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MJD picking up steam


Week 11 was a funny fantasy week because we saw Kevin Smith of the Lions break the bank and finish as the #2-ranked fantasy player behind his QB, Matthew Stafford. I can't think of a single reason you should have started (or owned) Smith prior to Sunday, but you better go out and snatch him up with Jahvid Best looking like a lost cause.

Then there is the conundrum that is Cam Newton; nobody doubts this kid's phenomenal potential, but his decision making is questionable given what the Panthers are asking him to do. Sure, the Panthers have put the team and its success squarely on his shoulders and he has to throw the ball 30-plus times a game, but can he hit his WRs for more TDs than the DBs to finish out the season?

Let me ask you this: If I said would you rather have QB "A" that has 10 TDs and 1 INT this season and is 4-1 as a starter, or QB "B" that has 21 TDs and 14 INTs while being 2-8 this season, which would you take? I bet most people would go with the winner, and that guy is Tim Tebow. The stats aren't pretty and the Broncos have had to simplify the playbook for him, but he just seems to pull a win out of thin air every single week. Tebow is looking like a solid fantasy player even though I think he is the hands-down worst starting QB in the NFL. I don't, and won't, own him in any of my 32 fantasy leagues, but I can't fault your reasoning for having him on your squad.

And let us not forget that Jay Cutler fractured his thumb against the Chargers and will require surgery. Word is that Cutler could return for a game or two before the regular season ends, but that is just an optimistic projection. It is ok to go ahead and drop him in all formats except keeper leagues.


Matthew Stafford:After a few lackluster weeks from Stafford, he busted out this weekend with 335 passing yards, 5 TDs and 2 INTs. Stafford was picked off on his first two possessions on Sunday, but then proceeded to set a career high for touchdowns in a game and ranks 2nd behind Aaron Rodgers for TD passes thrown with 25 on the season.

Rex Grossman: Even though Grossman lost the Redskins the game with  a late interception, he still won for the 10 people who owned him in fantasy leagues with his 289 passing yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. I wouldn't recommend Grossman simply because he has little to nothing to work with at WR, so take this game as a fluke and let him be.

Kevin Smith: Smith racked up 201 total yards (140 rushing and 61 receiving) and scored 3 TDs while passing Maurice Morris on the depth chart Sunday. It is pretty mind-boggling when you think that just three weeks ago this guy was an unsigned FA.

Maurice Jones-Drew: MJD started the season off slow in fantasy terms, but he has picked up the pace over the last four games as he is averaging 92.3 YPG on the ground. This weekend he was able to put up 87 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving on 4 catches while scoring a TD. MJD is a top-10 play from here on out and you should have him in your lineup every week.

Torrey Smith: Smith is one of those WRs that will have one good game, and then follow it up with six bad ones, making him an impossible fantasy play each week. This week was one of the good ones as he hooked up with Joe Flacco for 6 catches, 165 yards and a TD. Given his track record this season, I wouldn't consider starting him until he proves he can be consistent from week to week.

Jerome Simpson: It's funny because someone asked me if I thought they should play Simpson with A.J. Green out this weekend and I said no because he was too inconsistent to count on. I was wrong; Simpson showed up and racked up 152 yards on 8 receptions against the Ravens secondary. He failed to score, but that doesn't matter as the yardage alone got owners 15 points this weekend and those in PPR leagues were able to add another 8 points on top of that.

Kellen Winslow: Winslow dusted off his fantasy value for one weekend and rewarded the 70 percent of owners who have faith in him by hauling in 9 passes for 132 yards. He didn't score, but that doesn't matter for a TE since the position is so thin that even a 50-yard week can sometimes make you a winner in fantasy terms.

Miami Dolphins defense: There isn't much to get excited about when it comes to the Dolphins, but playing the Bills can certainly change all that. This weekend the defense got off on the Bills offense and allowed just 6 points while netting 2 sacks, 2 INTs, a blocked kick and a defensive TD. The Bills started off hot, but they are in a tailspin and you can almost play whatever defense they are facing going forward.


Eli Manning: Manning is capable of putting up stats for his owners, but this weekend wasn't destined to be one of those games. The Eagles secondary allowed 264 yards in the air, but held him to just one TD while picking him off once. The TD salvaged his day somewhat, but he still was a major disappointment against an Eagles secondary that hasn't lived up to the hype this season.

Carson Palmer: I had more than a few people email me or post on my Facebook page asking if they should start Palmer this weekend and I told them all no. He was due a bad game after having two games in a row where he looked amazing. And what did he do? He went out and finished with 164 passing yards. He did score twice, which saved his day; but, the 164 passing yards is a sign that the Raiders offense is too young (outside of Palmer) and inconsistent to count on.

Adrian Peterson: The problem with the Vikings offense, and Peterson specifically, is that it is very much a feast or famine situation. This weekend AP was able to score, but totaled just 26 rushing yards before leaving the game with a high left ankle sprain. He will be out at least one week, so keep him on your bench until you hear otherwise.

Brandon Jacobs: I personally cut Jacobs last week and picked up Kendall Hunter for when the 49ers rest Frank Gore for the playoffs. Jacobs proved me right this weekend as he was only able to put up 21 yards rushing and 11 yards receiving against an Eagles defense that is weak on the defensive line and even weaker in the LB corps. I'd cut him loose with Ahmad Bradshaw set to return soon.

Greg Jennings: Even though Rodgers finished with 299 passing yards and 3 TDs, Jennings was on the receiving end of just two passes and finished with 6 yards. The good news is that Jennings was targeted six times, but the bad news is that you could be without your stud WR towards the end of the fantasy playoffs if the Packers rest their starters at the end of the NFL season.

Wes Welker: Welker was a highly-projected WR for week 11 due to the fact that Tom Brady is his QB and the Chiefs defense is having a hard time stopping offenses this season. However, Welker disappointed on MNF and finished with just 2 catches for 22 yards and no endzone visits. The problem with having Brady as your QB is that he spreads the ball around and he loves his TEs more than his WRs in 2011.

Jermichael Finley: Finley is in the same boat as Jennings this week, rowing right alongside of him with just one catch for 30 yards on Sunday. There will be better days for Finley, so just chalk this up as an off week and keep him in the starting lineup no matter what.

Buffalo Bills defense: On the other side of the fantasy coin for defenses we have the Bills, who gave up 35 points while only getting a sack and a safety for their fantasy owners. Yahoo had them ranked as the #3 defense heading into week 11, which should have been your clue that they would disappoint since Yahoo has been wrong just about every single week when their writers pick a sleeper this season.

Facebook question

Scott Jennings hit me up on Facebook to ask if he should start Andy Dalton or go with a FA off the waiver wire. Long story short, his best options were Matt Moore, Christian Ponder, or Tavaris Jackson or roll the dice with Dalton. I forced him to go against the grain and pick up Moore for a one-week run and he did so because I haven't steered him wrong yet this season. How did it turn out, you ask? Dalton threw for 373 yards and a TD, but his 3 INTs hurt his fantasy numbers; Moore passed for just 160 yards, but threw 3 TDs and had no turnovers. The moral of the story is to never doubt what the fantasy expert says to do! A lot of you have been asking for myTwitterandFacebooklinks, so here you are. I give daily news and updates via both, but Facebook is the better place to get a hold of me.

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