Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday morning updates - Week 4

Good morning, Fools.  Let's take a look at the happenings around the league as we make our final lineup decisions for another weekend of fantasy competition.

Steven Jackson is active, but I still don't like his chances against the Seahawks.

Still too early to say if Matt Forte will suit up on Monday night (he's questionable).  Be sure you have a fall-back option (like Michael Bush) if you have Forte in your starting lineup, just in case.  Keep him in your flex spot, if you have one, so you can sub a WR in there if necessary.

Reggie Bush will be a game-time decision.  He has a tough matchup with Arizona, but if he's 100% (which he isn't), he'd be worth starting.

In a very interesting development, both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are active today.  So much for Tashard Choice...  The two backs are expected to share carries, but if I had to choose between the two, I'd opt for Spiller.  That said, it's anybody's guess how their respective production will shake out at this point. [UPDATE: Bills beat writer reporting that Spiller looks "ginger" out there...meaning, not 100%.  So, I change my mind. F-Jax is the better play. But both carry plenty of upside as well as risk.]

Meanwhile, Ryan Williams will get his first start for the Cardinals, with Beanie Wells on IR.  Also looks like Stephens-Howling will miss the game (he's listed as doubtful), so Williams will have very little competition for carries.  His biggest issue will be Miami's strong run defense.

We learned last night that Hakeem Nicks is sitting out again.  That's good news for those who snared Ramses Barden after his breakout game.  Though his targets may be impacted by Domenik Hixon's return, Barden is still a solid bye-week or injury sub.

Kenny Britt has also been declared out for today's game.

Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller are inactive for the Jets.

Rob Gronkowski is active and will play for the Pats.  Hernandez and Edelman are out, though.

Nate Kaeding is out with a groin injury.  Nick Novak has been re-signed to fill in.  He's a viable proxy if Kaeding is your man. But you should see who else is available first.  You never know how long Kaeding will be out, and there are several strong kickers out there.

The rest of the inactives are out now.  Follow me on Twitter for those, and other late-breaking news throughout the day. 

Good luck, Fools!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Injury news from around the league

Here are some excerpts from my Sporting News Fantasy Source column yesterday, plus some updates from today...

Matt Schaub left the Broncos game with shoulder and elbow injuries, an aching head and 1.9 ears.  When he takes the first snap on Sunday, can we officially put to rest any notion that he’s not tough enough to play a full 16-game season?  If the guy can play, he’ll play.

Big things were expected from Daniel Thomas when Miami selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft.  But injuries and Reggie Bush’s stellar play conspired to ruin his rookie season.  Now, just as Thomas seemed set for at least one start in his place, Bush is back on track to play against Arizona.  If Bush starts, he’d be tough to bench.  But in a possible time-share, both RBs carry risk, given the stout defense being played in the desert these days.

While I was in Chicago this week for the Ryder Cup (brag, brag), all eyes were on Matt Forte, who claims he will be ready to rumble on Monday night.  His timing may be impeccable, as Michael Bush has been experiencing pain in his shoulder.  Dallas is a tough matchup; but if Forte starts, he belongs in your lineup.

Willis McGahee has been limited in practice this week with sore ribs, but he’s expected to play.  But keep an eye out for rookie Ronnie Hillman, who just needs an opening to stake his claim to a sizeable role in the Broncos’ backfield.  Likened to Darren Sproles, Hillman has the potential to flourish in a Peyton Manning-led offense.

Brace yourself for this shocking news: Beanie Wells is hurt.  Ryan Williams now gets his chance to claim the job for himself, for good.  We’ve seen this coming since the preseason, and there’s every reason to believe we’ve seen the last of Wells as the Cardinals’ starting back.  Williams may get off to a slow start against Miami’s third-ranked run defense, but the Rams and Bills are on deck. 

Kenny Britt is still having trouble with his ankle and is sounding iffy about his availability on Sunday.  He’d face more trouble in the form of the Texans secondary when his team heads to Houston, so keep him stowed away on your bench until he proves he’s back to full strength.

It looks like Jeremy Maclin is fully recovered from his hip pointer and will be an excellent start against the Giants’ secondary. 

