games. This week he gets the best matchup you could ask for if you own him. The Philadelphia Eagles are the easiest defense for a wide receiver to go against. Their fast-paced offense means their opponents are on the field longer, so there are more pass attempts, receptions and touchdowns to go around. Expect Patterson to make a good flex play this week.
Seattle has kept their spot as the toughest defense for a wide receiver to go against for a second week in a row. After stopping San Francisco last week, the New York Giants are the next team to try to pass against the Seahawks. Since not many teams have success doing this, Rueben Randle is a guy you’re not going to want to start this week. The Seahawks have allowed the fewest passing yards and the fourth-fewest passing touchdowns this year. Randle has cooled off the last three games after a good stretch in the beginning of the season. This is not the week he’s going to get hot again. He’s a bad call this week.
Arizona may have a good rush defense but the Cardinals are the easiest team for a tight end to go against. The Cardinals have allowed 14 receiving touchdowns to tight ends this year. This week looks like a good week for Delanie Walker. He’s been hit-or-miss with his fantasy production this year, but this is the week that you should be starting him.
If you’ve got Greg Olsen, start him this week. The New York Jets are in the bottom third of the league against tight ends. More than half of their opponents’ No. 1 tight ends have double-digit fantasy points when playing the Jets. Olsen has more than 12 fantasy points in four straight games, and should make it five after this week. Start him if you’ve got him.
Heath Miller is a guy you’re going to want to sit this week. He’s playing Cincinnati, who hasn’t allowed a tight end to get more than 12 fantasy points against them since Week 4. If you need double-digit points out of your tight end this week, Miller is not your guy. Look elsewhere for your tight end this week. He’s a bad call.
Good luck this week and, as always, may your starters stay healthy and I hope you make all the right calls.