It's the final week of byes. Let us all rejoice! Beginning next week, your fantasy starting lineups should look as you intended them to back in August. Unfortunately, it also means you must endure one more week of stopgaps and patchwork. Let's get to it.
Analysis: The Cardinals have their share of offensive woes, but this could be a week that LaRod Stephens-Howling earns at least a flex look from fantasy owners with a stud RB on a bye. Matt Ryan could find his production stifled this week, but he should be in your lineup regardless because of his super-productive pass-catchers. Expect Atlanta's defense to force a couple of turnovers against Arizona's passing game.
Analysis:Doug Martin should remain a quality starter this week. Look for him to surpass 100 yards with a score against Carolina's run defense. Vincent Jackson is in line for another quality outing and Connor Barth is worth a start if you need kicker help. This is a week that favors both Cam Newton and Steve Smith. Look for the duo to connect on at least one touchdown. Greg Olsen should keep up his productive ways as well.
Analysis: Fresh off a bye, Trent Richardson could appproach 100 yards with a score against the Cowboys. Look for Josh Gordon to make a couple of big plays in the passing game, although Brandon Weeden could have his struggles overall. Felix Jones is worth a start as a RB3/flex option, but Dez Bryant is set up to have a big game catching the football. While the matchup doesn't favor Jason Witten, stay with him as long as he has the hot hand.
Analysis: Forget what the numbers say, you're going to start Aaron Rodgers. However, guys like James Jones and Randall Cobb might be more cautious options. Feeling brave? Take a chance on Jermichael Finley in a matchup that plays in his favor. If you can suffer through a pick or two, Matthew Stafford should post big yardage and a couple of touchdowns in a potential shootout. Consider Titus Young a sleeper pick, but that won't extend to Mikel Leshoure or Joique Bell.
Analysis: There isn't much to like about the Jaguars this week. Cecil Shorts is the only Jacksonville player worth considering. But because he's a home run hitter, there's always the danger that he strikes out. While Andre Johnson has been disappointing this year, here's a chance for him to look (at least somewhat) like the player most thought they were drafting. For yet another week, the Texans' defense is a must-start option.
Analysis:Andy Dalton should be able to have his way against Kansas City's secondary. Look for the Red Rocket to toss at least two touchdowns. BenJarvus Green-Ellis should be better than he's been recently, with 70-80 rushing yards. Cincy's defense will likely score a couple of takeaways. Jamaal Charles should continue to run well and once again find the end zone. Dwayne Bowe is a quality WR2 option this week.
Analysis: Look for Shonn Greene to be New York's workhorse this week. If you have a stud RB on a bye, he could reward you with close to 100 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Keller is a sleeper TE start for anyone needing help at the position. Steven Jackson should have another solid game and is worth at least a flex option. St. Louis' defense is also worth a look this week.
Analysis: The Redskins defense has been a little better in recent weeks, but LeSean McCoy should have a nice day against them. Even if Nick Foles falters at times, expect nice totals from DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek this week. Robert Griffin III's recent slump could continue this week, but Alfred Morris is likely to challenge the century mark on the ground.
Analysis: In another game that could be a shootout, look for quality games from Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram. New Orleans' passing game will be productive as always while Garrett Hartley should have a nice day as well. Carson Palmer is poised to post big yardage totals with a couple of touchdown passes. Expect Marcel Reece to be active both on the ground and in the passing game. Both Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore are solid WR2 choices this week.
Analysis:Philip Rivers is likely to throw a touchdown or two. But he's equally as likely to throw a couple of interceptions as well. Antonio Gates should have multiple catches and could find the end zone. Peyton Manning's numbers could be below his recent production, but should still be quality. Beware of Willis McGahee, who shouldn't be anything more than a flex play this week. Denver's defense has been as good as anyone in recent weeks. Make sure they're in your lineup.
Analysis: The duo of Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne should connect for at least one touchdown this week in a game featuring two top fantasy QBs. If you're searching for a flex option, consider Donnie Avery or T.Y. Hilton. The Colts have been good against opposing tight ends. That shouldn't prevent you from starting Rob Gronkowski, but his numbers could be depressed this week. Brandon Lloyd is a sleeper against Indy's secondary.
Analysis:Joe Flacco's on the road against a good defense. That's a red flag for fantasy owners. Ray Rice is a must-start and should have involvement in the passing game which will help his production. Ben Roethlisberger would have been a tough start, which makes Byron Leftwich a no-go in most leagues. However, this is the week to welcome Rashard Mendenhall back against a shaky rushing defense. He should find the end zone at least once.
Analysis: This game will likely belong to the defenses. Jason Campbell will be harassed behind a suspect offensive line while you should temper your expectations for Matt Forte. Avoid Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick against this ferocious defense, but Michael Crabtree is a sleeper flex option -- especially in PPR leagues. Make sure both defenses are in your starting lineup.