In addition to our weekly Waiver Wire posts, we’ll also be providing valuable matchup analysis each week along with our suggestions on who to start and who to bench. If you have any additional matchup questions, or you are not sure who to start this week, feel free to post them in our fantasy football forum.

Detroit (1-2) at Chicago (2-1)
Passing Defense 278.7 29th Passing Defense 198.7 12th
Rushing Defense 111.3 16th Rushing Defense 94.7 13th
Fantasy Impact: The Monkey – not the 1,000 pound gorilla – is if off their back! The Lions won last week avoiding losing 20 straight games. How is this fantasy-relevant you might ask? The simple answer is not at all, the only two players worth owning on the Lions are still Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith. Please do not go rushing to pick up Bryant Johnson or Matt Stafford. So this week, the one-win Lions play the Bears and again the only two guys to start are Calvin Johnson and maybe Kevin Smith, (Smith hurt his shoulder last week and might find his way onto the injury report). On the Bears side, it is about time Matt Forte breaks out and I think he finds his way into the end zone this week as my bold prediction, so will Jay Cutler on a rushing touchdown (if you bank on that you’re a donkey, but that is why it is a bold prediction.) As far as throwing targets for Cutler, Greg Olsen is a sure thing but if you added Jonny Knox due to bye week issue you might be disappointed since I think Earl Bennett in a PPR league will actually have a bigger day.
Cincinnati (2-1) at Cleveland (0-3)
Passing Defense 240 19th Passing Defense 228.3 16th
Rushing Defense 88.7 11th Rushing Defense 184.3 30th
Fantasy Impact: Cincy was a fluke play away from being 3-0 this year and the Browns were about 39 plays from winning a single game this year – so who do you think I like in this match-up? All Cincy players are must start this week, including their defense as a pick up and play this week. Look for Dustin’s favorite Cedric Benson to run wild all over the Browns and when they have to stack the box, Carson Palmer will hook up with Chad Ochocinco deep. If you were one of the few humans out there that drafted Brady Quinn hoping for a breakout year, it is not his fault but it is time to drop him. Still no word on the starter for week 4 and no word if Jamal Lewis will play, but it doesn’t matter, try not to start any Brown except Braylon Edwards in a deeper league or if you have bye week issues.
Seattle (1-2) at Indianapolis (3-0)
Passing Defense 175.3 7th Passing Defense 192.3 10th
Rushing Defense 139.3 25th Rushing Defense 125.7 21th
Fantasy Impact: This just in…Peyton Manning is some kind of good at throwing a football. Which means Peyton, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark are must starts every week. Both Wayne and Clark have been extremely impressive and that is a good thing since neither Joseph Addai nor Donald Brown has been too solid. Seattle loves to run blitz so it might be a long day for both backs however, as you can see the run blitz has not worked too well for Seattle at this point. I do however; fully expect Manning to have another huge day along with anyone that catches footballs on the Colts. The knock on the Colts defense has been their run D and Julius Jones is off to a 238 yard, 3 touchdown start. He is a solid flex play this week but I would not be surprised to see the Colts make Seneca Wallace beat them in the air (there is little chance of old man Hasselbeck coming back this week, I do not care what local reports say). If Wallace is forced to beat the Colts he will do it by apparently throwing the ball to Nate Burleson who got almost double the targets than TJ Houshmandzadeh.
New York Giants (3-0) at Kansas City (0-3)
Passing Defense 124 1st Passing Defense 243 20th
Rushing Defense 121.3 20th Rushing Defense 119.3 19th
Fantasy Impact: The Giants held a professional football team to 86 total yards last week. That is amazing. So the moral of this story is Larry Johnson is old and do not start him. It is almost certain that the Chiefs will be playing from behind and I fully expect Dwayne Bowe to play this week and have the most targets in the league if by some miracle the Chiefs can stay on the field. With the byes starting this week Bowe is a start candidate, just don’t expect big things out of him. For the Giants Eli Manning and his receivers have another great match-up. After this week trade Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, repeat – after this week trade both of these guys. The reason is their value will be at their highest. (if Roddy White has another bad week you might get Roddy for one of them – which is a steal). So I think they will do good but how about the G-Men running backs? Brandon Jacobs is a must start and Ahmad Bradshaw might be a solid bye week replacement as well.
Baltimore (3-0) at New England (2-1)
Passing Defense 231.7 17th Passing Defense 174 6th
Rushing Defense 51 1st Rushing Defense 88.3 10th
Fantasy Impact: Since week 7 of the 2008 season the Ravens are among the leaders of most points scored in the regular season. I know I barely believe it myself. So needless to say I like Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason, Ray Rice, and Willis McGahee again. Out of the four I expect Ray Rice to have the largest impact and might find the end zone for a second straight week (I called it last week that Rice would score one out of his five touchdowns this season, and this will be the second one). On the flip side of the ball Tom Brady is a buy low candidate right now since he is off to a slow start and he plays the Ravens this week but remember Wes Welker has been out and he is really the Pats version of a running attack. If Wes plays I actually think Brady and company will put up a decent amount of points. The Ravens will play a someone over the top of Randy Moss all day so he might not find the end zone however, I expect a standard Moss day. Who would have thought I would be expecting a shoot out between the Pats and Ravens.
