Kurt Warner: Harry How/Getty Images
Some quick thoughts from a wild Monday night:
These Monday nighters are never short on entertainment, are they? The Cardinals offense is sizzling, and Kurt Warner had yet another huge night, finishing 32-for-42 for 328 yards and three touchdowns. The only quarterback I'd rather have on my fantasy team from now until the end of the season is Drew Brees.
In case there were any doubters left, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin form the best receiving tandem in the NFL. And Steve Breaston just might be the best No. 3 wideout. All made huge plays throughout the game as the Cardinals offense churned out points.
The only Cardinal to disappoint was new featured running back Tim Hightower. He finished with just 22 yards on 13 carries, and added another 28 yards on six catches. Don't sweat it. Hightower will continue to get plenty of opportunities in this dynamic offense. Monday wasn't his night, but I like him as a No. 2 running back going forward.
TV man Ron Jaworski correctly surmised the final play, which will ignite a week of second-guessing in San Francisco: On third-and-goal from the 2-yard line with four seconds left, the Niners gave it to Michael Robinson on a dive play. What about Frank Gore? What about a pass? What about just spiking the ball and completely regrouping? Just a devastating way to lose a game. And if you had Gore on your team and fell a few points short, it's a devastating way to lose a fantasy game, too.
It wasn't all bad for the Niners. How about that throw and catch on the Vernon Davis touchdown? Just two weeks ago I remember someone saying of Davis: "Can not win with 'em. Can not coach with 'em." That was a winning-type of touchdown -- Davis made the catch in traffic, took a shot and held on. Will this turn his season around? Stay tuned.
Gore was just two yards shy of a pretty nice fantasy day. He finished with 99 on 22 carries, but stumbled just short of the goal line on the second-to-last play of the game.
Quarterback Shaun Hill was solid, and his preferred target was the little-known Jason Hill. Jason (no relation to Shaun) had no catches through seven games, but now has 10 grabs in the last two weeks with Shaun under center. I'm skeptical as to how long the magic will last, but you have to admit: Hill-to-Hill has serious marketing potential.
It's getting late in the fantasy season and with NFL bye weeks finished, your free agent pool might be looking thin. Still, here are some guys who might be available, and could be worth adding depending on your roster and the size of your league.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens. He made it back-to-back games with two touchdown passes after his 185-yard performance against the Falcons. Flacco's not someone you'd want to start every week, but if you're looking for a fantasy No. 2 or injury replacement, you could do worse.
Tyler Thigpen, QB, Chiefs. That's three straight games without a turnover, and he was light's out against the Chargers on Sunday. I like him more than Flacco, and think you can get away with starting him when the matchup is appealing . . . like this week against the Saints.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots. One of my favorite names in a long time, and he's even got a killer nickname: teammates call him "Law Firm" for his four-part moniker. You should pick him for his nose for the goal-line: Law Firm has now scored in four straight.
Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons. The Atlanta offense is humming, and Norwood continues to get his share of touches (eight on Sunday against the Saints). I think it's going to continue, and he's not a bad flex play moving forward.
Kevin Walter, WR, Texans. He's still available in a couple of my leagues, which means he could be a free agent in yours, too. He shouldn't be.
Koren Robinson, WR, Seahawks. Two straight weeks with a touchdown, and this week he's getting Matt Hasselbeck beck, uh, back.
Todd Heap, TE, Ravens. Welcome back from the (wait for it) scrap heap, Todd! Two touchdowns on Sunday, and why can't he at least be relevant again? The Ravens offense is actually rolling, and as long as Heap's healthy, he's viable.
Kevin Boss, TE, Giants. This is probably the third time I've had him on this list. Just humor me, everyone. Pick him up if he's available.
Jay Feely, K, Jets. I don't go crazy over kickers, but Feely just put up the best fantasy day by a kicker this year. The Jets' schedule from here out remains fantasy friendly.
