First of all, I'd like to congratulate those of you lucky enough to not be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (it's been a bad season). Every decision that you make from here on out will have wide-ranging ramifications. It's time to abandon the wait-and-see approach and start taking some risks. Every victory, every point, every smack talking email that you send, matters. There's cash on the line. There's pride. There's a hunger for domination that needs to be satisfied. Every Sunday is a must-win. And as any fantasy veteran can tell you, things start getting a little..."weird" toward the end of the year. You're going to have to be willing to experiment, to think outside the box, if you hope to catch one of the many lightning bugs that dot the fantasy landscape at this time in the season. To help you out, I've identified a few players that may just shock some life into your team for Week 11.
Thigpen: Since being chosen by default as the starting QB for Kansas City three weeks ago, Thigpen is averaging 236 passing yards per game. He's also got six touchdowns, hasn't thrown an interception in his last 124 attempts, and is completing 64.7 percent of his passes, all while bestowing fantasy relevance upon
And you know what's not stopping the Thigpen train? The Saints cornerbacks, or rather, their lack thereof. Due to injuries, New Orleans will be relying on
As for Gay, I'll just say that if I were assigned the task of sketching a "steaming pile of mediocrity" during a game of Win, Lose or Draw, my picture would look strikingly like the Saints cornerback. The Chiefs offense -- enhanced by the re-addition of
Delhomme: 9-of-27 for 72 yards. Four interceptions and one touchdown. Those are Delhomme's numbers from last week. Take one final glance at them...and now delete them from you memory. As far as you know, the game against Oakland never happened.
All you should be thinking about is the upcoming matchup with Detroit. I'm pretty sure that I mention this in every column, but I really can't emphasize enough just how bad the Lions pass defense is. They've surrendered 16 touchdown passes, and picked off only two. They're giving up mopre than 30 points, 245 passing yards and a league-high 111.3 QB rating to the opposition. That works out to an average of over 22 fantasy points scored by quarterbacks against them each week. They're the stray hair in a tuna sandwich; the turd in a public swimming pool; inappropriately bad to an almost indescribable level. Which is exactly why Delhomme needs to be started over such fantasy stalwarts as Rivers and Romo this week.
I was way off on my assessment of Rosenfels last week when I said he "turns the ball over like a near-sighted rookie point guard." What I should have said was that he turns the ball over like a near-sighted, one-armed, club-footed, rookie point guard. My bad ...You know who Roethlisberger reminds me of? Gus Frerotte. Seriously, look at their numbers. They've each thrown for 1,600 yards with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, yet Roethlisberger is started in nearly every league, while Frerotte wastes away in free agency. And yes, I'm one of those idiots that continues to start "Burly Ben" ... Quinn was pretty impressive last week, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Don't forget, Fitzpatrick threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in his debut ...
Norwood: In my mind, one of the biggest mysteries over the last two-and-a-half years is why Norwood hasn't been given the opportunity to be a feature back, or at least option 1A in a time share. He's never had a significant injury. He averages over six yards-per-carry for his career, and is a great receiver out of the backfield. I don't get it, but for whatever reason, it's the reality that Norwood owners are faced with.
His only value comes as a spot-starter, and trying to figure out which games he'll be successful in is harder than convincing my girlfriend that I've been downloading pictures of
Denver comes into the game ranked 27th against the run. In their last three games, the Broncos have allowed seven different runners to total 40 yards or more. As
Bell: I know. This is a little ridiculous right? I mean, things have really gone downhill quickly for Bell, haven't they? Entering the 2006 season, he was the Broncos' starting running back and was widely considered to be a blossoming fantasy superstar. By the start of '08, he was being run out of town by a team with no wins, in favor of a broken down
Now he's back with Denver, where he's just a year removed from a 1,000-yard season. He knows the offense, has a great relationship with running backs coach
Of course, it should be noted that in his first stint with Denver, Bell earned the reputation for being a self-centered, lazy, fumbler. So there's a chance he alienates everyone in the locker room by Saturday night and never sees the field. If he does play though, Bell could be the surprise of the week.
"Famine, famine, feast." That's been Peterson's battle cry all year, and he's perfected the art of staying patient, softening the defense up, and then crushing their spleen with a long touchdown run. I'm not even sure he's human ... Uh-oh. Words like "rookie wall" and "worn down" are being tossed around regarding Slaton. He did have 93 yards and two scores last time he faced the Colts, but I'm proceeding ever so cautiously for the time being ... There's no committee in Carolina anymore. Thanks to Stewart's heel injury and overall ineffectiveness --more than 20 percent of his carries have gone for no gain or negative yards -- Williams is finally the man. Took long enough ... What can Brown do for you? Apparently about 50 yards, the occasional touchdown, and ... that's about it. Williams will be getting the bulk of the carries in Miami by fantasy playoff time ... Good to see
Camarillo: Last week I told you about the difficulties that top-flight receivers had when
With the lead receiver shut down, it gives the No. 2 man a great opportunity to produce big numbers. Muhammad led the Panthers in receiving and caught a touchdown this past week. Jenkins had two scores. Heck, even
An unassuming, efficient route runner with great hands, he's already displayed the ability to command Pennington's attention (11 catches for 111 yards against Denver). If you're in a points-per-reception league, Camarillo should be a must-start, and I'll go so far as to say that he has a better day than the man he is so often compared to ... Chad Johnson. Or is it Welker that he's likened to? Either way, he'll outperform both.
Jenkins: I didn't want to believe when Roddy White started doing well last year. I left him on my bench for weeks, despite outstanding games, because thanks to
Atlanta can't possibly have two viable fantasy options at the wideout position, can they? Well, over the last four weeks, just as Ryan has started to come into his own, that's exactly what they've had. Jenkins has been over the 50-yard mark in every game and has two touchdowns on 15 catches. That would make him a decent flex play on any given week, and against the injury ravaged Broncos defense, you can go ahead and elevate him to full green-light status.
Santana Moss always kills the Cowboys. He's played them six times as a Redskin and is averaging 113 yards on six catches while scoring four times ... Early in the season, when Favre was slinging the ball everywhere, it was great that he would look to Coles and Cotchery with the same frequency. Unfortunately, now that it seems Favre might be settling into the Kerry Collins stage of his career, it's not so cute anymore. One catch apiece on Sunday? If you're down with either of the "C & C Boyz," it's time to start worrying ... Surprisingly enough, Bradley has more targets than Bowe since Thigpen took control of the offense. He's also increased his yardage total each week, and against the Saints, he's a great play ... The Giants defense scares me. So do dislocated shoulders. Just two of the reasons why I'm not starting Mason this week ...
I was sitting around with some league mates on Sunday, and when Heap caught his second touchdown pass, someone asked if he was available. A quick check of the free agency pool revealed that he was indeed there for the taking. After 20 seconds of silence, in which no one made a move to their computer, I asked if anybody was going to pick him up. I got a couple of amused stares, a few quick "No's," and I'm pretty sure I heard someone mutter, "I hate Turd Heap." I guess the point I'm trying to make is that Heap's value has dropped so low that not even a five-catch, 58-yard, two-touchdown performance is enough to make owners trust him again. He is worth picking up and watching though ... How long before Philly fans start chanting