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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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fantasy football: Projecting Adrian Peterson's 2012 value

He was the one on whom we knew we could count.

Adrian Peterson hasn't been the best fantasy player the last five years, but he's been among the most consistent.

He has 67 touchdowns in 73 NFL games. Prior to this season, which for Peterson ended Saturday with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, A.P. had rushed for at least 1,298 yards in his first four professional campaigns.

Even in a down year by his standards (970 yards), Peterson had 13 TDs in 12 games -- matching 2007 (his rookie season) and 2010 for his second-best total with the Vikings.

Now, with Peterson set to undergo surgery soon, we're left with the fact that he has to be considered, at best, a fringe top-10 running back next season.

The Vikings hope Peterson will be able to return early in the 2012 season, but there is no way he will be drafted ahead of Ray Rice, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Maurice Jones-Drew and even Chris Johnson in eight months.

Depending on the late-summer reports, he could be a much greater risk than the likes of Matt Forte, Frank Gore, Michael Turner, Ryan Mathews, Marshawn Lynch and Steven Jackson.

That would leave Peterson outside the top 11. Obviously, it's too early to know if he'll fall that far.

But it's worth pondering. Peterson, at age 27 (on March 21), getting drafted in the third round in fantasy.

If you don't think that will happen, remember the case of Foster -- who suffered a much less severe injury (hamstring) in the preseason, then fell from the consensus No. 1 or 2 pick to the No. 5 or 6 range because owners (myself included) didn't want to take the risk at the top of Round 1.

Foster has rushed for 1,224 yards, scored 12 TDs and caught 53 passes for 617 yards this season.

Peterson will never come close to th

ose receiving numbers, but he could be a big-name, high-value target late in the second round on draft day.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fantasy football: Anquan Boldin replacement options

If you have been starting the Ravens' Anquan Boldin, you probably weren't pleased with Thursday's news that the wide receiver will miss the rest of the regular season following knee surgery.

If you look at Boldin's numbers, though, you'll realize it's not as bad as it seems.

In his last six games, Boldin has a combined 16 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown. He hasn't scored a TD in his last four contests, and he has reached the end zone three times all year.

Still feel lousy? OK, how about these four replacement options if you're in a 10- or 12-team league? The ownership percentages are for ESPN standard formats, and all four players are available in more than 60 percent of the leagues.

1. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (owned in 39.4 percent of the ESPN leagues): Tim Tebow's favorite target (lately, that actually hasn't been a bad thing) has seven receptions in each of his last two contests. In his last three games, Thomas has 18 catches for 338 yards and three TDs. Saturday's opponent, Buffalo, ranks 16th against the pass (230 yards per game) and has given up 24 TDs through the air.

2. Nate Burleson, Lions (27.0 percent): He had seven receptions for 81 yards and a score last week at Oakland, and has had at least five receptions in five of his last six contests. In the six-game span, Burleson has 35 catches. Saturday, the Lions will play host to San Diego, which ranks sixth against the pass but has allowed 24 TD tosses.

3. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (32.3): He had eight receptions for 155 yards and a TD last week against the Lions and has 13 catches for 233 yards in his last two games. This weekend, Heyward-Bey and the Raiders will face the Chiefs, the league's No. 9 pass defense at 210 yards per game (22 TD tosses allowed).

4. Greg Little, Browns (9.3): He had five receptions for 131 yards and a score last week and would be ranked higher if it wasn't for Saturday's opponent. The Ravens are fifth in passing yards allowed per contest, and they have given up only 10 TD passes -- three fewer than the next-stingiest team (the Jets).

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Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Texans-Colts game

It's championship week in fantasy, and as a Christmas gift, Arian Foster owners get a Week 16 matchup against a Colts run defense that is allowing 138.7 rushing yards per game and has given up 18 touchdowns on the ground.

Aside from Foster going bananas tonight, it should be a rather uneventful game for fantasy purposes. Because of the Texans' injuries (Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are out) and the Colts' ineptitude without Peyton Manning, we have only four players on the start list. Only two or three more should be considered fringe candidates to play for a fantasy title -- Pierre Garcon, Donald Brown and Owen Daniels.

Let's break it down.


