Saturday, November 1

Double Coverage

The feature everyone loved in the preseason, Double Coverage, is back. There have been many dynamic duos in history. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly. And today, we bring you yet another great duo. Tosten and A-Koz will be giving our views on a player each week; one of us for him, and one of us against him. Today's topic: Who's the better Monday night start: Ben Roethlisberger or Jason Campbell?
A-Koz: Start Campbell

Wow, Tosten makes my arguement pretty easy.

His first paragraph sums it up. Ben has really struggled this year. He hasn't been "Big Ben" statistically. More like "Average Ben."

As Tosten said, Big Ben has just 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions through seven games, not to mention a completion percentage of 60 percent.

Sure, Santonio Holmes is back, but it's not like he's going to cure all of Ben's woes. After all, he was only out for one game. Parker's return is a cry of joy for Steelers' fans like myself, but Big Ben wasn't rolling in the numbers in the three games Parker played—Big Ben had only an average of 20 pass attempts, 149 yards, and one touchdown in those three games. On the other hand, Campbell has been mistake-free all year long. The zero interceptions through eight games say it all. You know the Steelers will be gunning to shut down Clinton Portis, making it easier for the Redskins to pass against a Bryant McFadden-less secondary.

Tosten: Start Big Ben
Disappointing is an understatement. Just 10 touchdowns in seven games? The 18th-best passer rating in football? Fourth in the league in picks? For Ben Roethlisberger it stops now. Roethlisberger gets Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes on Monday Night in Washington. You can't downplay the effect of having the two biggest offensive weapons return for the prime time game against the sixth-best defense in the NFL. Both will play enormous roles in projecting Pittsburgh as an elite team and re-cementing Big Ben as an elite quarterback in the national spotlight. Roth and the rest of the franchise will be playing with a chip on their shoulders coming off a loss to the Giants, and as they look to prove themselves as championship contenders with a win over the Redskins, the team leader will drop big numbers, crediting himself and his franchise to NFL power rankers and fantasy owners alike.
We gave out candy last night.
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Da Games: Early Sundayers

