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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 9
Paul Sandy
October 31, 2007

The purpose of Fantasy Chop Shop is to 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 for the rest of the year.

Chop

Cut ‘em

DeShawn Wynn, RB, Packers
Unless you play in a dynasty league it’s safe to cut Wynn, who was placed on the IR yesterday. He won’t take the field again this season.

Chad Pennington, QB, Jets
Pennington lost his starting job and can be dropped in most leagues.

Daunte Culpepper, QB, Raiders
In Culpepper’s first game he put up five touchdowns. Since then, it’s been one mistake after another. It won’t be long before the Raiders make the switch to rookie JaMarcus Russell. Culpepper is no better than bye week fodder at this point.

Tatum Bell, RB, Lions
With Kevin Jones running at full speed and getting almost all the carries, it’s time to cut ties with Bell. He wasn’t even active last week.

Dominic Rhodes, RB, Raiders
Rhodes has fallen behind Justin Fargas on the depth chart and has minimal fantasy value at this point.

Darrell Jackson, WR, 49ers
Jackson is a long way from Seattle. He has averaged just 30 yards per game this season. Drop him and look for something more promising on the waiver wire.

Nate Burleson, WR, Seahawks
Burleson put up a couple nice games but he’s too inconsistent. The return of Deion Branch and D.J. Hackett make him all but irrelevant for fantasy purposes.

Shop

Buy ‘em

Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals
Ocho Cinco must have a backlog of endzone celebrations. He hasn’t scored a touchdown in five weeks and he only has one 100-yard game over that same period. His owners are growing impatient. Swoop in and make a deal for Johnson now while his value is low. He has been Mr. November over the past two seasons. In his last eight games played in the month of November, Johnson has averaged 132.9 yards per outing and posted seven scores.

Cleveland Offensive Players
If your fantasy team is headed for the playoffs, it’s not too early to evaluate the matchups in Weeks 14-16. No team has an easier run of opponents to close out the season than the Browns, who’ll face the Jets, Bills and Bengals. Outside of Braylon Edwards, the offensive players on this team should still be relatively cheap to acquire because they don’t carry much name value.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
Palmer has been consistent (at least one TD in every game this year) but outside of a 6-TD effort in Week 2, he hasn’t lived up to the high draft pick most owners spent to get him. If you need an arm for a playoff run, Palmer would be a good choice. He faces some favorable matchups coming up (including BUF, ARZ, TEN, SF and CLE). The Bengals offense will also get a shot of adrenaline when WR Chris Henry makes his return in a couple weeks.

Donald Driver, WR, Packers
Driver hasn’t played like the top 15 WR he was supposed to be. In the last five games, he hasn’t exceeded 60 yards or scored a touchdown. After Monday night’s explosive performance by Greg Jennings and James Jones, Driver owners might be wondering if their guy will ever return to form. If you can get him for cheap, do so. He remains Brett Favre’s most trusted target and will post three or four more big games before the season is over.

Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons
Norwood was clearly overvalued heading into this season and at this point you can probably get him for a song. As the Falcons fall out of the playoff mix, they will start to give him more carries. He closes out the year with a decent stretch of schedule that includes games against the Rams, Saints, Bucs and Cardinals. It’d be a savvy move to make him your RB3 if you have Addai, Willie Parker, Marion Barber or any other RB who might rest during the final week or two of the season.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
The Steelers offensive weapons continue to be a favorite recommendation of the Chop Shop. If your team is .500 or below and you’re desperate for a winning streak, make a push to acquire Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers. Most owners still don’t consider Big Ben to be an every week starter, so his value is relatively low. However, after he plays the Ravens this week he gets four straight games against some of the worst defenses in the NFL (CLE, NYJ, MIA and CIN).

Sell ‘em

Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
Although he’s not likely to play for at least a few more weeks, Johnson is still an attractive target for owners who are well positioned for the playoffs. You might have him stashed on your bench hoping he’ll carry your team later in the season. Don’t grasp at straws though. His impact probably won’t be anything near what it was at the beginning of the season. He likely won’t be in football shape because of his long layoff, which means the Texans will work him back slowly. Johnson will also go up against tough competition over the final four weeks of the fantasy season (TEN, TB, DEN and IND). Finally, there’s no guaranteed QB Matt Schaub will be in one piece by the time Johnson’s ready to take the field. Get what you can for him now.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
Jacobs has been a man-beast when healthy. However, his size and running style leave him vulnerable to injury. He’s already missed portions of a few games this season. Add in a tough schedule that includes games against the Cowboys, Vikings, Bears, Eagles and Redskins, and you have the makings of a potentially disappointing second half of the season. With a bye this week, now might be an opportune time to deal Jacobs.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
Jones-Drew is fantasy football’s version of Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. He started out quiet. Then he turned into a monster for a stretch of four weeks. His inconsistency is a risk that you might not want to carry over the last half of the season, particularly if your team is hovering around .500. I’m not a fan of his upcoming schedule with games against the Saints, Titans, Jaguars, Bills and Colts. He also gets the Steelers in Week 15, which I consider to be the most important week in fantasy football because if you win you’re typically in the championship (and in the money).

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