Here's what KFFL's inside sources are saying this week.
- Arizona Cardinals rook Max
Hall commands the huddle well and makes decent decisions but doesn't
have much of an arm. Biggest thing in his favor? He'll probably be starting
the rest of the way unless he's horrible.
- The lack of QB protection in a Mike Martz
offense, the New York Giants' pass rush, the Chicago
Bears not giving tight ends blocking help and Jay
Cutler holding the ball too long produced Sackapocalypse 2010. The
Bears will probably discuss more with Cutler on
why it's important to get rid of the ball.
Even with Todd Collins starting this
weekend, the Bears should run their normal offense,
though they might eliminate some deep drops to make it easier on the offensive
- The Cleveland Browns won't make a decision until
Saturday night, but Jake Delhomme (ankle)
likely will be back behind center come Sunday.
- The Baltimore Ravens should be able to contain
the Denver Broncos' Kyle
Orton. Our insider felt Orton wouldn't go for 300 yards again. Baltimore
should let the Denver receivers catch passes but won't let them knock out
big yards after the catch.
- Matt Schaub likes to wait for downfield
routes to develop ... hence, the ample times he has been sacked. The Houston
Texans will try to focus on having Schaub take fewer five-step drops,
and have him make quick decisions - throw it quickly, or throw it away.
- Brett Favre (elbow, ankle) has been
wearing a big wrap on his elbow and the tendonitis could eventually be a big
concern. He'll be on a pitch count for now.
The league is also looking into his "actions" while a member (pun not intended)
of the New York Jets. A suspension is a possibility.
- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy
Reid hasn't ruled out sticking with Kevin
Kolb even if Michael Vick (rib)
is healthy. It probably depends on how well Kolb plays and how long Vick sits.
Some question whether Kolb looks downfield enough, but our source felt he
is capable of throwing the ball deeper.
The Atlanta Falcons aren't scared of much in the
Cleveland Browns' offense and will focus most of
their efforts on slowing Peyton Hillis
Catching flak, but will play
- The only way Jerome Harrison (no
carries last week) gets more than a handful of carries for the Browns
is if Hillis is hurt or Cleveland needs to run the ball to the outside more.
Harrison doesn't look 100 percent healthy, either, and take awhile to get
- The Baltimore Ravens have floated around Willis
McGahee in trade offers and would be willing to give him up, but no
one has bitten.
- Expect Fred Jackson to hold a slight
edge on touches as the new Buffalo Bills' starter.
C.J. Spiller won't be an afterthought.
Though he's struggling on pass protection, Buffalo will try to avoid having
him perform those duties - lining him up in the slot and also sometimes havinn
Jackson to block. Both backs can perform goal line work, but the bigger Jackson
is the better bet.
- Our Dallas Cowboys insider is at the "believe it when I see it" point
regarding Dallas increasing Felix Jones' touches; the sage believes
that if Dallas follows through, though, they ought to give him 12 to 15 touches
- The Denver Broncos might sprinkle in Andre Brown behind starter
Laurence Maroney and No. 2 Correll Buckhalter this week with
Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) out in Week 5.
- The Detroit Lions' Jahvid
Best (toe) didn't appear to be too affected by his injured toe. Field
conditions might have played a part in his down week.
- The Green Bay Packers might be throwing some carries at Dimitri Nance this week given the way the ground attack has stalled under
John Kuhn and Brandon Jackson. Despite not being all that fast, Nance
is physical for his size and has short-area quickness. Not saying to go and
grab him in every fantasy league, but at least keep an eye on his Week 5 performance.
James Starks (hamstring) is also nearly able to come back, so Nance's
impact might be limited anyway.
- Expect to see a heavy dose of Kansas City Chiefs
runners Thomas Jones and Jamaal
Charles this week to keep the Indianapolis
Colts' offense off the field.
- The New Orleans Saints should split the touches
evenly again between Ladell Betts and
Chris Ivory, maybe slightly more of
Betts because of his pass protection and receiving skills. The latter was
hobbled around a bit earlier this week but will still play.
- Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle) should see his usual work for the New
York Giants unless his injury flares up during the game. He has played through
this injury before, and he has forgone practice and still played on Sundays
before. Brandon Jacobs will be in his typical small complementary role.
- Michael Bush will receive all the
work for the Oakland Raiders that would normally
have gone to Darren McFadden (hamstring).
- The expectation is that LeSean McCoy
(rib) won't be slowed by his injured rib, but the Philadelphia
Eagles runner has never played with it outside of the second half last
week. He's expected to play but will wear a flak jacket.
- The St. Louis Rams' Steven Jackson (groin) wore what he calls
a "groin contraption" in Week 4, which is composed of two pairs of compression
shorts and a strap attached to his thigh that helps shorten his stride. He'll
wear the same thing when he plays in Week 5.
- Ryan Mathews owners might feel a bit queasy after reading
this. Mike Tolbert should see 20-plus touches for the foreseeable future
until the San Diego Chargers are confident enough to let Mathews carry the
load. They want the rookie back to be fully healthy physically and mentally.
Mathews has proven to be easily shaken during his first NFL season, admitting
that he vomits before games and doesn't rebound well emotionally from mistakes.
San Diego wants him to find some success in situations with less pressure
so he has a foundation to build on. If you have Mathews on your team, you
must stand pat because the team wants him to eventually move into the featured
back role, but you'll have to be patient.
