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NFL Barometer: 2007 NFL Barometer-Week 13

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don

Dalton Del Don writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.




NFL Barometer
By Dalton Del Don
RotoWire Writer



UPGRADES


Joseph Addai So much for the supposed timeshare in Indy's backfield. Addai had 25 touches to Kenton Keith's six Sunday, resulting in 108 yards and three touchdowns. Addai seems finally to be fully recovered from his lingering shoulder injury, and with a defense playing well and Marvin Harrison (knee) sidelined, the Colts have been focusing on the ground game. With the offense so efficient, expect plenty of scoring opportunities for Addai moving forward.

Vernon Davis Davis has had a mixed career so far, seemingly always dealing with nagging injuries and inconsistent hands. However, he also flashes quite a bit of potential from time to time, including this week, when he caught six passes for 71 yards and a score. Alex Smith's (shoulder) return to the lineup also boosts his value, and Davis has the size and strength to eventually emerge as a legitimate TE1 option.

Reggie Wayne With Marvin Harrison (knee) limited or sidelined, Wayne has hauled in 16 balls for 299 yards over the past two weeks. He's been targeted at least 11 times in each of the past three contests and is on pace for 101 catches and 1,527 yards with 11 TDs this season, making him easily a top-5 fantasy wide receiver.

Braylon Edwards You're looking at the NFL's next superstar at the receiver position. It doesn't matter if defenders are draped over him, Edwards continues to out-jump and out-muscle smaller DBs and excels when in traffic. He has five touchdowns over the last two games, and since Cleveland throws frequently to compensate for its poor defense, big numbers should continue. Edwards might be the most valuable fantasy wide receiver right now.

Drew Brees He's officially back. Brees has compiled a QB rating of 90.0 or better in each of the past three games, also amassing an 8:1 TD:INT ratio over that time span. Sunday was his best game of the season by far, as he completed 79.5 percent of his passes for 8.6 YPA. Teammate Marques Colston sees a similar rise in value as a result.

Jesse Chatman If there was any question who was going to take over backfield duties in Miami with Ronnie Brown (knee) out for the year, Chatman answered that with yet another solid performance Sunday. He's getting 5.4 YPC for the season and is effective as a receiver in the flat. The Dolphins offense isn't great, but Chatman figures to be on the field on first downs, third downs and at the goal line, something increasingly rare in today's NFL. If he continues to show the ability to break tackles, nice numbers should be in store.

Kenny Watson Watson had two fumbles Sunday, one of them proving to be very costly. However, he again displayed burst missing from Rudi Johnson this year. While Johnson's health status remains murky, Watson is getting 4.7 YPC and is dynamic as a pass catcher. The Bengals play the Rams, 49ers and Browns during Weeks 14-16 (most people's fantasy playoffs schedule), so he could prove to be a difference maker.

Adimchinobe Echemandu With Ahman Green a surprise inactive this week and ineffective when he does play, opportunity exists for someone to take control of the backfield duties in Houston. Ron Dayne has been mediocre at best, while Echemandu took little time adjusting to the system, running for 62 yards on just 10 carriers during his first game as a Texan Sunday. He impressed the Raiders during training camp, and the team only released him due to having a surplus of running backs. There's a chance he becomes Houston's main ballcarrier over the rest of the season.

Chris Henry LenDale White has improved throughout the season, including a big game Sunday. However, Henry is by far the team's most explosive runner, and with Chris Brown injury-prone, Henry's worth stashing in deeper leagues. Tennessee has become very run-heavy and boasts a solid offensive line, so Henry has quite a bit of upside, especially looking at White's injury history.

Kellen Clemens Coach Eric Mangini named Clemens the team's starting signal caller on Monday. With a struggling ground game and defense, Clemens could put up nice stats, especially considering he has two solid wideouts at his disposal. He's seen very limited work throughout his career, but he has flashed potential, and at minimum, the team should improve its ability to stretch the field with Clemens under center.


NO CHANGE

Marc Bulger Bulger had his best game of the season Sunday but was also banged up yet again and played quite possibly the worst secondary in the NFL. While it was nice to see improvement, the Browns' shaky coverage must be taken into account. And the offensive line problems aren't going away anytime soon in St. Louis. One bright spot, however, is that the Rams' schedule really lightens up over the team's next five games.

Maurice Jones-Drew The Jaguars clearly limited Jones-Drew's involvement this week to make sure he fully recovers from the recent knee sprain. While it was frustrating to see him get taken out of the game at the goal line, Jones-Drew looked like his normal self when the ball was in his hands, so he should be fine moving forward.

Steven Jackson Jackson wasted no time rewarding patient fantasy owners, scoring on the team's opening drive Sunday. However, compensating for the injured groin led to back problems, knocking Jackson out of the contest. He says he should be OK moving forward, but his health is obviously something that needs to be closely monitored.


DOWNGRADES

Steve Smith Smith just faced the Colts, whose secondary allows the fewest YPA in the league this year, so he deserves somewhat of a pass for his two-catch, 18-yard performance. However, the problems with this Panthers aerial attack root deeper than that, and if Vinny Testaverde (Achilles') is forced to miss time, Smith has to be downgraded. David Carr simply doesn't like to go downfield, hurting Smith's value as a result.

LaMont Jordan After being one of the NFL's bigger surprises over the first month of the season, Jordan has really disappointed of late. Over the last three games, he's getting a paltry 2.1 YPC and was held without a catch Sunday. Maybe the back injury is limiting him, but Justin Fargas continues to see more and more action with Jordan so ineffective.

Vincent Jackson Playing alongside Chris Chambers for the first time since he was acquired via trade, Jackson didn't record a single catch Sunday. While the team barely threw the ball with a big lead for most of the day, it's sill disconcerting to see Jackson targeted just once all game. With Antonio Gates and now Chris Chambers getting looks ahead of him on a run-first team, Jackson has minimal fantasy value.

Vince Young Oakland has a solid secondary, but Young's performance Sunday reached new lows. He had 16 passing yards at halftime and 42 for the game, getting just 3.0 YPA. Moreover, he gained only 11 yards rushing, as the quad injury continues to limit his ability to run. He hasn't thrown a TD pass since Week 3 and belongs firmly on your bench until he proves otherwise.

Brian Griese Griese's performance Sunday wasn't just bad, it was awful. Playing at home versus a beatable Detroit secondary, he threw four interceptions and got just 5.2 YPA. Many of his throws were badly off target, but because he played relatively well before this clunker, Griese is likely to retain the starter's job for the foreseeable future.

Ahman Green After being listed as "probable," Green was a surprise inactive Sunday and continues to battle health issues. He's really struggled even when healthy this season, so he can't be counted on in fantasy leagues.

Eli Manning The weather conditions played a part, but Sunday was a good reminder of just how inconsistent Manning can be. The 13 TD passes for the season are nice, but that's abnormally high considering his below average 6.4 YPA. Then again, that's been a theme with Manning throughout his career. Still, over the past two weeks, he's gotten a miniscule 3.9 YPA despite playing two leaky secondaries. Throughout his career, he's had much better first halves than second halves to seasons.

Chester Taylor Coach Brad Childress finally let sanity prevail, naming Adrian Peterson the starting running back and giving him the bulk of the work. Taylor has had a solid enough season, but his workload figures to decline drastically from this point forward.

Article first appeared 10/29/07