Stud of the Week: Peyton Manning at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders and their porous secondary are giving up an average of 19.3 points to opposing quarterbacks so far this season and gave up good days to Josh McCown and Jay Cutler. Manning is coming off a bad week against a good defense, but he should bounce back for a big game in Oakland.
Alex Smith vs. Chicago Bears
If you take away the dud Smith laid against the Denver defense in Week 2, you'd find that he has averaged 20 ppg. Smith gets a Bears defense that struggled the first three weeks of the season, before bottling up Derek Carr.
Sam Bradford vs. New Orleans Saints
I'm not officially jumping back on the Bradford hype train, but for this week I'm ready to saddle back up with an extremely favorable matchup after a three-touchdown day. If I have him (which I do), then I'm starting him.
If you're desperate: Joe Flacco gets the Cleveland Browns defense at home, coming off their first win of the season. Jay Cutler is coming off a big game and gets the Kansas City Chiefs secondary that has given up the most points to opposing QBs this season. Marcus Mariota coming off of a bye against an undisciplined Bills defense may lead to a big day.
Dud of the Week: Matthew Stafford vs. Arizona Cardinals
Stafford's luck is awful, in back-to-back-to-back weeks he gets the Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals defense. There isn't much to say here, as the Lions draw another tough defense and a secondary that takes the ball away.
Tyrod Taylor at Tennessee Titans
The Titans have had two weeks to prepare for Taylor, who may still be without top target Sammy Watkins. Tennessee has also given up an average of 15.2 ppg to opposing QBs through three contests.
Andy Dalton vs. Seattle Seahawks
It seems like good Andy found a shovel and beat bad Andy to a pulp. I'm not saying bad Andy has some life left in him (which he does) but against the Seahawks, the Bengals may have to rely on the ground game more than Dalton's arm.
Derek Carr vs. Denver Broncos
Come on... need I say more?
Stud of the Week: Frank Gore at Houston Texans
Did anyone think the Texans defense would be this bad? That's what Hollywood does—it gives you unrealistic expectations which is exactly what Hard Knocks did for NFL fans. Andrew Luck is not playing, Matt Hasselbeck has been in the hospital, so it looks like the Colts will lean on the old man to leave Houston with a win.
If the Patriots jump out to a big lead against the Cowboys (which they will), then that will leave plenty of touches for Lewis and Blount to both have big games. Oh and Lewis just received a two-year contract extension, so the Hoodie likes him.
Justin Forsett vs. Cleveland Browns
If you rode out Forsett's early struggles, you were somewhat rewarded with a solid game. Now that he has seen a shimmer of running room, look for Forsett to build off of his first double digit performance of the season.
Dud of the Week: Devonta Freeman vs. Washington Redskins
Back-to-back 30-point games will give any owner a big head and in Freeman's case, I get it. The one thing the Redskins are good at is defending the run and I'm not yet prepared to crown Freeman as a weekly starter (let alone starter of the Falcons backfield).
Giovani Bernard vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Bengals will likely lean own Jeremy Hill to chip away at the Seahawks defense,so I can't see Bernard having a good week considering the circumstances.
C.J. Anderson at Oakland Raiders
It's time to let the guy get healthy. Ronnie Hillman will be cutting into his workload even more and the Raiders weakness is their secondary.
Stud of the Week: Alshon Jeffery at Kansas City Chiefs
Please be healthy, please be healthy, please be healthy! Jeffery has toyed with fantasy owners the past few weeks (myself included), but this week might finally reward them. The Chiefs defense have been a wide receivers dream this season and Jay Cutler has missed his favorite target.
DeAndre Hopkins vs. Indianapolis Colts
Looking back, the Texans could have taken Derek Carr, the younger brother of their first draft selection, David Carr, in the second round of last season's draft. Instead, Bill O'Brien is stuck with Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer at QB—do you think he regrets the decision? For Hopkins, it doesn't really matter who's throwing him the ball, he will catch it.
Jeremy Maclin vs. Chicago Bears
Yes. Maclin broke the most infamous streak in the NFL by catching a touchdown pass a couple weeks ago. He followed that up with another double digit fantasy day. I expect the Chiefs to open up the passing game and for Maclin to catch an unthinkable second touchdown pass.
Dud of the Week: T.Y. Hilton at Houston Texans
Still not 100% going up against a defense that prefers giving up big plays to running backs and catching passes from sick 40-year-old QB is a recipe for a bad day.
Amari Cooper vs. Denver Broncos
See Carr, Derek.
James Jones vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams are a tough defense and while Aaron Rodgers is ridiculous, I think the defense will bottle up one of his targets. Jones is also fighting a hamstring injury.
Stud of the Week:Antonio Gates vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming off suspension, I am rolling with Gates immediately against the Steelers, who were torched by Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in Week 1. Philip Rivers and the Chargers are in dire need of a red zone receiving option—enter Gates.
Owen Daniels at Oakland Raiders
Daniels has caught a touchdown in back-to-back games. The Raiders defense will be the most inviting matchup he'll see all season.
Vernon Davis at New York Giants
Being tied to Colin Kaepernick sucks. Davis is one of the NFL's premier tight ends, something that is meaningless when your quarterback is awful. Maybe this week Davis gets back in the endzone.
Dud of the Week: Jimmy Graham at Cincinnati Bengals
I still don't get why Seattle traded for him. I don't get it. I will never get it. Time to move on. Against the Bengals, look for Graham to be bottled up... again. Russell Wilson is not Drew Brees.
Travis Kelce vs. Chicago Bears
Andy Reid's offense confuses me. First down; run. Second down; screen pass for a loss. Third down; 3-yard pass downfield. Rinse and repeat. With shiny toys such as Jamaal Charles, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce you'd think the old coach would be more imaginative but alas it's not meant to be.
Gary Barnidge at Baltimore Ravens
He is undoubtedly Josh McCown's favorite target. That being said, the third time is not the charm this week against a Ravens defense that matches up extremely well against opposing tight ends.
This may be the first time in the history of fantasy football that someone has endorsed the Jaguars defense, but I'll take it. Under the direction of Gus Bradley, this defense has made a ton of improvements. Facing rookie turnover machine Jameis "I was somehow drafted ahead of Mariota" Winston helps their cause.
Speaking of Marcus Mariota, he is also good for a turnover or two a game. Maybe the Bills try to go against the whole "we can rack up more penalties than anyone else" mentality long enough to make a few impact plays.
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Rams are a good defense, but that doesn't matter to Aaron Rodgers. I could be his top receiving target and he'd still find a way to light up an opposing defense. Speaking of, I should probably call Ted Thompson, be right back...Okay that didn't work, moving on.
Tom Brady has the NFL squarely in his sights for the 2015 revenge tour in a way that is very reminiscent of his 2007 record setting revenge tour. Go ahead and keep the 'Boys on the bench.
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