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  Rushing Matchups  

Week 4 Passing Matchups

[ARI] [ATL] [BAL] [BUF] [CAR] [CIN] [DAL] [DEN] [DET] [GB] [HOU] [IND] [JAX] [KC] [MIN] [NE] [NO] [NYG] [NYJ] [OAK] [PHI] [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.


Arizona Cardinals Passing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Cardinals come into this game without their top QB, Kurt Warner, who suffered a right groin injury last week and won't be available to play on Sunday. So, it's back to Josh McCown (the guy coach Green benched for poor play last year). In relief of Warner last week, McCown tossed 10/23 for yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. Seattle. He's a career 56.1% passer, with 350/624 for 3744 passing yards, 16 TDs and 20 interceptions to his credit over 28 games. At least he has a great stable of WRs to throw at: Larry Fitzgerald (20/266/1 on 26 targets to date), Anquan Boldin (18/269/0 out of 30 targets) and Bryant Johnson (5/52/0 on 23 targets - he's been dropping too many chances). We'll see if McCown can give the Cardinal faithful in Mexico something to cheer about.

The 49ers pass defense is an embarrassment after 3 games, allowing a league-worst in both passing yards per game (369 yards on average) and passing TDs (9 so far). Last week Drew Bledsoe lit them up for 24/38 for 363 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. The one thing this group has been doing right is pressuring the opposing passer, ranking 3rd in the NFL with 11 sacks to date. DL Bryant Young is tied for 2nd in the NFL with 4 to his credit so far. Arizona is 4th-worst in the league, surrendering 11 sacks in the early going.

The Cardinals will have to find a way to protect McCown if he's going to last through 4 quarters on Sunday, but this is still one of the best matchups he's likely to see while subbing for Warner. We're not saying McCown is a great play this week, we're saying as far as matchups go, this is about as good as it gets for him.

Weather: This NFL special is to be played in Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Mexico. The forecast for the Distrito Federal calls for a high of 74F with a low of 53F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a night game, expect the conditions to be on the cool side. If the rain comes down hard around game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams. This stadium seats 100,000 people, so if they get into the game crowd noise could be an issue for both squads.

ARI Injuries: QB Kurt Warner (Out), RB Harold Morrow (Probable), RB James Jackson (Questionable), WR Reggie Swinton (Probable)
SF Injuries: LB Julian Peterson (Questionable), DB Ahmed Plummer (Doubtful)


Dallas Cowboys Passing Offense at Oakland Raiders Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Who would've believed that the Cowboys, with Drew Bledsoe under center throwing to Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn, would rank 5th in the NFL among passing offenses after 3 weeks of action? Yet that is where they are, averaging 267 passing yards per game, with 6 thrown TDs to date. Bledsoe is the #2 fantasy QB in the land on the strength of 63/98 for 850 passing yards, 6 TDs and 2 interceptions with 9/17/1 rushing as a sweetener. Glenn is the 11th best fantasy WR with 14/336/1, Johnson is 14th with 12/165/3, and TE Jason Witten is 11th at his position with 11/132/1. They are firing on all cylinders in Dallas, folks.

The Raiders' pass defense is pathetic so far during 2005, ranking 31st while allowing an average of 300 passing yards per game (4 scores given up to date). They've only generated 2 sacks over 3 games (tied for next-to-last). They rolled over and played dead against a struggling McNabb in the second half of last week's game, giving away a total of 30/52 for 365 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception (most of it in the second half). This is not a very good pass defense, from the defensive line to the safeties.

Dallas is a surprising top-5 pass offense, while Oakland is in the tank in this phase of the game. Advantage, Dallas.

Weather: McAfee Coliseum expects perfect football weather on Sunday - 69F for a high, 53F for a low, with a 10% chance for precipitation.

DAL Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: DL Edward Jasper (Questionable), DB Charles Woodson (Probable)


New England Patriots Passing Offense vs San Diego Chargers Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

While the Patriots' rushing game is languishing near the bottom of the league, their passing attack is firing on all cylinders, averaging 300.3 yards per game through 3 contests (3 passing scores to date). Tom Brady looks unflappable and utterly in control, as usual, and ranks 7th among fantasy signal callers after 3 weeks, with 78/123 for 948 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions passing so far. Deion Branch is his favorite target, with 32 for 21/237/1 to date this season (he ranks 19th among all fantasy WRs with those numbers through 3 weeks), David Givens is #2 with 27 targets for 16/217/0. Last week was Brady's most prolific performance yet in terms of completions and yardage (but not TDs) - 31/41 for 372 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception. The Patriots are not afraid to put the game on Brady's arm.

The Chargers gave up a lot of ground to Eli Manning (but they led most of the game so the Giants were forced to throw a lot) - by the end of the game he had a career best 24/41 for 352 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions racked up against the San Diego secondary. They reside in the pass defense cellar of the NFL after 3 games, having allowed an average of 254.3 passing yards per game and 5 TDs to date. The Chargers aren't fielding a dominant pass defense so far this year, to say the least.

A powerful passing attack guided by an elite QB clashes with a cellar-dwelling secondary in this matchup, and the offense has home field advantage to boot. It sounds like a great matchup for the Patriots to us.

Weather: The weather service says that Gillette Stadium will see a high of 71F and a low of 48F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play and watch football up in New England.

NE Injuries: QB Tom Brady (Probable), RB Kevin Faulk (Out)
SD Injuries: DL Shaun Phillips (Probable)


Oakland Raiders Passing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

Kerry Collins has been everything we expected so far during 2005 - the Raiders rank 3rd in the NFL averaging 282 passing yards per game with 6 passing scores in 3 games. He missed leading his club past the reigning NFC champs by a hair last week (it's not his fault the Raider secondary is pathetic - Collins threw for 24/42 for 345 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions last week). Collins ranks 4th among fantasy QBs with 63/117 for 873 yards, 6 TDs and only 1 interception (he's doing a great job protecting the ball). Randy Moss has 15/343/2 and stands at 7th at his position, and Courtney Anderson is the 6th best TE with 8/118/2 after 3 games.