Tampa Bay (0-3) at Washington (1-2)
Passing Defense 245 20th Passing Defense 198 11th
Rushing Defense 187.3 31st Rushing Defense 127.7 22nd
Fantasy Impact: Blah – what an awful game. It pains me to write about this game but it is my job so here I go. The Skins lost to the Lions last week however, Jason Campbell did put up good fantasy numbers, I might be crazy to say this but with a few teams on the bye week Campbell might not be a bad plug and play quarterback this week. If you own Santana Moss; last week and this week are the only two weeks I can “OK” you starting him so go ahead. Chris Cooley is having a sneaky good PPR league year so definitely have him in your line-up as well. For the Bucs, it is a fantasy nightmare, at no point should you own a wide receiver or a quarterback that plays on this team and you should play the bye week and match-up game with their running backs. Noticed how I did not mention any names of any player on the Bucs; that is because they do not deserve it after only putting up a total of 86 offense yards last week. These guys get paid to play football and got a total 86 yards- give me a break!
Tennessee (0-3) at Jacksonville (1-2)
Passing Defense 274.7 28th Passing Defense 281.7 31st
Rushing Defense 60.7 2nd Rushing Defense 100 14th
Fantasy Impact: Nice battle of the running backs in this match-up however, I think Chris Johnson will win the day. Maurice Jones-Drew had a great week last week but that was against the Texans. Do not let the Titans record fool you, they are better than that and are great against the run. Their Achilles’ heel looks to be the passing defense and Michael Sims Walker (who should have been added in all fantasy leagues – go check now and make sure) might be in line for a big day. For anyone that watched Kerry Collins last week, he was not as bad as the numbers showed; he had a ton of balls dropped which I do not think will happen again this week. With that being said, all Tennessee receivers are only worth bye week starts. Chris Johnson is worth over 100 yards and at least 4 catches.
Oakland (1-2) at Houston (1-2)
Passing Defense 211 14th Passing Defense 231.7 17th
Rushing Defense 155 28th Rushing Defense 204.7 32nd
Fantasy Impact: Welcome back Kevin Walter. Everyone now remembers why the Texans could be the “Saints” of the AFC. Since Game 1 they are been impressive scoring a total of 58 points and Matt Schaub will find Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter again all game long. For Oakland, what can I say, I have stated over and over to anyone who will listen that JaMarcus Russell is a terrible quarterback and he proves it week after week. I feel for the Zack Miller owners out there since he gets open but Russell literally misses him by 3 to 4 feet. If Russell is going to have a solid all around game this year it will be this week but I doubt it – because he is not good at this game of football. I do however, like the Raiders O-Line and running game this week. I expect a ton of touches for Darren McFadden this week and as little passes from Russell as possible out of the Raiders.
New York Jets (3-0) at New Orleans (3-0)
Passing Defense 173.3 5th Passing Defense 245.3 21st
Rushing Defense 82.7 9th Rushing Defense 67 5th
Fantasy Impact: A battle of the “Unbeatens”, who would have thunk it? Marc Sanchez looks like the real deal but he has shown a few flashes that reminds us to remember that he is a rookie. If you are believer and picked him up, this week is a nice start for him. Jerricho Cotchery has been impressive as well so make sure he is in your line-up. Dustin Keller looks like he will be hit or miss on a weekly basis but this week may be one of those hits. For the backs, Thomas Jones owners be afraid; it is a matter of time until Leon Washington gets all the carries and he will finally breakout this week. For the Saints I will start to cut and paste this comment – Start Drew Brees but since he is so good at spreading the ball around it is tough to start any of his receivers and feel safe that they will all have a good game. This includes Marques Colston. Last week was an aberration and I fully expect Drew to find the end zone even against a tough Jets D. It also was proven that Pierre Thomas is healthy, so drop Mike Bell and insert Pierre T he will be a touchdown machine this year as first expected. This does not hurt Reggie Bush’s value too much since he should be listed as a receiver these days with as many balls as he has thrown to him.
Buffalo (1-2) at Miami (0-3)
Passing Defense 273.3 27th Passing Defense 264.7 25th
Rushing Defense 117.3 18th Rushing Defense 66 3rd
Fantasy Impact: Ok so Terrell Owens did not catch a ball and after the game all he said was “I run the plays that were called” and Tony Dungy thought TO was being his old self. Did he listen to the interview? TO even called a reporter sir and was on his best behavior (sorry not fantasy related but Tony was wrong and no one would dare ever call him out – well I am calling out Tony Dungy and he should apologize to TO – even though TO’s picture is in the dictionary next to the word narcissist ) – wow. So with that being said, TO will catch a pass this week and I think Trent Edwards will start to put an effort to throw him the ball. The real fantasy story line is the return of Marshawn Lynch from his suspension. For anyone that drafted him late and thought they would get a 1000 yard back at half the price, they have to be worried since Fred Jackson has been playing out of his mind. Keep an eye on the split (of course the head coach will say 50-50 going into the week) but I would be very interested to see how this actually works out. On a sadder note I think Chad Pennington’s career is over, he is getting another surgery on his shoulder and it is doubtful he will ever play again. So the important thing to remember is this will affect all Dolphin’s fantasy value (sorry Chad but life goes on). I would only start Ronnie Brown this week since the Fins will try to control the ball on the ground as Chad Henne learns to be an NFL starting quarterback.
