With the playoffs in full swing, poor decisions will cost you not only the game, it will cost you your season as well. With Thursday games happening every week, it’s easy to forget about and underestimate the importance of it. It also forces owners to make decisions days earlier than they are used to and sometimes scares them off from slotting in someone who plays on Thursday. Here is the list of options going into tomorrow’s game. Some are solid while others are not.
Philips Rivers- I won’t waste your time with this one, an obvious play.
Antonio Gates- Looks like the big guy’s foot is really bothering him. It’s doubtful he plays and if he does, its questionable on how productive he’ll really be. Randy McMichael will likely start in replacement but he won’t be used at all like Gates is.
Mike Tolbert- Although he has impressive numbers this year (691 yards with 10 TDs), Tolbert is only averaging 41 rushing yards in his last two games with only 1 TD. Tolbert won’t be facing a soft rush defense either; San Francisco has only allowed 7 rushing TDs all year and is 9th in the NFL is rushing yards allowed per game (100.1).
Vincent Jackson- I know fantasy owners have been dying to use this guy all year but now is not the time to take that chance. Jackson’s main attribute right now is spreading out defenses and clearing up the middle for other receivers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into the fantasy game. There’s just too much to risk right now.
Malcom Floyd- The 6’5 Floyd has come on as of recently by having 9 receptions in his last two games with 2 TDs. Philip Rivers seems to be developing the same “jump ball mentality” with Floyd that he had with Vincent Jackson last year so look for the Chargers to try to get the ball deep to Malcom throughout the game. Look for Floyd to put up respectable numbers against a 20th ranked pass defense in San Fran.
Michael Crabtree- A huge disappointment this year for fantasy owners, don’t look for Crabtree to all of a sudden catch on against the best pass defense in the league. Crabtree is averaging less than 2 receptions a game and only has 1 TD in the last month. If you haven’t given him the boot yet, give it some consideration.
Brian Westbrook- The resurgent Westbrook isn’t going to rack up rushing yards against San Diego but Alex Smith certainly looked comfortable dumping the ball off to him last week against Seattle (6 receptions for 87 yards and a TD). Westbrook should see the same kind of targets this week because the Chargers are going to try to get to Smith fast and his only option may be the short pass to Westbrook. Give the old guy his due this week.
Anthony Dixon- It looks like the 49ers feel comfortable giving more of the in-between the tackles runs to Dixon but there isn’t going to be much room for him to run this week against the Chargers unless San Fran cant get it down to the goal line. San Diego’s one chink in their armor is they have allowed 11 rushing TDs this year. Dixon still isn’t a safe play but if you’re desperate, he may vulture a TD.
Alex Smith- I won’t waste your time, look elsewhere for QBs this week. On second thought, let me waste a little bit of your time. Don’t let the numbers fool you; Smith has 9 TDs and only 2 TDs in his last four games but has a horrendous completion percentage in his last three starts (52%) and has averaged under 200 yards passing. Don’t let your playoff hopes ride on Alex Smith.
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.