*New to our web site this season is James Morris, the owner and CEO of No Limit Fantasy Sports. James will provide you with insights on the coming week's game, advice on who to sit and start, as well as answer your questions via email. *
Well here we go fantasy leaguers. We are hitting the home stretch and the fantasy playoffs are starting to take shape in all the leagues. Most of my emails these days start out with "I am fighting for playoff" or "I am trying to lock up _ seed in my league and I need your help." The great thing is that they realized where the good information comes from. So, without further delay, let's get down to the nitty gritty and win some of those leagues!
The good news this week against the Eagles that since they blitz every single down, Chad Ocho Cinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have a real shot to get downfield if Ryan Fitzpatrick can find some time in the pocket. Carson Palmer is still not giving up on the season, hoping he can return later this month. Carson, my brother, the Bengals aren't going to make the playoffs. Just get your wing fixed and come back like Jake Delhomme did this year.
Cedric Benson is gaining support from not only the fans, but his teammates. LG Andrew Whitworth told bengals.com, "Here's a guy that comes in here, people gave him a hard time in Chicago, he said he was sorry and he showed it. He's been here every day working his tail off. He's got a great attitude."
LT Levi Jones also told bengals.com, "He's just come in here, put his head down and run hard."
If the offensive line gets behind Benson, good things could happen down the stretch for him. Benson is questionable for this week, however, after suffering a back injury in practice and could be a game-time decision, so keep an eye on the inactive list at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning for the latest.
Tony Romo is back this week. Now, the Cowboys problems run MUCH deeper than the absence of Romo, but him being back makes Roy Williams and Terrell Owens useful once again.
Matt Hasselbeck is also returning and the Seahawks deal isn't all that different from the Cowboys deal. He helps Bobby Engram and Deion Branch's value, but Koren Robinson still is inconsistent.
Larry Johnson is back too, but the Chiefs are now running a spread offense and LJ won't be the main focus anymore. His value takes a hit for me, but he is still the main back in that offense. Play him at your own risk.
Steven Jackson: Not certain to play, but he did practice Wednesday. If he plays, you have to play him. Keep an eye on him up until the inactive lists are released.
Reggie Bush: Bush is not all that likely to play either. Either way, when he does return his role won't be as big as it was before the injury. If you can pawn him off on someone before your trading deadline, I'd do it.
Carnell "Cadillac" Williams: Worthless in fantasy terms, yet I see people picking him up. Don't be one of them.
Look for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to bounce back this week against the Bears. (Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers: After last week's empty 142 yards, owners may be thinking of sitting Rodgers in favor of someone else this week. Chicago has the third worst passing defense in the NFL and Ryan Grant is old news in Green Bay. It's Rodgers time baby!
DeAngelo Williams: The Lions are ranked 31 out of 32 for run defending and Williams has had back-to-back 100+ yard games with a TD in each. If there was ever a week to play him, this is the one.
Steve Slaton: Last week he logged a whopping four carries for seven yards. Slaton may see fewer carries as the season winds down because of that proverbial rookie wall, but I expect his carries to increase back to a normal amount this weekend.
Roddy White: If you start Ryan and own White, you want to play them both this weekend for the same reasons.
Lance Moore: If Bush comes back this weekend, he opens up the deep ball for Brees. This one should be a shootout for sure, so I would start any Chiefs or Saints player you have.
Chris Cooley: Cooley has been good this season and the Cowboys defense has been bad. Cooley is ranked around the 5-7 range for fantasy TEs in most leagues and I'd give him a similar ranking this weekend.
Miami Dolphins Defense: Hey, if you play the Oakland Raiders offense, then you are a good bet for a fantasy defense. Nothing fancy here, just follow the Raiders bus from town to town and play the opposing defense.
Brady Quinn: Well, his run of one good game should come to an end this weekend against the Bills. Buffalo is ranked 16th in the NFL for pass defense, but they are 13th in total points given up and the Browns offense is not clicking at all.
