Friday, November 27, 2009

Sit 'Em: Week 12

- RB MICHAEL TURNER vs. Tampa Bay: Looks like he'll be a game-time decision on Sunday thanks to that high-ankle sprain that forced him to sit out last week. You may be tempted to use him against the porous Bucs defense, but I question his effectiveness if he does indeed play - that injury usually requires a few weeks of rest.

- WR BERNARD BERRIAN vs. Chicago: Yes, he's been catching a TD every other game since Week 4, but he also hasn't had more than 3 receptions in a game since then, either. And if he holds true to form, he won't score this week since he did last week.

- WR AUSTIN COLLIE at Houston: The rookie's had some nice games this year, especially for PPR purposes, but there's too much risk after last week's 1-catch game. Plus, the Texans bottled him up for 2 catches and 26 yards in their Week 9 meeting.


- Jay Cutler managed 1 TD, 1 INT and only 171 yards against Philly last Sunday night. In case you're wondering, I don't like him this week on the road against Minnesota, either.

- Marion Barber had 102 total yards, most of them coming on two big plays (a 32-yard run and a 42-yard catch-and-run). He didn't score.

- Donnie Avery caught 4 balls for 65 yards but failed to score.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Start 'Em: Week 12

- QB MATT HASSELBECK at St. Louis: The veteran's coming off a rough day in Minnesota (zero TDs, 1 INT in a 35-9 loss), but the Rams' secondary should be the perfect tonic.

- RB JASON SNELLING vs. Tampa Bay: The guy's scored three times in the past two games since starter Michael Turner got hurt, and he'll get the start again Sunday. You have to like the matchup, too, against a Bucs defense that's been torched by the likes of Pierre Thomas (92 yards), Rickey Williams (102 yards), Ronnie Brown (82 yards, TD) and Ryan Grant (96 yards, TD) in recent weeks.

- WR CHRIS CHAMBERS at San Diego: He's got 249 yards and two TDs in three games since becoming a Chief, and now he faces the team that cut him. I like it.


- Beanie Wells didn't quite have a career day against the Rams, but 74 yards and a TD will do the trick.

- Another rookie, LeSean McCoy, DID have a career day on the ground (99 yards, TD) in Chicago.

- Santonio Holmes caught 7 passes for 86 yards but, alas, didn't catch a TD as I predicted.

Hot Pickups: Week 12

FOUR STARS (Out of five)

RB ROCK CARTWRIGHT, Redskins: Somebody's got to run the ball for Washington, and with Ladell Betts out for the year and Clinton Portis still woozy, Cartwright's the man. He totaled 140 yards on 20 touches last week against Dallas, and though he'll be facing some challenging defenses, starting with Philly this week, he should at least be getting a heavy workload.

TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY, Packers: Finley got dropped in a lot of leagues after sitting out three games with injury, but he announced his return with 7 catches for 54 yards last week against the 49ers. He's sure to do some damage on Thanksgiving against the Lions' spotty pass defense, so pick him up if he's available and start him.


QB VINCE YOUNG, Titans: The numbers haven't been anything special, but he's been making plays and winning games since he got another opportunity to play. He's worth a shot if you're in a pinch at QB this week (vs. Arizona) or like his upside in some favorable matchups down the stretch (vs. St. Louis, Miami, San Diego, at Seattle in the season's final four weeks).


QB DAUNTE CULPEPPER, Lions: The former fantasy star is likely to start Thursday in place of Matthew Stafford, and we've seen some crazy performances on Turkey Day before, but I'm not sure you really want to go down this road unless you're desperate.

Photo by The Associated Press

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Week 11 recap

- Laurence Maroney (77 yards, 2 TDs) continues to be an every-week starter. Keep riding with him.

- Jason Avant now has 3 TDs in his past two games. This week's matchup with Washington is tough, but he could be a sneaky play as a flex/No. 3 WR.

- Week 11 Hot Pickup Bernard Scott had 21 carries for 119 yards filling in for Cedric Benson. Put in a claim for him if he's still available in your league, because he'd certainly be worth a look against Cleveland this week if Benson can't go.

- Tim Hightower's career-high 110 yards against St. Louis could be a little deceiving. His previous best also came against the Rams last year, and he's still splitting time with Beanie Wells, who scored a TD Sunday. Hightower may best be left on your bench until he meets St. Louis again in Week 16, right around the time of most fantasy Super Bowls.

