Fantasy player matchups: Griese, Lynch should shine

By Kyle Fisher


Brian Griese vs. DET

Griese comes into this matchup after a potential season-saving 97-yard drive against the Eagles. At least for the moment, the Bears appear to have some stability at quarterback. Griese is averaging more than 300 yards a game in four games with an average of two touchdown passes per game. He might have the best matchup of the weekend against a Lions defense that allowed him 286 yards and two touchdowns in his season debut. Griese three interceptions in that one, but he's been a lot more careful with the ball recently. The Lions allow 269.3 yards per game passing and two touchdowns thrown per game. Looks like another good week for Griese.

LenDale White vs. OAK

White has become the No. 1 running back in Tennessee and had his first career 100-yard rushing game last week. With Chris Brown still having issues with his ankle and a less-than-100-percent Vince Young returning, look for White to get plenty of carries. White is matched up against one of the softer run defenses in the NFL. The Raiders lead the league in yards per carry allowed at 5.2 yards per carry. The Raiders are giving up 141.7 yards per game and have surrendered the second most rushing touchdowns in the league with nine. Look for White to get plenty of opportunities to have a productive day.

Lynch ran well against a tough Ravens defense last week, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown. This week he is matched up against a Jet defense that is surrendering 138 yards per game and has given up the second most rushing touchdowns in the NFL. Lynch ran for 79 yards and a touchdown in their first meeting this season and has the potential for a much bigger day, as the Jets run defense has given up more than 175 yards a game since its last meetingh Lynch.

While Bush has yet to become the Marshall Faulk-type fantasy producer that many tabbed him, he has been more productive. Bush had 73 yards, a touchdown and two-point conversion in last weeks win. This week Bush is matched up against the team that he had his best day as a pro against. Last season Bush scored four touchdowns and had 168 yards from scrimmage against the 49ers. While Bush probably won't have that type of productivity, he should be able to give fantasy owners more than 100 combined yards and a touchdown.

Donovan McNabb vs. MIN

McNabb was once one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in football. This year he has struggled, throwing for just seven touchdowns in six games. He is, however, throwing for more than 241 yards per game and has just two interceptions this season. This should be a week where he produces both yards and touchdowns. The Vikings rank last in the NFL against the pass, surrendering 282.5 yards per game and 1.5 touchdowns per game. Expect McNabb to have a nice yardage day and a couple of touchdowns passing.

John Kitna vs. CHI

Kitna has been off the last two weeks, throwing for just 253 yards and no touchdowns. This week he is paired against a Bears team that he threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns against in Week 4. The Bears continue to struggle against the pass, ranking just 23rd at 224.9 yards allowed per game. With the Lions' defensive struggles against the pass, expect a shootout in which both quarterbacks produce good fantasy numbers.

Marc Bulger vs. CLE

If Bulger is to salvage his season, this is the week to start. Bulger has battled injuries and has been one of the most disappointing fantasy players to date. However, he gets Steven Jackson back this week, who is a big weapon in the passing game, and faces a defense ranked 29th in the league against the pass and that has allowed a league-high 17 touchdowns.

Hines Ward vs. CIN

Ward returned last week and had solid numbers against Denver, hauling in seven passes for 78 yards. This week he is matched up against the Bengals, who allow 249.2 yards per game and have surrendered 16 passing touchdowns in six games. Despite struggling last week, Ben Roethlisberger is having his best statistical season and should make Ward a good play this week.


Lamont Jordan vs. TEN

Jordan had a rough week last week being held to just 29 yards, and it gets no easier against the NFL's No. 1 run defense. The Titans surrender just 59.7 yards per game. Jordan's plays likely be limited as well because the Titans will play ball control against a weak Raiders run defense, content to keep the Oakland offense off the field. Expect another tough week for Jordan.

Vince Young vs. OAK

Young is coming off a right quad injury that should limit his mobility, thus making him less effective. What also has made Young less effective is the emergence of other Titans rushers and a dink-and-dunk passing game that controls the ball but does not help fantasy owners. Young has accounted for just four total touchdowns and is rushing for less than 26 yards per game. Expect a lot of LenDale White and another high completion percentage, low yardage total for Young.

Campbell has had good and bad moments in his first year as a starter. Last week, Campbell threw for just 95 yards and an interception. Expect the Patriots, who are fourth in the league against the pass, to have a similar gameplan against the young quarterback and for Campbell to have a rough day.

Kenny Watson/Rudi Johnson vs. PIT

Johnson missed practice on Wednesday with a hamstring injury, so Watson might get the bulk of the carries. Regardless of who gets the rushes, the Bengals face an angry Steeler defense that, despite having its overall season-worst game, gave up just 90 yards rushing on 24 carries. The Steelers defense held the Bengals to just 131 yards in two games last season. Expect a tough game for whoever gets the call.

Jesse Chatman vs. NYG

With Ronnie Brown out for the season, Chatman has suddenly become a viable fantasy player. What may surprise most is that the while the Dolphins have been really bad, they have the second-highest yards per carry average in the NFL at five yards per carry, and they have the second most rushing touchdowns with nine. This week, Chatman and the Dolphins are matched up against perhaps the NFL's hottest defense. The Giants have played lights out lately. The Giants are 10th in the league against the run, allowing less than 98 yards per game. Without Brown, we see the Dolphins struggling to do anything on offense.

Marquis Colston vs. SF

Colston, like most of the Saints, has slumped this season. He has caught just 26 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. A sore back has limited Colston's productivity to just 78 total yards the last three weeks. Colston goes against a 49ers defense that is a respectable 11th agaist the pass, allowing just 201.2 yards per game, so consider benching Colston this week.

Matt Schaub/Sage Rosenfels vs. SD

Schaub has had a good season but might be a game-time decision. Rosenfels threw four touchdowns passes in the fourth quarter and nearly led a remarkable comeback against the Titans. Regardless of whether it is Schaub or Rosenfels, this is not a good matchup for the Texans. The Chargers appear to have righted the ship after struggling the first month of the season. The defense has allowed just one touchdown passing in its last two games. With the Texans struggling to run the football recently, expect the Chargers to concentrate on limiting the Texans passing game.

Washington Defense vs. NE

While statically speaking the Redskins have one of the best defenses in the NFL, it is hard to justify playing it against maybe the hottest offense in NFL history. The Patriots average nearly 40 points a game while rolling up nearly 433 yards of offense a game. In most weeks, Washington's defense should be started, but this is not one of those weeks, especially with the Redskin offense struggling.

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