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Week 8 Upgrades/Downgrades


Upgrades

QB Drew Brees - SD

The Eagles shut down LaDainian Tomlinson, but Brees still produced almost 300 yards and a pair of TDs.

QB Mark Brunell - WAS

Yes, he was playing the 49ers, but Brunell is producing very well and showing no signs of slowing down. Over the last 3 games, Brunell has over 900 passing yards and 8 TDs.

QB Jeff Garcia - DET

He probably wasn't 100%, but Garcia provided a spark and a little attitude to the entire Lions team. He should be behind center the rest of the way.

QB Eli Manning - NYG

That was a very good performance (214 yards and two TDs) against a pretty good defense. Manning keeps producing solid fantasy numbers.

RB Mike Anderson - DEN

The old man isn’t ready to move to the wayside and let Tatum Bell take over his job. Anderson was big against the Giants with 120 yards and a TD on 24 carries.

RB Tiki Barber - NYG

Two significant things happened here. He was much more active in the passing game (catching 6 on 7 targets), and he scored from the goal line.

RB Marion Barber III - DAL

The rookie has supplanted Anthony Thomas and is the healthiest RB in Dallas right now. Once Julius Jones returns, Barber should still see a handful of carries each week.

RB Ronnie Brown - MIA

Brown continues to shine while Ricky Williams struggles.

RB Domanick Davis - HOU

Davis had 105 total yards and a TD against the excellent Indianapolis defense. He is the only bright spot on the entire team.

RB Reuben Droughns - CLE

Droughns had 100 yards on only 19 carries against the Lions and is easily the best fantasy option in Cleveland.

RB Tony Fisher - GB

With Ahman Green lost for the season, Fisher becomes the starting RB in Green Bay.

RB Travis Henry - TEN

Henry returns from his NFL suspension this week. It comes at a good time, because Chris Brown has been injured in each of the last 4 games.

RB Steven Jackson - STL

With all of the injuries the Rams are suffering on offense, Jackson is being relied heavily upon, and he responded big Sunday with 116 total yards and a pair of TDs.

RB Kevin Jones - DET

Jones should be aided with improved quarterback play, an easier schedule and his fullback returning. Now if the offensive line can just block better.

RB Thomas Jones - CHI

Ho-hum. Another game, another 139-yard day on the ground from Jones.

RB Lamont Jordan - OAK

Jordan had a career-high 28 carries on Sunday and crossed the goal line three times as he almost single-handedly beat the Buffalo Bills. His 162 total yards were huge as well.

RB Mewelde Moore - MIN

He has 23 targets in his last three games. He finished the day with 105 combined yards and a score.

RB Willie Parker - PIT

Parker looked very good Sunday with his 131 rushing yards and a TD. He might not be consistent, but he’s still the top fantasy back in Pittsburgh.

RB Clinton Portis - WAS

Finally. Sure, he was playing the 49ers, but Portis’ 101 yards and three TDs could give him momentum to explode over the remainder of the season.

WR Marc Boerigter - KC

He saw seven targets this past week.

WR Isaac Bruce - STL

He’s getting closer to returning to the field, and the Rams desperately need him.

WR Nate Burleson - MIN

He wasn't 100%, but Burleson is back on the field. While he was out, no other Vikings WR proved capable of leading this team. Burleson should reassume the role of #1 WR.

WR Plaxico Burress - NYG

He has more than 10 targets in all six of his games. He has risen to elite status. He was less than 100% Sunday but still managed 84 yards and a score.

WR Reche Caldwell - SD

He is finally healthy and looks to have over-taken Eric Parker as the team's #2 WR.

WR Chris Chambers - MIA

He remains active in the passing game. He had 11 targets this week.

WR Antonio Chatman - GB

Robert Ferguson will miss two to four weeks with a knee sprain, so Chatman moves into the starting lineup.

WR Kevin Curtis - STL

He continues to play at a high level. He added 90 yards on 4 catches this week.

WR Donald Driver - GB

Robert Ferguson will miss 2-4 weeks making Driver the clear #1 WR on a team that passes a lot.

