As if the Eagles didn't play poorly enough, Donovan McNabb briefly turned into Chris Webber and called a timeout his team didn't have. Between that and the overtime snafu last season, apparently D-Mac has cracked open a rule book as many times as Tim McCarver has offered insightful commentary during the playoffs.
With six teams idle, I threw in a few extra starts this week:
Ben Roethlisberger -- Diary, the Steelers are actually throwing 34 times per game. Next thing you know someone will realize that Norv Turner can't coach. Big Ben is averaging 314.5 passing yards and faces a Minnesota defense that, while stout against the run, has surrendered 355 passing yards per game over their last three contests.
Matt Ryan -- Ryan got off to a poor start before tossing a pair of touchdowns last week, and the Atlanta O Line still hasn't allowed a sack since Week 1. Meanwhile, the Cowboys surrender an average of 264 yards to opposing quarterbacks, and they've given up eight TDs compared to just two picks, both courtesy of the ever-generous Jake Delhomme.
Joseph Addai -- Addai has scored in four of Indy's five games, and this week he faces a Rams' defense that yields over 130 yards per game on the ground. Addai also has 26 catches on the season, including 17 in his last two games. For what it's worth, I also think Donald Brown could score in garbage time.
Ryan Grant -- He'll never post a high yards per carry, but Grant has over 100 total yards in each of his last three games. He's also been more involved in the passing game with 12 receptions compared to 18 all of last season. This week he faces the Browns, who have allowed at least 140 rushing yards to each opponent.
Marshawn Lynch -- Expect to see plenty of running plays during the Buffalo-Carolina game, since both squads struggle to complete passes (to their own receivers) and can't stop the run. Lynch has increased his workload each week since returning from suspension and has 13 receptions in three games.
Jonathan Stewart -- Stewart racked up 110 yards and a score on 17 carries last week as the Panthers continued to rediscover their identity. Diary, when I tried to rediscover my identity, I found out what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there, especially if it's a weird rash. Anyway, the Bills gave up well over 300 rushing yards last week, and the Panthers should challenge that mark on Sunday.
Leon Washington -- Unlike the Eagles, the Jets will focus on the running the ball against an Oakland defense yielding 145.3 rushing yards per game. Thomas Jones will get his, but expect close to 20 touches from Washington, making him a terrific bye-week flex option.
Miles Austin -- Austin used his 250-yard explosion against the Chiefs to bypass Patrick Crayton on the depth chart heading into the Atlanta game. The Falcons lost starting CB Brian Williams for the season, and even with Williams, they had allowed at least 78 yards to a receiver in each of the last four contests.
Steve Breaston -- Even if Anquan Boldin plays, I like Breaston as a strong WR3. Since missing Week 1 with a knee injury, he has averaged nearly six catches and 80 receiving yards.
Johnny Knox -- He's found the end zone in three of five games, and his chemistry with Jay Cutler continues to improve. Against a Bengals pass defense that was torched last week and is missing their best pass rusher, Knox is an intriguing flex option.
Lance Moore -- Better late than never for one of my favorites coming into the season, diary! Moore caught six balls for 78 yards and a score against the Giants, and this week Drew Brees faces Miami's young secondary. When healthy, Moore has been one of Brees' favorite targets, and that won't change now.
Hakeem Nicks -- The rookie wideout has scored in three straight games since returning from injury. Arizona's success against the pass last week was largely the result of a patchwork Seattle O-Line, but their secondary remains vulnerable. You could do worse than Nicks as a bye-week replacement.
Chris Cooley -- Clearly the Redskins are in shambles, but have you seen Philly's linebackers attempt to cover opposing tight ends the past couple weeks? In case you missed it diary, they've allowed 15 catches for 241 yards and three scores.
Greg Olsen -- Olsen had his best game of the season against the Falcons with five catches, 57 yards and a TD, his third score in as many weeks. Meanwhile, the Bengals give up 6.7 receptions and 61 yards per game to opposing tight ends, which bodes well for Olsen and Desmond Clark.
Until tomorrow, diary...
10/20/09 - Dear Diary,
I respect Jeff Reed for trying to shed the stereotype that kickers are pansies, but is beating the Browns really public intox-worthy? Luckily, no paper towel dispensers were harmed during the incident.
Here are my sits for the week:
Donovan McNabb -- The "human rulebook" was under constant pressure last week as the Raiders took advantage of a banged up O-Line and unbalanced game plan. The injury to Jason Peters was not as severe as initially feared, but his status for the Washington game is in question. In spite of their organizational disarray, the Redskins have performed admirably against the pass, yielding 169 yards per game.
Mark Sanchez -- With eight picks and one score in his last three games, New Yorkers are becoming disen-Sanchized. Diary, I know a matchup with the Raiders is tempting, but expect a heavy dose of the run game in this one as the Jets look to get back on track.
Tim Hightower -- Obviously, you can't sit him in PPR leagues, but TDs are his sole source of value in standard leagues right now. He has failed to post more than 61 total yards in each of the last three games and is averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Ironically, that's the same YPC the Giants defense is yielding if you throw out their uncharacteristically poor showing versus Dallas.
Fred Jackson -- He's failed to exceed 15 touches since Lynch returned, and after catching 15 passes the first three weeks, he has just five receptions in the last three. Buffalo's O-Line isn't good enough to sustain two fantasy RBs, and Lynch is more likely to get goal-line carries. Lynch is also more likely to get arrested, so don't cut Jackson yet.
Laurence Maroney -- I can't let one game erase Maroney's history of fantasy disappointment, diary. Even Ryan Leaf had one big game. Sure, Maroney looked good, but New England still passed 47 times in a snow storm and spreads it around when they do run. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will also get carries with Sammy Morris out, and don't forget Maroney was averaging 3.1 yards per carry entering Week 6.
Ricky Williams -- Ricky faces the team who wasted an entire draft (and a few seasons) by selecting him, but he's had a nice year in Miami with double-digit fantasy points in four of five games. However, the Saints have been decent against the run and will likely force Miami to play catch-up and pass more than they'd like.
Bernard Berrian -- While Brett Favre was expected to help Berrian, the emergence of Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin has limited his opportunities. He's surpassed 60 receiving yards just once this season and is averaging 39 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Steelers have allowed just one opposing wideout to top 70 yards since Week 1.
Braylon Edwards -- Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to play after injuring his eye, and Mark Sanchez completed more passes to the Bills than to Edwards last week. Diary, Rex Ryan doesn't need to be stressed during what appears to be his third trimester, so look for a run-heavy game plan for the Jets this week.
Mohamed Massaquoi -- Don't let yourself be reeled back in after Massaquoi bounced back with 83 yards against Pittsburgh. A closer look shows 60 of those yards came on one drive, with just two receptions the rest of the game. He faces Green Bay's physical corners this week, who haven't allowed an opposing receiver to gain more than 75 yards in the last three games.
Kevin Walter -- Matt Schaub has completed 74 passes for 987 yards the past three weeks, but Walter has only eight grabs and 107 yards over that span. He is clearly the fourth option behind Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Steve Slaton, plus Jacoby Jones is stealing some targets.
Jeremy Shockey -- The Dolphins have tightened up their tight end coverage since getting destroyed by Dallas Clark, limiting opposing TEs to five catches and 64 yards in three games. Shockey is coming off of an emotional game against his former team, and consistency has never been his strong suit.
Sweet dreams, diary...
Feel free to email Andy at Bottoms@rotoexperts.com with your weekly lineup conundrums. You can also hear Andy on Sports Smack each Friday night, check out www.rotoexpertsradio.com for more info.
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