Ready ... set ... no!
Tiering your players on a weekly basis not only is a good way to determine whom to draft in fantasy football, but also is great way to break ties for tough lineup decisions each week. Delving into the tiers this week, we look at the heartbreaking
Warner is going to break your heart. It may be this week against Dallas. It may be a month from now. It may be during your league championship game. It's impossible to predict when, but it will happen. Dating back to last year, Warner has started and gone the distance 15 consecutive times, a streak he hasn't sniffed since his 2001 season with the Rams. Somehow, he's avoided the debilitating injuries and horrifically poor outings that have plagued him in the past, and he's not just surviving out there, he's destroying defenses. During his current streak, he's averaging 268 yards a game and has only two outings where he didn't throw multiple touchdowns. He's been the most productive and reliable fantasy quarterback in the game ... and that's exactly why he scares the living hell out of me. What Warner's doing at the age of 37, after being completely written off, is not only unprecedented, it defies the laws of football. He's playing on borrowed time, and while he's making the most out of it, there've been signs that the clock is about to strike zero for Warner and his owners.
First there was the opening half against the Jets in which he lost three fumbles and was picked off twice. Then there was the text message to his wife that revealed he was contemplating immediately retiring after nearly getting
Was I hallucinating, or did we get a glimpse of the high-flying Bengals offense of old in that second half against the Cowboys? Hold on, let me check something real quick ... nope, it wasn't in my head. Palmer completed 16-of-22 passes for 153 yards and two scores. Interesting ... It certainly hasn't been pretty, but Russell has managed to put up at least 15 fantasy points in three out of four games this year. This week he's got the Saints, who just lost a starting cornerback and are allowing opposing QBs to score an average of ... yep, you guessed it, 15 fantasy points a game ... Forget rising gas prices, the economic crisis and the presidential election. None of it matters. Clearly the apocalypse is upon us because I swear I witnessed Orton throw for a league leading 334 yards last week. Can he repeat the feat against Atlanta? Not a chance ...
To pull a page from
So again I ask, what's the deal with Maroney?
So what's he got in store this week? Your guess is as good as mine. For the record, when asked if Morris or Faulk would see more time than Maroney, Belichick dropped this gem, "We'll just take it as it comes. This week it'll be San Diego. We'll set up the best combinations that we feel like will give us advantages against the Chargers. And then we'll see how it goes the week after that." Thanks, Bill. Thanks for making owning a Patriots running back the equivalent of getting a prostate exam from
Houston has allowed a league-leading eight rushing touchdowns in four games. Brown is tied for the league lead with six scores on the ground. You do the math ... The Ravens have yet to allow an opposing rusher to top the 60-yard plateau this year, which doesn't bode well for the struggling Addai ... If you take away the Indy game, Jones-Drew and Taylor have combined to average a measly 2.6 yards-per-carry. It's pretty hard not to rush for 100 yards against the Broncos, but if anyone can do it, it's the Jacksonville duds ... errrr, I mean duo ... Not that you needed a reason to stay away from Benson and Perry, but did you know that the Jets have the fifth ranked rush defense? Yeah, I didn't either ...
I don't know if you guys heard about this or not, but something has slowly been unearthed up in Minnesota over the past few weeks. Something that had been buried for the better part of two years, and was actually thought to be lost for good by some Minnesotans. What is it you ask? Wait, you didn't notice? The Vikings have a passing game again! When Berrian caught a late 33-yard touchdown pass to push his receiving total to 110 yards on the night, he became the first Viking to have a 100-yard game since Week 2 of the '06 season, a span of 35 games (it was also a career high for Berrian, which I found equally as weird). Not only that, but it marked the third straight game that a Minnesota QB had thrown for more than 200 yards, something that also hadn't been done since early in the '06 campaign.
The obvious beneficiary of the aerial revival is Berrian and his owners. Frerotte can still wing the ball downfield, and since that just happens to be the "Human BB's" specialty, it works out perfectly. Berrian was targeted six times on deep routes against the Saints, and while he only hauled in two of them, they accounted for 69 yards (another one earned a defensive interference penalty, which should at least count for half yardage points in fantasy, don't you think?). The other receiver seeing an uptick in his value is Wade. He's caught seven and eight balls over the last two games, and has been over 60 yards both times. There are plenty of flex players starting on fantasy teams that aren't capable of putting up those kinds of numbers, yet Wade remains virtually unowned. This week Berrian and Wade absolutely need to be in your lineup, against a Lions secondary that has given up more 40-yard passes than any team in the league, doesn't have a single interception and is allowing opponents to score at clip of 36 points a game. Or in Wade's case, he needs to picked up, and then placed in your starting rotation.
Baffled. Befuddled. Mystifyied. Flummoxed. I'm a big bundle of confusion when it comes to figuring out why Ocho Cinco is suddenly acting like he's Tab Perry. Is it the shoulder? The quarterback? Has he simply lost it? I don't know. What I do know is that he hasn't had a drought like this since his rookie year, and yet for some reason, I can't take him out of my starting lineup ... Just when you thought Santana Moss was solid as a rock in your WR2 slot, he goes and drops a giant goose egg against Philly. He'll bounce back against St. Louis, but don't think Moss' O-fer last week will be the last time he disappoints you this season ... Crayton literally had a touchdown pass bounce into his arms against the Bengals, and that's the only thing that saved him from his second zero catch game of the season. "Captain Unpredictable" has a favorable matchup, but he's such a risky option that you'll be much better off starting a lower ceiling/higher consistency receiver -- like Wade for instance ...
After fumbling away a Bears victory in Week 2, Olsen is doing his best to redeem himself. Two weeks ago he caught four balls for 35 yards and a touchdown, and last week his 87 yards were a career high ... I picked up Shiancoe and started him last week, causing my opponent to wonder if we had a rule in place about starting dead, 18th century composers. I thought that was funny. I also thought it was funny when Shiancoe caught his second touchdown of the season on Monday night (that thing about the Minnesota passing revival applies here as well) ... If Scheffler isn't able to go on Sunday, look for