Fantasy Friday: Week 3

September 19th, 2008 - 8:45 am

Here’s this week’s look at good and bad fantasy matchups.

Note: I try to pick less obvious players. I’m not going to tell you to play Peyton Manning or LaDainian Tomlinson or Randy Moss. No kiddin’, Sherlock.

Warning: I’m not immune to accidentally suggesting a player that might be injured and out for the week — or even the season. As much as I follow the game, mistakes can happen. If it does happen, just give me a polite jab and I’ll correct myself.

Thumbs Up

The following players should have favorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are greater due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.

Quarterbacks

Matt Hasselbeck, Sea vs. St. Louis
He’s battled through injuries and has a supporting cast worse than one in low-budget movies. Still, the Rams are awful against the pass.

Matt Cassel, NE vs. Miami
Miami linebacker Joey Porter had the audacity to call out Cassel this week and say the matchup will be a nice first win for the Dolphins. Something tells me he’ll be eating crow.

Other favorable matchups: Brett Favre vs. San Diego, Marc Bulger vs. Seattle, Jake Delhomme vs. Minnesota.

Running Backs

Michael Turner, Atl vs. Kansas City
The Chiefs are 31st against the run and Turner has big-game capability as we witnessed in Week 1 against the worst run defense, Detroit.

Brandon Jacobs, NYG vs. Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s defense keeps regressing and Jacobs runs like a truck. Not a good matchup for the Bengals.

Other favorable matchups: Chris Johnson vs. Houston, Julius Jones vs. St. Louis, Kevin Smith vs. San Francisco.

Wide Receivers

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ vs. San Diego
Monday nights are Brett Favre nights and so far this year, the Chargers’ pass defense has been terrible.

Eddie Royal, Den vs. New Orleans
The rookie, as well as his quarterback Jay Cutler, continues to impress and the Saints are weak against the pass.

Other favorable matchups: Torry Holt vs. Seattle, Bryant Johnson vs. Detroit, Lee Evans vs. Oakland.

Tight Ends

John Carlson, Sea vs. St. Louis
With the Seahawks’ receiving corps decimated, Matt Hasselbeck has zeroed in on Carlson, who currently leads the team with 10 receptions for 130 yards.

Jeremy Shockey, NO vs. Denver
With Marques Colston injured, Drew Brees relies heavily on Reggie Bush and Shockey to haul in his passes. This game could turn into a shootout.

Other favorable matchups: Randy McMichael vs. Seattle, Tony Scheffler vs. New Orleans, Desmond Clark vs. Tampa Bay.

Kickers

Ryan Longwell, Min vs. Carolina
I expect a lot of stalled drives in this game. Longwell and John Kasay should be trading field goals in this one.

Joe Nedney, SF vs. Detroit
The Lions’ defense is just atrocious. Nedney should get plenty of chances.

Other favorable matchups: John Kasay vs. Minnesota, Stephen Gostkowski vs. Miami, Rian Lindell vs. Oakland.

Defenses

Tennessee Titans, Ten vs. Houston
The Titans are clicking on all cylinders right now and the Texans haven’t played in two weeks.

Baltimore Ravens, Bal vs. Cleveland
So far, we’ve seen the Browns look anything but what they looked last year. The Ravens are well rested and should shut the Browns down.

Other favorable matchups: New England Patriots vs. Miami, NY Giants vs. Cincinnati, Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay.

Thumbs Down

The following players should have unfavorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are worse due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.

Quarterbacks

Derek Anderson, Cle vs. Baltimore
I’ve never been high on Anderson before and his matchup this week doesn’t look enticing.

Kerry Collins, Ten vs. Houston
Despite the Titans’ success this year, Houston gets after the quarterback and defends the pass fairly well.

Other unfavorable matchups: Carson Palmer vs. NY Giants, David Garrard vs. Indianapolis, Matt Schaub vs. Tennessee.

Running Backs

Ryan Grant, GB vs. Dallas
Grant has been battling injuries and Dallas is stout against the run. Whether or not Grant plays, the Packers should struggle to run the football.

Willie Parker, Pit vs. Philadelphia
This isn’t necessarily a start ‘em/sit ‘em column, so you may have no choice to play Parker if he’s one of your top backs. But don’t expect much success from him as the Eagles have been rock solid against the run.

Other unfavorable matchups: Jamal Lewis vs. Baltimore, Panthers RBs vs. Minnesota, Chris Perry vs. NY Giants.

Wide Receivers

Roddy White, Atl vs. Kansas City
The Chiefs have plenty of holes on their team, but they have been pretty good at stopping the pass the past two years.

Matt Jones, Jac vs. Indianapolis
Even with Bob Sanders out, the Colts are tough to pass on due to their front four putting pressure on the quarterback.

Other unfavorable matchups: Amani Toomer vs. Cincinnati, Santana Moss vs. Arizona, Bernard Berrian vs. Carolina.

Tight Ends

Anthony Fasano, Mia vs. New England
Fasano has been a pleasant surprise this year for fantasy owners, but he runs into a wall this week against the Patriots.

Bo Scaife, Ten vs. Houston
Scaife has been the Titans’ go-to guy this year, but Houston is pretty good against the pass.

Other unfavorable matchups: Zach Miller vs. Buffalo, L.J. Smith vs. Pittsburgh, Kellen Winslow vs. Baltimore.

Kickers

Neil Rackers, Ari vs. Washington
I expect Washington’s defense to come to play and limit the amount of attempts Rackers will get.

Nick Folk, Dal vs. Green Bay
This game has the capability of being either a high-scoring shootout or a low-scoring defensive struggle and it’s hard to pick which one it’ll actually be. I’m going to guess it’s a defensive battle and Folk and Mason Crosby won’t get many attempts.

Other unfavorable matchups: Jay Feely vs. San Diego, Phil Dawson vs. Baltimore, Jeff Reed vs. Philadelphia.

Defense

New Orleans Saints, NO vs. Denver
Through two weeks, Denver is averaging 40 points per game. The Saints have trouble stopping the pass on top of it all.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Phi vs. Philadelphia
The Eagles have played really well offensively this year and are averaging 37.5 points per game. A home game for the Eagles doesn’t bode well for the Steelers defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas, Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay, NY Jets vs. San Diego.