11/30/09 - Dear Diary,
Maybe if Randy Moss spent less time cultivating his Chia-Beard (which looks like it may contain some small woodland creatures), he would have performed better against the DBs New Orleans signed off the street. And as for Belichick pulling his starters late, don't tell me it was to avoid injury. He certainly doesn't worry about that when he's running it up on weaker opponents.
Here are this week's starts:
Brett Favre -- The Cardinals have surrendered at least 331 passing yards in three of their last four and five times this year. Meanwhile, Father Time has four 300-yard games this season and has tossed 12 TDs compared to zero picks in his last four.
Donovan McNabb -- McNabb came alive just in time to avoid a potentially embarrassing loss to the Redskins. Against an Atlanta pass defense that has allowed at least two passing scores in six of their last seven, expect a more complete performance.
Carson Palmer -- 26. No, that's not the number of old people I stiff-armed to get a $250 TV at Target on Black Friday. It's the number of passing TDs surrendered by the Lions. Maybe the Bengals grind it out like they did last week, but I'll take my chances.
Philip Rivers -- Christmas has come early for Rivers with the Chiefs and Browns in back-to-back weeks. He hung 317 yards and two scores on KC, and while the Bengals were content to bludgeon the Browns on the ground, expect more passing from the Bolts.
Alex Smith -- The 49ers are opening up the offense, and Smith played well against Jacksonville. This week he faces a Seattle D who has allowed 15 passing TDs and 277 passing yards per game over the last six.
Matt Forte -- What do the Browns and Lions have in common? Yes, both are pathetic and have made a number of people dislike football. They're also the only teams to allow Forte in the end zone (and to rush for over 66 yards). Not so coincidentally, the Rams are also woeful and rank 28th against the run, meaning the stars have aligned for Forte.
Thomas Jones -- A quick math lesson: Run-first offense + League's worst run D = Good matchup.
Rashard Mendenhall -- With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined, the Ravens loaded up to shut down Mendenhall, but he still got the job done. After that slugfest, facing the 31st-ranked Oakland run defense will be like a tickle fight.
Knowshon Moreno -- That's now three straight games with at least 80 rushing yards for Moreno, which is more than enough momentum heading into a matchup with Kansas City's 27th-ranked unit.
LaDainian Tomlinson -- As I said last week, the burst isn't there and the yards per carry are ugly, but L.T. has seven TDs in the last five games. The Browns made Larry Johnson look revitalized, and without Shaun Rogers, there will be plenty of running room.
Cadillac Williams -- Caddy has two TDs in his last three games and ran for 77 yards and a score in the first meeting with Carolina. The Panthers have allowed at least one rushing TD in 10 straight games, proving that consistency isn't always good.
Jason Avant -- If DeSean Jackson sits with a concussion, the Eagles will start Reggie Brown outside and keep Avant in the slot. McNabb seems to trust Avant, and he's posted 17 receptions, 276 yards, and two scores over the last three games.
Donald Driver -- Driver had a huge Thanksgiving, and the Ravens have issues in the secondary against top passing attacks. The Pack will have to throw it to win this one, and I like Driver to post another solid outing.
Pierre Garcon -- Peyton Manning continues to use Garcon to stretch the field, and he is averaging 66.8 yards over the past five games. The Titans secondary is playing better, but I think Garcon gets loose for a big play.
Percy Harvin/Sidney Rice -- Re-read the stats about Arizona's pass defense that I mentioned above. If that doesn't convince you, nothing will.
Brandon Marshall -- After 86 yards against the Giants, Marshall gets a crack at Kansas City's atrocious pass defense. They have allowed nine different receivers to rack up at least 77 yards this year.
Chad Ochocinco -- The Lions give up the second most fantasy points to opposing wideouts, and they've surrendered 765 receiving yards and six TDs to WRs over the past three games.
Kevin Walter -- With Owen Daniels injured, Walter has returned to the fantasy radar. He's averaging 5.3 receptions and 62 yards over the last three, and against a suspect Jags secondary, he could find the end zone.
Brent Celek -- McNabb will look his way even more if DeSean Jackson is out, and Atlanta has struggled against opposing tight ends.
