The Fantasy Factor
START (Players that should do better than their predicted projections)
Matthew Stafford - The Raiders have been having a pretty good season by their standards, but lately they've been making everyone's QB look good, even when they're not. This might be the game we see Stafford to Megatron quite often.
Marshawn Lynch - He's in all out beast mode right now running for over 100 yards in 5 of his last 6 games and scoring 6 rushing TDs during that time. The Bears have a good defense, but their offense will have them out there often and that will lead to plenty of carries for this emerging RB.
Felix Jones - Welcome back Felix Jones! With DeMarco Murray out for the year, Felix will get a heavy workload and they'll be up against the TB Bucs this week, a team that couldn't stop opposing RBs even if they were allowed to build a brick wall on the field.
Larry Fitzgerald - This COULD be another letdown game for Fitz. He had a big day against the Niners defense last week, which is no small feat, but 2 weeks before that, he did practically nothing against the Rams. Granted that was with a different QB and Kolb and Fitz shouldn't have any problem in the desert with the Brownies.
Demaryius Thomas - Back to back solid performances and now he'll face the worst pass defense in the NFL. Hopefully one of those WRs the Pats have playing DB will learn to cover fast or this could be an insane game for Thomas.
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST - Sure, James Harrison isn't likely to play Monday night, but the Steelers still have a ton of stars left on this defense, Frank Gore hasn't been running very well lately and the only Pittsburgh team Alex Smith will ever light up is the Pittsburgh Panthers. This should be a good defensive contest.
BENCH (Players that may not live up to their predicted projections)
Michael Vick - He was very average against a so-so Dolphins defense that has nothing to play for. This week, he'll get a good and hungry Jets defense. Anyone holding out any faint hope for an Eagles playoff run will be very disappointed after Sunday. The same can be said for owners using Vick in this critical fantasy week.
Frank Gore - As I mentioned earlier with the Steelers D/ST, Gore hasn't been running very well. He's been dealing with both knee and ankle injuries and despite looking decent against bad run defenses, he's been, for the most part, invisible since Week 9. He won't be rolling over the Steelers like he did the Cardinals.
Rashard Mendenhall - On the other side of the ball, Mendenhall has made every defense he's been up against look like the best run defending team in the league. Well this week, he'll actually be up against the best run defense in the NFL. I sure hope Ben is okay.
Mike Wallace - Take away his 2 TD game against Cincy and Mike Wallace hasn't done anything since his 95 yard TD reception back in Week 7. The Niners got torched by Fitzgerald last week, so that gives some hopes for Wallace owners, but I doubt they'll let that happen two weeks in a row.
Buffalo Bills D/ST - This defense got blown out in Miami by 4 TDs a few weeks ago. I don't see this as being any different, even if Matt Moore can't start. Don't look at the projections, this defense is a big bowl full of "NO".