The time has come. You’re entire season has been built for this moment. The playoffs are in full swing. One slip up and everything you’ve worked so hard for could be ruined. However, that doesn’t mean you should try to be ultra conservative in your roster either. On the menu this week are some creative dishes and some options that may not be as exotic but will get the job done.
Fattening: Eli Manning- Eli has only 1 TD with 3 INTS in his last two games and hasn’t broken 300 yards passing in over a month. Clearly the injury issues to his WRs plays a role but it looks like the Giants are swinging towards the “Run early and often” mentality down the stretch. Although the Eagles have a shaky pass defense, they lead the league in INTs with 22.
Try This Instead: Matt Schaub- The Schaubster certainly did not look great last week on Monday night completing only 31 of an eye-popping 62 attempts but look for the Texan’s QB to step up this week against big division rival Tennessee. Andre Johnson is certainly going to try to get the best of Cortland Finnegan while Schaub’s safety blanket; Owen Daniels should be more in sync with the offense this week after returning from injury last week. Schaub had a moderately successful day against the 26th ranked Titan pass defense in Week 12 having 2 TDs and 0 INTs.
Fattening: Rashard Mendenhall- The Pittsburgh offense in general has been sputtering lately but Mendenhall hasn’t scored a TD in his last two games nor has he eclipsed 70 yards on the ground. The Jets run defense only allows an average of 88.5 rushing yards per game but they are also vultures around the ball having caused a league best 11 fumbles so far this year. Don’t look for Mendenhall to get out of his funk this week.
Try This Instead: Brandon Jacobs-The big fellow has been showing up lately in the run-heavy Giants offense. Jacobs is averaging 102 rushing yards in his last three games while adding in 3 TDs. The Giants are going to try to run the Eagles into the ground so Jacobs will get plenty of opportunities even though he’s splitting time with Ahmad Bradshaw, who consequently is a good play as well if you have him because his numbers are very similar to Jacobs’ as of recently.
Fattening: Stevie Johnson- The main guy in Buffalo hasn’t had a TD since he scored 3 against Cincinnati in Week 11. That big drop the next week against Pittsburgh that would have won the game has clearly messed with his psyche (This is evident if you follow him on Twitter.) Johnson is only averaging 4.6 receptions for 48.6 yards per game since that stellar game at Cincy. He’ll be traveling to Miami this week to take on a pass defense that only gives up about 200 passing yards a game.
Try This Instead: Kenny Britt- Before getting hurt after Week 7, Britt had 7 TDs in seven games. He returned last week and led the Titans in receptions (albeit 4) but look for Britt to really see some open space against an absolutely dreadful Houston pass defense. Randy Moss should take some on the coverage down field, which allows Britt a lot of 1-on-1 matchups. Houston has allowed a league worst 29 passing TDs this year and allows an average of nearly 280 passing yards per game (also a league worst.)
Dessert: The Joe Webb Debate: There have been a lot of questions of whether or not it’s a wise idea to slot the QB/WR in as a WR. Webb will be making his first NFL start at QB this week against the Bears in a game that will be played at the University of Minnesota. To play him is a huge risk that you must be able to calculate. If your league awards a point per completion but negates for an incompletion, he may not be your guy. If you lose points for getting sacked, he may not be your guy. Obviously the INT factor could sway you. However, Webb could have anywhere from 100-200 passing yards with 50 rush yards in the game with a potential TD which could really work out for him in the receiver position. I don’t suggest benching a reliable receiver for Webb but if you are in a real pinch such as waiting to see if Percy Harvin is going to play or not, he will work as an emergency option. Although, wouldn’t it be appropriate if Brett Favre pulled another fast one and suited up Monday night, aggravating America one last time?
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.