It's crunch time in the fantasy football season and this week could mean the difference between a playoff berth and having your children look at you with disgust. Luckily, we've broken down some players due for a big week and others destined for a rough start.
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Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions
No team in the NFL has attempted more passes this season than the Detroit Lions. Assuming they don’t suddenly abandon their game plan, this should pay big dividends against a Cowboys defense that allows an average of three passing touchdowns per game while playing at home.
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have started to let Cassel throw the ball more often and he’s putting up solid fantasy numbers because of it. Against the Arizona Cardinals’ 27th-ranked pass defense this week, he should continue his ascension up the quarterback ranks.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
Sanchez is throwing the ball extremely well, and should be able to continue doing so against the Houston Texans' horrendous secondary.
Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals
Benson returned to practice this week and will be good to go on Sunday when he gets a chance to face the Buffalo Bills’ league-worst rush defense.
Ellis was able to exploit the Pittsburgh Steelers for a solid fantasy performance last week. What do you think he’s going to do against an Indianapolis Colts defense that gives up more yards-per-carry than any other team in the NFL?
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers
With Ryan Matthews likely out of the game, Tolbert is going to be the feature back on one of the hottest teams in the league.
Santonio Holmes, New York Jets
Somebody has to catch the deep ball against the Texans. Holmes seems like the most likely candidate.
Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions
Pettigrew has become a favorite target for Shaun Hill and should see a lot of passes come his way against the Cowboys’ struggling defense.
Kevin Boss, New York Giants
The Eagles give up the fifth most points to opposing tight ends. With Steve Smith hurt and Hakeem Nicks likely drawing double coverage, Boss should see his fair share of passes.
Ben Watson, Cleveland Browns
The Jaguars will be spending their week figuring out ways to stop Peyton Hillis. Good news for the Browns’ improved passing game which faces Jacksonville’s 29th-ranked pass defense.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
Not only is Schaub banged up, but he also has his top target stuck on Revis Island for the week.
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Blount has become one of the better running backs in the NFC of late, but may struggle to continue his recent success when he faces a 49ers defense that has allowed just four touchdowns to opposing running backs.
Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Last week Moreno was able to crank out a lot of “garbage yards” once his team had a comfortable lead over the Chiefs. In a tight matchup with the Chargers’ fourth-ranked run defense, this Sunday will be a different story.
Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
There’s been a lot of fantasy action on Jones ever since Tony Romo’s season ended and the Cowboys game plan – courtesy of a new coach – shifted. While it may be a long term investment, don’t expect big things from Jones this week against the Giants’ daunting defense.
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
The Titans haven’t allowed a touchdown to an opposing wide receiver in two games. Factor in how shaky Donovan McNabb plays on the road, and all signs point to a down week for Moss.
Mike Williams, Seattle Seahawks
Williams will be facing the league’s top pass defense this Sunday (New Orleans). The Saints have held nearly every big name receiver they’ve faced in check and rarely give up touchdowns through the air.
Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sims-Walker has missed several practices this week and is listed as questionable. Even if he does play it will be against an underrated Cleveland Browns’ secondary.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
See: Matt Schaub
Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
It appears as if Jason Garrett has decided to use Witten in more of a blocking role. Good news for John Kitna, bad news for fantasy owners.
Minnesota Vikings Defense
The Vikings defense struggled against the Packers last time these teams played and there’s no reason to think it won’t happen again.