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Fantasy Football Week 5 Matchups

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Fantasy Football Week 5 Matchups

Winning at fantasy football often comes down to exploiting the best matchups. Sure, every fantasy team is going to have a few star players who are no-hesitation starters every week, regardless of match-up. But in less you’re playing in a league with your 10 younger sisters, you’re not likely to have a full roster of guys you start with no hesistation.

With that in mind, we offer a reminder about which teams have the defenses you should play the odds and match your borderline starters against.

Featured Fantasy Football Matchups

Here’s the players going against the worst defenses in the NFL this week. I might mention the superstar fantasy football players in these matchups, but I’ll focus on the lesser known players you might be able to get off waivers or who might be stuck on the end of your bench.

Minnesota Vikings vs St. Louis Rams

Start any Vikings Offensive player you can start. Start the Vikings Defense twice, if they’ll let you. This has all the makings of a supreme ass-whipping, even with the Vikes coming off a big Monday night win.

Adrian Peterson was slowed down on Monday Night Football, so it’s about time for him to have another huge game. Enter the Rams. Brett Favre looks to have started clicking with his receivers and to have shaken off much of the rust, so consider starting Favre, Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice or Percy Harvin – if you have them available. With the Saints, Packers, Chargers and Bears all off this week, there are going to be a lot of bye week fill-ins. None of those Vikings players should be a bad matchup.

On the other side of the ball, avoid starting Rams at all costs. They were awful with Kyle Boller under center last week, getting outscored by the San Francisco 49ers’ defense/special teams 21-0 last week. Just awful.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Watch out for the Eagles against the Bucs. The Bucs are one of the worst defenses in the NFL right now. Their safeties are either too injured or too big/slow to cover anybody these days. McNabb should be back and the Eagles love to throw it, moving defenders out of place and exploiting weaknesses. Coming off a bye week, Phillie has had two weeks to prepare for the shellshocked Bucs Defense. This one is likely to get ugly.

Start Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Desean Jackson and Brent Celek if you have them, which you probably already knew. Donovan McNabb has been practicing all week and he’s a virtual lock to start. If you have lots of bye weeks, consider players like Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant and Lesean McCoy – cut the latter two only if you’re desperate. The Eagles could blow out the Bucs and give these guys extra time on the field.

Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns

This is the rare week where starting most Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills offensive players might not be a bad idea. The Browns and Bills Defenses have been giving up tons of fantasy points this year. Last week, the Buffalo Bills gave up 38 points to the Miami Dolphins anemic offense, and that was with Dolphins QB Chad Henne making his first NFL start.

So if you have a bye week matchup problem at quarterback, running back or wide receiver, consider picking up Derek Anderson, Jerome Harrison or Mohamed Massaquoi and inserting them into your lineup. Again, these are probably desperation starters, though I would recommend Jerome Harrison with a bit more confidence. Harrison had pretty good numbers filling in for Jamal Lewis last week, while rookie RB James Davis is now on Injured Reserve.

As for the Bills, starting Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson, Terrell Owens and Lee Evans could finally yield some points. Jackson was good with Marshawn Lynch suspended, but with both RB’s splitting time on a bad offense, neither’s production looks like it will make them consistently worth starting. With the Browns in town, though, that could chance for one week. I also expect either Terrell Owens or Lee Evans to have a big week. If either happens, I would consider trading them for what you can get.

Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore vs the Detroit Lions

Go ahead and start Mendenhall as a no-brainer against the Lions. The Lions gave up 48 points to the Chicago Bears last week. Mendenhall had 190+ yards against the San Diego Chargers. Willie Parker is Doubtful for the game and appears almost certain to be Out. Since the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to blow out the Lions, Mewelde Moore could get significant production in trash time. So if you need a one-week starter, you could do worse than Mewelde Moore.

Tony Romo and Patrick Crayton vs the Kansas City Chiefs

Once again, Patrick Crayton is a decent flex starter this week. The Kansas City Chiefs are starting to draw comparisons to a number of 1-15 teams throughout the years and they are looking like a disaster in the passing game. So even though the Cowboys look pretty bad throwing the ball, expect a big bounceback game from Tony Romo and his receivers. This is usually when a quarterback gets benched, after two lousy weeks. Don’t make the mistake of benching Romo against the Chiefs.

I suggest Patrick Crayton for several reasons. Roy Williams is questionable with bruised ribs and damaged cartilege. Tony Romo showed he had no faith in Miles Austin last week, after Austin broke off a route in the 2nd quarter and caused a Champ Bailey interception. In crunch time, even though Austin appeared open on the left, Tony Romo trusted Sam Hurd against Bailey, refusing even to look Austin’s way on two key Down-&-Goal plays from the 3.

Besides Sam Hurd, that leaves Patrick Crayton as a viable receiving option. Since he’s the only definite starter this week, Crayton’s a decent option to have a productive game. Don’t bench any clear studs to play Patrick Crayton, but if you have a bunch of lousy options, you can put Crayton in the lineup and have some hope.

Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie vs the Tennessee Titans Rookie Corners

We all know that Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are must-starts. But with Nick Harper and Courtland Finnegan likely out, that means Peyton Manning and the Colts Receiving corps are going against two rookie corners. Watch out!

Since the Titans will gameplan to try to stop Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, that gives Garcon and Collie good matchups on the outside. I mention Austin Collie not only because of his breakout game last week, but the fact that Pierre Garcon and he have been targeted almost the same number of times since Anthony Gonzales went out.

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