- Who's the imposter in the No. 81 Bills jersey? Surely that wasn't Terrell Owens (9 catches, 197 yards, TD) - that's like 3 T.O. games rolled into one! It seems like new Buffalo coach Perry Fewell is making a concerted effort to get Owens the ball - wise choice - and you may actually want to getcha popcorn ready and put him in your lineup this week against Miami.

- Kevin Boss (2 TDs) has now scored four times in his past three games and can still be found on many waiver wires (I picked him up and started him in one league this past week). He doesn't get quite as many looks as the upper-echelon TEs but he's as good a bet as any to score in any given week.

- Is Adrian Peterson actually being hurt by Brett Favre throwing all these TDs? All Day didn't get into the end zone despite the Vikings putting up 35 points, and he was held to under 100 rushing yards for the seventh time this season. Of course you never bench Peterson though, I'm just thinking out loud here.

- Jamaal Charles was limited to 58 yards rushing on 17 carries against the tough Steelers, but he scored on a 97-yard kick return and caught a 2-yard TD pass. Good to see him finding ways to get involved, an encouraging sign heading into this weekend's game against San Diego.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sit 'Em: Week 11

- QB JAY CUTLER vs. Philadelphia: Let's face it, the kid's shaping up to be a fantasy bust this season, and while he's certain to bounce back from last week's 0-TD, 5-INT abomination, you've hopefully discovered a better option by now. This matchup just isn't in his favor.

- RB MARION BARBER vs. Washington: Bench the Barbarian? It's not that I don't like the matchup, it's just that the Cowboys aren't utilizing him the way they should, which means you're not getting the type of production you should be out of a No. 1 or 2 RB. The numbers are solid but they're not extraordinary. For instance, Barber's only topped 100 rushing yards once this year (in fact, he's only topped 80 once), back in Week 2 - which also happens to be the only game in which he got more than 15 carries. I'm just saying there might be more exciting options on your bench or on the waiver wire this week.

- WR DONNIE AVERY vs. Arizona: You may be inclined to start Avery in Week 11, given his 2-TD game last Sunday and the appeal of facing the Cardinals' pass defense (third-most passing yards allowed per game). But Avery's stats have been all over the place this year, and he's followed up just about every good performance with a 1-catch game this year. There's just too much risk involved in starting a Ram not named Steven Jackson unless you're really in a pinch.


- I didn't expect much from Julius Jones (2 carries, 10 yards), but I didn't foresee the bruised lung that would knock him out of the game.

- Carson Palmer totaled just 178 yards and didn't throw a TD pass in the Bengals' win over the Steelers. Boo yah.

- Just two catches and 24 yards for Torry Holt. Nailed it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Start 'Em: Week 11

- RB BEANIE WELLS at St. Louis: The rookie has had an increased workload the past five weeks and has scored 3 TDs in his past four games. He could be in line for a career day against the Rams (118 rushing yards allowed per game) if the Cardinals continue to utilize him.

- RB LeSEAN McCOY at Chicago: There's more risk than you'd think, even with Eagles starter Brian Westbrook reeling from another concussion. Shady got just 6 total touches last week (3 carries, 3 receptions), but hopefully stubborn Andy Reid will give the kid the damn ball against the 21st-ranked Bears D that just isn't scary anymore.

- WR SANTONIO HOLMES at Kansas City:
Did you realize this dude hasn't scored since Week 1? How is that possible? Bold prediction: Holmes finally scores again this week against K.C.


- Laurence Maroney had just 31 rushing yards on 13 carries but scored for the fourth straight game.

- Derrick Mason caught 3 balls for 78 yards but didn't reach the end zone Monday night as the Ravens surprisingly didn't go off on the Browns, scoring just 1 offensive TD.

- Kellen Winslow caught 7 passes and matched his season high for yardage (102).

Photo by The Associated Press

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hot Pickups: Week 11

FOUR STARS (Out of five)

RB JUSTIN FORSETT, Seahawks: The second-year back had a career day (123 rushing yards, 5 catches for 26 yards, TD) when Julius Jones exited Sunday with what turned out to be a broken rib. Unfortunately he faces a tough D in the Vikings this week, but he's someone to grab and hold onto down the stretch.

