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  Passing Matchups  

Week 14 Rushing 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.


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Suddenly, the Cardinal's offensive line seems to have discovered how to run block. The team has juggled the lineup extensively since the season opened, and over the past 3 weeks Edgerrin James (52/226/0 rushing with 4/26/0 receiving) and a rejuvenated Marcel Shipp (8/28/3 rushing and 2/32/0 receiving) are finally finding some success in this phase of the game. I told Shipp to go get all the touchdowns, James said after last week's game. I want to get some yards. Did somebody who drafted James for their fantasy team make him angry enough with hate mail that he purposely deep-sixed his TDs last week? We'll never know... This team has progressed since they flopped against Seattle during week 2 (20/65/0 rushing as a team).

Seattle has allowed an average of 164.6 rushing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, including 34/181/0 handed over to the Broncos last week. They are one of the weakest defensive fronts entering the final 1/4 of the season.

This is a great matchup for the Cardinals - hopefully, James will decide to score some TDs this week for a change, instead of handing them over to Shipp on a whim.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Back in week 9, the Cardinals beat up on the Rams 34-14 in the Edward Jones Dome. Since then, the Cardinals have beaten the other 2 NFC West teams and have been defeated by a couple of NFC East teams (New York, Philadelphia) - the Rams have lost every game between week 9 and now. With a win over St. Louis, the Cardinals lock up the NFC West and a playoff spot. Arizona enjoyed one of the teams' best showings rushing the football vs. the Rams, with 34/176/1 on the ground, led by Tim Hightower's 22/109/1. Hightower has slumped in the NFC East games the last 2 weeks (11/21/2 rushing vs. New York; 7/7/0 rushing with 3/34/0 receiving vs. Philly), but was affirmed as the team's starter on Monday by head coach Ken Whisenhunt: "I think you have to take the Philadelphia game out of the mix. There were some opportunities early for us and we didn't block them very well. We had some busted assignments. I think Tim's doing a good job. I don't think we've given him a great opportunity to get going. I don't think any of our backs would have had great success running it the last few weeks."

This week, the Cardinals are likely to have great success running the ball. The Rams have given up 485 rushing yards in their last 3 games (161.6 per contest, on average), with 35/149/1 allotted to Miami last week. The Rams are 30th in the NFL to date, averaging 161.8 rushing yards allowed per game, and have allowed 21 rushing TDs so far this year.

It doesn't get much easier than this for running backs, folks. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Warrick Dunn ruled the Saints back in week 6, with 22/100/1 rushing and 2/15/0 receiving to his credit (the Falcons posted 33/160/1 rushing as a team that day). He's the 16th ranked fantasy RB this year with 228/1174/3 rushing and 23/157/1 receiving - Dunn is the engine that moves the Falcons up and down the field, while T.J. Duckett is the battering ram that puts them into the end-zone (86/341/6 rushing with 4/48/0 receiving this season. Last week, the Panthers managed to contain the Falcons (23/120/0), keeping Dunn in check (16/80/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving) - when a 5.0 yards-per-carry average is being kept in check, you know the offense in question can really run the ball well. Atlanta averages 177.8 rushing yards per game this season, folks.

New Orleans' rush D lurks at the bottom of the NFL dogpile, allowing an average of 136.4 rushing yards per game (28th in the NFL) with 11 rushing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the Saints have coughed up 127.6 rushing yards per game, including last week's totals of 30/133/0 allowed to Tampa Bay. This is a soft defensive front.

Atlanta should rip up the Saints on Monday Night Football.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Michael Turner has scored a rushing TD in each of the team's last three games, and went over 100 yards rushing in two of the last three contests. Against the Packers' stingy rush D (only four rushing TDs allowed through 11 games), he pushed in a TD last week with 24/88/1 on the ground - Turner has seen at least 24 touches on the football in each of the last three games. The guy is a fantasy stud entering the final 1/4 of the NFL season.

The Panthers' D is anything but studly, with 599 yards rushing allowed in their last four games (~150 per contest), and a season average of 133.1 rushing yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL), with 14 rushing scores allowed so far. Seattle's sad-sack unit pushed Carolina around for 31/161/3 rushing last week - they've been awful of late.

This is a great matchup for Turner and the Falcons.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Michael Turner tore up the Panthers for 27/139/2 rushing and had 1/8/0 receiving back in week six - the Falcons won fairly easily, 31-17 with 35/166/3 rushing on the day (QB Matt Ryan punched in the other TD with 3/7/1 to his credit).

Over the last three weeks, Turner has slowed down a bit, with 54/204/1 rushing and three targets for 2/13/0 receiving to his credit. Jason Snelling (12/34/0 rushing with four targets for 2/8/0) and Jacquizz Rodgers (6/21/0 rushing with three targets for 3/17/0 receiving) have done a good bit of subbing in for Turner during that stretch of time, but neither has been more effective than Turner. He's the featured back for Atlanta week in and week out.

The Panthers' rush D is pretty ugly this year, with the second-most rushing scores allowed to date (15), while averaging 132.5 yards given up per game (27th in the NFL). Though they did limit Tampa Bay to 27/78/0 rushing last week (Tampa started their backup QB last Sunday, so Carolina loaded up against the run and dared Josh Johnson to beat them), anemic Indianapolis managed 23/105/1 rushing vs. the Panthers two weeks ago. There has been some improvement here, but this is still a vulnerable squad against upper-tier NFL talent.

Turner is an elite NFL back - he's got a great matchup to enjoy this week.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Michael Turner tore up the Panthers back on September 30, with 13/103/0 rushing and 3/68/1 receiving, while Jacquizz Rodgers added 6/18/0 rushing and 4/40/0 receiving - the Atlanta backs had little trouble moving the football vs. Carolina.

Over the last three weeks, Turner has seen slightly more chances at the football than Rodgers, with 40/146/3 rushing and six targets for 4/20/0 receiving, while Rodgers has handled 23/108/1 rushing and 10 targets for 9/61/0 receiving. They are an effective 1-2 tandem as we saw against the Saints last week - 12/83/1 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving for Turner, with 8/43/0 rushing and 2/-4/0 receiving for Rodgers.

The Panthers' rush D coughed up 43/158/1 to the Chiefs last week, and 26/204/2 to Philadelphia two weeks ago. They are not playing well in this phase of the game entering week 14 - to date, the team ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 128.8 yards rushing allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores surrendered so far. Of late, Carolina's defense has been even worse than their 25th-place ranking indicates.

This is a great matchup for Turner and Rodgers.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Steven Jackson has finally put some oomph in the Falcons' rushing attack, with 50/188/3 rushing and 6/40/0 receiving over the past three games, including 23/84/2 rushing with 1/0/0 receiving at Buffalo last week (Antone Smith also had a rushing score with 1/38/1 rushing to his credit). Jacquizz Rodgers has been the change-of-pace option during the stated timespan, with 13/41/0 rushing and 4/50/0 receiving to his credit during the past three contests. Though it is too late for the real-world Falcons, Jackson is finally paying dividends for his fantasy owners.

The Packers' defense has faltered as the year has gone along - now they are ranked 26th in the NFL averaging 125.9 rushing yards allowed in the NFL with 11 rushing scores handed out. Green Bay has been scorched for 43/241/2 rushing by the Lions and 43/232/1 rushing by the Vikings during their past two games played.

Advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ray Rice destroyed the Browns' 31st-ranked rush D last week, with 29/204/1 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving - he's cranked out 70/367/3 rushing with 16 targets for 10/77/0 receiving over the last three games, while Ricky Williams has chipped in 28/108/1 rushing and four targets for 2/4/0 receiving during that same time frame. Rice is on fire entering the final 1/4 of the season.

The Colts' rush D is actually worse than the Browns, with a league-worst 17 rushing scores allowed to date, and they rank 30th in the NFL with an average of 144.2 net yards allowed in each game. New England pushed in two TDs last week with 24/73/2, while Carolina tortured the Colts with 35/201/3 rushing two weeks ago.

This is a really great matchup for Rice and his fantasy owners. Enjoy!

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Justin Forsett has become one of the most valuable featured backs in the NFL, and thus one of the best fantasy running backs in the land - he's strung together three straight games over 100 yards rushing, with 24/106/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving to his credit vs. the Chargers last week. Start him if you've got him.

The Dolphins (barely) overcame an onslaught of runners playing the Jets last Monday, eventually yielding 49/277/1 to the Jets (5.7 yards per carry) during a game in which New York only attempted 13 passes. Denver had 35/201/1 rushing vs. Miami two games ago (also 5.7 yards per carry) - the Dolphins' defensive front has shown vulnerability of late and NFL opponents are attacking that cracking front mercilessly.

Forsett is on fire, while the Dolphins' unit is getting ground down - advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Buffalo posted 31/169/1 rushing vs. the Jets back in week 3 (led by Willis McGahee's 26/150/0; J.P. Losman poached the TD with 3/14/1 during the game). McGahee missed some time recently due to broken ribs, but has stormed back into the limelight with 28/89/3 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks (2 games), to rank 13th in points-per-game at his position. He comes into this game cold, though, with 16/26/1 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving to his credit last week.

The Jets handed over 23/149/0 to the Packers last week, and average 115.6 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. Their season average is 136.3, with a hefty 13 rushing scores given up to date. The Jets' defensive front is soft.

This week, the Bills have a great matchup to exploit.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The last time these teams clashed (in week 10), the Bills had Marshawn Lynch in the lineup (19/61/1 rushing and 3/24/0 receiving) - he's missed every game since. Coach Dick Jauron commented on Lynch's progress returning from his ankle injury on Monday "Marshawn has made a lot of progress and faster than we anticipated. But we're still up to the fourth game. We're hopeful, but I don't want to overstep it right now." It remains to be seen if Lynch will be able to go on Sunday - keep an eye on his practice participation and injury status on Friday if you are invested in the dynamic rookie running back.

In the absence of Lynch and Anthony Thomas (calf injury), little-known Fred Jackson got his shot at headlining the Bill's stable vs. Washington, and he put on quite a show, leading the team in rushing (16/82/0) and receiving (4/69/0). If Lynch can't get back in the saddle this week, the Bills look like they've found a viable alternative in Jackson.

Miami's rush D is putrid. They are dead last in the NFL averaging 149.7 rushing yards allowed per game, and have handed over 16 rushing TDs to date. Last week, in the course of a 40-13 loss, they allowed 40/163/3 to Thomas Jones and the Jets.

The Bills have a great matchup on their hands this week.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Fred Jackson had more touches on the football last week (13/31/0 rushing and 3/24/0 receiving), but Marshawn Lynch busted loose for a 35-yard long-gainer and a 15-yard TD to post the best fantasy performance of the stable - 6/60/1 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving during the 13-19 loss to the Jets. Over the past four weeks, Jackson has posted 45/187/2 rushing and 15/110/0 receiving. Lynch has seen minimal work, with 26/121/1 rushing and 6/31/0 receiving.

The Chiefs have one of the league's worst defensive fronts, currently averaging 143.8 rushing yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL), with 13 rushing scores surrendered through 12 games. Denver blasted this group for 45/245/2 on the ground last week; San Diego also ran in two TDs two weeks ago, with 34/94/2. These guys are pretty horrid as of week 14.

Jackson and Lynch have a great matchup to work with this week - the Chiefs are not close to the Jets' level this season.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Bears' backs have been pretty solid lately, with 58/252/0 rushing and 3/-2/0 receiving for Thomas Jones over the past 3 weeks, while understudy Cedric Benson has posted 29/157/2 during that span of time. Together, they posted 25/83/1 against the top-ranked Vikings' defense (that averages 58.8 rushing yards per game). Benson was particularly effective last week, with 9/60/1 rushing to his credit (12/32/0 for Thomas Jones).

The Rams' rush D is awful, allowing an average of 153.3 rushing yards per game, with the second-most rushing TDs given up to date (14). They handed over 37/137/3 to the league's worst rushing attack last week, en route to a loss to the lowly Cardinals.

The Bears' backs should find plenty of room to run on the Rams this week.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Forte has gone over 100 yards combined in each of his last two games, with 23/120/0 rushing and 2/31/0 receiving at Minnesota last week, and 16/77/0 rushing with 7/40/0 receiving at St. Louis two weeks ago. With over 20 touches in each of his last two games (and an average of 18 carries and almost five receptions per game this year - 213/973/7 rushing with 59/443/1 receiving) Forte is the definition of a featured back in the modern NFL. Start him if you've got him.

The Cowboys' rush D held the Raiders to two yards per rush last week, but gave up two rushing scores (25/50/2), while two weeks ago they granted New York 6.7 yards per rush (30/202/0) but zero rushing scores. On average, this unit allows 126.7 yards rushing per game (27th in the NFL) with 13 rushing scores given away to date. This is not a good rush D, friends.

Advantage, Forte and the Bears.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

For once, Matt Forte was stymied by an opposing defense, managing a microscopic 5/6/0 rushing at Detroit last week on Thanksgiving, with 6/52/0 as a receiver to balm his burned fantasy owners' wounds. All told, the Bears attempted just 8/13/0 rushing at Detroit as both teams threw over 40 balls during the divisional shootout. Through 12 games, Forte is the top fantasy running back in the land (PPR scoring), with 201/828/5 rushing and 78/650/3 receiving - don't get shy of him over one mediocre outing. He's still the uber-stud you've gotten used to, fantasy owners!

The Dallas rush D is now averaging one rushing TD allowed per game, with 12 given up, while averaging 119.6 rushing yards handed over per game (22nd in the NFL). Philly blasted them with 45/256/2 rushing on Thanksgiving Day; the Giants managed 32/89/1 rushing two games ago.

Forte has a great matchup to work with here, in Soldier Field on Thursday Night Football.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rudi Johnson posted 16/47/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving vs. the top shelf Ravens' defense last week. He's amassed 68/222/1 rushing and 4/24/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks (25th ranked fantasy RB in fantasy points per game during that span). He's in a bit of a dry spell with only 1 rushing TD during the last 3 games. The decimated offensive line has not helped matters (C Rich Braham and T Levi Jones have sat out for weeks in a row at this point).

The Raiders' rush D is not very good, averaging 146.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the last 3 weeks. They are 25th in the NFL this season, giving up 132.8 yards per game in this phase, with 9 rushing TDs handed over. Last week, RON DAYNE gained 18/95/0 against the Raiders, with 32/129/1 rushing handed over to the Texans.

Johnson has a great chance to bounce back big against the weak Raider defensive front.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been on an absolute tear over the past three games, with 69/348/2 rushing and 6/30/0 receiving, while Cedric Peerman put up 18/140/0 rushing during that same span - they've become a powerful duo during November and early December. Start Green-Ellis if you've got him as he's playing very well of late.

The Cowboys' rush D allowed 26/183/2 rushing to the Eagles last week, and 32/149/1 to Washington two weeks ago - right now, their defensive front is a shambles, friends.

Advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has come on during the past two games and remains the lead back for the Bengals - he gained 16/62/0 rushing vs. the Browns two games ago (Giovani Bernard had 10/45/0 rushing and 4/41/0 receiving) and followed up with 20/92/1 rushing at San Diego (vs. Bernard's 14/57/0 rushing with 1/9/0 receiving). This is a two-headed monster, but Green-Ellis is getting a bigger slice of the carries each week, while Bernard handles more targets and receptions.

The Colts' rush D has been very soft of late, with 36/162/1 given up to the Titans last week and 30/120/1 allowed to the Cardinals two games ago. To date, the Colts rank 28th in the NFL averaging 128.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores handed out so far.

This is a great matchup for Green-Ellis and Bernard.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jamal Lewis and company stalled last week against the Cardinals on the ground, managing just 21/84/0 rushing as a team (16/62/0 rushing and 3/24/1 receiving for Lewis during the game). However, the receiving TD redeemed Lewis' fantasy value last week (he's the 14th best fantasy RB in points per game over the past 4 weeks, with 83/323/2 rushing and 12/75/1 receiving). He's a solid choice for your starting lineup more often than not during recent weeks.

The Jets stuffed the injury-depleted Dolphins' stable last week, holding Jesse Chatman and company to 18/37/0 during the contest. However, prior to the sad-sack Dolphins, the Jets had allowed 7 teams to gain more than 108 yards rushing during a game. They deserve their current NFL ranking of 29th in the league vs. opposing rushers (averaging 141.1 rushing yards allowed per game).

Lewis and company should get back on track against the suspect Jets.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Peyton Hillis finally got slowed down a tad - Miami limited him to 18/57/0 rushing and 7/22/0 receiving last week, though he remains the top-ranked fantasy RB in the land over the past four weeks with 84/318/4 rushing and 23/207/1 receiving to his credit. Even with a less-than-impressive outing at Miami, his body of work from the last four weeks says 'start me no matter what'.

The injunction to start Hillis is doubly true this week as the hapless Buffalo Bills are on the menu - the Bills average 170.9 yards rushing allowed per game, with 14 rushing scores given up so far. They coughed up 40/210/3 to Minnesota last week, and 45/206/1 rushing to the Steelers two weeks ago. It's easy to ring up impressive totals against the Bills' defensive front.

This is a great week to have Hillis in your lineup.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marion Barber the III continues to dominate the Cowboys' rushing attack, posting 12/76/2 last week while Julius Jones gained a mere 11/24/0 rushing and 1/11/0 receiving. Barber is by far the more productive fantasy back, with 110/568/11 rushing and 14/146/2 receiving this year, vs. Jones' 224/877/3 rushing and 7/122/0 receiving. At this point, it appears that Barber has become the most important back in the Cowboy's stable for the coming stretch run.

The Saints gave up only 15/57/0 to the 49ers last week, but have averaged 152.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks (54 points allowed during that time span). This season, the usual pace for New Orleans is 133.1 rushing yards allowed per game (26th in the league), with 8 total rushing TDs handed over to date. The Saints are usually pretty soft vs. opposing running backs.

This is a great matchup for Barber and his sidekick Jones.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marion Barber led the team in rushing vs. Green Bay last week, with 17/81/0 (1/-3/0 receiving), while Julius Jones posted 9/26/0 rushing and 1/21/0 receiving during the contest. As usual, the tandem of Barber and Jones was quite effective against the opposing defense.

The Lions don't roar in this phase of the game, ranking 15th in the NFL allowing an average of 105.8 rushing yards per game, with 11 rushing scores handed over in 12 games. Detroit has allowed the most points over the past 4 weeks, with 126 given away, while averaging 115 rushing yards given up per game. Last week, the Vikings crammed 39/216/3 down the Lions' throats on the ground. Ouch!

Barber and Jones have an excellent shot at a big game against the Lions.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tashard Choice (19/100/1 rushing) and Felix Jones (22/83/0 rushing with 3/8/0 receiving) took advantage of the Colts' weak defensive front during week 13. Choice has taken over for the injured Marion Barber, and looks quite powerful at the moment (5.3 yards per carry), although you need to remember he did play the Colts last week. Bottom line here is that the Cowboys' offense looks like a powerful unit entering week 14.

The Eagles' rush D has allowed 405 yards rushing in the last four games (101.25 per game on average), which is right in line with their season average of 103 yards allowed per game (the team has handed over nine rushing TDs to date). Houston put up 26/108/1 rushing last week - Chicago managed 28/131/0 rushing two weeks ago. This is an average defensive front entering the playoff run, friends.

Choice and Jones have a good shot at another solid game in week 14 during this divisional clash.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

DeMarco Murray blew up for three rushing scores and over 100 yards combined vs. Oakland last week (17/63/3 rushing and 5/39/0 receiving), and the Cowboys put up 30/144/3 as a team. Unfortunately, Lance Dunbar (the team's leading rusher last week with 12/82/0 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving) has been lost for the season due to a left knee injury that will require surgical repair. Murray owners don't have to worry about a committee with Dunbar, at least, but Dallas' depth at running back has been cut into due to the loss of Dunbar.

The Bears' rush D has been atrociously bad of late, with 40/246/1 given away to Adrian Peterson and the Vikings last week, and 29/258/3 allotted to St. Louis two weeks ago. Wet paper bag, thy other name is 'Chicago rush defense'.

This is an outstanding week to have Murray in your fantasy lineup.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Denver compiled 22/94/0 rushing vs. K.C. back in week 4, led by Selvin Young's 11/49/0 - since then, Peyton Hillis has become the Broncos' lead back. He's compiled 49/274/4 over the last 3 weeks, to land at 8th among all fantasy RBs during that time span. Last week, he helped the Broncos surprise New York with 22/129/1 rushing as the Broncos' sole running back. Selvin Young may be available to play this week, but the word is that Hillis is now the Broncos' starter heading into the December stretch run into the playoffs. "There are a lot of great running backs behind me or laid up a little bit, so it may turn out that I don't stay in this position," Hillis said after the game. "That's why it's so important that I step up and do the job once I got the opportunity."

The Chiefs field the league's 31st ranked rush D that averages 163.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with the 3rd-most rushing TDs given up to date (20). Over the last 3 weeks, the Chiefs handed over 413 rushing yards (137.6 per game), with 29/139/1 allotted to the Raiders' backfield last week.

Hillis has an outstanding matchup this week against divisional rival K.C. in Mile High Stadium.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Knowshon Moreno posted a personal best of 23/161/0 rushing (with 1/14/0 receiving) last week vs. Kansas City (in the losing 6-10 effort) - it was his second time over 100 yards rushing this year, and the first time in four weeks that he didn't punch in a TD. Since the week nine bye, the Broncos' rushing attack under Moreno has come on strongly (though that wasn't enough to save Josh McDaniels' job this week, it did get RB coach Eric Studesville named the interim head coach).

Arizona's rush D is almost as bad as Denvers' D, averaging 144.2 yards allowed per game, with 16 rushing TDs surrendered to date. They've allowed an astronomical 649 yards rushing in their last four games (162.25 yards per game), with 36/119/1 given up to the Rams last week, and 47/261/2 handed over to the 49ers two weeks ago. Yeah, they are terrible.

The surge in the Broncos' rushing game is the bright spot for Denver right now, while Arizona's defensive front is just playing out the string (not very well, either) - advantage, Denver.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The last time these teams met, during week 1, Samkon Gado wasn't on the active roster and Ahman Green was the star running back - a lot has changed since then. Samkon Gado has scored 6 TDs in his last 5 games, and rushed for 18/366/5 during that span - he is the top performing RB the Packers have left, and figures to carry the load (as long as he can stop putting the ball on the ground) - Gado is the 18th best fantasy RB over the past 3 weeks, with 56/193/2 rushing and 3/53/0 receiving during that span, including last week's 20/75/1 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving effort vs. the ultra-tough Bears.

The Lions' rush D is not nearly as imposing as Chicago's, averaging 121.5 rushing yards allowed per game to date (25th in the NFL), with an average of 169.3 rushing yards allowed per game during the last 3 weeks (508 rushing yards surrendered in that span). Minnesota ran for 32/103/1 against these guys last week - Detroit's defensive front is in the tank.

This is a great matchup for Gado to exploit.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ahman Green did what he could to help his team out on Sunday, with 14/102/0 rushing and 4/38/0 receiving to his credit. He's posted 41/174/1 rushing and 11/84/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks, to rank 24th among fantasy RBs in points per game during that span. Green owners would like to see some more TDs, that's for certain.

The 49ers are worst in the NFL with 15 rushing scores given up, so Green owners may be in for an early Christmas gift this week. San Francisco averages 122.4 rushing yards allowed per game this season (21st in the NFL), and gave up 41/190/3 to the Saints last week - the 49ers are weak run defenders.

This is a great matchup for Green and the Packers.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Grant continues to provide the Packers with a strong rushing attack, gaining 14/94/2 against the Cowboys' top-5 rush D last week (he added 1/4/0 receiving during the game). Over the past 4 weeks, Grant has rushed for 74/402/4 and hauled in 13/57/0 receiving to rank 6th among all fantasy RBs in points per game - start him if you've got him.

The above advice is doubled this week as Oakland may have the worst rush D in the NFL this year - they are dead last in the NFL with 20 rushing TDs allowed in 12 games, and rank 30th in the NFL averaging 148 rushing yards allowed per game. Both of Denver's RBs were banged up last week and they still managed 29/86/2 against the Raiders - in the past 3 weeks, they've allowed 228 yards rushing, 164 yards rushing, and then last week's total of 89 yards.

Grant has a great opportunity to rack up a big day rushing the ball in front of the home crowd at Lambeau Field this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Grant had a decent, but not outstanding, game the first time he saw the Bears, with 16/61/1 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving. Of course, the Bears still had Brian Uhrlacher (among others) on their defensive unit back in week one.

Over the last four weeks, Grant has posted 78/310/1 rushing with 7/66/0 receiving to land at 24th among all fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format) during that span of time. The tough game against Baltimore on Monday Night Football wasn't his best hour of football this year - Grant ground out 18/41/0 into the teeth of the Ravens, with assists from Aaron Rodgers (4/30/0) and Ahman Green (5/23/0) to get the team as a whole up to 27/94/0.

This week, however, the fading Bears come into Grant's sights - Chicago is currently 25th in the NFL averaging 126.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing TDs given up to date. Over the past four weeks, the Bears have coughed up 561 rushing yards (140.3 per game on average) - the Rams hung 30/135/0 rushing around the Bears' necks last week, and Minnesota blasted them for 34/159/1 two weeks ago.

This is a great week to be invested in Grant - he should bounce back big against the circling-the-bowl Bears.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

James Starks was carted off the field after aggravating his sprained ankle vs. New York last week - the early word this week is that he is missing practice on Wednesday as well. It's looking more and more like Ryan Grant (92/316/0 rushing with 13 for 12/106/0 receiving) and John Kuhn (16/27/4 rushing with 14 for 12/56/2 receiving) will handle the carries for Green Bay this week, with rookie Brandon Saine (eight rushes for 26 yards and seven targets for 5/38/0 receiving this year) sprinkled into the mix. Regardless of who plays, unless their name rhymes with 'tune' most of the Packers' scoring this year is handled by the receivers.

The Oakland rush D is 28th in the NFL averaging 141.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with 12 rushing TDs given up so far. Miami crushed them with 44/209/2 rushing last week; Chicago posted 27/172/0 rushing at Oakland two weeks ago.

The Packers' committee of backs has a great matchup this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

As of Tuesday, it has been determined that Aaron Rodgers will not receive full clearance to play football after scans of his mending collarbone on Tuesday revealed that he still has further healing before reaching full strength. The team plans to have Matt Flynn under center in Wednesday's practice, so he's likely the starter for Green Bay in Week 14. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest developments on the Green Bay quarterbacking front as we get closer to Sunday's game vs. Atlanta.

Eddie Lacy was stuffed by the Lions last week (10/16/0 rushing and 2/23/0 receiving) while Matt Flynn stunk up Ford Field, providing no credible threat to pass the football. Two weeks ago, Lacy posted 25/110/1 rushing and 6/48/0 receiving with Flynn under center the majority of that game vs. Minnesota, so all hope is not lost - but there is no question that Lacy needs better quarterback play this week if he's going to have an impactful game for his fantasy owners.

The Falcons' rush D averages 135.4 yards allowed per game (30th in the NFL) with 11 rushing scores given away to date - they are not strong in this phase of the game. Most recently, Buffalo posted 31/195/3 rushing against the Falcons' rush D - enough said.

Advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Packers' rushing attack is getting stronger as the weather gets colder - last week, Eddie Lacy gained 21/98/0 rushing (with 2/17/0 receiving) as he led the Pack to 29/130/0 rushing as a team - Aaron Rodgers was second on the club with 5/22/0 rushing. James Starks pitched in 1/2/0 rushing and 2/34/0 receiving as he keeps his toes in the ice and snow while Lacy is the featured back. Over the last three weeks, Lacy has handled 56/292/2 rushing and 7/75/2 receiving while Starks has seen 10/7/0 rushing and 4/51/0 receiving. Lacy is entrenched as the featured back heading into the final 1/4 of the regular season.

The Falcons' rush D limited Arizona to 11/35/0 rushing last week (but #1 back Andre Ellington went down with a hip pointer and couldn't return to the game); two games ago Cleveland walloped Atlanta with 29/162/2 in this phase of the game. To date, Atlanta is 20th in the league averaging 118.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 15 rushing scores given up (worst in the NFL in this category).

Despite the poor results for Arizona, Atlanta is very vulnerable in this phase of the game - advantage, Lacy and the Packers.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

These teams battled to a 28-22 decision in favor of Tennessee back in week 8 - Wali Lundy led the team that day with 18/116/0 rushing (and 5/33/0 receiving) to notch his only 100+ rushing-yards performance of the season. The Texans have employed a mix of Lundy, Samkon Gado and (last week) Ron Dayne since then - from week to week they seem to turn to whoever gets hot on that particular Sunday. Dayne was the standout last week, with 18/95/0 rushing, while Lundy punched in a TD (9/33/1). According to coach Kubiak, Lundy will remain the starter this week, but Dayne will contribute as well "Were going to play them both," Kubiak said on Monday. "Does he (Dayne) deserve a chance to get more carries? Yes, but I think Wali has done some good stuff, he has played well. I dont think we know which day which one will run better. Theyre just two different types of players and well continue to use them both."

The Titans surrendered 29/100/1 to the Colts last week, and currently rank 30th in the NFL averaging 143.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing scores given up to date (tied for 3rd-most in the league). Over the past 3 weeks, Tennessee has coughed up 122.3 rushing yards per game - they are usually pretty weak in this phase of the game.

It looks like the Texans' tandem has a great matchup to work with this week when the Titans come calling at Reliant Stadium.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Houston could only muster two field goals against the Jaguars two weeks ago - their offense was in a deep funk, with 21/77/0 rushing for Houston as a team, led by Dennis Johnson's 13/74/0 rushing (with 2/13/0 receiving). Ben Tate's broken ribs were griping him two games ago, and he had a mere 7/1/0 rushing and 5/26/0 receiving during the contest. Since then, Tate has performed better, with 22/102/3 rushing vs. New England last week. Johnson was in a change-of-pace role last week, with 3/13/0 rushing and 1/11/0 receiving to his credit.

The Jaguars' rush D allows an average of 130.4 yards per game (29th in the league) and is tied for worst in the NFL with 16 rushing scores handed over so far. Since they saw the Texans, the Jaguars allowed 30/97/1 rushing to the anemic Browns' rushing attack/Willis McGahee - this is not a strong defensive front, folks.

Advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

This is the first NFC South clash between these two rivals - Jacksonville is playing for pride at this point, while Houston is at 6-6 and fighting to keep slender playoff hopes alive (they probably need to win all their upcoming games to have a shot at a wild-card slot).

The Texans welcomed back Arian Foster to the field on Sunday, and they watched him go over 100 yards combined (19/79/0 rushing with 5/26/1 receiving) on a day when the passing game generated a team-record six passing scores. Alfred Blue (7/6/0 rushing) and Jonathan Grimes (5/13/0 rushing) had bit parts with Foster active and thriving - as long as Foster is healthy enough to play he is the featured back for the Texans.

The Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Giants 25-24 last week, creating two fumble returns for TDs - they allowed 35/116/2 to the Giants' backs during the game, though. Two weeks ago, Indianapolis posted 35/175/1 rushing vs. Jacksonville - they are very vulnerable in this phase of the game, folks. To date, Jacksonville is ranked 26th in the NFL averaging 129.4 yards rushing allowed per game, with almost one TD allowed per game (11 rushing scores given out over 12 games played).

This is a great matchup for Foster and company.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Back in week 3, the story line about the Colts' rush defense was the same as it is this week - they consistently get gashed for tons of yardage. Jacksonville posted 40/191/1 against them last time these teams faced off, led by Maurice Jones-Drew (13/103/0) and Fred Taylor (21/74/0). Last week, the Colts laid down for 35/219/0 to the victorious Titans. It's no wonder that they are dead last in the NFL with 159.9 rushing yards allowed per game on average.

Taylor has posted 65/256/1 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks, while Jones-Drew has 22/169/3 rushing and 7/63/0 receiving - both figure to have strong games this week.

Advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Maurice Jones-Drew has cooled off over the past two weeks, after a monumental hot streak from weeks six through 11 - he's gained 15/75/0 rushing with 5/35/0 receiving at San Francisco and 24/76/0 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving vs. Houston last week. As you can see, he's still enjoying 20+ touches per game, but the TDs haven't been there for his fantasy owners of late. Rashad Jennings gained 2/14/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving in his understudy role last week.

The Dolphins have reeled off three victories in the last four weeks, but their rush D remains suspect, with 528 yards surrendered during that time span (132 yards allowed per game on average). New England posted 25/96/1 rushing vs. Miami last week; and Buffalo reeled off 25/129/3 rushing on them two weeks ago. To date, the Dolphins have allowed 14 rushing scores while averaging 107 rushing yards allowed per game - they are relatively soft at the goal line this year.

Jones-Drew has been getting his share of work in recent weeks, and hopefully the TDs will come along this week too, when he faces the suspect Miami rush D.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jacksonville has put up over 200 yards rushing in each of their last two games, with 31/186/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving for Maurice Jones-Drew last week and 21/113/0 rushing with 4/9/0 receiving two weeks ago. Rashad Jennings has posted 7/53/1 rushing and 10/44/1 rushing (with 2/10/0 receiving) in a change-of-pace role during the last two games. It's all good for the Jaguars in this phase of the game, folks.

The Raiders' rush D is 23rd in the league this year, averaging 124.3 yards allowed per game, with nine rushing scores given up so far. The team has coughed up 369 yards rushing in their last three contests, including their great total of just 8/21/0 handed over to the Chargers last week. Most of the time, it's pretty easy to run the ball against Oakland.

The Jaguars have a hot set of backs going strong, while the Raiders' suspect unit had a good showing last week but hasn't shown a consistently solid approach. Advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Maurice Jones-Drew has been the best offensive option for the Jaguars over the last three weeks, posting 59/283/1 rushing (4.8 yards per carry) and seeing 20 targets for 14/189/1 receiving. Vs. San Diego he led the team in rushing (20/97/0) and receiving (eight targets for 6/91/1). Jones-Drew is 'Mr. Everything' to this offense - start him if you've got him. That's doubly true this week as the woeful Buccaneers are coming to town (like Santa Claus, they give lots of gifts).

How generous are the Buccaneers' run defenders? Well, they are tied for worst in the NFL with 17 rushing scores given up to date, and rank 29th in the NFL averaging 141.7 yards allowed per game. Most recently, Carolina trampled them with 39/163/4 rushing at Tampa Bay last week.

This is a really great week to have Jones-Drew in your lineup.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Priest Holmes started for the Chiefs in week 10 - he's since been forced to retire from pro football. The K.C. rushing attack has changed a lot in the past 4 weeks.

Nowadays, it is Kolby Smith who headlines the attack (Larry Johnson is still out due to his injured foot) - Smith posted 21/83/0 rushing and 2/1/0 receiving vs. the Chargers. Smith has amassed 62/252/2 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving in the games since taking over as starter. He looks like a NFL caliber player entering the final 4 weeks of regular season.

Denver has allowed 122 or more rushing yards in each of its last 4 games, including 41/175/1 handed over to the Raiders last week - the Broncos are 31st in the NFL averaging 149.1 rushing yards allowed per game to date this year - they are just that bad, friends.

Smith has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Larry Johnson beat up on the Broncos back in week 4, gaining 28/198/2 rushing with 5/0/0 receiving - it was his best showing of the year by far. Side-kick Jamaal Charles eked out 2/7/0 rushing and 2/1/0 receiving during the September contest. Since that early season game, Johnson has been down-and-out for several weeks, before returning to the K.C. fold 3 weeks ago. He scored his first TD since returning to action last week (24/92/1 rushing), and has compiled 50/240/1 rushing with 3/44/0 receiving in that 3 week time span (22nd fantasy RB in points per game).

The Broncos' rush D is among the league's worst, averaging 144.3 yards allowed per game, with 17 rushing TDs surrendered to date. Last week, Thomas Jones and company took advantage of the unit for 19/142/2 (a 7.5 yards allowed per carry average). Over the past 3 weeks, Denver has surrendered 414 rushing yards (138 per game).

This looks like a great week for Johnson to continue his resurgence.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jamaal Charles scored his third rushing TD in the last four games vs. Denver, with 18/56/1 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving to his credit last week. He's put a TD in the end-zone once in each of his last four games, with 67/310/3 rushing and 10/79/1 receiving during that time span, to land at fifth among fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format). Though his team is getting blown out lately, Charles has been a solid fantasy performer for his owners. With Kolby Smith gone to IR and Dantrell Savage sidelined due to injury, FB Tim Castille handled change-of-pace duties last week with 3/26/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving to his credit.

The Bills' pass D is among the league's best, but their rush D is worst in the league, with an average of 172.1 rushing yards allowed per game, and 16 rushing TDs handed over to date. They've allowed 676 rushing yards over the past four games (169 per contest on average), with 43/249/0 rushing allowed to the Jets during the 13-19 loss to New York last week. Buffalo allowed 37/157/1 rushing to the Dolphins two weeks ago - they are consistently awful in this phase of the game.

Charles has been on a hot streak for his fantasy owners, and there is no reason to think he'll slow down this week with the Bills coming into Arrowhead Stadium.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Reggie Bush (22/100/1 rushing last week) and Daniel Thomas (13/73/0) helped generate an impressive 44/209/2 rushing vs. Oakland last week - Matt Moore punched in the other TD with 5/22/1 to his credit. The Dolphins have now reeled off four wins in their last five games, with 80/332/5 rushing with 19 targets for 14/123/0 receiving handled by Bush during the five-game run, and 58/202/0 rushing with two targets for 1/2/0 flowing to Thomas in that span of time. Bush has come on strongly during the second half of the season, folks, rather than spending time on the sidelines nursing this or that injury.

