NFL/Fantasy News 2008

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Ronnie Rising?
Last Saturday night, I took a walk out onto the Santa Monica Pier. But despite the frenetic, amusement park-meets-Phish concert energy and the throngs of tourists, freaks, performers, and children swirling all around me, I barely noticed any of it. Because as usual, I was completely mired deep in my fantasy football thoughts.

My mind often drifts off to fantasyland whenever I'm alone doing everyday things like breathing or walking around in public, the latter usually leading to accidentally stepping on peoples' rat dogs, walking out into traffic in front of buses or falling into open manholes. Once, while strolling down Newbury Street in Boston absorbed in deciding whether Frisman Jackson was worth blowing my entire free agent budget by Week 2, I crashed head-on into a dude dressed as a giant coffee bean and holding a tray of free samples. There was blood, mini Dixie cups and mochachino everywhere. It was awful. (But not as bad as it would have been had I broken the bank for Jackson.)

This time, I was debating whether to start Ronnie Brown or Eddie Royal at Flex the following day. There were pros and cons to each. Royal blew up in Week 1 and plays in a high-octane offense, but he came back to earth in Week 2 and some guy named Marshall also plays for Denver. Brown was named the 'Fins Week 3 "starter," but that means squat in today's NFL, what with deceitful, fork-tongued coaches and committee-ridden backfields (RBBC is a pox on fantasy football! A pox, I say!).

So Brown would surely have some carries poached by Ricky, and, not to mention, he was facing the tough Pats front four on the road. Meanwhile, Royal was at least playing the awful Saints pass defense in a possible shootout kinda game. And this league is PPR. So that did it -- Ronnie would sit; Royal would get the nod. Hooray for logic!

Well, I think you all know how that worked out. Oh, and just for kicks I also benched Housh for Santonio Holmes because the Bengals have been flat-out awful and they were facing the marauding Giants pass rush. But who needs 12 catches for 146 yards and a TD when you've already benched 5 Ronnie Brown TDs?

Anyway, who might give you a few Ronnie/Housh kind of games in the future? Let's take a look . . .

RISERS

Frank Gore: So I guess this Mike Martz guy knows how to use Gore after all. The "Sucky Lions Rush Defense" caveat applies here (as it will all season) but still, Gore's carries have increased every week and he's looking every bit like the first round pick many thought he didn't deserve to be.

Reggie Bush: See "Shockey, Jeremy" below. Mr. Kardashian was on the rise anyway with his 148 total yard, 11 catch, 2 TD game in Week 3. But I think Shockey's absence will lead to even more passes, and more carries, for Bush, who seems to have learned how to run with a bit more authority. Also keep an eye on Robert Meachem as a possible beneficiary of Shockey's hernia woes.

Brandon Marshall: Again I ask you, who would you trade Brandon Marshall for right now? On message boards nationwide, owners are saying they wouldn't even trade him for LT, Romo or AP. That's high praise.

Julius Jones: A writer who shall remain nameless ? but whose name rhymes with Spark Paint Gamont ? wrote this last week about the rising Julius Jones: "My advice: watch him run on the Rams this weekend and then deal him. Well, Julius indeed ran on the Rams Pop Warner defense (140 yards/1 TD). But Mo Morris is on his way back, as are Branch and Engram (more passing?). And Holmgren says that he might even start using Duckett more, too. So my sell high advice still remains.

Matt Forte: Didn't have a monster rushing game (27 carries, 89 yards). But it has to please his owners that he caught 7 balls for 66 yards and a score, and got 27 carries in a close game. Proof that Lovie trusts him to be a weapon in virtually any game situation moving forward.

Le'Ron McClain: Rumors that it was in fact McLain who scratched the inside of McGahee's eyelid with a toothpick while Ray Rice held him down on the locker room floor are unsubstantiated. But McClain is likely now the Ravens' top goal line option and a nice Flex play if you need a TD. Think Pierre Thomas, but in a worse offense.

Greg Jennings: In a pre-season Fantasy Hall of Fame commercial for ESPN, Jennings jokingly says "I am pretty awesome." More prophetic words were never spoken. He and Rodgers have a clear chemistry and he's become both Rodgers' first option and last-second safety valve, the way Driver and, before him, Antonio Freeman were for Favre. That he's now being mentioned on message boards in the same breath as Marshall, T.O. and Fitz says more than enough about how high his value has risen.

Rashard Mendenhall Willie's out this week (maybe longer?), giving the rook a shot at a full-time gig. Temper expectations as he faces the Ravens and, if Willie's out again, the Jags, so he's no guaranteed stud. But if you own him and are set at RB, dangle him to the Parker owner (or some other RB-starved team in your league) and see what it might net you.

Bobby Engram: Some of the Waiver Wired-type pieces here on Rotoworld have advised the same, but it bears repeating: if your league mates are sleeping on Engram, pick him up and see what happens. Might obviously bode well for Hasselbeck's value, too, making him a sneaky buy low.

Brandon Lloyd: Digging deeper here, but someone's gotta catch Kyle Orton's boozy knuckleballs, and it seems Lloyd has become the most attractive WR option in Chicago. Which is like saying that Police Academy VII: Mission to Moscow was the best Police Academy movie, but still . . .

Ronnie Brown: The poster boy for the most insanely fluctuating weekly stock in recent fantasy memory. In Weeks 1 and 2 Brown had 48 rushing yards combined and was splitting carries with Dr. Method Man. Four rushing TDs, one passing TD and a couple Walter Camp-esque trick plays later, he's back to reminding Fantasy Nation that he was the single most studly fantasy back last year prior to his injury.

Use that exact logic, combined with this weekend's he'll-never-ever-do-that-again stats, to sell him at his absolute apex for a Steven Jackson or package him with a good receiver for Addai or even LT. He might even fetch you a temporary faller like . . .
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FALLERS

. . . T.O.: He sure as hell won't have very many games like that (2 catches, 17 yards) and his owner shouldn't be panicky enough to think that Owens has suddenly become a bad receiver. But can't hurt to test the waters and see what it'd take to get him.

Torry Holt: It's gone from bad (Bulger with a crappy O-Line and no time to throw) to worse (Trent Green with a crappy line and no time to throw). Count me as one who thought Holt was wildly undervalued coming into the season, yet was wildly wrong. Don't buy low. Don't buy at all. And if you own him, use the twisted logic that Linehan's QB switch will "shake thing up" and/or "awaken a sleeping offense."

Andre Johnson: Marquee WR's aren't supposed to drop one potential touchdown pass that hits them squarely in the chest, let alone two. But look for Andre to bounce back -- whether Schaub stays under center or Kubiak switches to Rosenfels ? and buy him (relatively) low right now if you can. Perhaps using the aforementioned Ronnie Brown.

Brett Favre Learn the playbook, Brett, then throw balls to where your receivers are versus where you thought they were supposed to be. I do like the ever-rising value of Chansi Stuckey, however. He's playing his way into possible weekly Flex consideration.

Jeremy Shockey: A sports hernia operation will do that to a guy's value.

Pick Six: Dear sports radio play-by-play guys, stop calling an interception return for touchdown a "pick six," because it sounds really stupid and unoriginal and annoys the hell out of me for some reason. Please come up with a cutesy new name. Like, I don't know, "Interception Return for Touchdown."

Anthony Gonzalez: My pre-season choice for "This Year's Wes Welker," Gonzalez might only go as far as Dallas Clark's health permits. Week 1 (Clark playing): 5 catches, 48 yards. Week 2 (Clark out): 9 catches, 137 yards. Week 3 (Clark playing): 2 for 37. Sensing a pattern here? Add to that Marvin's targets and Addai's improvement, and Mini-Gonzo's vale takes a little hit.

Todd Heap: Seems like eons ago that Heap was mentioned in the same sentence as Gates and Gonzo. Now, the dude can't stay healthy and his quarterbacks keep getting worse. Very little name value left, so I'm afraid you're stuck with him.

Al Harris: Had blood in his urine. He's not an offensive player and has no fantasy value, per se, but still . . . blood in urine is gross.

Chad Muy Malo: Palmer obviously looked for Housh when the game was on the line. If you can convince a league mate that Chad had something to do with the Bengals nearly beating the Giants, deal him on what little name value he has left.

Plaxico Burress/Matt Millen: Plax was suspended for bagging work, but c'mon, who hasn't done that? I'm bagging work right now. Millen, however, was canned for never having been even remotely competent at his job for even one millisecond of his 31-84 tenure as Lions GM. Somewhere, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams light up another fatty and laaaaaaugh and laugh . . . and then both nod off while watching koala bears eat eucalyptus leaves on Animal Planet HD.

Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn: As one falls, the other rises. It's only a matter of time. I still think Braylon and Winslow are good buy low guys, but Anderson seems to be on a collision course with the inevitable. And by "inevitable," I mean "clipboard and backwards hat."

Gary Busey: So as I was saying earlier, I was walking on the Santa Monica Pier last Saturday and daydreaming about Brown vs. Royal (not exactly Brown vs. the Board of Education, but important nonetheless). So I almost didn't notice the dead man ten feet ahead of me. Yes, an actual corpse, standing quasi-upright, bone thin, with a ghoulish Crypt Keeper grimace and wispy, gray-blonde hair sprouting out of his skull in an Einstein kinda way, as if he'd combed it with a hand grenade. He appeared to be slightly leaning for support against an attractive older woman, and wearing baggy, black pajama-like pants, a loose black T-shirt and black slipper-like sandals you might see in a karate dojo. Maybe someone was guerilla marketing a new movie called "Creepy Skeleton Ninja"?

But as I passed by, I covertly looked over at him and, suddenly, with a quick turn of his Castle Greyskull head, the dead man looked directly back at me with one freaky, wild, crazy-guy eye and grinned. And at that moment, I realized this was no corpse -- it was Gary Busey!

Gary didn't look half bad for a guy who was mangled in a horrific near-fatal motorcycle crash awhile back. But he didn't look good. If Keith Richards ever ran into him, he would say, "Whoah, Gary, mate, you don't look so hot." That said, there was a time when Busey was a virile, studly young man, a bonafide Hollywood star. He was Buddy Holly. He was Lomax in The Firm. For chrissakes, he was Mr. Joshua! Translation? He was an effin' badass. And even though he now looks like I could have picked him up like Bo Jackson and snapped him over my knee, that momentarily menacing, youthful, psycho glimmer in his post-accident googly eye, together with that trademark unstable Busey stare, said, "Keep walking, roto nerd. I could kill you with just my pinkie finger and make sure they never find the body."

My point is this: some of your players might look pretty mangled right now. Brittle. Frail. On their death beds. But looks can be deceiving. The second you think they're withered away and helpless, a crazy glimmer returns to their eyes and they spring back to life, their value skyrocketing along with them, and take no prisoners.

Just ask Ronnie Brown.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Pennsylvania Pain
Last week's live chat was a bust because the site that hosts the session crashed and tragically left thousands of Rotoworld readers with no way to kill two hours at work on a Thursday afternoon. I'm told that things are now running smoothly, so as always today's chat will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET. Ask me questions about Brady Quinn and Tiffany Simons or do actual work at your desk, the choice is yours.

While a technological failure drags down my once-dominant weekly live-chatting stats, here are some notes from around football ?

* Despite leaving Week 3 with a hand injury after being sacked eight times by the Eagles, Ben Roethlisberger is absent from the Steelers' injury report. However, a very tough matchup versus Baltimore makes him far from a great fantasy option Monday night. Through two games the Ravens have limited Carson Palmer and Derek Anderson to a putrid 26.6 quarterback rating and 180 combined yards.

Toss in Willie Parker's sprained knee and Roethlisberger may again struggle to remain upright, making him a poor QB1 option. Parker was quickly ruled out for Monday night and reports out of Pittsburgh indicate that he'll likely also sit out Week 5 against the Jaguars. He'd then get a third straight week off thanks to the Steelers' bye, before a potential return against the Bengals on October 19.

Rashard Mendenhall will start in Parker's place and coach Mike Tomlin indicated Wednesday that he'll give the rookie most of the workload rather than go with a committee approach. Mewelde Moore will still take third downs and Carey Davis may steal short-yardage chances, but Mendenhall should see 15-18 touches per game. Of course, against the Ravens and Jaguars his value will still be limited.

* NFL.com reports that Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb may not practice at all this week, which would likely make them both game-time decisions Sunday against the Bears. McNabb suffered a deep chest contusion in Week 3, missing the opening series of the second half, but returned to finish the game and seems more likely than Westbrook to suit up.

Westbrook sat out the second half Sunday and initially expressed concern that he had the dreaded high-ankle sprain, but said Wednesday that he's "optimistic" about playing this week and was spotted walking without an obvious limp. If he's unavailable the Eagles may get pass happy rather than trust Correll Buckhalter with a Westbrook-like workload against a tough defense, giving McNabb a boost.

* Steven Jackson was limited in practice Wednesday with a sore groin, which is perhaps a bigger concern that usual because he missed time last season with a torn groin. When asked about Jackson's status for Week 4 coach Scott Linehan didn't seem very concerned, so barring a setback he's a safe play despite falling to mid-level RB1 status thanks to a tough matchup against the Bills.

Meanwhile, one day after benching Marc Bulger and installing 38-year-old Trent Green as the starter, the Rams slid rookie Donnie Avery into the starting lineup and inexplicably cut starting cornerback Fakhir Brown. Lack of polish and an ugly quarterback situation keep Avery from having much short-term value, but the first receiver drafted this year is an intriguing speedster and may be force fed targets.

* Amid reports that police have been called to Plaxico Buress' home twice during the past three months for domestic disputes, the Giants handed him a one-game suspension Wednesday for insubordination. Buress reportedly failed to show up for a team meeting Monday and didn't answer his phone Tuesday, so he'll lose a pair of paychecks while sitting out Week 5 following the Giants' bye.

Two-Minute Drill: Coach Romeo Crennel is sticking with Derek Anderson for one more game, but as discussed yesterday in this space he'll be on a short leash with Brady Quinn waiting in the wings ? Ryan Grant is absent from the Packers' injury report, setting him up for his first full workload of the season ? Matt Millen was mercifully fired Wednesday after going 31-84 in his laughably bad tenure as Lions general manager ? Earlier this week coach Mike Shanahan called Michael Pittman "our workhorse" despite giving him just 20 touches through three games, further confusing fantasy nation ? Dwayne Bowe leads the league in targets, so his numbers will rise once he starts converting more than 44 percent of them into catches ? On a related note, coach Herm Edwards finally came to his senses Wednesday, naming Damon Huard the Week 4 starter over Tyler Thigpen ? For the second straight week Crennel has talked about wanting to increase Jerome Harrison's role, but so far he has a grand total of three touches ? Roy Williams said Wednesday that he's "fed up" and the Lions "are cursed" before wondering if they're "going to trade me in the middle of the season like Chris Chambers."

