QB Start Em’ – Ben Roethlisberger PIT, Philip Rivers SD, & Jay Cutler CHI
After Ben Roethlisberger’s four-touchdown performance four weeks ago, his last three weeks have been anemic. He should get back on track this week against a weak Washington Redskins defense. Philip Rivers played one of his best first halves and then played about as terrible as possible in the second half. This week he should put in a full performance against the Cleveland Browns. As long as Jay Cutler come outs with a clean bill of health, he should have a nice week against the Panthers.
QB Sit Em’ - Christian Ponder MIN, Josh Freeman TB, & Cam Newton CAR
Christian Ponder’s play has gone from stellar to stinker. His matchup doesn’t get better this week and any quarterback who only manages to throw for 58 yards passing should probably not be used. On the other side Josh Freeman goes up against a Minnesota Defense that has been surprisingly stout. I would expect Josh Freeman to regress to the quarterback he was earlier this season. Cam Newton’s sophomore slump continues and doesn’t get any easier against a Bears defense that is forcing turnovers left and right.
RB Start Em’ - Matt Forte CHI, Willis McGahee DEN, & Jamaal Charles KC
In the past three games that Matt Forte has played against the Carolina Panthers he is averaging over 150 yards rushing and one touchdown. Things should continue this week. Willis McGahee should get a fair amount of carries as the Denver Broncos look to keep New Orleans off the field. The Chiefs are coming off a bye and facing a lethargic Oakland Raiders defense. Added bonus is Charles has a very nice track record against Oakland.
RB Sit Em’ - Doug Martin TB, Jonathan Stewart & Deangelo Williams CAR
Doug Martin should go back to your bench this week as he faces one of the best rush defenses in Minnesota. You also have to worry about LeGarrette Blount stealing carries and possibly vulturing touchdowns. The days of Stewart and Williams being an effective running back tandem have come and gone. So far they have only managed to combine for 319 yards, which is mediocre output for one but terrible for both.
WR Start Em’ - Jordy Nelson GB, Eric Decker DEN, & Denarius Moore OAK
The Green Bay Packers offense has been humming and the main reason is the renewed emphasis in getting Jordy Nelson the ball. The Packers should have no problem doing that this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Peyton Manning should look to his possession receiver to work the chains this week so expect Decker to get plenty of looks. Denarius Moore continues to be Carson Palmer’s favorite red zone target and has found the end zone in three straight weeks. With Heyward-Bey still on the mend, Moore looks to get most of the action.
WR Sit Em’ - Jeremy Maclin PHI, Vincent Jackson TB, & Michael Crabtree SF
Jeremy Maclin will have Asante Samuels all over him, limiting his ability to produce another big week. Vincent Jackson is on one heck of a hot streak right now. That being said it’s bound to end eventually. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 30 receiving yard performance this week out of him. In the last four weeks Michael Crabtree has managed one game over 100 receiving yards and three under 35. Unfortunately for Crabtree he faces Arizona and not Buffalo this week, leading to another under 35 yards receiving week.
TE Start Em’ - Antonio Gates SD & Tony Gonzalez ATL
Antonio Gates finally showed up last week and this week faces the 1-6 Cleveland Browns. What’s not to like? Tony Gonzalez comes off a bye and should continue to be one of Matt Ryan’s favorite targets. Tony Gonzalez will continue to defy age and produce another solid week.
TE Sit Em’ - Jermichael Finley GB & Brandon Pettigrew DET
Jermichael Finley continues to deal with a partially dislocated shoulder and with a relatively easy opponent this week in Jacksonville I would expect the Packers to limit his time on the field. So far Pettigrew’s production has been lacking and now he has picked up a knee injury. Not good news for owners looking to put him in play.
DEF Start Em’ - Green Bay Packers & San Francisco 49ers
The Green Bay Packers face a Maurice Jones-Drew-less Jaguars offense, who also could be without Blaine Gabbert. If the Packers offense doesn’t at least get double digits points, I will be shocked. In what could possibly end up in a 6-3 matchup this week in Arizona, I give the slight edge to the 49ers to be a little more effective. Arizona’s offense is just too bad to pose any threat.
DEF Sit Em’ - Denver Broncos & New Orleans Saints
In a matchup that has all of the makings of the shootout, I wouldn’t play either of these teams. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a 42-35 final score.
Lock of the Week – Ryan Mathews SD 100 total yards 1 TD
This is the week Ryan Mathews shows the promise and allure that had him as the preseason ranked 3rd best player. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him eclipse the 100 yard rushing total for the first time.
Intriguing Pick of the Week – Rashard Jennings JAC
With Maurice Jones-Drew out this week, all of the carries fall to Jennings. With concerns over Blaine Gabbert’s shoulder, you have to expect the Jaguars to lean on Jennings.