The top story coming out of Week 11 is the significant downgrade in status for Jamal Lewis. Originally thought to be an insignificant ankle sprain that would have him back out on the field against the Pats this Sunday, Lewis may now miss the next 4-6 weeks. Full results of Lewis's injury are expected soon (Wednesday). Those owners who had counted on a big finish from Lewis with Cincinnati, Miami and such on the schedule may now need to look elsewhere. Chester Taylor is the last man standing in Baltimore, seeing as the Ravens lost Musa Smith to a broken leg in Sunday's contest. If you failed to handcuff Taylor to your selection of Lewis or foolishly released him, then you're scrambling to the waiver wire like Ozzie Newsome.
For the Ravens, the best of the lot is likely the recently released James Jackson. Hopefully, the prospects in your league are stronger. Look to see if Julius Jones is out there to be claimed before your league's deadline. If not, several other viable options remain available in Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football leagues. Steven Jackson will continue to split time with Marshall Faulk, and Tyrone Wheatley has re-established himself as the starter in Oakland. I'll provide an update on this story tomorrow.
Shaun Alexander has rumbled to over 1,100 yards through the first 10 weeks of the season. He's done so on the strength of four games of better than 150 yards and the Seahawks are 4-0 when he rushes more than 25 times. Simplify the playbook, Mike Holmgren, and ride your star to the playoffs.
Looking for a defensive replacement? Though they've been shredded on the ground all year, the Cincinnati Bengals rank 15th in the NFL at 19.8 points allowed per game. They have forced 25 turnovers and are 10th in the league in sacks. Check the schedule for the Bengals, they're in for a solid stretch run.
The promotion of Julius Jones is just the first of many changes taking place in Dallas. He was tied for second this week with 30 touches, rushing for a tough 81 yards against Baltimore. Bill Parcells liked what he saw. Drew Henson is likely to start on Thanksgiving Day against Dallas, and Terrance Copper was the leading receiver on Sunday.
Dennis Green produced the head-scratcher of the week with his last-minute replacement of QB Josh McCown. The team responded horribly and got pasted by the Carolina Panthers. Shaun King was miserable, fumbling four times and throwing three picks. Yes, he threw for 343 yards, but the only consolation to be had on this day was his propensity for throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.
The incomparable Jerry Rice caught his first TD pass of the season against Miami. With Koren Robinson on the sidelines due to a "violation of team rules," Rice stepped into the starting role and contributed three catches for 86 yards. Robinson will now begin his four-game suspension for violating the league's substance policy, and Rice has been named the starter opposite Darrell Jackson in his absence.
Two games are on the docket for Thanksgiving Day. Fantasy owners everywhere will include a nod to Peyton Manning while giving thanks. I'll be back with the numbers through Week 11 and an updated injury look tomorrow to get you into the holiday weekend.
Let's get deeper into Week 11:
Shouldering the load: Most active RB's (carries+catches)
|Week 11 Touch Leaders|
|1||LaDainian Tomlinson, SD||38|
|2||Jerome Bettis, PIT||30|
|2||Julius Jones, DAL||30|
|4||Reuben Droughns, DEN||30|
|5||Shaun Alexander, SEA||29|
|6||Antowain Smith, TEN||27|
|6||Domanick Davis, HOU||27|
|6||Corey Dillon, NE||27|
|9||Nick Goings, CAR||25|
|10||Deuce McAllister, NO||24|
|10||Edgerrin James, IND||24|
|10||Fred Taylor, JAC||24|
|10||Tiki Barber, NYG||24|
Attention getters: Top intended targets (looks)
|Week 11 Look Leaders|
|1||Anquan Boldin, ARI||16|
|1||Deuce McAllister, NO||16|
|1||Keenan McCardell, SD||16|
|4||Javon Walker, GB||15|
|5||Chris Chambers, MIA||14|
|5||Donte' Stallworth, NO||14|
|5||Larry Fitzgerald, ARI||14|
|8||Muhsin Muhammad, CAR||13|
|9||Donald Driver, GB||12|
|9||Jermaine Wiggins, MIN||12|
Trainers table: Updates on the wounded in action
- Barring a setback in practice this week, Randy Moss will return to the field for the first time in a month for the Vikings against Jacksonville. He's listed as doubtful to start the week, but ran well on Monday without pain.
- Troy Hambrick sprained his left foot in Sunday's contest and will miss as much as a month. Josh Scobey recently returned from injury and saw significant time in the defeat to Carolina. He'll be Emmitt Smith's primary backup.
- Deion Branch finally returned to action on Monday night after missing eight weeks to injury. He didn't miss a beat, catching six balls for 105 yards and a score. He'll be ready to go against Baltimore this week.
- Atlanta fullback Justin Griffith tore the PCL in his right knee. He'll likely miss this week's game, meaning that veteran Stanley Pritchett will take his place opening holes for Warrick Dunn against the hapless Saints.
- Chad Pennington received medical clearance to begin throwing on Wednesday. He's not expected back for two-three weeks, meaning more Quincy Carter.
- Staying in New York, Curtis Martin's knee injury is apparently nothing more than a bruise. That means Martin owners can relax a bit, as he'll be in the starting lineup this week.
- Zach Thomas will miss the next 1-3 weeks with a partially torn hamstring. That'll soften up the middle of the Miami defense. Can the 49ers exploit it this week?
- Plaxico Burress is out for this week's game against Washington with a hamstring injury. He may miss 2-3 weeks all told.
- Duce Staley will return to the field this week for the Steelers after missing three straight games with a hamstring injury. Look for he and Jerome Bettis to split carries this week.
- Fortunately for Ahman Green owners, X-rays revealed no broken ribs. He's listed as day-to-day, but should be in the lineup against St. Louis on Monday night.
- Chris Brown is out of his walking boot and is expected to return to action this week. Keep Antowain Smith around in case there's a setback, but for now, Brown's ready to roll.
- Jeff Garcia, likely hanging around in fantasy leagues where two QB's are required, is expected to miss a couple weeks with a strained shoulder. Luke McCown or Kelly Holcomb will man Butch Davis's sinking ship this week against Cincinnati.
- Priest Holmes sat out on Monday's loss to New England and is still a question mark for Week 12. Keep an eye on the KC practices toward the end of the week.
- Between multiple injuries and ineffectiveness, Vinny Testaverde will likely sit out the Thanksgiving Day game against Chicago. Drew Henson will take the helm and will look good handing the ball off to Julius Jones.
- Matt Hasselbeck sat out the Week 11 win over Miami with a deep thigh bruise. He'll be back on the field for Week 12.