Red Zone: LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) and Antonio Gates (hip) skipped practice Wednesday, but there's no indication that either will miss Week 4 ? Coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that Kevin Curtis (hernia) could return in a limited role as soon as Sunday ? Justin Fargas (groin) missed practice Wednesday, making it likely that Michael Bush will once again split time with Darren McFadden ? Jerry Porter (hamstring) practiced fully Wednesday and could make his Jaguars debut in a limited role this week ? Lance Moore and Devery Henderson are slated to start Sunday if David Patten (groin) can't play, but Robert Meachem will also see extended action ? Brodie Croyle (shoulder) resumed throwing Wednesday and is still aiming for a Week 7 return ? Joey Galloway (foot) wasn't able to practice Wednesday, making it unlikely that he'll return this week ? Roscoe Parrish will miss 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury, costing the Bills an outstanding return man and potentially giving James Hardy more snaps offensively ? Donte' Stallworth (quadriceps) increased his participation in practice this week and is expected to make his Browns debut Sunday.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Week 4 Rankings
The Browns offense leads the NFL in one category: excuses. Their schedule has inarguably been brutal. Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards missed time together in the preseason because of injuries. The offensive line is banged up, and the reserve receivers caught a bad case of Steptoe with Donte Stallworth out of the lineup. The excuses end this week.

The Bengals offer Anderson a last chance to salvage his career in Cleveland or the Brady Quinn era begins, probably for good. But I'm not confident the Browns offense will take full advantage. The tough schedule isn't causing Braylon Edwards to drop passes and short-arm others in weak displays of effort. It isn't forcing Anderson to overthrow open targets. While the matchups have been difficult, this was supposed to be a high-octane offense that could compete with anyone. Instead, they have dinked and dunked to terrible effect. Derek Anderson has a grotesque 4.4 yards-per-attempt average, often called the Thigpen zone.

The big plays have vanished from Cleveland's offense. The word is out on Anderson, who can wing it deep, but struggles with the underneath stuff. So defenses are selling out to take away the vertical threat; Anderson hasn't completed a single pass this season that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. Risk-taking Anderson owners can use him this week, but he's ranked outside of our top-12 quarterbacks because there is a chance he's replaced at halftime.

Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow should bounce back this season, but changing quarterbacks to a first-time starter is completely save their value. Jamal Lewis, who doesn't catch many passes and relies on the passing game loosening defenses up, is a shaky RB2. If you are looking for buy-low candidates in the battle of Ohio, I'd take the Bengals.

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Likely to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>J.T. O'Sullivan</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Kurt Warner</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Aaron Rodgers</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Trent Edwards</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>Good matchup, but short leash</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Brian Griese</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>Ravens D is on fire</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Kerry Collins</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Gus Frerotte</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>Expect similar results</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Kyle Orton</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Matt Ryan</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>JaMarcus Russell</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Joe Flacco</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: We experimented last week with a game-by-game breakdowns in lieu of notes under the rankings. The reaction was very positive, although many long-time readers wanted the notes here as well. Because of some scheduling issues, I'm handling the Daily Dose tomorrow and will put game previews there, with my notes from watching games during the week. Some abbreviated rankings notes are below.

J.T. O'Sullivan is a solid QB1 weak New Orleans defense. His 9.4 YPA indicates that his fantasy numbers have room to improve. ? Drew Brees may be without his top three receivers if David Patten is out, but Sean Payton always finds a way. Don't bench him. ? The Bucs and Bears are usually great against the pass, but that hasn't been the case this season. Don't downgrade McNabb or Aaron Rodgers based on their matchups. I also wouldn't downgrade McNabb based on his injury. ? There's no reason to think Trent Green will do any better than Marc Bulger at the helm of the Rams offense. ? Trent Edwards' yardage has been consistent. This week, he should get the scores. ? Brian Griese's high pass attempts are helping to cover up the fact he's not playing very well. That will eventually catch up to him. ? Let's be patient with Matt Schaub and David Garrard for one more week before burying them.
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[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Running Backs[/SIZE]
<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Matt Forte</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>9</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>10</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>Keep eye on practice</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Ryan Grant</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chris Perry</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Steve Slaton</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>Taken over</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jonathan Stewart</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Earnest Graham</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>The week to use him</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Chris Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Darren McFadden</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Correll Buckhalter</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Keep eye on eye</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Rashard Mendenhall</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>LeRon McClain</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Michael Bush</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Felix Jones</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Fred Jackson</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Pierre Thomas</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Andre Hall</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Darren Sproles</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Tim Hightower</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Chris Taylor</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Ray Rice</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Third on totem poll</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Jamaal Charles</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Lorenzo Booker</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Mewelde Moore</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Kenny Watson</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Kevin Jones</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Jerome Harrison</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: LaDainian Tomlinson may be far from 100%, but there's no reason to bench him against Oakland if he's in the starting lineup. Darren Sproles could have a nice clean-up game if the Chargers get off to a fast start. ? Expect the Jaguars to run like crazy on Houston after finding great success against Indianapolis. ? Season Pass' workload report points out that Steven Jackson is getting the highest percentage of offensive touches of any back in the league. So much for easing into the season after his holdout. That's helping to maintain his value. Matt Forte and Frank Gore are second on that list.

We're not ranking Brian Westbrook, but he'll be added to the list on the Friday evening update if he's listed as questionable. Correll Buckhalter is a competent replacement, but the Bears run defense is one of the very best, so he's not a great RB2 as a starter. ? This is the week Chris Perry's high workload translates into big yardage. ?The Broncos should run more in this game if they can get ahead of Kansas City early. That makes it a fine week to gamble on Selvin Young. ? Steve Slaton is suddenly a rock solid RB2 playing in a runner-friendly scheme. ? Expect more of the same out of the Oakland backfield with Darren McFadden still not 100%. Split carries against a tough defense limits his value. ? Willis McGahee had the majority of carries for the Ravens last week before hurting his eye. Watch his status for this week.

Remind me how poor my rankings are in the Rotoworld forums

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>If he doesn't do it now ?</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chad Ocho Cinco</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>If he doesn't do it now ?</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>14</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>15</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>16</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>17</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>DeSean Jackson</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Weak Chicago pass defense</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Eddie Royal</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Antonio Bryant</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Better with Gus</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Bryant Johnson</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>Great matchup</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>31</TD><TD>Brandon Lloyd</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>32</TD><TD>David Patten</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>Keep eye on groin injury</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Justin Gage</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Antwaan Randle El</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Hank Baskett</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>36</TD><TD>Lance Moore</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>Ranked as if Patten is out</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>37</TD><TD>Ike Hilliard</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>38</TD><TD>D.J. Hackett</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>39</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>40</TD><TD>Sidney Rice</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Questionable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>41</TD><TD>Josh Reed</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>42</TD><TD>Kevin Walter</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>43</TD><TD>Robert Meachem</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>Only three targets all season</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Arnaz Battle</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Justin McCareins</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Michael Clayton</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Chansi Stuckey</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: Lance Moore is an excellent pickup for WR3-hungry teams during this week with six teams on a bye. If David Patten is out, I'd expect him to lead the Saints in targets. ? JaMarcus Russell's has rendered Raiders wideouts unplayable. ? Dwayne Bowe leads the NFL in targets. With Damon Huard returning this week, he should parlay that into WR2 stats. The Chiefs are always trailing and Huard has few options to throw to. Tony Gonzalez is fifth on the list. Other surprises include Antonio Bryant and Santana Moss tied for the fifth most targeted wideouts. They are playing at high volume positions in West Coast offenses, which will keep their numbers afloat. Bryant, however, has an ugly 45% catch rate. Roy Williams, D.J. Hackett, Chris Chambers (35%!), and Braylon Edwards (32%) are some of the inefficient wideouts doing even worse than Bryant.

With six teams off, some shaky options get WR3 grades this week. After the top-30, it's guesswork. And it's amazing that Matt Jones and Brandon Lloyd have been among the more consistent targets as WR3 options. Jones finally gets a good matchup this week and Jerry Porter's status is uncertain. ? Donte' Stallworth will be added if he makes it through a successful week of practice. ? Chris Chambers is a risky play. He has four touchdowns on only six receptions. ? If Kevin Curtis returns, downgrade DeSean Jackson and Hank Baskett slightly. ? The 49ers should do well against the Saints, but they spread the targets around so well, it's difficult to guess who will step up.
<!--RW-->
[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Keep eye on back injury</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jerramy Stevens</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Dante Rosario</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Dustin Keller</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Billy Miller</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Donald Lee</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Robert Royal</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: Give Vernon Davis at least another week in your lineup. They are trying to find him down the field a few times a game, but have struggled to connect. ? I talked about the depth at tight end this season, but there have been a few disappointments thus far. Only the top-seven ranked players this week are safe to put up stats. ? Greg Olsen remains a big part of the Bears offense, so don't bail on him completely. ? Jerramy Stevens could be the latest one-game wonder at tight end, but he's worth grabbing if you need TE2 help to see if he sticks. There is talent there, but he's splitting the position with a few other players. ? L.J. Smith's status is up in the air. ? Billy Miller has averaged 36 yards in the last five games he's played, including 41 last week. You could do worse.

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Josh Scobee</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Martin Gramatica</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Nick Novak</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Setting the Table
Aaron Gleeman hit a walk-off pinch hit over at the Baseball Daily Dose, so I'll be taking his place here for a day. Like the Tyler Thigpen era, it promises to be short and inaccurate. Let's take a game-by-game look at the early games for Sunday. They are ranked in order of what I'd like to watch. ?

1. 49ers @ Saints

Vernon Davis is never going to be Jason Witten: a tight end that produces each week. But the 49ers are trying to get him involved down the field, so I wouldn't give up hope. Especially this week. ? No 49er receiver has more than 13 targets this season. If Bryant Johnson can't go, upgrade Isaac Bruce, Josh Morgan, and Arnaz Battle. ? Lance Moore fever has spread to the Rotoworld home offices. Or at least my apartment. ? This is a good week to use Pierre Thomas as a flex. With so many receivers out, Reggie Bush may get fewer carries and more snaps out wide. That's not a bad thing for him.

Get Week 4 projections for all these players in Season Pass, plus Friday features like picks against the spread, dynasty rankings, and top-200 rankings.

2. Browns @ Bengals
www.clevelandbrowns.ws
Cincy has found a team they can protect Carson Palmer against! The Browns can't rush the passer, and Palmer nearly managed 300 yards against the Giants despite constant pressure. Palmer still forces the ball into spots, but fantasy owners should take that aggressiveness as a tradeoff. ? Chad Ocho Cinco isn't separating from defenders, but at least his shoulder is improved. I made an office bet this week he'll still top 1,150 yards this season. Only 1,062 to go. ? Chris Perry is a meat and potatoes runner, but Marvin Lewis loves him and will keep feeding him until he collapses. That makes him safe this week. That also makes Kenny Watson an undervalued asset? Kellen Winslow was targeted 13 times last week and caught two passes. ? My thoughts on the Browns are in the rankings. Don't expect another 51-45 game, but both offenses should enjoy their best game of the season.

3. Packers @ Bucs
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
The Bucs pass defense has been uncharacteristically poor, giving up big plays to bad teams. That bodes well for Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings. ? Ryan Grant says he's finally healthy and did show improved burst against the Cowboys in a quiet game. He's due to breakout. ? Jordy Nelson will probably take over for James Jones as Green Bay's third receiver, but I can't imagine using him in fantasy leagues. ? With Al Harris out, the Bucs will continue their pass happy ways. Antonio Bryant has ten more targets than any other Buc. Brian Griese remains a competent QB2 in fantasy, but a bad NFL starter by the looks of things. ? Earnest Graham is averaging fewer than 14 touches per game. ? Don't expect Jerramy Stevens to repeat his big day. www.greenbaypackers.ws

5. Vikings @ Titans
www.tennesseetitans.ws
Kerry Collins, graybeard and all, takes shots down the field. And coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is getting people open. Since the Vikings' rush defense is so strong, Collins could throw a lot of passes in this game and put up decent stats. ? Stay far away from LenDale White. The Vikings have people much fatter than him (hello, Pat Williams) to clog lanes up the middle. Chris Johnson's speed has a better chance of getting RB2 value, but he's a risky play. ? 85% of Adrian Peterson is still better than most everyone else, even in a tough matchup. The Titans corners are very physical, which could lead to problems for lightweight receivers like Bernard Berrian. www.minnesotavikings.ws

6. Texans @ Jaguars
www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws
I believe in Matt Schaub, despite his early struggles. He eventually calmed down against Tennessee and played a solid game if his receivers didn't drop so many passes. ? Steve Slaton was very impressive in the game. He wouldn't go down at first contact and wasn't afraid to go inside. Slaton is not built like a third-down back. Alex Gibbs' zone blocking scheme opened up some nice holes for him too. Look for them to be bigger this week. He's a solid RB2. ? This is David Garrard's easiest matchup this season by far. Houston's secondary has problems, especially if Fred Bennett misses the game. Matt Jones has turned his career around with some steady outings and is due for a breakout game.

7. Cardinals @ Jets
www.newyorkjets.ws
After all the off-season spending, the Jets offensive line looks better. But not that much better. Arizona's defense is improved and could give New York problems. ? Thomas Jones is on pace for only 261 carries, although that's probably because the team has trailed so often the last two weeks. ? I've largely dismissed Chansi Stuckey to this point, but he has only two fewer targets than Laveranues Coles thus far. ? Is there a better "Big three" at quarterback and wideout right now than Warner/Boldin/Fitzgerald? There is still potential for their stats to rise because Warner has thrown ten fewer passes per start this year. www.arizonacardinals.ws

8. Broncos @ Chiefs
www.kansascitychiefs.ws
One amazing part of Jay Cutler's season is how much he can still improve. He can make silly decisions or lose his accuracy for a stretch, then save the day with eye-popping throws. If you asked NFL GMs who they would start a team with today, Cutler would get the most votes. If I drafted tomorrow, he'd be a top-two quarterback. ? Eddie Royal has quieted down after his big Week 1, but stick with him in this matchup. ? Damon Huard gives Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez owners plenty of hope in a good-looking matchup. Denver's overrated secondary has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to wideouts in the league. Dre Bly is off to a career-ending season. ? This is the week to break out Selvin Young, who is averaging 6.9 yards-per-carry this season.

9. Falcons @ Panthers
www.carolinapanthers.ws
Carolina had some long plays dialed up for Steve Smith last week, but they couldn't protect Jake Delhomme long enough to try them. That shouldn't be the case this week, although Atlanta's defense has looked surprisingly competent against an easy schedule. ? Muhsin Muhammad and D. J. Hackett threaten to cancel each other out for fantasy purposes. The same goes for Dante Rosario and Jeff King. My rankings indicate this is a good week to gamble on Jonathan Stewart as a RB2. ? The Falcons are one of the only teams I haven't watched a complete game of, so I don't have much to say about them. This will be test of Michael Turner and Roddy White's staying power against competent defenses. Expect a big step back. www.atlantafalcons.ws
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Week 4 Rankings Update

These rankings were updated Friday evening.