David Garrard: Who is he going to throw to? Plus, he runs into the Titans stifling defense this weekend. I wouldn't play him in a 2QB league and Sage Rosenfels or Shaun Hill were my only other options.
Ryan Grant: Not that many people have been playing him anyway, but don't play him this weekend. The Bears are terrible against the pass (ranked No. 30), but they are ranked fourth against the run. I look for the Packers to let Rodgers air it out all game long and Grant to be a total pedestrian for fantasy leaguers.
LaDainian Tomlinson: SHOCK THE WORLD BABY! Tomlinson is killing me in my "friends only" league. The Steelers have the second-best run defense in the league and San Diego has shown that it doesn't want to run the ball. I know it will kill people to do it, but I'd sit LT here if I could. I have him ranked between 13-15 for fantasy RBs this weekend.
Braylon Edwards: Yep, if you sit Quinn, go ahead and sit Edwards for all the same reasons too. The point with him this season is that he is spotty at best. With 472 yards and 3 TDs on the season, it is fair to say that Edwards is a solid top 3 WR bust.
Bernard Berrian: He went without a single catch last weekend and the Buccaneers are the fifth-best pass defenders in the league. Berrian looked great before last weekend's goose egg, but the Bucs aren't the team to try and bounce back on.
Jeremy Shockey: Shockey tweaked his ankle last week and he would have to go Tony Gonzalez in his prime from here on out to clear the "bust" label he already has. Maybe Zach Miller or Billy Miller are available in your league.
Washington Redskins Defense: With Tony Romo coming back this weekend, I wouldn't feel comfortable playing the Skins defense. I am sure Romo will have a lot of rust to knock off before he looks good, but if you have Roy Williams and Terrell Owens out wide, I am sure I could go out there and throw a TD or two.
I've had more than a few good questions, so I am going to dip into the mailbag this week and give you a couple.
Q: Hopin' to get a little advice out of you this week since I'm fighting for the final playoff spot in my league and a W would clinch it. I need to start one QB out of Delhomme, Pennington and Shaun Hill. Also at the WR spot I have T.O. and A. Johnson starting but need a third out of Chambers, Bradley, Rashied Davis or Steve Smith from the G-Men. Also picked up Matt Spaeth this week. Is he worth a start over Kellen Winslow? And finally, is Felix Jones worth a start this week? I know that's a lot of questions but there's a lot on the line.
A: For the QBs, the only real competition is between Delhomme and Pennington. But, since he has Steve Smith, I give him the edge. So, I'd start Delhomme.
At WR I'd start Mark Bradley. I have him ranked around 30-35 for WRs and both Chambers and Davis in the 60-65 range. Steve "not the good one" Smith is closer to 57-ish.
I don't like Quinn this weekend, but I do like Winslow to get the checkdown passes from him. I wouldn't expect much from Spaeth.
Q: Who do I start at my Flex position: Mushin Muhammad (DET), Jerious Norwood (DEN), or Braylon Edwards (@BUF)? I like Moose's matchup against Detroit at home and I do expect a rebound out of the Panthers after their poor performance against Oakland and I like Norwood's matchup against Denver even though Turner is the starter. Braylon on the other hand is capable of having a huge week; I just don't see it happening at Buffalo with Brady Quinn under center. The Browns threw maybe one ball over 10 yards against Denver and until Brady can prove he can throw downfield it's hard to trust Braylon. Is this something to consider and which one do I start at my flex?
A: I see Muhammad ranked in the 35-40 range for WRs, Edwards around 25 and Norwood around 30 for RBs. The thing with Norwood is that the Broncos are 27th against the run. I'd give Norwood or Edwards a play here. The Lions are the fourth worst defenders against the pass, but Muhammad only has one game over the century mark this season and hasn't eclipsed 45 yards in his last two games, and one of those was against New Orleans ... and the Saints are the fifth worst pass defense.
