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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

The Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 3
Paul Sandy
September 17, 2008
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The Fantasy Chop Shop strips apart the latest NFL player news and trends, and provides 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, sell or hold a player). The Fantasy Chop Shop will run every other Wednesday for the rest of the year.

Chop

Cut ‘em

Mark Bulger, QB, Rams
The long TD pass to Torry Holt last week notwithstanding, Bulger can’t be trusted as a viable fantasy QB at this point. In his last 15 games, he has recorded multiple touchdowns just twice. You can probably do better by picking up a free agent.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers
Mendenhall has value in keeper and dynasty leagues, but he’s not necessarily a guy you absolutely need to hang onto in re-draft leagues. His tendency to put the ball on the turf has coaches leery of using him. Cut him, but only if there’s a gem on your wire.

Ahman Green, RB, Texans
These days, Green could get hurt dialing a telephone. Cut ties with him now and roll the dice with a young RB on your waiver wire.

Rudi Johnson, RB, Lions
Johnson is spent. And there’s nothing worse than a worn down RB playing on a cruddy team.

Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints
It’s a young man’s game and McAllister isn’t likely to get enough touches behind Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas.

Shaun Alexander, RB, FA
Even if another team gives him a look, it won’t change the fact that Alexander hits the hole with the urgency of a diseased snail. Dump this stiff.

Kevin Jones, RB, Bears
Stop clinging to the hope that Jones will ever return to fantasy relevance. Matt Forte is the man in Chicago. Jones is nothing more than a bit player. Handcuff him to Forte if you must. Otherwise chop him.

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Dolphins
Three receptions in two games. Regardless of whether he was your super sleeper, it’s time to move on.

Reggie Williams, WR, Jaguars
Williams scored 10 TDs last season and could rebound from a slow start. Still, if there are better options available, he’s definitely droppable.

Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
Davis still has fantasy cred based on his freakish workout at a draft combine a few years ago. Ridiculous. Cut him and stop clinging to the Davis pipe dream.

Shop

Buy ‘em

Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers
Delhomme has played a little better than the stats would have you believe. He’s had a couple big plays negated by penalties and seen a TD pass or two dropped in the endzone. His prospects get much better beginning this week. WR Steve Smith returns from his suspension. Plus the team faces a stretch of mediocre pass defenses in the coming weeks (Minnesota, Atlanta and Kansas City).

Derek Anderson, QB, Browns
Anderson has faced two tough defenses thus far—not to mention gusting winds and receivers who drop well thrown balls. With Baltimore on tap this week, Anderson owners are down in the dumps. See if you can get a bite on a lowball offer, plan to start someone else at QB this week and then ride Anderson when the schedule softens up beginning in Week 4.

Ryan Grant, RB, Packers
Grant disappointed against the Lions when most owners already had him penciled in for 120 yards and a touchdown. Exploit that frustration by making an offer for the 2007 waiver wire wonder. He missed most of training camp and is still getting into game shape after rehabbing a hamstring injury. When he kicks off the rust, he’ll return to top 10 form.

Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys
Marion Barber can dish out punishment to opponents, but can he absorb all the blows for 16 games? My hunch is no and I’d recommend grabbing Jones. The rookie can be used as a spot starter today and his value would skyrocket if Barber gets dinged.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
Jacobs has had some nice yardage games but hasn’t found his way in the endzone yet. That’s keeping his value at a reasonable level. If you started out your season with two losses and attribute those defeats to your RB position, consider making an offer for Jacobs. His upcoming schedule looks like a cake walk with games against the Bengals, Seahawks, Browns and 49ers. Jacobs could be just what you need to get in the win column.

Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
One of two things is going to happen in Minnesota. Either Tarvaris Jackson will figure out this quarterbacking thing or he’ll get benched in favor of Gus Frerotte. Although I’d bet every dime I own on the latter happening, either scenario will benefit Bernard Berrian. You should be able to get him for a song today . . . heck, he might even be on your waiver wire. Don’t expect him to set the fantasy football world on fire, but he could put up WR3 numbers.

Donald Driver, WR, Packers
Considering how good the Green Bay offense has looked thus far, Driver can likely be acquired for a reasonable price. He has one touchdown and a combined 90 yards receiving in two games. Lost in the box scores though, Driver had a long TD called back because of a penalty. I expect he won’t finish too far behind Greg Jennings in fantasy points when all is said and done.

Sell ‘em

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers
I love Sproles but his value is way too high right now. Owners are treating him as if LaDainian Tomlinson is going to go on IR. While turf toe is painful, it’s not going to sideline him for the year. Even if LT does miss time, Sproles is unlikely to carry a full load. He’d split time with Jacob Hester. Sproles’ listed weight is 181 lbs. Get what you can for him now.

Hines Ward, WR, Steelers
I’m a huge Ward fan and own him in a couple leagues. But let’s be realistic, his three touchdowns to start the season have his value up in the stratosphere. I expect him to continue to be a solid second or third wide receiver for fantasy teams but he can’t keep up this pace. If you’re deep at WR and can get top value for Ward, make the deal.

Julius Jones, RB, Seattle
Jones is coming off his best game since 2005. Chances are he’ll follow it up with another solid effort this week in St. Louis. At that point, you might be able to make the case that he’s a viable RB2 and get a decent player in return. Go for it. Seattle’s schedule tightens up with games against the Giants, Packers and Bucs on the horizon. Plus, Maurice Morris is due back in the next few weeks.

Hold ‘em

Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
He won’t repeat his monster performance from Week 2, but no team has a more favorable schedule versus the pass in the coming weeks than the Redskins. Moss should continue to put up fine numbers against the Cardinals, Rams, Browns and Lions—which represent four of the next six matchups for Washington. He has also had huge games historically against the Cowboys, a team he’ll face in Week 4.

All Denver Offensive Players
If you own a piece of Denver’s offense, be careful not to get an itchy trigger finger. The Broncos have looked incredible against what were supposed to be above-average defenses.

Other Features
Game Predictions & Player Projections
Free Agent Forecast
Early Injury Report
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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