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  Rushing Matchups  

Week 12 Passing Matchups

[ARI] [ATL] [BAL] [BUF] [CAR] [CHI] [CIN] [CLE] [DAL] [DEN] [DET] [GB] [HOU] [IND] [JAX] [KC] [MIA] [MIN] [NE] [NO] [NYG] [NYJ] [OAK] [PHI] [PIT] [SD] [SEA] [SF] [STL] [TB] [TEN] [WAS]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Peyton Manning is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Please note: due to the Thanksgiving holiday - and the Thursday games that day - we are forced to accelerate our writing schedule to post our weekly material in a timely manner. Therefore, the statistics used for the majority of this week's matchups are preliminary statistics compiled on Monday (before the Monday Night Football game). There may be slight discrepancies between the rankings of the players/teams cited in the text and those found in the final Statistics released on Tuesday afternoon. Also, official injury information is only available once the NFL posts the preliminary Wednesday Injury report, usually early in the evening on Wednesday.


Houston Texans Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

David Carr continued with the dink-and-dunk, 1 and 3 step drop regimen that has reduced the number of sacks he takes each week (only 1 last week) - however, he doesn't generate much in the way of passing offense in this paradigm, with 19/36 for 182 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception to his credit last week (57/91 for 539 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception over the past 3 weeks, to rank 25th among all fantasy QBs during that span). Andre Johnson led the wide receivers (but not the team), with 5/60/0 during the game. There isn't much in the way of fantasy points to be had from the Texans' passing game.

The Rams were torched for 27/39 285 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions by the Cardinals last week en route to a 38-28 loss. They have given up an average of 244.6 passing yards per game this year (30th in the NFL) and have surrendered 20 passing scores to date (t-2nd-most in the NFL). Over the past 3 weeks, opposing teams have averaged 260.5 passing yards per game (2 games), while the Rams have managed only 1 sack. Teams have an easy time passing on the Rams.

The Texans' passing attack is weak, but they likely won't see another pass defense this forgiving.

Weather: The forecast for Reliant Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 59F and a 30% chance for rain. If the conditions look nasty, the retractable roof can be closed - weather shouldn't be a huge issue during this game.

HOU Injuries: RB Domanick Davis (Probable)
STL Injuries: DL Leonard Little (Probable), DB Dejuan Groce (Questionable), DB Oshiomogho Atogwe (Questionable), DB Travis Fisher (Doubtful), DB Adam Archuleta (Out)


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Byron Leftwich spread the ball around to 8 receivers last week while throwing 22/38 for 258 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions (and rushing for another score 6/9/1). Jimmy Smith led the team in yardage with 5/89/0, while youngsters Ernest Wilford (5/47/1) and Matt Jones (3/46/1) hauled in TDs. TE Kyle Brady also got in the act with 3/43/1 receiving. Leftwich has thrown 5 TDs and 0 interceptions in his last 3 starts, and the 258 yards passing marks his best yardage total of the year. The Jaguars are jelling as a unit heading into the playoff stretch run.

Arizona is 23rd in the NFL vs. the pass this year, giving up an average of 218.2 passing yards per game (with 14 passing scores allowed in the past 3 weeks). They allowed 33/43 for 385 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions to the Rams' QBs last week, and have averaged 243.6 passing yards given up per game over the past 3 weeks. The defense has given up 10 TDs (rushing and receiving) in that time span - they just aren't very good.

Leftwich and company should enjoy another strong game against the soft Cardinal's pass D.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium expects a high of 73F with a low of 50F and a 10% chance for rain - almost perfect football weather, in other words.

JAX Injuries: WR Jimmy Smith (Probable), WR Reggie Williams (Probable)
ARI Injuries: DL Chike Okeafor (Probable), LB Karlos Dansby (Questionable), DB Antrel Rolle (Out)


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs New England Patriots Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Trent Green bounced back from a horrible game vs. Buffalo two weeks ago to torch the Texans last week, with 19/29 for 220 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception. The usual suspects, Tony Gonzalez (9/98/0) and Eddie Kennison (4/57/2) led the attack, while Samie Parker chipped in 2/23/1 during the afternoon. Kennison has 13/158/2 over the past 3 weeks, to rank 22nd in points per game at his position, while Gonzalez is 6th among TEs with 22/249/0 during that span. We'll see if Green and company can keep a head of steam up this week vs. New England.

The injury woes of the Patriots' secondary has been remarked on in many forums - suffice it to say that they are the 31st ranked pass D in the NFL this year, with 20 passing scores surrendered to date and averaging 263.4 passing yards given up per game. Over the past 3 weeks, they are bleeding out 339.6 yards per contest (1019 passing yards given up in that span), and have generated only 1 sack during that time frame. The Patriots are extremely vulnerable to opposing quarterbacks.

The Chiefs won't see a more inviting matchup all season - advantage, KC.

Weather: The forecast for Arrowhead Stadium calls for a high of 54F with a low of 39F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain comes down thickly around game time, footing and ball handling could be bigger issues than usual. Also, wind conditions at Arrowhead Stadium can be extreme at this time of year - owners of Patriots and Chiefs will want to check on the wind conditions as the weekend approaches before setting their starting lineups.

KC Injuries: RB Ronnie Cruz (Doubtful)
NE Injuries: DL Jarvis Green (Questionable), LB Monty Beisel (Questionable), LB Willie McGinest (Questionable), DB James Sanders (Questionable)


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at Houston Texans Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marc Bulger re-injured his throwing shoulder on Sunday (initially diagnosed as a bruised shoulder) and suffered a concussion during a hard sack (the Rams have surrendered 32 sacks this year, 4th-most in the NFL) - Jamie Martin took over and finished the game (14/19 for 161 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions). As a team, the Rams tossed 33/43 for 385 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions - Torry Holt (11/129/1), Isaac Bruce (4/83/1), and Kevin Curtis (9/98/1) all hauled in scores. This team has been effective with Martin taking snaps. Bulger is the better QB for sure but don't let it scare you away from your Ram receivers because Bulger will miss this game. This could be a long term situation as a team official revealed on Monday evening that Bulger's shoulder is in worse shape than when he missed 2 games earlier this season - he's going to miss several games due to the latest trauma to his shoulder.

