by Jeff West
November 19, 2004
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    This weekly article will discuss those players “Heading North” (fantasy value is rising), “Going South” (fantasy value is falling), or “East-West” (fantasy value is still undetermined, but worth watching).

    One of the players I thought would do well in week ten, David Carr, crashed and burned against a suddenly resurgent Indy defense.  Carr threw three picks and was held without a score.  I see this more as a defensive win than any reason to worry about Carr.  Another player I touted was Derrick Blaylock, who turned out to be the top scoring RB with 186 rushing yards and a TD.  Holmes is out again this week, although Blaylock isn't nearly as attractive a play against a stout Patriot defense.  Finally, Domanick Davis walked my talk with almost 100 rushing yards and a couple scores.  He should continue to be a solid play the rest of the way.

    Last week I said Mark Brunell was done and voila, Patrick Ramsey replaced him during the game.  Brunell has seen his last days as a starter.  Another stud turned dud was Warrick Dunn.  While Dunn led all Falcon rushers with 76 yards, it was Duckett who garnered the two TD runs when it counted.

    One of the players who merited a look to see what they'd do was Quincy Carter, who played a mediocre game against a dominant Ravens defense.  Carter plays a good, but not great defense in Cleveland this weekend, and then things could get easier for him with Arizona and Houston following.  Another player whose progress needed to be monitored was Joe Jurevicius.  He was dreadful last week with only one catch for three yards.

Heading North

    The Niners have transformed themselves, out of necessity really, to a passing offense.  The beneficiary of the transformation is Brandon Lloyd.  Lloyd has been very active and is Tim Rattay's favorite weapon among the WRs.  He's scored in four of the Niners' last five games.  He faces a Buccaneer secondary that is dealing with some injuries and should get even more chances.

    The Raiders are coming off a bye week and the extra rest is just what the doctor ordered for Tyrone Wheatley.  Wheatley has been injured for part of the season with a bad shoulder.  In his two games since returning from injury, Wheatley has three TD runs.  With a decent schedule the rest of the way, Wheatley could once again become the feature back in Oakland.

    There's a real good chance that he is on your waiver wire still.  Chief WR Eddie Kennison has had two consecutive 100-yard games and scored last week against the Saints.  While he faces a tough New England defense in week eleven, remember that the Patriot secondary is banged up and has had a WR (Troy Brown) playing defense the past two weeks.

Going South

    Last week the Falcons really made an effort to run the ball.  As a result, the Falcons had more than 200 yards on the ground.  This does not bode well for Peerless Price who has been missing in action pretty much ever since he left Buffalo.  Price is averaging a paltry 2.5 catches for 41 yards per game.  He has two TDs, but they both came in one game.  Can we say aberration?  For those of you who have not yet caught on, Price is not, nor will he ever be, a #1 receiver.

    Chris Brown emerged as a fantasy consideration in the off-season when Eddie George left the Titans.  He exploded onto the scene and was one of the top RBs early in the season.  Lately, however, he has been battling a turf toe injury.  The Jags don't plan to make things easy on him this week.  They allow less than four yards a carry and will be more than happy to encourage another fit of fumbilitis from Brown as he had two last week before leaving the game for good after reaggravating his injured toe.

East-West

    Some of you may have been waiting all season for it to happen, and it finally did.  Jags rookie RB Greg Jones vultured a TD.  Following the game, Coach Del Rio indicated that Jones would see more short-yardage and goal-line work.  If you're in a TD only league, keep an eye on Jones.  If you're in a keeper/dynasty league, grab Jones, because Fred Taylor doesn't have much left in the tank.

    OK, promise me you won't laugh.  I'm going to mention the words fantasy quarterback with a name that most won't expect.  Kyle Boller.  Yes, that Kyle Boller.  Let's face it, the guy is a gifted athlete with a strong arm.  But he's played poorly in a run-oriented offense since the jump.  But he's finally finding a bit of a groove.  The team isn't running the ball as well as in the past and Boller has had to make plays.  He's been without his all-star TE (Todd Heap) for much of the season and been throwing to incredibly inconsistent WRs like Travis Taylor, Randy Hymes, and Kevin Johnson (yes, he still plays for the Ravens).  But lately he's found a connection with rookie Clarence Moore, a 6'6" beanpole from tiny Northern Arizona.  When Heap is healthy again, Boller could emerge as a solid backup fantasy QB.

Misdirection

    Remember way back in October when New York football was making headlines?  The Giants were 5-2 coming off a drubbing of the mighty Vikings.  The Jets were 6-1 following a decisive win over division rival Miami.  Their only loss was to the undefeated Pats, and it was a close one at that.  The two NY teams were the talk of the town (especially since no one wanted to talk Yanks-Sox).  Since that time the teams are a combined 0-4.  The Jets are playing Quincy Carter at QB.  The Giants have given up on Kurt Warner and are throwing a rookie to the wolves.  How quickly the times change.

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