The Eagles completed their exit from playoff contention last week, dropping to 4-8 as they lost 14-31 at Seattle. The Seahawks reeled off 33/174/2 rushing last week; New England also pounded in two rushing scores at Philadelphia two weeks ago (36/104/2). The Eagles' defense has collapsed in this phase of the game. Coach Andy Reid addressed the defensive problems on Wednesday saying 'If you stay in one place long enough, age catches all players no matter how great they are; they're going to outplay their career and you've got to rebuild it,' Reid said. 'We're going through that. You look down the middle of our defense and we are young, young. People perceive us to be an old football team, but we're really not an old football team. We're one of the youngest teams in the (NFL). That takes time.' Time is the Eagles' enemy, this year.

Advantage, Bush and Thomas.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Mewelde Moore aggravated his sprained ankle last week, leading to another Michael Bennett sighting in the Vikings' backfield - he put up 22/79/1 rushing and 3/10/1 receiving to help lead the Vikings to a 21-16 victory over Detroit. However, as we have pointed out before, Bennett is an extremely erratic contributor to this offense, only performing well in fantasy terms occasionally. Moore owners will want to pay attention to his injury status/practice participation during the later stages of this week before deciding whether or not to start Moore. He's been on-again, off-again during the past few weeks due to his nagging injuries.

St. Louis' defensive front was blasted for 40/257/2 rushing last week, allowing 2 100+ yard rushers to the Redskins. Over the course of the season, they have languished at the bottom of the NFL, currently 30th in the league averaging 138.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with the 3rd-most rushing TDs given up at 15 so far. They have been even worse over the past 3 weeks, averaging 158.3 rushing yards surrendered per contest.

Whoever starts/plays the most for the Vikings has a great opportunity to put up quality numbers this week.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Vikings have a juggernaut rushing attack, folks. They are #1 in the NFL averaging 5.6 yards per carry (1.1 yards better than #2 Philly). They have 430 more rushing yards to date than #2 Jacksonville (2122 vs 1692). Adrian Peterson is the #3 fantasy RB in the land with 184/1197/10 rushing and 16/230/1 receiving despite time off due to injury and splitting time with Chester Taylor several games this year - Taylor, by the way, checks in at #19 among all fantasy RBs with 128/615/6 rushing and 17/200/0 receiving (and he's also missed time due to injury and split time with Peterson). Last week, Peterson smacked down 15/116/2 rushing against the Lions; Taylor added 14/70/1 on the ground. It's all good with the Vikings' RB stable right now, as you can see.

The 49ers rush D is not strong, ranking 26th in the NFL averaging 124 yards given up per game, with 8 rushing scores allowed to date. They have given up 102 or more rushing yards in 3 out of their last 4 contests, with 44/166/1 handed over to the Panthers' up-and-down unit last week.

This is a great matchup for the Vikings.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Adrian Peterson tore up the Lions back in week 6, with 25/111/0 rushing (1/-5/0 receiving) - he didn't manage to find the end zone that week, but Minnesota squeaked out a "W" with a 12-10 final. Last week, Peterson was back to his usual dominant play, with 28/131/1 rushing vs. Chicago, and his backup Chester Taylor also found the end zone with 10/46/1 on the ground (4/19/0 receiving for Taylor; 2/-1/0 for Peterson). All told, the Vikings hit up the Bears for 39/178/3 (Gus Frerotte also ran in a score).

The Lions' defense is really, really, truly awful. they've allowed the most rushing TDs in the NFL this year (22), and are dead last in average rushing yards allowed (176.9 per game). Over the last 3 weeks, they've handed over 675 rushing yards. Chris Johnson rolled to 16/125/2 for Tennessee last week, and barely had a hand laid on him during his time on the field. LenDale White averaged 4.6 yards per carry against Detroit in his turn, with 23/106/2 - when it was mercifully over, the Titans had trampled the Lions for 46/292/4 - a 6.3 yards allowed per carry average. Essentially, teams can run the ball against the Lions at will.

This is an awesome week to have Adrian Peterson in your fantasy lineup. Chester Taylor is probably worth a look, too.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Laurence Maroney's string of six games with at least one TD was snapped by Miami last week, when they limited him to 13/41/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving. Sammy Morris got back in the mix for New England in a bigger way last week, with 9/40/0 on the ground and 2/25/0 receiving, while Kevin Faulk notched the TD last week with 3/15/1 rushing and 2/-1/0 receiving. It looks like we're back to a full-blown running-back-by-committee in New England. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs - thanks for nothing coach Belichick!

The Panthers' rush D has been awful all year long, currently ranked 26th in the NFL averaging 133.3 rushing yards allowed per game with 13 rushing TDs given up over 12 games played. Tampa Bay racked up 26/154/0 rushing vs. these guys last week - the Jets had 39/139/1 rushing the week prior. The Panthers don't slow down many backs.

The Patriots' reconstituted RB committee has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

'For Chris, it's getting accustomed to the reads and the runs. Then with the second part of your question, the biggest challenge often times for running backs is the protections and that's an area that he continues to work on and needs to work on and as he can do that, we'll expand his role accordingly.' head coach Sean Payton said on Tuesday. The team is holding out hope that Pierre Thomas may return to action this week, but he'll have a ton of rust on his game if he does manage an appearance. Chris Ivory has been the lead back even with Reggie Bush back on the field - Ivory posted 15/117/2 rushing last week, vs. Bush's 5/26/0 rushing with 3/0/0 receiving on the day. Stay tuned to Footballguys' players in the news to see who'll carry the load for New Orleans in week 14.

The Rams allowed 19/105/0 rushing to the Cardinals last week, and coughed up 18/119/1 to the Broncos two weeks ago - St. Louis hasn't been solid in this phase of the game for weeks, with 460 rushing yards allowed in the last four games. Entering the final four games of the season, rushing the football goes smoothly when the Rams are lined up across the line of scrimmage.

Ivory is on a roll right now (45/254/5 rushing in his last three games) - he and Thomas should roll at home vs. the suspect Rams.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tiki Barber had a productive day the last time he faced the Eagles, with 21/112/0 rushing and 2/22/0 receiving (week 11). He's gained over 100 yards (combined) per game for the last 7 weeks straight, with 3 games over 100 yards rushing in a row most recently (30/115/0 vs. Dallas last week). Barber is nuclear hot right now, even though Brandon Jacobs is occasionally vulturing a TD from Barber (2/2/1 rushing last week).

The Eagles were dreadful on Monday night, allowing 42/96/2 to the Seahawks (who had mercy and pulled Shaun Alexander early in the second half after they went up 42-0). Forget about their season average - right now the offense can't move the ball, putting all of the pressure on the defense, which has allowed 8 TDs (rushing and receiving) during the last 3 games - Seattle scored 3 times last week on interception returns (2) and a fumble return, which can't be blamed on the defense - but it indicates just how quickly teams are burying the Eagles right now.

Barber should have a good day against the struggling Eagles.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ahmad Bradshaw (24/103/0 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving) was featured in the absence of Andre Brown (IR) - David Wilson was the other back with some carries, but only managed 4/9/0 during the game. Kregg Lumpkin was targeted by Eli Manning once, but had zero catches. Going forwards, it looks like Bradshaw will be Mr. Everything for the Giants' rushing attack.

The Saints stink at run defense, averaging 153.8 rushing yards allowed per game (worst in the NFL), with 11 rushing scores surrendered to date. Atlanta averaged 5.4 yards per carry against this group last week, with 23/124/1 on the ground.

This is a great matchup for Bradshaw and his fantasy owners.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Giants dominated Jacksonville for the first 15 minutes last Sunday, and then took their foot off the gas and wound up losing 25-24. Rashad Jennings posted 26/91/2 rushing and 3/3/0 receiving before injuring an ankle late in the game - he didn't practice on Wednesday, which is not a good sign for his availability later this week. Monitor his practice participation/lack thereof as the weekend approaches (the Titans have an awful rush D so this is a great matchup for Jennings if he can go). Andre Williams (8/21/0 rushing and 2/16/0 receiving at Jacksonville last week) would be the lead back once again if the ankle sidelines Jennings.

The Titans gave up 36/99/0 rushing to the Texans last week, and coughed up 38/164/2 to the Eagles two weeks ago - they are ranked 32nd in the NFL averaging 141.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing scores given up to date (tied for second-most in the league).

This is a great matchup for whoever is healthy enough to carry the ball for New York.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Jets' committee did well the last time they played against the Bills (week 3), with 24/74/2 as a team. Currently rarely-used Kevan Barlow led the team with 12/31/1 that day; Cedric Houston chalked up the other TD (2/10/1 during the game. Last week, Houston led the team with 22/105/2 rushing (3/24/0 receiving) while Leon Washington added 7/40/1 rushing and 2/26/0 receiving on his part. The team totaled 31/178/3 rushing last week - they are on a roll coming into this rematch.

The Bills give up an average of 197.3 rushing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, including last week's total of 35/197/2 handed over to the Chargers. This is the worst rush D in the land heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

The Jets should find plenty of room for their committee to maneuver this week.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Jets relied heavily on their running backs against the abysmal Buffalo defensive front last week - the team had 43 rushes for 249 yards during the game, led by Thomas Jones' 23/109/0 and Shonn Greene's 11/59/0 - FB Tony Richardson even ripped off a couple of long gainers, with 2/36/0. With Sanchez nursing a sore knee and looking iffy for this contest, look for the Jets to lean heavily on their backs again this week. Why?

The Buccaneers' rush D is almost (but not quite) as terrible as the Bills' unit, currently ranking 31st in the NFL with an average of 160.1 yards allowed per game (and 13 rushing scores handed over in the past 12 games). Tampa has coughed up 614 rushing yards in their last four contests (153.5 per game on average), with 33/157/1 surrendered to Carolina most recently (and the Panthers were without #1 RB DeAngelo Williams).

Jones and company have another outstanding matchup this week, and figure to see a heavy workload again on Sunday.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Through all the turmoil at quarterback, Shonn Greene (24/104/0 rushing last week) and Bilal Powell (12/58/0 rushing) kept the Jets' offense in contention during week 13. They are the 1-2 punch that gives this offensive unit some hope of competing.

The Jaguars' rush D ranks 31st in the NFL averaging 144.0 yards rushing allowed per game, with 16 rushing TDs given up so far (second-most in the NFL). Most recently, they coughed up 46/232/2 on the ground to the Buffalo Bills. Enough said here.

This is a great matchup for the Jets' backs, and given the desperate straights that the passing attack is now in, look for Greene and Powell to get plenty of work this week.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Jets basically abandoned the passing game last week (perhaps as a reaction by Rex Ryan due to having Geno Smith forced back on him as the starting quarterback by the Jets' front office). In any case, they ran the ball 49 times vs Miami, for 5.7 yards per carry on the way to 277 yards rushing and a TD. With that many carries available, Chris Ivory (16/62/0 rushing) and Chris Johnson (17/105/0) both had solid outings in the rushing phase of the game, while wideouts Jeremy Kerley (2/38/0 rushing) and Percy Harvin (6/27/0 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving) both chipped in as ball carriers. Harvin is rushing the ball more than he's catching it of late, making him a kind of tweener running back/wide receiver mix for the Jets (but he isn't getting enough work to start for fantasy teams in that tweener role).

The Vikings' rush D allowed 33/178/0 rushing to the Panthers last week, after coughing up 32/155/1 on the ground to Green Bay two weeks ago. They are not getting the job done in this phase of the game heading into December, friends.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

LeSean McCoy has become more deadly as a rusher as the season has gone along, with 21/130/1 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving vs. Tennessee two weeks ago, and 25/159/1 rushing at Dallas last week. Chris Polk gave McCoy some breathers on Thanksgiving, with 11/49/0 rushing, while Darren Sproles handled a lot of returns during the game and a few touches on offense - 1/13/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving. Sproles is mainly impacting McCoy as a receiver out of the backfield, but isn't taking away much in the way of rushing touches or scoring opportunities of late.

The Seattle rush D is ranked fifth in the NFL averaging 86.3 yards allowed per game, with seven rushing TDs given up so far. They held San Francisco to three points and 18/65/0 rushing last week, after beating Arizona by the same 19-3 margin two weeks ago and allowing just 20/64/0 rushing. Seattle can win in the NFC West, folks.

This is a tough matchup for the home-team Eagles.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall started his climb to the lead role in Pittsburgh during week four - by the time the Browns saw him in week six, Mendenhall was (and remains) the primary back for Pittsburgh. He posted 17/62/1 rushing and 2/15/0 receiving vs. the Browns during the 27-14 Pittsburgh victory.

Over the last four weeks, Mendenhall has posted 78/314/1 rushing and 7/63/1 receiving to land at 21st among all fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format) during that time frame. He was productive last week vs. Oakland, with 20/103/1 rushing, helping the Steelers to 27/132/1 on the ground as a team (Willie Parker was the change-of-pace option with 3/15/0 and Mewelde Moore chipped in 1/7/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving on the day).

The Browns remain one of the league's worst rush defenses (they are just ahead of the Raiders, actually, averaging 154.2 yards allowed per game with 14 rushing scores given up to date). Over the past four weeks, Cleveland has coughed up 486 rushing yards (~121 per game), with 32/91/1 rang up by the Chargers last week and 45/210/0 rushing posted by Cincinnati the previous week.

Mendenhall is a capable, featured back facing a bottom-five rush D this week - advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall reeled off 22/99/1 rushing and 3/31/0 receiving vs. the Bengals back in week nine - he was a big part of the Steelers' divisional victory. All told, the Steelers managed 32/121/1 rushing in the first contest vs. Cincinnati. Mendenhall has been up and down in the weeks since the Steelers last faced the Bengals, with a low of 11/50/0 rushing with 2/5/0 receiving at New England in week 10 and a high of 36/151/1 rushing at Buffalo in week 12. At Baltimore last week he eked out 19/45/0 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving in the bitter AFC North battle on Sunday Night Football. Isaac Redman chipped in 4/10/0 rushing and 3/23/1 receiving in a change-of-pace role last week.

The Bengals' rush D is currently ranked 24th in the NFL, averaging 124.9 yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing TDs given up over the past 12 games (tied for fourth-most rushing TDs allowed so far this year). New Orleans pasted Cincinnati with 22/146/2 rushing last week - the Jets put up 37/170/1 rushing two weeks ago. The Bengals' rush D is shattered entering week 14, folks.

This is a great matchup for Mendenhall and the Steelers.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall exploded for two rushing scores vs. Cincinnati last week (16/630/2) as his team racked up 33/136/2 rushing in the lopsided 35-7 win. Isaac Redman also contributed heavily, with 8/51/0 rushing last week - the two have put up solid numbers in the last two games played, with 33/117/2 rushing for Mendenhall and 11/73/0 rushing for Redman (each guy has seen two targets for two receptions, amounting to 10 yards for Mendenhall and eight for Redman over the last two weeks). Basically, Mendenhall is seeing about 16-17 touches on the football per game, while Redman sees six or so.

The Browns' rush D is weak this year, ranking 31st in the NFL with an average of 151.2 rushing yards allowed per game, and 10 rushing scores handed over so far. Baltimore took advantage of the obvious weakness last week with 55/290/2 rushing as a team. Cincinnati pushed in 32/132/1 rushing on the Browns two weeks ago. Like we said, the Browns' rush D is weak.

This is a great matchup for Mendenhall and Redman.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

LeVeon Bell cranked out 21/95/1 rushing and led the Steelers in receiving last week with a jaw-dropping 8/159/0 to his credit. He's an every-situation, every-down running back that should be in your starting lineup regardless of matchup. Responding to concerns about Bell's high workload, head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday: 'He's a highly conditioned guy, he's a mentally tough guy. Personally I think he's built for it. He's excited about having an opportunity to do that for us.'

The Bengals' rush D is ranked 25th in the NFL averaging 125.1 yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing scores handed out (tied for next-to-last in the NFL). Even Doug Martin and Tampa Bay could score on this group (25/75/1 rushing last week).

Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

LaDainian Tomlinson suffered a minor rib injury during the game vs. Oakland - the Chargers were in command of the game throughout - which limited the number of touches he saw last week, yet he still amassed 25/86/0 rushing and 5/24/0 receiving. The guy is a fantasy points machine, with 3/4 for 47 yards and 3 TDs passing, 261/1172/17 rushing, and 42/339/2 receiving this season - #1 among all fantasy RBs. Start him.

Miami ranks 23rd in the NFL vs opposing rushers, giving up an average of 119.1 yards per game (10 rushing scores allowed to date). They have been doing without their star MLB Zach Thomas lately, and will probably will have to do so again this week - last week, they coughed up 33/92/0 to the Bills. Over the past 3 weeks, they've given up an average of 131 rushing yards per game - most weeks, they are pretty vulnerable in this phase of the game.

Tomlinson should have a field day against the Dolphins.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

As usual, LaDainian Tomlinson punished the Raiders the last time he saw them, with 20/106/2 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving - it was his best fantasy outing of the season. Tomlinson scored 2 TDs in the 4th quarter to help rally the Chargers from a 15-3 deficit to a 28-18 victory. He is the Raiders' worst nightmare season in and season out. Since 2006, he's hit the Raiders for 600 yards rushing, 9 rushing TDs, 10 receptions worth 55 yards and 1 receiving TD.

Last week, Tomlinson squeaked in a TD vs. Atlanta (14/24/1 rushing with 5/42/0 receiving), notching his second rushing TD in 3 games (he's had at least 30 yards receiving in those 3 games, too). He's far from his uber-stud status of years past, but over the last 3 weeks he's posted 53/165/2 rushing and 11/117/0 to land at #15 fantasy RB in points per game during that span of time.

The Raiders were trampled for 37/145/1 by the Chiefs last week, and have handed over 482 rushing yards in the last 3 contests (160.6 per contest on average). No wonder they are 29th in the NFL averaging 158.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 17 rushing TDs handed over during 12 contests.

Tomlinson has been steady-but-unspectacular of late, but he should exploit the easy Raiders for lots of fantasy points (as usual) this week.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ryan Mathews has gone over 100 yards rushing in each of the last two games, with 13/112/1 rushing and 3/2/0 receiving at Jacksonville on Monday night, and 22/137/0 rushing with 1/5/0 receiving vs. Denver two weeks ago. Mike Tolbert continues to be a solid #2 in this stable, with 11/44/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving two weeks ago and 6/24/1 rushing on Monday night. It's all good for Mathews owners heading into the final four games of the season.

The Bills' rush D isn't very good, averaging 129.1 yards allowed per game, with 14 rushing TDs handed over during 12 contests this year. Chris Johnson hammered them for 23/153/2 rushing (and 1/4/0 receiving) last week as Tennessee piled up 31/187/2 rushing as a team at Buffalo; the Jets managed 23/138/0 rushing vs. the Bills two weeks ago.

Mathews has a great matchup ahead of him in front of the home crowd on Sunday.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Shaun Alexander slammed the 49ers for 24/115/2 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving during week 11 - he's the 2nd best fantasy RB in the land this year with 282/1388/22 rushing and 10/52/0 receiving to date. Last week, the Seahawks plucked the Eagles to the tune of 42-0 - Alexander was only needed for part of the game, and still ended up with 19/49/2. He's scored 22 TDs this year - you know you're going to start him, right?

San Francisco has allowed the 3rd most rushing TDs this season, with 15 surrendered to date, while averaging 115.1 rushing yards given up per game (20th in the NFL). During the last 3 weeks, they've surrendered ground at a rate of 109.3 yards per game in this phase, including last week's 23/65/0 given up to the anemic Cardinals (the low total last week has more to do with the Cardinal's ineffectual offensive line than it does with the 49ers D).

Alexander should have another field day vs. the 49ers.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch (27/88/1 rushing with 2/1/0 receiving) and Justin Forsett (4/31/1 rushing with 1/2/0 receiving) both scored TDs at St. Louis during the Seahawks' 24-7 win back in week 11. All told, Seattle posted 39/126/2 rushing as a team at St. Louis. Since that game, Lynch has been the workhorse for Seattle over the last two weeks, with 46/259/2 rushing and three targets for 1/20/1 receiving during that span - nobody else has more than 20 yards rushing on the team over the last two games. This is Lynch's attack, friends, as the Eagles found out last week when he ran up 22/148/2 rushing on Philadelphia.

The Rams' rush D is awfully putrid, terribly sad - they average 157.8 yards allowed per game (32nd in the NFL) with nine rushing scores given up to date. San Francisco trampled them for 34/144/0 on the way to a 26-0 shutout of the Rams last week, after they were ground into dust by Chris Wells and company two weeks ago (38/268/1 rushing for Arizona in that game).

This should be great week to have Lynch in your lineup.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch was productive at Arizona back in week one, with 21/85/0 rushing and 2/12/0 receiving. He's been an outstanding fantasy back all year, with 250/1138/6 rushing and 18/149/0 receiving to date - Lynch put up 19/87/1 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving in last week's big win at Chicago. Start him if you've got him as he's seeing tons of work each week and is a main weapon for this offense in the red zone.

Arizona is 24th in the NFL averaging 128.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with five rushing scores given up to date - the Jets posted 43/177/0 rushing on this group last week, while St. Louis had 34/173/0 rushing to their credit two weeks ago - the Cardinals' D has languished while the inept Ryan Lindley has run the offense (the Jets held the ball for over 38 minutes last week).

This looks like a great matchup for Lynch owners.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Frank Gore could only muster 13/40/0 rushing and 5/28/0 against the Saints last week, a far cry from his usual pace. Perhaps his sore right leg hampered him during the game, but for whatever reason the 49ers back never got their running game going last week. Gore has posted 58/386/1 rushing and 13/85/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks - last week just wasn't his week to shine.

The Packers' rush D is statistically average for the entire year, ranking 17th in the NFL allowing an average of 117.4 yards per game, with 11 rushing TDs given up to date. But they have handed over yards at a clip of 178.3 per contest over the past 3 weeks, including 31/178/3 allowed to the Jets last week - the Packers' defensive front has collapsed of late.

This now looks to be a great matchup for Gore and the 49ers.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Frank Gore was neatly contained by the Seahawks back in week one, managing just 2.2 yards per carry (17/38/0 rushing), with 6/45/0 receiving to his credit. The 49ers offense only managed two field goals during the game - nobody on the squad was a very good fantasy option during week one. Gore is now out for the season due to a broken hip - Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon have to carry the load for the final 1/4 of the season. Dixon led the team in rushing last week (the first post-Gore game), with 9/33/0 rushing (and 1/4/0 receiving), while Brian Westbrook managed 9/31/0 rushing and zero receptions. His big game two weeks ago (23/136/1 rushing) didn't repeat itself against the hard-nosed Packers up in Lambeau Field last week.

The Seahawks are 21st in the NFL averaging 121.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing TDs given up to date. Carolina's sack-sack attack posted 30/131/2 rushing vs. Seattle last week - Kansas City had 48/270/2 rushing at Seattle two weeks ago.

This looks like a great matchup for the 49ers' backs.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Frank Gore (10/28/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving) and Carlos Hyde (5/19/0 rushing with 3/38/0 receiving) were bottled up by the Seahawks last week. That's what happens when you only score a field goal in a game. To date, the 49ers' rushing attack is ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 114.8 yards per game, with six rushing scores so far during 2014. They are adequate as a group but as individual fantasy players we've only seen flashes of excellent production here and there during the season.

However, Oaklands' rush D (27th in the NFL averaging 130.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with the second-highest total of rushing TDs allowed at 13) is bad enough that they should energize the 49ers' backs in this contest. Last week, St. Louis ripped off 26/172/4 rushing on the Raiders' D. Enough said.

Advantage, San Francisco.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ernest Graham has become a dual-threat fantasy force in recent weeks, with 22/106/1 rushing and 7/37/0 receiving last week vs. New Orleans, and 60/283/3 rushing and 10/52/0 receiving over the team's last 3 games. Those numbers land him at #7 among all fantasy RBs in points per game during the last 4 weeks. If he's on your team, you should be starting him.

The Texans rank 25th in the NFL allowing an average of 122.2 rushing yards per game, with 11 rushing TDs handed over in 12 games. Last week, they gave up 29/153/2 to the Titans - over their last 4 games, they have given up 148 rushing yards or more in 3 contests.

This is a great matchup for the Graham and the Buccaneers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

LeGarrette Blount had a productive day against a tough divisional rival last week, gaining 20/103/1 rushing vs. Atlanta. Cadillac Williams was relatively quiet, with 2/8/0 rushing and 2/6/0 receiving - he's fading into the background as Blount becomes the featured back for Tampa.

The Redskins were blown out 31-7 by the Giants last week, and gave up 36/197/4 rushing during the fiasco. They've been astoundingly bad at rush D over the past four weeks, with 745 rushing yards allowed (and 123 total points surrendered in four contests). This unit can't stop anybody, and they suspended Albert Haynesworth for the rest of the season on Tuesday. Good luck improving in this phase of the game, Washington.

Advantage, Tampa Bay.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Bobby Rainey has slowed down since his explosive beginning as the Buccaneers' starting running back - last week, Rainey managed 16/73/0 rushing with 2/8/0 receiving at Carolina, after posting 18/35/0 at Detroit two weeks ago. He's still being fed the ball regularly (Brian Leonard has seen one and then zero carries over the past two weeks) but tough defensive fronts have hampered Rainey's fantasy value of late.

The Bills' rush defense is not stout, however, currently ranking 24th in the NFL averaging 121.5 yards allowed per game, with seven rushing scores handed over to date. Atlanta posted 30/151/3 on the ground at Buffalo last week; the Jets managed 23/134/1 at Buffalo two games ago.

Advantage, Tampa Bay.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tennessee destroyed the Lions with 46/292/4 rushing last week - Chris Johnson was hardly touched all day (16/125/2 rushing, with 2/9/0 receiving); LenDale White looked like a super-speedster vs. Detroit (23/106/2 rushing). The Titans won 47-10, and White was happy and in good graces once again.

This week, the Browns' 26th ranked rush D is on the menu - Cleveland averages 141.3 rushing yards allowed per game, with 11 rushing scores handed over so far. They have given away 388 rushing yards in the past 3 weeks, but did manage to slow the bleeding last week against the discombobulated Colts (29/90/0). We're not convinced that the Browns have suddenly found a rush D, though - it looked like the Colts simply were out-of-synch without their C Jeff Saturday anchoring the offensive line.

Tennessee (and fantasy owners with Johnson or White on their rosters) have a tasty matchup this week.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Chris Johnson had little problem moving the football against the Colts last week, with 27/113/0 rushing and 6/28/0 receiving, but for once the TDs didn't come in bunches for Johnson. He's still the #1 fantasy RB over the past four weeks, with 100/550/3 rushing and 18/160/0 receiving to his credit - he'll get plenty of chances to bust off some more long-gainers this week.

The woeful Rams are coming to LP Field and they should help take the Titans' minds off last week's loss - currently the Rams average 146.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 17 TDs given up through 12 contests (that's second-worst in the league in rushing TDs allowed so far this year). Over the past four weeks, the Rams have handed over 676 rushing yards to the opposition (169 per game), with 38/120/1 handed over to the Bears (who average 88 rushing yards per game as a team this year) last week, and 31/170/2 allowed to Seattle two weeks ago.

This is an awesome week to be invested in Chris Johnson. Enjoy!

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Chris Johnson did a little better in week 13 than previously, putting up 23/53/0 rushing and 2/14/0 receiving, but the Titan's offense has just six points (two field goals) over the last two weeks - scoring chances have been few and far between for Johnson lately. The entire Tennessee offense looks off-kilter entering week 14 - Johnson isn't an automatic starter at this point, friends.

However, this week Johnson draws an easy matchup, with the woeful Indianapolis D coming to town on Thursday night. The Colts average 142.8 rushing yards allowed per game this year, with 13 rushing scores allowed over 12 games. Dallas just finished abusing them for 48/217/1 rushing last week - San Diego managed 34/129/1 rushing two weeks ago.

Johnson has an excellent chance at a big bounce-back game this week when his divisional rivals come calling at LP Field.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Tennessee lost in OT vs. Indianapolis back in week eight (13-19), while Chris Johnson piled up 21/99/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving in the losing effort. Since week eight, Johnson has posted 73/398/2 rushing and 11/68/2 receiving - he's a fantasy stud again. Last week, Johnson managed 13/51/0 rushing and 4/20/0 receiving against the uber-tough Texans.

The Colts' D isn't up to Houston's standard - they average 122.6 yards rushign allowed (22nd in the NFL), with 12 rushing TDs given up to date. Detroit had 29/138/1 rushing vs. Indianapolis last week - two weeks ago, the Colts coughed up 23/135/0 to the Bills.

This is a great matchup for Johnson and his fantasy owners.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Clinton Portis was knocked out for the season in the course of the last contest between Philly and Washington (week 10) - his backup Ladell Betts cranked out 20/83/0 rushing and 4/8/0 receiving in relief of Portis in that contest, and Betts has been on a tear since, racking up 59/277/1 rushing and 10/70/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks (15th best fantasy RB in the land during that time frame). Last week, T.J. Duckett also got in the act vs. Atlanta, but only managed 4/9/0 against his former club.

Philly handed over 23/108/0 to the Panthers last week, and has averaged 184.6 rushing yards allowed per game over the last 3 weeks. They are not scaring anybody in this phase of the game heading into the final 1/4 of the season. The recent awful games have dropped Philly to #28 vs. the rush this season, averaging 136.8 yards allowed per game.

This is a great matchup for Betts and company.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Edgerrin James had one of his best outings of the year against the Seahawks back in week 2, posting 24/128/1 rushing and 2/22/0 receiving vs. Seattle. Since then he's had just 1 other 100+ rushing yards performance - last week, against the Browns (24/114/0 rushing). In between week 2 and week 13, he's usually been somewhere between 60-80 yards rushing per game. We'll see if he can keep the momentum going and duplicate (or better) his solid week 2 performance against Seattle in week 14.

Seattle got mauled by the Eagle's RB stable last week, allowing 29/144/2 on the ground. They have handed over at least 104 yards rushing in each of their last 4 games, after a solid run of performances during the middle of the season. The Seahawk's rush D has regressed significantly in recent weeks. Overall this season, they rank 14th in the NFL averaging 104.2 rushing yards allowed per game, and they've handed over a hefty 14 rushing TDs over 12 games. This unit is looking vulnerable right now.

James enjoyed good success against Seattle in his house this year - against Seattle in Qwest field, there is no reason to expect a different outcome the second time around. Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Andre Ellington was forced out of the game on Sunday due to a new hip injury (as opposed to the nagging hip injury that has dogged him for weeks, along with a sore toe), and the early word this week is that he won't practice on Wednesday - head coach Bruce Arians stated that Ellington was 'pretty sore' on Monday in the wake of his newest injury. Keep an eye on Ellington's practice status later in the week if you are considering him for a roster spot on Sunday - he's looking like a shaky starter (if he goes at all) during Week 14. During his partial appearance in Week 13 Ellington posted just 5/12/0 rushing before exiting the game vs. Atlanta. Backups Marion Grice (5/16/0 rushing and 3/24/0 receiving), Stepfan Taylor (two targets for 1/3/0 receiving at Atlanta). and Michael Bush (newly acquired off the street) would likely combine to form a committee of some type if Ellington is out or limited this Sunday.

The Chiefs' rush D is ranked 30th in the NFL averaging 136.4 yards allowed per game, but they have still only given up two rushing scores all year long. Last week, C.J. Anderson posted 45/214/0 rushing on the Chiefs as a team - C.J. Anderson had 32/168/0 rushing and 2/17/1 receiving in the lead role. Two weeks ago the Raiders had 32/179/2 rushing as a team (led by youngster Latavius Murray) - as you can see, teams have piled up rushing yards on the Chiefs consistently of late.

Advantage, Arizona - but if there is a committee of backs in play we're not necessarily excited about any of them as fantasy starters.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The last time these teams clashed was week 10 - Atlanta won 34-20, with 36/113/1 rushing as a team, led by Michael Turner's 27/96/1 (1/0/0 receiving). Jerious Norwood could only muster 6/17/0 on the ground, but grabbed 2 passes for 88 yards and a score. In the 3 weeks since they last met, Michael Turner has been on a tear through the NFL, with 80/318/6 rushing to his credit (#2 fantasy RB in the land), including 31/120/0 last week vs his old team, San Diego. Jerious Norwood had 4/18/0 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving last week - over the last 3 games he's compiled 12/47/0 rushing and 6/38/0 receiving in a change-of-pace role for Atlanta.

The Saints were trampled for 34/149/1 rushing by the Buccaneers last week: they've given up 382 rushing yards in their last 3 contests (127.3 per game on average). To date, the Saints are 19th in the league, averaging 114 rushing yards allowed per game, with only 8 rushing TDs surrendered so far. The team did lose a starting DE this week (Will Smith, suspended for 4 games), which will undermine the defensive front's cohesiveness entering week 14.

Turner is red-hot, while the Saints are regressing in this phase of the game - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Michael Turner tore up the Saints back in week eight - 20/151/1 rushing - but unfortunately he has an ankle injury that sidelined him last week. His status for week 14 is up in the air as of Tuesday morning. In his place, the Falcons gave Jerious Norwood the nod as starter last week. He wasn't able to get much room to roam behind a patchwork OL, though - Norwood finished the day with 11/18/0 rushing and 2/24/0 receiving, while Jason Snelling fared a little better with 10/35/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving during the contest. If Turner can't play again this week, look for a similar mix of Norwood and Snelling at RB.

The Saints' rush D isn't a team strength, currently pegged at 20th in the NFL averaging 113.9 rushing yards per game, with 14 rushing TDs handed over to date. They've allowed 470 rushing yards in their last four games (117.5 per contest on average), with 25/88/0 allowed to Washington's third- and fourth-stringers on last Sunday. New England rang up 28/122/2 rushing against the Saints two weeks ago, which is more like their usual performance in this phase of the game.

The Falcons' offense is banged up at a lot of positions and struggled to move the ball against the Eagles last week, but they've got capable backs who should be able to exploit the suspect New Orleans' defensive front. Advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson FINALLY had a 100+-yard rushing game for Atlanta (it happened on his 24th game played for the Falcons) - he finished the contest against Arizona with 18/101/0 rushing to his credit. Jackson has been between 16-20 touches on the football in each of his last five games played. As usual, Jacquizz Rodgers (4/7/0 rushing with 3/18/0 receiving) and Devonta Freeman (8/26/0 rushing with 1/4/0 receiving) chipped in with change of pace snaps last week. The Falcons' rushing attack isn't world-beating, but Jackson has found his stride during November and is trending upwards in production compared to the first half of the season.

The Packers' rush D is ranked 28th in the NFL averaging 132.3 yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores handed out to date. Last week, New England managed 18/84/1 rushing at Lambeau Field, while two games ago it was Minnesota posting 25/112/0 rushing on the Packers.

This is a good matchup for Jackson even though he is on the road this weekend.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Willis McGahee was outstanding against the Patriots last week, posting 30/138/1 rushing and 4/21/0 receiving against the New England defense. McGahee has been a steady fantasy option all year long, and in the past 4 weeks has landed at #9 among all fantasy RBs in points per game, with 85/359/4 rushing and 10/57/0 receiving - the guy has developed a real nose for the end-zone, with 1 rushing TD in each of his last 7 games, after opening the season without a score for 5 weeks straight. He seems to be fully integrated into his new team's offense heading into the final sprint to the end of the season.

The Colts fought off the Jaguars last week, but it was close, and they gave up 31/168/1 to their divisional rivals on the ground. Over the past 4 weeks, they've held 2 opponents to under 100 yards rushing, but their last 2 foes have gone over that mark (112 yards rushing allowed in week 12, then the 168 last week). The Colt's defense has taken a step back in this phase of the game of late. They are currently 18th in the league averaging 108.3 rushing yards given up per game, but have only handed over 7 rushing scores this season.

McGahee is on a roll, and he'll have home field advantage again this week. Meanwhile, the Colts' rush D has regressed to merely average - it looks like McGahee has an edge over the visitors in this matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Willis McGahee was a healthy non-player last week - he suited up, but didn't touch the ball. "It's strategic," coach Jim Harbaugh said of the move. "We have a plan for Willis. He's going to be a big part of this team, no question about it. Willis can play, and he will play. We are going to put him in the best situation to play, just like we are with Le'Ron and Ray." While McGahee was being situated on the sidelines, Le'Ron McClain (25/86/0) and Ray Rice (11/41/0) were trampling the Bengals during the 34-3 laugher - Rice added 4/14/0 receiving to his tally as the Ravens swept to 43/147/0 rushing on the day and a 8-4 record. Over the past 3 weeks, McClain is the best Baltimore fantasy back, with 45/184/1 rushing and 3/31/1 receiving (24th best fantasy RB); Rice has 27/67/0 rushing and 11/74/0 receiving (55th); and McGahee lags the field at 16/26/0 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving (80th fantasy back in the land during that time span).

The Washington defensive front was able to contain the Giants' backs to 35/108/1 last week (not bad, considering the Giants' recent body of work in that phase of the game), but still lost the game 23-7. Over the past 3 weeks, the Redskins have handed over 364 rushing yards (121.3 per contest), vs a season average of 90.8 rushing yards allowed per game (8 rushing scores given up to date). They haven't been playing up to their usual standards, as you can see.

The Ravens' tandem of McClain and Rice are on a roll, while the Redskins look pretty vulnerable of late - advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ray Rice had a hard time moving the ball vs. Pittsburgh (as almost all NFL backs do this year), leading the team with 9/32/0 rushing (and adding 2/18/0 receiving to his totals). Willis McGahee didn't repeat his early-season success, either, having just 7/7/0 rushing on the day. Over the past four weeks, Rice is the 12th-ranked fantasy RB in the land, with 60/241/1 rushing and 18/174/0 receiving to his credit - he's been seeing lots of work and is a solid bet to perform well from week to week despite the lowly showing vs. Pittsburgh.