The Browns offense leads the NFL in one category: excuses. Their schedule has inarguably been brutal. Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards missed time together in the preseason because of injuries. The offensive line is banged up, and the reserve receivers caught a bad case of Steptoe with Donte Stallworth out of the lineup. The excuses end this week.
www.clevelandbrowns.ws
The Bengals offer Anderson a last chance to salvage his career in Cleveland or the Brady Quinn era begins, probably for good. But I'm not confident the Browns offense will take full advantage. The tough schedule isn't causing Braylon Edwards to drop passes and short-arm others in weak displays of effort. It isn't forcing Anderson to overthrow open targets. While the matchups have been difficult, this was supposed to be a high-octane offense that could compete with anyone. Instead, they have dinked and dunked to terrible effect. Derek Anderson has a grotesque 4.4 yards-per-attempt average. That's in the Thigpen zone.

The big plays have vanished from Cleveland's offense. The word is out on Anderson, who can wing it deep, but struggles with the underneath stuff. So defenses are selling out to take away the vertical threat; Anderson hasn't completed a single pass this season that traveled more than 20 yards in the air. Risk-taking Anderson owners can use him this week, but he's ranked outside of our top-12 quarterbacks because there is a chance he's replaced at halftime.

Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow should bounce back this season, but changing quarterbacks to a first-time starter won't save their value. Jamal Lewis, who doesn't catch many passes and relies on the passing game loosening defenses up, is a shaky RB2. If you are looking for buy-low candidates in the battle of Ohio, I'd take the Bengals.

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Fully expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- www.sandiegochargers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>J.T. O'Sullivan</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Kurt Warner</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>Questionable(elbow)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Aaron Rodgers</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- www.greenbaypackers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Trent Edwards</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- www.buffalobills.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>Fully expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- www.carolinapanthers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>Needs a good game</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>www.clevelandbrowns.ws http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/26905289#26905289</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Brian Griese</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>Ravens D is on fire</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- www.washingtonredskins.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Kerry Collins</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Gus Frerotte</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- www.minnesotavikings.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Kyle Orton</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Matt Ryan</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- www.atlantafalcons.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>JaMarcus Russell</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- www.oaklandraiders.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Joe Flacco</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- www.baltimoreravens.ws </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: We experimented last week with a game-by-game breakdowns in lieu of notes under the rankings. The reaction was very positive, although many long-time readers wanted the notes here as well. Because of some scheduling issues, I'm handling the Daily Dose tomorrow and will put game previews there, with my notes from watching games during the week. Some abbreviated rankings notes are below.

J.T. O'Sullivan is a solid QB1 against a weak New Orleans defense. His 9.4 YPA indicates that his fantasy numbers have room to improve. ? Drew Brees may be without his top three receivers if David Patten is out, but Sean Payton always finds a way. Don't bench him. ? The Bucs and Bears are usually great against the pass, but that hasn't been the case this season. Don't downgrade McNabb or Aaron Rodgers based on their matchups. I also wouldn't downgrade McNabb based on his injury. ? There's no reason to think Trent Green will do any better than Marc Bulger at the helm of the Rams offense. ? Trent Edwards' yardage has been consistent. This week, he should get the scores. ? Brian Griese's high pass attempts are helping to cover up the fact he's not playing very well. That will eventually catch up to him. ? Let's be patient with Matt Schaub and David Garrard for one more week before burying them.
<!--RW-->
[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- www.buffalobills.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>Probable(toe) www.sandiegochargers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Questionable, but should start www.minnesotavikings.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Ranked as if he'll start, probably won't</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>Probable(neck) www.washingtonredskins.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Ryan Grant</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- www.greenbaypackers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Matt Forte</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>tough matchup</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>Probable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- www.atlantafalcons.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Chris Perry</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- www.newyorkjets.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- www.kansascitychiefs.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Jonathan Stewart</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>Probable(foot) www.carolinapanthers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Steve Slaton</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- www.clevelandbrowns.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>Probable(hand) www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Earnest Graham</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Chris Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Correll Buckhalter</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Ranked as if he'll start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- www.arizonacardinals.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Probable(eye) www.baltimoreravens.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Darren McFadden</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>Toe remains a problem www.oaklandraiders.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- www.carolinapanthers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Rashard Mendenhall</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>Is Rashard ready?</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Michael Bush</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Felix Jones</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>Probable(calf)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>LeRon McClain</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Probable(ankle)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Fred Jackson</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Pierre Thomas</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Darren Sproles</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Andre Hall</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Questionable(foot)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Tim Hightower</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Chris Taylor</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Ray Rice</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Jamaal Charles</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Lorenzo Booker</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Mewelde Moore</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Kenny Watson</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>Questionable(hamstring)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Kevin Jones</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Jerome Harrison</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: LaDainian Tomlinson may be far from 100%, but there's no reason to bench him against Oakland if he's in the starting lineup. Darren Sproles could have a nice clean-up game if the Chargers get off to a fast start. ? Expect the Jaguars to run like crazy on Houston after finding great success against Indianapolis. ? Season Pass' workload report points out that Steven Jackson is getting the highest percentage of offensive touches of any back in the league. So much for easing into the season after his holdout. That's helping to maintain his value. Matt Forte and Frank Gore are second on that list.

We're not ranking Brian Westbrook, but he'll be added to the list on the Friday evening update if he's listed as questionable. Correll Buckhalter is a competent replacement, but the Bears run defense is one of the very best, so he's not a great RB2 as a starter. ? This is the week Chris Perry's high workload translates into big yardage. ?The Broncos should run more in this game if they can get ahead of Kansas City early. That makes it a fine week to gamble on Selvin Young. ? Steve Slaton is suddenly a rock solid RB2 playing in a runner-friendly scheme. ? Expect more of the same out of the Oakland backfield with Darren McFadden still not 100%. Split carries against a tough defense limits his value. ? Willis McGahee had the majority of carries for the Ravens last week before hurting his eye. Watch his status for this week.

Remind me how poor my rankings are in the Rotoworld forums

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- www.arizonacardinals.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- www.carolinapanthers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>Probable(hamstring)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- www.greenbaypackers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- www.washingtonredskins.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>Probable(shoulder)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chad Ocho Cinco</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- www.kansascitychiefs.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>DeSean Jackson</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>Probable(-)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- www.sandiegochargers.ws </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>Questionable(thigh)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Eddie Royal</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Antonio Bryant</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>Still No. 1 receiver</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Probable(foot)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Bryant Johnson</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>Not 100%, game-time decision</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Justin Gage</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Lance Moore</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Antwaan Randle El</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Brandon Lloyd</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>Questionable(hip)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Hank Baskett</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Ike Hilliard</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>37</TD><TD>Josh Reed</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>38</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>Probable(hamstring)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>39</TD><TD>D.J. Hackett</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>40</TD><TD>David Patten</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>Questionable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Robert Meachem</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Sidney Rice</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>Questionable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Arnaz Battle</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Kevin Walter</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>Probable(toe)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Justin McCareins</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>Probable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Michael Clayton</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Chansi Stuckey</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Josh Morgan</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: Lance Moore is an excellent pickup for WR3-hungry teams during this week with six teams on a bye. If David Patten is out, I'd expect him to lead the Saints in targets. ? JaMarcus Russell's play has rendered Raiders wideouts unplayable. ? Dwayne Bowe leads the NFL in targets. With Damon Huard returning this week, he should parlay that into WR2 stats. The Chiefs are always trailing and Huard has few options to throw to. Tony Gonzalez is fifth on the list. Other surprises include Antonio Bryant and Santana Moss tied for the fifth most targeted wideouts. They are playing at high volume positions in West Coast offenses, which will keep their numbers afloat. Bryant, however, has an ugly 45% catch rate. Roy Williams, D.J. Hackett, Chris Chambers (35%!), and Braylon Edwards (32%) are some inefficient wideouts doing even worse than Bryant.

With six teams off, some shaky options get WR3 grades this week. After the top-30, it's guesswork. And it's amazing that Matt Jones and Brandon Lloyd have been among the more consistent targets as WR3 options. Jones finally gets a good matchup this week and Jerry Porter's status is uncertain. ? Donte' Stallworth will be added if he makes it through a successful week of practice. ? Chris Chambers is a risky play. He has four touchdowns on only six receptions. ? If Kevin Curtis returns, downgrade DeSean Jackson and Hank Baskett slightly. ? The 49ers should do well against the Saints, but they spread the targets around so well, it's difficult to guess who will step up.
<!--RW-->
[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>Keep eye on back injury</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jerramy Stevens</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Dante Rosario</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Dustin Keller</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Billy Miller</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Donald Lee</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Robert Royal</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: Give Vernon Davis at least another week in your lineup. They are trying to find him down the field a few times a game, but have struggled to connect. ? I talked early about the depth at tight end this season, but there have been a few disappointments thus far. Only the top-seven ranked players this week are safe to put up stats. ? Greg Olsen remains a big part of the Bears offense, so don't bail on him completely. ? Jerramy Stevens could be the latest one-game wonder at tight end, but he's worth grabbing if you need TE2 help to see if he sticks. There is talent there, but he's splitting the position with a few other players. ? L.J. Smith's status is up in the air. ? Billy Miller has averaged 36 yards in the last five games he's played, including 41 last week. You could do worse.

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Josh Scobee</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Martin Gramatica</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Nick Novak</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Perry a Good Bet
It's been several seasons since we've seen Chris Perry perform at a high level. He hasn't been an every-down back since college, and perhaps no player still in the league has been as injury prone as the former first-round pick out of Michigan over the last four years. During the preseason and in Week 1, Perry seemed to lack a second gear.

But it appears the rust is starting to wear off. Perry's now scored in each of his last two games and exhibited terrific quickness on a 25-yard touchdown run in Week 3 against the Giants. Most importantly, Perry is getting the rock. According to the Rotoworld Workload Report, Perry's 66 touches so far account for 35% of the Bengals' offense. That's despite them having faced opponents whose rush defenses rank in the top seven in each week so far.

Cincinnati's matchups get considerably easier from here on out, beginning Sunday versus Cleveland. The Browns are without run-stopping strong safety Sean Jones (knee) and OLB Kamerion Wimbley (groin) was a late add to the injury report as "questionable" Friday. Fellow OLB starter Willie McGinest won't play with a hamstring injury. RDE Robaire Smith is on injured reserve. The Browns' run defense ranks 25th in the NFL and has surrendered a league-high six rushing touchdowns to date.

Carson Palmer is dealing with elbow inflammation. While Palmer is likely to start, he admitted that overuse could be the cause of his injury. The Bengals may consider putting Palmer on a "pitch count" Sunday and continue feeding Perry in an ideal matchup. With third-down back Kenny Watson (hamstring) seeming unlikely to play, there is no obvious threat to Perry's touches.

Gregg Rosenthal rates Perry as a borderline RB1 Sunday. The "meat and potatoes" back is a real good bet for 1-2 touchdowns and 150 total yards.

[SIZE=+1]Important Game-Time Decisions for Week 4[/SIZE]

Arms
Donovan McNabb - Count on McNabb facing his hometown Bears on SNF.
Carson Palmer - Late add to the injury report, but he's very likely to start.
Brett Favre - Even Eric Mangini admits that Favre will start vs. Cardinals.

Wides
Anquan Boldin - Will play, draw rising Jets CB Darrelle Revis in coverage.
Braylon Edwards - Due for better numbers against beatable Bengals DBs.
Laveranues Coles - "Questionable" tag getting old; he's plenty safe to use.
David Patten - Did very little in practice this week; Lance Moore may start.
Kevin Walter - Listed as probable and he will start against Jacksonville.
Kevin Curtis - Getting close, but Curtis is not expected to play this week.
Bryant Johnson - 49ers' split end very iffy, shouldn't be counted on @ NO.
Sidney Rice - Too risky to use; could be limited in game at Tennessee.
Donte' Stallworth - Doubtful with no timetable to make his Browns debut.
Jerry Porter - It wouldn't be a surprise if the Jags sit him one more week.
James Jones - Won't play, will be replaced as No. 3 WR by Jordy Nelson.
Brandon Lloyd - Questionable; shouldn't be in lineups even if he's active.
Justin McCareins - Will play, but Justin Gage a far superior fantasy option.
Devin Hester - Limited all week, a full blown game-time decision vs. PHI.
Terrance Copper - Could stand in as fourth receiver if David Patten's out.

Backs
Adrian Peterson - He's fully expected to start despite "questionable" tag.
LaDainian Tomlinson - Will start against Raiders D he's historically owned.
Steven Jackson - Workhorse should see 25 touches vs. Buffalo on Sunday.
Brian Westbrook - Don't bet on him being active on Sunday Night Football.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Taylor - Both virtually certain to face Houston.
Darren McFadden - Game-time call and a risky bet after possible setback.
Jonathan Stewart - Confidently have him in your lineup against Falcons.
Willis McGahee - Probable and practiced fully Friday; he'll start on MNF.
LenDale White - Will play, but Chris Johnson likely to see more touches.
Chester Taylor - Likely to be active, back up Adrian Peterson against TEN.
LeRon McClain - With McGahee probable, McClain isn't much of a sleeper.
Kenny Watson - If he's out, Chris Perry will be backed up by DeDe Dorsey.
Ahman Green - If he is active on Sunday, it will only be as a third-stringer.
Tony Hunt - Will play, pose a threat to Correll Buckhalter on the goal line.
Aaron Stecker - Could be active to play special teams against the Niners.
Kregg Lumpkin - Look for Ryan Grant to get 20-25 carries at Tampa Bay.

Ends
Antonio Gates - Has two TDs through three games; will start at Oakland.
L.J. Smith - Listed as doubtful and very unlikely to play with a bad back.
Ben Utecht - Whether he plays will come down to a pain-tolerance issue.
Mark Campbell - Blocking backup isn't close to a fantasy option anyway.

Legs
Matt Bryant - Listed as questionable after loss of three-month-old son.

[SIZE=+1]Already Ruled Out for Week 4[/SIZE]

Arms
Brodie Croyle - Has begun light throwing; could return after Week 6 bye.
Vince Young - Has a chance to return as Kerry Collins' backup later on.

Wides
Marques Colston - Not practicing; don't expect him back before Week 7.
Joey Galloway - Out indefinitely with foot sprain, may not be back soon.
Chris Henry - Apparently not in good enough shape to return in Week 5.
Roscoe Parrish - Sidelined the next 4-6 weeks after procedure on thumb.
Laurent Robinson - Michael Jenkins a better play with Robinson injured.
Keenan Burton, Drew Bennett - Donnie Avery promoted to starting l/u.
Darrell Jackson - Should have been dropped by his owners 2 weeks ago.
Malcolm Kelly - Devin Thomas to be more involved in Skins' game plan.

