Thursday, September 28, 2006

Professor Ellis D Trails Week 4 Syllabus

Week 4 has brought us to the first crossroads. This is where some teams can make or break a run. This is where some teams can either overcome or succumb to an injury. This is where stories are made and dreams are destroyed. The trenches of the NFL are known specifically as the connection between the offensive and defensive lines. However, it is also the time in which men become leaders and the losers stagger in defeat. Football is unlike any other sport as it is a sprint, a fleeting group of moments that builds towards the ultimate goal of every player and coach upon the conclusion of training camp and that assemblage of men diminishes with each crushing loss and each short-lived victory. That is the NFL and why we love it so.

Week 4.

San Francisco lost two young players on that “Bus”esque trot to the end zone by big DT Mike Patterson last week although it looks as though Gore will be ready to go this week. The question is whether he will lose goal line carries to Robinson. KC comes off their bye week with Huard still at the helm, he couldn’t ask to play a worse defense.

Alex Smith - Playing on the road in KC is tough for any seasoned vet.
Frank Gore - KC has real trouble stopping the run. Great start.
Eric Johnson - Now that Davis is out he is the go to guy once again. He was most likely available in your league, did you get him?

Damon Huard - Only worthy because of the opposition. SF pass defense is terrible.
LJ - LJ owners rejoice that he is back to face the Niners, did you win with your bye week fill in? I did.
Tony G - He is a great play because Huard will look to him a lot to move the chains.

Daunte Suckapepper gets to tee off against the lowly Texans. Many thought he would against the Titans as well. Mularkey seems lost. People still think that the Texans should have taken Bush, now they have a shot at Peterson.

C-Pep - He seems like he forgot how to throw the football. He will be reenergized against this piss poor group of DB’s.
Ronnie Brown - Houston gives up huge games to running backs.
Chris Chambers - When is he going to get going? It is a safe bet, it will be this week and that could catapult this offense to where it needs to be.

Andre Johnson - He has really benefited from have Moulds. Moulds is a teacher and takes enough of the coverage.

Dallas comes off their bye with allegations of a suicide attempt by the nameless jackass. He probably realizes the mistake that he made going to a team with the human statue as his QB. Tennessee almost pulled of the upset last week, that team could seriously go 0-16.

The Statue - This is the battle of the two statues this week. Drew should suck a little less.
Terry Glenn - With the nameless jackass still out, he should get a ton of looks and some nice numbers.
Jason Witten - See Terry Glenn

The Statue #2 - He is the lame duck and gets pummeled once again behind a line that gives a different meaning to the term “offensive” line.
Drew Bennett - The only real option for a team that will be perpetually trailing with absolutely no running game to speak of.

Indy doesn’t have any real running game but still puts up the points and gets the wins. The game is a sneaky game for the Colts. The Jets are playing some strong ball right now and do not really have an identity to key on as of yet for a defense.

Peyton Manning - If Loseman can go for over 350, what do you think Peyton can do?
Joe Addai - I called his last big game and I am doing it again for this week
Marvin Harrison - Ho hum, 100+ and a TD, Ho hum.

Chad Pennington - Right now, he is my comeback player of the year. Not only is he playing well, but is a leader on the field.
Leon Washington - He showed some flashes of his ability last week and with the dismal play of Derrick Blaylock, he might get a shot this week at some significant playing time. Barlow is still the goal line and starter, so don’t put your expectations too high.
Coles - He is really happy that Chad is back and is playing that way.
Cotchery - McCariens who? Great hands and maneuverability. If he is available in your league, get him, but I am sure someone already has.

Minnesota has been playing real smart football. Well up until that last few series against Chicago. Buffalo was the first team ever to lose when their QB throws for over 350 and their RB runs for over 150. That is a record to cherish.

Brad Johnson - He can win close games, but has no real fantasy value.
Chester Taylor - He will play better this week than against Chicago, but who doesn’t play better when they are not playing Chicago?

J.P. Loseman - He looked stellar against the Jets and still manages to lose. Maybe he should change his name to J.P. Winman, that might help.
Willis McGahee - Can it be that Willis has turned the corner and become a top level fantasy back, I still don't believe it.
Lee Evans - He finally started to show some of that promise last week and that should continue this week against an overrated Smoot.

SD comes off of their bye as hungry as they left. Baltimore barely escapes Cleveland with a win and now comes home to a defense that will eat you up and spit you out before you can say, Steve McNair looks tired.

Rivers - Start someone else, this is going to be a very very low scoring game
LT - You have to start him, but don’t expect too much from him.
Gates - See LT

I do not recommend any Baltimore players this week except maybe Stover and Heap. Stover might get a couple of field goals on turnovers and Heap will be covered by Clinton Hart is playing out of position thanks to the shipment of codeine cough syrup shipment by the regular starter. It is obvious that this game will be a low scoring affair and could even end up scoreless going into overtime.

