This week, Ed Berliner and Doug Coutts touched upon a number of timely subjects. Check out the website at www.speedingbulletnetwork.com.
We also talked about our weekly
Running Back Roulette that is going on, meaning, we hope that you’re not in a position where you need to consider these players and/or teams, but…
Travis Henry has won his appeal!!! And the timing is perfect. Henry is as healthy as he’s been all season and his competition is falling apart. Both Selvin Young and Andre Hall are hurting, so Henry should step right back into Mike Shanahan and his good graces this week. As we’ve mentioned many times here, the Denver starting running back is worth having in your starting fantasy lineup…if you can figure out who it is going to be.
Warrick Dunn has struggled and the Falcons have *finally* started to give
Jerious Norwood a chance. 115 total yards last week as he starts to get more touches than Dunn. Look for Norwood’s production to continue to go up as the Falcons look to see what they have in the youngster.
Jesse Chatman is still pretty beat up, but he’s the only option for the Dolphins. A risky start this week given that he could leave the field and not return at any moment, but if you have no other options, Chatman if he can stay on the field should be an ok flex start this week.
Kolby Smith hasn’t given the Chiefs any reason to rush Larry Johnson back so he will continue to shoulder the load to the tune of around 100 total yards per week.
Some Injury News…
QB Brett Favre, Green Bay
Despite leaving last week’s game early, I don’t see the consecutive game streak coming to an end. He’s had plenty of time off to rest up, so expect him to play. However, I would lower his fantasy expectations. The Packers are in a good position to make the playoffs and with a solid running game right now, look for Green Bay to take less chances with Favre by running more than usual.
Gus Frerotte had a great week last week, but he got hurt.
Marc Bulger looks ready to return and he’s got a good matchup this week so don’t be afraid to start him if your team doesn’t have one of the top QBs.
WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona
Boldin is likely out this week with a broken toe (or similar).
Bryant Johnson will be the top option for the Cardinals if this is the case.
WR Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh
The Steelers are saying that Holmes has a good chance to play this week, though they also said that last week. They’d like nothing better than to make a statement against the Patriots this week, so Holmes will likely be suiting up, and if so, will be a good fantasy play this week.
WRs Jerricho Cotchery, New York Jets and Arnaz Battle, San Francisco
Though these guys aren’t household names, they both have very quietly been steady WR3 fantasy performers. Unfortunately, both are hurt and unlikely to be suiting up this week.
Hot Players to Stay Hot…
RB Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay
Week in and week out, Graham is producing at a very high level. Over the last four games he’s averaging 100 yards and a score in each. He’s probably one of the top 3 or 4 fantasy RBs right now, keep him in your lineup as the Texans are soft to the run.
RB Justin Fargas, Oakland
Fargas continues to be on the “hot stay hot” list. Possibly sending notice that he will be the starter for the Raiders in 2008. As for 2007, 146 and a TD last week, 139 and a TD the week before that, good stuff. Though Green Bay is tough to run on, I expect that he’ll get 100 total yards and a score at minimum this week.
WR Roddy White, Atlanta
Back to back 100 yard games gets White added to the “hot/hot” list this week. Falcons will likely be playing catchup this Monday night, so White should see enough action to crack the 100 yard barrier once again.
RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
The Vikings rookie came back from injury in a big way last week, lighting the lamp for 100+ and two more scores. How can I not predict another 150 or so yards and 3 scores, especially against the hapless Niners this week?
RB Adrian Peterson, Chicago
The other Peterson is flourishing as well. 150 total yards last week, 12 catches over the last 2 games, Benson getting hurt was the best thing to happen to the Bears as it has forced them to go with one guy. Many will say that Peterson will have a tough go this week against the Redskins, I’m not seeing it. Lovey Smith likes to run the ball, Peterson is the only option to do that, plus with no third down option, he’s very involved in the passing game. I see another 150 total yards, and this week a pair of scores to go along with that. If Freddy Jackson can put up 150+ total yards against Washington, then surely Peterson can as well.
Hot Players to Cool…
QB Kyle Boller, Baltimore
Boller was the latest quarterback to have their best career game against the Patriots, look for him to cool this week as the Ravens experience a bit of a let down after last week’s disappointing loss.
RB Frank Gore, San Francisco
Gore’s numbers have slowed significantly in the past few weeks, we see that trend continuing, especially against a tough Vikings defense. The 49ers have been playing from behind a lot this season, and Gore isn’t that involved in the passing game. If you have other options this week, use them.
WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City
Bowe has been white hot lately, but we see the Broncos shutting down all facets of the Chiefs offense this week, so Bowe’s ride as a fantasy starter will hit a bump in the road this week.
Cold Players to Stay Cold…
WR Lee Evans, Buffalo
Simply a lost season for Evans. He’s not even worth considering as a fantasy starter.
RB Joseph Addai, Indianapolis
The Colts have been getting the bulk of their yards and touchdowns thru the air, even with Marvin Harrison out of the lineup. Addai’s numbers have been very low the last few weeks, and though you probably have to start him, don’t expect a change this week. The Colts may be taking a page out of the New England playbook by using their only true runningback sparingly, as New England is with Laurence Maroney. Not to mention, the Ravens are tough against the run this week.
Start List Candidates…
QB Drew Brees, New Orleans
Look for Brees and company to go up top early and often against the Falcons in this week’s Monday night contest.
RB Jamal Lewis, Cleveland
The Browns have been incredible thru the air this week, but winter is coming, cold, windy…running weather. Lewis has been very reliable all season, look for him to pick it up a notch as the Browns should find great success against a weak Jets run defense.
WR Patrick Crayton, Dallas
Crayton returned from injury to put up 100+ yards and two scores last week. Look for that to continue against the Lions, the #31 team against the pass.
Chicago v Washington
Short week for the Redskins, an emotional week after a tough lost where their coach probably cost them the game, plus the Taylor funeral. If you normally start guys from these two teams, then you continue to do so. Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis, and Chris Cooley should continue to be their usual selves, Campbell maybe even a notch higher than usual. The Bears will continue to use Adrian Peterson, don’t be afraid to start him. Rex Grossman only in a pinch, Desmond Clark is becoming a matchup starter at TE. Early game this week, Thursday, so get your lineups in on time.
New England v Pittsburgh
Could the guys in the Monday night booth have started the “this *could* be the week” any earlier last week? That got old early guys. And yet, the Steelers pose the latest, and what many are saying, last opportunity to get a blemish on the Patriots record. Should be plenty of fantasy star power in this one. The last two games have shown that the fantasy owner shouldn’t shy away from starting anyone against New England, in fact, quite the opposite, look to get guys in your lineup. Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, and Willie Parker (hopefully he can hold onto the ball this week). The Steelers most welcome sight this week will be the artificial turf of Foxboro Stadium, no more mud! As usual, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, and Wes Welker are in your lineup while you avoid the NE RBs.
Indianapolis v Baltimore
By game time, the Ravens will hopefully be done whining about last week’s game. Tough loss, yes, did a lot of things go against them in the final few minutes? Yes. Something this happens, where a good team like the Ravens, one year after winning 13, simply can’t buy a win. Moving onto this week, I don’t see Baltimore playing with the same emotion, but they should show up to play against the Colts. They need a win badly, and a victory over the defending Superbowl Champions will have to do at this point. Look for Joseph Addai to continue to put up low numbers, but Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne will continue to be studs. Kyle Boller comes down to earth a bit and Raven WRs can’t be trusted, but Willis McGahee is a solid start as usual.