RB JASON SNELLING, Falcons: Another backup running back here - sensing a trend? With Michael Turner nursing a high ankle sprain - an injury that usually takes at least a few weeks to heal - Snelling steps into a starting role. Snelling totaled 93 rushing and receiving yards last week and scored a TD with Turner on the sidelines, and now he faces the Giants and Bucs (22 total rushing TDs allowed in 2009) in successive weeks.

RB BERNARD SCOTT, Bengals: Yup, another second-stringer. Cedric Benson hurt his hip against the Steelers, so in stepped Scott. Though his numbers weren't particularly impresive (13 carries for 33 yards, 1 catch for 21 yards), keep in mind he was facing the Steelers, and he did show off his skills on a 96-yard kick return for the game's only TD. Scott would be a great play this week against Oakland if benson can't go.


WR NATE WASHINGTON, Titans: He's scored two TDs in the past three weeks since Vince Young took over at QB for Tennessee, and it's a decent bet he'll score another one on Monday night against Houston.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The sad saga of Larry Johnson

Remember when Larry Johnson was a fantasy star?

Remember the dude who ran for 1,750 yards and 20 TDs in 2005? And 1,789 and 17 TDs the next year?

That guy's gone forever.

LJ's injuries and an extreme number of carries (416 in 2006!) conspired to sap him of the quickness he once possessed, making him an incresingly ineffective runner in recent times. And his bad attitude and poor judgment sealed his fate, leading to his release from Kansas City.

Johnson got a second chance this week, signing with the Bengals as their fourth-string running back and an insurance policy for Cedric Benson, who's battling a hip injury. LJ, who turns 30 on Thursday, will essentially be a scout-team back for Cincinnati and isn't likely to see the field assuming Benson, the league's 6th-leading rusher, is healthy enough to suit up.

In other words, Johnson is no longer fantasy relevant.

I did have him ranked 27th among running backs this preseason, meaning he was worth drafting but didn't deserve to be one of your top two backs. Hopefully you're ready to move on - if you haven't already - and can send LJ packing. It was fun while it lasted.

Week 10 Recap

A few random fantasy musings while wondering how such a football genius (Bill Belichick) could make such a dumb call ...

- So Ladell Betts subs in for Clinton Portis and has the best day yet by a Redskins back this season (114 yards, TD). Told ya to pick him up - and I'll tell you to start him this week against Dallas, too.

- You figured the Saints skill players would have a field day against the Rams, but surprisingly it was Reggie Bush (two total TDs) and another of my Hot Pickups for the week, Robert Meachem (41-yard catch, 27-yard TD run) who did all the damage.

- Chris Johnson, Fantasy MVP? It's looking good after another absolute nuclear detonation of a game (132 rushing yards and two TDs, plus 100 receiving yards).

- Think Kellen Winslow (7 catches, 102 yards) is glad Tampa Bay finally made a switch at QB? He's the only dependable Buc in fantasy land.

- Vikings WR Sidney Rice (201 receiving yards) now has three monster games in his past four, and upcoming matchups Seattle and Chicago are looking mighty tasty right now.

- Sure, Maurice Jones-Drew's decision to take a knee at the 1-yard line to set up a game-winning FG attempt screwed over some fantasy owners. But it's hard to find a lot of fault with a guy who had 132 yards and a TD already and who leads the league in rushing scores (12).

- Not much to report from the Bengals-Steelers slugfest, fantasy-wise, unless you had Cincinnati's D/ST. The good news if you own guys on either of these teams is they have some favorable schedules coming up. I mean, really favorable - Bengals play the Raiders, Browns and Lions in the next three weeks, while the Steelers play the Chiefs and Raiders (with the Ravens sandwiched in between).

- Michael Turner was on his way to unleashing a superb fantasy day (111 yards on just 9 carries) before exiting with an ankle injury. Stay tuned for an update on his status and backup Jason Snelling's viability as a fantasy fill-in.

- Thank you, Jamaal Charles (18 carries, 103 yards, TD), for fulfilling your fantasy promise and helping the Chiefs become the NFL's final team to score a rushing TD this year. Now you face the Steelers. Good luck with that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sit 'Em: Week 10

- RB JULIUS JONES at Arizona: Yeah, he scored last week and racked up some yards on receptions (6 for 78), but this ain't Detroit - the Cards have the league's fourth-stingiest rush defense - and Jones posted a clunker when the Seahawks hosted Arizona last month (5 carries, 5 yards).

