It might seem crazy to think about using a rookie signal-caller from a team spiraling into the abyss -- but sometimes, crazy works. That may be the case this week in Tampa, where Foles takes on the league's easiest team to pass against.
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The Browns are on a roll, having won two straight games. Weeden is coming off of a 364-yard, one-touchdown showing against the Raiders. The Chiefs are averaging two touchdown passes allowed per road game this year and opposing passers have averaged a 101.7 rating against them away from Arrowhead. Only the Titans and aforementioned Raiders have been more forgiving to opposing passers. With a shaky receiving corps, Weeden is more of a gamble than fellow rookie Nick Foles, but he's worth a spot start for those in a jam.
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Locker was injured when these two teams met earlier this season, so this will be the first of what promises to be many games between two bright young quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is the better of the two, but the Colts' defense shapes up as a nice target for Locker (21 passing touchdowns allowed) and poses little threat of picking the ball off (just six interceptions all season for the Colts).
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The Jets' quarterback situation is still in shambles, but at least this week Gang Green can rely on the ground game against a Jaguars unit that has allowed eight rushing touchdowns since the start of November. Powell will split carries with Shonn Greene, who has more yards the last three weeks but no touchdowns, compared to three for Powell.
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Opposing teams have rushed for more than 100 yards in five of the last six games against the Chargers' defense, and with Rashard Mendenhall out of the equation, Dwyer and the inconsistent Isaac Redman should collect all of the gains. The expected return of Ben Roethlisberger would be a huge boost to Dwyer's value.
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For a team with just one loss, the Falcons are not good against the run. That could be good news for those owners who have steadfastly held on to the former 1,000-yard rusher, or those who are desperate for a decent matchup. But buyers beware: The equally disappointing Jonathan Stewart may or may not return from the ankle sprain that sidelined him during Week 13.
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When Matthew Stafford looks to the outside for his second option he'll no longer see Ryan Broyles (torn ACL) or Titus Young (injured reserve, disgruntled, knee). He'll see Thomas, the former Jaguar who was acquired for a draft pick in October as a depth play but now will be asked to step in and replace some of the 4.6 catches per game that went to Broyles and Young.
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The Broncos' clampdown corners will keep tabs on Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey, but Denver will be hard-pressed to keep all three of Carson Palmer's speedy downfield threats in check. That's where Streater, who had three catches for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Browns, steps in.
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One of last week's heroes would certainly like to give the team that gave up on him following last season a taste of what it's missing. Avery caught three balls for 45 yards and a touchdown during his 2011 tenure with Tennessee, which is less than his five-catch, 91-yard, two-score Week 13 game in Detroit, when Andrew Luck looked his way a career-high 14 times.
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The Cardinals' pass defense has been good, but the Seahawks' passing attack at home is better. Russell Wilson has looked for Tate a lot in the past five weeks, with great results. Tate has hauled in 22 of the 26 targets sent his way in that time, with four going for touchdowns.
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Three weeks removed from a disciplinary benching, Givens has responded in a big way, first by gaining 115 yards and a score against the Cardinals and then by stepping into Danny Amendola's go-to role with 11 catches in a clutch win over San Francisco in Week 13. Sam Bradford will again look Givens' way this week in Buffalo.
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The Stanford connection took 12 games to spark, but last week Fleener finally caught his first professional touchdowns thrown by his college teammate Andrew Luck. Fleener and Dwayne Allen are both in great position to hit pay dirt against a Titans defense that has given up the second-most catches and is tied for the most touchdowns surrendered to tight ends.
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