Backs
Willie Parker - Rashard Mendenhall to be PIT's starter through Week 6.
Justin Fargas - Hasn't made any progress in recovery from pulled groin.
Ryan Torain - Broncos say he's on track to practice before Week 8 bye.
Antonio Pittman - NFL's most irrelevant backup is sidelined 4-6 weeks.

Ends
Jeremy Shockey - Saints now optimistic Shockey could return in Week 6.

Legs
Mike Nugent - Jay Feely continuing to function as Jets' starting kicker.

<!--RW-->

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Matchups to Exploit[/SIZE]

Lance Moore vs. 49ers
Times: 1:00PM ET


David Patten (groin) is a game-time decision and was unable to put in a full practice all week, so don't look for him to play. Moore, coming off a seven-catch, 78-yard effort against Denver, is slated to draw the start Sunday across from Devery Henderson. While Nate Clements covers Henderson, Moore splits to the left side of the formation, where he will draw 34-year-old Walt Harris in coverage. Moore also will line up inside often, and with nickel corner Shawntae Spencer (torn ACL) out for the year, the Niners are thin defending the slot. Drew Brees is a huge fan of Moore, having targeted him more than any other healthy Saints wideout to date. Moore's 83% catch rate shows he's highly efficient. He's the perfect bye-week WR3 in points-per-reception leagues.

Ike Hilliard vs. Packers
Time: 1:00PM ET


Michael Clayton swore he'd start when Joey Galloway got hurt, but so far Hilliard has been running as Tampa Bay's first-team flanker. Hilliard lacks homerun speed, but his matchup against Packers CB Tramon Williams is ripe for the PPR picking. Williams, a former undrafted free agent who's been thrust into the lineup with Al Harris nursing a ruptured spleen, served up Miles Austin's 52-yard touchdown catch in Week 3 and is likely to struggle against a crafty veteran route runner like Hilliard. Ike could be good for 6-7 catches Sunday with Charles Woodson draped all over Antonio Bryant on the opposite side. Woodson is a blanket, proving so yet again last week against Terrell Owens (3-17-0).

Eddie Royal @ Chiefs
Time: 1:00PM ET


Chiefs LCB Patrick Surtain has been ruled out another week, so fifth-round rookie Brandon Carr will make his second straight start. The former Grand Valley State Laker would clearly be better utilized in sub-packages at this point in his career and was eaten alive by Roddy White (5-119-1) last Sunday. Royal has predictably returned to earth since Brandon Marshall came off suspension, but he isn't suddenly a fantasy non-factor by any stretch and may not face a better one-on-one matchup for the rest of the season.

Jason Witten vs. Redskins
Time: 4:15PM ET


With the Redskins slated to roll usual left corner Shawn Springs to Terrell Owens' side Sunday and free safety LaRon Landry shading to T.O. in help coverage, Washington could have a hard time containing the tight end. Depending on where Witten lines up, he is expected to be covered by one of Redskins outside linebackers Rocky McIntosh or Marcus Washington. McIntosh has chronically bad knees and Washington a chronically bad hip. Witten, who leads the NFL with eight third-down receptions, is very likely to add multiple more to his total Sunday and is a fair bet to find the end zone for the first time this year. Witten is on pace for a 107-catch, 1456-yard season and it's only a matter of time before the touchdowns start catching up.

[SIZE=+1]Week 4 Matchups to Avoid[/SIZE]

Derek Anderson @ Bengals
Time: 1:00PM ET


Some might say "oh yeah, man, he goes against Cincinnati's defense. He'll light it up." But that's very unlikely. Anderson's preparation was cut in half because Brady Quinn's practice snaps were increased this week, and those reps are key for game planning. D.A. has a real chance to be pulled after the Browns' initial series if the offense goes three and out, Anderson's sacked, or worse, he turns the football over. Anderson may still be feeling the effects of his preseason concussion and admittedly lacks confidence. Executive team adviser Jim Brown certainly thinks it's time for the Quinn era to begin, and as one Cleveland writer put it, "Anderson looks less of a find than a fad" at this point. He shouldn't be in any lineups, and if you're looking for a better option here are just a few: Kerry Collins vs. MIN, Trent Edwards @ STL, Jake Delhomme vs. ATL, David Garrard vs. HOU, J.T. O'Sullivan @ NO, <DEL>Brady Quinn @ CIN</DEL>.

David Patten vs. 49ers
Time: 1:00PM ET


Owners waiting to see if Patten is activated against San Francisco could be living on very shaky ground. The Saints' injury list is so long that they may have a hard time simply formulating a healthy 45-man roster Sunday. The definitely sidelined players:

1. WR Marques Colston
2. TE Jeremy Shockey
3. CB Aaron Glenn
4. FB Mike Karney

The "questionables":

5. Patten
6. LB Troy Evans
7. C Jonathan Goodwin
8. CB Randall Gay
9. DT Antwan Lake
10. TE Mark Campbell
11. WR Terrance Copper
12. RB Aaron Stecker

Some of the questionable players will play, but it is possible that Patten will be declared "active" Sunday and used only in an extremely limited role or simply not play in the game. This prospect makes Patten totally hands-off for fantasy owners.

LenDale White vs. Vikings
Time: 1:00PM ET


The carry share between White and Chris Johnson has been even to this point but Sunday's bout with Minnesota will likely see Johnson take a sizable leap ahead in terms of offensive participation. The Vikings' big uglies inside, Pat and Kevin Williams, are best avoided by opposing rushing attacks and Johnson is easily Tennessee's best back in open space. While LenDale gets all of the Titans' goal-line carries, this is one of the rare weeks he's a bad bet to score and White shouldn't be counted on for more than 10-12 touches.

Brandon Lloyd vs. Eagles
Time: 8:15PM ET


Those expecting big things from Lloyd over the course of the season are likely to be disappointed. His six-catch, 124-yard effort in Week 3 was Lloyd's best in three years and veteran defensive coordinators like Philadelphia's Jim Johnson, who faced him while Lloyd was a Redskin in 2006 and 2007, realize that Chicago's "No. 1 receiver" is easily eliminated from games by physical coverage. Lloyd managed just three catches against the Eagles' press corners during his two years in D.C. It doesn't help that Lloyd is questionable on the injury report with a bum hip. Don't look for him to do much, if anything on Sunday.

[SIZE=+1]Reply Absolutely Not to the Following Questions[/SIZE]

> Should Lane Kiffin hesitate to call an exorcist? (scroll down a bit, on the right)

> Should Al Davis be operating motor vehicles? Or NFL franchises, for that matter?

> Should Scott Linehan buy any more real estate in the state of Missouri?

> Has Charles Rogers ran a route, or on a treadmill..anything...in the last two months?

> Was last night's Obama-McCain debate compelling?

> Is being 0-3 in fantasy football worse than having this guy's life? (For real, watch the video. It's short.)
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Injury Crunch
The following column is a regular feature of Rotoworld's Season Pass. Other Monday morning content includes expanded game recaps including what's beyond the box score, our target report, and our workload report. Click here to check it out.

There were plenty of injuries to go around Sunday, but the most vicious-looking occurred during Anquan Boldin's violent helmet-to-helmet collision with New York Jets safety Eric Smith.

Boldin was down for several minutes before being immobilized and carried off the field. The good news is all tests were negative so it appears Boldin did not sustain any serious head or neck injuries.

While it always feels bit insensitive to talk about fantasy impact when something really serious happens to a player, this is the business we have chosen. Head injuries are tricky, and the Cardinals are probably going to err on the side of caution after such a high-profile hit, as they should. It's not out of the question that Boldin could play against Buffalo, but that probably won't clear up until later in the week. Boldin owners should keep monitoring the situation. Or better yet, just keep reading Rotoworld while we monitor it for you.

In other news, Aaron Rodgers left the game against Tampa Bay with a shoulder injury. The Packers call it a bruise. He's saying it could be separated. Meanwhile, Packer nation is reeling from the combination of remembering what it's like to have a QB who gets injured and watching their old workhorse throw a career-high six TDs. Lots of tear-stained Favre jerseys up there in Dairyland. Green Bay backup Matt Flynn didn't exactly set the world on fire in his debut, going 2-for-5 for a gaudy six yards. If Rodgers can't go, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver owners will want to temper their expectations. Although the Packers do play Atlanta next week, so anything is possible. www.greenbaypackers.ws

Carson Palmer had what appeared to be an attractive fantasy matchup against Cleveland, but never got going because of swelling in his elbow. There's a good chance he will make his return next week against Dallas. If not, all Bengals offensive players take a fantasy hit if Ryan Fitzpatrick is running the show again.

Darren McFadden was visibly hampered by his ongoing toe problems against San Diego. Perhaps he should find out how the Chargers fixed LaDainian Tomlinson's toe, because he seemed to be over them while putting up big numbers against the Raiders.

Gus Frerotte hurt his hand late Sunday and was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson in possibly the least exciting QB rotation in league history. If you're relying on the Vikings passing game in your fantasy league, things probably aren't going well.

Brian Westbrook was held out of the game against the Bears, but he did go through a pre-game workout, which would seem to suggest he is at least close to returning. The Eagles' appeared to be growing dangerously thin at RB when Correll Buckhalter hurt himself making a tackle on Bears S Kevin Payne following an interception. Buckhalter returned, however, and even seemed to have a little extra spring in his step after the break.

Also in the night game, Brandon Lloyd left with a knee injury and did not return. Just when Lloyd was starting to creep back on to America's collective fantasy radar, he's gone. The extent of the injury is not yet known, so he may not be gone for good.

Bits and pieces: Bears CB Charles Tillman sustained a shoulder injury, returned briefly, then left the game for good. ? Denver WR Clifford Russell, like Boldin, was carted off the field Sunday, though he did manage a wave to the crowd as he was leaving. ? Carolina tackle Jeff Otah (ankle) said X-rays were negative and he hopes to play next week. ? Texans S C.C. Brown broke his arm and will have surgery Monday. ? Rams WR Dane Looker sustained a fourth-quarter concussion against the Bills.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Brees leads the way
It's easy to overlook Drew Brees, even though he's the best quarterback in football: Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers are this year's breakout stars. Brett Favre and Kurt Warner are the old heroes reliving their glory days. Tony Romo makes the cover of US Weekly.

All Brees does is put up ridiculous numbers - no matter who the Saints are missing at receiver. Sunday's performance against the 49ers was vintage Brees. San Francisco came into the game with one of the top pass defenses in the NFL. Brees filleted them, with 363 yards on a relatively modest 35 attempts. In the process, Brees made Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, and Robert Meachem look like Pro Bowlers.

Brees is supposed to have a weak arm, but the Saints are stretching the field better than ever before in the Sean Payton era. This is an offense built on setting up explosive plays. Sean Payton helps set Brees apart in fantasy leagues because they stay aggressive on offense, no matter the score. The ruthlessness is reminiscent of the '07 Patriots. They can be up three scores and will still throw haymakers. They go for it on fourth down at the goal line up 19 points. A poor running game and a worse defense will have this effect on the playcalling.

Brees has thrown for the sixth-most yards through four games in the history of the NFL and the schedule doesn't get any harder. Just think what he'll be able to do once Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey get healthy.

[SIZE=+1]Where we are [/SIZE]

The quarter pole is a good time to take stock with your team, your league, and where the 2008 season stands after it's first month. Slow starts have become trends after four games. (I'm talking to you Ryan Grant, Vernon Davis, and Chad Ocho Cinco). Breakout players that keep getting it done are here to stay. (Nice to have you aboard, Chris Johnson and Philip Rivers.)

Assess your team and find what weaknesses are here to stay. Then make a deal.

[SIZE=+1]Season Saver[/SIZE]

Matt Schaub needed a big game to get the press off his back, and he came through with one of the best games of his career: 307 yards and three scores against Jacksonville. The Texans have issues, but their passing game should be solid. Andre Johnson made some disturbingly lazy-looking plays again, but I'd still buy low on him.

[SIZE=+1]Fun with on pace stats: Will come back to Earth division[/SIZE]
The stats below are projected out for 16 games

1. Larry Johnson: 1,660 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, 48 receiving yards: Not a bad time to sell high. www.kansascitychiefs.ws
2. Michael Turner: 1,668 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns, 45 receiving yards: See Larry Johnson www.sandiegochargers.ws
3. Philip Rivers: 4,096 yards, 40 touchdowns, 16 interceptions: Undeniably a QB1 now, but 30 scores is a better target. www.sandiegochargers.ws
4. Santana Moss: 108 receptions, 1,684 yards, 12 touchdowns: Can't keep this up, but can be a top-ten WR. www.washingtonredskins.ws
5. Muhsin Muhammad: 88 catches, 1,148 receiving yards, four touchdowns: Only plays the Falcons twice. www.carolinapanthers.ws
6. Hank Baskett: 52 catches, 828 yards, four touchdowns: Will recede into the bench.

[SIZE=+1]Matchup Play?[/SIZE]

Michael Turner against the Lions and Chiefs: 325 yards, five touchdowns.
Michael Turner against the Bucs and Panthers: 98 yards. www.atlantafalcons.ws

Turner has three catches in four games, hurting his margin for error.

[SIZE=+1]Fun with On Pace Stats: Can keep it up division[/SIZE]

1. Frank Gore: 1,476 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, 60 receptions, 624 receiving yards: Early favorite for total yards championship.
2. Chris Johnson: 1,348 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, 40 receptions, 260 receiving yards: If he stays healthy, he's a RB2 at worst.
3. Matt Forte: 1,388 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, 72 catches, 588 receiving yards: Getting the ball a lot.
4. Reggie Bush: 732 rushing yards, 3.5 yards-per-carry, 12 touchdowns, 124 receptions, 1,028 receiving yards: He's a WR1 in PPR leagues with 50 rushing yards-per-game thrown in.
5. Jay Cutler: 5,100 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, 16 interceptions: The yardage will go down, but not as much as you think.
6. Drew Brees: 5,372 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 9.07 YPA: Okay, won't hit 5,000 yards. But he can still be the top-ranked quarterback this season.
7. J.T. O' Sullivan: 3,848 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 12 interceptions: Lots of yards and not enough scores. Sounds like a Martz quarterback!
8. Jason Campbell: 3,512 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 0 interceptions: He'll start throwing interceptions, of course, but the other numbers are sustainable. www.washingtonredskins.ws
9. Antonio Gates: 60 catches, 820 yards, 12 touchdowns: Even when he's not 100%, he's pretty awesome www.sandiegochargers.ws
10. Matt Jones: 84 catches, 976 yards, four touchdowns: Quietly a steady WR3. www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws
11. Tony Scheffler: 48 catches, 776 yards, eight touchdowns: Every week starter.

