Last Grasps

Which players will come through in the closing weeks? Count on a few unlikely producers over some big names
December 08, 2008

THOUGH THE Coltshave put together a five-game winning streak, they have remained relativelyquiet as a fantasy force. That's about to change, because on the next twoSundays, Indianapolis will face the one-win Bengals and then the winless Lions.And while it's not as if you can pick up Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, JosephAddai or any other significant member of the offense, you still may be able togo to the waiver wire and grab kicker Adam Vinatieri, or better yet, the Colts'defense—a unit that has been coming on strong. Last week Indianapolis held theBrowns to six points, sacked Derek Anderson three times and forced twoturnovers, one of which was a fumble that defensive end Robert Mathis returned37 yards for a touchdown. Expect the Colts to feast on two of the most ineptscoring offenses in the NFL.

Market Watch:Who's Up, Who's Down

[UP] DOMENIKHIXON
Giants, WR
As a result of accidentally shooting himself in the right leg last week,Plaxico Burress created an opportunity for his capable backup. Given the chancethis season, Hixon has been a reliable target, with a 100-yard game startingfor Burress in Week 5 against the Seahawks and five catches for 71 yards onSunday against the Redskins. He will continue to produce as a full-timereceiver in the league's top scoring offense.

[UP] MARQUESCOLSTON
Saints, WR
As evidenced by his six-catch, 106-yard game against the Bucs last week, thethree-year vet, who missed Weeks 2 through 6 because of injury, has life in himyet. Most encouraging, he had the big day against a Tampa Bay defense that hadallowed only three other 100-yard games by wideouts this year.

[UP] DAVONEBESS
Dolphins, WR
Replacing the injured Greg Camarillo, who is done for the year, the undraftedrookie led Miami receivers on Sunday with six catches for 84 yards against theRams. Expect more big numbers from Bess, who was the WAC's alltime leadingreceiver at Hawaii.

[DOWN] BRAYLONEDWARDS
Browns, WR
The league leader in dropped passes (16), Edwards is the only receiver to havehad 100 balls thrown his way and caught fewer than half of them. Thedisappointing season for Edwards, who was expected to be a top-tier receiver,is about to get worse:With quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Andersonsidelined by injuries, he will now try to catch passes from third-stringer KenDorsey.

[DOWN] MARIONBARBER III
Cowboys, RB
He left the Thanksgiving game against Seattle with a dislocated toe, and hisstatus is day-to-day. That's not the best news, especially with Dallas about toplay three teams whose run defenses rank in the top six—the Steelers, Giantsand Ravens—allowing an average of 78.3 rushing yards per game.

[DOWN] CLINTONPORTIS
Redskins, RB
He went into Sunday's game against the Giants as the league's leading rusher,but was held to a season-low 22 yards and briefly left the game with a neckinjury. It's tough to sit Portis, but consider other options before startingthe bruised back this week against the Ravens.

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Three to Get Ready

• PUT THE BRAKES
on the notion that Cadillac Williams (right) would be a good pickup afterscoring his first TD of the season, against the Saints. Activated by the Bucstwo weeks ago, he will see only spot duty behind Warrick Dunn.

• DON'T WASTE TIME guessing which back will get themost carries for the Ravens. Willis McGahee, Le'Ron McClain and Ray Rice aretruly a committee.

• EXPECT
Atlanta's Michael Turner, the one-time understudy to LaDainian Tomlinson, toovertake his former San Diego teammate as the top pick in many fantasy draftsnext year following his first 1,000-yard season.

PHOTOCHAD RYAN/CAL SPORT MEDIAFINAL DRIVE The Colts D (with Freddy Keiaho, 54), and Hixon (87), could make a difference; Edwards may drop even more. PHOTOSIMON BRUTY[See caption above] PHOTOAL TIELEMANS[See caption above] PHOTOCLIFF WELCH/ICON SMI

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)