BEWARE OF BUST
FALCONS AT Ravens
This is an article from the Nov. 20, 2006 issue
Maybe Vick's commitment to becoming a traditional quarterback isn't such a good idea after all. His 40 pass attempts last week against the Browns were the most he's thrown since 2002, and the 32 he had a week earlier were his second-highest total of the season. But defenses aren't having a hard time stopping the Falcons' amped-up pass attack, which doesn't have a bona fide receiving threat, save for tight end Alge Crumpler. Of those 72 passes Vick threw in the two games, four were intercepted; he'd had four picks in a two-game span just once before, which suggests that Vick Version 2.0 simply isn't working. Considering how much he struggled against the Lions, who have the league's 19th-rated pass defense, it seems unlikely that Vick will improve this week against the Ravens. Baltimore leads the league (easily) with 18 interceptions, and, of course, picks cost you points.
VINCE YOUNG Titans AT Eagles In Young's six starts the Titans are already halfway to last season's win total (four), but that doesn't mean he's a good fantasy starter: He averages just 121.6 passing yards and has only eight TDs (three rushing). Tennessee will feature RB Travis Henry against the Philly D, which allows 120.9 rushing yards a game.
ELI MANNING Giants AT Jaguars After getting torched by Mark Brunell in Week 4, Jacksonville limited the next four quarterbacks it faced to a total of three TDs. (That group, which included Donovan McNabb and Chad Pennington, averaged only 154.8 passing yards and threw six picks.) With his receiving options limited, Manning will struggle.
JAKE PLUMMER Broncos VS. Chargers Jake the Snake has played more like a slug against San Diego. He hasn't passed for a TD against the Chargers since Sept. 26, 2004, and in that time San Diego has picked him off five times. He'll have another tough go this week against the Bolts' defense, which is second in the NFL in sacks (33).
RONNIE BROWN Dolphins VS. Vikings Just when you thought it was safe to put Brown back into your lineup, following two very impressive games against the Bears and the Chiefs, he faces the league's stingiest rush defense. Minnesota has allowed just 89 total rushing yards in the last two weeks, in losses to the 49ers and the Packers.
CHESTER TAYLOR Vikings AT Dolphins Just four weeks ago Miami's beleaguered D gave up 118 yards and a TD to the Packers' Ahman Green, but after Nick Saban made some adjustments in what may be the most productive bye week in history, the Dolphins stopped Thomas Jones and then, more impressively, held Larry Johnson to 89 total yards.
EDGERRIN JAMES Cardinals VS. Lions Arizona's O-line has proved time and again that it can't open up holes against anyone, so there may be an awkward moment or two on the weekly conference call for former Miami Hurricanes backs after James fails to put up big stats against a team that allowed fellow alum Frank Gore to run for 159 yards.
SANTANA MOSS Redskins AT Buccaneers This is a tough matchup for a Washington receiving corps that has never really jelled; RB Clinton Portis is out (broken hand), so Tampa Bay--which recently signed corner Philip Buchanon--can focus its defense on the pass. Moreover, Moss still appears hampered by a bad hamstring.
T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH Bengals AT Saints Housh took a mighty blow from the Chargers' Marlon McCree on Sunday. When his head clears, he'll have Mike McKenzie and the New Orleans defense to deal with. Plus, teammate Chad Johnson seems to have gotten the point across to Carson Palmer: He wants the ball, and he wants it often.
GREG JENNINGS Packers VS. Patriots Before Sunday's game against the Vikings, no one knew how Jennings would be affected by his injured ankle. Now that we know (he had three catches for 38 yards), consider benching the rookie. Another reason: Brett Favre has a good thing going with his other wideout, Donald Driver.
ANTONIO GATES Chargers AT Broncos In six career meetings against the Broncos, Gates has 16 catches, 164 yards and no touchdowns. In five of those games he was held to 31 or fewer yards. This season John Lynch & Co. have shut down most opposing tight ends, allowing a total of eight catches and 62 yards to the elite trio of Tony Gonzalez, Todd Heap and Kellen Winslow Jr.
RYAN LONGWELL Vikings AT Dolphins In two straight surprising wins, previously foundering Miami held the Bears and the Chiefs to a combined 23 points, only 11 of which were scored by kickers. Meanwhile the Minnesota offense has struggled, scoring a total of 13 points over the last three games, against the Patriots and the less-than-ferocious defenses of the Packers and the 49ers.
COWBOYS VS. Colts Everyone knows how good the Indy offense is at putting up points, but just as impressive is how well it takes care of the ball (eight turnovers in nine games) and how well the offensive line protects Peyton Manning (10 sacks allowed, second only to the Saints). Dallas will be near the bottom of the league in weekly fantasy points.
FISH OR CUT BAIT?
You'd think Glenn would be untouchable, given his stats (36 catches, 456 yards, four TDs), but numbers can be deceiving. The veteran has an injury to his right knee, which could sideline (or at least bother) him the rest of the way. Since Tony Romo took over at QB for Glenn's old Patriots pal Drew Bledsoe, Glenn's yards per game are down to 39.0 from 67.4. And Glenn's backup, Patrick Crayton, had a big game (five catches, 104 yards, one touchdown) against Arizona last week, which will make it easy not to rush Glenn back into the lineup.
WEEK 11 INJURY WATCH
TIKI BARBER RB Giants sprained thumb
DAVID CARR QB Texans bruised shoulder
DAVID GIVENS WR Titans out, torn ACL
TONY GONZALEZ TE Chiefs sprained shoulder
FRANK GORE RB 49ers concussion
ORLANDO PACE LT Rams out, torn triceps
CLINTON PORTIS RB Redskins out, broken hand
For the latest injury news, go to SI.com/football/nfl/injuries.