[SIZE=+1]Maybe the Rookie won't kill him[/SIZE]

Roddy White has topped fifty yards in each game, and makes at least one deep reception per contest. Perhaps playing with Matt Ryan wasn't the death knell many of us feared. www.atlantafalcons.ws

<!--RW-->[SIZE=+1]Circle Broncos on the schedule[/SIZE]

Denver has the 30th-ranked defense in the league, just ahead of St. Louis and Detroit. They will make teams like Kansas City look better than they really are. This is going to keep Jay Cutler throwing like crazy and should prevent any more survivor pool contestants from picking Denver.

[SIZE=+1]Fun with On Pace Stats: What the ? division[/SIZE]

1. LenDale White: 644 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns, 2.7 yards-per-carry, 0 receiving yards: Top-20 status proof that fantasy is unfair.
2. Joseph Addai: 757 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns, 139 receiving yards: Will different Colts team come out of bye? www.indianapoliscolts.ws
3. Kyle Orton: 3,064 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 16 interceptions: Neckbeard, QB2?
4. David Garrard: 3,132 passing yards, eight touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 332 rushing yards: He's better than this. www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws
5. Brandon Marshall: 154 receptions, 1,990 yards, 15 touchdowns: Maybe that reception record is within reach.
6. Chris Chambers: 32 catches, 784 yards, 16 touchdowns: Yeah, this probably isn't sustainable.
7. Isaac Bruce: 44 catches, 904 receiving yards, eight touchdowns: Suddenly, he's Lee Evans?

[SIZE=+1]The TO in JTO[/SIZE]

J.T. O' Sullivan has been sacked 19 times this season, seven more times than anyone in the league. He's fumbled four times. It's not all his offensive line's fault. O'Sullivan often waits too long for the play to develop and gets hammered. All the pounding made him a little jumpy Sunday against the Saints, and he started throwing the ball to spots instead of to receivers. His accuracy and timing were off. Two red zone interceptions ensued. He's still a great fantasy asset, but opposing defensive coordinators will be watching this Saints tape. Up next: New England.

Meanwhile, Kurt Warner turned the ball over seven times against the Jets, and still had an awesome day for fantasy owners. God bless the Cardinals and fantasy football.

[SIZE=+1]Fun with On Pace Stats: Cause for concern division[/SIZE]

1. Chris Perry: 832 yards, 2.9 yards-per-carry, eight touchdowns, 104 receiving yards: Fear the Fitzpatrick.
2. Chad Johnson: 44 catches, 464 yards, four touchdowns: Fear the Fitzpatrick.
3. Ryan Grant: 744 rushing yards, 3.4 yards-per-carry, -16 receiving yards: See below. www.greenbaypackers.ws
4. Derek Anderson: 2,172 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, 24 interceptions: One unimpressive win doesn't end the march towards Quinn. www.clevelandbrowns.ws
5. Carson Palmer, Marc Bulger, Vince Young, Aaron Rodgers, Jeff Garcia, Tarvaris Jackson: But you knew this already.
6. Donald Driver: 64 catches, 696 receiving yards: Life with Matt Flynn would be ugly.
7. Torry Holt: 60 catches, 748 receiving yards, four touchdowns: Where's the separation?

[SIZE=+1]Some Panic is Acceptable [/SIZE]

1. My worst fears about the Browns offense were realized Sunday. A win may calm the locals, but their passing game looked worse than ever. The Browns were afraid to dial up vertical plays. They ran on third-and-long. Derek Anderson's decision-making was suspect. The running game carried the day, but 138 yards and a 5.75 YPA won't remind anyone of 2007.

2. I had an argument with a fellow Rotoworld writer this offseason. I said the Bengals' backup quarterback situation was among the worst in the league. He had some faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick. I've lost a lot of these arguments over the years, but my side looks pretty good after Sunday.

The most basic tasks of the passing game were difficult for Fitzpatrick to complete. Handoffs were muffed, open receivers were missed by ten yards. Chad Ocho Cinco owners have ever right to be apoplectic after Sunday, despite his touchdown. Carson Palmer's elbow threatens to torpedo the season for all Bengals.

3. The weaknesses of Ryan Grant's game from last season are showing up in spades. He relied on big plays rather than consistent chunks, but the big plays aren't coming this season. He doesn't catch passes, which hurts his margin for error. If the Packers had better options behind him, it would be time for Grant to start losing carries. Fantasy owners can look to bench him, especially if Aaron Rodgers is out. www.greenbaypackers.ws

[SIZE=+1]Committee Time[/SIZE]

1. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart evenly split the carries once again in Carolina. Four games is a trend and Stewart probably isn't taking over anytime soon. Williams actually has 16 more touches on the season, but Stewart has all four of the team's rushing scores. That makes Stewart a solid, if risky, RB2. www.carolinapanthers.ws

2. Chris Johnson had twenty touches to only eleven for LenDale White. This was relatively predictable to see coming considering the matchup, but it's another sign that the Titans coaching staff will lean heavily on Johnson when they need to.

3. Darren McFadden started, but Michael Bush finished with 21 touches to only nine for McFadden. Bush's seven catches were an especially good sign. McFadden continues to recover slowly from his toe injury. www.oaklandraiders.ws

4. The Jaguars' rushing problems hit a new low Sunday. Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor combined for only 57 yards against a previously soft Texans defense. Jack Del Rio responded by calling fewer rushing plays down the stretch, which is a concern. Too bad they can't play the Colts every week. www.jacksonvillejaguars.ws

5. Deuce McAllister looked capable, if not explosive, during twenty carries for the Saints. Pierre Thomas will probably have big days this season, but I can't fault owners for using his roster spot to pick up McAllister.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Steelers Win Battle, Lose War
Monday was a tough night to be a running back, as Willie Parker sat out with a sprained knee and Willis McGahee, Rashard Mendenhall, LeRon McClain, and Carey Davis exited early with various maladies. Mendenhall got the worst news when the Steelers announced immediately after the game that he's headed for season-ending injured reserve with a fractured left shoulder.

Mendenhall finishes his much-hyped rookie season with 58 yards on 19 carries and along with Davis' ankle injury leaves the Steelers' backfield very thin. Parker isn't due back until after the Week 6 bye, so for at least Sunday's game against the Jaguars it'll likely be Mewelde Moore and Gary Russell splitting work. Moore was already the team's third-down back and is the guy to claim off waivers.

While Gregg Rosenthal celebrates Moore joining Matt Forte to potentially make two Tulane alums starting at running back in Week 5, here are some other notes from around football ?

* After leading the Rams to a 0-4 record this season and an 11-25 mark overall, Scott Linehan was fired Monday. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett replaces him and is expected to make his first major change by moving Marc Bulger back into the starting lineup following a one-week benching. While no official decision has been announced, Haslett called Bugler an "upper echelon" quarterback Monday.

Trent Green was 17-of-32 for 236 yards and one interception in a Week 4 loss to the Bills, which was expected aside from his avoiding an injury. Over the past 15 games Bulger has completed just 58 percent of his throws for an average of 6.2 yards per attempt while being picked off 17 times versus 13 scores, but he's hardly been the Rams' biggest problem and at 31 years old deserves a final chance.

* Carson Palmer said Monday that he doesn't need surgery on his injured elbow and definitely plans to return in Week 5, but there's speculation that he'll require Tommy John surgery and coach Marvin Lewis said that the team is preparing as if Ryan Fitzpatrick will start again. Whether or not he's able to practice later this week will ultimately tell the story, but for now be ready with another QB1 option.

Not that Palmer was great himself early on, but Fitzpatrick struggled mightily with a favorable on-paper matchup Sunday, completing just 21-of-35 passes for 156 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions against the Browns. He ran for 41 yards to help make up for some of the passing struggles, but just 14 of his 35 throws went to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Ocho Cinco.

* Plaxico Burress and the Giants avoided a grievance with the NFL by reaching a settlement Monday that keeps his one-game suspension intact but reduces his fine by over $100,000. Burress will sit out Sunday's game against the Seahawks for "insubordination" while Domenik Hixon starts alongside Amani Toomer in his place and Steve Smith remains the Giants' slot receiver.

Meanwhile, Charley Casserly of CBS notes that the NFL "is looking into possible discipline or counseling" for Burress based on two recent domestic disputes that involved restraining orders. Burress may face further suspension from the league even after taking his Giants punishment. Oh, and Jay Glazer of FOX reports that Burress has been fined 40-50 times while playing 50 games for the Giants.

Two-Minute Drill: According to the Lions front office, the team isn't seeking out a trade for disgruntled impending free agent Roy Williams prior to the October 14 deadline ? Coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Brian Griese won't be benched despite a poor Week 4, but did say that Jeff Garcia "was our starter and might be our starter again at some point" ? It was obvious after he dominated the Week 3 workload, but Rudi Johnson has officially overtaken rookie Kevin Smith on the Lions' depth chart heading into back-to-back tough matchups against the Bears and Vikings ? Jason Campbell has 124 throws and 11 runs without a turnover this season and the Redskins are said to be putting together a long-term contract offer for him soon ? Thanks to a one-week roster exemption, the Bengals aren't committed to using Chris Henry immediately after his suspension ? Coach Ken Whisenhunt gave Kurt Warner a vote of confidence Monday after his six-turnover Week 4, so don't count on seeing Matt Leinart soon ? Coach Jeff Fisher said Monday that Alge Crumpler's production "will come" eventually despite five grabs through four games.

Red Zone: Anquan Boldin avoided a serious injury despite being knocked out by an ugly helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday and his status for Week 5 is "up in the air" according to coach Ken Whisenhunt ? Maurice Morris (knee) is iffy to return this week after missing Monday's practice, but Bobby Engram (shoulder) announced "I'm back" after putting in a full workout ? After a week off Jon Kitna (knee) was healthy enough to practice Monday and is set to start versus the Bears ? Randy McMichael was seen using crutches and a boot after aggravating his ankle injury Sunday, but has the bye week to get healthy ? Coach Jon Gruden said Monday that he's "unsure" about Joey Galloway's (foot) status for Week 5 ? Coach Lane Kiffin guessed Monday that Justin Fargas (groin) will return following the Week 5 bye, setting up a very crowded backfield ? Donte' Stallworth (quadriceps) said Monday that he was "real close" to playing in Week 4, indicating that he'll debut after the Browns' bye ? According to coach Brad Childress, Gus Frerotte's hand injury isn't serious and won't keep him from his third straight start Monday night against the Saints.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

It's Moores, Not Moops
As even the Seinfeld novice knows, the correct answer to the question "Who invaded Spain the 8th century?" is Moors, not Moops. Unless you are a true bubble boy, this week's waiver wire will have you worshipping at the alter of the Moores.

Rotoworld football guru Gregg Rosenthal is a Saints watcher and an avid fan of reliable slot receivers of the Troy Brown ilk. When his Spidey sense starts tingling on Saints receivers, it behooves fantasy owners to tag along. Last week Gregg advised grabbing Lance Moore over Robert Meachem, predicting that Moore would make a difference with Jeremy Shockey, Marques Colston, and possibly David Patten out. Moore responded by blowing up with 101 yards and two touchdowns as Drew Brees' reliable go-to receiver. It's time to grab Moore if you haven't already.

Way back in late September of 2005, then Viking Mewelde Moore began a solid month where he was one of the most productive backs in the league. He's not a strong enough runner to succeed with 15-20 carries weekly, but his topflight receiving skills ensure fantasy value with consistent touches. With Willie Parker already laid up with an ambiguous knee sprain, rookie Rashard Mendenhall drew the start on Monday Night Football and lasted just nine carries before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. By overtime Moore was the only running back left on the roster. Gary Russell will be activated next week (and the Steelers surely haven't lost Dookie Davenport's phone number), but Moore is the target for fantasy owners.

On to the waiver wire. Here's how I rank the likely targets at each position this week. Full writeups of each player are below.

WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Bobby Engram/Deion Branch
2. Lance Moore
3. Kevin Curtis
4. Justin Gage
5. Arnaz Battle
6. Kevin Walter
7. Donnie Avery

RUNNING BACKS
1. LeRon McClain
2. Rudi Johnson
3. Deuce McAllister
4. Mewelde Moore
5. Michael Bush
6. Kenny Watson
7. Ryan Torain

QUARTERBACKS
1. Marc Bulger
2. Kyle Orton
3. Joe Flacco
4. Damon Huard
5. Matt Flynn

TIGHT ENDS
1. Zach Miller
2. Anthony Fasano

***

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WIDE RECEIVERS

Bobby Engram / Deion Branch, Seahawks
Coach Mike Holmgren confirmed that he expects both Engram and Branch to be in the lineup against the Giants in Week 5. Both should be grabbed in fantasy leagues, but Engram is the choice here if you have to decide between the two. He should take over immediately as Matt Hasselbeck go-to receiver and will remain heavily-targeted.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Lance Moore, Saints
Moore is a Drew Brees favorite and has been heavily targeted over the past two weeks. He's the choice over Robert Meachem in all leagues, and it's not even close in PPR leagues. The Saints will have to pass heavily to beat the Vikings in Week 5, so Moore is worth another start.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Kevin Curtis, Eagles
DeSean Jackson is going nowhere, and Reggie Brown emerged with his first decent showing of the year in Week 4. I'm betting, though, that Curtis and Jackson will maintain the fantasy value while Reggie Brown slides over to more of a No. 3 option in the passing offense. Check the practice reports, but the early word is that Curtis could play against the Redskins in Week 5.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Justin Gage, Titans www.tennesseetitans.ws
Two weeks ago, Gage was recommended as the main beneficiary of the quarterback switch in Tennessee. After missing a week with a groin injury, Gage bounced back with five catches for 92 yards against the Vikings. He should remain a borderline WR3 as long as Collins is behind center.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Arnaz Battle, 49ers
If Shaun McDonald can flourish in Mike Martz's slot receiver role, Battle can certainly succeed as a fantasy factor as well. His role is increasing weekly, and he may be the best Niner receiving option for PPR leaguers.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues

Kevin Walter, Texans
Walter came through with eight receptions and two touchdowns in Week 4 while Andre Johnson continued his disappearing act. But there's an obvious problem here: he was on most owners' benches, and chasing last week's points is a trap. Johnson will bounce back, and Walter's consistency will suffer as a result. He's worth rostering, but beware of getting burnt if you start playing matchups with Walter.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues

Donnie Avery, Rams
Avery spent last week planning touchdown dances, and he made good on the promise after an impressive 37-yard end around touchdown. More importantly, he has leapfrogged a couple of uninspiring vets to emerge as the starter opposite Torry Holt. Avery saw seven targets against the Bills and certainly has the speed to become a factor after a Week 5 bye.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues


RUNNING BACKS

LeRon McClain www.baltimoreravens.ws
Willis McGahee had just one rushing attempt in the second half of Monday night's game after sustaining a chest injury. McClain continues to pound the ball as the second half closer, and he even threw in a few receptions. As we said last week, he's here to stay.

