November 08, 2010
On Sundays, I watch a day of football and make observations. On Mondays, I come here and empty the notebook.
• LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) hasn't done much on the ground over the past three games, stumbling to 156 yards on 48 carries (that's 3.25 yards a pop). And on too many of those carries, he's going to the turf on first contact. I won't be surprised if the Jets give Shonn Greene(notes) just as many carries as LT going forward, though Tomlinson is miles ahead of Greene in the passing game.
Greene has rallied nicely over his last five games, averaging 5.0 yards a pop over 57 carries. Greene won't be a standard-league starter in 2010 without a Tomlinson injury, but he's at least a flex consideration for the final two months. And it might be last call if you're looking to sell Tomlinson at an inflated price; I don't see him increasing his value against the underrated Cleveland rushing defense next week.
Sticking with the Jets, Santonio Holmes(notes) finally moved ahead of Jerricho Cotchery(notes) on the New York depth chart, putting up 114 yards at Detroit. Get in on the Holmes story now; he could go ballistic in two weeks when the terrible Houston secondary comes calling.
• For the most part I was impressed with Michael Vick's(notes) return to the starting lineup, but he's still taking too many hits; that's the curse of a mobile quarterback. I give him a 60 percent chance to start the rest of the year without incident, and he's someone I'd try to sell high if your opponents have interest. If Vick suffers another first-half injury down the stretch, it could be the type of thing that torpedoes you in the playoffs.
• It's no fun being shut out of Arian Foster(notes) shares, as I am in 2010. He's the full package: physical enough to push the pile inside; quick enough to run outside and hit the occasional home run; handy in the pass game; sturdy enough to handle a heavy touch count. He's also good enough to wreck Matt Schaub's(notes) fantasy value; the keys to the Houston offense clearly belong to Foster. Matchup proof? You betcha.
• Carolina's offense has been a mess all season and the Cats are a particularly-inviting D/ST stream target now that Jimmy Clausen(notes) has to play the rest of the year. Here's the remaining Carolina schedule for the stream police: at Tampa, Baltimore, at Cleveland, at Seattle, Atlanta, Arizona, at Pittsburgh (Week 16, delicious), at Atlanta. The Panthers have scored 10 points or less in five of their losses, and they would have been blanked in Week 9 if not for Robert Meachem's(notes) spotty hands (his dropped pass on a slant pattern at the Carolina goal led to an interception, a lengthy return, and John Kasay's(notes) short field goal).
• I've got nothing against Tom Brady(notes), but it's silly for anyone to promote him as an MVP candidate when he's the third-best quarterback in the AFC right now. Philip Rivers(notes) is having a legendary season in San Diego, making do with a collection of scrubs and cast-offs, and Peyton Manning's(notes) having a similar year with the Colts. And from a fantasy perspective, Brady might not even be a Top 10 option going forward.
• Make it six games in a row without a touchdown for Wes Welker(notes), and he's managed just 85 yards over the last three games. He's still a No. 3 receiver for PPR formats, I suppose, but in a non-PPR format he's not playable. Welker hasn't had a catch over 30 yards the entire season.
• Body language told you everything you needed to know with Wade Phillips; for several weeks he's looked like a man that wanted to get fired. He'll be an effective coordinator for someone down the road. No one expects the 2010 Cowboys to make a radical improvement now that Jason Garrett is the head man (he's been the man in charge of the offense all season, after all), but given how the team has bottomed out over the last three weeks, any change is welcome.
• There's nothing exciting to Brandon Jackson(notes), but there's something to be said for getting regular work tied to an efficient offense. He's collected 17, 17, 16, 15 and 15 touches over the last five weeks, and he managed to get into the end zone twice on Sunday night (one rushing score, one receiving score). If the Packers are going to trust Jackson this much on a weekly basis, why shouldn't we?
• I was surprised the Giants kept their first-string offense on the field as late as they did in Sunday's blowout win at Seattle. If Eli Manning(notes) gets hurt, G-Men, your title hopes are in the garbage.
• Josh Freeman(notes) is clicking with a bunch of receivers in Tampa Bay but Kellen Winslow(notes) isn't one of them. K2's last touchdown came a year ago, Nov. 8 against the Packers; since then, it's been 16 bagels in a row.
• Jamaal Charles(notes) finished with 100 yards on 15 touches at Oakland (10-53 rushing, 5-47 receiving), while Thomas Jones(notes) stumbled to 32 yards on 19 carries. I see the argument for both of these runners getting liberal usage, but it's crazy for Charles to be on the short end of the touches. Are the Chiefs succeeding this year because of Todd Haley or in spite of him? Is Charlie Weis too cute for his own good when it comes to the play-calling?
• Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel(notes) might be the most overpaid starter in the league; did you catch him throwing a one-yard pass to a covered receiver when the Chiefs were facing a critical third down in overtime?
• Ten of the Top 11 fantasy kickers from Sunday's play came from winning teams, and it was 9-for-11 with respect to the fantasy defenses. If you can pick consistent winners, you should be able to score well in these two slots every week. (Yes, this is a recording.)
• Prefer your Brunch on Sundays? Follow me on Twitter.
Image courtesy Associated Press