The Texans rank 22nd in the NFL allowing an average of 217.7 passing yards per game, with 17 passing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they have coughed up 242.3 passing yards per game (with 12 TDs, rushing and receiving, surrendered during that span, the most TDs given up by any NFL team during the past 3 weeks). KC hit them for 19/29 for 220 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception last week.

This is a great matchup for Martin and the Rams' aerial attack.

Weather: The forecast for Reliant Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 59F and a 30% chance for rain. If the conditions look nasty, the retractable roof can be closed - weather shouldn't be a huge issue during this game.

STL Injuries: QB Marc Bulger (Out), RB Marshall Faulk (Probable)
HOU Injuries: DL Robaire Smith (Probable), DL Gary Walker (Probable), LB Charlie Anderson (Probable), LB Antwan Peek (Probable), DB Demarcus Faggins (Doubtful), DB Jason Simmons (Out)


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Steve McNair is making do with the tools at hand (38/71 for 443 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions over the past 3 weeks (2 games) to rank 16th at his position)- last week, Drew Bennett (6/55/0) and Brandon Jones (1/21/0) got back in the game, which was good news for the Titans' offense. Erron Kinney snagged 5/37/0 during the game, and Roydell Williams scored a TD (1/8/1). We'll see how the reconstituted WR stable does this week against a super-soft 49ers secondary.

Speaking of San Francisco: the team averages 274.9 passing yards allowed per game (32nd in the NFL), with 18 passing scores surrendered to date. They are not generating much in the way of interceptions (1 in 3 weeks) or sacks (1 in 3 weeks) of late, and are currently 18th in the NFL with 22 sacks to their credit this season. Key DL Bryant Young injured an ankle (high ankle sprain) and his knee last Sunday - he's going to miss 3-6 weeks due to tearing his MCL, and the pass rush will suffer. Last week, the team coughed up 19/31 for 233 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to Matt Hasselbeck and company.

The Titans have added some talent back into their receiving corps lately, and they will have a good shot at a strong game vs. the weak 49ers defense that just lost their top pass rusher to injury.

Weather: The Coliseum in Nashville expects a high of 54F with a low of 36F and 0% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football - weather won't be a huge issue for either team if the forecast holds up.

TEN Injuries: QB Steve McNair (Questionable), WR Tyrone Calico (Questionable), WR Sloan Thomas (Out), TE Erron Kinney (Questionable)
SF Injuries: DL Bryant Young (Out), LB Saleem Rasheed (Doubtful), DB Ahmed Plummer (Questionable)


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Brett Favre tossed 20/33 for 227 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions, hitting Donald Driver for 5/84/2 during the game (Driver was targeted 9 times during the game). Other than Driver, TE Donald Lee had the second-most yardage during the game, with 4/37/0 to his credit. Over the past 3 weeks, Favre has thrown 66/107 for 693 yards, 3 TDs and 4 interceptions to rank 23rd at his position in fantasy points per game. Driver is the 10th best fantasy WR during that span, with 20/262/2 under his belt.

The Eagles lost Lito Sheppard to a season-ending ankle injury last week, weakening their secondary. They were 24th in the league at defending the pass before Sheppard went down, averaging 222.2 passing yards allowed per game, with 17 passing scores given up to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has averaged 199.3 passing yards given up per game, with only 1 interception during that span. They have pressured opposing, QBs, with 9 sacks in 3 games (they have 24 total to date, 13th in the NFL. The Packers have only given up 13 sacks to date - they aren't very susceptible to pass pressure.

The Packers have an above-average passing attack, while the Eagles have a sub-par pass D that has just lost a key defender - advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: The forecast for Lincoln Financial Field calls for a high of 41F with a low of 29F with a 0% chance for precipitation. A nice, cool afternoon is on line for this matchup - weather shouldn't be a big issue during this game.

GB Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: DL Ndukwe Kalu (Probable), LB Jeremiah Trotter (Probable), DB Roderick Hood (Probable)


New England Patriots Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tom Brady tore up the Saints last week, with 15/29 for 222 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions, despite the lack of WRs David Givens, Troy Brown and Bethel Johnson (all sidelined due to injury). He hit Deion Branch the most (5/38/1), but TE Ben Watson led the team in yardage with 4/66/0, while Andre Davis (1/60/1) and LB Mike Vrabel (1/1/1) accounted for the other TDs. With 58/98 for 762 yards, 8 TDs and 2 interceptions to his credit over the past 3 weeks, Brady is the 5th ranked fantasy QB in points per game - he throws the balls to whoever is healthy enough to take the field, and spreads the wealth around more often than not (6 players had receptions last week).

K.C. held David Carr to 19/36 for 182 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception last week, and has averaged only 163.6 net passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks - they have really improved over their early-season performance, as their season average of 241.4 passing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL) illustrates. With 2 interceptions and 4 sacks generated during their most recent 3 games, the Chiefs now sit at 25th in the NFL with 17 sacks total to date. This unit is heading in the right direction lately. However, they suffered a blow last Sunday, losing CB Patrick Surtain for potentially several weeks due to a high ankle sprain.

Brady is an elite QB, while the Chiefs field an improving pass D that has shown vulnerability earlier this season. The home-field crowd will make things tough for the visiting Patriots, helping to offset the loss of Surtain - but his injury is a huge blow to the Chiefs' unit. Advantage, New England.

Weather: The forecast for Arrowhead Stadium calls for a high of 54F with a low of 39F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain comes down thickly around game time, footing and ball handling could be bigger issues than usual. Also, wind conditions at Arrowhead Stadium can be extreme at this time of year - owners of Patriots and Chiefs will want to check on the wind conditions as the weekend approaches before setting their starting lineups.

