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Blogging The Boys is blogging some fantasy.
QB Tony Romo – In each of the last two weeks, Romo has thrown for 255 yards and no touchdowns. Last week against the Broncos, an INT and a lost fumble added insult to injury for Romo owners. This week, he will face the 28th-ranked passing defense in the Chiefs. All signs point to this being the game for Romo to break out of his funk – well…maybe not all signs. WR Roy Williams is doubtful due to some cartilage damage he suffered from stretching out for one of Romo’s high throws.
The Dallas coaches would love to go into their Week 6 bye with a 3-2 record. What could be of even greater significance is if they could do so by putting their signal-caller in a position to have a breakthrough game. This funk of Romo’s has to end sometime. Playing the 0-4 Chiefs should help. Rumors from Valley Ranch suggest that Romo has been trying too hard to play “under control”. Expect him to loosen back up to his old gun-slinging ways.
The Cowboys’ offense took no shots down the field last week. No way that happens two weeks in a row.
RBs Marion Barber, Tashard Choice – Barber (quad) was still listed as probable this week, but he practiced fully and should revert back to his barbarian-style running. The Chiefs allow 128.5 rushing yards per game. Dallas’ big offensive line has paved the way for a per game rushing average of 163.8 yards. This could end up being a huge game for Barber. It’s not too far of a stretch to think he could have more than 100 total yards and a score or two.
The only thing that could take away from Barber this week is how the Cowboys utilize Tashard Choice. Because Felix Jones will more than likely miss his second straight game, Choice will be the only other runner the team fields. He already gets the majority of the 3rd-down snaps, which is a little bit of a bonus for PPR leagues. Even if Barber’s quad is at 100%, Choice could easily see 40% of the carries. If Dallas rests Barber, Choice is the man.
WRs Patrick Crayton – Crayton moves into the number one position because Roy Williams is highly doubtful for this game. Crayton is a do-everything guy for the Cowboys. He returns punts, which helps in leagues that give points for return yards. He often gets in on one end-around or reverse per game, and is good for about four catches. Without Williams in the lineup and if Romo attacks the Chiefs’ secondary, Crayton’s catches could be up more towards 8-10 balls.
Miles Austin, Sam Hurd, and maybe even rookie Kevin Ogletree (if activated) are also in the mix to pick up the slack. Austin would get the start opposite Crayton and could pull in a big play or two like he did in Week 1 against the Buccaneers.
Overall, the Dallas WRs are risky starts. They will continue to be so until Romo and the rest of the offense consistently puts more points on the board (just 24 offensive points in the last two games).
TEs Jason Witten – Denver did an excellent job in bracketing Witten all game. He finished with 4 catches for 31 yards. That is a darn good Mile High defense. The one in Arrowhead Stadium? Not so much. Expect Romo to feed Witten the ball early and often.
K Nick Folk – Dallas should be able to put up some points on the board against the Chiefs. Folk is a solid start this week.
Cowboys D/ST – Slowly, but surely, this unit continues to improve. They have held opponents to under 20 points per game. The pass rush is improving (3 sacks @ Denver) and DeMarcus Ware forced a fumble in last week’s game.
Where’s Ware? Everybody seems to be asking that. This has to be the week Ware gets a sack. He’s more than hungry; his stomach is growling. Combine that with LB Keith Brooking’s lights-out leadership in the middle and CB Mike Jenkins’ improved play, and the Cowboys defense could really do some damage this week.
Head over to Blogging The Boys for Cowboys coverage.
The news in San Fran is Crabtree, Niners Nation tells all.
The biggest fantasy news for the 49ers is of course the signing of Michael Crabtree. First off, you need to know that he will NOT be playing this week. The 49ers get a 2-week roster exemption, and with a bye week next week, they’re going to wait on playing him until week 7 at Houston. For those in one and done leagues, Crabtree is no more than an occasional bye week spot start, if even that. Given that he’s in what is essentially his training camp, I wouldn’t expect much production from him until November at the earliest, and even then don’t expect a lot. On to this week.