In our attempt to provide every possible way for you to have more reason to kick yourself after a well researched fantasy loss, we antagonizingly analyze each and every weekend matchup. This past week has been one of solace in a time of despair. Philadelphia failure ended with a Phillies World Series victory over the Rays. One hundred seasons of champion-less sports in the win deprived city were forgotten with a five game route to redemption. A television comedy scene filled with supposed funny shows like The Big Bang Theory was pulled out of a depression by the 30 Rock premiere. A more literal depression has risen over 1000 points this week to the tune of sighs of relief throughout an economically challenged nation. And seemingly hopeless fantasy owners were given new found optimism in times of Carson Palmer injuries and Larry Johnson woes by newfangled, bright side showing statistical analysis sites. This here blog isn't any miracle calculator, but we do believe that it contains some resurrection inducing powers. The abilities are most clearly seen inside the weekend previews that start... now.
Houston Texans @ Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy Impact Players QB Matt Schaub, Gus Ferrotte RB— Adrian Peterson, Steve Slaton WR— Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Bernard Berrian TE— Owen Daniels, Visanthe Shiancoe Key Stat 61—Since Week 4, the Texans' quarterback (be it Matt Schaub or Sage Rosenfels), Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson, and Kevin Walter, have averaged a total of 61 fantasy points between them per game. Our Take Tosten Burks— The Vikes will be able to stop Houston's running gameI'd probably sit Slaton if I had the depth to do sobut Minnesota's pass D is mediocre at best. The Texans take this with a dominant momentum-fueled passing game smash. Zach Fein—As noted in the Key Stat above, Houston's offense has been on fire the past few weeks. Start the aforementioned four Texans, plus the obvious Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian. The Vikings' offense can't keep up with the Texans', so Houston should win by a touchdown or so.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Trent Edwards, Brett Favre RB— Thomas Jones, Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington WR— Lee Evans, Jerricho Cotchery, Laveraneus Coles TE— Robert Royal Key Stat 13.2—In his past four games against the Jets, Lee Evans is averaging 13.2 fantasy points. Our Take Tosten Burks— Feel free to double take, but the Jets' run defense is fourth in football. Lynch is only averaging 64 rushing yards per game, so if you have another option, I'd take it. Especially when Buffalo knows that the passing game for sure will work against the crashing Jets secondary. Zach Fein—I see this game as a high-scoring festival. Start everyone: Cotchery, Coles, Evans, Lynch, Thomas Jones, Favre, and Edwards. Heck, Leon Washington wouldn't be too bad of a flex play in 12-team leagues.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Kyle Orton, Dan Orlovsky RB— Matt Forte, Kevin Smith, Rudi Johnson WR— Calvin Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Rashied Davis TE— Greg Olsen Key Stat 3.3—Average rank from the bottom in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (worst), running backs (seventh-worst), wide receivers (worst), and tight ends (fourth-worst). Our Take Tosten Burks— I really like Greg Olsen for some reason. He had a huge game last week and Lloyd won't be back in full capacity if he's back at all, so I think I just am pumped at the opportunity of a big performance by a white guy. Zach Fein—Kyle Orton is a top-five QB, Forte a top-three RB, and the Bears' defense is a top-three defense this week. Calvin Johnson is averaging 16 fantasy points in his last three games; he's a must-start as well.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Derek Anderson, Joe Flacco RB— Willis McGahee, Jamal Lewis, Le'Ron McClain WR— Derrick Mason, Braylon Edwards TE— Kellen Winslow, Todd Heap Key Stat(s) 14—The Browns have given up only 14 (real life) points per game in the past four weeks. 17—The Ravens have scored only 17 (real life) points per game in the past four weeks. Our Take Tosten Burks— Kellen Winslow may be the most motivated guy in the league this weekend. Think he doesn't want to just drop a couple touchdowns and shove 'em in the face of Cleveland's doubting brass? Zach Fein—This game should be a low-scoring, defense-oriented game (see Key Stat above). Jamal Lewis, Willis McGahee and Braylon Edwards (along with both defenses) are the only good starts. Everyone else is a bench due to the bad matchup.
Green Bay Packers @ Tennessee Titans
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Aaron Rodgers, Kerry Collins RB— Chris Johnson, LenDale White, Ryan Grant WR— Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Justin Gage TE— Bo Scaife, Donald Lee Key Stat 1/3—The Titans have given up 12.4 points per game this year, exactly one-third less of the 18.6 they gave up all of last year. Our Take Tosten Burks— James Jones' returning could allow Green Bay to open up the offense a bit, but don't expect many sparks to fly in this matchup between two top pass D's, aside from the dominant Tennessee ground game. Zach Fein—The Titans will stay undefeated this week against the Packers and newly-signed Aaron Rodgers. I rank the backs in this game Chris Johnson, LenDale, and Grant; start them all, along with Jennings. Rodgers is a borderline starter.
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger RB— Tim Hightower, Edgerrin James, Antonio Pittman WR— Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Donnie Avery, Torry Holt TE— Leonard Pope Key Stat(s) 19.2—Average fantasy points per game of the top wide receiver going against the Cardinals, since Week 3. 13.5—Donnie Avery's average fantasy points per game in his last four games Our Take Tosten Burks— Jim Haslett said that Jackson is looking the same as last weekand last week Jackson didn't play. It sounds like Pittman will get the start, and another tiny step out of complete fantasy irrelevancy. Now it's just semi-complete fantasy irrelevancy. Zach Fein—If I could choose one early game to watch, this would be it. I wouldn't be surprised to see 70 points put up by both teams. Warner, Bulger, SJax, Edge, Hightower, Boldin, Fitzgerald, Breaston, Avery, and Holt are all starters. Wow.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Jeff Garcia, Tyler Thigpen RB— Earnest Graham, Kolby Smith WR— Antonio Bryant, Dwayne Bowe, Ike Hilliard TE— Tony Gonzalez Key Stat 5.2—Points per game more that Kansas City has given up to opposing running backs than any other team. Our Take Tosten Burks— Warrick Dunn is hurt and Larry Johnson is suspended. Dunn's backmate Graham will touch the ball more and benefit; Johnson's backmate Smith will be able to get tackled for a loss more and very probably have a concussion. Zach Fein—Earnest Graham, my colleague Tosten Burks' mancrush this week, is a top-five running back. Do not start Tyler Thigpen. Do not. Besides Graham, I'm only playing Dwayne Bowe, Tony Gonzalez, and the Buccaneers' defense.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy Impact Players QB— David Garrard RB— Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Taylor, Cedric Benson WR— TJ Houshmandzadeh, Matt Jones, Chad Johnson TE— nada Key Stat 9—Despite their 0-8 record and terrible defense, the Bengals have an average rank of only ninth-worst against opposing QBs, RBs and WRs in terms of fantasy points allowed. Our Take Tosten Burks— Trivia time. Who has the eigth-best passing defense in terms of yardage in the NFL? The Bungles. MoJo, Grandpa Fred, and Housh are the only players worth a glance here. Zach Fein—And despite that Key Stat, the Jaguars should have a field day. Play Garrard, both Jags' RBs, the not-suspended-yet Matt Jones, and the Jags' defense. The only Bengal I'd start is T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but I'm not too confident about him either.
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Da Games: Late Sundayers

In our attempt to provide every possible way for you to have more reason to kick yourself after a well researched fantasy loss, we antagonizingly analyze each and every weekend matchup.
Miami Dolphins @ Denver Broncos
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Jay Cutler, Chad Pennington RB— Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Michael Pittman WR— Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn Jr. TE— zilch Key Stat 2—The Dolphins have given up the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers, and the Broncos have given up the second-most to running backs. Our Take Tosten Burks—I think I like this game as much as any matchup all weekend. Other than the fact that every Denver running back is listed as questionable, this is an intriguing, fantasy stud-filled matchup. What the heck, start everyone above. Zach Fein—As noted by the Key Stat, you want to play both Broncos wideouts and both Dolphins backs. Jay Cutler and Chad Pennington (my mancrush of the week) are both top-10 quarterbacks as well.
Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Matt Ryan, JaMarcus Russell RB— Michael Turner, Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas WR— Roddy White TE— Key Stat(s) 17.3—Roddy White is averaging 17.3 fantasy points in his last five games. 21.6—Michael Turner is averaging 27 fantasy points against defenses in the bottom 12 in fantasy points allowed to RBs, 21.6 more than his 5.4 he averages against defenses outside that boundary. 6The Raiders are sixth-worst against opposing RBs. Our Take Tosten Burks— I really can not believe how crappy Oakland's receivers are. That is all. Zach Fein—Turner and White are both in the top-three in their respective positions this week. For the Raiders, I'm starting only Justin Fargas; Matt Ryan is a borderline starter in 12-team leagues.
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Eli Manning RB— Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs WR— Plaxico Burress, Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Amani Toomer TE— Jason Witten, Kevin Boss Key Stat 58—In their past four meetings (excluding playoffs), the Giants and Cowboys have combined to put up an average of 58 points per game, with an average score of 30-28. Our Take Tosten Burks— Expect a continued reliance on the running game by Dallas with Brad Johnson and possibly Brooks Bollinger at the helm, not to mention more weak performances by all pass catchers limited by the backup quarterbacks and the Jason Witten injury. Zach Fein—Marion Barber and Brandon Jacobs are top-10 running backs. Besides them, I play only Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress, and Jason Witten; I'm sitting Terrell Owenshe has an average of 33.3 yards in his past three games (that number stays the same with Brad Johnson as quarterback, the past two games)—and Roy "E." Williams.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Donovan McNabb RB— Brian Westbrook, Julius Jones WR— Deshaun Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Bobby Engram, Reggie Brown TE— John Carlson Key Stat 7—You think Seattle's offense is doing bad this year? They have scored seven more points in their first seven games than they did in the first seven games last year. But of course, they have given up 56 more points. Our Take Tosten Burks— Philadelphia will have their top three wideouts healthy for the first time all season, with Reggie Brown expected to play on Sunday with Curtis and Jackson. All three are solid starts against Seattle's third-worst-in-the-league pass defense. Zach Fein—Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, and the Eagles defense: start them all. I'm playing no Seahawks as the Eagles should win easily.
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Da Games: Prime Timers

In our attempt to provide every possible way for you to have more reason to kick yourself after a well researched fantasy loss, we antagonizingly analyze each and every weekend matchup.
New England Patriots @ Indianapolis Colts
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Peyton Manning, Matt Cassell RB— Kevin Faulk, Joseph Addai, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Dominic Rhodes WR— Reggie Wayne, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Marvin Harrison TE— Dallas Clark, Ben Watson Key Stat 28—The difference of Indianapolis' rank against opposing QBs and WRs in fantasy points allowed (both best in the league) and against opposing RBs (29th-worst). Our Take Tosten Burks— Indy has a great pass D but is a lot worse than good against the run. Faulk could be great, BenJarvus is a decent flex, and Wayne is the only wideout worth a start. Just thought I'd point this out, but Harrison has only two solid games all year; the stem of Peyton's downfall, anyone? Zach Fein—I expect the Patriots to come out on top in what should be a fairly high-scoring game. For the Patriots, start Kevin Faulk and the two wide receivers (despite the Key Stat above), but bench Matt Cassel. Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai, and Reggie Wayne are the starters on the Colts.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Ben Roethlisberger, Jason Campbell RB— Clinton Portis, Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore WR— Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Santana Moss TE— Chris Cooley, Heath Miller Key Stat(s) 56—In the nine Monday Night Football games thus far (there were two in Week 1), the average score has been 35-21, a total of 56 points. 38—The Redskins and Steelers have averaged 38 points scored and allowed in their 15 combined games played this year (the 'Skins have averaged about 38.5 total points per game, and the Steelers have 37.8 points per game). Our Take Tosten Burks— Willie Parker looks like he'll get the majority of the touches for Pittsburgh, but I can't see Moore being completely phased out. FWP is a No. 2 back and Moore is a flex. Also look for a resurgence in the Steelers' passing game. Zach Fein—Look for this game to stay on the trend of Key Stat No. 2 and be a 21-20 game. Start Big Ben, but not Jason Campbell; Portis and Willie Parker, but not Mewelde Moore; Santana Moss and Hines Ward, but not Santonio Holmes; and Chris Cooley, but not Heath Miller.
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Stat Boy Saturday: How Often Are Players Involved in a Game?