NE Injuries: QB Tom Brady (Probable), RB Corey Dillon (Questionable), RB Kevin Faulk (Questionable), RB Patrick Pass (Questionable), WR David Givens (Questionable), WR Bethel Johnson (Questionable), WR Troy Brown (Questionable), WR Tim Dwight (Questionable), TE Daniel Graham (Questionable)
KC Injuries: DL John Browning (Probable), DL Ryan Sims (Questionable), DB Benny Sapp (Probable), DB Patrick Surtain (Questionable), DB Jerome Woods (Out)


New York Giants Passing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning torched the Eagles last week with 17/26 for 218 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions, bouncing back from his disappointing 4 interception performance vs. Minnesota quite nicely. He has thrown at least 1 TD in every game this season, by the way, and has compiled 173/300 for 2320, 18 TDs and 9 interceptions during the year. Jeremy Shockey complained this week about his 1/1/1 performance last week, and wants the ball more. Part of the reason he's less involved is that Amani Toomer has surged back into the forefront among Giant receivers, with 6/56/1 last week and 15/155/2 during the last 3 weeks. Plaxico Burress remains the top weapon, with 6/113/1 to his credit last week.

Seattle barely staved off San Francisco, giving up 18/29 for 249 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions last week. They have been sub-par in this phase all year long, surrendering an average of 212.9 passing yards per game (20th in the NFL) with 12 passing scores allowed to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has averaged 270.3 net passing yards allowed per game. One thing that the Seahawks do well, though, is rush the passer - they have 11 sacks over the past 3 weeks, and are first in the NFL with 34 sacks this season. They have also generated 4 interceptions in the past 3 weeks.

Manning is a top-ten QB, while the Seahawks sport a mediocre secondary but a ferocious pass rush (the Giants have given up only 19 sacks this year, though - they're not particularly vulnerable to pass pressure). On balance, this looks like a good matchup for Manning if his OL can keep the rush in check.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 48F with a low of 37F and a 50% chance of rain on Sunday. If the precipitation falls thickly around game time, footing and ball handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

NYG Injuries: TE Jeremy Shockey (Questionable)
SEA Injuries: DL Bryce Fisher (Probable), DL Marcus Tubbs (Questionable), LB D.D. Lewis (Probable), LB Jamie Sharper (Out), DB John Howell (Out)


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kerry Collins hit 19/36 for 289 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception vs. Washington last week, hooking up with Jerry Porter for 6/142/1 (followed by Randy Moss with 3/40/0). While Moss has struggled to recover from rib and groin problems, Porter has become Collins' go-to guy in recent weeks (16/237/2 for Porter vs. 10/134/2 for Moss during the past 3 weeks). They form an excellent 1-2 punch, powering Collins to 66/126 for 774 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions during the most recent 3 weeks (11th fantasy QB in points per game during that span).

Miami's pass D is in the middle of the NFL dogpile, with an average of 203.1 passing yards allowed per game (15th in the NFL) and 12 thrown TDs surrendered to date. Last week, they held Trent Dilfer and Charlie Frye to 17/29 for 195 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception during the Dolphins' shutout loss (22-0). Over the past 3 weeks, the team gave away 229.6 passing yards per game - they aren't awful, but they don't shut people down, either.

Collins is a good QB on an explosive offensive unit, while the Dolphins' secondary is pretty ordinary. Advantage, Oakland.

Weather: McAfee Coliseum expects a high of 60F with a low of 44F and a 10% chance for rain - sounds like great football weather to us.

OAK Injuries: WR Randy Moss (Probable), TE John Paul Foschi (Doubtful)
MIA Injuries: LB Junior Seau (Out), LB Zach Thomas (Out), DB Lance Schulters (Questionable)


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Brees blew up one of the toughest pass defenses in the NFL last week, with 28/33 for 339 yards, 4 TDs and 0 interceptions - Keenan McCardell led the team with 6/88/1; Antonio Gates had 5/77/1 before leaving the game with a sprained arch in his foot; Eric Parker snagged 4/69/1 (FB Lorenzo Neal caught the other score, 5/22/1). It was all good for the Chargers last week. Brees is the 8th ranked fantasy QB in the land this season, with 201/302 for 2438 yards passing, 18 TDs and 8 interceptions - he's becoming an elite NFL QB, and he's hot right now.

Washington's pass D hasn't been very good lately, averaging 285.3 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, including last week's totals of 19/36 for 289 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception surrendered to Kerry Collins and company. Washington sports the league's 11th ranked pass D this season (averaging 192.5 passing yards allowed per game, with 10 thrown TDs handed over), but they are playing much worse than their season average would indicate right now.

Brees is on fire coming into this game, while the Redskins are struggling to defend against the pass. The early word out of San Diego is that Gates' foot injury is responding to treatment and isn't very sore as of Tuesday, which is good news for this unit - assuming Gates can play, we think this is a good matchup for San Diego. If Gates suffers a setback and is sidelined, then this would be a "neutral" matchup for Brees and company.

Weather: Fed Ex Field expects a high of 43F with a low of 27F and a 0% chance for rain on Sunday. A crisp, cool autumn day is on tap for this matchup - neither team should have weather-related issues in the forecast conditions.

SD Injuries: RB Andrew Pinnock (Questionable), WR Vincent Jackson (Questionable), TE Antonio Gates (Questionable), TE Justin Peelle (Questionable)
WAS Injuries: DL Joe Salave'a (Probable), DL Cornelius Griffin (Questionable), LB Lavar Arrington (Probable), DB Ryan Clark (Probable), DB Sean Taylor (Probable)


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense vs New York Giants Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck continues to be efficient and productive week in and week out - last week, he tossed 19/31 for 233 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions. Considering that Shaun Alexander has rushed for 7 TDs in the past 3 weeks, Hasselbeck's totals of 49/80 for 634 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions are not unexpected. His number one target in recent weeks has been Bobby Engram (26 targets in the last 3 weeks, with 10 for 6/93/0 last week). As long as Alexander is so dominating in the rushing phase, the Seahawks passing game will put up modest but respectable numbers.

The Giants secondary didn't do much to contain Mike McMahon in his first start of the season, allowing 18/39 for 298 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to the youngster. They've been weak vs. the pass all year long, averaging 237.4 passing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL) while coughing up 10 passing scores to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the Giants are averaging 169.6 net passing yards allowed per game (Cody Pickett's weak 102 yard passing performance against them 3 weeks ago is skewing that stat downwards, though). Over the past 3 weeks, the defensive team has notched 7 sacks and has allowed only 2 TDs (rushing and receiving) - they are tied for 16th in the NFL with 23 sacks to date.

