New York Jets (-5) at Buffalo, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bills are 0-3 and have given up an NFL-high 87 points. With Ryan Fitzpatrick taking over quarterback duties, Buffalo was able to score 30 points in New England last week, and they luckily face the Jets this week without Darrelle Revis (hamstring). Anything can happen in a division game, and they do have home field on their side, but the Bills enter as rightful underdogs on paper... Mark Sanchez has posted a 6:0 TD:INT ratio over the past two games and gets a Buffalo secondary that hasn't played nearly as well as last season -- they have allowed 7.7 YPA and are one of three teams in the league that's yet to record an interception (the Texans and Ravens are the others). Dustin Keller has carried over his impressive performance in last year's postseason and is already a borderline top-five fantasy tight end. Shonn Greene is an interesting buy-low target, but he simply can't be trusted in fantasy leagues right now.
Predictions: Ryan Fitzpatrick throws for 180 yards with a touchdown to Lee Evans, while Marshawn Lynch gets the majority of touches in Buffalo's backfield, resulting in 70 total yards and a score. LaDainian Tomlinson produces similar numbers, while Mark Sanchez adds 230 passing yards with TD strikes to Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, as New York comes out on top. Jets 24-17.
Baltimore (+1) at Pittsburgh, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Ravens won last week, although it was something of a struggle against a Browns team they were heavily favored to beat. Baltimore will be traveling Sunday for the third time over the first four weeks of the season, and facing a Pittsburgh defense that has been the best in the league so far further toughens the task. Joe Flacco had a big game last week, but he still sits with a 6.1 YPA and 4:5 TD:INT ratio on the year. The Steelers' secondary has allowed just one TD and has recorded five picks this season. Ray Rice is questionable with a knee injury, but expect him to give it a go... Sunday's game should be close, but it's pretty crazy the Steelers could enter their bye 4-0 without Ben Roethlisberger (suspension). The Ravens have ceded an NFL-low 4.8 YPA and just one passing touchdown this season, so don't expect another big game from Charlie Batch. This should be a hard-fought, defensive battle, with home field the difference.
Predictions: Joe Flacco throws for 170 yards without a TD, while Ray Rice suits up and totals 75 yards. Willis McGahee scores from the goal line, while Rashard Mendenhall counters with 80 combined yards and a touchdown run. Charlie Batch adds only 150 passing yards, as the game becomes a field goal battle, with Pittsburgh ultimately prevailing. Steelers 16-13.
Seattle (-1) at St. Louis, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Seattle has surprised with a 2-1 start, but it remains to be seen how this team fares away from home. Two kick return TDs by Leon Washington helped the Seahawks upset the Chargers last week, but that's a fluke -- the offense will need to be better if the team truly wants to contend for a division title in a wide-open NFC West. Matt Hasselbeck has thrown an interception in seven straight games, and it looks like the reemergence of WR Mike Williams was short-lived... Sam Bradford has shown some positive signs during his first three games of his career, and Mark Clayton has become a viable WR2 in fantasy leagues. While running back is usually an easily replaceable position, the Rams rely heavily on Steven Jackson, and there's a good chance he misses Week 4 with a groin injury. The Seahawks have yielded only 2.6 YPC this season, so the Rams are going to have to win with their passing game Sunday.
Predictions: Matt Hasselbeck throws for 250 yards with a touchdown to John Carlson, while Justin Forsett adds 80 total yards and a score. Kenneth Darby gets the start in the Rams' backfield, resulting in 70 yards from scrimmage. Sam Bradford adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Mark Clayton and Danny Amendola, as St. Louis wins it. Rams 23-17.
San Francisco (+7) at Atlanta, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The 49ers have been the most disappointing team in football over the first three weeks of the season. San Francisco entered 2010 as pretty big favorites to win the NFC West, yet they have scored the second fewest points (38) while allowing the most (87) in all of football. They have been outscored 62-16 while on the road and now have to travel to Atlanta, so SF is staring an 0-4 start right in the face. Jimmy Raye was fired as offensive coordinator, replaced by QB coach Mike Johnson. We'll see if there is any difference in a must-win Sunday... The Falcons won in New Orleans last week, and while the Saints have taken a step back this season, looking back at Atlanta's lone loss on the year (Week 1 in Pittsburgh), it's clear this is an impressive team. Matt Ryan has five touchdown passes with zero picks over the last two weeks, although Atlanta's defense isn't exactly elite. They have allowed 7.9 YPA and a league-high 5.1 YPC this season.
