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Week 3 Injury Update

September 28, 2009 1 comment

Here are some key injury updates…

QB Chad Pennington (MIA): Pennington (shoulder) could be done for the year. QB Chad Henne will likely take over, and could be a decent QB2 against favorable matchups. But I would wait and see what he does.

QB Marc Bulger (STL): Bulger (shoulder) could miss some time. If he is out, QB Kyle Boller will start in his place. Boller actually looked alright against GB.

RB Frank Gore (SF): Gore (ankle) could miss a couple weeks. Go get RB Glenn Coffee now.

RB Kevin Smith (DET): It sounds like Smith (shoulder) should be okay, but if you own him, consider adding RB Maurice Morris.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): Westbrook (ankle) missed this week’s game with an ankle injury, and it is not clear when he will be back. Go get RB LeSean McCoy now.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber (thigh) is inactive for the game tonight against CAR. Watch to see how DAL uses RB Felix Jones and RB Tashard Choice tonight, because Barber could miss another game or two.’

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE): Lewis was out this week. RB James Harrison got most of the carries in his absence, with RB James Davis getting some touches, as well. But neither really did much. And I would probably avoid any CLE players for the time being, given their woes on offense.

RB Willie Parker (PIT): Parker (toe) is dealing with a minor case of turf toe, which is a notoriously annoying injury. If Parker misses any time, RB Rashard Mendenhall would get the start. Although he has not looked good and the PIT OL is marginal.

WR Wes Welker (NE): Welker missed his second game in a row. WR Julian Edelman played in his place but did not have another Welker-esque outing. Edelman could be worth a roster spot, though, if Welker misses any more time.

WR Laurent Robinson (STL): Robinson (ankle) is likely done for the year after breaking his lower leg. Which is too bad. He was having a great start to the season. I expect WR Keenan Burton to get some extra looks with Robinson out.

WR Chris Henry (CIN): Henry (thigh) has been battling a leg injury all year, which could explain why he has yet to explode onto the scene like I expected/predicted. Or maybe he is just not going to explode. Either way, while he is slowed by injury, WR Andre Caldwell seems to be getting some extra looks.

Three Losers & a Douchebag

September 14, 2009 1 comment

Each Monday, I will write a post entitled “Three Losers & a Douchebag”, where I will identify “Three Losers” — guys who were likely in your starting lineup and should have played well but failed miserably — and “a Douchebag” — a guy who should not have played well but did (and was likely either on your bench or on your opponent’s starting roster, adding to the pain and annoyance). It has very little (read: absolutely zero) relevance to what may or may not happen next week. Mostly it is just my way of venting.

Three Losers

1. QB Matt Schaub (HOU): I know NYJ has a solid defense. But all you could muster is 166 yards passing, 0 TDs and 1 INT? Painful. Even QB Marc Bulger outscored you in standard leagues. Which is even more painful.

2.WR Andre Johnson (HOU): I suppose it is not surprising to see Johnson on this list considering the day Schaub had. But people obviously expected more from Johnson, who was consistently drafted as a top-3 WR. Unfortunately, he started the season with a 4-catch, 35 yard performance. Which means you would have been better off with WR Kelley Washington (BAL) or WR Bryant Johnson (DET) in your lineup. Ouch.

3. WR Steve Smith (CAR): Smith had 3 catches for 21 yards. Most — okay, all — of this can be blamed on QB Jake Delhomme, who looked awful. Smith did garner 13 looks. But 3 catches and 21 yards is not what people expected out of Smith when they took him as high as they did. Hopefully Delhomme gets his act together, or it is going to be a long season (mostly involving blocking) for Smith.

And a Douchebag

WR Brandon Stokley (DEN): Seriously — WTF? You had zero catches until the pass intended for WR Brandon Marshall was tipped and miraculously landed in your hands. Then you took the ball and ran for a TD, giving you 1 catch for 87 yards and a TD on the day. Which is worth 14.7 points. You went from zero to 14.7 points in a matter of seconds. And the play won DEN the game. There are more than a few games out there who’s outcome was determined by this unbelievable turn of events.

