It's now week nine of the NFL season fantasy football fans. That means it's the time of the year in which you need to start making your playoff run or start working on your draft strategy for next season. For many, this is the time of the year where you will reach the trading deadline for your respective league. If you are riding a wave of success, this means that you can possibly hold another team over the barrel for a player that they covet. If you are struggling, that means you might be able to pull off one good trade that can get you back into the mix of the playoff hunt.
There are a few players out there that haven't performed that well in the first half of the season, but could be poised for a productive second half. Taking a look at the remaining NFL schedule can give you a significant edge in trying to find these mid-season diamonds in the roughs.
Matt Jones, for instance, has had a very tough first half of the 2006 season, dealing with hamstring and groin injuries. Jones is starting to get healthy and the Jaguars have a very favorable second half schedule. He may be a player that you can target that may not cost you much in a trade.
Muhsin Muhammad is also another wide receiver you may be able to pry from a disappointed owner. Muhammad only has 2 TDs through seven games, averaging less than 60 yards receiving per game. Now that opposing defenses are more aware of Bernard Berrian, Muhammad could see Rex Grossman looking his way more often in the second half of the season. He's another player that you may be able to get on the cheap.
Here are a few players that you might want to take a look at plugging into your starting lineup this week to either turn around your luck or keep your success going! They may not be the top names in fantasy football, but most are the ‘in between' guys that you might have to make a tough decision on. The good fantasy owner is able to pick these players out from a crowd and stick them in their lineup for fantasy success!
QB – Tony Romo – Romo received the starting nod for the Cowboys last week and showed why Bill Parcells was itching to put him in the lineup. Romo gives the Cowboys an added dimension of mobility that Drew Bledsoe never gave to them and he knows to get the ball to the team's playmakers. He will be facing a Redskins defense that gives up nearly 240 yards passing per game and is second in the league in passing TDs given up with 14. Look for Romo to have another productive start in this big NFC East matchup.
RB – Jamal Lewis – Lewis has been a bit of a fantasy disappointment this season, but had a productive game in week 8 against the Saints. We think he will continue that success against a Bengals defense that ranks 25th against the run from a fantasy perspective. When you take into account that 3 of Lewis' top 9 rushing performances have come against the Bengals, it makes sense that he will put up some solid fantasy numbers for you this week.
RB – Laurence Maroney – The Patriots might have aired it out vs. the Vikings on Monday night football, but don't expect them to do the same against the Colts this week. The Colts rank 30th in the league at stopping the run from a fantasy perspective and give up a league-high 167.9 yards rushing per game. Look for both Maroney and Corey Dillon to put up some great fantasy stats, with the edge going to one of the best rookie running backs out there in Maroney. We're expecting somewhere around 100 yards and a TD out of him, so make sure to stick him in your lineup this week.
WR – Eddie Kennison – Kennison fits the definition of a wily veteran to a Tee. He has been able to establish some chemistry with new starting QB Damon Huard over the past five weeks, averaging over 70 yards receiving a game with 2 TDs. Look for him to continue his success against a Rams defense that ranks 17th in the league from a fantasy perspective, having given up 9 passing TDs over 7 weeks.
WR – Marques Colston – Marques Colston is a fantasy diamond-in-the-rough if
there ever was one. This, nearly undrafted player is the 5th leading
fantasy football receiver through 8 weeks of the season and is second in the NFL
with 6 touchdown catches. He torched a top ranked
TE – Owen Daniels – Daniels is a rookie tight end that is catching the fantasy football world on fire. Daniels currently ranks as the 7th best tight end in fantasy football and has scored 5 TDs in the last 6 weeks! He will be facing Giants defense that is ranked 20th against the pass from a fantasy perspective and has been hurt by injuries at the linebacker position. Look for Owens to continue his fantasy success and take advantage of the Giants defense.
DEF - Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars are starting to put the clamps down on defense, holding an explosive Eagles team to only 6 points last week at home. This week they will face a Titans team that averages just 16 points a game and has scored 14 or more points only three times this season. Expect the Titans to shut down the Titans ground game and force rookie QB Vince Young into some obvious passing situations in which they could force some turnovers.