Another week with our honorary stat boy, Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for your fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. This week he looks at the percentage of a team's plays that go to specific players. We fantasy footballers know the difference of real football and, well, fake football. NFL analysts think of the best players as those who do the most with the least opportunities, such as Marion Barber, prior to this year. But in fantasy, it's about which players do the most, period. In other sports, too, this holds up well. In basketball, for example, some analysts look at a player's stats prorated to a certain amount of minutes per game (usually 48 minutes). However, all that matters in fantasy is the stats a player puts up in his playing time—no matter if he gets 20 or 40 minutes per game. Likewise, the same goes for fantasy football. Yes, Jerious Norwood has a 6.3 YPC, but he's only had 45 carries on the year. Ryan Grant has just a 3.4 YPC, but has 137 carries on the year. Norwood has done more with less, but Grant has done less with a whole lot more. Following this idea, I looked at the percentage of a team's plays is directed at a certain player. (By directed I mean attempts plus rushes plus sacks for quarterbacks; and rushes plus targets for running backs and wide receivers.) I first found each of those stats on a per-game basis, so a player like Anquan Boldin doesn't get punished for missing time and gets counted with zero plays in games in which he didn't play; then I divided a player's "plays" per game by his team's plays per game. Here are the results, using the starting QBs for each team; the top-50 backs in plays per game; and the top-60 wideouts in plays per game, substituting Marques Colston (outside top 60) for Nate Burleson (out for the year):
Name Team Play/G %Plays
Peyton Manning IND 40.7 67.2%
David Garrard JAC 40.0 63.3%
Jay Cutler DEN 39.9 63.1%
Matt Schaub HOU 40.7 62.7%
Kurt Warner ARI 40.9 62.6%
Donovan McNabb PHI 39.1 62.6%
Drew Brees NO 40.3 62.3%
J.T. O'Sullivan SF 35.0 61.6%
Aaron Rodgers GNB 37.7 61.1%
Brett Favre NYJ 37.4 60.6%
Derek Anderson CLE 34.3 59.9%
Gus Frerotte MIN 40.0 59.7%
Tony Romo DAL 36.3 59.3%
Ryan Fitzpatrick CIN 34.6 57.8%
Philip Rivers SD 31.6 57.5%
Marc Bulger STL 32.5 57.4%
Dan Orlovsky DET 31.0 57.4%
Kyle Orton CHI 36.4 56.2%
Matt Cassel NE 36.6 55.9%
Matt Hasselbeck SEA 32.3 55.8%
Chad Pennington MIA 32.1 54.1%
Matt Ryan ATL 33.4 54.0%
Eli Manning NYG 34.1 53.6%
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 31.1 53.0%
JaMarcus Russell OAK 32.0 52.8%
Jason Campbell WAS 33.8 52.4%
Trent Edwards BUF 31.0 51.8%
Jake Delhomme CAR 31.5 51.5%
Jeff Garcia TAM 34.2 50.9%
Kerry Collins TEN 31.0 50.3%
Tyler Thigpen KAN 30.0 49.4%
Joe Flacco BAL 32.4 48.7%
  • Look at the bottom of the list, from Matt Ryan down. One thing in common for all of them (except Tyler Thigpen)? They have a very nice running back or two. Now, I wouldn't worry too much about Trent Edwards being so lowhis game in which he went out with a concussion was included—but I am worrying about Big Ben. He has over 200 yards in just two games and over 30 attempts in just one. In his past five games, he's averaging just over 11 fantasy points per game. Sell high (that's not even the right word...) if you can.
  • J.T. O'Sullivan is eighth. He was benched. And now Shaun Hill is their quarterback—get him if you can.
  • It's too late to get Matt Schaub, who is averaging 23 fantasy points in his last three games, but I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes as a top-five QB on a per-game basis (only because he missed the Indianapolis game).
  • The top two quarterbacks on this list are 10th and 11th, respectively, in fantasy points. That said, Peyton has 16 fantasy points per game and Garrard has almost 20 in their last four games.
Running Backs
Name Team Play/G %Plays
Steven Jackson STL 25.7 45.4%
LaDainian Tomlinson SD 22.9 41.6%
Matt Forte CHI 25.9 39.9%
Frank Gore SF 22.6 39.2%
Marion Barber DAL 23.9 39.0%
Clinton Portis WAS 24.9 38.6%
Willie Parker PIT 22.3 38.0%
Adrian Peterson MIN 24.7 36.9%
Marshawn Lynch BUF 21.9 36.5%
Jamal Lewis CLE 20.7 36.2%
Michael Turner ATL 21.4 34.6%
Chris Johnson TEN 21.3 34.6%
Ryan Grant GB 20.3 32.9%
Larry Johnson KC 19.8 32.6%
Thomas Jones NYJ 19.9 32.2%
