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Yeah, Addai fantasy owners had grown a bit tired, too, waiting until Week 11 for their top-5 draft pick (in many cases) to reach the century mark in rushing yards. The last time it happened was Week 9 of 2007. Addai entered Week 11 of this season barely in the top 50 for fantasy points by a running back this season. Ah, but there is good news: Nobody topped his 26 points Sunday.
Fantasy owners are hoping a healthy -- and by Week 12, a rested and strong -- Addai can continue to salvage a lost fantasy season. There are unfortunately no more games with the Texans on the schedule, but the Colts do have a favorable docket for the next month, and Addai could still help fantasy teams get to their postseason. We've been recommending Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne as buy-low options, and now Addai joins that group as well after his signature performance of the season.
On Sunday, Addai ran 22 times for 105 yards and a touchdown, and scored another time on a 23-yard pass from Manning. Addai had scored four fantasy points in each of his past two games since returning from a two-week-plus absence caused by a sore hamstring. There is no timeshare between Addai and Dominic Rhodes, and Addai is again a factor in Manning's passing game, both good harbingers. Rhodes did receive 10 carries to Addai's 22, but nine of them came in the second half, and they didn't preclude Addai from scoring twice.
Addai was a workhorse in 2007, his second NFL season, and played through minor injuries to reach 1,000 yards rushing and score 15 times. His current season has been derailed by injuries that have kept him out of games, in addition to a difficult schedule. Consider that Addai opened the season against the Bears, Vikings and Jaguars -- hardly the Lions when it comes to defending the run -- and his previous three games before Sunday were against the Ravens, Patriots and Steelers. Meanwhile, next up for Addai and the Colts are the San Diego Chargers, then the two Ohio teams, and Week 15 features everyone's favorite matador defense, the Detroit Lions. Batter up!
There's a reason we don't name fantasy busts in mid-November; there's too much time left in the season, and disappointments such as Addai still have plenty of weeks to save your season. Considering that the once-reliable Addai was active in a mere 70.6 percent of ESPN leagues, despite the strong matchup, many Addai owners have given up on him. But look at that schedule. It's enough to wake up his season, and perhaps it began Sunday.
Warrick Dunn should be a very popular fantasy free agent this week. Warrick Dunn? Yep, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next up to run all over the woeful Lions. On Sunday, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 250 of the Panthers' club-record 264 rushing yards -- and scored three touchdowns -- in Carolina's win. The Lions clearly can't stop the run, so don't hesitate to grab running backs -- even older, slower, kinda-average ones such as Dunn -- with that team on the schedule. Meanwhile, poor Jake Delhomme managed to total 170 yards the past two weeks despite facing the Lions and Raiders. He should produce more respectable quarterback numbers now that -- oddly enough -- the schedule gets tougher and his running backs can't embarrass defenders as easily.
If the Lions are bad, what does that make the St. Louis Rams? A week after allowing the Jets 40-first half points and 47 overall, Shaun Hill and the San Francisco 49ers enjoyed a 35-point first 30 minutes of their game. Hill and Frank Gore were already among the league leaders at their respective positions before the second half started! Kyle Orton was one of the bigger disappointments of Week 11, as his quick and triumphant return to the field resulted in five fantasy points, but how can Orton owners not get excited about a Week 12 meeting in St. Louis. As you might have guessed, we're proponents of taking advantage of the NFL schedule to enjoy fantasy success. The Lions can't stop the run, but the Rams can't stop points.
|This Week In Fantasy Football History|
By Neil Tardy
2001: Kurt Warner reminded owners that he was still the best in fantasy at his position. After totaling just three touchdown passes in his previous four games, Warner put up three scores and 401 yards at New England. While the outcome, a 24-17 Rams win, was reversed by the Patriots and Tom Brady a few weeks later in Super Bowl XXXVI, Warner's right arm did carry thousands of fantasy teams to championships. In '01, he led the league in passing yards (4,830) and TD passes (36). Twenty-two of those scores were registered over the final eight weeks of the regular season.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan continues to befuddle fantasy owners with his running back plans. Peyton Hillis scored two touchdowns, and should be a popular free agent this week, but he shared the rushing load with P.J. Pope and Tatum Bell. Selvin Young will also be added to this mix at some point. Speaking of misleading the public, Chiefs coach Herm Edwards promised Larry Johnson only 10 to 15 carries, leading some Jamaal Charles owners to be more interested in their guy for flex purposes than they should have been. Final tally: Johnson 19 carries, Charles 2. Nice. Tyler Thigpen is no Billy Volek. By his fourth game, Volek's amazing run (in 2004) was over. Meanwhile, Thigpen's worst game in a month was Sunday, but he still scored 19 fantasy points. So much for Willie Parker being used cautiously. At least coach Mike Tomlin didn't say that would be the case, so Mewelde Moore owners should have shied away. Final tally: Parker 25 rushes, Moore 1. Parker also had a potential game-winning touchdown called back. The Eagles-Bengals yawner might have set pro football back 40 years, and lends more credence to the rumors that Brian Westbrook is hurting. Make sure you know your league rules better than Donovan McNabb does the NFL overtime rules. Not that you should have been sitting T.J. Houshmandzadeh anyway, but he delivered 12 catches, 149 yards and a score. He hadn't scored since Week 5. The Bears lose 37-3, and still rookie Matt Forte gets 100 total yards. It looks like Ted Ginn Jr. is becoming the AFC version of DeSean Jackson, touching the ball on a mix of passes thrown to him and handoffs. Nothing wrong with that as long as his team keeps getting him involved. Darren McFadden played. He just didn't play much, or well for that matter. One would think the 2-8 Raiders would give the kid, when healthy, a legit shot. Just when I finally buy in to John Carney -- the top kicker in fantasy entering the week -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin sits him for Lawrence Tynes. Carney didn't miss any extra points, did he? As kickers, they're not worth handcuffing. Meet Daunte Culpepper, turnover machine. Haven't we seen this guy before? By the way, he was playing Sunday on the same field on which he wrecked his knee three years earlier. At least Culpepper is not hurting the value of Kevin Smith at all. That's 47 carries in two weeks for Smith. Sadly, because of the tough schedule the Lions have coming up, I'd sell high. Everyone loved Frank Gore this week. Blame Marc Bulger for Gore not scoring 25 fantasy points. The game was over early because Bulger can't move the Rams. Tony Romo did not throw like he was 100 percent healthy, because he isn't. But he should earn a top-10 rank against the 49ers and Seahawks the next two games.
