Spears is a first-year broadcast journalism major and can be contacted at email@example.com
If you need some help setting up your fantasy football lineup for next week, we’ve got you covered. Here are some key players, sleepers and interesting matchups to keep an eye on for this weekend’s NFL games:
Fred Jackson (RB, bills)
The Buffalo Bills’ work-horse is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and he already has four touchdowns. The Philadelphia Eagles have the task of trying to stop Jackson with their 30th ranked run defense this week. The Eagles simply do not have the linebacker corps to stop Jackson.
Cedric Benson (rb, Bengals)
Benson is ranked sixth among all running backs in yards, averaging 87 yards per game. The Bengals take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, and with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton starting you can expect Benson to get at least 25 carries. Benson is a quality cheap player who can be picked up on waivers in some leagues.
Steve Smith (wr, panthers)
Averaging 132 yards a game, the Carolina Panthers’ Smith is lighting up secondaries all over the league. The Panthers take on the New Orleans Saints, which has the 20th ranked pass defense, this Sunday. The Saints simply do not have a good enough cornerback to stop Smith.
Wes Welker (wr,patriots)
For this week against the Jets, having Welker on your team is a must. The Jets have two of the best corners in the NFL, but Welker will be covered by sub-par defensive backs, and a 200-plus yard game is not out of the question.
Matt Ryan (qb, falcons)
Matty Ice has been struggling so far this year, but with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez at his disposable, and with the running game of Michael Turner, Ryan will show off this week against the Green Bay Packers. The most important stat in this game is Ryan’s 21-4 home record.
Mike Vick (qb, Eagles)
Regardless of the Eagles’ record, Vick will be looking to put up close to 500 yards of offense just like he did last week. The Eagles take on the Bills, who have the 24th ranked pass defense. The Eagles have a “dream team” of weapons for Vick to choose from.
Brandon Pettigrew (te, lions)
Now that Calvin Johnson has been marked as a weapon of mass destruction, Pettigrew will receive favorable matchups for the Monday night game against the Bears in Detroit. Chicago has the 29th ranked pass defense, and it will have trouble trying to cover the explosive Lions offense.
Tony Gonzalez (te, Falcons)
The perennial All-Pro does not seem to be affected by Father Time because he is tied for second among tight ends in touchdowns with four. The Falcons will take on the Green Bay Packers which boast the 31st ranked pass defense in the NFL, despite having future Hall of Fame cornerback Charles Woodson.
Tennessee Titans defense
The Titans defense is the NFL’s best kept secret by only surrendering 14 points a game, tops in the league. Tennessee takes on a Steelers team that has lost six fumbles in four games. Pittsburgh also has a turnover differential of -10.