As the ritual setting of the clocks back to standard time approaches, let me shine some light on some players who will emerge during the second half of the season and others who could keep darken your path to a fantasy football championship.
Fall Back – Brandon Jacobs
Jacobs is like a bulldozer. Stand in front of him, and you will be plowed over. The problem is, the Giants like to mix things up with Derrick Ward (and sometimes Ahmad Bradshaw), limiting Jacobs’ carries to about 15 per game. He has avoided the injury bug so far, but his style of running makes him very susceptible to injury (he missed five games last season). To make matters worse, the Giants often rest Jacobs when they hold a commanding lead, which seems to happen a lot these days. Sell now while his value his high, because if the Giants keep winning, they might sit Jacobs when it matters most – the fantasy playoffs.
Spring Forward – Ronnie Brown
Brown and the Wildcat formation recently got declawed (and perhaps neutered) for a second week in a row, this time at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Although Brown seems to be held in check by staunch defenses, he feasts on inferior ones. The Wildcat’s schedule is looking up for Brown for the rest of the season, beginning in Week 9 against the Broncos, whose yards-allowed-per-game is second worst in the NFL. Also, backup Ricky Williams continues to lose carries as the trees lose their leaves, so Brown is definitely in.
Fall Back – Randy Moss
Oh Randy, Randy – you looked fine and dandy for a second week in a row. Too bad the Patriots can’t play the Rams and Broncos every week! Matt Cassel is still no Tom Brady, and as such, will continue to have trouble getting Moss the long ball against better defenses. It would be wise to trade #81 while his stock is high. Package him with a decent running back, and you might still be able to get a favorable return.
Spring Forward – Ryan Torain
Torain may have disappeared off of fantasy radar after he dislocated his elbow in training camp, but he looks likely to return in Week 9. It’s no secret that Broncos coach Mike Shanahan has a knack for turning running backs into a fantasy treasure chests. And since he likes to ride the hot hand, with a trio of banged-up backs: Michael Pittman (ribs), Selvin Young (groin) and Andre Hall (wrist), the timing for Torain couldn’t be more perfect.
Fall Back – Kurt Warner
I’m still giddy about claiming Warner off of waivers after a preseason game in which Matt Leinart threw three interceptions. For an old dude, Warner can still play. In fact, he is putting up MVP-like numbers and has been as good as any quarterback in the league. However, before his brittle body takes a season-ending hit, it might be wise to inquire what kind of return he can command. After all, he can’t possibly keep this up all season, can he?!
Spring Forward – Tim Hightower
The Edge has looked awfully dull these days. Maybe it isn’t his fault, but Edgerrin James is becoming yesterday’s news. They “put me in a position to fail,” James said. The Cardinals backup Tim Hightower, meanwhile, continues to get the work at goal line. It wouldn’t be shocking if he starts seeing a significant increase in carries. Pick up Tim Hightower, while you still can. The Cards have a rush-friendly matchup in Week 9 against the lowly Rams defense, where we might see an official changing of the guard.
So, while you’re setting your clocks back this weekend, don’t forget to reset your fantasy team to prepare for the climb to playoff berth. And enjoy your extra hour of sleep before the games begin!