Fantasy Friday: Week 9

October 31st, 2008 - 12:00 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

Kyle Orton, Chi vs. Detroit
The Lions have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. It’ll be colder this game, but a month ago against Detroit, Orton had 334 yards and 2 TDs.

Kurt Warner, Ari vs. St. Louis
Warner’s been on fire this year and it should continue against a bad Rams pass defense.

Other favorable matchups: Jay Cutler vs. Miami, Marc Bulger vs. Arizona, Matt Schaub vs. Minnesota.

Running Backs

Earnest Graham, TB vs. Kansas City
There’s nothing but gaping holes anytime somebody plays the Chiefs.

Ronnie Brown, Mia vs. Denver
Brown struggled last week against a tough Bills team but should fine running lanes against a bad Broncos run defense.

Other favorable matchups: Matt Forte vs. Detroit, Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Cincinnati, Michael Turner vs. Oakland.

Wide Receivers

DeSean Jackson, Phi vs. Seattle
The Seahawks aren’t very good at stopping the pass, so Jackson could have a big game.

Calvin Johnson, Det vs. Chicago
Johnson is the Lions’ only legitimate offensive weapon and the Bears have had trouble stopping the pass all season long.

Other favorable matchups: Lee Evans vs. NY Jets, Cardinals WRs vs. St. Louis, Brandon Marshall vs. Miami.

Tight Ends

Anthony Fasano, Mia vs. Denver
One of the Dolphins’ top receiving options, Fasano should be targeted often.

Greg Olsen, Chi vs. Detroit
Olsen has been a much more integral part of the Bears offense this year than last year and the Lions are a great team to pass against.

Other favorable matchups: Owen Daniels vs. Minnesota, John Carlson vs. Philadelphia, Dallas Clark vs. New England.

Kickers

Stephen Gostkowski, NE vs. Indianapolis
The Patriots should be able to move the ball against the Colts’ defense, enough to get Gostkowski some field goal attempts.

Ryan Longwell, Min vs. Houston
Longwell should get plenty of opportunities at home in the dome in what should be a higher scoring game, at least for the Vikings.

Other favorable matchups: John Carney vs. Dallas, Matt Bryant vs. Kansas City, Jason Elam vs. Oakland.

Defenses

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TB vs. Kansas City
A solid week to play the Bucs defense. They face the lowest scoring team in the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Jac vs. Cincinnati
Cincinnati just can’t seem to move the ball this year. The Jaguars should have a good game defensively in this one.

Other favorable matchups: Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit, Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland.

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

Jason Campbell, Was vs. Pittsburgh
Campbell has played exceptionally well this year but he faces the top pass defense in the league this week. Even at home, that’s a tall order.

Aaron Rodgers, GB vs. Tennessee
The Packers have been on a roll the past few weeks, but they face a tough test on the road against the undefeated Titans.

Other unfavorable matchups: Matt Cassel vs. Indianapolis, Derek Anderson vs. Baltimore, Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington.

Running Backs

Jamal Lewis, Cle vs. Baltimore
Lewis had 81 yards and a touchdown last week, but this week’s matchup against Baltimore is a bit tougher.

Ryan Grant, GB vs. Tennessee
Not a good week for Grant against one of the league’s best defenses.

Other unfavorable matchups: Steve Slaton vs. Minnesota, Marshawn Lynch vs. NY Jets, Lions RBs vs. Chicago.

Wide Receivers

Braylon Edwards, Cle vs. Baltimore
The Ravens should be able to shut down the Browns’ offense this week.

Dwayne Bowe, KC vs. Tampa Bay
Not a good matchup against a tough Buccaneers pass defense for the promising young wide receiver.

Other unfavorable matchups: Wes Welker vs. Indianapolis, Santana Moss vs. Pittsburgh, Packers WRs vs. Tennessee.

Tight Ends

Heath Miller, Pit vs. Washington
The Redskins have a pretty good pass defense and should make things difficult on Miller.

Chris Cooley, Was vs. Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is one of the toughest teams in the league to pass on.

Other unfavorable matchups: Ben Watson vs. Indianapolis, Kellen Winslow vs. Baltimore, Bo Scaife vs. Green Bay.

Kickers

Jason Hanson, Det vs. Chicago
Hanson hasn’t kicked many field goals this year and that should continue this week in Chicago.

Shayne Graham, Cin vs. Jacksonville
Graham’s opportunities will be limited against a tough Jaguars defense.

Other unfavorable matchups: Jeff Reed vs. Washington, Phil Dawson vs. Baltimore, Mason Crosby vs. Tennessee.

Defense

Dallas Cowboys, Dal vs. NY Giants
The Giants are one of the highest scoring offenses in the league and have extra incentive against a divisional foe.

Houston Texans, Hou vs. Minnesota
After a bye week to rest, the Vikings should come out and put some points on the board at home.

Other unfavorable matchups: Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee, Miami Dolphins vs. Denver, NY Jets vs. Buffalo.