Ricky O'Donnell: October 2008 Archives

Jason Witten
Injury: Ribs
Status: Questionable

Witten has only missed one game his entire career. Consider it a mix of toughness and good luck. But no one is sure what to make of a rib injury that limited him to only one catch last week against Tampa Bay. Witten probably shouldn't be playing, but he may try to go with Dallas facing division rival New York.

Without Tony Romo, Dallas needs all the offensive firepower they can get. But because they're without Romo, Witten doesn't look like a strong start this week, even if he does play. Brad Johnson just can't stretch the field.

Steven Jackson
Injury: Thigh
Status: Questionable

A game-time decision by coach Jim Haslett to sit Jackson last week proved consequential in many fantasy leagues. If you were lucky enough to have Jackson out of your starting lineup, the week of rest can be considered a blessing. Jackson is still limited in practice but is taking more reps than last week. Expect him to play against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Santana Moss
Injury: Hamstring
Status: Questionable

A hamstring injury has kept Moss off the practice field the last two days. The Redskins are going to need him this week against the Steelers, though, so expect him to play. Moss has become a must start every week in fantasy.

Our weekly look at the next matchups for last week's highest scoring fantasy players.

The Best


Drew Brees- 339 yards, 3 TD

Why wasn't CBS showing the Saints-Chargers game locally? Instead of watching the only game played in Europe, we were subject to viewing another Brett Favre comeback. Ugh. Brees lit up a sinking San Diego D yesterday, further proving he's the league's best quarterback.

Phillip Rivers- 341 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rivers has quietly turned into a top notch fantasy quarterback. He leads the NFL in touchdown passes with 19, four more than Drew Brees, and ranks third in yards. With Tomlinson's foot injury lingering, the Chargers are going to have to throw to score. Rivers looks like a must start from here on out.

Running backs

Brian Westbrook- 167 yards, 2 TD

Finally, Westbrook produced the kind of game fantasy owners expected when they drafted him top-five in their league. It was the first time all year Westbrook topped 100 yards. It looks like Westbrook is finally healthy now, which means he'll go back to being a fantasy force.

DeAngelo Williams- 108 yards, 1 TD

Carolina looks like it could be another troubled team for fantasy owners in the future. Much like Denver, the Panthers have multiple running backs who can post big numbers. But John Fox isn't going to limit himself to one back. Just because it was Williams who got the carries this week, and not first round pick Jonathon Stewart, doesn't mean it will be that way the entire season.


Santana Moss- 140 yards, 1 TD

Santana Moss has saved my Tom Brady-less fantasy team this year. Worth noting. He ranks fifth league-wide in receiving yards and second in touchdowns.

Donnie Avery- 163 yards, 1 TD

As a bit of an NFL Draft nerd, I couldn't believe when the Rams made Avery the first receiver selected this year. So far, it's proving to be a good move. Avery has now posted three consecutive strong games.

The Worst

Ben Roethlisberger- 189 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT

I started Roethlisberger this week and survived. I'm sure most weren't so lucky.

Ronnie Brown- 43 yards

Brown's last three games:

Week 6: 13 carries, 50 yards, TD
Week 7: 13 carries, 27 yards
Week 8: 14 carries, 43 yards

Willie Parker
Injury: knee
Status: questionable
Prognosis: "He is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to return this weekend."

Though Pittsburgh is hopeful Parker can return this week- he hasn't taken a handoff since a dubious 13-carry, 20-yard performance against the Eagles week three- it's not a slam dunk. Parker may have reinjured his knee in practice this week. He was limited in practice on Thursday after participating at full speed on Wednesday. Even if Parker does go, he won't be a great start this week against a tough Giants defense.

Joseph Addai
Injury: hamstring
Status: doubtful
Prognosis: "He is recovering from a slightly torn hamstring."

He hasn't been ruled out yet, but Addai is likely to miss his second straight game this week against the undefeated Titans. Expect Dominic Rhodes to again get the bulk of the carries in his place. Don't expect another two score from Rhodes this week again. The Titans run defense is ferocious.

Chris Chambers
Injury: leg
Status: questionable
Prognosis: "He is dealing with a lower leg injury"

Chambers will be a game-time decision this week in New Orleans. He's missed the last two games, but did score the last game he played against the Dolphins in week five. The Saints pass defense is nothing special, so this game has shootout written all over it. If Chambers plays, start him.

Our weekly look at the next matchups for last week's highest scoring fantasy players.

Matt and I love the NBA, but, truth be told, fantasy football is more our game than fantasy hoops. That's why we made a call to the bullpen and enlisted the help of Nels Wadycki, proprietor of Give Me the Rock, one of the finest fantasy basketball blogs around. Wadycki was kind enough to take a break from pwning Bill Simmons to give you a few pointers on building your fantasy hoops team. His words after the jump...

Kellen Winslow
Injury: Illness
Status: Questionable
Prognosis: "He did not practice Thursday, but there is a good chance he could practice on Friday."

Winslow's injury has been top notch blog fodder the last two weeks. But all kidding aside, fantasy owners need to know if one of the game's best tight ends will be on the field this weekend. Winslow practiced Friday so there is a chance he goes. Even so, he doesn't look like very good start at Washington. Scour the waiver wire to find a suitable one week replacement.

Willie Parker
Injury: Knee
Status: Doubtful
Prognosis: "He suffered a setback to his knee injury in practice with a sprained MCL."

If rookie Rashard Mendenhall was healthy, Parker would certainly have been scratched by now. But it's possible Parker could try to play against Cincinnati, after resting last week during Pittsburgh's bye. Still, it would seem to take a miracle to get Parker on the field this weekend. Expect Mewelde Moore to get the start at running back for the Steelers.

