Latest in Sports

November 2, 2007


1. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – As far as consistency goes, he has been the best fantasy WR out there. Houshmandzadeh is the only WR to have scored a TD in every single game this season. He has 9 TD grabs total, which ranks him second among WR’s behind only Randy Moss, who has 11 TD's. Housh should continue his streak against the Bills 29th ranked pass defense on Sunday.
2. Randy Moss (NE) – This week’s match up against the Colts top ranked pass defense may be his biggest challenge to date, but the Colts have yet to see a WR of Moss’s caliber. As with any secondary he faces, Moss should have little trouble navigating his way to the end zone. He is a must start against any defense, any week.
3. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – Few wide receivers, if any, have torn it up as much as Braylon Edwards in the last few weeks. He will be targeted early and often, and should have another big game against Seattle’s 16th ranked pass D.
4. Wes Welker (NE) – Welker has 29 catches for 351 yards and 5 TD’s in his last three contests. He will face a stingy Colts pass defense in week 9, but it is hard to argue with those kind of numbers. He is on fire, and should be in your starting line up this week.
5. Terrell Owens (DAL) – Owens should be pumped and ready to go this week against his former team in Philadelphia. This will not be an easy match up for Owens, but he is playing well right now, and should have plenty of motivation on the big Sunday night stage.
6. Reggie Wayne (IND) – Wayne has caught fire in the absence of Marvin Harrison. He has a big test this week against a really good New England secondary, and Harrison may be back in the starting line up, so his numbers may decline a bit, but he should still get plenty of touches. Wayne will likely be Manning’s top target this week, and has the talent to overcome all obstacles.
7. Chad Johnson (CIN) – While Johnson has been solid this season, he has failed to put up Ocho Cinco like numbers on a regular basis. If his ankle holds up, this could be the week he breaks out against a poor Bills secondary. (Check injury report: ankle)
8. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – He has a pretty tough match up this week against the Buccaneers 2nd ranked pass defense, but Boldin should receive plenty of attention in the Cardinals passing attack. He hauled in 2 TD passes in his last game after returning from injury. Boldin should be in your fantasy line up for week 9.
9. Marvin Harrison (IND) – It is unclear if Harrison will be back for this week’s game against New England. The Colts certainly hope he will be, because no receiver has had more success against the Patriots in recent years than Harrison. He has scored a TD in each of his last 5 meetings against them, and has 7 total TD’s in those 5 games. So if he is cleared to play, he should be on your fantasy roster as well. (Check injury report: knee)
10. Deion Branch (SEA) – He only has about a 50% chance of starting Sunday’s game against the Browns, but if he is cleared to play, he should have a nice day. D. J. Hackett is also scheduled to be back this week, so it may cut into his touches a little. The Cleveland defense ranks a pathetic 31st in stopping the pass.Watch his progress carefully throughout the week before starting him. (Check injury report: foot)
11. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – While Fitzgerald has had trouble finding the end zone, he does lead the NFC in receptions with 46 and receiving yards with 642. Despite only 1 TD this season, he is a scoring threat any week. He is a solid start again this week.
12. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He should see plenty of passes come his way this week against the Lions 30th ranked pass defense. Expect a very solid outing from Marshall at the very least.
13. Donald Driver (GB) – Driver has been kept pretty quiet in recent weeks as Favre has tried to spread the ball around more. He is too talented and too important to this offense to continue with lack luster performances. He is the guy Favre calls on when things get tough, and that could be the case this week against the Chiefs. We like his chances to bounce back with a solid game in week 9.
14. Hines Ward (PIT) – He has been hot since returning from injury. Ward has had at least 7 catches in his last 2 games, and managed to find the end zone, not once, but twice last week. He has had decent success against the Ravens defense in the past, so the match up should not be a big issue.
15. Roy Williams (DET) – The Detroit passing game has slowed considerably in the last few weeks, but Williams remains their biggest threat, and had a solid week 8. He should be targeted often by Kitna, and should, therefore, be in your starting line up.
16. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – He has been a steady fantasy performer throughout the season, but he has yet to produce that monster game. If it is going to happen, this could be the week. Laveranues Coles is likely to be out this week, so that leaves Cotchery to pick up the slack. He is still a risky proposition against a good Redskins secondary with a brand new QB, but we like his chances for a good game.
17. Joey Galloway (TB) – He appears to back in the good graces of QB Jeff Garcia, and it showed last week with a big performance. Galloway should have another nice week against the Cards, and should be in your fantasy line up.