The Cowboy's Achilles heel thus far during 2005 has been the pass defense. They have allowed 7 passing scores to date (2nd-most in the NFL). They folded to Mark Brunell in the 4th quarter week 2, surrendering a 13 point lead on two long bombs to Santana Moss. They average 232 passing yards allowed per game to date (24th in the NFL). Last week, Tim Rattay tossed for 21/34 for 269 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions vs. the Cowboys. The bottom line is that right now, the Cowboy's pass defense is struggling.

Collins has been consistently outstanding this season, while the Cowboys have been very weak. Advantage, Raiders.

Weather: McAfee Coliseum expects perfect football weather on Sunday - 69F for a high, 53F for a low, with a 10% chance for precipitation.

OAK Injuries: WR Ronald Curry (Out), TE Courtney Anderson (Probable), TE John Paul Foschi (Questionable)
DAL Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Passing Offense at Kansas City Chiefs Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Eagles are in a world of hurt among their offensive stars right now - literally. Donovan McNabb is battling a shin contusion, a deeply bruised chest and a sports hernia; collectively, the injuries were negatively impacting his mechanics early in the game vs. Oakland. Terrell Owens continues to deal with his ever-present groin injury. Their dependable PK, David Akers, has a torn hamstring and will be out for weeks. It's tough going for the Eagles right now, folks. McNabb and Owens owners will want to watch their status on the official injury reports as the week goes along. Coach Reid had this to say about McNabb on Monday: "We'll see how he does (Tuesday) and how he comes back in Wednesday. He should be fine for the game. We have to get the soreness out." Look for both McNabb and Owens to start.

After he finally found his rhythm, McNabb was able to post some great stats last week - 30/52 for 365 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. It was a case of all's well that ends well. Brian Westbrook (6/140/1) and Terrell Owens (9/80/1) led the charge, while getting nice support from Greg Lewis (6/70/0) and L.J. Smith (5/50/0). Once they got it going, the Eagles rolled. They sport the #1 passing offense in the land after 3 games, averaging 352.7 passing yards per game to date.

K.C. hasn't scared any opposing QBs yet, allowing an average of 242.0 passing yards per game (26th in the NFL), with 3 scoring throws given up to date. While the Broncos were trampling the defensive front on Monday Night Football, Jake Plummer pitched in with a highly effective 13/18 for 152 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions. The only way the Chiefs could control Rod Smith was by hitting him with cheap shots like a face-mask (driving his head into the turf) and a crown-of-the-helmet-to-helmet hit (they rang his bell twice), and they still let him have 7/80/1 before he left the game due to concussion. The Chiefs' secondary did not look very good on Monday night.

As long as McNabb can control his pain and stay on target, he and his receivers should rip up the Chiefs' weak pass D.

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a high of 71F with a low of 57F and a 20% chance for rain. If the forecast holds up, both teams will enjoy optimum conditions.

PHI Injuries: QB Donovan McNabb (Probable), WR Terrell Owens (Probable)
KC Injuries: DL Gary Stills (Probable), DL Carlos Hall (Questionable), DL Ryan Sims (Out), LB Keyaron Fox (Out), DB Dexter McCleon (Probable)


St. Louis Rams Passing Offense at New York Giants Passing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Rams' receiving corps took a hit last week when starter Isaac Bruce suffered a turf toe injury that is likely to keep him out for this week, at least. However, this is one of the deeper WR stables in the NFL, and Bruce's replacement, Kevin Curtis, is the fastest receiver on the squad. He grabbed 5/56/1 in relief of Bruce last week, and Dane Looker is a solid #3 option (2/25/0 last week). Of course, Torry Holt is all-world: he has 23/358/2 to his credit this year, and snagged 9/163/1 in last week's game vs. Tennessee. Marc Bulger was #5 among fantasy QBs last week with 21/28 for 292 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception, and ranks 5th at his position so far this year in fantasy points per game (73/113 for 870 yards, 6 TDs and 3 interceptions passing).

One big concern for the Rams is their poor pass protection: they are worst in the league with 15 sacks allowed to date. That's no way to keep Bulger healthy, folks.

The Giants are not playing solid pass defense this year, ranking 30th in the NFL allowing an average of 284.7 passing yards per game while coughing up 5 TDs to date. During last week's shellacking by San Diego, they allowed the Chargers to throw 20/23 for 217 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. It was an all-around defensive collapse, as the Chargers also steamrolled the Giants for 33/268/3 on the ground.

The Giants' defense as a whole was embarrassed last week, and they haven't been a very strong pass defense to date. The Rams have to be licking their chops at the prospect of facing this secondary. Advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: Giants Stadium expects a high of 74F with a low of 56F and a 20% chance of rain on Sunday. Both teams will enjoy playing in the mild weather that is forecast.

STL Injuries: QB Marc Bulger (Probable), RB Steven Jackson (Questionable), WR Isaac Bruce (Doubtful), TE Brandon Manumaleuna (Probable)
NYG Injuries: LB Barrett Green (Questionable), DB William Peterson (Questionable), DB Corey Webster (Questionable)


Atlanta Falcons Passing Offense vs Minnesota Vikings Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Vick turned in his first strong passing performance of 2005 last week, possibly due to nursing a sore hamstring that led him to concentrate on his passing more than usual leading into the Buffalo game. He completed 15 of 27 for 167 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception against a stout Buffalo secondary (adding 9/64/0 on the ground) to rank 9th among fantasy QBs in fantasy points last week. Michael Jenkins snagged a TD last week (4/48/1), while Brian Finneran provided some key catches (4/57/0). Crumpler was tightly covered most of the day (3/35/0), so Vick tossed the other score to backup TE Dwayne Blakely (2/11/1). Vick utilized a lot of receivers (6) during the game, another sign of growing maturity as a passer.

So far, the Falcons rank 30th in the NFL averaging 131.3 passing yards per game, with 3 passing scores to date - but Vick does look like he's moving in the right direction. Vick is 9th at his position through 3 games, with 38/69 for 446 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions passing, with 28/175/1 rushing. When you're talking about Mike Vick, you have to consider both the passing and the rushing matchup.

The Vikings are 25th in the NFL among pass defenses, allowing an average of 239.3 passing yards per game, with 6 TDs allowed in 3 games. They held Aaron Brooks to 12/32 for 199 passing yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions last week, so the unit is moving in the right direction coming into week 4.

