Last week I mentioned Julius Jones who soared on Thanksgiving with 150 yards and 2 td’s. These numbers are possible the next three weeks as well since he plays Seattle, New Orleans, and Philadelphia. Next week against New Orleans who ranks last on defense in almost every category should be HUGE especially for those in round 1 of the playoffs. Not to mention Parcells has given the full time job (25-30 plus carries) to Jones. Don’t expect Eddie George to get more than 3 or 4 carries a game.
Must Start Sleeper Plays:
Onterrio Smith has been named the full time starter by Mike Tice. Granted the past doesn’t necessarily bode well as Tice says one thing and the opposite happens. Example last year he said Smith looked great in practice and would get over 100 yards. Well he barely got half that and wasn’t even given a real chance. However, this time Tice is saying he is the starter and will get the majority of the carries. I am willing to take that gamble as the Vikings visit the Bears who rank 28th against the run and have allowed Julius Jones and Edgerrin James to run for over 350 yards combined the past two weeks and 3 touchdowns. NOTE TO SELF – PLAY ALL RB’S WHO OPPOSE THE BEARS. Tice’s words and the Bears ineptitude to stop the run make Smith a must play sleeper.
Kerry Collins is hot right now with 6 touchdowns the past two weeks including the snow bowl in Denver on Sunday night. He seems to be clicking much better with his receiving corp. especially Jerry Porter. I don’t know if he is more relaxed and more comfortable or the offense is finally coming along. Regardless Collins won’t be slowing down this week against the Chiefs. The Chiefs don’t rank 32nd against the pass but they are close. 30th if you’re counting. The also allow almost 2 passing touchdowns a game making this a near certainty Collins will have at least 2. The only negative with this matchup is Trent Green might be out which might slow down the potential for a shootout, but points will still scored.
Quality Sleeper Plays:
Todd Pinkston has had some solid games this year and some games where he has frankly disappeared. This week against the Packers I fully expect a good performance as the Packers will obviously have Al Harris (former Eagle) lined up opposite of Terrell Owens aka. The Dancing Queen. Not only will Harris who held Torry Holt to basically nothing last week be on Owens but they will undoubtedly shadow him with the free safety. They won’t let Owens beat them which will force Mcnabb to look more towards Pinkston’s area. This is also a game that should have a lot of points scored on both sides.
Drew Bennett has been on my list a few times this year with mixed results however this matchup might be the best yet. Steve Mcnair is showing signs of life after the 3 touchdown performance against the Texans who rank 29th. This week the Titans face the 31st ranked pass defense in the Colts. Both Bennett and Derrick Mason should have big days as the Titans will probably be playing from behind forcing McNair to throw 40-50 times. Call me crazy but I think the Titans have a chance here if they can score enough points which looks like a decent proposition. The only negative is Dwight Freeney for the Colts who might be pestering McNair a lot as the Titans are slim at tackle with injuries.
Nick Going Going Goings has risen to a decent fantasy play due to his past two games. The Panther’s have won three in a row thanks to Goings who is the primary back and should touch the ball at least 20 times on Sunday. Carolina is at New Orleans who we mentioned above as having the worst pass defense. Guess what they also have the worst run defense in the NFL allowing over 150 yards a game and a league worst 13 plus runs of 20 yards or more. Everyone this year has torched the Saints on the ground and this week should be no different.
1. Miami (Bledsoe back to Earth?)
2. Tampa Bay (Watch Vick on the ground))
3. Pittsburgh (sit Jimmy Smith)
4. Baltimore (only 7 passing td’s allowed)
5. Washington (HELLO ELI)
32. New Orleans (Jake Delhomme good play)
31. Indianapolis (Go Air McNair – what retirement?)
30. Kansas City (20 touchdowns allowed)
29. Houston (27 touchdowns allowed)
28. Green Bay (23 touchdowns allowed)
1. Pittsburgh (only 4 td’s allowed)
2. San Diego (12 touchdowns but little yards allowed)
3. Washington (only 6 td’s allowed)
4. Buffalo (might hold Miami to 30 yards)
5. Denver (Tomlinson’s number’s won’t be great)
32. New Orleans (153 yards and 13 td’s – did we mention Goings)
31. St Louis (145 yards a game)
30. Cincinnati (played better lately)
29. Miami (Zach Thomas injured)
28. Chicago (Brian Urlacher injured)
Best of luck as always.