|The Week Of Sitting Dangerously* 9/22/08
This week saw too many fantasy micro-management nightmares. I saw
the likes of Joseph Addai, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Larry Johnson
get benched, while players like Sammy Morris, Chester Taylor and
Michael Bush got their first fantasy starts of the year. The worst
of which was highlighted in this weeks recap game of the week:
Dolphins 38 - Patriots 13
Fantasy Superman: Ronnie
Fantasy Performers: Ricky
I am a fan of neither team, yet somehow, these two keep finding
their way into the headline game of the week. Fantasy managers
with Patriots on their squad were hoping that this week would
be a great week to get healthy with the Dolphins as their doormat.
But now, the weakness that may be the Patriots appears imminent
and they just may be the worst 2-1 team in the NFL.
While there will no doubt be some people pounding their chests
after starting Ronnie Brown after two 25 yard performances, those
managers are few and far between and probably did so because their
running back crews are decimated. Ronnie Brown had the fantasy
performance of the year so far, running for 113 yards and 4 TDs,
while passing for a 5th TD. Ricky Williams, who also had two straight
25-yard performances ran for 96 yards and was benched in most
formats. Even the Dolphin receivers got more action then usual
with Anthony Fasano bouncing back with 3 for 66 and 1 TD, Greg
Camarillo catching 4 for 60 yards and even Ted Ginn, Jr. nabbing
5 for 49 yards.
And while fantasy managers were sitting Ronnie Brown and Ricky
Williams, they were sweeping up and playing Sammy Morris and Lamont
Jordan in the wake of Laurence
Maroney being kept out of the game. Sammy Morris’s 27 yards
led the Patriots other runners (Jordan with 22 and Welker with
19). Randy Moss had his second consecutive 20 plus yard performance
without a score and the OMG era is officially on for team managers
who selected Brady and Moss owners in the first round. Wes Welker
is the sole model of consistency (at least in a ppr league) with
6 catches for 55 yards, while Jabar Gaffney was the only Patriot
with respectable numbers of 6 catches for 51 yards and 1 TD.
Redskins 24 - Cardinals 17
Fantasy Superman: Larry Fitzgerald
Fantasy Performers: Kurt Warner, Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis,
Santana Moss, Chris Cooley
Hens: Edgerrin James
Over three weeks, Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James each have
248 yards. However, Portis has punched it in the end zone three
times while Edge has yet to do so (and with Tim Hightower, Anquan
Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald is unlikely to do so).
The top performance in this game goes to Larry Fitzgerald who
grabbed 7 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD. Anquan Boldin also caught
1 TD, but only reeled in 3 catches for 25 yards. Kurt Warner had
decent numbers, throwing for 192 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception.
Edgerrin James ran for 98 yards and had 15 yards in the air, but
as noted, could not cross the goal line and did fumbled away the
Jason Campbell had identical numbers of 193 yards and 2 TDs but
did not throw an interception. Portis ran for 68 yards, 19 receiving
yards and 1 TD. Santana Moss had his third straight week with
a TD and second straight week with 7 catches (this one for 75
yards). Chris Cooley also had second straight decent performance
with 7 catches for 72 yards.
Falcons 38 - Chiefs 14
Fantasy Superman: Michael Turner, Roddy White, Larry Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Dwayne Bowe, Jerious Norwood, Matt Ryan
Hens: Tony Gonzalez, Tyler Thigpen
Michael Turner rebounded nicely from his 40-yard performance
and his sore ankle this week with 104 yards and 3 TDs. Once again,
Jerious Norwood reaped the rewards of a bad defense also with
75 yards rushing and 30 receiving yards. Roddy White torched the
Chief secondary gaining 5 yards of separation and rookie Matt
Ryan made a nice throw hooking up for a yard TD. White ended the
day with 5 catches for 119 yards and Ryan 192 yards.
Larry Johnson surprised managers this week with 121 yards and
1 TD. In fact I heard a number of team managers sit LJ this week
to their dismay. If you are starting Dwayne Bowe or Tony Gonzalez
you either have courage or are thin at these positions. Dwayne
Bowe finds a way every week to average 10 fantasy points and did
it again this week with 43 yards and 1 TD. But Tony Gonzalez could
only muster up 4 short catches for 35 yards. While it is highly
doubtful that a fantasy team was forced to run out Tyler Thigpen,
his favorite receivers seemed to have black birds on their helmet,
throwing 3 interceptions.
