This week the Patriots, 49ers, Jets, and Rams are on a bye meaning some of this years biggest point contributors will be on your bench, but we'll try to identify some match ups that can make up for having Brady, Gore, and the 49ers D/ST on the sidelines.
Arian Foster: I know it's a given, you'll always start Foster. But this week he's poised to break out a huge performance as the Texans take on the Bills. Foster is averaging 18.1 points in standard league formats and is playing at home against the worst team against the run (for fantasy).
Matt Forte: Ranked 20th in points and only averaging 9.4 points per game this year due to injury and a few mediocre performances he's playing against the Titans this week who have given up 284 yards to Buffalo and Indianapolis over the last two weeks. The Chicago offense is potent and the Titans could find themselves on their back foot trying to stop the pass or the run. My guess, they won't stop Forte from his highest point total this year.
Josh Freeman: Available in 15.7% of ESPN leagues Freeman has had a resurgence since the bye week and has averaged 25.3 points per week since then. He has his healthy wide receivers Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson, and a potent Doug Martin in the backfield. If you're desperate for a point filler Freeman could be it this week against the Oakland defense.
Dolphins D/ST: Available in 73.2% of ESPN leagues the Dolphins defense has had an incredible year. They average 13.3 points per game and just put up 26 points by shutting down the Jets. I don't think they'll shutdown Andrew Luck at home, but I would expect their tough pass rush to cause some issues and cause some turnovers.
LaRod Stephens-Howling: Unless Cardinals Offensive Coordinator Mike Miller goes back to the game plan that worked in Minnesota LSH is going to have another tough week. I think he'll have more than 6 rushing yards, but playing behind the Cards offensive line and being asked to run up the middle LSH is going to have another very tough week.
Jermichael Finley: The Cardinals held Vernon Davis to two receptions for 34 yards last week, and Davis is a featured part of the offense. Finley has been dropping balls and has seen his targets and receptions drop steadily throughout the season from seven receptions in week one to two for three weeks running.
Christian Ponder: Ponder is playing the Seahawks this week and will be boom or bust. He could go boom like he did against the 49ers and put up 20+ points, or bust like his performance against the Cardinals with only 6 points. I'm thinking bust.
Larry Fitzgerald: Two weeks of sub-Larry numbers, 29 yards and 52 yards, Larry could make a splash this week if the Cardinals start putting their fate in Fitzgerald's hands and try to rally from their four straight losses. Some say Fitz is a flex player this week, which logic says is valid. But the Cardinals locker room is desperate to break their losing streak and find a spark. Fitzgerald could be that spark.