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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 3
Paul Sandy
September 22, 2010
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About this time of year, the questions start cycling through the minds of most fantasy owners. Should you make a trade? Is it too early to cut the guy you drafted in the sixth round? Fantasy Chop Shop will strip apart the latest NFL player news and trends, and provide counsel on roster management. Here you’ll find timely advice about when to “chop” (cut a player from your roster) and when to “shop” (buy or sell a player via trade).

Fantasy Chop Shop will run every other Wednesday through Week 13.

Chop

Cut ‘em

Matt Moore, QB, Panthers
Trent Edwards, QB, Bills
Jason Campbell, QB, Raiders
You shouldn’t have drafted any of these guys but if you did, they’re safe to drop.

Kevin Kolb, QB, Eagles
The most surprising of all the QB changes . . . Kolb still has some value in dynasty leagues but otherwise can be dumped.

Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns
Delhomme has a high ankle sprain and no value.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks
Week 2 was closer to reality than Week 1.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
Stafford will likely miss at least a couple more games. Unless you have a deep roster or play in a dynasty league, it’s probably best to dump him and put that roster spot to better use.

Kareem Huggins, RB, Buccaneers
This sleeper never woke up. Keep him in the back of your mind but not on your roster.

Steve Slaton, RB, Texans
Worth holding onto in deep leagues or as a handcuff to Arian Foster. Otherwise he’s not getting enough touches to make a difference.

Larry Johnson, RB, Redskins
Mike Shanahan dropped him Tuesday evening. There’s a chance another team could give him a look but he averaged less than one yard per carry. It doesn’t look like he has much left.

Leon Washington, RB, Seahawks
Seattle’s backfield is a muddled mess. Right now you’re better off with Justin Forsett or even Julius Jones, which tells you all you need to know about Washington.

Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Colts
Don’t kick yourself too hard if you drafted Gonzalez. Do kick him to the curb.

Devin Aromashodu, WR, Bears
Aromashodu barely saw any snaps on Sunday against the Cowboys after dropping some passes in Week 1. He may have been passed on the depth chart by Earl Bennett. You can do better.

Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
Brett Favre doesn’t trust him. Neither should you.

Nate Burleson, WR, Lions
The dreaded high ankle sprain will sideline Burleson for a few weeks.

Jabbar Gaffney, WR, Broncos
I don’t think the Broncos offense is good enough to feed the mouths of three wideouts. Eddie Royal and Demaryius Thomas are the guys to own.

Chris Chambers, WR, Chiefs
Memories of Chambers’ midseason surge in 2009 are fading fast. If you can get a prospect on the wire with more upside, go for it.

Owen Daniels, TE, Texans
Daniels is not playing full time and there are just too many good TEs out there this year.

David Buehler, K, Cowboys
He’s hitting on just 50% of his field goal attempts. That’s not good enough. At the moment, neither is Dallas’ offense.

Shop

Buy ‘em

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
Romo is about the tenth or eleventh rated fantasy QB in most scoring systems. That’s not too bad but it’s probably not what his owners were hoping for. See if you can take advantage of the negativity coming out of the Big D and get Romo at a discounted price. The guy is averaging over 325 yards per game through the air. The only problem has been a lack of touchdowns. With so many weapons in the passing offense, those will come. Buy low because Romo still has what it takes to finish the 2010 season as a top 5-7 fantasy QB.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
Once you’re in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse, it’s difficult to get out. Brandon Jacobs is likely to find that out in the coming weeks. What looked like a potential 50/50 timeshare three or four weeks ago is now looking more and more like the Ahmad Bradshaw show. Get him before he has a breakout game.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers
Ryan Mathews owners are an anxious lot these days. The ankle injury. Sproles taking third down work. Tolbert sniping touchdowns. Fumbles. In the back of their minds, they’ve got to be telling themselves they overpaid for him with that second round draft pick. Being the savvy owner that you are, go ahead and exploit their vulnerability. By all accounts Mathews’ ankle appears to be okay. Sproles and Tolbert will likely get some work but even so Mathews figures to get 15+ opportunities per week. With upcoming games against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Raiders and Rams, Mathews should pay instant dividends and give you solid RB2 numbers if you can get your hands on him.

Steve Smith, WR, Giants
Smith’s struggles thus far have been puzzling. He has just nine receptions for 78 yards with no touchdowns. Not exactly the production fantasy owners were looking for from a guy who caught more than 100 passes last year. Has the PPR powerhouse from 2009 fizzled out or will he regain his mojo? I see resurgence in his future. Smith continues to get a decent amount of looks. Through two games, Eli Manning has thrown his way 17 times, which puts him in the top 20 in that category.

Sell ‘em

Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
McFadden is running well. I won’t dispute that. But don’t overlook three facts: 1) He’s gotten most of his production against the Rams and in the second half of a blowout loss to the Titans; 2) He has a lengthy history of injuries; and 3) Michael Bush will be returning to action within the next couple weeks. McFadden’s numbers are likely to plunge in the near future. Test the market.

Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
Smith has put up touchdowns in back-to-back weeks to start the season. However, a QB change could cause some upheaval in the Panthers offense. Jimmy Clausen was reported to be the most “NFL ready” QB in this year’s draft but he’s still a rookie and Smith’s value will likely take a hit with him under center. With Smith’s name value and his production to date, you might be able to get someone to bite on this trade bait.

Wes Welker, WR, Patriots
Welker has snagged three touchdowns over the first two games, putting fears about his gimpy knee to rest. Don’t get blinded by the box score. Welker was only on the field for 39 of New England’s 61 plays on Sunday against the Jets. He’s not 100%. Given the lack of playing time, I don’t see him continuing to keep this pace in the TD category and doubt he’ll be on the field enough to put up the yardage fantasy owners need. Check his value on the open market.

Hold ‘em

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
Don’t let Flacco’s struggles against the Jets and Bengals scare you off. Both defenses ranked inside the top 10 at limiting QB fantasy production in 2009. He should bounce back as soon as this week and still has the upside to finish in the top 12 this year.

Michael Vick, QB, Eagles
In case you missed it, Vick was named the Eagles starter. Kevin Kolb was given medical clearance to play but head coach Andy Reid is going with Vick anyway. Because of his versatility, Vick is starter material on most weeks – and he’s a must start this week against the Jaguars.

Ravens Defense/Special Teams
Baltimore has just three sacks, one turnover and no touchdowns. Probably not what you had in mind when you drafted them to be your DST. Give them another week to prove themselves against the Browns before cutting ties.

Other Features
Free Agent Forecast
Off Tackle
Commentary from the Edge
Tuesday Injury Report
Under the Numbers
Fantasy Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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