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Week 6 Upgrades/Downgrades


Upgrades

QB Drew Bledsoe - DAL

Against a solid Philadelphia defense, he burned them at will yesterday. He is playing at a very high level.

QB Tom Brady - NE

The defense isn't what it used to be. We see Brady getting into many more shootouts.

QB Mark Brunell - WAS

Did he find the fountain of youth? He looks very sharp playing in Gibbs' offense. Unless injured, we do not see Patrick Ramsey getting this job back.

QB Matt Hasselbeck - SEA

The fact that he could lose his top two receivers and still play well bodes well for him to play at a high level the rest of the year. He won't always face the weak St. Louis secondary, but he looks relaxed in this offense.

QB Kelly Holcomb - BUF

The Bills showed a lot more life with him behind center.

QB Josh McCown - ARI

That's two weeks in a row now that he has aired it out. Without much of a running game in Arizona, we look for McCown to get lots of opportunity throwing the ball. Unless he falls off a cliff in his next few outings, it is hard to imagine Warner taking the starting job back right now.

QB Steve McNair - TEN

This team is starting to show offensive life. The fact he ran in a TD is just a bonus.

QB Matt Schaub - ATL

He looked very good in relief of Michael Vick. Vick, based on his style of play, is always an injury risk. If you have room on your bench, Schaub is somebody worth stashing away.

QB Vinny Testaverde - NYJ

His stats weren't that great, but the Jets won. He still can throw the long ball and that alone will open up the running attack. Testaverde is light years better than Brooks Bollinger.

RB Shaun Alexander - SEA

The Seahawks have lost their top two WRs so they are likely to involve Shaun even more. He also should catch more passes going forward.

RB J.J. Arrington - ARI

It is no secret that Denny Green would love Shipp to fail and for JJ to be the ball-carrier. JJ is improving each week and should be the starter there soon.

RB Tatum Bell - DEN

It has taken him five weeks, but he finally had his breakout game. This might still be RBBC for a bit, but Tatum Bell's game-breaking ability should eventually get him the starting nod in Denver.

RB Cedric Benson - CHI

He has not looked that sharp, but could be thrust into the starting role if Jones injury is serious.

RB Ronnie Brown - MIA

He is playing well enough to keep his starting job. Once feared the running game would yield to Ricky Williams, this now looks less likely with a few solid outings from Brown.

RB Domanick Davis - HOU

He is the only bright spot on a horrible Houston offense.

RB Tony Fisher - GB

He is now the backup for Ahman Green.

RB Cedric Houston - NYJ

He takes over for Derrick Blaylock's role and will back up Curtis Martin.

RB Steven Jackson - STL

He ran with power yesterday and was also very involved in the passing game. Marshall Faulk looks to be an after thought with a healthy Stephen Jackson on the roster. Jackson gets a small additional bump with the absence of HC Mike Martz. As exciting as Martz is, he can kill the fantasy value of a RB.

RB Edgerrin James - IND

He is a must start every week. Peyton Manning has been up and down (mostly down), but James has been productive each and every game. The Colts defense has them playing with leads in the fourth quarter, so we see a lot of opportunities for Edge going forward.

RB Kevin Jones - DET

His easy games are still a ways off (and we would like to see him finish the game on the field), but he showed determined running against the stingy Raven rush defense. He played with attitude yesterday and should be able to build on the two scores.

RB Jamal Lewis - BAL

He finally got the wheels going. He looks to be in a lot better shape now and should improve upon his horrible start.

RB Curtis Martin - NYJ

He did not have a huge game, but ran tough when it counted scoring two TDs. Backup RB Derrick Blaylock is lost for the year, so Martin will be expected to carry the load.

RB Patrick Pass - NE

He takes over Kevin Faulk's role going forward. He will catch a few passes each week so has some value in PPR leagues.

RB Alvin Pearman - JAX

He backs up Fred Taylor and looked very sharp in limited carries against the Bengals. All he needs is the opportunity.

RB Dominic Rhodes - IND

He is finally healthy and backing up Edgerrin James. He looks like he will again vulture some TDs near the goal line.

RB Antowain Smith - NO

Deuce McAllister is gone for the year. He is now the starting RB in New Orleans.

RB Aaron Stecker - NO

He will back up Antowain Smith and play on third downs.

