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On the Rise, On the Fall – Week 14

Welcome to Week 14 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 – Brian Westbrook, Roddy White, etc – and will keep to players whose performance was not as foreseeable.


On the Rise


Pierre Thomas, RB,



Pierre has stepped up while Reggie Bush has been getting back into the flow of things. He had his fourth straight double-digit fantasy day and in that span he has scored six touchdowns. Week 15 against the Bears in

Chicago is not too appealing, but Week 16 against the Lions is.

Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins

: You can probably start to believe in Bess after his third straight solid outing. The main thing you have to like is the fact that he is getting the receptions and looks from Chad Pennington. Over his past three weeks, he has filled in for the injured

Greg Camarillo with 20 catches for 245 yards. He faces the 49ers and the Chiefs so if you are in need of a WR3 or flex option, a consistent 7-9 points could help balance your roster.

NFC South at Home

: Do not doubt the NFC South teams in their own buildings. With the win by the Saints in the Superdome, these four teams improved to a combined 24-2 at home, adding to it the Panthers win over the Buccaneers on Monday night. The NFC South race will be interesting

down the stretch, a

s the teams battle for home-field advantage in January.


Stud of the Week


Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles

: Two straight weeks on the Stud List for Westbrook. He earned it as he ran for 131 yards and a score against the Giants, who tend to be brutal against opposing backs. Westbrook also had six catches for 72 yards and a game-clinching TD reception.

On the Fall


Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys

: Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony … a Tony for each turnover. The biggest of them all came with 1:40 on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Jason Witten blamed himself on that one, but Romo will still get the heat. The Cowboys could have made a statement and kept their hot streak alive by winning in

Pittsburgh. Instead, they allowed the Giants to clinch the NFC East and we had to watch Terrell Owens bark at everyone and anyone after the game about his frustrations.

Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns

: Jamal has not broken the 90-yard barrier on the ground yet this season and has just four rushing TDs. Ken Dorsey is now at the helm and teams do not fear him.

Tennessee shut down Lewis on Sunday, and I expect the Eagles to do the same next Monday night. I know he has the Bengals in Week 16, but the way things are looking for

Cleveland, I would probably let him ride the pine.

Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

: This could all change with some promising reports this week. An X-ray taken Sunday night came back negative on his ankle, but it appears he won’t play this weekend. If he winds up missing the rest of the season, it would be disappointing for Gore owners who were waiting for that Week 16 matchup against the lowly Rams.

Joseph Addai, RB, Colts

: Is there a game where this guy does not get banged up? Owners with both Addai and Dominic Rhodes would rather Addai sit out and let

Rhodes handle the load, especially since he seems to be in the backfield in a lot of the red zone situations.

Green Bay


: It has been a rough last few weeks for the Packers, who will not be playing any postseason football this season. Aaron Rodgers won’t be the reason for their rough season so the “we would have won with Brett Favre” talk has no validity. Their back-to-back losses at Lambeau have sealed their fate.


Running Backs

: With Peyton Hillis likely lost for the season, the

Denver running game is not something worth gambling on in your fantasy playoffs. This is a tough break for the Broncos who have dealt with injuries to almost every running back on their roster. They were finally developing a running game to go along with their passing game and it could have helped them come playoff time.

Dud of the Week


Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts:

Reggie has not made this list despite his low productivity of late, but that ends this week. He returned to the dome on Sunday against the Bengals and could not find the endzone although Peyton Manning threw three TDs.

Wayne owners can only hope he ends that drought Sunday against the Lions.

One Week Wonder


Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks:

He had 88 receiving yards and two TDs on Sunday against his former team, which was nice and all, but this is as good as it will get for Deion this season. He faces the Rams next weekend, but I still would not plug him in my lineup at this point of the season.

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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