November 04, 2008
Fantasy Clicks
By Jeff Ritter
Monday Night Reactions
Ben Roethlisberger: Al Bello/Getty Images

Some quick thoughts on the Steelers' convincing 23-6 win over the Redskins:

  • The big fantasy news is Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder injury. He appeared to hurt it on a 1-yard touchdown sneak late in the first half and headed for the locker room early. As he cheered his team from the sidelines in the second half, it didn't look like he could lift his arm much at all. No updates on the severity of the injury yet, but I've got a hunch Ben will miss at least a week.

  • Byron Leftwich answered the question "Hey, whatever happened to Byron Leftwich?" by stepping in to lead the Steelers to two second-half touchdown drives. He finished 7-for-10 for 129 yards and a scoring toss to Santonio Holmes. If you own Roethlisberger, Leftwich is worth adding as insurance.

  • How confident were the Steelers? When you open the game with an onside kick, you've got to be feeling pretty good about your defense. The Skins recovered that onside kick, and even added an interception on the Steelers' ensuring possession, but could turn those breaks into just two field goals.

  • The Steelers defense sacked Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell seven times and intercepted him twice. They also held Clinton Portis to just 51 rushing yards. It was a just a dominant performance, and they will continue to be one of the elite defenses in fantasy football moving forward.

  • Portis was held to less than 120 rushing yards for the first time in five games. He did add seven catches for 73 yards. Not bad for an off night. He continues to be the surprise No. 1 running back in fantasy football.

  • Not a very good night for the Redskins, but they did break out some pretty sweet all-burgundy uniforms.

  • Finally, if you need further encouragement to get out and vote today, here's an ad from earlier this year that features none other than Chuck Norris.
  • Go Get 'Em

    These guys might be available in your league and are worth adding immediately.

    Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs. Third straight week I've mentioned him here, and if you haven't landed him already, you'll probably need an early waiver spot or some serious auction dollars to get him. Charles took the bulk of the carries after Kolby Smith left the Bucs' game and finished with 18 carries for 106 yards against a pretty tough run D. Smith is out for the year, Larry Johnson's legal problems are well-documented (he's already been suspended by the league for Week 10), and with the Chiefs going nowhere there's an excellent chance Charles gets an extended look.

    Ray Rice, RB, Ravens. Willis McGahee missed the Browns game with an injury and has been dinged up throughout the year. Rice split the Sunday carries with Le'Ron McClain, but appears to have moved into the role of McGahee's primary backup after Sunday's line: 21 carries, 154 yards, plus another 22 receiving yards. McClain can't be ignored, either, since he's getting the goal-line work.

    Daunte Culpepper, QB, Lions. He was signed to a two-year deal, but I didn't expect him to be ready to take the reigns in the Detroit for at least two more weeks ... until I learned of Dan Orlovsky's thumb injury. Now it's probably Daunte time in Detroit. I'd rather have the next guy on this list, but Daunte's still worth a roster spot.

    Sage Rosenfels, QB, Texans. Matt Schaub is going to miss about a month. Rosenfels wouldn't make a shabby option if you need help.

    Rex Grossman, QB, Bears. Only if Kyle Orton misses time. And only if you're desperate.

    Derrick Ward, RB, Giants. Consistently getting about 10 carries a game and still managing to be productive. If you own Brandon Jacobs, it's time to grab him.

    Greg Camarillo, WR, Dolphins. Continuing to morph into this year's Wes Welker, Camarillo hauled in 11 catches for 111 yards. The Dolphins offense is clicking lately, making Camarillo a nice pickup if he's still available.

    Michael Jenkins, WR, Falcons. Roddy White is still Matt Ryan's favorite target, but Jenkins' two-touchdown day shouldn't be ignored.

    Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens. Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Derrick. After a one-catch game in Week 8, he went berserk against the Browns, grabbing nine passes for 136 yards and a score. Much like the situation in Miami, the Ravens offense is starting to roll as rookie Joe Flacco develops. Grab Mason while you can.

    Brent Celek, TE, Eagles. With incumbent starter L.J. Smith on the sidelines, Celek stepped in to grab six balls for 131 yards, a franchise regular-season record for a tight end. Don't expect to see Smith back on the field for a while.

    Kevin Boss, TE, Giants. Made it two straight games with a TD after pulling in a 12-yarder against the Cowboys.