Tony Scheffler -- He's inconsistent, but if you need a flier, the Chiefs have allowed 231 yards and three scores to opposing TEs over the past two weeks.
Until tomorrow, diary...
CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE TO SEE THIS WEEK'S SITS
12/1/09 - Dear Diary,
Can you believe Josh McDaniels was yelling the F word on the sidelines? Who knew coaches used profanity? I expect to see an Outside the Lines exposé about this on Sunday.
Here are this week's sits.
Joe Flacco -- Flacco's Sunday night TD was his first in four weeks, and he's been held under 200 yards in three of his last five. Meanwhile, the Packers have held opposing QBs under 230 passing yards in five of their last seven.
David Garrard -- I'm really starting to hate this guy. It's one thing to implode every time I recommend starting him, but last week he failed to get Mike Sims-Walker involved against San Francisco's porous pass defense. Houston's pass defense has been decent against QBs not named Peyton Manning, and they limited Garrard to 214 passing yards in Week Three.
Eli Manning -- He's saying his injured foot isn't an issue, but there must be some excuse for his recent play. When I'm performing poorly at work, I typically fall back on substance abuse, turf toe, or scurvy. Come on Eli, this is America, where something else is always to blame for your woes.
Vince Young -- Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see Young turning things around. However, keep in mind that V.Y. was averaging 192.3 total yards in his first four starts. Even with a makeshift secondary, the Colts have allowed more than one TD pass just twice.
Joseph Addai -- Back when the Titans stunk, they limited Addai to 27 yards on 14 carries. Sure, he caught 10 passes in that game, but you can't count on him to do that again.
Ryan Grant -- He seemed to be headed in the right direction, but 61 yards against the Lions?! I just don't see him scoring against Baltimore's stout run defense.
Brandon Jacobs -- He's practically the last man standing in the Giants backfield, but I don't like his chances to break out against a Dallas run D that has allowed RBs just one rushing TD since Week One.
Jerious Norwood -- The Falcons rushed Michael Turner back and aggravated his ankle injury, so Norwood gets the nod. He had six carries for 22 yards last week, but 18 of those came on one run. The Eagles will load up to stop the run with Chris Redman at QB, making running room tough to come by.
Kevin Smith -- He hasn't rushed for over 67 yards since Week Three, has no rushing TDs since Week Four, and is averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Not exactly the recipe for success Cincinnati's third-ranked rush defense, which has surrendered two rushing scores to RBs this year.
Beanie Wells -- Just when you think Wells has overtaken Tim Hightower, he gets 20 yards on eight carries while Hightower goes for 55 yards and a TD. Against a Vikings defense that has allowed just three rushing scores, I'm not sure it matters who starts.
Chris Chambers -- It's a matter of time before the bottom drops out for Chambers, and that time could come on Sunday against Champ Bailey.
Jerricho Cotchery/Braylon Edwards -- Mark Sanchez's recent play is one reason to sit this duo, but the Bills have allowed just three opposing wideouts to eclipse 70 yards since Week One.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- Housh has been held to 36 yards or less in five of Seattle's last six games, so even though the matchup looks enticing, I'm sitting him. After back-to-back games with over 50 passing attempts, the Seahawks have thrown it 51 times the past two games, further limiting T.J.'s targets.
Derrick Mason -- He has one TD in the last four games, and the Packers have allowed an opposing wideout to gain over 80 yards just twice in their last seven contests. Charles Woodson should be all over Mason on Monday night.
Terrell Owens -- Darrelle Revis held Steve Smith to five yards last week, and he'll draw the assignment on T.O., who is playing his best ball of the season. My money is on Revis, obviously for entertainment purposes only.
Roy Williams -- The TD on Thanksgiving briefly took attention away from his case of alligator arms, but he has under 20 receiving yards in four of his last six. Oh, by the way, he was also held under 20 yards in the first meeting with the Giants.
Fred Davis -- While Davis was impressive last week, the Saints have held opposing TEs under 35 yards seven times. They also haven't allowed one to score a TD.
Jeremy Shockey -- Drew Brees is content to spread it around, and consequently Shockey hasn't caught more than three passes since Week Eight and hasn't scored since Week Six. Washington also allows the fifth fewest points to tight ends, so look elsewhere.