Monday, November 14, 2011

Questions abound as the fantasy postseason looms

On a weekend when DeSean Jackson was benched for missing a team meeting and Matt Stafford threw more scoring passes to the Chicago defense than he did to his own receivers, I suppose we shouldn’t be shocked that the best quarterback on the field in Philly on Sunday was named John Skelton.

Or that Tim Tebow’s second, and last, pass completion of the game was a 56-yard strike to Eric Decker that not only saved the Broncos but transformed otherwise disastrous outings from both players into solid fantasy performances.

Michael Vick broke two ribs and Matt Schaub incurred a serious foot injury, and nobody knows until Monday?

This is no way to run a fantasy season.

So what are Darren McFadden’s owners supposed to think now that Michael Bush has posted three consecutive stellar games in his relief? There’s no way Bush just puts on a baseball cap and cheers from the sidelines when Run-DMC returns, right?

And as poorly has Matt Cassel has been playing recently, should Dwayne Bowe’s owners be panicked or relieved that Tyler Palko will likely be running the Chiefs’ offense for the next few weeks, if not the rest of the season?

Ah yes, these are the things that make us fantasy enthusiasts crazy, and intrigued, as we enter the stretch run toward the postseason.

On a related note, it only took 10 weeks, but it appears Chris Johnson is finally back. Hopefully you weren’t the bonehead that lost hope and traded him for Javon Ringer and a six pack of Yoo-hoo.

Now, which of my competitors can I sucker into taking Bowe off my hands?


To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch ‘em while you can

Lance Ball, RB, Broncos. Two down, one to go. Ball is the last man standing in the Denver backfield now that both Willis McGahee (hamstring) and Knowshon Moreno (knee -- out for the season) were injured in Sunday’s contest. He responded with 96 yards on a whopping 30 carries; but, of course, Tim Tebow got the rushing TD. Ball will likely lead the charge on Thursday night, albeit against a strong Jets run defense.

Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers. Once again, if you’re a Frank Gore owner and don’t have Hunter at the ready, you’re asking for trouble. Gore added a knee injury to his ankle ailments Sunday, and missed the majority of the game. Though the starter could be ready by Week 11, there are no guarantees. And the odds keep getting worse that Gore will survive the stretch run intact.

Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders. The rookie was a popular waiver-wire wonder earlier in the season, then was promptly discarded by most owners after he disappeared from Oakland’s offense. Now that Carson Palmer has re-discovered him – most recently with a 123-yard, two-touchdown outburst last Thursday night – and with Jacoby Ford (foot) out indefinitely, Moore deserves a second chance.

Don’t be fooled

John Skelton, QB, Cardinals. A quarterback controversy is brewing in the desert, now that Skelton has played well in back-to-back wins. Kevin Kolb (toe, foot) has not played up to his contract, so Skelton could remain under center even after the starter returns. Just don’t read too much into the first three-touchdown outing of Skelton’s career.

Kevin Walter, WR, Texans. If you haven’t given up on him yet, now’s the time. Houston heads into its bye with all signs pointing to Andre Johnson’s return in Week 12. Neither Walter nor Jacoby Jones will have any remaining fantasy value at that point.

Ed Dickson, TE, Ravens. Joe Flacco’s receivers tend to accumulate stats in brief spurts, so don’t expect Dickson to lead the team in receiving, or scoring, again any time soon. Only owners desperate for bye-week help in Week 11 should consider adding Dickson; and only then as a short-term fix.

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