Bills 24 - Raiders 23
Fantasy Superman: Marshawn
Fantasy Performers: Trent
Although they had the lead most of the game, the Raider offense
pretty much sputtered on all but one big 84 yard play by Johnnie
Lee Higgins. Other than that, JaMarcus
Russell only threw for an additional 72 yards. Darren McFadden
and Michael Bush each carried the ball 14 times and together failed
to break 100 yards on the ground, McFadden with 55 yards and Bush
with 42 yards. McFadden also had 3 catches but failed to break
even 10 yards in total receptions.
Marshawn Lynch only averaged 3.5 yards per carry for 83 yards,
but crossed the plane twice and caught 4 throws for 31 yards.
Trent Edwards spread the ball around for 279 yards, 1 TD and 1
interception. His favorite receiver appeared to be Josh Reed with
6 catches for 72 yards, while Lee Evans only had 4 catches for
65 yards and Roscoe Parrish 3 catches for 42 yards and 1 TD.
Buccaneers 27 - Bears 24
Fantasy Superman: Matt
Fantasy Performers: Kyle
This game was filled with some very good fantasy performances,
mostly from players that are still on league waiver wires. With
the exception of Matt Forte, who did it rushing for 89 yards and
caught 7 balls for 66 yards for a total of 155 yards and 1 TD,
all the fantasy points came from Brandon Lloyd with his 6 catches
for 124 yards and 1 TD and Kyle Orton’s 268 yards, 2 TDs and 2
The one player expected to put up numbers for the Buccaneers
had a horrible day with only 16 yards on 12 carries and no receptions.
Air Griese threw the ball 67 times for just over 400 yards, 2
TDs and 3 picks. The beneficiaries of this aerial assault were
Antonio Bryant with 10 catches for 138 yards, Ike Hilliard with
6 catches for 57 yards and 1 TD and Michael Clayton in a ppr league
with 5 catches for 54 yards.
Vikings 20 - Panthers 10
Fantasy Superman: None
Fantasy Performers: Jonathan
Hens: The running backs (except Jonathan Stewart)
With all of the fantasy stars in this game, it turned out to
be a game where managers playing against All Day Adrian
Peterson and Steve Smith were happier than those who had them
on their squads. Adrian Peterson’s 77 yards and Chester
Taylor’s 66 rushing and receiving yards, neither of whom carried
the ball across the goal line was disappointing for the Peterson
managers and those who played Taylor in hopes that Peterson’s
hammy would act up. Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe appeared
to benefit by the benching of Tarvaris
Jackson, Berrian catching 3 for 79 yards and Shiancoe grabbing
2 for 38 yards and a score. Gus Frerottw threw for just over 200
yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.
The only Panther running back who averaged 3 yards per carry
was Brad Hoover who ran once for 3 yards. Otherwise, DeAngelo
Williams ran 10 times for 27 yards and Jonathan Stewart ran 7
times for 15 yards, but improved his stat line with 1 TD. Jake
Delhomme threw for 191 yards and no scores. Steve Smith coming
off suspension hauled in 4 catches for 70 yards.
Titans 31 - Texans 12
Fantasy Superman: Steve
Fantasy Performers: Owen Daniels, Bo Scaife, Justin McCareins
Hens: Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson
Steve Slaton is a stud and Andre Johnson is a dog? Today the
answer has to be yes. The Titan defense was all over matt Schaub
today and when he did get a pass off, he generally missed the
receiver, hooking up on 17 of 37 passes for 188 yards and 3 interceptions.
Andre Johnson only caught 3 of those for 29 yards as the Titan
defenders were draping him all day. Steve Slayton, who probably
started on only a handful of rosters, ran for 116 yards and 1
TD. Owen Daniels was the sol bright spot of the Texan passing
game with 4 catches for 71 yards.
The score would suggest that Tennessee should have had some solid
fantasy performances. But the Titans only threw for 189 yards
and 1 TD and ran for 123 yards with their two running backs. Chris
Johnson ran for over 70 yards, but did not break any long ones
for a TD, while LenDale White got the tough yards, running 16
times for 49 yards and 2 TDs. Justin McCareins might be a decent
waiver wire pick-up with 90 yards on 4 catches. Bo Scaife may
not of caught many, but he had an all important TD for fantasy
TE free agent pick-ups. The Titan Defense, scored a TD, had 3
sacks and 3 picks.
Giants 26 - Bengals 23
Fantasy Superman: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Fantasy Performers: Carson
Hens: Plaxico Burress, Chad Johnson (sorry, but I didn’t
buy when Prince changed his name and I’m not buying “Ocho
The Giant passing game looked good but spread out. Eli Manning
made no mistakes again and threw for 289 yards and 1 TD. Six players
had at least 3 receptions, the highest being Steve Smith with
7 catches for 60 yards, followed by Amani Toomer with 5 catchers
for 64 yards. Kevin Boss grabbed the only TD reception, while
most teams who have Plaxico Burress as the WR1 or WR2, fell short
with his 3 catches for only 45 yards. Derrick Ward outperformed
Brandon Jacobs, gaining 80 yards on the ground and 26 in the air.
