For those of us in leagues where you can only use certain players a fixed number of times, We continue our look at matchups by position This week I thought I would take a look at some of the under the radar players. They won’t be on your waiver wire, but you may be trying to decide to start them or not. It’s getting close to the fantasy playoffs and the games are getting more important. Keep an eye on the weather and the injury reports. No stone can be left unturned!
Jake Delhomme had one of the worst games of all time for a winning QB last week versus the lowly Raiders. When looking at the stats, there is a pretty easy pattern developing. Jake is a Snake at home and a worm on the road. Delhomme at home has a 108 passer rating and a 67 away. Oh and this week he's at home against the Lions.
We all know the season Ben Roethlisberger has had this year and in Fantasy Land those interceptions and under 200 yard games don’t lead to even a 6-3 record. But this week Ben is practicing and throwing the ball down field and he gets the worst passing defense (274 yds/17 TD’s) in the league traveling across the country. Everything points to a good fantasy game by Ben.
Tyler Thigpen has gone from scrub to stud in just a few weeks. He took advantage of the poor SD pass defense last week, but he’s also played well against a very good Tampa Bay defense. This week he gets the Saints in Arrowhead. The Saints will score on KC and Thigpen will have to keep throwing it to Bowe, Bradley and Gonzo.
Other good options: Matt Ryan, Jason Campbell, Trent Edwards
Be afraid, very afraid: Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Sage Rosenfels
Joseph Addai has had a tough season. Peyton hasn’t been 100%, the line hasn’t been healthy, he’s faced some tough run D’s, and he hasn’t been healthy. But this week vs. Houston everything should finally be lined up for a big game. Dungy knows they need to get the running game back on track and Houston is a good team to line the wheels up. The Texans are giving up 130 yards per game on the ground and 4.5 yards per carry. If he doesn’t score and get 100 yards it’s probably time to give up on him.
Chris Johnson was stuffed last week by the Bears, but this week he gets to go against the Jaguars who just aren’t that good this year. The Jags have been giving up good yardage to such fantasy studs as Michael Pittman, Jamal Lewis, Cedric Benson, and Kevin Smith. Johnson should be able to get a hundred yards and a TD and get back on track.
DeAngelo Williams ran well last week against Oakland and gets the porous Detroit D this week. Stewart has been supplanted by Williams so it is safe to use him as a #1 RB now. Delhomme and Steve Smith will get Carolina up early and Williams will cement the game.
Other good options: Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, and Ronnie Brown
Be afraid, very afraid: Clinton Portis (looks like he won’t play), Willie Parker, LT
Dwayne Bowe now has a reliable QB and he’ll see plenty of action because they should be playing from behind. The threat of Larry Johnson will also open up some lanes for him.
Santonio Holmes has been disappointing this season, but I see a long TD coming from him this week. As stated before San Diego can be thrown on and Holmes and Ben will hook up for at least one long pass.
Eddie Royal should continue to put up big numbers at Atlanta this weekend. Cutler will be throwing, and then throwing, and then throwing some more. With no semblance of a running game it will be the Marshall, Royal, Scheffler show. The Falcon’s D has been playing better, but still giving up big yardage through the air. Look for that to continue Sunday.
Other good options: Lance Moore, TO, DeSean Jackson, Michael Jenkins, and Santana Moss
Be afraid, very afraid: Plaxico Burress, Bernard Berrian, and Chris Chambers
Weather: Watch the weather in Pittsburgh. I’m really touting the passing game for the Steelers, but the forecast is calling for a chance of snow and rain. If it is heavy, with wind I’d downgrade all aspects of their passing game.