Texans: RB Arian Foster, K Neil Rackers, defense and special teams

Colts: WR Reggie Wayne

Quick slants: Foster has been terrific after giving us a predraft scare because of a hamstring injury. In 12 games, he has 11 TDs, 1,066 rushing yards and 50 receptions for 601 yards. ... Rackers is averaging 8.2 points per game and has made 26 of 32 field-goal attempts. ... The Texans' defense has been vastly improved. Houston ranks second overall (277.9 yards per game), is third in points allowed (16.9), second vs. the pass (181 yards) and fifth against the run (96.8). ... Wayne is a risky start post-Manning (59 receptions, 781 yards and three TDs), but we'll give him the nod after scoring twice in his last four games. Maybe he'll rack up some garbage-time points.


Texans: QB T.J. Yates, RB Ben Tate, TE Owen Daniels, WR Kevin Walter, WR Jacoby Jones

Colts: QB Dan Orlovsky, RB Donald Brown, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jacob Tamme, K Adam Vinatieri, defense and special teams

Quick slants: Yates had a big game at Cincinnati on Dec. 11 (300 yards, two TDs, one interception), but he came back to earth last week against Carolina (212 yards, zero TDs, two picks). ... Tate has rushed for 846 yards and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry, but he has only 31 attempts the last four games and hasn't scored in that span. He could get 12 to 18 carries in a blowout, but playing him involves too much risk in the postseason. ... Daniels has been limited by a knee injury and hasn't reached the end zone in his last 10 contests. ... Jacoby Jones hasn't scored in his last four games, and Walter has one productive game in his last six (Dec. 11 at Cincy). He had six catches for 76 yards and a TD in that contest, and has a combined seven receptions for 64 yards and zero scores in the other five games in that span. ... Orlovsky threw for 353 yards, two TDs and a pick on Dec. 4 at New England. In two games since, he has a combined 218 yards passing, two TDs and one interception. ... Brown rushed for 161 yards and a TD last week, and as we wrote Tuesday, he's an intriguing keeper option assuming the Colts have a productive QB in 2012. But he's an iffy play against a very good Texans defense. ... The same goes for Garcon, who has had three huge games (at least 125 yards and two TDs in each contest) and 11 in which he hasn't done much (a combined 46 catches for 454 yards and zero TDs). ... Tamme has a combined two catches for 16 yards and a TD in his last two games. ... The Colts' struggles have limited Vinatieri to 20 field-goal attempts. ... Indy's defense ranks 28th overall, 28th vs. the run and 24th vs. the pass. The Colts are allowing 28.2 points per game, which ranks 30th in the league.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fantasy football: Kahlil Bell is the (only) waiver-wire pick for Week 16

On Tuesdays during the NFL season, we have had waiver-wire selections in this space that were based on ownership percentages in ESPN standard leagues.

(But you already knew that, being the loyal reader you are. Thank you, and happy holidays.)

Today, we have one pick, for two reasons: 1. It's championship week. If you've made it this far, the only reasons you should be on the waiver wire are if you need a defense or a kicker, or you had a recent injury. 2. There is almost no one left.

We've been mentioning Donald Brown, Demaryius Thomas and others on a weekly basis. We haven't written about Kahlil Bell, however.

The Bears running back received the most work of his two-year career on Sunday, carrying 15 times for 65 yards and catching five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in Chicago's loss to Seattle.

The defeat followed an overtime loss at Denver in which Marion Barber made a couple of critical mistakes late. Against Seattle, Barber had 11 carries for 33 yards.

Bell might have been more of a part of the offense because of the sting from the Denver defeat, but the blowout contributed, too, since he is a better receiving threat than Barber.

On Christmas night, Bell and the Bears will play at Green Bay. That would seem to signal another blowout defeat, which, again, is good news for Bell's friends and family -- and his limited number of fantasy owners.

If you're in a point-per-reception league and are desperate for a flex play, he is an intriguing option. It's an option I wouldn't trust, but desperate times have called for worse decisions than this.

The Packers rank 12th against the run at 108.4 yards per game, but that's mostly because teams are always throwing against them once they're down (and because Green Bay's pass defense ranks 31st in the league).

Look a little deeper at the numbers and you'll notice the Pack are allowing 4.7 yards per carry, which ranks 27th in the league, and have given up 10 rushing TDs. Factor in Bell's value as a receiver against a bad pass defense, and maybe you will get lucky.

Is Brown a keeper?

Another intriguing backfield option is Indy's Donald Brown, who has scored a touchdown in three of his last four games and rushed for 161 yards on 16 carries last week. Brown has emerged as the Colts' best back -- and a decent keeper option in deeper leagues in which lower draft picks and free-agent pickups can be keeper gold.