RB Fred Taylor - JAX

He showed how dominating he could be this week against a solid Cincinnati defense. He had a huge week and it could have been even more had a few of his longer runs not been called back due to penalty.

WR Drew Bennett - TEN

He finally showed up so we are mentioning him. The emergence of Ben Troupe should also open things up more for Drew Bennett (who has been double covered often).

WR Anquan Boldin - ARI

The Cardinal's air attack is on fire right now. Boldin is getting open with ease.

WR Deion Branch - NE

Brady usually looks to Deion when he needs a big play. He is a must start every week.

WR Antonio Bryant - CLE

Braylon Edwards looks like he is going to miss significant time. This catapults Antonio Bryant to the team's #1 WR going forward.

WR Laveranues Coles - NYJ

Vinny went to what he knew when he last started for the Jets. Throw the ball to Coles and watch him succeed.

WR Lee Evans - BUF

J.P. Losman had reduced his value to worthless. Holcomb should prop him back to respectable.

WR Robert Ferguson - GB

The Packers are hurting at RB and have OL woes. They also have a weak defense. Despite their huge win this week, we expect that the Packers will be playing from behind in many contests. Brett Favre will look to Donald Driver first, but Ferguson should also be a quality start most weeks.

WR Larry Fitzgerald - ARI

He shreds single coverage at will and will face that often as team's double Boldin.

WR Joey Galloway - TB

Michael Clayton has a separated shoulder and looks to be about 30%. This means Galloway is the only legitimate WR threat on this team. We expect his production to stay hot.

WR Terry Glenn - DAL

He caught two bombs this past week and is definitely the deep threat on this team. The Dallas OL is giving Bledsoe a lot of time to throw so these passes look like they will continue.

WR D.J. Hackett - SEA

It’s not often you vault from #4 on the depth chart to a starter, but Hackett did just that this week. And he looked pretty good out there. If you are desperate at WR through the byes, he could be just the player you need.

WR Chris Henry - CIN

This rookie is filling in for the injured TJ Houshmandzadeh, but it's hard not to get excited about his skill set. When TJ returns, he will likely move back to WR3, but still will be used a lot in the Bengals pass attack. He has improved every week. He could be a year away from being a huge star.

WR Joe Jurevicius - SEA

He catapults to the team's #1 WR due to the injuries of Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram.

WR Eric Moulds - BUF

His value increase with Holcomb throwing the ball.

WR Steve Smith - CAR

This guy is on a mission. He does not have the name recognition of an Owens or Moss, but is likely as deadly. He seems to make at least one big play every week.

TE Chris Cooley - WAS

We told you last week the team was moving him around more to get certain matchups. This week he delivered big. He has become a great option at TE each week.

TE Daniel Graham - NE

Just when Graham was left for the dead, he emerges with a huge game. The Patriots use a lot of double TE formations so he and Watson will have big games like this going forward. Trying to predict when though might be difficult.

TE Aaron Shea - CLE

Aaron Shea lost the starting role due to injury and Steve Heiden performed well in the first few weeks of the season. Shea is back now and had a big game yesterday. He should be the Cleveland TE to own going forward.

TE Alex Smith - TB

The rookie tight end is getting more involved in the passing game due to Michael Clayton's injured shoulder.

TE Jerramy Stevens - SEA

The Seahawks lost Jackson and Engram so Stevens is the most logical piece to see a lot more action. He showed that this week and we expect that to be the norm going forward.

TE Ben Troupe - TEN

He have been hyping him all summer because of the mismatches he can create. Steve McNair loves what this guy brings, and we all saw it this week. We are calling it right now. By next year's fantasy drafts, Ben Troupe will be on everyone's radar. He has unbelievable skills and should be more involved going forward.

TE Jason Witten - DAL

He played well this week. With an offensive line looking pretty good, Witten is running more and more routes. He should rebound nicely from his slow start this season.

PK Matt Bryant - TB

Just like Martin Gramatica before him, Bryant will get opportunities in this offense.

PK Jose Cortez - DAL

Dallas is moving the ball well which means opportunities for Cortez.

PK Josh Scobee - JAX

He was booming kicks yesterday. The coach and the players believe in him too. He will get a lot of opportunities playing for Jacksonville.