St. Louis (0-3) at San Francisco (2-1)
Passing Defense 255 24th Passing Defense 253 23rd
Rushing Defense 148 27th Rushing Defense 66.7 4th
Fantasy Impact: Steven Jackson is having a quite solid fantasy year but he goes against a tough 49ers defense that held Adrian Peterson to 85 yards last week. If you have another good option you might want to think about putting them in the game but it is doubtful due to bye weeks – so roll the dice and hope for a good one out of S-Jax. The Offense of the 49ers has looked solid and the pick-up of the week is Glenn Coffee since Frank Gore has a high ankle sprain – again with the bye weeks here he is a great plug and play. I must apologize to Vernon Davis he had two touchdowns last week since he might not be completely fantasy worthless, but he still has time to prove me right.
Dallas (2-1) at Denver (3-0)
Passing Defense 268 26th Passing Defense 136.8 2nd
Rushing Defense 114.7 17th Rushing Defense 78.3 7th
Fantasy Impact: When you look at the Defense stats for the Broncos after three weeks, you might want to start to believe that they might be the real deal, but I’m not buying yet! This week will be the hardest test that they have faced. So the question is do you start your Cowboys this week? – The simple answer is yes. Tony Romo has had a great game, a bad game, and a good game but I fully expect another solid performance out of Romo this week and for him to prove the Broncos D is not this good. This means Jason Witten will have another fantasy-worthy week but it looks more and more like Roy Williams will be a hit or miss player. All the talk for the Cowboys is about Romo and the passing game but it is their run offense that has them 2-1. Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice are all great backs and whoever is healthy you should put in the line-up this week. For the Broncos Kyle Orton recently said that Brandon Marshall had his best week of practice, so against the soft secondary of the Cowboys he could have a big day. On the other hand, Eddie Royal is getting his last chance for a ton of fantasy teams so sit him on your bench and if he does not put up this week then feel free to cut him. As far as the running backs Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno have both looked good which spells a problem for fantasy owners, if you have either of these back you might want to sit them until a real starter is declared.
San Diego (1-2) at Pittsburgh (1-2)
Passing Defense 179.7 9th Passing Defense 212.7 15th
Rushing Defense 142.3 26th Rushing Defense 76.7 6th
Fantasy Impact: Classic Offense against Defense battle right? Well the Steelers have had a tough time getting to the quarterback the last two games and if that is the case again, Phillip Rivers and company might finally put up some touchdowns in the Red Zone. Vincent Jackson (still on pace for my 1000 yards and 10 touches) has turned into a must start against any team so I fully expect him to put up good numbers. Due to the Red Zone troubles I believe that Antonio Gates got a ton of practice this week in the zone and might be the guy Rivers looks for first. To the running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson might be out again and even if he plays he needs to sit on your bench because Darren Sproles (remember they placed a franchise tag on him for a reason) is the starter and the real deal. To the Steelers, Willie Parker remembered how to follow his lead blockers last week and he is playing against the Charger’s banged up D line; so he might make you remember why he used to be one of the league’s leading rushing every year. This also means if you own Rashard Mendenhall you should be nervous, he got no, zero, zilch carries last game and was 100% healthy. Ben Roethlisberger has looked solid and will be fighting not to go down 1-3 with the Ravens playing so well these days. He will have his game face on and find Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward on a consist basis to keep up with the high power Chargers offense. If you actually own Health Miller (there are at least 12 better fantasy tight ends in the league) this will be his best week since the Chargers cannot stop a decent tight-end.
Green Bay (2-1) at Minnesota (3-0)
Passing Defense 207 13th Passing Defense 167.7 4th
Rushing Defense 128.7 23rd Rushing Defense 92 12th
Fantasy Impact: Since this will be the most watched Monday night game in years you have to think about it from a fantasy value (duh, we run a fantasy game website here so great game or not everything is fantasy related) If Percy Harvin has a big game trade him, if you own Brett Favre and he has a good game trade him, if Ryan Grant has a big game trade him. The thinking behind this is since this will be the most talked about game this week and the most watched everyone in your league will see it and if they see a human do well they tend to overpay for them when it is trading time. With that being said I see Brett Favre and his receivers having a so – so day but it will be the Adrian Peterson show. If Cedric Benson can gain 141 yards against this defense imagine how well AP will do. For the Packers being on the road may help them in this emotional game, Aaron Rodgers is looking to prove the Packers made the right decision and he is ready for his national televised break-out party. That might be tough since Minnesota has a great defense but I think Rodgers will step up to the occasion along with Greg Jennings and have a big day since Ryan Grant and the running game will have troubles against the Minnesota Defensive Front. Now with all this being said, this will be such an emotional and pressure game due to all the hype I would not be surprised if anything happens, including one more Brett Favre moments to place on his highlight reel as he goes into the Hall (if he ever retires).