Thursday, September 25, 2008

Worried about Peterson, Moss, others?

Week 4 is the perfect time to take stock of your fantasy team and figure out which direction it’s headed.

By now we’ve got a good idea of which NFL offenses look like powerhouses and which are just plain offensive. We’ve seen how certain running back timeshares will operate, which quarterbacks’ jobs are in jeopardy, whose surgically repaired body parts are holding up and whose legs have too many miles on them.

Also, with six NFL teams enjoying a bye week, the depth of fantasy rosters will be tested. It’s time to examine your squad with a critical eye and see where you stand. Some players will hold up to the scrutiny despite some early season question marks and injury concerns, while others are in serious danger.

Here are some notable guys I’m not too worried about, and some who deserve a red flag:


LaDainian Tomlinson: His toe may be bothering him, but Tomlinson still rushed two touchdowns Monday night. That’s why I’d never sit LT – as long as he can stand on two feet, the San Diego Chargers will continue to feed him meaningful touches, no matter how good backup Darren Sproles looks.

Adrian Peterson: Even with a sore hamstring and the possibility he might sit out last Sunday, Peterson still started and gutted out a tough 17 carries for 77 yards against a good Carolina Panthers defense. Things get no easier this week against the Tennessee Titans, but Peterson is simply too dangerous and too valuable a fantasy commodity to leave on your bench if he’s active.

Brian Westbrook: He’s listed as day to day with an ankle sprain, but worse injuries than that haven’t stopped this tough little S.O.B. Westbrook is the most dangerous player in fantasy football and can never be benched unless he’s officially ruled out. Grab Correll Buckhalter or Lorenzo Booker as insurance if you feel compelled, but expect to see a Westbrook touchdown or two Sunday night in Chicago.

Brett Favre: The veteran QB’s numbers have been acceptable as a low-end fantasy No. 1 to this point (six TDs vs. three INTs) even as he’s learning on the fly with the New York Jets. Expect him to soar in the coming weeks (vs. Arizona, Cincinnati, Oakland, Kansas City).


Steven Jackson: From last season’s struggles to his holdout during camp, we had enough worries about Jackson entering the season. So far he and the miserable St. Louis Rams have done nothing to quell our fears, and the switch to QB Trent Green doesn’t help. This situation’s a mess.

Roy Williams: If the Detroit Lions can’t figure out Williams needs to get more than three targets a game, there’s no hope for them. With frustration mounting, Mike Martz gone and Calvin Johnson taking on a bigger role, I’m officially worried about our boy Roy.

Randy Moss: From Moss’ perspective, QB Matt Cassel looks a lot more like Andrew Walter than Tom Brady so far. Might it be that Moss is only as good as the quarterback throwing to him? If true, it could be a long year.

Braylon Edwards: We know his shoulder’s bothering him, but Edwards better start pulling down some catches starting this Sunday at Cincinnati, or he’s going to cost QB Derek Anderson and maybe coach Romeo Crennel their jobs. He’s got a long way to go in proving he’s a fantasy No. 1

Photos by The Associated Press.

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