• Fantasy Frenzy: Vince Young poised for another big game

    Plaxico Burress, center, eludes several Broncos in a recent game for the Jets. Burress found the end zone last week against Buffalo and could do the same Sunday against Washington.
    Plaxico Burress, center, eludes several Broncos in a recent game for the Jets. Burress found the end zone last week against Buffalo and could do the same Sunday against Washington.

    Week 13 of the fantasy season is upon us, and it is getting down to crunch time in the playoff races. Here are a few tips for who to start and who to sit this weekend.

    Start:
    1. Vince Young, Philadelphia Eagles — With Mike Vick injured, Young got his second start of the season last week and played well in a loss to the Patriots, passing for 400 yards and a touchdown — good for 22 points in standard ESPN leagues. Vick is out once again this Thursday, so the Longhorn legend will once again be under center. Expect him to put up top-10 numbers this week against a Seattle defense ranked 20th against the pass.

    2. Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings — Adrian Peterson is a fixture in every fantasy lineup, but unfortunately for his owners, he has been hampered by an ankle sprain of late. This injury gives the opportunity for others to step up though, and former Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart would like to fill that role. Gerhart got his first opportunity last week against Atlanta, and while he didn’t perform well, with only 44 yards on 17 carries, he still managed to have 11 fantasy points, thanks to a touchdown. The Vikings take on Denver this week, and Gerhart is well worth a start in your lineup, as it will be a grind-it-out game with the Broncos, who allow 120 yards on the ground per contest.

    3. Plaxico Burress, New York Jets — Burress has quietly put up an impressive season in his first year back in the league after serving a two-year prison sentence. He has 34 receptions, 479 yards, and seven touchdowns thus far, with many of those catches coming in the red zone. His 6-foot-5 frame makes him a load to contain down there, and the Jets target him often. Expect more of the same this weekend against a Redskins team that loads up to stop the run.

    Sit:

    1. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings — While his teammate Gerhart is a smart play this Sunday, owners should stay away from the rookie quarterback at all costs. Ponder has been off and on all season, with a 54-percent completion percentage and an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions (6). This week Ponder faces Denver, who has had one of the hottest pass defenses in the league the last three weeks, allowing only two touchdowns in that span while causing three turnovers and scoring one touchdown.

    2. Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants — The Giants’ season is essentially on the line this week as they face a date with the undefeated Packers after getting shredded by New Orleans on Monday Night Football. The combo of Jacobs and Bradshaw might not get too many carries, as New York might have to throw a lot to keep up with Green Bay’s high-octane attack.

    Printed on Thursday, December 1, 2011 as: Young poised for big game against Seahawks

  • Fantasy Frenzy: Week 12

    Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown runs through a tackle against the Panthers on Sunday. Brown has been a lone bright spot for the Colts of late, as he rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown this weekend.
    Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown runs through a tackle against the Panthers on Sunday. Brown has been a lone bright spot for the Colts of late, as he rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown this weekend.

    It was a long week of football, with games spanning from Turkey Day to Monday night, so let’s examine who helped and who hurt your fantasy squad during the holidays.

    Hot:

    1. Kyle Orton, Kansas City Chiefs — Orton may not have played this week, but he still manages to be hot, thanks to another terrible start by Tyler Palko, who struggled in second appearance replacing Matt Cassel. Palko threw for only 167 yards and, to make matters worse, tossed three interceptions. Orton — who was waived by Denver and picked up by Kansas City — should benefit from this and will most likely step into the starting role this weekend for the Chiefs to provide a steadying hand.

    2. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts — The Colts have been bad this season, no doubt about it. But Brown, once considered a first-round bust, has been one of the few bright spots for them in the last few weeks. With normal starter Joseph Addai hampered with injuries, Brown has seen an increased workload. And he has taken advantage. On Sunday, he ran for 80 yards and a touchdown. Brown might be worth a look if you’re short on running backs going into the home stretch.

    Not:

    1. Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers — So much for being an elite quarterback. Rivers has struggled all year and because of it, the Chargers are off to a terrible start at 4-7, which only becomes worse when you consider the talent on the roster. But that talent can’t overcome Rivers’ poor play. He has been a pick machine this season, leading the NFL with 17. This weekend, he just couldn’t manage to jump start the offense against the Broncos throwing for only 188 yards in a loss. It’s to suggest this considering his past production, but if you have a decent option behind Rivers, it might be a good idea to sit him for a while until he turns it around.

    2. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks — Rice is one of the most talented players in football, but he has two things working against him that make him a risky play in fantasy. First, he plays for a team with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. Second, he can’t seem to stay on the field, as he was lost yet again to injury this week. Rice has been a rough play all season for fantasy owners and if you can package him away in a trade in your run to the playoffs, you might want to consider it.