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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Player Trends Report - Receivers - Week 12
Tim Van Prooyen
November 18, 2008
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers
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RISING

Jabar Gaffney, Patriots - Gaffney had received a lot more attention from Matt Cassel the past couple of weeks.  He hasn’t had a good year at all, and has been a somewhat forgotten man in the wake of Brady’s injury.  However, with four catches two weeks ago and seven this week, he’s obviously entered the game plan to an extent.  He had a solid game against the Dolphins early in the season and they are up on the schedule this week, so his upside is fairly decent in the late part of the season.

Donnie Avery, Rams - It would appear that the Rams realized that once rising star Avery was being underused and they made big adjustments to remedy that situation this week.  So, that puts his good weeks at four of the past six, and that’s as good as you can hope for with most of the mid tier receivers.  The good news, Seattle, Arizona and Miami are coming up in three of the next four weeks.  The bad news, Chicago is up first, but they have a suspect pass defense, so it could actually benefit Avery a bit.

Ted Ginn, Jr., Dolphins - After wallowing in oblivion, Ginn has found new life recently.  He has fourteen catches and almost 300 yards receiving the last three games, with a touchdown thrown in this week.  The Dolphins surprisingly find themselves in the playoff hunt, so will do all they can to get there, and things seem to be gelling at the right time.  Look for Ginn to be a nice surprise late season start as you move into your playoffs.  The team is trying to get him the ball in multiple ways, always good for fantasy owners.

Justin Gage, Titans - After missing time with an injury, Gage has now had three touchdowns in the past two games, on only eight catches, four per game.  He has almost two hundred yards in those games as a bonus.  With teams bulking up to stop the run, the passing game is beginning to fly in Tennessee.  With the Jets, Lions, Browns and Texans coming up over the next four weeks, he’s a good start as the playoff push gets into full swing.

Kevin Curtis, Eagles - Since returning from injury Curtis has returned to being the most reliable receiver the Eagles have on any given week.  When his receptions and yards haven’t been high he’s made up for it with a touchdown, consistency at its finest.  The next few weeks are one up, one down as far as opponents go, with Baltimore on tap followed by Arizona, and so on, but there is no reason to think he won’t continue to put up modest numbers each week.

Greg Olsen (TE), Bears - Olsen was on the rise until Kyle Orton was injured, now, with Orton back, his stock would appear to be on the upswing again.  He was worthless with Grossman under center, so this makes some sense.  He won’t be a top option, but most definitely is a viable starter if you need one or are looking for depth.

FALLING

Laveranues Coles, Jets - 8 catches.  92 yards.  0 touchdowns.  This is the great production of Coles over the past three weeks.  After his slow start it looked like he and Favre had clicked and were going to be a new force.  Alas, not so much.  Coles may be a victim of his own attitude or just having trouble getting open, but the best answer is probably a little bit of both.  All in all, try to find other options until this ship gets righted!

Santana Moss, Redskins - An up and down year seems to be taking more trips to the down side than the up.  Jason Campbell has come a long way, yes, but he isn’t a top gunslinger yet.  The Redskins still have some growing to do but Moss does have a good future, just don’t expect much this year.  Sure, he’ll have a couple of nice days yet, but consider him a borderline bench option rather than a must start if you have more viable choices.

Steve Breaston, Cardinals - It looks like his big week against San Fran was a bit of anomaly.  He came back to earth and his cohorts took the big numbers again.  This is how it will be most weeks with all three healthy, but he’ll break out here and there, so he has starting value still in deep leagues, but don’t expect him to have many stats most weeks.  His long term upside is solid though, whether with the Cards or with another team.  However, short term, unless your desperate, try keeping him on your bench.

Jason Witten (TE), Cowboys - There comes a time when you have to admit the obvious.  That time has come for Witten.  He’s now had three straight very subpar weeks.  Subpar doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  Three catches for forty two yards and no scores is just pathetic.  While you can’t really justify benching him, it is becoming tough to justify hanging with him too.  However, the hope is with the return of Romo will come the return of Witten’s value, so cross your fingers going forward, but don’t have high expectations.

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