November 07, 2008
Fantasy Clicks
By Jeff Ritter
The Cutler Did It
Jay Cutler: AP

Quick thoughts on Thursday night's game, where the Broncos stormed back in the fourth quarter to steal a 34-30 win over the Browns and spoil Brady Quinn's debut.

  • How about Jay Cutler: 24-of-42 for 447 yards and three fourth-quarter touchdowns to complete the rally. He's a top-4 fantasy quarterback for the remainder of the season.

  • The Broncos were cooked until Culter hit rookie Eddie Royal for a 93-yard score early in the fourth quarter that took the steam right out of the Browns. Royal's been getting plenty of looks as the No. 2 receiver, and is absolutely worth a fantasy roster spot.

  • Brandon Marshall also got into act, pulling in the winning touchdown to finish with six catches for 89 yards. Marshall has cooled off lately, but he remains in my list of top-5 receivers from now until season's end.

  • Those of you looking for a big day out of new Broncos' featured running back Ryan Torain can at least take heart in the 68 yards and the 1-yard TD plunge in the first quarter. He left shortly afterward with an injury, thus denying me a chance to break out the headline, "Make it Torian." As you might expect, this is a devastating loss for me, and probably for a few fantasy teams as well. The Broncos have been just ravaged by injuries this year.

  • For the second straight week rookie Peyton Hillis stepped into extensive action and -- assuming he doesn't tear an ACL when he hears the news -- would be worth adding to your fantasy team as a deep reserve.

  • Earlier this week I warned you to avoid Quinn for now ... and I may have to rethink this. Quinn threw two TDs and compiled a 131 quarterback rating in the first half alone. It's true that the Broncos are absolutely awful on defense, but Quinn played a solid game. On most nights, a performance like that would've allowed him to leave as the winning quarterback.

  • Jamal Lewis was major part of the game plan -- not at all surprising with a first-time starter at quarterback. He finished with 19 carries for 60 yards and a score, and will continue to be the Browns' workhorse for the rest of the year.

  • Kellen Winslow easily had his best game of the year, and I expect he'll continue to put up better numbers with Quinn under center. He had just one touchdown entering the game, but was on the receiving end of both Quinn touchdown passes.

  • Braylon Edwards' stat line was a disaster (1 catch, 15 yards), but I wouldn't sweat it. He had a deep reception called back because of a penalty and was targeted several other times. As long as the Browns' offense is clicking, Edwards will have plenty of chances to put up big numbers.

  • Trivia Time

    With the Brady Quinn era under way, what better time than now to explore one of the records he'll be chasing. Who is the Browns' all-time leader for passing yards? The answer is below.

    A) Brian Sipe
    B) Otto Graham
    C) Bernie Kosar
    D) Tim Couch
    E) Frank Ryan

    Steel Resolve
    Willie Parker: Aaron Josefczyk/Icon SMI

    The Steelers may be without their two biggest offense catalysts Sunday against the Colts. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Parker missed practice on Thursday, and neither player is likely to play. Roethlisberger has a slightly separated shoulder and a pinkie injury, while Parker suffered a shoulder injury -- not a re-aggravation of the knee injury that kept him out four weeks earlier this year. Players almost always play on Sunday if they're able to practice on Friday, so today should be revealing for both guys

    Lock It Up

    I decided to continue the Friday tradition of my esteemed colleague Jay Clemons, who's probably sipping some kind of fruity drink on a Florida beach right now, and offer you some locks for Week 10.

    Wide receivers heading for 110 yards and/or 1 TD
    1) Greg Jennings vs. Vikings
    2) Andre Johnson vs. Ravens
    3) Larry Fitzgerald vs. 49ers
    4) Anquan Boldin vs. 49ers
    5) Greg Camarillo vs. Seahawks
    6) Roddy White vs. Saints
    7) Steve Smith vs. Raiders
    8) Dwayne Bowe vs. Chargers
    9) Randy Moss vs. Bills

    Five Players Who Will Disappoint In Week 10
    1) Hines Ward
    2) Reggie Wayne (the Steelers-Colts game is going to be a ground battle)
    3) Steve Slaton
    4) Matt Cassel
    5) Antonio Gates (Chiefs are surprisingly effective at stopping opposing tight ends)

    Five Under-The-Radar Guys Who Will Score in Week 10
    1) Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers (due for a return to the end zone ... and maybe on special teams)
    2) Leon Washington, RB, Jets
    3) Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers
    4) Kevin Boss, TE, Giants
    5) Miami Defense. I'm calling an interception or fumble return for a TD here.

    Wounded Jax

    Rams' running back Steven Jackson just can't shake his thigh injury, and remains questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets. Primary backups Antonio Pittman (hamstring) and Travis Minor (concussion) are also both listed as questionable. This all means the rushing duties could fall to the fearsome fantasy combination of Kenneth Darby and Samkon Gado. Even if Jackson can't go, you want no part of either of these two.

    You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

    Do I play Lance Moore, Muhsin Muhammad, or Ted Ginn Jr. as my third WR? I'm leaning toward playing Muhammad because the matchup is the best. Is this the right play?
    -- Michael, Los Angeles

    Hey, Michael. These are all solid options, and you're right to look at the matchups as a way to make the choice. The Panthers face the pitiful Raiders in Oakland this week, but lost in the Raiders' general awfulness is a pretty solid pass defense. In fact, for the season they're allowing 17.5 fantasy points per game to receivers, 12th best in the league. It's Ginn who has the most WR-friendly matchup. The Seahawks allow the third-most points to wide receivers (23.3), and the Dolphins offense has been clicking behind Chad Pennington. I say you roll the dice with Ginn.

    I'm in a 12 team league which I am stacked at RB (Gore, C. Johnson, Ronnie Brown, Tim Hightower and DeAngelo Williams). Who do you think I should move and what would be a fair return? My team consists of Peyton at QB ... Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, and Greg Jennings at WR ... so should I just hold tight or try and make a blockbuster for like Adrian Peterson or something? Thanks.
    -- Anthony, Marlton, N.J.

    Your squad is pretty stacked, Anthony. The idea of attempting to make a blockbuster trade is excellent: This is the last bye week, so now is the time to begin thinning your bench to create the strongest starting lineup possible for the fantasy playoffs. I love Brown's schedule for the rest of the year, and Hightower and Chris Johnson just keep getting stronger. If you only start two WRs, I might try packaging Gore with either Jennings or Wayne to get AD. You might be giving up a little too much on paper, but why not? Those guys won't win you a title on your bench, so trade now for a stud who can carry you to a title.

    I have LT, Brandon Jacobs, Hightower, Torain, and Sammy Morris. I have been offered a trade of Steve Smith (Carolina) for Brandon Jacobs. Would you do it? I need to start at least 3 WRs and 2 RBs with one additional flex choice. My current WRs are B. Marshall, B. Edwards, Avery, Santonio H, and Rashied Davis.
    -- Brian, South Bend, Ind.
    It's not a bad deal on paper, Brian, but it's risky. Pull the trigger, and your starting backfield is LT and Hightower with no one behind them until Sammy Morris or Torain get healthy. That's the risk. Of course, I just wrote that now is the time to thin the bench in favor of the strongest starting lineup, and truthfully, I'd probably do the trade. But first, I might counter this offer to see if Smith's owner can toss in one low-level RB, and -- this is important -- see if Edgerrin James and Darren Sproles are available by trade or waivers. Those are the two guys I'd want on my bench right now if I were you, Brian.

    Trivia Answer

    Brian Sipe is the Browns' all-time passing leader with 23,713 yards; he quarterbacked the Browns from 1973-83. Kosar is second on the list with 21,904.

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