Fitz let a lot of owners down.
Championship Week continued as the Cardinals beat the Cowboys on Christmas in a game that likely didn’t pull too many people away from their Christmas parties.
Let’s take a look at how last night’s game will affect your roster decisions for today’s games.
Quarterbacks:  Jon Kitna (115 yards, TD, two INTs, seven rushing yards) had a stinker. Not only did he throw a pair of picks, he got knocked out of the game. If you started him, you’re in trouble. You may have to take some risks with your remaining roster. If you used John Skelton (183 passing yards, TD, 23 rushing yards) had a solid game for those who used him, likely in two-quarterback leagues.
Running Backs: Felix Jones (88 total yards) was good, not great. If you were banking on a big game from Felix, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a breakout game. Tim  Hightower (29 total yards) turned in a dud, and will likely yield carries to Beanie Wells (47 yards) in the finale. Neither are good plays next week. Marion Barber III (58 yards, TD) returned, effectively ending Tashard Choice‘s (32 total yards) fantasy run.
Wide Receivers:  Miles Austin (115 yards, TD) did his thing. Not quite enough to alter lineup plans, but he’ll make up for ground for those who didn’t meet their projections. Larry Fitzgerald (26 yards) had just one catch. He wasn’t even on Skelton’s radar as he had just three targets. Steve Breaston did not even catch a pass. Andre Roberts (110 yards, TD) stole the show, but was not in many lineups. Roy Williams was a non-factor.
Tight EndsJason Witten (45 yards, TD) did not have one of his monster weeks, but he was good enough, especially in PPR leagues..
Kickers:  David Buehler did not take the day off as he kicked two long field goals (42, 53) and twp PATs. Hopefully his missed PAT does not cost you. Jay Feely had three PATs through three quarters before delivering with two long field goals (49, 48) for the Cardinals and fantasy owners alike.
Defenses:  Arizona gave up 26 points, but returned both of Dallas’ interceptions to the house. Couple that with their fumble recovery and five sacks and you have a surprising strong performance. Dallas gave up 27 points, did not force a turnover, and had just one sack to disappoint once again.

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That may seem like a silly question for a player that is tied for eight with 524 receiving yards, but after losing his starting QB, it’s something to consider. That, and the fact that he has just 50 yards in the past two games.
He really has been hit or miss this year+. When he’s good, like in Weeks 1, 2 and 5, he averages 151.3 yards per game. Unfortunately, when he’s bad, like in Weeks 3, 6, and 7, he averages 22.3 ypg. That’s some serious Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde stuff.
Besides losing Romo, Dez Bryant is coming on. He has three TDs in the past two weeks, which gives him one more TD on the year than Miles (not to mention the two punt returns he took to the house). Plus, Roy Williams didn’t go away quietly. He has five TDs on the year, though he didn’t catch a ball last week. Through in Jason Witten, who is averaging 77 yards per game over his past three with 2 TDs after a slow start. It’s almost like there are too many mouths to feed.
That’s before you even consider Felix Jones. The Cowboys desperately need to establish their ground game. Jones has been more active the past three weeks, a trend that will likely continue going forward.
Obviously he’s too talented to bench, even with Kitna at QB, but if you are deep at WR, or play in a 2 WR league, it may be worth considering it. At least until he proves he’s more like the boon receiver rather than the bust.
Also check out:

  • Week 8 Get ‘em or Don’t Sweat ‘em Waiver Wire Advice
  • Week 8 Fantasy QB Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy RB Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy WR Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy TE Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy K Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy DEF Rankings
  • Week 8 Fantasy IDP Rankings
  • Week 8 Start/Sit Advice
  • Week 8 Sleepers
  • Written by Eric Stashin of


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    Miles Austin may have opened the 2009 season third on the Cowboys depth chart, but he finished among the elite receivers in the game.  The real question is, can he repeat his success or is he a threat for a major regression?


    Before we can talk about the future, let’s look at the past.  Austin didn’t start the Cowboys’ first four games, picking up just five catches for 81 yards.  In fact, in Week 3, he failed to catch a pass against the Carolina Panthers.


    When Roy Williams suffered an injury, Williams slid into the lineup against the Chiefs on October 11 and never really looked back.  He exploded for 10 catches, 250 yards and 2 TD.  He followed that up two weeks later against the Falcons, catching six passes for 171 yards and 2 TD.


    He finished with 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 TD.  Among the successes:


    • The yards were third in the NFL (first in the NFC)
    • He was tied for fourth in TD among receivers, behind the leaders with 13 (Vernon Davis, Larry Fitzgerald & Randy Moss)
    • He was second in the league in receptions of 20 or more yards with 21 (Andre Johnson had 22)
    • He was third in the league in receptions of 40 or more yards with 8 (DeSean Jackson led the league with 10)

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    Few teams are stacked the way the Dallas Cowboys are. Love them or hate them, you have to respect the talent they have on both sides of the ball. Fantasy owners will be clamoring for the ‘Boys. Here’s a look at how they stack up.

    Fantasy Playoff Schedule
    :  Slightly Difficult
    They are very talented and showed they can win down the stretch. The next step is proving they can do it in the playoffs, but that has no bearing on their fantasy rating. Dallas faces Philly and Washington at home and Arizona on the road. While the match-ups are difficult, the fact that they play two of the games at home help. Weather should not play a role in the games.

