Baltimore @ Buffalo
Baltimore will likely start Kyle Boller again at QB, who is more prone to making mistakes than Steve McNair. Buffalo played inspired football the Monday night before their bye week, and if they bring that same intensity this week, a W isn’t out of the question. Start LB’s Angelo Crowell and Joe DiGiorgio
Buffalo has limited weapons on offense, which is exactly what the Ravens defense needs this week. Baltimore is giving up too many points this year, and giving those points up late in the game. Expect the Baltimore DL to play big in this one.
Minnesota @ Dallas
Minnesota is still running on Chicago’s defense, but that all ends this week in Big D. Peterson is a special back, that can score from anywhere on the field, at any time, but Dallas stops the run well. Expect Dallas to stack the line and force QB Tavaris Jackson to beat them with his arm. S Roy Williams is one horse collar tackle away from a 1 game suspension, after getting fined for his second of the season last week.
Dallas is aware of how strong the Vikings front 7 is, and will expose the Vikings secondary early, then run the rock down their throat with a big lead, late. The Viking LB’s and secondary will be strong plays vs. Dallas. Expect the Cowboys to control time of possession, and wear out the Vikings defense.
Tampa Bay @ Detroit
Tampa Bay QB Jeff Garcia has yet to throw an INT, so if you are looking for turnovers, look elsewhere. Tampa Bay traded for KC Chiefs backup RB Michael Bennett this week, and he could see action as early as this week. Tampa will be conservative and run the ball, to help its defense, by keeping the Lions offense on the sidelines.
The Detroit head coach stated RB Kevin Jones will start this week, and he could see 20-25 carries in the process. Now does this sound like the game plan of a Mike Martz offense? Time will tell. Start the Buc’s linebackers and CB Phillip Buchanon.
New England @ Miami
New England is playing better than just about every one else in the league to date, and that is on both side of the ball. Backup RB Sammy Morris was injured last week, and starter Laurence Maroney still may not be ready to play this week. But it shouldn’t matter, as QB Tom Brady will just throw it 35 times. Start your Dolphins secondary.
Miami will start Cleo Lemon at QB again, which should be at least 4 turnovers for the New England Defense. New England’s one hole could be its secondary, but Miami isn’t talented enough to exploit that, especially after trading away WR Chris Chambers to the San Diego Chargers for a 2nd round pick. Expect none of the Patriots to be very productive, as they likely wont be on the field enough to put up decent numbers.
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Atlanta is starting recently signed QB Byron Leftwich this week, though its no guarantee he will finish the game. QB Joey Harrington hasn’t been sharp, but time will tell if Leftwich is any better. New Orleans isn’t stout on D, though their DL’s Charles Grant and Will Smith are both capable of taking over this game on defense.
New Orleans got its first win of the season a week ago, and should make it 2 in a row this week. The Saints QB play was head and shoulders better than any week to date. Atlanta has a few weapons in its defensive backfield, mainly CB DeAngelo Hall who had a big game a week ago. Expect the Saints to run Reggie as well as try and isolate him on a LB coming out of the backfield. LB Keith Brooking should have a productive day.
San Francisco @ NY Giants
San Francisco is again without starting QB Alex Smith, which means Frank Gore will be relied upon to carry the load in the running game. The Giants have a decent run defense, especially LB Antonio Pierce and S Gibril Wilson. Though Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are also strong plays this week.
The Giants are looking like one of the top 3 teams in the NFC to date, and are getting it done on both sides of the ball. San Francisco LB Patrick Willis should have a huge day stopping the Giants running game, and the 49ers high priced secondary will be tested with the pass.
Arizona @ Washington
Arizona lost QB Matt Leinart 2 weeks ago, and now backup QB Kurt Warner could miss this weeks game. Washington will load the box and make the Arizona 3rd string QB use his arm to beat them. Washington LB Rocky McIntosh, as well as DB Sean Taylor are once again strong plays. Both are active in run support as well as defend the pass pretty well.
Washington is coming off a disappointing loss a week ago, and hopes to rebound in a big way this week. Arizona regardless of record, always plays the skins tough, so this should be a close game, even though it looks like a huge mismatch. Arizona is without LB Karlos Dansby this week, which opens the door for former Kansas City LB Monty Beisel to start in his place.
