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1. Drew Brees vs. Green Bay
Once again, Drew Brees heads the list. This week the Green Bay Packers come to town in what should be a high-scoring affair. Brees has been a fantasy star the whole season and is on pace to break Dan Marino’s all-time passing record from 1984.
And in this one, he gets his favorite short weapon back in the fold: RB Reggie Bush. This should open up the underneath passing game which in turn will open up the deep ball to Colston and Moore. Look for another stellar performance out of Brees and the offense.
2. Tony Romo vs. San Francisco 49ers
While Mike Singletary has definitely instilled his toughness in the Niners, we see fire works coming out of Big D by Romo and Co. this Sunday. The Niners are quite strong vs. the run so look for a lot of T.O., Jason Whitten, and even Roy Williams as the Cowboys attempt to make a statement to the NFL world: “we’re back…”
3. Aaron Rodgers vs. New Orleans
The loss of CB Mike McKenzie to a season ending knee injury has really hurt this Saints’ D. Without his coverage skills in the secondary, the defensive coordinator must come up with new ways to compensate for his loss and unfortunately for him, he doesn’t have the personnel to do so. Look for Rodgers to enjoy a big fantasy day in the Big Easy and for Jennings and Driver have a field day through the air.
4. Peyton Manning vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have actually given Indianapolis fits over the past few seasons as they were the one team that the Colts could not beat. But that was all when Merriman was in the lineup. Now that he’s not, the Chargers’ defense can’t pressure the passer and against a QB such as Manning, that’s a scary proposition. Look for Manning to hit the 250-yard mark and put at least two balls into the end zone.
1. Phillip Rivers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Although Rivers was horrendous on Sunday in their loss to the Steelers, there should be some very nice opportunities in this one to have success through the air. Playing minus safety Bob Sanders, the Colts will want to keep one extra safety closer to the line to focus on LaDainian Tomlinson, and when that occurs, look for Rivers to go up top to either Jackson, Gates or Rivers. Expect 225-plus yards and two touchdowns.
2. Eli Manning vs. Arizona Cardinals
Yeah, I know, Manning hasn’t eclipsed the 200-yard mark in five straight games. So what? The Giants are rolling…literally. The ground game has been a beast but in this one, played out in the desert, we see a chance for a shootout. And if the circumstances of the game call for that, rest assured that Manning will be able to deliver in the hot desert air.
The Cards’ corners don’t physically match up well with the Giants’ receivers, so look for Manning to attack on the outside and hit on some big plays down the field. Expect 225-plus yards and two touchdowns from him, too.
Others with favorable matchups
1. Kurt Warner vs. New York Giants
As long as Warner is kept upright, he should toss for 300-plus yards on a weekly basis. The Anquan Boldin/Larry Fitzgerald duo are the best in the NFL and the Cards don’t have much of a running game to speak of. This week will be a stern test for Warner, but he should still be able to manage his yards.
2. Jay Cutler vs. Oakland Raiders
It doesn’t matter how low the Raiders franchise goes, Shanahan always looks to inflict pain on his former employer. Look for Cutler to have a big day through the air as the Broncos’ ground game is banged up and with all of his outside guys healthy—and tight end Tony Scheffler, too—we like Cutler to eclipse the 250-yard mark and toss a few scores.
3. Matt Cassel vs. Miami Dolphins
Cassel has come a long way since the last time these two teams played. In that contest, the young quarterback had one interception and one lost fumble in the 38-13 trouncing by Miami. Fast-forward nine weeks and Cassel is coming off a 400-yard, three-touchdown effort.
Without the dominant defense New England once had, more pressure is put on the offense; look for Cassel to have a strong fantasy performance down in Miami.