New Orleans comes off of their huge emotional Monday night victory over the undefeated Atlanta Falcons, if there was ever a time for a let down, this would be it. Carolina is still not playing the way they were expected, but put Simms in the hospital last week and should be able to take care of a flying high Saints squad.

Drew Brees - I’ll be the first to admit that he has far exceeded my expectations. I thought that with the lack of Gates would really be his downfall, but this kid Colston has stepped up and filled that role nicely.
Deuce McAllister - He might have thought that the Bush situation would hurt him, but it has only helped him. It gives him necessary rests to maintain freshness and also helps take tacklers away when Bush is out wide or in motion. They are using this tandem well right now.
Joe Horn - Do you remember that SD WR’s sucked, well now Brees is in New Orleans.

Jake Delhomme - He obviously looked better with smith. Even Me-shawn benefited from Smith’s return.
DeShaun Foster - Seems to still be the #1 for now, I think that Fox will play the hot hand, so look for some good games and some non existent games.
Steve Smith - New Orleans defense played over their heads against Atlanta and were aided by the poor play of the WR’s and Michael Vick. Smith will get his first TD of the year with ease.

There was some chatter about Leinart starting this week after the many turnovers from Kurt “I have never seen a pass route that I can’t hit in my life, whoops” Warner. Ain’t happening. Green isn’t stupid enough to throw Leinart to the wolves while games still mean something. He’ll wait until the Cards are out of the hunt, at least next week. Atlanta laid a big egg at New Orleans, but they would have had targets on them if they won that game.

Kurt Warner - He can feel Matt’s breath on his neck and could put in another turnover filled performance this week. This one should be a high scoring game as Kurt is back in a dome, where he can air it out to his duo.
Edge - I have seen a lot of, “When will Edge get his first 100 yard game?” talk. It may not happen this year.
Larrynquan Fitzboldin - These guys are interchangeable. I wouldn’t mind having both on my team each week.

Vick - If you can stop his legs, he is easily beatable.
Dunn - He’ll be running wild at home this week.

New coaches, new system, new defense, new quarterback, same result. Marc looked to start to get into a groove against Arizona and will continue again this week at home versus a defense that gives up a ton of passing yards.

John Kitna - This game could turn into a shootout. He should get some stats at the end to build up his numbers.
Roy Williams - He exploded against GB, and will put up similar numbers this week.

Marc Bulger - He is in line for a big week, he is at home against the Lions.
S-Jax - He has grown a lot this year and will continue his breakout season.
Torry Holt - Marc has two TD’s this year, both to Holt, look for that to continue. He wishes that he could play the Lions every week.

Cleveland was deflated in their loss to Baltimore and now has to go on the road to face an extremely underachieving Raider team that is coming off a bye. If Oakland ever had a shot to win a game this season, this would be it.

Charlie Frye - He did insanely well against Baltimore considering their defense, Winslow is nursing some injuries, but Braylon is playing well. Time to come back to earth, Charlie and out of the top players of the week.
Braylon Edwards - One of the best young players in the league will hit a couple of bumps and this week will be one of them.

Andrew Walters - We finally get to see what this kid is made of. The line play should be better on both sides of the ball and could have a good game this week as long as he doesn’t try to do too much
Lamont Jordan - Walters is going to need him as a runner and a receiver to play well. Start him in ppr’s.
Randy Moss - If, and that’s a big If, he catches a couple of bombs from Walters, he won’t want Brooks back and neither will the fans. Big If though.

The Jags came close to pulling the upset last week, special teams got them and they couldn’t do squat on offense. Washington finally showed that they have an offense, but it was against the Texans.

Byron Leftwich - People think that Washington’s defense is good, but they are actually pretty susceptible to the pass.
Fred Taylor - He gets hurt so often, that when his backup was hurt, people were really upset. He looks healthy and strong this year and that is good for the jaguars.
Matt Jones - He is almost undefendable. He is tall and fast and can catch anything. He has the will and determination of 5 men and the only WR worth a start on this team.

Mark Brunell - You can be sure that he won’t be setting any completion records against the Jaguars.
Clinton Portis - Doesn’t make a great play this week against Jacksonville, especially with the Jags losing last week.
Three Blind Mice - See how they run.

New England looks to be in some trouble. Watching the Denver game showed me that Brady needs a go to guy. Even if he doesn’t throw it to him all the time, it allows him to be more flexible. Without that guy he is just trying to hard. Maroney is a stud though. Cincy started of the Pittsburgh game slow, but Carson took advantage of some key turnovers and scored in an instant, you just can’t give that offense those kinds of opportunities.

