By Troy Jefferson
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1. Christian Ponder Vikings QB – Ponder faces off vs. the Washington Redskins this week. The Redskins are 31st in pass defense and last week Matt Ryan threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns. Christian Ponder is no Matt Ryan but he has a favorable matchup and has only thrown two interceptions all year. I expect Ponder to throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns. If one of your quarterbacks are on a bye, Ponder would be a nice option this week.
2. Trent Richardson Browns RB – Trent Richardson has a favorable matchup vs. Cincinnati this week. Richardson rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown vs. the Bengals earlier in the season. Richardson is coming off a solid performance against New York, rushing for 81 yards and a touchdown. Not only is Trent Richardson a running threat but he also leads the Browns in receptions.
3. Demaryius Thomas Broncos WR – Demaryius Thomas is clearly Peyton Manning’s number one target. Manning will be looking for Thomas early and often vs. San Diego. Thomas is coming off nine receptions for 188 yards vs. New England. The Chargers gave up nine receptions, 131 yards, and three touchdowns vs. New Orleans number one receiver, Marques Colston in week 5. Thomas should have no problem shredding San Diego’s secondary.
Darren McFadden Raiders RB – McFadden has only rushed for 100 yards once this year and those other three games he has only rushed for a combined 88 yards. McFadden does have a favorable matchup this week vs. Atlanta on the road. The Falcons may be undefeated but they are 27th in opponent rushing yards. Alfred Morris (Redskins RB) rushed for 115 yards last week vs. the Falcons. McFadden is a hit or miss guy but this week he will hit the Falcons defense hard.
1. Andrew Luck Colts QB – Luck had a GREAT game last week vs. Green Bay. However, he faces a stiffer test when the Colts go on the road to play the Jets. The New York Jets are sixth in the league in pass defense and Antonio Cromartie was able to shutdown Andre Johnson last week. Andrew Luck will struggle vs. a good Jets’ defense this week.
2. Ahmad Bradshaw Giants RB – Ahmad Bradshaw will return to Earth this week vs. the 49ers. Bradshaw rushed for 200 yards and a touchdown vs. Cleveland last week but San Francisco and Cleveland are two different defenses. Let’s not forget Bradshaw’s 39 yards on 13 carries two weeks ago in Philly. San Francisco is seventh in run defense and doesn’t usually surrender 100 yard rushers.
3. Brian Hartline Dolphins WR – Last time Hartline faced an NFC West foe he caught twelve passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. Brian Hartline only caught four passes last week and will have a hard time catching passes vs. St. Louis. The Rams have two of the best corners in the game with Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins and will make life miserable for Hartline on Sunday.