I will continue this week with my weekly sleeper plays as well as rate each player on how valuable I believe they will be the rest of this 2004 season. Again 5 stars being very valuable and a virtual must start each week. I will also list the top and bottom run and pass defenses in the NFL so you can better gauge whom to start and sit rather than continue those sleepless nights. My philosophy is “When in doubt go with the better matchup”. Obviously this doesn’t apply to the fantasy studs and you all know who they are.
Quality Sleeper Plays:
Lee Evans has been steeping it up for Bledsoe. The Seahawks who host the Bills haven’t been able to generate much pass pressure; giving every QB they’ve faced recently lots of time to throw. Drew Bledsoe will not hesitate to go downfield at Seattle, and Evans could be his best deep target. The rookie can certainly exploit the holes in the Seattle zone coverage’s, and should be able to get past the secondary for at least one score. Seattle’s pass defense is ranked in the middle of the league but they have looked very poor the past few weeks including last week against Miami. Look for Evans to have one of the best statistical days of his rookie season with Eric Moulds once again being the main focal point of the Seahawk defense.
Bobby Engram is now a main point for the Seattle offense. Jerry Rice until last week didn’t see much of anything, and Koren Robinson’s suspension is now upon us. Engram should be in the starting lineup and therefore will be taking on a more prominent role. Therefore he should become a more regular contributor in the Seattle passing game regardless of their quarterback situation. They host the Bills this week who have a solid run defense but their secondary is average. He has always been dependable for Seattle when healthy, and his ankle injury is subsiding.
Justin McCareins and the J-e-t-s who are grossly overrated travel to Arizona where McCareins should have a nice ballgame. He is finally starting to show signs of being the dependable target the Jets want him to be. McCareins started very slowly this season as expected joining a new team for a young receiver, but now he is becoming a more reliable performer for New York. When opposing defenses try to take the ball away from Santana Moss, McCareins will hurt them with timely receptions and important possession grabs. Arizona is in the middle of the pack in passing defense but expect them to take control of the Jets running game as Dennis Green hinted forcing Carter to go to the air.
Julius Jones and Drew Henson are the Cowgirls future and the future is evidently now for Parcells and company. Jones will be receiving a majority of the carries on Turkey day and he goes against the red hot 200 plus rushing day Bear defense. Edgerrin James is still running wild on them with Urlacher sidelined and expect Jones to have a solid day. Last week his numbers weren’t very impressive, yet when you consider Jones returned from an injury to face the Ravens, 81 yards isn’t terrible. Jones hits the hole very quickly, and should start to demonstrate more elusiveness soon. Dallas needs a definite spark in their running game, and a healthy Jones should also cap off some scoring drives with short TD runs.
1. Miami (stay away from 49er WR)
2. Tampa Bay (Muhammad – back to earth)
3. Baltimore (only 7 passing td’s allowed)
32. New Orleans (Warrick Dunn – big day)
30. Houston (24 passing td’s allowed)
29. Kansas City (Tomlinson – HUGE)
1. San Diego (76 yards allowed)
2. Pittsburgh (only 4 td’s allowed)
3. Washington (only 5 td’s allowed)
32. New Orleans (150 yards and 12 td’s)
30. Miami (Kevan Barlow)
29. St Louis
28. Chicago (plays Julius Jones)
Best of luck as always.