Player matchups: Garrard, McGahee face tough weeks

By Kyle Fisher

Good Matchups

Greg Jennings vs. DAL

Jennings has been hot lately, scoring three touchdowns in his last two games. His nine receiving touchdowns this season lead the Packers. This figures to be a high scoring game as two of the most prolific offenses match up. Dallas does not have a great pass defense, ranking just 21st in yards allowed at 217 yards per game. With Green Bay struggling to run the ball, we expect Favre to throw a lot of passes in this clash of the titans, which should benefit Jennings' owners.

Frank Gore vs. CAR

Gore had his best game of the season last week against the Cardinals, rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns while catching 11 passes for 98 yards. While we don't see that big of an effort this week, Gore should produce nice numbers against a Panthers defense that is 20th in the league against the run and has surrendered 11 rushing touchdowns, which is tied for fifth most in the league.

Matt Schaub vs. TEN

Schaub has been solid recently, throwing for four touchdowns in two games since returning from injury. This week he faces a Titans defense that has not been the same since losing Albert Haynesworth. The Titans have lost three straight and look like the defense that finished last in the NFL a year ago. Haynesworth might play, but the Titans also have injuries to Kyle Vanden Bosch and Chris Hope. The Titans surrendered four touchdowns to Sage Rosenfels in the team's earlier meeting this season, and we see Schaub having success in Tennessee.

Steven Jackson vs. ATL

Jackson is trying to salvage what has been a lost season. He has been better in his last two outings gaining a total of 182 yards rushing with a touchdown. This week Jackson is facing a Falcons defense that is just 26th against the run, giving up 123.5 yards per game. With Marc Bulger coming off a concussion and questionable for Sunday's game, look for the Rams to give the ball to Jackson early and often.

John Kitna vs. MIN

The Lions have suddenly lost three consecutive games and are in danger of missing the playoffs. If the Lions are to rescue their season, Kitna must be their savior. Kitna threw for 245 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 against the Vikings despite missing half the game with a concussion. The Vikings struggle mightily against the pass, surrendering an NFL-worst 283.1 yards per game. The Lions threw 56 times for 403 yards and two touchdowns in Week 2. Expect offensive coordinator Mike Martz to adopt a similar philosophy in hopes of avoiding another loss.

Thomas Jones vs. MIA

Jones had one of his best outings of the season against the Dolphins with 102 rushing yards in a Week 3 victory. The Dolphins haven't stopped the run all season, ranking 30th in the league with 148.5 rushing yards allowed per game and have given up 13 rushing touchdowns, the second most in the league. With an inexperienced quarterback starting for the Jets in Kellen Clemens, look for Jones to get plenty of carries and have his best opportunity of the season to get in the end zone.

Justin Fargas vs. DEN

Fargas has become the most reliable back for the Raiders and has offered nice production for fantasy owners. Fargas has averaged 93.3 yards per game in his last three starts and faces a Broncos defense that surrendered 200 yards rushing to the Raiders in Week 2. For the season, the Broncos are just 29th in the league against the run, allowing 146.7 yards on the ground. Look for Fargas to have a big day against the Broncos.

Kurt Warner vs. CLE

Warner is coming off a 484-yard performance against the 49ers and has played extremely well lately. In his last three starts, Warner has thrown seven touchdowns to just three interceptions with a quarterback rating well over 100. This week Warner faces a Browns defense that has allowed a league-high 25 touchdown passes and 266.5 yards per game. Expect Warner to have his fourth consecutive solid outing.

Bad Matchups

A.J. Feeley vs. SEA

Feely played extremely well with the exception of a couple of passes against the Patriots last week. He threw for a career-high 345 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. This week, however, Feely has a tough matchup against a Seahawk defense that has allowed the fewest passing touchdowns in the league (6) and is fourth in passer rating against (72.6). Don't expect Feely to put up the numbers he had last week.

David Garrard vs. IND

Garrard missed most of the Colts' win over the Jaguars in Week 7 with an ankle injury. Garrard is often overlooked in discussions about the league's best quarterbacks. But Garrard has thrown 209 passes this season without an interception and is averaging more than 200 yards a game passing. This week, though, he faces a Colts defense that is second in the league in yards allowed and first in quarterback rating allowed. Last season, in a Jaguars rout of the Colts, Garrard was just 8-of-14 for 79 yards and an interception. While Garrard might keep his streak of passes without an interception alive, don't expect a big day from him against this Colts defense.

Ryan Grant vs. DAL

Grant has brought stability to the running back position in Green Bay, as he has averaged 102.7 yards a game in his last three games while scoring two rushing touchdowns. This week, Grant faces a Cowboys defense that is solid against the run, allowing just 82.1 yards per game and only five rushing touchdowns. With the Cowboys deficiencies in pass defense, we see Grant not having the impact in this game that he has had in the last three weeks.

McGahee has been one of the few bright spots on one of the NFL's most disappointing teams this season. He has rushed for 910 yards and six rushing touchdowns. This week, though, McGahee faces a Patriots defense that is surrendering 86.2 yards per game while allowing just six rushing touchdowns. With last week's close call, and the lack of Baltimore's passing game, look for the Patriots to make it difficult on McGahee.

Matt Stover vs. NE

Stover is having another excellent season, converting 21-of-24 field goal attempts. On a bad Ravens offense, Stover has been its best weapon this season. This week he is matched up against a Patriots team that leads the NFL with only eight field goals allowed and just 23 extra points. This may be one of the rare games in which Stover is not a good option, as the Ravens will have trouble mounting scoring drives against the Patriots.

Ravens defense vs. NE

While the Ravens are still a formidable defense against the run, they are only average against the pass and points allowed. This week, Tom Brady and the Patriots should make up for last week's so-so effort. Don't expect to see the Patriots run the ball a lot and instead give the Ravens fits through the air.

Packers defense vs. DAL

The Cowboys are the NFC version of the Patriots offense. They have not scored less than 24 points in any game this season and have not scored less than 28 points in their last four games. The Packers are in the middle of the NFL in both passing and rushing yards allowed. Expect the offenses to dominate this game with the offensive stars in the passing games being good plays on both teams. This could be an old AFL 41-38 contest.

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