If you're planning on starting Brown this week, keep in mind that Indy will face Houston, which has the No. 5 run defense at 96.8 yards per game. The Texans have given up eight rushing TDs, which is tied with the Seahawks for the fifth-fewest in the league.

I wouldn't play Brown unless I was pretty weak at No. 2 running back, but I would have no problem with him as one of my lower-round keepers on a team that we can only assume will have a competent quarterback in 2012.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fantasy football: Admitting I was wrong about Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush was out to get me. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if my name was Kris Humphries.

I wrote this seemingly innocent blog on Sept. 16, never thinking the former Mr. Kim Kardashian would come back to strike me a second time.

Sunday, it happened.

Bush rushed for 203 yards on 25 carries in the Dolphins' win over the Bills, which is all the more remarkable when you consider he had never rushed for more than 581 yards in a season prior to 2011.

He also scored a game-clinching touchdown Sunday with a 76-yard run. At that point, I knew I was as done as Humphries' reality television career.

If you read the blog above, you'll see Bush's first big game this season occurred following a draft in which I criticized my brother's selection of Bush with the first pick of the fifth-round in a 12-team league.

Sunday, in the final four of that league's postseason, I faced my brother.

You know the rest.

Bush has now rushed for 973 yards, caught 41 passes for 270 yards and scored seven times. He has three consecutive 100-yard games on the ground -- a sentence I never thought I would write in this space.

In Weeks 13 through 15 -- the regular-season finale, the first round of the playoffs and the semifinals, respectively, in most fantasy leagues -- Bush has 61 carries for 406 yards and two TDs. He has six receptions, and he's averaged 146.3 total yards per contest in that span.

He has produced those numbers after a season in which the Saints gave up on him. Bush was traded to the Dolphins after playing in eight games, rushing for 150 yards, catching 34 passes and reaching the end zone once last season.

It still seems like a crazy draft pick -- the 49th overall selection on a player who was set to share carries with a highly routed rookie (Daniel Thomas).

My brother got the last laugh. And a berth in the championship game.

I received the Kris Humphries treatment.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Jaguars-Falcons game


Jaguars: RB Maurice Jones-Drew

Falcons: QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White, TE Tony Gonzalez, K Matt Bryant, defense and special teams

Quick slants: Jones-Drew -- who has rushed for 1,222 yards, caught 35 passes for 348 yards and scored 10 touchdowns (four of them last week) -- is the only Jaguar worth playing. ... Ryan has thrown for 1,791 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last six games. He has averaged 303 yards in his last five. ... Turner is expected to play with a groin injury, and he is a somewhat risky start for the fantasy semifinals because of the ailment and a three-game stretch in which he has rushed for only 180 yards, averaged 3.3 yards per attempt and been held out of the end zone. I'd play him, but I wouldn't feel great about it. ... White has 28 receptions for 402 yards and three TDs in his last four games, and he has scored in three straight. It's his best stretch since his sensational 2010 season (115 catches, 1,389 yards, 10 TDs). ... The 35-year-old Gonzalez is having his best year since going to Atlanta in 2009. He has 23 catches for 251 yards in his last three games and 73 receptions for 812 yards and seven TDs on the year. ... Bryant has scored 96 points and has misfired on just two kicks (21 of 23 field goals and perfect on 33 extra points). ... The Falcons' defense ranks 14th overall (336.5 yards per game), fifth against the run (not good news for MJD owners) and 22nd vs. the pass. The Falcons have 25 sacks and should be able to have their way with rookie Jags QB Blaine Gabbert.


Jaguars: QB Blaine Gabbert, TE Marcedes Lewis, K Josh Scobee, defense and special teams

