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.

Cincinnati (3-1) at Baltimore (3-1)
Cincinnati YARDS/GAME RANK Baltimore YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 242 26th Passing Defense 232 23rd
Rushing Defense 103 14th Rushing Defense 59 1st
Fantasy Impact: Baltimore is coming off a tough loss that Ed Reed and Ray Lewis both thought the refs were being too protective of quarterbacks; however, I doubt they will be taking it easy on Carson Palmer this week. Palmer will be tested along with Chad Ochocinco and points will be hard to come by against this tough defense. With that being said, most likely if any points come at all it will be the result of those two because Cedric Benson is in for long day against the number 1 rush defense in the NFL. For the Ravens the Cincy Defense has been better this year than last but the Ravens offense has been on full cylinders since the start of the season. Expect a strong rushing attack out of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee (who is scaring all of his owners because if he does not find the endzone it will not be a good day for him) who both will have a chance to put up decent numbers this week. Expect Joe Flacco to find Derrick Mason throughout this game and I expect this game to be a close one.
Minnesota (4-0) at St. Louis (0-4)
Minnesota YARDS/GAME RANK St. Louis YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 211 12th Passing Defense 225 19th
Rushing Defense 90 9th Rushing Defense 135 24th
Fantasy Impact: Brett Favre is coming off an amazing game against his former team but do not expect the same numbers this week since the Vikings probably will go up early and run the ball the entire second half. This means Adrian Peterson will have a solid game and Chester Taylor might even get into the mix. Since I do not expect the Rams to put too many points on the board Percy Harvin’s value will decrease in return yard leagues. For the Rams Marc Bulger is expected to sit again which mean no Ram wide-outs are worth starting this week, this also means it will be another long day for Steven Jackson since he will be seeing eight in the box all game long again.
Oakland (1-3) at New York Giants (4-0)
Oakland YARDS/GAME RANK New York Giants YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 211 11th Passing Defense 115 1st
Rushing Defense 146 26th Rushing Defense 117 19th
Fantasy Impact: This is an on-going theme since I have now stated this each and every week – JaMarcus Russell is not good at the game of football and going against the number one passing defense means the same thing again: do not start anyone to whom he throws the ball. Normally I would state that due to Russell’s incompetence that Darren McFadden should see a ton of work; however, he is out two to four weeks. Michael Bush should see an expanded role but I do not like him as a spot start against this defense. For the Giants Eli Manning might be out this week and the Oakland passing defense has been decent, so Steve Smith and Mario Manningham will take a hit this week. For Brandon Jacobs this means he will see an expanded role and should have a great game – I fully expect him to find the end zone this week.
Cleveland (0-4) at Buffalo (1-3)
Cleveland YARDS/GAME RANK Buffalo YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 227 21st Passing Defense 227 22nd
Rushing Defense 177 31st Rushing Defense 151 27th
Fantasy Impact: Braylon Edwards has packed his bags and left town for what he hopes will be greener pastures in New York just before fantasy owners got a great match-up for him in the Bills. The Bills’ defense has looked atrocious which could mean good things for new /old starter Derek Anderson and what looks to be his new favorite target in rookie Mohamed Massaquoi. Last week they hooked up often and Massaquoi almost had a buck-fifty in yards. Don’t bank on these numbers every week but this match-up is a good one for them. The other reason they might hook up is that the Bills might need to do some run blitzing to help out their D-Line who is terrible against the run. Jamal Lewis is likely out again opening the door for Jerome Harrison to have a big day at running back. For the Bills they are going against the second worst run defense in the league and Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch are looking to have bounce back games (the problem is it looks like a fifty-fifty time share). Trent Edwards needs a good day and the Browns might be just want he needs. I fully expect the Bills to take some shots down the field so if Terrell Owens does not drop the ball, he and Lee Evans could put up some interesting numbers.
Pittsburgh (2-2) at Detroit (1-3)
Pittsburgh YARDS/GAME RANK Detroit YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 218 15th Passing Defense 240 25th
Rushing Defense 62 3rd Rushing Defense 121 20th
Fantasy Impact: Ben Roethlisberger is having one of his best years when it comes to passing yards and throwing against this Lions secondary should light up his eyes even more. The Lions give up big plays, so Santonio Holmes owners are hoping he produces this week (we told you to stay away from drafting him so high). In PPR leagues, Hines Wards continues to be a good player, however, this week he is a must start. So after Rashard Mendenhall’s amazing Sunday Night performance last week everyone is wondering why he has not been starting all year. The reason is the coaching staff thinks he does not pay attention and in Steel Town, no player’s talent is above the team. With all this being said, Mendenhall will have an expanded role but Willie Parker might play so it is turning into a dreaded time-share time again. The Lions winning streak is over and facing the Super Bowl Champions is a daunting task; however, rookie Matt Stafford might get some time to throw the ball that is if he plays. Stafford has a leg injury and head coach Jim Schwartz is being secretive if he will play or not but I expect to possibly see him in there Sunday. The reason I say he will get time is the Steelers have not been getting to the quarterback lately so Stafford might find Calvin Johnson for a long one in this game and he better, if they hope to put points on the board since Kevin Smith will have a tough time getting yards against this great run defense.
