Saturday, November 8

A Lazy Man's Guide to Week Ten

Everything you need to know for week ten, consolidated in one spot for all Penn State fans out there too emotionally exhausted to navigate this blog on their own. News: Ryan Torain and Steven Jackson updates and complaints. Injury break down done by some other people who are still good even though they aren't us. Marques Colston finally all the way back from injury? Coaches think so. Darren McFadden isn't playing this week and could be done for the year. Baltimore will go with a three-way timeshare and split touches among Ray Rice, Le'Ron McClain, and Willis McGahee this weekend. Analsyis: Tim Hightower has risen, Reggie Wayne has fallen, and other players who have become more and less valuable this week. Kozora and Fein want a threesome with the Carolina Panthers + my bromances for week 10. A-Koz's start 'em, sit 'em. Ignore playoff schedules, says the stat guy. No, Daunte Culpepper is not all of a sudden a fantasy starter, and other shiz from the early Sunday game previews here. Sit Peyton Manning, and other can't miss blogness in the late sunday game previews over here. The Giants vs Eagles matchup is the game of the week, and other prime time game preview stuff in this area. That's it for the week folks. Enjoy the stench. We know how to solve the economic crisis.
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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. A decently-sized bit of news occurred this week. The United States of America elected an African-American President. So now we're hip. Interestingly, another thing that happened was my reading this GQ article on making black friends. And the "re-segregation" of America. And modern day racism. There's multiple sides of every story. George tells Suzan that he can't go out tonight because he's gotta help Jerry move his friend, but then the next day Elaine sees Suzan at Bloomingdales and they get to talking, and Elaine says that that play she went to last night with George, Jerry, and Kramer was really fun, and Suzan comes back and slaps George. Or something. Everybody's got a different angle. Bringing a new one to the fantasy football media scene is us with our week ten game forecasts.
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins
Fantasy Impact Players QB Chad Pennington, Seneca Wallace RB— Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Julius Jones WR— Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn Jr, Bobby Engram TE— Anthony Fasano, John Carlson Key Stat 2— Only two teams have given up more fantasy points to opposing QBs and WRs than the Seahawks. Our Take Tosten Burks— Miami should dominate this one. Hasselbeck isn't coming back most likely for another week and no one else on the Hawks is worth a start either. Play the Miami running backs and Greg Camarillo. Ginn still isn't being utilized consistently enough to have real fantasy value. Zach Fein— Don't play anyone on the Seahawks. Pennington, Brown, and Camarillo are start in standard leagues. Alex Kozora— Chad Pennington and Ronnie Brown are likely to be the only two people anyone would be confident in starting this week. The Seahawks are still Matt Hasselbeck-less, I expect them to still stall in that department.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Aaron Rodgers, Gus Ferrotte RB— Adrian Peterson, Ryan Grant WR— Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Bernard Berrian TE— Visanthe Shiancoe Key Stat 51.2— Since 2006, Donald Driver has had five 100-yard games. He's averaged only 51.2 receiving yards in the game following that 100-yarder. Our Take Tosten Burks— I like the Packers passing game here. Green Bay knows they can't run on the Vikes so they'll throw all day, especially with James Jones back (I think, last week he was declared inactive after practicing all week) helping them open up the offense even more. Zach Fein— Grant is barely a flex play in 12-team leagues. Berrian is a top-10 receiver this week and the best in this game, despite what Tosten put in the "Fantasy Impact Players" section. Don't play Frerotte or Driver either (see Key Stat). Alex Kozora— Ryan Grant owners: proceed with caution. The Vikings run defense is one of the best in the league. I like Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings against a middle-of-the pack Vikings pass defense.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Drew Brees, Matt Ryan RB— Michael Turner, Deuce McCallister WR— Roddy White, Marques Colston, Michael Jenkins, Lance Moore TE— Jeremy Shockey Key Stat 1.28— Since 2005 and updated through last week, there have been 1.28 times as more (actual) points scored by the Falcons and its opponents in the Georgia Dome than by the Falcons and its opponents on the road, the highest in the NFL for any one stadium. Our Take Tosten Burks— I'm thinking shootout. Start all the guys involved in either team's big passing offenses. Zach Fein— Start everyone. Jerious Norwood is worth a look in standard leagues as well. That's all I have to say. Alex KozoraMatt Ryan is great at home, making him a decent play. Reggie Bush is still out so feel free to deploy Deuce McAllister.
Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Kerry Collins RB— Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, LenDale White WR— none TE— Bo Scaife Key Stat 1/4— Tennessee is ranked No. 1 in points allowed per game, and the Bears are ranked No. 4 in points score per game. Our Take Tosten Burks— Both teams have no passing game to speak of. Wrecks Gross-man kills any chance of Chicago capitalizing on the Titans weaker secondary. This matchup will have tons of running, but to not much avail. Expect a low scoring borefest. Zach Fein— Don't get cute. Bench Kerry Collins, Rex Grossman, and any wide receiver or tight end. Only Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, and LenDale White (in that order) are worth playing. Alex Kozora I'm not a fan of the Bears offense this week and with good reason. Rex Grossman against the Titans' defensive line = trouble. The Bears have an unusually poor pass defense, likely because they've been decimated by injuries, but I wouldn't start Kerry Collins unless you had to. He doesn't have enough of a ceiling to warrant doing so.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Sage Rosenfels, Joe Flacco RB— Steve Slaton, Ray Rice, Willis McGahee WR— Andre Johnson TE— Owen Daniels, Todd Heap Key Stat 9.4— The Ravens give up 9.4 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, lowest in the NFL. Our Take Tosten Burks— In a matchup between possibly the NFL's best defense and possibly the NFL's best offense I say... Andre Johnson is the only solid start. I can't trust that either of the two solid running games does anything against the two more than solid run defenses. Ray Rice could surprise though. Zach Fein— Contrary to what Tosten says, I'm starting many players this week: Slaton, McGahee and Rice; A.Johnson, Mason, and Walter; and Owen Daniels, each in order by position. I don't think it's a shootout, but I don't think it's a defensive showdown, either (expect a 20-17 game). Alex Kozoras— As usual Sage Rosenfels' main target will be Andre Johnson. Until Schaub returns, Owen Daniels' and Kevin Walter's values will take a hit.
St. Louis Rams at New York Jets
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Brett Favre, Marc Bulger RB— Thomas Jones, Antonio Pittman WR— Jerricho Cotchery, Donnie Avery, Laveraneus Coles, Torry Holt TE— none to speak of Key Stat(s) 5— St. Louis is in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to each quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. Our Take Tosten Burks— Who would've that that Torry Holt would be the fourth most valuable wide receiver in this game? He's still a solid start, as are all the pieces of both sides' passing games, but man has he disappointed. The grandpas of the league have fallen. It doesn't look like he or Marvin Harrison will ever be the same. Zach Fein— Man, did Donnie Avery disappoint me last week. So much for that. For this week, every quarterback and wideout listed above is worth a start. I'm not playing any St. Louis running back this week. Alex KozoraNo Steven Jackson? No Rams run game. Marc Bulger will have to air it out a good bit, and he's worth a start in my mind. I'm a fan of Donnie Avery this week, too. Darrelle Revis is an excellent cornerback, but he'll be focused on Torry Holt all game. That should result in a lot of targets for Avery, who's emerged as the team's No. 2 wide receiver.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Trent Edwards, Matt Cassell RB— Marshawn Lynch, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis WR— Randy Moss, Lee Evans, Wes Welker TE— Robert Royal Key Stat 179—Receiving yards by Lee Evans in his past six games against the Patriots, less than 30 per game. Our Take Tosten Burks— Gosh I love being able to talk about a guy named BenJarvus Green-Ellis in a relevant conversation. He and Faulk are both solid with Morris and Jordan still injured. Overall, I think I am most interested in this game, more so than any of the other early Sunday matchups. Zach Fein— If you have Lee Evans, you obviously have to start him, but I'm not too pleased with his matchup (see Key Stat). I'm not playing any of the QBs, though I do like Randy Moss and Wes Welker in this game. All the RBs are worth a start. Alex KozoraThe Bills secondary is in a heap of injuries as they will be without Ashton Youboty and Donte Witner. Randy Moss and Matt Cassel could have potential field days. Trent Edwards and Lee Evans are fringe starters.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