The Viking's rush defense is extremely soft, and the Falcons rush offense is awesome, so the Falcons may not elect to pass very often in this game. But when they do throw, there's a pretty good chance positive things will happen.

Weather: This game will be played in the air-conditioned comfort of the Georgia Dome. Weather will not be a factor in the matchup.

ATL Injuries: WR Dez White (Probable)
MIN Injuries: DL Kenechi Udeze (Questionable), DL Lance Johnstone (Doubtful), LB Sam Cowart (Probable), LB Dontarrious Thomas (Probable), LB E.J. Henderson (Questionable), DB Darren Sharper (Questionable), DB Brian Williams (Out)


Carolina Panthers Passing Offense vs Green Bay Packers Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jake Delhomme posted an excellent game last week, tossing 19/35 for 285 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception vs. Miami. He was 7th among all fantasy QBs in fantasy points on the strength of that performance, while favorite target Steve Smith (15 targets during the game) grabbed 11/170/3 to lead all fantasy wideouts last week. #2 WR Keary Colbert was blanked in the box score, but had 2 big interference calls on his 4 targets. DeShaun Foster was the #2 receiver last week, with 3/48/0. To date, the Panthers rank as the 22nd pass attack in the NFL with an average of 199.7 passing yards per week.

Brian Griese didn't need to throw a bunch last week because the Tampa running game was going strong, but when he did put it up the Packers let him have good success - 17/26 for 139 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. They average 206.7 passing yards allowed per game (13th in the league), but have coughed up 7 passing scores so far (2nd most in the NFL). Green Bay is 25th in the league with a mere 4 sacks to date - the Packers just aren't doing well so far.

Delhomme and Smith have their magic back, and they'll have home field advantage when they face the squishy Packer's secondary on Monday Night Football. Advantage, Panthers.

Weather: On Monday night, Bank of America Stadium should be closer to the forecast low of 58F than the high of 81F - a nice cool night to play some football is on tap. With a 0% chance of rain on the horizon, field conditions should be near-perfect.

CAR Injuries: TE Mike Seidman (Questionable)
GB Injuries: DL Aaron Kampman (Probable), DB Joey Thomas (Probable), DB Ahmad Carroll (Questionable)


Cincinnati Bengals Passing Offense vs Houston Texans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Carson Palmer and company are on a roll. They are 7th in the NFL to date, averaging 256.7 passing yards per game, and are tied with the Eagles for 1st in the league with 8 passing scores over the first 3 games. Palmer is the 3rd best fantasy QB this year, with 69/97 for 786 yards, 8 TDs and only 2 interceptions under his belt. Chad Johnson is 4th among fantasy WRs with 19/307/3 to date, T.J. Houshmandzadeh is 21st with 2/24/1 rushing and 12/143/1 receiving. Just start these guys and smile, folks.

The Texans are enduring another nightmare season, but have managed to keep their pass defense fairly respectable. They average 208.5 passing yards allowed per game (15th in the NFL), and have only surrendered 3 passing scores to date. They are not the reason Houston is struggling this year. One can argue that teams choose to run instead of pass against this team but the net result is all that matters and teams are not throwing the ball that well against Houston.

Palmer and company are among the league's elite at this point - the Texans are mediocre, but burdened with a horrible offense. In the Bengals house, this is a good matchup for Palmer, Johnson, Houshmandzadeh and company.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 74F with a low of 55F and a 20% chance of precipitation. That sounds like ideal football weather to us.

CIN Injuries: RB Rudi Johnson (Probable)
HOU Injuries: DL Gary Walker (Out), LB Jason Babin (Probable), DB Lewis Sanders (Probable)


Indianapolis Colts Passing Offense at Tennessee Titans Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Drew Bledsoe is the #2 fantasy QB this season so far. Peyton Manning? 29th. The NFL is a topsy turvy world to start 2005.

Anyway, Manning has 53/87 for 604 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions to date. Marvin Harrison? 15/158/1 (38th among fantasy WRs). Reggie Wayne? 13/166/0 (56th). You get the idea. Manning didn't throw a score last week, with 19/23 for 228 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception vs. Cleveland. The Colts sport the 20th ranked pass offense in the NFL after 3 weeks (you read that right). They have been surprisingly mediocre, folks, especially in fantasy terms.

The Titans' pass defense is much like their rush defense - mediocre. They average 215 passing yards allowed per game, but are on the soft side as far as scoring goes, having surrendered 6 passing scores in 3 games. 3 of the scores were given up to Marc Bulger last week (21/28 for 292 yards, 3 TDs and 1 interception). The Titans have been making things tough for opposing passers to open 2005, though, ranking 4th in the NFL with 10 sacks (DE Kyle Vanden Bosch leads the league with 5 sacks to his credit for the Titans). However, the Colts lead the NFL with 0 sacks allowed to date - they aren't very susceptible to pass pressure (most of the time, anyway).

The Colts' talented passing attack has been utilized modestly so far this year, but they have the potential to go off any week. The Titans' secondary was exposed by Marc Bulger and company last week - we think the Colts can do the same if they decide to attack aggressively with Manning and company.

Weather: The forecast for Tennessee's Coliseum calls for a high of 81F with a low of 60F and a 20% chance for precipitation. Spectators should enjoy a great day of football and tailgating in those conditions.

IND Injuries: RB Ran Carthon (Probable), RB Dominic Rhodes (Doubtful), RB James Mungro (Out), WR Troy Walters (Questionable), TE Ben Utecht (Doubtful)
TEN Injuries: DL Albert Haynesworth (Questionable), LB Peter Sirmon (Questionable), DB Justin Sandy (Questionable), DB Vincent Fuller (Out)


New York Giants Passing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Eli Manning is sneaking up the overall QB chart, currently ranking 12th in the NFL in fantasy points per game with 47/88 for 689 yards, 5 TDs and 2 interceptions (6/13/0 rushing). His two biggest weapons are TE Jeremy Shockey (17 targets for 13/194/1 so far this year) and Plaxico Burress (32 targets for 15/192/2). Last week, Manning tossed 24/41 for 352 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions, Shockey hauled in 6/101/0, while Burress corralled 5/52/1. Amani Toomer snagged 4/84/0 on 8 targets (he dropped some he should have caught, too), and WR David Tyree matched Plaxico with 5/52/1. With 352 yards to share out, a lot of players get into the action.

