Fantasy matchups: L.J. should bounce back

By Derick Moss

Minnesota at Chicago
1 p.m., FOX

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS

Suit 'em up: Even though he was on the field for just 24 of 65 plays last week, start Adrian Peterson because he averages five yards per carry. It's slim pickings elsewhere.

Sit 'em down: Sidney Rice had a nice breakout two weeks ago, but with Tarvaris Jackson back under center, passing yards will be scarce for Rice and Bobby Wade.

SCOUTING THE BEARS

Suit 'em up: Brian Griese gets to face the league's 30th-ranked pass defense, and Greg Olsen is emerging as the team's go-to guy in the red zone now that he's healthy.

Sit 'em down: Not only is Cedric Benson averaging just three yards per carry, but the Vikes give up only 62 yards per game on the ground. Bernard Berrian is hurting and is a game-time decision, so keep your eye on him.

St. Louis at Baltimore
1 p.m., FOX

SCOUTING THE RAMS

Suit 'em up: Go ahead and take a chance on Gus Frerotte, who's moving the offense more than Marc Bulger did. Torry Holt will be his favorite target.

Sit 'em down: Brian Leonard will find the going tough against one of the league's best run defenses, but he remains a flex option. You'll be tempted to take the Rams defense in this matchup, but don't.

SCOUTING THE RAVENS

Suit 'em up: Willis McGahee has been great so far, but hasn't found the end zone. He will this week. Derrick Mason is battling illness, but if he plays, he's got a great matchup.

Sit 'em down: Demetrius Williams has a ton of athletic ability, but Steve McNair isn't getting the ball downfield to take advantage of it. And Mark Clayton is simply a non-factor these days.

Philadelphia at New York Jets
1 p.m., FOX

SCOUTING THE EAGLES

Suit 'em up: Donovan McNabb figures to have plenty of open receivers against one of the worst defenses around. Of course, Brian Westbrook is the best option, but the up-and-down Kevin Curtis might be up this week.

Sit 'em down: Until Reggie Brown shows something, he's not an option. L.J. Smith is battling injury and may not be ready yet.

SCOUTING THE JETS

Suit 'em up: Despite a shaky quarterback situation, Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are still fine starts. Play Kellen Clemens if he starts, and pick him up and stash him away if you even if he's on the bench.

Sit 'em down: Thomas Jones has been ineffective all year, and the Eagles are better against the run than most. Ditto for Leon Washington, unless you have a special teams slot.

Miami at Cleveland
1 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE DOLPHINS

Suit 'em up: Ronnie Brown is fantasy football's top running back right now, and the Browns won't do much to change that. Chris Chambers might find a seam if Cleo Lemon can find him. Speaking of Lemon, take a chance if you're desperate.

Sit 'em down: Ted Ginn Jr. Should be getting more looks than he is, but he's got questionable pass-catching skills. David Martin is not a tight end worth starting at this point.

SCOUTING THE BROWNS

Suit 'em up: It looks like Jamal Lewis is out, so Jason Wright becomes a must-play against a terrible run defense. And as long as Derek Anderson is going to throw touchdowns at this rate, he's worth starting.

Sit 'em down: It's hard not to recommend all the Browns this week. But check Joe Jurevicius' status Sunday morning before starting him – he's got a bum knee.

Washington at Green Bay
1 p.m., FOX

SCOUTING THE REDSKINS

Suit 'em up: Two tough defenses here, so points may be at a premium. But Clinton Portis will get plenty of chances and has been pretty good in games like this. Chris Cooley is now a must start at tight end, and Santana Moss is back and healthy.

Sit 'em down: Antwaan Randle El is a game-time decision, but with Moss back he's a weaker option anyway. Keenan McCardell is a nice story, but make him put up some numbers before picking him up.

SCOUTING THE PACKERS

Suit 'em up: As long as Brett Favre is passing three of every four plays, he's an option, albeit not a great one this week. Forget the stuff about James Jones getting benched – he's coming on as a deep threat. DeShawn Wynn will get whatever carries there are this week, and might get a goal-line score.

Sit 'em down: Greg Jennings is a little banged up, so monitor his progress this week. Brandon Jackson and Vernand Morency are rapidly falling behind Wynn in terms of fantasy value.

Cincinnati at Kansas City
1 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE BENGALS

Suit 'em up: Kansas City's pass defense has been surprisingly effective, but start Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh every week. Kenny Watson becomes a great start against a poor run defense if Rudi Johnson sits, as we expect.

Sit 'em down: Don't be fooled by Reggie Kelly's four catches in Week 4 – that gives him five this year. And don't even think about starting the Bengals defense, no matter how tempted.

SCOUTING THE CHIEFS

Suit 'em up: Larry Johnson has been the biggest fantasy disappointment of the season, but you've got to start him against this defense. Dwayne Bowe is a no-brainer, but even Sammie Parker might find a seam this week.

Sit 'em down: We don't say this often, but start all Chiefs. OK, well, Eddie Kennison is hurt and probably out, so don't start him.

Tennessee at Tampa Bay
1 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE TITANS

Suit 'em up: Another defensive slugfest. The Bucs are super conservative offensively, so take a chance on the surging Titans defense. Vince Young is a solid play, but we're not sure who he'll throw to just yet.

Sit 'em down: LenDale White might be slipping back into a platoon with Chris Brown, so plan accordingly. Brandon Jones missed practice Wednesday, so check his status.

