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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Free Agent Forecast - Week 12
Paul Sandy
November 23, 2004

QUARTERBACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Jake Plummer

1. Steve McNair, Titans

Last Week’s Stats

18 comp.

30 att.

209 yds.

1 TD

4 rush yds.

Breakout Performer

 

McNair has been one of the bigger busts this season. He has just five touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. With such disappointing stats, McNair is available on the waiver wire in many leagues. If that’s the case in your league, consider acquiring him for your playoff run. Starting running back Chris Brown is nursing an injured toe. That puts an increased emphasis on the passing game. A match-up next week against the Texans should lead to bountiful fantasy points. In fact, McNair’s schedule over the next four weeks is pretty sweet. Look for him to make amends for a poor first 11 weeks as we close out 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

@HOU

@IND

KAN

@OAK

DEN


2. Kyle Boller, Ravens

Last Week’s Stats

22 comp.

34 att.

232 yds.

2 TDs

9 rush yds.

Breakout Performer

With Jamal Lewis likely to miss at least one or two weeks, Kyle Boller figures to play a larger role in the offense. Boller has posted some nice stats the last couple weeks. Next week’s match-up against the Patriots could be a tough one. However, games versus the Bengals, Giants and Colts during the fantasy playoff stretch are favorable for decent production. If you’ve been platooning QBs successfully and hope to continue that strategy in the playoffs, Boller could make a nice late-season acquisition.

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

CIN

NYG

@IND

@PIT


3. Todd Bouman, Saints

Last Week’s Stats

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

DNP

Breakout Performer

 

The Saints play five of their last six games against division opponents. With such a back-loaded schedule, New Orleans still is technically in the playoff mix. However, a loss this week to the Falcons would signal the end of the season and perhaps the end of the line for Aaron Brooks. Brooks has made some boneheaded plays in the past few weeks, including a terrible pass that was returned for a TD last week. If you play in a deep league or if you’ve been relying on Brooks all season, roll the dice on Todd Bouman. The seven-year vet has looked good in limited action throughout his career. He could post some nice stats in an offense that frequently plays catch-up.

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

CAR

@DAL

@TAM

ATL

One Week Wonders: Drew Bledsoe

RUNNING BACKS

Obvious acquisitions: Julius Jones

1. Nick Goings, Panthers

Last Week’s Stats

22 car.

121 yds.

3 rec.

21 yds.

3 TDs

Breakout Performer

The breakout game by Nick Goings stings. I’ve been following the Panthers backfield like a hawk for the past few weeks, but didn’t see Goings as the featured back. However, the season-ending injury to Joey Harris has vaulted him into that role. He’ll be the top free agent acquisition this week. Games against New Orleans and St. Louis could be huge.

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

STL

@ATL

@TAM


2. Chester Taylor, Ravens

Last Week’s Stats

15 car.

33 yds.

4 rec.

18 yds.

1 TD

Breakout Performer

 

The results of the MRI on Jamal Lewis’ ankle will be publicized later today. Early estimates have Lewis missing at least one or two weeks. The injury makes Chester Taylor a critical free agent acquisition this week. Taylor’s value is even higher than when Lewis was suspended earlier this year because fellow RB Musa Smith is likely out for the year with a broken leg. Grab Taylor if he’s available and don’t hesitate to use him, especially against the Bengals in two 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

 

@NE

CIN

NYG

@IND

@PIT


3. Maurice Hicks, 49ers

Last Week’s Stats

7 car.

36 yds.

3 rec.

37 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

Kevan Barlow has one foot in the San Francisco 49ers doghouse. His poor attitude has resulted in more carries for Maurice Hicks, who was recommended here last week. Hicks is making the most of his opportunities, averaging more than five yards per carry in each of the last two games. If you can afford a roster spot, he’s worth a shot. The 49ers are already looking ahead to next year and they’re quickly running out of patience with Barlow. Look for Hicks to begin earning double digit carries before long.

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

@STL

@ARZ

WAS

BUF


4. Tony Fisher, Packers

Last Week’s Stats

7 car.

14 yds.

4 rec.

18 yds.

0 TDs

Breakout Performer

 

Ahman Green left Sunday night’s game against the Texans early in the first quarter with bruised ribs. A rib injury caused Eagles Brian Westbrook to miss a couple games earlier in the season. While the severity of Green’s injury is unknown, it’d be tough for any RB to play with tender ribs. The position brings about so much contact. If Green can’t play, Tony Fisher would likely assume most of the carries unless Walter Williams manages to return from an ankle injury. Monitor the situation.

