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Fantasy News: Week 11 Early Edition

Jones out, Forsett in.

In nine starts this season, Seahawks running back Julius Jones is averaging
just over 43 rushing yards per game and has found the endzone four times (two
rushing and two receiving). Last week, as Jones was getting going against
the Cardinals he left the game with a bruised lung, and now, according to the

Seattle
Post-Intelligencer
and head coach Jim Mora Jr., he has officially been
ruled out for this week’s game against the Vikings.

“He says he’s feeling
good, but he won’t be available Sunday,” Mora said. “We’ll see how he
progresses. Hopefully (he’ll be back) next week. We have to be careful though.”

Insert second year runner
Justin Forsett, who rumbled for 123 yards on 17 carries, caught five passes for
26 yards, and scored a touchdown upon Jones exiting the game last week against
the Cardinals. Sure, he’ll have a tough task of running past a Vikings run
defense that is allowing just 94.6 yards per game and has seen opposing runners
cross the pylon just twice on the ground. However, do keep in mind that Forsett’s
above average receiving skills could do him good, especially if the Seahawks
decide to offset the Vikings outside blitzing ends with a half of dozen or so
screen passes.

The bottom line here is
that Forsett is a good pickup for Jones owners and any other fantasy owner
looking for a potential temporary replacement to guys like Cedric Benson, Ronnie
Brown or Michael Turner. He is definitely a must have, must gamble for all PPR
owners.

With Bowe suspended, who
will step up in

Kansas City?

In case you haven’t
heard yet, according to the

Associated Press Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne
Bowe has been suspended four games, to start immediately, for violating the NFL’s
policy against performance-enhancing substances. 

“Dwayne did not take a
steroid or any other performance-enhancing drug,” Bowe’s agent Todd France said
in an e-mail to

The Associated Press. “However he took a diuretic for
weight loss, which unfortunately has a negative effect under the league’s
policy. Dwayne is sincerely disappointed and apologetic that he let down the
Chiefs organization, his teammates and the fans. He looks forward to returning
and putting this situation behind him.”

What’s next, or should I
say who’s next in line? 

In a press conference
Wednesday, that is available via

Kansascity.com, head coach Todd Haley
didn’t reveal much, but did have a few nice words to say about the rest of his
receivers and knows someone must step up and take his game to another
level. 

“The receiver group is
improving as a whole,” Haley said. “This group of wideouts understands
that it’s time to step up and play. When somebody goes down someone else
has to step up.”

Fantasy owners should
already know about Chris Chambers and his six receptions, 130 yards, and two
touchdowns in his first two games as a Chief, but what about Lance Long, who
was brought to Haley’s attention?

“Lance has some unique
skill to him,” Haley proclaimed. “He’s a young receiver in the league who
doesn’t have a lot of experience.  Works hard … really … it’s hard to
outwork him.”

And then there’s Mark
Bradley and Bobby Wade – two receivers who have plenty of experience, but seem
to lack the skills to be elite. Bradley has been an afterthought this season,
and Wade has had a hard time even making the active roster since Chambers has
arrived.

Haley’s prime statement
sums it up. 

“Our receivers must step
up.” 

For fantasy owners it may
be too hard to gauge who the best receiver is to pick up, but do keep in mind
that Haley has shown in the past (Bowe’s preseason benching) that if you want to
play you have to work hard. Clearly, right now, the two hardest working
receivers are Chambers and Long, and unless someone else steps up those are the
only two fantasy owners should even consider owning, even as bench warmers.

Good bye JaMarcus,
hello Bruce. 

JaMarcus Russell could possibly be the worst quarterback that has pulled over
the silver and black, period. Well, his time may be running short as according
to

Raiderbeat.com head coach Tom Cable has made an “easy decision,” and
has decided to pull Bruce Gradkowski off the bench, naming him the Raiders new
starter. 

“I just think his
leadership, his management, understanding of what we’re trying to do …
accuracy,” Cable said. “Just a lot of those intangible-type things, and give
him a chance to get all the reps and go out and build some chemistry with the
receivers.”

At the same time Cable
insisted that in no way is Russell completely out of the picture.

“This is in no way giving
up on the guy. This is just trying to jump-start this team and really break it
down and make a decision based on what gives us the best chance to win.”

