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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 5

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. JAC

Fitzpatrick has done a nice job in his two starts in Buffalo throwing for two touchdowns in each game. This week he matches up against a Jaguars pass defense ranked last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. The Jaguars are allowing more than 300 yards and a little more than two touchdowns thrown per game. Fitzpatrickís value also isnít hurt by leading rusher Marshawn Lynchís departure. For a fantasy team whose starter is in a bye week, Fitzpatrick could be a nice one-week start.

Sam Bradford vs. DET

Bradford has been solid in his rookie season, averaging 1.5 touchdowns thrown per game and 236 yards a game passing. Bradford has his best outing as a pro last week against Seattle and has an opportunity to put up similar numbers this week in Detroit. The Lions have allowed the seventh most points to fanasy quarterbacks and have given up almost 260 yards a game in the air. With the Rams running game still a big question, look for Bradford to throw early and often and have a strong fantasy day.

Ryan Mathews vs. OAK

Mathews was the hot rookie in fantasy this season and by the start of the season was a consensus top-20 pick. Mathews has yet to pay off with a big performance, as he has been nicked up with injuries much of the season. This week against the Raiders, Mathews has his best chance thus far to have the big day that his owners have waited for. The Raiders rank last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to running backs and also are last in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns allowed. Mathews may not get all the carries, as Mike Tolbert is still in play, but this could be the week that Mathews separates himself from Tolbert and demonstrates his first-round talent.

Greg Jennings vs. WAS

Jennings hasnít been the dominate fantasy receiver after four games that many expected. Jennings has just 12 catches for the season and just 79 yards receiving in his last three games. This week he faces a Redskins pass defense ranked 28th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. The Redskins have given up the most catches and second most yards to wide receivers, so Jennings should have plenty of opportunities to have is best day of the season and get back in the good graces of his fantasy owners.

Zach Miller vs. SD

Miller was a monster least week, hauling in 11 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Texans. While that performance may be a little unrealistic this week, Miller still has a favorable matchup against a Chargers pass defense that he has owned in the past. Miller has caught at least five passes against the Chargers in five straight games, and in the only game of his career that he didnít catch at least five passes, he finished with three catches and a touchdown. Look for Miller to continue to be a solid fantasy tight end and a definite start this week.


Carson Palmer vs. TB

Palmer has been somewhat of a fantasy disappointment, though last week he put up huge numbers in a loss to the Browns. Look for Palmer to have more modest numbers this week against a Buccaneers unit that is coming off a bye and ranks as the 10th toughest unit against fantasy quarterbacks. The Buccaneers are giving up less than 200 yards passing per game and have more interceptions (6) than touchdowns allowed (5). The Buccaneers struggle mightily against the run (28th in yards allowed), so look for the Bengals to keep it on the ground, and Palmer to have pedestrian fantasy numbers.

LaDainian Tomlinson vs. MIN

Tomlinson has had a rebirth in New York as he is averaging 6.1 yards a carry and is doing what many thought the younger Shonn Greene would do, which is lead the powerful Jets running attack. Tomlinson has had the benefit of a soft schedule, running against four defenses that rank no higher than 18th in the league against the run. That will change on Monday as the Jets face the well rested Vikings. The Vikings rank sixth in the league in fewest fantasy points allowed to running backs per game and have been a perennial top-2 run defense the last five seasons. Look for Tomlinson to have his toughest game of the season in what has been a great start for LT.

Michael Crabtree vs. PHI

Crabtree was thought to be a potential breakout superstar in his second season. While this still might happen, Crabtree has been a headache to his fantasy owners so far this season. Crabtree ranks just fourth in catches on his own team and has yet to find the endzone in four games this season. Crabtreeís woes might continue against an Eagles pass defenses that ranks as the fourth toughest against wide receivers and also has major problems against the run. The 49ers could find a lot of running room against the 27th-ranked fantasy run defense of the Eagles. This week it looks like the Crabtree headache could continue.

Tony Gonzalez vs. CLE

Gonzalez has been hot the last two weeks, grabbing 15 balls for more than150 yards. While Gonzalez will probably have to be in your lineup due to byes, he is not expected to have a big week against a Browns defense that ranks sixth against tight ends. The Browns have yet to allow a touchdown and are allowing less than 45 yards a game to the tight end position. The Browns have been terrible against wide receivers (29th in the league), so while Gonzalez may have an off-day, Roddy White and company should have big days down the field.

Tennessee Defense vs. DAL

The Titans have rebounded well from an awful 2009 defensive campaign to rank third in defensive fantasy points scored this season. Most of this stems from the pass rush, which leads the league with 16 sacks. This week the Titans face a rested Cowboys team that has moved the ball through the air all season, and despite the 1-2 start, has the lowest sack percentage allowed in the league at .77 percent. Tony Romo has been sacked just once in 129 pass attempts. Romo has also protected the ball, as he has been intercepted on just 1.55 percent of his passes. Look for the Cowboys to move the ball and put enough points on the board at home to make this the Titansí worst fantasy defensive day of the young season.