Brian Westbrook PHI 19.8 31.6%
Reggie Bush NO 20.4 31.6%
Julius Jones SEA 17.3 30.4%
Willis McGahee BAL 19.2 28.8%
Steve Slaton HOU 18.1 28.0%
DeAngelo Williams CAR 17.0 27.8%
Brandon Jacobs NYG 17.7 27.8%
Justin Fargas OAK 16.6 27.4%
Ronnie Brown MIA 16.3 27.4%
Edgerrin James ARI 17.4 26.7%
Earnest Graham TB 17.4 25.9%
Chris Perry CIN 15.4 25.7%
Maurice Jones-Drew JAC 14.9 23.5%
Dominic Rhodes IND 14.1 23.3%
Joseph Addai IND 14.0 23.1%
Warrick Dunn TB 15.1 22.5%
LenDale White TEN 13.6 22.0%
Darren McFadden OAK 13.3 22.0%
Sammy Morris NE 14.2 21.7%
Kevin Smith DET 11.6 21.4%
Jonathan Stewart CAR 13.0 21.3%
Fred Taylor JAC 13.4 21.3%
Ricky Williams MIA 12.4 20.9%
Le'Ron McClain BAL 13.9 20.8%
Mewelde Moore PIT 12.0 20.4%
Deuce McAllister NO 13.0 20.1%
Cedric Benson CIN 11.5 19.2%
Derrick Ward NYG 11.7 18.4%
Michael Pittman DEN 11.4 18.1%
Correll Buckhalter PHI 10.9 17.4%
Ahman Green HOU 11.2 17.3%
Selvin Young DEN 10.8 17.1%
Jerious Norwood ATL 10.1 16.4%
Tim Hightower ARI 10.3 15.8%
Kevin Faulk NE 10.2 15.5%
  • There's less change at the top in this list than for the QBs. The only concern I can think of with the top is that the Bears may be overusing Matt Forte, a la Cadillac Williams.
  • The other name that sticks out is Willie Parker. If you can get him while he's injured and just getting back into the groove, do it. It'll pay off when he gets 25 touches a game when he's healthy.
  • The highest player in a timeshare is Chris Johnson at No. 12, followed by Julius Jones and Willis McGahee at No. 18 and 19, respectively. Interestingly, LenDale White is only at No. 32 despite his very high fantasy value.
Wide Receivers
Name Team Play/G %Plays
Brandon Marshall DEN 13.5 21.4%
Andre Johnson HOU 11.9 18.3%
Dwayne Bowe KC 10.6 17.4%
Roddy White ATL 10.4 16.9%
Steve Smith CAR 10.0 16.4%
T.J. Houshmandzadeh CIN 9.6 16.1%
Reggie Wayne IND 9.3 15.3%
Calvin Johnson DET 8.1 15.1%
Eddie Royal DEN 9.5 15.0%
Larry Fitzgerald ARI 9.7 14.9%
Wes Welker NE 9.7 14.8%
Anquan Boldin ARI 9.6 14.7%
DeSean Jackson PHI 8.9 14.6%
Matt Jones JAC 9.1 14.5%
Terrell Owens DAL 8.5 13.9%
Braylon Edwards CLE 7.9 13.7%
Laveranues Coles NYJ 8.3 13.4%
Plaxico Burress NYG 8.3 13.1%
Santana Moss WAS 8.4 13.0%
Greg Jennings GB 8.0 13.0%
Hines Ward PIT 7.6 12.9%
Greg Camarillo MIA 7.6 12.7%
Muhsin Muhammad CAR 7.8 12.7%
Jerricho Cotchery NYJ 7.7 12.5%
Bobby Engram SEA 7.0 12.3%
Lee Evans BUF 7.3 12.2%
Vincent Jackson SD 6.6 12.0%
Santonio Holmes PIT 7.0 11.9%
Chad Johnson CIN 7.1 11.9%
Torry Holt STL 6.7 11.9%
Steve Breaston ARI 7.7 11.8%
Marvin Harrison IND 7.1 11.8%
Antonio Bryant TB 7.9 11.7%
Bernard Berrian MIN 7.9 11.7%
Roy Williams DAL 6.3 11.6%*
Randy Moss NE 7.6 11.6%
Joey Galloway TB 7.7 11.4%
Derrick Mason BAL 7.6 11.4%
Justin Gage TEN 6.8 11.0%
Donnie Avery STL 6.2 10.9%
Lance Moore NO 6.9 10.6%
Reggie Brown PHI 6.3 10.5%
Chris Chambers SD 5.7 10.3%
Donald Driver GB 6.3 10.2%
Kevin Walter HOU 6.6 10.1%
Bobby Wade MIN 6.7 10.0%
Anthony Gonzalez IND 6.0 9.9%
Kevin Curtis PHI 6.0 9.9%
Ted Ginn Jr. MIA 5.9 9.9%
Brandon Lloyd CHI 6.3 9.6%
Isaac Bruce SF 5.5 9.5%
Antwaan Randle El WAS 6.1 9.5%
Brandon Stokley DEN 6.0 9.5%
Donte' Stallworth CLE 5.3 9.3%
Arnaz Battle SF 5.4 9.3%
Justin McCareins TEN 5.7 9.2%
Amani Toomer NYG 5.9 9.2%
Patrick Crayton DAL 5.4 8.8%
Steve Smith NYG 5.4 8.5%
Marques Colston NO 4.3 6.7%
*Roy Williams' play% calculated using Detroit's plays per game.
  • I also noted this in my closer look at WR targets, but it needs to be repeated: Roddy White, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Marshall, and Eddie Royal are hugely involved in their respective offenses when they play. Bowe and Royal, with their low fantasy values, are great buy lows.
  • It's a shame that Matt Jones is about the be suspended—he was starting to evolve into a nice fantasy starter. I still think he's a top-25 wideout until he's suspended, however.
  • Need a deep sleeper at WR? Check out Greg Camarillo. He's averaging only seven points per game in his past five games, but his schedule is a breeze from here on out.
  • Steve Breaston had nine catches for 90 yards last week despite Boldin's being back; in his past four weeks he's averaging eight catches for 100 yards.
Just ask your questions, please.
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Friday, October 31