Fantasy Impact Players QB— David Garrard RB— Maurice Jones-Drew, Kevin Smith, Rudi Johnson, Fred Taylor WR— Calvin Johnson, Matt Jones TE— zilch Key Stat 90— Rushing yards by Fred Taylor in his last five games. Eight running backs had 90 yards just last week. Our Take Tosten Burks— In a battle of two teams who are starting to finally hand the whole steering wheel to their young running backs and revoke their oldies' licenses, MoJo, Smith, the Jags passing game, and Calvin Johnson are all good starts. AndI wouldn't be surprised to see Culpepper have a halfway decent game. I have a feeling... Zach FeinOh, how the might have fallen. Fred Taylor is even worth owning in standard leagues. The Lions have allowed the top weekly wideouts on opposing teams to score 14.4 fantasy points per game. Look for Matt Jones to put up numbers similar to that this week. Calvin Johnson, MJD and David Garrard are the only other starts in this game. Alex Kozora Daunte Culpepper is probably the most talented quarterback the Lions have had in a while, but he's only been with the team for a short time. Not worth a look this week. Fred Taylor has struggled this season, but I think this week he'll pick it up against Lions' run defense that has struggled equally.

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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 York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning RB— Brian Westbrook, Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward WR— Plaxico Burress, Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson TE— Kevin Boss, Brent Celek Key Stat 21.7—Brian Westbrook's fantasy points per game in his last four games against the Giants. Our Take Tosten Burks— Let me start off by saying that NBC shanks ESPN in the left ventricle in terms of the games they broadcast. I mean seriously, Giants-Eagles or Niners-Cards? It's a joke. I'd also like to point out that in the first Philly game with all of the top three wideouts healthy, Curtis, Brown, and Jackson, Curtis emerged as the favorite target. Curtis's targets and Jackson's big play ability make them very solid options, but Brown looks to be the odd man out. Zach Fein— In this week's marquee matchup, both offenses should go crazy. Look for the G-Men to stay with only one loss in what should be a close game. Besides Brent Celek, everyone in the "Fantasy Impact Players" section is worth a start. Alex KozoraGame of the week in the NFL. Lots of fantasy studs in this game; can't really sit anyone because of that. I would be hesitant if you were thinking about plugging in Kevin Curtis into your lineup. A potent Giants' pass rush could make the deep ball difficult to perform.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Kurt Warner, Shaun Hill RB— Frank Gore, Tim Hightower WR— Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Isaac Bruce TE— Vernon Davis Key Stat(s) 53.1—In the 10 Monday Night Football games thus far (there were two in Week 1), there have been an average of 53.1 points scored by both teams per game. Our Take Tosten Burks— Start every single Arizona Cardinal. Even Edge! ... Well, no. Don't start Edge. Or any Arizona tight ends. But everyone else should produce. San Fran's horrible. Also, Shaun Hill had a 102.3 passer rating in his first start. Just saying... Zach Fein— Kurt Warner, the two backs, Boldin, and Fitzgerald are all in the top-seven in their respective positions this week. Alex KozoraThe Cardinals are averaging 29 points per game. The 49ers are allowing 28 points per game. You do the math. Frank Gore is the only 49er worth starting this week; I'd have to see how Shaun Hill plays first before I start recommending him.
