This week everyone hopes Ravens' QB Kyle Boller can do what AJ Feeley couldn't quite - defeat the Patriots by throwing to spots and hoping your receiver is there to catch the ball. While I'm still surprised AJ Feeley was able to do it and recall that Monday Night Football game in 1985 when Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins crushed the Chicago Bears the same way, I'm not convinced the Patriots won't adjust.
In Buffalo, Marshawn Lynch and Anthony Thomas are out. This leaves either Fred Jackson or Dwayne Wright to get the carries. I want to start Jackson at my Flex, but there is no reason to believe he is a lock for the 75% of the touches I want to see.
Minnesota is going to play rookie RB stud Adrian Peterson. I have him in my starting line-up given the belief he wouldn't be back unless the team was willing to use him for at least 50% of the touches out of the backfield. Plus I am already in the play-offs and have little to risk.
Speaking of a gamble in the same vein, I am going with Lions' WR Calvin Johnson this week over the Cardinal's Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz is a game-time decision after practicing sparingly on a bad groin. Against the Browns secondary, one would think Fitzgerald was amongst the top plays at WR, but I don't want to risk him sitting. Johnson had a great game against the Packers on Thanksgiving, and the Vikings pass defense is still bad - Eli Manning not withstanding.
Miami's Jesse Chatman is also a game-time decision, but the team he faces, the New York Jets, makes him a must-play if he is healthy. The local papers say he will play. The risk is he aggravates the injury and plays just a fraction of the game.
Speaking of another couple awful run defenses, the Broncos and Raiders face-off. The Raiders' Justin Fargas is an easy start, but who is going for the Broncos? My favorite would be Selvin Young, but Travis Henry has practiced all week. With the two healthy, I'd pass on both if there was another option.
Finally, Lawrence Maroney got a lot of bad press after the Patriots ran just once in the 1st half against the Eagles. However, I saw several of his second-half carries, and he looked like he was running with a lot of power. Do not be surprised to see a good game today and through the final four weeks of the 2007 season.