With a pretty lackluster week of marquee games this weekend in the NFL leading up to the Monday Night duel between Green Bay and Chicago, you can expect for some players to keep up hot streaks and for some big scorers. Here’s who I believe will have big weeks and who I think will disappoint their owners along with some sleepers.
Drew Brees: Brees and the Saints’ passing attack is coming off a huge week against a Buffalo secondary that allowed 5 touchdowns through the air. Brees is spreading the ball around better then ever after completing his 26 passes last week against the Bills to10 different receivers. Add in the facts that Kenny Stills is emerging as a breakout weapon and that Brees’ favorite target, Jimmy Graham, who has been slowly returning from an injury seeing mainly red zone action last week against Buffalo is going to see more time. Expect Brees to continue with a big week against the Jets who just got ravaged by Andy Dalton for 325 yards and a 5 touchdowns.
Andy Dalton: The Red Rocket is proving to Bengals’ nation he is their franchise Quarterback. Over the past 3 weeks Dalton has thrown for an average 344 yards and a league high 11 touchdowns over that span. The Dolphins only have two games allowing multiple passing touchdowns this season and are a competent crew back there but I don’t see Dalton and this offense slowing down. AJ Green no longer has to be Dalton’s only target with the recent play making Marvin Jones has brought and with Eifert/Gresham group at Tight End.
Cam Newton: I think Newton has a monster week against a very poor Atlanta Defense. The Carolina Panthers are riding high with 3 straight wins (won 4 of last 5) and Newton is playing elite, getting Carolina above .500 for their first time in Five years. Over the win streak Newton is completing a staggering 77.3 completion percentage for 667 yards, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions with 30 carries and 2 rushing touchdowns on top of that. Expect Newton to spread the ball to Steve Smith, Ted Ginn and Brandon Lafell against the 22ed ranked defense and produce
Honorary Mentions: Russell Wilson vs. Tampa Bay, Phillip River vs. Washington, Terrell Pryor vs.PHI
Alex Smith: Yes, he is facing a Bills’ defense that just got beat up on by Brees but Buffalo is typically good against the “Dink and Dunk” style Quarterbacks but the real X Factor being the Bills’ front 7 as Mario Williams & Jerry Hughes have been war horses and rookie LB Kiko Alonso becoming an absolute stud in pass coverage. Stephon Gilmore is finally back in form after injury and failing to be traded, Jairus Byrd is playing for a contract, expect the Bills’ Defense to surprise this week.
Tom Brady: Brady has been erratic week to week this season and he lands himself on this list because of his inconsistent play and the possibility of a hand injury that the Patriots have completely disregarded but anything effecting a throwing hand can throw a Quarterback out of synch. On op of that he faces the second best pass defense in the Steelers whom are allowing just a measly 181 yards a game in the air. Brady jus hasn’t been “Brady!” this season.
Honorable Mentions: Joe Flacco vs. CLE, Ryan Tannehill vs. Cincinnati, Geno Smith vs. New Orleans
Josh McCown: The Packer’s pass defense has not been strong this season, coming in at 21st in the league allowing 247.6 yards a game in the air. McCown came in for Cutler, after a first half Groin injury against the Redskins will sideline Cutler for 4 weeks, and immediately took the reigns of the offense completing 70% of his passes for 204 yards and a touchdown posting an impressive 94.6 QBR. If McCown can complete a high percentage again he should have a good week with weapons like Martellus Bennett, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte.
Honorable Mentions: Case Keenum vs. Indianapolis, Nick Foles vs. Oakland
-Alex LeMere ( @merekatkat)