The 49ers defense remains the best start on the 49ers. I have them in another league and over the last two weeks, they’ve scored 4 touchdowns and a combined 50 or so points. Even when they give up a good number of points (as they did at Minnesota), they force turnovers which are always huge for fantasy defenses. I think they remain an every week start no matter who they’re facing.
This week the 49ers offense gets a bit of a break against a Falcons defense that is not that solid. The safest bet to put up decent points on the 49ers is TE Vernon Davis. Davis is fast approaching start every week status. He and Shaun Hill seem to have some solid chemistry, particularly in the red zone. Davis is the best red zone threat on the 49ers offense so roll with it.
Josh Morgan had his first solid performance of the season last week, so he might be worth rolling out if you’ve got a bad bye week at wide receiver. He hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant general starting status, but I think he could prove to be a spot starter with big upside.
Joe Nedney will continue to be a very solid start each week at kicker. The 49ers offense stalls out a lot and Nedney is fairly money. Of course, last week proved home games at Candlestick Park (as will be the case this week), can be tough on kickers as Nedney doinked one off the upright. Other than that though, Nedney is a safe play.
Niners Nation nailing down all the Niners news.
Revenge of the Birds breaks it down out in the desert.
Kurt Warner: There are two things to worry about this week with Warner, Mario Williams and the Texan’s ninth ranked passing defense. So far the Texans are allowing just over 200 yards per game through the air and they haven’t allowed a passing touchdown in two weeks. With all of that being said so far they’ve faced a rookie (Mark Sanchez) and three teams that simply can’t move the ball through the air. Warner and company will be the biggest test for this Texans defense and the game will be in Arizona where Warner was simply amazing last year (17 TDs and an average of 292 yards per game).
Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin: If they’re on your roster, they should be in your starting line up every single week.
Tim Hightower and/or Beanie Wells: If you’re still holding onto either of these guys don’t hold your breath this week. Neither has distinguished himself from the other and there aren’t enough carries to split between two backs in this offense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beanie get the majority of the carries this week but Hightower will still play on third downs and either one of them could be on the field around the goal line.
For all the Cardinals news that’s fit to print, visit Revenge of the Birds.
Cutting through the clutter, Cincy Jungle on the Bengals.
Carson Palmer – In his past eight starts, Palmer hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards passing and he’s recorded multiple scores in only three of those games. If you time travel further back to Palmer’s last 14 starts, he’s thrown for over 300 yards once with multiple touchdown passes in five; ironically, he’s been shutout in five games. Even though the Bengals have beaten Baltimore in three of his past four starts, Palmer is averaging less than a touchdown per game. If you have a better option, take it. Palmer will just win the football game, not the fantasy football leaderboard.
Cedric Benson – Dating back to December 12, 2008, Cedric Benson has led the NFL with 649 yards rushing on 147 attempts. During that six game stretch, Benson has recorded only three rushing touchdowns; two of them coming through the first four games this season. Aside from his 141-yard rushing performance against the Green bay Packers, Benson is averaging roughly 18 carries for 75 yards rushing. Futhermore, the Baltimore Ravens haven’t given up a 100-yard rusher for 39 straight games – longest active streak in the NFL.
Chad Ochocinco – The date is December 5, 2004. This is the last time that Chad Ochocinco recorded 100 yards or more receiving against the Baltimore Ravens. Eight games have passed and he’s only scored twice since. But it’s not like he’s struggled. He’s recorded more than 80 yards receiving in four of those games and even topped 90 yards twice. Still, it would seem unlikely that Chad breaks out against Baltimore, considering that Chad has recorded eight receptions for 78 yards in his past two games combined.
Bengals defense – Since the Bengals only recorded two sacks against the Cleveland Browns, they’ve fallen to fourth in the NFL with 12 quarterback sacks. Johnathan Joseph recorded his second interception of the season and Robert Geathers returned a fumble 75 yards for a touchdown last week. While the Bengals are impressively strong, they’re still not opportunistic with turnovers.
