|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
I don’t know why, but for some reason, I still have a Cleveland Browns player on my fantasy team. Granted, I never start him unless I need a bye week fill-in, but still, I am employing the services of wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.
In week 4, he had a breakout game with eight catches for 148 yds. I naturally figured that he was automatically the only target in Cleveland, especially after Braylon Edwards was traded.
Since then, he has caught nine passes for 149 yds and no trips to the endzone. The Browns have scored just 78 points this season, an average of 9.8 points per game. Their receivers account for just three TD’s all season, and the only rushing TD’s have come by QB’s.
In summation, you shouldn’t have any Browns’ players on your team, even on your bench. The only total offense that is worse is Oakland, and even they have more passing TD’s than Cleveland.
The Chiefs are well-rested after coming off the bye week and they get a shot at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags lost to Tennessee last Sunday, giving the Titans their first win of the season. Even more shocking is the fact that it was VINCE YOUNG leading the way to victory. This has to give Cassel’s small amount of owners some hope.
Jacksonville currently holds the 7th worst pass defense in football with 242 pass yds allowed per game, including 13 passing TD’s allowed. The Jaguars have little ability to take away passes (five interceptions) and they are dead last in the NFL in sacks with five. This bodes well for Cassel, who has been sacked 27 times this season.
Cassel threw three interceptions in his last game, but before that, he had gone four straight games without throwing a pick. The recent addition of veteran WR Chris Chambers could also mean that the passing game opens up just enough for Cassel to have a respectable start.
After a very long holdout, Crabtree has finally arrived in the NFL. He has been putting up decent receiving numbers with 56 yds in week 7 and 81 yds in week 8.
The 49ers will get to see how vulnerable that Titans’ defense is this Sunday. Tennessee allows a league-high 282 pass yds per game and they have allowed 19 passing TD’s this season (worst in NFL).
It has become clear that TE Vernon Davis is the favorite receiver in San Francisco. Crabtree’s role in the passing game has been improving over his first two games, and if Davis is not open down the field, then expect Crabtree to deliver the goods.
Moats had a breakout game on Sunday (126 yds, 3 TD) after starting RB Steve Slaton was benched. Slaton, a fantasy stud last season, has fumbled the ball seven times this season (five lost), and was finally put out of his misery against Buffalo.
Moats’ performance has surely earned him a much bigger workload this week against the Colts. If Slaton drops the ball again, then he may find himself riding the bench for the second straight week. The chances of that are good, seeing as Indianapolis is in the top 10 in the NFL in forced fumbles with nine on the season.
The Colts may be undefeated this season, but Houston poses a serious threat. Over the past two weeks, the Colts have been very vulnerable against the run. They have allowed 5.6 ypc to opposing backs in their last two games, and they just let Steven Jackson rush for 134 yds in week 7.
With Chris Cooley out, Davis has assumed the role of starting tight end. When Cooley left the game in week 7, Davis ended up becoming Jason Campbell’s favorite target as he caught eight passes for 78 yds and a TD.
Davis gets a crack at the Atlanta Falcons’ defense this Sunday. Atlanta allows over 375 total yds of offense each week, including 256 passing yds. The Falcons have let up over 290 pass yds in each of their last three games and they only have six interceptions this season.
The Redskins may not be setting the world on fire with their passing game, but you got to believe that Campbell will be looking in Davis’ direction all day.
The Bengals go up against the Baltimore Ravens this week. They faced each other in week 5, with the Bengals coming away with a 17-14 win. In that game, Baltimore was held to just 257 total yds, and they turned the ball over twice.
Cincinnati has won two of their last three games, and they have created eight turnovers in that time (six interceptions, two fumble recoveries). Not to mention, they have five sacks in those three games too.
Larry Johnson is suspended for this week’s game against the Jaguars, and Charles will be getting the majority of the carries. Charles has only been given the ball 23 times this season, but he has managed 116 yds (5.0 ypc).
The stumbling Jaguars are losers of two of their past three games (they had to go to OT to beat the Rams) and have been allowing a lot of rushing yds lately. When I say a lot, I mean an average of 180 rush yds in their past three, most notably 143 total rush yds to Seattle and of course, 305 rush yds to Tennessee last week.
Like I mentioned above with Matt Cassel, the Jaguars defense has more holes than some kind of cheese from Switzerland (I can’t remember the name of it). Even though the Chiefs do not have a rushing TD at all this season, I think you should expect Charles to put forth a decent game this week.