The fact that JaMarcus is
still in the picture should worry fantasy owners. He flat-out sucks! Please,
try and stay away from any Raiders players if you can, especially the ones that
wear No. 2 and 5. For the record, Russell has a completion percentage of 46.8,
and has thrown nine interceptions to just two touchdowns. 

Where has the Cowboys
running game gone?

Cowboys hard-nosed
running back Marion Barber III has seen his fair share of bad games, but 26
yards on five carries? That’s just the start, too. With the exception of
special teams play-making runner Felix Jones touched the ball three times on offense
and averaged two yards per carry. For the game, the Cowboys tallied just 61
yards on the ground – their lowest output against any team this season – the
final indication that the running game needs major help.

According to the

Dallas
Morning News,
the Cowboys running game has eroded from first to eighth in a
matter of weeks, and what once was considered the biggest strength of the offense
is now in rebuild mode.

“Early in the year it was
kind of establishing the brand, something we talked about being a team that
imposes their will with three good backs and a strong line,” tight end Jason
Witten said. “We haven’t done a good job with that, and we’ve kept ourselves in
bad situations where you can’t run it. We’ve just got to get back to doing
those little things and be in positive situations down and distance wise.”

There is good and bad
news moving forward. The bad news is that the Cowboys will be without big
tackle Marc Columbo for the remainder of the season, a beast who was considered
a staple for their outside rushing attack. The good news is that the Cowboys
will get a shot at re-establishing the run with two defenses in the Redskins
and Raiders, who are allowing 125+ rushing yards per game, on tap in the next
two weeks.

Overall, I can’t imagine
the Cowboys falling behind this or next week, so Barber III and at least Jones
are good plays as fantasy seasons wind down with fantasy playoff fever
right around the corner.

Speaking Out: Is Eric
Mangini the worst coach in the NFL?

He practices his players
until their limbs are numb. He makes inexplicable decisions during Sunday
battles. And his Browns team could be perhaps the worst team that I’ve ever
seen. 

Why are the Cleveland
Browns so bad? Do they lack the true talent to be anything but a pee-wee
squad? Or should their leader be coaching 10-year olds? 

In 2005, the New England
Patriots defense, led by Mr. Mangini, allowed 21.1 points per game and the team
went 10-6. In 2006, after Mangini left they allowed 14.8 points per game and
went 12-4. The year before Mangini took over as defensive coordinator the
Patriots defense allowed 16.2 points per game and went 14-2. 

Mangini moves on to

New York to take over as
Jets head coach. He takes them to the playoffs as a Wild Card 10-6 team, but
gets blown out by his former Patriot mates 37-16 in the first round. The next
season the Jets tank and go 4-12. And then in 2008 before departing the
Jets make one last run going 6-3 in the first nine games with legendary
quarterback Brett Favre behind center before blowing the division lead, and
ultimately finishing 9-7, missing the playoffs. In 2007 Favre led the Packers
to a 12-4 record and NFC Championship berth, and this season he’s led a Vikings
team to an 8-1 record through nine games played and looks Super Bowl bound.

Are you seeing what I’m
seeing yet?  Let’s move on …

Mangini arrives in

Cleveland, and takes a
Browns team down to the end of the gutter. The Browns are last in the NFL
in offensive points per game (8.7), they’re allowing 25 points per game on
defense, and have scored six or less points in six of nine games this season.

Basicly, the Dawg Pound
and their fans have spent countless hours watching a team that could be
mistaken for a Ohio high school squad with no business playing on Sunday
(except for Joe Thomas).

The bottom line is that Mangini’s
preparation is clearly horrendous, his players have lashed out at him
everywhere he’s gone, and the best path for him to take at this point is down
the dirt road to a small school somewhere. And when I mean small schools I mean
really small schools filled with 10- or 12-year olds. 

He’s just another one of
those overrated Bill Belicheck disciples who has fallen flat on his face. He
will eventually join Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, and if the Broncos continue
to freefall, Josh McDaniels. 

Sad, but so very, very
true!

Thanks for reading!

Eric Huber is a staff
writer for Fantasysharks.com.  E-mail him at

e.huber12@yahoo.com

.

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