New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears
Jimmy Graham – How far can Graham separate himself from the rest of the pack? He’s already light years ahead of the others but there is still room to be gained. If Graham keeps on this amazing pace he’ll be a borderline first round pick in next year’s draft. The Bears defense is no joke so the going is likely to be tough. But as long as Drew Brees is running the show Graham stands to be a nightmare for all opposition, both real and fantasy.
New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals
Kenbrell Thompkins – Last week the Patriots’ undrafted rookie free agent looked more like a seasoned veteran hauling in pass after pass from quarterback Tom Brady. We’ve seen numerous wide receivers come and go throughout the years in New England, but here we have the chance to see someone establish himself for a prolonged period of time. With Danny Amendola out for the foreseeable future and fellow rookie receiver Aaron Dobson battling injuries, the opportunity for Thompkins to excel remains high. If Thompkins can avoid his early season case of the drops he could become the sneakiest WR3 play of the 2013 season.
Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy – If you went ahead and used your waiver claim on James Starks there is nothing to do now but hang your head and roll your eyes. Coming out of the bye week, Lacy looks to be all systems go while Starks will likely not even dress due to his knee injury. The Lions can’t handle the run so Lacy should have a grand welcome back party. If he doesn’t, we’ll have to start questioning if Lacy is capable of being a weekly fantasy starter. It would be nice to see Lacy pitch in here and there on passing plays to keep defenses guessing.
Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts
Russell Wilson – Last week was a huge fantasy letdown. With Russell being ranked as a top 10 option entering the season he can not afford to post back to back weak games. Top ten options are expected to deliver week in and week out with only one or two missteps throughout the year. The Colts defense is far from stout so we should be heading into the week with large expectations. This is a great chance for Wilson to reward patient owners.
Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins
Joe Flacco – If you left draft day with Flacco as your top quarterback chances are you have had one good week out of four. Flacco ranted and raved about how he deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as the greats such as Brady, Manning, and Brees and then came out flat after he earned the notoriety he was looking for. Sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? It’s terribly reminiscent of when Eli Manning finally found himself among the big dogs only to spoil it with a huge letdown of a season in 2012. Manning is still on a downward turn at this point and it’ll be interesting to see if Flacco follows suit.
Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants
LeSean McCoy – A big time game here would push McCoy to the brink of replacing Adrian Peterson as the top fantasy running back. And just looking at the table setting for this matchup it looks like a big one is in store. With Peterson on a bye week, Shady McCoy could propel himself into a 1A type of position. An average game would keep him among the others like Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster in being great, but not number one.