Stud of the Week: Ryan Fitzpatrick at New York Giants
Over the past 4 weeks, the Giants have given up an average of 25.8 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Take away the game where the “Amish Rifle” injured his thumb and he’d be averaging 18.3 points per game, a great mark for any QB. He also just put up the best game of his season and has a full complement of weapons.
Ryan Tannehill at Baltimore Ravens
There are two ways you can look at the Miami Dolphins situation. One, Ryan Tannehill is getting everyone fired and two, all the coaches didn’t deserve jobs in the first place. Either way, after firing their offensive coordinator, I see Tannehill building off of last week's 22-point performance with a matchup against Baltimore who is giving up an average of 23 points when not facing QBs named Peyton Manning and Nick Foles.
Matt Hasselbeck at Pittsburgh Steelers
Call me crazy, but Hasselbeck is playing mistake-free football, is more accurate than Andrew Luck and has been finding his playmakers on a consistent basis. The Steelers have given up 10 touchdown passes over the past 3 games.
Dud of the Week: Phillip Rivers at Denver Broncos
Are you really surprised? The Chargers group of receivers may be the worst group the Broncos defense has faced all season. Rivers will be able to find Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates, but will still have a rough day against the best D in the league.
Drew Brees vs. Carolina Panthers
Outside of his 7-touchdown performance, Brees has looked pedestrian this season. The Panthers defense makes players look forgettable, as has been the case with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson.
Jameis Winston vs. Atlanta Falcons
Winston has been very good lately, showing why he was picked over Marcus Mariota. The Falcons defense has been great against opposing QBs all season, giving up only 13.4 ppg to opposing passers. Winston had a good game in Atlanta the first time around but the Falcons defense will be ready this time around.
Stud of the Week: Ronnie Hillman vs. San Diego Chargers
I could be wrong here, or I could be really right, it’s that kind of week. The Broncos have announced that Hillman will get the start, and the forecast calls for near perfect conditions, which should translate into a bounce-back performance for Hillman, who watched running mate C.J. Anderson take all the heroics in the win against the Patriots. It helps that the Chargers are really bad against the run — like really really bad.
Matt Forte vs. San Francisco 49ers
Forte didn’t have the triumphant return his fantasy owners were hoping for last week and with the emergences of rookie runner Jeremy Langford, that made sense. Against the 49ers, although the workload will likely be split, Forte will make the most of his touches and have a big day.
Javorius Allen at Miami Dolphins
Watching Monday Night Football this week, I came away impressed with what I saw out of Allen as a runner, a blocker and out of the backfield as a pass catcher. With Matt Schaub now the team’s starting QB, I expect Marc Trestman to continue to lean on the run game and for Schaub to keep looking for Allen as his check down.
Dud of the Week: Lamar Miller vs. Baltimore Ravens
With a new offensive coordinator and a backup that is cutting into his workload, I’m looking for the Dolphins to take advantage of the Ravens through the air where their vulnerable.
Latavius Murray vs Kansas City Chiefs
Since week 4 when the Chiefs allowed 38.9 points to the Bengals, they haven’t allowed more than 18.4 points in game since that week. Murray is also averaging only 8 points over his last 4 games.
Frank Gore at Pittsburgh Steelers
Gore has 9.7 points in his last two games and the strength of the Steelers defense is against the run. With Hasselbeck under center and his success through the air, I expect the Colts to take advantage of the Steelers weaknesses.
Stud of the Week: Demaryius Thomas vs. San Diego Chargers
People are making a huge deal of Thomas struggles the past two weeks with Brock Osweiler under center, most of whom don’t understand football. Thomas has spent next to no practice time with Brock, they are not in sync on timing and Thomas has yet to adjust to Osweiler’s accuracy and the zip he puts on his throws. Granted, Thomas does run some lazy routes, he does take plays off and he isn’t as physical as he should be. But not every receiver adjusts so quickly to a new quarterback, look at Dez Bryant in Dallas. So just relax. Thomas is going to be fine.
Brandon LaFell vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Tom Brady is pissed off, and when he’s pissed off, his pass catchers stand to benefit. When you matchup against Byron Maxwell, you also stand to benefit and it doesn’t help the Eagles that their secondary is decimated.
Kamar Aiken at Miami Dolphins
If you were smart enough to pick up Aiken following the injury to Steve Smith, you have been rewarded by a steady increase in production. The Dolphins have a poor pass defense and with Schaub at QB against the Browns, Aiken had his best game of the season.
Dud of the Week: Mike Evans vs. Atlanta Falcons
In the first contest against Atlanta, Evans was held to 48 yards on 3 receptions. The Falcons have been very good against opposing receivers this season giving up only 3 touchdowns.
Sammy Watkins vs. Houston Texans
Over the past 4 games, the Texans defense has went from one of the biggest let downs in the NFL to one of the biggest surprises. The entire defense is a matchup problem, I don’t see Watkins repeating his big game against the Chiefs.
Calvin Johnson vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packer defense is returning to full strength and the team will be motivated to avenge their first loss at Lambeau at the hands of the Lions since the early '90s.
Stud of the Week: Travis Kelce at Oakland Raiders
Kelce represents a double standard in the sports world. He does obnoxious celebrations anytime he catches a touchdown pass without ridicule, while Cam Newton inspires letters to be written for his celebrations. Expect and obnoxious Kelce celebration against the Raiders.
Scott Chandler vs Philadelphia Eagles
Chandler and LaFell represent really the only healthy pass catchers Tom Brady has left. It’s not the best matchup but I’d role with Chandler the next couple weeks.
Vernon Davis vs. San Diego Chargers
I think this is going to be Vernon’s break through game. He has now been in the offense for a month and his chemistry with Brock is clear. He’s in line to break out.
Dud of the Week: Jason Witten at Washington Redskins
It’s a poor matchup and it’s also back to square one for Witten, with Tony Romo’s latest injury.
Julius Thomas at Tennessee Titans
Thomas turned in his second solid performance of the season, but he is not a big enough part of the offense to warrant starting weekly.
Jordan Reed vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys defense performs moderately well against opposing tight ends and at that, Cousins has been looking elsewhere more and more.
Stud of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
The Jaguars defense has been good this season and Titans QB Mariota has been good for a few awful games as a rookie.
Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Welp, Tony Romo is out for the season…
Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens
Like clockwork, Matt Schaub is good for one interception returned for a touchdown per game.
Dud of the Week: St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Rams are beat up, the team might be leaving, and things in St. Louis are a mess. Add on top of that the fact that the team is playing the Arizona Cardinals, the prospects are not great.
New York Jets at New York Giants
The showdown in the Meadowlands promises to be a good one with the Jets playing well and the Giants in need of a win. I see this being more of a high scoring offensive matchup than a defensive showdown. The question at hand will be if OBJ can survive Revis Island.
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills
The Bills offense played very well against a very good Chiefs defense. While I believe the Texans will still play well defensively, the Bills will limit their mistakes.
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