TD Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TB

This unit looks like it will stifle offenses all year long.

TD Dallas Cowboys - DAL

They knocked Philadelphia out all day long. Their pass rush is improving which is scary. This is definitely a defense on the rise.

TD Jacksonville Jaguars - JAX

This defense is both good and has an excellent rest-of-the-way schedule. After their week seven bye, the only quality offenses left are Indianapolis (which didn’t turn out too bad for the Jaguars in week two) and possibly Arizona (depends on your definition of “quality”). The struggling offenses remaining on the schedule include Houston (twice), Baltimore, and San Francisco.


Downgrades

QB Aaron Brooks - NO

This guy looked really awful this past week. The Packers had yielded at least two TDs to every QB they had faced so far this season, but Brooks could not get anything going against this same unit. After five games, he has just two TDs. It is time to sit him until he has a solid outing.

QB Marc Bulger - STL

The only caution here is the absence of pass-happy HC Mike Martz. Still, the Rams will need to score a ton of points to compensate for such a pitiful defense.

QB Joey Harrington - DET

He played a tough defense, but still is mostly just horrible. His 10 for 23 for 97 yards and 2 interceptions are not going to win you any fantasy games. His time as starter likely corresponds to the days before Jeff Garcia can play. Right now Jeff in a walking boot might be a better option.

QB J.P. Losman - BUF

Unless your league awards points for carrying the clipboard and shaggy hair, we don't see Losman’s value increasing anytime soon.

QB Peyton Manning - IND

Tony Dungy has officially ruined Peyton's fantasy value this year. He has done that because the Colts have the dominate defense in the league right now. They no longer play from behind and it has greatly affected Manning's numbers. He should have shredded the SF secondary, yet it is just as easy to hand the rock to Edgerrin James and let him carry the load. Tom Brady now has the suspect defense and his passing stats are through the roof. Manning is still an exceptional QB and leader, but his fantasy value isn't close to what it was last year.

QB Donovan McNabb - PHI

He looked like he could play through the nagging injuries until this week. This week he looked immobile and rattled by a good Dallas pass rush. The NFL is a copy-cat league so expect everyone to play the Eagles like this. McNabb is falling fast here. He still could have big weeks going forward, but to us he looks like he has reached his ceiling and if he moves anywhere, it will be crashing downward.

QB Jake Plummer - DEN

We expected so much more from Plummer this year. With an improved defense, the Broncos are managing games with a solid running attack and controlled passing. All told it is killing Plummer's fantasy value.

QB Ben Roethlisberger - PIT

There are a couple of things working against Roethlisberger. First, with Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, and Duce Staley all healthy, the Steelers will likely be content to pound opponents on the ground and win with running and defense. Second, the remainder of the schedule is not rosy at all for a QB. Between now and week 16, most of Pittsburgh’s opponents have held QBs in check.

QB Michael Vick - ATL

He simply can't stay healthy. The fact that Schaub looked sharp against the defending champions could have Vick missing more time too.

QB Kurt Warner - ARI

McCown's solid play is wrestling the starting job away from Warner. They say you can't lose the starting job to injury. Well we think Warner just did.

RB Mike Anderson - DEN

He is now involved in a RBBC situation at best. But with Tatum Bell having a great game in relief and Anderson only getting 34 yards on 11 carries, we think Anderson could easily plummet significantly soon. This next week could likely tell the story if Bell's and Anderson's roles get reversed going forward.

RB Derrick Blaylock - NYJ

He has a broken foot and is gone for the year.

RB Najeh Davenport - GB

He has a broken ankle and is lost for the year.

RB Stephen Davis - CAR

The Panthers seem committed to using DeShaun Foster more. This is now a full blown RBBC situation. Davis will still likely get the goal line carries, but his value has dropped from opening day.

RB Marshall Faulk - STL

Steven Jackson is playing at a very high level meaning Faulk will likely see little action unless Jackson gets hurt.

RB Frank Gore - SF

He still looks good, but Barlow did too this week. We don't see Gore passing Barlow on the depth chart in the near future.

RB Julius Jones - DAL

He left the game with an injured ankle. He is playing at a high level though so if the ankle turns out OK, he would not merit a downgrade.

RB Thomas Jones - CHI

He heard a pop and is scheduled for an MRI today. He was playing great, but Jones gets the downgrade on the injury fears.

