This week’s menu is based heavily on matchups and bodies of work throughout the last few games. Stay away from the “fattening” players who haven’t been producing and are running into tough opponents this week. Try some alternatives that have much more favorable matchups come Sunday.
Fattening: Josh Freeman- While Freeman has taken leaps and bounds this year in becoming the future QB of the Buccaneers, he simply isn’t a good play this week. In his last four games, Freeman has a modest 5 passing TDs with only a 59.9% completion percentage. Also hurting Freeman is his opponent on Sunday. Carolina has the 5th best passing defense in the league up to this point.
Try This Instead: David Garrard- Not only does Garrard have 9 passing TDs and only 2 INTS in his last four games, he has awe-inspiring 76% completion percentage throughout the last 4 matchups. The main thing going in Garrard’s favor though, playing at home against a dismal Houston pass defense that ranks 32nd in the league. Garrard will be a highly efficient play.
Fattening: Matt Forte- The Bears offense has completely stalled in the last few weeks and Forte is one of the main byproducts. In his last three games, Forte has rushed for only 101 yards with only 1 TD. Not to mention his lackluster 3.6 receptions average over the last three contests. Normally Forte can make up for his low rushing totals with reception yards but he doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything these days. Don’t look for Minnesota, the 6th ranked rushing defense, to show Forte any sympathy.
Try This Instead Mike Goodson- “Who?” This may be your first question on this one. Goodson is the 4th string running back for the Carolina Panthers. “Why?” This should clearly be your second question. DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Tyrell Sutton are all inactive for Sunday’s game, making Goodson the penciled-in starter. With no one behind him to steal carries besides Josh Vaughn, a rookie Carolina signed on Tuesday and Andre Brown who was claimed off waivers earlier this week, Goodson will get plenty of carries against Tampa Bay who ranks 30th amongst rushing defenses. Furthermore, Jimmy Clausen is going to be under center this week so don’t look for Carolina to really extend the passing playbook. Goodson should put up solid numbers by default.
Fattening: Roy Williams- Roy should never even cross your mind to start this week but I continue to hear about how Jason Garrett taking over for Wade Phillips will somehow catapult Williams back into a big contributor. Let’s look past the fact that Roy E. has developed a case of the “Dropsies” and the fact he only has 5 catches in his last three games. Let’s go further by emphasizing that Jon Kitna really doesn’t like to throw the ball to Williams and that the Cowboys are simply a toxic fantasy play across the board going up against the New York Giants who are ranked 2nd in pass defense and 1st in Total Defense. I’d say stay away from Dez Bryant as well if he weren’t such a threat on special teams.
Try This Instead: Any Jaguars Receiver- I can’t stress this enough, Houston’s pass defense stinks. It doesn’t matter which Jaguar you pick. Slot in Mike Sims-Walker, Mike Thomas, or even Mercedes Lewis if you have a flex position. The Texans are dead last in pass defense and allow almost 300 aerial yards a game and have given up a league high 20 passing TDs this year. There shall be points a plenty in this home matchup for the Jags.
About the Author
Written by John Buffone
John was born in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. He attended Clarion University and received a degree in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. He currently hosts "The Sports Zone with John Buffone" on AM 1380 WTYM in Kittanning, PA. John is also a sports columnist for the Kittanning Paper and a contributor to Examiner.com, and CatholicSportsJournal.com.