by Dan "Snake" Watson
Hello again, Fantasy Football fans! We’re already at Week 4 of this column in Cleary’s Notebook. Here’s hoping that everyone is at 3-0 heading into this week. I am 3-0 in one of my leagues and 2-1 in the other. Here are my recommendations this week.
Michael Vick is making a name for himself. This time around, in a good way. He has the best passer rating in the league, 750 passing yds, 6 TDs and no turnovers. He also leads the league in rushing yardage at his quarterback position. This week, Vick is motivated by his opponent, Washington Redskins new home of Donovan McNabb. This is a great match up against a bad pass defense and Vick should do quite well in this situation.
Donovan McNabb is equally motivated as he revisits the town that he called home for 11 seasons. He will be facing a strong secondary that he knows quite well. Look for McNabb to exploit match ups this week and turn this game into a shootout. Carson Palmer has a chance to regain footing this week against a Cleveland team that he has exploited in past season. In his last 5 games vs. the Browns, he has averaged 270 yds passing, 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. If he does the same as Baltimore did vs. the Browns last week, it should prove to be a big day for Ochocinco and Owens.
Matt Ryan should take an Francisco apart this weekend. They stink against the pass
Henne had a career game albeit a losing effort, vs. the Jets. Maybe I should have kept him. This week, Henne faces New England whose secondary have allowed multiple touchdowns in each game this year. The hook up between Henne and Brandon Marshall should be good for multiple tds this week. Glad I still have Marshall.
I don’t like Vince Young vs Denver, Alex Smith at Atlanta, Joe Flacco at Pittsburgh, Derek Anderson at San Diego. They all have horrible matchups. I also do not recommend either Matt Schaub or Mark Sanchez. The running game will prevail here as both Oakland and Buffalo are lousy vs. he run but better against the pass. Running backs Ronnie Brown.
Good news and bad news. Good is that Brown averages 5.6 yds per carry this year, bad is that he only has 37 carries. New England has allowed 100 yd rushing games to Cedric Benson and C.J. Spiller this year. With Ricky Williams fumbling the ball, Brown should get more carries. Please keep in mind that, as mentioned earlier, Miami could take to the air quickly if they fall behind and that the Pats are bad vs. the pass.
Joseph Addai has a good history vs. Jacksonville having had great games the past 5 contests. He should fare well in this contest as Jacksonville is still lousy vs. the run. He had a knee injury last week but that seems to be fine now. Discounting last week, Addai is averaging 4.5 yds per carry on 30 carries. Not bad stats Peyton Hillis. Looks like it’s time to stop ignoring the fact that he’s on the Browns. I think he can be started with confidence vs. the Bengals. Last week he had 144 yds rushing and 7 catches for another 36 yds vs. the Ravens. He also had his third TD of the season. I’m thinking if you can run against the Ravens, you should be able to handle most other teams. Get him in the lineup.
Justin Forsett has finally taken over the starting duties in Seattle and they are at St, Louis this week. Last year, he was a star with 22 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He’s worth starting in all leagues. Neither Julius Jones nor Leon Washington should be factors here. BenJarvus Green-Ellis seems to be leading the Patriots as their primary rusher. He played against Buffalo last week with 16 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins are not doing too well vs. rushing this year and Green-Ellis should take advantage of this. I’m not a big fan of Tim Hightower at San Diego, Clinton Portis at Philadelphia, C.J. Spiller vs New York Jets, Jahvid Best at Green Bay, or Correll Buckhalter at Tennessee. All the teams being faced here have had good success vs. the run.
Wide receivers Ochocinco and Owens are both recommended as starters this week at Cleveland. Last week Cleveland allowed 3 TDs to Anquan Bodin and these guys should fair well this week. Owens especially is due for a huge game as he has 14 catches for 152 yads this year and has yet to score Donald Driver owns Detroit. In 5 games he has had 37 catches, 559 yds and 3 TDs. The Lions are once again struggling in pass defense. Driver has two touchdowns this season, and there's a good chance the third one is coming in this matchup.
Steve Smith(NYG) faces the Bears at home this week. Chicago is ranked 28th vs. the pass and Smith should exploit this mismatch. He had a great game vs. Tennessee last week with 9 catches for 103 yds. Eli Manning should seek Smith out again and Smith should end up in the end zone at least once. Jeremy Maclin has 4 tds his year based on the double coverage that DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek receive. Vick is finding him often and this week vs Washington should be no exception as the redskins are horrible vs. the pass.
I don’t like Demaryius Thomas at Tennessee, Derrick Mason at Pittsburgh, Steve Smith (CAR) at New Oeleans, Hines Ward vs Baltimore or Michael Crabtree at Atlanta. None of these matchups favor the receiver. Tight ends Zach Miller is home vs. Houston this week and the Texans have given up solid games to all opponents so far this year. Dallas Clark, Chris Cooley and Jason Witten all had solid games vs. Houston and there’s no reason to believe that Miller will not continue this trend.
Dustin Keller has 13 catches for 213 yds this year and he has 3 tds in his past two games. He should find the end zone this week at Buffalo as the Bills are pretty bad vs. opposing Tight Ends. Keller is playing very well this year and deserves to be in your starting lineup. Aaron Hernandez is at Miami this week and is a solid option at tight end. My only problem with Aaron is that he is losing end zone receptions to the bigger Gronkowski. He is however, a great bye week replacement.
I don’t like the matchups for Mercedes Lewis vs. Indianapolis, Todd Heap ay Pittsburgh, Heath Miller vs. Baltimore, or Brent Celek vs. Washington Defense/Special teams Atlanta Falcons have the 49ers this week. San Francisco has done an about face on the league this year and they stink at every level. Atlanta has 7 sacks this year and they will get t Alex Smith who is, once again, fearful for his job. San Diego hosts Arizona, Indianapolis at Jacksonville and Cincinnati at Cleveland are all favorable matchups.
I don’t like New England at Miami this week. New England is giving up too many secondary points this year and at the moment, the Dolphins seem comfortable enough with their passing game to exploit that weakness. Kicker Mike Nugent is the new kicker for Cincy and he should do well vs. Cleveland. Nugent has 8 field goals, two of the 50 yd variety and no missed kicks this year. I also like Jeff Reed vs. Baltimore, Matt Bryant vs. San Francisco and Dan Carpenter vs. New England.
That’s all for this week folks. Please remember that the BYE weeks begin this week and carry on until week 10. This week Minnesota, Dallas, Kansas City and Tampa Bay are not on the schedule. Make sure your lineups are adjusted and Peterson, Austin, Cassel and Cadillac are out of the starting lineups. Looking for more of your comments in the weeks to come. I hope to hear any questions or concerns or suggestions to improve this column.