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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.
Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Jake Delhomme, Matt Moore RB— DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart WR— Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad, DJ Hackett TE— Dante Rosario, Jeff King Key Stat There is no stat to show how terrible the Raiders are. Our Take Tosten Burks— Yes that's Carolina's depth chart. I don't feel the need to add anything. But if you need me to verbalize this, bench every single Oakland Raider. Zach Fein— If you start any Raider this week, you deserve to lose.
Alex KozoraThis one is simple. Start Delhomme, Steve Smith, and DeAngelo Williams with confidence. Muhsin Muhammad is a good flex play. Jonathan Stewart seems unlikely to play so I'd look for other options if you're thinking about starting him. Bench anyone in black and silver.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning RB— Mewelde Moore, Joseph Addai WR— Reggie Wayne, Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward TE— Dallas Clark, Heath Miller Key Stat(s) 1— Indianapolis' rank against opposing QBs in terms of fantasy points allowed. 3— Pittsburgh's rank in that same stat. Our Take Tosten Burks— Indy is slumping and Roth is hurting. As ridiculous as this sounds, Mewelde Moore may be the most productive player fantasy wise in this game. Zach Fein— I don't want to say it, but Peyton Manning is a bench this week. Moore averaged 19.5 fantasy points as a starter, and Indy is sixth-worst against opposing RBs; he's a top-12 back this week. Alex KozoraDon't expect much from Addai, as I said in my Name Calling article. Mewelde Moore is a solid option, albeit not a great one, especially with Willie Parker declared out. If Big Ben plays, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes will get big boosts.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
Fantasy Impact Players QB— Philip Rivers, Tyler Thigpen RB— Ladainian Tomlinson, Jamaal Charles, Darren Sproles WR— Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Chris Chambers TE— Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates Key Stat 1— Only one team has given up more fantasy points to opposing QBs than the Chargers. Our Take Tosten Burks— Some updates: Larry Johnson will be sitting this one out. Chambers and Cromartie are back. Both of these defenses look pathetic. Every single guy listed above is a justifiable fantasy start in normal sized leagues. Zach Fein— I know it sounds crazy, but Tyler Thigpen is a top-12 QB this week (see Key Stat). Everyone in the "Fantasy Impact Players" section is a start besides Darren Sproles. Alex KozoraSimilar to the Panthers/Raiders review, start all Chargers. Tyler Thigpen has played pretty well the past two games, but I'm not sold on him yet. I am sold on Tony Gonzalez, however, as San Diego has had a terrible time containing tight ends.

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Stat Boy Saturday: Looking at Playoff Schedules—Could It Be Bad?

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 gets the dirt on fantasy playoff schedules. So your league's trading deadline is coming up soon. If you're near the top of the standings, it would make sense to trade for a high upside player with an easy schedule in the fantasy football playoffs. Owners scrambling to make the playoffs would want to trade an injured player for one that would help them now. The Football Outsiders guys conveniently looked into this on Thursday, by spotting players with the easiest playoff schedules based on their now-to-the-end-of-season projections. Seems nice enough, right? That depends on if a team's early-season performance actual correlates with their fantasy playoff performance. It would make sense that if a team is bad from Weeks 1 through 12, they must be bad from Weeks 13 through 17, and vice versa for good teams. In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friend. Using all teams since 2002, I checked the correlation of their regular season performance and their fantasy playoff performance. The results will shock you.