The Rams are less impressive at defending the pass than they are the run, allowing an average of 242.7 passing yards and a total of 4 passing scores so far during 2005. They are tied for 5th in the NFL with 9 sacks to date - they are bringing pressure to bear on the opposing passer. The Giants have only allowed 5 sacks so far this year, though - they aren't particularly vulnerable.

Eli Manning has been visibly improving from week to week this year, while the Rams are sub-par in this department. In a friendly, home-field environment, it looks like Manning and company have an edge over the Rams.

Weather: Giants Stadium expects a high of 74F with a low of 56F and a 20% chance of rain on Sunday. Both teams will enjoy playing in the mild weather that is forecast.

NYG Injuries: RB Chad Morton (Questionable)
STL Injuries: DL Jimmy Kennedy (Probable), DB Terry Fair (Probable), DB Michael Hawthorne (Questionable)


San Diego Chargers Passing Offense at New England Patriots Passing Defense (Good Matchup)

Not that the Chargers really needed it, thanks to Tomlinson, but Drew Brees pitched in with 19/22 for 191 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions during the 45-23 rout of the Giants last week. Antonio Gates (6/92/1) and Keenan McCardell (4/80/2, 1 TD thrown to him by Tomlinson) were Brees' primary targets during the game (nobody else on the roster broke through 30 yards receiving, although Tomlinson did have 6/28/0 to account for most of the remaining completions). So far this year, Brees is the 22nd best fantasy QB with 52/80 for 575 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions; however, Keenan McCardell is 5th among all fantasy WRs with 26 targets for 17/257/4 and Antonio Gates is 1st among fantasy TEs in fantasy points per game (12/172/1 on 14 targets). Those 2 receivers are the guys to own among the Charger's stable, at least right now.

The Patriots' secondary is being ravaged by injuries again this season. They lost their perennial Pro-Bowl S Rodney Harrison for the season due to an ACL injury, and CB Duane Starks injured a wrist during the game, while fellow CB's Randall Gay (ankle) and Tyrone Poole (ankle) were both inactive for the game due to their injuries. Keep a close eye on these players' status as game-time approaches - if 2 or all 3 are unable to practice/play this week, the Patriots will be extremely thin coming into this showdown.

Even with all the injury problems, the Patriots enter this game 11th in the NFL averaging 194 passing yards surrendered per game (but they have coughed up 5 TDs over 3 games). They are in the middle of the NFL pack with 7 total sacks so far (the Chargers are in the middle of the NFL pack in pass protection, with 6 sacks surrendered to date). Last week, Ben Roethlisberger managed 12/28 for 216 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions.

Brees and the Chargers come into this game on a roll, while the Patriots' secondary is reeling from injury and shifting new personnel into starting roles. If any team can handle it, it's New England but we still give this a good matchup rating for San Diego.

Weather: The weather service says that Gillette Stadium will see a high of 71F and a low of 48F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play and watch football up in New England.

SD Injuries: WR Vincent Jackson (Probable), TE Ryan Krause (Probable)
NE Injuries: DL Marquise Hill (Questionable), LB Tully Banta-Cain (Questionable), DB Randall Gay (Questionable), DB Tyrone Poole (Questionable), DB Chad Scott (Questionable), DB Duane Starks (Questionable), DB James Sanders (Questionable)


Buffalo Bills Passing Offense at New Orleans Saints Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

J.P. Losman is a first year starter with 3 NFL games under his belt, and it shows. He's 31st among fantasy QBs, with 39/80 for 358 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception to his credit in 3 games. Needless to say, neither Eric Moulds or Lee Evans has been exciting to own this year (3/18/0 and 2/7/0 last week, respectively). Until Losman shows signs of acclimating to the NFL and getting up to speed, we suggest you look elsewhere for your starters at WR and TE.

The Saints are mediocre pass defenders this season, ranking 18th in the NFL while allowing an average of 215.7 passing yards per game with 6 passing scores surrendered to date. They rank 9th in the NFL with 8 sacks so far this year. New Orleans is not overwhelming their opponents in the passing phase. They also lost SS Jay Bellamy to a torn rotator cuff this week, so the secondary is going to be in flux while the team gets their new starters settled into their roles at FS and SS (Josh Bullocks, a rookie from University of Nebraska). Former FS Dwight Smith will switch to strong safety.

J.P. Losman plays in a very conservative pass offense that is designed to minimize risk. The Saints don't field a scary pass defense, but they should be a challenge for the inexperienced Losman. However, a rookie FS will be a tempting target for the Bills to exploit - the injury to Bellamy and the changes it caused in the secondary levels the playing field.

Weather: This week the Bills visit the Saints in their temporary home at the Alamodome -conditions in the air conditioned dome should be perfect.

BUF Injuries: WR Roscoe Parrish (Out), TE Tim Euhus (Questionable)
NO Injuries: DL Darren Howard (Questionable), DL Brian Young (Questionable), DB Fakhir Brown (Questionable), DB Mike McKenzie (Questionable), DB Dwight Smith (Questionable), DB Jay Bellamy (Out)


Green Bay Packers Passing Offense at Carolina Panthers Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Green Bay's passing attack is not what it once was - the absence of Javon Walker is hurting the whole offensive unit, and Favre has more interceptions than TDs (73/112 for 738 yards, 5 TDs and 7 interceptions (13th in fantasy points per game among fantasy QBs so far) with 5/25/0 rushing). Donald Driver, with 12/202/1 is Favre's top WR to date (19 targets in 3 games). TE Bubba Franks missed the first game of his career last week due to injury - keep an eye on his status as the late week injury reports come out. As a team the Packers rank 13th in the NFL with an average of 230.3 passing yards per game (5 TDs to date).

Carolina fields the 12th ranked pass defense in the land, allowing an average of 203.3 passing yards per game (3 TDs given up to date). They aren't generating much of a pass rush, ranking 26th in the NFL with 3 sacks so far (The Packers are in the middle of the NFL allowing 7 sacks to date). 17/26 for 139 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception was Brian Griese's mark against Carolina last week (but the Bucs rushing game was in full gear, so he didn't need to throw very much). The Panthers sport a middle-of-the-road secondary so far during 2005.