This is a committee attack, and McClain has the potential for even more if McGahee has trouble staying healthy.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Rudi Johnson, Lions www.detroitlions.ws
Rudi is owned in most leagues, but the new starter in Detroit shouldn't be sitting out there on the wire in any league. He's not a great bet to remain healthy or post big numbers, but he has averaged 5.5 YPC on 18 carries as a Lion.

Owners with a high waiver selection should keep in mind that Rudi faces the brutal run defenses of the Bears and Vikings in the next two weeks. Expectations should be tempered.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Deuce McAllister, Saints
The Saints insisted that it was coming, but we've remained skeptical about Deuce being healthy enough to contribute. He was introduced as the starter Sunday and received 20 carries to Reggie Bush's 10. By Tuesday morning, his head coach stated his intention to get Deuce even more involved in the offense.

Expecting an injury-free season is a bit much, but Deuce should be owned in all leagues right now. Keep him on your bench in Week 5 as the Saints draw the shut-down defense of the Vikings.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Mewelde Moore, Steelers
The aftermath of Monday night's collision with the Ravens left Mewelde Moore as the only healthy back on the active roster. Willie Parker is likely out for at least Week 5, and Rashard Mendenhall is lost for the season. Gary Russell will be activated against the Jags, but Mewelde Moore is the better bet for fantasy value as a dual receiving/running threat. The Steelers have a bye in Week 6, so be prepared for a one-week solution.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Michael Bush, Raiders www.oaklandraiders.ws
As of Sunday's game against the Raiders, Justin Fargas hadn't even attempted to practice since injuring his groin. Darren McFadden's turf toe injury certainly appears to be more problematic than LaDainian Tomlinson's was, so he's no sure bet to be ready to carry the load after the Raiders come off their Week 5 bye.

Injuries could leave Bush with a prominent role once again as the lead back in a juicy Week 6 matchup against the Saints. He's a good enough runner and receiver to be a safe fantasy play as long as the other backs are injured.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Kenny Watson, Bengals
It's worth keeping in mind that starter Chris Perry is a poor bet to stay healthy while also considering that he's failed to show explosion and leads the NFL in fumbles. Watson is a nice stash in addition to being a mandatory handcuff for those relying on Perry weekly.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues

Ryan Torain, Broncos
We recommended stashing him last week, and it's worth repeating again. Coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that Torain is on schedule to return to practice before the team's Week 8 bye. His ultimate role is guesswork right now, but he's talented enough to take advantage if he gets an opportunity.

Recommendation: Monitor in deeper leagues


QUARTERBACKS

Marc Bulger, Rams
One week after being sent to the pine for Trent Green, Bulger is owned in just a third of fantasy leagues. New coach Jim Haslett admitted to being a Bulger man, and he's expected to regain his starting job following the team's Week 5 bye.

The Rams offense is going to show some signs of life at times this season, so Bulger is worth grabbing with reasonable expectations. The potential emergence of rookie Donnie Avery as a second receiving option could help open up the offense.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues

Kyle Orton, Bears
Yes, the picking are slim this week. Orton tied a career high with three touchdown passes, all in the first half, against the Eagles Sunday night. If you're a desperate for a quarterback band-aid the next two weeks, Orton draws the laughable Lions and the uneven Falcons.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues

Joe Flacco, Ravens www.baltimoreravens.ws
Gregg Rosenthal has gone out of his way to tout Flacco's early season play. Part of that is low expectations, but he's also shown a nice pocket presence, surprising mobility, a big arm, and decent decision making. He has a very tough matchup against the Titans in Week 5, so keep him on your bench if you decide to stash him.

Recommendation: Worth monitoring in deeper leagues

Damon Huard, Chiefs www.kansascitychiefs.ws
Herman Edwards decided to play to win the game after all, and Huard was solid enough to lead the Chiefs to their first victory in 12 games. He'll stay behind center this week against the Panthers before the Chiefs go on bye in Week 6 and then face a forbidding Titans defense the following week. He makes for a mediocre emergency option this week but nothing more.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a bye week fill-in

Matt Flynn, Packers www.greenbaypackers.ws
The early word on Aaron Rodgers' shoulder injury is that there's no structural damage and he has a chance to play Sunday against the Falcons. If he can't go, however, Matt Flynn would be tabbed over fellow rookie Brian Brohm. Either way, you don't want Flynn quarterbacking for your fantasy team in Week 5.

Recommendation: Pass


TIGHT ENDS

Zach Miller, Raiders www.oaklandraiders.ws
Miller is easily JaMarcus Russell's most reliable receiving target, but his numbers had suffered after the Raiders kept him in protection more often early in the season. In Week 4, however, he exploded for five catches, 95 yards, and a touchdown. It could have been even better as Miller tripped going for a catch at the goal-line. He's a fine bye week fill-in with a high ceiling.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues

Anthony Fasano, Dolphins www.miamidolphins.ws
Fasano remains a potential low-end No. 1 tight end, but he may have been dropped due to bye week roster crunches. If so, feel free to pounce on him.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues


DEFENSES
Falcons ? The quality fantasy defenses are doubtlessly already owned in your league, so bye week patches are hard to come by. Keep an eye on the Packers quarterback situation this week. If Aaron Rodgers is unable to go, the Falcons could take advantage of an overwhelmed rookie seventh-rounder in Matt Flynn.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Raiders Finally Fire Kiffin
While I'm too crushed to write a proper introduction, here are some notes from around football ?

* After weeks of drama, speculation, and mind-boggling details about Oakland's dysfunction, Lane Kiffin finally got the ax Tuesday. Owner Al Davis held a press conference to seemingly give a public, step-by-step accounting of Kiffin's failings that included accusing him of lying and spreading propaganda, among several other bizarre allegations like being responsible for trading Randy Moss.

Offensive line coach Tom Cable got the nod to replace Kiffin as the next Raiders coach to be fired and brings an underwhelming resume to the table. Cable was briefly a college offensive coordinator at both UCLA and Colorado, and led Idaho to an 11-35 record as head coach. He does have plenty of experience coaching offensive linemen and the Raiders' running game has at least been a strength.

Under Kiffin the Raiders' offense was extremely run-heavy, but that changed last week as the team attempted 37 passes versus 21 runs while nearly upsetting the Chargers. According to Davis the change came because Kiffin was forced to split play-calling duties with Greg Knapp, which along with Davis remarking that Kiffin was against drafting JaMarcus Russell suggests that more passing is ahead. www.oaklandraiders.ws

Whatever the case don't expect things to suddenly improve without Kiffin, who at least got the team to be competitive of late and went 5-15 (.250) after Art Shell, Norv Turner, and Bill Callahan combined to go 19-61 (.238) coaching Oakland in the previous five years. In other words, Kiffin was far from the main problem and has a good shot to win 10 games coaching somewhere before the Raiders do.

* Responding to widespread calls for Brady Quinn, Browns general manager Phil Savage gave Derek Anderson a pretty strong vote of confidence Monday, saying that he "still gives us our best chance to win" and "deserves the right to continue to try to fight and help our offense move the football." Anderson didn't do a whole lot of football moving Sunday, throwing for 138 yards, but did beat the Bengals. www.clevelandbrowns.ws

Savage may still have some semblance of confidence in Anderson, but it sounds like coach Romeo Crennel's faith in him is nearly gone. Crennel admitted that he considered yanking Anderson in favor of Quinn in the third quarter, but "decided to give him another chance." Crennel did add that Anderson "took advantage of it and finished the game on a good note."

It seems unlikely that Savage would defend Anderson during the bye week if the Browns weren't planning to give him at least one more chance to start in Week 6, but clearly Quinn is on the verge of claiming the job. Unfortunately for Anderson he returns from the bye with four consecutive unfavorable matchups against the Giants, Redskins, Jaguars, and Ravens, so the deck is stacked against him.

* Explaining his decision to sit out Sunday night's game against the Bears, Brian Westbrook said Tuesday that his injured ankle felt fine running straight ahead in warmups, but gave him trouble cutting and moving laterally. "We warmed up and we tested it, but it just wasn't right," Westbrook said. "You'd hate to go out there and injure it more, and then be out two, three, four weeks."

Westbrook sat out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday practices last week before being a game-time decision, so his participation this time around should reveal his status. Westbrook will likely be a game-time call again and if he sits Correll Buckhalter becomes a decent RB2 option given the matchup against a mediocre Redskins run defense and his 90 total yards with a touchdown last week.

Two-Minute Drill: As expected, coach Jim Haslett announced Tuesday that Marc Bulger will resume starting following the Rams' bye ? After giving him 20 carries in Week 4 coach Sean Payton said Tuesday that Deuce McAllister will be a big part of the offense going forward, suggesting that Pierre Thomas is now third on the depth chart ? Kevin Smith vented Tuesday after being benched in favor of Rudi Johnson, saying that he "didn't get the opportunity" and is "good enough to make as many plays as anyone on this offense" ? Coach Wade Phillips said Tuesday that he regrets giving Marion Barber only eight carries while passing 47 times in Sunday's loss to the Redskins ? Asked Tuesday about reports that he screamed at coaches to get him the ball more in Week 4, Vernon Davis said: "It was just me being me" ? In one of the clearest "of course they did" moments of all time, the Bengals signed first-round bust/off-field mess Cedric Benson and he may back up Chris Perry in Week 5 ? Ricky Williams revealed Tuesday that he was tempted to smoke marijuana during Miami's bye week, but "the urge didn't last very long."

Red Zone: Carson Palmer (elbow) reiterated Monday that he plans to suit up this week against the Cowboys, but it's worth noting that he said similar things before sitting out Sunday's game ? Aaron Rodgers is reportedly hoping to play through a sprained shoulder this week, but whether he can practice Wednesday will likely reveal his exact status ? If Rodgers is unavailable Sunday against the Falcons, Mike Flynn will get the start rather than rookie Brian Brohm ? Bryant McKinnie returned Tuesday from his four-game suspension, which is good news for Adrian Peterson ? Randy McMichael will miss at least eight weeks with a broken tibia and may end up on season-ending injured reserve, giving Joe Klopfenstein the chance to emerge as a TE2 option ? With Rashard Mendenhall (shoulder) done for the season and Willie Parker (knee) ruled out for Week 5, the Steelers signed Najeh Davenport and may give him goal-line work this Sunday ? Deion Branch (knee) looks likely to have at least a limited role in Week 5 after taking first-team reps in practice Tuesday ? Tom Brady (knee) has chosen a surgeon and is set to go under the knife in Los Angeles soon, officially beginning his comeback.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Rodgers Iffy for Week 5
Lane Kiffin's firing was already discussed quite a bit in yesterday's column, but if you haven't yet seen Al Davis' truly epic press conference click here. Seriously, you won't be sorry. My favorite moments were Davis tracing words with his finger while reading from a letter and smiling while asking someone in the room "how's your mother?" moments before absolutely eviscerating Kiffin.

Of course, choosing a favorite moment is like a parent choosing a favorite child, because in reality the whole thing kept me fascinated non-stop for an entire hour and like a great film previously unseen goodies emerge with each new viewing. If you only watch one possibly insane 79-year-old Hall of Famer attempt to ruin the career of the 33-year-old coach he just fired, make it this one. Two thumbs up!

While you enjoy the feel-good press conference of the year, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Anquan Boldin amazingly avoided a serious injury from the helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked him out cold Sunday, but his Week 5 status is in question. Boldin showed off a busted lip and swollen jaw Tuesday and then skipped Wednesday's practice, with coach Ken Whisenhunt noting afterward that he has to be cleared medically before the Cardinals can officially determine his availability. www.arizonacardinals.ws

That he hasn't simply been ruled out yet is clearly a sign that Boldin may suit up against the Bills, but his odds of playing are seemingly less than 50-50 and he'll be a game-time decision at best. Larry Fitzgerald can probably count on 15-plus targets if Boldin sits and Steve Breaston would be an intriguing WR3 option after nearly matching his career totals with an out-of-nowhere breakout Sunday.

* Mewelde Moore always impressed me in limited action during four seasons in Minnesota and will now get a one-week chance to shine in place of Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall. The bad news for Moore is that it's relatively tough to run on the Jaguars, who've allowed 4.1 yards per carry through four games while facing Marshawn Lynch, Joseph Addai, Chris Johnson, and Steve Slaton.
www.buffalobills.ws
Moore also will likely lose goal-line chances to Carey Davis or Najeh Davenport, which limits his upside. However, there's good news too. Moore was Pittsburgh's third-down choice even before the injuries to Parker and Mendenhall, and figures to be targeted on plenty of screens and dump-offs whether he can get anything going on the ground or not.

Expectations should definitely be held in check given that he hasn't gained more than 50 total yards since Week 2 of last season, but Moore has averaged a solid 4.8 yards on 273 career carries, is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, and can pass block, so he should dominate snaps Sunday. Don't go benching stars for him or anything, but it won't surprise me if Moore is a solid RB2 this week.

* Aaron Rodgers was limited in practice Wednesday and what few reps he took were merely handoffs, as the Packers kept him from throwing while monitoring his sprained shoulder. "He'll be reevaluated Friday," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's gotten better each day. I'm going to give him every chance to play in the game against Atlanta." www.greenbaypackers.ws

Rodgers reportedly expressed optimism about playing through the pain, but not doing anything until Friday leaves little room for error. His owners definitely need to check back on Rodgers' status before committing to him for Week 5 and even then he may be a game-time decision. According to McCarthy, Matt Flynn will start in Rodgers' place if needed, but Brian Brohm "is right there ready to go."

* My weekly Thursday live chat begins at 3:00 p.m. ET and my goal for this week is to make sure that at least 10 percent of the questions answered are related to football in some way. Admittedly that'll be a change from the usual assortment of pop-culture stuff, creepy inquiries about Tiffany Simons, and Gregg Rosenthal jokes, but it recently came to my attention that this is a football column.

Two-Minute Drill: LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) www.sandiegochargers.ws is absent from the injury report for a favorable Week 5 matchup against Miami ? Brady Quinn www.clevelandbrowns.ws said Wednesday that his practice reps nearly doubled leading up to Week 4, providing more evidence that Derek Anderson is on very thin ice ? Deuce McAllister said Wednesday that his surgically repaired knees held up well after 20 carries in Week 4 ? Laurence Maroney (shoulder) and LaMont Jordan (foot) are absent from the injury report, so the Patriots' backfield is again very crowded ? Jeff Garcia and Luke McCown are expected to get increased practice reps this week, signaling that coach Jon Gruden may be souring on Brian Griese as the starter ? Coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday that newly signed Cedric Benson will get "some snaps" in Week 5, but he's still far from a real threat to Chris Perry ? Jerry Porter (hamstring) is absent from the injury report, but isn't a viable WR3 option yet after catching just one pass in his Jaguars debut ? DeSean Jackson is on track for 1,308 yards, which would be the fourth-most of ever by a rookie receiver ? Charged Tuesday with trafficking cocaine in Denver, Travis Henry's career is officially over.