Correlation of Weeks 1-12 and 13-17
Stat r r2
Pts_all 0.215 0.046
PassYd_all 0.129 0.017
RushYd_all 0.381 0.145
Takeaways 0.111 0.012
Let me help you understand the numbers. The higher the r and r-squared (r2) are, the more related the stat is from the regular season to the playoffs. The r-squared effectively says how many of the teams' playoff performance were predicted based on their regular season performance. An r-squared of .7 or higher is considered good, anything under .5 is considered to be a bad set of data, and anything under .2 is considered to have no correlation whatsoever. In other words, only 4.6 percent of all 192 teams in the sample had a points allowed per game in the fantasy playoffs that could be predicted by their regular season points allowed per game. The numbers show that a team's points allowed, passing yards allowed, and turnovers are essentially a tossup in the fantasy playoffs. Rushing yards allowed does much better than those three, but it still is basically a coin flip as to whether a team's regular season play will predict their playoff performance. The next three tables show the correlations of teams ranked in the top 60 of all 192 teams in the sample (represents the top 10 in any given year), teams ranked in the bottom 60 (bottom 10), and all teams in the middle (teams ranked from 11-21) in each stat based on regular season play. I excluded takeaways because there were many ties and the sample size was too small (there's only 15 or so by a team in a year, so of course it would have a low correlation).
Top 10 Teams
Stat r r2
Pts_all 0.231 0.053
PassYd_all 0.088 0.008
RushYd_all 0.133 0.018
Teams ranked 11-21
Stat r r2
Pts_all 0.257 0.066
PassYd_all 0.032 0.001
RushYd_all 0.027 0.001
Bottom 10 Teams
Stat r r2
Pts_all 0.107 0.012
PassYd_all -0.048 0.002
RushYd_all 0.019 0.000
Again, no correlation whatsoever. In fact, you get better r's and r's-squared if you use every team than by splitting them up into tiers. By the way, there's a -0.048 r for passing yards allowed by the bottom 10 teams. That means as passing yards allowed in the regular season go up, it goes down in the playoffs. I find that hilarious, even if it's just -0.048. The main point of all of this is don't make trades or assess players based on their fantasy playoff schedule. The stats show that you can't predict at all a team's defensive play based on their early-season performance. Sorry, Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch, and Lee Evans owners. It doesn't even have to be a question. Just send us an e-mail.

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Straight Outta Mancavedom: Week 10 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. But mostly, football playing guys. So here's our week ten bromances. Zach Fein The Oakland Raiders are terrible. They've given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, including an average of 17.9 in the last six weeks to the top scorer on opponents' teams. Those top rushers gained an average of 115 total yards (96 on the ground) and a touchdown DeAngelo Williams has had 16.9 fantasy points per game in the last four weeks (that number rises to 21.4 is you take out his stinker against Tampa Bay), and at least 17 touches in four of the past five weeks. You can expect Williams to be a top-12 back this week as he puts up 100 yards and a score against the disordered Raiders. Alex Kozora The Raiders are a mess.
And the Panthers will greatly benefit from that this weekend. Flying under the radar is Muhsin Muhammad. Steve Smith should be blanked all day by Nmandi Asomugha, and with the recent release of DeAngelo Hall, who was oh so wrong on this prediction , Moose gets to face special teamer Chris Johnson.
The Raiders have a below average pass defense, 20th in the league. Jake Delhomme has thrown for two touchdown passes in four of the last five games while Muhammad hasn't had a game where he's caught less than three passes this season. And against Oakland, three catches would be all he needs.
Tosten Burks So everybody's picking on the Raiders. Well I got news for ya'll, a great start for you is... Man. I can't do it. I want to find a Raider who could have any fantasy value but it's impossible. Geezus they're bad. But you know who's good? (Ahhhh look at that segway.) Tyler Thigpen. Don't check my pulse, he's dropped 480 yards since he got the starting job two weeks ago and now he faces the worst pass defense in football. Cromartie will be back, but the San Diego Chargers still have no clue how to defend tight ends. Gonzo and Thigpen will roll... To a loss. A fantasy field day NFL loss.