Tom Brady - He really cannot do it all himself. His two best receiving threats are both TE’s. He needs a playmaker at WR and Reche Caldwell is not it.
Corey Dillon - He was hurt in last week’s game, but no one knows how much. Damn Belichik and his effing injury silence.
Laurence Maroney - Stud, star, beast, whatever you want to call him. Indianapolis is wishing they got him.
Ben Watson - He is still Brady’s top target, but they need to move the ball better overall.

Carson Palmer - If you didn’t think that he was back before last week, you know he is now. You cannot say he isn’t gun-shy and with those wide receivers, can you blame him? Palmer is a must start.
Rudi Johnson - In that offense, he is a good start, but don’t expect a ton out of him
Chad Johnson - He hasn’t had a big week yet, that will change this week.
Housh - He picked the right week to comeback and was the top performer in many leagues last week. 80 and a TD is not out of the question.

Seattle won the game but lost Alexander. That hurts, but not as much as one might think. Morris is a #1 back for some teams in this league and will play just fine in SA’s place. Granted, they are playing Chicago this week, so it wouldn’t really matter who is running behind that o-line. Chicago stole a victory from Minnesota last week on a miracle fumble and then some bonehead calls by the Minnesota offense at the end. This should be a close and entertaining game.

Matt Hasselback - He certainly won’t throw five TD passes this week. He’ll be lucky to get one.
Maurice Morris - He finally gets to start, too bad it’s in Chicago.
Deion Branch - The wrinkly that Branch adds to their offense is an interesting one, it gives the team an added dimension that it did not have before. They are able to spread the field and still run effectively. It could take Chicago by surprise this week, but I doubt it.

Rex Grossman - You saw the Rex that isn’t playing Detroit or Green Bay last week. The same one that tosses touchdowns to the other team. Back to the bench you go buddy.
Thomas Jones - Did Cedric Benson even play last week? Seattle’s run defense is pretty damn stout, so play him only if you have no other options.

Brett Favre looked like the Brett of old last week or is the Brett is old, anyway, he threw his 400th TD pass and continues to trot all the way to Canton. He doesn’t have a great history when playing philly, but philly is banged up in the secondary and if anyone could take advantage of that it would be him. I expect a high scoring Monday night battle between the old and the new regime at Qb in the NFL.

Brett Favre - Brett still has the arm and the heart to lead his team. He will always get his stats, you just got to think the old man is due to throw a few interceptions this week.
Ahman Green - Take away the receiving stats from last week’s game and Green flat out sucked. The Eagles are stingy when it comes to the run, so don’t expect much here.
Donald Driver - He is still a top WR in the league and a great #2 on any fantasy team.
Greg Jennings - He is fast becoming Brett’s go to guy.

Donavon McNabb - Visions of 4th and 26 will dance in the heads of the fans this coming Monday night, but it shouldn’t take anything like that to beat the Pack. He will put up another juggernaut of a game though in Primetime where he thrives.
Westy - He was my #1 pick for backs last week and he came through in a big way. Here is to all those fools that took Lamont Jordan and Cadillac Williams ahead of him.
Reggie Brown - With all the hype that Stallworth has gotten, D-Mac still feels like Brown is the #1 WR on that team and against the Niners, we saw why on the first play.

Top 10 QB’s for Week 4
1. Donavon McNabb
2. Peyton Manning
3. Tom Brady
4. Michael Vick
5. Carson Palmer
6. Kurt Warner
7. Marc Bulger
8. Jake Delhomme
9. Brett Favre
10. Daunte Culpepper

Top 10 RB’s for Week 4
1. Larry Johnson
2. Brian Westbrook
3. LaDanian Tomlinson
4. Steven Jackson
5. Rudi Johnson
6. Chester Taylor
7. Ronnie Brown
8. Clinton Portis
9. Kevin Jones
10. Lamont Jordan

Top 10 WR’s for Week 4
1. Steve Smith
2. Chad Johnson
3. Torry Holt
4. Randy Moss
5. Marvin Harrison
6. Larry Fitzgerald
7. Roy Williams
8. Andre Johnson
9. Donald Driver
10. Terry Glenn

Week 4 saw some more surprises as well as some teams starting to make their early move to jockey for position. We are one fourth of the way through the fastest start to a season that I have ever been witness to. Did you think the Saints would have a shot at going 4-0 while the Buccs were still looking to get a W, or that you might be contemplating starting Damon Huard because Eli Manning is on the bye. That, my faithful followers is the NFL for you and you just never know what’s right around the corner. Until next week’s class, remember my credo, Always go with your gut and don’t look back.

Professor Ellis D Trails.

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