Player matchups: Bush, Jordan face favorable opponents

By Kyle Fisher

Good matchups

Jeff Garcia vs. DET
Garcia has had a solid season, as he is yet to throw an interception and has a quarterback rating of 103.6. He had a good outing last week against a strong Titans pass defense, and this week he's matched up against a Lions defense that is 30th against the pass, giving up 263.6 yards per game. The Lions are also tied for fourth most in touchdown passes allowed with 10.

Reggie Bush vs. ATL
Bush finally had a breakout game against Seattle last week. He had 143 total yards in the Saints' win over the Seahawks, and we expect Bush to continue that against a Falcons defense that is 24th in the league against the run, allowing 132.3 yards per game. The Falcons did a good job of containing Bush last season, holding him to just 77 yards rushing in two games. However, Atlanta was ninth in the league against the run last season, plus with Deuce McAllister, Bush was not getting the bulk of the carries.

Thomas Jones vs. CIN
Jones was very effective against a stout Eagles defense last week and now faces a team that is anything but stout. The Bengals are surrendering 145.8 yards per game on the ground, 29th in the league, and are tied for the third-worst yard-per-rush allowed at 4.9. Expect the Jets to give Jones every opportunity to have a big day.

Lamont Jordan vs. KC

Jordan had a rough outing against a tough Chargers defense last week. This week should be a much better matchup, as Jordan faces a Chiefs defense that is 20th in the NFL against the run, giving up 117.7 yards per game on 4.3 yard per carry clip. Jordan should reach the 100-yard plateau against a Chiefs team that has already allowed three running backs more than 100 yards this season.

Patrick Crayton vs. MIN
Crayton has had a nice season for the Cowboys filling in for the injured Terry Glenn. Crayton averages 63.5 yards per game and has four touchdowns in six games. Coming of the loss to the Patriots, look for the Cowboys to crank it up against the league's worst pass defense. The Vikings are giving up 288.4 yards per game, which means there should be plenty of balls for all of the Cowboys receivers to catch.

Maurice Jones-Drew vs. IND
Jones-Drew had his first breakout game last week, rushing for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He torched the Colts for 269 yards rushing in two games last season. While he might not approach those numbers, look for Jones-Drew to be more involved, as Fred Taylor is nicked up, and have a solid outing for fantasy owners.

Giants defense vs. SF
After two weeks, the Giants defense was a mess. Fast forward to Week 7 and the Giants have one of the NFL's better defenses. They lead the league in sacks with 21 and have forced nine turnovers. The Giants are facing a 49ers offense that is devoid of talent other than running back Frank Gore. Expect the Giants to load up to stop Gore and have a field day against quarterback Alex Smith, who is expected to return after being out with a shoulder injury.

Bad Matchups

Ahman Green vs. TEN
Green returned from injury last week against the Jaguars and was held to 44 yards. Expect much of the same against a Titans defense that is No. 1 in the league against the run at just 63.8 yards per game. Tennessee can be vulnerable to the big play in the passing game, so expect Houston try and attack the Titans through the air.

Edgerrin James vs. WAS
James is fifth in the league in rushing and is having a nice bounce back year after a sub-par 2006. However, this week he tries to run against a Redskins defense that is sixth in the league against the run, giving up just 79.6 yards per game. With Kurt Warner out, expect the Redskins to force Tim Rattay to beat them.

Marshawn Lynch vs. BAL
Nobody runs against Baltimore, and we don't expect to see Lynch having great success against this defense. The Ravens are third in the league against the run, holding opponents to just 66.7 yards per game at a paltry 2.9 yard per carry average. Expect another tough day for Lynch and the Bills ground game.

Marion Barber vs. MIN
For the last two seasons, the toughest team to run against in the NFL has been the Vikings. This season the Vikings are second in the league against the run, allowing just 66.2 yards per game with no touchdowns on the ground. They also rank first in the league by allowing just 2.7 yards per carry. Another factor that hurts Barber is that Dallas might not need to run, as Minnesota's pass defense is so poor the Cowboys should be able to exploit this weakness at will.

Frank Gore vs. NYG
Gore has had a disappointing year to date, and we expect his struggles to continue against one of the hotter defenses in the NFL. In its last four games, the Giants defense is only allowing 88.5 yards rushing per game at 3.9 yards per carry. That includes the 67-yard run by Jerrious Norwood last week. Take away that carry, and the numbers drop to 71.7 yards per game at just 3.0 yards per carry. With little threat at quarterback, look for the Giants to focus on stopping Gore.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. DEN
While Denver does have the top-rated pass defense, this stat is a little deceptive. Denver is allowing the fifth-highest quarterback rating in the league at 96.2 and has had by far the least number of passes (20.6 per game) thrown against it. The reason we don't like Roethlisberger is that he might not need to pass. The Broncos are last in the NFL against the run, so expect Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport to get a lot of work while Big Ben manages the game.

Jay Cutler vs. PIT
While Denver is first in passing yards allowed, Pittsburgh is second and appears much more legitimate. Pittsburgh is second in yards per attempt allowed at just 5.7 and is second in quarterback rating allowed at just 64.7. Pittsburgh has also allowed only three touchdown passes in five games. Expect Cutler to have a long day against this defense.

Minnesota defense vs. DAL
The Cowboys proved they could score points against the Patriots, and we see them having no trouble putting up points against the league's worst pass defense. This should be a game where all of Dallas' weapons in the passing game have good days. Don't expect the Cowboys to challenge the excellent Vikings run defense because they won't need to.

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