Hakeem Nicks (foot) practiced Thursday and should be in your lineup on Sunday.  Ramses Barden is still worth keeping around, but should only be started as a bye-week or injury replacement [UPDATE: Nicks had a set-back and is now officially out for Sunday. Barden is a good proxy, though Domenik Hixon will also be available and could steal some targets.]

Keep an eye on the game-day inactives for Jared Cook’s status.  He’s dealing with a shoulder injury, and will likely be a game-time decision.

SATURDAY NEWS: Time to go kicker shopping if you own Nate Kaeding.  He's out with a groin injury.  Nick Novak will take his place, and is a good option.  See who else is available first, but Novak is a good fall-back.


Auditions unofficially begin this week for the starting role in the Jets’ backfield.  Shonn Greene’s 2.8 yards per carry aren’t cutting it, so Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight will get a chance to show what they can do.  If one of them steps up, Greene’s days will be numbered.  If you can trade him before Sunday’s game for anyone of value, do it.

Ahmad Bradshaw will be back in the starting lineup this week, but Andre Brown has earned a regular spot in the rotation.  It’s too early to say how the carries will shake out – it could vary on a game-by-game basis – but Bradshaw owners celebrating the departure of Brandon Jacobs have a new nemesis, and his name is Andre.

Keep an eye on Jerome Simpson, who will play his first game as a Viking after serving his three-game suspension.  Minnesota is counting on Simpson to be the deep threat they’ve lacked for years.  He rarely made waves during his four seasons in Cincinnati, but stranger things have happened.  (See Lloyd, Brandon, in his first year in Denver.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 4 Starters & Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Jamaal Charles and Andre Johnson, or to bench Blaine Gabbert and Ronnie Brown? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 4 of the 2012 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills vs. Patriots.  The Buffalo gunslinger has thrown multiple TDs in each game this season, while New England is having trouble slowing down opposing passers.  With questions swirling around the Bills’ ground game, Fitzpatrick will need to be at his best to give his team a chance.

Cedric Benson, RB, Packers vs. Saints.  Thanks in large part to Jamaal Charles, the Saints’ run defense is statistically the league’s worst.  Benson won’t approach 200 yards in this matchup, but it’s a good bet he’ll reach the century mark for the first time this season.  At least one trip to the end zone is likely as well, as the Packers look to take the pressure off their struggling pass protection.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals at Jaguars.  He has seized the workhorse role in Cincinnati, but hasn’t done a whole lot with it just yet.  That should change this week against the sieve-like Jaguars run defense.  Look for the Law Firm to score his third TD of the season, and rack up his best yardage totals as a Bengal.

Eric Decker, WR, Broncos vs. Raiders.  Willis McGahee has been limited with sore ribs, and the Raiders’ pass defense was abysmal last week.  Look for Peyton Manning to air it out early and often, leading to big games for both of his starting wideouts.

Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders at Broncos.  With Darrius Heyward-Bey obviously out for some time after his scary concussion, Moore becomes an even more essential weapon in Oakland’s aerial attack.  The Raiders will be facing the same secondary that just surrendered four TD passes to Matt Schaub, so look for Carson Palmer and Moore to flourish in this contest.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, Carson Palmer; RBs Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, Mikel Leshoure; WRs Stevie Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Demaryius Thomas, Dwayne Bowe, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Wes Welker.

Roll ‘em back

Matt Stafford, QB, Lions at Vikings.  All signs point to Stafford giving it a go on Sunday, despite sitting out practice with his ailing hamstring/hip.  But even if he starts, he’ll be at high risk of an early exit should the injury flair up again, especially with the capable Shaun Hill waiting in the wings.  Minnesota’s pass defense has been solid as well, so it’s best to avoid this QB tandem this week.

Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins at Buccaneers.  One of the surprises of the early season, Morris has nearly earned must-start status.  But heading into Tampa Bay, which boasts the league’s stingiest run defense, think twice.  His quarterback is liable to have more rushing success than Morris, though Ryan Grant’s addition shouldn’t be a factor just yet.

Steven Jackson, RB, Rams vs. Seahawks.  Sure, he’s a tough hombre that will play through pain.  But just because Jackson suits up with his groin injury doesn’t mean he should be in your lineup.  He hasn’t looked right all season, and backup Daryl Richardson is getting more and more carries.  Not to mention, Seattle’s run defense is playing at an elite level.