Two mediocre units face off in this contest - neither has a clear edge over the other.

Weather: On Monday night, Bank of America Stadium should be closer to the forecast low of 58F than the high of 81F - a nice cool night to play some football is on tap. With a 0% chance of rain on the horizon, field conditions should be near-perfect.

GB Injuries: WR Donald Driver (Probable), TE Bubba Franks (Questionable)
CAR Injuries: DL Kemp Rasmussen (Questionable), DL Al Wallace (Questionable), LB Will Witherspoon (Questionable), DB Ken Lucas (Questionable)


Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Offense vs Denver Broncos Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Byron Leftwich made the key throws that the Jags had to have last week, connecting with Jimmy Smith in overtime for a 36 yard strike to put the Jets away. Leftwich ended up with 16/23 for 177 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception, 16th among all fantasy QBs last week. As usual, Jimmy Smith was his go-to guy in the clutch (2/41/1), but Reggie Williams (5/54/0) grabbed more balls last week. The emergence of Williams as a consistent, viable threat (16 targets for 13/133/0 - he's seen 5, 5, and 6 passes during weeks 1, 2 and 3) is good news for everybody on the offense. It takes pressure off of Smith to do everything. The Jags are ranked 23rd in passing offense this year, averaging 195.7 passing yards per game.

Denver's pass defense ranks in the middle of the NFL right now, averaging 206.7 passing yards allowed per game (with 3 scores surrendered to date). They aren't particularly strong at pressuring the opposing QB, with only 6 sacks to their credit (19th in the NFL), but they will try to turn it up a notch against Jacksonville, who rank 4th-worst in the NFL with 11 sacks given away to date. Last week, Denver gave up 23/44 for 221 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions to Trent Green (but they did an excellent job shutting down Tony Gonzalez, holding him to 5/29/0).

Neither of these units has looked outstanding to date - we think this is an even matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville calls for a high of 85F with a low of 74F and a 30% chance for rain. If the precipitation falls heavily around game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams (we saw some examples of this last week at Lambeau - a bad long snap by Green Bay and the slick footing affected the outcome of the game).

JAX Injuries: WR Cortez Hankton (Out)
DEN Injuries: LB Patrick Chukwurah (Questionable), DB Sam Brandon (Probable), DB Darrent Williams (Probable), DB Roc Alexander (Questionable), DB Champ Bailey (Questionable)


Seattle Seahawks Passing Offense at Washington Redskins Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Hasselbeck and company bounced back from a disappointing game week 2 to post 20/31 for 242 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions (the receiving corps stood by and watched while Shaun Alexander punched in 4 TDs). Hasselbeck stands at 11th among fantasy QBs over the first 3 weeks of the season, with 61/99 for 769 yards passing, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions. That's very respectable. Darrell Jackson is among the top-5 most targeted receivers in the land, with 33 targets for 22/321/1 receiving to date (12th among fantasy WRs in points per game), Bobby Engram has 25 targets for 18/210/0 so far. Jerramy Stevens is finally fulfilling his promise with 16 targets for 9/124/1 so far. This is a top-tier unit.

The Redskins are 10th in the NFL so far this season, allowing an average of 193 passing yards per game (with only 1 score given up in 2 games). They are also coming into this game off a bye week, so all the players' nagging nicks and aches should be healed up. During their narrow victory over Dallas in week 2, Bledsoe piled up 21/36 for 261 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions - Washington isn't exactly red hot coming into this matchup.

Hasselbeck and his supporting cast found their stride again last week, and are usually to be feared, but facing a rested Washington team at home won't be easy.

Weather: The Washington area expects a high of 73F with a low of 54F and a 20% chance of rain. FedEx Field should be a great place to play a game of football this Sunday.

SEA Injuries: WR Peter Warrick (Questionable)
WAS Injuries: LB Lemar Marshall (Probable), DB Sean Taylor (Probable), DB Walt Harris (Questionable), DB Pierson Prioleau (Questionable)


San Francisco 49ers Passing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The 49ers have averaged 177.7 passing yards per game so far in 2005, in the bottom tier of the NFL (27th). They don't rack up a ton of yards, most weeks. However, Tim Rattay is throwing enough TDs to keep him in the top 24 among fantasy QBs (20th, with 45/76 for 541 yards, 5 TDs and 5 interceptions with 6/19/0 rushing so far), and he threw down 21/34 for 269 yards, 3 TDs and 2 interceptions last week vs. Dallas. He could be a decent bye-week stand-in if you hit him on a week he's facing a lame pass defense. Brandon Lloyd is a fantasy standout this year, with 10/224/3 to his credit (9th among all fantasy WRs after 3 weeks) and had an explosive 4/142/2 last week. He's being very efficient with his chances, too, as he's only seen 18 targets over the first 2 weeks. Arnaz Battle has also seen significant action, with 6/68/1 last week and 22 targets for 15/171/2 to date (18th among all fantasy WRs after 3 games in fantasy points per game). These two receivers are definitely worth considering for your starting lineup.

The Cardinals are mediocre at defending the passing game this season, allowing an average of 209 passing yards per game with 3 thrown TDs surrendered to date. Last week, Matt Hasselbeck barely needed to lift a finger as Shaun Alexander ripped off 22/140/4 vs. the Cardinals, but Hasselbeck chipped in with 20/31 for 242 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions anyway.

The 49ers toss scores to Brandon Lloyd with some regularity, while the Cardinals are relatively stingy with passing scores so far this season. In a neutral site, we expect this to be a fairly even matchup.

Weather: This NFL special is to be played in Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Mexico. The forecast for the Distrito Federal calls for a high of 74F with a low of 53F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a night game, expect the conditions to be on the cool side. If the rain comes down hard around game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams. This stadium seats 100,000 people, so if they get into the game crowd noise could be an issue for both squads.