Cincy Jungle has all the goods on the rejuvenated Bengals.
Silver and Black Pride says: Don’t play any Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders saunter into the Meadowlands with all the “Verve” of the roadkill on Highway 4. Nobody is giving them a chance to do anything against a pumped up defense that will stack the box against the hapless raider offense.
This is supposed to be Michael Bush’s coming out party. He will be the featured back for the first time in his career here. Unfortunately for him, he is facing a tough run defense, his O-line is running on two cylinders and his full-back is out.
Keepin’ it real about the Raiders is Silver and Black Pride.
Baltimore Beatdown on the Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals in a fight for the lead in the AFC North. RB Willis McGahee continues to impress, scoring his league leading 7th TD last week in the team’s loss to the Patriots. He’s not getting the rushing yards, as nobody is getting the rock other than Ray Rice, but the team’s emphasis has been on the passing game. QB Joe Flacco continues to be a decent play as he has been lights out this season, although his receivers have been getting a split share of the ball. Defensively, I wouldn’t bail on the Ravens, especially at home, where they usually shine when defending their turf.
Ravens coverage at Baltimore Beatdown.
A short report from Cat Scratch Reader.
Both RB DeAngelo Williams and WR Steve Smith are good plays this week. My prediction is 80 yds and a TD for Williams and 120 yards for Smith.
If you are in need of a bye week replacement, both RB Jonathan Stewart and TE Dante Rosario might be good plays as well. I expect the Panthers to run the ball a lot meaning a respectable amount of yardage. Stewart will probably get any goal line carries. Rosario may continue to benefit from the Smith double teams being the only real downfield threat beyond Smith.
Cat Scratch Reader covers the Panthers.
Pride of Detroit takes on Detroit’s fantasy situation, but the availability of Matthew Stafford is still up in the air.
QB Matthew Stafford – Chances are Stafford isn’t in your starting lineup anyway, but just in case he is, I am warning you to move him to the bench. It doesn’t look like he will play on Sunday after suffering a knee injury last week, and even if he ended up playing he would probably suffer a beating at the hands of the Steelers defense.
RB Kevin Smith – Despite being listed as questionable against Chicago, Smith played and scored a pair of touchdowns. His overall production was not very good, as the Lions struggled to run the ball effectively all game long, but he still reached the end zone twice. He will go up against a tough Steelers defense this week and is still a bit banged up, but if you need a starting running back, Smith shouldn’t be too bad of an option.
WR Calvin Johnson – Megatron suffered an injury against the Bears, but it looks like he will play on Sunday. Considering Daunte Culpepper is probably going to get the start, Johnson’s numbers could see an increase this week. I say that because Culpepper seems to like to lob the ball downfield in the direction of Calvin, hoping he will simply out-jump the person covering him. We saw that quite a bit when Culpepper played last year, and I expect we will see a few bombs on Sunday.
Pride of Detroit is all over the rebounding Lions.
Turf Show Times reminds us that the Rams fantasy selections are meager.
It’s a tough week to recommend anybody from the St. Louis Rams for your fantasy lineup. The Rams play the Minnesota Vikings this week, and it’s one of the best overall defenses they’ll see this year. RB Steven Jackson is a good bet for 20+ carries, but with Jason Smith not starting on the offensive line I question whether or not Jackson can rack up 100 yards. A touchdown almost seems out of the question based on the stagnant play of the rest of the Rams offense.
With a capable guy like Jackson, you can usually throw the Rams kicker, Josh Brown, into the mix for a decent fantasy option. Not this year. So far, the Rams have hit just 1 of 4 field goals. They do play at the Dome this week, which is a bit more favorable than the windy fields up and down the West Coast, but the offense will likely need to collect more than three points at a time.
The Rams have quickly become one of those teams you generally avoid in fantasy play, especially this week. On the flip side of that, it’s probably a great week to play any Vikings you might have on your roster.
Turf Show Times has the Rams covered.
The Colts are red-hot this year, and as Stampede Blue points out, they have plenty of fantasy stars.
