The Jets "D" is reaching new heights
Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams:Bulger is doing a much better job of spreading the ball to multiple receivers who don't have the name "Holt" or "Bruce" on the back of their jersey. In fact, to combat the pass rush that has come on Bulger as a result of the injuries and changes on the offensive line, the Rams have operated out of a lot more two-TE sets and worked off three-step drops that allow Bulger to get the ball out of his hand quickly and avoid contact. The result has been a much more balanced attack that has improved Bulger's fantasy status. Start him this week.
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore Ravens:The Bills are quick, but small up front and have been having a hard time anchoring against bigger linemen that play a power game between the tackles. Unfortunately for the Bills, that's exactly what the Ravens and Lewis bring to this matchup. Look for Lewis to get some free runs to the second level and put up very good two-back numbers this week.
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals:Johnson is the deep threat in the offense and can run by the Steelers corners in press coverage or against a cushion. He has historically played very well against Pittsburgh, so look for him to put up the numbers you are looking for in the Cats' biggest game of the year.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers:Davis is up to nearly 20 yards per catch over the last five games and is really showing off the speed, hands, and route-running ability that made him a top draft pick. Davis is a freak of nature with the size to knock down LB's and the speed to outrun both safeties. He will stretch the field from the interior and give Smith a target on every pass attempt. Start him this week as he has the physical tools to overwhelm Denver safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch.
Dallas Cowboys:The Cowboys are coming off a poor effort last week, but the Lions have struggled in pass protection and don't have a running game to balance the offense and keep the defense honest. Look for the Cowboys to pin their ears back and come after Kitna. He will throw interceptions and take sacks. Start the Cowboys.
Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons:The Eagles have the ability to stop the run with their front seven and use a safety playing close to the line to shadow Vick. Against Philly's blitz schemes, Vick will not have time to look downfield and throw, and shouldn't risk putting the ball up for grabs against the Eagles aggressive corners. Look for Philly to contain on the outside lanes, pinning Vick in the pocket and preventing him from making plays with his legs.
Willis McGahee, Buffalo Bills: The Bills new off-tackle running scheme will help negate some of Baltimore's size and strength inside, and look for an extra TE or FB on running downs who can lead McGahee to the second level and put a body on a LB. But Baltimore's group is fast, does a good job of shedding blocks when they have to, and generally are free to flow to the ball. McGahee will be limited in the run game, so look for him on swing passes out of the backfield, but he's only a borderline two-back.
Mark Clayton, Baltimore Ravens:Clayton is the deep threat in this offense and though he has the speed to challenge the Buffalo corners, this is a run first attack that may be playing with Kyle Boller for at least part of the game. Though he has two 100-yard efforts in the last three weeks, Clayton shouldn't be more than a #2 WR for you this week.
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta Falcons:Eagles S Brian Dawkins has done a fantastic job against some top TE's in the NFC, namely Jeremy Shockey and Jason Witten, and he faces L.J. Smith every day in practice. Look for the Philly safety tandem to keep Crumpler in check and limit his production. He is a starter, but not the best week for him.
Denver Broncos:Something has happened to the Broncos run defense, but if they continue to have days like last week when they record two sacks, two INT, force four fumbles and recover two of them, we may be able to live with it. The problem they face this week is named Frank Gore, though. The 49ers could very well run him 40 times this week, and that's a bad thing for the Broncos.
Sleeper of the Week
New York Jets Defense:Eric Mangini has done a very good job of matching up to opponents' strengths and weaknesses and putting his players in position to make plays. They will do so again this week. Look for them to clog the running lanes and put the likes of Ronald Curry and Johnnie Morant in single coverage with the safeties being used as run support and blitzers on passing downs, particularly Kerry Rhodes. They are a smart play this week.