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Week 11 Upgrades/Downgrades


Upgrades

QB Jay Fiedler - NYJ

He is supposedly a couple of weeks from returning. Vinny Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger have been horrible, so the job would likely be Fiedler’s for the taking.

QB Gus Frerotte - MIA

He won’t get to play the Patriots every week, but Frerotte rolled up 360 yards and a pair of TDs. This offense is starting to come together.

QB J.P. Losman - BUF

HC Mike Mularkey has seemed to want to return to Losman as the starter, but he never had a reason (or an opening). Kelly Holcomb suffered a concussion against the Chiefs. Losman looked very good in leading this offense and will likely be named the starter again.

QB Peyton Manning - IND

Three TDs and almost 297 yards passing – this is the Peyton Manning we all know and love (unless we’re playing against him of course).

QB Jake Plummer - DEN

Through 9 games he has just 3 interceptions on 264 pass attempts. His confidence is at an all-time high and he continues to manage the Broncos offense exceptionally well. The Broncos have not needed him to sling it much this year (hence the lower TD numbers), but if needed Plummer looks like he will be able to respond with a huge game.

QB Ben Roethlisberger - PIT

He’s not a lock to play this week, but he should at least be back by week 12.

QB Chris Simms - TB

Simms had an outstanding day against the Redskins as he threw for 279 yards and three scores. Even more important, Simms led his team on a last minute game-winning drive. That will give him confidence and allow his coaches and teammates to have confidence in him as well.

QB Michael Vick - ATL

He had over 200 yards passing and scored three TDs (2 in the air and 1 on the ground). If he can continue to pass for close to 200 yards a game, he is a good to great fantasy play (because of his rushing yards).

QB Kurt Warner - ARI

Warner didn’t win, but he did post great yardage. You may still need to grab Josh McCown, but “Arizona QB” will be a good play over the remainder of the season. Right now, "Arizona QB" is Warner.

RB Shaun Alexander - SEA

He posted 165 yards and 3 TDs yesterday. He has 17 TDs through 9 games played. He has a serious shot at 2,000 rushing yards this year. He is making a statement that he deserves to be this year's MVP. It's hard for the #2 fantasy player in the game to get an upgrade, but Shaun Alexander is having a career year.

RB Mike Alstott - TB

Two TDs and a two-point conversion for the win - talk about a goal line monster. Alstott is obviously a Gruden favorite.

RB J.J. Arrington - ARI

Arrington and the Cardinals finally scored on the ground. The rookie looked average at times (which sadly is enough to warrant an upgrade in this case). He should slowly get more looks as another disappointing season comes to a close for Arizona.

RB Tiki Barber - NYG

Against the Vikings, Barber scored a TD and a two-point conversion and had over 200 combined yards (95 rushing yards and 111 receiving yards).

RB Jerome Bettis - PIT

One thing is certain: If Bettis is healthy, he’ll be a threat around the goal line.

RB Warrick Dunn - ATL

He had 128 combined yards and a score on Sunday. He is quietly putting up solid numbers every week. He already has over 1,000 combined yards.

RB Heath Evans - NE

Evans filled in nicely for the injured Corey Dillon. If the Patriots shut Dillon down, Evans would definitely be worth a look.

RB Samkon Gado - GB

If you happen to be in one of the four leagues where Gado is still a free agent, you need to grab him now. He finished the day with 103 yards and 3 scores.

RB Larry Johnson - KC

With Priest Holmes definitely out for the season, Johnson becomes an elite fantasy RB.

RB Greg Jones - JAX

Jones has produced very well when Fred Taylor has been injured. He put up 106 rushing yards and a TD against the Ravens and gives the team the luxury of not having to rush Taylor back into the lineup.

RB Adrian Peterson - CHI

Peterson had 120 yards and a TD against the 49ers. With Cedric Benson out for three to six weeks, Peterson becomes the primary backup for a Thomas Jones that has been nicked up in recent weeks.

RB Clinton Portis - WAS

Portis’ performance (144 rushing yards and a TD) against the Buccaneers was impressive. Sure, he lit up the 49ers, but Tampa Bay actually has a good defense.

WR Donald Driver - GB

Thanks to the Samkon Gado show, Driver didn’t make it into the endzone, but he did pull down 10 balls for 114 yards.

WR Lee Evans - BUF

He tallied only three catches for 66 yards against the Chiefs, but two of them went for TDs. We’re not overly excited about Evans, but it’s nice to know that he’s still playing.

