November 10, 2008
Fantasy Clicks
By Jay Clemons
Week 10 Revelations
Drew Brees: AP
Atlanta 34, New Orleans 20
  • I could take Saints-Falcons in a million different directions. On the Atlanta side, Matt Ryan (248 passing yards, 2 TDs) has officially emerged as a QB1 in 10- or 12-team leagues; Michael Turner (96 total yards, 1 TD) and Roddy White (5 catches, 68 yards, 1 TD) should be must-starts during the fantasy playoff weeks (14-16); and Jerious Norwood (2 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD) could seriously be the difference-maker (aka Secret Weapon) in your pursuit for a Points Per Reception league title. On the Nawlines side ... congratulations, Marques Colston (7 catches, 140 yards), you have earned back my full-time fantasy trust, mangled thumb et al.

    But the biggest props are reserved for my hero, Drew Brees. Not only did he throw for 422 yards and two scores against the surprisingly stingy Falcons (points-wise, at least) ... but he singlehandedly carried me to a (probable) win over esteemed Detroit Free Press writer George "I Didn't Start Favre in his 6-TD Day" Sipple -- courtesy of his meaningless Hail Mary TD with no time left, the ultimate Garbage Time revelation!

  • N.Y. Jets 47, St. Louis 3
  • How Thomas Jones plays under the radar week after week after week in the world's largest media market is a real mystery to me. Including his scintillating 149-yard, 3-TD effort on Sunday, Jones has tallied at least 145 yards or one score in his last five games -- the kind of rock-steady production that screams "RB1" instead of weekly "Flex" option, his typical slot in fantasyland. The bottom line: If you have TJ on your fantasy team, I'll bet your club will make the playoffs -- it's as simple as that. Regarding Jones' high-profile backfield mate, Brett Favre, what are odds that he'd throw for only 167 yards and one touchdown in a game where his team scores 47? It's probably the same odds you'd get for betting on Gus Frerotte to win a Super Bowl before Donovan McNabb.

    As for the Rams ... I simply cannot endorse starting any St. Louis player -- Steven Jackson aside -- in a road game from this point forward. After reading play-by-play accounts of the season's biggest landslide, I finally realized the danger of pinning one's fantasy hopes to Marc Bulger (65 yards, 0 TDs), Torry Holt (1 catch, 5 yards) and especially rookie WR Donnie Avery (two catches for 29 yards), whose titillating talent just does not outweigh his inconsistent play right now.

  • Minnesota 28, Green Bay 27
  • A message to Adrian Peterson: I swear on everything good and holy that I'll never contemplate trading you, straight up, for another player again -- even if it's for Clinton Portis, this year's top-ranked rusher in fantasyland. Simply put, AP was unstoppable against the Packers on Sunday, totaling 225 yards and one touchdown, while overshadowing the major contribution of stablemate Chester Taylor (113 yards, 1 TD). He also played a small hand in helping Gus Frerotte (151 passing yards, 2 TDs) avoid "schmuck" status for the day -- which is never easy.

    Regarding the Packers ... I love how Ryan Grant (75 yards, 1 TD) continues to get stronger each week; but I am a little worried about Greg Jennings' immense struggles of late. Counting Sunday's pedestrian numbers (3 catches, 37 yards), the Western Michigan product hasn't eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards since Week 4. On the flip side, that makes him an attractive buy-low candidate before the trading deadline.

  • San Diego 20, Kansas City 19
  • So much for the 2008 season being a fantasy wasteland for tight ends. In one fell swoop, or six-hour period, big-name tight ends across the board (except Jeremy Shockey) took back the streets and made the position relevant again -- and just before the trade deadline. Leading this surge was Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez (10 catches, 113 yards, 2 TDs on Sunday) and San Diego's Antonio Gates (8 catches, 66 yards, 1 TD), who resembled their once-dominant selves while carrying their respective teams on a day when LaDainian Tomlinson (117 total yards, 0 TDs) and Larry Johnson (did not play), for once, didn't command the fantasy spotlight.

