|Notes and Observations Week 11: Defense Leads Battered Patriots to Victory Over Bills 20-13||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win Despite Cannon’s Assassination Attempt on Brady||Patriots and Bills Set To Do Battle on Monday Night Football||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots vs. Rex|
Let’s put it to you in terms you guys can understand. I’ve been watching a lot of NESN lately. Between the end of the Sox season and the beginning of the Bruins’ year, NESN has been my best friend the last few weeks. So related to that, I’ve drawn comparisons from my weekly fantasy picks to some of the on-air talent from NESN.
Week 1, I was on fire. It was like I was on a hot, steamy date with Sox sideline reporter Heidi Watney, and she had had too much to drink. Week 2, the fire was put out. It was like I was on a hot, steamy date with SportsDesk’s John Chandler. Yeah, not where I want to be. Last week, too much mediocrity. I unfortunately left you wanting more…sort of like going on a simple “dinner & a movie” date with the classy and reserved Kathryn Tappen, on a night that ends with a hand shake and a “thanks a lot.” You want more from K-Tapp, just like you expect more from your fantasy “guru.”
Time to take a look at Week 3’s mediocre performance a little closer…
Eli Manning: 14 of 24 passing, 161 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs (I’m taking credit for this one)
Darren Sproles: 18 carries for just 41 yards and no end zone trips (yuck)
Tim Hightower: 9 runs for 22 yards, 5 catches for 39 yards, no TDs and a lost fumble (double yuck)
Derrick Mason: Just 5 grabs, but for 118 yards and a TD (check mark goes to me)
Green Bay Defense: An INT, a sack, 2 fumble recoveries, and just 17 points against (I’ll take it)
Jay Cutler: 21 of 27 through the air for 247 yds., 3 TDs and no INTs (great game, not great for me)
Chris Johnson: 97 yards on the ground, but no TDs (give me half credit for this one)
Thomas Jones: 14 carries for just 20 yds., no TDs (cha-ching!)
Kevin Boss: 2 catches for just 27 yards (cha-ching once again!)
Dallas Defense: 2 INTs, 3 sacks, 1 defensive TD, and just 7 points against (friggin’ Dallas…)
So I’ll take a 4.5 out of 10 for Week 3. Again, not an impressive performance. Let’s get back on track with Week 4.
Jacksonville’s offense is still trying to find its identity, but against Tennessee’s league-worst passing defense, Garrard airs it out this week.
He’s going against the Browns…’nuff said. Palmer has put up very respectable numbers against three tough defenses thus far, Denver, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh. He didn’t face Cleveland last year due to injury, but he tore the Brownies apart in ’07, throwing for 7 TDs in the two games.
No Felix Jones this week, and with a hobbled Marion Barber, the spotlight shines on Tashard Choice this week against the Broncos. Choice put up 82 yards and a TD last week in relief of Jones, and look for him to continue his success this week. Make Choice your choice. (Sorry had to do it, as corny as it was.)
Another injury replacement, Glen Coffee was a hot name on the fantasy waiver wire this week, as he will shoulder the load for San Fran while starter Frank Gore is sidelined for the next few weeks. Wake up, and have your Coffee. (I’ll apologize again, another corny one for you.)
Ranked 3rd in the NFL thus far with 285 receiving yards, Cotchery has quickly become the favorite target of rookie QB Mark Sanchez through the first three weeks. Against a suspect Saints’ secondary, look for this game to be air attack vs. air attack.
Dealing with a left knee injury, Matt Cassel had an odd stat line last week against the Eagles, throwing for just 90 yards in the loss. This week, Cassel and the Chiefs face the #1 pass defense in the league, the Giants, who have given up just 124 passing yards per game so far this year. Cassel’s struggles will continue this week, especially if top receiver Dwayne Bowe remains sidelined.
Lynch will return this week after serving a three-game suspension to begin the year. Fred Jackson has filled the role beautifully in Lynch’s absence, so don’t look for Jackson to be kicked to the curb, just because Lynch is back on the roster. They’ll likely split carries until Lynch gets back into game shape, so don’t put all your hopes on Lynch just yet.
After last week’s breakout performance against the Falcons, rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown, one would think that Taylor has emerged as a reliable fantasy back. Think again, at least for this week. Taylor and the Pats face off against Ray Lewis and the Ravens, the league’s top rated rushing defense. Keep Taylor on your bench this week.
Odd few weeks from Ginn. After an 11-catch Week 2, Ginn went catchless last week, and now with a changing of the guard at the QB spot for Miami, as Chad Henne gets the start replacing an injured Chad Pennington, the Miami offense will likely struggle to adjust, especially the deep threat wideouts like Ginn Jr.
Chicago QB Jay Cutler has developed a very nice rapport with his new corps of wide receivers in his time with the Bears, but lost in the shuffle is tight end Greg Olsen, who has caught just 9 balls thus far this season. Facing Detroit this week may make you think Olsen’s poised for a breakout game, but I don’t see it happening. Look for Chicago to go with a heavy dose of Matt Forte, and watch Olsen’s struggles continue.