Matchup Meter: Colts, Bills have been kind to opposing quarterbacks
The Colts' defense ranks among the top-five in passing yards allowed (only 200.0 per game), but that's a misleading stat; Indianapolis is one of three NFL defenses allowing fewer than 30 attempts per game. When teams do throw, they find success. Opponents have registered a 104.0 QB Rating and completed 63.4 percent of their attempts -- those numbers do not define a "top-five pass defense."
Making matters worse, the Colts have failed to generate much pressure up front, which is partially to blame for the secondary's low interception count (two). This unit is an opposing quarterback's dream matchup.
• Number to know: 280.2 -- The number of yards passing Cleveland's Brandon Weeden has averaged over the past five weeks.
• Expect a big day from: If recent weeks are an indication, Weeden will throw plenty in this contest. He has averaged 41.3 attempts in three road games this year, and with Trent Richardson banged up he may have even more reason to throw the ball. Fantasy owners may also want to consider wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has become Weeden's go-to deep threat.
Less than a yard separates New Orleans from the NFL's 32nd-ranked run defense (Buffalo). The Saints give up 172.8 yards on the ground, and they've allowed seven rushing scores in five games. Heck, Carolina's woeful duo of James Stewart and DeAngelo Williams
• Number to know: 34.4 -- The average number of rushing attempts for Saints opponents this season.
• Expect a big day from: Doug Martin has had an up-and-down rookie season and has seen his workload trimmed considerably in recent weeks. This game could serve as a confidence booster for the first round back. And LeGarrette Blount may see enough touches to warrant a flex play this week.
The Bills have made the following quarterbacks look like fantasy stars this season: Mark Sanchez (266 yards, three touchdowns), Matt Cassel (301 yards, two touchdowns) and Alex Smith (303 yards, three touchdowns). Buffalo ranks 20th in passing yards allowed and tied for 26th in touchdown passes allowed (13).
• Number to know: 23 -- The number of pass plays of 20 or more yards that Buffalo's secondary has allowed.
• Expect a big day from: Kenny Britt is on the verge of transforming back into the dominant player he was briefly before suffering a knee injury. Fellow Tennessee wide receivers Nate Washington and Kendall Wright can also be considered this week.
The 49ers may not be as dominant against the run as they were a year ago, but this is still one of the league's top units. San Francisco ranks sixth in yards allowed per carry (3.6) and it has allowed just one rushing score to an opposing running back (Ahmad Bradshaw).
• Number to know: 15.6 -- Percentage of first downs gained by San Francisco opponents on the ground, second lowest in the league.
• Who to bench: It's hard to bench Marshawn Lynch, but fantasy owners should have low expectations. Lynch has averaged just 3.5 yards over his last two games (New England and Carolina) and in his visit to San Francisco last year he picked up just 33 yards on 13 carries.
Chicago plays the pass as well as any defense and ranks among the top 10 in several telling fantasy categories: opposing completion percentage, yards allowed per attempt and touchdown passes allowed. Of course, what fantasy owners are most aware of is the Bears interception count -- a league-best 13.
• Number to know: 60.0 -- QB Rating for Chicago opponents this year, almost 10 points lower than any other defense.
• Who to bench: Matthew Stafford is one of fantasy's most disappointing quarterbacks, with four touchdowns and five interceptions. If fantasy owners have a strong No. 2 passer on their roster they should give Stafford the week off.
Love Shonn Greene after his 161-yard, three-touchdown effort last week? You might not like him much after this week. The Patriots allow 82.7 rushing yards a game and just 3.4 yards per carry. They haven't allowed a rushing score in three weeks and have permitted just one back to gain 60 or more yards rushing.
• Number to know: 0 -- The number of runs of 20 or more yards allowed by New England this year.
• Who to bench: Greene has gained 335 yards on 82 carries (4.1) with two touchdowns in six career games against New England. If the Patriots offense puts points on the board early, Greene could become a non-factor.