The Texans are not the Steelers when it comes to rush D - through 12 games, they are tied for 10th in the NFL averaging 101.4 yards allowed per game, and they've surrendered 10 rushing scores to date. The team is also dead last in the NFL in pass D, which is an important consideration for a dual-threat back like Rice - he's tied for second on the team over the last four weeks with 24 targets (18/174/0 receiving). Philadelphia put up 29/115/2 rushing vs. Houston last week, though Tennessee was held to 12/24/0 two weeks ago (in rookie Rusty Smith's first start in the NFL, though).

Rice is an elite back, while the Texans are only so-so at rush D - advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

C.J. Spiller finally posted more than 100 yards combined in a game (the first time in his career) vs. Tennessee last week, gaining 14/83/1 rushing (a 5.9 yards per carry average) and 3/19/0 receiving as the Bills' lead back. Tashard Choice chipped in with 5/20/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving as the change-of-pace back during the game. Though the Bills lost the game, Spiller is showing signs of becoming a fantasy-relevant player while Fred Jackson is on IR. We'll see if he can build on this momentum at San Diego.

Speaking of San Diego, they finally found a team they couldn't lose to last Monday at Jacksonville, managing to limit the Jaguars to 31/129/0 rushing during the game. Two weeks ago, Denver trampled them for 51/208/0 on the ground, though - this isn't a shut-down rush D despite the low scoring totals given up the last two weeks. To date, the Chargers are ranked 26th in the NFL averaging 131.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with seven rushing scores handed out so far this year.

Spiller is getting his engine revved up, while the Chargers' rush D is usually fairly generous with yards between the 20's - advantage, Buffalo.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Bills tricked everyone last week, asserting that C.J. Spiller was the teams' featured back - but during the game vs. Jacksonville, Fred Jackson had 25/109/0 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving, while Spiller saw 14/77/1 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving - 27 touches for Jackson vs. 15 for Spiller. Actions speak louder than words - we're back to a full-blown committee between Jackson and Spiller, though Spiller's explosive play still keeps him fantasy-relevant.

The Rams are on a two-game winning streak, having beat San Francisco for a second time last week (16-13) - even though they gave up 36/148/1 rushing to Frank Gore and company during the contest. Arizona posted 23/74/2 rushing on this group two weeks ago - St. Louis remains a very suspect rush defense entering week 14. To date, the team averages 114.4 rushing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL), but they've given up 15 rushing TDs so far (third-most in the league).

Jackson and Spiller have a good matchup ahead of them this week.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

DeShaun Foster's sore elbow kept him out of the game for a second week, so DeAngelo Williams showcased his wares again last week, posting 17/74/0 rushing and 7/101/1 receiving against the Eagles. Foster may find his starting job in other hands once his aching elbow is better. Williams has racked up 54/251/0 rushing and 12/148/1 receiving over the past 3 weeks to rank 11th among all fantasy RBs during that span of time.

The Giants' defensive front has been a sieve of late, averaging 127.6 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. They handed over 24/110/2 to the Cowboys last week - nobody is afraid to run at this group of defenders heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

This is a good matchup for the Panthers, no matter who ends up carrying the rock on Sunday.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Carolina had no trouble running the ball at Atlanta back on September 30, posting 35/199/2 rushing during the game. Cam Newton led the team with 9/86/1 to his credit, and DeAngelo Williams also scored (11/49/1 rushing with 1/2/0 receiving). Jonathan Stewart (10/40/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving) also did well - but he's dealing with an aggravated high ankle sprain entering week 14, and was unable to play in week 13 due to the condition. It's likely that Newton and Williams will have to carry the load at home this week.

Last week, Williams managed 12/67/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving at Kansas City (without Stewart in the lineup), while Cam Newton led the team in rushing with 7/78/0 to his credit - all told, the Panthers had 22/165/0 rushing at K.C. as a team.

Atlanta averages 121.3 yards rushing allowed per game (20th in the NFL), with 13 rushing scores given up so far. New Orleans had 23/101/1 rushing at Atlanta last week, while Doug Martin put up just 21/50/2 vs. the Falcons two weeks ago. Right now, the Falcons' D is playing better than their season average would indicate, but they have still coughed up three rushing TDs in their last two games.

On balance, this looks like a good matchup for Newton and Williams.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Forte battered his way to 22/96/0 rushing vs. the Vikings last week (he added 4/29/1 to the pot as well) - he did his job despite the lopsided 34-14 defeat. Over the past 3 weeks, Forte has gained 58/292/2 rushing and 12/83/1 receiving to land at #6 among all fantasy backs in points per game during that time span. He's playing well entering December.

The Jaguars coughed up 26/126/2 rushing to the Texans last week, and have handed over 362 rushing yards in their last 3 contests (120.6 per game on average). They are the league's 20th ranked rush D entering December, with an average of 115 rushing yards allowed per game, and a total of 11 rushing scores surrendered during 13 contests. This isn't a very good rush D, friends.

Forte is a good back, the Jaguars' defensive front is poor - advantage, Chicago and Forte.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Forte has managed to post 100 yards of combined offense in each of the last two games, and he's scored rushing TDs in two of the last three contests, including his 13/64/1 rushing with 2/36/0 receiving effort at Detroit last week. The guy is in a zone right now, folks.

The Patriots' D bent but didn't break vs. the Jets' RB stable, with 31/152/0 rushing allowed. They've averaged 107 rushing yards allowed per game over the past four weeks, compared to their 19th-ranked season average of 114.1 rushing yards allowed (with nine rushing scores handed over during 12 contests). This unit is fairly generous with both yards and scores.

Forte is in a groove with the Bears entering the playoff run, while the Patriots' defensive front is just so-so - at Soldier Field in bad weather for passing, we give Forte just a slight edge in this game.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Just two weeks ago, the Bears defeated Minnesota 28-10 behind 39/113/2 rushing by Michael Bush (21/60/2), Matt Forte (14/42/0) and friends. Since then, they dropped a heartbreaker at the buzzer vs. Seattle, in which Forte put up 21/66/0 rushing and 3/30/1 receiving, and Bush managed 7/39/0 rushing to lead the Bears to 32/132/0 on the ground. This ground attack is humming along as of week 14.

The Vikings lost at Green Bay 14-23, allowing 36/152/1 rushing to the Packers during the game. So far this year, Minnesota ranks 14th in the NFL averaging 115.1 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores given up.

The Bears have the edge in this contest.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Rudi Johnson had a great game vs. Cleveland in the season opener, with 26/126/1 rushing and 2/12/0 receiving on the day - it was 1 of his 2 100+ rushing yard performances this season (the other happened vs. Baltimore during week 12), and his best day this year as far as rushing yardage is concerned. Last week, Johnson ripped the stout Steelers for 21/98/2 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving - he's on a roll lately, with 64/288/6 rushing and 4/19/0 receiving over the last 3 weeks (#2 fantasy RB in points per game during that span). Johnson's hot.

Cleveland's rush D resides in the bottom tier of the NFL this year, giving up an average of 129.1 yards per game, with 7 rushing scores allowed to date. They have averaged 118.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, including 36/135/0 surrendered to Jacksonville last week. Nobody is afraid to run the ball against Cleveland's defensive front.

Johnson has a good shot at a top-notch game vs. Cleveland this week.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Reuben Droughns compiled 100 yards of offense combined the last time these teams faced off, in week 1 - 12/78/0 rushing (6.5 yards per carry) and 3/22/0 receiving. Over the past 3 weeks, Droughns has compiled 79/327/1 rushing and 6/49/0 receiving, to rank 12th among all fantasy RBs in points per game - last week, he ripped off 30/88/0 rushing vs. the hard-nosed Jaguars. Droughns sees lots of chances every game, as you can see. He did show up on the injury report this week unexpectedly so keep an eye out there.

Cincinnati's rush D is 24th in the NFL this season, averaging 119.8 yards allowed per game (with 11 rushing scores surrendered so far). Over the past 3 weeks, they have coughed up 106.6 rushing yards per game on average. It's a good thing that Cincinnati can score points in bunches, because they have been giving away a fair bit of ground and points lately. On the upswing though, they were very stout against Pittsburgh last week.

Droughns had a successful day the last time he saw this team, and he should enjoy another solid day against the Bengals' rush D this week, too.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Both Cleveland and K.C. managed to pull out a win last week - Cleveland had 486 yards from scrimmage, with 30/122/1 rushing as a team. As usual, Trent Richardson led the charge for the Browns, with 20/72/1 rushing and 3/23/0 receiving, just missing out on 100-yards combined - Montario Hardesty put up 5/39/0 in a change-of-pace role at Oakland. To date, Richardson is the fifth-ranked fantasy running back in the land with 229/827/7 rushing and 44/339/1 receiving to his credit.

The Chiefs' rush D is pretty soft this year, averaging 129.3 yards allowed per game(26th in the NFL), with seven rushing scores handed over to date. Carolina had 22/165/0 rushing at K.C. last week; Denver posted 24/95/0 there two weeks ago.

Advantage, Cleveland.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Inexplicably, one week after having his role reduced, Willis McGahee handled 14/57/1 rushing and 2/14/0 receiving vs. Jacksonville (leading the team in rushing), while Chris Ogbonnaya (7/20/0 rushing with 2/14/0 receiving) and Fozzy Whittaker (7/15/0 rushing with 1/0/0 receiving) were complimentary backs in a three-headed monster. With the starting quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and the other starting quarterback (Jason Campbell) both concussed/dealing with post-concussion symptoms, it is hard to know which player will be under center for the Browns in this contest - McGahee and company may be asked to carry the Browns this week while the team sorts out the quarterback position.

The Patriots' rush D ranks 31st in the NFL averaging 138.2 yards given up per game, with nine rushing scores surrendered so far. Houston blasted this unit for 28/121/4 last week, and Denver posted 31/116/1 rushing vs. New England two games ago. It isn't hard to run the football when New England is in town.

McGahee and company have a good matchup to exploit this week.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Dallas' backs just couldn't get revved up vs. the Giants last week, posting a disappointing 23/45/0 rushing as a team - neither Marion Barber (15/36/0 rushing with 3/7/0 receiving) or Felix Jones (6/6/0 rushing with 3/13/0 receiving) made much headway in New York. Tashard Choice faired no better, with 2/3/0 rushing and 0 receptions. The ground game was ground out by the Giants last week.

The Chargers got a spirited fight from the lowly Browns last week, (22/115/0 rushing as a team - a 5.2 yards allowed per carry average for San Diego) and barely pulled out the 'W' with a final of 30-23. Kansas City also posted a 5.0 yards per carry average on the Chargers two weeks ago, with 23/114/1 as a team - the Chargers are right in line with their 21st-ranked average of 117.8 rushing yards allowed per game as of the final quarter of the season, while allowing eight rushing TDs through 12 contests.

The Cowboys' backs have lacked pop for months now, but there is no denying this is an attractive matchup. We'll see if any of the players seize the opportunity and play well this week.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

This is a huge game for both these NFC East rivals - whoever wins it gains a big edge on the divisional title, setting the stage for the rematch at MetLife Stadium on New Year's Day. Dallas was upset by the Cardinals last Sunday, partly due to a bad call by head coach Jason Garrett on a last-second kick, but also due to the disappearance of an effective rushing attack - DeMarco Murray was limited to 12/38/0 rushing last week, and Felix Jones only added 6/36/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving on the day - it was a sad, 20/75/0 effort by the team in this phase of the game. Murray has posted 59/198/0 rushing with 11 targets for 10/73/0 receiving over the last three games, so last week was a big let down - we'll see if he can bounce back at home in Cowboys' Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

The Giants have dropped four straight games after starting the year 6-2, but they did a good job containing the Packers' committee of running backs last week (28/89/0 rushing allowed to Green Bay in the narrow 35-38 loss) after getting stomped by New Orleans' backs two weeks ago (30/205/3 allowed in the 24-49 loss). Currently the Giants rank 23rd in the NFL averaging 127 rushing yards allowed per game, with a hefty 13 rushing TDs given away over 12 contests.

Murray stumbled at Arizona, but the generous Giants should help him rebound - advantage, Dallas.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Denver ground out 29/131/2 vs. Kansas City last week, led by Tatum Bell's 5/46/0 (Mike Anderson gained 13/37/1, and Ron Dayne kicked in 8/26/0). The Denver attack is a group effort at this point in the season, though Mike Anderson usually sees more chances than any of the other members of the stable. Over the past 3 weeks, Anderson is the top fantasy back of the group (5th among fantasy RBs) with 50/181/4 rushing and 6/88/1 receiving.

The Ravens lost the services of Ray Lewis for the rest of the season this week when he decided to have surgery on his torn leg muscle - he hadn't played for many weeks, so his loss won't make the unit any worse than it has been in recent weeks (Tommy Polley is his replacement at MLB). The Ravens rank 13th in the NFL vs. the rush, averaging 107.7 yards allowed per game, with 8 scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 123.3 yards allowed in this phase, with 34/165/0 handed over to the Texans last week.

Denver owns the league's 2nd ranked rush offense, averaging 162.8 yards per game, while the Ravens are sinking in this phase due to injuries and the weight of a disappointing season - advantage, Denver.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Selvin Young led the Broncos in rushing vs. the Chiefs back in week 10 (20/109/1). He suffered an upper arm injury last week while splitting time with Travis Henry - the RB stable has reshuffled quite a bit in Denver since week 10. Regarding whether Young would be able to play this week, coach Shanahan replied on Tuesday "It's hard to tell before we get back on the (practice) field.", and refused further comment.

Andre Hall missed the last game with a high ankle sprain; Henry has successfully appealed his suspension, but has injury woes (partially torn PCL in his knee) to continue rehabbing; and Young is questionable to play this week. It could be the Mike Bell/Cecil Sapp show come Sunday, folks - stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week for updates on this volatile situation.

K.C. averages 115.8 rushing yards allowed per game (21st in the NFL) and has surrendered 9 rushing TDs to date. The Chiefs have coughed up 141 or more rushing yards in 3 out of their last 4 games, including the 32/191/2 handed over to LaDainian Tomlinson and company last week. The Chiefs' rush D is a shambles.

Advantage, Denver - whoever they start should have a good shot at a solid game.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The last time these teams met, back in week four, Denver crushed Oakland 37-6 and held the ball just over 37 1/2 minutes. Talk about complete domination - the Raiders converted one of 12 third downs during the first game between these teams. Though this game is in the Black Hole, the Oakland fans haven't been turning out strongly this season - their home field advantage has shrunk to reflect their 3-9 record. In week four, Willis McGahee was the lead back for Denver, so looking back doesn't tell us much about Knowshon Moreno's chances.

Over the past two weeks, Moreno has seen 24 touches per game, with 20/85/0 rushing and 4/26/0 receiving at Kansas City, and 20/69/0 rushing with 4/14/0 receiving vs. Tampa Bay. He's gotten plenty of work, but hasn't pushed in any TDs so far.

The Raiders allowed 30/122/1 rushing to Cleveland last week, and 34/221/1 to the Bengals two weeks ago. To date, the team averages 130.4 rushing yards allowed per game(28th in the NFL), with a whopping 16 rush TDs given away to date.

Moreno has a good matchup to work with here.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Despite playing through a sore ankle, Knowshon Moreno posted 90 yards of combined offense at Kansas City last week (12/18/0 rushing but 4/72/1 receiving), while Montee Ball took the lead rushing the football (13/117/0 rushing with 1/4/0 receiving). It looks like the Denver rushing attack is morphing into a two-headed monster entering December, but there is so much offense to go around in Denver that both backs can have meaningful fantasy outings from week to week. Moreno is just two weeks removed from a huge 37/224/1 rushing at New England - a game in which Ball posted 7/40/0 rushing and 3/17/0 receiving.

The Titans' rush defense is tied for the most rushing TDs given up this year - 16 - while ranking 17th in the NFL averaging 114 rushing yards allowed per game. They gave up the game-winning TD to Donald Brown at 1:56 in the fourth quarter last week (25/104/1 allowed to Indianapolis) after limiting Oakland to 23/93/0 rushing two weeks ago.

Moreno and Ball have a good matchup ahead of them at Mile High Stadium this week.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

During the opening game of the season, the Lions managed 31/102/0 rushing vs. the Packers - Kevin Jones had his most touches of the season that day, with 25/87/0 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving. Since then, of course, the team's offense has crashed and burned, and the running backs have been jumbled into an ineffective committee. Artose Pinner (14/64/1 rushing and 3/39/0 receiving last week) and Shawn Bryson (6/29/0 rushing and 4/26/0 receiving) played last week while Jones rested his sore quadricep. Keep an eye on the injury report later in the week if you are a Jones owner, but with the offense so unsettled and ineffective right now, we'd be leery of inserting Jones if you have some better options at RB. We have yet to see how coach Jauron will utilize Jones now that Steve Mariucci is out.

Green Bay did a half-decent job defensing Thomas Jones and company last week, holding the Bears out of the end-zone but surrendering 31/141/0 to the team. Over the past 3 weeks, the Packers have averaged 159.6 rushing yards surrendered per game - they are not shutting anybody down right now. They are way off their season pace of 122 rushing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL).

The Lions have a decent matchup here, but which back will see the most action and whether Jones can stay in the lineup (assuming he can play this week) for an entire game are all open to question as of mid-week.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kevin Smith had one big run vs. Minnesota back in week 6, busting loose for a 50-yard scamper that allowed him to compile 5/62/0 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving on the day. At that time, he was still splitting time with Rudi Johnson (17/38/0 rushing, 1/4/0 receiving) - heading into December, Smith is the featured back. However, like most running backs, he had a hard time rushing the ball against the Titans last week - Smith could only manage 12/22/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving. He's had a couple of strong games in the last 2 weeks (24/112/0 rushing with 2/23/0 receiving vs. Carolina, and 16/86/0 rushing vs. Tampa Bay), but the team's problems scoring has limited Smith's fantasy value even when he finds some room to roam.

The Vikings defense is in turmoil at mid-week due to the ongoing supplement-related suspensions of the starting DT tandem of Pat and Kevin Williams. There are many rumors of various actions the suspended players may pursue in order to play Sunday, but as things stand right now, the Vikings will be down to Fred Evans and Ellis Wyms in the center of the DL, assuming that the Williams' can't manage to stave off suspension. Without the Williams in the middle of the line, the Vikings' rush D will be significantly less effective (and, because of the downgrade along the defensive line, their pass rush/pass D will likely suffer, too) - you simply don't replace 2 Pro Bowl caliber players on a moment's notice. The bottom line here is that if the Williams can't play on Sunday, the Vikings 2nd-ranked rush D (averaging 73.3 yards allowed per game) won't be nearly as good as they have been in weeks past. In other bad news, DE Brian Robison underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and may be out for several weeks - just what an already-thin DL rotation did not need.

Smith had a half-decent game the last time he faced this team - if the D comes in minus Pat and Kevin Williams, he'll have a good shot at an even better performance in week 14. However, if they are in the lineup, downgrade this matchup to "bad".

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Detroit lost at home three weeks ago 20-24, while Mikel LeShoure (19/84/1 rushing with 1/-2/0 receiving) and Joique Bell (1/4/0 rushing with 1/5/0 receiving) led the team to 24/110/1 rushing vs. Green Bay. Since that game, LeShoure has posted 33/89/2 rushing with 4/43/0 receiving and Bell 12/129/1 rushing and 3/21/0 receiving - they are a 1A and 1B sort of tandem entering week 14, though LeShoure has usually seen more touches on the football from week to week.

The Packers gave up 28/240/1 rushing to the inept-passing offense of Minnesota last week, and 31/147/2 to the Giants two weeks ago - the defensive front is moving in the wrong direction as of week 14. To date, the Packers are 15th in the NFL averaging 115.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing TDs given away to date.

Advantage, Detroit.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Lions whipped Green Bay 40-10 last week, with 43/241/2 rushing to their credit. Reggie Bush led the demolition crew, with 20/117/1 rushing and 5/65/0 receiving to his credit, while Joique Bell posted 19/94/1 rushing and 3/34/0 receiving - yes, both Lions' backs went over 100 yards combined against the Packers. It's all good for the Lions' running backs' stable entering the final 1/4 of the season.

The Eagles' rush D ranks 19th in the league, averaging 115.5 yards given up per game, with seven rushing scores surrendered to date. Last week, they allowed just 22/90/0 to the Cardinals' backs, but they coughed up 38/191/0 rushing to Washington two games ago. This inconsistent unit is mediocre on balance, just as their season average indicates.

Detroit has to travel to Lincoln Financial Field for this game, but they enjoy a slight edge over the so-so Philadelphia defensive front.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Joique Bell tore up the Bears last week with 23/91/2 rushing to this credit (and 2/12/0 receiving), while Theo Riddick did his damage as a receiver (seven targets for 6/54/0 receiving). Though there are rumors that Reggie Bush will get back in the action for Detroit this week: 1). We've heard this before only to be told on game day that Bush's ankle 'wasn't coming along as we'd hoped it would. 2). Bush usually aggravates his existing injuries if he does get in to play, and winds up on the bench due to re-injury more often than not and 3). Bell is clearly the superior back to this point in time - he's likely going to remain as the featured ball carrier.

The Buccaneers' rush D is 18th in the NFL averaging 116.0 yards allowed per game, and almost one rushing score given up per game (they've coughed up 11 over 12 contests). Cincinnati had 28/112/1 rushing at Tampa last week; Chicago had 26/92/2 rushing vs. Tampa two games back.

Advantage, Detroit.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ryan Grant suffered a sprained thumb on his right hand last week: "We thought I probably could have been able to go back in, but just both sides kind of felt like the amount of pain and how swollen it was, and I had a little bit more limited movement," Grant said after the game (he had 12/39/0 rushing before being forced from the game). "Just maybe ball security-wise, it was a little better not to go back in." Brandon Jackson did a great job in relief of Grant, with 11/80/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving - if Grant's thumb is still an issue this week, Jackson would be the guy to take over for the Pack.

The Texans are 23rd in the NFL this year, averaging 128.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 16 rushing TDs handed over in 12 contests. Jacksonville posted 26/126/1 rushing vs. Houston, and have coughed up 375 yards in their last 3 games (125 per contest on average). As you can see, Houston is consistently mediocre at rush D this season.

The Packers' offense cranked out 31 points last week - they are going strong as of December. Whether Grant or Jackson is handling the ball, they have a good shot at a solid outing vs. the suspect Texans.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

John Kuhn (9/39/0 rushing) and Brandon Jackson (9/33/0 rushing with 1/1/0 receiving) were the lead backs vs. Detroit back in week four - the team managed to scrape up 21/92/0 rushing with the help of Aaron Rodgers' 3/20/0 rushing. Like most games this year, Green Bay's RB stable underwhelmed us vs. Detroit the first time around. However, James Starks finally got his chance to run the ball in regular season last week, and responded with 18/73/0 rushing to lead the Packers - John Kuhn scored the TD last week with 6/13/1 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving, while Brandon Jackson did more as a receiver (4/63/0) than as a rusher (4/13/0). All told, the Packers put up 34/136/1 rushing as a team. Starks definitely provided a spark in week 13 - we'll see if he can maintain that momentum in week 14.

The Lions' rush D averages 127.4 yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL), and they have coughed up the second-most rush TDs to date, with 15 surrendered through 12 games. Chicago hit them for 28/114/2 rushing last week - New England put up 25/109/2 rushing two weeks ago. This is not a solid front entering week 14, friends.

Advantage, Green Bay.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

James Starks headlined for the Packers' backs during week 11 at Detroit, with 25/74/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving. Since then, Starks (23/101/1 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving over the last two games) and Alex Green (22/88/0 rushing with 4/32/0 receiving over that two game span) have essentially split the workload. However, Starks suffered a serious (perhaps season-ending) knee injury last week, so from here on out it's going to be Green in the featured role for Green Bay. We'll finally see what he can do as the main back for the Packers.

The Lions' rush D averages 119.4 yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL) with seven rushing scores given away to date. Last week, they gave up 18/87/1 to the Colts' backs, and two weeks ago it was 28/205/3 handed over to the Texans. This group is inconsistent entering the final four games of the year, as you can see.

Green has a good matchup to work with here.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

GB Injuries: none
DET Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steve Slaton tore up the Jaguars for 21/130/2 rushing and added 2/52/0 receiving to the team effort last week. He is playing very well of late despite his bumps and bruises - Slaton has piled up 56/359/3 rushing and 2/52/0 receiving over the last 3 weeks to land at #4 among all fantasy RBs in points per game during that time span. Ryan Moats could only muster 2/-1/0 rushing in a cameo appearance last week.

The Packers' rush D has been less-than-impressive all year long, averaging 141.8 yards allowed per game, with 17 rushing TDs surrendered in 12 contests to date. Over the last 3 weeks, Green Bay has coughed up 311 rushing yards (103.3 per contest), with 27/130/5 surrendered to Carolina last week. Ouch.

Slaton is hot, while the Packers' defensive front has been struggling a little entering week 14 - advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

As expected, Houston emphasized the running game in T.J. Yates' first NFL start, posting 44/162/1 rushing as a team, led by Arian Foster's 31/111/1 rushing (with 3/41/0 receiving). Ben Tate handled the ball 11 times for 41 yards rushing during the contest - expect to see a similar heavy diet of carries for the Texans' backs this week as they lean on their third-ranked rushing attack that is averaging 152.6 yards per game this year.

The Bengals' rush D fell apart at Pittsburgh, coughing up 33/136/2 to the Steelers behind Rashard Mendenhall's lead (16/60/2 rushing). Two weeks ago, Cleveland ground out 30/134/0 at Cincinnati. The Bengals aren't playing up to their sixth-ranked average right now (96.3 rushing yards allowed per game on average this year) - in fact, they've given up around 40 more yards than the average in the last two weeks. To date, the Bengals have allowed 12 rushing TDs over 12 games.

The Texans' rushing attack is an elite tandem this year, while the Bengals' defensive front started the year strongly but has weakened considerably in the last two weeks - advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Arian Foster has posted 61/215/3 rushing and 13/45/0 receiving over the past three weeks, while Justin Forsett has 26/210/1 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving - Ben Tate is now a bit player with 3/18/0 rushing since his return from injury. Foster remains the fantasy stud on the squad (second-ranked fantasy running back this year, with 283/1,089/13 rushing and 30/137/2 receiving), but Forsett is a viable flex option for owners desperate for a warm body in their running back lineup as of week 14.

The Patriots' rush D averages 100.8 yards rushing allowed per game, with eight rushing scores given up to date. They've given up over 100 yards in each of their last two games, with 27/101/1 surrendered to Miami last week and 29/119/1 handed over to the Jets two weeks ago.

Foster is a stud, while the Patriots are just so-so right now in this phase of the game. Advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Colts' rushing attack fell apart with C Jeff Saturday sidelined due to a calf injury - Joseph Addai managed 15/57/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving to disappoint his fantasy owners, and Dominic Rhodes was no better with 11/35/0 rushing and 2/6/0 receiving. Addai in particular has failed to convert in critical 3rd-and-1 situations over the last 2 weeks, making the team sweat out close games instead of icing them with first downs and keeping the ball in Indianapolis' hands. We'll see if they can improve on the underwhelming showing this week (it'd help if Saturday can get back in the game).

The Bengal's rush D is not good, averaging 131.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with 14 rushing TDs handed over in 12 contests. Over the past 3 weeks, they've allowed 336 rushing yards (112 per game), with 43/147/0 surrendered to the Ravens in week 13.

The Colts have another good matchup to work with this week - we'll see if they can do a better job capitalizing on the opportunity in week 14 than they did last week.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Colts pulled out an OT win at Tennessee back in week eight - 19-13 - sealed by Vick Ballard's 1/16/1 reception during the extra period. Ballard also rushed for 12/55/0, though Donald Brown actually led the team that day with 14/80/0 rushing during the contest.

Since week eight, Ballard has emerged as the most consistent Indianapolis back, with 66/262/1 rushing and 9/77/0 receiving to his credit, while Brown enters week 14 injured and ruled out as of Wednesday, December 5. Delone Carter (12/59/1 from week nine until now) will likely spell Ballard when he needs a rest on the sidelines this week.

The Titans' rush D ranks 27th in the NFL this year, averaging 129.4 yards allowed per game, with 11 rushing scores given out to date. Houston posted 35/125/1 rushing at Tennessee last week; Jacksonville had 27/100/1 rushing vs. the Titans two weeks ago.

Ballard has a good matchup ahead of him this week.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Daniel Herron (8/88/1 rushing vs. Washington, with 2/8/0 receiving) proved his ascendancy over Trent Richardson (8/12/0 rushing) last week - though Herron did fumble again he looks like the lead back for the Colts going forwards. 'He's [Herron] a talented, talented guy, and I think we've seen that out of him,' Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said early this week. 'He's quick, he's fast to hit the hole and once he gets outside, he's got some long speed; I think we all found that out.' There simply isn't much juice in Trent Richardson's legs these days.

The Browns' rush D gave up 30/106/0 to the Bills last week, and 23/63/1 to the Falcons two games ago. Cleveland ranks 29th in the NFL averaging 132.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed out to date.

This is a good matchup for Herron and the Colts.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacksonville's tandem of Fred Taylor (14/104/0 rushing last week) and Maurice Jones-Drew (11/52/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving) tore up the Colts' defensive front last week (31/168/1 rushing as a team for Jacksonville last week). Week in and week out, this duo of backs is posting solid numbers against Jacksonville's foes.

The Panthers' rush D is not intimidating this year, ranking 17th in the NFL averaging 107.8 yards allowed per game, with 11 rushing TDs handed over in 12 games. San Francisco (from a chase position much of the day) could only manage 17/59/0 rushing last week - it was the first time in 3 games that Carolina held an opposing team under 100 yards rushing. They are not usually as strong as last week's game made them look.

Jacksonville has a top RB stable and home-field advantage, while the Panthers field a so-so unit - the edge belongs to the Jaguars this week.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Fred Taylor blew up for his first rushing TD of the year (it only took 12 games), gaining 9/67/1 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving vs. Houston. Maurice Jones-Drew handled 12/49/0 rushing and 3/22/0 receiving vs. the Texans last week - when the dust had settled, Jacksonville could boast of 26/126/1 rushing as a team. The Jags' tandem worked well last week, at least.

The Bears' defensive front was once again embarrassed by Adrian Peterson and company (39/178/3 for Minnesota as a team) - they were a far cry from their season average of 88.8 rushing rads allowed last week (the Bears have given up 13 rushing TDs this season). With almost 400 yards rushing surrendered in the last 3 weeks (392), it's fair to say that the Bears' defensive front is in a state of collapse entering week 14.

Taylor and Jones-Drew did some good things vs. the Texans last week, and they have a good matchup ahead of them against the reeling Bears this week - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacksonville's battered running back stable is down to Montell Owens (7/29/0 rushing and 2/19/0 receiving this year) and Richard Murphy (no stats recorded this year) thanks to Maurice Jones-Drew's ongoing foot problem and Rashad Jenning's concussion (he hasn't passed his concussion tests as of Wednesday, and looks doubtful to play this week). The cupboard is getting very bare in Jacksonville in this phase of the game.

The Jets' rush defense averages 137.7 rushing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL), with 12 rushing scores given up to date. They coughed up 39/152/2 to the Patriots two weeks ago, and 21/81/0 to the talent-starved Cardinals last week - this is not a good defensive front, friends.

Owens and Murphy are shaky fantasy options, but they have a good matchup to work with this week at least.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jaguars beat Houston 13-6 two weeks ago, led by Maurice Jones-Drew's 14/84/1 rushing and 6/60/0 receiving. Jordan Todman pitched in 11/31/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving during the contest - all told, the Jaguars ran for 28/118/1 rushing at Houston. Last week, they posted 29/112/0 as a team at Cleveland, with 23/77/0 rushing and 2/4/0 receiving for Jones-Drew, and 5/31/0 rushing with 1/12/0 receiving for Todman in the change-of-pace role.

The Texans gave up 27/88/2 rushing to the Patriots last week, and average 116 rushing yards allowed per game (20th in the NFL). They've handed over 10 rushing scores so far this year.

This is a good matchup for Jones-Drew, who enjoyed good success against Houston just two weeks ago.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Larry Johnson spanked the Broncos last week, for 30/140/2 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving (the team slapped down 37/168/2 on the ground) - Johnson has 5 100+ rushing performances in a row, and is the #1 fantasy RB over the past 3 weeks, with 97/470/5 rushing and 8/68/0 receiving to his credit. He's nuclear hot right now.

The Cowboys average 101.8 rushing yards allowed per game this year (10th in the NFL) with 7 rushing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've coughed up 109.3 yards per game, including last week's total of 34/127/1 allowed to the Giants. The Cowboys haven't been dominant in this phase of the game lately.

Johnson is on fire, while the Cowboys have faded vs opposing backs in recent weeks - advantage, K.C.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jamaal Charles gave his all against Denver last week, posting 19/93/1 rushing and 2/27/0 receiving. He's a fantasy stud - start him if you've got him.

The Washington rush defense has allowed the most rushing scores this season, with 17 given away, while ranking 14th in the league averaging 108.8 rushing yards allowed per contest. The Giants cranked out 23/80/2 rushing at Washington last week, while San Francisco posted 33/76/0 there two weeks ago.

Charles has a good matchup ahead of him at FedEx Field.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Miami started the Bill's 5-losses-in-6-games skid back in week 8, defeating the Bills 25-16 - since then, the Dolphins have climbed into playoff contention while the Bills have tanked. Miami's backs could only muster 27/52/1 on the ground vs. Buffalo, with 14/43/0 (1/5/0 receiving) to Ronnie Brown's credit; Ricky Williams scored the TD with 7/16/1 rushing and added 2/43/0 receiving vs. Buffalo.

Last week, the Dolphins piled up 35/149/1 vs. the woeful Rams, led by Ricky Williams' 12/54/0 and Ronnie Brown's 15/48/1 (neither back had a reception last week). Over the past 3 weeks, Brown has gained 41/186/1 rushing with 2/21/0 receiving, while Williams has contributed 31/124/0 rushing and 4/25/1 receiving - they are a two-headed monster, just as the coaches promised they'd be in the pre-season.

The Bills have coughed up 382 rushing yards in their last 3 contests, with only 29/62/0 allotted to the 49ers in their close 10-3 loss last week. Most of the time, the Bills are pretty porous in this phase of the game, with a season average of 109.8 rushing yards allowed per game and 13 rushing TDs given up to date.

The Dolphins didn't impress the last time they played the Bills, but of late Buffalo has been yo-yoing in this phase of the game and are in the midst of a collapse - advantage, Miami.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chester Taylor had no trouble ripping up the Lions back in week 5, posting 26/123/0 rushing and 5/31/0 receiving during the contest. He suffered bruised ribs against the Bears last week, though, and is uncertain for this game vs. Detroit. Taylor owners will want to keep an eye on his practice participation (or lack thereof) this week. If Taylor can't go, Mewelde Moore (3/13/0 rushing and 5/51/0 receiving to lead the team) and Ciatrick Fason (11/75/1 last week) would carry the load while Taylor gets healthy. Given the chaos on the Vike's aerial unit, it would be no surprise to see whoever plays this week get a ton of carries.

The Lions rank 22nd in the NFL this year with 127.1 rushing yards allowed per game (10 scores to date), and have averaged 123.3 per game over the past 3 weeks. Last week, the Patriots crammed 24/79/3 down the Lions' throats - this is not a strong defensive front, folks.

This is a good matchup for the Vikings' stable. Owners of Taylor/Moore/Fason will want to monitor Taylor's practice participation this week closely.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Adiran Peterson came within spitting distance of 100 yards combined vs. Detroit back in week three, posting 17/78/1 rushing and 4/19/0 receiving that day. Since then, the Vikings have switched quarterbacks (Christian Ponder is the starter and Donovan McNabb has been released) - but Peterson remains the central cog in the Vikings' offensive machine.

Lately, of course, he's been sidelined by a high ankle sprain, but the team is hoping he can play in this NFC North showdown - Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday that RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) is very close to returning but the team will know more on his status during practice Wednesday, December seventh. As of Wednesday, though, Peterson is still not practicing, which makes it appear he might be missing in action again during week 14. If Peterson does suffer a setback in practices this week, Toby Gerhart (62/253/1 rushing with 18 targets for 15/122/0 receiving so far this year) will fill in for Peterson again - he had 21/91/0 rushing and 8/42/0 receiving vs. Denver last week.

The Lions' rush D is diminished in the middle of the line right now, with DT Ndamukong Suh still on suspension this week and rookie Nick Fairley continuing to be in-and-out of the lineup due to his still-painful foot injury. New Orleans slashed them for 23/100/1 on the ground last week - Green Bay had 18/53/1 rushing at Detroit two weeks ago. So far this year, Detroit ranks 22nd in the NFL averaging 125 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed over.

This is a good matchup for Gerhart and/or Peterson.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Corey Dillon had a great outing vs. Buffalo back in week 8, with 18/72/2 rushing to his credit. Since then, he's been sidelined more often than not, with 16/65/1 rushing and 4/19/0 receiving during the last 3 weeks (1 game for Dillon). The good news for Dillon owners is that he doesn't appear to have aggravated any of his injuries last week, so hopefully Dillon will be able to start again this week - he's the best option the team has to pit against their division rivals.

Buffalo brings a bottom-tier rush D to the dance, ranking 31st in the NFL this year allowing an average of 140.3 yards per game (with 16 rushing TDs given up to date, tied for 2nd-most in the NFL to date). Over the past 3 weeks, the Bills have handed over 109 yards per game, some improvement over their season average, but they have also coughed up 10 TDs during that span (rushing and receiving). Last week, Miami threw down for 22/73/1 against this defensive front.