WR Braylon Edwards - CLE

He came back much quicker than expected from his infection and was easily the team’s best receiving option. We expect him to be at least a serviceable WR the rest of the way.

WR Bobby Engram - SEA

Last week, HC Mike Holmgren said Engram was expected to return to practice this week. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll play in week eight, but he should be back on the field very soon.

WR Doug Gabriel - OAK

Gabriel looks far more capable than Jerry Porter right now.

WR Az-zahir Hakim - NO

He had six catches for an even 100 yards against the Rams. With Joe Horn perpetually questionable, Hakim might be the best WR in New Orleans right now.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - CIN

After a few weeks of maybe/maybe not, Houshmandzadeh finally did get back to the playing field and led the team in receptions (seven for 75 yards) against the Steelers.

WR Ashley Lelie - DEN

Lelie and Jake Plummer have been out of sync to start the season, but Lelie has caught eight balls for 145 yards over the last two games. It looks like the two are starting to mesh.

WR Santana Moss - WAS

Moss keeps putting up huge numbers week after week. He now has four 100+ yard games (his lowest output of the season is 87 yards) and five TDs for the season.

WR Amani Toomer - NYG

Toomer finally became part of the Giants offense as he caught eight balls for 62 yards and a TD. With Plaxico Burress hogging so much attention, Toomer should be able to produce decent numbers in single coverage.

WR Mike Williams - DET

Lions WRs are dropping like flies. Mike Williams still struggles with his routes, but he is at least healthy.

WR Roydell Williams - TEN

The Titans can't keep their WRs healthy so the rookie should see more action going forward. He caught 5 for 43 yards (on 7 targets).

TE Dallas Clark - IND

They finally used him near the goal line and he scored.

TE Bubba Franks - GB

Franks finally got back on the field Sunday. He didn’t produce much (three catches for 38 yards), but he should increase his numbers once he gets back into the flow. Also, with the loss of Robert Ferguson, Franks could see a few more targets.

TE Tony Gonzalez - KC

Gonzalez still hasn't found the endzone, but he at least became more involved in the Kansas City offense.

TE Todd Heap - BAL

Heap is the only receiver doing much in Baltimore right now. Over the last two games, he has caught 13 balls for 150 yards and a TD. That’s great TE production.

TE Heath Miller - PIT

This kid is becoming a force. Against the Bengals, Miller had six catches for 58 yards and another TD (his third straight game with a score).

TE L.J. Smith - PHI

He caught 6 passes for 63 yards (on an impressive 11 targets). He remains a vital part of the Philadelphia passing attack.

TE Jermaine Wiggins - MIN

He caught 6 passes for 56 yards (on 7 targets). Daunte looks to him when he is in trouble.

PK Paul Edinger - MIN

Not only was he perfect on the day (three FGs and two EPs), he kicked a 56-yarder as the clock expired to give the Vikings a much needed lift. His job is very safe right now.

PK John Hall - WAS

The Redskins are rolling offensively, but Hall has missed out on it while injured. By most accounts, he should be healthy enough to kick in week eight.

PK Lawrence Tynes - KC

The way to tell if a coach has confidence in a kicker is when they attempt long FGs. Tynes hit from 51 and 52 yards against the Dolphins. Obviously, HC Dick Vermeil believes in him. Even better for Tynes is the self-confidence he has from making the two kicks.

TD Detroit Lions - DET

No, the Browns are not an offensive juggernaut, but the Lions defense is playing very well right now (Cleveland had only one scoring drive).


Downgrades

QB David Carr - HOU

It’s not often a QB has only two balls hit the ground and then shows up on the downgrades list. However, Carr only threw nine times Sunday and one of them was caught by a Colt.

QB Trent Dilfer - CLE

His 73 passing yards and three INTs were absolutely dreadful. If Dilfer keeps that up (or the Browns keep losing), there will be no reason not to see what the rookie Charlie Frye can do.

QB Joey Harrington - DET

As long as Jeff Garcia is healthy, Harrington will be on the sidelines.

QB Josh McCown - ARI

That was a terrible showing (140 yards and a TD) against a poor defense in the Titans. McCown’s only saving grace is that the Cardinals won the game.

