Matchup Meter: Pats' defense likely to be welcome sight for Jets
Tim Tebow, Willis McGahee could have big games vs. Chiefs' poor run defense
Patriots ranks last in passing yards allowed and 29th in completion percentage
Rashard Mendenhallhas rushed for more than 75 yards in only one game in 2011
Who says college ball cannot work at the pro level? Denver has installed a spread attack to suit second-year quarterback Tim Tebow and last week the result was a season-best 299 yards on the ground. The Raiders had no answer for the combination of Tebow and Willis McGahee. This week Denver's rushing attack should add to its success.
The Chiefs rank among the bottom 10 in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed (eight) and opponent rushing attempts per game (29.2). Last season, the Broncos racked up 70 carries in two games against Kansas City, with an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Knowshon Moreno recorded his only two career 100-yard games in those contests.
McGahee is becoming a reliable starter for fantasy owners, and has a strong case for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. But Tebow is the main fantasy benefactor in this one. Who cares if the passing totals are low? Tebow's legs make him worthy of the starting lineup for Week 10.
These matchups suggest success is around the corner for a number of suspect fantasy starters ...
NY Jets' passing attack vs. New England's defense
The Patriots pass defense has been awful across the board. The unit ranks dead last in yards allowed per game (314.0), 29th in opponents completion percentage (64.8), and is one of five defenses to allow 8.0 or more yards per attempt. Several quarterbacks have set season-best yardage numbers against this secondary: Ryan Fitzpatrick (369 yards), Ben Roethlisberger (365) and Jason Campbell (344).
Expect a big day from: When New York met New England in Week 5 Mark Sanchez posted a 105.6 QB Rating. Sanchez could be a good play again this week, as could Plaxico Burress and tight end Dustin Keller (50-plus yards in each of his last three games).
Tennessee's rushing attack vs. Carolina's defense
The Panthers rank among the bottom five in the league in rushing yards allowed (133.3 per game) and are tied with Indianapolis and Arizona for most touchdowns allowed (11). Excluding New Orleans' committee of backs, the fewest number of yards an opponent's leading rusher has gained against Carolina this year is 83.
Expect a big day from: Here we go again -- another "favorable" matchup for Chris Johnson. Assuming you haven't given up on the Titans back, consider giving him another chance. Johnson is coming off his best outing of the year and could hit a few home runs against a defense that's allowed 10 runs of 20-plus yards.
Jacksonville's receivers vs. Indianapolis' defense
Six receivers have gained 95 or more yards in a game against the 0-9 Colts, including rookie Julio Jones' 131-yard effort last week. And the fact that this week's matchup could be close will only help Jacksonville's passing attack -- in games decided by 10 or fewer points this season, the Colts have permitted opposing passers to average 276.6 yards.
Expect a big day from: All of the Jaguars passing game options are long shots for fantasy owners. But this week there is a reason to take a chance on Mike Thomas or Jason Hill, and fantasy owners might finally have a reason to applaud tight end Marcedes Lewis.
These fantasy stars might need a rest this week due to an unfavorable matchup on the horizon ...
Pittsburgh's rushing attack vs. Cincinnati's defense
Cincinnati has allowed just one 100-yard rusher all season (Willis McGahee -- 101 yards, Week 2). The list of backs the Bengals have frustrated includes Frank Gore (42 yards), Fred Jackson (66) and Maurice Jones-Drew (85). Cincinnati ranks first in the league in rushing yards allowed per carry (3.3) and second in yards allowed per game (84.5).
Who to bench: Pittsburgh averages a disappointing 110.3 rushing yards per game. Rashard Mendenhall has averaged fewer than 15 touches over the past three games and has gained 75 or more yards rushing in just one game this season. This is not the week fantasy owners should expect him to awake from his funk.
Tampa Bay's passing attack vs. Houston's defense
The Texans allow opposing passers to complete just 51.7 percent of their attempts for a QB Rating of 66.9. The Texans have also limited their opponents' ability to hit the big play -- they allow just 6.2 yards per attempt. Those numbers place Houston in elite company with the Jets and Ravens as the league's top pass defenses.
Who to bench: The Buccaneers' 11th-ranked passing offense will struggle. Mike Williams missed practice time this week with a thigh injury. He's expected to play, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to play well. Fantasy owners should also think about giving Kellen Winslow a seat. Other than Jimmy Graham, no tight end has put up a strong fantasy total against the Texans this season.
Washington's rushing attack vs. Miami's defense
There has been a great deal of excitement this week about Roy Helu's explosive performance against San Francisco in Week 9. But Helu's fantasy stardom could be short-lived. The Dolphins give up just 3.8 yards per carry and only the 49ers have allowed fewer rushing scores. The Dolphins also limit big plays -- just three opposing carries of 20-plus yards, none of 40-plus.
Who to bench: Tashard Choice is ready to return and Mike Shanahan is refusing to anoint Helu his starter. All signs suggest Helu isn't ready for prime time just yet.