Quarterback Matt Schaub – Schaub was a perennial top five quarterback coming into the fantasy season, but with struggles early on many teams went in other quarterback directions. Over the past three weeks Schaub has been legit, averaging just less than 250 passing yards per game, with five touchdowns and 0 interceptions. With Andre Johnson avoiding suspension and Arian Foster having LaDanian Tomlinson hands from 2005, Schaub’s become a smarter passer using check downs to get tons of yards. Even against a tough Eagles defense, Schaub is shaping into the quarterback we thought he was before 2010 began.
Running Back Marshawn Lynch – I’m not an advocate of Lynch being a great running back or even a good running back, but I do believe he has the opportunity for a great fantasy game on Sunday. Lynch continues to get the bulk of carries for the Seahawks, and has been the beneficiary around the goal line. With the Panthers 25th ranked rushing defense coming into town, Lynch should could have his best game of the season with 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. He remains outside of my top 20, but Lynch is a nice flex play knowing that Carolina is a team they can establish the run against.
Wide Receiver Blair White – Since Dallas Clark and Austin Collie got hurt, White has become the red slot red zone threat Peyton Manning was looking for. White has three touchdowns in his last two games, and Manning continues to look his way as he had six targets on Sunday vs. the Chargers. Reggie Wayne has slowed down, and Pierre Garcon can’t be relied on for his inability to hold on to the ball. White makes for a nice third receiver in your matchups this weekend.
Tight End Joel Dreessen – While Jacob Tamme has made a name for himself with Clark out, Dreessen has done the same with Owen Daniels out of the lineup. Dreessen has touchdowns in back to back games, and more importantly was used on a first down in the red zone. With over 201 receiving yards in his last four games, Dreessen is a top five tight end option whose a must start in all leagues.
Defense Miami Dolphins – While the Dolphins overall seem inconsistent; their defense on the other hand ranks sixth in the league. If it wasn’t for shaky quarterback play and a nonexistent running game, we could be talking about a first place Miami team. With Jake Delhomme likely starting in Colt McCoys place, expect two interceptions at the minimum.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez – Sanchez is a player that I always support starting, but has anyone seen this Patriots pass defense of late? In New England’s last two games they have forced five interceptions and three of them were to the elder Manning. The Patriots currently have the 32nd ranked pass defense in the league, but those numbers are based on the first half of the season. Sanchez is not a top 16 quarterback this week and on Monday Night you will find out why.
Running Back Peyton Hillis – Coming off a three touchdown game vs. the Panthers I would never tell you to bench Hillis. I will tell you this; Sunday will be his worst game of the season. The Miami defense as I stated earlier is top tier, and there is no doubt in my mind they are putting eight in the box and making Delhomme beat them. Last week Darren McFadden ran for two yards, so don’t be surprised if Hillis is a fantasy dud this weekend.
Wide Receiver Deion Branch – Branch has been on fire of late, catching 17 balls for 254 receiving yards and two touchdowns over his last three games. The difference in those games, he wasn’t getting shutdown by Darrelle Revis. Revis won the smack talk battle with Terrell Owens holding the veteran to three catches and 17 yards last week. Revis is likely to be on Branch 70 percent of the time, so start Lee Evans or Sidney Rice over Branch with your team’s playoff chances on the line.
Tight End – Brent Celek –.Fantasy owners should not be fooled by Celek’s three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown performance against the Bears. Before Sunday, Celek had four catches for 16 yards in four games. Celek is being used more of a blocking tight end, with Jason Avant seeing the looks that Celek got last season. Start Celek in desperation, but he’s not a top 14 tight end this week and should be left on the waiver wire for the rest of the year.
Defense – Minnesota Vikings – After giving up 13 points last week to the Redskins, Vikings owners were ecstatic as this was the defense they expected all season. While Minnesota has the ninth overall defense, no defense is a safe bet going against the Bills. Buffalo has a top 12 quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, a top ten running back in Fred Jackson and a top 10 receiver in Steve Johnson. The Bills have put up points on the best defenses this year such as the Ravens and Steelers, so the Vikings are no exception.