Week 9 Name Calling

Name Calling is our almost-weekly feature where we help you figure out which name to call for that flex position, #3 wideout spot, or any other lineup conundrum you may be faced with. Our goal is to help you decide on borderline starters by revealing who will hit pay dirt and who will implode. None of this "start Peyton Manning" or "sit Derek Hagan" nonsense. No loving, hating, flaming, or video gaming either. Just a bit of name calling is all. I, "A-Koz," will permanently be taking over the the name calling duties while Tosten will write the "Running the Wire" articles, which he forgot to didn't put up this week. I wasn't too shabby last week. For a rook at this section, I could've done worse. You know what rookie struggled last week? Matt Ryanyeah, call me psychic. Okay, enough bathing in my own self-gratitude. It's a new week, election week. What players have my vote and which ones don't? Who You Gonna Call Kyle Orton/QB Chicago: Had someone said to you, "Kyle Orton is going to be worth starting this year," you would've told them to retire from the game on the spot. But oh, how times have changed. Orton has thrown for at least 280 yards his past three games; that span included a game in Detroit in which he threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns. Now, Orton faces at home the Lions, which rank 31st in the league in pass defense. If there's one thing that will never change, it's that inserting a player facing the Lions into your starting lineup is a good idea. Kevin Walter/WR Houston: Andre Johnson is the big-named, big-play wide receiver on the Texans, but don't ignore Walter. He's got good height, standing tall at 6'4", and with Johnson drawing most of the attention from opposing defenses, Walter gets a lot of opportunities. Case in point: with Johnson putting on a clinic last week, Walter hauled in two touchdowns. Minnesota's pass defense isn't its strong point, and you can bet Houston realizes that. Wes Welker/WR New England: Bob Sanders is back for the Colts this week, but Marlin Jackson is done for the year. That means Kelvin Hayden will be assigned to Randy Moss, with Joe the Plumber on Welker. Sunday night, big stage, big game, in New England? No doubt about it. Welker should be in for a nice night. On Speed Dial (Names you should always, always call, using discretion of course. I don't want idiots saying I told them to start some dude over LDT): RBs against Detroit and Kansas City, WRs against Miami and Seattle, QBs against Detroit and San Diego Who You Not Gonna Call Jamal Lewis/RB Cleveland: Lewis hasn't been that bad all year, but anyone who goes against the Ravens isn't a strong start. The Ravens are only giving up 64.3 yards per game, and the last time Lewis faced Baltimore, he only had 56 yards. The Browns offense as a whole hasn't been the same this year, and I wouldn't expect it to pick up against a stout Ravens defense. Lee Evans/WR Buffalo: I saw that Gage has him as his mancrush this week, but I have to disagree with him. While the Jets pass defense as a group hasn't been very good, Darrelle Revis has; he's only allowed one touchdown all year long. Revis should blanket Evans all game long. It doesn't matter how much chemistry you have with a QByou won't produce if you can't get open. Aaron Rodgers/QB Green Bay: Granted, there are worse QB plays than Aaron "I'm now Stinkin' Rich" Rodgers, but if you have better options, bench Rodgers this week. The Titans' defense is tough, and Albert Haynesworth and that vaunted Titans' defensive line can really disrupt an offense. Not On Speed Dial (Names you should always, always caller ID check and ignore, once again using discretion of course. I don't want idiots syaing I told them to bench Drew Brees): RBs against Tennessee, Tyler Thigpen, Oakland WRs, QBs against Indianapolis We don't have an island of hair on our head.
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Straight Outta Mancavedom: Week 9 Mancrushes