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys vs. Bears.  He has yet to make a fantasy impact in 2012, and a breakthrough game against the stout Chicago defense does not appear to be in the cards.  Bryant has taken a back seat to both Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree, and he is clearly having trouble getting in sync with Tony Romo.

Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears at Cowboys.  Dallas’ beefed-up secondary has done an outstanding job of shutting down opponents’ top receivers to date, and Jay Cutler has been fairly adept at keeping Marshall’s production in check as well.  Given the tough matchup and his QB’s lackluster play, Marshall is a bad bet to give you a Monday night lift.

More thumbs down: QBs Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo; RBs Chris Johnson, Shonn Greene, Doug Martin, Andre Brown, Willis McGahee, Fred Jackson, Michael Bush, Mark Ingram, Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams; WRs Kenny Britt, Ramses Barden, Marques Colston, Brian Hartline, Brandon Lafell, Julian Edelman, Laurent Robinson.


Leonard Hankerson, WR, Redskins at Buccaneers.  He has been elevated to a starting job during Pierre Garcon’s extended absence, thanks to his quick rapport with Robert Griffin III.  With no other obvious No. 1 target in Washington’s aerial attack, and the league’s worst pass defense on the other side, Hankerson is worth a flier if you need receiver help.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…waits until the last minute to address your bye-week roster issues.  Only two teams, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, are off in Week 4. But over the following seven weekends, four to six teams, and their fantasy stars, will rest.  Planning ahead to fill open slots with free agents will give you more options and could help avoid burning your waiver wire priority.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 3 Heroes & Zeros

This was a great week to start…

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Racked up 384 yards and a TD quartet, without a turnover.
Matt Schaub, Texans – Got back on track with 290 passing yards and 4 TDs, plus a pick.
Joe Flacco, Ravens – Soared with 382 yards and a TD trifecta, plus an INT.
Andy Dalton, Bengals – Threw for 328 yards, 3 TDs and an INT, and ran for 16 yards.
Matt Ryan, Falcons – Amassed 275 yards and 3 TDs, and a pick.
Drew Brees, Saints – Passed for 240 yards and 3 TDs, plus an INT.

Jamaal Charles, Chiefs – Raced for 233 yards and a TD, plus 6 catches for 55 yards.
Andre Brown, Giants – Subbed capably for Bradshaw, with 113  rushing yards and 2 TDs, plus 17 receiving yards.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars – Rumbled for 177 yards and a TD, and added 2 catches for 16 yards.

Calvin Johnson, Lions – Played like Megatron, with 10 catches for 164 yards and 1 TD.
A.J. Green, Bengals – Hauled down 9 receptions for 183 yards and a TD, plus an 11-yard run.
Torrey Smith, Ravens – With the heaviest of hearts, caught 6 passes for 127 yards and 2 TDs.
Mike Wallace, Steelers – Notched 8 catches for 123 yards and a score.
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals – Connected with Kolb for 9 catches, 114 yards and a TD.
Santonio Holmes, Jets – Nine receptions resulted in 147 yards.
Wes Welker, Patriots – Looked like the Welker of old with 8 catches for 142 yards.

Heath Miller, Steelers – Took 8 balls and delivered 60 yards and a pair of TDs.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings – Reeled in 5 passes for 36 yards and 2 TDs.

Titans – Scored on a punt return, a kickoff return and a fumble return, plus a sack.
Cardinals – Racked up 5 sacks, 3 fumbles, a 93-yard fumble return TD and held the Eagles to two field goals.

This was a great week to play against…

Cam Newton, Panthers – Threw 3 INTs and 242 yards, and ran just 6 yards with a TD.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Had a disastrous fantasy outing, with 223 yards and zero scores.
Sam Bradford, Rams – After his outstanding Week 2, he passed for just 152 yards with 2 picks.
Tony Romo, Cowboys – Just 283 yards with no scores, and added an INT and 2 fumbles.
Jay Cutler, Bears – Tossed another stinker, with 183 passing yards and an INT, with 18 yards on the ground.
Michael Vick, Eagles – Passed for 217 yards and ran for 28, without a score, and lost 2 fumbles.
Philip Rivers, Chargers – Managed only 173 passing yards, with 2 INTs.