Seattle has an effective passing game that has been modest in recent weeks due to the running game's dominance. The Giants don't field a strong secondary - when they want to, Seattle should enjoy good results passing the ball.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 48F with a low of 37F and a 50% chance of rain on Sunday. If the precipitation falls thickly around game time, footing and ball handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

SEA Injuries: WR Darrell Jackson (Out)
NYG Injuries: DL Reggie Torbor (Doubtful), DL William Joseph (Out), DB Curtis Deloatch (Questionable), DB Shaun Williams (Doubtful), DB William Peterson (Out)


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense at Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Michael Vick surprised Tampa with 21/38 for 306 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions last week. Roddy White had a coming out party, with 4/108/0 receiving, while the usual suspects - Alge Crumpler (5/49/1), Michael Jenkins (5/69/1) and Brian Finneran (3/40/0) all got into the action. Over the past 3 weeks, Vick has vaulted into the top 5 fantasy QBs in the land, with 63/99 for 743 yards, 5 TDs and 0 interceptions passing (19/79/1 rushing) - he's finally rewarding the patience of his fantasy owners with some explosive games.

The Lions are pretty solid in this phase of the game, ranking 12th in the NFL allowing an average of 195.2 passing yards per game (with 12 thrown TDs given up to date). They held Drew Bledsoe to 12/23 for 110 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions last week, and have averaged 194.6 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. They have generated 4 sacks over the past 3 weeks (0 interceptions, though - not a good sign). On balance, Detroit is playing well, but they are not overwhelming opposing QBs during recent weeks.

Vick has heated up the Falcons' passing game in recent weeks, and that's good news for his fantasy owners. Against the Lions' respectable defense, in the Lions' home stadium, he'll have to work hard to build on his momentum - we think this looks like an even matchup.

Weather: This game is to be played indoors at Ford Field - the weather won't be an issue for either team.

ATL Injuries: none
DET Injuries: LB Boss Bailey (Questionable), LB Earl Holmes (Doubtful), DB Dre Bly (Probable)


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kyle Boller was sidelined with his turf toe injury the last time these teams faced off - recent history isn't going to inform us about Boller's prospects vs. this particular defensive unit. However, we can look at his totals since returning from his injury (40/69 for 305 yards, 1 TD and 4 interceptions, 33rd fantasy QB in points per game during that span). As you can see, he's been less-than-impressive. Last week's 21/36 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception performance marks his best performance of 2005 - it's the only game so far he's managed to throw a TD. During his 3-year career to date, he's tossed 429/780 for 4265 yards, 21 TDs and 25 interceptions - in contrast, Peyton Manning tossed 379/566 for 4267 yards, 29 TDs and 10 interceptions during a single season (2003). Need we say more?

The Bengals have allowed an average of 237.5 passing yards per game over the past 3 weeks (2 games), including last week's total of 24/40 for 365 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interceptions given up to Peyton Manning. This season, they are the 16th ranked pass secondary averaging 204.5 passing yards surrendered per game, with 10 TDs handed over to date. They lead the NFL with 21 interceptions to date, but have only generated 1 interception during the past 3 weeks. The Bengals have regressed during the past 3 weeks vs. opposing passers.

The Bengals may have regressed, but they have home-field advantage. The Ravens are struggling to keep the momentum rolling against this defense.

Weather: Paul Brown Stadium expects a high of 45F with a low of 28F and a 0% chance for rain. A cool, crisp day is on tap for this matchup - weather shouldn't be an issue for either team.

BAL Injuries: QB Kyle Boller (Probable), RB Musa Smith (Questionable), RB Chester Taylor (Questionable)
CIN Injuries: DL Bryan Robinson (Questionable), DB Rashad Bauman (Questionable), DB Reggie Myles (Questionable)


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carson Palmer picked the Raven's secondary apart back in week 9 (the last time these teams faced off), posting 19/26 for 248 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. Chad Johnson (5/91/0) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (5/61/0) in receptions and yardage that day, while Chris Henry (3/17/1) and Tab Perry (1/8/1) snagged the TDs. During the past 3 weeks (2 games played), Palmer was the 7th ranked fantasy QB in points per game, with 44/64 for 583 yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception during that span. Chad Johnson leads all fantasy WRs during that 3 week time frame, with 13/280/1 receiving. Houshmandzadeh has hauled in 10/108/0 in the second-fiddle role (56th among all fantasy WRs).

The Ravens rank 4th in the NFL allowing an average of 172.8 passing yards per game this season, with 11 passing scores allowed to date. They have given up an average of 216 passing yards per game during the last 3 weeks - but they have also notched 10 sacks during that time frame (tied for 13th in the NFL with 24 sacks this season). This group is getting into opposing QB's faces - last week, Tommy Maddox and company managed 21/38 for 246 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception, but were sacked 6 times by this unit.

The Bengals had Baltimore's number the last time these teams met (Cincy won 21-9), and Cincinnati will have home-field advantage at their back. The Ravens are always dangerous when it comes to D, though, and they won't lay down for the Bengals. This matchup is going to be a battle of upper-echelon units - neither side has a clear edge that we can see.

Weather: Paul Brown Stadium expects a high of 45F with a low of 28F and a 0% chance for rain. A cool, crisp day is on tap for this matchup - weather shouldn't be an issue for either team.

CIN Injuries: RB Rudi Johnson (Probable)
BAL Injuries: LB Ray Lewis (Out), DB Dale Carter (Questionable), DB Chris McAlister (Questionable), DB Samari Rolle (Questionable), DB Ed Reed (Out)


Cleveland Browns Passing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Trent Dilfer led his team to a victory with 11/18 for 137 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions, but was annoyed by the coaching staff's decision to give Charlie Frye 3 series during the game (6/11 for 58 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception). Coach Crennel has indicated that Frye will see some more time as the season winds to its' close, but not necessarily this week vs. Minnesota. In any case, the team totaled 17/29 for 195 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception for the day - WR Braylon Edwards (6/90/0) led the team, followed by fellow WR Antonio Bryant (4/60/0). FB Terrelle Smith pulled in the TD (1/6/1).

