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Week Nine: NFL Mid-Season

Week nine marks the halfway point for most NFL teams as the majority of teams have taken their bye with the exception of the teams off this week the Giants, Bears, Dolphins and Rams and next weeks teams the Texans, Patriots, Buccaneers and Jets. By now there is enough data and games played to really track the players that are doing well, starting to pick up their play and the ones which are disappointing. This is when players get hot and rookies slow down.

 

Let’s look at the Top 5 teams in the Redzone in Run and Pass TDs.

 

Top 5 Run TDs

Team

TD Scored

1

Colts

12

2

Dolphins

9

3

Patriots

8

4

Giants

8

5

Steelers

7

 

The Colts lead the way with 12 run TDs interesting enough is the Dolphins who have 9 rushing TDs but Ronnie Brown is gone which will change some of the play calling.

 

Top 5 Pass TDs

Team

TD Scored

1

Patriots

19

2

Steelers

12

3

Cowboys

9

4

Browns

9

5

Bengals

8

 

New England

is tops in this category but it is interesting that the Steelers have put up good numbers in the Redzone as well.

 

Let’s look at the Last 5 teams in the Redzone in Run and Pass TDs.

 

Last 5 Run TDs

Team

TD Scored

28

Rams

1

29

Falcons

1

30

Bears

2

31

Ravens

2

32

Jets

2

 

Of this group,

Baltimore is the only team with a winning record.

 

Last 5 Pass TDs

Team

TD Scored

28

Bills

1

29

Vikings

2

30

Titans

2

31

49ers

3

32

Falcons

4

 

The surprising name of this group is the Titans who are 5-2 on the season but have only 2 passing TDs in the RedZone.

 

 

 

The 4 teams going into the bye need the break. The Giants will use the time to get players healthy and have two weeks to prepare for their match-up with the Cowboys. This match-up will be just as intense and watched as the week 1 game. The Bears look to find some answers as the switch to

Brian Greise has only given them 2 wins in 5 starts. The Rams and the Dolphins both find themselves at 0-8 and will be looking at next year’s draft. More then likely they will start to evaluate their young talent over the second half of their season.

 

Interesting information about the teams off this week and the receiving production over the last 3 weeks:

 

Giants

:

New York has won the last 3 games and is on a 6 game winning streak heading into the bye.

Eli Manning has only targeted 3 of the WR on the team over the last 3 games.

Plaxico Burress has been targeted more, 24 targets for 13 catches 154 yds and 1TD.

Amani Toomer has picked up production with 19 targets for 11 catches 138 yds and 2TDs. The only other WR production is from

Sinorice Moss who has 6 targets for 4 catches and 19 yds.

Jeremy Shockey has been as productive as the WR with 15 targets for 13 catches and 128 yds and 1TD. Although the Manning has not been putting up big numbers over the last few weeks, his top 3 receivers have good yds per rec at 11.41. The passing stats have been low due to the effectiveness of the running game which is averaging 172 yds with 4 TD (one by Manning) over the last 3 weeks.

 

Bears

:

Chicago has lost 2 of the last 3 games heading into the bye.

Chicago’s switch of QBs has produced mixed results. The run game continues to struggle averaging 75 yds on the ground over those games with no TDs.

Bernard Berrian continues to be to go to guy in this offense as he has been targeted 23 times for 13 catches 188 yds and 1TD. The next leading receivers are the TE

Greg Olson and RB

Adrian Peterson. Olson has been targeted 21 times for 15 rec 170 yds and 1TD. Peterson has been targeted 18 times for 18 catches for 102 yds. Greise has spread the ball around as TE

Desmond Clark 9 catches for 91 and Muhsin Muhammad has been targeted 17 times for 9 rec 146 yds and 2 TD.

Cedric Benson who has struggled running the ball also is struggling in the pass. He has been targeted 10 times for only 5 rec and 47 yds.

 

Dolphins

:

Miami has lost the last 3 games in this span and have lost 8 straight overall this season heading into the bye. The Dolphins should be happy that they don’t play this week. After losing their best player in

Ronnie Brown, they also lost

Trent Green for the year and traded

Chris Chambers. They must look to replace the production they lost from Brown and Chambers. Brown had 14 rec for 102 yds. Chambers left 3 weeks ago but had 415 yds rec this season in

Miami. Cleo Lemon has been leaning on the TEs who combine for 19 targets 16 rec 124 yds and 2 TDs over the last 3 games. Marty Booker has 17 targets for 93 yds. Derek Hagan has 15 targets for 9 rec and 113 yds. Ted Ginn JR has 11 targets for 90 yds and 1 TD.