Kevin Smith, Lions – With Mikel Leshoure back, he didn’t make the stat sheet.
Chris Johnson, Titans – 24 rushing yards and a 5-yard catch.  Nice.
Steven Jackson, Rams – Ran for a measly 29 yards and caught 2 passes for 5 yards.
Shonn Greene, Jets – Just 40 rushing and 9 receiving yards against Miami.
Reggie Bush, Dolphins – Rushed for 61 yards before leaving with a knee injury.
Frank Gore, 49ers – Only 63 rushing yards, plus a 9-yard pass reception, and he lost a fumble.
Stevan Ridley, Patriots – Ran for 37 yards on Sunday night.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals – Settled for 18 rushing yards before injuring his toe.

Vincent Jackson, Bucs – Had a 29-yard catch on the day.
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars – The rookie is coming along slowly, with just a 7-yard reception in the game.
Jordy Nelson, Packers – His 2 receptions netted 19 yards.
Sidney Rice, Seahawks – Posted a 22-yard catch on Monday night.
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos – Finished with 3 catches for 34 yards, and a fumble.
Marques Colston, Saints – Continued to disappoint with 3 catches for 40 yards.
Greg Jennings, Packers – Returned to haul in 6 passes for a measly 35 yards.

Jason Witten, Cowboys – Only 8 yards on 2 catches.
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – Held to 21 yards on 2 receptions.
Antonio Gates, Chargers – Limited to 3 catches for 22 yards.

We didn’t see them coming…

Christian Ponder, Vikings – Passed for 198 yards and 2 TDs, adding 33 yards and a score on the ground.
Ramses Barden, Giants – With Nicks out, hauled in 9 passes for 138 yards.
Golden Tate, Seahawks – You can disagree all you want, but in the end, Tate emerged with 3 catches for 68 yards and 2 TDs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wherefore art thou, Romo?

Every year, we’re surprised by a handful of players who emerge from obscurity to become instant fantasy heroes.  We’re equally shocked when “can’t miss” studs turn into duds overnight.  (I’m looking at you, Chris Johnson.)

But I can’t remember a time when an entire position seems to have been flipped upside-down.  Sure, we’re only three weeks into the 2012 season, but what in the name of Johnny Unitas is going on with the quarterbacks?

Tom Brady has thrown half as many touchdown passes as Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Cam Newton’s four combined rushing and passing scores are one fewer than his interception total.  Matt Stafford has just three TD tosses in as many games.  Tony Romo has found the end zone just once since the Cowboys’ opener.

After the first two weeks, Aaron Rodgers trailed in the fantasy rankings behind such pedestrian passers as Matt Cassel, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton.   Drew Brees finally got on track in Sunday’s matchup; but Peyton Manning is still kicking off the rust.  Michael Vick is a flipping turnover machine.

Meanwhile, those of us who spent a first- or second-round draft pick on one of these “elite” quarterbacks would have been better off, so far anyway, with a rookie (Robert Griffin III), a fifth-year passer that has never ranked higher than eighth (Matt Ryan), or a perennial fantasy backup (Ben Roethlisberger).

The NFL is the most popular game in the land because, among other things, any team can beat any other “on any given Sunday.”  But that maxim normally doesn’t apply to individual players. 

Jake Locker isn’t supposed to out-perform Stafford.  Flacco should never take Brady to school.  Kevin Kolb couldn’t beat out John Skelton this preseason, so how does he thoroughly upstage Vick on Sunday?

These things have a way of working themselves out over time, so don’t panic if your starting quarterback is weighing down your team. 

But you have my permission to whine about it.


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

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions.  Not only did Leshoure step directly out of a two-week suspension and into the starting job, but Kevin Smith was completely missing in action.  That speaks volumes about how the Detroit coaches view the RB pecking order.  If Leshoure is still available, run, don’t walk, to the waiver wire.

Daniel Thomas,
RB, Dolphins.  Big things were expected from Thomas when Miami selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft.  But injuries and Reggie Bush’s stellar play conspired to ruin his rookie season.  Though Bush’s knee injury is not as serious as first feared, Thomas seems destined for at least one start in his place.  This could be the opening he needs to re-stake his claim to fantasy relevance.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings.  I’m not putting my trust in Christian Ponder just yet, but I’m getting more and more intrigued by his safety valve.  With three TDs over the last two games, the 6’6” receiver is starting to fulfill his red-zone potential.  Ponder would be wise to keep looking his way.