Dillon enjoyed success the last time he faced these guys, and they haven't gotten too much better since then - advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

New England accomplished a notable feat last week, with 20/122/1 on the ground vs. the #1 rush D in the land (Pittsburgh averaged under 70 yards a game allowed until last week). Kevin Faulk busted a 41 yard long gainer and ended up with 6/73/0 rushing and 7/48/0 receiving, while Sammy Morris ground out 10/45/1 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained 2/3/0 on the ground but added a nice 1/20/0 reception to his effort. The New England rushing attack is an effective committee of backs.

The Seahawks' defense is not among the league's best units, averaging 121.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 11 TDs given away in 12 contests. Dallas hit them for 24/116/1 on the ground last week (even with Marion Barber knocked out early in the contest due to a toe injury). Over the last 3 weeks, the Seahawks have handed over 379 rushing yards (126.3 per game) - they are the sub-par rush D that their season average indicates them to be.

New England generates a good attack with their rotation of backs, while the Seahawks usually lay down for a handsome total of yards and points to opposing backs - advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Nobody on the Patriots had more than 10 carries vs. Indianapolis - Stevan Ridley led the team with 8/33/0 rushing, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis posted 6/14/1 rushing and saw one target for zero receptions. Danny Woodhead chipped in 4/12/0 rushing with one target for zero receptions. All told, the Patriots attempted 24/73/2 rushing - TE Rob Gronkowski also had a TD rush (1/2/1). The committee approach is coming to the fore-front for the Patriots right now - although you never know who'll get the most touches in a given week, you can bet several ball carriers will be involved in the game plan.

The Redskins' rush D is in the middle of the NFL tribe, averaging 116.5 yards allowed per game (18th), with 11 rushing scores given up to date. The Jets shoved in three rushing TDs at Washington last week (30/101/3), while Seattle posted 30/124/0 rushing vs. Washington two weeks ago. They are not a dominant defensive front this year, friends.

This is a good matchup for the Patriots' committee of backs.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

New Orleans crammed the ball down the Falcons' throats the last time these teams met, in week 6, with 32/211/2 on the ground - Antowain Smith (12/88/2) and Aaron Stecker (16/86/0) led the charge that day. Smith (18/49/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving last week vs. Tampa Bay) and Stecker (5/5/0 rushing and 4/55/0 receiving) are still a tandem coming into this contest, with Smith seeing the majority of carries but Stecker handling the passes thrown to the backs - Stecker led the team in receiving yardage last week.

Atlanta was rocked by DeShaun Foster and the Panthers last week for 34/142/1, and has averaged 119 rushing yards allowed per contest over the past 3 weeks. This year, they are the league's 21st ranked rush defense, allowing an average of 117.3 yards per contest on the ground, with 13 rushing scores surrendered. They are fielding a consistently sub-par defensive front this year.

This is a key game for the Falcons if they want to go to the playoffs, so they will bring their "A" game to the dance - the problem is, their "A" game hasn't been very good in the rush defense phase - advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Reggie Bush led the Saints with 17/54/0 on the ground the last time these teams faced off (week 7), adding 5/19/1 receiving to his total yardage/scoring. Pierre Thomas (since suffering from a kidney injury and sidelined last week) ran for 2/28/1 vs. Atlanta, helping the Saints total 22/91/1 during the game. Since the game vs. Atlanta, Bush has bounced around between 17 and 72 yards rushing - he was slowed in recent weeks with a shin injury, posting 15/34/0 rushing and 12/70/0 receiving 3 weeks ago vs. Houston, 9/32/0 rushing and 3/30/0 receiving 2 weeks ago vs. Carolina, and 13/64/0 rushing and 3/13/0 receiving vs. Tampa last week. As you can see, it's been awhile since Bush found pay-dirt.

Atlanta gave up 26/105/1 to the Rams last week, and haven't held any of the last 3 teams they faced under 105 yards rushing. They've handed over a total of 462 rushing yards over the past 4 weeks - it's pretty easy to run the ball against their patchwork defense, folks.

This is a good matchup for the Saints.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Saints had settled on their RB mix by week eight (the last time they played the Falcons) - Pierre Thomas (14/91/1 rushing with 2/9/1 receiving) and Mike Bell (17/49/0 rushing) handled the bulk of the work, with a few cameo touches for Reggie Bush (2/3/1 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving). That's pretty much the mix we see here in December, too. Two weeks ago, Thomas posted 11/64/0 rushing and 3/23/1 receiving vs. New England while Bell had 13/50/0 rushing - last week, Bell led the team in rushing with 16/34/0 while Thomas handled 6/18/0 rushing and 8/64/0 receiving. Bush chipped in 1/0/0 rushing and 4/28/0 receiving vs. the Redskins.

Atlanta's defense is crashing and burning as of December - over the last four weeks, they've given up 113 total points from scrimmage, and 449 rushing yards (~112 per contest on average). Philadelphia gained 26/103/1 rushing last week; Tampa Bay managed 26/73/0 vs. Atlanta two weeks ago. The Falcons currently rank 23rd in the NFL averaging 119.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores given up to date.

This is a good matchup for Thomas and Bell owners.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

These teams last clashed on Thursday, October 30 (Week Nine) - New Orleans won handily 28-10 at Bank of America Stadium. Mark Ingram ran over the Panthers with 30/100/2 rushing and 1/10/0 receiving during the game, and Drew Brees found the end zone in this phase of the game with 4/2/1 rushing to his credit as well. All told, the Saints ran for 37/105/3 the last time they played the Panthers.

Fast forward to this week, and the Saints may be bringing their full, many-headed monster at the Panthers. Mark Ingram (23/122/0 rushing at Pittsburgh, with two catches for -1 yard) and Pierre Thomas (3/21/0 rushing and 2/16/0 receiving) were left out of the five-TD passing party that Drew Brees threw last week, but they were an effective combination moving the football. This week, Khiry Robinson may also be back in the mix, though the Saints will likely ease him back into action, giving Ingram one more 'featured back' audition for his next contract in free agency. Ingram has done well when featured this season, posting 172/767/6 rushing and 22/111/0 receiving so far. The Saints' rushing attack is in good shape entering Week 14.

The Panthers' rush D is now 19th in the league averaging 116.8 yards given away per game, while allowing 13 rushing scores so far (tied for next-to-last in the NFL). Minnesota had 24/92/0 rushing against Carolina last week; Atlanta managed 27/86/0 back in Week 11. Neither of those teams has a top-notch running back to roll with, though.

Ingram and company are at home for this one and the Panthers don't scare anybody in this phase of the game - advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Giants dropped off in the yardage department from week 12 (30/202/0 rushing) to week 13 (23/80/2), but they got the yards that counted at Washington and won 24-17. Andre Brown has been the bell-cow for New York since returning from injury, and amassed 35/162/2 rushing and 7/34/0 receiving during that two game span. Brandon Jacobs put up 9/75/0 rushing vs. Dallas but aggravated a knee injury and sat out last week, so Peyton Hillis got back in the mix and led the team in rushing with 6/45/0 at Washington (with 1/6/0 receiving). Whether Hillis or Jacobs is backing him up, Brown is the lead back for New York heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

The Chargers gave up 38/164/1 rushing to the Bengals last week, and 18/114/2 to the Chiefs two weeks ago - their rush D hasn't been stout of late. To date, the Chargers rank 22nd in the NFL averaging 117.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores handed over so far.

This is a good matchup for Brown and company.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jets thrashed the Miami rush D last week for 40/163/3 on the ground. Thomas Jones finally found the end-zone (24/75/1), while Leon Washington flashed big-play ability with 10/68/2 rushing and 2/35/0 receiving during the the game. The Jets took advantage of the worst rush D in the land, just like they were supposed to.

This week, the Jets clash with the Cleveland Browns' D - which is just slightly better than the Dolphins, averaging 131.5 rushing yards allowed per game (28th in the NFL), with 6 rushing TDs handed over to date. Edgerrin James took advantage of the opportunity the Browns represent to gain 24/114/0. This is not an impressive D, folks.

The Jets' attack has sputtered at points, but is coming off a huge win over Miami and they'll have a soft D in front of them on Sunday.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jets were surprised by the Broncos 34-17 last week, but Thomas Jones did his part with 16/138/2 rushing (2/21/0 receiving) - he accounted for 12 of the Jets' 17 points. Leon Washington gained 2/4/0 rushing but added 3/60/0 receiving in his change-of-pace role - the rushing attack is going strong entering week 14.

The 49ers won the game last week, but handed over a pile of yards to Marshawn Lynch and company (25/156/0) - they average 108.2 rushing yards allowed per game this year (16th in the NFL), with 10 rushing TDs given away over 12 contests. Over the past 3 weeks, San Fran has coughed up 356 rushing yards (118.6 per game on average) - they don't field an imposing defensive front, folks.

Jones is a hot fantasy RB this season - he should have a solid outing vs. the so-so 49ers at beautiful Walsh Field on Sunday.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Shonn Greene cranked out three rushing scores vs. Washington, with 22/88/3 on the ground and four targets for 3/26/0 receiving to boot. He's led the team over the last three weeks with 38/176/3 rushing (and nine targets for 7/42/0) - backup Joe McKnight has seen 21/79/0 rushing and 12 targets for 10/83/0 during that time frame, but he hurt his elbow last week and may be iffy for this contest. LaDainian Tomlinson aggravated his strained left MCL but did return to the game, but he only managed 1/5/0 rushing and 1/16/0 receiving at Washington - this has become Greene's team, folks.

The Chiefs' rush D is ranked 25th in the NFL currently, averaging 130.3 yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores surrendered this year. Chicago managed 24/93/0 rushing last week while going without Matt Forte for most of the game - Pittsburgh posted 28/108/0 rushing at K.C. two weeks ago. As you can see, the Chiefs' D has played fairly well in recent weeks despite their poor overall ranking.

Greene had an outstanding fantasy performance last week - against the so-so Chiefs, he's got a good shot at pleasing the home crowd this week.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LaMont Jordan couldn't get going against the Chargers last week, compiling a mere 15/55/0 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving on the day - it was his worst outing in a long while. The Raiders as a whole couldn't seem to find a rhythm and lost 34-10. This week, Kerry Collins will be riding the pine while journeyman Marques Tuiasosopo gets a rare start - expect the Jets to load the box, blitz often, and generally dare Tuiasosopo to beat them by passing the ball.

However, realize that the Jets are generally pathetic at defensing vs. their oppositions' running backs, ranking 29th in the NFL this year allowing an average of 137.7 rushing yards per game (they are tied for second-most rushing TDs allowed to date with 16 given away). Over the past 3 weeks, the Jets have averaged 146.3 rushing yards surrendered per game, with 35/146/1 donated to New England last week. These guys are more like turnstiles than defensive players.

Jordan struggled last week, but the Jets should be good medicine for him - advantage, Oakland.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Eagles' stable ran wild vs. the Giants back in week eight - they cranked out 24/180/2 rushing as a team, led by LeSean McCoy's 11/82/1 rushing (2/10/0 receiving) and Leonard Weaver's 8/75/1 (0 receptions on one target). With Brian Westbrook still iffy due to his second concussion of the season, we expect to see more of McCoy and Weaver in this contest, too. The good news for Westbrook is that he's no longer experiencing headaches, but he is still subject to further testing later this week to evaluate his progress recovering from the concussion.

McCoy has posted 46/182/1 rushing and 10/67/0 receiving over the past four weeks, to land at #37 among all fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format). Meanwhile, Leonard Weaver has gained 16/92/0 on the ground and 5/79/1 through the air - obviously, neither guy has been a fantasy stud of late. McCoy had 26 yards combined last week (6/2/0 rushing with 3/24/0 receiving), while Weaver posted 100 yards from scrimmage with 5/37/0 rushing and 2/63/1 receiving vs. Atlanta). Eldra Buckley is in the picture now, too, with 8/33/0 rushing last week, and Mike Vick popped off for 4/17/1 in his time on the field. The Eagles are spreading the ball among many carriers entering week 14.

The Giants' rush D is rather puny this year, with 15 rushing scores handed over through 12 games (they average 102.6 rushing yards allowed per game, which is 10th in the NFL). Dallas was stuffed last week (23/45/0 rushing); but Denver trampled this squad two weeks ago to the tune of 40/138/1. This unit just isn't their usual, intimidating self in this phase of the game, friends.

The Eagles' stable is multi-headed as of week 14 - as a group, they have a good matchup in this game but we can't get excited about any of the individuals given the share-the-wealth mentality of the coaching staff in this phase of the game.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Steelers struggled to rush the ball vs. Cleveland back in week 11, with 20/77/1 to their credit (only 16/46/1 rushing for Willie Parker, with 4/17/1 receiving) - Parker did reap 2 TDs during the game to boost his fantasy production, though. Over the past 3 weeks, Parker has posted modest numbers (48/129/1 rushing and 7/57/1 receiving, to rank 26th among fantasy RBs in points per game during that span). Last week, he gained 22/61/0 rushing and 1/25/0 receiving vs. Tampa Bay - not exactly explosive numbers. Parker is in the doldrums coming into this matchup.

The Browns are 24th in the NFL this year, averaging 131.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 9 rushing scores handed over to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the Browns have given up an average of 100 rushing yards per game (with 82 total points allowed during 3 contests, an average of 27.3 points per game). Last week, the Chiefs hung 32/124/0 on the Browns on the ground.

This is a good matchup for Parker, who will enjoy home-field advantage this time around the block.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LeVeon Bell (16/73/1 rushing with 7/63/0 receiving last week) was concussed towards the end of the game vs. Baltimore, but the word at midweek is that he is progressing well and the team is hopeful he can play in this contest. Bell is the featured back for the Steelers - we saw how poorly his backups played when he was out earlier this year, so Steelers' fans everywhere are crossing their fingers that Bell can go on Sunday. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News as the weekend approaches for the latest on this developing situation.

The Dolphins' rush D gave up 22/99/0 to the Jets' backs last week, after handing Carolina 28/136/1 two games ago - to date, Miami ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 121.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 11 rushing scores handed out. Not too good, folks.

Bell should enjoy a good outing against the Dolphins, but downgrade this to a neutral matchup for Pittsburgh if he can't play on Sunday.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LaDainian Tomlinson shook off his Mile High troubles the last time these teams clashed, during week 11, with 20/105/3 rushing and 3/74/1 receiving - he's poised to break Shaun Alexander's TD record this week, in front of the home crowd in San Diego. We're thinking he's got a good chance to do that on Sunday as he only needs 3 TDs to break the record and he notched 4 against the Broncos in their house 3 weeks ago. Nobody has done more to win fantasy football championships this year than Tomlinson.

The Broncos have allowed an average of 152 rushing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, with 31/108/1 given up to the Seahawks last week. They have fallen way off their season pace of 102.7 rushing yards allowed per game (9th in the NFL). Even worse, Denver may be without key LB Al Wilson this week - he was hospitalized after spraining his neck during the game vs. Seattle last week.

Tomlinson should be able to run on the recently stumbling Broncos.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Chargers leaned on LaDainian Tomlinson against the Chiefs last week - good plan - and he responded with 23/177/2 rushing and 3/20/0, looking like the dominant fantasy RB his owners expected when they spent a #1 pick on Tomlinson back in August. Over the past 4 weeks, he's gained 84/392/4 rushing and 18/179/0 receiving to rank 3rd among all fantasy RBs in points per game during that time span. Start him if you've got him.

The Titans have continued their slide vs. opposing rushers, handing over 25/119/1 to Ron Dayne and company last week, after three horrid outings of 166, 166, and 148 yards rushing surrendered weeks 10-12. They clamped a bandage on the bleeding last week, but are still giving up a lot of yards and points (the Titans have allowed the 3rd-most total points over the past 4 weeks, with 117 points given up to the opposition during that span of time).

Tomlinson should find plenty of room to roam against the Titans.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Julius Jones was plugged back in as the lead back in Seattle last week, with 20/67/0 rushing and 5/-3/0 receiving, but Justin Forsett managed to find pay-dirt anyway, with 5/9/0 rushing but 3/25/1 receiving. All told, the Seahawks ground out 29/107/0 rushing as a team. It wasn't an earth-shaking total for Seattle, but it was good enough to help notch a divisional win over San Francisco.

The Texans' rush D has been pretty generous this year, having allowed 14 rushing TDs through 12 games and an average of 118.9 rushing yards per game (22nd in the NFL). Over the past four weeks, the team has given away 449 rushing yards in three contests (149.7 per game on average), with 36/107/0 allowed to Jacksonville last week, and 23/114/1 handed over to the Colts two weeks ago. Tennessee punished this defense three weeks ago for 42/228/1 rushing - they've tightened up some since then, but this group remains a suspect bunch up front.

The Seahawk's committee of backs have a good matchup in front of them this week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch exploded for 20/104/0 rushing against the hard-nosed 49ers last week, and the Seahawks managed 34/157/0 rushing as a team (Russell Wilson added 7/35/0 rushing). It was much better than the 15/39/0 rushing (with 3/43/0 receiving) that we saw from Lynch two weeks ago.

The Eagles are ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 107.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with seven rushing scores given out to date. Dallas had 25/93/1 on Thanksgiving; Tennessee managed 19/52/1 two weeks ago.

This is a good but not great matchup for Lynch and company as they travel to partisan Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson has come on strong now that his groin is finally healthy, posting 88/354/3 rushing and 16/130/0 receiving to land at #5 among all fantasy backs in points per game over the past 4 weeks. Last week, he hit the Falcons for 20/96/1 rushing and 4/71/0 receiving - much more what his fantasy owners had in mind when they spent a top-5 pick on him last August.

The Bengals' rush D started the year poorly, and currently ranks 23rd in the NFL allowing an average of 118.9 yards per game, with 9 rushing TDs surrendered this year. The Steelers gained 35/101/1 against them last week - that was the first time in 4 weeks the Bengals had handed over more than 66 yards rushing, though. In certain parts of the season, the Bengals have looked like total pushovers in this phase of the game, but lately they aren't making life easy for opposing backs.

Jackson is back to his elite form, while the Bengals D slipped a notch last week after a string of solid performances. On balance, this is a good, but not outstanding, matchup for Jackson. We'll see if the Bengals' defense can bounce back or not.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson has scored twice in his last four games (for half of his season total of four rushing TDs so far this year) - his 28/102/1 rushing (with 1/13/0 receiving) was his best performance since the Rams' week nine bye. All told, the Rams managed 36/119/1 rushing at Arizona last week - they took advantage of a very week defense to look average in this phase of the game.

The Saints have been involved in high-scoring affairs of late, winning 34-30 over Cincinnati last week (26/92/2 rushing allowed) and 30-27 over Dallas two weeks ago (32/144/3 rushing allowed). As you can see, their rush D has been porous and generous in recent weeks - the Saints are not doing well defending vs. the rush entering week 14.

Jackson played a decent game last week, and has another nice matchup to exploit in week 14 - advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson had tough sledding running the football vs. San Francisco last week (21/48/0), but he added 5/69/0 receiving to his effort and watched his team pull out a narrow 16-13 win over the 49ers. Daryl Richardson posted 3/6/0 rushing and 3/7/0 receiving in a bit role last week - Jackson has got his motor in top gear entering week 14.

The Bills limited the injury-plagued Jaguars to 18/50/1 rushing last week, while giving up just 29/87/0 to the Colts two weeks ago. They are playing much better than their 30th-ranked season average of 139.2 rushing yards allowed per game, wit a league-worst 17 rushing scores allowed would indicate. We'll see if they can keep up the quality play against a talented star like Jackson.

Jackson is a dangerous dual-threat back, while the Bills remain a suspect rush defense despite two solid showings of late. Advantage, St. Louis.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tampa had a fairly easy time running the ball on Carolina back in week 6, with 22/115/0 piled up by Warrick Dunn (3/18/0 receiving in addition) and 5/11/1 rushing for Earnest Graham (2/47/0 receiving). Since that game, Graham has landed on IR and Dunn has assumed the featured-back role, with Cadillac Williams playing second fiddle.

Last week, Warrick Dunn led the charge against the Saints, with 22/74/0 rushing, while Jeff Garcia was 2nd on the team with 7/42/0. Cadillac Williams improved his yards-per-carry figure last week with 4/20/1, and got the first TD of his come-back. All told, the Bucs managed 34/149/1 as a unit - pretty respectable numbers.

The Panthers gave up 29/145/0 rushing to the Packers last week, but held on to win 35-31. To date, Carolina is 18th in the league, averaging 112.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing TDs handed over through 13 contests. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been punctured for 408 yards rushing (136 per game on average) - the defensive front is not a team strength entering December, as you can see.

The Bucs' tandem of Dunn and Williams is still evolving, but they've got a good shot at decent numbers this week despite travelling to Bank of America Stadium.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Doug Martin has put up 18/56/0 rushing with 3/42/0 receiving and 21/50/2 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving during weeks 13 and 12 - while he hasn't gone over 100 yards combined in either game, he's still handling 20+ touches per game. We know he can be very explosive - keep starting him.

This week, Martin faces an inept Eagles' D that allows 117.9 yards rushing per game (18th in the NFL) and six rushing scores so far this year. The Eagles are terrible at pass defense right now, too, a plus for a dual-threat back like Martin. Last week, Dallas posted 33/123/1 rushing on the Eagles - two weeks ago, Carolina had 35/109/2.

This is a good matchup for Martin.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

These teams clashed back in week 5, and the Titans' backs didn't do terribly well (averaging 2.9 yards per carry) - however, Jarrett Payton (8/11/1) and Steve McNair (1/1/1) did manage to punch in scores. Chris Brown led the team with 22/78/0 rushing (1/13/0 receiving) during the contest. Last week, Brown was stone cold, with 11/32/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving against Indianapolis - he's managed 41/123/1 rushing and 8/169/2 receiving over the past 3 weeks (8th best fantasy RB in the land during that span), but last week wasn't his week. Travis Henry was a fantasy nobody last week, with 6/18/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving during the game.

Houston coughed up 23/73/1 to the anemic Ravens last week - usually they are a lot more giving, with an average of 145.6 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, and a league-worst average of 151.4 rushing yards allowed per game this season (they have also allowed the most rushing TDs this year, with 17 given away).

Brown and company were cold last week, but the Texans should be the medicine they need to get back on top of their game. Advantage, Tennessee.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chris Johnson went over 100 yards combined at Indianapolis last week, with 18/69/0 rushing and 6/32/1 receiving, while side-kick Shonn Greene handled 10/39/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving during the contest. Over the last three weeks, Johnson has amassed 55/228/2 rushing and 10/38/1 receiving, while Greene has toted 17/64/0 and had one catch for one yard. The Titans' rushing attack is gaining momentum entering the final month of the season.

The Bronco's rush D is respectable, currently averaging 100.2 rushing yards allowed per game (seventh in the NFL), with 11 rushing scores given away over 12 contests. K.C. posted 25/169/1 rushing on Denver last week, while New England had 31/116/1 rushing vs. Denver two games ago.

Johnson is getting into a groove of late, while the Broncos have underperformed compared to their season average - this looks like a good matchup for the visiting Titans' backs.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Bishop Sankey (10/42/0 rushing) and Dexter McCluster (9/33/0 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving) basically split the carries last week at Houston, but neither produced strong results. In fact, neither Sankey (122/474/2 rushing with 14/104/0 receiving over 12 games this year, 44th-ranked fantasy running back in PPR scoring) or McCluster (35/116/0 rushing with 22/179/1 receiving, 60th fantasy running back) are noted for strong fantasy outings this year - the Titans' sub-par rushing attack is not exciting in real-world or fantasy terms this year.

The Giants' rush D is just slightly better than Tennessee's 32nd-ranked unit, checking in at 31st while averaging 140.6 yards rushing allowed per game, with 13 passing scores given out to date (second-most in the NFL). Jacksonville managed 22/118/0 rushing last week; Dallas had 25/119/0 at New York two weeks ago.

This is a matchup between bad units, but the home field advantage tilts things slightly in Tennessee's favor. But we don't recommend rushing out and starting McCluster or Sankey unless you have few options at running back this week.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Washington exploded on the Rams last week, torching them with 40/257/2 rushing - Clinton Portis (27/136/2) and Rock Cartwright (9/118/0) both broke through the 100 yards rushing barrier. Over the past 3 weeks, Portis has 78/315/2 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving to rank 10th among fantasy RBs during that span. He's still erratic in the scoring department, though, with 2 scoreless contests played during the past 3 games. The Redskins have got it going in this phase coming into this matchup, though.

The Cardinals are tied for 2nd-most scored upon defensive front this season (16 rushing scores surrendered), while ranking 19th in the yards-allowed department with an average of 112.5 rushing yards given away per contest. Over the past 3 weeks, Arizona has been stiffer, with an average of 73 rushing yards allowed per contest including last weeks' totals of 20/51/1 rushing handed over to the 49ers.

The Cardinals have been playing well against suspect attacks of late, but this week they have to face a bona-fide NFL rush attack. This looks like a good matchup for Washington and Portis owners - he may even get back into the end-zone.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Redskins didn't generate much on the ground last week, with 25/50/1 rushing (2/10/0 receiving) for Clinton Portis, and 30/80/1 as a team during the contest. Portis has generated 60 or less total yards from scrimmage in 2 out of his last 3 games (he barely cleared 100 combined vs. Tampa, with 68 yards rushing and 33 yards receiving), and has just 1 TD to his credit during that time frame. He is in a big slump right now. Ladell Betts hasn't done much to elevate the stable, with 2/14/0 receiving last week (0 yards rushing) - Betts has 2 half-decent games to his credit out of the last 5 weeks (9/64/0 rushing vs. the Jets during week 9; 8/47/0 rushing and 3/32/0 receiving vs. Tampa Bay week 12). As you can see, fantasy points are hard to come by in this stable of backs of late.

The Bears' rush D has given up 8 consecutive games of 103 or more yards rushing, and 9 out of 12 games this season has seen them surpass 103 yards rushing allowed. Last week, they handed over 37/175/2 to the Giants; 2 weeks ago the Bronco's deep reserves gained 37/138/2 against the Bears. They are a not a good rush D this year, folks.

Portis and company have a good matchup to work with this week when the Bears come calling at FedEx Field.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Clinton Portis was sent to IR this week, which means that going forward it's going to be the committee of Quinton Ganther, Rock Cartwright, and Marcus Mason who power the Redskins rushing attack for the final 1/4 of the season. 'I like the way all the running backs are giving effort,' head coach Jim Zorn said on Tuesday. 'It's one of those deals where, by committee, we're doing a pretty good job. I think each guy in his own right is going as hard as he can. I think we're getting better as we go down here. The guys are feeling more and more comfortable getting themselves up the field.' Last week, Ganther led the team with 8/46/0 rushig (0 receptions) while Cartwright provided a dual-threat dimension (13/39/0 rushing with 3/31/0 receiving) - Mason is in the understudy role right now with 3/4/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving as he gets acquainted with the speed of the NFL game on regular-season game days.

The Raiders' rush D isn't impressive this year, averaging 158.7 yards allowed per game, with a league-worst 18 rushing TDs given away over 12 games. They've coughed up 616 yards rushing in the last four weeks (154 per game on average), with 27/132/1 allowed to Pittsburgh most recently.

Ganther and Cartwright have an attractive matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alfred Morris continues to grind out the games for Washington this season - over the past three weeks, he's put up 66/312/1 rushing while his backups have 4/14/0 rushing during that time frame - Morris is the 'man' on Sundays.

Baltimore averages 125.8 rushing yards allowed per game (23rd in the NFL), with 11 rushing scores surrendered so far this year. Last week, Pittsburgh put up 26/96/1 rushing at Baltimore - two weeks ago San Diego had 23/91/0 rushing when the dust settled. The Ravens are tightening up against opposing rushers as of week 14, but they are far from a shut-down type of unit even so.

Advantage, Washington.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alfred Morris eked out 11/26/1 vs. the Giants last week, saving his fantasy outing for his owners with that rare TD rush - Robert Griffin III led the team in rushing with 12/88/0 helping Washington to a respectable 31/139/1 rushing on the day. Usually, Morris is much more productive (206/996/6 rushing with 6/49/0 receiving this season) - he just had an off game last week.

The Chiefs' rush D has fallen apart during recent contests, with 31/132/0 surrendered to Montee Ball and the Broncos last week, and 27/104/2 handed over to the Chargers two weeks ago - and let's not forget the 36/104/2 they gave to Denver just three games ago. Right now, the K.C. defensive front is vulnerable to opposing running backs.

Morris is coming off a bad effort, but he should rebound against the fading K.C. D.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Arizona enters the final 1/4 of the season in 31st place in terms of rushing the football, averaging 80.2 yards per contest - they've only scored six rushing TDs over 12 contests. During the first 3/4 of the season, Tim Hightower is the most productive Arizona back, in 37th place (PPR format), with 111/519/3 rushing and 15/116/0 receiving so far; Chris Wells is 56th in the league with 86/307/2 rushing and 4/68/0 rushing. Hightower led the team in rushing last week with 15/81/0 on the ground (1/5/0 receiving), while Wells managed 3/24/0 rushing on the day. As you can see, neither guy has been a fantasy points goldmine this year.

The Broncos have a new head coach - former running backs coach Eric Studesville - who will try to spark the club during the four remaining games. It remains to be seen how the defense will respond to Josh McDaniel's firing - during the first 3/4 of the season, Denver has been awful against the fun, allowing an average of 145.2 rushing yards per game, with 16 rushing TDs given up through 12 games. Kansas City put up 39/185/0 rushing on the Broncos last week, St. Louis managed 35/123/1 rushing two weeks ago.

The Cardinals have a weak rushing attack, while the Broncos have a weak rush D (both are ranked 31st in the NFL in rush O and rush D, respectively) - that sounds ugly but even to us.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall started off the season with a mediocre 16/60/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving at St. Louis. Since then, he's had a mediocre season with 130/391/5 rushing and 15/112/0 receiving. Most weeks, he has to split duties with Andre Ellington (73/441/2 rushing and 28/247/0 receiving), but Ellington was out for the game at Philadelphia - Mendenhall posted 18/76/0 rushing during the game last week. Mendenhall has been a sub-par fantasy back most weeks - he's dependent on TDs to boost his fantasy points into the respectable range. As of midweek, it looks like Ellington is iffy for the Week 14 game - after the tilt on Sunday head coach Bruce Arians indicated that Ellington was never even close to being ready to play in Week 13. If Ellington misses the game, then Mendenhall becomes a more attractive fantasy option for the first week of the fantasy playoffs.

The Rams were stomped 23-13 by San Francisco last week, but they held Frank Gore and company to 30/83/1 rushing during the contest. Chicago had 26/80/1 rushing at St. Louis two weeks ago - the Rams are playing better than their 15th-ranked season average of 109.0 rushing yards allowed per game, but they are still giving up rushing touchdowns with regularity (they've given out 13 rushing scores over 12 games this season).

Mendenhall (and perhaps Ellington) have a neutral matchup against the so-so Rams on Sunday.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Way back in week 2, these teams faced off and Atlanta prevailed 14-3 - Atlanta totally dominated the Bucs with a franchise-record 44/306/1 rushing during the contest (21/134/0 for Warrick Dunn; 14/127/1 for Vick; and 9/45/0 for Jerious Norwood). Since that game the team has seen Vick on pace to break the all-time rushing record for a QB with 105/929/2 rushing, while Dunn has been mediocre in fantasy terms, with 229/952/4 rushing and 14/98/0 receiving (22nd fantasy RB in the land this year). The team is actively trying to insert Jerious Norwood (77/518/2 rushing and 9/70/0 receiving) into the lineup more often of late, further degrading Dunn's fantasy numbers - last week, Dunn posted 21/87/0 rushing while Norwood had 9/107/1 and Vick added 10/59/0. The team racked up 41/256/1 against the hapless Redskins.

The Bucs don't play D like they used to, ranking 19th in the NFL averaging 118.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with 7 rushing scores surrendered to date. Pittsburgh could only manage 31/76/0 against them last week, though, and Tampa has averaged 92.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks - they have moved in the right direction in this phase of the game.

Tampa was exposed the last time they faced the Falcons - we'll see if their new-found stubborn nature is evident when Atlanta comes calling this week. We think this looks like a neutral matchup for the Falcons.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Warrick Dunn struggled to run the ball against the Saints last time around the block (week 7), posting 13/28/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving. Since then, he's remained the starter despite being out-gained on occasion by Jerious Norwood (including last week vs. the Rams, when Norwood posted 8/94/0 rushing and 3/21/0 receiving, compared to Dunn's 10/17/0 rushing and 1/23/0 receiving). We'll see who posts the best numbers this week, but it's almost certain that Dunn will see the lions' share of chances thanks to coach Petrino's preference for the veteran RB.

Tampa Bay galloped to 26/172/1 against the Saints' rush D last week - the team has handed over 451 rushing yards in their last 4 contests (~113 per game on average). The Saints have given up 103 or more rushing yards in 3 out of their last 4 games, and currently rank 13th in the NFL averaging 102.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 6 rushing TDs handed over so far. They are a pretty mediocre bunch of rush defenders this season, on balance.

Dunn hasn't done much of late, but he and Norwood have an even shot at doing good things against the suspect Saints.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

ATL Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jamal Lewis posted a respectable game vs the Bengals (17/61/0 rushing with 2/26/0 receiving), but didn't manage to find pay dirt vs. a suddenly stiff-necked Bengals defense. He's posted 56/218/4 rushing and 6/47/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks - last week just wasn't his strongest outing of the season. Lewis is doing much better in the second half of the season than he did earlier in the year.

The Chiefs field the league's 14th ranked rush D, allowing an average of 112.1 rushing yards per game (8 scores allowed in this phase to date). Over the past 3 weeks, K.C. has handed over an average of 107 rushing yards per game, including 29/150/1 allotted to the Browns last week. They are a mediocre bunch of run defenders most of the time.

This is a neutral matchup for the visiting Ravens.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Over the last four weeks, Ray Rice is the ninth ranked fantasy RB (PPR format), wtih 73/302/1 rushing and 18/163/0 receiving to his credit. Willis McGahee has been siphoning off rushing TDs from Rice of late, with 28/74/2 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving, but as you can see he is very much the junior partner in the Ravens' committee as of December. Against the powerful Packer D, Rice did all the heavy lifting on Monday Night Football, with 14/54/0 rushing and 3/17/0 receiving, but McGahee notched a TD despite an unimpressive 4/-4/1 rushing and 0 receptions on one target.

The Lions' defense is not horrendously bad in this phase of the game, currently ranking 19th in the NFL averaging 113.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with nine rushing TDs given up so far this year. Over the last four weeks, they've been a little more giving, with 482 rushing yards allowed (~120 per game), but the team is really generous with points (almost all racked up in the passing phase against their 32nd-ranked pass D). They are tied for last during that four week span with 121 total points allowed from scrimmage. Last week, Cedric Benson and the Bengals ground out 44/119/0 rushing vs. Detroit; Green Bay had 27/80/0 rushing - Detroit does most of it's bleeding in the passing phase of the game.

Rice and company are a powerful tandem of backs, but the Lions don't lay down for the opposition in this phase of the game. This one looks like a neutral matchup to us (although Rice is a proficient receiver and will likely rack up a bunch of receiving yards in the other phase of the game).

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ray Rice has managed 53/193/1 rushing and 10/52/0 receiving over the past three games played, while Bernard Pierce has posted 30/83/0 rushing and 3/4/0 receiving during that span. Rice was stuffed on running plays by the Steelers last week (12/32/0 rushing with 6/38/0 receiving) and held to just 27 total yards from scrimmage by the Jets two weeks ago (16/30/0 rushing with 1/-3/0 receiving) - his good game at Chicago is a distant memory now. The Ravens' rushing attack continues to bumble along as of the first full week in December.

The Vikings' rush D allowed 25/135/0 to the Bears last week, with 34/196/2 coughed up to the Packers two weeks ago. This defensive front is soft entering the final four games of the season (they have been all year, ranking 23rd in the NFL averaging 120.6 yards allowed per game, with 13 rushing scores handed out over 12 games).

Two bad units clash in this matchup - it's an ugly but fairly even matchup in our book.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Miami started the Bill's 5-losses-in-6-games skid back in week 8, defeating the Bills 25-16 - it was to be the first of 3 straight divisional losses suffered by Buffalo. Marshawn Lynch was actually effective vs. Miami, with 13/61/1 rushing and 5/34/0 receiving, while change-of-pace man Fred Jackson also gained 10/41/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving on the way to 27/119/1 as a team. Since then, Lynch has been up and down in production, but enters this contest on a high note, with 16/134/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving last week vs. San Francisco (59/332/1 rushing and 16/84/1 receiving over the last 3 weeks - 7th best fantasy RB during that span of time).

The Dolphins have allowed 321 rushing yards over the last 3 weeks (107 per contest), with 30/129/0 given up to Steven Jackson and company last week. To date, Miami is 11th in the NFL averaging 97 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs given up - they are falling short of that mark recently, though.

Lynch has turned up the heat entering December, while the Dolphins were cooled off by the Rams woeful unit last week - on a "neutral" field in Toronto, this looks like a fairly even matchup from where we sit in the cheap seats.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Fred Jackson's productivity went off a cliff in week 13, when he posted 11/42/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving - the return of C.J. Spiller to the lineup (7/35/0 rushing and 2/1/0 receiving) was just enough to push Jackson back down into the ranks of mediocre fantasy RBs last week. Also, injuries depleted the starting OL last week - C Geoff Hangartner is out for week 14 due to his knee injury and OG Kraig Urbik went on IR on Tuesday due to his knee injury - an already shaky OL just got worse, friends. The Bills' RB stable is looking like a bad place to be during fantasy playoffs.

The Browns battled Miami to a 13-10 win last week, limiting the Dolphins to 32/114/0 on the ground - Carolina put up 27/151/1 rushing in their near-win two weeks ago (23-24 in favor of Cleveland). Over the last four games, the Browns have coughed up 582 yards rushing (145.5 per contest on average) - though they remain tough to score on with just four rushing TDs allowed all year long.