SF Injuries: WR Arnaz Battle (Probable)
ARI Injuries: LB Gerald Hayes (Out), DB David Macklin (Probable), DB Antrel Rolle (Out)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Offense vs Detroit Lions Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brian Griese hasn't been stellar, but he's playing adequately, with more TDs than interceptions to date - but he's been very light on the yardage so far during 2005 (51/77 for 488 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions). His fantasy value is limited (27th among all fantasy QBs to date). Last week, he tossed 17/26 for 139 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception vs. the Packers at Lambeau field, hitting Joey Galloway for both scores (5/53/2). Michael Clayton also grabbed 5 balls for 44 yards - these two targets are his top threats, to date, (15/185/0 for Clayton, 10/150/2 for Galloway) although Alex Smith did have a nice game week 1 vs. Minnesota (4/34/2). Smith has been quiet since, though (6/40/2 to date).

Detroit managed to contain the mighty Kyle Orton (he of the 5 interceptions vs. Cincinnati last week) to 14/21 for 150 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions during week 2. Yep, they couldn't even intercept a rookie QB in his second NFL start. However, they are the 2nd ranked pass defense in the land to date, with an average of 159.5 passing yards allowed per game, and only 1 score surrendered, and they did shut down Brett Favre in week 1 - after he lost Javon Walker to an ACL injury and Robert Ferguson was sidelined by cramps - we'll see how real they are after a couple more games, folks. Right now, we're cautious. Starting CB Fernando Bryant has been lost for the season due to a separated shoulder - not good news for the secondary (Andre Goodman is expected to start in Bryant's place).

A modest passing attack comes up against a largely untested secondary (that is now in flux thanks to the Bryant injury) in this game - we call it pretty even.

Weather: Tampa expects 89F for a high and 73F for a low on Sunday, with a 30% chance of rain forecast for Raymond James Stadium. If the rain comes down hard at game time, slippery footing and ball-exchange could become issues for both teams.

TB Injuries: RB Cadillac Williams (Probable)
DET Injuries: DL James Hall (Questionable), LB Teddy Lehman (Probable), LB Alex Lewis (Doubtful)


Tennessee Titans Passing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Passing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tennessee has opened the season throwing the ball fairly well, averaging 215.7 passing yards a game to date (16th in the league). Steve McNair ranks 17th in the NFL with 61/101 for 675 yards, 4 TDs and 3 interceptions with 6/5/0 rushing so far. Drew Bennett leads all Tennessee receivers with 25 targets for 12 receptions, 227 yards and 0 TDs. TE Ben Troupe has snagged 2 receiving scores to date - 10 targets for 7/55/2 (2/22/1 last week vs. St. Louis) - but fellow TE Erron Kinney has caught many more balls (15 targets for 14/135/0). WR Brandon Jones caught his first TD last week vs St. Louis (5/40/1) and has at least 2 receptions in every game so far this year. McNair finished the game last week with 24/39 for 261 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions, so he's pretty hot coming into this game.

The Colts have allowed 1 TD all year long, but rank 23rd in passing yards allowed per game (229). They are 2nd in the league in sacks generated (13), with DE Dwight Freeney leading the way (4.0, tie-2nd in NFL), followed closely by fellow DE Robert Mathis and DT Montae Raegor (3.0 each, tied for 5th in the league). For once, it's this group that is leading the Colts to victory. Last week, hit 22/29 for 208 yards against the Colts' secondary, but failed to score (they didn't intercept him either, though).

The Colts are playing a bend-but-don't-break style of pass defense, with lots of pressure on the opposing QB (Tennessee ranks 14th in the NFL with 6 sacks allowed so far), and they are tough to score on. The Titans have some promising young receivers beginning to develop, though, and McNair comes into the game throwing the ball well. With home field advantage at the Titan's back, we call this matchup even.

Weather: The forecast for Tennessee's Coliseum calls for a high of 81F with a low of 60F and a 20% chance for precipitation. Spectators should enjoy a great day of football and tailgating in those conditions.

TEN Injuries: WR Courtney Roby (Questionable)
IND Injuries: DL Raheem Brock (Probable), DL Larry Tripplett (Probable), DL Vincent Burns (Out), LB David Thornton (Probable), LB Gilbert Gardner (Out), DB Joseph Jefferson (Out)


Baltimore Ravens Passing Offense vs New York Jets Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Anthony Wright managed 25/40 for 212 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception during his first full game as starter vs. Tennessee - Derrick Mason (8/60/1) and Todd Heap (5/56/0) were his top targets, as you'd expect. There is some life in this passing attack after all. We'll see if Wright can continue to build on his week 2 performance with a bye week of rest and practice under his belt.

The Jets secondary folded in overtime, after a hard-fought game against Jimmy Smith and Byron Leftwich (16/23 for 177 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception). The Jets have been strong at pass defense this season, ranking 7th in the league while allowing an average of 176.3 passing yards per game (until last week they'd only allowed 1 passing score). More often than not, they've been tough during 2005.

Wright is trying to grow into a bona-fide full time starter, while the Jets are just trying to survive until they get somebody who can start at QB. This looks like a tough matchup for Wright and company, though.

Weather: The forecast for M and T Bank Stadium calls for a high of 75F and a low of 58F, with a 20% chance for rain. That sounds like perfect football weather to us.

BAL Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: DL Shaun Ellis (Probable), DL Trevor Johnson (Probable), DL James Reed (Probable), LB Eric Barton (Out)


Kansas City Chiefs Passing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Trent Green is the 28th ranked fantasy QB so far this year - he's only tossed 1 TD in 3 games (56/98 for 658 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception) which is limiting the impact of all of his receivers. Tony Gonzalez is 19th among fantasy TEs this season with 14/124/0 to date out of 21 targets, for example. Last week Green hit 23/44 for 221 yards, 1 TD and 0 interception (the TD went to Samie Parker, 2/21/1), so at least Green's starting to get some momentum in the scoring department. The Chiefs rank 17th in the NFL this year, averaging 210.3 passing yards per game, but have only pushed 1 TD across the goal line so far.

Philadelphia sports a top-10 pass defense (8th ranked, allowing an average of 182.3 passing yards per game, with 2 TDs surrendered so far). Last week, they got into a shootout with the Raiders, giving up 24/42 for 345 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions to Collins and company - it was an atypically bad outing for this unit.