The Vikings average 229.2 passing yards allowed per game this season (25th in the NFL) with 18 passing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've given up 242.3 passing yards per game, with 8 interceptions and 8 sacks generated by the defenders. They give up a lot of yards, but they are starting to make the opposition pay in other ways of late. Brett Favre managed 20/33 for 227 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. the Vikes on Monday night.

The Browns have a mediocre passing attack - the Vikings sport a soft secondary that aims for "the big play" in recent weeks - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: This game is to be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either team.

CLE Injuries: RB William Green (Questionable), WR Josh Cribbs (Questionable)
MIN Injuries: DL Spencer Johnson (Questionable), DB Fred Smoot (Out)


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

During the past few games, the Dallas offense has been more about the rushing game than the passing game (Drew Bledsoe has passed for 29/47 for 306 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception in his last 2 games), and that was true again last week. Bledsoe tossed 12/23 for 110 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions during the contest, with 5/37/0 going to Keyshawn Johnson (who led the team last week). With only 110 yards of passing to go around, none of the Dallas receivers were very exciting last week.

Denver's pass D had been dwelling in the NFL cellar earlier this year, currently ranking 28th in the league allowing an average of 240.4 yards per game, with 14 TDs surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, however, Denver has surrendered 224 passing yards per contest, while generating 5 interceptions and 8 sacks during only 2 games. Joey Harrington managed 17/25 for 169 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions against this group last week. The return of Champ Bailey to the lineup has definitely given this unit a boost - they are playing well of late.

Dallas' passing attack has been idling during recent weeks, while the Broncos' secondary has been improving but they're still suspect. We see this a fairly neutral matchup.

Weather: Texas Stadium expects a high of 75F with a low of 47F and a 0% chance of rain. If the forecast holds up, fans and players should enjoy ideal conditions for football on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: WR Patrick Crayton (Questionable)
DEN Injuries: DL Demetrin Veal (Probable), DB Champ Bailey (Probable)


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense vs Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Peyton Manning tore apart the Bengals for 24/40 for 365 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception last week, hitting Dallas Clark for 6/125/1 and Reggie Wayne for 5/117/1 (TE Bryan Fletcher pulled in the other score, with 2/16/1). Over the past 3 weeks, Manning has been "on" with 78/112 for 983 yards, 9 TDs and 2 interceptions to rank 1st among all fantasy QBs in points per game during that span. The Colts passing game is firing on all cylinders right now.

The Steelers weren't really challenged last week, as they faced the anemic Kyle-Boller-led Ravens pass attack, giving up 21/36 for 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. They have averaged 194 passing yards handed over per game over the past 3 weeks, while generating 8 sacks and 3 interceptions. The Steelers are 5th in the NFL to date with 30 sacks as a team (while ranking 17th in passing yards allowed per game this year, with 206.5 surrendered per game on average), but Indianapolis has the top pass-blocking line in the league, having allowed only 7 sacks to date. The Colts aren't susceptible to pass pressure on a regular basis.

The Colts have the best aerial assault in the NFL, while the Steelers field a good-to-great D, depending on the week. With home-field advantage behind Manning and company, we're calling it a neutral matchup.

Weather: This game is to be played in the RCA Dome - weather doesn't come into the picture for this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: LB Joey Porter (Probable), LB James Farrior (Questionable), LB Andre Frazier (Doubtful), DB Chidi Iwuoma (Probable), DB Mike Logan (Questionable)


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brad Johnson tossed 18/30 for 196 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. the Packers last week, hitting TE Jermaine Wiggins for 7/67/0 (Wiggins led the team) and getting ex-Seahawk Koren Robinson (3/51/0) into the mix. None of the other receivers on the team broke through the 50 yards-receiving barrier last week. Over the past 3 weeks, Johnson has totaled 50/82 for 476 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to rank 29th at his position in fantasy points per week - he's winning games for his NFL team, but that isn't something that can be said for fantasy owners invested in the Viking's passing attack.

Cleveland crushed the Miami passing attack last week, holding them to 9/28 for 67 yards passing, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions during the game. This season, the team averages 196 passing yards allowed per game (10 passing TDs given away to date). Over the past 3 weeks, the team has averaged 167.6 passing yards given up per game (but the abnormally low Miami total is skewing this average downwards).

Cleveland is playing very well in this phase of the game of late, while the Vikings are getting by with a modest attack now-a-days - this looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: This game is to be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either team.

MIN Injuries: RB Mewelde Moore (Probable), WR Troy Williamson (Probable)
CLE Injuries: DB Brodney Pool (Doubtful)


New York Jets Passing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Jets went through 3 QBs last week, ending up with Kliff Kingsbury (1/2 for 17 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions) after Brooks Bollinger (4/5 for 26 yards, 0 TDS, 0 interceptions) was concussed and Vinny Testaverde (15/25 for 152 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions) suffered a sprained right ankle. Needless to say, with only 195 yards of passing to spread around (0 TDs), none of the Jets' receivers were top performers (5/73/0 for Justin McCareins; 6/62/0 for Laveranues Coles). Bollinger has been cleared to start again this week despite the concussion - his backup is up in the air. Realize that the Jets have scored 3 points in their last 8 quarters, folks - there aren't many fantasy points to be had on this team.

The Saints average 170.4 passing yards allowed per game this year (3rd in the NFL), but have surrendered 14 passing scores to date. Part of the reason for the low yards allowed average in this phase is that the rush D is horrible, so that teams simply elect to run the ball against the Saints. Last week, New England torched New Orleans for 15/29 for 222 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions - the Saints have averaged 162.5 passing yards given up per game over the past 3 weeks (2 games).

The Jets aren't very good at passing the ball right now, and they give up a ton of sacks each week (35 sacks allowed to date and counting). The Saints are 23rd in the NFL with 20 sacks to date, though, so they aren't great at getting to the opposing QB - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for the home-team Jets.

Weather: The weather service predicts a high of 41F with a low of 27F for Giants Stadium on Sunday (0% chance for rain). Weather shouldn't be an issue for the teams in this game, however, it will be closer to the cold end of the spectrum on Sunday night.