QB Peyton Manning: The man is on fire, throwing for 300 yards in four consecutive games. The common knowledge is to sit Manning because he is heading to rival Tennessee this Sunday night to take on the Titans, but even last year (while still nursing an injured knee) Peyton played well at Tennessee. The Titans could be missing two starters in their secondary, and their pass defense is ranked 31st in the league.
WR Pierre Garcon: Look for the Colts to challenge the Titans injured secondary with the big play, and for three weeks now the “big play guy” for Indy has been Garcon. He stretches the field with his speed, and he is physical enough to fight for extra yards after the catch.
WR Reggie Wayne: For the same reason you’d likely want to start Garcon, the Titans sport a very good run defense. This means the Colts erratic running attack will likely not get much on the ground. Peyton Manning will then look for his favorite receiver, Reggie Wayne. Wayne is the best WR in the AFC right now with 399 yards and 3 TDs in four games. He is also averaging 15 yards a catch, and is playing a battered Titans pass defense Sunday night.
Follow all Colts news, everyday, at Stampede Blue.
The Eagles are back after a week off, meaning players got healthy. Bleeding Green Nation has the scoop.
QB Donovan McNabb – Probably 2 or 3 weeks away from his week one rib injury being fully healed, but he will play this weekend and against Tampa he’s a no-brainer to start. With backup QB Kevin Kolb throwing for over 300 yards in two straight games as well as 4TDs, McNabb should be a good fantasy play taking over the Eagles offense.
RB Brian Westbrook – He will also return after missing the last game, so he would be a smart start… but rookie RB LeSean McCoy is likely to get a good amount of carries after his impression showing last week.
WR Desean – In the last game, Jackson became the first player in NFL history to have a 60+ yard TD in each of his first 3 games. He’s an obvious start.
TE Brent Celek – Celek is emerging as a real playmaker for the Eagles. Despite playing one less game than most top TEs (thanks to the Eagles’ early bye). Celek is still at or near the top of every statistical category among TEs. Kevin Kolb seemed to look his way more often than usual, so he may not get targeted quite as much with McNabb back… but he’s still put up big number the last 3 or 4 games he’s played with McNabb (stretching back to last year). So at this point it looks like Celek is a guy you want to start every week.
If the Red Cross says your blood is too green, head over to Bleeding Green Nation.
The Chiefs are struggling, but we turn to Arrowhead Pride to see if they have fantasy value this weekend.
Matt Cassel – Again, Matt Cassel probably isn’t the best fantasy play. The Chiefs defense is liable to give up a good chunk of points against the Cowboys, which would put Cassel in position to be throwing the ball more often. If that happens, then expect similar numbers: 200 yards and a touchdown. Good but not great numbers.
Larry Johnson – Is he even an option anymore? LJ had four good games in 2008 and has yet to post a fantasy breakout game in 2009. The Cowboys have been inconsistent against the rush this season holding the run-heavy Panthers to 73 yards while giving up 174 to the Bucs. Until further notice, LJ stays on the bench.
Dwayne Bowe – He’s not a bad play this week. All the Chiefs offensive touchdowns have come via the pass this season and Bowe has caught two of them. He’ll give you a solid day, 50-75 yards and a touchdown.
Chiefs Defense - They’re really hit-or-miss. Tony Romo has been inconsistent, so if he’s not on his game then look for a couple of turnovers. But if he gets rolling, then it could be another long day for this defense.
Arrowhead Pride keeps the fires burning for the Chiefs.
Breaking it down for the Bills, Buffalo Rumblings.
