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.

Denver (6-0) at Baltimore (3-3)
Passing Defense 182.8 8th Passing Defense 241.5 23rd
Rushing Defense 79.7 3rd Rushing Defense 91.2 7th
Passing Offense 244.2 15th Passing Offense 279.7 9th
Rushing Offense 132.7 7th Rushing Offense 124.8 10th
Fantasy Impact: Denver is coming off a bye and needless to say they have been impressive thus far. For fantasy owners, Kyle Orton has been a pleasant surprise and this week he has a nice match-up against a Ravens pass defense that is ranked 23rd in the league. This should mean a good day for a “contented” Brandon Marshall (it is amazing what winning does for an attitude) but what cannot be certain is if Eddie Royal will show up. Royal had two returns for touchdowns in their last game and caught zero passes. If he is still owned in leagues that do not count return yards this has to be his last chance. Denver (like almost every team) is in a full-out two back system and Baltimore can still stop the run so do not bank on either Knowshon Moreno or Correll Buckhalter. For the Ravens this game is a big one and Joe Flacco will need to step up against this top defense (yep after six weeks one has to think they are for real). I believe Flacco will have some open looks since Denver will be focused on shutting down Ray Rice who gets better every game. The forgotten man, Willis McGahee, might find the endzone but if you have better options – you might be wise to put him on your bench.
Houston (4-3) at Buffalo (3-4)
Passing Defense 228.4 18th Passing Defense 190.4 10th
Rushing Defense 115.6 21st Rushing Defense 172.4 32nd
Passing Offense 296.3 4th Passing Offense 178.4 28th
Rushing Offense 79.1 30th Rushing Offense 111.9 15th
Fantasy Impact: Steve Slaton has come up big the last few weeks and is facing the worst rushing defense in the league, so you do the math. I fully expect all Texans to have a big day and that does include Andre Johnson. Although Johnson has a badly busied leg, he is a warrior so expect him to play. This means Matt Schaub’s number one target will be on the field but his number two target, Owen Daniels, might have the biggest day. Daniels has been on a tear and Buffalo has not looked great covering people that run up the seams and that is exactly what Daniels does. The Bills got an ugly win last week but a win is a win and they will be looking to turn it into a winning streak. The only way they will do this is with a heavy doses of Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson who both look to be a decent bye week options this week. Trent Edwards might return and all that means is bad news for Lee Evan owners since he was clicking with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Notice how I did not mention Terrell Owens until now? That is because if he does nothing this week he will not be written about again since he is barely fantasy relevant anymore.
Cleveland (1-6) at Chicago (3-3)
Passing Defense 244.3 24th Passing Defense 220.3 17th
Rushing Defense 170.6 31st Rushing Defense 109.5 18th
Passing Offense 143.6 31st Passing Offense 242.5 16th
Rushing Offense 97.1 24th Rushing Offense 80.7 29th
Fantasy Impact: The Browns are not good at the game of football. I do not care if the Bears gave up 189 zillion points last week do not start any Brown unless you are forced to. They just are a bad team. Jamal Lewis is a bye week replacement at best and Derek Anderson is the 35th ranked quarterback. Yes three backs-up have done better than him thus far. Jay Cutler is feeling the pressure in Chi-Town so I expect the Bears to do what they have done after each loss, run the ball to set up the pass. Makes sense right? So yes, Matt Forte owners be happy with this match-up. He has been running behind a terrible offensive line but everyone looks good against the Browns so I expect a two touchdown day (5 for 9 on bold predictions now, bad week last week but come on these are bold prediction I cannot be right all the time). For the passing game it is still anyone’s guess who will step up. It will be either Devin Hester, Greg Olsen, or Johnny Knox if that helps at all, but if I was forced to pick one, Hester looks more like a receiver and not a return man turned receiver more and more every game.