NYJ Injuries: QB Brooks Bollinger (Questionable), QB Jay Fiedler (Out), RB B.J. Askew (Probable), RB Curtis Martin (Probable), RB Derrick Blaylock (Questionable)
NO Injuries: DL Brian Young (Questionable), LB Courtney Watson (Questionable)


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ken Dorsey's injured ankle flared up during the game last week, and as of Tuesday it is unclear who'll start this week for the 49ers. Frankly, none of their options are very appealing from a fantasy view-point: the best 49er QB this year in fantasy points per game has been Dorsey - he ranks 37th among QBs averaging 9.8 FP per game. Cody Pickett and Alex Smith are 55th and 56th on the QB board this year. We advise you to look elsewhere for your fantasy starters.

Tennessee plays sub-par pass D this season, ranking 21st in the NFL averaging 214.1 passing yards allowed per game. They are also worst in the league with 21 passing TDs handed over to the opposition so far this year. Last week, Byron Leftwich and company hit Tennessee for 22/38 for 258 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. Tennessee doesn't scare anybody in this phase of the game.

Two struggling units face off in this matchup - neither one excites us much. This is an even matchup between bad teams.

Weather: The Coliseum in Nashville expects a high of 54F with a low of 36F and 0% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football - weather won't be a huge issue for either team if the forecast holds up.

SF Injuries: RB Fred Beasley (Questionable), RB Frank Gore (Doubtful), WR Jason McAddley (Questionable)
TEN Injuries: LB Rocky Boiman (Questionable), DB Andre Woolfolk (Questionable)


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kurt Warner played like he was back in the "Greatest Show on Turf" last week, with 27/39 for 285 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions to his credit. Two Cardinals broke the 100 yard receiving barrier - Anquan Boldin had 8/105/1 in his return from injury, while Larry Fitzgerald hauled in 9/104/1. Tight End Adam Bergin hauled in the other TD, with 4/35/1. Warner, who has tossed 85/132 for 978 yards, 5 TDs and 3 interceptions over the past 3 weeks, ranks 6th among fantasy QBs during that 3 week time span. Fitzgerald has amassed 26/347/2 during that same slice of time.

Jacksonville allowed 20/30 for 208 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception to the Titans last week, notching 3 sacks during the contest. They lead the NFL averaging 159.9 net passing yards allowed per game this season, with 12 passing scores handed over to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the Jags average 164 passing yards allowed per game. They are tough in this phase, folks.

Warner has a head of steam up, and will be playing on the Cardinals' home field - Jacksonville sports an elite pass D this year, though. That sounds like a tough matchup to us.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium expects a high of 73F with a low of 50F and a 10% chance for rain - almost perfect football weather, in other words.

ARI Injuries: RB Obafemi Ayanbadejo (Probable), WR Bryant Johnson (Out)
JAX Injuries: DL Marcus Stroud (Probable), LB Patrick Thomas (Questionable)


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

J.P. Losman tossed 20/36 for 168 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception last week, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Chargers threw down 48 points during the game. He hit Eric Moulds the most (5/38/0), followed by Lee Evans (4/69/0) - nobody else caught more than 2 passes. It was a very forgettable outing for the rookie.

Carolina's pass defense held the Bears in check - Kyle Orton tossed 15/26 for 136 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception last week - the 13-3 loss was not the secondary's fault. Over the past 3 weeks, the Panthers have allowed an average of 146.3 passing yards per game, with 7 interceptions and 8 sacks generated - the team is really clamping down on opposing passers lately, holding teams to 60 yards per game less than their season average of 206.7 passing yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL).

Losman is still finding his way as a starter, and just doesn't have a lot of fantasy upside right now - that'll be true again this week against the tough Panthers pass D.

Weather: Ralph Wilson Stadium expects decent weather on Sunday - considering that it is located in upstate New York - with the forecast calling for a high of 34F and a low of 27F with a 10% chance for precipitation. If the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge issue for either team.

BUF Injuries: QB Kelly Holcomb (Probable), TE Mark Campbell (Questionable)
CAR Injuries: DL Brentson Buckner (Questionable), LB Dan Morgan (Doubtful), DB Idrees Bashir (Questionable), DB Thomas Davis (Questionable)


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense at Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jake Delhomme had a very rough time vs. the Chicago Bears, tossing 22/38 for 235 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions, while being sacked 8 times on the day. Top target Steve Smith had his usual banner afternoon, with 14/169/0, but other than Smith no-one else got over 20 yards receiving. Delhomme has thrown for 43/76 for 570 yards, 2 TDs and 4 interceptions in his last 3 games - he has definitely cooled off of late (28th fantasy QB in the land during that 3-week span).

Buffalo's top-ten secondary was humiliated last week by Drew Brees and company - Brees blew up the Bills for 28/33 for 339 yards, 4 TDs and 0 interceptions last week. The Bills average 175.8 passing yards allowed per game this year (with 10 TDs surrendered in this phase so far), which slots them at #6 in the NFL vs. the pass. They did not play up to their usual standards last week, though.

Delhomme has been cold recently, while the Bills are staggering into this contest after their bad game vs. San Diego last week. Home field advantage lies with the Bills - we think this is a tough matchup for Delhomme and company.

Weather: Ralph Wilson Stadium expects decent weather on Sunday - considering that it is located in upstate New York - with the forecast calling for a high of 34F and a low of 27F with a 10% chance for precipitation. If the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge issue for either team.

CAR Injuries: RB DeShaun Foster (Questionable), TE Kris Mangum (Questionable)
BUF Injuries: DL Sam Adams (Questionable), DB Terrence McGee (Questionable)


Chicago Bears Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kyle Orton did what he's supposed to do last week - play within his limits and take what the defense gives away - hitting 15/26 for 136 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. Ex-Panther Muhsin Muhammad snagged the TD (6/49/1), while Justin Gage hauled in 7 balls (7/81/0). Orton is the 34th ranked fantasy QB in the land over the past 3 weeks, with 35/65 for 340 yards, 2 TDs and 4 interceptions during that span. Chicago is not blessed with a high-octane passing offense, folks.

The Buccaneers average 178.5 passing yards allowed per game this year (7th in the NFL), with 7 thrown TDs surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 235.6 passing yards allowed per game, though, including last week's 21/38 for 306 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions handed over to Michael Vick and company. The Bucs defense is not up to snuff right now,

Orton is a rookie, and with the home-field advantage behind Tampa's defenders, this will be a tough match for Chicago.