- QB CARSON PALMER at Pittsburgh: You can pretty much always pencil in Palmer for about 200 yards and a TD, but this doesn't look like a matchup where he can really do anything special, fantasy-wise. He had 183 yards and a TD when the teams met in Week 3 and should do about the same, so you may want to go with a better option at QB if you have one.

- WR TORRY HOLT at New York Jets: The old pro has caught only 6 balls for 54 yards combined in the past two weeks and hasn't found the end zone yet this season. Expect the No. 2-ranked Jets pass defense to put the clamps on him again.


- Matt Ryan was 17 for 24 for 135 yards, a TD and an INT against Washington as the Falcons leaned heavily on Michael Turner (just as I predicted).

- Tashard Choice had only 3 carries on Sunday night, but one of them happened to come out of the Wildcat formation at the goal line and went for a TD. Boo!

- Sam Aiken had 2 catches for 17 yards and was a fantasy nonfactor.

Photo by The Associated Press

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Start 'Em: Week 10

- RB LAURENCE MARONEY at Indianapolis: Maroney had 20 carries last week against Miami - his most since December 2007 - and has scored a TD in three straight weeks. Of course the Pats could completely switch things up and throw the ball 55 times this week or decide to give Kevin Faulk 20 carries out of nowhere, but Maroney seems to be on a hot streak.

- WR DERRICK MASON at Cleveland: The veteran Ravens receiver had his best yardage total of the year in Week 3 against the Browns (5 catches, 118 yards, TD) and could do it again on Monday night.

- TE KELLEN WINSLOW at Miami: He seemed to show some chemistry with new Bucs QB Josh Freeman last week (4 catches, 57 yards, TD) and should again serve as his safety valve. The Dolphins have also had trouble defending tight ends this year.


- Joseph Addai caught a TD, ran for a TD and racked up 112 total yards against Houston.

- The Boom-or-bust DeSean Jackson decided to go bust again (2 catches, 29 yards) after three straight weeks of booming.

- Michael Crabtree only caught 3 balls for 30 yards, though he was targeted eight times. Niners QB Alex Smith decided to concentrate on throwing to Vernon Davis (10 catches) and Frank Gore (7 catches) and somebody named Jason Hill (2 TDs) and the other team (3 INTs).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hot Pickups: Week 10

FOUR STARS (Out of five)

RB LADELL BETTS, Redskins: Clinton Portis' understudy normally doesn't get a lot of touches, but with Portis knocked out last week, Betts carried the ball 15 times - his most since 2006 - for 70 yards and a TD. You may recall Betts had a dominating stretch of five straight 100-yard games at the end of the '06 season when he served as the Skins' feature back, so this isn't his first go-around. He's definitely worth a grab, and this week's matchup against Denver doesn't seem quite as tough after they let Rashard Mendenhall run wild.


WR CHRIS CHAMBERS, Chiefs: A perennial disappointment, Chambers got cut by the Chargers just a week ago, then goes out and scores not one but TWO TDs in his first game as a Chief. Both scores came in garbage time, mind you, but K.C. will continue to have a lot of that this year, and Matt Cassel definitely seems to have some kind of a connection with Chambers, so why not give him a shot?

WR ROBERT MEACHEM, Saints: I've been waiting for this kid to break out for about 3 years now, and maybe last Sunday's game (5 catches, 98 yards, TD) was what I've been looking for. Everyone who plays a skill position for New Orleans is worth some fantasy consideration, and Meachem might make a good flex play in the following two weeks against St. Louis and Tampa Bay.


QB JOSH FREEMAN, Bucs: There was plenty to like in Freeman's starting debut: the strong arm, the quick feet, the poise and the 3 TDs vs. 1 INT. Will there be bumps along the way? Of course. But keeper leagues and those that start two QBs have to take notice.

TE BRANDON PETTIGREW, Lions: The rookie from Oklahoma state had 7 catches for 70 yards - both career highs - and caught his first NFL TD in Week 9. He might be hard pressed to duplicate those stats again this season, but if you're in a deep league that carries two TEs per team he's certainly worth a shot.
Photo by The Associated Press

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Week 9 Recap

Some random fantasy thoughts while crafting a petition to the Bucs to wear their creamsicle uniforms every week ...