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

@PHI

DET

JAC

@MIN

One Week Wonders: None

WIDE RECEIVERS

Obvious acquisitions: Donte Stallworth, Justin McCareins, Eddie Kennison and Johnnie Morton

1. Deion Branch, Patriots

Last Week’s Stats

6 rec.

105 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

The Forecast gave readers a heads up on Branch last week. He’s listed here again as the top free agent receiver. If he’s still available in your league, make acquiring him a priority. He returned to action last night in primetime and was clearly QB Tom Brady’s favorite target. He could re-emerge as one of the NFL’s hottest receivers over the last six games and can be used as a weekly starter in leagues of any size.

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

BAL

@CLE

CIN

MIA

NYJ


2. Joe Jurevicius, Buccaneers

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

82 yds.

2 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

Jurevicius missed the first half of the season with a back injury. Sunday he got into the swing of things catching two touchdown passes. QB Brian Griese likes to spread the ball around, so Jurevicius shouldn’t disappear from the stat line anytime soon. Acquire him this week. He could get hot down the stretch and can be used as early as next week against the Chiefs.

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


3. Antwaan Randle El, Steelers

Last Week’s Stats

2 rec.

17 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

 

Pittsburgh starting wideout Plaxico Burress could miss up to two weeks with a hamstring injury. The Steelers have been one of the more consistent passing teams in the league. That makes Antwaan Randle El a worthy acquisition this week. QB Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t utilized Randle El very often, but with Burress out, look for the duo to get acquainted with each other 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

 

WAS

@JAC

NYJ

@NYG

BAL


4. Todd Pinkston, Eagles

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

106 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

Pinkston has had solid fantasy performances in three of his last five outings. The only problem is that in the other two games he was virtually a non-factor. It’s a good sign for Pinkston that QB Donovan McNabb is now looking for his number two wideout a few times per game and often on deep routes. In the early weeks, McNabb had eyes for Terrell Owens only. Favorable match-ups against the Giants, Packers, Cowboys and Rams should help Pinkston in his cause to become more consistent.

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

GB

@WAS

DAL

@STL


5. Jerry Rice, Seahawks

Last Week’s Stats

3 rec.

86 yds.

1 TD

 

 

Breakout Performer

Koren Robinson’s appeal of a substance-abuse violation was finally heard last week. As expected, it was unsuccessful. Jerry Rice started in Robinson’s place and had his best game as a Seahawk. The NFL’s all-time leading receiver will continue to be a fantasy factor for the next few weeks. If he’s available in your league, acquire him and don’t be afraid to plug him into your active line-up, particularly in the upcoming games against the Cowboys and 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

 

BUF

DAL

@MIN

@NYJ

ARZ

One Week Wonders: None

TIGHT ENDS

Obvious Acquisitions: Marcus Pollard

1. Freddie Jones, Cardinals

Last Week’s Stats

5 rec.

73 yds.

0 TDs

 

 

Breakout Performer

A change at quarterback could be just what Freddie Jones needs to salvage an otherwise disappointing season. Jones wasn’t having much luck with Josh McCown under center, but head coach Dennis Green unexpectedly benched McCown in favor of Shaun King. King honed in on his tight end throughout the game and Jones had his best game of the season. As you gear up for your playoffs, the veteran TE could be a good player to have on your roster. The Cardinals will face some soft defenses in the coming 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

NYJ

@DET

SF

STL

@SEA

One Week Wonders: Mark Campbell

Defense / Special Teams

Obvious Acquisitions: None

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Last Week’s Stats

19 pts. allw.

0 INTs

1 FR

7 Sacks

0 pts.

Breakout Performer

 

Despite a tough loss, the Bengals had a strong defensive performance Sunday against the Steelers. Cincinnati sacked rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger seven times and forced a fumble. This week, the Bengals will face a Cleveland Browns team that is on a downward spiral. QB Jeff Garcia is expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury. That puts the offense in Kelly Holcomb’s hands. In his last three starts, Holcomb threw five interceptions and was sacked nine times. I expect the Bengals to cause at least a few turnovers, and they have an excellent chance to score a defensive 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

CLE

@BAL

@NE

BUF

NYG

One Week Wonders: Carolina Panthers