Weather: Tampa expects great weather this weekend, with a forecast of 75F for a high and 56F for a low on Sunday (10% chance for precipitation). Both players and fans are in for near-perfect weather on Sunday.

CHI Injuries: QB Rex Grossman (Questionable), RB Cedric Benson (Out), WR Bernard Berrian (Out)
TB Injuries: DB Will Allen (Questionable), DB Dexter Jackson (Questionable)


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

18/26 for 225 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions were all that Jake Plummer and the Broncos needed last week to rout the Jets 27-0. The Broncos held the ball for 42:28 during the game, and basically ran the ball at will. Ashley Lelie (4/81/0) and Rod Smith (5/57/0) led to team in receiving, as usual. Over the past 3 weeks (2 games), Plummer has compiled 34/48 for 430 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to rank 21st among all fantasy QBs in points per game. Denver simply hasn't needed to pass very much in order to win their games.

Dallas' pass D ranks in the top 10 this season, averaging 189.5 passing yards allowed per game, with 10 passing scores allowed to date. Last week, Joey Harrington and company scraped up 17/25 for 169 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions vs. the Cowboys' secondary. Over the past 3 weeks, Dallas has allowed an average of 173.5 passing yards per contest - they are very good at defending the pass in Big D this year.

The Broncos' attack has been low-key of late - meanwhile, the Cowboys are stingy with yards and points in this phase of the game. That sounds like a tough matchup for the Broncos to us.

Weather: Texas Stadium expects a high of 75F with a low of 47F and a 0% chance of rain. If the forecast holds up, fans and players should enjoy ideal conditions for football on Sunday.

DEN Injuries: RB Tatum Bell (Questionable), WR Darius Watts (Probable), TE Jeb Putzier (Probable)
DAL Injuries: LB Scott Shanle (Probable), DB Anthony Henry (Probable)


Detroit Lions Passing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Lions keep waiting for Jeff Garcia's leg injury to improve, so that they can send Joey Harrington back to the bench. That's still true this week - if Garcia can practice later in the week, then Harrington will take his seat on the bench (and the team will hope to do better than 17/25 for 169 yards passing, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions that Harrington tossed last week). The team filed a grievance against WR Charles Rogers this week - the disharmony continues to grow among the Lions' receivers and the team. Roy Williams led the team last week with 5/72/0, while Rogers had 4/41/0 to his credit. There isn't much to get excited about on this unit.

The Falcons limited Chris Simms to a modest 11/18 for 118 yards, 0 TDS and 1 interception last week. Over the past 3 weeks, opposing passers have averaged 155 yards per game against the Falcons, who have generated 3 interceptions and 1 sack during that span of time. They have been playing better than their season average of 199.5 passing yards allowed per game would indicate - the Falcons are headed in the correct direction in this phase of the game.

The Lions are in turmoil at the QB and WR positions, and the problems are not going to go away over night. Meanwhile, the Falcons are growing stronger defending vs. the pass - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: This game is to be played indoors at Ford Field - the weather won't be an issue for either team.

DET Injuries: QB Jeff Garcia (Questionable)
ATL Injuries: DL Brady Smith (Questionable)


Miami Dolphins Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Sage Rosenfels fell on his face last week (5/10 for 14 yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions) - so much so, that the team brought the injured Gus Frerotte back onto the field despite his sore throwing-hand index finger (4/18 for 53 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions). The early word is that Frerotte will get the start this week - the team is crossing their fingers that his sore finger will be healed enough to allow some accuracy on Sunday. Frerotte had a pretty 25/47 for 360 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception performance 2 weeks ago (he injured his finger at the end of the game) - Chris Chambers and the rest of the Miami receiving corps hopes that he can get back into form quickly.

Oakland held Mark Brunell to 14/32 for 155 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions last week - a strong game for a unit that has averaged 183.3 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. The team is 19th in the NFL this year averaging 210.5 passing yards surrendered per outing, but they've been stouter than that lately. The team is still lacking in the interception department, though, with 0 interceptions in 3 weeks.

Oakland has been playing well in this phase, while the Dolphins have bounced up and down in recent weeks. With the Black Hole at their back, the Raiders will make things tough on the on-again, off-again Dolphins.

Weather: McAfee Coliseum expects a high of 60F with a low of 44F and a 10% chance for rain - sounds like great football weather to us.

MIA Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: DL Warren Sapp (Doubtful), DB Renaldo Hill (Probable), DB Charles Woodson (Out)


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense at New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Aaron Brooks threw the ball all over the place last week, with 27/50 for 343 yards for 2 TDs and 1 interception (3/30/0 rushing as well). He hit Donte Stallworth for both scores (6/76/2) and also connected with 3 other players for 6 receptions. Joe Horn (6/80/0), Aaron Stecker (6/72/0) and TE Zach Hilton (6/72/0). Brooks has piled up 43/76 for 513 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions in his last 2 starts - he's bounced up and down over the recent past (and throughout the year, really).

The Jets gave up 18/26 for 225 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions to the Broncos last week, and have averaged 196.3 passing yards allowed per game over the last 3 weeks. Their season average of 173.2 passing yards allowed slots them at #5 among NFL pass defenses (7 passing scores given up to date). The secondary is probably the best unit on the Jets' team this year.

Brooks has been erratic in this phase of the game, but he comes into this game hot. The Jets aren't easy to pass on, though - this looks like a tough game for the visiting Saints.

Weather: The weather service predicts a high of 41F with a low of 27F for Giants Stadium on Sunday (0% chance for rain). Weather shouldn't be an issue for the teams in this game, however, it will be closer to the cold end of the spectrum on Sunday night.

NO Injuries: TE Ernie Conwell (Questionable)
NYJ Injuries: DL John Abraham (Probable), DL Sione Pouha (Questionable), DB David Barrett (Out)


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mike McMahon had an impressive first start, tossing 18/39 for 298 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception during the game. L.J. Smith saw the most targets during the game, with 12 passes headed his way (7/84/0 receiving on the day); Brian Westbrook had 10 of McMahon's darts come his way (4/57/0); Greg Lewis and Reggie Brown were tied for 3rd with 7 targets each (Brown led the team in yards receiving with 3/88/1, Lewis snagged 3/64/0). He provided a very credible threat to pass, helping open up some running room for Westbrook - and McMahon added 9/31/1 to the cause on the ground. It was an auspicious start for McMahon.

