By Paul Charchian-
Who should you start this week? Let’s check out this week’s player rankings:
Featured QB: Tony Romo
I’ll happily give Tony Romo a free pass for a lousy box score in his first game after A) puncturing his lung and B) breaking a rib, and C) playing without Miles Austin and with a hobbled Dez Bryant. Bear in mind, even factoring in that game, he’s averaging 314 yards and two touchdown passes per game over the past two seasons. Those are great numbers. Detroit hasn’t seen much in the way of quarterbacking this year: Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, and Donovan McNabb. We can safely say that those teams aren’t going to challenge the Detroit secondary like Romo will, especially if Austin plays. Assuming Ndamukong Suh doesn’t spear Romo in the ribs, I like his chances for a solid game.
Featured RB: Ray Rice
In each of his past two games, Ray Rice’s rushing attempts have decreased while his receiving yardage has increased. Rookie wideout Torrey Smith hogged all of fantasy fun last week, but Rice is still averaging 76 rushing yards, 59 receiving yards and a touchdown per game. The knock on Rice used to be his low scoring totals, but despite failing to reach the end zone last week, he’s notched eight scores in his last eight games. Last week the Jets’ once-feared run defense surrendered 235 combination yards and three touchdowns to Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. Start Rice with confidence here.
Featured WR: Stevie Johnson
Cincinnati’s defense looks good on paper but this is only because they’ve played the NFL’s version of the Three Stooges in Cleveland, Denver and San Francisco. Last week, Buffalo proved that it is a legit force to be reckoned with this season. Steve Johnson will almost certainly draw talented corner Leon Hall, but he probably did last year too, and it didn’t matter. Johnson had the best game of his career last season against the Bengals with 137 yards and 3 touchdowns. While the Bengals have only allowed two touchdowns to wide receivers so far this season, that number could double this week.