Week 14: QB Rankings

December 4, 2008 Leave a comment

So, I am going to try something new. I have never done rankings before, because, well, they take time. And I get paid by the hour. But it’s not to do this. Either way, I thought I would give it a shot, since everyone else seems to do it. And in reality, the start/sit recommendations do not give you much. Because what you really need to know is who to pick between two or three guys, and if they all appear on the start (or sit) list, you have learned nothing. So, here is my first stab at QB rankings (this list does not include Rivers or Russell, who played on Thursday night):

  1. Kurt Warner (ARI) @ STL
  2. Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. HOU
  3. Drew Brees (NO) vs. ATL
  4. Jay Cutler (DEN) vs. KC
  5. Peyton Manning (IND) vs. CIN
  6. Matt Cassel (NE) @ SEA
  7. Tyler Thigpen (KC) @ DEN
  8. Matt Ryan (ATL) @ NO
  9. Eli Manning (NYG) vs. PHI
  10. Chad Pennington (MIA) @ BUF
  11. Brett Favre (NYJ) @ SF
  12. Gus Frerotte (MIN) @ DET
  13. Kyle Orton (CHI) vs. JAX
  14. Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. WAS
  15. Tony Romo (DAL) @ PIT
  16. Donovan McNabb (PHI) @ NYG
  17. Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) @ IND
  18. Matt Schaub (HOU) @ GB
  19. Shaun Hill (SF) vs. NYJ
  20. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. DAL
  21. Kerry Collins (TEN) vs. CLE
  22. Marc Bulger (STL) vs. ARI
  23. David Garrard (JAX) @ CHI
  24. Jeff Garcia (TB) @ CAR
  25. Jake Delhomme (CAR) vs. TB
  26. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) vs. NE
  27. Jason Campbell (WAS) @ BAL
  28. JP Losman (BUF) vs. MIA
  29. Daunte Culpepper (DET) vs. MIN
  30. Ken Dorsey (CLE) @ TEN

See my RB Rankings and WR Rankings, as well. And let me know what you think.

Week 14: Sit

December 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Here are some players who have less-than-ideal matchups. I would probably sit these guys, unless you have no other (reasonable) options.

QB David Garrard (JAX) @ CHI: Chicago’s pass defense is not that great, but Garrard has just been too inconsistent this year.

QB Daunte Culpepper (DET) vs. MIN: Not even against his former team… Although he did have his best game last year (when he played for the Raiders) against the Dolphins…

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) @ IND: Indy is tough against the pass.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI) @ NYG: The Giants are just too good.

QB Ken Dorsey (CLE) @ TEN: I never thought I would have to actually write that.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) @ GB: He is expected to start, but it’s hard to say how he will play. I would stay away.

QB JP Losman (BUF) vs. MIA: I do think he will connect with Evans on a long TD, but I also think he will connect with a few Dolphins.

QB Shaun Hill (SF) vs. NYJ: I don’t like his chances.

QB Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) vs. NE: Didn’t this guy used to be a Pro Bowler?

QB Marc Bulger (STL) vs. ARI: Not even against Arizona.

QB Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs. DAL: He “tweaked” his knee in practice this week, and simply has not played all that well this year. Dallas is not great on defense, but… well, I don’t really know. I just do not get a good feeling about this one. Which sucks, because I have to start him in one of my leagues…

QB Jason Campbell (WAS) @ BAL: No way.

QB Jake Delhomme (CAR) vs. TB: Tampa may have the most underrated defense in the NFL.

QB Jeff Garcia (TB) @ CAR: Did anyone else get a little creeped out when they watched the highlights on ESPN and saw Garcia slap Chucky on the butt?

RB Cedric Benson (CIN) @ IND: Indy is weak against the run, so if you are desperate, throw him in. But the kid simply is not very good.

RB Jamal Lewis (CLE) @ TEN: No.

RB Reggie Bush (NO) vs. ATL: He has practiced “fully” this week, but I still think he will struggle.

RB Ryan Grant (GB) vs. HOU: I want to say “start” him, but his thumb injury worries me. As does the emergence of RB Brandon Jackson.

RB Ronnie Brown @ BUF: He will do pretty well, but I think (hope?) you have better options.

RB Julius Jones (SEA) vs. NE: No go.

RB Maurice Morris (SEA) vs. NE: Named the starter. Does that even matter?

RB Marion Barber (DAL) vs. PIT: Pittsburgh + Injured toe = Bench.

RB Clinton Portis (WAS) vs. BAL: I love me some Portis (does that sound weird to anyone else?), but this matchup is too tough, especially given his healthy concerns and how poorly the Skins are playing.

