Lions defense, Start: Fantasy defenses make a living on sacks, turnovers and scores. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been sacked 14 times, has thrown seven interceptions. I like the Lions’ chances for a couple turnovers Monday.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: Martin scored 12 fantasy points last week and faces a Saints team that ranks dead last in fantasy points to opposing running backs and is giving up on average 173 yards per game on the ground.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys: He has 19 receptions for 200 yards and a touchdown over his last two weeks and has been targeted 21 times. The Panthers have been okay against tight ends this year (20th), but I like the way the Cowboys are using Witten right now.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants: An important matchup in the NFC East for Manning and the first-place Giants against the Redskins. I always like Manning in key division games and it doesn’t hurt the Redskins have allowed 14 passing touchdowns and are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: The Browns are giving up the second-most fantasy points to receivers this year, and getting cornerback Joe Haden back hasn’t exactly helped. The Bengals A.J. Green had 25 fantasy points against them last week. Wayne has 299 receiving yards over his last two games.
Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: This isn’t a misprint. Johnson’s fantasy season was on life support a few weeks ago, but the Titans running back has strung together a couple nice games, recently with two double-digit weeks in his last three. He’s got a good matchup this week against the Bills and that 32nd-ranked run defense.
Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Smith hasn’t scored a touchdown since last season and isn’t likely to get it going until quarterback Cam Newton breaks out of his sophomore slump. That isn’t likely to be this week against a Dallas defense that’s allowed only three passing touchdowns.
Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings: Most fantasy owners might not realize that Ponder ranks 12th among fantasy quarterbacks this season. He has more points than Stafford. But this week isn’t a good matchup for him against a Cardinals team allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks (13.2 average).
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: There are six teams on the bye this week so it might be impossible to bench Gore, but if you’re deep at running back it’s worth considering. The Seahawks have allowed just two rushing touchdowns this season (none over the last three weeks) and rank No. 2 against opposing running backs.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers: Remember when he was considered one of the best fantasy options in the league at tight end? Not so far this season Finley is averaging just 4.2 fantasy points per week and has a tough matchup against the Rams defense that’s giving up the seventh-fewest points to tight ends.
Shonn Greene, RB, Jets: I know he’s coming off a 161-yard, three-touchdown performance last week (34 points), but the Patriots aren’t the Colts (last week’s opponent). He had 12 points total the previous four weeks. The Patriots are very good against the run this season, allowing the seventh-fewest points to running backs.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Titans: Hasselbeck is owned by only 11 percent of fantasy owners in ESPN’s fantasy league, and that’s likely to the case in most other leagues. Might not be a bad option this week if your quarterback is on the Bye. The Bills have allowed second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo: Chandler is averaging 7.3 fantasy points per week, but he’s facing a Titans defense that’s given up the most yards and touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.
Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys: Jones is the 47th-ranked running back in fantasy football after Week 6 but he will get the start in the Cowboys backfield this week with Demarco Murray out with an injured foot. Jones had 16 fantasy points last week and the Panthers are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs.
Darius Moore, WR, Raiders: Moore has averaged 11 fantasy points over his last three games and has built a little bit of a rapport with Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer that’s led to 35 targets over the last four weeks.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns: Don’t look now, but Weeden might be hitting his stride. He’s had 19 fantasy points the last two games and faces a Colts defense that’s allowed an average of 20.4 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.