Chad Johnson’s humorous pregame taunting is back. His play
won’t be. After being quiet all year, Johnson let loose this
“Eighty-five is back. It’s going down this Sunday,”
he said. “I’m celebrating. I’m going to score.
I’m going to score more than once. I’m going to celebrate.”
He also referred to Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall as DeAngelo
Too bad trash talking doesn’t get fantasy owners points, because
that’s the only way Johnson will regain his status as an elite
fantasy receiver. He should be counted on only as a No. 2 fantasy
receiver and owners should look to trade him now while his value
is as high is it likely will be.
Two weeks ago, I said fantasy players shouldn’t panic about
Johnson’s slow start. I was wrong. Panic! By the end of the
season, Johnson will be considered one of the year’s biggest
busts. Here’s why:
The Emergence Of T.J. Houshmandzadeh:
Comparing Johnson’s numbers to Houshmandzadeh’s and
it appears that Houshmandzadeh is the Bengals’ No. 1 receiver.
Houshmandzadeh has outperformed Johnson in every game he’s
played, has the same number of receptions (30), 21 fewer yards (352
to 373) and three more touchdowns (four to one) than Johnson –
in two fewer games. Quarterback Carson Palmer is throwing to Houshmandzadeh
as often as Johnson, making the potential for Johnson to have the
huge games slimmer than in past seasons when he clearly was Palmer’s
Nightmare Schedule: After Johnson
matches up against Pro Bowler Fall, err, Hall this week, he will
have top-10 pass defenses thrown in his face every week through
Week 16. That schedule means he will probably will have just as
many stinker games as solid games.
Chris Henry Is Coming Back: Henry’s
two-game suspension for violating NFL policies on conduct and substance
abuse is over, so Palmer will have yet another weapon to throw to.
In Henry’s last two games before his suspension, he had twice
as many receiving yards (182 to 89) as Johnson. In the only game
this season that Johnson, Houshmandzadeh and Henry played together
in, Johnson was the least effective of the trio with just one catch
for 11 yards in Cincinnati’s 28-20 win over Pittsburgh in
Leon Washington, RB, N.Y. Jets:
The rookie from Florida State appears to have grabbed the featured
role in the Jets’ backfield over Kevan Barlow. Washington
gained 129 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries last week. More
importantly, the Jets looked to Washington when it needed a first
down to run the clock out and earn a win over Detroit. The 5-foot-8,
202-pound running back has 110 more yards than Barlow this season
on eight fewer carries.
Jake Plummer, QB, Denver: He’s
averaging just 164 yards per game and has four touchdowns and
seven interceptions in six games. Did he jump in a time machine
and his rookie self came back? Plummer hasn’t led the Broncos’
offense to more than 17 points in a game this season. Fantasy
owners would be smart to drop him and take a chance on waiver-wire
quarterback that has potential.
Off The Bench
Reuben Droughns, RB, Cleveland:
Look for the running back to break out of his season-long slump
when he faces the New York Jets and their marshmallow run defense.
The Jets have allowed a league-high 12 rushing touchdowns and
142.4 rushing yards per game (28th).
Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis:
Don’t let Denver’s stingy pass defense scare you from
starting Manning. The quarterback will match or exceed the number
of touchdown passes the Broncos have allowed this season (two).
Denver’s pass defense has been solid against mostly less-than-stellar
quarterbacks. Manning is on a roll after throwing four TD passes
last week against Washington and will find a way to get it done
against the Broncos.
Having a tough time pulling off trades? Don’t by shy. Post
what you want on your league’s message board stating exactly
what you’re willing to trade and what you’re looking
for. Another owner may offer you a trade you are interested in
that you never would have thought of, making it easier for you
to make trades.