    As for the QBs ... I am not yet prepared to endorse Tyler Thigpen as a QB1 (unlike Philip Rivers, who is essentially a lead-pipe cinch for 300 passing yards at home). But I'm asking you to strongly consider using Thigpen as a spot starter down the stretch -- due to his stunning progression in recent weeks (292 total yards, 3 TDs vs. San Diego) and the unimpeachable fact that he has Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley (9 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD), Jamaal Charles and the enigmatic LJ (assuming he drops the Moron routine) at his disposal. One last thing: I applaud coach Herm Edwards for going for the two-point conversion in the final seconds. Bravo! (even though it didn't work out)

  • Revelations, Book II
    Maurice Jones-Drew: AP
    Jacksonville 38, Detroit 14
  • If it weren't for Jack Del Rio's cult-like devotion to Fred Taylor (97 total yards, 0 TDs), Maurice Jones-Drew would have easily pulled an Al Bundy against the Lions on Sunday -- as in scoring four touchdowns in one game (not selling women's shoes). Instead, MJD fantasy owners will simply have to settle for his 91-yard, 3-TD day, in a game that reaffirmed two notions: 1) Jacksonville (4-5) should not be dismissed as an AFC playoff contender ... and 2) Detroit has a realistic shot at posting the first 0-16 season in NFL history. But enough about the team that "boasts" the league's worst starting left tackle (Jeff Backus) and the most immobile QB (Daunte Culpepper). How great was Mo on Sunday? He only needed 13 touches to earn high Revelations honors ... and only required 29 minutes to hit the TD trifecta; and if Jacksonville didn't have the game salted away by halftime, I'm confident MJD could have racked up 150 yards and five TDs. Speaking of Culpepper ... being on vacation last week, I didn't have time to warn Clicks readers about the perils of starting the once-great QB in Week 10 -- just days after signing with the Lions. Yes, C-Pep threw an eye-popping 41 TDs in 2004, and yes, he accounted for five TDs in a game last year (as the Raiders QB); but that was then and this is now, which means the sluggish Culpepper (104 yards passing, 0 TDs) has less fantasy cachet than Tyler Thigpen or Rex Grossman at this point.

  • Indianapolis 24, Pittsburgh 20
  • I cannot help but wonder what's going to happen to RBs Mewelde Moore and Joseph Addai before the trading deadlines this week. Moore has been a stud in Willie Parker's stead (105 total yards, 2 TDs vs. Indy) ... but with reports of Willie P's imminent return making the rounds, his fantasy value, sadly, may have peaked two weeks ago. And Addai (47 total yards vs. Pittsburgh) has struggled so much in his last two games that I'm willing to bet countless fantasy owners may be jumping ship sooner than expected -- even though Addai has a cake fantasy-playoff sked. My advice: Sell high on Moore, but stay patient with Addai, as he weathers this mini-slump. Regarding Peyton Manning (240 yards, 3 TDs) and Reggie Wayne (6 catches, 114 yards, 1 TD), I can confidently predict that no QB-WR combo will enjoy greater success from Weeks 10-16 ... which means it's time to get all your ducks in a row with trade talks. You want that QB-WR handcuff. You need that fantasy handcuff!

  • N.Y. Giants 36, Philadelphia 31
  • Here's something that'll blow your mind: The Giants and Eagles combined for 67 points on Sunday (capping a wonderful day of football), and yet, neither Donovan McNabb (194 passing yards, 3 TDs) or Eli Manning (191 passing yards, 2 TDs) threw for more than 200 yards. This trickle-down effect directly benefited Giants RB Brandon Jacobs (126 yards, 2 TDs) ... but it did bupkiss for Brian Westbrook (59 total yards), who was strangely nonexistent in this high-profile game. Speaking of persona non gratas, Plaxico Burress hauled in only one ball for 17 yards, meaning Plax (I would kill for a good gingivitis joke here) has posted six straight games of under-60 receiving yards. Whoa! Thank goodness he already has that contract extension in tow ... and thank heavens Eli has other toys to play with.