But Brandon Jacobs, who only ran for 35 yards, scored 1 TD.
Over three games, Ocho Cinco has only caught a total of Ocho
Seis, as he had his third straight week for 30 something or less,
with 3 catches for 29 yards. However, T.J. Houshmandzadeh reclaimed
his position as a fantasy star with 12 catches for 146 yards and
1 TD. T.J.’s performance gave Carson Palmer fans a glimmer
of hope with 286 yard, 1 TD performance. Antonio Chatman may be
worth keeping an eye on, grabbing 6 catches for 70 yards. Chris
Perry has his second solid week running 20 times for 74 yards
and a 25-yard TD.
Seahawks 37 - Rams 13
Fantasy Superman: Julius Jones, T.J. Duckett
Fantasy Performers: Steven Jackson
Hens: Torry Holt
The Seattle running game feasted on the hapless Rams defense.
Julius Jones ran for 140 yards and 1 TD, while T.J. Duckett rand
for 79 yards and 2 TDs. The passing game looked a little bit better
(for the week) with Matt Hasselbeck throwing for 172 yards and
1 TD. His top receiver was Billy McMullen with four catches for
76 yards. The Seahawks should be getting healthier in a couple
of games with Branch and Engram expected back around week 5 and
I would expect Hasselbeck to return to being a quality fantasy
The Rams are looking to go 0-16 this year, but at least Steven
Jackson had 128 total yards with 60 plus rushing and receiving
performances, but no TDs. Big Game Torry Holt had another suspect
performance and barring his freak TD last week, his 37 yard performance
this week is making his future prospects questionable.
49ers 31 - Lions 10
Fantasy Superman: Frank Gore
Fantasy Performers: J.T.
Hens: Calvin Johnson, Jon Kitna, Kevin Smith
I sat Kevin Smith this week to run out Darren
Sproles. Not knowing what tomorrow holds, I can’t be unhappy
as Smith was limited to 3 carries for 14 yards. Instead, the lead
running back for Detroit was Rudi Johnson, whose 83 yards rushing,
48 yards receiving and 1 TD had to have been wasted in all fantasy
formats. The passing game was completely stifled for Detroit,
with Calvin Johnson having disappointing 40 yard game, Roy
Williams only 18 yards and Jon Kitna throwing for only 146
yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.
Frank Gore is rapidly becoming one of the top fantasy performers
this year, scoring in his third consecutive week, and being a
threat in the running and receiving game by running for 130 yards,
catching 4 for 32 yards and running in 1 TD. J.T. O’Sullivan
managed the game well with 189 yards and 2 TDs. However, none
of his receivers merit any mention this week. TE Dealanie Walker
will make those who drafted Vernon Davis displeased as Davis caught
1 ball for 17 yards while Walker caught 3 for 44 yards and a TD.
Broncos 34 - Saints 32
Fantasy Superman: Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Brandon Marshall
Fantasy Performers: Saints receivers/TE, Jay Cutler
Hens: Bronco RBs
I have a feeling that I will eventually judging Brandon Marshall
by whether he gains 150 yards or more to determine where I place
him. Marshall handicapped the NFL a game and is already outperforming
nearly every wide receiver with his second monster game of 155
yards and 1 TD. The only drawback is for those managers who are
in ppr leagues, where Marshall only hauled in 6 balls. Eddie Royal
is rapidly deteriorating into the “You got him 1 game too
late player” after going 4 for 11 yards. Jay Cutler had
respectable numbers going for 264 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception.
If anyone is still starting Bronco running backs, it is clear
that this is a passing team with its running backs being the unfortunate
victims of an air attack and a 3-back RBBC. Selvin Young ran for
65 yards and Michael Pittman got the goal line carries a 2 yard
TD and nothing more.
Apparently, anyone in the Saints receiving corps may be worth
starting with Drew Brees throwing for over 400 yards and six players
receiving for more than 40 yards each. Reggie Bush clearly was
the offensive workhorse carrying the ball 18 times for 73 yards
and 1 TD, while catching 11 ball for 75 yards and 1 TD. Bush did
give up 2 TD carries to Pierre Thomas who only rushed for 15 yards
(and missed a third TD on two carries at the one). Lance Moore
reeled in 7 catches for 78 yards and Jeremy Shockey 8 for 75 yards.
Robert Meacham had one catch for 74, which gave him a total of
2 for 86 yards.
Jaguars 23 - Colts 21
Fantasy Superman: Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Taylor, Joseph Addai
Fantasy Performers: Marvin Harrison
Hens: Peyton Manning
Gone maybe the days of fearing Colts players in other line-ups.
