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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Free Agent Forecast - Week 11
Paul Sandy
November 16, 2004

QUARTERBACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Jake Plummer

1. David Garrard, Jaguars

Last Week’s Stats

19 att.

36 att.

198 yds.

2 TDs

42 rush yds.

Breakout Performer

With the bye weeks behind us, many fantasy owners are less inclined to make waiver moves, especially at the QB position. However, if you’ve been lagging behind your competition in production from your signal caller, David Garrard could be good for one or two starts. I listed him as a potential sleeper last week in my Weekly 6-Pack column because he has the ability to pick up yardage on the ground. He exceeded my expectations, tossing two touchdowns against the Lions. This week the competition is a bit stronger, but Garrard should have another decent game. A Week 12 match-up with the Vikings could be a goldmine.

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

TEN

@MIN

PIT

CHI

@GB


2. Eli Manning, Giants

Last Week’s Stats

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Breakout Performer

 

The Eli Manning era has begun in New York. What does it mean for fantasy football? In all reality, not much. Rookie QBs rarely have success right away, but Ben Roethlisberger is proof that it can happen. His potential makes him a decent bench player. Outside of Manning’s pedigree, there are a couple reasons to acquire him. First, he’s got Tiki Barber in the backfield. Aside from being one of the most explosive backs in the NFL, Barber provides an excellent passing outlet. Second, Manning has some experienced receivers in Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey. Just as an FYI, Eli’s brother Peyton passed for 302 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in his first NFL start.

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

 

ATL

PHI

@WAS

@BAL

PIT

One Week Wonders: Kyle Boller

RUNNING BACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Derrick Blaylock and Kevin Jones

1. Antowain Smith, Titans

Last Week’s Stats

2 car.

4 yds.

1 rec.

12 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

 

Chris Brown will likely be listed as doubtful for this week’s game against the Jaguars. He aggravated his turf toe in Sunday’s game against the Bears. Frankly, maybe a little rest is good for Brown. He had a horrible game against Chicago, coughing up two costly fumbles. Antowain Smith is worth a pick-up this week for the simple reason that he will probably be starting. The Titans will face the Jaguars this week. Jacksonville has only given up four rushing touchdowns this season. Start Smith in an emergency. Otherwise, keep him on your bench until his Week 12 match-up against the Texans, which looks more promising.

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

 

@JAC

@HOU

@IND

KC

@OAK


2. Julius Jones, Cowboys

Last Week’s Stats

8 car.

46 yds.

1 rec.

12 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

 

I know I recommended Jones here last week, but the recommendation bears repeating. He’s one week closer to returning to action. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or the first weekend in December, Jones will be back in 2004 and I expect him to be a fantasy factor before the season is over. Bill Parcells will use the month of December to evaluate his draft pick and that will mean 20+ carries per game. Against the likes of Seattle, New Orleans and Philadelphia, Jones could close out the season like William Green did two seasons ago.

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

PHI

@BAL

CHI

@SEA

NO


3. Maurice Hicks, 49ers

Last Week’s Stats

8 car.

46 yds.

1 rec.

12 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

Keep an eye on the running back situation in San Francisco. Kevan Barlow was benched early in the fourth quarter Sunday, in part because of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. While Barlow was on the bench sulking, former practice-squad RB Maurice Hicks was racking up some good yardage. Head coach Dennis Erickson thought enough of Hicks to elevate him to the #2 RB on the depth chart and cut former #2 Jamal Robertson. Hicks is a bit undersized to be an every down back, but this year we’ve already seen several small RBs make big impacts. According to Erickson, Hicks will continue to get opportunities to showcase his talent this season.

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

MIA

@STL

@ARZ

WAS


4. Brandon Bennett, Panthers

Last Week’s Stats

4 car.

5 yds.

0 rec.

0 yds.

1 TD

Breakout Performer

 

Carolina starter Stephen Davis was placed on IR Saturday. That leaves a gaping hole in the Panthers backfield. I’ve recommended Joey Harris on a couple occasions. While he’s still worth a roster spot in what is an increasingly foggy situation, Harris injured his hamstring in practice last week. Brandon Bennett, who was signed when DeShaun Foster was injured, will also get some carries in the offense. I expect one guy to eventually emerge as a starter. If you’re in a deep league, both players should be on a roster until the situation sorts itself out.