Falcons: WR Julio Jones

Quick slants: If you're wondering why we didn't list a Jaguars wide receiver, it's this: Jacksonville, amazingly, has zero players with 400 yards receiving. The Jags' leader in receiving yards is Mike Thomas, who has 391 yards and a norm of only 9.8 yards per catch. ... Gabbert has completed 50.3 percent of his passes and has 1,783 yards, 10 TDs and nine interceptions. ... Lewis had a breakout 2010 (58 receptions for 700 yards and 10 TDs) to earn a big contract extension, but he has yet to find the end zone this season. He has 32 catches for 385 yards. ... Scobee, like Bryant, has missed two kicks, but he hasn't had nearly as many opportunities (18 of 20 field goals and perfect on 19 PATs). ... The Jaguars' defense has been pretty darn good -- No. 4 overall (302.3 yards per game), No. 16 vs. the run (111.5) and No. 4 vs. the pass (191). But I wouldn't be anxious to play them at Atlanta, which has scored at least 23 points in seven of its last eight games and is averaging 25.3 points in its last four home contests. ... Jones is a tempting start after catching seven passes for 174 yards and two TDs in his last two games, but he tends to be all or nothing, which is extremely risky at this time of year. In Jones' four 100-yard games, he has a combined 23 receptions for 477 yards and four TDs. In his six other contests, he has 14 receptions for 193 yards and zero TDs.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 15 waiver-wire picks

If you lost wide receiver Greg Jennings last week in the first round of the fantasy playoffs, James Jones and Donald Driver aren't going to make you feel any better.

But they could be decent fill-ins for Jennings, who, as productive as he is, still suffers at times from the Packers spreading the wealth.

Jennings -- who had four touchdowns in his last five games but hadn't recorded a 100-yard contest since Week 7 -- suffered a knee injury last week that will keep him out of the remainder of the fantasy postseason. That leaves Jones and/or Driver as likely fantasy starters for desperate owners this week in the final four.

Before we get to this week's waiver-wire picks, we want to recommend Jones -- who is owned in 58.6 percent of the ESPN leagues, which doesn't make him "eligible" for the coveted weekly selections -- over Driver if both are available in your league.

Jones is a big-play threat (he is averaging 18.4 yards per reception this season) who has five TDs on the year. In his last six games, he hasn't been as much of a part of the Pack's attack (he has seven catches in that span, compared to 19 in Green Bay's first seven contests), but he figures to start with Jennings out of the lineup.

Six Packers have 26 catches or more this season, but Jordy Nelson and Jennings have been the primary TD targets (the two have combined to account for 19 of Aaron Rodgers' 39 touchdown passes).

Sunday, the Packers will play at Kansas City, which ranks 10th against the pass. Not that it matters any to Rodgers.

I would consider Jones a lower-level No. 3 starter in fantasy this week. As for Driver, he is one of our three waiver-wire recommendations. As always, the following players are available in more than half of the leagues on This trio is available in more than 81 percent of the ESPN formats.

1. Kevin Walter, WR, Texans (owned in 12.4 percent of the ESPN leagues): Walter had six receptions for 76 yards and a TD last week, his first game with more than two catches since Week 8. The touchdown was his first since Week 5. If Andre Johnson returns from a hamstring injury, Walter's value is obviously diminished. If Johnson is out, Walter is a decent play the next two weeks against the Panthers (No. 19 vs. the pass) and Colts (No. 21). Carolina and Indy have combined to allow 45 TD passes in 26 games this season.

2. Donald Driver, WR, Packers (18.1 percent): Driver has had four receptions in three of his last four game. The 36-year-old had four catches for 75 yards last week and two TDs the week before. From 2004 to '09, he was a 1,000-yard receiver each season.

He's no longer much of a fantasy option, but, like Jones, he is a mediocre fallback choice if you are without Jennings.

3. Chris Ivory, RB, Saints (0.6 percent): Ivory had 13 carries for 53 yards last week -- only his second game with more than six rushing attempts this season. Rookie Mark Ingram is expected to miss another game because of turf toe, leaving Ivory to share carries with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles. Last week, Ivory had two more carries than Thomas (six) and Sproles (five) combined.

Last season, Ivory rushed for 716 yards, scored five TDs and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. This season, he can't be counted on, even with Ingram out, because of the Saints' tendency to ignore the run. His matchups aren't great, either. Sunday, the Saints will play the Vikings, who rank ninth vs. the run, followed by a game against the Falcons (No. 5). Both teams are allowing fewer than 4 yards per carry. At best, Ivory is a desperation play.

Past waiver-wire picks who remain undervalued: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals (owned in 30.0 percent of the ESPN leagues); Marion Barber, RB, Bears (46.1), Donald Brown, RB, Colts (23.2); Jabar Gaffney, RB, Redskins (34.5); Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos (9.7); Titus Young, WR, Lions (3.1); Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders (12.8); Nate Burleson, WR, Lions (28.7); Jake Ballard, TE, Giants (30.3); Brent Celek, TE, Eagles (23.5).

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 14 waiver-wire picks

If you have made it this far, you should be in your league's postseason.