WR Larry Fitzgerald - ARI

There were times against the Lions where it looked as if Fitzgerald was all over the field. He finished with nine catches for 141 yards and a TD. Fitzgerald has a nice schedule to close the season.

WR Joey Galloway - TB

He had another big week catching 7 passes for 131 yards and a TD. Only Steve Smith and Santana Moss have more receiving yards this year. He is second in receiving TDs with 7. With Chris Simms now playing better, Galloway's value remains red hot.

WR Andre Johnson - HOU

Johnson didn’t have great numbers against the Colts, but we were just glad to see him on the field for two straight weeks. He really warrants an upgrade because of his next two opponents (Kansas City and St. Louis).

WR Matt Jones - JAX

This is the kind of production the Jaguars envisioned when they made Jones a #1 pick. He certainly flashed big-play ability on his five catches for 117 yards (three grabs went for 30+) and a TD.

WR LeRon McCoy - ARI

Bryant Johnson’s status for week 11 has not been determined, but if he sits again McCoy showed Sunday that he is capable of producing solid numbers (six catches for 70 yards).

WR Brandon Stokley - IND

He finally showed up this year after a lot of games where he was a complete bust. He finished with 73 yards and a score.

WR Amani Toomer - NYG

He is becoming a viable option in larger leagues due to opponents worrying about defending both Barber and Burress.

WR Hines Ward - PIT

On Sunday, Ward caught eight balls for 124 yards and a TD (from Antwaan Randle El) and passed John Stallworth to become the Steelers' all-time leading receptions leader. He gets the upgrade, however, because Ben Roethlisberger is expected back as early as week 11.

WR Roy Williams - DET

Wow. Williams wasn’t even healthy but was still able to catch seven passes for 117 yards and three TDs.

TE Tony Gonzalez - KC

He didn’t score (shocking to see the Chiefs kept out of the endzone), but Gonzalez caught eight balls for 81 yards.

TE Randy McMichael - MIA

He caught 7 passes for 81 yards on Sunday. More impressively, he was targeted a whopping 11 times in the game. That's Antonio Gates levels.

TE Marcus Pollard - DET

He was active in the passing game and finished with 5 catches for 47 yards.

TE Ben Watson - NE

With David Givens and Dan Graham unable to play, Ben Watson had his finest day of the year scoring 2 TDs. We expect he could become a bigger target going forward.

PK Jason Elam - DEN

The Broncos bogged down a few times in the redzone against the Raiders. Elam seems to be rounding into form.

PK John Kasay - CAR

The Panthers offense is playing extremely well and giving Kasay plenty of scoring opportunities.

PK Joe Nedney - SF

When you kick three FGs in winds gusting to 40 MPH, you deserve an upgrade. HC Mike Nolan has a ton of confidence in Nedney right now (as evidenced by that insane 52-yard attempt).

PK Neil Rackers - ARI

It’s been evidenced all season long – great passing game + weak running game = many stalled drives = many FG attempts. Rackers has a ton of confidence right now and just keeps booming in threes.

TD Chicago Bears - CHI

Yeah, they were playing the Cody Pickett led 49ers and in swirling winds, but allowing just one completed pass and 161 total yards of offense is outstanding.

TD Buffalo Bills - BUF

They recorded 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 6 sacks as they pressured Kansas City all day. They held the Chiefs to just 166 passing yards.

TD Jacksonville Jaguars - JAX

They recorded 3 interceptions and 4 sacks while allowing just 163 total yards and 3 points. Even against Baltimore's weak offense that is impressive.

TD Carolina Panthers - CAR

On Sunday they had 4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and 3 sacks while allowing just 3 points. This unit is playing at a very high level right now.

TD Minnesota Vikings - MIN

The Vikings are the only team to score on an INT return, a punt return, and a kick-off return in the same game. That would probably qualify as a big-play defense.


Downgrades

QB Charlie Batch - PIT

Batch broke his throwing hand against the Browns.

QB Kyle Boller - BAL

We waited nine weeks for that?

QB Brooks Bollinger - NYJ

Bring back Glenn Foley.

QB Trent Green - KC

He had no TDs, 3 interceptions and a fumble. Over the last 3 games, he has just 3 TDs. Even without Priest Holmes, this team's style of play is to run every chance they can.

QB Joey Harrington - DET

It’s hard to throw for three TDs and end up with a downgrade, but HC Steve Mariucci says Jeff Garcia is the team’s starting QB.

QB Kelly Holcomb - BUF

He left the game with a concussion and then saw his backup have a great game. The team was already leading towards benching him. Now it seems like a given.