RB Deuce McAllister - NO

He has a torn ACL and is lost for the year.

RB Marcel Shipp - ARI

Shipp had 13 carries for 22 yards, and for whatever reason Denny Green has never liked him. We see a change to JJ Arrington coming soon.

RB Anthony Thomas - DAL

He had only four carries for five yards in relief - this after Julius Jones goes down with an ankle injury. We think he could get cut soon.

RB Brian Westbrook - PHI

McNabb's mobility is putting the Eagles in a hole. When behind the Eagles rarely run the ball. Westbrook is still a playmaker, but his stock has dropped from two weeks ago.

RB Cadillac Williams - TB

He did not play this week. Michael Pittman was involved a lot and had another decent outing. Williams is still the unquestioned starter when healthy, but we expect to see the workload decreased from the ridiculous levels he started out at.

RB Ricky Williams - MIA

He gets the downgrade because Ronnie Brown is playing well. He returns to the team this week but will likely be eased into action because of Ronnie Brown's solid play.

WR Isaac Bruce - STL

He is still not playing while Kevin Curtis has looked very good. Now that Martz has stepped away, the new coach would likely have a more balanced attack (more runs / less passes).

WR Michael Clayton - TB

He has a separated shoulder which limits his ability to raise his hands to catch a ball. Hmmmm....see anything wrong here? We see the team sitting Clayton soon because despite his toughness he simply can’t compete with this injury right now.

WR Braylon Edwards - CLE

He missed the game, and the team is hinting that he could miss another 6-8 weeks.

WR Marvin Harrison - IND

No more shootouts. He still draws the double teams too, so Peyton has no reason to try and get him the ball. The Colts play solid defense and run now.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - CIN

He is still a talented player, but is injured right now. Worse is the fact that Chris Henry looks better every week. We expect Houshmandzadeh to be the #2 WR when healthy again, but also expect Chris Henry to get more targets and redzone looks.

WR Andre Johnson - HOU

Now he is hurt. This offense is horrible. The offensive line can't block anyone so Carr is always on his back. Just cut your losses now. He is a total bust. In fact everyone except Domanick Davis is a total bust on this team.

WR Brandon Jones - TEN

Many expected this to be his breakout game against Houston. He is improving but managed just 3 catches for 21 yards. We now think it's going to take some more seasoning before he is much of a fantasy force.

WR Brandon Lloyd - SF

Alex Smith is horrible right now. Lloyd's numbers are going to suffer.

WR Muhsin Muhammad - CHI

Kyle Orton simply can't get him the ball enough for him to be effective.

WR Rod Smith - DEN

He is receiver #1, but that does not mean much these days. He managed just 2 catches for 23 yards this week.

WR Donte Stallworth - NO

Horn did not play, and Stallworth still disappeared. He has become the definition of not dependable.

WR Mike Williams - DET

The offense line is horrible and Joey Harrington can't get the ball out quick enough for the receivers to make plays.

WR Roy Williams - DET

It is time to give up on this passing offense. Williams is skilled beyond words as a player, but he can't throw the ball to himself.

TE Chris Baker - NYJ

Doug Jolley finally showed up and out-produced Baker. Additionally Testaverde has more arm strength than Chad Pennington so look for an increase in WR production with Vinny in the mix.

TE Steve Heiden - CLE

Aaron Shea is back and is likely to be the better Cleveland TE going forward.

TE Erron Kinney - TEN

You can just feel it coming...the emergence of Ben Troupe. The team has used Kinney a lot to date, but we think that will change as Troupe shows his skills more and more each week.

PK Jason Hanson - DET

With Harrington throwing for 100 yards and a few picks each week and teams loading up to stop Kevin Jones, there simply are not FG chances each week. Gus the kicking mule would have trouble scoring on this offense.

PK Matt Stover - BAL

This offense is bad. You have to be able to get some first downs to kick field goals.

TD Baltimore Ravens - BAL

Despite a ton of star players on defense, this team makes zero plays every week. No sacks. No fumble recoveries. No interceptions. Part of the problem is they are always on the field as the offense is horrible. This past week they were in the refs face and got flagged every other play. Bottom line is this defense is not very good right now. They have the players to turn the corner, but need to show up before we rank them high again soon.




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