RB Willis McGahee (BAL) vs. WAS: I have no idea what is going on in Baltimore.

RB Jonathan Stewart (CAR) vs. TB: Injury issues. Plus the DeAngelo factor.

WR Devin Hester (CHI) vs. JAX: What happened to the most feared return man in football?

WR Chad Johnson (CIN) vs. IND: I still laugh every time I see “Ocho Cinco”…

WR TJ Houshmandzadeh (CIN) vs. IND: Indy is pretty solid aginst the pass.

WR Braylon Edwards (CLE) @ TEN: Never again.

WR Justin Gage (TEN) vs. CLE: They will be running the ball a lot. And you do not get points for blocking.

WR Laveranues Coles (NYJ) @ SF: Too inconsistent.

WR Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) @ SF: See Coles, Laveranues.

WR Wes Welker (NE) @ SEA: He is not listed on the injury report, but I have a hard time believing he will be 100% after the vicious hit he took last week. But if anyone can do it, I suspect it is this guy. So start him at your own risk.

WR Torry Holt (STL) vs. ARI: He is old.

WR Roy E. Williams (DAL) @ PIT: I really thought he would come on in Dallas. But I guess not.

WR Santana Moss (WAS) @ BAL: Tough matchup. And Campbell is not playing well.

WR Mark Clayton (BAL) vs. WAS: Do not let last week fool you. He is having a very average year.

Week 12: Sit

November 20, 2008 Leave a comment

QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. IND: Rivers is good, but Indy allows the least points to fantasy QBs. Start him if you have no other reasonable options, but lower your expectations.

QB Brett Favre (NYJ) @ TEN: Favre has gone two whole games without an INT. So what? He has not played any good defenses lately. But Tennessee is very stout against the pass, so I expect Favre to struggle.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) @ PIT: Pittsburgh is just too good on defense.

QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. CAR: Carolina has a pretty good pass defense, so do not expect much from the rookie.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI) @ BAL: Baltimore is very good on defense, and McNabb has not looked sharp lately. Plus, he might be without Westbrook.

QB Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. PHI: Flacco has been pretty solid lately, but Philly is a tough matchup. He played better than expected last week against a tough Giants defense, but this week is another tough game.

QB Daunte Culpepper (DET) vs. TB: He was a hot waiver wire addition this week, but he has a tough matchup against the Bucs.

Other QBs to sit:
QB Trent Edwards (BUF) @ CLE
QB Marc Bulger (STL) vs. CHI
QB Jamarcus Russell (OAK) @ DEN
QB Jake Delhomme (CAR) @ ATL
QB Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) vs. WAS

RB Tim Hightower (ARI) vs. NYG: The Giants are just too strong upfront.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) vs. TB: I was tempted to suggest starting Smith, who has been playing very well lately. But Tampa Bay is just too solid upfront. Consider him if you have no other options.

RB Cedric Benson (CIN) @ PIT: Yeah, right.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI) @ BAL: There are concerns about Westbrook being injured, and despite what the Giants did last week, it is very tough to run on the Ravens. Similarly, if Westbrook cannot go, RB Correll Buckhalter makes a poor start.

RB Willis McGahee (BAL), RB Ray Rice (BAL) vs. PHI: Just as it will be tough sledding for the Philly RBs, it will be a rough day for the Ravens RBs, whichever one ends up getting the start.

RB Thomas Jones (NYJ) @ TEN: Jones has been playing well lately, but Tennessee is very solid upfront. Look for him to struggle.

RB Michael Turner (ATL) vs. CAR: Turner has not put up good yardage totals lately, but he has been saved by scoring TDs. I think this week, he will fail to reach the endzone, and also struggle to put up yards.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX), RB Fred Taylor (JAX) vs. MIN: Until the Williams boys are suspended, Minnesota will remain nearly impossible to run on.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG) @ ARI: There are rumors going around that Jacobs has a sore knee and might sit this weekend. Arizona is pretty tough against the run, and given the concerns about Jacobs’ knee, I would bench him, unless you have no other options.

