Friday, November 25, 2005

NFL WEEK 12 START & SIT ... THANKSGIVING DAY

For those ffspiral.com members ... I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and kept the family in-fighting to a minimum. Thanks for visiting my Blog!

BRIEF THANKSGIVING DAY RE-CAP!

ATLANTA at DETROIT: If you ARE familiar with ffspiral.com, and happened to have perused the Weekly "Pick 'em" page... then you're aware that I selected the Falc's "DVD" (Dunn, Vick, Duckett) and TE Alge Crumpler, and the Lions' KJ, and Roy Williams as "Must Start" fantasy candidates. I projected Vick's favorite target, Crumpler (7/104/2), to be "amongst the most productive fantasy TEs of the week." After ringing up 100+ receiving yards and finding the End-Zone twice Thursday afternoon... the big guy certainly stands to be. Warrick Dunn (116 rushing yards... but no TDs) enjoyed yet another 100+ yard afternoon, T.J Duckett hung 70+ yards and a TD (his waning minutes fumble infuriates), and Vick (146 easy passing yards with a pair o' 6s and an INT, 57 rushing yards on 6 carries) had a solid afternoon as well.
After rushing 4 times for 32 yards, Lion RB KJ suffered a Quad' injury Thursday... but WR Roy Williams (3/55/1) did me proud with his circus-act score . The Falcons dominated the game from start to finish; Vick was able to lay back, Dunn was rested after the 3rd Quarter, Duckett picked up the rushing slack, and the Lions were reduced to using 3 QBs. Unable to move the offense or inspire ANY excitement, starter Joey Harrington (61 passing yards, no TDs, 1 INT) was as awful as advertised and he gave way to coach Mooch's chum, Jeff Garcia. Garcia (154/1/1) was no better and after so many years in the league... the former 49'er looks spent. Detroit actually threw rookie Signal Caller Dan Orlovsky out onto the field, and the youngster went 5 of 11 for 43 yards with a Sack. Hey- unlike the other D-troit QBs at least "Z" didn't toss a pick! The Lions didn't score their lone TD until the 4th Quarter and the Falcons were, by that time, playing out the minutes. All in all, an excellent fantasy day for the Falcon skill po' players. The concern for you Dunn owners is that the feature back will see lots of action between the 10's... but Duckett's gonna' pilfer your scores. Further, as the season winds down, you can bet that Dunn will surrender more of the rushing load to the bigger back in order to keep him as fresh as possible for the Post-C.

MUST START QUARTERBACKS"

Carson Palmer: c'Arson looks to set the Balty' D-backfield ablaze Sunday. The Ravens, however, boast the 4th-ranked pass defense and allowing fewer than 173 passing yards per week... they WILL be a tough nut to crack. Carson had a rock-solid 335 yard, 2 TD game last week against a stingy Colt Secondary, and with a pass catching contingent of Chad Johnson (8/189/1 last week), T.J Houshmanzadeh (virtual non-factor last week), Chris Henry (3/31/1... but snagged a scoring strike for a 2nd straight week), and scat-back Chris Perry (123 total yards on a scant 12 touches)... Palmer has a formidable arsenal at hand. With RB Rudi Johnson pounding away at a Raven run D that permits fewer than 100 rushing YPG, Palmer should enjoy modest success Sunday. Look for something like 265/2.

Peyton Manning: Peyton Manning has seen his stats escalate dramtically in recent weeks. With opposing defensive coordinators determined to shut-down Edgerrin James and the Colts' frighteningly efficient rushing attack, Manning has been free to dissect their Secondaries. And frankly, few teams have the depth it takes to corral WRs Marvelous, Reggie and Stokely, and TE Dallas Clark. Clark enjoyed the break-out game I'd projected for him last week; hangin' 120+/1 on the Cincy' 2ndry, and Wayne is becoming a true #1 receiver. With a Sunday night game against a so-so Steeler Secondary (allowing 206.5 Passing YPG)... look for Manning's streak of multi-TD games to continue. Peyton's thrown for 3 TDs in each of his last 3 games... and another Touchdown trifecta might be on the ambitious side. Look for a 275/2 evening from Manning, and TE Dallas Clark should again be a fantasy factor. I like Clark as a 'Wire pick-up if he remains available. D-Clark had excellent second half numbers last season... and I think he'll do the same again this season.

Tom Brady: Facing the 'Aints last week, I wrote that coach Obi-Wan Belichik would unleash the air attack and turn to the passing game for his points. I projected "A Very Brady Sunday for Tom "Terrific;" look for 245/2-3." Accordingly, Brady didn't disappoint. The prolific Pat' passer threw for 222/3. This week Brady will face yet another anemic pass defense as the Patriots look to do battle with the Kansas City Chiefs. With Thanksgiving just over... ironic, no... Pilgrims, Indians? Well, anyway, the Chiefs have been Queens, allowing over 240 passing YPG and Brady and Co. should light KC UP! TE Ben Watson has been a clutch receiver for 3 weeks now, hauling in 10 receptions for 139 yards and 2 TDs over that span. Watson should continue to be a favored target, especially when in the Red-Zone. With RB Heath Evans sure to struggle against LB Derrick Johnson and a Beef-Jerky tuff run D... it's up to the Air Attack to again post the points. Somehow, I have a feeling that Brady will deliver.

