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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fantasy football: No-huddle offense for Week 6

Have the first five weeks been crazy enough for you?

Saturday, we'll do an expanded buy and sell, with five trends I believe in, and five I don't. That column will be posted on the Sports section of the News-Herald's Web site.

Let's address two more disappointments here.

The Packers' Greg Jennings, a consensus top-five fantasy receiver entering the season, and the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams, a top-five running back on many boards, have many owners wondering if their slow starts will instead be a season-long start-or-sit dilemma.

Jennings, who had 80 receptions for 1,292 yards and nine touchdowns last season, was productive in Week 1 (six receptions for 106 yards and a TD). In Week 2, he was shut out; in Week 3, he had two catches, and in Week 4, he had three -- good (bad?) for a three-game total of five receptions for 134 yards and no TDs.

In that same span, teammate Donald Driver has 14 catches for 249 yards and two TDs. For the season, Driver has seven more catches than Jennings (18 to 11), 48 more yards (288-240) and one more score (2-1).

Before you decide to sit Jennings, consider that a primary reason for his struggles likely is the Packers' offensive line, which might as well have Browns right tackle John St. Clair manning all five positions. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 20 times, and his best deep threat (Jennings) has been boom (three receptions of 50-plus yards) or bust (every other snap).

The good news for fantasy owners: The Packers' next two games are Sunday at home against the Lions (No. 27 vs. the pass at 244.6 yards per game and a league-worst 15 TD passes allowed) and next week at the Browns.

If Jennings isn't productive the next two weeks, then it's time to worry.

Same goes for Williams, who has rushed for only 220 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per carry, and two TDs in four games. The same back who ran for 1,515 yards and scored 20 times last season has 104 yards and zero scores in his last two games. And Williams can't even blame Jonathan Stewart, who has only 33 attempts in four games, for having a big impact on his workload.

Your ire instead you should be directed at Jake Delhomme, whose eight interceptions have sabotaged the running game faster than Justin Bobby can kill a relationship (wait, you don't watch "The Hills"?).

The Panthers' next two games are Sunday at Tampa Bay (No. 28 vs. the run at 152.6 yards per game) and next week at home vs. Buffalo (No. 29, 154.6 rushing yards per game allowed).

Start Williams and hope Delhomme doesn't get in the way.

On to the no-huddle ...

-- Having a ball: Congratulations to Greg Kuhlman of Perry, who was one of six Week 1 winners of a Larry Fitzgerald autographed football in an contest. The Web site and the Cardinals wide receiver are giving away an autographed ball for every pass the Pro Bowler catches this year, and Kuhlman was one of the lucky recipients for the opening weekend.

Click here for more information on the contest.

-- Grand Royal?:
Wide receiver Eddie Royal, who had eight receptions for 58 yards in the Broncos' first four games, had 10 catches for 90 yards against the Patriots last week.

Before you put him back in your starting lineup, here's a stat: Denver QB Kyle Orton threw 50 times on Sunday, and five players caught four or more passes. If you have four solid receivers and you play in yardage- and TD-heavy scoring formats, you might want to make Royal prove Week 5 was legit, since Sunday's opponent, San Diego, ranks sixth against the pass. In PPR leagues, however, Royal -- who has yet to score a touchdown in 2009 and had only five among his 91 catches as a rookie last season -- should be a safe start.

-- Running in place: Guess we should have seen this coming. Seattle's Julius Jones, one of the more pleasant surprises of the first three weeks, has rushed for 59 yards and zero TDs on 23 carries the last two games. Sunday, the Seahawks face the Cardinals, the league's top-ranked run defense at 71.0 yards per game (Arizona is allowing just 2.9 yards per carry; I checked the stats twice to make sure I had those numbers right). You don't need me to tell you that doesn't bode well for Thomas Jones' kid brother.

-- By now, you're sitting Larry Johnson. At what point do you drop him?

-- Here's hoping you have dropped Lee Evans and/or Laveranues Coles, who have combined for 22 catches and one TD in nine games.

-- We'll be back Saturday with the aforementioned column, which will also include our weekly audiocast. This week, Mark Podolski and I redraft for Round 1. We'll also have the "big blog" for Week 6, with start-and-sit advice, an expanded playlist and the usual injury updates. That will be posted in this space and on the N-H's Sports site.

Good luck and remember to thank the owner ahead of you in your draft who selected Domenik Hixon over Steve Smith (the one who doesn't have Delhomme as his quarterback).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you believe a girl is reading about football. lol :) i can't help it i love it!

mandie reed

October 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM 

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