Washington (2-2) at Carolina (0-3)
Tampa Bay YARDS/GAME RANK Washington YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 174 4th Passing Defense 180 6th
Rushing Defense 128 22nd Rushing Defense 182 32nd
Fantasy Impact: The Washington Redskins are two and two but if find yourself talking to anyone from DC you would think that they are winless like Carolina. The Skins have a good chance to put up decent numbers against the Panthers since they are dead last against the run. Expect to see a heavy dose of Clinton Portis running to the left (they never run it to the right) mixed in with Jason Campbell taking few shots down the field to Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. For the Panthers it will be the same thing, DeAngelo Williams running the ball (to the left and right) mixed in for Jake Delhomme taking shots down the field to Steve Smith. I do expect Carolina coming off the bye to have a few tricks up their sleeve and for Smith to get involved early in this game. Bold statement of the week end around to Smith on the Panthers first drive.
Dallas (2-2) at Kansas City (0-4)
Dallas YARDS/GAME RANK Kansas City YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 256 29th Passing Defense 250 28th
Rushing Defense 115 18th Rushing Defense 129 23rd
Fantasy Impact: Tony Romo needs this game, since he needs to throw a touchdown pass and going against the twenty-eighth ranked pass defense is perfect. The Cowboys will look to take down the Chiefs early and my guess is Romo is looking to put it in the end zone a few times before halftime. Jason Witten and Roy Williams will both benefit from this mentality and this match-up. Romo will look to score early but the Cowboys strength is in their run game and Marion Barber (if truly healthy) will have a good day and may even eclipse the one hundred yard mark. For the Chiefs they are dying for win and Matt Cassel is looking to prove he is worth all that money. Like Romo he has a good match-up against a weak passing defense so Cassel will look early and often for Dwayne Bowe. For the Larry Johnson he will be happy to see this run defense after last week but I expect him to look old and not do to much again this week.
Tampa Bay (0-4) at Philadelphia (2-1)
Tampa Bay YARDS/GAME RANK Philadelphia YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 222 17th Passing Defense 156 2nd
Rushing Defense 172 30th Rushing Defense 106 15th
Fantasy Impact: The Eagles are always tough coming off a bye week and Tampa Bay is not a pro-caliber football team so expect big things out of the Eagles this week. Donovan McNabb will be back at the helm and will spread the ball as he always does. Keep an eye on tight end Brent Celek this week, he has had back-to-back one hundred yard games with McNabb out it will be interesting to see if he still produces now that Donovan is QB -1. One reason he might not get his catches however is that the Eagles may not ever have to throw the ball. Brain Westbrook and LeSean McCoy both might have good games since they face a terrible run defense this week. For the Bucs I find it hard to start anyone on their team any week (I still cannot believe that they put up only eighty-six total yards week 3, are you kidding me?) but if I had to pick someone to talk about it would be Carnell Williams. His knee injury looks to be way behind him so he might do something this week, but like I said, try not to own any Bucs on your team this year.
Atlanta (2-1) at San Francisco (3-1)
Atlanta YARDS/GAME RANK San Francisco YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 245 27th Passing Defense 210 10st
Rushing Defense 136 25th Rushing Defense 74 4th
Fantasy Impact: Atlanta is coming off a bye and that is a great thing for Michael Turner since he has a tough match-up in the San Fran running defense. Expect Turner to have another long day however, he is a must start every week so hope for the best. Things do not get much better for Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez since they will face a good passing defense as well (get it the 49ers are good at D) but I have a sneaky feeling Roddy will find the end zone this week since all the attention will be on Gonzalez. For the 49ers Frank Gore will be out again so Glen Coffee remains a great bye week option. For a sneaky spot start Shawn Hill might have a decent game since the corners for the Falcons are having a tough time covering anyone this season. One guy that will not be catching touchdowns is Michael Crabtree, yes he signed but it is doubtful he will see his way onto the field. eiver these days with as many balls as he has thrown to him.
