Another exciting - and potentially soul crushing - week of fantasy football is upon us. Time to look at 10 players primed for a breakout week, and 10 others who may end up hurting your chances for a crucial victory.
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Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings
Last week, Favre struggled with turnovers and failed to get things going early against a talented Jets’ defense. On Sunday, he’ll have the opportunity to change the course of the Vikings’ season and register a big fantasy day in the process. The Cowboys’ pass defense has looked awfully susceptible to deep balls and ranks dead last in creating turnovers. Two things that bode well for Favre.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Gonna go out on a limb here and say that Big Ben will have his best week of the 2010 season.
Ryan Torain, Washington Redskins
It’s now become clear that Torain is “the man” in the Washington backfield, having collected 34 carries in the team’s past two games. Against the Indianapolis Colts struggling run defense, this should pay major dividends on Sunday.
Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers
Matthews will face a St. Louis Rams’ defense that surrenders 140 total yards per game to opposing running backs. This is “fantasy do or die time” for the Chargers first round pick.
Wes Welker, New England Patriots
With Randy Moss gone and the Baltimore Ravens blitz in his face all day, expect Tom Brady to check down upwards of 117 times. Welker should have a huge game in point-per-reception leagues because of this.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
Somebody has to have a big day against Houston’s league worst secondary. Bowe appears to be the likely candidate to do so.
Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens
After a rough start in Week 5, expect Boldin to bounce back against the Patriots. New England ranks 22nd in touchdowns surrendered to opposing receivers and gives up a lot of yards after the catch.
Johnny Knox, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler is back this week and playing Seattle’s 31st ranked pass defense. Knox is averaging 20 yards-per-catch and should receive some deep looks from his starting quarterback.
Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints have allowed the fifth most points to opposing tight ends. And they haven’t played many good ones…
San Diego Chargers Defense
Don’t expect their poor showing against the Raiders to carry over this week against the Rams. Sam Bradford just lost his favorite receiver and the Chargers have suddenly found themselves in a tough division battle nobody saw coming. They should be ready to avenge last week’s loss.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Don’t laugh, but the Lions defense is actually pretty good. They’ve allowed less than 225 passing yards in three straight games and currently rank sixth in the NFL in total sacks. Manning may not struggle, but he will have a much harder time than he did against the Texans last week.
Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins
Henne has started to put up some very respectable fantasy numbers and is quickly becoming one of the better young quarterbacks in the NFL. Just don’t expect him to show you why this week against the Packers’ terrifying defense.
Peyton Hillis, Cleveland Browns
Nobody is running the ball effectively against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hillis should struggle to get things going on the road, in perhaps the most emotional game of the season for the Steelers.
Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sims-Walker had his best fantasy day of the year last Sunday. This week, however, he should come back down to earth when he goes head-to-head with Cortland Finnegan and the Titans’ secondary.
Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts
Addai has reportedly been nursing shoulder and neck injuries all week. He’s expected to play, but with back-up Donald Brown ready to go, his touches should decrease as the Colts ease Addai back into good health.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England Patriots
Green-Ellis is averaging just 14 carries per game since assuming the lead back role. While Baltimore has been unusually susceptible to big runs this year, Green-Ellis is going to need a lot more touches to be a safe play against the athletic Ravens’ defense.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Johnson is going to suit up for the Lions, but will not be doing so at 100 percent. Factor in a ferocious Giants’ defense that will have Shaun Hill running for his life, and the chances of a big day for Megatron are low.
Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions
As good as he’s looked in the past few weeks, this may be the time to give him a rest. The Giants do a great job keeping tight ends in check, and the Lions will need Pettigrew to help protect Hill. Expect him to be used as a blocker in this one.
New York Jets Defense
Kyle Orton makes a lot less mistakes than Brett Favre. The Jets are still worth a look, but don’t expect them to put up the same kind of numbers they did against the Vikings.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense
After collecting a massive fantasy day against the struggling 49ers’ offense, the Eagles’ defense will continue their up and down performances with a rough outing against the efficient Atlanta Falcons attack.