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Sunday, November 16, 2008
TRUM: Thigpen does it again


D. Stroyer (Honolulu): What the heck does TRUM stand for?

TMR: It stands for Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless Information and Musings. Because that's all it is. As always, for a comprehensive look at Week 11, be sure to read Eric Karabell's "Instant Replay."


I never saw the movie, but I always liked the title "10 Things I Hate About You."

And I am nothing if not willing to lift an idea and then bend it for a flimsy column premise.

So here are 10 things I hated about Week 11:

1. That it took until Week 11 …

TJ Houshmandzadeh
About time T.J. Houshmandzadeh did something great.
… for some guys to show up big, such as T.J. Houshmandzadeh (12 catches for 149 yards and a score) and Joseph Addai (153 total yards and two scores).

Both should be in upcoming fantasy trades. You should be selling Houshmandzadeh and buying Addai. Look at T.J.'s upcoming schedule (at Pittsburgh, Baltimore, at Indy, Washington, before heading to Cleveland in Week 16 and hosting KC in Week 17). None of those, really, is a good matchup, and while I think Housh will give you a consistent 7-8 points per game (like he has for a while), he's not gonna be the guy you drafted (which is what he looked like today).

Meanwhile, Addai's schedule gets crazy easy, including Cincy, Detroit and at Jacksonville in the fantasy playoffs.

2. That Kevin Smith continues to get no love.

How many weeks do I gotta talk about this guy? He's owned in only 81 percent of leagues, and he was started in just 25 percent of 'em. And on the road at Carolina he continued to look good. Really good. He racked up 135 total yards and now has double-digit fantasy points in four of his past five games. His upcoming schedule is not great; then again, neither is facing the Jaguars or the Bears and Panthers on the road, which he has done the past three weeks and gotten double digits each time.

3. Mike Shanahan, Week 11.

We said if you had to start a Broncos running back, it should be Peyton Hillis. But honestly, I didn't trust him, and left him on the bench in the one league I have him in. He got two scores and 13 touches for 70 yards, but P.J. Pope and Tatum Bell also got in the mix, and of even bigger concern is that Jay Cutler had another so-so game. For a "stud" fantasy quarterback, he has been very average lately. He has 13 fantasy points or fewer (in standard ESPN scoring) in four of his past five games, with only the crazy Browns shootout on a short week generating huge points.

4. The short-lived resurgence of Marques Colston.

After his big game last week, Colston went back to being a disappointment while Lance Moore continued his "Fantasy Football Hall of Fame" campaign. I'm gonna list some numbers for you: 15, 13, 16. Those are Moore's fantasy points the past three weeks. He has scored in each of the past three weeks, and he's owned in only 73 percent of leagues. Worse, he was started in just 25 percent of leagues this week. He's now an every-week start in leagues that play three wide receivers.

5. The obscure touchdown vulture.

Steve Slaton
Steve Slaton had 156 rushing yards on just 14 carries.
Two scores for Ahman Green; it's clear he's the red zone back, and that's it. Steve Slaton still had a huge game, but it could have been even bigger. B.J. Askew, Pierre Thomas (who looked better than Deuce McAllister, but Reggie Bush will be back next week), Le'Ron McClain and J.J. Arrington are among the running backs very few people started who got into the end zone.

6. That I know I won't hear again from the following reader:

Ben (Brownsburg): Look, I'm gonna make this crystal clear and very quick. You are dead wrong about Tyler Thigpen. I'm not gonna say he is gonna be terrible the rest of the way, but truthfully I don't see him getting anything more than 14 points the rest of the way, including this week. I think he is a one-hit wonder who will disappoint many people this week because of your ranking of fourth, ahead of people such as McNabb and Cutler.

You keep talking about how Thigpen has the second-most points behind Warner, but what you failed to mention was that in Week 9, without a 37-yard TD reception, he scored 12 points, and if you want to take out the 22 rushing yards, he had only 10 points. That is one point more than Trent Edwards in Week 9. He had a good week last week, but it was against San Diego. Everybody, and I mean everybody, plays good against that terrible defense. There is no denying the Saints defense is bad, but not San Diego bad. You are gonna ruin everybody's weeks this week, and you are gonna have to explain yourself come Monday. One more thing: If you are ranking him fourth, then you must be starting him. I highly doubt he is owned in any of your leagues, considering he is owned in only 50 percent of leagues. So if you're so confident in him, I dare you to pick him up and start him.

TMR: I started Thigpen in three of my six leagues. I started Brees, Warner and Delhomme once each in the other three (the Delhomme league is a 14-teamer and Thigpen is not available). Now, I definitely got some rankings wrong this week (like my higher-than-average selection of Thigpen's teammate, Mark Bradley), but this wasn't one of them.

Just for the record: Thigpen finished with 19 points in ESPN standard scoring, Jay Cutler had 12 and Donovan McNabb had 9. The most frustrating thing is Thigpen should have had more. The Chiefs were inside the 10-yard line multiple times and kept giving it to crappy Larry Johnson, who couldn't convert. I like Thigpen at home next week against Buffalo, too.

7. Speaking of wrong rankings and Donovan McNabb …

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little worried about Brian Westbrook. He now has single-digit fantasy points in three straight games, and he gets Baltimore next week. That matchup will officially knock him off my "start-every-week-no-matter-what" list. Something just isn't right with Philadelphia.

8. Baltimore, the Denver Broncos of the East.

This week McClain was the highest-scoring running back for the Ravens. Just for fun, I decided to go back and look at the highest-scoring running back each week for the Ravens:

Week 1: McClain, 10
3: McClain, 18
4: McClain, 14
5: McClain, 12
6: Rice, 8
7: McGahee, 18
8: Rice and McGahee, 9
9: Rice, 17
10: McGahee, 23
11: McClain, 10

No rhyme or reason whatsoever. I hate Baltimore.

Jake Delhomme
Jake Delhomme didn't exactly dominate his matchup versus Detroit.
9. Jake Delhomme

Two straight weeks. Two great matchups. Two stinkers.

10. This guy:

Pat (New York): I can't give you advice on your lady situation because I happen to be a very good-looking 25-year-old male who has never had a problem getting girls or managing to fall in the "friend zone." Love your column, by the way.

Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is wondering if all the Philip Rivers lovers are gonna write after this week. He is the creator of RotoPass.com, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend