Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. NE
Fitzpatrick struggled as expected in a tough matchup last week against the Texans. Fitzpatrick has gone pretty much the way of his matchup all season. In favorable matchups, he has consistently ranked in the top-10 in fantasy production, while in tough matchups he has ranked more in the 20s. This week, Fitzpatrick faces one of the teams that he had a strong performance against earlier in the season in the Patriots. The Patriots rank sixth in most fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position. While Fitzpatrick threw four interceptions in his first meeting, he did throw for four touchdowns and 350 yards in Week 4. Fitzpatrick might not match those numbers, but expect him to throw a lot in this game and be a nice fantasy play this week.
Ryan Tannehill vs. TEN
Tannehill had his best game as a pro in a tough loss to the Colts on Sunday, throwing for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns. This week, Tannehill has perhaps his best matchup of his young pro career against the Titans. The Titans have given up the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks and surrendered multiple touchdown passes in seven of nine games this season. Furthermore, they have yet to allow less than 15 fantasy points to a quarterback in standard scoring leagues in any game this season. While Tannehill is far from a must start, owners with a tough matchup, or their starter on a bye, could do worse than having Tannehill in the lineup this week.
Vick Ballard vs. JAC
Ballard has been more than serviceable since Donald Brown has been out with a knee injury. Brown (knee) did not practice on Tuesday making it unlikely he will play on Thursday. If that's the case, Ballard has the opportunity to have another quality outing in his matchup against the Jaguars. The Jaguars rank 30th in the league in fantasy points allowed to running backs and gave up four rushing touchdowns last week to the Lions. Ballard has been getting the necessary touches (nearly 18 a game in his last three games) to be effective even if Andrew Luck continues his stellar performances through the air. Look for Ballard to be a decent fantasy option in this game.
Michael Turner vs. NO
Turner is coming off his best rushing effort of the season with 102 yards and a touchdown in the win over Dallas on Sunday night. Turner has either been very good or very bad, and the matchup this week suggests there will be another week of the very good Turner. The Saints have given up the second most points to fantasy running backs this season and allowed 390 yards to running backs in their last two games. Look for Turner to big part of the Falcons offense in this week's divisional showdown with the Saints.
Malcom Floyd vs. TB
Floyd has been a solid WR3 the last four weeks, averaging 4.5 catches for almost 65 yards per game. Look for those numbers to improve this week as he faces his best matchup of the year in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are giving up the third most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and they have given up at least seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown to a receiver in each of the last three weeks. Especially in leagues that start three wide receivers, Floyd should be in your lineup this week.
Carson Palmer vs. BAL
In three of his last four games, Palmer has thrown for at least 298 yards and has eight touchdown passes in that time. With the Oakland running game hurting, Palmer could thrown a lot of passes Sunday, but don't expect nearly the fantasy production he has given lately in this matchup against the Ravens. The Ravens have been the third toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks this season and have only allowed six touchdown passes the entire season while grabbing nine interceptions. Palmer may throw for some yards, but we likely won't see enough touchdowns for a huge fantasy day.
Matt Schaub vs. CHI
Schaub has been a much better real-life quarterback than fantasy one. He ranks seventh in quarterback rating but just 18th in fantasy points. Schaub is hurt by the fact he has an excellent running game, as he is just 23rd in the league in passing attempts. This week, Schaub also likely will be hurt by the matchup against a fantastic Chicago defense that leads the league in fewest points alowed to fantasy quarterbacks and has an incredible 6-to-17 touchdown to interception ratio. In what could be a defensive battle, don't expect Schaub to put up fantasy starter quality numbers this week.
Matt Forte vs. HOU
Forte has been very good lately, averaging 17 fantasy points in PPR league the last four weeks, and he has not had less than 94 combined yards in the last four games. This week, Forte faces his toughest test of the season against the Texans. The Texans rank fourth in the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs and have allowed just one total touchdown to running backs all season. Furthermore, the Texans have allowed more than 82 yards rushing just once this season and that was in a route over the Titans in Week 4. Look for Forte to struggle in a battle of two of the better defenses in the NFL.
Sidney Rice vs. NYJ
Rice has become the favorite target of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and has been very effective catching touchdown passes in three of the last four games. This week, Rice will struggle to be fantasy relevant against the Jets pass defense. While everything else has been difficult for the Jets, they have been the best team in the league regarding defending the wide receiver position. In fact, the Jets have not allowed a touchdown to the wide receiver position since Week 2, while giving up the second fewest catches. Look for Rice to have one of his worst outings of the season this week.
Dwayne Bowe vs. PIT
While Bowe has been targeted at least eight times in six of his last seven games, he has struggled to consistently be fantasy relevant due to poor quarterback play and lack of touchdowns (one in the last six weeks). This week shouldn't be any better against an improving Steelers pass defense. The Steelers have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to receivers in the league and are coming off their best performance of the season against the Giants last week, holding them to just six catches for 77 yards and no touchdowns. Look for Bowe to have a tough week as the Steelers appear to be rounding into form.
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