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The Fire Sale: Foster, Jones losing grips on roles as fantasy stars

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There's something that's really been bothering me of late and I need your help to understand it.

I get that Facebook and Twitter are a huge part of our society, but does anyone else think those forums are being used where they don't belong? Let me give you a couple of examples.

I was watching my local news and they took five minutes to tell me what people on Twitter and Facebook are saying about different topics. Is that really necessary? Do I really care what some random nobody in Saratoga, N.Y. thinks about a murder trial?

I watch the news to find out what's going on. I could care less what people in my area are posting on Facebook. You know where I would go if I did care? Probably Facebook. Just tell me what the weather is going to be for the week so I can plan on the exact opposite.

Another place I see this stuff is for movie and TV reviews. This one cracks me up. My favorite new show by a country mile is American Horror Story. If you haven't seen it there's nothing else like it on TV but you have to watch it from the beginning.

So when FX promotes the show am I going to see:

"There's nothing else like it on TV."-- Thomas Casale, Twitter

Do you think I'm going to go see a movie because Tom Nobody recommends it on Twitter? There are so many people on Twitter, of course, you can find some moron that likes anything out there. You could probably even find someone who likes that show Whitney. Actually, I'm probably going too far now. That show is the single biggest piece of trash ever put on the air.

Finally, why do people record video questions for things like fantasy shows and send them in? You need to know who to start between Felix Jones and Shonn Greene so badly that you take the time to record yourself asking it and send it into a show? Do you get the entire family in the room because you're on TV for two seconds? Don't be a loser. That kind of crap is ridiculous.

People are trying to use Twitter and Facebook for things just so they can say they're using social media. Maybe people need to get a life and stop telling me what they're eating for dinner and where they're going every 10 seconds. No one cares. You aren't important and you never will be.

By the way, you can follow me on both Twitter and Facebook. Now, on with the Fire Sale ...

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB Giants -- Bradshaw is on the list because I want to make a point. And that is backs like Bradshaw are better near the goal line than fat wastes of space like Brandon Jacobs.

I'm so sick and tired of all the over-coaching that goes on in today's football. Dick Vermeil used to take Priest Holmes out at the goal line in favor of Tony Richardson. Then they started giving Holmes the ball and he scored 100 touchdowns in three years.

I don't know why coaches fell in love with these big fat power backs near the goal line. How big was Walter Payton? How big was Marcus Allen? How big was Marshall Faulk? How big was Emmitt Smith? I like backs who can make a quick cut or jump over the pile near the goal line. Bradshaw can do both. I think those types of runners are the most effective instead of the guys that just plow straight ahead.

It's funny to me how the Raiders coaching staff and announcers make it sound like Oakland needs Michael Bush to come in and "finish" things off. Bush is an average running back. Every time he runs the ball in from a yard out, Darren McFadden could do the exact same thing.

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Of course, the biggest culprit of this nonsense was the hot mess known as Wayne Fontes, who actually had the sack to take Barry Sanders out at the goal line. You remember Sanders. He was the guy built exactly like Emmitt Smith, only he had more God-given ability. That's the same Smith who holds the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns, by the way.

Jacobs is actually one of the worst short yardage backs in the NFL over the last couple of seasons. Guess who's one of the best? Bradshaw. He showed why on Sunday with three short TD runs. Keep feeding the guy the ball and let him score for Christ's sake.

DeMarco Murray, RB Cowboys -- Murray will be one of the top waiver wire additions in most leagues this week. Please read my thoughts on Murray below under the essay titled "Felix Jones: A box of tissue paper posing as a football player."

Montario Hardesty, RB Browns -- Wow, so that Madden cover jinx really exists, huh? I've seen enough evidence now to cross off any player from my draft board if he appears on that cover. It's really one of the most fascinating things going.

Hillis has been a disaster from the start. I wrote last week, or a couple of weeks ago, that I was totally wrong about Hillis. The weeks are all meshing together now, so I can't remember exactly when it was and I'm too lazy to look it up. Basically, I didn't buy into the theory that Hillis would struggle this year .I was dead wrong.