Don’t be fooled

Shaun Hill, QB, Lions.  Unless Matt Stafford’s leg injury proves to be more than a one-week liability, there’s no need to rush to claim his backup.  Hill has a strong track record of performing well in relief, but you’re better off looking elsewhere if you need a QB.  Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer are widely available, and offer more long-term help.

Tashard Choice, RB, Bills.  C.J. Spiller is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with a sprained shoulder, but Fred Jackson (knee) is hoping to return this Sunday.  If he can’t go, Choice will get the start against the Patriots.  The career backup has had success when pressed into duty before, including Sunday’s contest; but he’s recommended only to those already invested in the Bills’ backfield.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts.  The rookie flashed his potential on Sunday, and he could mature into a quality receiver as he and Andrew Luck build their NFL resumes.  But Hilton’s 113-yard, one-TD game looked like more of an aberration than a coming-out party, after he was targeted just once over his first two games.  Keep an eye on him; but as long Donnie Avery is still in the picture, Hilton’s upside is limited. In addition, Indy is heading into its bye week.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday morning updates -- Week 3

Good morning, Fools.  It's time to bone up for the Week 3 action.  Here's what you need to know, so far:

Matt Forte is out.  Michael Bush is a great play today vs. the Rams.

On the other side of the ball, Steven Jackson's groin is fine and he will play.  He should have a decent outing.  Save Daryl Richardson for another day.

Ryan Mathews will play and, as you saw in my Starters & Benchwarmers column Friday, I expect him to have a grand return.

Fred Jackson is hoping to return in Week 4, but it will be the CJ Spiller show in Buffalo again this afternoon.

Sad news for Torrey Smith this morning, as he learned that his brother died in a motorcycle accident.  He left the team hotel and his status for tonight's game is currently unknown.  Plan accordingly.

Greg Jennings had a good practice on Saturday, with no apparent set-backs; but his status remains questionable for Monday night.  I imagine we'll have to wait for the inactive reports to find out for certain if he's a go.  Then, of course, if he does suit up, will he aggravate the injury?  It's probably best to use a sub today instead.  Unless you have Randall Cobb, who has been upgraded to probable for MNF.

Pierre Garcon will not play for the Skins.

Marques Colston will play despite a sore foot.  Keep him in your lineup, even though he's been disappointing.  The Saints should bounce back fine against the sorry Chiefs defense.

Jets TE Dustin Keller is out with a bum hammy.  Jeff Cumberland will start in his place.  (No thanks)

That's it for now, Fools.  Watch your Twitter feeds for the inactives and other late-breaking news.  Good luck this weekend!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

4th & Long -- Excerpts from yesterday's Sporting News column

Here are a few injury updates excerpted from my 4th & Long column yesterday for Sporting News:

The clock is ticking on Jonathan Dwyer (turf toe) and Isaac Redman staking their claims to a significant role in the Steelers’ backfield. Rashard Mendenhall is practicing “in full” this week, though he is highly unlikely to suit up until after Pittsburgh’s Week 4 bye. At this point, neither back has distinguished himself, meaning if Mendenhall is available in your league, this is the time to stow him away. If he returns healthy, he’ll resume his workhorse duties.

The Packers are in “wait-and-see” mode with Greg Jennings. The good news is he has an extra day to rehab his groin injury, given the Monday night start. The bad news is that his recovery isn’t going as smoothly as expected, and your options may be limited if he’s declared inactive. Ideally, you can hedge your bets with Randall Cobb, whose playing status should not be in jeopardy despite a sore hammy.

Looks like Pierre Garcon will be a dreaded game-time decision on Sunday. His foot is still sore, so plan accordingly.

Jeremy Maclin was back at practice, but later ruled out for Week 3 because of a hip pointer. Find an alternative.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 3 Starters & Benchwarmers

Wondering whether or not to start Arian Foster and Calvin Johnson, or to bench Tim Tebow and Steve Breaston? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on.

Here are my picks to roll, and get rolled, in Week 3 of the 2012 season.

