Jay Cutler, CHI (Green Bay) MISS - Last season the Bears and Packers split the regular season before the Packers eliminated Chicago in the NFC Championship - knocking Cutler out of the game. As I have mentioned, Cutler was sacked a league leading 52 times last year, and currently leads the league with 11. Clay Matthews is a sack master and the Packers will try to exploit the Bears' offensive line. He will probably be sacked around four times and throw two picks.
Matt Forte, CHI (Green Bay) HIT - My love affair continues. Because of the pressure, Cutler will be forced to check down and Forte remains the main beneficiary.
Tony Romo, DAL (Washington) HIT - Think those first two were gimmes? Here's one for you, Romo will play, throw for 300+ yards and two touchdowns. "What?" you say? "Miles Austin is hurt and Dez Bryant is questionable," you say? I say Romo.
Ben Roethlisberger, PITT (@Indianapolis) HIT - Big Ben gets Big Points in Indy.
Josh Freeman, TB (Atlanta) MISS - Tampa plays against a divisional opponent who must win and is playing at home, with a quarterback nicknamed "Matty Ice." But most importantly, gives up big run yards. Tampa might win, and Freeman will be middling to decent, but there are better options at quarterback this week.
Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX (@Carolina) HIT - MoJo has gotten 20+ touches in the each of the first two weeks. With Blaine Gabbert starting under center, his touches aren't going anywhere and neither are his fantasy points.
Cedric Benson, CIN (San Francisco) HIT - The Bengals are going to try and keep the Niner defense on the field and control the clock. They will do this by giving the ball to Benson, and giving it to him and giving it to him again. They don't have to worry to much about overworking him as he is receiving a mandatory vacation after this week. The only possible drawback is backup Bernard Scott stealing some carries to prepare him for Benson's suspension.
Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, KC (@San Diego) MISS - Until the Chiefs prove otherwise, don't start any of them except in case of emergency.
Steve Smith, CAR (Jacksonville) HIT - Smith is the go-to target for rookie phenom Cam Newton and luckily for Smith owners, Newton's propensity for turnovers could keep this game close and the Panthers attacking through the air.
Reggie Wayne, IND (Pittsburgh) MISS - Kerry Collins may complete more passes to Steelers defenders than his own players.
A.J. Green, CIN (San Francisco) HIT - The 49ers just suck, okay?
Deion Branch, NE (@Buffalo) HIT - I will keep saying this until Branch is owned in 100% of leagues. He jumped up to 99.5% this week, if you are in that 0.5% you must pick him up.
Hakeem Nicks, NYG (@Philadelphia) MISS - Nicks is the only receiver still standing in New York and the Eagles have Nnamdi who has held opponents top receivers to few catches. Nicks is certainly a top receiver, just not this week, and probably not until Mario Manningham and Dominick Hixon are back.
Rob Gronkowski, NE (@Buffalo) HIT - With Aaron Hernandez out, Gronkowski becomes the go-to tight end. He will very likely end up as the the top TE of the week and could be looking at a top player type of week.
Deep Cuts - Owned in less than 75% of ESPN Leagues
Hines Ward, PITT (@IND) HIT - I like Ward this week, if you are hurting from the rash of injuries and need a flex. He is no where near a consistent option this year, but the injuries of receivers around the league and the Steelers' opponent this week makes Ward worth considering.
Sunday Morning Update -
Big injury news is Arian Foster is out, which means Ben Tate is a must start. Peyton Hillis is out with strep throat, so the big waiver wire claim this morning will be Montario Hardesty. I am not convinced Hardesty is the back of the future for Cleveland, but Miami is a cushy test.