OWEN DANIELS TE
TEXANS VS. Bills
In fantasy football, efficiency can be a beautiful thing. Daniels doesn't even crack the NFL's top 12 in receptions by a tight end, but with five TDs he's got a leg up on guys like Kellen Winslow Jr., Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates. Not bad for a rookie fourth-round pick who has played the position for only four years. (He was recruited by Wisconsin as a quarterback.) Daniels has quickly become a favorite in Houston--not only of David Carr but also of the coaches. When Carr was yanked against the Titans in Week 8, Daniels still had five second-half grabs, two for scores. Against Buffalo he'll face a defense that has allowed a tight end to lead his team in catches three times. In the past three weeks the Bills have been underwhelming against three 6'3"-plus tight ends (allowing an average of five catches and 59 receiving yards). Daniels is modestly listed at 6'3".
PHILIP RIVERS Chargers AT Broncos Against Denver, which stuffs the run, expect San Diego's balance to shift away from RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who's been hogging TDs (15 in the last five weeks). Instead, coach Marty Schottenheimer will look to exploit the Broncos' pass defense, which has allowed 992 yards in its last three games.
TOM BRADY Patriots AT Packers This could be the last Brett Favre-- Tom Brady meeting, and it might be the best. Last time, in 2002, the QBs combined for just 330 yards, with Brady tossing three interceptions. Both pass defenses rank among the bottom 10 of the NFL, so expect fireworks, especially from Brady, who is due for a big game.
MATT LEINART Cardinals VS. Lions In three weeks without Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), Leinart played only two quarters of solid football, struggling during the rest (one TD, five interceptions). But he hit the now healthy Fitzgerald, who returned on Sunday, six times for 80 yards. The duo will shine against Detroit, which is 19th against the pass.
ANTHONY THOMAS Bills AT Texans The job is the A-Train's to lose for as long as Willis McGahee is out, which could be a while. Thomas has rushed 48 times for 204 yards and a TD since taking over two weeks ago. Houston has allowed a rushing TD in seven of nine games this year and more than 100 rushing yards eight times.
KEVIN JONES Lions AT Cardinals With 995 total yards from scrimmage and seven TDs, Jones is one of the most productive fantasy performers of the season, even after hitting a roadblock against the Niners last week. Surprisingly, the only team not to score at least 21 points against Arizona this year is the Rams, who still won 16--14.
RUDI JOHNSON Bengals AT Saints Though he did not start last week (he was disciplined for breaking team rules), he still found the end zone and has now scored TDs in six of Cincinnati's nine games. New Orleans has allowed 100 yards to AFC North backs Willie Parker ( Steelers) and Jamal Lewis ( Ravens) in two of the last three weeks.