This is an article from the Nov. 13, 2006 issue
Steelers VS. Saints
Roethlisberger threw for 433 yards last week against the Broncos, but he alsotossed three interceptions (the third time he has thrown three or more picks ina game this season). Since the high-scoring Saints will make Pittsburgh pay forany turnovers, look for Big Ben to hand the ball off a lot.
Giants VS. Bears
The younger Manning would normally merit a start against a tough D. But withwideout Plaxico Burress suffering from back spasms and his backup, Tim Carter,all but invisible against the much softer Texans last week, Manning won't havethe weapons to attack the Bears the way he would want to.
Packers AT Vikings
The Vikings are solid against the pass (eight TDs allowed, nine interceptionsin eight games). Also remember that Minnesota coach Brad Childress was with theEagles when they held Favre to 148 yards per game in their last four meetings.Expect his defensive assistants and players to watch those films this week.
Bears AT Giants
Traditionally, time-shares resolve themselves by about Week 8. Chicago isn't sotraditional, so Jones owners need to be wary of Cedric Benson, who's making themost of his carries and has as many TDs as his running mate. Plus, New York hasheld its last two opponents' starting backs to less than 50 yards.
Titans VS. Ravens
The Titans don't figure to challenge Baltimore's stout run defense--which hasallowed 69.2 yards per game--so Henry can go back to the bench despite havinghad a few solid games. Moreover, even if the Titans were facing a lessformidable foe, you would still have to be aware of backup LenDale White, athreat for PT.
Rams AT Seahawks
Forget Jackson's dislocated finger, it's his history against Seattle thatshould make you think twice about starting him. In five games over three years,he has never cracked 80 yards (he averages 68 as a starter), and he was held to56 yards in the Rams' 30--28 loss to the Seahawks three weeks ago.
Jets AT Patriots
Only Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Marvin Harrison and Javon Walker have 100-yardgames this year against the Pats. Coles's performance in Week 2 (six catchesfor 100 yards and a TD) seems like a long time ago, however. In the next sixgames he averaged 59 yards and scored but two touchdowns.
Panthers VS. Buccaneers
In Week 3 Johnson torched ex-coach Jon Gruden for 97 yards and a TD, but thatwas before the Bucs signed Philip Buchanon to provide secondary depth. (StarterBrian Kelly, who missed that game, is now on IR.) Deep routes still kill theBucs, but Johnson usually operates across the middle.
Bengals VS. Chargers
As QB Carson Palmer struggles with his mechanics, Johnson's numbers suffer. Theoutspoken one was muted again against Baltimore, catching a mere four passesfor 32 yards. San Diego's league-leading pass rush surely won't let Palmer gettoo comfy, which will mean another frustrating day for Johnson.
Giants VS. Bears
Here's a stat line Shockey can only dream about: four catches, 41 yards and atouchdown. No tight end has hit any of those marks against the Bears this year.(Opposing team's starting tight ends are averaging 16.5 yards.) NickelbackRicky Manning Jr. has been a hawk--he has four picks--and Chicago's linebackersare speedy enough to tail Shockey.
Redskins AT Eagles
When Novak was signed to spell injured kicker John Hall, he became one of thoserare midseason additions who might help a fantasy team. Sure enough, afterkicking a 47-yard game-winner against Dallas, Novak made a name for himself.But he has also missed three of five kicks in his last two games, including a35-yarder--so his is not a name worth remembering.
Arizona has cobbled together excellent fantasy stats through turnovers--theCards are second in the NFL in fumble recoveries and have nine interceptions.But Dallas has had a swagger on offense lately, and QB Tony Romo has beenprotective of the football, with one pick in two starts. In this game, tough Disn't in the Cards.
BEWARE OF BUST
Kansas City coachHerm Edwards has sworn that he'll return Huard to the bench as soon as startingQB Trent Green recovers from a concussion. We suggest that you make the samemove, but a little earlier. Huard has been a fine fill-in for Green, peakingwith three TDs against the Rams last week. But he'll have to elevate his playeven more to repeat that performance against a tough Miami pass defense that'scoming off a huge statement game. Against Chicago last week the Dolphins wereferocious, sacking QB Rex Grossman three times. They allowed one TD, but thatwas overshadowed by their picking off Grossman three times. The Chiefs presentan offense similar to the Bears': a dangerous tight end and a slew of B-levelreceivers complementing a dedicated running game. Since such an attack didn'tpose much of a problem for Nick Saban's defense on Sunday, Huard could be introuble this week.
FISH OR CUTBAIT?
It's nocoincidence that Pennington's shaky performance two weeks ago in Cleveland (11of 28 with two interceptions) occurred with breezes gusting up to 25 mph.Although he's been surprisingly effective this year (1,558 yards, nine TDs,eight interceptions), Pennington's throwing arm, twice reconstructed, will beseverely tested when winter gales are howling, especially in the New Jerseywind tunnel he calls home. With the Jets' next five games to be played outsideand in cold weather, it's becoming too risky to count on him to lead yourteam.
WEEK 10 INJURYWATCH
For the latestinjury news, go to SI.com/football/nfl/injuries.