    Five Star Fantasy Options
    Tony Romo – He dates extremely hot women. When he’s not playing football, he’s an amazing golfer. He should be easy to hate, but his smile makes it hard to…at least until you face him in fantasy. He threw for 4483 yards last year with 26 TDs to 9 INT. He was good for a 63.1 completion percentage and a 97.6 passer rating. Throw in 105 yards and a score on the ground and you’re looking at one of the top fantasy QBs in the league. One that got another weapon via the draft.


    Jason Witten – I’d like to see more than two TDs out of Witten, but he’s easily one of the premier TEs in the league. Over the past six seasons he’s averaged 81.3 catches for 936.3 yards and 4.3 TDs.
    Update:  The Cowboys will make it a priority to get the ball to Witten in the red zone this year according to the Dallas Morning News, which further solidifies him as one of the premier fantasy TEs to target this year.

    Four Star Fantasy Options
    Felix Jones – If the Cowboys didn’t have such a crowded backfield I’d put him as a five star option, but he will have to share with Marion Barber III and Tashard Choice. That said, he is an explosive back that, when healthy, will help carry fantasy teams.


    Miles Austin – Clearly he had five star production last year wit 81 catches for 1320 yards and 11 TDs, but he’ll have to prove it before he gets a five star rating from me. Especially when you consider the other weapons at the Cowboys’ disposal. He’s a big, physical receiver that can impose his will on his opponents.

    Three Star Fantasy Options
    Marion Barber – Barber, assuming he’s healthy, will get plenty of touches. He’ll likely be the goal line back as well. Barber is leaner this year, which will give him a burst that was lacking last year. He’s a capable receiver and blocker. He would see increased value if Jones got hurt, but it would be a limited increase as Tashard Choice would be in line for increased opportunities as well.


    Roy Williams – I know he’s underachieved in Dallas, but I’m banking on Dez Bryant’s arrival to push Roy. He only had 38 catches for 596 yards last year, but did manage 7 TDs.


    Cowboys Defense/Special Teams - The Cowboys aren’t just loaded on the offensive side of the ball. They have a very capable defense. Unfortunately they have a tough schedule (Eagles & Giants twice, Texans, Titans, Vikings, Packers, Saints, Colts, and Cardinals).

    Two Star Fantasy Options
    Tashard Choice – No team in the NFL can boast about a trio of RBs like the Cowboys have. The only thing keeping Choice for three or four star rating is opportunity. He can handle the load if called upon. Unfortunately he’s third on the totem pole.


    Dez Bryant – He’s full of talent, but has a little baggage. Well, he came to the right place. Dallas can look past it, especially since it’s nothing major, and get production out of him. Unfortunately there will be a learning curve as a rookie. Not to mention a plethora of options he has to compete with for the football.

    One Star Fantasy Options
    Patrick Crayton – Crayton is almost certain to have a new home in 2010. Depending on where he lands, he could easily see his value jump up to the two or three star range. If he isn’t moved, he just won’t get enough opportunities.


    Martellus Bennett – Bennett would need a Witten injury to emerge, but he is a big, talented TE. In the least I expect him to be more of a red zone thread in 2010.

    Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews

    Ahead of the Curve

    2 October 2008

    Written by Lisa Danhof

    Fair Warning: I’m not clairvoyant. I don’t even play one on TV. That said, it really doesn’t take a crystal ball to anticipate some changes for your team. So, with a bit of deductive reasoning, logic, and historical evaluation you can finally stop reacting and start anticipating. For once you won’t be sniped at the waiver wire, but actually be ahead of the curve.

    1.  QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns 18.6% owned
    If your Offense scores only 46 points in four games, you are really struggling. Additionally, the Browns are only averaging 211 total yards of offense in each of the first four games. When a team is struggling this bad what do Coaches do? Bench the Quarterback and start the backup. In this case, Quinn might start sooner than we think because of Anderson’s obvious struggles, coupled with the overall lack of offensive success. If a QB struggles but the team is doing decent, he’ll get a longer leash. Unfortunately for Anderson and fortunately for Quinn, that’s not the case here. At all. Additionally, to add fuel to the fire, Quinn started taking more reps with the first team this week according to

    2.  RB Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers – 29.4% owned
    To say the Green Bay Packers are nicked up is like calling the Titanic a mishap. Specifically the key injuries to Ryan Grant – hamstring, and Aaron Rodgers – shoulder. Here’s one of those situations that doesn’t really need my crystal ball. If your shoulder is sore, what are you going to do?? Throw the ball, which aggravates your injury more, or hand the ball off and let your running backs do the work? So look for the Packers to up their number of running plays. Also, Grant’s hamstring has been labeled as “balky”. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of that word before, but you get the context. Also, this has been an injury that has been nagging him since training camp this summer – a tough injury for a running back. It’s the combination of those two injuries and the fact that he’s averaging over 5 yards per carry that make Brandon Jackson a solid pick-up.

    3.  WR Miles Austin , Dallas Cowboys– 9.4% owned
    This is probably my biggest stretch of this list, but there are a couple of key factors that I couldn’t overlook when I decided to add him to the list. The first is that he’s in his third year in the league. That third year traditionally is where a Wide Receiver really starts to find his groove and has his breakout year, and Austin is almost textbook in this case. Second, he seems to be gaining the confidence of Tony Romo, as he has had multiple receptions in each of the last three games. He caught two touchdown passes last game and one the game before and is averaging a gaudy 24.1 yards per catch. He is the solid number three receiver on a high scoring offense who could at some point threaten to bump Patrick Crayton from the number two spot, or at least take away several of Crayton’s touchdowns. I see Austin as a player you can pick up now and play when the matchup is good (like against the Rams in week seven) and who also may have some big upside down the road.

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