Is there a better activity in the world than chilling down in the man cave discussing football and girls? Red-blooded American males say it in unison, "No." Of course not. This is why every Thursday (or in this week's case, late Saturday) FFWWH will let you all in on our own couch talk about football. And girls. And football playing girls. The down side? Football playing girls don't matter in the type of fantasy football that this site is specifically about. So uhh, we kind of had to improvise and work with what we have. So, umm, this feature will be about our mancrushes. (Ya, ya, cue the "figures, he's from California" jokes, blah, blah.) Moving on. Here's each of our respective mancrushes for week nine. And please do not take this as a political endorsement of California's Prop 8. This is strictly a sports-centric establishment. Gage Arnold (Look who it is. Craig's List works wonders.)
Well, this week it's noteworthy that my mancrush wears Lee jeans and reels in touchdowns with them on. My mancrush is none other than Lee Evans of the Buffalo Bills.
Since rising from his sophomore slump days, Evans has stood out on a rising and young Buffalo offense and has been a target in the red zone and on deep balls. Showing great chemistry with Trent Edwards, Evans' catches have increased each week with a booming eight and seven grabs the last two weeks, respectively. With the Jets coming in, who give up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, this smells like victory and a great fantasy output for a good rising star in this league. (Could the word "rising" be used any more?)
Tosten Burks He isn't flashy, just beastly. With touch-hawking Warrick Dunn unlikely to play this weekend, Earnest Graham will reap 100 percent of the benefits of playing the worst run defense in football. The Chiefs have given up on average just a shade under 200 rushing yards per game along with 14 total touchdowns, three more than any other defense in the NFL. The Bucs have a top-10 running game and when all that is consolidated into one back's hands it's hardly wrong to anticipate a league-leading Halloween Candy Graham from Earnest this weekend. Zach Fein Over 15. In the past four weeks, Chad Pennington has averaged more than 15 fantasy points per game. And on the year, his Week 9 opponent, the Denver Broncos, have given up more than 15 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Pennington has the fifth-most yards per game in the past four weeks as well, to go along with the 10th-most fantasy points per game. Expect 15 more fantasy points this week against the Champ Bailey-less Denver pass defense. Alex Kozora
Isn't it great when all the pieces fit together so perfectly?
Kurt Warner's owners should find that out very quickly this week. Anquan Boldin is back, and that means that the Cardinals offense is the same explosive self. Not to mention that it didn't seem like Warner and Boldin missed a beat last week. After all, they hooked up for two touchdowns. They also have a guy named Larry Fitzgerald. I hear he's pretty good, too. The Rams defense ranks near the bottom in both pass defense and points allowed per game, 25th and 30th respectively. It all adds up to a big day for Warner and the rest of Arizona's offense

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Wednesday, October 29

Joseph Addai Off The Injury Report and Alex Still Hates Him

Indianapolis's 25-year-old touchdown machine Joseph Addai is officially off the pansy list injury report and it appears that his hamstring will definitely not hinder him from playing this weekend against the Patriots. Other than the fact that it must really suck to injure your hammy, this is also extremely good news for Addai's continued development as a young NFL running back trying to rise to that elite class of players with the likes of Ladainian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, and Marion Barber. He started out this year with four touchdowns in his first four games and looked powerful early on. With his returning around the same time that Dominic Rhodes goes down with an ankle injury, I can assure you that he'll put up solid, solid numbers in the short term. He has seemed injury prone in the past, however, and I would probably sell him high after he drops a couple big weeks with Rhodes on the bench. Meanwhile, fellow hairy fantasy football writer Alex Kozora is blissfully stabbing his Joseph Addai voodoo doll cackling something along the lines of, "You still suck. Hoo Ha Ha." Just ask us your fricking fantasy questions.
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Monday, October 27