SCOUTING THE BUCCANEERS

Suit 'em up: Why not start Jeff Garcia? He's not going to throw for 300 yards, but he's efficient and can run and throw. If Ike Hilliard is healthy, he's the receiver most likely to have a good game.

Sit 'em down: Earnest Graham might prove to be a bull as the season progresses, but the Titans aren't allowing anything on the ground. And Joey Galloway is fast disappearing as a deep threat.

Houston at Jacksonville
1 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE TEXANS

Suit 'em up: The Jags are tough on defense, so don't expect much from the Texans. Jacoby Jones might have been released, so check the waiver wires and pick him up and consider starting him while Andre Johnson is out.

Sit 'em down: Stay away from both Ahman Green and Ron Dayne against the powerful Jags front seven.

SCOUTING THE JAGUARS

Suit 'em up: David Garrard is playing well, and gets a good matchup against a suspect secondary. Maurice Jones-Drew isn't a workhorse, but he could find a seam Sunday. And the Jags defense is a great option.

Sit 'em down: Dennis Northcutt is the only receiver worth looking at, so sit Reggie Williams, Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford.

Carolina at Arizona
4:05 p.m., FOX

SCOUTING THE PANTHERS

Suit 'em up: No matter who's starting at quarterback, Steve Smith is going to have to get involved in the offense sooner or later. Go ahead and start DeShaun Foster, but there's a chance DeAngelo Williams might breakout Sunday as the Panthers look to play keep-away.

Sit 'em down: Pick up David Carr for the long haul, but it's possible Vinny Testaverde will start (stay away). The Carolina defense is overrated, so look for another option.

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS

Suit 'em up: Kurt Warner is a good option, as is Larry Fitzgerald and Edgerrin James against a Carolina defense that has only two sacks and two picks all season. In fact, Warner could be a No. 1 fantasy quarterback is he stays healthy this season.

Sit 'em down: Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson are both hurting, and Leonard Pope is just an afterthought right now.

New England at Dallas
4:15 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS

Suit 'em up: Two great offenses, but the Pats get to face the lesser defense. Watch the running back situation closely – Sammy Morris is a great play if he starts, but Laurence Maroney is close to coming back. He's not as good a play.

Sit 'em down: Wes Welker started the season on fire, but he's quickly become the fourth option in the passing game. Also, if there's a week to sit the Pats defense, this is it.

SCOUTING THE COWBOYS

Suit 'em up: Despite Tony Romo's five picks last week, he's a must start. Terrell Owens will demand passes his way this week, and Patrick Crayton is becoming a legitimate No. 2 receiver.

Sit 'em down: Julius Jones isn't a great play most weeks, but especially not this one.

Oakland at San Diego
4:15 p.m., CBS

SCOUTING THE RAIDERS

Suit 'em up: No matter who starts in the Raiders backfield, they've been able to run the ball. Lamont Jordan is hurting, so Justin Fargas is the first option, but Dominic Rhodes might get a look. Check the lineup Sunday morning.

Sit 'em down: Daunte Culpepper won't have a big day this week, as the Chargers seem to be coming around on defense. Despite two touchdowns his last time out, we'd sit Jerry Porter this week.

SCOUTING THE CHARGERS

Suit 'em up: Vincent Jackson is coming on as a receiver and will get his chances in a game that figures to be close. And take a chance on Philip Rivers, who is playing better lately. The San Diego defense might also be an option this week after a slow start.

Sit 'em down: Looks like Craig Davis is a fantasy bust so far, and outside of Antonio Gates, LaDainian Tomlinson and Jackson, there's no real receiving threat on the team.

New Orleans at Seattle
8:15 p.m., NBC

SCOUTING THE SAINTS

Suit 'em up: Reggie Bush is either going to have a great season or get hurt. I'm hoping for a great season. Don't write off Drew Brees just yet; The law of averages will take hold, and he has one touchdown and nine picks. The sleeper on this team is Lance Moore, who is lightning quick and will get more touches as the season goes along.

Sit 'em down: Aaron Stecker is no Deuce McAllister, and you should avoid him. Devery Henderson had 100 yards last week, but costly drops are moving him down the depth chart.

SCOUTING THE SEAHAWKS

Suit 'em up: Matt Hasselbeck struggled last week, but the Saints will offer a chance at redemption. And with Deion Branch out, Bobby Engram becomes the top option. But the odds are that Shaun Alexander, despite giving up some carries to Maurice Morris, will be the featured weapon on offense this week.

Sit 'em down: Nate Burleson is just not very good, and Marcus Pollard has a bum leg. And the Seattle defense will get a test Sunday.

New York Giants at Atlanta
8:30 p.m., ESPN

SCOUTING THE GIANTS

Suit 'em up: Brandon Jacobs looked good in his return to the lineup, but Derrick Ward can't be dropped just yet – the Falcons are much better against the pass than the run.

Sit 'em down: Amani Toomer didn't have a catch last week and is the fourth option in the passing game. And don't sit Plaxico Burress, but he'll have DeAngelo Hall on him all day, and he's bound to have a game without a touchdown sooner or later.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS

Suit 'em up: It's a stretch to start any Falcon, but take a shot at Jerious Norwood, who's getting more touches each week. It seems like Monday night is always a good time for a breakout game. Roddy White is also a flex option, and Alge Crumpler might get a few grabs.

Sit 'em down: Joey Harrington will start, but Byron Leftwich might get snaps, too. Neither is a good play. And Warrick Dunn is just not getting enough holes to run through to be effective these days.

For more information, please visit Rotowire.com.

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