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Friday, November 7

Jackson Out Another Week, Torain On IR, Both Also Have Stolen Your Identity and Keyed Your Car

Why is it that Sheriff Goodell fines every defensive player who touches a quarterback to protect them from injury, when running backs and wide receivers are dropping like it's hot? Steven Jackson's quad injury is keeping him out for another game and his seemingly bright, no, blinding season outlook after four straight weeks of 100 yards from Weeks Three to Seven continues to be set back. Haslett has publicly ruled him out for the Rams' matchup at the New York Jets. Ryan Torain also adds himself to a list of Denver running backs out for the season, tearing his ACL on Thursday, forcing him to warm benches and trainer's tables, with Michael Pittman and Andre Hall for the next few months. Continuing down the injury index, Selvin Young, the last remaining halfback in I'm pretty sure all of Colorado to not be out for the rest of 2008, is doubtful to suit up in Atlanta next weekend with a groin injury. Geezus.
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Week 10 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. For all of those in a politician fantasy league (no, I'm not talking about Elliot Spitzer), feel free to insert Barack Obama into your starting lineup. While you're at it, sit John McCain. For those of you playing fantasy football, what guys should you turn to and which should you shy away from? Who You Gonna Call DeAngelo Williams/RB Carolina: We all know that the Raiders' pass defense took a hit with the release of another DeAngelo—DeAngelo Hall. But lest we forgot how terrible their run defense is, ranked 30th in the league. Jonathan Stewart appears doubtful to play this week because of a heel injury. He hasn't practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, Williams should shoulder the entire load this Sunday. Looking at how inept the Raiders' offense is, I think it's safe to say that the Panthers will have the ball early and often. Marc Bulger/QB St. Louis: The loss of Steven Jackson for this week has greatly hurt the Rams' chances of winning this week, but for fantasy owners of Bulger, it can be viewed as a positive. Kenneth Darby and Samkon Gado are expected to be the main backs for St. Louis—enough said. The Rams will likely turn to their passing game a lot more because of that, and I don't blame them. Chad Pennington/QB Miami: Some say that the Dolphins, not the Packers or Jets, won the Brett Farve saga ... er ... trade because of the acquisition of Chad Pennington, following his release from the Jets. Some might be right. Pennington has given Miami that stability they needed. That's something they didn't have last year. Pennington and the Dolphins get to enjoy the Miami weather as Seattle comes to down. The Seahawks have really struggled this season, allowing over 258 yards per game and tied next to last in INT's with three. 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 Ryan Grant/RB Green Bay: It's not that hard to see that Grant has struggled mightily this year. He's started to pick it up the past few games, but that was against the likes of teams such as Indy, Atlanta, and Seattle. He gets to face the Vikings' stout run defense this week, and you know Kevin and Pat Williams are licking their chops. Literally, you think those guys got to be that size by going on a diet? Heck no, and the Packers running game will feel their wrath this weekend. Joseph Addai/RB Indy: You know I'm grinning writing this one. [Ed's note: Alex hated Addai in the preseason.] And considering I'm a Steelers fan, I'm grinning even more. A Steelers' defense that shut down both Brandon Jacobs and Clinton Portis should have no trouble shutting down Addai. Matt Forte/RB Chicago: Lots of bad running back starts this week, eh? Forte is another guy to stay away from. Despite Kyle Orton's optimism, he's unlikely to play this week. That means Rex "He's our quarterback" Grossman would start. Albert Haynesworth and the rest of the Titans defensive line should manhandle the line of scrimmage. I don't like anyone on the Bears' offense this week, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who did. 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 the Jets, Tyler Thigpen (not anymore...), Oakland WRs, QBs against Indianapolis
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Wednesday, November 5

News From Ball Street

