I'll begin this article by simply giving a quick heads up to all of you. Check your league rules and find out when your trade deadline is. You'd be shocked how many people have no idea when they must finalize trades. Now that you know when it is, get busy making arrangements for the stretch run. As we've discussed before, the rookie wall can be ugly for many a first-year player. If you can create a package involving a thriving rookie and get yourself an established veteran, especially one with a nice stretch of games Weeks 14-16, what are you waiting for?
The draft is only one aspect of winning championships. Take a look at your league's history and see what teams historically are the best. I'd be willing to bet it's the guy who's active in the trade market. No matter how good you are at drafting, situations change, injuries occur, great players fall off and young players break out. Don't be left holding your original cards if you can upgrade your hand.
Now on to the rookies.
Maybe I'm young and haven't seen enough. Maybe at 39, I'm too old to remember. In either case, I can't recall a rookie quarterback being this impressive. Ryan completed 17-of-22 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He's not just getting by with dinks and dunks, he's throwing a superb long ball, as well, and
With 248 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9, Flacco showed vast improvement from his early season struggles. Whether it was a soft defense, finally having a rushing attack, or just a bit of luck, Flacco did a terrific job this past week. The soft Houston Texans are on the docket this week, so if you're desperate, Flacco might actually be worthy of a start.
With 57 yards on 15 carries last week, Green-Ellis is carving out a role for himself in the Patriots offense. He was bursting through holes, and for the third straight week, found the end zone. He's a solid value in touchdown-only leagues and a useful bye week filler in other formats. A tilt against the Bills' 12th-ranked rushing defense is up next, but they've had their vulnerable moments this season. With
Coming off a bye, Forte actually didn't look very good against Detroit. At least that was the case for three quarters. In the 4th, Forte and the Bears bullied the Lions and he finished with 126 yards. Forte is still averaging only 3.8 yards per carry, but he gets so many touches that he's racking up solid fantasy points. He's still the top rookie wall candidate. Sell high in redraft leagues.
With 161 total yards and a touchdown agqainst the Packers, Johnson confirmed what we've said for weeks. He's an every-week starter. He even scored a goal-line touchdown. If he doesn't lose those to
Last week we talked about Torain's value being mostly tied to his future. Well, in a snap, things change in the NFL, and after a promising first half against the Browns, Torain tore his ACL and ended his season.
Bingo. We nailed this one. Slaton struggled to find running room last week, gaining just 62 yards on 16 carries last week. However, he was a stud in the passing game, catching eight passes for another 56 yards. He faces another tough test against Baltimore this week but remains a must start in PPR formats. Standard league owners again might want to consider other options, but Slaton's use in the passing game could see him topping 100 total yards again.
Limited practice, tough matchup, horrible offense. No thanks. Not even his new pair of shoes can change the outlook. Make McFadden show you something before using him again.
Stewart has clearly taken a back seat to
Jones probably won't return until Week 11.
As long as the Lions refuse to remove their head from their rear end and get rid of
Egg on the face is slimy and gross. We just finished telling you that Hightower is better served for the future, and then the Cardinals give
Last week I said Rice is definitely worth a roster spot, and after rushing for 154 yards on 21 carries, he's worth more than that. The Ravens are starting to see their return on investment, and
Well, I guess the ankle sprain wasn't so bad after all. Charles ran 18 times for 106 yards against an extremely tough Tampa Bay defense.
Those of you who've kept up with this column all year know how much we love to talk about one-week wonders. Hillis caught seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. He's a fullback. He's a lead blocker. It's a fluke. Don't believe me? Check out the game logs for such fantasy stalwarts as
The roller coaster continues. Coming off a monster week, Avery was held to three catches for 26 yards. While Arizona's defense is underrated, this was a horrible line for Avery. The Jets are up next, and that could be a good thing, as they have the fourth-ranked rushing defense, and
As we expected, there was not a lot of activity for Jackson this past week against Seattle. However, we previewed the fact that the Eagles have a primetime match up against the Giants this week. Jackson will most definitely be counted on heavily in this one. With the Giants fierce pass rush, Philadelphia will likely employ a lot of screens and quick slants. That's where Jackson will be able to use his speed and make the first defender miss.
Coming off the bye, Morgan will certainly improve upon his last performance. That shouldn't be tough since he had no catches. A thrilling Monday night contest between San Francisco and Arizona (yawn!) is actually a good thing for Morgan. Arizona should be able to score at will against San Francisco, so the 49ers will be airing it out playing catch up. Morgan is a sneaky WR3 play this week.
Zero catches last week for Sweed, who's definitely more of a developmental project. If
Let's make this one simple:
A matchup against a tough defense like Buffalo still didn't get Keller involved. Two catches for 19 yards isn't going to cut it. Surely there are better options out there.
While three catches for 36 yards isn't a wonder, let's end any talk about Bennett's fantasy value.
Fine caught four passes for 43 yards and a touchdown last week. Those were the first receptions of his career. Fine has solid hands and could be part of the future in Buffalo, but