18. Steve Smith (CAR) – He continues to show a great deal of inconsistency, especially with David Carr at QB. We all know what he is capable of, and he was tremendous in his last meeting against the Titans, but he has shown just as much potential for let-down as he has success this season. He is too talented to not be in your fantasy line up this week, but it is hard to say for sure what you will get.
19. Chris Chambers (SD) – He had a nice first game with his new team in week 8. Despite only 2 catches on the day, Chambers was able to haul in his first TD of the season. He is still getting acclimated with his team mates, but as he develops chemistry, his numbers should only improve. Chambers has a great match up against the NFL’s worst pass defense this week. He could have a big day.
20. Lee Evans (BUF) – He appears to be turning the corner on an awful beginning to the ’07 season. Evans has performed well in two consecutive games now, and faces a promising match up against a weak Bengals secondary. Despite showing signs of being on track, Evans is a little risky, but you should give him the start this week.
21. Marques Colston (NO) – As soon as you start to give up on a guy, he blows up, and that was the case with Colston in week 8. Colston has the potential to be a top 5 fantasy producer any week, but even with last week’s top flight performance, he remains risky and inconsistent. He is a high-risk high-reward player, and last week proves that you can’t afford to leave him off your starting roster. This week’s contest against the Jaguars and CB RaShean Mathis will be tough.
22. Derrick Mason (BAL) – He continues to perform at a high level each week with little regard. Mason has been one of the best receivers in the NFL in terms of receptions and yardage, and has been about as consistent as you could ask for in a fantasy WR. He will likely have a tough go of it against the Steelers this week, but you can not right this guy off any week, against any opponent.
23. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – Bowe has been one of the few bright spots in the Chiefs offense this season. He has big play potential, but he is still learning. He has the opportunity for a nice game against the Packers 22nd ranked pass D.
24. Kevin Curtis (PHI) – He is starting to develop solid chemistry with Donovan McNabb, and is starting to develop some consistency in his numbers. Curtis remains a slight risk for your starting line up, but he should have a good performance this week against Dallas.
25. Kevin Walter (HOU) – He continues to perform at a high and consistent level each week. He is a favorite target of Sage Rosenfels who is likely to be the starter this week, so expect Walter to continue his solid play.
26. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – Holmes has had at least 6 catches in his last 3 starts. When you add 3 TD’s over that same stretch, you have a very productive fantasy WR. He faces a tough Ravens defense in week 9, so his numbers may slip a bit this week, but he should still be a strong consideration for any fantasy line up.
27. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – It looks highly unlikely that Coles will be in the Jets starting line up this Sunday, and even if he does play, he will likely be limited. He has big game potential any week, but you would be best served to use him this week only if he is given a completely clean bill of health. (Check injury report: concussion)
28. Roddy White (ATL) – He is likely to be matched up against shut down CB Nate Clements for most of the game, but even Clements has been fairly ineffective in recent weeks in a declining 49er secondary. White has had a solid season, and shown good consistency in his last few games. He may be worth a look in week 9.
29. Greg Jennings (GB) – He was a savior for many fantasy owners last week, myself included, with his 82 yard TD catch in overtime on Monday night. He is unlikely to repeat his 141 yard performance against the Chiefs, but he makes for a solid addition to any fantasy line up as a #2 or 3 WR.
30. Donte’ Stallworth (NE) – He has had a season full of peaks and valleys. Stallworth has a difficult match up against the Colts top ranked pass defense, but he can explode any week, so long as he does not get lost in the shuffle, he should have a nice game.
31. Patrick Crayton (DAL) – This guy is a bit of a wild card. He has proven to have big game potential, but he can also go silent any week. The Eagles will present Crayton with a big challenge, but he has the tools to make things happen. He is a high risk-high reward guy for week 9.
32. Reggie Brown (PHI) – Brown was very quiet through the first few weeks of his ’07 campaign, but he is starting to turn his season around. He has definitely increased his role in the Eagles offense, and could have another strong effort against the Cowboys. (Check injury report: neck)
33. Bobby Engram (SEA) – If Deion Branch is deemed unready to play in week 9, Engram should be in your starting line up without question. Engram has put together a nice stretch of games in Branch’s stead, and he has a great match up this week against the Browns. Even if Branch does start, Engram is still a pretty good option this week.
33b. Update: D.J. Hackett (SEA) - Hackett is scheduled to return to the line up this week after missing pretty much the entire season. It is hard to say what effect he will have as a fantasy receiver and on the other Seattle receivers given that it is his first game in a long time. Hackett is very talented, but he is likely to be a bit rusty, and will likely play a limited role this week. He is worth a shot if you are in need, but we suggest giving him a week or two to see where he is at.