    Jets, DST. They manhandled the Bills offense and scored a TD on Sunday. This week they have a juicy matchup against the Rams.

    Three Guys I'd Trade Away Right Now
    Chad Johnson: Jeffery Geller/Icon SMI

    1) Chad Johnson Ocho Cinco, WR, Bengals. Hey! Look who scored dos touchdowns on Sunday. Bueno! Deal him now.

    2) Roy Williams, WR, Cowboys. Has just three catches in three games with the Cowboys. He's still a big name; if there's a big Cowboys' fan in your league, offer him up and take what you can get.

    3) Joseph Addai, RB, Colts. It's going to take a couple of weeks for him to round into form, and even then, Dominic Rhodes is going to take some of his carries.

    Browns To Unleash The Quinn

    With the Browns off to a disappointing 3-5 start and Derek Anderson failing to match last season's breakout performance, the Brady Quinn era has finally arrived in Cleveland. Anderson threw a costly fourth-quarter interception in the loss to the Ravens on Sunday, but had gone 132 attempts without a pick. Even though the fans in Cleveland were chanting BRADY, BRADY, after the interception, I'm surprised the Browns would actually, you know, listen. I think it's a little too early to cut the cord with Anderson, who led the team to a 10-6 record and was playing better recently, but here we are.

    Quinn is worth an add if you really need help at quarterback, but he will probably be much more popular in the blogosphere than fantasy leagues this year. A few quarterbacks I'd rather own: Joe Flacco, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels and even Tyler Thigpen.

    Three Guys I'd Try To Trade For Right Now

    1) Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys. Yep, that Cowboys offense looks terrible right now. But Barber won't be so easily held in check once Tony Romo returns in the next couple of weeks. Barber should be back to his early-season production just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
    2) Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals. The window to "buy low" slammed shut on Sunday, but I think he's legit.
    3) Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. If you owned Kyle Orton or Matt Schaub, you're looking for answers this week. Instead of simply signing Sage Rosenfels and hoping for the best, check out Ryan. He's been putting up No. 1 QB numbers for weeks, but could be the backup on someone else's fantasy team. I bet you could get him for a second-tier running back (Ryan Grant, LenDale White, Reggie Bush).

    You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

    Is Randy Moss better than Reggie Wayne?
    -- Darren, Wellston, Okla.

    Moss has been a little better lately, but I'd still rather have Wayne for the balance of the season. In fact, here's my list of top 10 receivers, projecting from now to the end of the year:
    1) Larry Fitzgerald
    2) Greg Jennings
    3) Calvin Johnson
    4) Brandon Marshall
    5) Anquan Boldin
    6) Andre Johnson
    7) Wayne
    8) Terrell Owens
    9) Roddy White
    10) Moss

    Who do you like better going forward the rest of the season: Jamaal Charles or Sammy Morris as a reserve RB? My other RBs are Brian Westbrook, Steve Slaton, Clinton Portis, Ray Rice, and Thomas Jones.
    -- Thrasher, Boulder, Colo.

    Hey, Thrash (is it cool if I call you Thrash?), thanks for the question. Your team is stacked at running back, but it's always good to build on strengths because that creates an area to trade from. Between Morris and Charles, I'm going with the man of the moment in Kansas City for two reasons: 1) Unlike Morris, Charles is currently healthy, and 2) He's the starter this week. Morris looked good when he finally wrested the job away from the rest of the Pats' backfield committee, but he's got a knee injury, and those can be tricky; there's no guarantee he'll come back at full strength. Charles has a shot to put Larry Johnson on the bench after his suspension is up, and I think there's a decent chance he'll do it. Pick up Charles -- and not that you asked, but this is a great week to try to trade away Thomas Jones.

    Hoops Megadeal

    Just a huge trade in the NBA on Monday: The Pistons sent Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess to the Nuggets for Allen Iverson. As for the fantasy ramifications, my hunch is that AI's numbers will slip a little in the Pistons' team-oriented offense. Billups and McDyess will likely be asked to do the same things in Denver that they did in Detroit, so their values will stay the same. The big winner is probably Nuggets' two-guard J.R. Smith, who should move into the starting lineup alongside Billups. Keep checking back this week for more fantasy hoops analysis.

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