- Michael Turner topped 150 yards for the second straight game and extended his scoring streak to eight straight games (166, 2 TDs). He's looking like the top-3 back we thought he'd be.

- Turner's counterpart, Clinton Portis, was knocked out against Atlanta and is looking doubtful for what could have been a decent Week 10 matchup vs. Denver. Ladell Betts (15 carries, 70 yards, TD) wasn't bad in his stead and could soon be in a Hot Pickups blog post near you.

- Who needs Anquan Boldin? The disgruntled and disappointing Cardinals WR was scratched because of a nagging ankle injury and the field conditions in Chicago (and he was none too pleased with how he was informed of the benching) ... and Kurt Warner still threw 5 TDs.

- Do Matt Forte's 6 catches for 74 yards make up for his 5 carries for 33 yards? I say no.

- Of course Greg Olsen would catch 3 TDs after I benched him at the last minute Saturday night and subbed in Heath Miller (3 catches, 18 yards).

- I gotta give it to Cedric Benson for proving me wrong so far. He's exceeded all my expectations in Cincinnati (117 more yards and a TD vs. Baltimore) and has become a must-start, even Week 10 against Pittsburgh and beyond.

- Laurence Maroney got his biggest workload of the season (20 carries) and scored for the third straight week. Is he finally a dependable fantasy starter? I'd give him a serious look for this week's showdown with Indy.

- The Packers' James Jones now has 3 receiving TDs this year, or 1 more than teammate Greg Jennings. That ain't right.

- Do we have a new fantasy star in Bucs QB Josh Freeman (14-for-31, 205 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)? Anything's possible, but let's see what happens after the rest of the league gets some actual film on him. Encouraging start, though.

- So Chris Chambers gets released by San Diego last week, picked up by the awful Chiefs this week, plays his first game for K.C. on Sunday and has his most productive day (70 yards, 2 TDs) since Week 2 of last year. Go figure.

- Twelve carries, 22 yards for LaDainian Tomlinson. How the mighty have fallen. Last time he played the Giants, in 2005, he busted them for 192 yards and 3 TDs. Those were the days.

- Alex Smith sure does love him some Vernon Davis (10 catches, 102 yards, both career highs).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sit 'Em: Week 9

- QB MATT RYAN vs. Washington: Ryan's thrown 6 picks in his past 3 games (vs. 5 TDs), and the Redskins' defense actually isn't so bad (ranked second against the pass, giving up 164.9 yards per game with six TDs). The Falcons might be better served giving the ball to Michael Turner, who topped 150 rushing yards last week, than having Ryan throw a lot against former Falcon DeAngelo Hall and Co.

- RB TASHARD CHOICE at Philadelphia: With Marion Barber and Felix Jones back to near 100 percent, Choice is relegated to third-string duties, as evidenced by his past two games (a combined 4 carries for 11 yards). Don't expect much, if anything, out of him this week.

- WR SAM AIKEN vs. Miami: This guy was a popular pickup after a 54-yard TD catch made the highlight reels two weeks ago in London. That wasn't enough to warrant starting consideration.


- Eli Manning was even more atrocious than I imagined against the Eagles (222 yards, 2 INTs, 55.7 QB rating), although he did manage a TD pass.

- Darren Sproles carried the ball 5 times for 38 yards and caught an 8-yard pass. Nothin' special.

- Nate Washington only made 2 catches against the Jags, but one happened to be a TD.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Start 'Em: Week 9

- RB JOSEPH ADDAI vs. Houston: Addai hasn't sniffed 100 rushing yards this season - in fact, he hasn't topped 64 - but he's scored in six of seven games (including last week's TD pass, above) so far and is getting just enough touches (and production) to make for a solid starter this week against a so-so Texans run defense.

- WR DeSEAN JACKSON vs. Dallas: The Eagles' second-year wideout has caught a 50-plus-yard TD bomb in each of the past two weeks. You can't afford to have the kid on your bench this week.

- WR MICHAEL CRABTREE vs. Tennessee: The rookie's caught 5 and 6 balls, respectively, in his first two NFL games and is already a big part of the Niners' offense. I can envision him scoring his first career TD this week against a Titans secondary that, despite last week's shut-down effort against Jacksonville, has had its share of issues, can't you?


