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Week 13 Upgrades/Downgrades


Upgrades

QB Aaron Brooks - NO

Brooks has 524 yards and five TDs in his last two games. He is playing well now that his WRs are healthy and the Saints ground game is struggling.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - STL

What a huge game (310 yards and three TDs) for the rookie in relief. Fitzpatrick hasn’t been named the starter for week 13, but it would be surprising to see the Rams go back to the pedestrian Martin.

QB David Garrard - JAX

He will take over for the injured Byron Leftwich (who suffered a broken ankle against the Cardinals).

QB Trent Green - KC

This offense is clicking on all cylinders. All-Pro tackle Willie Roaf is back in the game which opens up huge holes in the running game. This in turn makes defenses commit another player in the box, while KC is able to send Tony Gonzalez into coverage more often. It all translates to a lot more opportunities in the passing game for Trent Green. He had 323 passing yards yesterday and should stay at a high level the rest of the way.

QB Matt Hasselbeck - SEA

Hasselbeck has been merely average lately, but he has a nice schedule over the next three weeks (Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Tennessee).

QB Eli Manning - NYG

Except for the INTs (five in his last three games), Manning has been excellent lately – 853 yards and six TDs over the last three weeks.

QB Michael Vick - ATL

He's riding a nice stretch of games. Over the last 3 weeks, he has passed for 6 TDs and run another in. He also has accumulated 661 passing yards and 98 rushing yards.

QB Kurt Warner - ARI

Warner continues to throw up huge yardage numbers (959 yards in his last three games) and is also tossing TDs (six in three weeks). He has the 49ers next, so expect more of the same.

RB Tiki Barber - NYG

Barber has been rolling up huge chunks of yardage lately. In his last three games, he has gained 518 total yards (358 rushing and 160 passing). If he would just score more TDs, he’d be listed up with LaDainian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander.

RB Corey Dillon - NE

Dillon sat out against the Chiefs in order to heal up. He should return this week and will face three good matchups in his next four games (the Jets twice and the Bills once). If he’s healthy, he should produce good numbers in the coming weeks.

RB DeShaun Foster - CAR

He is clearly the focal point of the running game right now in Carolina.

RB Samkon Gado - GB

This isn’t a hearty upgrade, but Gado is the best rushing threat in Green Bay. Gado had good stats against the Eagles – 111 yards and a TD, but he did lose another fumble in the third quarter. Of course Tony Fisher later fumbled (but the Packers recovered it), so who knows what kind of impact Gado’s slippery hands will have.

RB Rudi Johnson - CIN

Johnson has been huge lately (190 yards and four TDs in his last two games). His fantasy playoff schedule (weeks 15 & 16) is very nice as well – Detroit and Buffalo have been relatively easy on opposing RBs.

RB Kevin Jones - DET

The Steve Mariucci firing has to be good news for Kevin Jones. Surely any new coach would give him more than four carries in a game.

RB Lamont Jordan - OAK

He quietly had 148 combined yards and 2 TDs on Sunday. He is playing at an exceptionally high level right now.

RB Jamal Lewis - BAL

We’re not ready to say Lewis is back, but after his 149 total yards and a TD, it’s nice to know he’s not dead.

RB Fred Taylor - JAX

The Jaguars held out Taylor in week 12 so that he could be strong down the stretch. With David Garrard at QB, we expect the Jacksonville to run a lot in the coming weeks. And with games against Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston and Tennessee, Taylor could be as strong as anyone in the fantasy playoffs.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson - SD

We find it hard to argue with Marty Schottenheimer.

RB Brian Westbrook - PHI

With Donovan McNabb sidelined, the Eagles are relying even more upon Westbrook. He gashed the Packers for 117 rushing yards and a TD.

RB Ricky Williams - MIA

Every week the Dolphins seem to be using Ricky a little more. This week he had 95 combined yards and a score on 18 touches. Some starters don't see 18 touches.

WR Arnaz Battle - SF

Battle seems to be healthy again and caught seven balls for 75 yards and a TD against the Titans.