Calvin Johnson
Injury: Head
Status: Questionable
Prognosis: "He is dealing with a head injury."

The departure of Roy (E.) Williams means great things for CJ fantasy owners. Johnson has progressed so well in his second season that he made Williams expendable. Johnson enters this week's game against a weak Texans' secondary a little nicked up. But if he plays on Sunday, and he should, start him.

Our weekly look at the next matchups for last week's highest scoring fantasy players.

The Best


Tony Romo- 321 yards, 3 touchdowns

Dallas found itself in a shootout yesterday with Arizona, which is all Romo owners can ask for. In a week where four quarterbacks threw three touchdowns and no interceptions, Romo netted the most yards.

Drew Brees- 320 yards, 3 touchdowns

Nnamdi Asomugha and Dante Hall may make up one of the NFL's most expensive sets of cornerbacks, but they had no chance to slow down Brees on Sunday. In a post-Tom Brady world, is Brees the best fantasy quarterback in the NFL?

Running backs

Clinton Portis- 129 yards, 2 touchdowns

If fantasy leagues redrafted one-third of the way through the season, Portis would be among the tops picks. He continued his dominance yesterday, even as the 'Skins lost to the Rams. Through six games, Portis has rushed for 643 yards and six touchdowns.

Maurice Jones-Drew- 125 yards, 2 touchdowns

MJD may be the biggest tease in fantasy sports. Don't believe us? The Jags have played six games this year. In four of those games, Jones-Drew has rushed for a total of 69 yards. In the other two games, he's rushed for 232 yards.

Wide receivers

Andre Johnson- 10 recs, 178 yards, 1 touchdown

Andre Johnson might be the rest receiver in the NFL. Too bad he's stuck in Houston. Even so, Johnson is still a top flight fantasy receiver, who now appears to be on a roll. The last two games he's caught 19 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.

Reggie Wayne- 8 recs, 118 yards, 1 touchdown

With Peyton Manning appearing more healthy every game, Wayne has taken his rightful spot among fantasy football's most productive receivers. The last two games he's combined to catch 15 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

The Worst

Michael Turner- 54 yards

Things didn't end well for the Bears on Sunday, but at least they were able to shut down Turner, one of the league's most productive runners.

J.T. O'Sullivan- 199 yards, 2 INT

Peyton Manning's weekend stats: 3 TD, 0 INT. Trust Matt, people. He's good with this stuff.

For the second time this season, Brian Westbrook won't be playing football on a Sunday. He is out with broken ribs. Last week he played with the injury, averaging a Curtis Enis-like 2.8 yards per carry. But Westbrook also got into the endzone. Fantasy owners are sure to have mixed feelings about this. If Westbrook is on your team, you either drafted him in the first round or traded several quality players to get him. On the flip side, with another week off, Westbrook could come back healthy and ready to dominate.

Here is a look at some other injuries to pay attention to this weekend before setting your fantasy lineup.

Our weekly look at the next matchups for last week's highest scoring fantasy players.

The Best


Kyle Orton- 334 yards, 2 TD

Yes, you read that correctly. Kyle Orton, he of the Jack Daniels stained t-shirts and unkempt facial hair, was statistically the best quarterback in the NFL on Sunday. Such are the perks of playing the Detroit Lions. But maybe we should have seen this coming. After all, the good humans at Roto Arcade warned the public to keep on eye on him.

Aaron Rodgers- 313 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

Aaron Rodgers needed this game. For the first time in his career, he had to make a statement. Overcoming the shoulder injury and posting these stats shows the kid is legit.

What else can we take from this performance? Well Rodgers did it against the Falcons, who happen to play the Bears next week.

You can't stop Kyle Orton, you can only hope to contain him.

Running backs

Clinton Portis- 145 yards, 1 TD

Is it safe to say Portis' time as a fantasy owners' worst nightmare is over? He's the focal point of the Redskins offense and looks like a must start every Sunday from here on out.

Brandon Jacobs- 136 yards, 2 TD

Jacobs owners- like, um, me- have been waiting for a game like this all year. As the Giants continue to roll, it's reasonable to assume they'll be in the lead in most games. That only means Jacobs is ticketed for more touches, and, hopefully, more scores.

Wide receivers

Roddy White- 8 recs, 132 yards, 1 TD

Unlike some others in the know, I wasn't high on White this season, with the rookie quarterback throwing him the ball and all. But Matt Ryan looks legit- yeah, it's news to me, too- so maybe White is as well. He's been on a tear his last three games.

Andre Johnson- 9 recs, 131 yards, 1 TD

Oh Andre Johnson, how I have been waiting for this day. It was just as wonderful as I had imagined.

Something to consider: Johnson's next three games are all at home against Miami, Detroit, and Cincinnati. When reached for comment, my fantasy team said "Boo-ya".

The Worst

RB Frank Gore- 54 yards

What, did you really expect a guy who's team is offensively coordinated by Mike Martz to get more than 12 carries? Memo to San Fran: Gore is good when he gets the ball. Give it to him.

Brandon Marshall- 3 recs, 25 yards

Marshall owners have no reason to panic. Everyone will eventually have an off day.

Let's get right into it.

For the second week in a row, the previous week's top fantasy performer doesn't get to roll over his momentum. Just like Ronnie Brown last week, Brett Favre, he of the six touchdown tosses against the Cardinals, gets Sunday off.

Here's a look at some of Week Four's other stars and matchups they face this weekend.

About the bloggers

Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Ricky O'Donnell in October 2008.

Ricky O'Donnell: September 2008 is the previous archive.

Ricky O'Donnell: November 2008 is the next archive.

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