As Al Pacino shouted emphatically to Chris O’Donnell’s character Charlie Simms in Scent Of A Woman, “I’M IN THE DARK HERE!!” Basically five days post Hurricane Sandy that would be correct. You don’t realize what you take for granted on a daily basis. Well, I got my dogs on a big makeshift hamster wheel to provide enough power to bang this week’s Historically Speaking article in a timely fashion.
I feel like Ben Franklin putting together the Almanac by candle light. Maybe if I get a freaking kite and a key I can score some power in the process. Ugh.
Ye Olde Historically Speaking For the Fantasy Week of Nine:
We’ll start things with two rock solid outings from the quarterback position, notably New Orleans QB Drew Brees and Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo. Against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 Brees threw for 311 yards
and three touchdowns. In that same year, Romo had almost an identical end result with 311 yards and three touchdown passes. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Broncos QB Peyton Manning has been hot and cold against the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2008 he was lights out, with 14 completions for 277 yards and three touchdowns. In 2010 things went a bit south, as Manning only managed 185 yards and no touchdowns.
Two guys who have to hope history doesn’t repeat itself this weekend would be Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. The last time Big Ben faced the Giants, he threw for 189 yards and a touchdown, but ran the train off the tracks completely with four interceptions. Wow. In a matchup you’d think he would have thrived, Schaub did anything but in 2009 against the Buffalo Bills, throwing for 268 yards, no touchdowns and two picks.
At the running back position, there is no denying that Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson is starting to win back fantasy owners with his resurgent play. However this week against the Chicago Bears it should surprise no one if Johnson fails to perform up to his recent level. Aside from having the league’s best defense against the run, history is not kind to say the least. The last time he faced the Bears, he carried the ball fourteen times for a miserable eight yards and no touchdowns.
On a positive note, Denver Broncos RB Willis McGahee had himself a solid afternoon last season against Cincinnati. He carried the ball 28 times for 101 yards and scored a touchdown. Coming off a stellar performance in Week 8 against the Saints, McGahee will be given every opportunity to continue his fine play. Looking at his last two performances against the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart could be in for another decent day from a fantasy perspective. He has two touchdowns in his last two games and has averaged over 50 yards on the ground. Not spectacular, but if you are using him at the flex position, he’s likely to provide serviceable production.
It is no secret that Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green is establishing himself as one of the league’s premier receivers. Against the Broncos in 2011 he showed everyone why, grabbing 10 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Even though he has left San Diego, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson will look to carry on his stellar history against the Oakland Raiders. In his last six games against the Silver and Black, Jackson has reeled in four touchdown passes and has averaged just below 70 yards receiving. Given his recent play, and the Raiders questionable defensive acumen, Jackson should be in for another solid afternoon.
A few past performances to be aware of – Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall managed to grab only three passes for 34 yards and no touchdowns the last time he faced the Tennessee Titans as a member of the Miami Dolphins. I have a strange suspicion he reverses this downward trend in a hurry this weekend. The last time Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne went up against the aforementioned Miami Dolphins, he put forth a pretty disappointing afternoon. In 2009 he managed only 37 yards receiving and did not find the end zone. Like Marshall, I think Wayne will also find a way make things right this go around.
To wrap things up at wide receiver, I’ll take a look at two guys who didn’t leave anything on the field the last time they faced their week nine opponent. New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston was quite a force against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. He hauled in eight passes for 98 yards and scored two touchdowns. Given the fact that the quarterback play in Denver is decidedly better in 2012 than in 2011, WR Eric Decker owners should be rejoicing in the streets as the Broncos face the Bengals this week. Last season Decker grabbed five passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Now he has the luxury of QB Peyton Manning behind center this season. I’d say that’s pretty scary good.
Regarding the tight ends, you probably know this is arguably one of the most difficult positions to pinpoint production from on a fantasy basis. So I will pass along a few previous performances that may assist you in your weekly decision making.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Brent Celek didn’t catch a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints in 2009, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t effective. He asserted himself as one of the teams most reliable receivers as he grabbed eight passes for 104 yards. In PPR leagues that is over 18 fantasy points and quite a productive day to say the very least.
Due to the fact that he has been in the sights of QB Peyton Manning so much this year, it bears mentioning the last time Denver Broncos TE Joel Dreessen played the Bengals. Of course it was when he was a member of the Houston Texans, but he had an impact with three receptions for 22 yards and that always fantasy-friendly touchdown. A real red zone target, a similar performance is not out of the realm of possibility.
Speaking of the Houston Texans… Current TE Owen Daniels tossed out some real mediocrity the last time he faced the Buffalo Bills with a lone reception for 22 yards and no touchdowns. We’ll continue the futility with Cincinnati Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham. His last performance against the Denver Broncos was forgettable to say the least, with two receptions for just eight yards. That’s eight yards more than you or me, folks.
Finally, I’ll close with a guy who needs all the help he can get. That would be Green Bay Packers TE Jermichael Finley, who has frustrated fantasy owners all season. Well in 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals, there was a bonafide Finley sighting as he caught four passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. Dare to dream, Finley owners!
Have a safe weekend!
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