Nov. 26, 7:00 PM
Some quick game thoughts:
A.J. Green going up against Haden. You still have to play him but don’t expect a blowout performance. You aren’t starting any of the Cleveland running backs, what a mess. Andy Dalton is on pace for about 25 touchdowns. I’d like to see his completion % above 60%, but that’s a great rookie season.
Chris Johnson is up against the Buc’s 27th ranked rushing defense. You have to start him this week but “have to” is only my recommendation. I wouldn’t bad-mouth any coach electing to sit him this week. He blew up against Carolina’s terrible run “D”, here’s hoping that he has a repeat performance. Tampas “D” is bad all around so they’ll be spreading it around. Mike Williams is still lagging expectations but I think he has a solid game this week.
Beanie Wells should find plenty of running lanes in St. Louis this week. I’m not a fan but he should be relatively fresh. John Skelton should be slinging it again this week so it’s anyone’s guess as to how Fitzgerald performs. Skelton is willing to throw it up for grabs in Larry’s direction which is good for at least 50 yards.
The New York Jets are solidly mediocre in run defense meaning that C.J. Spiller needs to get it going this week if he has any hope of holding onto the starting job for the remainder of the season. The Bills are excited about Johnny White and he runs hungry which I love. I’ve seen enough on tape to know that White has a nice dynamic but at times he’s very impatient and chops too much. I expect it to be a 60/40 split this week between Spiller and White with the hot hand being played over the remainder. You have to believe that the Bill’s brass understand that Spiller isn’t panning out and this is his last chance. More ammunition in the “you can’t take a running back too highly in the draft” argument. Mark Sanchez isn’t a franchise quarterback. I said it after he was drafted and I’m sticking with it. I like his character and his fire but something is missing. I also want to see a few games with Joe McKnight as the feature back.
Andre Johnson is back and up against Jacksonville’s better-than-advertised secondary. Matt Leinart is under center which doesn’t bode well but Leinart knows who will make him look best so expect him to lock onto Johnson early and often. I’ll also predict that Jacksonville has a pick-six due to Leinart overly locking-on and not having the same arm strength as Schaub on the square out.
Darren McFadden – What a disappointment. The guy is a slow healer and like so many other capable players, injury prone to the point where you can’t afford to over draft him. Caleb Hanie gets a start in Raider nation. It should be memorable for him but I don’t see him having enough weapons to make a splash. Denarius Moore looks to be out.
Can Marshawn Lynch keep producing when they host the Skins? Washington has the 18th rushing defense and playing in one of the loudest NFL stadiums is good for some extra momentum. I’m starting him in all leagues. Santana Moss is back on the outside and I think he has a solid game. I’m sitting all Redskin running backs because I can’t stand Shanahan. He’s terrible, his son is terrible and if they were half as good as they think they are, Washington would really have something. Sorry Redskin fans, there are few coaches I dislike more than Shanahan. Todd Haley is the only exception. And maybe Rob Ryan.
The dream team hosts the Patriots this week. It’s a must win for the Eagles and VY will be under center. As much as I’d like to pick the Eagles to win at home, I think Tom Brady is too good to lose this game. The Eagles are mediocre on defense and Tom Terrific can carve them up, post Thanksgiving style. LeSeasn McCoy should have a monster game. Looks like the Maclin is out.
Tim Tebow isn’t getting any love from John Elway but fans are still on board and it’s really tough to not root for the kid. He’s walking dead as a quarterback but he’s fun to watch. Speaking of walking dead, Norv Turner is so done in San Diego it’s not even funny. He and A.J. Smith will be holding hands as they leave the building for the last time after the season. I’ve always liked Turner as a an offensive coordinator but he’s just not good as a head coach. Whether is’t poor preparation or just that lack of “fire”, he can’t win the big game. They’re likely both done. I’m also in the camp that something is wrong with Rivers. Something isn’t right.
Steelers at Chiefs. Wooo. Game over.
Good luck everyone!
Nov. 26, 8:00 AM
Strike that on Maclin, he’s likely out as is his quarterback Michael Vick. Injuries are playing a huge role this fantasy season.