WR Anquan Boldin - ARI

He had a whopping 16 targets on Sunday. That's all you need to know. The injuries are clearly behind him.

WR Isaac Bruce - STL

Bruce caught four passes for 94 yards in week 12 and looks to be getting back into the flow of things.

WR Plaxico Burress - NYG

The entire Giants offense is clicking right now. Burress was held out of the end zone, but he did surpass the 100-yard mark again (six catches for 109 yards).

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - CIN

In his last two games, Houshmandzadeh has 14 catches for 194 yards and a TD. Those are top ten numbers.

WR Andre Johnson - HOU

He had an impressive 12 catches for 159 yards and a TD. The Houston offense is playing their best football of the year right now. Their offense line is still very soft, but David Carr is getting the ball out quick enough to avoid the sacks. The Texans still have Tennessee and Arizona to play so he should remain hot through the fantasy playoffs.

WR Eric Parker - SD

Parker is playing very well right now. In his last two games, he has caught 11 balls for 167 yards and a TD.

WR Samie Parker - KC

Finally healthy again, Parker turned in a nice day against the Patriots and caught five passes for 76 yards. That’s not much, but the Chiefs offense is playing well right now which makes Parker a decent pickup if you need a WR.

WR Marcus Robinson - MIN

Robinson had three TDs on three catches. He's probably not even the most talented WR named Robinson in Minnesota, but that’s the definition of “red zone target”.

WR Amani Toomer - NYG

Toomer is on fire right now. Over his last three games, he has caught 18 balls for 179 yards and three TDs.

TE Alge Crumpler - ATL

He remains Atlanta's best receiver. The development of the younger receivers and the improved execution by Michael Vick only helps Alge Crumpler going forward. He no longer is double covered on every play. He had 104 yards and 2 TDs on Thursday and was a big reason Atlanta rolled. He was targeted on 11 pass attempts.

TE Todd Heap - BAL

In his last three games, Heap has 15 catches for 174 yards and a pair of TDs. Even better for Heap owners is his schedule for week 15 (Green Bay) and week 16 (Minnesota).

TE Zachary Hilton - NO

Hilton is playing well in place of the injured Ernie Conwell. With Conwell expected to be out for a couple more weeks, Hilton should continue to be a nice play.

TE Erron Kinney - TEN

He continues to get a lot of looks. For the season he has 68 targets (more than 5 a week). Norm Chow loves to involve his tight ends in his quick passing attack. Ben Troupe is likely the future at the position, but we expect both Kinney and Troupe to produce down the stretch.

TE Jeremy Shockey - NYG

Shockey had a huge game (ten catches for 127 yards and a TD) against the Seahawks.

TE Jason Witten - DAL

Against a very tough Denver defense, Witten was a monster on Thursday. He finished with 9 catches for 82 yards and a TD.

PK Shayne Graham - CIN

In his last two games, Graham has scored 23 points and hasn’t missed a single PAT or FG.

PK Todd Peterson - ATL

The Atlanta offense is rolling right now so we expect Peterson to see more action going forward. He has no misses over the last 3 weeks.

PK Lawrence Tynes - KC

Tynes tied a league record with four FGs in a single quarter against the Patriots, and the Chiefs offense is rolling right now. What better situation could a PK ask for?

PK Adam Vinatieri - NE

If there was ever a time for the Patriots in general and Vinatieri in particular to crank up the scoring, it is now. He will face the Jets (twice), Bills, Buccaneers, and Dolphins to close out the season.

PK Jeff Wilkins - STL

He has 7 FGs and 6 EPs with no misses in his last 3 games.

TD Chicago Bears - CHI

The Bears have allowed 22 total points, forced five turnovers, and accumulated 12 sacks in the last three weeks.

TD Denver Broncos - DEN

This unit is on fire right now. They have allowed only 38 points, forced ten turnovers, gotten nine sacks, and scored two TDs in their last three games.

TD Jacksonville Jaguars - JAX

The Jaguars have been solid most of the year. In the last three weeks, they have forced six turnovers, gotten 10 sacks, and scored a TD.

