by Jeff West
December 17, 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).

    Due to real life catching up with me and putting me in a stranglehold, there was no Directions article last week.  My only question is if anyone noticed.  Nevertheless, I'm back to offer my sage advice and thought-provoking views on a number of players and issues.

Heading North

    In most leagues, this is the first week of the fantasy playoffs.  Many of the top players have very difficult matchups this week, so you may be looking elsewhere for help.  At QB, it is hard to ignore the numbers that Billy Volek has been putting up.  In his last three games he has averaged 343 passing yards per game.  Over that span he has thrown nine TDs and only three picks.  With the rushing game showing it cannot be relied upon, Volek has gone to the air with Drew Bennett being the primary target.  He has Oakland and their 24th-ranked pass defense on his plate this weekend.

Going South

    In their first game with a new (interim) head coach last week, Cleveland got pasted by the Bills.  This week they face an even better Charger team.  The Chargers are ranked #1 in the NFL against the rush.  This does not bode well for William Green who is coming off a pathetic effort which featured eleven carries for five yards and a lost fumble.  Cleveland will be hard-pressed to stop the Charger offense and will likely have to go to the air to try to keep up.


    Alge Crumpler is a perplexing player.  He was having an up and down season until about week ten (following his bye) when things seemed to come together for him.  Over the next three games, he had four TD catches and eclipsed the 100-yard mark twice.  In the next two weeks he put up a five-yard and a 22-yard effort and was unable to score in either.  This week he plays against a Carolina team which is in the thick of the playoff hunt after a 1-7 start to the season.  Carolina has a decent defense and might be able to hold Crumpler in check.  He's a must start in week 16, if you get there.


    I've questioned the ability of Joe Gibbs to return to prominence as an NFL head coach, and now I'm wondering if Bill Parcells really has anything left.  Dallas played well over their heads last year, but have been nothing short of a complete disappointment this year.  Parcells continues to bring in his guys (Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, and Vinny Testaverde for example) who may be hurting the team more than he realizes.  Not only do these aging (aged?) veterans cost significantly more than their younger counterparts, they are taking valuable playing time away from them.  With the Cowboys all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Parcells has now decided to make Drew Henson his #3 QB.  Drew Henson is supposed to be the guy who will lead Dallas back to glory, yet he can't seem to find any playing time.  Perhaps Parcells is admitting that he overvalued Henson in the off-season?

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