- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
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BEN ROETHLISBERGER Steelers VS. Bengals Big Ben's last regular-season game against Cincy was spectacular--for fantasy owners. He passed for 386 yards and three TDs in a loss. After an appendectomy, he could be shakier this time around. In his first two games back after two previous injuries, he's averaged fewer than 200 yards passing and thrown seven picks.
TOM BRADY Patriots VS. Broncos Brady threw for 341 yards the last time he played Denver, but one pass was picked off and returned 100 yards in the playoff loss. Payback will be tough without WRs Deion Branch and David Givens, who caught 65% of his passes that day. Look for the Broncos' D, which hasn't allowed a touchdown, to bottle up Brady.
DREW BREES Saints VS. Falcons This game marks the NFL's Welcome Back to New Orleans, but it's also a Welcome to the NFC South for the transplanted Brees. The former Charger won't receive a warm greeting. Lockdown cornerback DeAngelo Hall will contain Brees's top receiving threat, Joe Horn. Look for picks aplenty: The Falcons already have four.
JAKE PLUMMER Broncos AT� Patriots Don't listen to Mike Shanahan. Two poor outings is plenty of reason to panic, especially in the case of Plummer, who could lose his job outright. Through two games he's averaged 155.5 passing yards, with no scores and four interceptions. Most leagues penalize picks. Until he solves that problem, he's a liability.
KEVAN BARLOW Jets AT Bills The Jets' passing game has been lights out so far, while the running game, with Barlow and Derrick Blaylock splitting the carries, can be described as pedestrian at best. No Jets back has rushed for 50 yards in a game, while Buffalo's defense held Miami's Ronnie Brown to 70 yards and the Dolphins to just 92 total rushing yards in Week 2.
CADILLAC WILLIAMS Buccaneers VS.� Panthers Williams has been as big a disappointment as anyone in the NFL this season, rushing for just 59 yards in two games. Before last week's game he was slowed by back spasms, which may be a problem for the remainder of the season. Sit him until he shows signs of being a productive back again.
REUBEN DROUGHNS Browns VS.� Ravens Playing behind a makeshift O-line, Droughns has virtually no chance to move the ball against a defense that has allowed 65 rushing yards this season--against two backs coming off 1,000-yard years. In two games last season against a Ravens D that was clearly inferior to the '06 model, Droughns gained a total of just 95 yards.
FRANK GORE 49ers VS. Eagles Facing a Philadelphia defense that shut down all-world running back Tiki Barber last week is going to be a great measuring stick for Gore. Thus far, with the starting job his alone, Gore has rushed for 214 yards, and his three rushing touchdowns lead the NFC. But use an alternate if possible against the Eagles.