Week 11 AFC Fantasy Forces and Frauds
By Chris Goodhue, Site Contributor
The NFL season is more than half over and at this point it is time to point out who will lead your team to the Promised Land and who will drag you to places like Oakland. Every week Ill help you decide how to get to your own personal Jacksonville.
Quarterback Forces: Chargers QB, Drew Brees (160/242 c/a, 1854 yds., 18 TDs, 3 INT) is primed for a huge week vs. Oakland. He has thrown 9 TDs in his last 2 games including 281 yards and an alarming 5 TDs against these very Raiders. Oaklands pass defense has been torched for 19 TDs and picked off only 4 passes. Raiders Star CB, Charles Woodson has been virtually non-existent this year with zero picks. Look for Brees to hit WR, Keenan McCardell and TE, Antonio Gates for some easy scores.
Broncos QB, Jake Plummer (177/303, 2282, 19, 10) faces a New Orleans defense that couldnt stop Star Jones from reaching a buffet table (288 pass yds/game, 16 TDs allowed). Plummer, though prone to the interception, wont face much pressure from the Saints who have sacked opposing QBs only 9 times, not to mention Denver C, Tom Nalen and crew have allowed only 7 sacks themselves. WR, Rod Smith should be able to blow past former Green Bay holdout CB, Mike McKenzie all day long.
Patriots QB, Tom Brady (166/281, 2127, 17, 8) has now thrown 2 TDs in 3 straight games, and that streak should continue vs. the Chiefs. Kansas City LBs, Scott Fujita and Shaun Barber will have to pay a lot of attention to Pats RB, Corey Dillon, opening many play-fake opportunities for Brady. The Chiefs defense will be off-balance all night and TE, Daniel Graham will be allowed to break from his double-team blocking assignments with OT, Brandon Gorin to get a red zone chance.
Quarterback Fraud: Dont be fooled by Ravens QB, Kyle Boller (132/229, 1314, 5, 6). Even though he had 2 TDs against the Jets, the plan will be to run RB, Jamal Lewis 30 times against Dallas porous rush defense (126 yards allowed per game). Boller does not have the weapons nor the confidence in the pocket to be considered a fantasy starter yet.
Runningback Forces: Broncos RB, Reuben Droughns (146 car., 678 yds., 4.6 yds/carry, 1 TD) will be part of an offensive explosion vs. the Saints. In 4 of his 5 games since being named the full-time starter, Droughns has put up 100 yards or more. The Broncos line should be able to manhandle the Saints D-line including DT, Jonathan Sullivan who has been extremely silent (49 tackles, 1.5 sacks in a season and a half) since being drafted 6th overall in 2003.
Jets RB, Curtis Martin (218, 984, 4.5, 9) shredded the vaunted Baltimore defense last week for 128 yds and 2 TDs. With QB, Quincy Carter at the helm for New York, the fear was the defense would stack up Martin and stymie him ..not the case. If the Jets O-line can push Ray Lewis around they will surely push Cleveland bigmouth DT Gerrard Warren (a whopping 6 tackles in 4 games) around this week and make some big holes for Martin. Clevelands D has allowed 11 rush TDs as a whole this year.
Bills RB, Willis McGahee (142, 510, 3.6, 3) will look for redemption this week vs. the Rams. Shut down last week by New England (37 yards on 14 carries), McGahee will get a ton of carries with the Bills QB situation possibly in flux, and St. Louis inability to stop the run. The Rams allow an eye-popping 140 yards per game on the ground. The Rams linebackers, namely OLB, Tommy Polley have not looked the same since the departure of Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith.
Runningback Fraud: Colts RB, Edgerrin James (197, 877, 4.5, 5) has burned his owners of late. James hasnt had a TD in his last 4 games, and only has 1 100-yard performance in that span as well. Edge may not be the total culprit, as the Colts have been throwing so much in shootouts with Minnesota and Kansas City as well as an inexplicable Spurrier-esque performance vs. Houston. Regardless, you have to feel concerned that his longest run of the year is only 30 yards.
Receiver Forces: Chargers TE, Antonio Gates (54 catches, 602 yards, 8 TD) has had 5 catches or more 7 times this year. He is the number 1 option through the air for the Chargers and has a favorable matchup on aging Raiders FS, Ray Buchanan. There is a reason Buchanan was moved to safety, hes not very good at covering at this point in his career and Gates will exploit his weakness.
Jaguars WR, Jimmy Smith (49, 812, 3) has proven throughout the last few years that no matter the QB, he will produce. With Jags backup QB, David Garrard in charge last week, he grabbed 7 balls for 109 yards and a score against Detroit. Smith should be able to top 100 yards for the 4th straight week due to the attention that will be paid to Jags RB, Fred Taylor.
Texans WR, Andre Johnson (51, 752, 4) hasnt had a 100-yard game in a few weeks, but faces a great matchup vs. Green Bay. The Pack have given up 20 TDs through the air this year and Johnson, the AFCs 2nd leading receiver should be able to burn Packers CB, Al Harris (1 INT) who is clearly not the #1 corner Green Bay though he was when they traded Mike McKenzie.
Receiver Fraud: Bengals WR, Chad Johnson (50, 713, 2) has been a major disappointment. Many owners spent a 2nd or 3rd round choice on Johnson who only has 1 100-yard game this year. Johnson is clearly suffering from QB, Carson Palmers adjustment to the NFL. He faces the Steelers this week, and Palmer will probably face too much pressure to get the ball to Chad on a consistent basis.
Chris Goodhue has been running fantasy football and baseball teams since 1999 with one title to his credit. He can usually be found at a local Boston area sports bar settling arguments of sports history, but in case you can't find him send your questions and feedback to cgoodhue in the Insider Forums
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