One of the most difficult things to do in fantasy football is judge whether or not a player you drafted who has underperformed to this point is a bust or is about to bust out. There are plenty of owners out there right now debating whether or not they need to trade guys like Rashard Mendenhall or Chris Johnson while they can still get something for them. It's a tough decision that could either go down as the one that brought you a fantasy championship or the one regret you'll be talking about for years to come.
GOOD MATCH UPS
Dez Bryant/Miles Austin vs. Patriots defense: Even though New England managed to hold the Jets passing attack in check last week, they still rank as the worst pass defense in the NFL. Bryant and Austin have battled injuries this season but both are expected to be healthy and to play against a Patriots secondary that doesn't have a great chance of containing one, let alone both playmaking receivers this week. Look for both to have solid games with a good chance that one of them puts on a show.
James Starks vs. Rams defense: Starting Starks in your lineups this week is a bigger gamble than I would normally recommend, especially with Ryan Grant back in the fold. But with Starks getting almost twice as many carries as Grant last week against Atlanta, it seems as though he is the more trustworthy of the two backs right now and the one you'll want starting when the Packers take on the worst run defense in the NFL this week, the St. Louis Rams.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Brandon Marshall vs. Jets defense: Despite playing for one of the worst offenses in the league, Marshall has remained an every-week starter for fantasy teams at WR. It remains to be seen how he'll connect with Miami's new QB Matt Moore, but it would probably be a wise decision to sit Marshall this week against the Jets with shutdown corner Darrelle Revis drawing the defensive assignment.
Steven Jackson vs. Packers defense: Jackson has been banged up all season and the fact that he hasn't managed more than 56 yards rushing in the games he has played in helps to illustrate that. The packers have been one of the top run defenses in the league, allowing just 76 rushing yards per game this season so there's no reason to think Jackson will have a breakout performance this week, assuming he can even carry a full workload.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks: When Baldwin hauled in four catches for 83 yards and a TD in week one against the 49ers, nobody really thought twice about it -- just a guy with a fluky game against a subpar San Francisco defense. Baldwin predictably returned to Earth, snatching just three passes for a total of 27 yards over the next two weeks. But since then, Baldwin has 13 catches for 220 yards and a TD in the past two weeks. It might be time to take him seriously, even if he is a bit inconsistent.
Teams on bye this week: Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, Tennessee
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.