Fantasy Playoff Run Week 15: Kill or Get Killed

<p>And yet again injuries are ravaging many teams roster at this point of the season. Priest Holmes, Jeff Garcia, Steve McNair, T.J. Duckett, Plaxico Burress and Ty Law are but a few of the names out there. You'll need to take a look at who's still playing and who's returning from injury if you're going to bet on a teams success this week.</p> <p>Chris Goodhue take a look at this week's players who will be a force, and those who will likely be frauds.</p>

PHOTO: Philadelphia Eagles QB, Donovan McNabb scrambles to buy time to throw downfield against the Dallas Cowboy defense. (Ap Photo)

Fantasy Playoff Run ­ Week 15, Kill or Get Killed
By Chris Goodhue, Site Contributor

Time is winding down ­ you have to draw your best weapons against your opponents, or you’ll end up like the One-Armed Man in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ­ rambling about your destiny, seeing the prize in front of you, but too dumb to realize that Tuco Benedito Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez (wow that’s a mouthful) has got the gun himself as well, looking to kill you faster than you can take him down. No margin for error now, it’s go time. As a tribute to one of my favorite flicks, here are some quotes relative to players who could end up on the wrong side of the gun.

The Good:
“When I'm paid, I always follow my job through. You know that.”

Eagles QB, Donovan McNabb faces a Dallas defense that he shredded for 345 yards and 4 TD’s in Week 10. The ‘Boys have picked off only 8 passes all season long and will have to double team Terrell Owens which will open room for WR, Todd Pinkston to make plays, as well as RB, Brian Westbrook out in the flats.

Vikings QB, Daunte Culpepper is having a career year despite WR, Randy Moss’ injury plagued season. The Vikes play Detroit this week and expect Culpepper to finds WR’s, Nate Burleson (6 TD’s) and Marcus Robinson (7 TD’s) who will benefit from CB, Dre Bly and S, Brock Marion’s attention to Moss.

Chargers RB, LaDainian Tomlinson has the privilege of being the latest running back to face the Cleveland Browns. The Brownies have allowed an alarming 19 touchdowns on the ground this season and have been on life support for a good 3 or 4 weeks now. The Chargers O-line led by rising star G, Toniu Fonoti should push around the anemic Cleveland D like Death Row kingpin Suge Knight used to push Vanilla Ice around for the rights to “Ice Ice Baby”.

Redskins RB, Clinton Portis struggled early this season, but has come along lately. After not scoring for 7 straight weeks, he has scored 3 TD’s in the last 2 games, including 2 last week vs. Philly. The Niners defense is extremely banged up (DE, Brandon Whiting, LB, Julian Peterson, and CB, Mike Rumph are all out for the season) and will not be a match for Portis’ outside speed.

Ravens TE, Todd Heap returned to his pre-injury form last week vs. the Giants to post 76 yards and
2 TD’s. He’ll be QB, Kyle Boller’s main target yet again as they travel to Indy to face the Colts’ weak pass defense. A matchup problem for any defense, Heap will cause trouble for safties Idress Bashir and Mike Doss all day long, who may play up to face the pounding run attack of Baltimore.

Broncos WR, Rod Smith puts up good yardage numbers every week in spite of QB, Jake Plummer’s recent struggles. Denver travels to Arrowhead to face to the Chiefs who have the league’s worst pass defense. Chiefs CB, Dexter McCleon has given up some homeruns this year, and will fall victim to the short passes of Mike Shanahan’s West Coast attack as well.

The Bad:
“You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”

Saints QB, Aaron Brooks surely would have been gunned down by Clint Eastwood around Week 9 if he were head coach. Brooks is one of draft day’s most overrated players as most fantasy owners envision him as a rushing threat, but his rushing high on the year is only 25 yards. He has thrown a mind-boggling 9 interceptions in the last 4 games. This week he faces a Tampa Bay defense that has picked off 15 passes and sacked QB’s 37 times. CB, Ronde Barber will attempt to blanket WR, Joe Horn, making it difficult for the tunnel-visional Brooks. Steer clear of him, this week, next season, and forever.

Bengals RB, Rudi Johnson goes up against Buffalo’s stingy run defense this week. The Bills have allowed only 4 TD’s on the ground this season largely due to the fact that LB’s London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes have a combined 201 tackles on the season. The Bengals may be without QB, Carson Palmer, which would further complicate the issue.

Lions WR, Roy Williams has been directly affected by the struggles of QB, Joey Harrington. Williams has not scored since Week 7, and hasn’t had more than 4 catches in a game since Week 9 vs. the Eagles. He’ll also have a tough matchup in Vikings CB, Antoine Winfield who has 3 thefts and 8 passes defensed. As long as Harrington continues to play, you must bench Williams.

The Ugly:
“Two hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. We're gonna have to earn it.”

Titans QB, Billy Volek has put up some good numbers against some really poor defenses (269 yds, 3 TD vs. IND, 426 yds, 4 TD vs. KC) and that won’t change this week as the Titans face Oakland. The Raiders have sacked the quarterback only 17 times all season, and Patriots WR, Troy Brown has 2 more interceptions than CB, Charles Woodson (1). The Raiders will concentrate on stopping RB, Chris Brown, especially now with NT, Ted Washington on the shelf. Volek should have ample time to find his apparent go-to-guy, WR, Drew Bennett as well as speedster Derrick Mason.

Cowboys RB, Julius Jones faces his toughest challenge since being named the starting tailback…..the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles will put 8 in the box to stop Jones and dare QB, Vinny Testaverde to throw on them. Jones’ toughest matchup thus far was vs. Baltimore Week 11 when he carried 30 times for only 81 yards. This could be the ineveitable “Rookie hits the wall game”. If you’re plagued with injuries, start him, but otherwise, try to find a better matchup.

Bills WR, Lee Evans has 4 TD’s in his last 3 games including 2 against the vaunted secondary of the Miami Dolphins. This Sunday, Evans faces a Bengals secondary that was picked apart by Patriots QB, Tom Brady for 260 yards and 2 TD’s. The Bengals weak corners will try to matchup on Bills wideout Eric Moulds freeing up Evans. He is clearly benefiting form the attention to his partner in crime. A good start in this matchup.

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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