Hillis has gone from disappointing to unusable. Hillis admitted that he could have played against Miami but he took his agent's advice and sat out. How disappointing was that? You think of Hillis as an old school, all-heart kind of player and you find out he's listening to his weasel agent about whether he should play or not.

It serves as a reminder that we don't know these guys personally. Anyone can put on an act. Trust me, I do it every week in this column. It's not that difficult.

Now Hillis hurt his hamstring, so his agent is probably advising him to shut it down for the rest of the year. If his agent really cared about Hillis he would have advised him to stay off the cover of Madden. Either way, Hardesty takes center stage. I have to be honest, though, I'm not all that impressed with Hardesty so far.

The Browns line has been awful, but Hardesty hasn't really been hitting the hole hard either. On Sunday Hardesty ran the ball 11 times for 35 yards. He'll need to do better than that if Hillis is out for more than a week.

Still, getting a starting running back at this point in the year is certainly worth a shot. Just make sure you find out who Hardesty's agent is first and if he listens to him when it comes to faking injuries.

Earnest Graham, RB Buccaneers -- If you own Graham and LeGarrette Blount I would root for Blount to stay sidelined for a while.

The fact is for fantasy purposes Graham may be the more attractive option for owners because he's a much better receiver out of the backfield. And let's be honest, Blount wasn't setting the world on fire when he was healthy anyway.

Graham looked good against the Saints this past Sunday, compiling 131 total yards. Now, the Saints defense absolutely smells, so we have to temper our enthusiasm a bit, but the bottom line is Graham was running hard and making defenders miss in the open field.

I wasn't all that high on Graham when Blount went down but after watching him on Sunday I've changed my mind. Remember, Blount is the starter but he isn't Adrian Peterson. It's not as if Graham is running well Blount will just return and get 25 carries a game.

Graham is a nice option in the short-term and if things break right he could be a strong fantasy play for the rest of the season.

Jerome Simpson, WR Bengals -- I'm not a huge Simpson fan but I've kind of been waiting for another receiver to step up in Cincinnati now that defenses are focusing more attention on A.J. Green. On Sunday, Simpson was that guy.

Again, I don't think Simpson is anything special and I certainly don't think he's worth a spot in your starting lineup every week. However, now is the time of year when fantasy owners need the most depth. We're dealing with byes until Week 11, so we need players on the back end of our roster that we can plug in. Simpson could be one of those guys.

I see Simpson as Kevin Walter, who I picked up last week. I may start him once all year, and when I do hopefully Walter can get me 10-15 points. Green is a freak of nature and he's already one of the best receivers in the NFL. Simpson should benefit from playing opposite him and be able to put up some decent fantasy days every now and then.

I know Simpson had a few drops and Marvin Lewis got on him after the game, but someone in Cincinnati has to catch the few balls that don't go to Green or Jermaine Gresham. Hey, he's worth a shot in deeper leagues. Then again, I've basically mailed it in at this point so maybe he's not.

Demaryius Thomas, WR Broncos -- When I wrote Thomas' name the song "Don't You Forget about Me" from The Breakfast Club came into my head. God, that was a good movie. I bet you have that song in your head now, huh? Don't mess with the bull, son, because you'll get the horns.

Thomas has been away for a while but make sure you don't forget about him. Also, don't forget that when this kid is healthy he's a legit stud. Thomas has sick physical skills. If he can ever stay on the field you're looking at a big-time fantasy receiver.

Thomas has been out all season and he's just returning from an Achilles injury and a broken finger, so he's far from a sure thing. Thomas needs to get into game shape and we need to see what kind of role he'll have in the offense.

Now that Brandon Lloyd has been traded to the Rams, Thomas becomes an intriguing player. There really isn't a lot standing in Thomas' way in terms of playing time. Eric Decker will be the only receiver in Denver really worth a darn. At the very least, Thomas should be able to get on the field and see some balls come his way. Thomas is expected to play against Miami on Sunday, so we'll see what happens.

Thomas is obviously a flier at this point but if you have room to grab a flier with Thomas' upside, it's worth a gamble. The guy is a monster when fully healthy.

Greg Little, WR Browns -- After what seems like 20 years, the Browns finally realized they didn't have any NFL-caliber receivers and gave the rookie his shot. He responded by catching six balls for 72 yards in his first career start.

