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On the Rise, On the Fall – Week 12

Welcome to Week 12 of “On the Rise, On the Fall.” Throughout the season, I will discuss players whose stock is rising and others who are not having the same luck. I will avoid naming the obvious studs – Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, etc – and will keep to players whose performance was not as foreseeable.


On the Rise



Pennington, QB, Dolphins

: If you read my playoff article a few days ago, you’ll know how I feel about

Chad down the stretch. He had his biggest day of the year Sunday and while he won’t put up those numbers the rest of the way; he should put up respectable ones. He faces the Rams, Bills, 49ers and Chiefs through Week 16. Don’t worry about that game against the Bills either since it’s not in

Buffalo – it’s in



Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants

: The Giants have made it known that they will not put up with Plaxico Burress’ antics. Hixon has already shown he can step up and make plays. He did that in Week 4 against

Seattle and also did Sunday in

Arizona. Hixon was the highlight reel for the Giants most of the game on Sunday. He failed to catch one of Eli’s three TD passes (only one of which went to a WR), but he did look explosive. He caught six balls for 57 yards and also had a run for 11 yards. He had two kickoff returns that were inches away from being returned for touchdowns. Expect the Giants to continue to use him in the offense, but he is only worth a fantasy start if one of the current starters is hurt, particularly Plax. And as you know, there are plenty of issues surrounding Plax right now.


Studs of the Week


Matt Cassel, QB, Patriots

: Back-to-back 400 yard games against divisional opponents … are you serious? We are used to seeing this from Tom Terrific, but not from Matt Cassel. His 30/43, 415-yard, four total touchdown day earns him the Stud of the Week.


Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys

: It’s a multiple Stud of the Week this edition because when TO has a big game and he isn’t recognized for it, he gets upset and cries. Here’s to honoring TO for his seven-catch (tied season high), 213-yard (season high), one-TD game. Take a look at how meaningful his game was Sunday, or how disappointing his season has been so far. His yardage total from Week 6 until Sunday was 174 yards and his TD total was just one.


Michael Turner, RB, Falcons

: One stud at each position this week. How can you not add the back from

Atlanta with four rushing TDs and over 100 yards on the ground to the stud list? The Falcons also improved to 7-4 to keep their division hopes alive.


On the Fall


Willie Parker, RB, Steelers

: He’s been on the shelf for most of the year so it’s pretty obvious that he is on the fall. However, this time, it’s for good. He looked gimpy on Thursday night and was evidently injured as Mewelde Moore came in for him to finish the game. Even if Parker does come back, he has disappointed too many times to trust him. Not to mention, he still faces

Baltimore and

Tennessee in the most important weeks (15 and 16) on the road. Don’t expect anything from FWP (that’s Fast Willie Parker, but his owners are calling him other things these days) for the rest of the year.



Jaguars Season

: Better luck next year, Jags. Your 4-7 start after a playoff berth last year is very disappointing and you could finish the season in the AFC South cellar. A romping by the Vikings without their QB throwing a TD in your building was a nice way to go out. By the way, fumbling twice in the first 20 seconds of the game isn’t easy. Congrats on accomplishing that feat. Good luck in ’09.


Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles

: The Phillies got their championship, but don’t expect the Eagles to be in the playoffs anytime soon. It appears the McNabb era is over or could be soon. He had a good run in Philly, but could never seal the deal and win a championship. The Eagles face the Cardinals on Thanksgiving night so it will be interesting to see who gets the start, but on a short week, I expect Donovan to be under center.


Jay Cutler, QB,


: What’s up Jay? Back-to-back 200 yard days, and this Sunday, he failed to throw a TD. Forget the upcoming schedule, which looks good for the most part, but something isn’t right in

Denver. Let’s see if he can bounce back in

New York against the red-hot Jets. He has a favorable first-round playoff matchup (for those who begin in Week 14) against the Chiefs at home, but it would be nice to see him improve before that one.


Duds of the Week


Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

: It wasn’t the best matchup, but we definitely expected more than 14 carries for 26 yards and one catch for six yards. Let’s hope he can rebound in the cold city of

Buffalo next weekend. He faces the AFC East (other than the Patriots) in the next three crucial weeks. If he can get through that, he travels to

St. Louis to take on the lowly Rams in some Week 16 championship weeks.


Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants

: You should have looked elsewhere with the injury concerns entering the week, but if you had no choice and waited for the news that Burress was active, you got burned. On the first play of the game, he caught a six-yard pass, but it was negated because of a penalty. He never saw the field again. It’s been a frustrating season for Plax owners, dealing with both on and off the field issues.


One Week Wonder


Trent Edwards, QB, Bills

: Don’t get too excited about this kid. He hadn’t thrown for multiple TDs in a game all season until Sunday. He also ran for two scores, which doubled his total on the year. Even though he faces the Niners next week, expect his numbers to revert to mediocrity, for the rest of the year.


No Need to Worry


Chris Johnson and LenDale White, RBs, Titans

: Have no fear, the Lions are here! Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with these two running all over the

Detroit defense. They have disappointed of late due to some tough matchups, but the schedule is in their favor from here on out (except Week 16 against



That’s all for this week’s edition. If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at Thanks for all of your e-mails so far!

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