The Eagles are back on their heels coming into this matchup, while Trent Green and company are a dangerous group most weeks (when they aren't in Denver) that have been underperforming so far during 2005. Both units were unimpressive last week, but we expect them to play up to their abilities this week. At the Chief's house, this matchup looks pretty tough for Kansas City.

Weather: Arrowhead Stadium expects a high of 71F with a low of 57F and a 20% chance for rain. If the forecast holds up, both teams will enjoy optimum conditions.

KC Injuries: RB Tony Richardson (Probable), TE Jason Dunn (Probable)
PHI Injuries: DL Juqua Thomas (Probable), DL Darwin Walker (Doubtful), LB Jeremiah Trotter (Probable), DB Roderick Hood (Probable), DB Lito Sheppard (Probable)


Minnesota Vikings Passing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Daunte Culpepper finally got it going (even in the absence of Nate Burleson, out with a knee injury) hitting Travis Taylor for 2 scores (3/40/2) on the way to a day of 21/29 for 300 yards, 3 TDs and 0 interceptions. It was a fine comeback for the struggling Vikings signal-caller. Even with the outstanding effort, the Vikings rank 12th in the NFL regarding passing offense with 238.3 yards passing on average to date. They appear to be on the way back up, though. In other good news, rookie WR Troy Williamson broke out with 3/83/1 with the TD coming on a long 53 yard play - perhaps he can be the deep threat the team so desperately needs?

Atlanta ranks 9th in the NFL this year allowing an average of 183.7 passing yards per game (3 scoring throws surrendered to date). They have 8 sacks so far this season (tied for 9th in the league) and will be looking to add to that total as the Vikings are vulnerable to the pass rush - Culpepper has been sacked 12 times in only 3 games (3rd most sacks allowed in the NFL). Rod Coleman is tied for 5th in the NFL with 3 sacks to his credit so far this week - he should pressure Culpepper a good bit on Sunday. Last week, the Falcons dumped J.P. Losman 5 times and held him to 10/23 for 75 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception in the course of their victory 0 - Atlanta is hot right now.

Culpepper looks like he's righted the Viking's ship, but Atlanta won't be a pushover in the Georgia Dome. We give the Falcons a slight edge based on home-field advantage (that Dome can get very loud when the fans are wound up).

Weather: This game will be played in the air-conditioned comfort of the Georgia Dome. Weather will not be a factor in the matchup.

MIN Injuries: RB Moe Williams (Probable), WR Nate Burleson (Out)
ATL Injuries: DL Brady Smith (Probable), DB Allen Rossum (Probable), DB Jason Webster (Probable)


Washington Redskins Passing Offense vs Seattle Seahawks Passing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mark Brunell couldn't get much going for 3 quarters during the week 2 showdown vs. Dallas, but then he exploded for a 39 and a 70 yard TD pass in the 4th, both to WR Santana Moss. It was enough to lift the Redskins over their arch-rivals 14-13. Brunell ended the day with 20/34 for 291 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception with 4/35/0 rushing, good enough for 5th among fantasy QBs during week 2. Moss is currently the 2nd ranked fantasy WR in fantasy points per game, with 9/255/2 to his credit over 2 games (16 targets in 2 games).

Seattle ranks 6th in the NFL vs. the pass, allowing an average of 175.7 yards allowed per game, with 3 passing TDs surrendered so far. Not too shabby. The Cardinals couldn't do much against this secondary, amassing 18/36 for 202 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception during last week's game. The Seahawks sport a solid pass defense so far during 2005.

Brunell had a couple of long bombs late in the game week 2, but didn't look impressive for 45 minutes. Seattle plays stout defense, but is on the road this week - we think they have an edge over the Redskins despite the jet-lag.

Weather: The Washington area expects a high of 73F with a low of 54F and a 20% chance of rain. FedEx Field should be a great place to play a game of football this Sunday.

WAS Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: DB Kelly Herndon (Probable)


Denver Broncos Passing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jake Plummer didn't need to throw the ball a lot against the Chiefs because the running game was on fire, but when he did put it up he had great success (13/18 for 152 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions, with 5/9/1 rushing), hitting favorite target Rod Smith for 7/80/1 before a hard shot from the Chiefs ended Smith's night with a concussion. Charlie Adams was an adequate #3, with 2/23/0, while Ashley Lelie racked up more yards on reverses (2/56/0) than he did receiving (1/16/0). Overall, it was a fairly quiet night for the Bronco's receivers due to the powerful running game. As a team they've averaged 204 passing yards per game to date (19th in the NFL). Plummer's slow start in weeks 1 and 2 put him at #18 overall among fantasy QBs (58/103 for 651 yards, 2 TDs, 3 interception and 10/29/1 rushing to date), but if he keeps playing up to the level he displayed on Monday night he'll move up the charts quickly.

The Jaguars aren't giving opposing passers much to exploit this year, ranking 2nd in the NFL averaging only 142 passing yards allowed per game. They have coughed up 2 passing TDs in 3 games, and knocked out the Jets' top 2 quarterbacks during last weeks game after collecting 4 sacks (3 by DE Paul Spicer) on the day. They have 7 sacks this year (tied for 12th in the league) - not spectacular, but not embarrassing, either. Denver has surrendered 5 QB sacks in 3 games, which is relatively few (tied with 9 other teams for 18th-most in the league).

The Jaguars are very tough in this phase of the game, while Denver is coming in on an upswing after a solid effort by Plummer last week. The hostile Jacksonville crowd comes down on the defense's side, though. We like Denver but this looks like as tough a matchup as the Broncos will see this season.

Weather: The forecast for Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville calls for a high of 85F with a low of 74F and a 30% chance for rain. If the precipitation falls heavily around game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams (we saw some examples of this last week at Lambeau - a bad long snap by Green Bay and the slick footing affected the outcome of the game).

