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The Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 9
Paul Sandy
October 29, 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.


Cut ‘em

J.T. O’Sullivan, QB, 49ers
JTO has been demoted to second string QB. The real losers are fantasy defenses.

Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
Not worth hanging onto at this point unless you’re in a keeper or dynasty league.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks
Still has tingling in his legs and won’t be given medical clearance to play until it goes away. Don’t wait for that to happen if you can find a decent option on your waiver wire.

Brad Johnson, QB, Cowboys
Johnson Haiku: QB scans the field; T.O. and Roy are open; Wounded duck takes flight

LeRon McClain, RB, Ravens
McGahee and Rice are getting most of the work now. Thank McClain for his contribution to your squad and move on.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders
Bush may have a bright future but he’s not seeing enough action behind Fargas and McFadden.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
The dreaded high ankle sprain will likely keep this rookie on the injury report for weeks. Too bad because it looks like Larry Johnson will miss the next four games.

Andre Hall, RB, Broncos
Fumbles and the return of Ryan Torain will make Hall a fourth-stringer going forward.

Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles
Owners in small leagues might find someone better on the waiver wire. Brown is banged up and likely won’t see enough targets.

Patrick Crayton, WR, Cowboys
The arrival of Roy Williams makes Crayton all but irrelevant for fantasy purposes.

L.J. Smith, TE, Eagles
Injuries continue to limit Smith. Dump him for someone with more upside.

Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
Davis is already in coach Singletary’s doghouse. The bye week is a good time to cut ties.

Nick Folk, K, Cowboys
Take another look after the bye if Romo returns, but Folk is a liability right now.


Buy ‘em

Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
Wayne’s dismal showings in the last two games can be attributed in part to drawing coverage from Charles Woodson and Cortland Finnegan—two premier NFL cornerbacks. He won’t be as good as he was in years past but there’s a high probability he’ll re-emerge as a top 15 WR for the rest of the season. After the Colts get past New England and Pittsburgh, their schedule lightens up for a playoff run with games against the Texans, Chargers, Browns, Bengals, Lions and Jaguars. Now is the time to deal for him.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
Despite some big games recently, Williams is still part of a RBBC backfield so he’s affordable. Playoff-minded fantasy owners who aren’t enthralled with their RB2 slot should look to acquire Williams or Jonathan Stewart. Carolina’s backfield will benefit greatly in Week 15 when they face the Broncos. Denver’s run defense has been miserable this season. Before pulling the trigger recognize that Williams and Stewart will face the Bucs in Week 14 and Giants in Week 16. In the near term, Williams and Stewart will also fare well against the Raiders, Lions and Falcons after the bye this week. Acquire Williams with the intention to use him as part of a committee RB approach.

Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
The novelty of the Wildcat formation has been eroded by a couple tough tests against the Ravens and Bills. Brown can likely be had for a fraction of what you would’ve had to pay a few weeks ago. If you’re on the playoff bubble, he’s is a player worth targeting immediately. The Dolphins have a cushy schedule coming up. Starting this week they’ll tangle with the Broncos followed by the Seahawks, Raiders, Patriots and Rams. All five teams rank in the bottom half of the NFL in run defense.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills
Backup Fred Jackson has cut into Lynch’s playing time the last two weeks, sniping 19 carries. If the Lynch owner in your league has an itchy trigger finger, try to capitalize. I love the Bills schedule going forward, especially as the weather in Buffalo gets cold and the running game takes on added importance. Over the course of the next eight games, the Bills will face the Jets, Patriots, Browns, Chiefs, 49ers, Dolphins, Jets and Broncos. Of those teams, only the Jets and Dolphins rank among the top 15 run defenses—and Lynch can be played with confidence against both of them.

Sell ‘em

Kyle Orton, QB, Bears
Let me preface by stating I like Orton as a short term solution at QB if you’re in win-now mode. The Bears have a relatively favorable schedule through Week 13. At that point, I worry about the weather. Chicago has three home games in December in Weeks 14-16—the playoffs for most leagues. All I’m saying is you don’t want to scratch and claw your way to the postseason only to have poor weather wipe out your QB production. Get some wins out of him now if you need to; then trade him before the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Ryan Grant, RB, Packers
Grant’s value is as high as it’s been since your fantasy draft. Cash in now because Green Bay’s schedule is a nightmare coming up from a rushing perspective. The next three games are against the Titans, Vikings and Bears.

Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
New York has had no qualms about sitting Burress down when he acts up. His immaturity makes him a liability for fantasy owners at this point. What’s worse, his schedule doesn’t look very promising with unfavorable matchups in four of the next six weeks. See what you can get for this malcontent.

Hold ‘em

Michael Turner, RB, Falcons
Two shaky performances and a bye over the last three weeks may have you down on Turner but don’t deal him now. Your patience is about to pay off. The “Burner” should be in line for some big games with the Raiders, Saints and Broncos up next. While the New Orleans is okay against the run, the Raiders and Broncos are dreadful. Plus, with teams realizing they need to respect QB Matt Ryan, Turner should face fewer eight-man fronts.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs
Bowe had his first 100-yard performance of the year last week against the Jets. The temptation might be there to deal him but the bottom line is Bowe has been steady regardless of who is playing QB. He generally catches 6-7 passes per game. His schedule is decent in the coming weeks so there’s no reason to deal him.

Minnesota Offense, All Positions, Vikings

The Vikings close out the season with one of fantasy football’s most favorable schedules—particularly in Weeks 14-16. A home game against the Texans this week is followed by two testy opponents in the Packers and Bucs. After that it’s smooth sailing for the Viking ship with games against the Jaguars, Bears, Lions, Cardinals and Falcons. Jacksonville and Chicago may seem like difficult foes, but the Vikings already hung 41points on the Bears and the Jags aren’t as tough as they once were. Hang onto Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Bernard Berrian, Visanthe Shiancoe and even Gus Frerotte.

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