  • Miami 21, Seattle 19
  • Want to know how long the Seahawks have been in fantasy purgatory? For the life of me, I cannot remember the last time my friend and Seattle resident William Chadrow -- perhaps the biggest Seahawks honk in fantasyland -- started one of his beloved 'Hawks in our Points Per Reception league. Can you blame him? Seattle's three best players -- Seneca Wallace, Julius Jones, Bobby Engram -- are barely worth owning/starting in 14- or 16-team leagues. Speaking of fantasy poseurs ... I know Dolphins RB Ricky Williams was amazing on Sunday (126 total yards, 1 TD), but please -- please! -- do not melt your brain thinking of creative trades involving Ricky this week ... unless you're smartly parting with him to land a superior-yet-slumping talent, like Buffalo WR Lee Evans or Colts WR Marvin Harrison.
  • Quick-Hitting Revelations
    Matt Forte: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
  • Tennessee 21, Chicago 14: If you had the pleasure, er, misfortune, of watching Jags-Lions on Sunday, you may have heard CBS announcers Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon debating the Rookie of the Year battle between Titans RB Chris Johnson and Bears RB Matt Forte. Gannon, one of the most underrated analysts in pro sports, tabbed Johnson for the award, given his better rushing numbers and status with the NFL's only undefeated squad. At precisely that moment (give or take a few seconds) and some 250 miles away, Forte was taking a short Rex Grossman pass to the house for a score -- the highlight to his 126-yard day. Hmmm ... Johnson and Falcons QB Matt Ryan may be the chic pick for NFL Rookie of the Year; but of the entire rookie class, Forte (three straight home games during the fantasy-playoff weeks -- Jags, Saints, Packers) is the only one I'd move heaven-and-earth to acquire before the trading deadline. (For the record, I'd only move "heaven" to snatch Johnson from a savvy owner.)

  • Baltimore 41, Houston 13: I made the seemingly tragic mistake of dumping Ravens TE Todd Heap (5 catches, 58 yards, 2 TDs vs. Houston) from my CBS team this week ... but I'm not too broken up about it. Seriously, if you can guarantee me the oft-injured Heap will play in five of Baltimore's final seven games -- even if he doesn't catch a pass from this point on -- it is then, and only then, that I'll punch myself for plucking Jamaal Charles from the waiver-wire and, in turn, giving Heap the boot. (Can you tell that I still harbor some resentment toward Heap for past disappointments? Ha!) Speaking of talented injury risks, I fully understand all the fantasyland trepidation with Willis McGahee -- even after his 121-yard, 2-TD performance on Sunday. But you gotta love his fantasy-playoff home dates with the Redskins and Cowboys, two susecptible run defenses.

  • New England 20, Buffalo 10: Slowly but surely, the Bills are approaching "fantasy roadkill" status, which oughta scare owners of Trent Edwards (120 yards passing, 1 TD), Marshawn Lynch (46 yards) and Lee Evans (2 catches, 22 yards). Luckily, the hard-to-read Pats posted strong numbers -- through the unlikely trio of Matt Cassel (256 total yards, 1 TD), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (105 yards, 1 TD) and Wes Welker (10 catches, 107 yards) -- otherwise, this desultory game would have had clunker written all over it. (OK, it still does)

  • Carolina 17, Oakland 6: How are the Raiders still an NFL franchise? How is it possible for a team to hold another club to 219 net yards and still lose by 11 ... and at home? For the lucky millions who didn't see the game, JaMarcus Russell was benched in favor of Andrew Walter (143 yards, 0 TDs) and rookie RB Darren McFadden was sidelined again with a bad toe ... which may help explain why second-string running back Michael Bush was the Raiders' leading receiver and why Chaz Schilens was the fifth-leading receiver with -2 yards! This anti-Raiders rant should not be taken as a free pass for the Panthers, who were gawd-awful all around, except for DeAngelo Williams (143 total yards, 1 TD). In fact, I wish Jake Delhomme's owners all the best in trading him for anything more than a bag of balls before the trade deadline ... after his 7-completion, 72-yard meltdown. Yikes! Hmmm ... maybe Russell did play Sunday, disguised as Old Jake.
  • Have A Link, Comment or Question For Us?

    You May Like