Tennessee @ Houston
Tennessee is coming off a close lose to the Buc’s last week, and you just know if Vince Young didn’t get hurt, he would have found a way to win that game. Vince is still questionable, and HC Jeff Fisher isn’t ruling him out even if he doesn’t practice this week. If backup QB Kerry Collins plays, expect a more vertical passing game when the ball is thrown, and more runs than usual.
Houston is hoping WR Andre Johnson returns this week, though reports say its still doubtful. This big time receiving threat considerably changes what the Titans will do on defense. Expect Tennessee to stack the box and stop the run, and play at least one of their safeties in deep zone, trying to break up the long ball.
NY Jets @ Cincinnati
Fans in New York are screaming for the Jets to bench QB Chad Pennington, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon. Either way the Bengal’s don’t have a defense to stop anyone right now. Expect the best scoring Bengal IDP’s to be LB Landon Johnson and S Madieu Williams.
Cincinnati will attempt to expose the young Jet cornerbacks, and will have some success doing so. But this will probably make those starting cornerbacks attractive fantasy plays this week. Start all the Jets secondary, including S Kerry Rhodes and S Eric Coleman this week.
St. Louis @ Seattle
Rams RB Steven Jackson could see action this week, and starting QB Marc Bulger says he is playing vs. Seattle. Owners of Seattle IDP’s would love to see the Rams as close to full strength as possible, to make their players viable options this week. LB Lofa Tatupu and Julian Peterson are strong starts regardless.
Seattle is coming of a very disappointing loss at home to the Saints, and they look to take their frustration out on the hapless Rams. The Seattle running game will allow the Rams LB’s to be solid scoring options, but lets not forget the Rams secondary will be exposed, which is music to the ears of CB Fakhir Brown’s owners.
Kansas City @ Oakland
Kansas City finally got RB Larry Johnson on track, and this match up has the makings of another big day for LJ. It’s obvious Kansas City it going to run the rock, as well as throw it to TE Tony Gonzales. This definitely helps those with the Oakland LB corp. Expect another big day for LB Thomas Howard and LB Kirk Morrison.
Oakland has no real identity on offense. RB Lamont Jordan was lights out for the first 5 weeks of the season, then got banged up a few weeks back. He was decent last week in limited time, but is questionable at the moment for this weeks tilt with Kansas City. KC DL Jared Allen had 2.5 sacks last week, and now has 6 in just 4 games.
Chicago @ Philadelphia
The Chicago offense looked legitimate a week ago. Could it be the poor Vikings secondary, or is QB Brian Griese really starting to turn things around. The Philly D is vulnerable to the run, and Chicago will try and expose this. Only LB Omar Gaither is a viable option this week for Philly.
Philly will try and duplicate the feat of Vikings RB Adrian Peterson with its own RB Brian Westbrook this week, though he is likely to be more effective catching the ball out of the backfield. The Bears secondary better cover WR Kevin Curtis, or the score could get ugly quickly. As usual, start LB Brian Urlacher and watch to see if Lance Briggs is active this week.
Pittsburgh @ Denver
Pittsburgh is said to be the 3rd best team in the AFC, and will get a chance to prove that this Sunday night in Denver. Pittsburgh has been more balanced on offense than in years past, and this poses problems for the Bronco’s defense. LB DJ Williams is always a solid play, but so maybe LB Ian Gold and DL Elvis Dumervil.
Denver was shellacked by San Diego 2 weeks ago, and had to live with that 41-3 beating for 14 days. But Pittsburgh coming to town, isn’t the most ideal opponent to take your frustration out on. Denver will try and dictate the tone with the running game, and use its big physical WR Brandon Marshall in the passing game. But in the end, the Steelers defense will be ready for the task. Expect LB’s James Harrison and James Farrior to have strong statistical games.
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
Indianapolis brings its perfect record into Jacksonville, and hopes to execute better than it did a year ago. Peyton Manning played his worst game in years last season vs. the Jags, and you know he is looking to erase those memories. Indy should welcome back RB Joseph Addai, and will use him in the passing game. Expect the Jags secondary to be the top scoring IDP for Jacksonville.
Jacksonville has a simple game plan, run, run, and then run some more. Will the Colts D be up for that challenge. Clearly a season ago, they were not. Though Bob Sanders expects to play in this match up, and Indy should also welcome back LB Freddie Keiaho. But the strong play here is LB Garry Brackett.
Bye –Cleveland, Green Bay, San Diego, Carolina