QB Brad Johnson - MIN

He has yet to throw an interception, but his stats are still pretty bad. He had just 144 passing yards and no TDs yesterday.

QB Eli Manning - NYG

Manning was at home and facing a defense that most opposing QBs have shredded this season. Of course he went out and tossed a single TD along with four terrible INTs.

QB Cody Pickett - SF

One pass caught by a 49er. One pass caught by a Bear. In 40 MPH wind, that’s consistency…sort of.

RB Cedric Benson - CHI

As if Benson needed anything to slow his development, he will miss the next three to six weeks with an MCL sprain.

RB Corey Dillon - NE

He lasted a single play against the Dolphins before succumbing to a calf injury. This is on top of the ankle injury he has been battling for weeks. He’ll likely be questionable all week and miss parts of practice all week. He’ll likely be labeled a game-time decision, but with the way his health is now, he’s a risky play.

RB Justin Griffith - ATL

Griffith had a few good games with T.J. Duckett on the bench, but Duckett is now back.

RB Jamal Lewis - BAL

For the season, he has just 480 yards on 159 carries (3.0 ypc) with 1 TD. Chester Taylor is averaging nearly 5 yards a carry running behind the same line in a reserve role. Brian Billick's continued reluctance to give Chester Taylor a bigger role could sink his own job soon. We think Jamal's days as the full-time starter are very limited.

RB Curtis Martin - NYJ

With the passing game in shambles, we expect teams to line up 8 to 9 in the box reducing any chance that Curtis Martin will beat them.

RB Mewelde Moore - MIN

HC Mike Tice said Moore was “worrying about (his injured wrist) too much” to carry the ball. He didn’t look too worrying on his 71-yard punt return. Trying to figure out Tice is like trying to figure out why there was a Wookie on Endor – it does not make sense.

RB Willie Parker - PIT

He missed last night's game due to injury, but it did not matter. The Steelers still ran the ball well. So now add Duce Staley into this mix going forward. That cannot be a good thing for Willie Parker who already was lifted in short yardage and goal line situations.

RB Marcel Shipp - ARI

J.J. Arrington is starting to get the hang of things, so Shipp will likely see a reduced role going forward. A reduced role for an Arizona RB is barely significant.

RB Fred Taylor - JAX

With Greg Jones filling in very well, the team does not need to rush Taylor back to the field.

RB LaBrandon Toefield - JAX

Greg Jones is making Toefield worthless as a fantasy option.

RB Cadillac Williams - TB

It’s bad enough that Williams is averaging two yards per carry, but Mike Alstott getting all of the goal line work makes Williams a very unappealing play right now.

WR Plaxico Burress - NYG

His skills have not diminished, but Eli Manning is struggling. It is not helping that Burress is constantly double-teamed either. He has not scored a TD in his last three games.

WR Kevin Curtis - STL

Holt and Bruce are back which means less targets going forward.

WR Ike Hilliard - TB

Hilliard had a shot to impress with Michael Clayton sitting out, but the veteran was out-produced by Edell Shepherd.

WR Bryant Johnson - ARI

Johnson suffered a shoulder injury last week in practice. There is no word on his availability for week 11.

WR Joe Jurevicius - SEA

Jurevicius’ production has waned since Bobby Engram got back on the field. Darrell Jackson is expected to return soon, so that will make Jurevicius even less appealing.

WR Jerry Porter - OAK

Randy Moss is healing up, so Porter can be expected to resume his role as “also ran” WR.

WR Ernest Wilford - JAX

He injured his shoulder against the Ravens, and Matt Jones had his best game of the season. There isn’t enough offense in Jacksonville for Wilford to be a consistent threat.

WR Mike Williams - DET

He was getting playing time because everyone was injured. Roy Williams and Charles Rogers are now healthy again.

TE Courtney Anderson - OAK

Over the last three weeks he has just 44 yards on three catches.

PK Rian Lindell - BUF

It is OK for a kicker to miss an occasional FG in the wind, but multiple misses closer than 35 yards is inexcusable.

TD Arizona Cardinals - ARI

When a Joey Harrington and a one-legged Roy Williams light you up, you aren’t a good defense.

TD Atlanta Falcons - ATL

In their last 3 games they have recorded just 1 sack, no fumble recoveries and only 2 interceptions.

TD New England Patriots - NE

Over the last three weeks, the patriots have given up 1284 yards, 72 points while recording just 2 sacks.

TD Washington Redskins - WAS

They have been torched for 82 points in their last 3 games.




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