Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
Toby Gerhart probably won't get much going against the NFL's second-best run defense, and shouldn't be started. Christian Ponder could be forced into many adverse passing situations and might turn the ball over more than once. Percy Harvin should post adequate numbers during garbage time. Matt Ryan should enjoy a good day against the Vikings' 26th-ranked pass defense and will try to work frequently to Roddy White, who has a chance to deliver another 100-yard outing. Expect Tony Gonzalez to catch a TD pass and Michael Turner could convert on at least one short-yardage scoring opportunity.
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts
The Panthers RBs are strong starts against the AFC's worst run defense. Jonathan Stewart could post very good all-around numbers and expect DeAngelo Williams to rip off more than one long run. Indianapolis likely will have a ton of trouble with Cam Newton, who should pass for more than one TD and will also rush for yet another score. Carolina will try dictate this game offensively, and Steve Smith could be one of the best fantasy performers of the week. The Panthers have been awful against the run, too, so Joseph Addai and Donald Brown are definitely worth consideration as flex performers in larger leagues. Avoid all other Colts, though.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans
This is a friendly matchup for Chris Johnson, who could soar past the 100-yard mark as he faces a 27th-ranked rush defense. The Tampa Bay secondary has also looked vulnerable recently, so Nate Washington and Damian Williams are worth WR3 consideration. Tennessee does allow 124.3 rushing yards per game, so LeGarrette Blount should be locked in as a RB2, especially as he faces his former team. Josh Freeman looked better against Green Bay last week, but neither he nor any of his pass-catchers other than Kellen Winslow and Mike Williams should be trusted.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Look for this to be a low-scoring affair, as the Jaguars load up against the run and Matt Leinart is not asked to do much. Arian Foster might have to work hard for his rushing yards but should still be productive as a receiver. Andre Johnson could be used carefully and has no real rapport with Leinart yet, so expect only mediocre totals. Maurice Jones-Drew is usually a lock to get his numbers against any opponent, and could produce Jacksonville's only TD of the game.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams
The Cardinals pass defense has been notoriously bad this year, but Sam Bradford does not have the momentum or enough weapons to exploit the matchup. Brandon Lloyd could find the end zone again, but he is the only rosterable Rams WR right now. Steven Jackson should get a lot of work and should score. The Rams are very vulnerable to the ground game, so expect Beanie Wells to find the end zone as well. St. Louis could have a lot of difficulty containing Larry Fitzgerald, and expect good PPR numbers from Early Doucet.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Those who dare to start C.J. Spiller could quickly discover they made a mistake, as the Jets will try to force Buffalo to turn to Johnny White. White is nothing special, yet he could potentially post decent totals when he is used later in the game. Buffalo probably will not offer anything in the passing game, as Stevie Johnson might be shut down by Darrelle Revis and Ryan Fitzpatrick could struggle mightily. Joe McKnight is a good start, as he has the ability to slither through the Buffalo front seven. Mark Sanchez is worth the start if you are desperate, as he has a chance to roll past 250 yards and throw TD passes to Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns simply lack any offensive punch right now, and with the RB situation somewhat unclear, you can do better than Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya this week. No Browns are worth starting. Joe Haden could limit the production of A.J. Green, and Andy Dalton should be reserved unless you are scrambling for a replacement QB starter. These teams know each other well, and the only things you will be able to count on are a Cedric Benson TD and a low amount of points allowed by the Bengals defense.
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks
The Redskins could look limp after expending so much energy against Dallas then making a long, cross-country trip. Seattle is tough at home and will try to force Rex Grossman into multiple turnovers, while rendering the running game nearly non-existent. Santana Moss, however, will be worth a WR3 start in his expected return, and Fred Davis has some TD potential. Washington's defense, though, could get overworked and yield more than one score to Marshawn Lynch. The Seahawks defense should give the offense many favorable positions to start drives, and should register a score itself. Start the defense for good results and use Doug Baldwin as a WR3 in larger leagues.
Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders
Caleb Hanie certainly is capable of keeping defenses honest, and is comfortable with Johnny Knox, so do not be surprised to see the Bears QB attempt to loosen up the Raiders defense with some downfield attempts. You should avoid all Bears WRs as the transition is eased from Cutler to Hanie. The good news is that you shouldn't see a downturn in production from Matt Forte while Marion Baber should still get chances to score. Carson Palmer's WR corps is thin because of injuries, so do not expect over 250 passing yards or more than two TD passes. Michael Bush will have to work hard for his yardage this week but is still a recommended RB2 start.
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles will need to be fired up for this high-profile matchup and will try not to let the Patriots fully dominate on offense. Tom Brady should still get his 275 passing yards and two scores, but the Eagles could also force several failed drives. Wes Welker will likely perform much better than he has in the past two weeks, but still might not score. Rob Gronkowski could be hard for the Eagles to handle, yet Aaron Hernandez and BenJarvus Green-Ellis could be in for disappointing outings. Vince Young will try to take his shots against a very vulnerable secondary, and expect more than one TD pass. Riley Cooper is a nice sleeper option this week and LeSean McCoy could score yet again.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers rank 23rd against the run, but will likely stacks their fronts against Willis McGahee and Lance Ball. McGahee could score even though his yardage is limited, but you should avoid Ball. Don't expect Tim Tebow to complete many passes, and Eric Decker is a very risky start. Tebow should still scramble for pretty good yardage numbers, and could lead a drive that finishes with a McGahee flourish. The Denver defense will try to get a lot of pressure on Philip Rivers, who seems destined for a two-TD, two interception outing. Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates could be the scoring recipients, but Jackson's yardage totals probably won't thrill his owners. Mike Tolbert could get a lot of work and is a strong flex choice.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
The Tyler Palko era could go the way of the short-lived Kyle Boller period this year in Oakland. By halftime, the Chiefs might have to force the newly-acquired Kyle Orton into action. The Steelers should easily defend the Kansas City RBs and will likely double team Dwayne Bowe. If you can, avoid most Chiefs other than Bowe, who may register a garbage time score. Rashard Mendenhall should deliver one of his best outings of the year, rushing for over 100 yards and scoring twice. Ben Roethlisberger's injured thumb shouldn't be an issue as he looks to throw scoring tosses to Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller.
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints
Eli Manning will do his best to provide his owners with a boost in his return to the Big Easy. Manning's homecoming could be marked with more than two TD passes. New York may not be able to generate much of a running game, so a four-TD, two interception outing appears to be in the cards. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are two top WR starts for this week, and Jake Ballard could get some scoring chances as well. Stay away from Brandon Jacobs, though, as the Giants should look heavily like a passing unit. Expect Drew Brees to connect with Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham for TDs with both Colston and Graham approaching 100 receiving yards, and Robert Meachem with a chance to catch more than one sizable pass. Darren Sproles has the ability to terrorize the New York LBs and is one of the best RB starts of Week 12.
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