|Jacoby Ellsbury Signed with the Yankees: Now What?||A.J. Pierzynski Deal Meant End of Jarrod Saltalamacchia in Boston||Bruins Catching Up On Much-Needed Rest||Winning the Wire and the Playoffs: Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers|
And life goes on. We’ve eaten our turkey. We’ve rooted on our local high school football team. We’ve enjoyed time with our family. Ok, exchange the word “enjoyed” with “endured” in most cases. And we’ve now woken up from our tryptophan-induced slumber. There’s nothing left to do but to focus on what’s left on our weekend priority list. Winning our very important fantasy football matchups.
Now I know, three very boring games have already been played. But really, if your roster is filled with Detroit Lions or Oakland Raiders, then really, you’ve got bigger problems. But if you’re still looking for “Mr. Right” to get you a much needed win here in the heat of the playoff stretch, that’s what we’re here for. Be thankful.
So let’s take a look first at what was a reasonably successful Week 11 for yours truly, followed by two fivesomes! (Ok, I’ll be honest…I used the word “fivesomes” so that the freaks who Google “fivesomes,” will get some fantasy football knowledge out of it, before they do what it is they do.)
Matt Schaub: 25 of 39 passing for 305 yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs (Good enough for me, just wish he would’ve won the game Monday night.)
Pierre Thomas: 11 carries for 92 yds., 3 catches for 11 yds., 0 TDs (I’ll always take 100 yds. of offense, even if it means no trips to the end zone.)
Kevin Smith: 12 rushes for 45 yds., 4 catches for 104 yds., including 1 TD grab (This guy’s only gonna get better. Top 10 fantasy back potential next year, you heard it first!)
Beanie Wells: 14 carries for 74 yds. w/ 1 TD, and 2 catches for 11 yds. (Also getting better each week…he too could be an early-round pick next fantasy season.)
Cincinnati Bengals Defense: Loss to the Raiders, giving up 20 points, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles (A loss to the Raiders? And you call yourselves a contender? Really?)
Tony Romo: 15 of 27 for 158 yds., just 1 TD with 1 INT (Have I mentioned I despise this overhyped d-bag? Ok, just making sure I mentioned it.)
Steve Slaton: 5 carries for 21 yds., 5 catches for 42 yds., 1 TD reception (That TD saved his day, but his sophomore slump continues.)
Marques Colston: 5 catches for 74 yds., no TDs (I still like him overall, the Saints can score in so many ways.)
Nate Burleson: 6 grabs for 100 yds., no TDs (What happened to the Seahawks this year? I definitely didn’t see them being this bad.)
Randy Moss: 5 catches for 34 yds., 1 TD (Epic battle all game vs. the Jets’ Darrelle Revis. That TD grab gave Moss the edge on the day.)
Palmer has had disappointing fantasy marks the past two weeks against Pittsburgh and Oakland, but facing the Cleveland Browns this week should be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Bengals’ signal caller. Palmer had modest success in the first meeting between these two teams earlier this season, throwing for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns, but look for even more this week as Cincy tries to maintain their division lead, and the inside track to the playoffs over Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the highly contested AFC North.
Like Steve Slaton mentioned above, Ryan has been mired in a bit of a sophomore slump of his own this season, with interceptions being the main issue for the second-year BC alum. He does have a favorable matchup this Sunday against Tampa Bay, a team that just fired its defensive coordinator, Jim Bates. Tampa has given up multiple pass TDs in 8 of its 10 games, giving all indications that Matt Ryan should put up a solid stat line this week.
The University of Pittsburgh rookie has emerged as a viable fantasy starter recently, as veteran Brian Westbrook continues to deal with ongoing concussion issues. McCoy has had a touchdown or 100 total yards in 4 of his last 5 games, and now faces a Redskins team that has been torched in recent weeks on the ground by Atlanta’s Michael Turner, Denver’s Knowshon Moreno, and Dallas’s Marion Barber.
Look for McCoy to continue to build on his impressive rookie season, and for those of you in keeper leagues, keep your eye on this young man… if Westbrook decides to hang it up or if the Eagles decide to part ways with him, McCoy has instant keeper potential.
Chambers has been THE man in Chiefland since his arrival, and has especially risen to the occasion since fellow Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe’s substance abuse suspension has begun. Chambers will have added motivation this Sunday, as he faces San Diego, the team that cast him aside, cutting him loose. Time for Chambers to show his former employer that they made a big mistake.
Of course you’re starting him in your fantasy lineup…you should be every week, without question. But this week’s expectations of Clark should be risen even higher, as he faces a Texans team that just couldn’t find an answer for him earlier this season. Clark lit up Houston, going for 14 catches and 119 yards through the air. He only had one 3-yard catch last week against Baltimore, so look for him to be more of an offensive presence this week.
While Washington has struggled recently against the run, they still remain the league’s top rated pass defense, which poses a difficult matchup for McNabb on Sunday. McNabb had only 156 yards through the air against the ‘Skins in Week 7…not exactly what you’re looking for from your starting fantasy QB. Only Denver’s Kyle Orton has thrown for more than one touchdown against Washington this season, so if you have another option on your roster, bench McNabb this week.
Sophomore slumps seem to be the trend this week. Forte, who slump has seemingly lasted the majority of this season, showed signs of life recently, but struggled again last week against the Eagles, only putting up 54 yards of offense on the day. This week doesn’t get any easier, as Chicago matches up against the Vikings, the league’s third best rushing defense. Minny has given up just three touchdowns all year to opposing running backs, and Forte doesn’t have any trips to the end zone on the road this season. All signs point to another tough week for Mr. Forte.
With backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick developing a rapport with Buffalo’s other talented receiver, Terrell Owens, Evans’ production has suffered, leaving his fantasy owners disappointed each and every week. Evans hasn’t had more than five catches in a game at all this season, and in his Week 4 visit to Miami, Buffalo’s opponent this week, he had just two grabs for 60 yards. Evans had some great years in upstate New York, but I think his best is behind him…for good.
The Patriots have actually been very good defending opposing tight ends this season, and with the Saints having so many other weapons on offense, Shockey should be silent on Monday night in this heavily anticipated matchup. He hasn’t seen the end zone since Week 6, and I’d be surprised if he visited there this week too.
After some early season success, Arizona’s defense has certainly leveled off as of late. The defense hasn’t scored a TD since Week 5, and this week will face a red hot Tennessee Titans team that has quickly erased an 0-6 start, coming back with four straight wins. There will be weeks coming up where you’ll be able to “play your Cards right,” (sorry, awful cliche there, but I had to do it), but this isn’t the week. Fold your Cards.