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

 

ARZ

TAM

@NO

STL

@ATL

One Week Wonders: Kevin Faulk, LaBrandon Toefield and Willie Parker

WIDE RECEIVERS

Obvious acquisitions: Drew Bennett

1. Deion Branch, Patriots

Last Week’s Stats

INJ

INJ

INJ

INJ

INJ

Breakout Performer

 

Branch is due to return from a sprained knee, which has kept him sidelined since Week 2, any day now. He was a favorite sleeper of many fantasy owners (including myself) before the season. He opened the year in fine fashion, catching seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. It may take awhile for Branch to shake off the rust, but I expect him to have a few solid games before the season is done.

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

BAL

@CLE

CIN

@MIA


2. Eddie Kennison, Chiefs

Last Week’s Stats

7 rec.

121 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

After taking their share of criticism early in the year, Kansas City’s receivers are finally producing. Eddie Kennison has posted back to back 100+ yard games and has earned a roster spot in all fantasy leagues. While I wouldn’t hesitate to start him this week, beginning in Week 12, the match-ups get particularly attractive. He could provide a nice spark as a #3 WR for the remainder of the season.

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

 

NE

SD

@OAK

@TEN

DEN


3. Bobby Engram, Seahawks

Last Week’s Stats

3 rec.

28 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

 

Koren Robinson’s appeal against a drug-related violation is scheduled to be heard this week … finally. Fantasy owners have been hearing about his pending four-game suspension since midway through the season. It remains to be seen how things will shake down, but players in similar situations have rarely had luck with their appeals. If Robinson is suspended, his role will be filled by Bobby Engram and Jerry Rice. Of the two, I like Engram better. He’s younger and more familiar with Matt Hasselbeck. Acquire Engram this week and set your expectations at 60-70 yards per game while Robinson is out.

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

 

MIA

BUF

DAL

@MIN

@NYJ


4. Clarence Moore, Ravens

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

45 yds.

2 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

Rookie receivers have gotten a lot of attention this season. But one who you may not have heard of until this week is Clarence Moore. Moore snagged two touchdown receptions against the Jets. The 6’6” wideout makes a pretty imposing target in the endzone for QB Kyle Boller. I’d advise against writing him off as a one week wonder at this point. In addition to this week’s breakout performance, he had an 82-yard game two weeks ago. Acquire him now and hope that head coach Brian Billick opens up the offense a bit in the final weeks of the season.

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

DAL

@NE

CIN

NYG

@IND

One Week Wonders: Cedrick Wilson

TIGHT ENDS

Obvious Acquisitions: Dallas Clark

1. Ken Dilger, Buccaneers

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

51 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

Dilger was recommended last week and lived up to his billing. He is a favorite target of Brian Griese and as long as Griese is under center, Dilger deserves consideration as a starter in leagues of all sizes. He’s scored a touchdown in three out of the last four 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

SF

@CAR

ATL

@SD

NO


2. Jeb Putzier, Broncos

Last Week’s Stats

BYE

BYE

BYE

BYE

BYE

Breakout Performer

Putzier is coming off a bye, so his strong performance two weeks ago may have gone overlooked. The Denver TE isn’t posting dominant numbers like Antonio Gates or Jason Witten; however, he is putting up stats that merit a closer look. In the last four weeks, Putzier has two touchdowns and three games with 40+ yards. The problem for him has been a couple goose eggs performances. But with Jake Plummer playing at a high level, hopefully the days of Putzier catching zero passes are behind him. A soft schedule to close out the season should help.

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

OAK

@SD

MIA

@KC

One Week Wonders: Bubba Franks

Defense / Special Teams

Obvious Acquisitions: Chicago Bears

1. Green Bay Packers

Last Week’s Stats

31 pts. allw.

0 INTs

0 FR

4 Sacks

0 pts.

Breakout Performer

 

The last two weeks have been rough on Houston QB David Carr. During that stretch, his sieve-like offensive line has allowed nine sacks. Last week, Carr fumbled three times and threw three interceptions. Two of those turnovers were returned for touchdowns. Part of Houston’s problem is that they have been falling behind early and that has put the pressure on Carr (not to mention the offensive line). Look for that trend to continue this week against a hot Packers offense. While Green Bay’s defense was the target of much ridicule earlier in the year, they’ve come on of late. They logged four sacks last week against the Vikings.

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

STL

@PHI

DET

JAC

One Week Wonders: Indianapolis Colts