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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Free Agent Forecast - Week 9
Paul Sandy
November 2, 2004

QUARTERBACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Drew Brees and Chad Pennington

1. Jake Delhomme, Panthers

Last Week’s Stats

19 comp.

36 att.

248 yds.

2 TDs

18 rush yds.

Breakout Performer

The injuries to Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster have put the pressure on Jake Delhomme and the Carolina passing game. Last year’s Super Bowl quarterback has been making his share of mistakes, but he elevated his play Sunday against the Seahawks. He passed for 248 yards and two touchdowns. This week, he faces an Oakland Raiders defense that leads the NFL in TD passes allowed and was just tarred and feathered by the Chargers. Drew Brees threw five touchdowns against them. Delhomme won’t match that, but he should duplicate his own Week 8 efforts.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

OAK

@SF

ARZ

TB

@NO


2. Brian Griese, Buccaneers

Last Week’s Stats

BYE

BYE

BYE

BYE

BYE

Breakout Performer

 

Whether you need a QB to mount a playoff run or you want to find a passer to help you perfect the role of spoiler, Griese makes an excellent acquisition this week. He has a soft schedule to close out the season. Plus, rookie wideout Michael Clayton is making big plays every week. Griese could average 225 yards and two touchdowns for the next 4-5 weeks.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

KC

@ATL

SF

@CAR

ATL

One Week Wonders: Mark Brunell

RUNNING BACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Michael Bennett

1. Tyrone Wheatley, Raiders

Last Week’s Stats

4 car.

23 yds.

4 rec.

22 yds.

1 TD

Breakout Performer

 

Wheatley has been AWOL for several weeks with a shoulder injury, but he finally returned to action Sunday against the Chargers. The Raiders fell behind early, but Wheatley still managed to post some decent stats. If he was dumped in your league, he’s a solid pickup. Look for him to regain his starting role quickly.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

@CAR

BYE

SD

@DEN

KC


2. Anthony Thomas, Bears

Last Week’s Stats

25 car.

98 yds.

4 rec.

46 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

Thomas Jones left Sunday night’s game against the 49ers after just one carry. He apparently suffered a foot injury, but the severity of that injury is unknown at this point. Backup Anthony Thomas filled in well for Jones, carrying the ball 25 times and almost hitting the century mark. Don’t wait to hear a definitive answer on Jones’ foot, acquire Thomas ASAP. We’ve seen foot injuries sideline several other RBs so far this season. As a side note, Thomas is a free agent at the end of the season and could find himself in a starting role with another team in 2005. If you’re in a keeper league and are building for next year, Thomas deserves extra consideration.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

 

@NYG

@TEN

IND

@DAL

MIN


3. Kevin Faulk, Patriots

Last Week’s Stats

5 car.

4 yds.

8 rec.

72 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

 

Corey Dillon was a late scratch from Sunday’s game against the Steelers with a thigh injury. He refused to comment on the injury after the game. If it lingers, Kevin Faulk will continue to start. He didn’t have much success against a stout Pittsburgh run defense. However, things get much easier next week when the Patriots travel to St. Louis. The Rams allow 130 yards per game on the ground. He’s a must-have for Dillon owners and could be a nice spot starter for anyone with a regular starter on bye.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

@STL

BUF

@KC

BAL

@CLE


4. Joey Harris, Panthers

Last Week’s Stats

9 car.

45 yds.

0 rec.

0 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

 

Harris was recommended here last week as a speculative pick-up. It took a lot less time for him to make an impact than I figured. He led all Panthers running backs against the Seahawks. There are a lot of miles on Stephen Davis’ knees. Wideout Steve Smith was placed on IR last week, which could be a sign that the Panthers are looking ahead to next year. If they make a similar move with Davis or if he continues to sit out games, Harris could emerge as a fantasy contributor. Acquire him this week and keep him on your bench until he earns a feature role.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

 

Keeper League Prospect

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

OAK

@SF

ARZ

TB

@NO


5. Mike Cloud, Giants

Last Week’s Stats

9 car.

55 yds.

0 rec.

0 yds.

2 TDs

Breakout Performer

Mercifully, the Ron Dayne experiment has appeared to run its course in New York. Dayne was deactivated for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Mike Cloud got his shot to carry the ball and delivered. He scored on two runs inside the five yard line. Head coach Tom Coughlin recognizes that his MVP Tiki Barber is an undersized RB and he needs to keep him healthy. As a result, we can expect to see lots more of Cloud in short-yardage situations. Think Jerome Bettis. Acquire him if you can live with 15 yards and a touchdown.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

CHI

@ARZ

ATL

PHI

@WAS

One Week Wonders: Lamont Jordan

WIDE RECEIVERS

Obvious acquisitions: Keenan McCardell, Rod Gardner, Anquan Boldin and Nate Burleson

1. Darius Watts, Broncos

Last Week’s Stats

7 rec.