Watch ‘em roll

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals at Redskins.  Washington’s pass rush took a major hit last week with the loss of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker.  That should leave Dalton plenty of time to pick apart the same secondary that Sam Bradford torched in Week 2.  Dalton is also blessed with better receivers than his Rams counterpart.

Michael Bush, RB, Bears vs. Rams.  Assuming Matt Forte takes another week off, Bush is a triple play against a struggling Rams run defense that has surrendered four rushing scores already.  Always a goal-line hawk, Bush should add some nice yardage to his totals this week as well.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers at Falcons.  Sometimes it pays to bench a player in his first game back from injury; but this is not one of those times.  For starters, Mathews owners need to get the injury-prone tailback in their lineup whenever they can.  On top of that, Mathews is a reliable red-zone threat, and Atlanta is doing a terrible job of keeping opposing backs out of their end zone.

Stevie Johnson, WR, Bills at Browns. Despite scoring in each of the first two games, Johnson is flying a bit under the fantasy radar so far.  That won’t be the case after he torches the Cleveland secondary, which will go into battle for the second consecutive week without Joe Haden, their best cover corner.  It would be no surprise to see Johnson doing multiple (albeit ridiculous) end-zone celebrations in this matchup.

Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys vs. Buccaneers.  He’s been a big disappointment thus far, but Bryant and the Dallas aerial attack should rediscover their mojo against a Tampa Bay secondary that just coughed up 510 net passing yards to the Giants.  Bryant should be a very busy, and productive, man in the Cowboys’ home opener.

More thumbs up (excluding the no-brainers): QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub; RBs Reggie Bush, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Willis McGahee; WRs DeSean Jackson, Antonio Brown, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Bowe, Danny Amendola.

Roll ‘em back

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers vs. Falcons.  I’m nervous about Rivers this week, with the expected return of Mathews and with the ball-hawking Atlanta secondary coming to town.  Though Antonio Gates is expected to suit up, the Chargers will be better-served slowing down the tempo and feeding the ball to Mathews.

Michael Turner, RB, Falcons at Chargers.  Aside from a 1-yard scoring plunge in Week 2, Turner has been horrible.  Mix in his early morning DUI arrest after the Monday nighter, the creeping emergence of Jacquizz Rogers and the Chargers’ league-best run defense, and Turner should be sentenced to your bench.

Shonn Greene, RB, Jets at Dolphins.  Miami clamped down hard on Darren McFadden last week, and Greene is no Run-DMC.  He essentially split carries with Bilal Powell in Week 2 after missing some time with a head injury, and his career-best performance in six games against the Dolphins is 74 rushing yards.  Greene has also never found the end zone against his division rivals.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, Patriots at Ravens.  Tom Brady has been struggling behind his porous offensive line, and he hasn’t yet developed a strong rapport with his new wideout. Even with Aaron Hernandez sidelined, Lloyd is unlikely to find much success this week against the relentless Ravens defense.

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals vs. Eagles.  Like what he did last week?  Get ready for another disappointing day, thanks both to the Kevin Kolb effect and Philly’s stout secondary.  I’m sure Fitz will manage more than four yards this Sunday, and I realize he’s extremely difficult to bench; but he can’t throw the ball to himself.  Until John Skelton gets back under center, Fitzgerald is a potential liability.

More thumbs down: QBs Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer; RBs Jonathan Dwyer, Cedric Benson, Donald Brown; WRs Jeremy Maclin, Justin Blackmon, Brian Hartline, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt, Sidney Rice, Randy Moss.


Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions at Titans.  Having completed his two-game suspension, Leshoure heads into a tasty matchup in Tennessee with high expectations.  He is clearly the most talented member of the Detroit backfield, when healthy, and the coaches have already said he will be involved heavily in Sunday’s game plan.  If you’re hurting at RB or the flex position, give Leshoure a shot.

DON’T BE THE BONEHEAD WHO…trades Chris Johnson now.  That doesn’t mean you should start him, either (you shouldn’t).  But you’ll be much better served waiting for him to post a solid outing, rather than selling at rock bottom.  CJ1K’s trade value can’t go much lower, so hold on a bit longer until you can sell a little (false) hope along with your first-round bust.