34. Calvin Johnson (DET) – He is a proven talent that can strike big any given week, but Johnson sometimes gets lost in the rotating carousel of Lions receivers. The Lions passing game has seen a big decline in recent weeks, and they will probably concentrate more on the run again this week. Johnson is a risky start, but he may be worth rolling the dice on in week 9. (Check injury report: back)
35. Brandon Stokley (DEN) – Stokley has really picked his game up in recent weeks, becoming one of Jay Cutler’s favorite targets. He has a great match up against Detroit’s 30th ranked pass defense.
36. Ronald Curry (OAK) – Curry has seen his fair share of ups and downs this season. He has a decent match up against Houston this week, but may be limited with a foot injury. He is not one of your better options for week 9, but you could do much worse. (Check injury report: foot)
37. Ike Hilliard (TB) – He had been on a pretty nice run, but Hilliard finally stepped away from the limelight in week 8. Hilliard has proven he has fantasy value, and could be a decent addition to your starting roster as a #3 WR this week. (Check injury report: calf)
38. James Jones (GB) – If he were more consistent, Jones would be a top flight fantasy WR. The fact is that he is far from consistent. He is a burner, and capable of making big plays, so he makes for a great #3 or fill in receiver for your roster.
39. Shaun McDonald (DET) – He has failed to find the end zone in 3 straight games, but McDonald is targeted fairly often, and is great in the red zone. He will be a good #3 or bye week replacement in week 9.
40. Santana Moss (WAS) – Moss made an appearance in the Redskins passing attack for the first time in weeks with 6 catches. While he has proven to be very unreliable, week 8 was a step in the right direction. Moss has a promising match up this week against the Jets.
41. Arnaz Battle (SF) – He has a good match up against the Falcons this week, but with the 49ers passing game performing like a ’78 Plymouth with a clogged carburetor, you can not expect much.
42. Antwaan Randle El (WAS) – You can always count on him to give you some level of production. Unfortunately, it’s usually on the lower end of the spectrum. Great match up against the Jets, so he should provide a little more than his usual.
43. Andre Davis (HOU) – Davis is questionable this week with a chest injury. He was held to just one catch last week, and seems to be pretty beat up. If he plays, he should be a #3 guy on your roster at best. (Check injury report: chest)
44. Vincent Jackson (SD) – He was shut out in week 8, as the Chargers had little need for his services. Jackson should see more action this week against the Vikings cellar dwelling pass defense. He could have a nice game, but do not count on it. He has made a habit of letting down fantasy owners most of the season.
45. Andre Johnson (HOU) – There is a slight possibility that he could be back on the field this week against Oakland. If he plays, it will likely be in a limited role, so you would be safer not starting him. However, there is always a chance he could start and play the whole game, in which case, he has big game potential, even at 85%. You may want to roll the dice with him, but we suggest giving him more time. (Check injury report: knee)
46. Jacoby Jones (HOU) – He had a solid week 8 with 5 catches for 51 yards. There is a decent chance that he could be in the starting line up this week, so he may be worth a look. Jones has game breaking speed and strong upside. This could be his week.
47. Joe Jurevicius (CLE) – Although he failed to snag one of his signature TD’s last week, Jurevicius did provide a spark in the Browns passing game with season highs in receptions and yards. Despite the solid week, Jurevicius should remain a bye week or emergency starter in your fantasy line up.
48. Jerry Porter (OAK) – Porter has had a couple of nice games this season, but he is a mediocre fantasy WR over all. The return of Josh McCown at QB also does not bode well for Porter, whose better games have been with Culpepper under center.
49. Mark Clayton (BAL) – He has had a disappointing season to say the least, but much of his downfall has been injury related. Clayton looks to be completely healthy, and is coming off of his best game of the season. We really like the match up against the Bills, so he may be worth taking a chance on in week 9.
50. David Patten (NO) – He has gone for over 100 yards in 2 out of his last 3 games, but the bottom line is that this guy is a huge risk. Patten is all or nothing, so if you are willing to roll the dice, it just might pay off, but you could get stuck with a goose egg.

* Other notable WR options for week 9 include: Darrell Jackson (SF), Mike Furrey (DET), Michael Jenkins (ATL), Brad Smith (NYJ), Brandon Jones (TEN), Eddie Kennison (KC), Nate Burleson (SEA), Roydell Williams (TEN), Bobby Wade (MIN), Dennis Northcutt (JAC), Josh Reed (BUF), and Demetrius Williams (BAL)

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