Q: Trying to finalize a roster for playoffs. So, I offered Kurt Warner, Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans for AP and Cutler and also another offer for Lynch, Lee Evans, McGahee for AP straight up. I have tons of depth so I don't mind the 3 for 1 plus I traded nothing for McGahee. I got him off waiver with Bowe and Bush. Good for me? Is it appealing to him maybe? He has one good receiver (Roddy White) and Thomas Jones is his next best RB. I have so many players and can't start them all. My team: Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Brian Westbrook, Marshawn Lynch, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Willis McGahee, Anquan Boldin, Marques Colston, Lee Evans, Dwayne Bowe, Chad Johnson, Dallas Clark, Ravens D/ST, Mason Crosby.
A: The problem you are going to face there are AP and Cutler's names. People draft them high and get attached. They refuse to trade them even when the deal actually works in their favor. I would probably not take the Lynch/Warner/Evans deal just because in my Yahoo league those three would have 382 points and Cutler/Peterson would have 345 points. He gets a minimal upgrade while improving your team for a playoff run. I'd sit on them before I made you better. I'd bet you would have to do a 3-1 to pry one of those guys loose. And, if you are that stacked, it shouldn't really hurt you to do it.
But, you need to remember that the fantasy playoffs happen when the season is winding down and teams are sitting their stars. You can load up on names and still lose the title because your guys only play one half of a game.
Q: What should I do with the following trade: I get: Frank Gore, Greg Jennings. I trade away: Marion Barber, Lee Evans. I would say this trade is in my favor, but I am 6-4 and don't know if it is worth changing my team. Thoughts?
A: I like it. I am worried about the Cowboys to be honest. Their problems are MUCH deeper than the QB slot. But, the Niners look like a team with a renewed sense of life and I like them moving forward.
Jets: Brett Favre looked awesome before the bye week, but has been less than impressive since. Pre-bye he had 12 TDs to just 4 INTs, but since he has 4 TDs and a whopping 8 INTs. Many will rank Favre in their top 10 for QB play this week, but I am just about done with him on my teams.
As with any QB problems, the WRs suffer too. This is true for Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, who combined for seven of the 12 pre-bye TDs and have seen the end zone just once since. With New England ranked 15th in passing defense this year, I am not going to rely on the arm of Favre to bail my fantasy team out this week. If you can sit any of the three, I would.
Thomas Jones, on the other hand, put it to the Rams like someone called him old or something. Now, the Rams are the third-worst run defenders and the Patriots are ranked 12th. But, I like Jones to keep the good times rolling this week with Favre throwing double the number of INTs as he does TDs. The Jets TEs are as close to worthless in fantasy circles as it gets. Because the Patriots have Moss and Welker, I'd see if I had another defense to play this week, maybe the Dolphins?
Patriots: Matt Cassel may not be Tom Brady, but he hasn't exactly been horrible for his fantasy owners either. On the season he has thrown for 1,800 yards with 7 TDs. Problem is, he has an equal number of INTs (7) as well. The last three weeks Cassel has a 3:1 INT to TD ratio, so I am not excited about starting him this week. Cassel may break the top 20 for fantasy QBs this week, but just barely. That would put him in the lower end of a QB2 in most leagues.
That being said, Cassel has to throw to somebody and that someone is Randy Moss. I'd give Moss a solid 12-15 WR ranking this week and see no problems playing him. Wes Welker would be in the 20-25 range, so he is more of a WR3 or flex option, but I'd bet there is a RB you can play at the flex spot instead. Benjarvus Green-Ellis's value is coming to an end now that Sammy Morris is almost ready to play again. I doubt he has enough ready to create fantasy problems this week, but the Jets have the fifth-ranked run defense and Green-Ellis isn't a very good back anyway.
I had high hopes for Ben Watson going into this season, but he has been in the same boat as the Jets TEs, rowing right down that worthless river. See Jets defense.
If you want to have your question answered for all your friends to see, shoot me an email and I will give you some one-on-one attention.