If so, congrats. And I hope you don't have Matt Forte.

As always, the following list is comprised of players who are available in more than 50 percent of the leagues on This week's group is available in more than 61 percent of the ESPN formats.

1. Brad Smith, WR, Bills (owned in 0.2 percent of the ESPN leagues): He has quickly developed into the Bills' second-best receiver behind Stevie Johnson. Smith had four receptions for 77 yards and a TD in Week 12, and seven catches for 72 yards on Sunday. David Nelson, by comparison, has a combined nine receptions for 81 yards in his last three games.

Also in Smith's favor is Buffalo's schedule the next three weeks: at the Chargers (No. 6 vs. the pass), home against the Dolphins (No. 24) and vs. the Broncos (No. 23). The three teams have allowed a combined 62 TD passes in 36 games (22 each by the Chargers and Broncos). Smith is at best a No. 3 receiver in a deep point-per-reception league, but if you're desperate, he's a decent play this week.

2. Marion Barber, RB, Bears (17.3 percent): We're not high on him, as we explained Sunday night, but we understand the value of adding a starting running back this late in the season.

3. Ricky Williams, RB, Ravens (38.7 percent): He had 16 rushes for 76 yards and a TD on Sunday against the Browns. OK, everyone runs well against the Browns. The game was also Williams' first with more than nine carries since Oct. 2.

Well, consider this: In the next three weeks, the Ravens will play the Colts (Sunday) and Browns (Week 16) at home, along with a Week 15 matchup at San Diego. The Colts are the league's third-worst at stopping the run and have given up 17 rushing TDs, the Chargers rank 26th in rushing yards allowed (seven TDs) and the Browns are 31st (10 TDs).

That's great news for Ray Rice owners, and decent news if you need to take a flier on a back who might get 12 to 18 carries and score a TD in garbage time.

4. Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins (17.9 percent): He has scored a TD in two of his last three games, but has had 52 receiving yards or fewer in every game but Miami's opener. Bess was a decent PPR starter in 2009 and '10 (a combined 155 receptions), but he's been disappointing this season (40 catches for 441 yards and two TDs).

Don't expect him to continue his TD trend -- Bess had all of seven scores during his 155-catch stretch in 2009 and '10. But the schedule is favorable. Miami will play host to the Eagles in Week 14 (Philly ranks 13th vs. the pass, but has given up 22 TDs through the air), then play at Buffalo (No. 19, 21 TDs) and at New England (No. 32, 18 TDs).

5. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders (29.5 percent): He had three receptions for 23 yards and a TD last week, his first score since Week 5. In his last three games, Heyward-Bey has 11 receptions, but he was shut out in Weeks 9 and 10. In Weeks 4 through 7, he had a combined 22 catches for 385 yards.

Translation: You have no idea what he's going to give you. All I can help you with here is Oakland will play Sunday at Green Bay, which ranks 31st vs. the pass, has allowed 22 TDs through the air and will mean a lot of throwing for Carson Palmer and company after they trail by three scores.

Past waiver-wire picks who remain undervalued: Matt Moore, QB, Dolphins (owned in 5.4 percent of the ESPN leagues); Alex Smith, QB, 49ers (36.3); Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings (32.3); Donald Brown, RB, Colts (25.0); Dexter McCluster, RB, Chiefs (20.4); Nate Burleson, WR, Lions (19.6); Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles (1.1); Steve Breaston, WR, Chiefs (29.1); Damian Williams, WR, Titans (10.2); Greg Little, WR, Browns (10.2); Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos (1.8); Brent Celek, TE, Eagles (23.3); Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals (24.3); Jake Ballard, TE, Giants (29.5).

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fantasy football: Matt Forte injury analysis

If you subscribe to the fantasy handcuff rule -- always draft your stud running back's backup -- Marion Barber tests that theory like no one else.

Barber is a big name for a backup -- he had a combined 28 touchdowns in 2006 and '07, and was a productive fantasy starter at times during his tenure with the Cowboys.

He's also now a 28-year-old with a lot of wear on his tires. At this point in his career, he's a touchdown-or-bust fantasy play in a very deep league.

If you're a Matt Forte owner, Barber might also be your desperation start in Week 14, the beginning of the postseason in most fantasy leagues.

By now, you probably know Forte suffered a knee injury Sunday during the Bears' loss to the Chiefs. Fox's Jay Glazer reported it was a sprained MCL that could sideline the fantasy stud 2 to 4 weeks.