SECOND TIER STARTERS

Brett Favre: Favre's TD to INT ratio is almost 1:1 this season. Currently, the prolific Pack' passer has 18 TDs and 17 INTs. But with a decimated receiving corps, a rushing attack that has suffered SO many injuries that they've been forced to start undrafted free agents (Umm, Samkon Gado), and an O-Line that's been forced to re-configure due to injuries of their own... what more can you expect? Further, an equally D-pleted D has been horrendous... and Favre's been forced to go airborne early and often. With teams looking for the pass... it's small wonder Favre's struggled so. However, some things are not so easily explained away; things like... Favre's poor decision making and occassional lack of zip. The Cheese Wiz' faced a generous Viking Secondary last week, but managed a line of 227/2/2. The fact that surprise back Samkon Gado went from "flash" (3 Week 10 TDs against Atlanta) to bang" (almost as many yards as carries and a crucial fumble last week) inside of a week didn't help matters much, and the Packer run game will be crucial to the passing game's success this week. The 4-6 Eagles have nothing left to play for but pride... and that makes them dangerous. However, the Eagle Secondary will be without stalwart CB Lito Sheppard (broken ankle)... and even before he fell to injury they were bad. Philly's Secondary allows almost 225 passing yards per game, and Favre, who IS mulling retirement, will play his booty off in this one.

Aaron Brooks: Brooks has been about as "regular" as my grandma; not very. Actually, Brooks has been very INconsistent, throwing for 200+ yards in only 4 contests. As I wrote last week, "Brooks is like the girl with the curl- when he's good.... he's VERY good, and when he's bad... well, he's VERY bad." Brooks, a "Second Tier Starter" last week, crushed the porous New England Secondary for 343 yards and a pair of TDs, and I look for him to do a similar number on a NY Jet team that has mailed its season in.

Trent Green: It was nice to see KC QB TG post solid numbers last week. He does, however, need a credible pass catcher other than TE Tony Gonzalez (who should hang excellent numbers again this week). Green had a 220+/3 TD evening, thoroughly humiliating an already humiliated Texan team. This week, Green faces the New England Patriots and their league-worst pass D (allowing almost 265 YPG). The Pats' will have no answer for either RB Larry Johnson or TE Gonzo, and Green should be very close to 250/2 by the time the final Q' ends.

Matt Hasselbeck: 'Beck faces a NY Giant Secondary that surrenders almost 240 YPG... but RB Shaun "Alexander the Great" is the key that pops the Seahawks' lock.

Eli Manning Manning dances with a C-Hawk Secondary that has given up double-diggie' TDs. Both Plax' and Shockey (check his status) are "Must Starts."

MUST START RUNNING BACKS

LaDainian Tomlinson: LT knocks heads with a Redskin D that has struggled in recent games. LT was thought to be an ideal start against Buff's wussy-tuff run D last Sunday, but the Bolt' back managed only 67 yards and a touch' on 19 totes. It could be that, with QB Drew Brees throwing 4 TD passes, there was no need for Tomlinson to worry about a little thing like scoring. Still, LT has posted a single 100+ yard rushing game in his last 3 games, and has a scant 2 in his last 6 games. Keep an eye on TE Antonio Gates' status. If Gates' foot injury keeps him out of Sunday's game... LT will be met by stacked fronts and will find his holes to be the approximate size of throw pillows.

Edgerrin James Ceding a miniscule 84 YPG, the Steeler run D is as tight as a Manhattan parking space. Still, with Peyton peaking... how do you sit Edge'? Answer: You don't. Keep your hopes for James modest this week, though.

Shaun Alexander The G-Men may struggle to stop the pass... but guys like Mike Strahan, Antonio Pierce, and Osi Umenyiora can put a hurtin' on a runner. "Alexander the Great" recorded yet another multi-TD game last week... but I think he'll find the going to be tougher this week. Still, Shaun-A is a "Must-Start."

Tiki Barber Barber is the straw that stirs "Big Blue's" drink. The Seattle Seahawks can expect to receive a steady diet of Barber, and seeing as how they permit opposing runners to cruise through the century mark each week... containing Barber will be no easy task.

Steven Jackson Jax's inexplicably poor day against the Arizona Cardinals last week was... it's.. well, it's inexplicable, frankly. This week, Jackson faces a herd of human turnstiles; the Houston Texans. Look for Jax' to get back on track Sunday... and even with Jamie Martin over Center, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and Kevin Curtis are all "Must Start" pass catchers. The Ram offense sorely needs a pass catching TE, however. And oh yeah... forgot to mention one other thing. THE RAMS NEED DEFENDERS WHO CAN ACTUALLY DEFEND!

Larry Johnson: If ever there was a worthy successor to Priest Holmes... LJ's the man. Last week, Larry Johnson went super-freakin'-nova with a 210+/2 TD evening against the hapless Texans. This week... against a Patriot D that has hemorhaged ground yards at a rate of almost 120 per...there are few better RB starts. Johnson is, and should continue to be, a "Must Start" in all formats.

Chris Brown: The word "sturdy" and the name "Chris Brown" had never been associated with with another until recently. This season, Brown has been precisely that. Last week Brown scorched a very good Jaguar D for 119 combined yards and 2 TDs (1 receiving), and this week... well, a San Fran' D that allows almost a buck 20 per game doesn't promise to contain him. Fearing Brown's penchant for injury, the Titans signed former Bill back Travis Henry... and the Titans are thrilled that Henry's been stalking the sidelines all season.

SECOND TIER STARTERS

LaMont Jordan: Raiduh' feature Lamama' Jordan has really hit a wall in recent games. Jordan hasn't recorded a TD since Week 8, and he hasn't RUSHED for a TD since Week 7. Week 7 was also the last time Jordan (126 rushing yards, 3 TDs) hit a hunnert' on the ol' rush-ometer. However, the Miami Dolphins have struggled mightily in stopping the run... please refer to Cleveland runner "Boobin' Reuben Droughns' freakish effort last week. And, with QB Kerry Collins looking to find his stride against the 'Phins' very middling Air D (ranked 15th, allowing 215+), I would expect Jordan to find his own as well.

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