by Jeff West
November 25, 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).

    With Thanksgiving arriving, it is only fitting that I served up a turkey or two.  Last week I promoted Brandon Lloyd to "Heading North" status and he responded with one catch for seven yards.  The other turkey was Tyrone Wheatley who got only 12 carries and managed a paltry 42 yards with no scores.  But if there is turkey being served, you can bet there is some gravy, and that gravy came in the form of Eddie Kennison.  While he failed to extend his streak of 100-yard efforts, he came close (99 yards) and added two TDs as well.  I actually found him still lingering on the waiver wire in one of my leagues.

    As far as the players who I thought would come up small, both did.  Peerless Price was unable to exploit a weakened Giants defense and finished the game without any stats.  Chris Brown was equally as ineffective as he sat out the game against the Jags with a case of turf toe.

    Well, Coach Del Rio said that Greg Jones would be the short-yardage back, and he delivered as promised.  You can't get much shorter than two carries for two yards.  Maybe next time he'll get those carries from the one-yard line.  Another player I felt was worth watching was Kyle Boller.  He had a very efficient game with 232 yards and a couple TDs.  He had one INT, but that was only his sixth on the year which is very impressive considering how maligned he has been.

Heading North

    Guess who's back?  No, it's not Slim Shady.  It's Deion Branch.  He made his return this past week on Monday night and looked like he hadn't missed a beat.  He showed the world who Tom Brady's favorite receiver is (all apologies to Sirius Satellite Radio).  Branch has a TD catch in each of the two full games he's played this season and will be a nice contributor the rest of the season.

Going South

    I think it's finally time to pay our last respects to a player that helped many a team over the years.  Eddie George may have seen his last carries as a starter as he managed only three yards on three receptions.  Julius Jones got the start and was rewarded with 30 carries, despite only managing a meager 81 yards with all those attempts.  Even if Jones does get hurt again, George won't be much help to a fantasy team gearing up for the playoffs.


    Stop me if you've heard this one before.  A backup RB steps into the Carolina Panther starting lineup and surprises the world with an impressive performance.  We've seen it from DeShaun Foster, Brad Hoover, Joey Harris, and now Nick Goings.  Goings ran for 121 yards and scored three times in week eleven.  I was desperate at RB early in the year and grabbed Brad Hoover after his big game and was promptly disappointed and dropped him the next week.  Will Goings be the same player or can he sustain the success?


    Much of the talk in the sports world this past week has not been about football (gasp!).  The National Basketball Association made headlines early in their season when a brawl erupted at a Pistons-Pacers game.  Ron Artest committed a flagrant foul on Ben Wallace towards the end of the game and their little sortie blew up when a fan threw a beverage at Artest while he was at the scorer's table.  He then charged into the stands to throw down with anyone who looked at all like Harry Potter (wanting nothing to do with the imposing Ben Wallace).  The reason I bring this up in a fantasy football article is that I see some of the same negative attributes that Ron Artest possesses in an NFL player.  Rookie safety Sean Taylor of the Redskins has more negative headlines this season than he does positive ones.  Taylor made news when he skipped out on a mandatory rookie symposium.  He's made the police blotter for a DUI arrest.  A Bengal WR insists that Taylor spit at him in week ten.  I watched him deliver a post-play elbow to the chin of Terrell Owens in week eleven.  Taylor appears to be an immature star athlete who feels he can play by his own set of rules.  I'm sure this isn't the last negative story I'll be able to write about him.

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