On a positive note, Julio Jones is back in action but that hammy of his scares me. I’d start him without any better options obviously but if you have a close call, may be best to sit him.
I feel badly for Kevin Smith. He looked great for another quarter on Thanksgiving before tweaking an ankle on a hand-off of all things. I guess that’s the good news as it was a non-contact injury and those often are Achilles’ or tendon related. Looks like he has a good chance to be back in the lineup next weekend. But while I’ve been a supporter of Kevin Smith from the day he was drafted, it’s obvious that he’s the next iteration of Kevin Jones – a back of good potential that just can’t stay healthy. It’s never been about whether he could run in my mind as it was his offensive line and injury history. His offensive line is fine now it appears but that’s only 50% of the equation.
We here at DLF took some heat for our low ratings of players like Peyton Hillis and Brandon Lloyd. It wasn’t easy for us but we’re glad we stuck to our guns. I’m responsible for having Marcedes Lewis overly high and I should have bowed to reason there.
Speaking of Kevin Smith, he’ll be on the rise regardless now that Jahvid Best has been put on I.R. I’m happy to see Best done for the year as there is more at stake here than a football career. Concussions and concussion related degeneration of the brain has been in the news all too often recently now that the lives of those that played 20-30+ years ago are in focus. Whether via football, boxing or other contact related sports where concussions are/were an often occurrence, it’s obvious that significant brain damage occurs. Best’s variety of concussions haven’t been run-of-the-mill, if there is such a thing. He’s had serious bell-ringers and I think there’s a 50/50 chance that he won’t play again. Truth be told, I fully expect him to give it one more shot in 2012 but I don’t see him being the same player.
Adrian Peterson is out as is Ahmad Bradshaw in New York. Expect to see a lot of Harvin and Toby Gerhart but the Vikes are up against a very tough Atlanta defense, at least against the run, and I’d be sitting Gerhart.
I don’t buy that the Bills will be giving C.J. Spiller a ton of work. I expect him to get 10-12 carries and for Johnny White to perhaps equal that number. Spiller’s value will be in the passing game but he’s still a very risky start. And this is likely his last chance after showing next to nothing at this level.
Santana Moss looks to be back in the lineup and he should be in yours.
You should be sitting all Indi running backs this weekend. Addai is back in the mix which muddies an already muddy situation further.
A.J. Green and Steve Johnson are back this week. Start A.J. in all formats and sit Johnson. Revis is so good that we’ll go against our DLF mantra to sit Johnson this week.
Nov. 23, 3:00 PM
Well, that wasn’t long at all. Fred Jackson has been put on I.R. with a fracture to his lower leg. Tough break for the 30 year old Jackson.
Jeremy Maclin looks to be a “go” this weekend, but I’d be cautious coming back so quickly from a shoulder separation. Could be one hit and done.
As I fully expected, the Chiefs landed recently released Kyle Orton, who will now be able to provide intelligence on the intra-division rival Broncos.
I’m just finishing up a 2012 Risers (Part I) and Fallers (Part II) article and it should be posted soon. I’ll be highlighting some less than marquee names that you should be targeting late in the season if their available or, more than likely, after the end of regular season.
Nov. 23, 11:00 AM
First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, wherever you may be. Without writing some long manifesto about what Thanksgiving should mean to all of us, let me just say that Thanksgiving is a day for reflection and remembrance, at least for me. For those people that helped teach me, to those that helped mature me and to those that now enrich me, I am thankful. It’s a great thing to slow down for a moment and recognize those people and things that we take for granted on a daily basis, most often without even a passing thought. Take a few moments to acknowledge them for what they provide. And a special “Thank you” to all of our troops serving domestically and abroad that find yourselves far from home this Thanksgiving. Stay safe and God’s speed in getting back to your family!
I’m also thankful for three games on Thursday. How nice it must be for the Detroit faithful that almost lost their place on Thanksgiving following the first ever 0-16 season. They’re legitimate and learning how to win. The game vs. the Packers on Turkey day is huge for them. I still miss John Madden on Thanksgiving!