Predictions: Alex Smith throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree the recipients. Frank Gore adds 125 total yards and a score, while Michael Turner produces similar results. Matt Ryan adds 270 passing yards with scoring strikes to Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, as San Francisco falls to 0-4 to begin the year. Falcons 27-21.
Cincinnati (-3) at Cleveland, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Bengals are 2-1, but Cedric Benson has averaged a paltry 3.1 YPC, and Carson Palmer continues to look like a major liability. Despite upgrading the WR corps, bringing in Terrell Owens and Jermaine Gresham to join Chad Ochocinco, Palmer has gotten an ugly 5.8 YPA and has been extremely fortunate not to have at least a few more picks on the year. Cleveland's defense has hardly been a doormat so far in 2010, and Cincinnati will be travelling for the second straight week (and for the third time over the first month of the season), which isn't an easy task... Cleveland enters winless, but the team has lost by an average of just 4.0 points per game and has faced opponents with a combined record of 7-2. Seneca Wallace isn't going to light it up through the air, but he protects the ball far better than Jake Delhomme. Peyton Hillis has taken control of the Browns' backfield and suddenly looks like a top-15 fantasy back. He'll be a big part of Cleveland's offense once again Sunday.
Predictions: Carson Palmer throws for 225 yards with a score to Terrell Owens, while Cedric Benson adds 70 rushing yards and a TD run. Peyton Hillis answers with 120 combined yards and hits paydirt, while Seneca Wallace adds 200 passing yards while also running in a TD on the ground, as Cleveland gets into the win column. Browns 20-17.
Denver (+6.5) at Tennessee, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: The Broncos are 1-2, but they have a sneaky good passing attack. Kyle Orton has gotten a whopping 8.6 YPA, and while Brandon Lloyd is shockingly second in the NFL with 339 receiving yards, the wide receiver situation in Denver seems to be unpredictable on a weekly basis, which is annoying for fantasy owners. Knowshon Moreno remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Laurence Maroney predictably flopped as his replacement last week, so expect Denver to again rely heavily on Orton and the passing attack. The Titans' secondary has ceded just 6.0 YPA with a 1:3 TD:INT ratio this season, but Eli Manning moved the ball with ease against them last week, and their first two opponents featured Jason Campbell and Charlie Batch at quarterback, so those numbers might be misleading... Vince Young has been somewhat up and down this year, but ultimately, his 69.8 completion percentage and 7.9 YPA mark are both impressive. Chris Johnson has averaged just 4.0 YPC and his involvement in the passing game has been way down so far, but he's faced the Steelers (2.6 YPC against) and is on pace to score 21 touchdowns. Fantasy owners have no reason to complain and should expect even more production moving forward.
Predictions: Kyle Orton throws for 240 yards and two touchdowns, with Jabar Gaffney and Demaryius the recipients. The Broncos' ground game is shut down, while Chris Johnson totals 125 yards and scores. Vince Young adds 190 passing yards with a touchdown toss to Kenny Britt and also runs in a score himself, as Tennessee wins it. Titans 24-20.
Carolina (+14) at New Orleans, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Carolina enters winless and has to travel to face the defending Super Bowl champs -- who are coming off a loss. The Panthers then face Chicago, one of the three remaining undefeated teams in the league, in Week 5 before the team's bye. Their season could be over before it really started, which is something coach John Fox might already be admitting by quickly turning to rookie Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. If last week was any indication, Clausen could really hinder Steve Smith's fantasy value moving forward. The rushing attack has been a massive disappointment -- the blocking just hasn't been nearly the same as years past... The Saints' two wins this season have come against teams with a combined 1-5 record, and both victories were close. New Orleans could have easily won Sunday, and the team is still strong, but they've predictably taken a step back compared to last year's version. The secondary has allowed 7.6 YPA and all those turnovers they forced in 2009 was in no way sustainable. It looks like Lance Moore is the biggest beneficiary of Reggie Bush's injury, but it's become futile trying to predict which receiver produces on a weekly basis. Only Marques Colston can be used for fantasy purposes. Drew Brees (knee) and Pierre Thomas (ankle) should play Sunday, but they are both clearly banged up - don't be shocked if this game is closer than expected.
Predictions: Jimmy Clausen throws for 200 yards but no scores as Carolina concentrates on getting its ground game going. As a result, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combine for 150 rushing yards and each reaches the end zone, while Pierre Thomas fights through his ankle injury and totals 75 yards with a touchdown run. Drew Brees adds 250 passing yards with scoring strikes to Marques Colston and Devery Henderson, as New Orleans gets the victory. Saints 27-17.
