- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Oakland at N.Y. Jets: RB LaMont Jordan returns to the Meadowlands to face his former team, the Jets, for the first time since leaving them this past offseason. Though he's averaging 110.0 scrimmage yards with three touchdowns in his last six games, he should be more of the offensive focus now that QB Marques Tuiasosopo is the Raiders' starter. Jordan should step up with one of his better efforts against the Jets' 29th-ranked rush defense (137.7 ypg). ... WR Randy Moss is simply not a top fantasy option for your playoff matchups, as he has gone eight games without a 100-yard receiving effort, matching a career worst. He's averaging just 3.7 receptions and 43.6 receiving yards the past seven weeks, and is a riskier option with Tuiasosopo throwing him the ball. ... RB Curtis Martin has some value as a flex option if healthy. Though he has averaged a career-low 3.3 rushing yards per carry this season, he could step up with a respectable effort against the Raiders' 22nd-ranked rush defense (118.8 ypg).
St. Louis at Minnesota: RB Steven Jackson has been extremely inconsistent the past five weeks, with two 100-yard rushing efforts but two other games of fewer than 25 yards. He's averaging just 3.2 yards per carry the past four weeks, and it'll be interesting to see whether he can get anything going against a Vikings team that has gone eight straight games without a 100-yard rushing effort allowed. He's still worth using based on a probable hefty workload, but don't expect a huge game. ... WR Torry Holt has 16 receptions for 205 yards and a TD in his last two games, and 35 catches for 562 yards and three scores in his last five games in which QB Marc Bulger was absent. Holt is obviously still the most stable receiver in the St. Louis passing game, and is a must-play against the Vikings' 23rd-ranked pass defense (216.2 ypg). ... WR Koren Robinson is a sneaky play as a No. 3 or 4 option this week. He has 11 receptions for 228 yards and a score in his last three games, and faces a Rams pass defense that ranks 28th (240.3 ypg) and has allowed 24 TDs, second-most in the league.
Chicago at Pittsburgh: RB Thomas Jones has been unspectacular in his last five games, averaging 72.8 rushing yards per contest and 3.6 yards per carry. Two of those came against top-10 rush defenses (Week 11, vs. CAR; Week 12, at TB), and on Sunday, Jones faces the fourth-ranked Steelers (89.2 ypg). He's still useful as a No. 2 or flex, but there are better options. ... RB Willie Parker is even less attractive than Jones, as he has averaged 49.8 rushing yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry in his last five contests. Parker is now battling some fumbling issues, and with RBs Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley around to steal carries, he's a risky play against the Bears' seventh-ranked rush defense (93.2 ypg). ... WR Hines Ward is performing too well to reserve, even against the Bears' second-ranked pass defense (169.6 ypg). In the eight games this season in which both he and QB Ben Roethlisberger have played, Ward has 41 receptions for 575 yards and eight TDs, exceptional fantasy totals. He has four TDs in his last four contests, so keep him in there for these important weeks.
A game-by-game look at the week's matchups.