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On the Rise, On the Fall – Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 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 – Brandon Marshall,

Marion Barber, etc – and will keep to players whose performance was not as foreseeable.


I will add one player a week to a new category: One Week Wonder.


On the Rise


Isaac Bruce, WR, 49ers

: Sir Isaac has caught a TD pass in each of his last three games and looks to be the #1 target for J.T. O’Sullivan. Reunited with Mike Martz, this late-round flier/waiver wire pickup has been a pleasant surprise.


T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals

: As long as Carson Palmer is under center, you can feel free this start this Bengal WR week in and week out. Not so much for #85. Palmer consistently looks his way, especially in the red zone. T.J. is on the only thing on the rise in Cincy.




: You have to give this team credit as they defeated the two teams in last year’s AFC Championship game (New England,

San Diego) in consecutive games. Yes, the Patriots were without Tom Brady, but it was still an impressive win in Foxboro. At 2-2, they are still in contention in the AFC East.


Stud of the Week



Portis, RB, Redskins

: You have to give props to the heart of the Redskins offense. Portis ran for 145 yards and a TD on 29 carries. He did this in a winning effort against one of the toughest run defenses in the league on the road. It looked like panic time after Week 1 in

Washington, but as we sit here after five weeks of play, CP and the Skins are for real.


On the Fall


Earnest Graham, RB, Buccaneers

: This is not so much Graham as an NFL player being on the fall, but as a fantasy player. Warrick Dunn is taking a considerable amount of carries and playing time away from Graham. If you look at Graham’s numbers this year, you may think he is a solid fantasy back. However, he has two lengthy runs in Week 2 and 4 in the final minutes of the game that were capped with TD’s. Don’t be shocked if his production falls.


Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots

: Those who think Maroney could revert to his end of 2007 and playoff status are feeling the pain right now. The Patriots are using Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk and LaMont Jordan

in addition to Maroney. That doesn’t bold well for him. If you haven’t already kept him on your bench, then start doing so.




: Up by 17 points with under five minutes to go and you had the Colts on a 4th-down-and-6 from the 7-yard line, but you could not hang on. Not too mention the unexplainable turnovers by your quarterback, which we will get into more in this week’s edition of Dud of the Week! They gave the Colts, who are about two plays away from being 0-4, new life at 2-2.


Dud of the Week

Sage Rosenfels, QB, Texans:

How could it be any other? He single-handedly lost the game for his team on Sunday by fumbling twice in the final four minutes. He may have earned himself another start with Matt Schaub missing the game with an illness, but not after that debacle. Sorry, Sage.

One Week Wonder


Domenik Hixon, WR, Giants:

If you had this guy on your roster for Week 5, congrats! I liked this Giant to do well vs. the

Seattle secondary this weekend. Hixon and Eli had developed a nice connection in the preseason. However, once Plaxico returns to the lineup, it significantly affects his value. I still feel Hixon is a very talented WR, but with the Giants crowded options at that position, he will not be fantasy-worthy this season barring suspension or injury to the rest of the team. Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Steve Smith all play large parts in the offense, which hurts the value of Hixon.


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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