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News » Lineup calls: TE, K, DEF

Lineup calls: TE, K, DEF

Lineup calls: TE, K, DEF
Fantasy owners are reeling from the laundry list of injuries sustained by the elite, as well as the ridiculous number of subpar starts to the season.

We saw Cincinnati show some life in Week 3 against the Giants. Can Carson Palmer and company take another step forward in the battle for Ohio against the Browns? Can Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler continue their early-season magic? Is Jon Gruden locked into an experiment to see how many throws are locked into a quarterback's arm in a fashion akin to the licks on a Tootsie Roll pop?

Anyway, the large bye week (six teams are sitting down) is wreaking havoc on the fantasy lineups of owners across the globe, particularly in the tight end, kicker and team defense positions. After all, many owners don't carry backups at any of those slots and choose to play the matchup game and find lightning in a bottle. Here's hoping you find a winner in your waiver pursuits.

Top 5 Tight Ends (not named Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Kellen Winslow, Chris Cooley or Tony Gonzalez)

Tony Scheffler vs. Kansas City

The time's come for the Broncos to rely on the ground game. The Chiefs have surrendered 204 yards and two touchdowns per game to opposing tailbacks. With that said, the concerted effort to shut down the run will allow Jay Cutler to continue his early-season hot streak. I don't expect a huge yardage total, but I anticipate additional red zone love for Scheffler and the receiving corps. He's caught 10 passes in the past two weeks.

Owen Daniels at Jacksonville

Daniels has yet to have his breakthrough game for 2008, but he remains a top option for Matt Schaub. He's been targeted 10 times this year (seven receptions for 104 yards) and nearly caught a touchdown pass in Week 3. I expect the Jaguars to attack Schaub aggressively, forcing the ball out quickly. Daniels caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Jaguars last season.

FOX Pick'ems

Jacksonville vs. Houston

The Jaguars played an inconsistent game against the Colts, but the results said it all. The defense forced Peyton Manning into two interceptions, one of which was returned by Rashean Mathis for a touchdown. I expect the Jaguars to post another strong effort against the struggling Houston offense in Week 4 with an opportunity to climb back to .500. Matt Schaub's thrown five interceptions with a single touchdown through two weeks. It could be another long day for Schaub against Jack Del Rio's squad this Sunday.

Denver at Kansas City

The Broncos currently rank last in pass defense, having allowed 315.6 yards and two touchdowns per game. However, they do get to play the Chiefs this weekend, the 28th-ranked passing offense. Do I believe the Chiefs will play better behind Damon Huard? Absolutely. However, it's just hard to get excited about this squad (understatement). Larry Johnson and Dwayne Bowe will factor into the final stat line, but only once this game gets out of hand.

Philadelphia at Chicago

The Philadelphia defense put on a clinic last week against the Steelers. Jim Johnson should put that tape in his personal Hall of Fame. I expect the game plan to be very similar against Kyle Orton. Mix blitz packages and play smash-mouth football. Matt Forte remains a Flex start (after all, he's a one-man band to date and has developed into a fine receiver), but last week's pummeling of the Pittsburgh offensive line and Willie Parker leaves me unnerved.

Team Defense Sleeper Prospects

Cincinnati vs. Cleveland

OK, so this one is probably a bit far-fetched. But let's face it, the Cleveland offense has been a shell of its former self, and the Bengals did play pretty well against the Giants last week. The Cincy defense has played well against the pass (178.7 yards per game and two passing touchdowns total), so it's just a matter of sealing off Jamal Lewis, who has dominated the Bengals in his career (119 yards per game with 10 scores in 13 games).

Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay

The cover-two defense has historically caused young quarterbacks fits. This game comes down to patience. The Saints and Bears had success in the air, turning short attempts into long gains. I foresee a big role for Donald Driver and Donald Lee in the short game, with Aaron Rodgers taking an occasional shot downfield. Rodgers' patience will most certainly be tested against this veteran squad playing on its home turf.

Team Defense Flop Prospects

Dallas vs. Washington

I'm always fearful of these NFC East battles. There always seems to be a big play threat in the offing, and the statistical averages are somewhat cast aside. This game comes down to the offensive line's ability to pass protect. We can safely assume Clinton Portis will find success on the ground. Can the Redskins give Jason Campbell time to operate against the secondary, or will the Dallas front (tied for fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks) repeatedly harass Campbell? I've been impressed with Campbell's development, and Santana Moss has posted some big games against the Cowboys in the past.

Chicago vs. Philadelphia

The Chicago defense has made a great number of plays during the first three weeks of 2008, but the team hasn't been able to sustain its effort for four quarters. Chicago's recorded only five sacks, and a healthy Donovan McNabb could pick them apart unless they can sustain a pass rush. The team certainly loses something if Brian Westbrook can't go, but Correll Buckhalter proved to be a good running/receiving option in his stead.

Keep it locked onto FOXSports.com for all of the latest player and team news and injury updates as the countdown to kickoff winds down. Join me on FOX Sports Radio from 10am-12pm ET (7am-9am PT) on Sundays to discuss lineup calls, trade proposals and the most up-to-date injury information.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 27, 2008

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Adam Bergen Name: Adam Bergen
Position: TE
Age: 24
Experience: 3 years
College: Lehigh
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