St. Louis (0-7) at Detroit (1-5)
Passing Defense 249.6 25th Passing Defense 258.5 30th
Rushing Defense 135.9 27th Rushing Defense 112.3 20th
Passing Offense 180.1 26th Passing Offense 222.5 20th
Rushing Offense 111.3 16th Rushing Offense 99.0 21st
Fantasy Impact: The blackout game of the week! Chances are this game will not be even close to sold out since in reality these are two awful teams but for fantasy owners this game does have many fantasy implications. First for the Rams, Donnie Avery is looking better each week and since this is the third worst passing defense Avery and Marc Bulger are not terrible bye week replacements. (not great either) and if Steven Jackson is ever going to find the endzone it has to be this week. I know everyone that took him the first round are not happy (nor am I) with his touchdown production thus far. Only one thing really matters for the Lions this week. Will Calvin Johnson play? All signs point to yes and I expect Kevin Smith and Calvin to both have nice fantasy days this week.
Miami (2-4) at New York Jets (4-3)

Passing Defense 233.5 19th Passing Defense 181.4 7th
Rushing Defense 86.7 4th Rushing Defense 116.1 22nd
Passing Offense 182.2 25th Passing Offense 168.3 30th
Rushing Offense 170.3 2nd Rushing Offense 184.9 1st
Fantasy Impact: The Fins have already handed the Jets a loss but more importantly both teams combined for 58 points which all fantasy owners have to love. This week the game plan for Miami is what it always is: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Both are solid plays any week but Brown rushed for a 75 yards and two touches last match-up and there is no reason to think he will not come close to those numbers again. Mark Sanchez and company lost one of fantasy smack talks favorites in Leon Washington (at least we cannot pick him as a sleeper anymore) for the season however, they still managed to be the only team in NFL history to have back to back 300+ yard rushing games. This week they will not make it three in a row. The Dolphins have a stingy run defense but with Washington out Thomas Jones will certainly see more carries which means great things for his owners and his 4.9 yards per carry. If the Jets are going to win it will be with the aerial attack, so look for Sanchez to try to find Braylon Edwards and hope he does not drop the ball. He is what is he and the Jets had to have known that, with that being said he has looked better in New York than he did in Cleveland.
San Francisco (3-3) at Indianapolis (6-0)
San Francisco YARDS/GAME RANK Indianapolis YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 236.0 21st Passing Defense 179.8 6th
Rushing Defense 88.8 6th Rushing Defense 111.8 19th
Passing Offense 191.5 23rd Passing Offense 313.3 1st
Rushing Offense 98.3 22nd Rushing Offense 91.7 27th
Fantasy Impact: Alex Smith will be added in a ton of leagues this week due to his amazing second half performance against the Texans but buyer-beware. The Texans are not a good defensive team, they game planned for a different quarterback, and they were in prevent defense almost the entire second half. For these reasons do not go starting Alex Smith and think you have Peyton Manning, he might not even start this week. Now to someone that should be an addition – Michael Crabtree who had a very impressive first game and looks to be the real deal. Team captain Vernon Davis (great move making him a captain) is a great option every single week. Amazing I wrote this much and did not talk about Frank Gore, well that is because Gore had a bad game and if he does not step up this week a lingering injury should be a concern. The Colts are who we think they are and we know that Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark will all have solid game no matter who they are playing but the secondary for the 49ers is young so you know that Manning will be looking to pick them apart. Be confident starting any of them however, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown (who might be out) do not have as easy of a match-up. Due to the byes you might not have a choice but do not expect huge things out of them. Now if Brown dose not play, Addai’s value does increase.
Seattle (2-4) at Dallas (4-2)
Passing Defense 220.3 16th Passing Defense 238.5 22nd
Rushing Defense 99.3 14th Rushing Defense 109.3 16th
Passing Offense 236.0 17th Passing Offense 275.3 10th
Rushing Offense 90.3 28th Rushing Offense 153.3 4th
Fantasy Impact: Looks as if Miles Austin is for real and if he is not owned in your league (which would be almost impossible to believe by now) go get him. With the emergence of Austin, Tony Romo has put up great fantasy numbers as well. This week should be more of the same. Seattle might be in the middle of the pack at passing defense but if they do not sack the quarterback it’s normally a long day for the secondary and Romo does not get sacked too many times. Jason Witten should also benefit from Austin since teams will start to game plan for him which means less double coverage for Witten. For the running backs I wrote last week how Dallas is an upgraded version of the Tampa Bay three headed monster but even with that upgrade it is getting scary for Marion Barber owners. Due to the byes start him but, unless he finds the endzone, I do not see a huge day out of him. Seattle got their bye at a great time and but Dallas is hot and getting to quarterbacks at a high volume. Not good news for an immobile Matt Hasselbeck. With that being said if the line can somehow figure out how to protect him, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson could be primed for big days. Julius Jones started off hot but has fizzled the last few games and I think this week will be more like the last three not like the first three.