QB Alex Smith - SF

Simply awful. With Joey Harrington now on the bench, Smith is vying with David Carr for the “Worst Starting QB” award.

RB Kevan Barlow - SF

Barlow tweaked his quadriceps on Sunday and did not return to the game. In his stead, Frank Gore produced very good numbers. While Barlow is expected to be able to play in week eight, Gore showed that he deserves more carries.

RB Tatum Bell - DEN

Mike Anderson isn't going away, so that makes Bell a questionable fantasy play each week.

RB Chris Brown - TEN

Brown was knocked out Sunday’s game with a stinger. Another injury combined with the return of Travis Henry is bad news for Brown.

RB Ahman Green - GB

He suffered a torn quadriceps and is out for the remainder of the season.

RB Julius Jones - DAL

Although Julius Jones is a quality back, don't be surprised to see Marion Barber securing a bigger role going forward.

RB Jamal Lewis - BAL

Another game in the books provides another sub par outing from Lewis. This offense is horrible.

RB Marcel Shipp - ARI

The Cardinals can't run at all. J.J. Arrington gives them the better chance at the homerun though so we expect they will use Shipp less and less.

RB Duce Staley - PIT

If Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis are both healthy, Staley probably won’t even see the field.

RB Anthony Thomas - DAL

Thomas looks like the #4 back in Dallas – not a very productive place to be.

RB Ricky Williams - MIA

He is simply not producing. Gaining negative total yards is absolutely horrible, and he was missing in the passing game as well.

WR Drew Bennett - TEN

He’ll sit at least another week or two recovering from finger surgery.

WR Anquan Boldin - ARI

Zero catches? Elite WRs aren’t held to zero catches.

WR David Boston - MIA

He was inactive again. He is more valuable as shark chum than a fantasy player right now.

WR Reggie Brown - PHI

The rookie has just 10 targets through 6 games. On a team that favors the pass 70/30 that says it all.

WR Robert Ferguson - GB

He’ll miss the next two to four games with a sprained LCL in his left knee.

WR Chris Henry - CIN

With T.J. Houshmandzadeh back, Henry’s playing time will be greatly curtailed.

WR Joe Horn - NO

Horn is really struggling with injuries. We’ll need to see him play 60 minutes again before feeling confident in starting him.

WR Eddie Kennison - KC

He had just four targets in Trent Green's big game.

WR Brandon Lloyd - SF

He remains San Francisco's #1 WR, but Alex Smith isn't good enough right now to get him the ball.

WR Muhsin Muhammad - CHI

The Kyle Orton offensive machine simply doesn’t produce enough through the air for Muhammad to be a quality fantasy WR.

WR Dennis Northcutt - CLE

Braylon Edwards return bumps him out of the starting lineup. He had just 1 target this week.

WR Eric Parker - SD

He has just three targets in his last two games. A healthy Reche Caldwell is limiting Parker's looks.

WR Jerry Porter - OAK

He is getting outplayed by Doug Gabriel.

WR Peerless Price - DAL

The injury to Patrick Crayton bumped Price to WR #3. With just 1 target on Sunday, he is still unplayable.

WR Troy Williamson - MIN

He had just two targets on Sunday. Culpepper is using the TE and RB a lot and Nate Burleson is now healthy so expect less of Williamson going forward.

TE Jeb Putzier - DEN

The Broncos are primarily a running team, and Stephen Alexander is also involved from the TE position. It simply isn’t realistic to expect Putzier to produce good consistent numbers.

PK John Carney - NO

Over the last three weeks he has made just three FGs while missing four.

PK Jose Cortez - DAL

He missed a 29-yard FG and was cut today.

PK Robbie Gould - CHI

The Bears try to win with a conservative offense and great defense. When you miss a 28-yard FG (regardless of the conditions), you’re close to being shown the door.

PK Nick Novak - WAS

It looks like John Hall will be ready to kick in week eight, so Novak could be let go.

TD Baltimore Ravens - BAL

Even though they faced a very non-threatening QB in Kyle Orton, the Ravens still could not stop the Bears offense. Baltimore was especially bad in the fourth quarter as they let Thomas Jones accumulate 83 rushing yards in that final period.




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