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 through Week 13.
Brian Griese, QB, Bears
Griese had a couple good games when owners needed him during the run of bye weeks. However, the job is Rex Grossman’s once more. Cut Griese if you were holding onto him as your backup.
Damon Huard, QB, Chiefs
Huard was benched in favor of Brodie Croyle and should be released.
Steve McNair, QB, Ravens
McNair has a shoulder injury that will keep him out at least a couple weeks. He may have played his last NFL game.
Michael Bennett, RB, Buccaneers
With Earnest Graham performing well and Michael Pittman returning from injury, Bennett likely has little value.
Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
Moss as been a supreme disappointment. Cut ties with him if there’s a better option on your waiver wire like Mark Clayton or D.J. Hackett.
Darrell Jackson, WR, 49ers
With Alex Smith playing like a junior varsity QB, Jackson’s value is minimal. It seems unlikely that he’ll become a fantasy factor in 2007.
Todd Heap, TE, Ravens
Heap returned last week and played his first game in six weeks. He promptly aggravated his hamstring injury. Heap will probably miss this week’s game and shouldn’t be counted on for fantasy purposes right now.
Ryan Longwell, K, Vikings
I can’t imagine how bad the Vikings offense will be without Adrian Peterson. Get rid of Longwell because points will be few and far between.
Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
A lot of Parker owners are growing impatient. Fast Willie has scored just one touchdown in his last seven games. Pittsburgh has done most of their scoring though the air. Ben Roethlisberger already has 22 TDs. As the weather grows colder and more unpredictable, don’t be surprised if the Steelers begin to lean more heavily on the rushing attack and Parker. Four of Pittsburgh’s final five games are in outdoor stadiums in cold weather cities.
Jon Kitna, QB, Lions
After a downward trend in pass attempts, Mike Martz was back to his old self. He called 45 pass plays on Sunday against the Cardinals, resulting in 294 yards and two scores for Jon Kitna. That might continue because Kevin Jones (foot) is not 100% right now. Kitna’s upcoming schedule doesn’t look as great as some other QBs out there. However, the teams he’ll face over the next four weeks (NYG, GB, MIN and DAL) all rank among the top 10 in run defense. If the Lions are going to have success, it will likely come through the air. Kitna’s value is relatively low right now. Make a deal for him now if you need a QB for the stretch run.
Cleveland Offensive Players
Beginning in Week 12, Cleveland’s schedule features games against the Texans, Cardinals, Jets, Bills and Bengals. ‘Nuff said.
Seattle Passing Attack
Mike Holmgren hasn’t been shy about letting people know about his team’s gameplan. The Seahawks are going to throw the ball early and often. The running game is sputtering. The key beneficiaries will be Matt Hasselbeck, D.J. Hackett, Bobby Engram and Deion Branch. Put the feelers out and see what it’ll take to get a piece of this action. At first glance, Seattle’s schedule looks thorny during the fantasy playoffs. Upon closer inspection, the Eagles, Cardinals, Panthers and Ravens are all average versus the pass and they’re trending downward.
Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
Get what you can for Benson now. He put up 76 yards and a touchdown against an inept Raiders run defense and his value is probably as high as it’ll be for the rest of the year. He certainly won’t have much luck in the fantasy playoffs when he faces the Redskins, Vikings and Packers.
Jesse Chatman, RB, Dolphins
Chatman draws the Ravens and the Patriots during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15 and 16). If he’s your backup RB, you can get by with him on your roster. He has a couple nice matchups before the season is over. However, if you’ve locked up a playoff berth and were planning on starting him during the postseason, it’s a good idea to make a deal for a back with a more favorable schedule.
Justin Fargas, RB, Raiders
Fargas is shaping up to be a decent RB2, but that won’t last long. Before too long the Raiders will want to see what they have in some of their other RBs, including Dominic Rhodes and Michael Bush. Plus, their schedule doesn’t look good in the final three weeks with games on the road in Green Bay and Jacksonville as well as at home against Indianapolis. Get what you can for Fargas while he still has some value.
Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
Burress’ ankle injury looks like it’s going to hamper him for the rest of the year. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 6 and is clearly laboring. See if you can find someone who is still mesmerized by Plax’s early season heroics. The best case scenario is that he’ll be inconsistent. The worst case is that he’ll be consistently bad.
How the mighty have fallen. Baltimore’s defense got old fast. Over the next four weeks, they’ll play the Browns, Chargers, Patriots and Colts. Each of these opponents will score more than 20 points. Shop them to a league member who has a man crush on Ray Lewis. Then grab a defense with upside of the wire like the Titans, Seahawks or Bucs.