Week Six matchups to exploit or avoid

Posted Oct. 12, 2011 @ 11:40 a.m.
Posted By William Del Pilar

Exploit

QB Eli Manning, Giants (vs. Bills)
Manning is playing outstanding football and is sporting a three-game average of 331.7 yards, three TDs and one interception per game. He's facing a Bills squad that in their last four games is allowing 330.8 passing yards and 2.25 TDs to the position. Someone as hot as Eli should be used to exploit a great matchup.

RB Felix Jones, Cowboys (at Patriots)
Jones has decent moves, a little power, decent hands, but isn't elite and his numbers show this. So far this year he's averaging 18 utilizations (attempts plus targets) for 81.8 offensive yards and 0.25 TDs per game. He's posting flex position numbers. The Patriots, in their last four games, are allowing 173 offensive yards (90.3 rushing, 82.8 receiving) and one TD per game to opposing running backs. A matchup to exploit.

RB Ryan Torain, Redskins (vs. Eagles)
The Eagles are struggling to stop everyone and they'll struggle with Torain. The Eagles, over the last four games, are allowing 209.8 offensive yards (131.5 rushing and 78.3 receiving) and 1.5 TDs to opposing backs. Torain went crazy in his first game back, posting 19-135-1, and should see every opportunity to touch the ball as he's one of head coach Mike Shanahan's favorite players. A matchup to exploit.

WR David Nelson, Bills (at Giants)                                 
The Bills are ailing on offense, but the Giants could help them get back on track. They're allowing opposing wide receivers 201.2 yards and one touchdown per game this season. Nelson, who started the season hot, is cold with a three-game average of 4.3 targets for three receptions, 36 yards and 0.3 TDs. However, with the right matchup, he can post numbers and this is a matchup he can exploit, but he only makes sense as a bye-week fill-in.

WR Victor Cruz, Giants (vs. Bills)
What can you say about Cruz? He's not as good as his numbers show. He had a career game last week, 8-161-1 with 11 targets, and has a three-game average of 8.3 targets for 5.67 receptions, 123 yards and one touchdown. I say ride him while he's hot and the Bills are a great reason to start him. They're allowing 200 yards and one touchdown to the position. Don't expect last week's production, but the way the Bills are playing, never say never and exploit this matchup.

WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys (at Patriots)
Bryant should finally be 100 percent and good to go. This is the week you want him in your lineup. The Patriots are allowing an average of 205.3 yards and 1.5 TDs over their last four games to the position. Bryant's had an up-and-down season because of injury but is averaging a healthy 5.7 targets for 3.3 receptions, 57 receiving yards and one TD per game. This is a matchup he can exploit and possibly post career numbers.

TE Vernon Davis, 49ers (at Lions)
Davis has been on fire since Week Three, averaging six targets for 5 receptions, 66 yards and one TD per game. Not lights out, but much better than Davis' owners envisioned after the first two weeks of the season, when he had a two-game total of 7-65-0. The Lions are allowing an average of 53.3 yards and 0.75 TDs over their last four games to the position. There are no more worries with Davis and this is a matchup he can exploit.

Avoid                                                                                                

QB Curtis Painter, Colts (at Bengals)
Painter has shocked many fantasy owners and all the Peyton Manning believers who don't think he's replaceable. Well, after two games, he has an average of 279 passing yards, two TDs and no interceptions. The Bucs and Chiefs are not defensive juggernauts, but the Bengals will give him his first stiff test this week. Over their last four games, they're only allowing 204 passing yards, and 0.75 TDs per game. The Bengals defense is legit and a matchup to avoid.

RB Arian Foster, Texans (at Ravens)  
Would someone bench Foster? No, but the Ravens can contain his production regardless of how elite he is. This season they're only allowing 89.3 offensive yards (66 rushing, 23.3 receiving) and 0.25 TDs per game to the position. Foster's a beast, but so is LB Ray Lewis and Co. Foster is playing at an elite level with 25.3 utilizations for 130 offensive yards and 0.3 TDs per-game average. You can't bench him, but they'll limit him, making this a matchup to avoid.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots (vs. Cowboys)
Green-Ellis had a breakout game last week, going 27-136-2, but he is not known for yardage production. His average per game this year is 15.4 attempts for 66.6 yards and 0.8 TDs per game. He's known for touchdowns and I view Week Five as a fluke. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week with extra time to prepare, only allowing 53 rushing yards and 0.25 TDs per game to opposing backs. This is going to be a tight matchup and one you should avoid if possible.

WR Julio Jones, Falcons (vs. Panthers)
The Falcons need a win desperately and I expect them to use this game to go back to their roots. The Panthers can't stop the run and I expect the Falcons to turn to RB Michael Turner. Jones (hamstring) is not 100 percent, will likely rest all week and be a game-day decision. The Panthers are only allowing 119 yards and 0.75 TDs to the receiver position the last four games and Jones went down last week with only 1-16-0 before leaving. His injury combined with the Falcons' losses and the Panthers' weaknesses tells me this is a matchup to avoid.

WR Hines Ward, Steelers (vs. Jaguars)
Ward had his first great fantasy game of the season last week going 7-54-2 on eight targets. However, the Jaguars are playing solid defense and are one of the league's best against opposing wide receivers — only allowing 110.2 receiving yards and 0.8 TDs per game. Don't assume nor bank on Ward doing anything, as he's giving way to youngsters Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. He'll have good games, sporadically but this is a matchup to avoid.

WR Brandon Marshall, Dolphins (at Jets)
Between his play, drops and quarterback issues, Marshall has not been the same since leaving the Broncos. He's only averaging 9.75 targets for 5.5 receptions, 78.3 yards and 0.25 TDs this season. On the flip side, the Jets are holding opposing wide receivers to 114.2 receiving yards and 0.6 TDs per game. Remember, those numbers include the Patriots' powerful passing attack. This is a matchup to avoid.

TE Joel Dreessen, Texans (at Ravens)
Dreessen had a great week, going 5-112-1, and will be a pickup by fantasy owners who aren't paying attention. Don't assume he's a lock for similar points because WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) is out. The Patriots defend the tight end position very well, shutting out Chargers TE Antonio Gates and limiting the position to 2.25 receptions for 26.3 yards and 0.25 TDs per game over their last four. Owen Daniels is also the primary tight end for the Texans, so don't think you're sneaking a good play in with Dreessen. A matchup to avoid.