Other RBs to sit:
RB Julius Jones (SEA) vs. WAS
RB Reggie Bush (NO) vs. GB
(I like the matchup, but not sure if he is healthy)
RB Larry Johnson (KC) vs. BUF
RB Steven Jackson (STL) vs. CHI
(already ruled out)
RB Antonio Pittman (STL) vs. CHI

WR Chris Chambers (SD), WR Vincent Jackson (SD) vs. IND: Indy gives up the least amount of points to fantasy WRs.

WR Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ), WR Laveranues Coles (NYJ) @ TEN: Tennessee is just too tough for me to recommend either.

WR Chad Johnson (CIN) @ PIT: Johnson was suspended for this week;’s game by the team.

WR DeSean Jackson (PHI) @ BAL: Baltimore is too tough against the pass to recommend starting the rookie.

WR Calvin Johnson (DET) vs. TB: Johnson has been doing well this season despite all the QB issues. I think this week, however, he will struggle.

Other WRs to bench:
WR Marques Colston (NO) vs. GB
WR Donte’ Stallworth (CLE) vs. HOU
WR Lee Evans (BUF) @ KC
WR Matt Jones (JAX) vs. MIN

Week 9: Start

October 30, 2008 3 comments

Here are some players who have good matchups this week (in no particular order). I recommend starting these players, unless it means benching one of your studs.

QB Trent Edwards (BUF): The Jets allowed QB Tyler Thigpen to throw for 280 yards last week. Look for Edwards to bounce back after a down game against Miami.

QB Kyle Orton (CHI): Orton wins the fantasy football version of the lottery this week, as he gets to play the Detroit Lions. The Lions give up an average of 17 points to fantasy QBs, and Orton should easily reach that mark.

QB David Garrard (JAX): The Bengals cannot stop anyone. And Garrard is starting to play well.

QB Jeff Garcia (TB): Garcia is playing well right now, and the Chiefs present a very favorable matchup.

QB Matt Schaub (HOU): Schaub is on fire right now and should continue to perform well against the Vikings, who are tough against the run but vulnerable against the pass. They will not be able to stop Andre Johnson.

QB Marc Bulger (STL): The Cardinals can definitely be beat through the air.

QB Kurt Warner (ARI): At this point, he is a must-start fantasy QB. He should torch the St. Louis secondary, which gives up over 250 passing yards per game.

QB Aaron Rodgers (GB): Okay, full disclosure: I am a huge Packers fan, and I think the Packers are going to beat the Titans. But my unbiased advice is to start Rodgers. The Titans are very tough, but as we saw last week with Peyton Manning, QBs can throw TDs against them. Rodgers has been playing very well this year and I think he will have a good day.

QB Chad Pennington (MIA): Denver is awful against the pass, and Champ Bailey is out.

QB Jay Cutler (DEN): There are some concerns about his hand, but he should be healthy after the bye week, and Miami is a very favorable matchup.

QB Jamarcus Russell (OAK): Russell is a sleeper this week. He plays an Atlanta defense that gives up an average of 14.3 fantasy points per week to QBs, and he gets them at home. He is worth a start if you are in need of a QB.

QB Donovan McNabb (PHI): McNabb has been playing very well this year and Seattle should not present much of a problem for him.

RB Matt Forte (CHI): Detroit is simply awful on defense. Forte should have a huge day.

RB Earnest Graham (TB): KC gives up nearly 200 rushing yards and 2 TDs per game. Graham should have a big day.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU): Slaton has slowed down a little lately, and he faces a very tough Minnesota run defense. However, he should still be involved in the passing game, which makes him worth a start.

RB Adrian Peterson (MIN): Houston has given up the second-most rushing TDs per game other than KC this year. So Peterson is in line for a pretty big day, particularly since the Vikings will likely have to score a bunch to keep up with Houston’s offense.

RB Tim Hightower (ARI): St. Louis gives up 1.6 rushing TDs per game, and I expect the Cardinals to score quite a bit in this game. So unless they are all on long passes to Fitzgerald and Boldin, Hightower should get a couple chances to cross the goal line.

RB Chris Johnson (TEN): The Packers have struggled to stop the run this year, so expect the Titans to give Johnson plenty of opportunities to rack up yards.

RB LenDale White (TEN): Although I doubt he will get many yards, he will almost certainly have a score or two. The Packers are soft against the run, so the Titans will likely look to White when they get inside the 5 yard line.

