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It's Time To Set Your Fantasy Line-up For This Weekend

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports



Ben Roethlisberger - For some reason, the football gods like to smile on Big Ben. Two weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts behind a six touchdown effort from their quarterback. Last Sunday he threw six more touchdown passes to beat the Baltimore Ravens. He is in a favorable match-up to continue that streak this weekend against the New York Jets. Rex Ryan's weak defense will be further weakened by having UDFA rookie corner Marcus Williams starting for a defense that was already the most generous in the league, at least as far as opposing passers are concerned.

Cam Newton - Newton is coming off of the worst outing of his professional career last week. Facing an Eagles defense that lost its best player and on-the-field leader last week, Cam will have an opportunity for a strong rebound. The Panthers should be able to take advantage of the hole in the middle of the Philly defense created by the loss of DeMeco Ryans by cashing in on short underneath routes and through the quarterback's ability to damage teams on the ground.

Matt Ryan - Matty Ice put up nearly 300 yards passing and three touchdowns during the Falcons early season meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he is coming off of a solid outing the last time out. This time around he faces a Bucs defense that has allowed an average of 24 fantasy points per week over the last month.


Ryan Tannehill - The Texas A&M product has been a solid piece for his fantasy owners this season. That will not be the case this week since his Miami Dolphins face a Detroit Lions defense that has allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league this season.

Matthew Stafford - Turn-about is fair play. The possible return of Calvin Johnson may help his prospects, but Stafford too will face a stingy pass defense. The Phins are allowing opposing QBs just over 200 yards per game. While you may not want either quarterback in this game, it might be worth your while to grab either defense.

Running Back


Ronnie Hillman - Denver faces a dismal Oakland Raiders defense this weekend. Hillman has averaged about 15 fantasy points per game since he claimed the starting role behind Peyton Manning, and against the Raiders he should be good for quite a bit more than that.

Steven Jackson - Jackson is no longer the back who became the St. Louis Rams all time leading rusher, but given the right circumstances, he is still capable of turning in some big outing. The conditions are right for that to happen this weekend since the Falcons are facing a Tampa Bay run defense that is among the worst in the NFL.


Tre Mason - Only the Arizona Cardinals have managed to hold DeMarco Murray to less than 100 yards this season. They accomplished that feat last weekend, and now they face Mason. He may have emerged as the top dog in Jeff Fisher's backfield but this will not be his week.

Andre Williams -  With the loss of Victor Cruz, the New York Football Giants need Williams to carry more than his share of the load, but this week he will face a Seattle Seahawks defense that has only allowed two double digit fantasy performances to running backs this season. They are allowing opposing backs less than 3.5 yards per carry this season, and even that total is skewed by the outing that DeMarco Murray had against them earlier this season.

Wide Receiver


Kelvin Benjamin - When you are a WR1 facing a defense that has given up three 100 yard receiving efforts in the last two games, you sort of expect to have a good game. Benjamin finds himself in this position against the Philadelphia Eagles. He faces what has become one of the top opportunities for receivers, the Philly defensive secondary. If he can overcome the fact that he is only catching the ball on just over half of his targets this season, Benjamin should turn in a very solid weekend.

Anquan Boldin  - The 49ers number two wide out should draw Rob Ryan's #2 cornerback, Corey White. Number two corner is a misnomer for White. According to PFF he ranks 101st out of 109 cornerbacks in pass coverage. That spells opportunity in my book. Boldin is a proven player who has been good for an average of nearly 80 yards per game over the past few week and he should be able to exploit White to his advantage.

Larry Fitzgerald - Twelve catches, 230 yards, and a touchdown over the past couple of weeks shows that Fitzgerald is on his way back. Facing a St. Louis defense that is in the lower third  of the league in pass defense should allow him the opportunity to improve on his recent performance.

Mike Evans - The rookie from Aggieland is starting to come in to his own as a professional. Last week he had seven catches for 124 yards and two scores against Cleveland. This week he will face an Atlanta Falcons D that has been very generous to WR2s this season. Look for Evans to capitalize on the momentum he is building.


Reuben Randle - Rookie Odell Beckham, Jr. has emerged as the #1 receiver for New York since Victor Cruz was lost for the season. Randle, on the other hand, has proven to be a disappointment for the G-men. He has not taken advantage of the opportunity before him. Things will not get any easier for Randle this weekend since the Giants face a Seahawks defense that can suffocate opposing receivers.

Mike Wallace - This week he will face a Detroit defense that has shut down the likes of Julio Jones, Greg Jennings, and Sammy Watkins in recent weeks. There is no reason to expect Wallace to fare any better. After all, this Detroit D gets to work against Megatron week after week. That kind of practice cannot help but pay off for a secondary.

Cecil Shorts - The Dallas Cowboys cornerback tandem of Orlando Scandrick and Sterling Moore have yet to allow a touchdown in 2014. They have also only allowed a single 100 yard receiving effort this season. Shorts has not reached that total in his last three games combined.

Tight Ends


Heath Miller - The Jets have allowed more touchdowns to tight ends than any other team in the league. Miller has been the odd man out in Big Ben's explosive touchdown onslaught over the last couple of weeks. That should change against New York. Look for Roethlisberger to find his old reliable target frequently this weekend.

Larry Donnell - Seattle is breathing down the Jets neck when it comes to most scores allowed by tight ends. For the Giants to have any chance this weekend, Eli Manning and Donnell will have to hook up early and often.


Vernon Davis - One thing the Saints defense does well is take away the tight end. They are allowing an average of 38.5 yards per game to the position, and no opposing TE has found the endzone against New Orleans since week 1.

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