Red Zone: Bobby Engram (shoulder) and Deion Branch (knee) participated in full practices Wednesday and figure to make their season debuts in Week 5 ? Vince Young (knee) returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis and may back up Kerry Collins this week ? Willis McGahee (ribs) wore a red no-contact jersey in practice Wednesday and looks like a poor Week 5 bet against the Titans' stout defense ? President Bill Polian said Wednesday that Bob Sanders (ankle) won't return before November, leaving the Colts' run defense in rough shape ? On the other hand, slated Week 5 returns by offensive linemen Tony Ugoh, Ryan Diem, and Jeff Saturday are great news for the Colts' offense ? Brandon Lloyd (knee) sat out Wednesday's practice and was spotted wearing a large brace ? Asked Wednesday whether Brodie Croyle (shoulder) would reclaim his starting job from Damon Huard once he's healthy, coach Herm Edwards responded that "we'll talk about that when Brodie comes back" ? Joey Galloway (foot) is unlikely to return this week after sitting out Wednesday's practice, leaving him sidelined for a third straight game.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Week 5 Rankings
I usually start the rankings with some long-winded observations gleaned from watching games during the week, and I'll get to those eventually. Sometimes, however, pure numbers can tell a better story about where this surprising season is headed. Here are the fourteen eye-opening facts gleaned from our target report.

1. Shaun McDonald has more targets this season than Roy Williams. This could turn into a disastrous contract year for Williams and his owners if Jon Kitna gets replaced.

2. Antonio Chatman has the same amount of targets the last two weeks than Chad Ocho Cinco.

3. A different Colts wideout has led the team in targets each week. The big three (Wayne, Harrison, Gonzalez) are only six targets apart on the season. In terms of attention, the distinction between starter and reserve here is minor.

4. A similar phenomenon is happening in San Francisco, where Bryant Johnson, Isaac Bruce, and Arnaz Battle are taking turns being JTO's top option. Battle could be Martz's San Francisco version of Shaun McDonald.

5. Lance Moore has 17 targets the last two weeks. The next closest Saints wideout has six. This year's Wes Welker is not going away.

6. Lee Evans has only 25 targets in four weeks, which makes his 332 yards remarkable. He's getting more yards-per-target than anyone in football. Look for him to get more targets moving forward, which can only help.

7. Kevin Walter has more targets over the last two weeks than Andre Johnson. (Both have plenty). While Owen Daniels is a huge factor, the lack of any decent third receiver in Houston makes Walter an underrated asset for owners.

8. Dwayne Bowe leads the NFL with 46 targets. No other Kansas City wideout has more than 10. Vive le Huard!

9. Laurence Maroney and Jonathan Stewart haven't been targeted on a pass yet. LenDale White has once.

10. Vincent Jackson has five more targets than Chris Chambers on the season; Chambers only has five the last two weeks. The "number one" tag in San Diego is meaningless and Chambers' high-wire act of scoring long touchdowns every week can't keep up.

11. Greg Jennings (36 targets) has clearly emerged as the go-to receiver with Aaron Rodgers. Donald Driver's targets (24) are solid, but they are closer to Jordy Nelson (17) than to Jennings.

12. Antonio Gates is seeing the fewest targets/game of his career. He's not quite over that foot injury.

13. Vernon Davis is averaging 2.5 targets per week. That's fewer than Marcedes Lewis, Reggie Kelly, and Daniel Graham. Davis simply can't be trusted in lineups at this rate.

14. Santana Moss has seen a minimum of nine targets in each game this season. Once a boom-or-bust weekly option, Moss is as steady as a metronome this year.

For projections of all the rankings below, head to Season Pass. I'll also be chatting there with subscribers on Friday afternoon.

[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>Line is getting healthy</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Kurt Warner</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Eli Manning</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Trent Edwards</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Brian Griese</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Aaron Rodgers</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>Ranked as if he'll start</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>13</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>14</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Kyle Orton</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>J.T. O'Sullivan</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Chad Pennington</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Gus Frerotte</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Matt Cassel</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Kerry Collins</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Matt Ryan</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Joe Flacco</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Ryan Fitzpatrick</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>Palmer looks unlikely to start.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: The Steelers are a lot easier to attack through the air than on the ground. David Garrard, who remembered how dangerous a runner he can be, will present a lot of problems for Pittsburgh. He's a solid option. ? Ben Roethlisberger is also set up for his best game this season. His biggest problem has been that the team doesn't call many pass plays ? they are 30th in the league. But with no running backs left, they should attack Jacksonville through the air. The Jaguars are the fourth-worst team in the league in yards-per-attempt allowed. They remain an overrated defense. ? Matt Cassel has a lot of pressure to improve quickly. The Patriots beat writers think that Kevin O'Connell could get in the mix sooner than later if Cassel doesn't play well. San Francisco's pass defense is a tough matchup on paper, but the Saints just embarrassed them.

Carson Palmer isn't listed. He'll be added if it looks like he has a decent chance to play. I have my doubts. ? Aaron Rodgers also looks like a game-time decision, but seems more likely to play. Their offense has issues beyond this injury. The offensive line has struggled to protect Rodgers, who has looked more like a normal first-year starter the last two weeks. Plenty of great stuff, but also inconsistent accuracy and decision-making. The Falcons are a plus matchup, though, if he does play. ? Matt Schaub played one of the best games of his life last week despite getting nothing from Andre Johnson. He still struggles to stretch the field, but led the Texans to scores on their final five drives. The Colts remain a tough matchup for the pass, though, so we'd bench him this week. ? Kurt Warner remains a rock solid fantasy asset, but he can only afford so many total implosions like last week.

Brian Griese faces a tissue soft Denver defense in a matchup of weakness on weakness Sunday. I'll bet on Griese enjoying a nice revenge game. He's almost single-handedly losing games for Tampa, but Jon Gruden will not stop throwing, and their dink-and-dunk offense matches up well with Denver's undisciplined unit. ? The Saints abused the 49ers offensive line last week and JTO got rattled big-time. He made some crazily inaccurate passes and seemed to lose his composure. JTO fever will return, but not this week. Look for the Patriots, coming off a bye, to send the kitchen sink at O'Sullivan. ? Look for Peyton Manning to have his first huge game against a Houston secondary that is among the worst in the league. Indy's healthy offensive line should open up the play-calling possibilities. They can play hurry up early in the game.
<!--RW-->[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>Slowly healing</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Matt Forte</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>Ranked as if he'll start, but we doubt he will</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Steve Slaton</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Earnest Graham</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Brandon Jacobs</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jonathan Stewart</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Chris Johnson</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Ryan Grant</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Chris Perry</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Mewelde Moore</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>Should start</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>Ribs makes him questionable</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>LeRon McClain</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>McGahee injury impacts him</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Ricky Williams</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Correll Buckhalter</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>Move him to 21 if Westbrook is out</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Fred Jackson</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Felix Jones</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>Hard to trust coaching staff</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Derrick Ward</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Kevin Jones</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Chris Taylor</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Darren Sproles</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Tim Hightower</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Gary Russell</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Andre Hall</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Kevin Smith</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Dominic Rhodes</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Maurice Morris</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>Questionable(knee)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: After a one-game reprieve, Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew owners are back in purgatory. The backs look fine, but Houston of all teams blew up their interior offensive line up last week. It's not a good sign when Montell Owens and David Garrard lead the team in rushing. Jacksonville's makeshift group is better at pass blocking than mauling people and they face a tough test against Pittsburgh. The Steelers can stop the run, no matter who they are missing. MoJo is a low-grade RB2, while Taylor is a flex play at best. ? Edgerrin James got goal-line carries over Tim Hightower last week, which is a significant development if it keeps up. Hightower's upside has been overstated. James never gets hurt and Hightower has struggled. At best, they will split carries. Hightower is averaging only three yards-per-carry in non-short yardage situations.

Steve Slaton's biggest play last week was a 30-yard touchdown catch where he ran a go route lining up as a wide receiver with Andre Johnson in the slot. Slaton is a very poor man's Chris Johnson, but he has a coach that will use his receiving skills more creatively. That should lead to steady output in PPR leagues. This is a great week to use him. ? Julius Jones' rebirth has been built off broken tackles and creative changes of direction. The Giants will do a better job of tackling; expect a big step back. ? Earnest Graham is a dicey weekly play because he's splitting snaps almost evenly with a rejuvenated Warrick Dunn. Did not see that coming. This a week, however, where Graham is almost a must play. Tampa's line, especially Donald Penn, is making great strides. They will push Denver around.

Ryan Grant's problems extend beyond his struggling offensive line. He's missing some cutback lanes that are available. This is an excellent matchup for him, but his poor play makes him an average RB2 at best ? with Rodgers in the lineup. He'll move down if Rodgers is out. ? This is a great week to use Jonathan Stewart. Even though the Panthers are hesitant to lean on him too much, he's in the game near the goal line. DeAngelo Williams is a better flex option than usual against Kansas City. ? Michael Turner's numbers fluctuate wildly depending on the matchup. Green Bay is no longer a tough one. They are 29th in rushing yards and yards-per-carry allowed, and now they are without Cullen Jenkins and may be missing A.J. Hawk.

Chris Johnson will test whether he's matchup-proof this week. I'm afraid to bench him, even against the Ravens. Johnson has done a better job than LenDale White in short-yardage, so you wonder if he'll get more chances near the goal line. White has struggled in every facet in his game, but his league-leading touchdown total has kept him in the top-20 fantasy backs. That can't last. Can it? ? It looks like Ahman Green will replace Chris Taylor this week as Steve Slaton's backup. Taylor quietly split carries last week, but did little with the opportunity.

[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>No Boldin would help him</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>Ranked as if Rodgers is starting, falls out of top 35 otherwise</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>DeSean Jackson</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Eddie Royal</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Lance Moore</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>Here to stay</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Bobby Engram</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>Ranked as if Palmer is out</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>Not an option if Flynn starts</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Anthony Gonzalez</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Antonio Bryant</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Amani Toomer</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Chad Ocho Cinco</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>Ranked as if Palmer is out </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Steve Breaston</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>Boldin's potential replacement</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Kevin Walter</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>Probable(toe)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Justin Gage</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>Probable(knee)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>39</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>40</TD><TD>Robert Meachem</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>41</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>Wait a game</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>42</TD><TD>Arnaz Battle</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Brandon Lloyd</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>Keep eye on status</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Bryant Johnson</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>David Patten</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>Questionable(groin)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Sidney Rice</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>Questionable(knee)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Ike Hilliard</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Josh Reed</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Antwaan Randle El</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Justin McCareins</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Greg Camarillo</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>D.J. Hackett</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: The Redskins secondary has done a fantastic job this season, holding down the best passing attacks in the league to respectable numbers. Shawn Springs is ageless and is building on a huge '07 season. With Kevin Curtis possibly returning, it's not a great week to use Reggie Brown, who we think will pass Hank Baskett on the depth chart. ? Jerry Porter was not himself last week, and can't be used in fantasy leagues until he gets more snaps. Mike Walker is finally showing some of his potential for Jacksonville, so everyone but Matt Jones is canceling each other out. Jones remains one of the most consistent receivers this season. Unlike the estimable Mr. Gleeman, I think he's for real. He's shown great hands and improved routes. I like that he hasn't made his usual flashy plays and the team isn't using him deep ? yet. There is room for improvement.

Roddy White's development continues. He now breaks tackles and has improved his intermediate routes. Matt Ryan is better than expected this quickly and Atlanta's defense will keep them throwing to stay in games. It was impressive to see Ryan run the no huddle offense so well in the first quarter of a game early in his rookie season. ... Bobby Engram is the preferred play over Deion Branch because he's coming back from a broken bone, not a torn ACL. Engram was far more consistent last season when both players were healthy.

When I compared Lance Moore to Welker, I meant his skills and style of play. He will also be playing on the best spread offense in the league, like New England was last year. He won't lead the league in receptions, but 85 catches is a reasonable goal. ? Derrick Mason could have surprising WR3/4 value if Joe Flacco continues to impress. This isn't a great week to use him, though.

Greg Jennings, despite the great start, is not an option if Matt Flynn is Green Bay's quarterback. Donald Driver could have a great game if Rodgers is out there. Brent Grimes helped to make Muhsin Muhammad look a lot younger and faster last week. He could do the same for Driver. ? Steve Breaston impresses me every time I see him play. The Bills are a tough matchup, but Breaston can absolutely put up solid WR3 stats if Anquan Boldin is out. Boldin isn't ranked here. ? Andre Johnson's struggles are mind-boggling. He's dropping passes and seems to be running lazy routes. Since the passing game around him is coming back, we fully expect him to as well. ? Kevin Walter is developing into a legitimate number two receiver. He's producing with Johnson around, which he didn't last season. Like Lance Moore, he gets bonus points for degree of difficulty on his catches. He's bulked up and can take a hit now. He could be a WR3 moving forward. ? D.J. Hackett only has six targets in two games since Steve Smith returned and is starting to look droppable in 12-team formats.<!--RW-->
[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Anthony Fasano</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>John Carlson</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>Questionable(back)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Billy Miller</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>Role unclear</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Donald Lee</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Kevin Boss</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jerramy Stevens</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Dante Rosario</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Robert Royal</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 5 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Josh Scobee</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Martin Gramatica</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>Questionable(-)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>John Carney</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Dan Carpenter</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Nick Novak</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Expect More Moore in Week 5
Already minus Pro Bowl pass-catchers Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey, Drew Brees will also be without David Patten this week after he was ruled out for Monday night's game with a groin injury. Brees has shown a remarkable ability to post huge numbers regardless of who he's passing to?racking up 363 yards and three touchdowns last week?but he'll be put to the test against the Vikings.

Reggie Bush figures to get double-digit targets after having 40 passes thrown his way through four games and Billy Miller will see most of the tight end action, but the injuries to Colston and Patten suddenly leave Lance Moore as the Saints' top wideout. Moore was targeted a team-high 10 times last week, totaling 101 yards on seven catches, and is quietly emerging as a legitimate WR2 option.

Devery Henderson will also start Monday night and Robert Meachem should see the most action of his young career as the Saints' third receiver, but Moore is the best bet by far. Gregg Rosenthal's weekly Goal Line Stand rankings peg Moore as the No. 21 receiver this week and that sounds about right to me. He needs to be owned in all leagues and can be penciled in for 6-8 catches per week for now.

While Moore was the subject of approximately 1,027 of the questions submitted during my live chat Thursday afternoon, here are some other notes from around football ...

* Along with Moore, Steve Breaston is another receiver with some sneaky upside this week. It looks like Anquan Boldin will sit out Sunday's game against the Bills after last week's helmet-to-helmet knockout, leaving Breaston to start alongside Larry Fitzgerald. Kurt Warner has thrown 35 passes per game and chucked it 57 times in last week's wild loss to the Jets, so Breaston could easily get 10 targets. www.arizonacardinals.ws

He's not as much of a sure thing to produce as Moore, so don't count on him as a WR2 play, but Breaston is a solid WR3 option with plenty of short-term upside. He rarely got a chance to play offense prior to last week, but definitely looked to be a capable receiver and has always shown big-play potential as a return man. His value is tied directly to Boldin's status, but don't be afraid to give him a shot.

* LenDale White was unavailable for the second straight practice Thursday with shoulder soreness and Ravens linebacker Bart Scott added insult to injury with a great quote when asked to compare White to Chris Johnson. "Let's see, a fat guy and the fastest guy in the 40," Scott said. "Not fat, I'm sorry. Plump." My sincere hope is that we can all agree that White's nickname should now be "Plumpy."

As in Plumpy's fantasy upside is pretty limited at this point even if his shoulder is healthy enough for him to suit up Sunday. He's averaging a measly 2.7 yards on 60 carries this season and has topped a four-yard average in just four of his last 20 games. He's still a scoring threat thanks to goal-line chances, but even those are starting to go Johnson's way more often, making the rookie a must-start.

* Ahman Green returned to practice after missing two games with an ankle injury and coach Gary Kubiak said Thursday that he's "looked good," but also went out of his way to make it clear that rookie Steve Slaton remains the starter. "He's a hard guy to get off the field right now," Kubiak said. "We thought we were going to split time with him ? but he won't come off the field and that's a good thing."

Explaining the planned Week 5 workload split, Kubiak added that Slaton "will do whatever he feels like he can handle and then Ahman will take the rest of it." In other words, Slaton is the clear workhorse heading into a favorable matchup with the Colts and should get his usual 15-20 touches after averaging 14 carries and five catches through three games. He's a borderline RB1 option this week.

Two-Minute Drill: Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto revealed Thursday that Rudi Johnson and Kevin Smith will likely split snaps equally this week, but added that the offense will be more aggressive in the passing game ? Lee Evans and the Bills agreed Thursday to a $37.25 million extension that includes $18 million in guaranteed money and will keep him in Buffalo through 2012 ? Chad Henne took most of the practice reps during the Dolphins' bye, but there's no indication that Chad Pennington's job is in danger ? Responding to speculation that he's souring on Brian Griese, coach Jon Gruden angrily announced Thursday that the Bucs "don't have a quarterback controversy" and "Griese is the starter" ? Owner Al Davis claimed earlier this week that Lane Kiffin was against Oakland drafting JaMarcus Russell, but Russell said Thursday that Kiffin was "a good guy, a good coach" ? Through four weeks Ronald Curry ranks last among NFL receivers in catch percentage, hauling in just three of his 13 targets to rate just slightly ahead of Todd Heap, Ashley Lelie, Marty Booker, and Justin McCareins.

Red Zone: Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) sat out another practice Thursday, but coach Mike Tomlin noted afterward that "he's going to be fine" for Sunday night's matchup with the Jaguars ? Deion Branch and Bobby Engram are both absent from the injury report and will make their season debuts Sunday, officially closing the window on Koren Robinson's fantasy potential ? Willis McGahee (ribs) was limited Thursday for a second straight practice, but coach Cam Cameron alleged afterward that "to me he looks like he's full speed and ready to play" ? Jeremy Shockey (groin) ran on the side at Thursday's practice and is targeting a Week 6 return ? Justin Gage returned from a groin injury to catch five balls for 92 yards last week, but has missed back-to-back practices with knee problems ? Vince Young (knee) practiced fully Thursday and will probably replace Chris Simms as Kerry Collins' backup this week ? Antonio Gates (hip) is a lock to play this week after returning to practice Thursday ? Joey Galloway (foot) can now be ruled out for Week 5 after sitting out yet another practice Thursday ? Roy Williams joined the injury report Thursday with a knee injury, which isn't a good sign after a bye.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Re: Fantasy Football News 2008

Trade Tips: Exploiting Emotion

Contrary to popular belief, book- and column-writing hasn't made me filthy rich. So I have a "day job" -- I'm a Creative Director at an advertising agency. Really enjoy it. Not only can I wear sandals to work (ill-advised during Boston winters), but it's also challenging to know my target audience enough to help make them buy something. Translation: I'll soon be inside your head. Does that make you uncomfortable? It should. I'm not good at keeping secrets. Like when you ran over that drifter on that desolate country road and left him for dead. I'd bury that one a bit deeper into your subconscious if I were you.

My ad career has oddly helped me in fantasy football. Because making a trade offer is also a type of marketing. You have effectively pitch/sell your product (i.e. a player) to your consumer (i.e. your trade partner). You have to know what he/she needs, why he/she needs it, and what's going to make him/her act (i.e. buy). And just like with everyday consumers, a fantasy owner's decision to "purchase" always comes down to two mindsets ? Rational vs. Emotional. Rational: I need a WR. Emotional: I'm also raging Texans homer, so I might wildly overpay for Kevin Walter.

So get inside your league mates' heads. Know their roster/lineup needs (Rational) and what team/player crushes you might exploit (Emotional). Know their past trade tendencies ? i.e. are they fair, or do they only trade if they're treating you like Zed treated Marcellus beneath the pawn shop? And, whenever possible, make sure the player you're offering removes soap scum and those tough stains the other guys leave behind . . .with a lemony fresh scent.

RISERS

Steven Jackson It took a couple games, but former coach Linehan finally fed SJax, and he responded against a solid Bills defense. The window may have closed to buy low, but maybe his owner has bye week panic, so give it a shot using the "The Rams are a mess!" sales pitch.

Rudi Johnson: Yes, he's been promoted to starter. But this is the Lions we're talking about. They've got the Bears (#6 rush D) and Vikes (#3) coming up next two weeks, mixed in with the 'Skins (#11), Bears again, Panthers (one rush TD against), and Bucs (zero rushing TDs against).

And it's not like Rudi is spry. But his value hasn't been higher all season ? not much Rational evidence that he still blows -- and many Emotionally assume he'll be "old Bengals Rudi." So trade him now to the Kevin Smith owner (or anyone else) before his weak games against CHI and MIN send his value back down.

Santonio Holmes: Only three catches last week, but he looked electric on his TD, the Ravens kept the Steeler offense off the field and Ben only had 14 completions. However, for once this season, Roethlisberger looked for Santonio early and often, not Hines (7 total targets to Ward's 3). And I was surprised to learn that, thus far, he and Ward have the exact number of targets (26).

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Justin Gage: Has always clicked with Collins and is the clear WR1. On the Titans, yes, okay. But if you need a bye week replacement or Flex WR, you might be able to acquire him for next to nothing.

Santana Moss: Now Randy is the second best Moss. Don't sell high on Santana, He's legit in this new 'Skins offense. www.washingtonredskins.ws

Edgerrin James: His big Jets game might've made you misty, harkening back to the days when "Edge vs. Priest vs. Faulk at #1" was the subject of many a heated message board flame war. But while the two TDs were nice, that doesn't change the fact that A) Hightower is the future for the Cards at RB; B) that future could come quickly if the Cards fall out of contention; C) Edge has serious tread on the tires; and D) the two scores obscured his paltry 29 yards rushing. Find the Hightower owner and sell high. www.arizonacardinals.ws

Matt Schaub: A great fantasy combo: potentially potent passing offense (apologies for the ample agonizing alliteration) and a bad defense. And with Andre Johnson (if he learns to catch footballs for a living), Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels and Steve Slaton (another riser), he's got some weapons, and the Texans' tough early schedule lightens up a bit moving forward. Schaub won't land you a stud in a 1-for-1 deal quite yet, but when he lights up the Sanders-less Colts pass D, he could be an attractive option for a QB-starved team.

Mewelde Moore: Pittsburgh RB's must've guzzled from the same tainted water supply as Seattle WR's. (I picture them all in a hospital, legs in traction, with Spinal Tap-esque cold sores on their upper lips.) But beware, the Steelers just re-signed a certain RB who's fond of defecating into laundry hampers. Speaking of Dookie, maybe I'm old fashioned, but to me that act always seemed more chivalristic than he was given credit for. Her hamper clothes were already dirty, right? At least he had the class not to drop a Najeh nugget into her cashmere sweater drawer.)

Lance Moore: Broke out in a big way last week and is the new WR2 in a pass happy offense. (And somewhere, a silent tear rolls down Robert Meachem's cheek.) Rosenthal called him this year's Wes Welker today. With apologies to Anthony Gonzalez, who would be this year's Welker if Dallas Clark would stay hurt, I concur.

Julianne Moore: Just wanted to add another Moore. And Julianne looks better naked than Michael.

Leon Washington: Thomas Jones looks slower than ever. Just sayin' . . .
www.newyorkjets.ws
LT: That's more like it. It did take a late TD last week to boost otherwise average numbers, last year, Turner would have gotten those garbage points, so that's a plus. But while my "sell while he has name value" sentiments of past weeks are waning, if you get a killer offer you have to consider it because he just doesn't look as explosive anymore (maybe because, I don't know, turf toe?) and still falls down for no reason 2.3 yards past scrimmage too often for my tastes.

Taser & pepper spray retailers/Bail bondsmen in Cincinnati: Cedric Benson has arrived. Meaning Chris Henry no longer has to bear the burden of supporting these cottage industries alone.

Laveranues Coles: Coles' first name is spelled "La-vara-newz," but pronounced "La-ver-knee-us." Favre's last name is spelled "Fa-vuh-ra," but pronounced "Farve." No wonder they get along so well now. Probably bonded over being picked on in school for having phonetically incorrect names. (Kids can be so cruel). Regardless, Coles re-established himself as the WR1 last week and the Jets won't stop throwing (NFL-leading 12 passing TDs). That said, Cotchery produced, too, and is sort of a WR1-A, so if you're wary of his injury potential and want to capitalize on his monster Week 4, feel free to package Coles with a RB or QB for an upgrade.

Dwyane Bowe: Denver knew exactly where Huard was throwing and they still couldn't stop Bowe. Kid's size and aggressiveness has been known to cause dark stains to appear in the crotches of embarrassed d-backs. Offer a struggling "name stud" like Holt or Housh along with a lesser RB to a less-than-informed league mate ? i.e. not a Rotoworld reader ? for Bowe and a better RB. Just might work. www.kansascitychiefs.ws

Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache: No way the name "Neal" goes with the exotic last name "ElAttrache." It clearly requires a dull last name such as "Flump" or "Peart." Second, as a worried Pats fan, I can't help picture a diploma from Hollyood Upstairs Medical College on his office wall.

That said, no other orthopedic surgeon's stock rose more quickly this week after it was learned that golden boy Tom Brady chose ElAttrache to perform the surgery on his golden knee. From his web site: "Dr. ElAttrache has authored 14 textbooks and 25 journal publications, filmed 10 orthopedic instructional videos, and has been a facilitator for over 150 lectures." Still, he better not walk into the O.R. saying "Hi, everybody!"

LJ: He's made me eat crow the past two weeks. But I'm still not a believer. Every RB has thrashed Denver's rush defense (132 YPG against) and the Broncs managed to allow 370 total yards and 33 points to a Chiefs team that's averaged 286 and 16. And keep in mind, LJ was decimated by his Viking ship galley slave-esque workload the last few years and has averaged 26 carries per game since bitching to Herm about being under-used. That'll take its toll again, count on it. Sell high.
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FALLERS

Todd Heap: Remember when we all debated Heap vs. Gonzo vs. Gates? Remember when we all watched "Hard Knocks" and fantasized about doing things to Mrs. Heap that are illegal in 37 states? Wait . . . did I write that? Meant to just think that. Flacco looks better than expected, but Heap is obviously no longer a fantasy starter. Not since Fiona Apple have we seen such a rapid decline of an amazing young talent. That's right -- a horribly dated, nonsensical Fiona Apple reference. www.baltimoreravens.ws

Kevin Smith See "Johnson, Rudi."

Rashard Mendenhall: First, he texts the Ravens and tells the Ravens that he had carnal relations with many of their wives and girlfriends. OK, he didn't text that exactly, but he did send a stupid text message saying he was going to kick ass. Then, he celebrates his first career start by running fracturing his shoulder, costing him the rest of the season. Dynasty leaguers hold on. Everyone else, dump away.

Travis Henry: His coke bust was about as predictable as his fathering another child by the time you finish this sentence.

Bryant Johnson: The slot guy always kills in a Martz offense. A healthy slot guy, that is. Johnson, a nice pre-season sleeper, can't stay healthy. And Ike Bruce is the guy there.

Packers D: A rare D/ST entry, but the loss of Al Harris and Cullen Jenkins, and Woodson's broken toe, has reduced a potentially solid D to a droppable one. And with Rodgers possibly out, the Pack might not jump out to huge leads and force opponents to throw so many juicy, interception-worthy passes. www.greenbaypackers.ws

Bengals. All of 'em: Call the ASPCA because this dead horse is not only beaten, it's being processed into Elmer's as we speak. Palmer's injury sounds serious. The likely starter is Ryan Fitzpatrick, who blipped on the fantasy radar with the Rams in 2005 with a 310 yard/3 TD game subbing for Bulger, but is, well, not good. But he's also from Harvard and kinda looks like Matt Damon without the strong DNA, so is he wicked smaahht enough to muster up some fantasy points on this train wreck of a team? Doubtful. As for Chris Perry, well, when you're injury-prone and might be replaced by a drulnk pontoon boat driver, things are grim.

T.O: Eagles fans love the prospect of Owens going flesh-eating virus on a rival franchise. Now he's complaining about not being used enough, even though he had 17 targets to Witten's 10 last Monday night. Only Bowe (46), Brandon Marshall (44), Santana Moss (43) Larry Fitzgerald (40), Reggie Bush (40), Kellen Winslow (38), Antonio Bryant (37), Jason Witten (37) and Eddie Royal (37) have had more targets than Owens' 36. Maybe he heard about Bryant ? sing with me now, "One of these things is not like the other" ? and flipped out. No need to start formulating trade packages involving T.O. yet, but monitor closely.

Billy Mays: Not a "faller" by any stretch. Quite the opposite. I just shot some parody infomercials with the king himself, Billy Mays. And while I'm not one to hang on the jocks of athletes or celebs (who may or may not wear jocks), Billy was awesome.

Just a regular guy from Pittsburgh ? played high school football; dropped out of West Virginia University to work for his father's hazardous-waste trucking company; cut his teeth hawking products under the tutelage of the old-school Atlantic City boardwalk pitch men -- Billy was gracious and tireless, the kinda guy who shook hands and posed for pictures with every member of the production team when the shoot ended, from the director down to the lowliest assistant junior key grip. So I'm glad he's become a multi-millionaire pitching products like Oxi-Clean? (which, incidentally, is great for getting those tough homeless drifter blood stains out of your clothes).

So take lesson from Billy, folks: grow a thick, lustrous black beard, put on a denim shirt and khakis, raise your voice and start hawking those sell-high players!
 
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