NFL Week 14: What Have We Learned?

Dan BentonCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2008


1. Matt Schaub is dependable...when healthy.

Fantasy wonks have long thought Schaub could be the type of QB to put up big numbers when given the chance, but he never really got the chance in Atlanta, and last season, his first as a starter, was somewhat hit-or-miss, having committed more turnovers than some would have liked.

This year, he has had only one real stinker, and he has been tremendous in four games. The problem? He has not been able to stay healthy, having missed five complete games.

In eight games (7.5, really), though, he has an impressive 2,176 yards and 12 TDs. He has generally pulverized average and bad defenses, and held his own against Pittsburgh, though he did struggle badly against Tennessee.

Regardless, it seems now that the only thing you have to worry about when deciding whether to start Schaub is to look at the Texans' injury report to make sure he is not on it.

2. Derrick Mason - underrated again.

Has anyone noticed that Mason is on pace for another 1,000 yard season? Long one of the more underrated WRs in football, Mason has as low as a 70 percent ownership rate in some leagues.

Surprising, considering that he is a 100-yard threat every week. Mason may have only four TDs, but he is 16th in the league in receptions and yards, making him a legitimate fantasy contributor on most weeks.

With Joe Flacco looking more and more like a veteran than a rookie, Mason should be one of the main beneficiaries, and his owners should be ready to cash in every week.

3. Still nothing settled in the Ravens' backfield.

Speaking of the Ravens, they threw another curveball at us last week. Only one game after Baltimore, for all intents and purposes, benched Willis McGahee, they gave him 11 carries while giving Ray Rice only three.

Right now, Le'Ron McClain looks to be the primary ball carrier, having carried the ball 45 times in the last two games, but with disappointing averages of 3.4 and 3.1 YPC in the last two games, don't be surprised if Baltimore looks for a spark by rotating either Rice or McGahee back in as the primary RB.

As of now, none of Baltimore's RBs is a must-start, but any one of the three is a potential flex-start. Flip a coin as to which one, though McClain may be your best bet.