Hits and Misses – Week 16: Take a ride in the PT Cruiser!

Of all the cars out there to get a nickname from (see: Cadillac Williams), I’m not sure I would want people calling me the name of one of the worst new vehicles to come out this century, but whatever works I guess! It apparently IS working for Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who has put up some great fantasy numbers over the past few weeks in an offense that is traditionally pass-first (and made a lot of fantasy team managers very happy in the process.) This weekend you should have the PT Cruiser parked right in the RB1 or RB2 slot on your roster when the Saints head to Detroit, helping your team cruise to a fantasy football championship!

Hits

  • Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: Although I recommend a few of our readers sit the PT Cruiser last week, this week my tune has changed a bit. The Saints head to Detroit on Sunday to play a Lions team that has been absolutely dreadful against the run this year, allowing 169 yards per game (4.9 ypc) to opposing tailbacks, while allowing them to rack up 26 touchdowns. With Reggie Bush out of the picture, expect a big day for Thomas.
  • Antonio Bryant, WR, Buccaneers: For all of you who snagged Antonio Bryant off the waiver wire in the middle of the season, you have to be loving your decision at this point. In most leagues, Bryant has now racked you up around 300 yards and a couple touchdowns through the first two rounds of the playoffs, and I’m predicting that he’ll continue that trend against a bad San Diego Chargers defense. You know those commercials that ESPN had for the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame? If Bryant comes through this weekend, I think you need to add him for next year’s ads.
  • Brett Favre, QB, Jets: While the Jets have been a lot better this season, I’m still not convinced that it was Brett Favre that was the difference. This Sunday is his chance to convince me otherwise though, as he also tries to justify his Pro Bowl selection against the worst pass defense in the NFL. When the Jets go to Seattle, they’ll be playing a team that is allowing 261 passing yards per game and has given up 21 touchdowns (versus only six interceptions!)
  • Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions: While the PT Cruiser is rolling over the Detroit defense, expect Megatron to be doing the same to the Saints secondary. New Orleans has given up 20 touchdowns this year, which sounds appetizing to a receiver who has racked up 10 already this year. He’s carried you to the championship already…why would you think of benching him now?
  • Chad Pennington, QB, Dolphins: Pennington struggled last week against the 49ers, but the team still pulled off a win (much to the disappointment of Patriots fans!) This week though, he should have a much easier go of it when Miami heads to Kansas City. The Chiefs are allowing 242 yards per game to quarterbacks, a number I expect Chad to match, along with a couple touchdowns.
  • Matt Forte, RB, Bears: Competing with Slaton (above) for the Rookie of the Year award, Forte’s game versus the Packers also comes at a good time. Matt will be playing on the center stage as the Bears host Green Bay on Monday night, which is the last night of the fantasy football season for most people out there. The Pack is giving up 4.8 yards per carry on the season and has allowed opposing running backs across the goal-line 18 times. Expect a solid day from Forte.
  • Steve Slaton, RB, Texans: In his bid to win the Rookie of the Year award, this game comes at the perfect time for Slaton. The Texans play the Raiders on Sunday and that means big things for the dynamic Houston running back. Oakland is giving up 167 rushing yards per game to opponents and has given up 20 touchdowns via the run.
  • More: Deion Branch, WR, Seahawks; Marshawn Lynch, RB, Bills; Jeff Garcia, QB, Buccaneers; Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins

Misses

  • Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: While all the talking heads at ESPN talk about how great a quarterback Big Ben is and how he can lead a team to victory in the fourth quarter, that isn’t quite getting it done for fantasy team managers. This week Roethlisberger can do a good job leading your team to victory from the bench, as he plays at Tennessee against a Titans defense that has only allowed nine passing scores all year, while intercepting opposing quarterbacks 18 times.
  • Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers: With Ben Roethlisberger struggling, I expect the team to put the ball on the ground a lot in this one, meaning less opportunities for Santonio Holmes.
  • Chris Johnson / LenDale White, RB, Titans: The duo formerly known as Smash and Dash has been a bit aggravating to have on your fantasy roster this season, as they seem to follow a roller coaster type pattern. If you catch them on an off week, they can doom your team…but if you get them on a good day, you’re in business. This weekend could be one of those down weeks, as the Titans play one of the best defenses in the league when they host the Steelers. Pittsburgh is allowing 3.2 yards per carry and under 76 rushing yards per game. Do you think White and Johnson will nearly double that? I’m not a believer this week.
  • Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: It’s looking like he’ll be a game time decision to begin with, so just with that I’d have alternatives lined up. If you need more convincing though, he’s playing the Eagles, who are allowing just 3.4 yards per carry and have only given up six rushing touchdowns all year!
  • Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers: As the “Smash” component of the new Smash and Dash duo, I think Jonathan Stewart is going to have a tough time smashing through the Giants defense this weekend. New York is only allowing 90 yards per game to running backs (a number I’m positive the Panthers will best…it’ll be mostly DeAngelo Williams though) and has only given up nine rushing touchdowns this year, so if possible, you may consider other options if you want to win your league’s championship this week.
  • Kerry Collins, QB, Titans: I wouldn’t expect you to be starting Vodka Collins at this important juncture in your fantasy football season, but in case you had the great idea to do it, the Steelers defense should be reason enough to change your mind. Pittsburgh is giving up just 163 yards per contest to quarterbacks and has only allowed 11 touchdown passes (while intercepting 18 passes.) Keep Collins far away from your starting roster this weekend if you plan to win the championship.
  • Santana Moss, WR, Redskins: The Eagles are only giving up 184 yards per game through the air and the Redskins offense is not exactly running on all cylinders at this moment. Moss will struggle to break the 60 yard mark in this one and will most likely not find the end zone.
  • Tashard Choice, RB, Cowboys: While Choice has done a great job filling in for Marion Barber lately, he’s finally going to see what a real NFL defense is like when the team hosts Baltimore on Saturday. The Ravens have only given up three rushing touchdowns this season, so the odds of him reaching the end zone are slim. If that wasn’t bad enough, Baltimore is only allowing 78 rushing yards per game to opponents…so keep Choice on your bench and let him watch your championship from the sidelines.
  • Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers: The Buccaneers have allowed just under 184 yards per game this season to opposing quarterbacks, so the yards will be tough to come by if you’re a Chargers receiver this weekend. If you have more appealing options, you might consider benching Vincent Jackson…even if he has scored a touchdown in the past three games he’s played in.
  • More: Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers; Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens;