By Derick Moss
It should already, anyway, but we're getting close to the time of year when snow and sleet can really impact games. And that's not to mention torrential rain. It can ruin a fantasy football day – ask anyone who watched the Steelers-Dolphins fiasco last Monday and waited for a Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass.
But remember, it works both ways – it made the Dolphins defense a fantasy force for at least one weekend. On to the coming weekend (all times EST).
Green Bay at Dallas
8 p.m., NFL Network
SCOUTING THE PACKERS
Sit 'em down: Ryan Grant might be a low-end option this week against a stiff Dallas rushing defense, plus the game might be a shootout with few opportunities to run the ball. And this is a good week to look for another defense if you have the Packers.
SCOUTING THE COWBOYS
Suit 'em up: Yes, Green Bay has two very good cornerbacks, but the Packers have allowed 15 passing touchdowns this season and the secondary is banged up at safety. Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Terrell Owens are great plays, and Patrick Crayton (ankle) might be a sneaky play, especially if Charles Woodson is limited or out.
Sit 'em down: Julius Jones is a fine bench player and insurance for Marion Barber, but he's no fantasy starter. Barber, by the way, projects as a second running back this week in terms of yardage, but his red-zone prowess makes him a solid starter.
San Francisco at Carolina
1 p.m., FOX
SCOUTING THE 49ERS
Suit 'em up: Run, don't walk, away from your TV set if this game is on. But start Frank Gore, who faces the league's 20th rushing defense, and Vernon Davis, who faces a team that historically struggles in defending the tight end.
Sit 'em down: Trent Dilfer might have been lights-out last week, but two weeks in a row is a lot to expect. This figures to be a very low-scoring game.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Suit 'em up: I can't really recommend any Panther as a starter. Steve Smith is a potential low-end option if Vinny Testaverde starts (check Sunday), Drew Carter is a low-end option as a third receiver and Jeff King can be a No. 2 tight end. But you'd better be in a deep league to consider them. The team's best player might be rookie linebacker Jon Beason.
Buffalo at Washington
1 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE BILLS
Sit 'em down: The Bills are going back to Trent Edwards at quarterback, but he's been only marginally better than J.P. Losman. Lee Evans has been swooning and could be in for another long day. Josh Reed is even less a fantasy threat – he might get a catch or two more, but lacks big-play ability.
SCOUTING THE REDSKINS
Suit 'em up: In light of the tragic death of Sean Taylor, it's hard to know what to expect from the Redskins. They have lost three consecutive, and now the season could be getting away from them. But Buffalo is 29th against the pass and 23rd against the run, so Jason Campbell is a solid No. 2 quarterback, Chris Cooley is a top-notch TE and Clinton Portis is a high-end second running back.
Houston at Tennessee
1 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE TEXANS
Suit 'em up: Ron Dayne averaged 96 yards per game in the last three games, but his value is predicated on two things: The return of a healthy Albert Haynesworth to the Titans lineup (check Sunday) and the health of Ahman Green.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Suit 'em up: Weird thing: Vince Young is passing as well as he ever has, averaging 269 in three games, but the team has lost all three. But this is a good matchup for him and Justin Gage, who's become his favorite target lately and is a decent second receiver.
Sit 'em down: LenDale White looked like he had turned the corner a few weeks ago, but he could split carries with Chris Brown this week. It's a good matchup, but until they sort the carries out, find other options.
Atlanta at St. Louis
1 p.m., FOX
SCOUTING THE FALCONS
Suit 'em up: As bad as the Rams have been, the defense is close to average – 12th against the pass and 19th against the run. Joey Harrington is a No. 2 quarterback option this week while Roddy White is a No. 2 option as well. Warrick Dunn has at least 70 total yards in four consecutive games, but doesn't see the end zone enough to be a great option.
Sit 'em down: The talk of Jerious Norwood being the most under-utilized talent in the NFL is getting old. Just bench him. There's also talk of Jason Snelling taking over as the short-yardage back, but ignore it – the Falcons are hardly ever at the goal line.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
Seattle at Philadelphia
1 p.m., FOX
SCOUTING THE SEAHAWKS
Suit 'em up: Philly is 22nd against the pass (though it can rush the passer), so Matt Hasselbeck is a first-tier quarterback while both Deion Branch and Bobby Engram are second-tier quarterbacks in the wake of the D.J. Hackett injury.
Sit 'em down: Seattle is 3-0 since Maurice Morris took over for Shaun Alexander, but Alexander might be the healthier of the two this weekend. The seventh-ranked Eagles rush defense is too solid to take a chance on either Alexander or Morris this week.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
Suit 'em up: Is Brian Westbrook the top fantasy running back? Probably. A.J. Feeley will be OK, if only because he'll throw a bunch of short passes to Westbrook. Take a flier on L.J. Smith if you need a tight end this week.
Sit 'em down: Reggie Brown finally caught his second touchdown pass of the year last week. He could be turning it around, but I still like Kevin Curtis a little better.
Detroit at Minnesota
1 p.m., FOX
SCOUTING THE LIONS
Suit 'em up: Two teams headed in opposite directions. The Vikings are near the bottom of the league against the pass, but they owned the Giants' Eli Manning last week. Jon Kitna was effective against the Vikings in Week 2, but this might be a tougher matchup. Roy Williams is the top choice as a fantasy receiver, but Calvin Johnson might finally be the team's No. 2 receiving option. could this be his best game yet?
Sit 'em down: Minnesota leads the league in rushing defense, and it's no fluke. Kevin Jones might still be a second-tier running back because he catches passes, but he won't be a breakout player.
SCOUTING THE VIKINGS
Suit 'em up: The team is playing much better these days, but fantasy plays are a question. Adrian Peterson returns this week, but could split carries with Chester Taylor, limiting both players' value. That said, they might both be No. 2 options. Sidney Rice has been hot lately and might be a low-end second choice.
Sit 'em down: Tarvaris Jackson played his best game of the season last week but only threw 12 passes. He has such a limited upside, he's too much of a risk at this point.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
1 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE JAGUARS
Sit 'em down: David Garrard is efficient (no INTs in 209 attempts), but he faces the league's No. 2 pass defense. Reggie Williams has been productive lately, but is a No. 3 option at best.
SCOUTING THE COLTS
Sit 'em down: Can Anthony Gonzalez put together consecutive strong weeks? He's probably a flex option, at best. Kenton Keith's value depends on Joseph Addai's, so check the latter's health late this week.
San Diego at Kansas City
1 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE CHARGERS
Sit 'em down: Philip Rivers had a huge game last week, but the ninth-ranked Kansas City pass defense won't oblige. The same could be said for Vincent Jackson, who has been invisible since Chris Chambers came to town. Consider Chambers a flex play this week.
SCOUTING THE CHIEFS
Suit 'em up: Kolby Smith won't run for 150 yards as he did last week, but San Diego's 21st-ranked rush defense will get a big dose of him. If you need a second quarterback in a pinch, Damon Huard might start if Brodie Croyle is indeed sidelined (it looks like he might be).
SCOUTING THE JETS
Suit 'em up: Sure, it's a lousy game, but these teams played a 31-28 game last time out, so fantasy points can be had. Thomas Jones could be in line for a big day against a bad Miami run defense and is a good bet to snap his scoreless streak.
Sit 'em down: It's true: Miami's defense is ranked third against the pass. Also true: The Dolphins have seen fewer passes thrown against them than any team in the league (that's what happens when opponents can play from ahead). Kellen Clemens wouldn't be a great start, anyway, and with both Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery banged up, he's got fewer options.
SCOUTING THE DOLPHINS
Suit 'em up: Lots of talk about Patrick Cobbs getting a potential start, but Jesse Chatman can't be ruled out yet. Check the lineup – whichever back starts is a must-play against the league's 31st-ranked rush defense.
Denver at Oakland
4:05 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
Suit 'em up: Denver faces a defense that's much better against the pass (fourth) than the run (32nd). The problem is, we don't know for sure who'll start in the backfield for Denver. Whomever it is (Selvin Young, Travis Henry, Andre Hall) is a nice play.
Sit 'em down: The Raiders are shutting down most passing games they face, so Jay Cutler's run as a first-tier quarterback is over, for this week anyway. Brandon Marshall is a No. 2 receiving option, but make Javon Walker make plays for a week before starting him. Tony Scheffler had a big game last week, but Oakland shut down Tony Gonzalez the last time out and figures to clamp down on Scheffler, too.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Suit 'em up: Justin Fargas is averaging nearly 100 yards a game, and Denver's 29th-ranked rush defense, while improving, gives him a prime matchup. Zach Miller is a high-end No. 2 play this week.
