James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy section. Crossing over, Morris writes the fantasy sections for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
Carson Palmer is now headed to the Raiders for a 2012 first-round pick, and a conditional 2013 first-round pick. From a fantasy standpoint, Palmer's name carries more weight than his game and you should only pick him up if you are in a two-QB league or someone had Jason Campbell as their QB1. At best, Palmer is a low-to-mid QB2 and it is still going to take him a little bit of time to get adjusted to the Raiders offense and players.
Let someone else deal with the headache of deciding if Palmer should be started or sat in the upcoming game. If you can pull a Mike Brown and trade him to a desperate owner, then I'm sure there is someone on your bench that can be cut in favor of him. But, don't cut someone thinking you are about to catch waiver wire gold and a Heisman Trophy winner as your starting QB.
Week 6 of the NFL season made some NFL fans take notice of underdogs like the 49ers and Buccaneers, while the rest of us are scratching our heads over how the Saints and Lions lost to obviously weaker teams. In fantasy terms, the 49ers gameplan made Frank Gore a fantasy god and Josh Freeman look like someone that should be owned in all formats.
I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the Freeman Express as the Saints defense is getting hardly any fantasy points and are ranked in the bottom-end of the Def2 rankings on the season. Gore is a solid RB1 just about every single week and the 49ers have proved they will ride Gore like the Pony Express rather than let Alex Smith play pitch-n-catch with the defense.
Josh Freeman: I had given up on Freeman prior to this game and recommended that he be outright cut in favor of someone, anyone else. Freeman stepped up and threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns this weekend, leading him to a top 3 ranking in most fantasy formats. However, even a broken clock is right twice a day. He will return to waiver wire fodder next week as he faces the Bears.
Jay Cutler: Can you get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from texting about every single play that Cutler and Matt Forte make? Well, my friend Chris just may have it because I was forced to admit that the Monsters of the Midway were beating up on a team even worse than them. Cutler managed to get enough time in the pocket to throw for 267 yards and 2 TDs Sunday night, which put him around the No. 7 ranking this week for QBs. If beating up on a team that comes in with a record of 1-4 makes you feel good Bears fan, then check the waiver wire because Hester is on 70 percent of the waiver wires out there.
Jonathan Stewart: Stewart is in one of the worst positions you can be in, the dreaded RBBC (Running Back By Committee). This weekend he rumbled for a total of 48 yards on the ground, 24 through the air and found the end zone once. Those numbers were good enough to rank right around No. 10 for RBs this weekend, but he isn't someone you should play as anything more than a flex option until DeAngelo Williams either gets hurt or benched all together.
Earnest Graham: Graham was someone I targeted for a good week in my articles, and he pulled through in fine fashion. Graham finished the game with 109 yards on the ground and added two receptions for another 22 yards. While he didn't score, his total yards were enough to put him right around the No. 12 spot for RBs this weekend and that is a low-end RB1/high-end RB2. Considering he is owned in just half the leagues, I'd say that is fantasy gold from a waiver wire addition.
Devin Hester: Hester certainly made the highlight reel with his 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but what is more impressive is that he finally came through in the passing game earlier by catching a 48-yard pass and taking it all the way to the house for another score. You guys remember Chris from earlier? Well, in a complete homer move he then texted me that Hester deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a kick returner. All I could say was "C'MON SON!"
Jerome Simpson: Simpson has always had the talent to succeed in the NFL, but his inconsistent stats keep him off the fantasy radar. This weekend he managed to catch six passes for 101 yards. In fantasy terms, when a WR or RB hits the 100-yard mark, they usually get a bonus. So, Simpson should have finished right around the top 10 for WRs and maybe even a spot or two higher in PPR leagues.
Brandon Pettigrew: Was I right or was I right? Pettigrew may have finished with just 42 yards, but he snatched eight passes out of the air, including a 16-yard pass in the end zone. Pettigrew led the Lions with 14 targets (no typo) and has 257 receiving yards on 20 targets and 2 TDs in the last four games. He is quickly moving up the fantasy charts at TE.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense: I told you to start the Bengals defense this weekend because they were going up against a Colts offense that no longer features Peyton Manning and his HOF book of tricks. The Bengals stepped up and proved me right by allowing 17 points and racking up an INT, a sack, recovering two fumbles, blocking a FG and scoring a defensive TD. You can almost play your defenses each week based on who the Seahawks or Colts are playing.
Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben is one of the worst fantasy QBs to own because his fantasy numbers are all over the map, and he doesn't throw TDs on a consistent basis. This week he rifled off 200 yards and a TD, but the low yardage total and single score ranked him closer to the 17th-ranked fantasy QB.
Alex Smith: How can your team upset one of the NFL favorites, yet your QB has fewer yards (125 passing yards) than your RB (141 rushing yards)? That is what happened when Frank Gore showed up Smith on Sunday. Much to my surprise, Smith is owned in around 30 percent of leagues and hovering right around the bottom of the QB2 rankings in most formats this season. I still wouldn't own him, but I guess some of you are braver than I am.
Peyton Hillis: Hillis suffered a minor version of the Madden Curse this weekend as he tweaked his hamstring and finished the game with just six carries for 14 yards. Outside of his Week 2 performance (94 yards rushing, 23 yards receiving and 2 TDs), Hillis has been a major fantasy bust. I wouldn't put him on the trade block just yet, but if someone comes knocking, I'd look through the peephole and talk to them through the doggy door.
Ryan Torain: You win some and you lose some, and I won on Graham and lost on Torain. In a major chance to overtake the lead back position for the Redskins, Torain failed to show anything with his 22 yards rushing on 10 carries. He will probably remain the Redskins feature back, but it serves me right for betting on the Redskins offense to come through.
Roddy White: White was a victim of the Falcons running the ball most of the game and throwing only when they had to (35-22 run to pass). White led the team with five targets, but managed to haul in only two of them for 21 yards. He is still an elite WR, so just chalk this up as one of those games.
DeSean Jackson: Jackson is one of the biggest threats in the league at WR, but he is also one of the biggest boom-or-bust players in fantasy football as well. So far this season Jackson has put up 456 receiving yards on 24 receptions while scoring 2 TDs, but he has also put had games where he finished with 21 and 30 yards receiving. This weekend he finished with just 46 yards and no end zone celebrations. With D-Jax, you will have to accept the bad games like this one to get the monster games where he puts up 170-plus yards and a score or two.
Vernon Davis: Davis is one of the most gifted athletes in the NFL, but his fantasy problem (and NFL problem too) is that Alex Smith is the one throwing to him. For some odd reason Yahoo had him pre-ranked as the No. 2 TE for Week 6. So, how did he pay them back for such a high ranking? He caught two passes for eight yards, not even enough to get actual numbers in this article. If you started Davis based on an ESPN, Yahoo or NFL.com pre-rank, then shame on you for trusting them and not asking me!
Minnesota Vikings Defense: Can someone explain to me why Yahoo had the Vikings defense ranked No. 4 heading into Week 6? In the previous four games they had allowed 119 points and were ranked as the No. 15 defense in standard fantasy football formats. What they did was allow the Bears offense to get off for 37 points while sacking Cutler just once and recovering a single fumble. Instead of being in the top 5, they finished in the bottom 5 in Week 6 and proved yet again why you should ask me before you listen to them.