Translation: If you own Forte and qualified for the playoffs in your league, you're probably going to have to attempt to win a title without him.

If you didn't handcuff Forte with Barber -- I wouldn't have made the move, since I don't believe Barber is worth a roster spot in most leagues, and he's certainly not worth holding on to for 13 weeks unless your league is very generous with roster sizes -- don't get too excited about the possibility of acquiring the former Cowboy on the waiver wire Tuesday.

Barber is averaging 3.7 yards per carry this season. Yes, he has scored five touchdowns in nine games, but he is of almost no value in the passing game (he has three receptions for 18 yards this year), and if he doesn't score, he likely will get you all of four or five points.

The Bears' schedule the next three weeks isn't favorable, either.

In Week 14, Chicago plays at Denver, which entered this week ranked 19th defending the run, but has allowed only five TDs on the ground in 12 games.

In Week 15, the Bears will play host to the Seahawks (No. 12 vs. the run entering this week), and in Week 16, they play at the Packers (No. 13 vs. the run). In the latter battle, Barber would be lucky to get more than 12 to 15 carries, unless the 12-0 Packers suffer a loss prior to the game and have nothing to play for.

Injuries can force us to make lineup decisions we know aren't favorable. So if you're starting Barber in Week 14, I understand.

What I wouldn't understand would be if you thought it was anything but a lineup liability.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fantasy football: Start-and-sit for Thursday's Eagles-Seahawks game

Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin are out tonight, and LeSean McCoy is questionable with a sprained toe. Seattle, meanwhile, has one player who is worth starting in fantasy.

Other than that, it should be a great game. At least we can learn something from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock (just remember not to watch the postgame show, which includes such broadcasting luminaries as Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin and Steve Mariucci).


Eagles: RB LeSean McCoy, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jason Avant, TE Brent Celek, K Alex Henery

Seahawks: RB Marshawn Lynch

Quick slants: McCoy is expected to play. If you're fighting for a playoff spot in the last week of your league's regular season, you better hope he does. McCoy has 1,050 yards rushing, 38 receptions, 1,278 total yards and 13 touchdowns. ... Jackson was benched late last week and has been a disappointment in his contract year. He hasn't scored a TD since Oct. 9. We get the feeling he is due. ... Avant had eight receptions for 110 yards and a TD last week, and as we wrote on Tuesday, we think he's a better option than starting receiver Riley Cooper. ... Celek has 29 receptions for 342 yards and one TD in his last five games. If he had one or two more TDs in that span, it would seem like 2009 all over again (Celek had 76 catches for 971 yards and eight scores that season). ... Henery is a low-level starting kicker, but might get more of a chance to boot a few field goals tonight. He is 18-for-21 and has 83 points on the season, but he's made only two kicks of 40 yards or more. ... Lynch's season stats aren't anything special (706 yards, 3.9 yards per carry, six TDs, 20 catches), but he has reached the end zone in seven consecutive games. In his last four contests, he has rushed for 443 yards, caught nine passes for 87 yards and has four TDs. 


Eagles: QB Vince Young, WR Riley Cooper, defense and special teams

Seahawks: QB Tarvaris Jackson, WR Doug Baldwin, K Steven Hauschka, defense and special teams

Quick slants: Young has thrown for 658 yards in two starts in place of Vick, but he has three TDs, compared to four interceptions, in that span. Last week, he racked up 400 yards, mostly in garbage time of a 38-20 loss to the Patriots. ... Cooper has eight receptions for 146 yards and a TD in his last two games. If you are desperate for receiving help, he is a decent option against a Seahawks pass defense that ranks 20th. ... The Eagles' defense ranks 15th in total yards (344.6), 19th in points allowed (22.8), 16th vs. the pass (234 yards), 15th vs. the run (110.3), has forced 16 turnovers and has 30 sacks. ... Jackson has three more interceptions (12) than TD passes (nine). ... Baldwin should be Seattle's top target with Sidney Rice out for the season, but that's not saying much. He has eight receptions for 120 yards in his last two games, but hasn't scored in his last six contests. ... Hauschka is 17-for-20 on field-goal attempts, but Seattle's woeful offense has limited him to 69 points. ... The Seahawks' defense ranks 14th in total yards (340.5), is tied for 15th in points allowed (21.1), is 20th vs. the pass (240), 11th vs. the run (100.9), has forced 19 turnovers and has only 20 sacks.

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