Week 9: 5 Great Starts, 5 Bad Starts, 5 Players Who Will Not Rebound This Year

David BrodianCorrespondent IOctober 31, 2008

5 Great Starts for Week 9

  1. Maurice Jones-Drew - No player has been more hit and miss than Jones-Drew this season.  However, he has a very (and I mean very) favorable match up against the Cincinnati defense. 
    Projection - 110 rushing yards, 4 catches for 45 receiving yards, 2 TDs
  2. Ronnie Brown - Ronnie Brown was selling at an all-time high once the Dolphins implemented the "Wildcat" formation.  Yet, the past couple of weeks Brown has gained merely 70 yards rushing and caught a measly 2 passes for 6 yards.  He has also failed to find the end-zone.  Having said that, the Dolphins play the hapless Bronco defense this week, meaning Brown should have a huge week. 
    Projection - 85 rushing yards, 5 catches for 50 yards, 2 TDs
  3. Plaxico Burress - Another player who has had a lousy past few weeks (for his standards).  Since his suspension in Week 5, Burress has hauled in 10 catches for 157 yards and 2 TDs.  That would be okay if Burress were a late round pick in most leagues.  However, Burress was expected to have a huge year after last season.  This week he has a great match up, going against a banged up Cowboys secondary.  I think this will be the game that gets him back on track and ready to tear up fantasy leagues the rest of the season.
    Projection - 5 catches, 110 yards, 1 TD
  4. Ted Ginn Jr. - Last week Ginn Jr. caught 7 passes for 175 yards (although he failed to find the end-zone).  He appears to be on his way to be Miami's leading receiver.  At the least he is their most dangerous deep threat.  He is probably available in some leagues, in which case he should be given strong consideration if your WRs are facing unfavorable match ups.  This week Ginn Jr. faces Denver's defense - a unit that would have trouble stopping a JV high school football team.
    Projection - 6 catches, 105 yards, 1 TD
  5. Donovan McNabb - You could add a plethora of Eagles to this number 5 spot considering the Eagles are facing a dilapidated Seahawks team.  McNabb will pick apart the Seahawks defense that will not be able to generate any pressure.
    Projection - 28 of 35, 300 yards passing, 3 runs for 20 yards, 2 TDs

5 Horrible Starts for Week 9

  1. Jamal Lewis - I usually love players facing their former teams.  Not in this case.  The Ravens have proven that they still have one of the best defenses in the league.  The Browns have shown they have a streaky offense at best.  Jamal Lewis will not be able to get going this week.
    Projection - 15 carries 40 yards, 0 TDs
  2. Aaron Rodgers - This isn't a knock on Rodgers, so much as it is heavy praise to the Tennessee defense.  Rodgers will be facing one of the best defenses in the league and I'll take a strong defense against a good QB any day.  Never a good idea to start a QB that will be facing his biggest test in the league so far.
    Projection - 25 of 35 passing, 225 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 Fumble Lost
  3. Jason Campbell - Much like Aaron Rodgers, this is heavy praise for the Steelers defense (especially the secondary).  Although the Steelers defense will be banged up from the Giants game last week, I think it will be tough for Campbell to have a big game.  Don't expect him to falter completely, but expect a mediocre game at best.
    Projection - 19 of 32 passing, 215 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
  4. Terrell Owens - Brad Johnson is his "quarterback, man."  Johnson did not complete a pass longer than 14 yards last week.  This week T.O. and Johnson get the Giants defense.  T.O. will be double covered all day, especially if Witten is unable to play, and Johnson will be on his back all day.
    Projection - 3 catches 45 yards, 0 TDs
  5. Calvin Johnson - Johnson has been great of late, finding the end-zone in each of his past 3 games.  Most of these TDs have been on long plays.  However, on Sunday he faces the Bears defense in a fierce divisional rivalry game.  He is the only weapon in the Lions offense now, and should still see a lot of balls thrown his way.  Just don't expect him to find the end-zone.  Start him if your league gives points for receptions and is a yardage heavy league, otherwise beware.
    Projection - 8 catches 85 yards

5 Players That Have Fallen Off the Fantasy Map

  1. Alge Crumpler - There is a new TE in town in Tennessee, Bo Scaife.  Poor Alge thought he would have success in Tennessee with a younger team that utilizes the TE.  Too bad he didn't realize the Titans have a younger version of him already.
  2. Edgerrin James - So far the only edge, "Edge", has displayed is attitude.  Not even the right attitude.  Edge is not a good start because he is overlooked in almost all goal line situations.  Additionally, the Cardinals are pass first, run later, offense.
  3. Tory Holt - Happens to ever WR eventually.  I didn't think this would be the year it happened to Tory Holt, but it appears it is.  So far his only touchdown catch was actually an interception by Kenny Phillips, in garbage time against the Giants.  Donnie Avery is the Rams deep threat and don't expect that to change.
  4. Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson - He should spend less time worrying about the name on the back of his jersey, and more on the front.  The Bengals are awful.  Don't expect Johnson to be a good soldier and battle through this season.  His prime time fantasy days are over, at least for this year.
  5. Larry Johnson - The biggest liability in any fantasy football league.  Johnson could rush for 5 yards one week, then turn around and rush for 150 and 2 TDs.  Now, add his problems with law to his inconsistency, and you have a fantasy player that is not worth the risk.