Little has a ton of upside and he's still available in most leagues. Little has all the tools. He's big, fast and can catch the ball in traffic. I have to think that his nice game on Sunday is just a preview of things to come.

Murray and Little will be the most sought after free agents on the waiver wire this week. I don't think there's much question that Little is going to be a stud receiver in the NFL. The only question is if that will come this season or next. My money is on next week.

I would do whatever you can to get this kid right now. I have a strong hunch that in a month Little is going to be one of the highest-scoring receivers in fantasy football. If you have the top waiver wire request this week, I strongly advise using it on Little. Sell your soul if you have to. Just make sure you get this guy on your fantasy team at once.

Doomsday -- Brent Celek, Donald Brown and Jacoby Jones all scored on the same day. That couldn't happen if they played football for 100 years. I guess all those doomsday idiots were right. It looks like it's all over on Dec. 21, 2012. What other explanation could there be? Thank goodness Bernard Berrian didn't find the end zone as well or we would really be in trouble.

Arian Foster, RB Texans -- Foster owners, we have a problem. A big problem.

On Sunday the onetime king of fantasy running backs split time with Ben Tate. Tate didn't get a few carries; instead the two backs were being used in a platoon situation. I traded for Foster and I'm raving mad. I didn't like what I saw one bit Sunday against the Ravens.

Some people predicted this was going to happen, but I thought, when healthy, Foster would get virtually all of the carries again. I guess I was wrong. Take a look at the carries from this past Sunday: Foster carried the ball 15 times, while Tate carried it nine times. You know what we call that? We call it a committee.

Listen, I'm not saying Foster isn't going to be a good fantasy player. He still catches passes, so even when he gets bottled up on the ground Foster can squeeze out 15 points like he did last week. However, that's not what we expect out of Foster. He's supposed to be a 25-30 point a week scorer.

I'm not sure if that's going to be the case anymore with Tate hanging around. Hanging around, hanging around. The kid has alligator blood. I can't get rid of him. What movie is that from? Be the first to name it and I'll give you $1.

Maybe he's still banged up, but let's be honest, Foster shouldn't be splitting carries with Tate unless he's hurt or his coach is an idiot. I'll let you decide. You can probably guess what camp I'm in.

Felix Jones, Cowboys: A box of tissue paper posing as a football player -- This guy is an absolute waste of a roster spot. I'm so sick and tired of seeing Jones injured on the sidelines. Face it, Jerry, you passed on Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall. You made another mistake because Jones is one of those guys that may look good in shorts but he's always going to get hurt.

In all honesty, the brief periods when Jones is healthy really haven't been all that impressive. Unless he breaks a big run, Jones is never going to be a huge fantasy producer. Every year people are going to fall in love with Jones because of his perceived physical skills but other than straight-line speed I think those are overrated as well.

With Jones limping around again with an ankle, toe, knee or whatever else is bothering him this time look for DeMarco Murray to become the lead back. Starting guard Bill Nagy was lost for the year with a broken ankle, so running lanes could be hard to come by for Murray. However, the best thing about Murray is his versatility. He's an excellent receiver out of the backfield, so he'll help owners in PPR leagues by scoring points in that regard.

Just keep this in mind: Murray was hurt a lot at Oklahoma with Jones-like minor injuries. Actually, Murray reminded me a lot of Jones when he was in college, so that's probably not a good thing.

If Murray is available in your league, go get him. At least he'll provide some fantasy value until he's sitting in the tub next to Jones nursing a hamstring injury.

I'm being sarcastic, but I do like Murray. I think he'll get most of the carries while Jones is out, and to be honest, I don't expect much of a drop-off after that. I have the top waiver wire spot in my league and I'll be picking up Murray with it this week. I think Jones' days as the Dallas starter may be coming to an end. If only he had the toughness of say ... Sean Payton.

Oh, and if anyone knows where I can find Jason Garrett could you please let me know? I just want to calmly ask him why he didn't resign immediately after that Patriots game. Thanks a lot.

James Starks, RB Packers -- Listen, I like Starks, but the Packers just don't run the football.

They don't run it near the goal line, they don't run it when they're up big on bad teams, they don't run it ever. Right now you shouldn't be starting Starks or Ryan Grant.

