New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston has caught a touchdown in each of the past two weeks and ranks among the NFL's top 10 in receiving yards. In Week 9, however, the Saints face a tough Panthers pass defense, which is why Colston is my STUD TO SIT for Week 9. Carolina has allowed the fifth fewest passing yards per contest (182.7) and has given up just 6.0 yards per passing attempt. The Panthers' secondary has not allowed a 100-yard receiver yet this season, and when the two NFC South foes met earlier this season, Colston had one of his worst days of the 2010 season: four catches for 36 yards.
BREAKING NEWS: Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre's chin is not expected to keep him out of action for Week 9. As for his bruised ego and the NFL's ongoing investigation into his conduct, we'll see ...
CALL ME CRAZY but I see big things from Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson at home next Sunday against the league's No. 1 run defense. Benson has just one 100-yard rushing game so far this season but has carried the ball 20 or more times in five of the last six contests. Last year Benson averaged 4.8 yards per carry and scored a touchdown when the Steelers visited Cincinnati. Similar totals could be in store next Monday night.
I like the SHORT ODDS, so give me the following receivers to reach the 100-yard mark next week: Hakeem Nicks, Randy Moss and Antonio Gates.
The Dallas Cowboys are a poison fantasy owners seem to want no part of these days. The team has just one win and hasn't been able to generate consistent production from its offensive stars. So a visit to Lambeau Field to face a Packers defense fresh off blanking the Jets might be reason enough to keep all Cowboys players on the bench this week. Green Bay remains vulnerable down the middle of the field, and I say DOUBLE DOWN on Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna and tight end Jason Witten. The Packers are thin at linebacker and have had trouble covering the tight end position this year. With Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams focused on Miles Austin, Witten should be able to find space against Green Bay's 17th-ranked pass defense.
A little BASIC MATH suggests Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard may only be starting his hot streak. More than 60 percent of the Jaguars' remaining games (five of eight) will be played against pass defenses that rank 23rd or lower in both touchdown passes allowed and passing yards allowed per contest.
THE BREAK ROOM (industry experts share their thoughts):
Eight weeks into the season, which waiver wire running back pickup has made the most noise?
"Some folks might pick Ryan Torain, but anyone who knows Mike Shanahan could see that situation coming a mile away," says John T. Georgopoulos, senior editor of SportsGrumblings.com.
A fantasy stud nobody saw coming, says Georgopoulos, has been Cleveland's Peyton Hillis, who has averaged 4.4 yards per carry and produced a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts. "Not only did he land the starting job over Montario Hardesty, Jerome Harrison and James Davis, he's actually delivered very serviceable fantasy numbers."
NFL.com Fantasy Editor Michael Fabiano agrees.
"Hillis is on pace for better than 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns, but he's also proven to be more than just a bruising, north-south back," says Fabiano. "Despite his size, the Arkansas product is also on pace for better than 60 catches and over 400 yards as a receiver out of the backfield.
"Hillis is going to help a lot of owners reach their fantasy league's championship in 2010."
SUCKER TRADE OF THE WEEK:
Jossy from California writes: "I just traded Randy Moss, Ronnie Brown and Ryan Torain for Arian Foster, Danny Woodhead and Jason Avant. This trade has allowed me, the reigning champ, to pair up Adrian Peterson with Foster in a keeper league, while still having Reggie Wayne, Miles Austin and Santana Moss at wide receiver. ... Nice deal, Jossy, and a little bit of luck (Torain's injury on Sunday) always helps.
Mike Beacom is a contributing writer for FootballDiehards.com. Send him your questions and "sucker trade" entries at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a full name and your home state, please.