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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Fantasy Chop Shop - Week 9
Paul Sandy
November 4, 2009
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Should you make a trade? Is it too early to cut the guy you drafted in the sixth round? Fantasy Chop Shop will strip apart the latest NFL player news and trends, and provide 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 or sell a player via trade). Fantasy Chop Shop will run every other Wednesday for the rest of the year.

Chop

Cut ‘em

Marc Bulger, QB, Rams
Zero touchdowns against the Lions? Are you kidding me?

Edgerrin James, RB, Seahawks
Cut by Seattle yesterday. He may have played his last down in the NFL.

Glen Coffee, RB, 49ers
Coffee only has value as a handcuff to Frank Gore and in dynasty leagues at this point.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders
Fargas is working as the primary RB, eliminating what little value Bush had.

Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens
His early season touchdowns are a distant memory.

Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys
With Barber and Jones back in the mix, Choice isn’t getting enough touches.

Sammy Morris, RB, Patriots
His injury is expected to keep him out awhile longer.

Chris Brown, RB, Texans
With the emergence of Ryan Moats, I’d be surprised if Brown averaged more than three touches per game for the rest of the year.

Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers
The arrival of Michael Crabtree killed what little value Morgan had.

Johnnie Knox, WR, Bears
The Bears offense has sputtered of late and so has Knox.

Earl Bennett, WR, Bears
Ditto for Bennett.

Chris Chambers, WR, Chiefs
Cut by the Chargers. Signed by the Chiefs. Hopefully, ignored by you.

Robert Meachem, WR, Saints
Too streaky and he’s not getting as many looks as Shockey and Henderson.

Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos
Hard to believe Royal could be the next Michael Clayton.

Donnie Avery, WR, Rams
With most of the bye weeks behind us hopefully we’ll never have to start a Rams wideout again in 2009.

Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
He still hasn’t clicked with Favre and is getting out-played by Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. On the bright side his schedule is promising following the bye. Still, I’d cut him in 10-team leagues if there are options on the waiver wire.

Roy Williams, WR, Cowboys
Yeah, he scored a touchdown. He’s still a waste of roster space in 8, 10 and even 12 team leagues.

Owen Daniels, TE, Texans
Thanks for the great first half of the season, Mr. Daniels. See you in 2010.

Kellen Winslow Jr., TE, Buccaneers
Winslow has posted one useful stat line in the last six weeks. With a tough upcoming schedule, Winslow is droppable in 10-team leagues.

Shop

Buy ‘em

Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals
The Chop Shop has pointed out Warner’s impeccable fantasy schedule previously but it’s worth repeating. After facing the Bears this week, Warner should explode in games against the Seahawks, Rams and Titans. He then gets the Vikings and 49ers followed by the lousiest of the lousy defenses (Lions and Rams) in Weeks 15 and 16. If your team is already well-positioned for a playoff berth, consider making a play for Warner.

Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
Brown’s value has tanked over the last couple weeks following two straight games with fewer than 50 yards rushing. Now he is perhaps the ideal target for owners on the playoff bubble who need to close out the regular season with a winning streak. His schedule stacks up as well as any RB in the NFL over the next four games with a meeting against the Patriots (fair matchup) followed by games versus the awful run defenses of the Bucs, Panthers and Bills. Brown will also rock the fantasy playoffs with games against the Jaguars, Titans and Texans.

Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
Witten has been arguably the biggest disappointment at the TE position this season. He has just one touchdown. With his value at rock bottom, this is a good time to wheel and deal for the Cowboys TE. Dallas will face the Eagles this week, a matchup that’s ideal for a Witten bounce-back. Philadelphia has allowed five TE scores in the last four weeks. Witten has scored or crossed the century mark in three of his last four games against the rival Eagles.

Sidney Rice, WR, Vikings
After reeling off four quality fantasy performances in five games, Rice’s production hit the skids in Week 8 against the Packers. He caught just four passes for 40 yards. With the Vikings on bye this week, the Rice owner in your league might be willing to part ways with the third-year wideout. When the Vikings return from bye, they’ll ride out a favorable four-game stretch that includes the Lions, Seahawks, Bears and Cardinals.

Sell ‘em

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans
Schaub’s value took a hit last week with the season-ending injury to TE Owen Daniels and the benching of Steve Slaton. Of the 16 TDs Schaub has thrown, half of them were caught by Daniels and Slaton. Although Houston’s schedule is favorable at the end of the year, the next month will be testy with two meetings against the Colts and a bye. Indianapolis has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to QBs. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out that Schaub’s injury history suggests he can get hurt tucking in his jersey or tying his shoes. If you’re in the thick of a playoff race, this could be a good time to sell Schaub.

Matt Forte, RB, Bears
Forte put up two touchdowns and 90 yards against the Browns giving a temporary boost to his value. While the other owners in your league will look at his two TDs as a sign of hope, you should take a long, hard look at his 90 yards rushing on 26 carries. It’s a disappointment against a Cleveland defense that allows over 170 yards per game on the ground. Unload Forte now because his schedule is sick for the rest of the year. In order, Forte will face the Cardinals, 49ers, Eagles, Vikings, Rams, Packers, Ravens and Vikings. Only St. Louis offers a favorable opportunity.

Roddy White, WR, Falcons
After a slow start to the season, White has awoken delivering five touchdowns in his last two games. It might be difficult to reconcile the idea of moving him now, but if WR is a position of strength for you, it might be in your best interest to test the market. The Falcons have a tough schedule to close out the season with games against good pass defenses like the Redskins, Panthers, Eagles, Saints, Jets and Bills. The games against the Jets and Bills are particularly troubling since they coincide with the fantasy playoffs. If you can get top dollar value for White, a “sell high” trade is worth considering.

Hold ‘em

Steve Slaton, RB, Texans
Step away from the ledge. Yes, Slaton likely fumbled away his starting job but unloading him when his value is in the toilet would be ill advised. There are a few reasons for hope that Slaton will continue to contribute. First, for much of his rookie campaign, Slaton was part of a committee backfield. Just as he was productive while splitting time with Ahman Green, Slaton can be productive this year even if he’s limited to 12 touches per game. Second, Moats has a lengthy injury history. Third, the Texans lost Owen Daniels and need someone who can catch short and intermediate passes—Slaton’s specialty. Fourth, Moats had a huge game against Buffalo’s junior varsity run defense but it remains to be seen how he’ll fare against stiffer competition. Bottom line: I doubt we’ve seen the last of Slaton and I doubt you can get anything of value for him on the trade circuit.

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