86 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

Watts was listed on the Free Agent Forecasts’ preseason list of players to watch. It’s taken him awhile to become a factor in Denver’s offense, but Watts is finally showing flashes of stardom. In Sunday’s game against the Falcons, he was a frequent target of Jake Plummer. Watts caught one TD and almost snagged another but misjudged Plummer’s throw. Acquire the rookie this week. Denver has a cushy upcoming schedule that favors the passing game. Watts can be used as a starter in any one of Denver’s next three games.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

HOU

BYE

@NO

OAK

@SD


2. Eric Parker, Chargers

Last Week’s Stats

6 rec.

91 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

With Reche Caldwell on IR and Keenan McCardell still adapting to life as a Charger, wideout Eric Parker, who has been recommended before, is beginning to emerge as a capable fourth or fifth fantasy receiver. He’s delivered solid fantasy performances in two of the last three weeks. The Chargers are playing good football right now. If you need a WR with some upside consider making Parker a temporary starter this week. San Diego will face a Saints team that ranks second to last in passing defense. Parker should be poised for another nice game.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

NO

BYE

@OAK

@KC

DEN


3. Johnnie Morton, Chiefs

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

69 yds.

2 car.

26 yds.

1 TD

Breakout Performer

I hate recommending Morton because whenever I do, he seems to let me down. However, the numbers don’t lie. Morton has rolled off some nice stats in the last four weeks. During that stretch, he’s posted three games with 60+ yards, including a 111-yard performance two weeks ago. While I doubt he’ll emerge as a player who can be trusted as a regular starter, he does have some upside. The Chiefs have scored 101 points in the last two games and their offense has returned to form. Plus, KC will face the Saints and the Raiders in the coming weeks – both are great match-ups for Morton.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

 

@TAM

@NO

NE

SD

@OAK


4. Troy Brown, Patriots

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

59 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

 

Owners who will be missing receivers like Javon Walker, Donald Driver and Derrick Mason this week, should give consideration to acquiring Patriots wideout Troy Brown. Brown returned to action Sunday after injuring his shoulder in Week 4. While he’s no longer a starter for the Pats, he still should play a good sized role on a team that has some of its top offensive players injured. This week, New England will visit the Rams. St. Louis allows about 230 passing yards per game and they’ve given up good passing stats to the likes of the Dolphins, Buccaneers and 49ers. Brown should match his output from last week and could surprise with 80-90 yards.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

 

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

@STL

BUF

@KC

BAL

@CLE


5. Michael Jenkins, Falcons

Last Week’s Stats

1 rec.

46 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

 

Prior to Sunday’s game against the Broncos, the Falcons coaching staff hinted that Michael Jenkins will see increased playing time in the coming weeks. Jenkins didn’t breakout against Denver, but he did snag a nice catch down the sideline. As Michael Vick continues to get more comfortable with his team’s new offense, Atlanta’s wide receivers should see an incremental increase in their production. Acquire Jenkins if you play in a deeper league and can afford the roster space to hold him for a few weeks. By that time it should become evident whether Jenkins will become a fantasy contributor.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

 

Keeper League Prospect

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

 

BYE

TAM

@NYG

NO

TAM

One Week Wonders: Corey Bradford, Bernard Berrian and David Kircus

TIGHT ENDS

Obvious Acquisitions: Jason Witten

1. Marcus Pollard, Colts

Last Week’s Stats

3 rec.

21 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

Pollard and Dallas Clark (see below) both posted nice stats in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs. If you can get either player this week off your waiver wire, do so. The Colts play host to the Minnesota Vikings this week and another aerial assault is expected. Pollard and Clark have an excellent chance to do some damage on a Vikings defense that gives up 243.3 yards per game through the air.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

MIN

HOU

@CHI

@DET

TEN


1a. Dallas Clark, Colts

Last Week’s Stats

3 rec.

88 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

If Pollard isn’t available, grab Clark instead.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

MIN

HOU

@CHI

@DET

TEN

One Week Wonders: Patrick Hape

Defense / Special Teams

Obvious Acquisitions: Pittsburgh Steelers

New York Giants

Last Week’s Stats

13 pts. allw.

2 INTs

1 FR

0 Sacks

0 pts.

Breakout Performer

Bears rookie QB Craig Krenzel somehow escaped with a win in his first game. While the former Ohio State signal caller had some success against the 49ers, he was sacked five times and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Things should get considerably tougher this week as the Bears travel to New Jersey to face a Giants defense that ranks among the league’s best in turnover ratio. Look for Michael Strahan and company to frustrate the young QB and finish as one of the top scoring team defenses in Week 9.

Short-Term Injury Replacement

 

Long-Term Injury Replacement

 

Depth Chart Climber

 

Weekly Starter

 

Spot Starter

Keeper League Prospect

 

Available In Small Leagues Only

 

Upcoming Opponents

Favorable Match-Up Next Week

CHI

@ARZ

ATL

PHI

@WAS

One Week Wonders: Houston Texans