 

Rams

:

St. Louis has lost the last 3 games in this span and has lost 8 straight overall this season heading into the bye. The Rams also are glad to get a rest in hopes to get guys back from injuries. They have been plagued by injuries and it has led to a 0-8 start.

Marc Bulger return to the line up and produced well but it did not lead to a win. Over the past 3 weeks

Torry Holt has been the go to guy receiving 30 targets for 18 rec 225 yds and 1TD.

Isaac Bruce has been targeted 12 times for 8 rec and 122 yds.

Randy McMichael has been used more receiving 14 targets for 7 rec and 107 yds. Interesting enough

Marques Hagans, has 14 targets for 7 rec and 90 yds. The Rams may get a break in the second half of the schedule and may put up better numbers. If they can get

Steven Jackson back, it would increase the passing numbers.

Let’s look at the players not available for this week and what players you can use to fill the void.

 

QBs on Week Nine Bye:

The list for this week includes,

Eli Manning,

Brian Griese,

Cleo Lemon and

Marc Bulger. Some QB’s you can use are

JP Losman,

Jay Cutler,

Jon Kitna,

Damon Huard,

Ben Roethlisburger, and

Matt Hasselbeck.

 

RBs on Week Nine Bye:

This list includes

Brandon Jacobs/

Derek Ward,

Cedric Benson/

Adrian Peterson,

Jesse Chatman and

Brian Leonard/

Steven Jackson. Some RBs you can use this week are

Marshawn Lynch,

Kenny Watson/

Rudi Johnson,

Selvin Young,

LenDale White/

Chris Brown and

Ladell Betts.

 

WRs on Week Nine Bye:

list includes

Plaxico Burress/

Amani Toomer/

Sinorice Moss,

Bernard Berrian/

Muhsin Muhammad/

Devin Hester,

Derek Hagan/

Marty Booker and

Ted Ginn JR,

Torry Holt/

Isaac Bruce/

Drew Bennett. Receivers to look at are

Lee Evens/

Roscoe Parrish,

Brandon Marshall/

Brandon Stokley,

Matt Jones/

Reggie Williams,

Reggie Brown/

Kevin Curtis and

Joey Galloway/

Ike Hilliard.

 

TEs on Week Nine Bye:

This list includes

Jeremy Shockey,

Greg Olsen/

Desmond Clark,

David Martin,

Randy McMichael. TEs you can start are

Alge Crumpler,

Marcus Pollard,

Visanthe Shiancoe and

Jeff King.

 

DEFs on Week Nine Bye:

This list includes Bears, Dolphins, Giants and Rams. You should be able to find plenty of defenses to work with this week as some owners have already started dumping back up defenses to cover injuries. Use

Denver,

Green Bay,

Houston,

Tennessee and

Washington.

 

The Golden Mug Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Joseph Addai

– Addai put in a big performance with 100 yds rushing and 2 TDs. He also added 1 rec TD. Reports of a committee probably frustrated a lot of people but this answers a lot of questions.

Honorable Mention

Marques Colston-

Mr. Colston

welcome to the list. After having a very sub par season, Colston scored 3TDs on 85 yds rec. Not only did he put up 3 scores but he posted the most yards he has had since he netted 70 yds in week 2.

 

The Urinal Cake Award

Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

Brian Griese

– Griese had a great match-up facing the Lions and he let his team down. The 208 yds and 1TD wasn’t that bad but his 4INTs were Grossman like. 3 of those INTs were in the end zone no less.

Dishonorable Mention

Steve Smith

– The QB situation is killing him. Since week 2 he has only had one game over 100 yds and has produced just 2 TDs. This weeks 2 rec for 18 yds was just awful. I don’t know how he doesn’t jump in the QB’s ass and demands that every pass go his way. Where else are they going to throw? In the last 3 weeks they have not had any type of real production from their receivers.

Keary Colbert has 11 rec and 138 yds over the last 3 games while TE

Jeff King has 14 rec for 127 yds and

Drew Carter with 3 rec for 26 yds.

