Every week, we preview all of the upcoming games from a fantasy perspective. To help you with lineup decisions, we give you matchups to exploit, some key starting choices and advice on whom to leave on your bench.
Buffalo at Detroit: It will be difficult for the Lions to control the ball with the running game, as RG Damien Woody (foot) is out, and
LG Ross Verba (hamstring) and RT Rex Tucker (knee) are listed as questionable. Kevin Jones will have to fight hard for yardage, and Jon Kitna could be forced into several adverse passing situations that result in big hits, sacks and turnovers. Willis McGahee also could have trouble finding many openings against a stiff Detroit run defense early, but he'll eventually start to see some running room later in the game and should score. An efficient passing game should take some of the focus off McGahee. J.P. Losman will connect with Lee Evans often, and veteran Peerless Price will get some important looks against a very vulnerable Lions secondary.
Start and Smile: Lee Evans
Watch and Worry: Jon Kitna
Carolina at Baltimore: It will be a major struggle for the Panthers to get their running game established, which means Jake Delhomme could face heavy pass pressure, especially on third downs. No defense can contain Steve Smith, but don't expect great production from him, and receiving partner Keyshawn Johnson won't get open often. The Panthers are without injured MLB Dan Morgan again, so Steve McNair will try to exploit the middle with a healthy amount of tosses to TE Todd Heap and WR Derrick Mason, who isn't afraid of making the tough catch. This won't be a high-scoring affair, as Ravens RB Jamal Lewis really doesn't have the explosion to challenge the Panthers' front seven. McNair won't throw more than two TD passes, but he's a good bye week filler and should outperform Delhomme.
Start and Smile: Todd Heap
Watch and Worry: Jake Delhomme, DeShaun Foster, Keyshawn Johnson