BUCCANEERS QB: Rookie Josh Freeman made the first start of his career, and it was a doozy as he led the Bucs to their first victory of the season. Freeman, who took over for Josh Johnson, threw for three touchdowns in a 38-28 victory over Green Bay. With Tampa Bayís season going nowhere, it looks like Freeman will get some much-needed experience heading into 2010.
BUCCANEERS WR: A nine-hour flight from London may be to blame for Antonio Bryantís knee woes. Bryant was inactive Sunday and replaced in the starting lineup by Maurice Stovall. Michael Clayton, Sammy Stroughter, and Stovall all saw increased looks in Bryantís absence, but none are exactly fantasy-worthy even in the best of circumstances. Bryant will likely return this week.
CARDINALS WR: Anquan Boldin was a late scratch by the Cardinals, though Boldin owners were preparing for that possibility all week. Steve Breaston took his place in the starting lineup and had five catches for 66 yards, including a four-yard score. Boldin should return next week, provided he is not suspended for his post-game outburst, but it should be noted that the Cardinals' offense was humming without him and that Larry Fitzgerald had arguably his best game of the season Sunday.
CHIEFS RB: Fans of the Chiefs have been waiting for the Larry Johnson ouster for some time, and after a terrible first half of the season, Johnsonís foot-in-mouth disease finally did the job. Johnsonís suspension opened the door for speedy Jamaal Charles, who had six carries for 36 yards Sunday. The limited amount of carries for Charles was disappointing, but he continues to have a nice yards/carry number, and he should get another start this weekend. Johnson was released Monday, so the only person Charles needs to worry about right now is Kolby Smith.
CHIEFS WR: A lot of shuffling here in the last week. First off, Kansas City picked up San Diego castoff Chris Chambers and released ineffective veteran Bobby Engram. Secondly, we witnessed the emergence of Lance Long. Long was targeted 11 times Sunday and he led the Chiefs with eight catches for 74 yards. Chambers didnít do much until the game was nearly over, but he made up for his late start with two late touchdowns. Dwayne Bowe had his usual four catches for 74 yards. Suddenly it looks like the Chiefs have a few good wide receivers.
LIONS WR: Calvin Johnson returned after three weeks off, but he was just as invisible as he was before his injury, catching only two passes for 27 yards. He was targeted nine times, but his quarterback just couldnít get the ball into his hands. Itís nice to see Megatron start and finish a game, but he has to be one of the more disappointing fantasy players this year. Dennis Northcutt went back to his rightful place on the bench.
REDSKINS RB: Clinton Portis was knocked out when he suffered a concussion in the first quarter Sunday, and itís unknown when the Redskins will feel safe about putting him back on the field. Ladell Betts had a nice game in relief of Portis, rushing for 70 yards on 15 carries (including one touchdown) and also catching a 23-yarder. There arenít many starting running backs on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues right now, so be ready to snatch up Betts, who could have the job for awhile.
TEXANS RB: Following his exceptional performance in relief of Steve Slaton in Week 8, Ryan Moats got his first start Sunday. Even though Moats caught a touchdown pass, he had just 38 yards on 16 carries and lost a fumble as well. Slaton held onto the ball for a change and scored on a one-yarder in the fourth quarter, so itís possible that his demotion to backup will only last one game.
TEXANS TE: With Owen Daniels officially done for the year with a torn ACL in his knee, Joel Dreessen becomes the starter at tight end. Dreessen and backup Anthony Hill got a few more looks than usual on Sunday, but neither one will match Danielsí output.
Article first appeared 11/10/09