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The Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 7
Paul Sandy
October 15, 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

Jon Kitna, QB, Lions
Detroit placed Kitna on IR ending his season. It looks like he might have played his last game for the Lions. Cut him now and look for alternatives on the waiver wire.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
It doesn’t look like the elbow issue is going away. If there’s a promising QB on your waiver wire like Schaub, Anderson or Orton, make the switch.

Chris Perry, QB, Bengals
It looks like Perry is about to be demoted. Consider dumping him in small leagues. Look for Cedric Benson or Kenny Watson on the waiver wire if you just have to have a Bengals RB.

Jerry Porter, WR, Jaguars
I have a hard time believing this stiff is still owned in close to 30% of leagues. Jacksonville is on bye so this is the perfect time to cut him.

Chansi Stuckey, WR, Jets
He’s gone scoreless in two straight games after recording a touchdown in each of the first three. It’s okay to cut him but keep him on your radar in case Laveranues Coles or Jerricho Cotchery gets hurt.

Robert Meachem, WR, Saints
The New Orleans receivers are getting healthy, which will push Meachem back down the depth chart. He might have a big game or two before it’s all said and done, but you’ll never know when it’s coming.

Javon Walker and Ronald Curry, WRs, Raiders
Oakland is reportedly considering shaking up their WR depth chart. Walker and Curry haven’t been getting it done so now is a good time to cut bait.

SHOP

Buy ‘em

Sammy Morris, RB, Patriots
Morris is the perfect target for owners who started the season slowly and need quick wins. With Laurence Maroney laboring with a shoulder injury, Morris is the team’s top RB. Over the next three games, the Patriots have arguably the most favorable schedule in the entire NFL from a rushing perspective. They face the Broncos (26th against the run), Rams (30th) and Colts (29th). Look for Morris to post four TDs over the next three games.

Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
Addai has been one of the bigger busts this season and now he’s injured. Not exactly the type of player you want on your team, right? If your team is struggling, he should probably be avoided. On the other hand, if you’re 6-0 or 5-1, a trade for Addai now could pay dividends late in the season. For the first time in a long time, the Colts will likely have something to play for over the last few games of the season. It doesn’t appear they’ll have home field advantage locked up. Beginning in Week 10, Indianapolis will face the Texans, Chargers, Browns, Bengals, Lions and Jaguars. All of those teams are weak versus the run. Even if he’s splitting carries with Dominic Rhodes, Addai will be productive in those games.

Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
Smith has been steady since returning from suspension. He’s exceeded 90 yards receiving in each of his last three games. However, the touchdowns haven’t been there. He has just one touchdown in four games this season, which makes him affordable. The time is right to swing a deal because I fully expect Smith’s productivity to skyrocket over the next several games. The Panthers have the Saints, Cardinals, Raiders, Lions and Falcons on tap. All five of those teams rank in the bottom half of the NFL versus the pass.

Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos
An injury, a difficult schedule and an upcoming bye week are pulling down Royal’s value. All of those issues will be in Royal’s rearview mirror after Week 8 so now is the time to swing a trade for him. Following the bye, Denver will face the Dolphins, Browns, Falcons and Raiders. A healthy Royal could average 90 ypg over that four-week stretch. 

Sell ‘em

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
Romo is slated to return after Dallas has its bye in Week 10. The temptation might be there to keep him for the home stretch. However, Dallas has brutal matchups in four of their last six games. In Week 11, they face Washington on the road. In Weeks 12 and 13, they get the 49ers and Seahawks. That’s not too bad, but after that they close things out during the fantasy postseason with games against the Steelers, Giants and Ravens. Get whatever value you can for Romo at this point. With the acquisition of Roy Williams, Romo may still command a pretty penny.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
Jones-Drew is coming off a monster performance against the Broncos, which has increased his sales price. Although he has incredible potential, Jones-Drew is maddeningly inconsistent. Fred Taylor may have gotten his bell rung last Sunday, but he’s still an important cog in the Jaguars offense and will continue to command 50% or more of the touches. That will prevent Jones-Drew from becoming anything more than a RB2 for fantasy purposes.

Pittsburgh Offense, Steelers
Owners who are already eyeing a playoff berth, should consider dealing their Pittsburgh offensive players. The Steelers have hands down the most difficult run of games during the fantasy playoffs. In Week 15, they get the Ravens. In Week 16, they face the Titans. What’s worse, both are road games. In Weeks 13-14, things are only mildly more favorable with matchups against the Patriots and Cowboys.

Hold ‘em

Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, QB/WR, Texans
The duo finally fulfilled their potential, hooking up for 178 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins. While you might be inclined to sell high, I urge you to take a look at Houston’s schedule. Over the next five games, Johnson and Schaub face the Lions, Vikings, Bengals, Colts and Browns. There’s not a scary game in that stretch (with the possible exception of Indy), so Schaub and Johnson should make up for their slow start.

Matt Forte, RB, Bears
You may have read elsewhere about the potential for Forte to hit the so called “rookie wall” over the second half of the season. Is it possible? Yeah, lots of rookie backs have tailed off toward the end of the season. Then again, plenty have delivered the goods well into the winter. During his rookie year, Edgerrin James averaged 118.3 all-purpose yards and scored eight TDs in December. Likewise, Clinton Portis averaged 165.2 total yards with nine TDs in December of his rookie season. While he’s not performing at quite the same level as James or Portis, Forte brings similar versatility as an every-down, multi-purpose back who doesn’t really share carries. If you decide to deal him, it better be for top dollar because RBs of his ilk are few and far between. I suggest hanging onto him and exploiting a relatively easy schedule following the bye in Week 8 that includes games against the Lions, Packers (twice), Rams, Jaguars and Saints.

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