Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK TWO RECAP

WANTED: Strong, healthy wide receiver with height and speed who has a desire to explore the Northwest. Experience would be nice but an affinity to stay healthy is better. We'll take anybody who applies and if you discover Bigfoot, send Mr. Sasquatch along too. Send resume' to Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren.

For the second straight week injuries continue to be the story in the NFL and it's especially tough to be a Seahawks' wide receiver these days. With Deion Branch and Bobby Engram nursing injuries and Nate Burleson out for the season, the Seahawks were down to backups Courtney Taylor and Logan Payne last weekend. Payne didn't last long, making one catch for 14 yards before a knee injury took him out of the game and ended his season.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard suffered a mild concussion and had to be replaced by third stringer Tyler Thigpen.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Sidney Rice suffered a knee injury (strained PCL) and could miss a week.
But the biggest news is the ineffectiveness of All-World fantasy football back LaDainian Tomlinson whose toe injury is apparently affecting his play. He only had 10 carries for 26 yards and two receptions for 14 yards

As a result of these injuries a pair of players ended up with some nice fantasy numbers and should be added to your roster if available on your waiver wire. Tomlinson backup Darren Sproles had a decent day with nine carries for 56 yards and a pair of receptions for 77 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown pass. And because the Seahawks were depleted at receiver, tight end John Carlson became the best receiving option with six catches for 78 yards.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers ended up being the top producing quarterback with 377 yards and three TDs and right behind was ageless wonder Kurt Warner who had 361 yards and three TDs for Arizona. Jay Cutler is developing into a top-tier quarterback and had 350 yards and four touchdowns thanks in part to the return of receiver Brandon Marshall (166 yards, 1 TD) from a one-game suspension.
With Juston Fargas hurt Oakland Raiders rookie Darren McFadden showcased his talent with 164 yards rushing and a touchdown. Although back Adrian Peterson didn't score for Minnesota he had a good day with 160 yards on the ground.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (328 yards, three TDs) continued to shine for the Packers and the big beneficiary was Greg Jennings who led all receivers with 167 yards.

One situation to take note of is the maturation of the high-powered offense philosophy of San Francisco new offensive coordinator Mike Martz. It took two weeks to get the different pieces of the puzzle to get on the same page, but rookie quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan and receivers Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson were certainly clicking on Sunday. Bruce, who escaped from the St. Louis Rams just in time, caught four passes for 153 yards. And Johnson, no longer in the shadows of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin at Arizona, had six catches for 78 yards and a TD.
Last time I looked this afternoon (Tuesday), O'Sullivan, Bruce and Johnson were available on many waiver wires. Grab these guys because despite the presence of speedy back Frank Gore the Martz mentality has always been to pass first, run second.

Keep an eye on backup running backs Michael Bush (Oakland), Michael Pittman (Denver), Tim Hightower (Arizona) and Sammy Morris (New England) who seem to be getting more work and more action with each passing week.

Others to watch are Buffalo QB Trent Edwards who seems to be coming into his own and New Orleans receiver David Patten who had five receptions for 55 yards with the absence of injured receiver Marques Colston.

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