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Fantasy News of the Week- 11/01

Mangini wants Favre
to cut back on the risky passes?

In the last three weeks against teams with combined records of 3-19 New York
Jets quarterback Brett Favre has put together his worst three performances of
the 2008 season.

  The latest was the
almost loss to one of the worst teams in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs, for
which he threw errant pass after errant pass, raising major questions on
whether he’s pressing too much.

  Could it
be time Favre cuts back on some of those risky, yet tight spiraled rifles that
are being shot in to the hands of opposing defenses?

  According to the

New York Post Eric Mangini would like to think so. “You just
stress (that) you don’t hit on 20,” Mangini said. “Sometimes it’s OK
to stay and see what the dealer has. You’re not trying to coach (Favre) out of
being a good player,” he said. “You just try to reinforce that
everything needs to be a calculated risk.”

 
While coach Mangini maintains he doesn’t want his aging quarterback to
lose that gun-slinging mentality, he does, however, want him to just cut back
on some of those “black-jack-like” throws and become more of a game manager,
much like he was in the game-winning drive during the fourth quarter last
week.

  Overall, if you were to take away
the six touchdown performance in week four against the Cardinals Favre would
have more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (9).

  His lack of consistency may be a cause for
concern, not only for the Jets as a team, but for fantasy owners as well, who
had high hopes for Favre at the beginning of the 2008 season.

Dolphins offense may
resort to the pass more against the Champ-less Broncos
.

The Tony Sparano led Miami Dolphins have been somewhat of a
surprise this 2008 season.

  They’re 3-4, are
ninth in the NFL in total offensive yards per game, and are only second to the
Titans in takeaways.

  But the two most
surprising numbers that have fantasy owners scratching their heads have to be
their bottom ten rushing average of 3.8 yards per carry, and their sixth rated
246.9 passing yards per game average, which may come in handy this Sunday
against a Broncos secondary missing their star power.

  According to the

Miami Herald even though the Broncos run defense has been poor at
times this season offensive coordinator Dan Henning may try to take advantage
of the young Champ-less secondary, much like he did with nicked Bills
cornerback Terrence McGee in last week’s big win.

  “He was injured. I don’t coach their team so
I don’t know what their alternatives were, but he was injured,” Henning
said.

  “After he got beat on the first
play, psychologically he might have been injured a little bit. He came back and
competed later on. It’s never going to be easy, but any little thing that you
can get, you try and reach out and use it.”

 
And while Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams should be used extensively
regardless against the 30th ranked run defense, Chad Pennington could
be airing it out at times using weapons like Ted Ginn Jr— who had a career
day against the Bills top cornerback Terrence McGee, recording seven receptions
for 175 yards.

  “With McGee having a
little nick of an injury and then me running fast, we didn’t have a choice but
to go after him,” Ginn said. “If we didn’t, it would have been our fault.”

  If the Dolphins use the same winning game
plan they used last week we could see yet another aerial assault from the
so-called conservative offense.

 
Pennington and Ginn Jr could be solid plays again this week, especially
for owners looking for bye-week fill-ins.

 

Chargers defense is
responding well to the change at coordinator.

 

The San Diego Chargers are a team that is sinking quick, and
are in need of major change, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

  Well, they addressed their underachieving
defense by firing defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell earlier this week.

  His replacement— former Bears defensive
guru Ron Rivera, who is already making waves with a strong message that is
being heard loud and clear by the players.

 
Rivera was the inside linebackers coach leading to the change, and
according to the

San Diego-Union Tribune
some believe he was preparing for this day to come.

  “It seemed like he was waiting in the wings
for this,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “He knew what he was going to say.
Now I think he’s got the reins. A lot of guys already respect him, and he knows
that, so he’s going to cut it straight with us and tell it like it is.”

  Rivera’s main focus—- fundamentals!

  “Let’s take it all the way back to the
beginning and start there,” end Luis Castillo said of Rivera’s message. “Play
full speed, fundamentally sound. It’s not drastic (change). It’s about being
fundamentally better.”

  Accountability
was also a big topic, and a topic that will be on everyone’s minds as the
second half of the season progresses.

 
“He put guys on the spot, told us we need to be more accountable,”
inside linebacker Stephen Cooper said. “Guys need to step up. They know who
they are.”

  Just for the record the
Chargers remain in dead last in the NFL against the pass, but that could be due
in large part to their lack of a true pass rusher due to the absence of Shawn
Merriman.

  It just goes to show how much
of an impact Merriman made when he was in the game.