New York Giants (5-2) at Philadelphia (4-2)
New York Giants YARDS/GAME RANK Philadelphia YARDS/GAME RANK
Passing Defense 158.4 2nd Passing Defense 190.2 9th
Rushing Defense 103.6 15th Rushing Defense 96.8 11th
Passing Offense 257.9 11th Passing Offense 252.5 12th
Rushing Offense 141.9 5th Rushing Offense 103.7 18th
Fantasy Impact: An NFC East division battle normally means a low scoring affair with a ton of handing the ball off. I expect more of the same in this match-up. For the Giants it might be surprising to note that they are fifth in rushing offense with the amazing play of Eli Manning but, as I stated, this will be running game and expect Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to get plenty of touches. On the flip side of the ball, Brian Westbrook suffered a concession Monday night but I expect him to play this week at least until he gets his head cracked again. For LeSean McCoy owners this is bad news. McCoy had a decent game against a tough Redskins defense in Westbrook’s absence but Donovan McNabb had to tell him who to block before every snap. Andy Reid does not like that so if Westbrook can play, expect a max of ten touches for McCoy. Finally to the best battle, Eli Manning and Steve Smith vs. Donavan McNabb and DeShawn Jackson. Both have big play potential but I would give the edge to McNabb and Jackson who is turning into a superstar in the NFL. He is the go-to guy for the Eagles and much to fantasy owners disapproval the Giant spread the ball around too much to say the same for Smith (one of our sell high candidates last week – hope you did)
Jacksonville (3-3) at Tennessee (0-6)

Passing Defense 262.0 31st Passing Defense 310.7 32nd
Rushing Defense 98.8 13th Rushing Defense 95.0 9th
Passing Offense 244.3 14th Passing Offense 178.5 27th
Rushing Offense 122.0 11th Rushing Offense 138.5 6th
Fantasy Impact: The Jags are coming off a bye and bad loss the prior week; however, the Titans might be just what they need to get back on track. David Garrard might have been disappointing his last time out but he is facing the worst passing defense in the league. This means good things for him and Mike Sims-Walker who has turned into an everyday start. It appears that the Titans have thrown in the towel because it looks like Vince Young is getting the start so that does hurt the value of Nate Washington and Justin Gage for the rest of the season. However, if you were banking on them on a weekly basis your fantasy season is probably not going too well anyway. This is a good week to try and get confidence for Young because the Jags are as bad as the Titans at defending the pass but I do not expect fantasy start worthy numbers. With all this being said I have a sense this will be the Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Chris Johnson show – just a gut reaction but both of these guys catch the ball great out of backfield and part of the reason these defenses are dead last is the fact they give up a ton of yards after the catch and last I checked that is what both Jones-Drew and Johnson are great at.
Oakland (2-5) at San Diego (3-3)
Passing Defense 207.4 12th Passing Defense 194.7 11th
Rushing Defense 169.7 30th Rushing Defense 137.7 28th
Passing Offense 143.6 32nd Passing Offense 297.8 2nd
Rushing Offense 92.9 26th Rushing Offense 70.5 31st
Fantasy Impact: JaMarcus Russell was finally benched last week because he is really bad at throwing a football. Now he might or might not start this week but it is the same story it will be all year – do not start a single human that is trying to catch passes on the Raiders if you can help it. Justin Fargas is the player worth owning and is a decent bye week start since the Chargers do poorly in run defense. (unless Darren McFadden comes back which is looking realistic at this point) Think of the Chargers as the anti-Raiders when it comes to the passing game. They are only behind the Colts in the rankings and Phillip Rivers is having a huge year. So is my breakout player Vincent Jackson (l000 yards and 10 touches season prediction – looking better each week) and Antonio Gates are always safe plays. Do not let the fact the Raiders are ranked 12th against the pass scare you at all. The reason they are is that teams get up by so much they run the ball the entire second half. Now that could also mean good things for LaDainian Tomlinson who got 27 carries last week but could not find the endzone. Personally I think his reign is over and it should be exclusively the Darren Sproles show but a week against Oakland might have me changing my tune.
