Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
As you all know, last week the Panthers were able to pull out a 38-35 victory over the Giants on a Graham Gano game-winning field goal after blowing a huge lead. They're set to travel for another road game against the Falcons as they continue their pursuit for a perfect season. With a win, Carolina will claim home-field advantage in the playoffs. These teams played two weeks ago, which Carolina won by a score of 38-0.
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-10)
The Steelers were able to score a big victory over the Denver Broncos last week to keep pace in the AFC Wild Card race with the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets. Pittsburgh will aim for its 11th straight victory in the month of December. Ben Roethlisberger has passed the ball sensationally this season, racking up six games with more than 350 yards through the air. Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is just the second player ever to have three straight seasons with at least 110 receptions. He had 16 receptions and two touchdowns in the win against the Broncos. As for the Ravens, they've been riddled by injuries, with starters Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett and Steve Smith Sr. out for the season. One player to watch on Baltimore's banged-up offense is Kamar Aiken, who has over 800 receiving yards and is becoming a consistent big play threat for the Ravens.
Dallas Cowboys (4-10) at Buffalo Bills (6-8)
Both of these teams have underachieved this season, and the Cowboys offense has looked lost without starting quarterback Tony Romo. Buffalo's defense has been inconsistent all year, not being as effective as analysts projected going into the season. Each team will face many questions going into the offseason.
San Francisco 49ers (4-10) at Detroit Lions (5-9)
These teams face a similar fate as the Cowboys and Bills -- the need to address lots of questions. For the 49ers, the dearth of talent due to retirements was documented during the offseason. But during the year, quarterback Colin Kaepernick lost his starting job, and the big extension he signed isn't looking pretty. As for the Lions, they started off the season terribly, but bounced back for a few weeks until cooling down again during the past couple weeks. A lot of their questions seem to stem from coaching and whether or not Jim Caldwell can be the coach to guide them back to the playoffs one day.
Cleveland Browns (3-11) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
The Browns are a mess, after two players were arrested on Christmas morning. That's not going to help spread holiday cheer. As for the Chiefs, they've won eight straight games and are looking like a locomotive geared straight to the playoffs. Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, who leads NFL rookies with 7 interceptions (tied for second most overall in NFL) is one of the dark horses for Rookie of the Year.
Indianapolis Colts (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (5-9)
The Colts lost a crucial game last week to the division-leading Houston Texans that may have put the nail in the coffin for their season. The offense has stagnated without starting quarterback Andrew Luck. For the Dolphins, their offense has been boom or bust as well, but Jarvis Landry has emerged as a breakout star in the league. He has 97 receptions on the season, and has the chance to become the first Dolphin to have 100 receptions in a season.
New England Patriots (12-2) at New York Jets (9-5)
The Jets are in the middle of the Wild Card race but would be on the outside looking in if the playoffs started today due to tiebreakers, so this game against their arch rival is a must-win. In their last matchup, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 355 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. New England isn't nearly as healthy as they were earlier in the season, but as long as they have Brady, this will be a fight to the last second.
Houston Texans (7-7) at Tennessee Titans (3-11)
The Texans will start Brandon Weeden at quarterback, while Zack Mettenberger will get the nod for the Titans. If you have any of the team's running backs on your fantasy squad, it might be the week to play them.
Chicago Bears (5-9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)
Jay Cutler has won all three of his career starts against Tampa Bay, so that may lend good fortune to Bears fans today. But on the other side, Jameis Winston has performed well. Last week, the rookie threw for a career-high 363 yards, and he is one of four rookie quarterbacks to ever throw for at least 3,000 yards, 20 passing touchdowns and rush for another five.
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) at New Orleans Saints (5-9)
If you're looking for offense, this is the game to watch. Blake Bortles has thrown for a club record 31 touchdowns this year for the Jaguars. Rookie running back T.J. Yeldon leads AFC rookies with 740 rushing yards. The "Allen Brothers," Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, have combined for more than 2,000 receiving yards. The Saints have a porous pass defense, so starting Jaguars for fantasy playoff implications could be a wise decision.
Green Bay Packers (10-4) at Arizona Cardinals (12-2)
Really, this should be the Sunday Night Football game. This contest could be a precursor for a potential playoff clash. The Cardinals will look to secure a bye week by beating the Packers tonight. The Arizona defense has been menacing all year, but lost star safety Tyrann Mathieu to a torn ACL last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. The aerial showdown between Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers will be fun to watch.
St. Louis Rams (6-8) at Seattle Seahawks (9-5)
Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley is just the third rookie in team history to rush for over 1,000 yards, after Hall of Famers Ed Dickerson and Jerome Bettis. Not bad company. The Seahawks defense will likely put their focus on him, while quarterback Russell Wilson will look to keep the offense chugging without Jimmy Graham, Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls. Doug Baldwin has been a touchdown machine recently, and is a must have in all fantasy leagues.