Look at it this way: James Jones is like the fourth or fifth option in the passing game, right? Well, he has more fantasy value than the Packers starting running back. That's all you need to know right there.

The Packers run it in the postseason when they have to. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, that won't do them a darn bit of good. The bottom line is if the Packers aren't going to give Starks carries when they play the Rams, he isn't a viable fantasy option right now.

Think about it, if Green Bay isn't going to work the running game against one of the worst teams in football then they don't care about it enough to ever work on it. You might as well play the Packers backup tight end over one of their running backs. He has about the same chance of finding the end zone.

Roddy White, WR Falcons -- Matt Ryan kind of smells. How can the Atlanta players respect a guy who slides one yard short of a first down in a big game? Also, I saw Ryan miss a wide-open White a couple of times on Sunday. Still, I have to believe White is a little banged up.

White has been dealing with a thigh injury this year and he's also suffered from some drops. Having said that, there's no way Julio Jones can be out against a dog defense like Carolina and White catches two balls. There's just no way that can happen, yet it did.

I've actually been trying to trade for White but no one will part with him. I may have dodged a bullet. In my league White has topped 20 fantasy points in a week just once. That's not really what owners were expecting when they selected him in the Top 15 this summer.

I still have to believe White will rebound and put up some solid fantasy numbers in the coming weeks. But I'm not as opposed to dealing him as I would have been last week. Ryan is regressing, and White's lack of production is directly linked to his decline. It may be time to cut the cord with Rowdy Roddy.

Santana Moss, WR Redskins -- Moss has been a decent fantasy player this year. The norm for Moss has been around five catches for 60 yards. If he doesn't score Moss is good for roughly 12 points in a PPR league. In other words, he's been average.

On Sunday things hit a low point for the Redskins passing game when Rex Grossman threw four interceptions. Isn't it great to know that Mike Shanahan wasn't smarter than the rest of us after all? That really helps me sleep at night.

Washington has already changed running backs and it now looks like they'll be making a switch at quarterback to John Beck. So basically the Redskins have no running back and no quarterback. It's the NFL version of Animal House: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son." In the NFL, not having a quarterback or a running back is no way to go through life.

The good news for Moss is that Beck has a stronger arm than the noodle-armed Grossman, so there's a chance he'll make more big plays down the field with him under center. Then again, do you really want to put your trust in John Beck? If you answered "yes" to that question you have more courage than I do.

I actually traded Moss a couple of weeks ago because I saw this headache coming and I didn't want to deal with it. If you own Moss, you have to hope Beck is better than Grossman. That shouldn't be too difficult but either way I don't see Moss being more than a flex play most weeks. He just can't do much with the current state of quarterback play in Washington.

Chad Ochostinko, WR Patriots -- How dumb is it that New England fans cheer every time Ochostinko catches a pass? Those fans have to take the week off on Sunday because Ochostinko caught zero passes while playing a whopping seven snaps on offense. Shouldn't they be booing every time he touches the ball? Let's see if fans in New England cheer when Ochostinko gets cut, because it's coming soon. Actually, he may be gone before you read this column. See, Ochostinko is proof that not everything Bill Belichick does is right. Now maybe you people can start thinking for yourselves again.

Tim Tebow, QB Broncos -- Tebow is going back to Florida and making his first start of the year against the hapless Dolphins. Do I really need to write the ending to this story for you?

Murray, RB Cowboys -- Murray gets a gift in his first game as the primary running back by playing the Rams. Teams can do whatever they feel like against the Rams defense. I think Murray will put up strong fantasy numbers this week.

Marshawn Lynch, RB Seahawks -- Lynch was running well before Seattle's bye week. I like that to continue against the Browns on Sunday.

Robert Meachem, WR Saints -- Meachem has disappeared since Marques Colston returned but he's due for a big week. Plus, the Saints get to feast on a Colts pass defense that plays prevent all game long for some reason. I just have a hunch on this one.

Panthers defense -- Not a lot of great options this week but either Beck will be making his first start in four years on the road or Grossman will be still be starting for some reason. If the Panthers are ever going to look good on defense, this will be the week.

For more average fantasy advice you can follow Thomas Casale on Twitter and Facebook or e-mail him at