Sit 'em down: The team has averaged only 20 pass attempts in its three wins, so we can assume it wants Daunte Culpepper to throw as little as possible against the Broncos cornerbacks.
Cleveland at Arizona
4:05 p.m., CBS
SCOUTING THE BROWNS
Sit 'em down: Joshua Cribbs is a supreme special teams player but hasn't found his way into the offense yet. That's about it — the Browns are going to be in another shootout this week.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Sit 'em down: Edgerrin James looks like he's taken a few too many hits, and now he's apparently lost goal-line carries to Marcel Shipp. This is too good a matchup to sit him, but he's a No. 2 play at best, maybe less.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
4:15 p.m., FOX
SCOUTING THE BUCCANEERS
Suit 'em up: Earnest Graham will get plenty of carries this week given the Bucs' problems at quarterback, and he's proving to be a low-end running back when given the chance. Joey Galloway has touchdowns in six consecutive games against New Orleans, so take a shot.
SCOUTING THE SAINTS
Suit 'em up: On-again, off-again New Orleans seems to be on-again. Reggie Bush got a chance to rest some this week after getting fewer touches than usual in a blowout of Carolina last week. Marques Colston has at least 85 yards receiving in five consecutive games and is a good play even though he'll be defended by Ronde Barber. This is a tough matchup for any quarterback, but Drew Brees is a decent play at home against anybody.
Sit 'em down: No Saints receiver other than Colston is consistent enough to consider, and Eric Johnson is splitting time with Billy Miller. Neither is a good play this week.
SCOUTING THE GIANTS
Suit 'em up: With Brandon Jacobs likely out again, Derrick Ward is the likely starter and will get a good matchup against the Bears' 27th-ranked rush defense. Reuben Droughns could get the goal-line carries, however, and is a flex play. Jeremy Shockey is a fine play against a team that's getting beaten by tight ends lately.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Suit 'em up: Rex Grossman gets the start and will be a low-end No. 2 quarterback against the 11th-ranked passing defense. Bernard Berrian is quickly becoming the team's go-to receiver, especially with Grossman under center, and might be a No. 2 receiver.
Sit 'em down: Go ahead and play Adrian Peterson, but against the No. 8 rush defense, he shouldn't be more than a low-end second option or flex option. Muhsin Muhammad is having a bad year, and he isn't getting any younger.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
8:15 p.m., NBC
SCOUTING THE BENGALS
Suit 'em up: Something's got to give. The Bengals are the league's third-ranked passing attack going against the No. 1 pass defense. The return of Chris Henry has sparked the offense, and Carson Palmer is finally going downfield with authority. If the weather's decent, Palmer and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are No. 1 options, with Chad Johnson being a low-end No. 1 option and Henry a low-end No. 2 option.
Sit 'em down: Rudi Johnson? Kenny Watson? DeDe Dorsey? Only Watson figures to have much value this week, but it's best to stay away from them altogether.
SCOUTING THE STEELERS
Suit 'em up: The Steelers offense has sputtered lately, but the Bengals might cure that. Willie Parker torched them for 126 yards and a touchdown just five weeks ago, and will be a big threat again Sunday. Hines Ward had two touchdowns in that game, and with Santonio Holmes hurting, he'll be the top receiving threat again.
New England at Baltimore
8:30 p.m., ESPN
SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS
Sit 'em down: What happened to Laurence Maroney? He scored his first touchdown last week, but he also sat on the bench the first half. The Patriots play about four running backs, and until they sort it out, none is more than a flex option, unless Maroney regains his prominent role.
SCOUTING THE RAVENS
Suit 'em up: Willis McGahee is having the best season few talk about. He's scored touchdowns in six consecutive games and has been very consistent. The Ravens will look to feed him plenty this week. Derrick Mason is on pace for 112 catches this year and is a great start in PPR leagues and a solid No. 2 option in most others.
Sit 'em down: Don't waste your time with Kyle Boller or any other Ravens offensive player. Baltimore has scored eight offensive touchdowns in five games, and McGahee has five of them. And this is not the week to start the Baltimore defense.