Minnesota (6-1) at Green Bay (4-2)
Passing Defense 234.7 20th Passing Defense 174.0 4th
Rushing Defense 95.3 10th Rushing Defense 97.5 12th
Passing Offense 251.9 13th Passing Offense 285.7 7th
Rushing Offense 119.9 12th Rushing Offense 118.0 13th
Fantasy Impact: Alright I was as fed-up as nearly everyone else during the summer about the Brett Farve talk, but I must admit I cannot wait for this game. Last time Brett faced his old team he put up great fantasy numbers and I expect more of the same this week. Minnesota, coming off of a heart-breaking loss, will of course give the ball to Adrian Peterson a ton and he will do what he does. At worst I see at least 80 yards and a touch but this is why Brett will do well. The Packers will have to stack the box which will open up the down field ball for Farve to hook up with a rising star in Sidney Rice. Aaron Rodgers proved the last time these teams hooked up that he is a star in this league (he had a career high of 384 passing yards) and playing in front of the home crowd, he might do even better. Rodgers is a lock to play well almost every game but the question is what happened to Greg Jennings? He has been a non-factor this entire year but something tells me he will turn it around. (Bold prediction 2 – 100 yards and a touchdown this week) Ryan Grant had a monster game last week but he will not even come close to those numbers this week. Due to the bye you have to start him probably but do not expect great things.
Carolina (2-4) at Arizona (4-2)
Passing Defense 149.7 1st Passing Defense 257.7 29th
Rushing Defense 133.2 26th Rushing Defense 67.5 1st
Passing Offense 206.2 22nd Passing Offense 286.2 6th
Rushing Offense 128.7 8th Rushing Offense 60.0 32nd
Fantasy Impact: Here is something I thought I would never write – a great spot start this week the Cards will be their Defense who can create a ton of turnovers and Jake Delhomme throws the ball to the wrong team all the time. Now Steve Smith owners had a glimmer of hope last week since he had a decent game and if Delhomme throws it to the guys in the blue jerseys he might just have another one. Please note he is the only wideout worth starting on the Panthers for this game but he might be a spot start other weeks now due to the poor play of Delhomme. The must start is DeAngelo Williams who is having a good year once more but will invariably slip in your draft next year yet again. Williams is facing a top rush defense and last week we at Fantasy Smack Talk said we wanted the Cards rush defense to prove it by shutting down Jacobs and they did. The Cardinals have had back-to-back great passing games but they face the number one ranked passing defense in the league. Last time they did that they knocked the Giants a few positions down and they should do the same to the Panthers. Start Kurt Warner and both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin without hesitation this week. The interesting fantasy storyline will be who will get more carries – Chris Wells or Tim Hightower? Something tells me Wells will be the more valuable starter going forward.
Atlanta (4-2) at New Orleans (6-0)

Passing Defense 250.7 26th Passing Defense 214.3 14th
Rushing Defense 117.7 23rd Rushing Defense 92.3 8th
Passing Offense 226.7 19th Passing Offense 283.0 8th
Rushing Offense 102.8 19th Rushing Offense 154.5 3rd
Fantasy Impact: Can anyone stop Drew Brees? Well since the Falcons are ranked close to the bottom in passing defense I doubt it will be them. All Saints are great starts this week but I need to throw the Drew spreads the ball disclaimer into the mix, who knows who will have the big day? For the running attack Pierre Thomas looks stronger each day and I fully expect at least one touchdown out of him this week. By the way the Saints are ranked better as a rushing team than a passing team – kind of scary huh? Matt Ryan will have to throw the ball a ton to keep up with Brees so Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are good plays. The not so good play might be Michael Turner, Gregg Williams has the Saints defense playing great against the run but they have yet to face a back like Turner. Even though I think this game is going to be played in the air, for me, Turner is a safe start this week.