Green Bay held Brad Johnson to 18/30 for 196 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception last week, and has averaged 147.3 net passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks (1 interception and 9 sacks generated during that span). The Packers are tied for 8th in the NFL with 26 sacks to date, including 5 sacks of Johnson last week. They are getting in opposing passer's faces lately - Philly has coughed up 19 sacks this season, in the middle of the NFL pack. You can bet the Packers will try to rattle McMahon this week. The team has averaged 187.4 passing yards allowed per game this year (8th in the NFL). They have given up 16 thrown TDs to date.

The Eagle's new signal caller looks pretty good, while the Packers have been playing tough pass D this season (and during recent weeks). This matchup looks pretty tough to us.

Weather: The forecast for Lincoln Financial Field calls for a high of 41F with a low of 29F with a 0% chance for precipitation. A nice, cool afternoon is on line for this matchup - weather shouldn't be a big issue during this game.

PHI Injuries: RB Lamar Gordon (Probable), WR Greg Lewis (Questionable), TE Chad Lewis (Probable), TE Stephen Spach (Probable)
GB Injuries: DL Corey Williams (Doubtful), LB Robert Thomas (Questionable), DB Jason Horton (Out)


Pittsburgh Steelers Passing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Steelers passing game has suffered in the absence of Ben Roethlisberger - the team sincerely hopes that they can get him back under center for this key game vs. the Colts. Tommy Maddox looked horrible at times last week, but ended the day with 19/36 for 230 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception - not bad, from the fantasy perspective, but the divisional loss didn't sit well with anybody on the team, especially coach Cowher. Roethlisberger has completed 60.8% of his passes this season, compiling 79/130 for 1183 yards, 11 TDs and 2 interceptions in his 6 starts. He doesn't throw up a lot of balls, but he can hit the deep pass and generally tosses for in excess of 200 yards and 1-2 TDs per outing.

Cincinnati exposed the Colts' secondary last week, hitting 25/38 for 335 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. The Colts currently rank 9th in the NFL allowing an average of 189.3 passing yards per game, with 11 passing scores given up per game. Over the past 3 weeks, they have allowed an average of 236 passing yards per game. The Cincinnati game looks like an aberration, rather than the start of a trend. The Colts are currently 3rd in the NFL with 32 sacks this season, including 6 notched during the last 3 games.

Pittsburgh's passing game is in a holding pattern, waiting for their QB to get healthy again. In the hostile RCA Dome against the aggressive Colts defense, Roethlisberger will have a fight on his hands (while he's trying to "knock the rust off").

Weather: This game is to be played in the RCA Dome - weather doesn't come into the picture for this matchup.

PIT Injuries: QB Ben Roethlisberger (Probable), QB Charlie Batch (Doubtful), RB Willie Parker (Probable)
IND Injuries: DL Josh Thomas (Questionable), LB Gary Brackett (Probable), LB Cato June (Probable), LB Keith O'Neil (Probable), LB Rob Morris (Questionable), DB Gerome Sapp (Probable), DB Joseph Jefferson (Probable), DB Bob Sanders (Probable)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs Chicago Bears Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Chris Simms had a quiet outing vs. Atlanta, with 11/19 for 118 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception during the game. It was not the kind of game fantasy owners dream about (Simms' favorite target, Joey Galloway, was shut out by Atlanta), leading to 3/48/0 to Michael Clayton and 3/43/0 to TE Alex Smith - they were the beneficiaries of Galloway's woes. Over the past 3 weeks, Simms has compiled 51/90 for 656 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions (17th fantasy QB in the land during that time span).

Chicago is no joke in this phase of the game, with an average of only 160.9 passing yards allowed per game this season (2nd in the NFL) and only 7 passing scores surrendered to date. They average 120.3 net passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, with 5 interceptions and 11 sacks (vs. only 2 TDs, rushing and receiving, given away). This defense is on fire heading into the stretch run, folks.

Simms will have his plate full when the Bears come to town - this is a tough matchup for Tampa.

Weather: Tampa expects great weather this weekend, with a forecast of 75F for a high and 56F for a low on Sunday (10% chance for precipitation). Both players and fans are in for near-perfect weather on Sunday.

TB Injuries: TE Anthony Becht (Questionable)
CHI Injuries: DB Jerry Azumah (Probable)


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mark Brunell was quiet last week, with 14/32 for 155 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions to his credit - he's thrown scoring passes in only 1 of his past 4 games, and he hasn't topped 300 yards passing in any game since week 6 this year. He has definitely come back down to earth, as his 23rd ranking over the past 3 weeks illustrates (58/96 for 605 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions during that span). Santana Moss has dropped to 42nd among all fantasy WRs during that time frame, with 15/211/0 in 3 games. Favorite red-zone target Mike Sellers broke some ribs last week and is probably going to miss a few games - the Redskin passing attack is winding down as the playoff hunt heats up.

San Diego held J.P. Losman to 20/36 for 168 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception last week, and they have averaged 158.5 passing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks (2 games). They're playing much better in the second half of the season than they did in the first half, as the team's 27th ranked season average of 237.4 passing yards allowed per game illustrates. San Diego has notched 9 sacks in their last 2 games (they are now 2nd in the NFL with 33 sacks to their credit). Washington has allowed the 10th-most sacks this season, with 26 surrendered to date.

Brunell has cooled off a lot recently, and he's vulnerable to pass pressure, something that the Chargers bring to the dance every week. This looks like a tough matchup for the Redskins.

Weather: Fed Ex Field expects a high of 43F with a low of 27F and a 0% chance for rain on Sunday. A crisp, cool autumn day is on tap for this matchup - neither team should have weather-related issues in the forecast conditions.

WAS Injuries: RB Ladell Betts (Questionable), WR James Thrash (Out), TE Mike Sellers (Out)
SD Injuries: LB Steve Foley (Questionable), LB Ben Leber (Questionable)




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