Trent Edwards – Edwards was a fringe fantasy starter at QB (and he was definitely there in two-QB leagues) after two strong games to start the season. In his last two games… not so much. Edwards has thrown four interceptions in Buffalo’s last two losses (to just one touchdown), and he’s averaging a paltry 174 yards per game. But you’re thinking “Uh, Brian, it’s Cleveland!”, right? Well, Trent got picked off three times in a single quarter by those ever-stingy Browns last season. Buffalo will have chances to make big plays through the air this week, but considering Edwards’ recent struggles, I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole. Sit ‘Em
Fred Jackson – He’ll remain Buffalo’s “starting” running back for the foreseeable future. He’ll see a lot of playing time. But his workload will undoubtedly be reduced now that a certain suspended running back is no longer suspended. Jackson has been a fantasy mainstay early in the season; while he may be slipping from that status, he’s got a good matchup this weekend, and is a must-start in PPR leagues. Start ’Em in PPR, Consider as Flex in all other leagues.
Marshawn Lynch - His return to the lineup came at the cost of a fully effective Jackson, with less than a yard per carry from Lynch himself, and two moderate gains in the receiving game. Lynch looked very rusty in last week’s loss to Miami, but he has a chance to kick it into a higher gear now that he’s got a game and two weeks’ worth of practices under his belt. Still, Buffalo has tended to go with the hot hand in the past, so if Jackson gets hot, Lynch might not see the field. Sit ’Em, but only for now.
Terrell Owens – No matter what his stats look like, Owens is a must-play every week, because the man is a playmaker. If Buffalo is smart, they’ll focus on the ground game and opening up play-action, which plays to Owens’ strengths. Start ’Em
Lee Evans – For the same reasons as Owens, Evans has a chance to make big plays this week. He has yet to shake the label of “maddeningly inconsistent fantasy option,” however. If you have more consistent options, by all means throw them into the lineup ahead of Evans. If you don’t… well, Evans has certainly had worse matchups. Word of warning: Evans had a whopping zero receptions against the Browns last season. Sit ‘Em unless you can’t.
Josh Reed – Weeks like last week, when he scored a touchdown, are incredibly rare for Reed. Sit ’Em
Derek Fine – If a TE that can catch 5 passes for 40 yards, and then drop three more, is your key to fantasy dominance, then start Derek Fine this week. Sit ’Em
Shawn Nelson – Someday, Buffalo will find ways to get him more looks in their offense. Of course, they need to get Owens and Evans more looks first, so Nelson is a virtual non-factor for the foreseeable future. Sit ’Em
Rian Lindell - He’s a strong option this week, considering how putrid Buffalo’s offense is and how terrible Cleveland’s defense is. When putrid offenses meet terrible defenses, field goals ensue. Start ’Em
Buffalo Rumblings is simply the best Bills blog around.
Fantasy Friday gets off to a good start this week with some advice about the Redskins from the pig-pen, Hogs Haven.
Jason Campbell, QB WAS- Why not? He had a rough outing against the Bucs, but you know Zorn is going to keep throwing. In fact, the Carolina Panthers are among the worst run defenses in the league. Why does that matter for JC owners out there? Because Zorn seems to take stats like this and turn them on their head. He should run the ball down their throat all day...but he won't.
Chris Cooley, TE WAS - He's 5th in receptions and 3rd in yards among NFL tight ends. As long as he is healthy, they will feed him a steady diet of underneath routes. When are they going to open him up deep like they did in the preseason?
Washington Redskins, DEF- Something about the way Jake Delhomme has been playing tells me this will be a bug turnover game for the Redskins' defense. I just don't trust him or believe in him. Plus, Jeremy Jarmon is going to be on the field a lot more this weekend, and he strikes me as a difference-maker.
Clinton Portis, RB WAS- I still think he is hurt, but if he plays, he should have a great game. The Panthers--as noted above--are a weak rushing defense, and CP is 10th in the league in rushing yards. (quietly in the top 10, eh?) Here's hoping Zorn figures out that we should run on a team that gives it up like Paris Hilton.
Shaun Suisham, K WAS - He is batting a thousand! I figured that I had to recommend our biggest weapon at some point.
Malcolm Kelly/Devin Thomas/Fred Davis, WAS - I am hoping that by advising people to avoid this tandem, they actually blow up and play well. I want to be wrong, but there is simply nothing to suggest these guys are going to be getting the ball with any regularity anytime soon.
You'll love getting dirty over at Hogs Haven.
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