DEN Injuries: RB Tatum Bell (Probable), RB Cecil Sapp (Probable), WR Nate Jackson (Probable), WR Rod Smith (Probable), WR Todd Devoe (Questionable), TE Jeb Putzier (Probable)
JAX Injuries: DL Reggie Hayward (Probable), DL Marcus Stroud (Questionable), DB Rashean Mathis (Probable)


Detroit Lions Passing Offense at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Joey Harrington has been up and down in his appearances so far this year, most recently crashing and burning against divisional rival Chicago (19/37 for 196 yards, 1 TD and 5 interceptions). On a day with 5 turnovers, the receiving corps didn't manage to score many fantasy points: Roy Williams grabbed 5/96/1, but nobody else got above 32 yards receiving (Kevin Johnson, 6/32/0). So which Harrington will show up this week? Mr. Week 1 (15/28 for 167 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions) or Mr. Week 2 (see above)? That is the burning question for Lions' owners.

Harrington faces a stern test this week, as the Tampa Bay Bucs await him and his crew in their pirates' lair. The Buccaneers are 4th in the league allowing 166.7 passing yards per game, with 2 scores surrendered in 3 games. They come into this game on a roll after frustrating and harassing Brett Favre into 3 interceptions (14/24 for 195 yards, 2 TDs, 3 interceptions) in their narrow-but-satisfying 17-16 win over the Pack at Lambeau last week. As usual, this is a secondary to be feared.

Harrington has yet to show us consistency or explosiveness during 2005, while Tampa is relentless and dominating. Advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Tampa expects 89F for a high and 73F for a low on Sunday, with a 30% chance of rain forecast for Raymond James Stadium. If the rain comes down hard at game time, slippery footing and ball-exchange could become issues for both teams.

DET Injuries: QB Jeff Garcia (Out), RB Cory Schlesinger (Out)
TB Injuries: DB Dexter Jackson (Questionable)


Houston Texans Passing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

David Carr: 25/47 for 237 yards, 1 TD and 3 interceptions in 2 games. The wide receivers haven't caught a TD yet. The only thing we can say is "What passing attack?". These guys averaged 66.5 net passing yards per game through the first two weeks of the season. Carr's been sacked 13 times in 2 games, ranking 2nd-worst in the NFL (all of the other top-5 worst sacks-allowed teams have played 3 games). Stay far away from this offense until they show signs of improvement.

According to Carr, the change to Joe Pendry as offensive coordinator has been a positive "It's been a nice change as far as the intensity he brings. You're accountable for everything. Nothing slips through the cracks with him. I was excited about what we were doing last week. I didn't want to leave because of some of the things we were doing." We'll see what he says after this game.

This week, David Carr faces off against the Bengals in Paul Brown Stadium. The same Bengals who have 2 straight games with 5 interceptions per game. The same Bengals who have allowed only 1 passing score this season, while ranking 20th in passing yards allowed per game (208 passing yards per game). The same Bengals who blasted Kyle Orton to the tune of 17/39 for 149 yards, 0 TDs and 5 interceptions last week. Dom Capers must be waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night each night this week.

This is one of the worst matchups the Texans could have run across, given the state they're in right now.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 74F with a low of 55F and a 20% chance of precipitation. That sounds like ideal football weather to us.

HOU Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: DL Carl Powell (Probable), LB Brian Simmons (Probable)


New Orleans Saints Passing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Saints are the 11th ranked pass offense in the league to date, averaging 240.7 passing yards per game - but they are near the bottom of the league with only 2 passing scores to date. The lack of scoring is depressing Aaron Brooks' (57/101 for 766 yards, 2 TDs and 5 interceptions 15th fantasy QB), Joe Horns' (15/220/1 25th fantasy WR) and Donte Stallworth's (12/188/0, 51st fantasy WR) value. Stallworth dropped a goose-egg on the box score last week. Horn had 1/11/0. Brooks managed an unimpressive 12/32 for 199 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions vs. Minnesota. Practically the only fantasy bright spot in the early weeks has been the emergence of TE Ernie Conwell as Brook's safety blanket (3/65/1 last week; 9/136/1 in 3 games to rank 10th among fantasy TEs).

The Bills rank first among NFL pass defenses to date, allowing an average of 106.3 pass yards per game and only 2 passing scores to date. However, realize that they are really struggling to defend opposing rushers right now (dead last in the NFL), so part of the above statistic is due to teams simply opting to run the ball against them. However, in fantasy football terms, their temptingly soft rush defense is likely to limit the number of throws any given QB needs to make against their formidable secondary of CB's Nate Clements and Terrence McGee and S's Lawyer Milloy (SS) and Troy Vincent(FS).

The Bills have some very talented pass defenders on the field on any given Sunday, and they are soft vs. the rush. That will probably add up to a fairly quiet day for Aaron Brooks and company.

Weather: This week the Bills visit the Saints in their temporary home at the Alamodome -conditions in the air conditioned dome should be perfect.

NO Injuries: RB Aaron Stecker (Questionable), WR Az-zahir Hakim (Questionable), WR Joe Horn (Questionable)
BUF Injuries: LB Takeo Spikes (Out), DB Coy Wire (Questionable)


New York Jets Passing Offense at Baltimore Ravens Passing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Uh oh, Jets fans. Depending on which doctor or news report you hear, #1 QB Chad Pennington is possibly done for the season with another rotator cuff injury, although he may return at some point. #2 Jay Fiedler is knocked out of this game, at least, with an injured shoulder. Vinny Testaverde just signed Monday and probably won't be ready to contribute this weekend. Hello #3 Brooks Bollinger vs. the Baltimore Ravens. Yikes. He's appeared in 1 NFL game during his 2 year career (this being his second year) and has thrown 9 passes (5/9 for 60 yards, 0 TDs and 0 interceptions). Do you think the Ravens will blitz just a little bit?

However, here's a little secret for you - with only 2 games under their belt, the Ravens rank 32nd in the NFL with a mere 1 sack. Of course, they did play quick-release Manning in one matchup and scrambler McNair in the other, but only 1 sack on the part of this feared defense is still worth noting. They are 22nd in the league in pass defense so far, allowing an average of 223.5 passing yards per game, with 3 scores surrendered to date. Expect all their numbers to improve after this game, though.

This looks like a tough day for Bollinger - good luck, young man.

Weather: The forecast for M and T Bank Stadium calls for a high of 75F and a low of 58F, with a 20% chance for rain. That sounds like perfect football weather to us.

NYJ Injuries: QB Jay Fiedler (Out), QB Chad Pennington (Out), RB Jerald Sowell (Probable), RB B.J. Askew (Out)
BAL Injuries: none




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