- The San Francisco 49ers could get Brian
Westbrook more involved this week, especially with his former team
coming to town.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers' breakdown of touches probably
will have Cadillac Williams with most
of the carries, Kareem Huggins giving
him a break for a couple of series and LeGarrette
Blount receiving short-yardage work.
- Chris Johnson has appeared more tentative
this year, like he's trying to hit the home run, but the Tennessee
Titans' offensive line hasn't been as good. A lack of a vertical passing
game and Johnson being the focus of opposing defenses has also contributed
to his "slow start."
- Our insider didn't expect to see the Washington Redskins'
Clinton Portis (groin) again this year,
and Portis will have to take a big reduction in pay to stick around next year.
Touch split with Portis out: majority for Ryan
Torain, followed by Keiland Williams
getting more than Chad Simpson. The
'Skins are more confident in Williams' blitz pickup for third downs. He's
expected to be activated off the practice squad Saturday.
Washington also believes Torain's previous injuries (anterior cruciate ligament
tears) were freak accidents.
- Max Komar could see the second most
looks among the Arizona Cardinals' targets. Working
in the slot, given a rookie QB and this decimated WR corps, Komar could do
- Harry Douglas has been getting open
for the Atlanta Falcons, but quarterback Matt
Ryan doesn't appear comfortable with him yet. Douglas has had a couple
- It could be a down week for the Baltimore Ravens'
Anquan Boldin, who may more often than
not be covered by Denver Broncos corner Champ
Bailey, per our Baltimore scribe. Our Broncos
source, however, doesn't think the Broncs will shadow Boldin as much if at
all; they might just play their regular alignment on D.
Either way, Ravens quarterback Joe
Flacco won't force anything that isn't there. This could possibly mean
more work for Derrick Mason if he's
lined up on the weaker corner.
- Brandon LaFell and David Gettis will start for the
Carolina Panthers with Steve Smith (ankle) out for Week 5 and maybe
longer, and Dwayne Jarrett shown the curb. David Clowney and Armanti Edwards round out the pecking order. Ton of speed, and a ton of youth
This is a fantasy situation to avoid, but Gettis has the advantage on LaFell
if you have to own one. LaFell's hands remain an issue, and the speedy Gettis
has solid chemistry with quarterback Jimmy Clausen from their work with the
second string this past camp.
If Cleveland Browns quarterback Jake
Delhomme (ankle) is indeed behind center Sunday, Mohamed
Massaquoi should see a few more looks. The two had a good thing going
in the preseason and Week 1.
Gotta keep it separated
- The Detroit Lions' Nate
Burleson (ankle) should slot in as the No. 2 wideout but isn't necessarily
higher than tight ends Tony Scheffler (concussion)
or Brandon Pettigrew in the pecking order
- Our Indianapolis Colts insider thinks Austin Collie (foot)
will play this week. Indy wouldn't have him practice Friday if they didn't
plan on bringing him back.
- Mike Sims-Walker has struggled getting
off the line and beating jams, which is one reason the Jacksonville
Jaguars' No. 1 wideout is struggling. Quarterback David
Garrard won't force anything. They've given MSW some extra work in practice.
Mike Thomas should continue to remain
the top target until Sims-Walker can get something going.
- There are still a lot of worrying signs for the Minnesota
Vikings and Randy Moss. Our insider
doesn't think Moss will receive an extension. How happy will he be playing
on a one-year deal, especially if quarterback Brett
Favre can't throw the ball cause of elbow tendonitis?
This is still a run-first offense behind Adrian
Peterson. The move for Moss does help Percy
Harvin, though it kills what value Bernard
- And will the New York Jets put Antonio
Cromartie on Moss even if Darrelle Revis
(hamstring) returns? No hand has been tipped yet, but maybe they'll mix and
match the two. Cromartie did a steady job on Moss in their first meeting this
year when Moss was still a New England Patriots'
- Our insider didn't feel much hope for the New Orleans
Saints' Robert Meachem. Teams keep
taking away the deep stuff; Meachem is only in there to run block or go deep.
Quarterback Drew Brees is going to be smart
about throwing deep.
- Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery will start for
the New York Jets, who'll rotate Santonio Holmes into action. Holmes
is trying to get up to speed in this offense; they'll probably play Holmes'
involvement by ear.
- Nick Miller could see a few touches
on offense for the Oakland Raiders. They like to
run a couple of trick plays per game and have lined up Miller as tailback
or split him out as a receiver before. He was compared to Danny
Woodhead, or a poor man's Wes Welker.
- This offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles' Jeremy
Maclin and quarterback Kevin Kolb
spent a lot of time working together. He should benefit with the Texas kid
back behind center.
- St. Louis Rams wideout pecking order: Mark Clayton, Danny Amendola (slot), Brandon Gibson and Mardy Gilyard. The returning
Laurent Robinson? He'll need to work his way back into the fold. The
Rams have been satisfied with Gibson's ability to create separation and his
contributions in the last two games. It isn't out of the question for L-Rob
to work his way back up; consider the situation fluid behind the secured Clayton
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will give Arrelious
Benn some more reps this week, probably half of the snaps at flanker.
Benn is a hard worker in practice, and quarterback Josh
Freeman is often out there working with him. TB feels more comfortable
about Benn handling the flanker spot, even if he's still learning the route
adjustments that comes with playing the position.
- Tennessee Titans rookie Damian
Williams has either passed or is on the verge of passing Lavelle
Hawkins. Williams has come on a bit.
- Michael Crabtree was a little more
involved the San Francisco 49ers' offense last
week, but there still weren't any dramatic changes under new offensive coordinator
Around the league
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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