This week’s menu offers some big names that although they sound appetizing, may not be the best choice for you this week. On the other hand, some of the alternatives may seem unappealing, but they have the potential to make your team the model of efficiency this week.
Fattening: Ben Roethlisberger- Even though Big Ben threw for 387 yards and 3 TDs last week, don’t let it fool youinto thinking he’s firing on all cylinders. A lot of those yards came in garbage time after the Patriots basically drove Pittsburgh into the ground. Before the 3 TDS last week, Ben had only 1 TD in his last two games. Don’t look for the Steelers to put on much of an air show this week going against an Oakland pass defense that ranks 2nd in the NFL. (Oakland ranks 24th in rush defense though which should excite Mendenhall owners)
Try This Instead: David Garrard- It’s true, I have been on the Garrard train for a while but until he lays an egg, I’m not getting off of it. I understand the total season yards aren’t appealing (1440), but he has 6 TDs in the last two games while averaging a little over 300 yards a game. Garrard could be getting hot at the right time and playing at home against a 23rd ranked Cleveland passing attack that’s given up 17 passing TDs so far should surely help his cause.
Fattening: Darren McFadden- This is by no means a knock on McFadden but look at the circumstances. He’ll be going into a very hostile Pittsburgh atmosphere against a defense that’s only allowing a little over 60 rushing yards a game and is out for blood after being humiliated last week against New England. Run DMC’s only shot at contributing is through the receiving game and it won’t be enough to compensate for lack of run production.
Try this Instead: Mike Tolbert- Built like a bowling ball at 5’9 243 pounds, Tolbert is in line to make his third start for the Bolts while Ryan Mathews continues with ankle woes. Tolbert has racked up 7TDs this year and is the obvious option for goal line sets. He also has the luxury of facing the 30th ranked run defense this week in Denver who allows an average 143 rushing yards a game.
Fattening: Chad Ochocinco- Chad had an admirable 7 receptions for 86 yards last week against Indy, but the Prima Donna has been rather inconsistent this year. He has only has 1 TD in his last three games and seems to get lost when the Bengals play against solid pass defenses (whether that’s his fault or not). As dismal as Buffalo is as a whole, they do possess the 7th best pass defense in the league. The Bills do however, have the worst run defense in the league so look for the Bengals to shy away from the pass and control the time of possession on the ground.
Try This Instead: Braylon Edwards- By now, it should go without saying that you should play any receiver going against the Houston Texans. The Texans are dead last in pass defense and allow an average of 301 passing yards a game. Edwards leads the Jets in touchdown catches and receiving yards and with Jerricho Cotchery out, look for Edwards (and Santonio Holmes) to light up the scoreboard.
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.