Mark Sanchez vs. NE
Sanchez was efficient, but he wasn’t a huge fantasy factor in his Week 9 win over the Bills. This week, Sanchez figures to be a major factor against the poor Patriots secondary. The Patriots have given up the third-most fantasy points to the quarterback this season and have given up two touchdown passes in all but two games. Look for Sanchez to have a nice day as the Jets seek revenge for their Week 5 setback against the Patriots.
Tim Tebow vs. KC
Last week, the Broncos offense went to a more run-based option attack, and Tebow had his best fantasy game of the season. Tebow still looks bad in regard to his passing numbers, but he has been effective in all three of his starts when you consider his running stats. Tebow is like a running back who will get more than 60 rushing yards with the added benefit of throwing for 150 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs have given up more than 120 yards a game on the ground and are 24th in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed. Tebow’s stats may be unconventional but should be effective again this week.
Chris Johnson vs. CAR
Johnson is in a class by himself when it comes to fantasy disappointments. Johnson ranks 34th in average fantasy points per game by running backs in standard scoring leagues and has just one touchdown all season. Furthermore, he averages just three yards a carry. If Johnson is going to turn it around, this is the matchup that should help. The Panthers rank last in fantasy points allowed to running backs and have had only one solid game against the position all season. Look for Johnson to have his best game of the season this week, though that, surprisingly, isn’t say that much.
Cleveland DEF vs. STL
While the Browns defense is improving, the Rams have taken a major step back offensively in 2011. They rank 31st in points scored and have allowed a league-high 31 sacks. Meanwhile, the Browns have given up the 12th fewest points in the league and have an offense that has performed almost as poorly as the Rams, averaging just 15 points a game, 29th in the league. Look for the Browns to be one of the better fantasy defensive plays of the week in this very strong matchup.week in this very strong matchup.
Josh Freeman vs. HOU
Last season, Freeman would have been one of the better plays of the week in this matchup, as the Texans were historically bad against the pass. This season, the Texans have made one of the more remarkable changes in recent memory, going from last in the league (19.6 fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks) to fourth best (10.2 points allowed per game). Freeman himself struggled mightily early but has been much better in recent weeks, throwing five touchdowns the last three weeks. However, Freeman had favorable matchups in all three of those games. Expext him to struggle this week in his toughest matchup of the season.
Marshawn Lynch vs. BAL
For a really bad team in the Seahawks, Lynch has been fantasy relevant each of his last four games, scoring a touchdown in each game and last week busting out for 135 yards in a loss to the Cowboys. Look for Lynch’s luck to run out this week against a Ravens run defense ranked as the second-toughest fantasy rushing defense. The Ravens have allowed only three touchdowns on the ground all season and held the Steelers running backs to 54 yards last week.
Brandon Lloyd vs. CLE
While Lloyd won’t have the eye-popping yardage totals he enjoyed in 2010, he still has been relatively solid as he is on pace to catch nearly 80 passes and be close to 1,000 yards. The biggest drop is that he has only gotten into the endzone once, compared to 11 times in 2010. Lloyd doesn’t figure to have a big week in Cleveland as the Browns have given up the fewest fantasy points to receivers in the NFL this season. The Browns have allowed the fewest catches and yards and rank second in touchdowns allowed. All signs point to a big dose of Steven Jackson while the passing game gets shut down.
Brandon Marshall vs. WAS
Despite the struggles at quarterback, Marshall has actually been very good this season as he is on pace for more than 90 catches and 1,200-plus yards receiving. This week, Marshall has a surprisingly tough matchup in the Redskins. The Redskins rank sixth in fewest fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and rank first in fewest touchdowns allowed to the position (2). Unless you are really deep at wide receiver, Marshall will probably be in your lineup this week, but don’t count on a huge numbers from him.