Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Fantasy Fever, Week 13

And down the stretch they come …

Thanksgiving Day games mean one thing — a huge pain from having to put in mid-week lineups. Well, I guess two things, because Fantasy Football playoffs are just around the corner. By now, owners have either pulled out their hair watching busts like Ashley Lelie, Nate Burleson or Jamal Lewis or are preparing to celebrate for a playoff berth and possible championship cash.

One thing that had to make everyone celebrate is seeing an obscure former Harvard star tear it up (see below). And even if they have hurt you in the fantasy game, you have to appreciate what the Cincinnati Bengals have done this season — as an offense, they've gone from disastrous to dominant. Further proof was last week's dismantling of the once-feared Baltimore Ravens.


They'll get the chance to prove their quality against the Steelers in what should be one of the top matchups of the weekend. In terms of scoring, Oakland at San Diego could provide some fireworks.

But, for the most part, your fantasy fate has already been sealed. So sit back and enjoy the last few weeks of the year, get ready for the playoffs or get an early jump on next year (if your team's like mine) …

Player of the Week

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB St. Louis Rams

19 for 30, 319 yards, 3 touchdowns to 1 interception, 3 rushes for 23 yards

Yeah, there were other guys who had big days (LT, Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Jeremy Shockey), but Fitzpatrick's takes the cake here. Coming off the bench, the rookie from Harvard led the Rams in a furious comeback to hand the Texans yet another loss.

Dear Fantasy Fever,

What is the right play with my receivers? Roy Williams or Chris Chambers with bad quarterbacks or fantasy draft bust (until last week) Andre Johnson to go with Marvin Harrison? Also, would you go with Cadillac Williams or Julius Jones to pair with LT?

Your wisdom is appreciated.


The Big Man

Dear Big Man,

Of your three receivers, I would go with Williams. Johnson had a huge game last week, but let's face it — that was against the Rams' horrid pass defense. Even Houston can move the ball against a team like St. Louis. But I don't have a lot of faith in the chances of a repeat performance against the Ravens' D. True, they're not the same dominant unit from years past and they struggled mightily against Carson Palmer and the Bengals last week. But the Texans' offense isn't half of the Bengals'. Chambers is facing a tough Buffalo defense, meaning Williams easily has the best matchup — a home game against the Vikings (cue sexily themed humor).

Hopefully for your sake, Williams can keep last week's momentum going, even if Dan Orlovsky gets some snaps under center.

I would definitely go with Cadillac. He's facing New Orleans, against whom Tampa Bay should grab a lead early. Jones is playing the Giants, and with Eli Manning slinging the ball the way he is, the 'Boys might have to turn to the air early to keep pace. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Keep fighting the good fight.

Are you perplexed heading into the playoffs? Breathe easier. Contact Tom at [email protected].

Herald Smart Starts

QB- Chris Simms, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not a huge game last week, but considering the tough Bears defense he was facing, not too bad at all. Simms throws a nice deep ball, and with Joey Galloway at receiver, he's developing into one of the better young sleeper quarterbacks in the league.

RB-Kevan Barlow, San Francisco 49ers

It's been a pretty down year for Barlow (548 yards and three touchdowns), but facing the Cardinals might be a chance to break out a bit. Hey, if you're desperate, he's not a bad play.

RB-Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins

Don't look now, but Ricky's taking more and more of Ronnie Brown's carries these days. He scored a touchdown last week, and his role in the offense should continue to grow. Remember, he's only playing in his eighth game of the year after serving a suspension for drugs, so he might just be hitting his stride.

WR-T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati Bengals

Another big day last week against the Ravens (nine catches for 147 yards and a touchdown). T.J. alphabet is becoming a regular starter in the fantasy world, and has always been a personal favorite. It's gotta be the ponytail.

WR-Arnaz Battle, San Francisco 49ers

Yeah, it's late in the year, so for the sake of avoiding repeats, Battle gets the nod here. Nice game last week, and facing the Cardinals in what should be a high-scoring matchup helps his chances of repeating that.

TE-Jeb Putzier, Denverr Broncos

Well, apparently Ashley Lelie isn't getting too many balls in Denver's passing game. Putzier is a nice underneath option for Jake Plummer, and somebody has to have a good performance through the air against the Chiefs.

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