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.
The following players should have favorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are greater due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.
Matt Cassel, NE vs. San Diego
The Chargers have the worst pass defense in the league, and maybe, just maybe, Cassel began to develop a rapport with Randy Moss and Wes Welker last week.
Carson Palmer, Cin vs. NY Jets
Palmer is too good to go through such a bad season. If he’s ever going to start playing well, this week’s matchup against the 31st ranked pass defense is his opportunity.
Other favorable matchups: David Garrard, Jac vs. Denver, Gus Frerotte, Min vs. Detroit, Jason Campbell, Was vs. St. Louis.
Julius Jones, Sea vs. Green Bay
The Packers’ run defense hasn’t be very good this year so the Seahawks’ run game should have success.
Ronnie Brown, Mia vs. Houston
Brown has been fantastic this year, especially while running plays as the quarterback in the backfield and receiving direct snaps. Houston has trouble stopping the run.
Other favorable matchups: Le’Ron McClain, Bal vs. Indianapolis, Thomas Jones, NYJ vs. Cincinnati, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac vs. Denver.
Bengals WRs, Cin vs. NY Jets
I expect the Bengals and Jets to air it out and Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh should benefit.
Wes Welker, NE vs. San Diego
Welker has had a better season this year than Moss, and the Chargers give up a lot through the air.
Other favorable matchups: Matt Jones, Jac vs. Denver, Santana Moss, Was vs. St. Louis, Greg Jennings, GB vs. Seattle.
Chris Cooley, Was vs. St. Louis
For whatever reason, the Redskins have played well this year. Going up against a bad Rams pass defense should provide plenty of opportunities for Cooley.
Visanthe Shiancoe, Min vs. Detroit
Shiancoe has been a big part of the Vikings’ pass game this year and Detroit is just plain awful.
Other favorable matchups: Marcedes Lewis, Jac vs. Denver, Donald Lee, GB vs. Seattle, Greg Olsen, Chi vs. Atlanta.
Ryan Longwell, Min vs. Detroit
Longwell leads the league in field goals and should be on the field a lot against the Lions.
Matt Prater, Den vs. Jacksonville
Prater is tied for second in the league in field goals made and the Broncos are second in the league in scoring.
Other favorable matchups: John Carney, NYG vs. Cincinnati, John Kasay, Car vs. Tampa Bay, Shaun Suisham, Was vs. St. Louis.
NY Giants, NYG vs. Cleveland
The Giants have allowed the fewest points this season and the Browns are second to last in points scored offensively.
Carolina Panthers, Car vs. Tampa Bay
Not only are the Panthers playing well offensively, but they’re fourth in the league in total defense.
Other favorable matchups: Chicago Bears, Chi vs. Atlanta, Miami Dolphins, Mia vs. Houston, Philadelphia Eagles, Phi vs. San Francisco.
The following players should have unfavorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are worse due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.
Derek Anderson, Cle vs. NY Giants
Anderson is very close to losing his starting job and he doesn’t have an easy rebound matchup this week against arguably the best team in the league.
Jeff Garcia, TB vs. Carolina
Garcia is expected to get the start over Brian Griese and he’ll face a stout Panthers defense.
Other unfavorable matchups: Brett Favre, NYJ vs. Cincinnati, Philip Rivers, SD vs. New England, J.T. O’Sullivan, SF vs. Philadelphia.
Chris Perry, Cin vs. NY Jets
I think these two teams will be busy passing the ball, but the Jets are fifth against the run.
Michael Turner, Atl vs. Chicago
Turner is the league’s leading rusher, but the Bears are fourth against the run.
Other unfavorable matchups: Detroit RBs vs. Minnesota, Edgerrin James vs. Dallas, Earnest Graham vs. Carolina.
Marvin Harrison, Ind vs. Baltimore
Harrison is slowly fading away and this week’s matchup against the Ravens won’t exactly be easy for the Colts’ passing game.
Chargers WRs, SD vs. New England
Vincent Jackson did not practice this week and may miss the game. He and Chris Chambers and the rest of the Chargers WRs won’t have an easy matchup this week against the Patriots’ 8th-ranked pass defense.
Other unfavorable matchups: Ike Hilliard, TB vs. Carolina, Braylon Edwards, Cle vs. NY Giants, Isaac Bruce, SF vs. Philadelphia.
Anthony Fasano, Mia vs. Houston
Fasano has been a steady receiving threat for the Dolphins but the Texans’ pass defense is pretty adequate.
John Carlson, Sea vs. Green Bay
Carlson is the Seahawks’ leading receiver, but not only is Bobby Engram back and going to take away some catches, but the Packers pass defense is a lot better than their run defense.
Other unfavorable matchups: Vernon Davis, SF vs. Philadelphia, Owen Daniels, Hou vs. Miami, Dallas Clark, Ind vs. Baltimore.
Adam Vinatieri, Ind vs. Baltimore
Vinatieri has a tough matchup against the Ravens, but he’s also 29th in field goals made.
Josh Brown, StL vs. Washington
I wouldn’t play anybody from St. Louis, and Brown’s opportunities are limited due to their lack of offensive firepower.
Other unfavorable matchups: Matt Stover, Bal vs. Indianapolis, Nick Folk, Dal vs. Arizona, Phil Dawson, Cle vs. NY Giants.
Cleveland Browns, Cle vs. NY Giants
The Giants are the league’s highest scoring offense, according to points per game, and will make it difficult on the Browns defense.
Dallas Cowboys, Dal vs. Arizona
Arizona has a high octane offense and this game could get into a shootout.
Other unfavorable matchups: New England Patriots, NE vs. San Diego, Arizona Cardinals, Ari vs. Dallas, Seattle Seahawks, Sea vs. Green Bay.