Ryan Grant, RB, Packers
Despite scoring for the second time in three games in Week 10, Grant wasn't a popular start against the Bears; 21 running backs were activated in more ESPN leagues. Grant loaded up many benches with 20 fantasy points, rambling for 145 yards and a score. He looks to be getting stronger at just the right time.
Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles
Westbrook was active in 99.9 percent of ESPN leagues; only Adrian Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald were at 100 percent. Westbrook against the lowly Bengals seemed a lock, but seven fantasy points -- and an ugly-to-watch tie game -- later, his owners wonder if his health will restrict him and ruin his season.
Kerry Collins, QB, Titans: The Jaguars followed the Bears' blueprint from Week 10 and dared the Tennessee "game manager" -- rather than the running game -- to beat them, and Collins did just fine, earning 19 fantasy points for the second consecutive week. This could be a game-plan trend for Titans opponents, and makes Collins and Justin Gage a bit appealing in the process.
Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: While Deuce McAllister didn't take advantage of the prime matchup against the Chiefs, Thomas delivered his best game of the season (19 fantasy points). Even when Reggie Bush returns, Thomas could assume the McAllister role for carries; McAllister has been ineffective and is possibly facing suspension.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: Sure, it was the Lions, but the assumptions that Stewart isn't healthy and is clearly behind DeAngelo Williams on the depth chart aren't correct. Even against decent opponents, it appears Stewart is back in the mix for fantasy relevance.
Lance Moore, WR, Saints: Don't downgrade Marques Colston too much, but stop expecting less from Moore, who has been in the teens for fantasy points three consecutive weeks. It's clear he can produce as long as Drew Brees is slinging it.
Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts: I wouldn't necessarily assume he's a safe play, but if we like his teammates for their cushy schedule, Harrison can warrant No. 3 wide receiver attention, too.
Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: He turned the ball over four times and couldn't beat the Bengals with an extra 15 minutes. It's the first time since 2005 he's been intercepted in three straight games. If the Eagles keep losing, however, the Kevin Kolb era could begin sooner than later.
Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks: Honestly, why do we bother with Seahawks players? A week ago Jones ran for 88 yards. This week he registered a minus-one for fantasy owners. Throw Matt Hasselbeck and his receivers in the down column as well and disregard the team for fantasy.
Isaac Bruce, WR, 49ers: Still owned in 73.6 percent of leagues, Bruce caught one Shaun Hill pass and last topped four fantasy points way back in Week 5. Bryant Johnson, Jason Hill and, when healthy, Josh Morgan have passed him by.
Todd Heap, TE, Ravens: And you thought his 17 fantasy points from Week 10 were a good sign. Heap caught three passes for 16 yards against the Giants. Remove Week 10 and he has 10 fantasy points all season.
Game-time decision Clinton Portis played against the Cowboys, and played well. Brandon Jacobs was torching the Ravens before leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury. Jacobs says the injury is not serious, but this illustrates why his fantasy value, despite the numbers, can be debated. Earnest Graham of the Buccaneers, however, hurt his right ankle after one carry and left the locker room in a protective boot. Jacksonville wide receiver Matt Jones missed the loss to Tennessee because of a sore thigh, and he could miss more games due to injury or suspension.
Make sure to check your rules for the league's trade deadline. In ESPN standard leagues, deals must be accepted by noon ET this Wednesday.
The Thursday game this week pits the awful Bengals at the solid Steelers, a rematch of Pittsburgh's 38-10 romp in Cincy in Week 7. Ben Roethlisberger had 16 fantasy points that day and one passing touchdown in four games since. Ryan Fitzpatrick managed to get T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson eight catches each that game.
Similarly, the last time the Dolphins and Patriots met, the road team -- Miami, in this case -- scored 38 points. The Patriots scored 13. Ronnie Brown accounted for five touchdowns, four of them rushing. In seven games since, he has scored four times. The Patriots ran for 78 yards in that game, with Sammy Morris "leading" the way with 27 yards.
Matt Ryan and Michael Turner didn't fare well when the Falcons met the Panthers in Week 4, but Ryan has been better in home games, and Turner is averaging 20 fantasy points per game in the Georgia Dome. Good news for Jake Delhomme owners: In the first meeting between these two teams, he threw for 294 yards and two scores.
The Raiders haven't scored an offensive touchdown in 13 quarters, or since Week 8, and they got crushed by the Broncos 41-14 back in Week 1. What does it all mean? The Denver defense would be a good choice in Week 12. Maybe the matchup will revitalize Jay Cutler, who passed for 300 yards and two scores in the opener. That's his lone performance this season with two or more touchdowns and no interceptions. It's also the only game in which Oakland's JaMarcus Russell passed for multiple touchdowns in a game, though we wouldn't recommend starting him.