Jackson combined with Spiller makes up a mediocre rushing attack, while the Browns' squad is so-so in this phase, too - this looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

C.J. Spiller said on Monday that his ankle was fine after the team's Week 13 game, even though he was seen limping noticeably at times (but Spiller still put up 15/149/1 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving on the Falcons). Fred Jackson also had plenty of work against Atlanta (11/42/1 rushing with 4/36/1 receiving) - the Buffalo offense primarily flows through their running back stable as we enter the final four games of the season. Manuel also scored a rushing TD last week (4/3/1) - start the Buffalo running backs if you've got them!

The Buccaneers' rush defense averages 106.8 yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL) with only six rushing scores allowed over 12 games played. They were burned for 43/163/1 rushing by the Panthers last week, though, after limiting the Lions to 24/104/0 rushing two games ago. Most weeks, the Buccaneers' rush defense is above-average.

Two solid units clash in this contest - this looks about even from where we're sitting.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Panthers pushed in two rushing TDs at Atlanta back in week six, with 26/139/2 rushing as a team - Jonathan Stewart (7/48/1 rushing with 3/24/0 receiving) and Cam Newton (7/47/1 rushing) handled the TDs that day, while DeAngelo Williams posted the most carries with 12/44/0 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving to his credit).

During the last three weeks, Cam Newton has scored six rushing TDs with 30/144/6 to his credit, and he even has a reception with one target for 1/27/0 - DeAngelo Williams (36/171/2 rushing with 1/32/0 receiving) and Jonathan Stewart (32/172/1 rushing, with 12 targets for 11/118/0 receiving) have basically split the rest of the carries. Stewart remains the superior PPR option due to his much larger involvement in the passing game. Newton just set a record for rushing TDs by a QB in a season, with 100/518/13 rushing in his rookie season - not too shabby.

The Falcons' rush D is ranked third in the NFL averaging 90.0 yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed over across 12 games played to date. Houston's stud backfield put up 44/162/1 rushing vs. Atlanta last week, though - and an Adrian-Peterson-less Minnesota managed 24/64/1 rushing at Atlanta two weeks ago. This is a good, but not elite, rush D.

The Panthers have the second-best yards-per-carry average in the NFL at 5.0 per tote, and they usually get around 138 yards rushing per game - against the Falcons' solid front, they face a fairly even matchup in this contest.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Panthers and the Saints embark on their two-game series with in this first game at New Orleans on Sunday Night Football - the teams are battling for NFC South supremacy with both teams at 9-3 overall and both faceoffs to come here during December. This is a playoff-atmosphere matchup, friends.

The Saints got embarrassed on Monday Night Football this week, losing 7-34 in Seattle - the rush D coughed up just 38/127/0 to Marshawn Lynch and company (3.3 yards allowed per carry), though, playing pretty well in this phase of the game. The Saints limited Frank Gore and company to 22/81/0 rushing a the Mercedes Benz Superdome two weeks ago - to date, the Saints average 113.2 rushing yards allowed per game (16th in the NFL) with nine rushing scores given away so far this year.

Carolina blasted Tampa Bay for 34/163/1 rushing as a team (despite resting DeAngelo Williams for a week so he could rehab a nagging thigh injury) - Cam Newton led the charge with 5/68/1 rushing, followed by Mike Tolbert (9/48/0 rushing with 3/41/0 receiving) and Jonathan Stewart (14/39/0 rushing with 2/3/0 receiving). As usual, the Panthers' runners shared the workload among many ball-carriers.

New Orleans' rush D is playing well entering December, but they face a scary many-headed monster in this contest - we think this matchup is about even on balance.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

These teams last clashed during Week 9, on Thursday, October 30 - Carolina lost 10-28 in Bank of America Field. Jonathan Stewart (8/46/0 rushing) and DeAngelo Williams (8/20/0 rushing with 1/30/0 receiving) split touches just about 50/50 during the contest, which is the usual drill when both players are healthy enough to play.

Entering Week 14, the Panthers are back to their dual-back approach: during Weeks 10-13 (three games), Carolina evenly split the carries between DeAngelo Williams (30/95/0 rushing with 4/14/0 receiving) and Jonathan Stewart (30/145/1 rushing with 9/63/0 receiving), with a few change-of-pace opportunities falling to Fozzy Whittaker (10/56/0 rushing with 2/7/0 receiving). That's basically the breakdown we see week in and week out when both Williams and Stewart are healthy enough to play - last week, Stewart posted 12/85/0 rushing (with 2/25/0 receiving) at Minnesota, vs. 7/21/0 rushing (zero receptions) for Williams. We'll see if the team continues to slant the workload towards Stewart (it would make sense, but that doesn't mean that Carolina will do it). It emerged early this week that Williams fractured his hand last week, so if he isn't healthy enough to play in Week 14, then Stewart will get an automatic bump - stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest on this situation - Williams is seeing a hand specialist on Wednesday.

The Saints' rush D allowed 23/103/1 to Pittsburgh last week, and 32/215/2 to the Ravens' backs two games ago. They are currently 23rd in the NFL averaging 122.1 rushing yards allowed per game, and are tied for next-to-last in the NFL with 13 rushing TDs handed over to date. This is not a shut-down defensive front by any stretch of the imagination.

Two mediocre-to-sub-par units clash in this contest - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Thomas Jones put up 19/93/0 rushing vs. Green Bay last week - he's compiled 69/252/0 rushing and 3/50/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks to rank 22nd among fantasy RBs in points per game during that span. This season, the Bears rank 5th in the NFL averaging 133.1 yards per game on the ground, but they have only 8 rushing TDs to date - the lack of scoring is depressing Jones' fantasy value.

Pittsburgh ranks 4th in the NFL this year, allowing an average of 89.3 rushing yards per game (with 9 scores given up to date). Over the past 3 weeks, they've been softer, averaging 111 rushing yards allowed per game, including last week's totals of 25/102/2 allowed to the Bengals. During the current losing streak, the Steelers are giving up a lot of ground and points to their oppositions' backs.

Jones has been good for a lot of yardage when healthy, but hasn't consistently scored - meanwhile, the Steelers have faded in this phase of the game over the past few weeks. On balance, this looks like an even matchup to us.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Chicago rushing attack took a huge blow last week when Matt Forte (203/997/3 rushing with 75 targets for 52/490/1 receiving) was lost for the next two-to-four weeks thanks to injuring the MCL in his knee. He certainly won't play in this contest against ascendant Denver, leaving Marion Barber (76/281/5 rushing with five targets for 3/18/0 receiving over nine games) and Kahlil Bell (15/57/0 rushing over nine games this year) as the main remaining options at running back. After Forte went down last week, Barber (14/44/0 rushing) and Bell (4/34/0 rushing) couldn't do much to lift the struggling Bears' offense (which scored just three points against Kansas City). It was an ominous beginning to the no-Forte era in Chicago.

The Bronco's rush D kept the Vikings out of the end zone last week, with 30/129/0 allowed, and also denied the Chargers any rushing TDs two weeks ago (coughing up 36/185/0 rushing during the game, though). So far this year Denver is ranked 20th in the NFL averaging 121.2 rushing yards allowed per game, but they have given away just five rushing scores over 12 games (third-least in the NFL behind Miami and San Francisco).

Barber and Bell should find room to roam between the 20's on Sunday, but they'll have a tougher time scoring - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

As one would expect, the Bengals didn't have their best night running the football against the Steelers' top-notch unit, managing just 23/74/1 on the ground (Rudi Johnson led the team with 14/34/1). It wasn't just the running backs who had a hard time last week - Carson Palmer only completed 17 of his 44 attempts passing the ball. The Bengals' offense was shut down, for the most part. Over the last 4 weeks, Johnson has managed 69/193/2 and 2/4/0 receiving - the good news for his fantasy teams is that he's scored TDs in consecutive weeks.

This week, the Rams come calling at Paul Brown Stadium - they do not field a top-notch rush D, folks. To date, St. Louis averages 109.3 rushing yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL) and they have handed over 12 rushing TDs in 12 games. The Atlanta Falcons posted 18/111/0 against this bunch last week, after a 3 game stretch where the Rams were playing much stronger rush D than usual. We'll see if the back-sliding continues in Cincinnati this week.

Johnson and company have home-field advantage, but come into this game cold. Meanwhile, the Rams started to break down against Jerious Norwood last week - we'll see if they can get some starch in their collars or not. This looks like a neutral matchup from where we sit.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bengals limped to 16/57/0 rushing vs. the Ravens last week, "led" by the QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's 3/29/0 - Cedric Benson lumbered to 10/17/0 rushing with 2/1/0 receiving, while Chris Perry got over 2 yards per carry with 3/11/0 on the ground and 1/6/0 receiving. Benson leads the stable with 49/94/0 rushing and 9/42/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks (56th ranked fantasy RB during that time span). Enough said.

The Colts held the Browns to 32/101/0 rushing last week, but have given up 398 yards rushing in the last 3 games. Their season average is 133.8 rushing yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL), with 15 rushing TDs handed over in 12 contests. Additionally, MLB Gary Brackett is out due to a fibula injury this week, further softening the Colts' poor defensive front.

Against any other team, the Colts' rush D would mean at least a good matchup, but the Bengal's offense (especially in this phase of the game) is so inept that we'll call this one even.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Since Giovani Bernard returned to action, the Bengals have been in a near 50-50 work load split between Bernard and Jeremy Hill - Hill has handled 31/127/1 rushing and 5/21/0 receiving over the past two games, while Bernard has posted 27/94/0 rushing and 3/26/0 receiving. Last week at Tampa, Bernard led the team in rushing with 10/49/0 (he's getting back to 'football shape' now), and added 1/4/0 receiving, while Hill handled 13/40/0 rushing and 4/12/0 receiving in his chances. They are an adequate 1-2 punch entering the final 1/4 of the season, but the work-sharing is devaluing both as fantasy running backs.

The Steelers visit the Bengals for the first divisional clash between the two teams - they bring in the league's 11th-ranked rush D averaging 105.6 yards given away per game, with eight rushing scores allowed to date. Last week, New Orleans gained 26/143/0 rushing at Pittsburgh; two games ago Tennessee managed 15/49/1 on the ground.

Cincinnati has a pair of nifty backs, and they have home-field advantage at their backs for this neutral matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Isaiah Crowell struggled against the Bills' elite rush D last week (17/29/0 rushing with 1/15/0 receiving), while Terrance West posted 7/32/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving during his time on the field. Two games ago, Crowell stuffed in two TDs on Atlanta (12/88/2 rushing) while West recorded 14/62/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving - this is a nice dual-threat tandem. Heading into Week 14 there is some uncertainty about whether Johnny Manziel or Brian Hoyer will be under center, but the Browns' offensive philosophy dictates running the ball early and often, so look for as much or perhaps even more work for the backs in this game, depending on who starts under center.

The Colts' rush D is not good, averaging 107.8 yards allowed per game, 12th in the NFL, with a hefty 12 rushing scores given out to date. Washington had 24/81/0 rushing last week, while two weeks ago Jacksonville managed 23/80/0 rushing at Indianapolis.

Crowell and West have a good matchup against a so-so rush D that bleeds TDs on occasion.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

DeMarco Murray came out of a four-week-long scoring drought against the Eagles, with 20/73/1 rushing and 6/40/0 receiving during the 10-33 loss to Philadelphia (he was the only Cowboy to record a TD last week). He's been over 100 yards combined for three straight games, but it is nice to see him return to the end-zone. Murray remains an elite fantasy back entering the final 1/4 of the NFL season.

Chicago ranks 10th in the NFL averaging 105.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with seven rushing TDs given up to date. Joique Bell had 23/91/2 rushing against Chicago last week; weak-running Tampa managed a mere 22/66/0 against this group two weeks ago.

Murray is back on track and looking strong, while the top-ten Bears gave up two rushing scores just last week, but they have the Soldier Field faithful at their back on Thursday Night Football - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Denver's backs absolutely trashed Kansas City's defense last week, with 12/113/0 rushing and 3/15/0 receiving posted by Correll Buckhalter and 21/86/2 rushing ground out by Knowshon Moreno - Peyton Hillis even got in the act with 7/47/0 rushing - by the time it was all over Denver had rushed the ball 45 times for 245 yards and two TDs. Buckhalter and Moreno enter week 14 on a high note, friends.

The Colts' rush D is pretty mediocre as of week 14, with 475 rushing yards allowed in their past four games (118.8 per contest, an average) - Tennessee ground out 33/142/0 rushing vs. Indianapolis last week, and Houston posted 24/122/1 rushing vs. this group two weeks ago. To date, the Colts rank 18th in the NFL averaging 111.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing TDs given up through 12 games.

Denver's offense is back on top of their game entering the final 1/4 of the season after a dry spell, while the Colts' defensive front has slipped a little of late. This looks like fairly neutral matchup from where we're sitting, with neither team holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Detroit really struggled to rush the football at Minnesota back in week three, with a mere 19/20/0 on the ground. Jahvid Best (now on IR due to more concussion issues during 2011) 'led' the team with 12/14/0 rushing (though he did add 5/74/0 receiving, so the day wasn't a total loss for his fantasy owners.

Since the early contest, the Lions have run through a number of substitute backs while Best sorted out his concussion woes - lately, Kevin Smith has regained the lead back role for Detroit, but he's getting nicked up (as he always has during his career). Most recently, Smith was forced out of the game at New Orleans due to aggravating his pre-existing sprained ankle. He still led the team in rushing with 6/34/1 rushing (and had 6/46/0) receiving on the day, but Smith is looking like a risky fantasy play due to his ongoing medley of injuries that limit his playing time. Smith didn't practice on Wednesday - fantasy owners invested in Smith will want to check Footballguys.com's players in the news later in the week to see if he can practice closer to game time. Maurice Morris (12/28/0 rushing with 5/47/1 receiving) also scored vs. New Orleans, while Keiland Williams toted the ball twice for 14 yards.

The Vikings' rush D is now 12th in the NFL averaging 103.8 yards given up per game, and they've surrendered nine rushing TDs to date. Denver slashed them for 32/150/1 rushing last week; Atlanta was limited to 29/89/0 rushing two weeks ago. This unit has been up and down over the past few weeks.

Two so-so units face off in this one - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Joseph Addai continues to pile up fantasy points week in and week out (with Donald Brown sidelined recently due to a chest injury, Mike Hart is back on the active roster and providing the second-fiddle complement to Addai). Last week, Addai posted 21/79/2 rushing vs. Tennessee, with 3/17/0 rushing, while Hart managed 4/11/0 rushing and 2/27/0 receiving. Addai is the seventh-ranked fantasy RB in the land over the last four weeks in points per game (PPR format), with 65/263/4 rushing and 9/64/1 receiving. He's rewarding his fantasy owners during the stretch run into the playoffs.

The Denver rush D has been up and down in recent weeks, with 26/94/1 handed over to the Chiefs last week, one week after stuffing the Giants on Thanksgiving evening (16/57/0). Over the last four games, they look more suspect, with 528 rushing yards allowed during that span of time - Denver's 16th-ranking for the season (averaging 106.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with seven rushing scores handed over to date) is representative of the on-again, off-again performance we've seen in the third 1/4 of the season. The team is improving entering the final 1/4 of the year, though.

Addai has been on fire lately, while the Broncos are tightening up after a rough patch in their season. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither squad owning a big edge over the other.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts' rushing attack continues to struggle mightily - they had just 40 yards rushing as a team on 17 attempts last week, though Jarvarris James managed to plunge in two scores (6/18/2). Mike Hart (5/8/0 rushing with 2/1/0 receiving) and Donald Brown (4/4/0 rushing with 1/4/0 receiving) were largely ineffective last week. Hart (ankle injury) is expected to join Joseph Addai (neck injury) on the sidelines this week, further weakening an already flaccid unit.

The Titans have injury woes of their own, especially on the defensive line (Dave Ball, Tony Brown and Sen'Derrick Marks are all banged up as of midweek) - the team has coughed up an embarrassing 641 yards rushing in the last four weeks (160.25 yards per game on average), with 53/258/2 rushing allowed to Jacksonville last week - the Titans' D hasn't held anybody down of late. Last week, their offense only held the ball for 20:06, making a bad situation even worse.

The Colts are banged up and ineffective in this phase of the game, but the Titans are banged up and ineffective, too - this looks like an ugly but neutral matchup.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones split the carries in week one (vs. San Diego), with 11/92/1 rushing with 1/8/0 flowing to Charles and 11/39/0 rushing with 0/0/0 receiving for Jones on the day. Since that game, both players have seen 180+ carries, with 182/1,137/3 rushing and 35/379/1 receiving for Charles, and 187/765/5 rushing with 12/108/0 receiving for Jones - this is truly a 1A and 1B type back field, with Charles averaging an astonishing 6.2 yards per carry (and 11.1 yards per reception), and Jones posting a respectable 4.1 yards per carry on his part (9.0 yards per reception).

The Chargers' D posted an epic fail game last week, allowing an eye-popping 52/251/2 rushing to the Raiders during their 13-28 loss. Though the team is ranked fifth in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game (95.2), they have coughed up 11 rushing TDs in the first 12 games of the year. This unit has swung wildly over the past two weeks, with only 13/24/0 rushing allowed to the Colts' backups two weeks ago.

Charles and Jones have been consistently productive, while the Chargers' unit has run hot and cold over the recent past - this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Chiefs' trio of backs was led by Dexter McCluster last week (9/61/0 rushing with 4/46/1 receiving), while Thomas Jones (16/36/0) and Jackie Battle (11/15/0 rushing) mostly spun their wheels in Chicago. McCluster has been the most productive of the three backs in the last three games, with 26/128/0 rushing and nine targets for 8/66/1 to his credit, followed by Jones (37/121/0 rushing with one target for 1/7/0) and Battle (28/68/0 rushing with two targets for 1/3/0 receiving). McCluster's explosive RAC ability makes him the best fantasy option out of this backfield entering the final four weeks of the NFL season.

The Jets' rush D is currently 15th in the NFL averaging 112.9 yards given up per game, with 11 rushing scores allowed to date. Roy Helu ran up 23/100/1 rushing with 4/42/0 receiving vs. the Jets last week; Buffalo managed 28/86/0 rushing at the Jets two weeks ago.

McCluster and company have an even shot at a decent outing at New York.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jamaal Charles had just 10/35/0 rushing against the Broncos this week, but he added 4/24/1 receiving to salvage his fantasy owners' outings during Week 13. K.C. never led during the game (down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 20-7 at the half), curtailing the number of running plays called last Sunday. Charles is now the sixth-ranked fantasy running back in the land (PPR scoring), with 161/813/8 rushing and 30/214/4 receiving to his credit - he's a must-start player every week, regardless of matchup.

This week, the Cardinals are on the docket for Kansas City - they are now sixth in the NFL averaging 89.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with five rushing scores handed over during 12 games played. However, Atlanta posted 34/142/0 rushing against the Cardinals last weekend, and Seattle posted 29/124/0 rushing vs. Arizona two games back - the defensive front is moving in the wrong direction for Arizona entering the final 1/4 of the season.

Charles is an uber-stud, while the Cardinals' defense is fading into mediocrity - on the road in University of Phoenix Stadium, we think this is a neutral matchup for the visiting Chiefs.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jesse Chatman was the guy toting the rock the last time these teams met, in week 10, and he had a decent game, posting 27/124/0 rushing and 5/25/0 receiving. Since then, his bad ankle has flared up and limited him over the last 3 games (he's also dealing with a neck problem) - oh, and the team inserted rookie QB John Beck in the lineup during the intervening weeks. Nowadays, teams stack the line of scrimmage and basically dare the Dolphins to pass the ball. Chatman limped to 11/26/0 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving last week vs. the Jets before aggravating his ankle injury and coming out of the 40-13 loss. Lorenzo Booker gave the team a spark in the passing phase last week (6/63/0 to lead the team in receiving), but could only muster 1/6/0 rushing during the blowout loss.

The Bills' rush D rebounded from 3 poor outings (minimum of 124 rushing yards allowed per game weeks 10-12) to hold the Redskins to 30/80/1 last week (a 2.7 yards per carry average). To date, the Bills rank 22nd in the league, giving up 116.4 rushing yards per game, with 10 rushing TDs handed over this season. Most of the time, this is a sub-par unit.

Two struggling units meet in this game - with home-field advantage at the Bills' backs, this looks like a neutral matchup from where we sit.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Lamar Miller gained 13/56/1 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving during Miami's narrow 16-13 win over New York on Monday Night Football - he scored the only TD of the game for the Dolphins last week. To date, Miller is ranked 11th in the NFL (PPR paradigm), with 150/729/6 rushing and 27/171/1 receiving to his credit. He's the main man for the Dolphins in this phase of the game. Daniel Thomas had one carry for five yards and one catch for three yards last week in his usual backup role.

The Ravens' rush D is ranked fourth in the NFL averaging 86.2 yards rushing per game, with seven rushing scores given up to date. San Diego was held to 18/64/1 last weekend; New Orleans managed 21/126/0 against this group two weeks ago. They are tough on opposing rushers.

Two top units face off in this matchup - at Sun Life Stadium we think this is a neutral matchup for Miller and company.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

LeGarrette Blount was once again the lead back for New England at Green Bay, though this week he didn't score a TD (10/58/0 rushing for Blount). The TD was siphoned off by Brandon Bolden (3/17/1 rushing), and Shane Vereen also handled three carries for six yards (with one catch for 26 yards). The Patriots' multi-headed backfield has been a little more predictable with Blount headlining in recent weeks, but there are never any guarantees about which back will excel in any given week.

The San Diego defense has squeaked by in two consecutive games, won by a total of four points - they gave up 24/107/1 to the Rams two weeks ago and 32/125/1 rushing to the Ravens last week. To date, the Chargers are ranked 15th in the NFL averaging 110.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed out so far.

Two mediocre units clash in this matchup - neither has a clear edge over the other.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Now that the Saints are gearing up for their post-season run, Mark Ingram is finally seeing about 50% of the carries in this backfield, with 37 out of 69 rushes attempted in the last three weeks (53.6%) for 145 yards rushing and two TDs. He's added five targets for 3/17/0 receiving during that time span. Meanwhile, Pierre Thomas has about 25% of the carries with 16/102/1 rushing and 10 targets for 9/67/0 receiving, while Darren Sproles has posted 14/83/0 rushing and seen 12 targets for 11/76/1 receiving over the last three weeks. Vs Detroit last week, Ingram had the bulk of the team's 23 carries with 16/54/1, though he didn't catch a pass - Sproles handled 4/28/0 rushing with 5/46/1 receiving, while Thomas had just 2/10/0 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving on the day.

The Titans' rush D handed over 23/97/1 at Buffalo last week after seeing the Buccaneers rack up 25/122/0 rushing two weeks ago. To date, the Titans average 212.8 yards rushing allowed per game (21st in the NFL), but they get stubborn at the goal line with just six rushing scores allowed through 12 games. This is a good, but not elite, rush D.

The Saints' trio of backs is very solid, while the Titans also field a respectable unit (especially tough at the goal line). That sounds pretty even to us.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Saints' running back stable returned to mediocrity last week, with 14/84/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving by Pierre Thomas, 6/13/1 rushing and 1/-1/0 receiving by Mark Ingram, and 3/4/0 rushing posted by Chris Ivory. This group of backs can't run the ball consistently. Darren Sproles was once again a pure receiver with 5/47/0 to his credit.

The Giants are 21st in the NFL averaging 121.8 yards rushing allowed per game, but they are stubborn at the goal line with just six rushing scores given up to date. Washington ran for 31/207/0 vs. the Giants last week; Green Bay had 26/116/0 to their credit two weeks ago. This defensive front gives ground between the 20's, but not many six point plays.

This is a neutral matchup for the up-and-down Saints' stable of running backs.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Derrick Ward was in the lineup at RB last time these teams crossed swords - since he broke his leg last week, looking at the week 4 rushing attack won't tell us much about this coming matchup.

Brandon Jacobs (114/599/2 rushing (a 5.3 ypc average) and 11/83/1 receiving this year in 7 appearances) is hopeful to be back in the mix for the Giants this week, although coach Coughlin tempered enthusiasm about Jacobs on Wednesday when he said he'd have to "wait and see" how Jacobs' hamstring responds to the stresses of practicing. If Jacobs can't go, FB/RB Reuben Droughns (77/247/6 rushing and 6/41/0 receiving this season) would go - he posted 10/25/1 rushing against the Bears last week.

The Eagles' rush D is decent this year, averaging 96.8 yards allowed per game (9th in the NFL), with 8 rushing TDs allowed to date. They've bounced around in this phase of the game since week 10, with 158 rushing yards, 77, 48, and then 29/135/2 rushing allowed to Seattle last week. As you can see, the Eagles are inconsistent performers in this phase of the game heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

The Giants' RB stable is pretty banged up, but each player in the group has had success when it's been his turn to carry the load. Meanwhile, the Eagles are coming off a bad showing vs. the Seahawks, but have home field advantage for this divisional matchup. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup between the two rivals.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The last time New York clashed with Philadelphia, the Giant's running backs trampled the Eagles for 45/219/2 - Brandon Jacobs piled up 22/126/2 to lead the team, while Derrick Ward gained 17/53/0 rushing and 3/27/0 receiving. Ahmad Bradshaw contributed 5/38/0 to close the game - it was a dominant performance in Lincoln Financial Field.

This week, the Giants are the home team, and come into this game after gaining 35/108/1 rushing vs. Washington - Ahmad Bradshaw missed last week with a sore neck, leaving Brandon Jacobs (21/71/1 rushing) and Derrick Ward (10/30/0 rushing with 5/75/0 receiving) to batter the Redskins into submission (23-7). The Giants' rushing attack rolls along regardless of which of the 3 backs are available in any given week.

The Eagles took the lumber to Arizona last week, holding their running backs to a mere 10/25/0 during the game. Over the last 3 weeks, they've limited the opposition to 191 rushing yards - to date, the Eagles are 8th in the NFL averaging just 93.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 6 rushing TDs handed over to date. They are usually a hard-nosed unit.

The Giants enjoyed a good outing vs. the quality Eagles' unit last time around the block, but don't expect Philly to lay down for them this week - in Giants' Stadium, this is a neutral matchup between two quality NFC East teams.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Jets were stuffed last week, with 16/41/0 as a team and 15/29/0 rushing for Curtis Martin individually (he added 4/26/0 receiving during the game). Over the past 3 weeks, Martin has totaled 43/127/0 rushing and 8/38/0 receiving - there just isn't much room for him to roam with Bollinger under center - teams are loading up to stop the run and daring Bollinger to pass.

Oakland is 22nd in the NFL vs. the rush this year, averaging 118.8 yards allowed per game in this phase, with 13 scores surrendered on the ground to date. Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 126.3 rushing yards given away per game, including last week's totals of 38/126/1 surrendered to San Diego. It's not too tough to run the ball against this unit.

Both of these squads are struggling - neither one has a clear edge over the other.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Despite a horrid passing attack that gained just 78 net yards vs. Miami, Chris Ivory managed 12/61/0 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving as the Jets' lead back last week - Bilal Powell posted 7/34/0 rushing and 3/25/0 receiving in his time on the field. The good news here is that the Jets want to feed their backs the football, but the bad news here is that the Jets' passing attack isn't putting the backs in a position to score TDs of late.

The Raiders' rush D ranks 10th in the NFL averaging 102.8 yards allowed per game, with a sizable 10 rushing scores given away during the first 12 games of the season. They held Tennessee to 29/114/0 rushing two weeks ago, but were plastered for 30/144/3 by the Cowboys last week. Of late, the Raiders' rush D has been weaker than their season numbers would indicate.

All in all this looks like a neutral matchup to us - the Raiders will know the Jets want to run the ball, while not fearing the passing game and so they will be able to stack the box on Sunday.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Raiders led 15-0 at half time and 15-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter the last time they faced the Chargers (week 4), but ended up handing over 25 points in the final 15 minutes to lose 28-18. Darren McFadden (already limited by his turf toe) had 7/20/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving during the contest - Michael Bush (14/48/0) led the Raiders to 23/72/0 on the ground that day.

Last week, Justin Fargas led the team with 18/82/1 rushing on the way to 29/139/1 vs. the weak Chiefs' defensive front. Darren McFadden was limited to 7/13/0 rushing but gashed the Chiefs for 3/50/0 receiving (2nd most on the team) - he may be getting some of his explosiveness back. Fargas has been the team's workhorse back since week 10, but last week's TD was his first of the season. He's gained 59/246/1 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving over the last 3 weeks, with 20/64/2 rushing and 7/65/0 receiving to McFadden's credit. They are the only parts of the offense that is worth consideration as fantasy players.

This week, the Charger's so-so rush D is on the schedule for an early Thursday game - San Diego currently averages 107 rushing yards allowed per game, but have only handed over 6 rushing TDs in 12 games. Atlanta gained 43/141/0 vs. San Diego last week - they've allowed 356 rushing yards in their last 3 contests (118.6 per game on average).

Fargas and McFadden give the Oakland offense a little hope - they have a shot at decent numbers in Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Justin Fargas anchored a very respectable 28/109/0 team rushing effort vs. Pittsburgh's #1 ranked rush D last week with his 15/63/0 on the ground (with 2/13/0 receiving). Darren McFadden contributed 9/25/0 rushing to the team effort, with 0 receptions on two targets, while Michael Bush disappointed with 1/1/0 rushing during the game. Over the last four weeks, Fargas has ground out 45/199/1 rushing with 5/34/0 receiving to land at 44th among all fantasy RBs in points per game. McFadden is 58th with 25/84/0 rushing and 7/53/0 receiving during that time span.

The Redskins field the league's 24th ranked rush D in terms of yards allowed per game, with an average of 121.8, but they are stubborn at the goal line this year with just six rushing TDs allowed through 12 games. Over the last four weeks the team has given up 451 yards rushing (112.8 per game), with a mere 24/55/0 allowed to New Orleans' stable last week; and a healthy 29/123/1 handed over to the Eagles two weeks ago. They are what they appear to be - a mediocre defense that occasionally throws down a good game.

Two mediocre-to-sub-par units face off in this game - neither has a big edge over the other.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Michael Bush fell flat on his face in Miami, with a mere 10/18/0 rushing and 3/27/0 receiving - all told, the Raiders had just 14/46/0 rushing against the resurgent Dolphins. Over the last three games (including the horrid one last week) he has posted 64/196/2 rushing with 12 targets for 9/71/0 receiving - but there is no denying that last week was a stinker for his fantasy owners. Darren McFadden wasn't even at the Raiders' facility on Monday - so much for the hope that he might get back in action this week. He's been a millstone for his fantasy owners this year thanks to the slow-healing foot injury.

Green Bay's rush D is nothing special this year, averaging 105.1 yards allowed per game - 13th in the NFL - with eight rushing scores surrendered this year. Big Blue posted 20/100/1 on the Packers last week - the Lions had 21/136/1 rushing vs. Green Bay two weeks ago.

Bush has a decent shot to rebound at Lambeau field this week - we call this a neutral matchup.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

During week 10, the Eagles crushed the Redskins 27-3, and Brian Westbrook posted 22/113/0 rushing with 3/37/0 receiving during the contest. The Eagles racked up 34/145/0 during the game - they ran wild against the Redskins. Westbrook has amassed 58/294/1 rushing and 25/148/1 receiving over the past 3 weeks, to rank 4th in fantasy points per game during that time span. With a new QB under center, Westbrook compiled 16/68/0 rushing and 6/56/1 receiving last week - Westbrook is a top dual-threat back this season.

The Redskins handed over 41/256/1 to Atlanta last week, and average 179.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. They are the league's 23rd ranked rush D averaging 130.8 yards allowed per game, but they are #1 in rushing TDs given up so far, with only 4 allowed. On balance, these guys are good but not spectacular.

Playing in FedEx Field, this one looks like a neutral matchup to us before the first shot is fired.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brian Westbrook was sidelined during the week 4 game vs. the Giants, so Correll Buckhalter carried the load for Philly, posting 17/103/0 rushing and 4/35/0 receiving (Buckhalter led the team in both categories). Since this game, Westbrook has been one of the most prolific fantasy RBs in the land. He's racked up 90/393/3 rushing and 20/169/2 receiving over the past 4 weeks to rank at #2 among all fantasy RBs in points per game during that span of time. Last week, he gained 21/93/1 rushing and 7/46/0 receiving against the Seahawks. Westbrook is a fantasy force, folks.

The Giants' rush D is ranked 5th in the NFL averaging 92.3 yards allowed per contest, with 7 rushing scores given up in 12 games. The Bears could only muster 23/68/0 against this unit last week, marking the 3rd time in the last 4 games that the Giants have kept an opponent under 83 yards rushing during a game. Most of the time, it is tough to find room to maneuver vs. the Giants' defensive front.

Westbrook is an outstanding RB, but the Giants won't make things easy for him - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup with neither team holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

LeSean McCoy was second on the team in rushing last week (12/44/1), but led the Eagles in receiving (8/86/1) on the way to the 34-24 Philadelphia win. Mike Vick also scrambled for a TD last week (10/48/1) - all told the Eagles posted 29/115/2 rushing during the game. McCoy is going strong entering the final 1/4 of the season, with 47/251/2 rushing and 26/233/2 receiving over his past four games (third-best fantasy RB in the land with those numbers).

The Dallas D has been pretty stout against opposing rushers recently, with 303 yards rushing allowed in the past four games (75.75 yards allowed per game on average) - but part of that showing is due to their weak pass D, which has coughed up 1,334 yards during that same four weeks (that's worst in the league during the cited span of time). The Colts managed 17/40/2 rushing vs. Dallas last week, while New Orleans pushed in 21/81/2 two weeks ago - as you can see, the Cowboys are building a stonewall at the goal line recently.

McCoy is a fine back and with Vick on the team this attack is outstanding - the mediocre Cowboys won't be able to shut this group down. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup, but remember that McCoy is an excellent receiver who may make plenty of hay catching the ball this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ryan Mathews (14/61/0 rushing with 5/31/0 receiving) and Danny Woodhead (7/22/0 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving) helped the Chargers to grind out 24/91/0 against the stalwart Bengals' defense last week, after posting 27/104/2 at Kansas City two weeks ago (14/55/1 rushing with 2/10/0 receiving for Mathews; 6/25/1 rushing with 4/45/1 receiving for Woodhead). These two backs form an effective 1-2 punch for the Chargers as of December (and have been solid all year long).

The Giants' rush D allowed 31/139/1 rushing to Robert Griffin III and company last week, and coughed up 20/107/0 to DeMarco Murray and company two weeks ago. For the season, Big Blue averages 102.2 rushing yards allowed per game (ninth in the NFL) with eight rushing scores handed out. They're a respectable rush D as of December 1 despite the stumble at Washington.

Two above-average units clash in this matchup - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Shaun Alexander posted 26/89/1 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving vs. the Cardinals back in week 2. Since returning from his foot injury, Alexander has amassed 83/328/1 rushing and 2/4/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks. He posted 26/90/1 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving vs. the Broncos last week. Alexander is getting back up to full speed, folks.

Arizona ranks 20th in the NFL allowing an average of 121.1 rushing yards per game, with 12 rushing TDs given up to date. Last week, the Rams managed 23/107/0 on the ground vs. Arizona, who have paced 110.6 rushing yards given up per game over the past 3 weeks. This is an average group of run defenders, on balance.

This game represents neutral matchup for the visiting Alexander and company.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Seattle didn't generate much in the way of rushing offense, despite the "revenge" motive of Julius Jones vs. Dallas (he gained 11/37/0 rushing and failed to catch a ball). T.J. Duckett was the most effective back from a yards per carry perspective (3/20/0 rushing) - Maurice Morris was limited to 6/10/0 rushing and 3/23/0 receiving. The plan this week, according to coach Mike Holmgren, is to get Duckett "more involved" in the game plan. We'll see how that goes. There are multiple problems on the OL due to C Chris Spencer's back injury (missed last week, isn't practicing this week and he may go on IR) and LG Mike Wahle has a right shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last 2 games. The Seahawk's OL is becoming a patchwork - not the best situation for trying to improve an eroding rushing attack.

The Patriots are currently 14th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game (105.6 per contest on average), with only 7 rush TDs handed over during 12 contests. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has allowed 382 rushing yards, though (127.3 per contest on average), including 34/161/1 coughed up to Pittsburgh last week. The Patriots come into this game on a down note.

The Seahawks' committee of backs hasn't worked out too well this year - meanwhile, the Patriots stumble into week 14 off a 33-10 loss in which they didn't defend the rush well. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup to us with Seattle in their home digs on Sunday, but we're not real excited about any of the Seattle backs in their committee situation.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Frank Gore cranked out 94 yards combined vs. Arizona back in week 11, with 24/88/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving durinng the 23-7 win over the Cardinals. Anthony Dixon was second on the team that day with 7/32/0 rushing, and Kendall Hunter also saw 11/27/0 rushing and 1/15/0 receiving - all told, the 49ers rushed the ball 49 times for 164 total yards during the game.

Since the last game vs. Arizona, Gore has posted 35/112/0 rushing with to targets for 1/9/0 receiving, while Kendall Hunter has handled 9/18/0 rushing while adding four targets for 3/37/0 receiving. Against the Rams, Gore ground out 21/73/0 rushing, and the 49ers posted 34/144/0 as a team - Hunter managed 5/4/0 rushing with 2/24/0 receiving last week. Anthony Dixon chipped in 3/2/0 vs. the Rams. As you can see, Gore is the featured back entering the final four games of the season, with Hunter in the change-of-pace/third-down role.

The Cardinals upset the Cowboys last week while allowing 20/75/0 rushing to DeMarco Murray and company - two weeks ago, St. Louis was held to 22/86/0 rushing by this team. To date, the Cardinals rank 19th in the NFL averaging 119.4 rushing yards allowed per contest, with 12 rushing scores surrendered, but they've played tougher than that during their current winning streak.

Gore has tapered off a bit in the recent past, while the Cardinals have strengthened in this phase of the game - we think this is a fairly even matchup.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Rams' rushing attack fell off the end of the earth (again) last week, with only 12 hand-offs flowing to the running backs (vs. 36 passes and 5 scrambles by Ryan Fitzpatrick). The coaching staff is making all the right vows this week about including Steven Jackson a lot more this week - but we've heard all of this shtick from St. Louis before this year. The fact is, some weeks the coaching staff just gives up on the running game and doesn't have enough patience to feed Jackson the ball 20+ times. Maybe it will be different this week (Jackson, with 11/24/0 rushing and 4/18/0 receiving last week certainly hopes so), but there is no guarantee that the coaching staff will abide by their vows to run the ball more. Part of the problem is that the OL is not opening holes for the backs to exploit. As coach Vitt remarked on Monday ""There has to be a running lane, there has to be somewhere to run the football, and if there is, Steven will find it. There was no running lane yesterday, none."

Minnesota coughed up 23/105/1 rushing to the Lions' stable last week, and they rank 18th in the NFL this season giving up an average of 112.4 rushing yards per game (with 12 rushing scores handed over to date). They are giving up an average of 68 yards rushing per game over the past 3 weeks, though - Minnesota has come together as a defensive team during the stretch run.

St. Louis struggled mightily in this phase of the game last week, while the Vikings regressed to mediocrity after some strong games - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Back in week 9, the Cardinals beat up on the Rams 34-14 in the Edward Jones Dome. Since then, the Cardinals have beaten the other 2 NFC West teams and have been defeated by a couple of NFC East teams (New York, Philadelphia) - the Rams have lost every game between week 9 and now. With a win over St. Louis, the Cardinals lock up the NFC West and a playoff spot. Steven Jackson was still hampered by his thigh injury in week 9 (7/17/0 was all he managed that day), and he missed the next 3 games until returning to the lineup in last week's loss to Miami (21/94/0 rushing with 1/16/0 receiving). We'll see how Jackson's sore thigh stands up in practices this week - his return helped enliven the Rams' rushing attack, although they still failed to score a TD as a team last week.

The Cardinals were blasted for 40/185/2 by Brian Westbrook and the Eagles last week, one week after holding the Brandon Jacobs-less Giants to 27/87/1 the week prior - they've been up and down in this phase of the game of late. So far this season, the Cards are 13th in the NFL averaging 97.5 yards rushing allowed per game, with 10 rushing TDs handed over. They are a mediocre group, on balance.

The Rams become a mediocre rushing offense with Jackson in the lineup - the Cardinals are a mediocre rush D - this is a fairly even matchup assuming that Jackson comes through practices this week without a setback.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tampa's stable of backs was effective against the bottom-ten Panthers' rush D, with 17/92/0 rushing for Cadillac Williams, 5/32/0 rushing for Derrick Ward, and a team total of 26/154/0 on the ground (QB Josh Freeman pitched in with 3/30/0 during the game). Ward had 3/17/0 receiving on the day while Williams pulled down 2/14/0. Williams is the best fantasy back of the lot over the last four weeks, with 52/206/1 rushing and 4/26/1 receiving to land at 38th among all fantasy backs in points per game during that time frame (PPR format).

The Jets' rush D is in the middle of the NFL this year, averaging 109.4 yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL), with nine rushing TDs given up to date. They've allowed 448 rushing yards in their last four contests (112 per game on average), with 24/123/1 surrendered to the Bills last Thursday night. This is a decent but unspectacular unit entering the final four games of the season.

Two so-so units lock up in this contest - that sounds like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

These teams battled to a 28-22 decision in favor of Tennessee back in week 8 - Travis Henry had a tough time finding room to roam, though, with a mere 15/29/0 on the day (Vince Young led the team with 4/44/1). Henry was strong last week vs. the Colts, though, posting 20/93/0 on the ground, and he's amassed 50/263/1 rushing and 7/41/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks to rank 19th among all fantasy RBs in points per game. LenDale White chipped in with 4/35/0 on the ground last week in a change-of-pace role.

The Texans run in the middle of the NFL herd this year, averaging 116 rushing yards allowed per game, with 12 scores surrendered to date. Last week, they handed over 26/113/1 to the Raiders' backs, but have averaged 70 yards rushing allowed per game over the last 3 weeks. On balance, this is a mediocre unit that is neither dominant nor squishy most of the time.

In the Texans' house, we think this is a neutral matchup for Henry and company.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tennessee plowed under the Texans last week, with 29/153/2 as a team - LenDale White suffered a dislocated finger that required stitches after piling up 12/60/1 rushing (1/7/0 receiving) - in relief of White, Chris Brown gained 11/46/1 rushing and 2/13/0 receiving, and Vince Young added 5/44/0 to the mix. The Titans sport a respectable 4.1 yards per carry average this season (tie-11th in the NFL). They come into this game on a roll.

The Chargers rank 20th in the NFL averaging 111.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs given up to date. They have held 3 out of their last 4 opponents to under 89 yards rushing, including the Chiefs' Kolby Smith and company last week (25/88/0). The Chargers' defensive front has retrenched entering the final 1/4 of the season.

The Titans have two solid backs at their disposal (plus Young's athletic scrambling ability), but the Chargers have their sights set on the playoffs and aren't going to make life easy for White and Brown. This is a neutral matchup from where we sit.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense vs Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chris Johnson has rushed for 130 or more yards in three of his last four games - excepting when he was stuffed by Atlanta for 12/13/0 rushing and 3/15/0 receiving - Johnson has been a stud fantasy back again during the third quarter of the season, with 85/486/3 rushing and 13 targets for 9/66/0 receiving over the last four games played. He's finally back, though perhaps a tad late for the fantasy owners he burned during the first eight games of the season.

The Saints' rush D is ranked 16th in the NFL averaging 114.6 yards allowed per game, with nine rushing scores given up to date. Detroit posted 22/87/1 rushing at New Orleans last week - the Giants managed 22/73/1 rushing there two weeks ago. Though they are playing tough D in this phase entering the final 1/4 of the season, the Saints aren't shutting down opposing backs at the goal line of late.

Johnson has regained his top form during the second half of the season - he faces a neutral matchup when the Saints' defense rolls into town on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

TEN Injuries: none
HOU Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Roy Helu has posted back-to-back 100 or more yards rushing in each of his last two games, handling a featured-back's load with 23/108/1 rushing and 7/54/0 receiving at Seattle two weeks ago - he was the only runner to touch the ball vs. the Jets last week, with 23/100/1 rushing and 4/42/0 receiving. Have the Redskins finally settled on a featured back? Time will tell, but Helu is very hot right now, and Mike Shanahan likes to ride the 'hot hand' at the RB position. One concern this week is how the offensive line responds to losing LT Trent Williams for the season due to a four-game suspension for smoking marijuana. We'll see if the line can successfully juggle their personnel to deal with the unfortunate loss of their starting left tackle.

The Patriots' rush D is mediocre this year, averaging 102.1 rushing yards allowed per game (10th in the NFL) with nine rushing scores given up to date. Indianapolis' squad managed 31/99/1 rushing at New England last week; Philadelphia ran up 17/73/1 rushing vs. New England two weeks ago.

Helu is playing well entering the final 1/4 of the season, while the Patriots' unit is treading water - on balance, this looks like a neutral matchup.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Alfred Morris slowed down in this phase of the game last week as Washington asked Colt McCoy to throw 47 passes while chasing the high-scoring Colts on Sunday - Morris ended up with 17/67/ rushing, while his compatriot in the backfield Roy Helu caught a TD (1/5/0 rushing with 4/61/1 receiving). We'll see how Washington attacks the Rams' D here in Week 14.

The Rams' defensive front has been up and down in this phase of the game over the last two weeks, with 22/128/1 allowed to San Diego to weeks ago, but then 21/61/0 handed over to Oakland last week (Oakland didn't have Latavius Murray, out due to a concussion). So far this year St. Louis ranks 16th in the NFL averaging 111.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores given up.

Morris and Helu have a neutral matchup to work with in FedEx Field this week.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cardinals played one of the worst defenses in the league last week, the 49ers, and they still managed a mere 23/65/0 rushing as a team (J.J. Arrington led the way with 18/59/0 rushing with 3/16/0 receiving) - sadly, 18/59/0 rushing is Arrington's best effort of the season. With 81/283/2 rushing and 20/122/0 receiving to date, Arrington is officially a draft bust (both fantasy and real NFL).

The Redskins are 15th in the NFL allowing an average of 110 rushing yards per game, but they are tied for 3rd-most rushing scores given up to date, with 15 surrendered so far. Over the past 3 weeks, the team has averaged 100.3 rushing yards allowed per game, including last week's totals of 17/49/1 handed over to St. Louis.

The Cardinals' unit is so anemic that even a sub-par to mediocre rush D like Washington represents a tough challenge for them.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cardinals hadn't established their running game back in early September - the last time these teams teed off on each other was in week one of the season. Since that early game, Chris Wells and Tim Hightower have become a solid 1-2 combination as runners. Hightower did rip off 12/121/0 receiving vs. the 49ers in that game, with 8/15/0 rushing. Wells managed 7/29/0 rushing during the contest - the Cardinals had 17/40/0 as a team. Over the past four weeks, the two backs have evenly split the work load at RB, with Wells seeing 56 touches on the ball (51/207/3 rushing with 5/64/0 receiving)and Hightower handling the rock 52 times (41/252/1 rushing with 11/67/0 receiving) - they ranked #26 and #27 among fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format) over the past four games. Hightower had more success against the Vikings last week, with 6/50/0 rushing to lead the team and 1/8/0 receiving, while Wells struggled to 13/28/0 rushing during the game.

The 49ers limited the Seahawks to 29/107/0 rushing last week (a 3.7 yards allowed per carry average) - over the past four weeks, they've averaged 101 rushing yards allowed per game. Those numbers are slightly off their top-five season average of 95.8 rushing yards allowed per game, but they aren't dramatically higher. They've allowed nine rushing TDs over 12 games. Up front, the 49ers' defense does a good job controlling opposing running backs.

The Cardinals have hit on a dependable mix of backs this year, but they aren't among the league's top units yet. Against the hard-nosed 49ers, this looks like a tough divisional matchup, especially for Wells who doesn't get much action in the passing phase of the game.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Like most NFL backs this year, Chris Wells struggled to move the ball at San Francisco during week 11, putting up 8/33/0 rushing and seeing one target for zero receptions on the day. All told, the Cardinals put up 11/80/0 rushing, with almost half the yardage due to a 34-yard scamper by Cedric Taylor.

Over the last two weeks, though, Wells has been a force for the Cardinals, with 20/67/1 rushing vs. the hard-nosed Cowboys last week and 27/228/1 rushing two weeks ago at St. Louis. Wells is in a better place entering week 14 than he was week 11, although he feels that the brace on his injured knee is diminishing his speed somewhat. Bottom line here is that over the last two games played Wells has averaged 6.3 yards per carry with 47/295/2 rushing - not bad for a guy with a sore knee.

The 49ers' rush D remains not-scored-upon through 12 games played, and they lead the NFL averaging just 71.8 yards given up per game - most recently, the Rams were held to 23/31/0 rushing (a 1.3 yards per carry average). The 49ers have shut down every back they've faced this year.

This is a very tough matchup for Wells despite his big surge in recent weeks.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Back in week one, Chris Wells was still gimpy with his sore knee and headed for an extended stay on IR/designated to return - he managed a mere 7/14/0 vs. Seattle but week one is an age ago. Since getting back from IR, Wells has been adequate-to-poor with 32/70/2 rushing to his credit over the past two games. Last week, he did poorly at the Jets with 15/22/0 rushing - the entire Cardinals' offense has been destitute with Ryan Lindley under center. John Skelton is expected to get the start this week but clearly he's not been great either.

Seattle ranks 12th in the NFL averaging 110.6 yards rushing allowed per game, with seven TDs given up to date - last week, they allowed 32/132/0 to the Bears; two weeks ago, it was 28/189/2 rushing given up to Miami. As you can see, the defensive front has slid of late.

The Cardinals' offensive challenges are bad enough that even against this fading Seahawks unit we rank this matchup tough for Arizona.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

ARI Injuries: none
WAS Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ray Rice did a fine job vs. Pittsburgh last week, with 21/78/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving to his credit. He's a fantasy force with 198/872/8 and 49/409/0 receiving so far this year. Start him if you've got him.

The Redskins' rush D averages 91.5 yards rushing allowed per game (fourth in the NFL) with seven rushing scores handed over to date. The Giants managed 29/117/0 rushing at Washington last week; Dallas had 11/35/0 to their credit two weeks ago. These guys are hard on opposing running backs.

This looks like a tough matchup for Rice, but he's probably still one of your starters unless you are loaded for bear at running back during week 14.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willis McGahee has disappointed his owners more often than not this season, but during week 8 he performed well, notching 31/136/0 rushing and 2/21/0 receiving vs. the Patriots. Last week was a different story, with 27/81/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving vs. Miami - he's not finding a lot of room to roam since Losman stepped back under center (McGahee is the 44th ranked fantasy RB in the land over the past 3 weeks, with 58/173/0 rushing and 3/20/0 receiving to his credit). The Bills have averaged 107.7 rushing yards per game this season (in the middle of the NFL pack), but have only punched the ball into the end-zone on the ground 4 times to date, 3rd-least in the NFL.

The Jets were held to 16/41/0 rushing last week, a much better result than usual for the Patriots - they average 112.3 rushing yards allowed per game this year (17th in the NFL) with 10 rushing scores surrendered to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the team is pacing 80 yards allowed per game (but that statistic is skewed downwards by the sparse Jets' total). The Patriots' defensive front has played fairly well recently, but they are not a dominant unit most of the time.

McGahee is struggling right now, while the Patriots have been improving and come into the game on an up-note. Advantage, New England.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Fred Jackson returned to the lead back position for the Buffalo vs. Cleveland game, and finished with 21/70/0 rushing and 3/27/0 receiving to his credit. Anthony Dixon (6/25/0 rushing) and Bryce Brown (3/11/0 rushing) shared about 1/3 of the available work between themselves, but Jackson had the largest workload (~2/3 of the touches available), and was the most fantasy-worthy of the available Buffalo backs. Look for Jackson to lead the charge again during Week 14.

The Broncos' defensive front limited Jamaal Charles and Kansas City to 15/41/0 rushing last week, after allowing 21/97/2 to the Dolphins two games back. To date, Denver is ranked second in the NFL averaging 72.7 yards rushing allowed per game, with seven rushing scores given out to date.

Jackson is getting a lot of work, but running lanes/handoffs may be hard to come by during this game at Denver's Sports Authority Field. Advantage, Denver.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

BUF Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams faced off, back during week 9, Stephen Davis was still the featured runner with 12/48/2 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving (DeShaun Foster managed a mere 16/23/0 rushing and 2/16/0 receiving) - since then, however, Foster has assumed the featured role and he looked great last week with 24/131/1 rushing and 3/49/1 receiving. His yards per carry average of 5.5 (the team managed 4.2 on the day) indicates that perhaps the teams' 31st ranked yards-per-carry average had more to do with Davis than the offensive line's blocking. We'll see if Foster can sustain a high level of performance this week.

Tampa Bay will give Foster a stern test - they rank 8th in the NFL this season, allowing an average of 93.8 rushing yards per game, with 8 rushing scores allowed to date. Last week, they choked off the Saints' stable (27/65/0 rushing as a team) - over the past 3 weeks, the Bucs have surrendered an average of 111 rushing yards per game. They've been up and down in this phase recently, but more often than not Tampa is very hard-nosed in this phase of the game.

Tampa will challenge Foster, but Carolina has home-field advantage and their offense is firing on all cylinders again - we like Carolina and Foster but this looks like a tough matchup to us.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Carolina backs benefited greatly from having a legit NFL QB under center, posting 44/166/1 rushing as a team, led by DeAngelo Williams' 17/82/0 rushing (1/46/0 receiving), followed by starter DeShaun Foster's 21/58/1 rushing and 3/35/0 receiving during the contest. When the Panthers can get the ball into Steve Smith's arms, it opens up running lanes for the backs.

The Jaguars have been stingy in this phase of the game for many weeks, holding their last 4 opponents to 94 or less rushing yards per game, limiting Joseph Addai and company to 25/63/0 last week. It's no wonder that the Jags are a top 10 rush D entering the final 4 weeks of the season, averaging 96.7 rushing yards allowed per game (8th in the NFL) with 9 rushing scores surrendered in 12 games.

The Panthers backs did a solid job last week - as long as Testaverde's back doesn't go out on him again this week, they have a tough matchup awaiting them in Jacksonville. If the team is forced to start David Carr for any reason, this becomes a very bad matchup for Foster and Williams.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Panthers had a hard time moving the ball vs. Tampa Bay back in week 6, with a mere 20/40/0 rushing as a team, with 11/27/0 posted by DeAngelo Williams (2/8/0 receiving), and 6/12/0 rushing (1/1/0 receiving) generated by Jonathan Stewart. Yards were pretty scarce vs. Tampa, as you can see.

Williams has been red hot over the past 3 weeks, with 54/293/7 rushing and 5/33/0 receiving - he scored 4 rushing TDs last week in the win over Green Bay (21/72/4 rushing with 3/14/0 receiving) - Jonathan Stewart gained 4/58/0 but pulled a hamstring on his long 43 yard run (setting up Williams with a goal-line plunge from the 1) and sat out much of the contest. The Panthers bounced back nicely from their loss to Atlanta. "The offensive line, theyre my MVPs of the game," DeAngelo Williams said on Sunday after his record-setting 4 TD afternoon. Williams downplayed his performance, saying "Its not like they were 40- or 50-yard runs. But I will probably learn to appreciate this more as I get older. But right now Im looking forward to playing the next game."

Tampa limited the Saints to 18/44/0 on the ground last week, and have given up just 251 rushing yards in their last 3 contests (83.6 per game on average). To date, the Bucs are 9th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (95.4 per contest), but are first in the NFL in rushing TDs given up - 1 rushing TD allowed over 13 contests.

Williams is on fire, but this week he faces the immovable object which is the Buccaneer's goal line D (and he didn't do much against them earlier this year) - advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams will be re-evaluated Wednesday regarding his ankle injury - late-week practice reports will tell the story on whether or not he'll be in the mix for week 14. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news for those details as the weekend approaches. Williams was in practice on Wednesday - pay attention to how the ankle responds to the stresses of practice later on in the week.

With Williams sidelined last week, Jonathan Stewart took the team on his back and carried the Panthers to victory, with 26/120/1 rushing (the only offensive TD scored by either team) and 1/6/0 receiving. Tyrell Sutton played the change of pace role with 6/38/0 rushing when Stewart needed a rest on the sidelines. Stewart has two 100+-rushing-yards performances this year - both came against the Buccaneers.

Miami went pass happy on the Patriots last week, heaving 52 attempts vs. just 27 rushes attempted - Ricky Williams still played well in the limited role, with 18/75/0 rushing (a 4.2 yards-per-carry average), although the Dolphins as a whole had only 27/88/0 rushing vs. New England. New Orleans posted 26/113/0 rushing vs. the Patriots two weeks ago - they've coughed up 396 rushing yards in their last four games (99 per contest), compared to their season average of 107.9 rushing yards allowed per game. It remains very hard to run in TDs against New England - they've given up just three rushing scores all year long, which ties the Steelers and Vikings for least rushing TDs allowed this year.

Carolina has injury concerns with Williams and Stewart (continuing Achilles soreness kept him out of practice on Wednesday), but both are capable backs when near healthy - the Patriots are pretty tough in this phase of the game, though. Advantage, New England.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jonathan Stewart continued his 'too little, too late' surge in week 13, posting 21/92/1 rushing (with 1/7/0 receiving). He's come within a stone's throw of 100 yards rushing in each of the last two games - this is what fantasy owners expected to see from him throughout the year, rather than just in December. Still, there's no denying he appears to finally be back on top of his game. One-time starter Mike Goodson gained 3/19/1 rushing last week in a change-of-pace role, while Tyrell Sutton managed 4/17/0 rushing and 3/14/0 in his chances. Goodson also suffered an A/C joint injury during the game on Sunday: 'It's sore right now, but it should be all right, though,' Goodson said. 'I hurt it a couple of weeks ago on a kick return the same way. Today, he put his helmet right on it.' The Panthers' running back stable is surging entering week 14.

The Falcons' rush D averages 98.5 yards allowed per game (eighth in the NFL), and they have given up just five rushing scores over 12 contests - Tampa Bay managed 29/151/1 vs. Atlanta last week, while Green Bay posted 23/77/1 rushing at Atlanta two weeks ago. This is a good, but not outstanding, defensive front.

The Falcons are playing to maintain their divisional lead, while the Panthers would love to be spoilers - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

CAR Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Adrian Peterson flashed his dual-threat skills in a big way vs. the Giants last week, with 22/67/0 rushing and 7/82/0 receiving in his debut as the Bears' featured RB. It was an auspicious way to start his time in the lime-light - we'll see if he can keep building on the momentum.

The Redskins' D handed over 20/100/0 to the Bills' reserve RB, Fred Jackson, last week, and currently rank 10th in the NFL averaging 97.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs given up so far this year. Over the past 4 games, they've allowed 410 rushing yards (102.5 per game, on average). As you can see, this is a decent, but not a stonewalling, rush defense.

Peterson is new to the starring role in Chicago, but has plenty of NFL experience - this week, he'll be in a hostile stadium facing a solid rush D. That's a tough matchup for any running back - advantage, Washington.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Bengals were true to their word and Cedric Benson returned as the heavily-featured back last week, posting 36/110/0 rushing and 2/15/0 receiving against the Lions. Larry Johnson had two carries for four yards during the fray. It looks clear that Benson (241/969/6 rushing and 12/81/0 receiving so far this year) is firmly in the driver's seat as long as he stays healthy.

The Vikings' rush D is among the league's elite units, with a mere three rushing TDs allowed all year long and the third-ranked average of 84.2 rushing yards allowed per game. However, the Cardinals managed to crack the 100-yards rushing barrier in their 30-17 upset of Minnesota on Sunday (25/113/0) - that was much more than the Bears could muster two weeks ago (11/43/0 rushing for Chicago that day). Most of the time, teams are closer to Chicago's totals than Arizona's when they face Minnesota.

Benson has done a fine job for the Bengals all year long, but he faces a tough challenge up in Minnesota on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cedric Benson racked up 18/54/1 rushing and 2/20/0 receiving during the week nine loss to Pittsburgh (21-27) - he was modestly effective during the contest, as he has been most weeks this year. Last week, he ground out 19/49/2 rushing (with 2/14/0 receiving) vs. the Saints in the 30-34 loss to the 2009-2010 champs. He's a back you can count on to see 20+ touches and one or two scoring opportunities per game.

The Steelers field the league's best rush D, averaging 62.2 yards allowed per game, with just four rushing TDs given up over 12 contests - the Ravens could only scrape up 20/43/0 rushing last week (at home). Buffalo was held to 17/74/0 rushing two weeks ago - these guys are a rock wall.

Benson is a modestly productive player, but he's got a tough assignment this week in an important divisional game (for the Steelers).

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Bengals struggled to score at Pittsburgh, with just one passing TD to their credit - Cedric Benson was held out of the end zone for the first time in three weeks, with 13/52/0 rushing to his credit, while Bernard Scott posted 5/30/0 rushing and saw one target for zero catches. Over the last three weeks, Benson has found pay dirt three times, with 49/199/3 rushing and six targets for 4/24/0 receiving, while Scott has posted 18/71/0 rushing and seen four targets for 2/2/0 receiving.

The Houston rush D is even stronger than Pittsburgh's this year, ranking fourth in the NFL averaging 90.7 yards given up per game, with six rushing scores handed over to date. Atlanta was limited to 18/70/0 at Houston last week; Jacksonville managed 24/105/0 rushing two weeks ago.

Benson had a rough outing against the Steelers, and the Texans are even tougher - advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

During week 11 (the first game vs. Pittsburgh), Jason Wright chalked up 18/74/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving vs. the Steelers, while Reuben Droughns watched from the sidelines. Since then, the RB stable in Cleveland has evolved into a RBBC, with Wright and Droughns sharing the carries. Last week, Droughns led the charge with 14/70/1 rushing (5/48/0 receiving), while Wright chalked up 11/25/0 rushing and 2/70/0 receiving. Together, they have rejuvenated the Cleveland running back position heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

Pittsburgh averages 100.3 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs given up this season. They have handed over 107.6 rushing yards per game over the last 3 weeks, with 30/110/0 allotted to Tampa Bay last week - this is a good, but not elite, unit heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

At Heinz Field, this divisional battle looks like a tough challenge for the Browns.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dallas' Julius Jones blew up last week, rushing for 23/74/0 and grabbing 9/88/0 receiving to lead the team in both categories. He's been struggling to produce lately, so it was good to see Jones get back to playing well - over the last 3 weeks, he's managed 64/221/0 rushing and 15/110/0 receiving (19th fantasy RB in the land during that time frame) - Marion Barber III was a non-entity last week, with 2/8/0. It looks like Jones is staking a claim for the top job in Dallas once again.

The Chiefs are currently 5th in the NFL vs. opposing runners, allowing an average of 91.8 rushing yards per game (with 8 rushing scores handed over to date). Last week, Denver slapped down 29/131/2 on this unit, though - they've averaged 94.3 rushing yards allowed per game during the last 3 weeks. More often than not, the Chiefs are stubborn in this phase, but they faltered last week.

The Chiefs field a top-5 defensive front, while Dallas is still struggling to run the ball effectively (3.0 yards per carry average last week) - advantage, K.C.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The big question entering this matchup is: "Will Marion Barber be able to play despite his dislocated pinkie toe?" Information out of Dallas on Monday and Tuesday indicated Barber (dislocated toe) was walking without a limp, but he said he might wear a plate on the bottom of his foot to stabilize the injury. He also will likely rest most, if not all week - meaning we won't get to see his progress (if any) during practice sessions. The only other healthy back with experience in the Cowboys' system is Tashard Choice (11/57/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving in relief of Barber vs. Seattle last week). Stay tuned to players in the news as the week goes along to see all the latest regarding Barber.

The Steelers bring the league's best rush D to the dance, currently averaging 71.2 yards allowed per game, with only 5 rushing TDs given up over 12 contests. Over the past 3 weeks, they've allowed 231 rushing yards, including last week's total of 20/122/1 allotted to New England. These guys are as tough as they come.

Barber won't be 100% this week, and the Cowboys are visiting partisan Heinz Field on Sunday . That sounds like a tough game to us.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

DeMarco Murray returned last week and breathed life into the Cowboys' rushing attack, posting 23/83/1 rushing and 4/19/0 receiving - going over 100 yards combined in his first game back after an extended layoff. Now that his foot is proven good to go, Murray looks like an excellent starting running back for fantasy owners during the month of December.

The Bengals' rush D is ranked 10th in the NFL right now, averaging 110.2 yards rushing allowed per game, but they have given away a relatively-high 10 rushing scores this year (2-17 is the current NFL range on rushing TDs allowed). San Diego could only muster 11/46/0 rushing as a team last week, and Oakland was also held under 100 yards rushing two weeks ago (23/99/0). The Cincinnati defensive front is playing very well as of December.

Murray revitalized the Cowboy's rushing attack last week, but he faces a steep hill this week at Cincinnati.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

DAL Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Broncos posted 35/158/2 against the Chargers back in week 11 using a tandem of Mike Bell (20/90/2) and Damien Nash (10/52/0) while Tatum Bell recuperated his sore big toes. Since then, Tatum Bell has stepped back into the starting lineup, posting 23/133/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving last week in his first game back in uniform. He should be ready to play again this week, as his toes appeared to hold up during the loss to Seattle.

The Chargers rank 6th in the NFL allowing an average of 92.5 rushing yards per game this season, with 10 rushing scores given up to date. They have held the opposition to an average of 101.6 rushing yards per game over the past 3 weeks, including last week's totals of 24/63/1 accorded to the Bills.

The Chargers were beat up by Denver in this phase the last time they danced, but this time San Diego has home-field advantage and that will make things tough on their visiting division rivals.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willis McGahee had a strong game up in Minnesota on Sunday, with 20/111/1 rushing to his credit - all told, the Broncos managed 32/150/1 rushing, with 7/25/0 coming from Lance Ball (he added 2/14/0 receiving) and 4/13/0 rushing resulting from Tim Tebow's legs. Over the past three weeks, McGahee has led the team with 55/246/1 rushing, while Tebow has contributed 34/148/1 rushing, and Ball has chipped in 16/62/0 rushing with five targets for 4/40/0 in the change-of-pace role.

The Bears' rush D is currently eighth in the NFL averaging 99.8 yards allowed per game, with a relatively-stingy seven rushing scores given away to date. Kansas City's committee of backs managed 37/113/0 rushing at Chicago last week; Oakland was limited to 27/73/1 rushing two weeks ago. Right now, the Bears are playing very solid rush D.

McGahee is turning up his intensity entering the final 1/4 of the season - we'll see how well he does when the top-ten Bears come calling. Advantage, Chicago.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

C.J. Anderson has seized his NFL opportunity with both hands since ascending to the top job at running back in Denver - to date he's recorded 98/536/1 rushing and 22/238/2 receiving and he's playing well enough to keep Montee Ball (groin injury) and Ronnie Hillman (foot injury) on the sidelines once they are healthy enough to play again. Heading into the final 1/4 of the season, Anderson has posted two straight 160+ yards-rushing performances, against the stout Miami and Kansas City defensive fronts. He's on a roll, friends.

The Bills' rush D is ranked seventh in the NFL averaging 96.3 yards allowed per game, with six rushing TDs handed out this season. Cleveland managed 26/74/1 rushing at Buffalo last week; the Jets posted 19/92/0 there two weeks ago.

Anderson has been bowling over all comers, but he's got a tougher-than-usual matchup this week when the Bills come calling at Mile High.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

DEN Injuries: none
BAL Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Detroit rushing attack was ignored in chase mode last week, attempting only 7 rushes during the entire game. Kevin Jones had 3/1/0 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving, but it wasn't enough to make much of an impact on the fantasy games in play across the country. He's had 3 stinkers in the last 4 games, mainly due to a lack of touches as Detroit's defense has not kept things close (and then coach Martz starts his "mad bomber" routine where the running game is ignored).

Dallas fields a strong rush D, averaging 85.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with 7 rushing scores given up to date. Over the past 4 weeks, they've handed over 106 net rushing yards, 62, 60, and then 19/124/2 to the Packers last week. In general, it is tough to move the ball against the Cowboys in this phase of the game.

Jones and company have struggled to move the ball on the ground of late - this will be another tough matchup to face on Sunday.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jahvid Best was the leading running back at Green Bay in week four, with 12/50/0 rushing (and 5/34/0 receiving), though Shaun Hill actually led the team in rushing yardage (4/53/0) during the game. Since then, Best has struggled with two turf toe injuries and hasn't been a consistent fantasy presence.

However, last week Best returned to the mix at Ford Field and led the team with 9/65/0 rushing and added 1/32/0 receiving - still no TDs, but at least he's getting into the double-digits on touches again. Maurice Morris was second on the team (10/37/0 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving) and Drew Stanton punched in a score with 5/12/1 rushing to his credit - all told, the Lions had 27/134/1 rushing during Stanton's first start of the season.

The Packers rebounded from a three point loss to Atlanta in week 12 to crush the 49ers 34-16 last week - they allowed just 22/97/0 rushing to the 49ers, led by the tandem of Anthony Dixon (9/33/0 rushing with 1/4/0 receiving) and Brian Westbrook (9/31/0 rushing with zero receptions). Over their last three games, the Packers have given up just 307 rushing yards and a mere 39 total points. These guys are stout.

Best finally started to make an impact again in week 13, but he and the other Lions have a tough matchup against the Packers' stingy rush D (only five TDs allowed all year while averaging 111.2 rushing yards allowed per game).

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Domanick Davis owned the Titans back in week 5, rushing for 19/130/0 (with a long of 44 yards) - he also led the team in receiving that day, with 8/43/0 to his credit. Over the past 3 weeks, the Texans' offense has shown some life, and Davis has profited along with the rest of the team - last week, he put up 29/155/0 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving vs. Baltimore, and he has 67/290/1 rushing with 9/111/1 receiving over the past 3 weeks to rank 7th among fantasy RBs in points per game during that span. Davis is a quality #1 RB week in and week out.

Tennessee gave up 31/105/1 to the Colts last week, holding them to 3.4 yards per carry during the game. They stayed right around the teams' season pace of 103.8 rushing yards allowed per game (11th in the NFL), with 7 rushing scores given up to date. Over the past 3 weeks, the Titans are averaging only 76 rushing yards surrendered per contest - they've been stout vs. the rush lately.

Davis is on a roll, and he had good luck vs. Tennessee the last time these teams faced off. At Tennessee, this looks like a fairly tough matchup.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ahman Green practiced last week but was inactive on Sunday - coach Gary Kubiak commented on Tuesday "I think it's pretty important that he gets on the field this week. If not, then we're probably going to have to make a decision pretty quickly." In Green's absence, Ron Dayne has carried the load for Houston, with 55/253/1 rushing and 8/58/0 receiving over 3 games - he's the 19th best fantasy RB in points per game during that period of time. Last week, he posted 18/86/1 rushing and 3/25/0 receiving vs. the Titans - not too shabby.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lead the NFL over the past 4 weeks (3 games), with only 43 points allowed by the defense. They are currently 16th in the NFL averaging 106 rushing yards allowed per game, with 9 rushing TDs given up to date - but they have held 3 out of their last 4 opponents to 84 rushing yards or less (with 120 yards given up in week 12). The Saints managed 21/84/0 against the Bucs last week.

The Texans have been getting consistently decent production out of Ron Dayne, but they've got some tough customers to deal with this week when Tampa Bay comes calling - advantage, Buccaneers.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Arian Foster is the second-ranked fantasy RB over the last four weeks, with 89/366/4 rushing and 18/164/1 receiving to his credit. He went over 100 yards combined at Philadelphia last week (22/83/1 rushing with 2/26/1 receiving) and led the team in rushing (30/143/0) and receiving (9/75/0) two weeks ago vs. Tennessee. Start this guy and smile.

The Ravens are sixth in the NFL vs. opposing rushers, averaging 97.8 yards allowed per game, with only five rushing TDs surrendered to date. Pittsburgh was held to 24/54/0 rushing last week; Tampa managed 23/101/0 two weeks ago. These guys are tough any way you slice it.

Foster has a tough matchup this week, but he's too good (and hot) to sit, regardless.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Edgerrin James had no trouble moving the ball against the Jags back in week 2, with 27/128/0 rushing and 4/39/0 receiving (he led the team in receiving during the first game) - the only TD scored during the game that day was punched in by Ran Carthon (6/5/1). Since then, James has been a top performer with 304/1347/12 rushing and 30/242/1 receiving to date (3rd ranked fantasy RB this season), including last week's 28/107/1 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving vs. Tennessee. The guy is a must-start player every week.

Jacksonville fields a stubborn defensive front that is tied for least rushing TDs allowed this season (4), while ranking 14th in the NFL in rushing yards given away per game (107.8). Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged only 76 rushing yards allowed per game, including last week's total of 32/98/0 handed over to Cleveland. Jacksonville's rush D is stiffening even further heading into the playoff stretch run.

James is an elite back who had a solid game the last time he played against Jacksonville - we wouldn't hesitate to start him - but realize that playing down in Jacksonville this year is a tough assignment for even the very best NFL running backs.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Colts managed to scrape up 20/63/1 rushing the last time they faced the Jags, with 14/48/0 for Dominic Rhodes and 3/15/0 for Joseph Addai (Peyton Manning plunged in the TD). Since then (week 3), Addai has become more prominent in the Colt's offense, sharing the workload with Rhodes and, some weeks, taking the load for the team. Last week, Rhodes actually ended up with more fantasy points (12/39/1 rushing and 5/29/0 receiving) than Addai accumulated (16/56/0 rushing and 1/11/0 receiving) - both backs are integral to the Colts' attack, as you can see.

The Jaguars squashed the Miami backups last week, holding the team to 19/68/0 on the ground. They have averaged 55 yards rushing allowed per game over the past 3 weeks, which is outstanding by any standard, and well below their season average of 91.5 rushing yards allowed per game (7 rushing scores given up to date). The Jags are on top of their game vs. opposing rushers.

The Colts didn't find much room to roam the last time they faced the Jaguars, and that figures to be the case again this week - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joseph Addai didn't find a tremendous amount of running room against the Jaguars last week, with 21/67/0 to his credit on the ground (no receptions for Addai last week). It's been 4 weeks since he rushed for over 100 yards in a game, and the 2nd instance during that time span that Addai has failed to score a TD. We're not going to panic over his slow-down, but right now he is ranked 24th among all fantasy RBs in points-per-game over the past 4 weeks (74/239/2 rushing and 9/64/0 receiving).

The Ravens limited the Patriots to 24/90/1 rushing last week, and have held 4 out of their last 5 opponents to 90 or less rushing yards. To date, they are 3rd in the NFL averaging 78.9 rushing yards given up per game, and they have only surrendered 5 rushing TDs to date. This is a tough rush D, folks.

Addai has slowed down of late, and will have a tough mountain to climb this week in Baltimore's M and T Bank Stadium.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Trent Richardson's demotion to second string turned out to be for real last week - he had just 5/19/0 rushing to his credit, while new starter Donald Brown posted 15/54/1 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving against the Chargers. Brown punched in the game-winning TD, so his hold on the top job in Cleveland looks solid as of mid-week.

The Bengals' rush D is among the league's best, currently averaging 101.1 yards allowed per game (fourth in the NFL), with just four rushing scores given up to date. San Diego was held to 24/91/0 rushing last week; Cleveland had 19/102/0 rushing at Cincinnati two games ago.

Advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Fred Taylor was healthy enough to play the last time these teams met (week 2), and put up 16/81/0 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving vs. Indianapolis. In his absence the last three weeks, Greg Jones has amassed 66/214/1 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving - he's gone over 100 yards rushing during the past 2 games, including last week's total of 27/103/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving. The word out of Jacksonville at mid-week is that the team is unsure if Taylor will be able to play on Sunday, and that even if he can take the field, Jones will continue to get touches as he has gone over 100 yards rushing twice in a row. Jones looks like the guy positioned to see most of the work heading into this showdown vs. Indianapolis.

The Colts stomped the Titans last week, holding Tennessee to 20/40/0 rushing during the 35-3 rout. Indianapolis has allowed an average of 96.6 rushing yards per game over the last 3 weeks, and is currently tied for 2nd-least rushing scores allowed this year, with 5 surrendered to date. They are ranked 9th in the league allowing 97.3 rushing yards per game on average this year - Indianapolis' defense is very good in this phase of the game.

Jones has some momentum at his back, but Indianapolis defensive front has been dominant in this phase of the game. This is a tough matchup for Jacksonville.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense vs Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

This is the first NFC South clash between these two rivals - Jacksonville is playing for pride at this point, while Houston is at 6-6 and fighting to keep slender playoff hopes alive (they probably need to win all their upcoming games to have a shot at a wild-card slot).

Denard Robinson (11/44/0 rushing with 3/10/0 receiving) remains the best option for the Jaguars - Toby Gerhart crawled to 5/7/0 rushing last week, while Jordan Todman had 1/-1/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving. This group ain't overwhelming, but Robinson makes them at least respectable.

The Texans' rush D is ranked 17th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game (111.9), but they get stubborn at the goal line, with only six rushing scores given up to date. Last week, Tennessee managed 22/83/0 rushing at Houston; Cincinnati had 43/139/1 there two weeks back.

Robinson is playing for a sub-par offense (Jacksonville is 23rd in the NFL averaging 98.2 rushing yards generated per game, with seven rushing scores pushed in to date), while the Texans are above average as run defenders overall - advantage, Houston.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

JAX Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Larry Johnson has posted 93/421/3 rushing and 3/32/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks, to rank 2nd among all fantasy RBs in points per game. He gained 28/110/0 rushing and 2/26/0 receiving last week - he's a must start every week, barring injury.

The Ravens are 2nd in the NFL with an average of 75.8 rushing yards allowed per game, and a mere 5 rushing TDs given up to date. Last week, Rudi Johnson could only muster 16/47/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving against these guys - they have given up 192 rushing yards over the past 3 weeks (64 yards per game on average). It's not easy to run the ball against the Ravens.

Johnson has a tough matchup this week, but the elite players tend to elevate their game when facing a tough opponent - and Johnson is one of the top 3 running backs in the NFL right now.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jamaal Charles did what he usually does last week - ran for over 100 yards (27/127/0 rushing with 4/11/0 receiving), but this time it was in a winning effort. Peyton Hillis posted 12/19/1 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving during the game - this is Charles' show except at the goal line, where the Chiefs seem to prefer Hillis.

The Browns' rush D held Oakland to 17/85/0 on the ground last week, and limited Pittsburgh to 20/49/1 two weeks ago - they are currently 16th in the NFL averaging 115.6 rushing yards allowed per game, with nine rushing TDs given up so far. Cleveland is playing better than their mediocre season average would indicate as of the second weekend in December.

Charles is on a roll, but he faces a tough matchup this week.

Weather: The greater Dallas area expects to see highs in the range of 62F and lows around 38F on Sunday, with a 20% chance for rain. As long as the rain holds off, conditions should be very good for playing football in this venue on Sunday.

KC Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Miami pulled off a divisional upset last week, defeating the hated Patriots 22-21 - during the game, Ricky Williams posted a workman-like 18/75/0 rushing with 2/6/0 receiving, followed by Lex Hilliard (5/12/0 rushing with 1/8/0 receiving). At the end of the day, the Dolphins had 27/88/0 rushing as a team. It was the first time in three weeks that Williams didn't push in a TD - currently, he's gained 172/867/9 rushing and 22/218/2 receiving through 12 games, to land at ninth among all fantasy RBs in points per game (PPR format).

The Jaguars are fairly stout run defenders this year, currently ranking 11th in the NFL averaging 103.4 yards allowed per game, with just seven rushing TDs given up over 12 contests. Over the past four weeks, the team has allowed 283 yards rushing (70.8 per game), and they've won four of their last five games to battle back into playoff contention at 7-5 with four games left to go. Right now, the Jaguar's defensive front is playing hard-nosed, shut-down caliber football. Houston managed 22/68/1 last week; San Francisco posted just 20/52/0 rushing vs. this group two weeks ago.

Williams has been a fantasy gem this year, but he's got a tough matchup ahead when the Dolphins visit Jacksonville on Sunday.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

In his first week as the Dolphins' featured running back (now that Daniel Thomas is out for the season due to injury), Lamar Miller was fed the ball heavily to mixed results, with 22/72/0 rushing (3.3 yards per carry) and 1/13/0 receiving vs. the Jets' top-ranked rush D. All told, the Dolphins posted 36/125/0 on the offense-less Jets and won 23-3. We'll see if Miller can do better against the Steelers.

Pittsburgh averages 115.1 rushing yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL), with 13 rushing scores given out over 12 games. They held Baltimore to 25/74/0 rushing last week, and held Cleveland to 16/55/0 two weeks ago - right now, the Steelers' rush D is playing stoutly in this phase of the game.

Miller still has a lot to prove at this level, while the Steelers' defensive front is playing better and better as the year goes along. Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Adrian Peterson couldn't shake loose vs. Arizona on Sunday, gaining a mere 13/19/0 rushing (with 6/46/0 receiving to help out his owners in PPR leagues) - it was perhaps his least-effective performance as a running back this year. Chester Taylor didn't fare much better, with 5/21/0 rushing and 4/28/0 receiving - all told, the Vikings had just 20/62/0 rushing as a team last week (they average 123.6 rushing yards per game as a team this year, almost double last week's total).

The Bengals allowed 20/80/1 rushing to the Lions last week - a rare TD score from a unit that's given up just six over 12 games, while averaging 81.8 rushing yards allowed per game. Over the last four weeks, the Bengals have allowed 310 rushing yards (77.5 per game) - they are among the league's best rush defenders entering the final four games of the season.

Peterson had a bad game last week. We're not panicking over the outlier entering week 14, but his owners should realize that this is a tough matchup for Minnesota - don't expect too large a bounce-back and you won't be disappointed.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Adrian Peterson had no trouble playing once the game started last week, and blew up on Buffalo for 16/107/3 rushing (with 1/1/0 receiving) - Toby Gerhart added 12/54/0 rushing and 1/-2/0 receiving to the mix last week. All told, the Vikings had 40/210/3 rushing during the 38-13 romp over Buffalo - it's all good in this phase of the game for the Vikings entering week 14.

The Giants' D snapped back from their poor game vs. Jacksonville (34/207/2 rushing allowed), limiting the Redskins to a mere 16/74/0 rushing last week. To date, the team is ranked seventh in the NFL averaging 98 yards rushing allowed per game, with eight rushing TDs given up so far. Most weeks, these guys are tough to run on.

Peterson put up a great game last week, but he's got a tough matchup ahead when the Giants roll into the Metrodome on Sunday.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Minnesota lost to Chicago 10-28 just two weeks ago, watching Adrian Peterson post 18/108/0 rushing and 6/30/0 receiving in the losing cause. He comes into week 14 off a monster game vs. Green Bay last week (he averaged 10.0 yards per carry with 21/210/1 rushing!) and looks like he's fresh as a daisy even though it's early December now. Start Peterson and smile.

The Bears gave up 32/176/1 rushing to Marshawn Lynch and company last week, after coughing up 20/114/0 to the Vikings as a team two weeks ago. They've slipped to tenth in the NFL averaging 103.5 rushing yards allowed per game, but have given away just four rushing scores all year long. On balance, this is still a top shelf rush D despite the stumble vs. Seattle in week 13.

Peterson has a tough matchup this week, but he's also still a fantasy starter.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Adrian Peterson is showing his top form of late, with 32/146/1 rushing with 1/2/0 receiving at Green Bay two weeks ago, and 35/211/0 rushing with 2/0/0 receiving vs. Chicago last week. Start him if you've got him!

The Ravens' rush D has been very tough to score on this year, with a league-low two rushing scores surrendered, but they average just over 100 rushing yards allowed per game, with 100.1 given away per week. Last week, the Steelers ground out 18/72/1 in Baltimore, while the Jets had 28/102/0 at Baltimore two weeks ago.

Peterson faces a tough matchup this week, but he thrives on challenge so don't think about sitting him down.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Patriots didn't find much room to maneuver vs. the Dolphins back in week 5, with 34/79/0 as a team. They were led by Corey Dillon's 10/45/0 that day (Laurence Maroney posted 18/38/0 during the game). Since that early contest, the Patriots have relied on a 1-2 punch of Dillon and Maroney, but last week Maroney left the game due to getting the "wind knocked out" and did not return to the lineup. Maroney owners will want to pay attention to his practice participation this week as the Patriots are notoriously tight-lipped about injuries and their severity. There is some speculation in the New England press that Maroney may have suffered a concussion in the helmet-to-helmet collision that sidelined him this past week, but no confirmation from the team. If Maroney can't play on Sunday, Dillon will be the man carrying the load for New England.

The Dolphins' defense has averaged 95 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks - 285 yards rushing in that span - but coughed up 31/150/1 to Jacksonville last week. They have paced 98.6 rushing yards per game this season (7th in the NFL), with 6 scores handed over during 12 contests. Usually, the Dolphins are stubborn in this phase of the game.

This figures to be a tough fight for the Patriots backs, as the Dolphins never make things easy on their divisional rivals and they have home-field advantage at their backs.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

New England's rushing attack has become a committee as the season has moved along, with Laurence Maroney seeing the most work (13/44/0 rushing and 2/79/0 receiving last week), while Kevin Faulk comes in to spell Maroney and in certain passing situations (7/33/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving last week), while Heath Evans is doing the short-yardage work of late (2/-1/1 rushing last week) - he's scored 2 short TDs over the past 2 games. Maroney has the most chances to bust a big run or reception, but he hasn't seen many scoring opportunities (2 rushing scores this year - weeks 11 and 12, and 0 receiving TDs).

The Pittsburgh rush D is stalwart, averaging 76.8 yards allowed per game (2nd in the NFL), with a mere 3 rushing scores given up to date - the best performance in that category by any NFL D so far. The Bengals did manage to punch in a TD last week (23/74/1 rushing as a team), but that was the only TD of the day for Cincinnati. More often than not, opposing rushers go away from a game vs. the Steelers empty-handed in the scoring department. Over the last 10 games, the Steelers have allowed one team to go over 100 yards rushing.

The Patriots have home field advantage, but they'll need all the help they can get against the Steel Curtain.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched in two TDs vs. New York last week (18/72/2 rushing with 1/7/0 receiving), while the Patriots posted 26/101/2 rushing vs. the Jets. Danny Woodhead did a lot of damage as a receiver last Monday (4/104/0 receiving with 2/11/0 rushing) - he and Green-Ellis form a powerful duo of backfield threats. Green-Ellis has punched in two TDs in each of his last two games, and has five rushing scores in the last three weeks. This offense is firing on all cylinders entering week 14.

The Bears' rush D is pretty fearsome, averaging just 84.9 yards allowed per game (second in the NFL), while having coughed up 10 rushing TDs earlier this year. Detroit managed 27/134/1 rushing vs. Chicago last week; the Eagles totaled 22/105/0 rushing at Chicago two weeks ago.

Green-Ellis and Woodhead have the Patriots' backfield in good shape, but they've got a tough team and a partisan crowd to face on Sunday. This is a tough matchup for the Patriots' backs.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Stevan Ridley remains the lead back for New England, with 53/196/3 rushing to his credit over the last three games, while Shane Vereen (23/96/1 rushing) and Danny Woodhead (8/32/0) have also contributed. Last week, it was Ridley (19/71/1) doing the bulk of the work, assisted by Woodhead (6/24/0 rushing and 2/15/0 receiving) and Vereen (3/14/0 rushing).

The Texans' rush D has allowed the fewest rushing TDs this year - two - and averages 87.6 rushing yards allowed per game (second in the NFL). Two weeks ago the Lions scored twice with 23/106/2, but then Chris Johnson and the Titans were limited to 17/89/0 rushing as a team last week.

This is a very tough matchup for the Patriots' backs.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeGarrette Blount (12/44/1 rushing at Houston), Shane Vereen (10/38/0 rushing with 5/37/1 receiving), and fullback James Develin (2/4/1 rushing with 1/12/0 receiving) all scored TDs in Houston last week. 'I was looking at the goal line, trying to get in there, keep my legs driving,' Develin said of his pin-balling TD. 'I don't know how many people I hit, but I'm just glad that I got in.' Brandon Bolden (3/2/0 rushing with 1/18/0) was also involved peripherally in the mix. As is usual, the Patriots used an extensive committee of backs last week, though Vereen and Blount are the main cogs in this machine now that Stevan Ridley's fumbles have relegated him to the bench (and coach Bill Belichick's doghouse).

The Browns' rush D is fifth in the NFL averaging 98.9 yards rushing allowed per game, with nine rushing scores handed over to date. Jacksonville had 29/112/0 rushing at Cleveland last week; Pittsburgh posted 34/85/0 rushing there two games ago. Cleveland plays hard-nosed defense in the trenches this year.

Blount and Vereen have their work cut out for them when the stubborn Browns come calling.

Weather: Orchard Park, NY expects a high of 35F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for precipitation on Sunday. The winds can be a big factor for passers and kickers at Ralph Wilson Stadium around this time of year - people who are considering starting Bills or Patriots will want to check a shorter-term forecast as game time approaches to evaluate probable wind conditions.

NE Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Saints' running backs headlined the offense last week, with 26/136/0 rushing for Deuce McAllister (a 5.2 yards-per-carry average), but lots of glory for Reggie Bush (10/37/3 rushing and 9/131/1 receiving) - last week, the Saint's offense was essentially McAllister and Bush with an assist from Drew Brees (the next-most-prolific receiver on the team was Joe Horn with 1/18/0). It was a powerful demonstration by the Saints' tandem of backs.

The Cowboys' rush D gave up 26/129/0 to the Giants last week, and have averaged 105 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 games. Their season average is 90.3 rushing yards given up per game (4th in the NFL), but Dallas has handed over 10 rushing scores so far, which is on the high side of the NFL range (4-14 as of this week). On balance, this is an above-average but not outstanding group of defenders.

The Saints' backs will have their work cut out for them vs. Dallas in Texas Stadium on Sunday night.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

New Orleans couldn't get past the Falcons back in week 10, dropping the game 20-34. The team compiled 17/105/0 rushing, but was led by WR Devery Henderson (1/30/0): none of the backs got more than 30 yards rushing (Reggie Bush was inactive due to his sore knee that week). Pierre Thomas led the backs with 6/26/0 rushing and 5/34/0 receiving, but 60 combined yards isn't something to write home about in fantasy terms. We'll see if the attack can do more with Reggie Bush in the lineup - he returned to the field not with a bang, but a whimper, posting just 3/0/0 rushing and 5/32/0 receiving vs. Tampa Bay last week - "It didn't feel good," said Bush after the game. "Just didn't get it done. I felt kind of rusty. That's about it." "I thought it was up and down," Saints Coach Sean Payton said about Bush's performance. "He struggled in punt return, and he had a couple of drops. We've just got to keep getting the rust off and getting him back, acclimated to game speed, and he'll be fine. But I just thought it was just OK."

Pierre Thomas gained 11/34/0 rushing to lead the team and also scored a TD (1/20/1 receiving). Deuce McAllister is out for the rest of the season due to a controlled substance suspension - Thomas and Bush look like the Saints' tandem during December.

The Falcons held LaDainian Tomlinson and company to 19/70/1 rushing last week, and have given up 328 rushing yards in their last 3 games (109.3 per contest on average). To date, the team is 21st in the NFL averaging 116.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with a hefty 14 rushing TDs given away in 13 contests. However, they are improving in this phase of the game entering December, as the numbers illustrate.

The Saints are working to get Reggie Bush up to speed; meanwhile, the Falcons are hitting their stride as a team and improving as rush defenders - advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tiki Barber revealed this week that he's been playing through a broken thumb for several games - the injury is healing naturally and won't require surgery, luckily, but he's in considerable pain. "It's killing me out there," Barber said, "If you watch us out there and you know me, you can tell it's affecting me. I'm trying to protect it a lot and I'm not switching the ball from hand to hand. I'm trying not to hold it with that hand." Luckily for the Giants, they have backup Brandon Jacobs to throw into the fray (17/83/2 rushing and 6/95/0 receiving over the past 3 weeks, 28th fantasy RB in the land; Barber is 29th with 58/199/0 rushing and 11/96/0 receiving during the same span). Last week, the Giants posted 29/126/0 vs. the Cowboys, with 23/90/0 rushing for Barber - he's doing well despite the pain.

Carolina's rush D hasn't been too giving over the past 3 weeks, with an average of 90.6 rushing yards given up per game. They held the Eagles to 27/98/0 last week, and average 108.3 rushing yards allowed per game this season. With only 6 rushing scores given up in 12 games, the Panthers have to be considered one of the top rush defenses in the NFL heading into the final 1/4 of the season.

This is a tough matchup for the increasingly desperate Giants.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Brandon Jacobs (20/86/0 rushing with 2/21/0 receiving) and Ahmad Bradshaw (9/21/1 rushing) powered a very effective rushing attack the first time these rivals clashed (during week eight). The final score was lopsidedly in favor of Philadelphia (17-40), but the Giants' backs did their job during the first contest.

Jacobs has been up and down in recent weeks, being held to 11/27/0 rushing and 3/30/0 receiving vs. Denver on Thanksgiving evening (Danny Ware chipped in 4/27/0 rushing and 1/-4/0 receiving that night before being concussed and knocked out of the lineup). However, he bounced back with two TDs vs. Dallas last week, posting 13/39/1 rushing and 1/74/1 receiving. Ahmad Bradshaw battled through two sprained ankles and a fractured foot to lead the team with 7/47/0 rushing during the game last week. All told, the Giants posted 23/100/1 on the ground.

The Eagles have racked up wins in three straight games - they limited Atlanta's backups to 22/61/0 rushing last week and Washington's backups to 25/82/1 rushing the week before. Over the past four weeks, Philadelphia has coughed up 388 yards rushing (97 yards per game), which is right on pace with their season average of 98.8 rushing yards allowed per game (seventh in the NFL). The Eagles have allowed eight rushing TDs over 12 games.

The Giants need this game to tighten up the NFC East race even further - but the Eagles won't make things easy. This is a tough matchup for Jacobs and company.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Since taking over the starting job two weeks ago, Brandon Jacobs has come alive, gaining 14/87/0 rushing vs. Jacksonville and then 8/103/2 rushing vs. Washington last week. Ahmad Bradshaw is thriving, too, with 9/49/0 rushing and 4/34/0 receiving vs. Jacksonville and 25/97/2 rushing with 1/8/0 receiving last week vs. Washington. The Giants' running back stable is playing at the peak of their abilities entering the stretch run into the playoffs.

The Vikings' rush D ranks fourth in the NFL averaging 92 yards allowed per game, with six rushing TDs given out over 12 contests. Buffalo managed 23/84/0 rushing at Minnesota last week; Washington put up 13/29/0 rushing two weeks ago. This is a shut-down type of rush D entering week 14, folks.

Two elite units clash in this matchup - at the Metrodome, we give a slight edge to the Vikings' unit.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

This is a huge game for both these NFC East rivals - whoever wins it gains a big edge on the divisional title, setting the stage for the rematch at MetLife Stadium on New Year's Day. With the return of Ahmad Bradshaw to action last week, the Giants' running game revived to post 20/100/1 as a team vs. Green Bay - Brandon Jacobs led the team in rushing with 8/59/1 while Bradshaw posted 11/38/0 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving as he knocked off several weeks' worth of rust from his game. 'I feel great, better than I thought I would be,' he said after the game. 'I think everyone thought I would be sore, not even able to walk. But I feel great.' We'll see if Jacobs and Bradshaw can keep the surge going down in Dallas. Unfortunately, the team lost OT Stacy Andrews to IR on Wednesday due to blood clots in his lungs - free-agent OT Tony Ugoh (late of Detroit) was signed on Wednesday to help provide depth on the Giants' line.

Speaking of Dallas, the Cowboys' rush D enters week 14 ranked ninth in the NFL averaging 100.5 yards given up per game, with just seven rushing scores allowed to date. Arizona posted 25/103/1 rushing last week; Miami managed 25/89/0 rushing at Dallas two weeks ago.

This looks like a tough matchup for the visiting Giants.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

NYG Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams met in week three, LaDainian Tomlinson led the Jets with 15/70/1 rushing (and 3/18/0 receiving), while Shonn Greene posted 10/36/0 rushing to help the team to 29/146/1 rushing (Brad Smith chipped in with 3/41/0 rushing out of the wildcat).

Since week three, the Jets' backfield has evolved into a fairly even partnership between Tomlinson (176/788/5 rushing and 47/343/0 receiving) and Greene (153/639/1 rushing with 10/72/0 receiving) while racking up 148.4 rushing yards per game as a team (fourth in the NFL) through 12 contests. Greene managed 13/64/0 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving at New England last week; Tomlinson posted 10/47/0 rushing with 2/14/0 receiving during the contest - all told, the Jets gained 31/152/0 rushing on the night.

The Dolphins' rush D averages 99.6 yards allowed per game (ninth in the NFL), with six rushing TDs given up to date. Cleveland could only scrape up 22/52/0 rushing last week; Oakland was held to 12/16/0 rushing on the ground two weeks ago. Miami's rush D is playing as well as any unit in the league right now - they've been a real stone wall in this phase of the game.

This looks like a very tough matchup for the reeling Jets.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

NYJ Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Justin Fargas didn't explode last week, but he did contribute to his fantasy squads with 14/49/1 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving. ReShard Lee led the team in receiving (5/57/0) and pitched in with 6/42/0 rushing as well. As a team, the Raiders posted 26/113/1 rushing during the game. Over the past 3 weeks, Fargas has posted 47/133/1 rushing and 3/37/0 receiving to rank 41st among all fantasy RBs in points per game, while Lee has 8/47/1 rushing and 6/62/0 receiving to rank 48th. Zack Crockett continues to chip in with 2/5/0 rushing and 2/19/0 receiving last week.

The Bengals have suddenly grown backbones, blanking the Browns two weeks ago and holding the Ravens to 7 points last week. The Ravens managed 20/89/0 rushing last week, while the Browns could only muster 14/51/0 the week before. They have averaged 77 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks - forget their season average, right now the Bengals are blanketing opposing running backs.

This looks like a tough matchup for Fargas and Lee.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Justin Fargas blew up the Denver rush D for 33/146/1 last week, and has gained 100/426/2 rushing and 12/88/0 receiving over the past 4 weeks - he's pacing 28 touches per game, folks. With that much opportunity coming his way, Fargas is bound to post respectable fantasy numbers more often than not. If you picked him up off the waiver wire, good for you.

The Packers' rush D is pretty respectable, with only 4 rushing scores surrendered to date, while averaging 100.5 rushing yards allowed per game (12th in the NFL). They've been softer of late, with 131 rushing yards allowed in week 11, 134 in week 12, and then 28/105/0 rushing allowed to Dallas last week - but it just isn't easy to get the ball in the end zone against this defense.

Fargas has been a productive, top 10 fantasy back in recent weeks, but he'll have his work cut out for him in the arctic chill at Lambeau Field this week - this is a tough matchup for the visiting running backs.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Raiders, who looked horrid running the ball two weeks ago at Miami (8/2/0 rushing with 7/63/0 receiving for Darren McFadden; 1/41/0 rushing with zero receptions for Michael Bush) suddenly found their wheels again at San Diego. McFadden ended up leading the team with 19/97/1 rushing (with 3/30/0 receiving), while Michael Bush posted 23/95/1 rushing - all told, the Raiders pasted 52/251/3 rushing on the Chargers (Jason Campbell added 7/37/1 rushing to the cause, and Marcel Reece gained 1/5/0 rushing and added 3/42/0 receiving to the team effort). We'll see if the Raiders can keep the momentum going in this phase of the game, or not.

The Jaguars are 17th in the NFL this year vs. opposing rushers, averaging 109.5 yards allowed per game, with 12 rushing scores given away so far. Tennessee was held to 14/57/0 rushing last week, though, and the Giants also didn't run in a score two weeks ago (26/135/0 rushing) - Jacksonville has only allowed 361 yards rushing over their last four games (90.25 yards allowed per contest). Of late, Jacksonville's rush D has been pretty stout.

The Raiders' running back stable has been inconsistent this year, while the Jaguars' rush D continues to improve. This looks like a tough matchup for the visiting Raiders.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams met, back in week four, Denver crushed Oakland 37-6 and held the ball just over 37 1/2 minutes. Talk about complete domination - the Raiders converted one of 12 third downs during the first game between these teams. Though this game is in the Black Hole, the Oakland fans haven't been turning out strongly this season - their home field advantage has shrunk to reflect their 3-9 record. The Raiders posted 16/56/0 rushing as a team back in week four, 'led' by Darren McFadden's 1/34/0 rushing (2.6 yards per carry).

The Raiders do expect McFadden back for this nationally-televised game, but given his LONG layoff (he hasn't played since 11/4/12) and his poor effort vs. Denver last time around, don't get too excited about his return to the field of play. Marcel Reece (55/261/0 rushing and 46/467/1 receiving this season) will be the change-of-pace back assuming that McFadden actually steps onto the field and makes it for 60 minutes on Sunday.

Denver ranks seventh in the NFL averaging 96.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with just five rushing scores surrendered through 12 games. The team has given up 21/71/0 to the Buccaneers and Doug Martin and 31/148/0 rushing to Jamaal Charles and company over the last two games.

It's tough to score on this team, and McFadden will be rusty - advantage, Denver.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Brian Westbrook led the Eagles in rushing the last time these teams met (week 11) - but he's been sidelined for the rest of the year due to a Lis-franc foot injury. We expect to see some combination of Ryan Moats and Lamar Gordon this week when the Eagles hand off the ball, but exactly how the workload will be distributed is unclear. The Eagles sport the league's 29th ranked rushing attack this season, averaging 82.8 rushing yards per game - we'd look at other RB options this week until we can get a feel for how the Eagles will proceed now that Westbrook is gone. Considering how poorly the Eagles' QBs are playing right now, whoever carries the ball is going to be keyed on by the Giants.

Speaking of the Giants, they contained Dallas to 27/81/0 last week, and have averaged 104.6 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. The ream ranks 16th in the NFL vs. opposing backs this year, allowing 111.8 yards per game on average in this phase. The Giants are heading in the right direction as the playoff hunt heats up.

Philadelphia's offense was in a shambles last week, and we're not sure that Andy Reid and company can fix it in just one week - the Giants have the edge in this matchup.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Eagles lost to the Giants by 5 points the last time these rivals clashed, with 31 points compiled by Philly during the contest. The Giants made things tough on Brian Westbrook (13/26/0 rushing and 3/33/0 receiving) and Correll Buckhalter (2/21/0 rushing) - the lone rushing TD was posted by DeSean Jackson (3/24/1 rushing with 4/61/0 receiving).

However, in the weeks since the last showdown (week 10), Brian Westbrook has piled up 50/209/2 rushing and 8/26/2 receiving to land at #10 fantasy RB during that span of time - all of the TDs came in one fell swoop last week vs. Arizona, with 22/110/2 rushing and 3/20/2 receiving to Westbrook's credit. His understudy, Lorenzo Booker, came up with some solid runs and recorded 4/21/0 on the ground in a change-of-pace role, while Buckhalter nursed his sore knee on the sidelines. The Eagles' offense is going full speed as of week 14.

The Giants' rush D is very tough, averaging just 85.4 yards allowed per game this year, with 7 rushing TDs surrendered to date. They've held the last 3 opponents to a total of 236 rushing yards (78.6 per game), with 18/92/1 allotted to the Redskins' stable last week (but only 11/22/0 handed to Clinton Portis and a mere 3 yards rushing for Ladell Betts).

Westbrook got hot last week, but he's been up and down of late and didn't do well vs. the Giants in Lincoln Financial Field - he'll have his hands full in Giants' Stadium during week 14.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeSean McCoy claimed all the Eagles' TDs last week, leading the team with 17/84/1 rushing and landing at second on the team with 4/49/1 receiving. He is the one constantly excellent player on the offense this year.

The Dolphins' rush D crushed Michael Bush and company last week, allowing a mere 14/46/0 to Oakland; they also limited DeMarco Murray and company to 23/85/0 rushing during the one-point loss at Dallas on Thanksgiving. To date, the team ranks fifth in the NFL with an average of 93.2 rushing yards allowed per game, and they are second in the NFL with just three rushing scores given away over 12 games. These guys are outstanding at run defense, folks.

McCoy is the Eagles' top offensive threat, but he faces a tough assignment this week at Miami.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Bryce Brown has been outstanding since joining the starting lineup - 75/488/4 rushing (6.5 yards per carry!) with 9/33/0 receiving. The Eagles can ride Brown for as long as LeSean McCoy needs to recover from his concussion - the running game is going great guns for the Eagles right now.

The Buccaneers' rush D is tops in the NFL averaging 82.3 rushing yards allowed per game, but they have coughed up nine rushing scores to date, in the middle of the current NFL range of 2-17 rushing scores allowed by the various teams. Atlanta managed 24/79/2 rushing at Tampa two weeks ago, while the Broncos posted 29/91/0 rushing vs. Tampa last week.

Brown is producing at a high level, but he's got a tough matchup ahead.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeSean McCoy has gone well over 100 yards combined in each of his last two games, with 19/79/0 rushing and 5/36/0 receiving vs. Arizona and 20/77/2 rushing with 4/73/0 receiving vs. Washington. He's a must-start fantasy player as of the first week of December.

The Lions' rush D ranks third in the NFL averaging 82.7 yards allowed per game, with just five rushing scores given out this season. They held Green Bay to 15/24/0 rushing on Thanksgiving and limited Tampa to 24/22/0 rushing two games ago. Enough said.

McCoy faces a tough challenge in this phase of the game against the shut-down Lions' rush D, but as a dual-threat back he still merits consideration for your fantasy lineup in Week 14.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 39F with a low of 30F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - as long as the forecast holds up, weather shouldn't be a huge factor for either squad.

PHI Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willie Parker remains the starter in Pittsburgh - for now. However, his fumbling problems have him on thin ice with coach Cowher, who said on Tuesday "If he puts the ball on the ground, he and I will be talking like we're talking here. He'll be standing next to me [on the sidelines]." Over the past 3 weeks, Parker has posted 45/173/0 rushing and 7/56/1 receiving, to rank 25th among all fantasy RBs in points per game during that span. If Parker falters, expect Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis to step into a committee to replace Parker. Bettis scored his 3rd TD of the season last week vs. Cincinnati, with 8/13/1 rushing. The Steelers are currently 10th in the NFL averaging 123.6 rushing yards per game this season.

Chicago fields the league's 7th ranked rush defense, allowing an average of 93.3 yards per game. However, they are very tough to score on, with only 4 rushing scores surrendered to date - last week, Samkon Gado managed to punch in a rare TD vs. this defensive front, with 20/75/1 rushing (24/100/1 for the Packers as a team). Over the past 3 weeks, the Bears average 87.3 rushing yards surrendered per game.

Pittsburgh's running game has been sputtering lately - they'll have a tough time getting their engines going vs. Chicago.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willie Parker led the Steelers in rushing last week, as usual, with 28/87/0, and added 1/14/0 receiving to go over 100 yards combined. He has hit a huge scoring draught during the middle of the season, though, with 5 straight games without a rushing or receiving TD (he's only got 2 rushing scores to his credit this year). Over the last 4 weeks, Parker has run up 98/325/0 rushing and 4/30/0 receiving - he's seeing around 25 touches per game, but the scoring opportunities just haven't materialized of late.

The Patriots are 6th in the NFL averaging 92.8 rushing yards allowed per game, and have given up 7 rushing scores in 12 games. In 2 out of their last 4 games, they have given up 119 or more rushing yards, including last week's showing vs. Baltimore (37/166/1 allowed to the Ravens). Of late, the Patriots have been up and down in this phase of the game.

Parker is a great NFL back, but his fantasy upside has been limited lately by his lack of scoring. The Patriots aren't quite as stingy with TDs as the Steelers are, but they aren't handing out 6-pointers like Christmas candy, either. This is a tough matchup for Parker to face, on the road in thunderous Gillette Stadium.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willie Parker (16/87/0 rushing last week) has resigned himself to a by-committee approach with Mewelde Moore (12/67/0 rushing last week) going forwards. He said after the 33-10 victory over New England "I am not where I need to be, but I feel a lot better. I never thought I would be happy with something like [splitting time at the position with Mewelde Moore]. I think that is the perfect thing for me right now. It's a good thing for the team, helping this team out." As a team, Pittsburgh racked up 34/161/1, with the TD punched in by goal-line specialist Gary Russell (3/1/1). The Steelers have a 3-headed monster entering December, fantasy owners.

The Cowboys' rush D is currently ranked 10th in the NFL averaging 96.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs given away over 12 contests. They have held their last 3 opponents to 198 yards rushing (66 per game), including the 23/80/0 granted to Seattle on Thanksgiving. Coming into December, the Cowboys' rush D is playing at the top of their collective game.

Parker and company form an effective tandem, but they face a tough test when the surging Cowboys come to town on Sunday.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Pittsburgh has settled on Jonathan Dwyer as their featured back for the rest of the year (Rashard Mendenhall was inactive last week) - he responded with a tough 16/49/1 rushing and 3/8/0 in the 23-20 win at Baltimore. Isaac Redman saw 9/43/0 rushing and one target for zero receptions as the change-of-pace back last week.

The Chargers' rush D averages 94.5 yards rushing allowed per game (sixth in the NFL), with just five rushing scores given out to date. Baltimore posted 35/127/0 rushing on the Chargers two weeks ago; Cincinnati had 32/128/1 rushing last week. The Chargers' defensive front is fading as their season circles the bowl.

Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

PIT Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LaDainian Tomlinson has pumped six rushing TDs into the end-zone over the last four weeks, with 77/272/6 rushing and 2/26/0 receiving to his credit - that puts him at #11 among all fantasy RBs in points per game during that time frame. He's scored at least one TD in four straight games. Where Tomlinson's drop-off is most apparent is in the receiving phase of the game - Darren Sproles posted 7/27/0 rushing vs. Cleveland last week, but handled 4/56/1 receiving, while Tomlinson had one catch for 21 yards last week (with 20/64/1 rushing). The two form a very effective tandem, but Tomlinson is no longer the elite fantasy back we grew used to earlier in the decade.

Dallas' rush D is currently ninth in the NFL averaging 102.5 yards allowed per game, and they've only given away five rushing TDs this year. Over the past four weeks, the team averaged ~102 rushing yards allowed per game, right on their usual pace, with 23/100/1 handed over to the Giants in last week's brawl. This is a solid, what-you-see-is-what-you-get group entering the final 1/4 of the NFL season.

Tomlinson and Sproles form an effective tandem, but in Dallas Cowboys Stadium they'll face a tough struggle this week.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Chargers' rushing attack stalled last week, with a mere 8/21/0 on the ground vs. Oakland. Mike Tolbert posted 7/16/0 rushing and 6/47/0 receiving - Ryan Mathews was active but didn't play due to the Chargers being in chase mode all day long. 'There wasn't a physical thing. I wanted to play Ryan. He will play next week. The way the game went and with Ryan having to play the (pass) protection part of it, Tolbert is a lot more experienced in terms of those things. I thought it was the right thing to do,' head coach Norv Turner said after the game. We'll see if the Chargers' offense can regain some balance in week 14 (the team attempted 39 passes last week as compared to eight rushes). Back in week one, Mathews led this team with 20/78/0 rushing (and 1/2/0 receiving), while Tolbert had two rushes for 26 yards at Kansas City.

The Chief's rush D ranks 12th in the NFL through 12 contests, averaging 101.8 yards allowed per contest, with just six rushing TDs given up over that set of games. Denver ground out 23/161/0 rushing at Kansas City last week, while Seattle could only muster 12/20/0 rushing vs. K.C. two weeks ago. The defensive front has bounced around their season average in recent weeks, but have remained stubborn in the red zone.

The Chargers' rushing attack is still a work in progress (trying to integrate Mathews into the mix), while the Chiefs' unit is playing fairly well this year despite Knowshon Moreno's big game last week - this looks like a tough matchup for the Chargers' backs.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Mathews - 155/620/1 rushing with 36/244/0 receiving - has been a fantasy disappointment this season. He's a featured running back who doesn't score TDs - witness last week's 9/26/0 rushing and 3/25/0 receiving. The Chargers' offense is lethargic and dispirited as their loss total mounts.

The Steelers' rush D ranks fifth in the NFL averaging 93.1 yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores surrendered to date. Baltimore managed 21/111/1 rushing last week, while the Browns posted 34/108/1 on this group two weeks ago.

A sluggish offense meets a respectable defensive front in this game - advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ryan Mathews managed to put up a rushing score against the tough Ravens last week (12/40/1 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving) and has scored a rushing TD in each of his last two games (12/105/1 rushing with 2/8/0 receiving vs. STL two weeks ago). He's the best back the Chargers have entering December (Branden Oliver had one rush for seven yards last week) and they are treating Mathews as their featured back as of December 1.