- I predicted LaDainian Tomlinson would score a TD and have his best rushing total of the season against Oakland. His 56 yards didn't quite top his season high (70), but he scored TWO TDs, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

- Jeremy Shockey caught five passes for 72 yards but didn't hit the end zone against Atlanta.

- David Garrard was downright dreadful against the Titans (14 for 27, 139 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs). I apologize.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A fantasy football sitcom? Oh yeah.

You know fantasy football's really reached the mainstream when it's the subject of a TV sitcom.

Yup, that's right: last week FX debuted "The League," a scripted comedy that centers around a group of friends in a fantasy football league. It's gotten some good buzz and solid reviews so far. I completely forgot to DVR last Thursday's pilot episode - I had some other things on my mind, namely a whirlwind trip to New York to watch Game 2 of the World Series - so I haven't seen it yet.

You can check out a few clips on the show's official website, and you can catch episode 2 at 10:30 p.m. Thurday night on FX.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hot pickups: Week 9

FIVE STARS (Out of five)

We've liked Charles for a while now around these parts, and he finally has a chance to show you why this week. Larry Johnson (suspension) is out this week, and if Charles takes this opportunity and runs with it there's a possibility LJ's days as the Chiefs' starter are over. This week's matchup is certainly in Charles' favor, as the Jaguars were just gashed by Chris Johnson last week.


RB Ryan Moats, Texans: A 23-carry, 126-yard, 3-TD performance cannot be ignored, even if it comes against the Buffalo Bills. Starter Steve Slaton's fumbilitis finally sent him to the bench last week, and Moats filled in beautifully. He probably hasn't supplanted Slaton as the No. 1 back at this point, but he's at least earned a larger role in the Texans' offense and should get his fair share of work this week at Indianapolis.


TE Fred Davis, Redskins: Davis caught 8 passes for 78 yards and a TD two weeks ago against Philly with starter Chris Cooley on the sideline and is a decent replacement for those who've been rocked by injuries to Cooley or Owen Daniels of Houston.


WR Malcom Floyd, Chargers: San Diego's release of Chris Chambers opens up more playing time for Floyd, a 6-foot-6 playmaker in a pass-heavy offense. Intriguing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 8 Recap

Some random fantasy thoughts while tuning into the Fox Favre Cam ....

- Could be a great time to trade Brett Favre if you drafted him as your backup and have a capable No. 1 guy. I think his 4-TD game against his old team Sunday may end up being his high-water mark, stats-wise, this year, and he'll inevitably slow down and cool off as the season wears on.

- Hard to believe Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 177 yards and two TDs and wasn't the best running back on the field Sunday in Tennessee. Chris Johnson laid the hammer down with 228 rushing yards and two TDs of his own. Those who drafted Matt Forte ahead of either of these guys could only watch with tears in their eyes.

- Speaking of Forte, the Bears RB justified his presence on your roster for another week (90 yards, 2 TDs vs. Cleveland), but he'll be hard-pressed for an encore against the Cardinals' run D this week.

- Michael Turner has now scored in six straight games (8 TDs total). The streak will continue in Week 9 against Washington.

- Did Ryan Moats (126 yards, 3 TDs vs. Buffalo) just kill Steve Slaton's fantasy value? It's very possible ... see this week's Hot Pickups for more.

- Tony Romo (3 TDs) appears to have gotten back on track, mostly thanks to the emergence of Miles Austin as a fantasy star. The real litmus test for the boy wonder comes in the next two weeks on the road against Philly and Green Bay.

- Your allegiance to Steven Jackson hopefully paid off with 145 yards and his first rushing TD of the year Sunday against Detroit. Give the guy credit for playing hard and churning out the yardage despite the Rams' ineptitude.

- Joseph Addai threw more TD passes than Peyton Manning in Week 8. No need to worry about Peyton though - he's usually good for 1 or 2 of these TD-free games in a season, but you'll get more than your money's worth from him for the rest of the year. He could throw 4 against Houston this week.

- Eli Manning seems to be in one of his annual slumps, but he's probably worth sticking with as your No. 2 (he's thrown at least 1 TD every week) unless there's a more attractive free-agent option.

-Ray Rice has scored a TD or rushed for 100 yards in each of the past 5 weeks.

- DeAngelo Williams rushes for 158 yards, Jonathan Stewart scores two TDs. Can't have your cake and eat it too if you drafted a Panthers running back.