  And if somebody like the above mentioned
Shaun Phillips or Luis Castillo doesn’t step up and take leadership of the
defense, the Chargers will remain towards the bottom of the AFC totem pole as
the end of the 2008 season draws near.

 

Cardinals’ trio of
receivers is confident.

 

At 37 years of age Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is
having one of his best seasons as a pro.

 
He’s on pace to throw for over 4000 yards, 30 touchdowns, and has a
present quarterback rating of 102.1.

 
What gives?

  The Cardinals
confident trio of receivers is what gives.

 
Led by Larry Fitzgerald’s 43 receptions and 661 yards, Anquan Boldin’s
consistent play when he’s been healthy, and the emergence of slot receiver
Steve Breaston the Cardinals offense, according to the

Arizona

Republic, has no problem skipping
the run and airing it out whenever they can, even when they know the defense is
ready for it.

  “We know when we’ve got a
pass play called in the huddle, we have extreme confidence when we step up to
the line of scrimmage, no matter what the defense is doing to us,” Fitzgerald
said. “We know we have a quarterback (Kurt Warner) that’s going to put the
ball in the right place and give guys opportunities to make plays.”

  And while the idea of balance is great, their
second ranked passing attack is just too potent to go away from for the
diminishing running skills of aging running back Edgerrin James.

  And heading in to the second half of the
season it doesn’t look like things are going to change as the Cards have two
games each against two suspect defenses in the Rams and Seahawks, and three
games against strong run defenses in the Eagles, Vikings, and Giants, which
should equate to a high number of pass plays as Arizona reaches for the NFC
West title.

 

Is Torry Holt being
phased out?

The Rams offense has a different look this season, much to the dismay of many
fantasy owners who were depending on wide receiver’s Torry Holt past
consistency.

  Rookie wide receiver Donnie
Avery is finally showing his true potential and the Rams seem to be okay with
showcasing it.

  The bad news is that
according to the

Associated Press the
Rams veteran wide receiver could be starting to feel like he’s being phased
out.

  So what did he say when asked the
question?

  “I don’t know; at times I do,”
said Holt, who is in his 10th season with the Rams. “At times, I feel like
there’s a situation where I’m getting phased. But who knows? We’ll see how it
goes.”

  But of course being the team
player that he truly is he seems to understand the move.

  “I guess they feel that Donnie obviously has
been stepping up and making some huge plays and they want to continue to give
him the football,” Holt said. “I try to keep some balance and play and do what
I can do to help our football team win.”

 
The best part is that Holt will never complain, or so he says, “I don’t
feel like I need to speak to anybody about that,” Holt said. “My body of work
speaks for itself. I’m not going to make a stink about it or a fuss about it.
I’ll just go with the flow.”

  But new
head coach Jim Haslett insists that Torry’s lack of production has more to do
with the way defenses are playing him.

 
“Just because of the coverages more than anything,” Haslett said.
“But his numbers will come up; they’ll jump up. We’re doing some different
things with him, trying to get the young guys on the field, but his numbers
will come up.”

  Pro bowl running back
Steven Jackson also believes that Torry’s numbers will improve with time as
well.

  “We have to get him the ball.”

Jackson
said.

  I know he’s the leading receiver.
With Donnie emerging, I think that will open it up a little more. Torry, he’s
not worried about it. His numbers will come.”

 
The bottom line is that Holt’s numbers should get better as the season
winds down, because defenses are going to have to start respecting the skills
of the Rams rookie wide receivers, particularly Donnie Avery, who is quickly
becoming a fantasy star.

 

Shark Attack:

Quick Bites


According to the

Associated Press the
Packers have signed quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension through
the 2014 season.

  While Rodgers has
definitely earned it, let’s just hope he doesn’t lower his game, much like so
many have done before, because he has the extension he was playing for.

 

According to the

Minneapolis
Star-Tribune
Vikings safety Darren Sharper has been quoted as to saying
that Houston’s leading receiver Andre Johnson is “a bigger, faster” version of
Terrell Owens.

  Johnson leads the league
in receptions and yards and was recently named the AFC offensive player of the
month for October.

  The Texans play the
Vikings this Sunday— a team that is notorious for allowing the big play.

According to the

New
York Daily News
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and several players believe
the Cowboys offense isn’t all that different with Brad Johnson starting at
quarterback rather than Tony Romo.

  “Obviously
Tony is going to do a lot of improvising,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck
said. “As a D-line, you don’t have to worry about a guy outrunning you or
running away from you, but your moves have to be more precise because (Johnson)
is not going to give you as much time as Tony did.”

  What tape are they studying?!

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