The Patriots' rush D is ranked 14th in the NFL in terms of rushing yards allowed per game (110.0), but they are second in the league with only five rushing scores given out to date. Last week, Green Bay managed 29/130/0 rushing against the Patriots; Detroit had 25/91/0 two weeks ago.

Mathews has the cat-bird seat for San Diego, but he's got a tough matchup ahead here during Week 14.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

SD Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The last time these teams clashed, during week 2, Shaun Alexander was still the primary ball carrier - he had a decent afternoon, with 18/70/1 rushing and 2/5/0 receiving (Maurice Morris didn't touch the ball that day, although Leonard Weaver did have 1/6/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving). Since this game, Alexander has been through injury - he's now in a committee of backs with Maurice Morris getting some key touches on Sundays.

Shaun Alexander got a steady diet of carries last week, with 20/65/1 to his credit, while Morris handled 5/64/1 during the game - in aggregate, the Seattle stable trounced the Eagles for 29/135/2, which is a 4.7 yards per carry average. Alexander was on the low end of the scale, averaging 3.3 yards per carry, while Morris boosted the team by averaging 12.8 yards per tote.

The Cardinals' rush D has been generally strong over the past 4 weeks, totaling 275 yards allowed during that time frame (~69 rushing yards per game). They have allowed -18, 72, 137, and 84 net rushing yards in their games weeks 10-13 (21/84/0 given up to the Browns' stable last week). To date, the Cards are 11th in the NFL averaging 99.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with 10 rushing TDs surrendered - lately, they've been playing better than that average would indicate.

The Seahawks' stable did well last week in aggregate, and both backs scored enough fantasy points to help their owners out - this week, they face a solid rush D in a divisional matchup, though. We think that the Seahawks will have their work cut out for them against the Cardinals' defense - advantage, Arizona.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Seattle romped 31-6 the last time they faced the 49ers, and they were led by Justin Forsett's 7/43/0 rushing (with 3/17/0 receiving) that day. Since week one, Julius Jones has become a Saint and Marshawn Lynch has joined the Seahawks - a lot has changed in the RB stable's composition up in Seattle during recent months. Last week, Lynch exploded for 21/83/3 rushing (with 1/17/0 receiving) vs. the hapless Carolina Panthers, and Justin Forsett added 6/60/0 rushing to the mix - all told, the Seahawks posted 31/161/3 rushing as a team for their best total in quite some time.

The 49ers faltered at Green Bay last week, giving up 34/136/1 rushing to the Packers' understrength unit. Two weeks ago, Arizona was held to 11/13/0 rushing - San Francisco has been all over the map in this phase of the game lately. To date, the team is ranked 10th in the NFL averaging 101.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with seven rushing TDs given up over 12 contests.

In this divisional battle, the 49ers' D holds an edge over the surging Seahawks' backs.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Seattle destroyed San Francisco 29-3 back in week two - Marshawn Lynch gained 28/98/2 rushing and 3/37/1 receiving to handle all the TDs scored by the Seahawks on offense. Russell Wilson gained 10/33/0 rushing and Robert Turbin kicked in 6/31/0 during the onslaught. The Seahawks' rushing attack had a great outing against the 49ers back in September. Over their last two games, Lynch has posted 17/54/2 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving vs. Minnesota, and then 16/45/0 rushing with 3/12/0 receiving vs. New Orleans last week. He's getting almost 20 touches per game, but Lynch's productivity has declined of late. Russell Wilson actually led the team in rushing vs. New Orleans (8/47/0) while Robert Turbin handled 11/34/0 rushing during that game.

The 49ers' rush D ranks 11th in the NFL averaging 105.5 yards allowed per game, with nine rushing scores handed over to the opposition to date. They gave up 26/114/0 to the Rams last week and 26/114/0 to Washington two games ago. This is a consistently solid defensive front, friends.

Lynch and company have a tough row to hoe at San Francisco this week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SEA Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Maurice Hicks had the best results vs. Seattle on the ground back in week 11, with 11/83/1 rushing (a long of 50) and 1/4/0 receiving. Kevan Barlow managed 12/21/0 during the game. Last week, vs. the anemic Cardinals, the committee of Frank Gore (6/22/0 rushing) and Maurice Hicks (10/17/1) led the team to 20/51/1 rushing as a team. Yes, the 49ers are horrible this year - having the interception machine known as Alex Smith under center lets teams load up vs. the run and dare the 49ers to pass the ball (which they can't do effectively).

Seattle ranks 12th vs. the run this year, allowing an average of 104.7 yards per game on the ground, with 12 TDs given up. Over the past 3 weeks, they've been surrendering ground at a pace of 112.3 yards per game - last week, they crushed the Eagles 42-0, holding their stable to 25/61/0.

San Francisco's offense is in paralysis due to an ineffective passing game. This will be a very tough matchup for whichever of the backs are healthy enough to play.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore's fantasy numbers have slipped in recent weeks, with just 56/198/2 rushing and 6/37/0 receiving over the past 3 contests - he managed 24/66/0 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving vs. Buffalo last week. He hasn't dropped off the face of the planet, but his production has been nothing to write home about, either.

The Jets' 4th-ranked rush D (averaging 82.1 rushing yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs surrendered in 12 contests) stumbled badly vs. Denver. Peyton Hillis led Denver to a surprising 34-17 victory with 22/129/1 on the ground - New York didn't have any answers for his game last week (a 5.9 yards allowed per carry average). We'll see if Kris Jenkins and company can regroup for this non-conference contest.

Gore is down of late, and the Jets played poorly last week - this looks like a tough matchup between struggling units from where we're sitting.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore struggled to gain ground against the Cardinals way back in week one - except when he was near the goal line (22/30/1 rushing with 3/18/1 receiving). He scored enough to lead the 49ers to a 20-16 win in the season opener.

Gore has been less-than-impressive in his last three outings, with 7/59/0 rushing and 3/9/1 receiving vs. Green Bay, 16/33/0 rushing and 7/14/1 receiving vs. Jacksonville, and then 9/25/0 rushing and 5/37/0 receiving up in Seattle last week. As the offense has become more pass-oriented, his numbers have gone south. While he was scoring receiving TDs, the decline didn't utterly destroy his fantasy owners, but absent the TD last week he was a pretty mediocre fantasy start.

Arizona did quite a job containing the Minnesota backs last week, smothering Adrian Peterson - he had just 13/19/0 rushing (6/46/0 receiving) - and containing Chester Taylor as well (5/21/0 rushing with 4/28/0 receiving). At the end of the day the Vikings had compiled a low 20/62/0 on the ground vs. Arizona. Talk about bouncing from one extreme to another! Arizona was blasted by the Titans two weeks ago for 23/163/1 rushing (a 7.1 yards allowed per carry average). So far this year, the Cardinals are 12th in the NFL averaging 104.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing TDs - they are not a top-tier unit, but they do a respectable job against opposing backs more often than not.

Gore didn't have a lot of luck against the Seahawks in the season opener, and they still have a group that is capable enough to make trouble for Gore in week 14 - this looks like a tough matchup against a playoff-bound divisional opponent from where we're sitting.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore struggled to run the ball at St. Louis, with 23/58/1 to his credit - Colin Kaepernick actually led the team with 9/84/0 rushing last week. Over the past two games, Gore has 42/141/1 rushing, while his new side-kick Brandon Jacobs has 5/7/0 to his credit - the 49ers will sink or swim with Gore during the final 1/4 of the season.

The Dolphins average 97.7 yards rushing allowed per game (eighth in the NFL), with five rushing scores given away to date. New England managed 32/108/1 rushing at Miami last week; Seattle posted 27/96/0 two weeks ago.

Gore and company face a tough matchup against a top-ten rush D in this one.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore had a horrid game at Seattle back in Week two, with 9/16/0 rushing and 1/14/0 receiving during the 3-29 destruction of the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick led the team in rushing with 9/87/0 rushing (but he threw three interceptions and zero TDs, so the nice day running the ball was offset by turnovers).

After the win over St. Louis last week, Gore replied when asked about his performance (15/42/1 rushing with 2/7/0 receiving): 'I know we've got to run the ball better. That won't work.' Over the past three games, Gore has put up 41/123/1 rushing (3.0 yards per carry) and 5/18/0 receiving, while backups Anthony Dixon (11/26/1) and Kendall Hunter (15/20/0) have had similarly poor yards-per-carry averages. There is a lot of room for improvement here, folks.

Seattle averages 107.2 rushing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL), but they have only given out four rushing scores this year. They held New Orleans to a bare minimum 17/44/0 on Monday Night Football, and limited Adrian Peterson and company to 33/132/0 two games ago.

This looks like a tough matchup for Gore and friends.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson continues to handle the ball close to 30 times a week for the Rams, and he's been very productive in the ultra-intense role this season (239/1028/6 rushing with 72/622/0 receiving) - last week, he carried the ball for 21/96/0 and snagged 9/69/0 receiving as well. He's the engine that drives the Rams' offense this year.

The Bears' defense is tied for second-least rushing TDs allowed this year (5) and also tied for least passing TDs allowed (8) - it isn't easy to get 6 vs. Chicago. They are currently 12th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, pacing 105.8 rushing yards allowed per game this year - last week, they handed over 35/192/1 to the Vikings in an unusually bad performance by the defensive front. Most weeks, the Bears are more stubborn vs. opposing backs.

This is going to be a tough game for Jackson and the Rams.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson has been on fire over the last four weeks, with 101/448/3 rushing and 20/81/0 receiving - he's the #2 fantasy RB for that time span in PPR leagues. Two weeks ago, Jackson contributed 23/89/1 rushing and 5/27/0 receiving to the Rams' 17-27 loss vs. Seattle. last week, he went over the 100-yards rushing barrier at Chicago (28/112/0 rushing with 4/9/0 receiving). He's been finding the end zone fairly regularly since the Rams' week nine bye - last week was the first time he didn't score in the last five contests.

Tennessee finally lost another game after their excellent five-game win streak - Indianapolis and Joseph Addai (27/88/2) proved too much for Vince Young and company to overcome. Tennessee has been tough in this phase of the game since the start of the second half of the season, with just 309 rushing yards allowed in their last four games (77.3 per contest on average), but last week just wasn't the Titans' week.

Jackson is running strongly during the waning moments of the season, but he's got a tough customer to handle when the Rams visit LP Field on Sunday.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson was limited to 15/42/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving by the Seahawks three weeks ago, and the Rams lost to Seattle 7-24 during their week 11 contest. All told, the Rams eked out 17/42/0 rushing (QB Sam Bradford had zero yards rushing on two attempts during the loss).

Since the loss vs. Seattle two weeks ago, Jackson has struggled to move the ball with A.J. Feeley under center - he put up a mere 10/19/0 rushing with 1/11/0 receiving at San Francisco last week, and had 17/64/0 rushing with 3/14/0 receiving vs. Arizona two weeks ago. Jackson is in a late-season swoon right now, folks, as is the Rams' offense. They may have to start recent practice-squad QB Tom Brandstater this week due to injuries to Sam Bradford (high ankle sprain) and Feeley (thumb fracture) - look for Seattle to load up in the box and stuff Jackson all day long.

The Seahawks' rush D averages 103.5 yards allowed per game (11th in the NFL) with just seven rushing scores given up over 12 games played. Philadelphia did manage 25/132/1 rushing last week behind all-pro LeSean McCoy, and Washington put up 29/110/1 rushing at Seattle two weeks ago. Lately, the Seattle rush D has been pretty average.

Even an average unit should dominate the injury-decimated Rams. Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tre Mason tortured the Raiders last week with 14/117/2 rushing and 3/47/1 receiving, while Tavon Austin (2/24/1 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving) and Shaun Hill (2/1/1 rushing) also found pay dirt in this phase of the game. Mason has cemented his hold on the featured job in St. Louis entering the final 1/4 of the NFL season.

The Washington rush D allowed 21/126/1 to the Colts' runners last week, and 29/66/1 to San Francisco's tandem two weeks ago - they are ranked ninth in the NFL averaging 102.8 rushing yards allowed per game, with eight rushing scores handed out to date.

At FedEx Field this week, Mason faces a tougher-than-usual matchup, but you shouldn't sit a player this hot.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tampa managed 17/44/1 rushing vs. Carolina during their week 9 clash - Cadillac Williams eked out 11/29/0 rushing (3/25/0 receiving. Mike Alstott scored the rushing TD with 1/1/1 to his credit. Since then, Williams has recovered his early season form, with 61/296/1 rushing and 7/27/0 receiving during the past 3 weeks, including last week's totals of 22/96/0 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving. He's once again the featured back on this offense, although Alstott may get the call in goal-to-go situations.

Carolina is the 2nd-ranked rush D in the land as of week 14, with an average of 85.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and only 5 rushing scores given up to date (2nd-least in the NFL). Over the past 3 weeks, they've averaged 98.3 rushing yards allowed per game, but have surrendered only 1 TD during that span (rushing and receiving). Last week the potent Falcon's stable was contained (not shut down, but limited) to 23/120/0 - not bad considering the Falcons average 177.8 rushing yards per game this year. These guys are very tough.

Tampa's running game has gotten back in stride lately, but they'll have their hands full with the Panthers and the Panthers' 12th man in Bank of America Stadium in this key divisional matchup.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carnell Williams started a season-long slump against the Falcons, with 15/37/0 to his credit back in week 2. Since then, he has posted exactly 2 100+ rushing yards performances, and has scored a single TD all year. He is THE fantasy bust of the 2006 season. Last week, Williams scraped up 11/27/0 rushing and 4/30/0 receiving vs. the Steelers. Little used Earnest Graham outgained Williams last week with 4/35/0 to lead the team.

Atlanta's rush D averages 104.8 yards allowed per game this season (10th in the NFL), with 12 rushing scores given up to date. They coughed up 35/177/1 to the Washington backs last week, though - it's fair to say that Atlanta took a big step back last week.

Williams is ineffectual most weeks - even the Falcons' mediocre bunch can stuff him. This is a tough matchup for the Bucs' current squad.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeGarrette Blount was awful against the Panthers' weak rush D, managing a mere 11/19/0 rushing with two targets for zero catches. The Buccaneers were led by QB Josh Johnson's 5/45/0 rushing last week - all told, the team eked out 27/78/0 rushing as a team. The power-outage was inexplicable, as Blount had back-to-back 100+ yard performances in weeks 11 and 12 - he simply stunk last week, though.

The Jaguars' rush D is a middle-of-the-road unit as of week 14, averaging 111.6 yards allowed per game (14th in the NFL) with 10 rushing scores surrendered to date. San Diego hit them for 26/139/2 on Monday Night Football, but Houston was limited to 31/88/1 rushing at Jacksonville two weeks ago.

Blount fell on his face last week, and he faces a stouter challenge this week - this looks like a tough road game for Tampa.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Redkskins eked out 16/74/0 rushing at New York last week, led by James Davis' 9/40/0 rushing (he added 3/41/0 receiving to his total last week). Keiland Williams managed 5/29/0 rushing with 2/2/0 receiving at New York. At midweek, the word is that Ryan Torain will practice fully on Wednesday, and he's expected back in the mix for the Redskins this week, too. Welcome to Washington's running back by committee, fantasy owners.

The Buccaneers' rush D has given up just 366 yards in this phase over the past four weeks, with 27/85/1 rushing allowed to the Falcons last week and 26/92/0 handed over to the Ravens two weeks ago. They've done a good job limiting some outstanding NFL backs in recent weeks, folks.

The Redskins don't have any outstanding NFL backs right now - this looks like a tough matchup for the home team, friends.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jamal Lewis continued his 2005 Tour of Shame last week, with 8/17/0 rushing and 3/23/0 receiving vs. the lowly Texans defense (the worst rush D in the NFL). He was outgained by Chester Taylor (11/40/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving) - Lewis just can't seem to find his burst this year. We'd look elsewhere for your starting RB - Lewis' 203/638/2 rushing and 25/142/1 receiving during the past 12 games puts him at #35 among fantasy RBs in points per game.

Denver's rush D is 3rd in the NFL this season, averaging 86.5 yards allowed per game, with 8 rushing TDs surrendered to date. Last week, they were trampled by Larry Johnson and company, though, to the tune of 37/168/2. Over the past 3 weeks, the Broncos have averaged 91.6 rushing yards allowed per game - they've been up and down in this phase of the game in recent weeks.

Lewis and the Ravens are weak this season, while Denver is stout more often than not. At the Bronco's house, this looks like a bad matchup for Baltimore.

Weather: The forecast for Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 42F and a low of 25F with a 0% chance of precipitation on Sunday. However, at this time of year gusty winds are common on the High Plains (parts of Colorado endured hurricane-force winds early this week in advance of a massive cold-front) - owners considering starting Ravens or Broncos will want to check a short-term forecast before pulling the trigger on their players as high winds can wreck passing and kicking games.

BAL Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Back in week one, the Bears struggled to run the ball against Green Bay (a theme that would persist throughout the 2009 season) - they had 31/86/0 rushing as a team, led by Matt Forte's 25/55/0 rushing (0 receptions). To date, the Bears rank 31st in the NFL averaging 88 rushing yards per game as a team.

Forte did find some room to roam last week against the 28th-ranked St. Louis Rams' rush D, and posted a better-than-usual game with 24/91/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving - as a team, the Bears managed 38/129/1 rushing. However, against Minnesota two weeks ago the picture was bleaker for Forte owners, with 8/27/0 rushing and 4/34/0 receiving generated by the Bears' lead back.

We mention the Minnesota game because the Packers' defense is cheek-by-jowl with the Vikings this season, currently one notch below the Vikings at fourth in the NFL averaging 87.2 rushing yards allowed per game, with just four rushing TDs given up through 12 games. The Packers have allowed just 269 rushing yards in their last four games (67.3 per contest, on average), with Ray Rice and company limited to 21/66/1 rushing last week. The Pack is on in this phase of the game, folks.

Forte has an awful matchup ahead this week.

Weather: Heinz Field expects a high of 38F with a low of 32F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jamal Lewis led the Browns to a near-miss vs. Indianapolis (6-10 loss) with 24/77/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving to record the most yards (combined) of anyone on the team. Jason Wright (2/11/0 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving) was 2nd on the team last week among the 6 players who eventually carried the ball at least once. With 52/200/0 rushing and 3/17/0 receiving, Lewis is the 39th ranked fantasy RB over the past 3 weeks - he has been undercut by the lack of scoring on the Browns' part of late.

The Lions were crushed by Tennessee last week on Thanksgiving (14/23/0 rushing) - the Titans have given up 355 yards rushing in the last 3 weeks, but they got back to their usual stubborn ways against the hapless Lions. To date, the Titans average 97.2 rushing yards allowed per game, but they have handed over 12 rushing TDs through 12 games.

Lewis and company will have a 3rd-string QB under center next week (Ken Dorsey), which means the Titans can clamp down on the ball carriers and dare Cleveland to throw into the teeth of their 4th-ranked pass D. This just doesn't look like a pretty game for the Browns no matter how you slice it.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cleveland's offense was centered on Jamal Lewis (now on IR due to a serious concussion) and Derek Anderson (since benched for ineffective play) back in week six when these divisional rivals last clashed. The offensive mix is completely different for the Browns entering week 14, though the results are no different.

Jerome Harrison was the lead fantasy back for the Browns last week, with 10/35/0 rushing supplemented by 7/62/2 receiving in the narrow 23-30 loss to San Diego. Chris Jennings chipped in 5/28/0 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving for the Browns, while Joshua Cribbs helped out with 4/38/0 rushing from the Browns' version of the wild-cat. All told, the Browns had a respectable 22/115/0 rushing vs. San Diego last week. We'll see if they've hit upon a good mix this week, when the Steelers come calling.

The Steelers still boast of the league's number one rush D despite their recent losing streak - the team averages 77.8 rushing yards allowed per contest, with three rushing TDs allowed all year long. Oakland managed 28/109/0 rushing in their surprise upset win last week - Baltimore posted 29/132/1 during their 20-17 win over the Steelers. Pittsburgh hasn't been on top of their game in this phase over the last two weeks, but they haven't completely imploded, either.

The Browns' offense is finding some rhythm in the midst of the roster-juggling that has been 2009, but they are still far from impressive. This is a bad matchup for Harrison and Cribbs.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Peyton Hillis got back in the mix last week, but he drew a tough matchup against the stout Ravens - even so, he managed 12/45/0 rushing and had two targets for 1/52/0 receiving, just missing out on 100 yards combined. Unfortunately, he banged up a hip/hurt a rib and will have to fight through some more pain to play in week 14 - Hillis owners will want to monitor his practice participation later in the week to see how his recovery goes. Hillis admitted on Wednesday that he isn't 100% healthy: 'I haven't been there all year,' Hillis said. Chris Ogbonnaya had just one rush for two yards last week, but added 5/28/0 receiving in the change-of-pace role. Montario Hardesty (after proclaiming he was going to play in the game) was active but didn't log a carry or target vs. the Ravens.

The Steelers' rush D has been stingy with pionts in the last two weeks, with 22/104/0 allowed to the Bengals last week and 34/90/0 given up to the Chiefs two weeks ago. They've been tough to score on all year, with just six rushing TDs given up over 12 contests, while ranking seventh in the NFL averaging 96.9 rushing yards allowed per game on average.

Hillis carried the Cleveland attack last week, but it remains to be seen if he can go on a short week at Pittsburgh on Thursday night - whoever plays for the Browns faces a bad matchup anyway.

Weather: The forecast for Paul Brown Stadium calls for a high of 43F with a low 30F and a 30% chance for precipitation - the moisture could fall as rain, sleet or snow in those conditions. If the precipitation falls thickly at game time, visibility, footing and ball handling could all become issues for both teams.

CLE Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Back in week 5, the Lions couldn't find seams in the Viking's rush D, posting 11/16/1 (Kevin Jones had 10/8/0 on the day - Jon Kitna scrambled in the TD with 1/8/1), though they did punch in one rushing TD. Jones was much more effective as a pass-catcher against the Vikings, with 4/42/0 to his credit in that phase of the game. Jones missed some games in recent weeks, but got back in the action last week, posting 19/56/0 rushing and 5/86/0 receiving vs. New England.

Since week 5, the Vikings' rush D has not gotten any easier to run against, either. They held Chicago to 25/83/1 last week (a 3.3 yards-per-carry average) and average 32.3 rushing yards allowed per game over the past 3 weeks. They are tied for 2nd in the NFL with only 5 rushing scores given up in 12 games so far.

Whenever you are playing the #1 rush D in the land, you've got a bad matchup in front of you.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Kevin Smith put forth a great effort against the Bengals - he actually scored a TD and got over 100 yards combined, with 16/75/1 rushing and 2/29/0 receiving during the contest. For Detroit circa 2009, those are some very solid numbers. We'll see if he can build on the momentum this week (but we doubt it).

Why do we not like Smith's prospects? Well, the Ravens also field a top-ten rush defense, that currently averages 97.3 rushing yards allowed per game, with only seven rushing TDs allowed over 12 contests. Green Bay was limited to 27/94/0 rushing last week, although Pittsburgh did manage 38/153/1 rushing against Baltimore two weeks ago. Most of the time, the numbers look more like the ones that Green Bay managed.

Detroit currently averages 94.8 rushing yards per game as a team, with seven rushing scores generated this year. The TD Smith ran in last week was his first in the past eight games played. Advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: Lambeau Field expects a high of 34F with a low of 25F and a 30% chance for precipitation. As this is a Sunday night game, the temperature will be nearer to the low - if moisture falls, it will be sleet or snow, causing visibility, footing and ball-handling problems for both squads. Wind conditions will also come into play - owners of Packers and Lions will want to check a short-term forecast before setting their starting lineup, as gusty winds play havoc with passing and kicking games in this venue.

DET Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense at Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Houston missed Steve Slaton last week (out due to a shoulder injury that is causing numbness in one of his shoulder/hands/thumbs) - he's reportedly heading to IR due to this injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, reporting on Wednesday.

Without Slaton in the lineup, Ryan Moats led the team with 12/41/0 rushing (3/24/0 receiving), while Chris Brown scored for the second straight game (6/15/1 rushing with 2/11/0 last week vs. Jacksonville, with 11/56/1 rushing and 3/20/0 receiving vs. Indianapolis two weeks ago). With Slaton out, look for Moats/Brown to split up the workload in a similar fashion again this week.

Seattle beat divisional rival San Francisco at the buzzer last week 20-17, and they did a fine job containing Frank Gore and company in this phase of the game, limiting the 49ers to 12/53/0 rushing as a team. Two weeks ago, Steven Jackson and the Rams posted 28/113/1 rushing during their 17-27 loss to the Seahawks. This year, Seattle ranks 13th in the NFL averaging 105.9 rushing yards allowed per game, with nine rushing scores surrendered to date - over the past four weeks, the team has coughed up 448 rushing yards (112 per contest on average) - they play good, solid rush D up in Seattle this year.

The Texans' rushing attack has been near the bottom of the league most of the year, currently ranking 29th in the NFL averaging 89.7 yards per game - against the solid Seahawks and now without their lead back this week, this looks like a bad matchup for the Texans.

Weather: The forecast for the Coliseum calls for a high of 48F with a low of 33F and a 30% chance for precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily around game time, footing and ball-handling could be larger issues than usual for both teams.

HOU Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense at Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Colts are actually tied for 12th in the NFL averaging 4.3 yards per carry, but that is partly due to seeing a lot of prevent defenses late in games this year as they have been blown out quite a bit on their way to 0-12. From the fantasy perspective, though, Donald Brown has become a solid starter - he's put up 14/80/1 rushing with 1/17/0 receiving vs. Carolina and then 14/41/1 rushing with 1/15/0 receiving at New England in the last two weeks. Joseph Addai did start eating into Brown's touches last week with 13/39/0 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving, so it looks like we'll see them in tandem going forwards as the Colts play out the string as they await the first pick in next year's NFL draft.

The Ravens' rush D is ranked second in the NFL averaging 88.8 yards given up per game, with just six rushing scores allowed over the past 12 games. Cleveland eked out 17/59/0 rushing last week; San Francisco was held to 21/74/0 rushing two weeks ago. Entering the final four weeks of the year, the Ravens' rush D is shutting down teams in this phase of the game.

Advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: Alltel Stadium expects a high of 66F with a low of 52F and a 10% chance for rain - this game will be played in great conditions assuming the forecast holds up.

IND Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ricky Williams led the Dolphins' stable last week, with 11/46/1 rushing (6/32/0 receiving), while Ronnie Brown chipped in with 9/22/0 rushing and 2/30/1 receiving - they are a potent NFL tandem right now. However, due to the even sharing of the workload, neither one is a fantasy standout. Over the last 3 weeks, Ricky Williams is the 16th best fantasy RB with 40/211/2 rushing and 8/45/0 receiving, while Brown has posted 36/136/1 rushing and 5/55/1 receiving to rank 20th.

The Chargers are the top rush D in the land, averaging 79.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with 9 rushing scores surrendered to date. During the last 3 weeks, they have averaged 79 rushing yards handed over per contest, including last week's total of 17/81/0 given up to Oakland. Teams haven't had much luck against this defensive front lately.

Williams and Brown have a tough road ahead of them in San Diego.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ronnie Brown had a hard time moving the ball against the Patriots back in week 5, with 17/39/1 rushing and 1/-3/0 receiving - his TD salvaged some fantasy value for his fantasy squads, but it wasn't an explosive performance. Brown has been sidelined for a game and a half due to a broken hand - the latest word is that his hand will remain in a cast this week and he is out for the game vs. New England. Sammie Morris managed 12/47/0 rushing and 3/20/0 receiving last week (but tweaked his ankle), while Travis Minor had 6/22/0 rushing and 3/2/0 receiving vs. the Jaguars. Neither guy is a top-shelf NFL talent.

The Patriots rank 3rd in the NFL this season, averaging 82.7 rushing yards allowed per game, with 6 scores handed over 12 contests. Over the past 3 weeks, the Pats have given up an average of 91 rushing yards per game (and 34 total points during that span of time). Last week, Detroit posted 22/77/0 on the ground. It is not easy to move the ball against the Patriots in this phase of the game.

This is a bad matchup for the Dolphins' backups.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Neither Ronnie Brown (11/54/0 rushing with 2/-1/0 receiving) or Ricky Williams (7/28/0 rushing with 0 receptions) did very well the last time they faced the Jets (at Miami in week three). Since week three, the two players have been unpredictably streaky, with a few good games sandwiched in between mediocre outings - Brown has posted 156/589/3 rushing and 23/166/0 receiving (zero 100+ yards rushing games, zero 100+ yards combined in any game), while Williams can claim 122/544/2 rushing and 12/86/1 receiving (zero 100+ rushing yards games, and one 100+ yards combined game). The Dolphins' rushing attack has been a fantasy wasteland most of the time this year.

The Jets got blown out 45-3 on Monday Night Football this week, allowing 26/101/2 rushing to the Patriots. Over the past four weeks, the team has allowed just 351 yards rushing - one bad game does not a season make. To date, the Jets average 87.5 yards rushing allowed per game (third in the NFL), with eight rushing TDs given away so far. Cincinnati could only manage 20/46/0 rushing at the Jets' house two weeks ago.

The Dolphins' rushing attack is underwhelming this year, while the Jets are usually very stubborn in this phase of the game - advantage, New York.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Reggie Bush led the mercurial Miami rushing attack again last week, with 15/64/0 to his credit, while Daniel Thomas disappointed with 5/10/0 rushing to his credit. Neither guy has been predictably effective during this season for the Dolphins - it's hard to be enthused about either for fantasy purposes in this playoff round week.

The 49ers make us even less enthused about the Dolphins' backs - San Francisco ranks third in the NFL averaging 90.6 yards rushing allowed per game with just three rushing TDs given up to date. St. Louis was held to 27/85/0 rushing most recently.

This is a bad matchup - we advise looking elsewhere for your fantasy starters.

Weather: Qualcomm Stadium expects near-perfect weather on Sunday, with a forecast of 66F for a high and 43F for a low with a 0% chance for rain. Weather shouldn't be a negative factor for either squad.

MIA Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

With Jerick McKinnon unable to play last week due to a back injury, Matt Asiata (14/52/0 rushing with 4/5/0 receiving) and Ben Tate (5/15/0 rushing) were the main ball carriers for the Vikings. If McKinnon is out again this week, an unknown as of mid-week, then we're likely to see a similar distribution here in Week 14 (Joe Banyard also had 2/8/0 rushing vs. Carolina last week). It ain't flashy, but we know that Asiata does have a knack for finding the end zone when given opportunities.

The Jets' rush D ranks third in the NFL averaging 85.2 yards allowed per game, with seven rushing scores given up to date. Miami managed 18/74/1 rushing at MetLife Stadium last week; Buffalo had 29/116/2 rushing two weeks ago vs. the Jets.

This is a bad matchup for the Vikings' so-so backs.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

MIN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Panthers and the Saints embark on their two-game series with in this first game at New Orleans on Sunday Night Football - the teams are battling for NFC South supremacy with both teams at 9-3 overall and both faceoffs to come here during December. This is a playoff-atmosphere matchup, friends.

The Saints were bottled up by the Seahawks' outstanding D last week (17/44/0 rushing as a team, led by Mark Ingram's anemic 8/22/0 on the ground) - all told, the Saints were held to 188 net yards on offense on Monday Night Football. Two weeks ago, the Saints had a mediocre 23/92/1 rushing vs. San Francisco, with 11/49/0 rushing (5/35/0 receiving) for Pierre Thomas, while Ingram put up 6/25/0 rushing with 1/4/0 receiving - Jed Collins punched in the lone TD from the fullback spot with 2/3/1 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving. As you can see, there hasn't been a lot of fantasy juice for owners of Saints' running backs of late.

The Panthers' rush D is outstanding this year, averaging just 80.2 yards allowed per game (second in the NFL) with a miniscule three rushing scores handed over to date. Tampa had 20/66/0 rushing at Carolina last week, while Miami posted 17/52/0 rushing vs. Carolina two weeks ago.

Advantage, Carolina. There won't be much yards gained by the Saints' committee of running backs in this phase of the game during Sunday Night Football.

Weather: The Monday night game will be played in the Georgia Dome - weather won't be a factor for either squad.

NO Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Rashad Jennings rushed for two TDs against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, with 17/35/2 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving, but he suffered a concussion during the course of the game. He'll have to pass the NFL-mandated concussion protocols this week - if he can't play, Darren McFadden (5/13/0 rushing at Dallas in a bit role) is now considered healthy so McFadden is available to run the ball. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest on this developing situation to see who practices with the first team for Oakland leading into the weekend.

The Jets' rush D is the best in the NFL, averaging 77.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with just six rushing scores handed out to date. They limited the Dolphins to 36/125/0 on the ground last week despite a 38:00+ time of possession for the Dolphins, and Baltimore had only 31/67/0 rushing on this squad two games ago.

This is a bad matchup for the Raiders, no matter which back starts.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

On December 1, head coach Tony Sparano said Murray is 'close,' [to being cleared of his concussion] but 'we're not there yet.' If Murray is cleared, he becomes an instant upgrade at running back over Darren McFadden (11/27/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving during the 0-52 lost to St. Louis last week) and Maurice Jones-Drew (5/21/0 rushing and 3/23/0 receiving last week). If Murray can't play, the Raiders' runners will remain among the league's worst units during Week 14.

Seattle managed 34/157/0 rushing at San Francisco last week; Washington had 27/136/1 two games ago. The 49ers have slipped a notch below their eighth-ranked season placement (averaging 98.2 yards rushing per game, with only six rushing scores allowed to date).

This is a bad matchup for McFadden/Jones-Drew. Upgrade it to tough if Murray can play.

Weather: Giants' Stadium expects a high of 37F with a low of 29F and a 10% chance for rain - how cold it feels on game day will depend on wind conditions. People considering Raiders or Jets for their week 14 lineup will want to check a shorter-term forecast to evaluate wind speeds - if high winds are expected, both teams' passing and kicking games are likely to suffer.

OAK Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Frank Gore posted a second decent game in the defeat at Carolina, with 12/58/0 rushing (led the team) and 5/53/0 receiving (led the team in that category, too). He hasn't been the fantasy force that he was during 2006, but of late he's at least racking up a meaningful amount of total yards.

The Vikings boast the league's best rush D, averaging 70.5 yards allowed per contest, with only 5 rushing scores allowed over 12 games. They held Detroit to 7/23/0 rushing last week, and haven't given up more than 75 yards rushing in their last 3 games. Enough said about that.

There's not a lot to say other than Gore has a bad matchup to face this week.

Weather: Qwest Field expects a high of 46F with a low of 37F and a 20% chance of rain - as long as the moisture holds off, conditions should be excellent for both players and fans.

SF Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Zac Stacy had just one carry for four yards vs. Arizona back in week one - since then, he's claimed the top job for the Rams, so looking back at week one won't tell us a whole lot about the matchup in this phase of the game.

Over the past three weeks, Stacy has battled through a concussion to post 31/159/1 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving during two games played - he led the team at San Francisco with 19/72/0 rushing and 1/-1/0 receiving last Sunday, while quarterback Kellen Clemens was second on the team in rushing with 3/21/0 to his credit. Entering the final four games of the season, Stacy is atop the rushing depth chart and is the Rams' featured running back.

The Cardinals' rush D ranks fourth in the NFL averaging 83.2 yards allowed per game, with just four rushing scores handed out over 12 games played. They held Philadelphia to 34/105/0 rushing last week, and held Indianapolis to 15/80/0 two weeks ago. These guys are very hard-nosed defenders in the trenches.

Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: This game will be played in the Metrodome - weather won't be an issue for either squad.

STL Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Doug Martin is nominally the lead back for Tampa once again, and he did punch in a TD against the Bengals early on last week (18/58/1 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving), but in reality this is a multi-headed committee monster. Bobby Rainey handled 1/11/0 rushing and 2/41/0 receiving last week, and Charles Sims saw 5/6/0 rushing and led the team in receiving with 4/49/0 receiving. With such an extensive amount of work-sharing going on, it'll be hard for Martin to get back to fantasy starter status, although he may be worth a flex spot if you are truly desperate this week.

The Detroit rush D is the toughest matchup a running back can draw this year, ranking first in the NFL averaging 65.9 yards rushing allowed per game, with six rushing scores handed out over 12 games played. Last week, Chicago had a total of 8/13/0 rushing at Detroit; New England managed 20/90/2 two games back (but the multiple-TDs-allowed was definitely a rare occasion for the Lions).

This is a bad matchup for the Buccaneers.

Weather: Bank of America Stadium expects a high of 48F with a low of 34F and a 10% chance for rain on Sunday - it should be a nice, cool day to play and watch football.

TB Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Clinton Portis (11/22/0 rushing with 1/15/0 receiving) and Ladell Betts (1/3/0 rushing with 4/22/0 receiving) couldn't get the Redskin's ground game established vs. New York last week - Portis added a neck injury to his sore ankle, knee, and ribs in the course of the game. WR Devin Thomas did score on a 29 yard end-around, and Jason Campbell pitched in 5/38/0 rushing to make the team total respectable (18/92/1), but Portis and Betts had very little to do with the outcome. Keep an eye on Portis' injury status as the week progresses - he's very beat up entering week 14, and Betts isn't 100% either.

The Ravens field the league's 3rd ranked rush D, averaging 78.3 yards allowed per game, with just 3 rushing TDs given up to date. Last week, the pathetic Bungles generated 16/57/0 rushing - over the last 3 weeks, Baltimore has handed over 350 yards rushing, but most of that was compliments of the Giants in week 11 - Philly could only manage 86 yards rushing 2 weeks ago. Excepting the Giants, most teams have been shut down by the Ravens this season.

Portis and Betts were shut down by the league's 5th-ranked rush D a week ago, and they are in for another tough game this week - advantage, Ravens.

Weather: Sun Devil Stadium is to see a high of 66F with a low of 40F and a 0% chance of rain on Sunday - that sounds like perfect football weather to us.

WAS Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none




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