The HAIRY'S: Week 8

We've had some major technical difficulties, but we here at FFWWH have finally managed to get the HAIRY's up and running at full force. On a personal note, I've neglected this part of this blog for a while now, but I'm ready and back in full force to bring you my take and deliver sound fantasy football advice. So let's get to the chase, Cheeseheads, Bolts fans, and anyone else I've left out.
The Sixth Sense Award (For Biggest Surprise)
And the award goes to... RB Brian Westbrook, Eagles While he isn't a surprise player, Westy was coming off of a bye week, and he completely dominated a Falcons defense and showed he's a definite top-three RB for the rest of the year. He might even garner top-player considerations in a fantasy football season that has lacked a complete consistent superstar.
The Last Indiana Jones Movie Whose Name You Can't Remember Because it Sucked So Badly Award (For Biggest Bust)
And the award goes to... WR Plaxico Burress, Giants While Plax wasn't supposed to completely go off on Pittsburgh, he was at least supposed to get more than one measly fantasy point. Though he probably will bounce back and is the No. 1 target for a great team and offense, Plax still disappointed many with his lackluster performance.
Lord, Del's Cup (Awarded To The Coach Who Orchestrated The Biggest Team of Stooges)
And the award goes to... Tony Dungy, Indianapolis Colts Going for it on 4th down twice against a strong Titans defense at the beginning of the 4th quarter? Those two moves made absolutely no sense and the situation called for a conservative take on the game, yet Dungy endangered, and really even killed, his team by going for it on both downs. Not-so-wise choices from one of the better coaches in the NFL. [Ed's Note: Dungy went for it once in the 4th quarter: on 4th-and-2 from the Titans' 34 down three; he also went for it late in the 3rd, on 4th-and-1 from their own 49, with the score tied. The percentages actually point to going for it, and Dungy should be applauded for his "braveness." My opinion. —Z.F.]
The Paris Hilton Award (For the Player Who Screwed The Most Owners This Week)
And the award goes to... RB Steven Jackson, Rams While Jackson didn't even play this week, he still killed most of his owners who took a chance of starting him and left him in their lineups on Sunday morning. This despite SJax's being one of the late scratches, reassurances from head coach Jim Haslett that Jackson would "be fine for Sunday" notwithstanding. Yeah, nothing like checking back in around 2:00 on your fantasy team to see a big goose egg in a No. 1 RB slot, especially if you had DeAngelo Williams on your bench.
The Chad Johnson/Ocho Cinco Award (For the Most Overblown Story of the Week)
And the award goes to... The Never-ending Kellen Winslow Saga Where to start? The mysterious staph infection or the lies from the coaches and front office? While Winslow has claimed to have been "told to keep his infection quiet"—especially with the fact that Cleveland has had six outbreaks of staph since the 2003 season—this only makes it that much more confusing and bothering. But the suspension of Winslow for last week's game was definitely the topper of this story. With this, no one truly knows what really happened, and that's probably how it's going to stay.
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Weekend Recap: Week 8

Halloween is just around the corner. The only day of the year where taking candy from strangers is perfectly acceptable. Ah yes, one of the best holidays for kids. The most famous line from this day is "Trick or treat!". Fantasy football can be broken down into guys who are tricks, one- or two-game wonders, or treats, players who are here to stay. - Ted Ginn's performance was definitely a trick. Coming into the Bills game, Ginn had 50 or more receiving yards in a game just once. He's a speedster with a QB who doesn't typically air it out. He isn't worth owning, let alone starting. - In case you were wondering, Anquan Boldin is here to stay. After missing two games due to injury, Boldin racked up 93 yards and two touchdowns against a pretty good Panthers' secondary in Carolina. Before this game, Boldin had at least 80 yards and/or a touchdown in all four games in which he played. The Cardinals offense is running strong. - Don't even think about it. Tyler Thigpen isn't a viable option for anyone. The Jets pass defense isn't nearly as good as its run defense (23rd compared to fourth, respectively). Thigpen's weapons are fairly limited, and overall, he has to work on his decision making. - Andre Johnson has quietly had a fantastic season, including at least nine catches and 100 or more yards his past four games. Granted, these performances were against relatively easy teams, but Johnson has big talent and has built good chemistry with Matt Schaub. - Hop onto the Donnie Avery bandwagon with me. Though it's only been two games, Avery has shown his ability to get down the field and Marc Bulger reportedly "has caught up to Avery's 4.2 speed." - Brandon Jacobs' poor showing against the Steelers was a trick. Jacobs is still an extremely talented back; the Steelers rush defense showed that it was one of the best in the league. It doesn't help when your QB tips off the defense either. We are not only unafraid to talk to strangers, we're full on prepared to hop into their email van and take their fantasy football question candy.
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