Fantasy Football Quick-Hitters: Matt Moore, Jamal, Julius, Kurt and DeSean

Matt Moore will start for the Panthers in Week 13. I don’t know what to make of this move. Jake Delhomme has been dreadful (183 yards, 0.7 TD, 2.3 INT per game), but if the coaching staff felt that Moore could be better, why didn’t they make this change when the Panthers were still in the hunt for a playoff spot? Carolina beat the Falcons in Week 10 to advance to 4-5 and Delhomme had just come off a three game stretch where he threw three picks and failed to throw a TD. It’s hard to believe that Moore could be any worse. He’s in his third season and has a career 63.5 QB rating in limited action. He only saw significant time in a three-game stretch at the end of the 2007 season. He averaged 188 yards, 1.0 TD and 0.7 INT during that span. But this really isn’t about Moore. No one is going to be starting him this week. It’s about Steve Smith, who has been inconsistent with Delhomme under center. Will Moore be better? I think so — and that means Smith is a decent option this week against a sketchy Bucs secondary.

Jamal Lewis’s season is over.
And what a season it was. He averaged 56 rushing yards over nine games and failed to score a TD. It’s hard to see any Browns running back putting up good numbers in this anemic offense, but Jerome Harrison and Chris Jennings will try. Rotoworld seems to think that Jennings is the better bet, but Harrison is listed first on the Browns’ depth chart and he does have a 29-carry, 121-yard outing under his belt (in Week 4 against the Bengals). Jennings was limited in practice Wednesday with an ailing shoulder, so it’s hard to see him carrying a full load this week. He has gotten more touches of late. Given his shoulder injury, I’d bet on Harrison getting more work this week, but it’s tough to say.

Julius Jones returns to full practice but Seahawks will go with the hot hand. It’s doubtful that Seattle is going to overwork Jones, not when Justin Forsett has been so effective in his place. It seems clear that Forsett will get some touches, and if he outperforms Jones, he could be the team’s closer. This makes Forsett a decent flex play in a good matchup against the 49ers.

Kurt Warner back at practice, splitting first team reps. He has apparently been cleared to play, but concussions are tricky. Arizona doesn’t play until Sunday night, so if you have another good option, don’t put all of your eggs in Warner’s basket. If he does play, it’s an upgrade for the entire Arizona offense, Brett Favre and the Minnesota receivers (because the Cardinals are more likely to be in the game) and a downgrade for the Vikings’ defense.

DeSean Jackson likely out for Week 13. He’s having his own concussion issues, so look for Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Brent Celek to pick up the slack in a great matchup against a porous Atlanta pass defense.


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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Westy, DeSean, Bowe, Bell, MBIII and more

DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook miss practice. Westy has a long history of not practicing during the week and then killing defenses on Sunday, so plan to use him in Week 3. The Eagles play in the early game, so you’ll have an opportunity to make an adjustment if he’s inactive. While tweaked ankles can clear up fast, I’m a little worried about Jackson’s groin injury. Muscle injuries don’t typically just go away, but he may be able to fight through it. One wonders if the Eagles will risk it against a Kansas City defense that hasn’t shown much in 2009.

Dwayne Bowe fighting a hamstring injury. He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, but the fact that he was out there is a good sign for Sunday. Again, the PHI/KC game is at 1 PM ET, so you should have time to make a move if he is a surprise scratch. He was practicing again on Friday, so that’s a good sign.

Giants lose SS Phillips for the season. This is a serious blow to a Giants DT that has looked strong thus far this season. The loss of Phillips will hurt both in the passing game and in run support, and given the team’s other injury problems on defense, don’t be afraid to start players facing the Giants this week (mainly Cadillac Williams, if healthy, and Derrick Ward).

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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Pierre, Jamal, Santana and more

Saints beat writer Jeff Duncan speculates that Pierre Thomas’s injury is worse than the team is letting on. Duncan says that HC Sean Payton comes from the Belichick school of releasing injury information to the media. If Thomas doesn’t play, Mike Bell is a decent start even though the Eagles are pretty good defensively. Philly gave up 72 rushing yards to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and the Saints have a much better passing attack than Carolina does. This should keep the Eagles off balance and open up some running lanes. Assuming Thomas sits, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bell had 80-90 yards rushing and a TD in Week 2.

Jamal Lewis probable to start. Rookie James Davis is still questionable with a shoulder injury, so Lewis should be a serviceable start against the Broncos, who gave up 108 total yards and a TD to Cedric Benson last week.

Redskins’ beat writer thinks the team will take more shots downfield in Week 2. This would be good news for Santana Moss, who is a big-play receiver. The Giants smothered him in Week 1, but he should have an easier time getting open against a sketchy Rams defense.

HC Haley wants to get the running game on track. Well, of course he does. But it’s good to hear that Haley isn’t ignoring the problem. The Raiders really struggled against the run last season, but played better in Week 1 against the Chargers, so we’re not sure LJ is a sure bet for a good game. He’s startable if you’re in a pinch, however.

Matt Schaub is close to 100 percent. The Titans gave up a lot of yards through the air to Ben Roethlisberger last week, so there is a possibility that Schaub could have a bounce-back game this week. I’m not excited about his prospects, but he’s not a terrible start.

HC McDaniels plans to spread the ball around. He doesn’t want to name a WR1 because he doesn’t want to get into the habit of forcing the ball to a guy that’s double-teamed. In Week 1, Marshall led the way with seven targets, while Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley had four targets apiece. Expect Marshall and Royal to lead the team in targets this season.

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Gonzalez, LT, Pierre and more

A. Gonzalez hopes to return Week 7. Well, it could have been worse. Fantasy owners who drafted Gonzalez in the 4th or 5th round expecting him to be a solid WR2 are going to have to weather the storm until he returns. Austin Collie is the Colts’ WR3 and figures to see the biggest jump in targets, though Pierre Garcon could eat into those as well. Neither player did much of anything against the Jaguars on Sunday. The Colts signed Hank Baskett as well. Gonzalez’s absence probably helps Dallas Clark the most since they both work the short game pretty well.

Tomlinson not practicing; ankle in a boot.
This is so demoralizing for LT2 owners who drafted him in the first round expecting a bounce-back season. It is especially demoralizing for owners who didn’t draft Darren Sproles in the middle rounds to back Tomlinson up. Regardless, the Chargers have a tough matchup against the Ravens this week, though if LT2 doesn’t play, Sproles is a solid start in PPR leagues due to his ability to rack up catches in the passing game.

Pierre Thomas practicing, still may not play. Fantasy owners that have both Thomas and Mike Bell would like to see Thomas sit until he’s healthy. Those owners who have Thomas but don’t have Bell are rooting for Thomas to return ASAP. The best thing for those owners might be for Thomas to sit out another week and hope Bell struggles against a very solid Eagles defense. The Saints offense is prolific, but I don’t know that it can support three starting fantasy RBs.

Jamal Lewis limited by neck injury. Don’t cut James Davis yet. Davis sat out of practice with a shoulder injury, but Lewis’s neck injury is pretty worrisome considering his age and mileage.

S. Smith tells Delhomme, “I never really liked you as a quarterback.”
Of course, the NFL has pulled the video from YouTube. Sigh.

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