By Zac Bellman
Special to the Tribune
Start: Philip Rivers (Chargers) vs. Cleveland Browns – Rivers will be hungry for redemption following the four interception performance he had on Monday Night Football two weeks ago. In three home games this year, the Browns have given up eight touchdown passes and 906 yards.
Sit: Michael Vick (Eagles) vs. Atlanta Falcons – Vick is coming off a good game two weeks ago against the Lions, but his old team has allowed only one passing touchdown per game this season. The Falcons also get to the quarterback with 16 sacks on the season and defensive end John Abraham has forced three fumbles this season.
Sleeper Start: Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) vs. the Redskins – The matchup here is too easy to ignore as the Redskins have given up 300 yards passing in every game this season except one (299 yards to Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman in Week 4). Roethlisberger also hasn’t thrown an interception in the Steelers’ two home games this season.
Start: Reggie Bush (Dolphins) vs. New York Jets – The first time these two teams met this season, Miami ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Although Bush only ran for 61 of those yards, the Jets have not held a team that has run the ball at least 30 times to under 130 yards this season. Miami ran the ball 40 times in the first meeting.
Sit: Trent Richardson (Browns) vs. San Diego Chargers – Richardson has an ongoing rib issue that forced him to be removed from the game against Indianapolis last week. He was ineffective to begin with that day and he faces a Chargers defense this week that has only given up two rushing touchdowns on the year.
Sleeper Start: Vick Ballard (Colts) vs. Tennessee Titans – Ballard will have at least one more week taking the brunt of the carries for the Colts with Donald Brown still out. Tennessee has also given up the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Start: Nate Washington (Titans) vs. Colts – Washington extended his streak of at least one catch in a game to 69 last week. He and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck are developing a connection that could result in a big day. However, the Titans rely primarily on short passes so he probably won’t replace Cincinnati Bengals’ A.J. Green’s production this week if that is what you’re looking for.
Sit: Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) vs. San Francisco 49ers – The Cardinals can’t keep their quarterback off the turf lately so it is tough for anyone to get passes to Fitzgerald lately. The Cardinals have given up 35 sacks this year and the 49ers are No. 1 in fewest passing yards given up per game.
Sleeper Start: Brandon Gibson (Rams) vs. New England Patriots – The Patriots have given up some massive receiving days to throwing teams over the last five weeks. Gibson has also amassed 12 receptions in the last two weeks, so quarterback Sam Bradford is looking to get him more involved.
Add: Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings (Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) Maurice Jones-Drew went down with a foot injury that will definitely sideline him for Sunday against the Packers and perhaps another week. Jones-Drew owners should look to rent him for at least two weeks.
Add: Rams WR Chris Givens (Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) Givens is an electric receiver with good vision who has seen an increased role in the Rams’ offense over the last three games. He’s worth a spot start if you’re desperate during the coming bye weeks in deeper leagues.
Drop: Packers TE JerMichael Finley (Owned in 88 percent of Yahoo! Leagues) Finley hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 1 and he isn’t catching much of anything else thrown to him lately. Cut your losses and find a tight end that gets more targets and is more reliable. Consider Raiders’ TE Brandon Myers, who had seven catches on ten targets last week.