Saturday, November 04, 2006

Football notes for NFL Week 9

For the second time this season, I, Rick Morris, am sitting in for our football analyst Mike Vili. Let's look at who to play this weekend in terms of the marginal fantasy starters.

Atlanta vs. Detroit: Borderline Falcon fantasy players like Ashley Lelie will be worth your while; no marginal Lions except MAYBE Jon Kitna (if the bye week absolutely compels you) will be.

Cincinnati vs. Baltimore: This one will be a shootout, with the few "maybe" Bengals like Chris Henry worth a shot and most Ravens being worth something for a change.

Dallas vs. Washington: Don't drink the Romo Kool-Aid. This won't be a favorable fantasy game for either team (the Redskins because of their ongoing problems adapting to the Al Saunders scheme, the Cowboys because the very smart Gregg Williams just got two weeks to prepare for them).

Green Bay vs. Buffalo: The only marginal play here is Greg Jennings, health permitting. Check his injury status before game time, with Google News probably being the best way to go.

Houston vs. New York Giants: David Carr is back to being a "sometimes" fantasy starter, with last week's benching serving as evidence of that. But he's the only such player useful in this game.

Kansas City vs. St. Louis: This week's theme seems to be games with only one useful marginal fantasy starter. For this game, Ike Bruce is the man.

Miami vs. Chicago: The headline for this game is that, due to the putrid Miami offense and the pan-glorious Bears' defense, this is the closest we may come all year to benching core fantasy players. We're sure you know this, but we're speaking of Ronnie Brown and Chris Chambers.

New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay: This is the fantasy game most difficult to gauge this week. Perhaps you are in a situation, like me, in which you must start a marginal player like Joey Galloway. All such players merit a square "thumbs in the middle" this week.

Tennessee vs. Jacksonville: This will be perhaps the greatest field goal duel of the week. Finally, I get some value from Rob Bironas!

Minnesota vs. San Francisco: Each of these offenses has a rich fantasy heritage, but those days are long gone. In a game in which Chester Taylor is the only "gimme," this might be the most worthless overall fantasy game of the week.

Cleveland vs. San Diego: In Week 2 of the Jeff Davidson era, the Browns' offensive coordinator change will begin to bear fruit. Go with some of your occasional starters like Braylon Edwards and Reuben Droughns.

Denver vs. Pittsburgh: This is the counterintuitive game of the week: slumping Steeler O, red-hot Denver D. But Big Ben will be worth a play in the Pittsburgh Desperation Bowl (the closest they will get to a Super Bowl this year, by the way).

Indianapolis vs. New England: While few Patriot wide receivers are worth a warm pitcher of spit right about now, this game is the exception. Play all the Pats you have -- and we never need to tell you to play your Colts.

Oakland vs. Seattle: Great matchup this week for ESPN's Sunday Night Football Now on Monday Night, eh? With the key Hawk injuries, this is another field goal battle royal.


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