Detroit (+14.5) at Green Bay, Sunday 1 p.m.
Comments: Detroit is 0-3, but they have been competitive in all three losses, although playing in Green Bay on Sunday is definitely a difficult task, especially with Jahvid Best (toe) a huge question mark -- even if he's able to play, how much will that injury sap his explosiveness? Matthew Stafford (shoulder) and Nate Burleson (ankle) also remain sidelined. The Lions have quietly produced 11 sacks on the year, which is the third-most in the NFL. Ndamukong Suh has been a dominant force right away... The Packers took a tough loss Monday night, so they'll look to take out their frustrations against the Lions on Sunday. Green Bay's running game has been non-existent since Ryan Grant went down, so once again expect the team to be carried by Aaron Rodgers' arm. As long as he can avoid the pass rush, he should have a big game against a Detroit secondary that has given up 8.3 YPA.
Predictions: Shaun Hill throws for 220 yards with a touchdown to Calvin Johnson, while Jahvid Best manages 70 total yards and scores for the sixth time this season. Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn combine for 100 total yards, with the latter punching in a score from in close. Aaron Rodgers adds 300 passing yards with TD strikes to Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and James Jones, as Green Bay wins handily. Packers 31-17.
Houston (-3) at Oakland, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Comments: Houston's offense is easily one of the best in football, but the team has actually been outscored so far this season, as the defense is a major weakness. The Texans' secondary has yielded 9.1 YPA while allowing opposing passes to accrue an NFL-high 116.8 QB rating. They won't have to score as much as usual facing a mediocre Raiders team Sunday, but with a hobbled Andre Johnson (ankle) who might be covered by Nnamdi Asomugha and their their left tackle Duane Brown (suspension) still unavailable, their offense enters far from 100 percent... Bruce Gradkowski has gotten a solid 7.4 YPA despite completing just 50.0 percent of his passes since taking over QB duties in Oakland. Darren McFadden has taken over as the Raiders' lead back, and only health can prevent him from becoming a strong RB2 in fantasy leagues. Louis Murphy is a sneaky play as well this week.
Predictions: Matt Schaub throws for 250 yards with a touchdown to Kevin Walter, while Arian Foster totals 125 yards and hits paydirt. Darren McFadden responds with 90 yards and a TD run, while Bruce Gradkowski throws for 230 yards with touchdown strikes to Louis Murphy and Zach Miller, as Oakland pulls off an upset. Raiders 24-23.
Indianapolis (-7.5) at Jacksonville, Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Comments: The Jaguars have allowed 66 points over the past two weeks and are big underdogs to the Colts on Sunday. A coaching change looks imminent. Maurice Jones-Drew looked better last week, but if he doesn't turn in a big game at home against an Indy front even that has allowed 5.0 YPC this week, it's officially time to panic. After scoring 16 touchdowns over the first 14 games last season, he has been held out of the end zone in each of the past five contests dating back to last season... The Colts have struggled in the past while playing in Jacksonville, but that matters little come Sunday. Peyton Manning has a 9:0 TD:INT ratio this season with a 116.9 QB rating - he should absolutely shred a Jaguars' secondary that has been gashed for an NFL-high 9.9 YPA this season. Austin Collie has fast become a huge fantasy contributor.
Predictions: David Garrard throws for 225 yards with a touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker, while Maurice Jones-Drew totals 110 yards and reaches the end zone. Joseph Addai counters with 75 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, while Peyton Manning adds 325 passing yards with scoring strikes to Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne, as Indy comes out on top. Colts 27-17.
Washington (+6) at Philadelphia, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: Coming off a game they should have won in Week 2 against the Texans, the Redskins really laid an egg last week in a 14-point loss to the Rams. Despite their inconsistent effort, expect the Redskins to be focused Sunday, and the game has extra interest with Donovan McNabb returning to Philadelphia. Ryan Torain is a fantasy sleeper moving forward, as Clinton Portis seems to be getting phased out of Washington's backfield... Michael Vick has been terrific since taking over QB duties, but this will be his biggest test after facing the Lions and Jaguars during his first two starts this season. Despite actually allowing an NFL-high 423.7 yards per game this year, the Redskins' defense is certainly capable of playing far better. DeSean Jackson has averaged a ridiculous 24.5 yards per catch, and while Brent Celek has been a disappointment, fantasy owners shouldn't be selling low.
Predictions: Donovan McNabb throws for 230 yards with touchdowns to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, although Washington's ground game stalls. LeSean McCoy responds with 80 total yards and a touchdown run, while Michael Vick continues to impress, throwing for 275 yards with TD strikes to Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson, as the home team prevails. Eagles 24-20.
Arizona (+8.5) at San Diego, Sunday 4:15 p.m.
Comments: Arizona enters 1-2, but it took a missed field goal from 32 yards out last week to win at home against the Raiders. More involvement from Chris Wells should help the offense, but it's tough to look past Derek Anderson's 52.0 completion percentage. Larry Fitzgerald's production has been hurt as a result, but at least his knee is finally inching back closer to 100 percent. San Diego has already given up three special teams touchdowns, so they are vulnerable in the kicking game... Philip Rivers has thrown for 789 yards over the past two weeks, and while San Diego has its problems, the passing attack isn't one of them - the team really hasn't missed Vincent Jackson at all. Ryan Mathews looks likely to return from his ankle injury Sunday, although he may cede goal-line carries to Mike Tolbert. The offense should have little trouble moving the ball against an Arizona defense that has allowed 25.7 points per game. San Diego is notorious for slow starts, but the team can't afford another slip up at 1-2 and with two upcoming road games on the schedule. Expect them to roll Sunday.
Predictions: Derek Anderson continues to struggle, throwing for 160 yards with a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald. Chris Wells and Tim Hightower combine for 120 yards, with the latter scoring from the goal line. Ryan Mathews answers with 100 total yards, but it's Mike Tolbert who gets the easy score. Philip Rivers adds 300 passing yards and three touchdown tosses, with Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles and Legedu Naanee the recipients, as San Diego wins easily. Chargers 31-20.
Chicago (+4) at New York Giants, Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Comments: Chicago enters as the lone undefeated team in the NFC, despite getting just 3.2 YPC - fifth worst in football. Their run defense, however, has been the best, allowing just 2.1 YPC. After getting only 6.6 YPA last season, Jay Cutler easily leads the league with a 9.6 YPA mark. The Mike Martz effect is very real. Cutler and the Bears play in primetime for the second week in a row, only this time without home-field advantage... After beating Carolina in Week 1 by a score of 31-18 -- a result made much less impressive by the Panthers' subsequent performances -- and the Giants have been outscored 67-24 over the following two games. Of course, the final score of last week could have been much different, but it remains to be seen just what kind of team the Giants are in 2010. They better show up Sunday night, because New York has to play in Houston and in Dallas in two of their next three games, so they could quickly fall out of a tough NFC East division if they don't bring their A game. Ahmad Bradshaw has emerged as the lead horse in the Giants' backfield, and Mario Manningham is easily one of the best third wide receivers in the NFL. Eli Manning's 7.9 YPA is impressive, but he's already committed eight turnovers, so ball security is paramount moving forward.
Predictions: Jay Cutler throws for 250 yards with touchdown tosses to Johnny Knox and Matt Forte, although the running back struggles to gain many yards on the ground. Ahmad Bradshaw totals 70 yards with a TD run, while Eli Manning adds 240 passing yards with scoring strikes to Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks, as the Giants get back into the win column. Giants 24-17.
New England (-1) at Miami, Monday 8:30 p.m.
Comments: The Patriots have given up 27.2 points per game, yielding 7.5 YPA and an NFL-high seven scores through the air. They have allowed opposing passers to accrue a 101.3 QB rating, despite facing the Bengals, Jets and Bills. This New England defense looks like a real weakness, although the passing attack remains a strength. The Dolphins have been easier to beat on the ground than through the air this season, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a fantasy sleeper moving forward in an aging New England backfield... Chad Henne has hardly been spectacular this season, getting 7.1 YPA, but he has prevented turnovers, committing just one over the first three games. New England has recorded only five sacks on the year, so this game may turn into something of a shootout. Ronnie Brown has been dealing with a hamstring injury, as the back continues to struggle staying healthy. Ricky Williams has also been dealing with fumbling issues, so the team may have to rely more on Henne than usual, especially keeping up with a Patriots' offense sure to put points on the board. We'll see if he's up for the task.
Predictions: Tom Brady throws for 300 yards with TD strikes to Randy Moss and Aaron Hernandez, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis totals 60 yards and scores. Ronnie Brown produces similar results, while Chad Henne adds 240 passing yards with touchdown tosses to Brandon Marshall and Anthony Fasano, as Miami wins on a late field goal. Dolphins 24-21.