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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Player Trends Report - Quarterbacks - Week 15
Scott Boyter
December 9, 2008
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers
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RISING

Matt Schaub, Texans – You thought Schaub might be worth picking up once he returned, but how many of you thought he’d perform anywhere close to that level, especially on the road against the Packer pass defense? Raise your hand if you envisioned 414 yards and two touchdowns, for you, sir, are a Fantasy genius. The rest of us were stunned. A lot of people are going to run to Schaub assuming the magic will continue, but can you really expect something similar against Tennessee?

Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Kudos again go to Rodgers for yet another strong showing (295 yards and two scores against Houston). The problem is, it was in a losing effort – one that basically eliminated Green Bay from playoff contention. Will the Packers still play hard at the end of one of the most bitter seasons in team history? Can you trust Rodgers in this week’s Fantasy playoff game? He’s got a favorable matchup on the road against Jacksonville, so you can’t be blamed for leaning toward Rodgers.

Shaun Hill, 49ers – Hill had another strong game – his fourth in five weeks – against the Jets, throwing for 285 yards and two scores against the Jets. The Dolphins have been good against the pass, allowing an average of only 129 yards. That other game, however, was against New England, where Miami’s pass D was shredded for 408 net passing yards. Odds are Hill’s numbers will fall somewhere in the middle, say 240 yards and a couple of scores. That’ll keep you in contention in your playoff game. But this comes with a strong caveat: Frank Gore’s health. Gore missed the end of the Jet game, and if he can’t go this week Hill’s numbers will likely suffer. Keep a close eye on that.

Kyle Orton, Bears – Maybe the ankle is OK after all. Orton snapped out of a four-game funk to register 219 yards and two scores. Not great numbers, of course, but quite a bit better than he had been posting recently. The Saints, this week’s opponent, haven’t been the no-brainer pushover in pass defense as in previous seasons, but Orton should still have a good chance of posting respectable numbers.

Philip Rivers, Chargers – It’s a coin flip as to which version of Rivers will show up every week. Maybe the most maddening quarterback in Fantasy Football, Rivers has alternated between great and putrid his last five games. He was great last week against Oakland; does that mean he’ll crater this week against the Chiefs? The game is in Kansas City, but you’ve still got to think Rivers will post some good stats against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

Seneca Wallace, Seahawks – Wallace is another guy who came out of nowhere to score more Fantasy points than a lot of more established quarterbacks this week. This is not to suggest that you’ll even think about starting him, not at all. Wallace is on this list to serve as a reminder that someone completely under the radar is going to out-perform a lot of studs this week. If you can identify the best candidate to do so, it would be worth your while to at least consider putting that player in your lineup if your starter and backup have bad matchups.

FALLING

Tony Romo, Cowboys – This greatly pains me to say, but Romo flat-out sucked against the Steelers, obviously, and probably took a whole lot of Fantasy teams down. Of course, if you started Romo against Pittsburgh on the road, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you – you should have known better. He’s on the “falling” list this week because of a pathetic performance, but I’ve got a feeling he won’t be next week. Call me guilty of wearing silver-and-blue colored glasses, but I just have a hunch he’s going to put up big, big numbers against the big, bad Giants.

Brett Favre, Jets – For the second week in a row Favre was bad. He was a little better than the previous week against Denver, but still bad. He’s long past “must-start” status; in fact, he’s closer to “must-bench.” Not saying he’s there, but he’s close. Buffalo’s pass defense is banged up, but the Bills haven’t allowed a 200-yard game in three out of the last four contests. In Week 16 Favre takes on the Seahawks, a game in which he should be worth Fantasy consideration. But this week you should probably consider another option.

Eli Manning, Giants – You may not have expected a big day from Manning, but you thought he’d come up with something more than 123 yards and a score against Philadelphia. And now he’ll be on the road to face a Dallas defense that’s foaming at the mouth. Manning is usually money against the Cowboys, but again, I just have a feeling that he’ll have a hard time this week.

Gus Frerotte, Vikings – That was quick. The one week he was probably getting some starting consideration from quite a few QB-strapped Fantasy players, he flames out – against the Lions, no less – with 70 yards and two picks before leaving the game with a back injury. It was too early to tell at this writing if Frerotte would play against Arizona, but even if he does he’s gone back to being basically a Fantasy afterthought.

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