This is an article from the Nov. 6, 2006 issue
Texans AT Giants
Whether or not Carr starts, this much is obvious: Texans coach Gary Kubiak hashis QB on a short leash. After four turnovers in the first half last week, Carrwas shown the bench in favor of Sage Rosenfels, who scored three quick TDs. IfCarr plays, he'll face a Giants D that is hitting its stride despite a rash ofinjuries.
Bengals AT Ravens
Palmer played fine when Chad Johnson's Mohawk was on the line. But 266 yardsand two TDs last week against the Falcons' 27th-ranked pass defense isn'tterribly reassuring. He'll have a much tougher time against the Ravens, whointercepted the Saints' Drew Brees three times in Sunday's win.
Dolphins AT Bears
The two TDs and 414 yards he had against Green Bay in Week 7 look pretty swellon a stat sheet. But Harrington's performance was nothing to get excitedabout--he also had three interceptions and a fumble. Besides, look what teamhe'll be playing against: Chicago, owners of the NFL's second-toughestdefense.
Bengals AT Ravens
Two of fantasy football's heavyweights square off as Johnson, a consensusfirst-round pick, goes up against a Ravens team that limited the Saints to 35yards last week. In Johnson's last two games in Baltimore, the Ravens held himto 3.2 yards per carry and to fewer than 100 yards each time.
Browns AT Chargers
He's coming off his best game of the year: Against the hapless Jets rushingdefense, Droughns ran for 125 yards and a touchdown. This week, however,Droughns plays against San Diego, which is allowing only 84.7 yards on theground this season and has given up three rushing TDs in three games.
49ers VS. Vikings
In last week's blowout win the Bears permitted Gore to run for 111 yards, buthe'll have much less success, even at home, against a Vikings defense thatallowed an NFL-low 70.8 rushing yards per game through Week 7. Look for a closegame--and for Gore to face a D that won't let up all day.
Browns AT Chargers
Cleveland QB Charlie Frye was at his best in Week 3 and since has spiraleddownward. Edwards has followed: He's been a nonfactor in three straight games(a combined seven catches for 54 yards and no TDs). With tight end KellenWinslow becoming a reliable target, Edwards won't get many looks.
Bears VS. Dolphins
Here's a fact that should worry owners: Last week was the first time this yearthat QB Rex Grossman didn't attempt to connect with Berrian on their signaturestreak route, perhaps fallout from their poor communication at Arizona. Againstthe 49ers, Berrian didn't see anything longer than 15 yards.
Titans AT Jaguars
Bennett is no longer a solid fantasy option, and perhaps Vince Young is toblame. Since the rookie took over at QB four games ago, Bennett has caught justsix balls. Expect numbers similar to what Bennett put up the last time he facedJacksonville (Week 17 of last year): one catch for nine yards.
Bears VS. Dolphins
Miami's secondary has been torched for 12 passing TDs in seven games. With thatin mind, look for Chicago's wideouts to be more involved in the offense thanthe (likely) Pro Bowl--bound Clark. He's also battling precedent: Over the lastfour games no opposing tight end has gained more than 39 yards against theDolphins, and only Green Bay's David Martin has scored.
Steelers VS. Broncos
The Steelers' offense is discombobulated, and the only chance it has to cobbletogether scoring drives against the Broncos is if Denver's defense is stillrecovering from last week's whipping by the Colts. Moreover, Reed is one of theleague's least-used kickers, having attempted just 11 field goals (makingeight) in seven games this season.
After Indy's demolition of the vaunted Denver D, it's clear that there's littleanyone--even defensive mastermind Bill Belichick--can do to slow down PeytonManning, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison & Co. Don't expect turnovers,either: Indy has committed only four, a league low, through Week 8.
RB SEAHAWKS vs. Raiders
Alexander isslated to return from a broken foot this week against the Raiders, but a smartowner might consider a strategy of watchful waiting. If you have the Seattlestar, you've no doubt procured someone to fill in. So why rush Alexander outthere? Better hold off a week before testing him. (He wasn't performingparticularly well--2.9 yards per carry--before his injury.) While the Raidersmight appear to be the perfect team for Alexander to find his legs against,their rushing defense (ranked 26th) isn't as bad as it looks. For the most partopponents are racking up rushing yards because they've been way ahead andhaven't had to pass in the second half. But DE Derrick Burgess and DT WarrenSapp have been playing better during Oakland's current two-game winning streak.Then there's the Seattle line. Without Steve Hutchinson it has been awful, andSeahawks starters have averaged a mere 52.9 rushing yards.
FISH OR CUTBAIT?
It's that time ofyear, when veteran quarterbacks not named Favre on bad teams are looking overtheir shoulders. In Washington, Brunell is in jeopardy of losing his job: TheRedskins are 2--5, and Jason Campbell is ready for his chance to turn around anoffense that ranked 13th in the NFC in passing yards through its bye last week.Brunell's numbers (1,465 yards, seven TDs, three interceptions) aren'tterrible, but he's had only one 300-yard game and has thrown for multiple TDsonly twice--unacceptable for a fantasy QB midway through the season. So, likethe Skins, you should prepare to ditch him.
WEEK 9 INJURYWATCH
REGGIE BUSH RBSaints
TATUM BELL RBBroncos
VERNAND MORENCY RBPackers
GREG JENNINGS WRPackers
For the latestinjury news, go to SI.com/football/nfl/injuries.
BYE WEEKCardinals, Eagles, Jets, Panthers