Chris Johnson has had a season to forget thus far after holding out throughout the preseason in order to sign a lucrative contract extension with the Titans. The situation has become so bad for his fantasy owners that I would recommend benching him until he shows signs of life. It's hard to believe that he couldn't get any type of a decent performance last week against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and even his own coaching staff in Tennessee turned to Javon Ringer late in the game to carry the load. He's been the biggest bust in fantasy this season and, while I own him in two different leagues, I feel more comfortable starting Jackie Battle at this point than I do CJ2K.
GOOD MATCH UPS
Eli Manning vs. Patriots defense: The Patriots pass defense continued their poor play last week, allowing Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 365 yards and two touchdowns. It's bad news for New England fans but good news for Eli Manning's fantasy owners as the odds of the Patriots suddenly figuring out how to defend the pass seem slim. Eli could be in for his best fantasy day of the season this week.
Beanie Wells vs. Rams defense: There have been all kinds of reports surfacing about the condition of Beanie Wells' knee in recent weeks. The fact is that Wells turned in a good fantasy outing against one of the league's best run defenses last week and he'll now be rewarded with the tasty treat of facing the St. Louis Rams' league-worst run defense. Banged up or not, Beanie has produced when he's played and he should be in starting lineups this week as long as he's healthy enough to go.
NOT SO GOOD MATCH UPS
Ryan Torain vs. 49ers defense: Torain was brutal last week against a below average Bills run defense and now he'll face the top run defense in the NFL when the Redskins play the 49ers this week. Add to the mix the fact that Washington claimed Tashard Choice off of waivers this week with the chance he could see playing time against San Francisco and Torain should be nowhere near your fantasy lineup this week.
Rashard Mendenhall vs. Ravens defense: It's been a long season for owners of Mendenhall. The Steelers running back had a decent game against the Patriots last week, rushing for 70 yards (his second highest total of the season) while catching three passes for 22 yards. This week, however, he'll face a much more difficult Ravens run defense that has allowed just 89 yards rushing per game this season, third best in the league. Mendenhall should be on fantasy benches this week.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
Lance Moore, WR, Saints: Moore hauled in eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in the Saints surprising loss to the previously winless Rams last week. He's been targeted more times this season than wide receivers like Sidney Rice, and Dez Bryant but hasn't been consistent enough to be a good fantasy start on a regular basis. He can, however, be a good start depending on his matchup that week if you're in need of a bye week fill-in.
Teams on bye this week: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, Minnesota
Kyle Mulligan is a contributing sports writer for the Observer. He welcomes your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.