This list will include a handful of players at each skill position that has either a very favorable matchup or a matchup to avoid. Not every player at every skill position will be listed every week. Instead of a watered-down version of predicting each player’s performance, this list will focus on a select group of players whose chances to succeed or fail are increased based on their opponent of the week.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. You won’t find Marshall Faulk or Randy Moss on this list. This list is to help choose between the middle-of-the-road players.
2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.
Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!
The BYE weeks are finally over. No more excuses!
Tim Rattay, San Francisco (vs. Green Bay): Talk about making the most of an opportunity! Rattay has played fantastic in his two starts since Jeff Garcia was injured and Rattay looks to be at the helm this week against the Packers who are ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. Garcia’s job is certainly in jeopardy.
Marc Bulger, St. Louis (vs. Arizona): Despite Bulger’s recent struggles, he’s thrown two INTs in each of the past three games, he comes recommended this week against the Cardinals in the desert. Arizona was lit up by Kelly Holcomb and the Browns for 392 yards passing last week. Expect more of the same this week.
Chris Chandler, Chicago (vs. Denver): With the Rex Grossman comments starting up and Chandler throwing an INT in each of the past three games, the writing is on the wall for Chandler to find his way back to the bench real soon. Hopefully, he’s not your only option at the QB spot.
Tony Banks, Houston (vs. New England): With David Carr expected to miss at least a couple weeks with an injured shoulder, Tony Banks will take over at QB. His reward is to face a New England pass defense that has allowed an NFL-low four TDs and has picked off 16 passes. Expect Belichick to keep Banks off balance all day.
Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati (vs. San Diego): Even with the return of Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson’s rushing numbers in the last two weeks (182 & 165 yards) cannot be ignored. This week the first place Bengals head to San Diego who rank 27th in rushing yards allowed. Will someone please teach Rudi Johnson the Ickey shuffle?
Moe Williams, Minnesota (vs. Detroit): One of the few bright spots for the Vikings lately, has been the play of Moe Williams. Even with Michael Bennett returning to action, Williams has been a huge factor in the offense totaling 206 yards receiving in the past two games. Look for more solid numbers this week out of Williams.
Eddie George, Tennessee (vs. Atlanta): It’s time to dust the cobwebs off Eddie George and get him back in your lineup. The Falcons allowed 210 yards rushing last week and rank 31st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed on the season including an NFL worst 16 rushing TDs allowed. Get George back in your lineup, pronto.
Redskins RBs, Washington (vs. Miami): With third stringer Rock Cartwright dinged up, the Skins may turn to John Simon to run the ball this week in Miami. How many times a week do you think Steve Spurrier wakes up in a cold sweat having nightmares about Stephen Davis? Sit all Redskins this week, especially the running backs.
Anthony Thomas, Chicago (vs. Denver): While Thomas has performed well the past few weeks, this week the Bears face a Broncos defense that has only allowed 109 yards rushing total in the past two games. Denver has also allowed an NFL-low four rushing TDs on the season. Keep the A-Train in the station this week.
T.J. Duckett, Atlanta (vs. Tennessee): Despite rushing for only 95 yards combined in the past three games, Duckett has scored four touchdowns keeping his name in several fantasy lineups. This week, the Falcons host Tennessee who simply do not allow teams to run against them. Keep Duckett on the bench this week if possible.
Derrick Mason, Tennessee (vs. Atlanta): Mason has been on the verge of a breakout game the last couple of weeks. Mason had 98 yards receiving in each of the past two weeks falling just short of the magical 100-yard mark that us fantasy geeks treasure. Look for Mason to crack the century mark this week in a big way.
Peter Warrick, Cincinnati (vs. San Diego): Not only did Warrick return a punt for a TD last week, he also broke the 100-yard mark receiving for only the second time this year in the upset win over the Chiefs. Look for more solid numbers from Warrick this week as he faces the Chargers who have allowed an NFL-high 22 passings TDs.
Keenan McCardell, Tampa Bay (vs. N.Y. Giants): The new #1 WR in town played through a strained hamstring last week and still posted five catches for 55 yards and a TD. With the Bucs coming home to play on Monday night in what is a must-win game, McCardell should have plenty of balls thrown his way.
Santana Moss, N.Y. Jets (vs. Jacksonville): Moss has scored a TD in each of the past six games setting a team record. If you own Moss, chances are you’re already starting him. Let this serve as a reminder to not let the three catches last week fool you. Moss deserves to be in the lineup each and every week.
Keyshawn Johnson, Tampa Bay (vs. N.Y. Giants): Just give him the damn remote! That’s about all Keyshawn will be doing these days after the Bucs deactivated him for the season. Hopefully, your league hasn’t closed their waivers yet as Keyshawn is completely useless for the rest of the season.
Joey Galloway, Dallas (vs. Carolina): Even though Galloway is likely to play this week after missing last week’s game with a strained quad, he does not come recommended. The Dallas offense has scored 10 points or less in three of the past four weeks, including getting shut out twice. Look elsewhere.
Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina (vs. Dallas): If you missed last week’s nine catch, 189-yard performance from Muhammad, simply move on. Muhammad won’t have a repeat performance this week against the Cowboys who have the NFL’s top defense.
David Tyree, N.Y. Giants (vs. Tampa Bay): Who? Pass on the guy who caught five passes for 106 yards last week as the G-Men face the Bucs in Tampa on Monday night in a must-win situation.
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (vs. Buffalo): The rookie posted five catches for 100 yards last week in a shoot out against the Jets. With Pollard on the shelf for at least another game, Clark is a nice option for your TE.
Shannon Sharpe, Denver (vs. Chicago): You shouldn’t expect three TD catches every week, but 100+ yards receiving is not too far of a stretch against Da Bears.
Jay Riemersma, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland): Riemersma left Monday night’s game after suffering a chest injury. The rarely used TE should not be an option for your fantasy starter.
Boo Williams, New Orleans (vs. Philadelphia): With Ernie Conwell out for the season, Williams takes over as the starting TE in New Orleans. Don’t expect immediate success for Boo in Philly this week.