News From Ball Street is like news from Wall Street. It rhymes, see what we did there? Here we watch the stocks (ehh, ehh?) of players who are rising and falling, and decide whether you should target these shooting and sinking stars. Clever, I know. Al Davis has already changed his mind on certain players that he just signed a few months ago. He released $70 million man DeAngelo Hall and supposedly has a whole list of other guys who are heading in that same direction. The Bears, Browns, Texans, and Lions will all have new starting quarterbacks next week. Phil Fullmer is done in Tennessee and John Gruden could be pulling up to take his place. Obama was right, change has come to America. And there is no place where that is more relevant than in the fantasyosphere. Values are constantly rising and falling. Let's see where they're at this week. Stock Up Greg Camarillo/WR Miami—He's a solid option, but his 11-catch, 111-yard performance against the terrible Denver secondary is misleading. He's normally good for six or seven grabs and 60 or 70 yards, so this is the time to see what you can get for him. Course of Action: Sell Tim Hightower/RB Arizona—The writing was on the wall all season that Hightower would eventually phase Edgerrin James out and take over as Arizona's starting running back. The moment finally came last weekend at St. Louis and Hightower came through big, putting up 100 yards. He's looked good all year but I can't fully trust him as a feature back when his only test is against the Rams. However, he draws two mediocre defenses in the next few games in San Fran and Seattle, so I would wait two weeks before selling him high, before he faces the Giants, Eagles, and the Vikings in three out of his following four weeks. Course of Action: Hold Sage Rosenfels/QB Houston—Rosenfels came in for an injured Matt Schaub on Sunday and looked solid. He tends to do that every time he fills in for the oft-hurt Schaub. Seriously, their stats are indistinguishable, as both succeed in the powerful Texans offense. Ride him high for the next four weeks if you managed to claim him off waivers, or if you missed out, snag him on the cheap. The two-touchdown games aren't going anywhere. Course of Action: Buy Stock Down Kellen Winslow/TE Cleveland—Easiest buy low of the week. He hasn't had a touchdown since the first week of the year, but with young Brady Quinn replacing Derek Anderson, his touches and production should increase as he plays the role of a learning, first-time starter's safety outlet. Course of Action: Buy Larry Johnson/RB Kansas City—Aside from arrests, public tension with his team, and suspensions, LJ has fallen in another aspect. He's sucked at football. With rookie Jamaal Charles looking as good as any Chief has all year, Johnson has nowhere to go but down. Find a Kansas City fan and trash this guy. Course of Action: Sell Reggie Wayne/WR Indianapolis—It's hard for me to believe that he'll continue to average 39 receiving yards from here on out, as he has the last three weeks. Find a worrisome Wayne owner and steal him. He'll put out of the slump. Hopefully. Course of Action: Buy We voted.
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Monday, November 3

Weekend Recap: Week 9

They say ignorance is bliss. Bologna. At least when it comes to fantasy football, I prefer the saying, "Knowledge is power." Gathering as much information as you can will give you and your team(s) the best chance to win each week. Injuries, new starters (there will be a ton of them for Week 10), and past performances are all included under the knowledge category. Usually, that'll translate into power, or in the case of fantasy football, wins and championships. - Matt Schaub, Kyle Orton, and Dan Orlovsky are out. Sage Rosenfels, Rex Grossman (*gasp*), and Drew Stanton/Daunte Culpepper are in. I'd only suggest picking up Rosenfels. - Trey Wingo reports that Derek Anderson has been benched not because of injuries like Schaub and company, but because of poor play. Brady Quinn will obviously start and is worth a look in most leagues. - Antonio Bryant hasn't missed a beat with Jeff Garcia under center and the return of Joey Galloway. Bryant has had at least six receptions (sans one game) and two 100-yard games since Garcia returned to the starting lineup, and 14 receptions, 160 yards, and one score since Galloway came back from injury. - Tim Hightower played and played well. Edge didn't get a single down. Expect a similar trend in the upcoming weeks. - The Cowboys really need Tony Romo back. - It's almost hard to laugh at the Raiders offense, who didn't have any positive yards or first downs in the entire first half. I'm glad not many people start Raiders' players. - Speaking of struggling, Fred Taylor falls into that category. He hasn't had a game over 25 yards rushing since Week 3! We don't need podcasts.
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