TD Minnesota Vikings - MIN

This group has really come together lately. In their last three games, the Vikings have forced 12 turnovers, sacked the QB nine times, and scored two return TDs.


Downgrades

QB Jake Delhomme - CAR

Delhomme and the Panthers offense have struggled in recent weeks (545 yards, two TDs, and four INTs in his last three games). Those struggles should continue as Carolina closes with teams that have been tough on QBs (Atlanta twice, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and Dallas).

QB Brett Favre - GB

Favre has been merely average lately (650 yards, four TDs, and five INTs in his last three games). His next four games are against a tough stretch of opponents (Chicago twice, Detroit, and Baltimore).

QB Byron Leftwich - JAX

He will miss at least a month with a broken ankle.

QB Jamie Martin - STL

Martin suffered blurred vision after being knocked out of the Houston game. Even if he is healthy enough to play this week, Ryan Fitzpatrick played so well in relief that it would be a surprise to see Martin back under center against the Redskins.

QB Josh McCown - ARI

Kurt Warner is cruising, so McCown only has value in case of an injury.

QB Mike McMahon - PHI

Wow what a difference a week makes. Coming off a solid outing, we loved his matchup against a soft Green Bay secondary and he laid an egg. He completed just 12 of 28 passes for 98 yards. He also rushed for just 29 yards. Until we see otherwise, he won't crack our top 15 QB rankings the rest of the year.

QB Jake Plummer - DEN

The Broncos are very much a running team, so Plummer doesn’t do much through the air – 592 yards and two TDs in his last three games.

QB Chris Simms - TB

His fumble was probably the #1 reason the Bucs lost on Sunday. He managed the game OK the rest of the way but still did not score. He is too inconsistent to be in your lineup at this point.

RB Ronnie Brown - MIA

The RBBC game plan just won't go away for Ronnie Brown to be a viable fantasy option. This week Ricky Williams rolled. Brown scored, but managed just 58 rushing yards on 15 carries.

RB Stephen Davis - CAR

DeShaun Foster is getting more touches. Davis has only 109 yards and a single TD in his last three games.

RB Julius Jones - DAL

It’s bad enough that Jones has to share a few carries with Marion Barber III, but his upcoming schedule (NY Giants, Kansas City, Washington, and Carolina) is very tough on RBs.

RB Willis McGahee - BUF

McGahee has been quite average this season.

RB Michael Pittman - TB

With Cadillac Williams back in form and Mike Alstott taking the TDs, there is very little left over for Pittman.

WR Kevin Curtis - STL

The game-winning TD was great, but that was Curtis’ only catch on the day. With Isaac Bruce back, there isn’t much available for Curtis to be a consistent fantasy WR.

WR Brandon Jones - TEN

He keeps getting dinged.

WR Randy Moss - OAK

Norv Turner stated he would get Moss more involved. I guess that was coachspeak for I plan to use Lamont Jordan a lot in this game. Over the last 3 weeks, Randy Moss ranks as the 44th best WR (7.2 fantasy points per game).

WR Ernest Wilford - JAX

Byron Leftwich's injury likely will translate to less passing and more running for the Jaguars. Expect the hot Ernest Wilford to cool down considerably.

WR Troy Williamson - MIN

He is the #5 WR on mediocre offense.

TE Bubba Franks - GB

Franks was carted off the field after a hard hit in the second quarter against the Eagles. He had movement in his extremities but was taken to the hospital with tingling in his shoulders. Even if he is fine physically, his schedule over the next four weeks (Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and Chicago again) is rough on TEs.

TE Jermaine Wiggins - MIN

Wiggins has been decent lately, but he gets the downgrade because his schedule (Detroit, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Chicago) to close the season is very tough on TEs.

PK Paul Edinger - MIN

Edinger has made only four of his last seven FG attempts.

PK Jay Feely - NYG

Feely has missed four FGs in the last three weeks (including three in three potential game-winners against Seattle).

PK Joe Nedney - SF

Nedney has an injured groin and was unable to kick Sunday. His status for week 13 and beyond is not fully known.

TD Detroit Lions - DET

The Lions have only a single sack in the last three weeks.




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