If you're reading this, it's probably safe to assume that you've either qualified for the fantasy-football playoffs or successfully traversed the first week of the postseason. If not, at least you...
If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that you’ve either qualified for the fantasy-football playoffs or successfully traversed the first week of the postseason.
If not, at least you can now expend your weekend energy on continuing to put off Christmas shopping.
A game-by-game look at the upcoming games, including three on Saturday:
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants (Saturday): Steelers RB Jerome Bettis is clearly better than RB Duce Staley right now. Expect the Bus to cash in for two TDs from close range. Slap yourself back to reality if you’re considering starting any Giants, including RB Tiki Barber.
Washington at San Francisco (Saturday): Redskins RB Clinton Portis (264 total yards, four TDs in past two games) will continue his resurgence by piling up close to 150 yards and finding the end zone twice. Washington’s defense will shut down the mistake-prone 49ers.
Carolina at Atlanta (Saturday): With Falcons RB T.J. Duckett (knee) out, there’s no one to steal carries from RB Warrick Dunn. The problem is that the Panthers have not allowed a RB to score on the ground in their past four games. Keep riding Carolina QB Jake Delhomme, RB Nick Goings and WR Muhsin Muhammad.
Houston at Chicago: Treat all Bears the same as Giants. Chicago has allowed two TDs to wide receivers in each of its past two games, so Texans WR Andre Johnson should be good for a score. Houston RB Domanick Davis is also worth starting.
Minnesota at Detroit: We can safely assume that Vikings WR Randy Moss won’t get your team any points via the pass, but he should torch the Lions for at least 100 yards receiving and a score. Continue to avoid any Minnesota RBs and expect Detroit RB Kevin Jones to stay hot.
Seattle at N.Y. Jets: Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck has thrown for 748 yards and six TDs in the past two games, but the Jets’ defense has been solid all season. We’ll give a slight lean to playing Hasselbeck, but closely investigate the matchups of your other QBs. New York RB Curtis Martin should have a solid day.
Denver at Kansas City: There’ll be a lot of scoring in this one. Chiefs RB Larry Johnson will start over ailing Derrick Blaylock (knee).
Buffalo at Cincinnati: The Bills have allowed just one RB to get 100 yards on the ground all season, while the Bengals have been C-noted eight times. That’s good news for Buffalo RB Willis McGahee and bad news for Cincinnati RB Rudi Johnson.
Dallas at Philadelphia: Cowboys RB Julius Jones could have his carries limited as Dallas promises to be coming from behind most of the game. WR Terrell Owens (back) will play, but how much will he be used as the Eagles try to keep him fresh for the playoffs?
San Diego at Cleveland: We guarantee that the Browns will get more than 17 yards, but WR Antonio Bryant is their only player worth considering for a start. Keep plugging in the regular Chargers as they drive toward a division title.
St. Louis at Arizona: If you’re desperate, Rams QB Chris Chandler is an OK start because of weapons like WRs Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay: The Saints have a history of giving the Bucs problems, but that doesn’t mean they can slow QB Brian Griese (averaging 258 yards passing over his past six games while throwing for 12 scores). Tampa Bay RB Michael Pittman and WR Michael Clayton are also good plays.
Jacksonville at Green Bay: The Jaguars have not allowed a rushing TD to a RB since Week 11, and the Packers’ Ahman Green just hasn’t found a consistent rhythm all season. It seems unlikely that either team will score in the 20s.
Tennessee at Oakland: Should be a scoring explosion for both teams, but especially for Raiders QB Kerry Collins.
Baltimore at Indianapolis: If Bengals QB Carson Palmer can light up the Ravens for 382 yards and three TDs as he did in Week 13, we don’t expect Colts QB Peyton Manning to be slowed much either on his way to TD pass No. 49.
New England at Miami: Patriots RB Corey Dillon will keep rolling toward his first playoff game.
Got a question about fantasy football? Send them to Jerry Faull: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jerry Faull, Seattle Times Sports, 1120 John St., Seattle, WA 98109. His look at fantasy football will appear each Thursday during the NFL season.