Must Starts:The reason we’re so high on LaDainian is that with the change at defensive coordinator, we see San Diego’s D getting more three-and-outs and putting the ball back into the hands of the offense. And with the large lead we expect the Chargers to have, the outlook is very bright for #21. Look for Tomlinson to easily eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark for the 2nd consecutive game and score at least 2 TDs.
2. Willie Parker vs. Indianapolis. After watching BenJarvus Green-Ellis (I know who?) and Kevin Faulk slice through Indy’s smaller D the other night, should we really expect anything less from Parker? I don’t think so. This game will be played in Pittsburgh and we expect the Steelers to use the same game plan as Belichick the other night, focusing heavily on the run with lots of short pass plays mixed-in. They’ll do this because they want to eat up clock and keep Peyton Manning and the offense on the sidelines. Look for Parker to get over 100-yards and score 2 TDs.
4. DeAngelo Williams vs. Oakland. For a while it looked like rookie Jonathan Stewart was taking over as the starting tailback, but that was until Williams went off for 100 + yards and a TD vs. Arizona after his 3 TD performance vs. Kansas City a few weeks earlier. While Stewart still may get a majority of the goal line carries, making him a strong play in leagues that value touchdowns, look for Williams to be the main guy once again when they head out to Oakland to take on the lackluster Raiders. We like Carolina getting up early in this one and then just pounding the ball with Williams in what should be an easy victory. 100 yards and 1 TD.
Sleepers:fantasy wise. Provided that SF can keep the score close, and being that it’s a division rivalry we think they will, look for Singletary to use the multi-talented Gore early on in the running game and as a receiver out of the backfield. In the 49ers game last season at Arizona, Gore had a monster day going for 116 yards on the ground and another 98 through the air with and a TD; in this one, we think he will get 80 yards on the ground, another 40 through the air, and score at least one TD to cap off a strong day.
2. Jamal Lewis vs. Denver. It’s been a down year for Lewis’ owners, who probably snagged him no later than round three in their respective fantasy draft, but this week he gets to atone for his lack of production over the 1st half of the season. While we’re not convinced that the insertion of 2nd-year QB Brady Quinn into the lineup will be some great catalyst that puts Cleveland on a path to the playoffs, we do think that Crennel will rely heavily on Lewis to help bring along his young QB, and facing a porous defense in Denver, we like Jamal to break the century mark for the 1st-time this season and put at least one into the end zone.