 

 

 

 

 

MATCH-UPS

The match-ups

I like this week for QBs:

Matt Hasslebeck

against the Browns. The Seahawks come off a bye after posting back to back solid games before the break. This week they play

Cleveland which loves to give up yards. Beat up and winless St. Louis manage to pass for 310 yds last week on the Browns which give up 29 points a game, 30th in the league and surrenders 270 yds on average, ranking them 31st in the league.

 

JP Losman

against the Bengals. Losman came in last week and tossed his 1st TD of the season. Most people have left Losman for dead and for good reason but he has a shot to redeem himself and goes up against the best match-up he will see this year. Plus if he doesn’t produce, he might be a back up for a long time in this league. So you’re looking at your team and maybe you have

Cleo Lemon and

Eli Manning on your bench because the waivers have been shallow and you’ve sustained injuries to your QB1. Losman is worth a shot going against

Cincinnati which ranks 31st in the league in points allowed at 30.0. They also give up a ton of yards having surrendered 246 yds a game. If you’re in a bind take Losman roll the dice and hope you don’t crap out.

 

The match-ups

I like this week for RBs:

Selvin Young

/

Travis Henry against the Lions. I think the injury to Henry will keep him out another week or limit him. Check his status before deciding to use him. Young will benefit the most because he gets to face

Detroit. I’m sure the loss on Monday night has them pumped up to restore their confidence and this game can do that. Despite

Detroit playing the run well last week, a good amount of credit is because of Cedric Benson’s inability to play well. Don’t be fooled by last weeks team effort by the Lions, they rank 25th in the league giving up 25.4 points a game and allow 108 yds a game. If the passing game can get them ahead early, they will run the ball the rest of the game.

 

Kenny Watson

/

Rudi Johnson/

DeDe Dorsey against the Bills. This is a do or die game for the Bengals as they are last in the division and any playoff chances are all but dried up. This team can score and is probability one of the best scoring teams for a last place team. They rank 6th in points scored with 25.3 a game. They are in the top 5 in passing yards with 263.4 a game. Although their running game hasn’t played well, Watson is averaging 95 yds a game 3TDs in the last 3 games. He put up good numbers two weeks ago against the Jets and now faces the Bills who have only given up 19.3 points a game which is 13th in the league but allow 127.9 yds rushing per game which ranks 24th. Monitor the status of both RB’s as Watson had a concussion and Johnson is still coming back from the hamstring injury. Dorsey has not seen much action this season but is expected to play more.

 

 

 

 

 

The match-ups

I don’t like this week for QBs

Kurt Warner

against the Buccaneers. Warner came back from his injury at

Carolina to post a decent game passing for 282 yds and 2TDs while throwing 2 INTs against

Washington. The injury is to his non-throwing arm but it is clear that it is factor. He has a tough match-up with

Tampa who are 9th in the league in points allowed with 16.8 a game and is only giving up 173.1 yds a game passing which is 2nd in the league.

Arizona had a bye last week and should have has a little more time to heal but the match-up just isn’t favorable.

 

Sage Rosenfels

against the Raiders. Rosenfels played well for the injured Schaub but his play has been inconsistent. Even though he has 6 TDs in 3 games, 4 of those came in a come from behind effort against the Titans. This week Rosenfels faces

Oakland which might seem as a good match up but without a decent running game and Andre Johnson still not playing, I would avoid using him.

Oakland is still 3rd in the league in passing yards allowed with 178.7 per game. The game looks to be very mediocre and should be avoided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The match-up

I don’t like this week for RBs:

DeShaun Foster

/

DeAngelo Williams against the Titans. The Panthers problems have not just been limited to the passing game as the QB situation has distracted people from the fact the Panthers are running the ball lately has been poor. They rank 10th in the league with 129 yds a game but over the last 3 weeks have managed just 107 yds per game and only 2TDs for Foster and Williams combined. They are also only getting 4.1 yds per carry over that span. Last week the Panthers generated 76 yds for the duo and now face the Titans that rank #1 in the league with just 64.3 yds allowed.

 

Larry Johnson

against the Packers. Johnson has played well after a horrible game against

Jacksonville 3 weeks ago. He posted back to back 100+ yard games and scored in both games. The Packers showed on Monday Night that they are contenders this year and the defense has played well. They held

Denver’s running game to just 88 yds.

Green Bay is only allowing 17.1 points a game and 98.4 yds a game. I wouldn’t sit Johnson but don’t expect him to put up monster stats in this one.

 

Week eight’s brew of choice was Miller Chill. I didn’t really care for it but I’ll try any beer once. As always drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.

 

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