Dolphins, DST. Not their best effort against the Seahawks on Sunday, but they have arguably the easiest schedule from now through the fantasy playoffs. Check it out.
It's usually fun to check back with past predictions and keep score . . . unless you had a week as brutal as I did. Here are my picks from last Friday, updated with their stats for the week.
My Week 10 WR "locks" for 110 yards and/or at least one TD.
Greg Jennings vs. Vikings. Wide left! Jennings finished with 37 yards while the Packers' passing attack struggled.
Andre Johnson vs. Ravens. Whiff. 7-for-66 yards, but the TD went to Kevin Walter.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. 49ers. Ding! 49 yards and a score.
Anquan Boldin vs. 49ers. Double score! 92 yards and two TDs.
Greg Camarillo vs. Seahawks. Wrong. All the love went to Ted Ginn Jr.
Roddy White vs. Saints. Correct. A TD to go with 68 yards. Ryan-to-White continues to be a powerful combo.
Steve Smith vs. Raiders. Wrong. An innocent bystander to Jake Delhomme's awful afternoon.
Dwayne Bowe vs. Chargers. Wrong. Nice day, finishing with 72 yards, but his late TD target was broken up.
Randy Moss vs. Bills. Bzzzzz. Just 5-for-53. It was a Wes Welker day. Sigh.
Hines Ward, Steelers. Incorrect. Nine catches for 116 yards. I really thought the Colts-Steelers game would be waged on the ground.
Reggie Wayne, Colts. Wrong again. Six catches for 114 yard and a 63-yard score.
Steve Slaton, Texans. Yahtzee! Six touches for 27 total yards. That, my friends, is disappointing.
Matt Cassel, Patriots. Push. No passing TDs, but Cassel ran for one and didn't turn the ball over.
Antonio Gates, Chargers. Ouch. Gates benefited from Philip Rivers' big day at home against the Chiefs to the tune of 66 yards and a score.
Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers. Made a few plays, but no TD.
Leon Washington, RB, Jets. Wrong. It was the Thomas Jones show.
Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers. Nailed it. A score and 54 yards on Monday night.
Kevin Boss, TE, Giants. Correct. He should be owned in every league.
Miami Defense. Annnnnnd wrong again. Although they did have a decent game.
On the bright side, I advised one of our readers to start Ginn Jr. (67 yards, 1 TD) over Muhsin Muhammad (38 yards, 1 TD). So that's nice, especially if our reader ended up winning his week by three points or less. On another happy note, this week is over, and I can only improve from here. Stay with us. More picks coming later this week.
The Seahawks' offense will get a desperately needed boost this week when Matt Hasselbeck returns from the knee injury that put him out for the past six weeks. The 'Hawks are pretty much playing for next year at this point, but everyone on that offense gets a boost in value, and I like Bobby Engram, Koren Robinson and rookie tight end John Carlson to step up this week when Seattle hosts Arizona.
Calvin Johnson: Harry How/Getty Images
At this point in the year, it's always a good to idea to consider thinning your bench to build your strongest playoff lineup. In case you haven't noticed the Lions and Rams. They are not so good. Here are their upcoming schedules:
Week 11: at Panthers
Week 12: Bucs
Week 13: Titans
Week 14: Vikings
Week: 15: at Colts
Week 16: Saints (possibly in Drew Brees' fantasy championship week)
Week 11: at 49ers
Week 12: Bears
Week 13: Dolphins
Week 14: at Cardinals
Week 15: Seahawks
Week 16: 49ers
It's Pats-Jets in this week's Thursday showdown. I'm not predicting a big game from Brett Favre, but I will go out on a limb and predict that the media will fall all over themselves hailing him as the Jets' savior and biggest reason they're in the playoff chase. The gypsies, um, prognosticators at accuscore.com have this game covered, predicting a 25-19 Patriots win. As for Savior Favre, Accuscore's crystal ball sees a solid, but unspectacular 225 passing yards, and 1.5 touchdowns.