Who had Kevin Smith as their selection this week as top fantasy producer? Welcome back Kevin. Now just try to follow THAT up! He’ll be in my lineup this week vs. Green Bay.
We’re in the home stretch now and a few big names continue to remain sidelined while a few new names have been added to the list.
Adrian Peterson will be in a boot until Friday and then will see to what degree he can go on Sunday vs. Atlanta. It would be a remarkable recovery to return in the week following a high ankle sprain. It looked bad last Sunday and I see little way that he’s on the field vs. a tough Atlanta run defense. Toby Gerhardt and Percy Harvin will likely carry the load. I’ll be sitting Gerhardt.
Darren McFadden is out yet again but looks to be on track to play in week 13. His absence has meant closer games in fantasy over the past month.
Fred Jackson has a bad calf injury and inside word is that it may be torn. If that is the case, expect Jackson to be done for the year. Jackson was a solid RB2 in fantasy and his loss won’t be filled by C.J. Spiller or rookie Johnny White. Spiller remains terrible and White owners should be excited to see him get a chance to show. He’s a good sized back with nice patience and I always like to see rookie runners get a chance to start late in the season. At the very least, White should be the back in short yardage and down-hill running situations.
In Green Bay, James Starks looks to be a game time decision. Watch the news carefully, especially if you are a Ryan Grant owner. Starks hasn’t been a solid starter in 2011 and Grant likely won’t offer anything better. Against a resurgent Lions club, I’d be sitting both unless no other options are present.
Montario Hardesty is in line to start but will have to prove that his calf has healed prior to the game. If he can’t go, Chris Ogbannaya will draw yet another start. Against the Bengals, neither projects to a great start.
Looks like Joseph Addai could be in the line-up. Donald Brown has shown that he’s much more dynamic than Delone Carter, no surprise here. I’ve stuck to my guns that Carter isn’t a carry-the-load back in the NFL and is best suited as a short yardage back. In Indi’s offense, short yardage role players have virtually no role. How a year has changed the Colts, wow!
The Giant’s 31st rushing offense will likely be without Ahmad Bradshaw on Monday night vs. the Saints. Brandon Jacobs should be starting for you.
Miles Austin will be sitting again.
Denarius Moore turned up at practice with a walking boot. Stay tuned …
For the Bengals, it looks as if rookie stud A.J. Green may be on the field against the Browns.
And Texan’s fans everywhere are applauding the return of Andre Johnson who is practicing again and should be starting when they take the field against the Jaguars.
And one final receiver note: Jeremy Maclin looks to be practicing and could in the lineup vs. the Patriots.
In the land of quarterbacks, this last week has been a brutal one.
Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler and Matt Cassel are all likely done for the year. Caleb Hanie will be under center and while I do expect the Bears to try and land recently released Kyle Orton, the Chiefs will likely beat them to it. Starting in place of the injured Cassel in Kansas City, Tyler Palko looked terrible and he throws a horrific ball. Whether due to nerves or lack of experience, Palko’s time as a starter is short. Ricky Stanzi anyone?
If you don’t have a top quarterback going into the final games, you’re likely done. More than any other year in recent history, the disparity between starting quarterbacks is huge.
Matt Leinart is your starter in Houston. That’s a large drop-off in talent from Matt Schaub. I don’t believe Leinart has the heart or arm for the NFL game. And I was in the opposite camp at the beginning of his career.
Tim Tebow. There, I said it. The show rolls on.
John Skelton regressed mightily on Sunday, throwing three interceptions before being replaced by none other than Richard Bartel. Skelton will be back under center on Sunday vs. St. Louis. At least they both look for Fitzgerald.
What an interesting year this has been. Whether you are steaming towards a championship game or mathematically eliminated from contention, there’s still a ton to be gained by staying engaged, not only to your team and moves for the future, but for the good of your league and your fellow coaches. Nothing ruins a year more than coaches that check-out as soon as they are out of the running for a ring. Building for the future is a 17 week affair, don’t allow for anything less, in you or others.
More soon …
Get those lineup questions in, I’ve been hot recently.
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