Joseph Addai finally showed signs of life with 78 yards and 2
TDs. Ironically, many managers sat their first round draft pick
this week. The passing game was at best average with no receiver
grabbing more than 4 catches or gaining more than 74 yards (Reggie
Wayne). Other than Addai, only Marvin Harrison scored a TD for
the Colts. When you draft a QB in the 2nd round, you expect more
than 216 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions, which were Peyton Manning’s
Maurice Jones-Drew finally paid dividends wit 107 yards rushing,
59 receiving and 1 TD. Fred Taylor also ran for over 120 yards.
The passing game saw David Garrard again throwing an interception
without a TD and Matt Jones being the top wide receiver with 4
catches for 32 yards.
Ravens 28 - Browns 10
Fantasy Superman: Le’Ron
Fantasy Performers: Willis McGahee
Hens: Derek Anderson, Jamal Lewis, Braylon Edwards
If Le’ron McClain was on your waiver wire, he will not
be by the end of this week. Although Willis McGahee returned to
the line-up, Le’ron McClain carried the ball 17 times for
66 yards and 2 TDs. Willis McGahee performed okay with 64 yards
of his own and 1 TD. Meanwhile Ray Rice ran only 5 times for 21
yards. Joe Flacco only put the ball in the air 19 times, completing
13 to his own team and 2 to the Browns for an average of 10 yards
Many opined that the Browns would face a much more difficult
year and so far they were right. The Brady Quinn talk has begun
with Derek Anderson’s 125 yard, 3 pick, 1 TD performance.
Braylon Edward is still 17 TDs short of his prediction with yet
another poor 27-yard performance. Braylon Edwards managers should
pay attention to the mistakes made this week before sitting him
against the Bengals next week. Jamal Lewis’s combined 77
yards on the ground and in the air was the Browns best performance.
Eagles 15 - Steelers 6
Fantasy Superman: Steelers Defense, Eagles Defense
Fantasy Performers: Donovan
Hens: Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, Santonio Holmes,
Willie Parker, Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger
When I think of Pennsylvania football, today’s game is
exactly what I think of. All defense. Brian Westbrook’s
first quarter departure was unfortunate, but it nevertheless destroyed
many fantasy football teams this week as he ended the game with
12 yards. DeSean Jackson was finally inserted into fantasy line-ups
only to go 5 for 40 yards. Donovan MacNabll threw for 196 yards,
1 TD and 1 interception.
The Steelers offense was completely manhandled and not one Steeler
had even respectable numbers. Willie Parker had 20 yards, Ben
Roethlisberger threw for 131 yards and 1 interception. Hines Ward
caught 4 for 34 and Santonio Holmes caught 3 for 32 yards.
Cowboys 27 – Packers 16
Fantasy Superman: Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Miles Austin
Fantasy Performers: Greg Jennings, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Witten,
Hens: Ryan Grant, Terrell Owens
How many fantasy team went into Sunday night feeling pretty cocky,
down by little, with Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and/or Jason Witten
on their teams. But at the end of the night, it was the Big D
running backs and Miles Austin who got the fantas numbers. Marion
Barber had another very good game with 141 rushing yards, 15 receiving
and 1 TD. Felix Jones proved to be a fine change of pace back
with his 60 yard TD run and a total of 76 yards. Miles Austin
only caught two passes, but the shortest was 52 yards and the
longest was 63 yards and he would have had two TDs except for
being run down at the 2-yard line. Tony Romo had a solid performance
with 260 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 interception.
Aaron Rodgers did not throw any TDs, but his 290 yards without
a turnover and his 1 TD on the ground could not have hurt too
many fantasy teams who started him this week. Same with Greg Jennings
who caught 8 for 115 yards. However, Ryan Grant once again performed
poorly with only 54 yards and a lost fumble. On only three carries
and 1 reception Brandon Jackson looked better then Ryan Grant.
Donald Driver had a fair performance with 4 catches for 76 yards.
* For those of you who read
faithfully to the end of this each week, please note that at the
end of this and future recaps, I will attempt to create a list
of players who should be leaping up the waiver wire after injuries
or their own performances. This weeks list is as follows:
QB: Brady Quinn, Matt Ryan,
RB: Le’Ron McClain, Correll
Buck halter (don‘t overlook Lorenzo Booker), T.J. Duckett, Rudi
Johnson (in those leagues where he’s been dropped), Steve Slayton
(not that he should be around in too many leagues)
WR: Jabar Gaffney, Brandon
Lloyd, Antonio Bryant, Justin McCareins
TE: Visanthe Shiancoe, Bo Scaife