RB Ronnie Brown (MIA): Denver is the second friendliest fantasy defense to RBs behind KC. So Brown (and even RB Ricky Williams) are attractive plays this week.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG): Dallas seems like they should be so much better on defense, but they have not been very strong. I expect the Giants to use Jacobs often, to wear the Cowboys down and simply dominate them in the trenches.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): He is a must-start, even though it is not a favorable matchup and the QB situation is still shaky.

RB Michael Turner (ATL): I am not a huge Turner fan, but this is a favorable matchup. And it may be your last chance to start him for awhile, so take advantage of it.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI): He is a must-start and should have a huge day against Seattle.

RB Clinton Portis (PIT): Portis has another tough matchup, but he is an absolute stud this year, so you have to start him, even though he is banged up.

WR Brandon Lloyd (CHI): Lloyd is expected to return to action this week, and has a very friendly matchup against Detroit, who gives up the most fantasy points to WRs. Be sure to check his status before the game, but if he is ready, he is definitely a sleeper.

WR Matt Jones (JAX): Jones might be suspended soon, but as long as he can play this weekend, he is worth starting. The Bengals give up a lot of points to fantasy WRs.

WR Antonio Bryant (TB): He plays Kansas City.

WR Andre Johnson (HOU): He is the hottest WR in fantasy right now, so do not even think about benching him.

WR Kevin Walter (HOU): Walter is probably worth a start this week, too. Johnson will get all the attention, which should open things up for Walter.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI): He is a must-start no matter what.

WR Anquan Boldin (ARI): He showed last week that he is healthy and is a must-start.

WR Donnie Avery (STL): Avery is on a hot streak right now, and it should continue agianst Arizona, who gives up the most passing TDs of any team in the NFL (although that is somewhat skewed due to Favre’s 6 TD performance early in the year).

WR Greg Jennings (GB): Tennessee is very tough, but Jennings is very good. I think Rodgers will find Jennings for a TD.

WR Brandon Marshall (DEN): Never bench him.

WR Eddie Royal (DEN): Maimi gives up the second-most fantasy points to WRs after Detroit. Marshall and Royal should both have big days.

WR Plaxico Burress (NYG): The Cowboys are reeling right now and Plaxico should be able to take advantage of their depleted secondary.

WR Roddy White (ATL): He has burned me too many times. I will never recommend sitting him. Plus, his name is “Roddy”. You gotta love that. UPDATE: As I said, I cannot recommend benching Roddy. But do keep this in mind: White will likely be covered by Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha. And through 7 games this year, no opposing QB has thrown to a WR covered by Asomugha more than 2 times. Asomugha has only been throw at 12 times the entire year. QBs simply do not throw to the guys he is covering, because he is too good. I am sure the Falcons will use different formations to try and get different matchups for White, but with Asomugha covering him, I would not expect a big day.

WR DeSean Jackson (PHI): Seattle is not very good. Which means Jackson should be able to get free and possibly score a long TD. WR Kevin Curtis is a sleeper, as well.

WR Randy Moss (NE): Indianapolis is actually pretty solid against the pass, but I think Moss will have a good day. QB Mat Cassel is looking more and more comfortable each week, and I thin Moss will get his catches against the Colts.

TE Robert Royal (BUF): If you are desperate for a TE this week, try Royal. The Jets give up the second-most fantasy points to TEs.

TE Greg Olsen (CHI): Olsen is starting to play well, and has a great matchup this week against Detroit. Everyone wins when the Lions are in town!

TE Donald Lee (GB): Lee is definitely a sleeper this week. The Titans are generally rock-solid on denfese, but they appear to be vulnerable over the middle. Last week, Colts TE Dallas Clark had 97 yards and 2 TDs. And the Titans give up the 9th most fantasy points to TEs. I think Rodgers will look to Lee more than ususal this week.

TE David Martin, TE Anthony Fasano (MIA): Denver is soft on defense all around, so the Miami TEs make a pretty good play. However, since both see a fair amount of action, it is hard to say which one will have a better day. I would go with Martin, personally, but that is just a hunch.

TE Zach Miller (OAK): I like Miller, but he has not really performed that well this year. But he has a favorable matchup this week against the Falcons.

TE John Carlson (SEA): Carlson was hot early but has cooled off a little. He has a good matchup this week, though, so if you are looking for TE help, try him.

TE Dallas Clark (IND): Do not expect a repeat of his 97-yard, 2 TD performance last week, but he should have a good day against the Patriots.