With only four games this afternoon, and one of them featuring the top two defenses in the NFL, I don’t expect a lot of action between 4 and 8pm EST.
Category: Denver Broncos
Good work, Tatum. Earlier this season it looked as though your only contribution to the 2008 NFL Season would be your cunning acquisition of Rudi Johnson’s luggage. Now, though, with Denver down to their 8th string running back after Peyton Hillis’ injury, it looks like you’ll get a chance to be an every-down back for a couple of weeks.
Myth: The Broncos had to put 3 RBs on the IR to get Tatum Bell playing time.
Fact: The Broncos had to put 4 RBs on the IR to get Tatum Bell playing time.
These next few weeks will put coach Mike Shanahan’s revolving backfield to the test—if the teams’ 6th (at least) RB can put up decent numbers, then just about anyone can. Hell, who would have bet that Peyton Hillis would be a late season fantasy factor above his fellow RB rookies from Arkansas, Felix Jones and Darren McFadden? Bell will get some chances because, well, there’s nobody else. At least nobody has slipped on a McDonalds bag yet…
Before you go grab Bell and put him in your lineup, consider that the Broncos all but have the AFC Weak, errr, AFC West, wrapped up. Why risk losing yet another back when you can air it out to your heart’s content and save him for the Wild-Card round? Bell should get some chances and be a decent flex option if you own one of several RBs who went down Sunday (Portis, Gore, Jacobs, Addai, and the aforementioned Hillis).
Honorable mention goes to Dominic Rhodes, who should get a chance to shine following another disappointing performance from the injury riddled Joseph Addai, after a 1.5 year hiatus in Oakland and as Addai’s backup. Now with two injuries (that the Colts admit to, at least), Addai should get some quality time with Jim Sorgi and the other clipboard kings, with the Colts having all but locked up a playoff spot of their own after a slow start. And facing the Lions this week, Rhodes could have a big game.
Also considered: Tashard Choice RB-Dal, Derrick Ward RB-NYG, Pierre Thomas RB-NOW, Steve Smith WR-NYG, Deion Branch WR-SEA, Tavaris Jackson QB-MIN
Johnson Accuses Bell In Luggage Theft [ESPN]
Broncos’ Brandon Marshall Claims He Was Hurt Slipping on a McDonald’s Wrapper [AOL Fanhouse]
Meanwhile, what’s lost in this is that rookie WR Eddie Royal continues to put up numbers, even with Brandon Marshall back from suspension. And as an additional plus, it came against a team better than the Raiders!
Mike Martz may have an effect in San Francisco after all, as Frank Gore is doing his best vintage Marshall Faulk impression. Perhaps not to that degree, but he’ll be a good option all year long. See if his owner in your league might not be a believer yet and try to trade for him–I was able to snag him fairly late in a couple of my drafts.
The best fantasy omen may be the Detroit Lions defense, who the aforementioned Gore plays this week. This also makes JT O’Sullivan a viable fantasy option to grab if your starter has a tough matchup. There’s also an off chance he may keep it up past Detroit. Seattle and Detroit (the Niners previous and next opponents) rank 25th and 27th, respectively, in pass defense.
It might be time to cut bait on Packers RB Ryan Grant, though I hate to say it. I was a big fan of his entering the season, but hamstring injuries don’t heal quickly and Brandon Jackson is no slouch himself. If you can handcuff, I’d do so. If you can unload Grant for anything close to his preseason value, I’d do that too.
Though it pains me, someone who deserves more patience is the Cannabis Kid himself, Miami RB Ricky Williams. Though he’s taken a couple years off, he was once a dominant back, and could be so again once he shakes the rust off. However, there’s a good chance the problem is him (or the crappy offensive line). If he still sucks going into Week 5, I’d cut him then.
I read an article the other day that compared Chiefs RB Larry Johnson to Eddie George, and I can’t help but find the similarities alarming (disclosure: Especially as a Chiefs fan). He’s another guy, like Grant, that I would trade if you can get anything close to preseason value. It may be time to stash Jamaal Charles too, if you’re in a deep league.
Since the Seahawks are signing WR Koren Robinson and considering it an upgrade to their receiving corps, I think it’s safe to say you should temper your expectations for Matt Hasselbeck for the next few weeks. Coach Mike Holmgren said that he doesn’t expect WRs Deion Branch and Bobby Engram to return before the bye week. This implies that they’ll return shortly thereafter, so if you can trade for Hasselbeck (or pick him up in Free Agency), it’d be a worthwhile move. Remember, playing well in the fantasy playoffs is what counts, and it looks like they’ll be airing it out a lot by then with their struggling backfield.
Lastly, a word about the site. We’re working on fixing some of the minor problems (gliches, out of date quantitative analysis), but the qualitative stuff / blog info should continue to be top notch. It’ll take a little while to update everything, but we’re getting it done and taking it very seriously. If you have any questions, about the site, or want personal advice about fantasy football, love, or life in general, direct them to grafton at myfantasyball dot com. I’ll do my best to answer them in a timely manner.