Houston (2-2) at Arizona (1-2)
Houston YARDS/GAME RANK Arizona YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 203 9th Passing Defense 280 30th
Rushing Defense 165 29th Rushing Defense 80 6th
Fantasy Impact: Do not let the fact that the Texans are ranked ninth in passing defense fool you, this game will be an aerial attack for both sides. My pre-season number one wide-out, Andre Johnson vs. the perennial number one in Larry Fitzgerald should make for a great fantasy day. I fully expect both of these stud receivers to have huge days the questions is will they combine for over 250 yards? So obviously I think both will have a big day and by the transient theory this means so will Matt Schaub and Kurt Warner will as well. Do not forget about the second act with Kevin Walter and Anquan Boldin – everyone should put up points. I suppose they will have to run the ball in this game and both Steve Slaton and Tim Hightower could prove to have nice days as well.
Jacksonville (1-3) at Seattle (1-3)
Jacksonville YARDS/GAME RANK Seattle YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 282 32nd Passing Defense 220 16th
Rushing Defense 99 12th Rushing Defense 124 21st
Fantasy Impact: David Garrard is quietly having a great fantasy season but he is getting more attention with the emergence of Mike Sims-Walker. Everyone is paying attention to this second year breakout and it looks as if he is for real but he needs to do it one more week for me to fully jump on the band wagon (I do have two legs and an arm in right now) With Sims-Walker opening up the passing game, Maurice Jones-Drew has also benefitted as of late and I expect him to have another solid performance this week. For the Seahawks, Matt Hasselbeck looks to be a game time decisions but it really does not matter who is throwing the ball against the worst passing defense in the league numbers will be put up. Nate Burleson and TJ Houshmandzadeh (I did not have to look up how to spell that this week!) should be primed for big games, which leaves little for Julius Jones but he might find the end zone if either of these guys gets knocked out of bounds on their way in for a touchdown.
New England (3-1) at Denver (4-0)
New England YARDS/GAME RANK Denver YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 192 7th Passing Defense 163 3rd
Rushing Defense 95 11th Rushing Defense 77 5th
Fantasy Impact: Denver is undefeated, wow I suppose Josh McDaniels is not going to get run out of town just yet. (Is Denver’s loss of Mike Shananhan, a future gain for the Redskins…stay tuned). Please note the defense rankings, and again “wow” sure did not predict that coming into the year. Now the Pats do come into town and this will be the toughest match-up to date for Denver. The most interesting match-up will be Champ Bailey vs. Randy Moss but I think Tom Brady might have learned from watching last weeks tape you do not constantly throw at Champ so do not expect a giant game out of Moss this week. On the other hand, Wes Welker should be one hundred percent and catch close to ten balls this week and is a very strong play in a PPR league. For Denver we will see if Kyle Orton can stay away from throwing a pick, if Eddie Royal will finally do something, and if Brandon Marshall is past his craziness for real. My guess is no – Orton throws his first pick, no – he is just pissing all of his owners off and will be dropped in the other 43 % of leagues that he is still owned, and yes – Marshall has made us remember why he is an elite receiver when he wants to be. I do expect Denver to try and run the ball to set up their passing attack and both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter will get their chances but it is another fifty-fifty time share so who knows who will be the one to start this week.
Indianapolis (4-0) at Tennessee (0-4)
Indianapolis YARDS/GAME RANK Tennessee YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 202 8th Passing Defense 282 31st
Rushing Defense 107 16th Rushing Defense 80 7th
Fantasy Impact: The second to last ranked passing defense plus Peyton Manning equals a long day for the Titans. Peyton has thrown for over 300 yards every game this season and this week should be no different. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark might find the end zone this week. On the flip side, for the Colts’ running backs it will be longer day since Tennessee can still stop the run. For the Titans they need a win and their best bet of getting one is to hand the ball off to Chris Johnson and LenDale White to control the clock. Expect both of them to see plenty of carries but Chris Johnson to see the yeoman’s share, which means he could have a nice day.
New York Jets (3-1) at Miami (1-3)
New York Jets YARDS/GAME RANK Miami YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 178 5th Passing Defense 239 24th
Rushing Defense 100 13th Rushing Defense 61 2nd
Fantasy Impact: Marc Sanchez looked like the rookie he is last week but he has a new toy in Braylon Edwards who will play this week; since against this Miami pass defense all they will ask him to do is run a go route and hopefully catch the ball (which he hasn’t been doing too well for the last couple of seasons, maybe the change in scenery will revitalize his pass-catching ability). For Thomas Jones and Leon Washington it might be a long day since the Fins are the second ranked run defense and neither Joey Porter nor Jason Taylor are too fond of the Jets. It might be wise to sit either Jones or Washington but with this being a bye week that might be a hard option. For the Fins offense, Chad Henne got his first win as an NFL starter by handing the ball off to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams last week. This week he will do the same and I expect each of them to get close to 15 carries a piece unless the Jets place nine in the box to counter-act the Fins great running attack. If that does happen then Ted Ginn, Jr. will be the target for Henne however, even with nine in the box they might force feed both Brown and Williams.