Lots of big names on teams with a bye this week (Buffalo, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New England), so you may need to dig a little to find those fantasy points. Tampa Bay and Chicago will rival New Orleans and Indianapolis in passing yards as all teams should post big numbers in the air while Oakland, Atlanta and Pittsburgh will keep it on the ground and have plenty of success doing so.
I utilize statistical analysis combined with over 15 years of fantasy football experience to give you an inside look of how players will perform on a week-to-week basis. The Studs list will be updated on a regular basis as players emerge and injuries occur, but be patient with those players listed early in the season. They were ranked and selected high in your draft for a reason.
When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:
1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions.
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.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Minnesota
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Indianapolis
Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Washington
Matthew Stafford, Detroit vs. Atlanta
Philip Rivers, San Diego at N.Y. Jets
Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay vs. Chicago: Freeman had his best game of the season last week against New Orleans, throwing for 303 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. This week he faces a Bears’ defense that could have been lit up on Sunday night if Donovan McNabb was a few years younger and his receivers didn’t drop so many passes. Look for Freeman to continue his hot streak as his skills will translate into finding the open receivers and making the Bears pay for blitzing.
at Tampa Bay: What was once a dismal passing attack seemed to have turned a corner on Sunday night. The Bears’ offensive line woes are well documented, but last week they held a tight end or running back in for protection and Cutler looked like a different quarterback. Cutler threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t even need to finish the game as the Bears were beating up the Minnesota Vikings so badly. This one will be a shoot-out as Cutler will be needed for the entire game and his stats at the end of the day will be quite impressive.
Kevin Kolb, Arizona vs. Pittsburgh: As good as Jay Cutler looked against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, that’s how bad Kolb looked against the Vikings in Week 5. Kolb threw two interceptions against Minnesota and he doesn’t have a touchdown pass since Week 3 against Seattle. Things won’t get better for Kolb this week despite coming off a bye week as they face a Steelers’ defense that has allowed the fewest passing yards per game this season (157.7).
, N.Y. Jets
vs. San Diego: If you watched Sanchez on Monday night, you won’t be fooled by his numbers from last week to trick you into starting him this week. Sanchez ended the day with more than 200 yards passing, one passing touchdown, and a rushing touchdown. However, what the stats don’t tell you is how often he overthrew his receivers, how uncomfortable he looked in the pocket, and how much the Jets relied on the running game and the defense to win the game. It’s not like the Jets were playing a Super Bowl contender either. Miami has lots of problems and their pass rush ranks near the top. The Chargers’ defense is coming off a bye week and they have been very impressive defending the pass this season. The Jets will need to play ‘ground and pound’ this week as the aerial attack will struggle big time.