10/5/09 - Dear Diary,
Everyone has their own opinion of Brett Favre, but I came away from his impressive Monday Night Football performance with a couple thoughts. First, I found it comical that he referred to Aaron Rodgers as "their quarterback" as if he didn't know his name despite being teammates for three years. Apparently his ego invaded the part of his brain allocated for memory. Second, if Favre played behind Green Bay's battered O-Line, he would be in a body bag by now. "Their quarterback" is one tough hombre for standing in there play after play.
Here are my starts for the week:
Joe Flacco -- Mark Clayton's stone hands cost Flacco a chance at a signature road victory at New England, but the second-year QB acquitted himself nicely in a tough environment. He's averaging 276 passing yards and already has eight TD tosses compared to 14 all of last season. Flacco has a nice matchup against a Bengals defense that made Derek Anderson and the Browns look competent on Sunday.
David Garrard -- After a forgettable Week 1, Garrard has improved his completion percentage each week and is averaging 273 passing yards over the last three games. Over that span, he's also accounted for six total TDs and averaged 31 rushing yards. With defenses keying on MJD, he's found a go-to receiver in Mike Sims-Walker and faces a Seattle D that has allowed five passing scores the last two weeks.
Ben Roethlisberger -- Diary, you know I have few rules in life. Never go to work without pants on. Don't tell anyone I watch The Hills. Always recommend the quarterback facing the Lions (unless it's JaMarcus Russell). The fact that Big Ben is averaging 298 yards and completing 73.2 percent of his passes doesn't hurt either.
Tashard Choice -- His rushing numbers (14 carries, 33 yards) were disappointing, but if someone still allows the Backstreet Boys to record albums, Choice deserves another chance. He was active in the passing game and if Roy Williams is out, Choice could be in line for additional targets against a weak Kansas City defense. To me, it's clear that he's the most effective runner on the Cowboys with Marion Barber best suited for goal-line duty.
Jerome Harrison -- With James Davis on IR and Jamal Lewis MIA, Harrison is the go-to guy for Cleveland's running game. He's averaging 119 total yards in two starts, and he faces a Bills defense that was ravaged by the Miami run game last week. Harrison has also endeared himself to PPR-leaguers with five catches in each contest. And they said no one in Cleveland had fantasy value. And by "they," I meant me, diary.
LeSean McCoy -- After a strong showing in his first career start (93 total yards, TD), McCoy has convinced Andy Reid to give him more time on the field. That sack of cheeseburgers he left on Big Red's desk didn't hurt either. The Eagles should be able to jump on the Bucs early, allowing Brian Westbrook to rest and McCoy to shine.
Chester Taylor -- It's not often you can recommend a backup running back and feel confident about it. That's just the effect the Rams' defense has on me though. Adrian Peterson will still get his, but expect Taylor to spell him more often in what projects to be a blowout, making him a strong flex play if you need bye-week help.
Austin Collie/Pierre Garcon -- At this point I would start my two-year-old daughter against the Tennessee secondary (and believe me diary, her hands are questionable). Both of these young players have filled in admirably for Anthony Gonzalez, and the Colts won't be afraid to throw it early and often against the reeling Titans.
Brandon Marshall -- Even though his late TD against the Cowboys cost me a win, the effort was tremendous. Not like the effort I made to sit through Soul Plane, but impressive nonetheless. It was Marshall's second straight game with a score, and he looks more comfortable in the offense each week. The Pats have allowed at least 78 yards to one opposing receiver each of the last three weeks; look for Marshall to make it four.
Mike Sims-Walker -- I am firmly aboard the MSW bandwagon after 278 yards and three scores in three games. For more information on the Seattle secondary, re-read the section above on David Garrard. Bonus fact: they allowed 65 or more yards to four pass-catchers last week.
Kevin Walter -- The Cardinals allowed 661 yards and six scores to opposing receivers in their last two games. The Texans have issues moving the ball on the ground. Draw your own conclusion, diary.
Vernon Davis -- He has three touchdown catches in the past two games. Atlanta has given up at least 65 yards and a score to opposing tight ends in consecutive games. It's not like the 49ers have anyone better to throw to either, and more importantly, there's finally a VD I can get without upsetting my wife.
Dustin Keller -- He's coming off of a subpar game, but with the Dolphins' tough run defense, the Jets will be forced to throw it. Miami gave up at least five catches and 64 yards to opposing TEs the first three weeks, and if Buffalo had a healthy tight end, perhaps they could have done the same.
Until tomorrow, diary...
10/6/09 - Dear Diary,
I was sad to hear the news about Braylon Edwards punching someone outside of a club here in Cleveland, but I can't say I was surprised. Edwards has been punching fantasy owners in the face for two years now. He sure as hell isn't using his hands to catch the ball. Good riddance.
Here are some other guys who might statistically punch you in the face:
Jason Campbell -- Facing a Tampa Bay defense that had yielded seven touchdowns and 251 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, Campbell turned the ball over four times and needed a late rally to secure the victory. He's dead to me, diary.
Matt Cassel -- Four touchdowns and no picks in his last two games look nice. A total of 217 yards, eight sacks and four fumbles (zero lost), not so much.
Carson Palmer -- Palmer's late-game heroics aside, his stats aren't terribly impressive. He's averaging 211 passing yards, has nearly as many interceptions (five) as he does TD passes (six), and has completed 57.7 percent of his attempts.
Joseph Addai/Donald Brown -- Tennessee may be unable to stop anyone through the air, but they've limited opposing running backs to 2.8 yards per carry. That means you'll be relying on Indy's two-headed monster to either find the endzone or catch a slew of passes in order to provide fantasy points.
Cedric Benson -- Last week a start, this week a sit. That's what happens when you cross me, diary. Benson needed a few nice runs in overtime to break 70 yards, which is not exactly impressive versus the Browns. This week he faces the league's top-rated run defense in Baltimore. I'll pass.
Thomas Jones -- Jones is in the sit section of my column as often as Al Davis draft picks turn out to be busts. A 15-yard TD run salvaged an otherwise forgettable game on Sunday, as Jones struggled again and watched rookie Shonn Greene look impressive in his first action of the season. With a stout Miami defense looming, I'm staying away again.
Kevin Smith -- Smith gutted out a shoulder injury and managed two scores against Chicago. Unfortunately, he averaged 1.6 yards per carry against a defense missing two starting linebackers. Against a much tougher Pittsburgh defense, Smith won't have much more success and is unlikely to reach the endzone.
Antonio Bryant -- The good news is that he looked healthy and caught a touchdown last week. The bad news is he's now catching passes from a rookie quarterback. The Eagles will attack Josh Johnson and pay extra attention to Bryant, rendering him a useless option this week.
Chad Ochocinco -- You likely don't have better options, but Ocho has just one TD in his last six games against the Ravens. He's also averaging three catches and 42 yards in his last three games in Baltimore.
Nate Washington -- Diary, I know he's scored in three straight games, but the Colts' defense has done a nice job of limiting far more talented receivers this year. The mere mention of Vince Young playing quarterback also hurts the value of Tennessee receivers.
Roddy White -- I still see White as a good buy-low candidate, but he may come at more of a discount after this week. The 49ers have done a terrific job of limiting opposing receivers (outside of the Favre-to-Greg Lewis play), and White is off to a slow start with just 7.9 yards per catch.
Sean Ryan -- This week's "don't be a sucker" tight end award winner caught five passes on Sunday. Ryan's previous season high was six. That is all.
Kellen Winslow -- He may be a soldier, but he's been held to 30 yards or less in three of four games. The Bucs are in complete disarray, and at this point, no one is safe to start.
Sweet dreams, diary...