Nov 26,2009

Purge and Flex: A New Thanksgiving Tradition

Erma Bombeck once said, “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” Aside from the fact that it’s actually fifteen minutes, I couldn’t agree more.

Much to my grandmother’s dismay, I’m an awful cook. In fact as I type this post, I am resting a cold compress over my eyes to reduce the swelling caused by a torrent of tears that ensued shortly after ruining both a pecan and pumpkin pie. Rather than bringing dessert tomorrow, I’ll be bringing booze and cheese curds. Ah, well. We all have our strengths… and weaknesses.

In an attempt to remind myself of what I am good at, I started working on my fantasy lineup for this coming week. While looking over the games and players (though tomorrow’s day games are a total suckfest), I noticed there were quite a few solid flex options. And so was born Purge and Flex: A New Thanksgiving Tradition.

Julius Jones:
Assuming his bruised lung is healed by Sunday, Coach Mora has said Jones will start against the Rams. While he didn’t practice on Wednesday, he is expected to get the green light come game time. I know some of you can’t believe that I’d suggest dumping #22, but just because he’s starting doesn’t mean he won’t be limited. Sure way back in Week 1, Jones had his best game of the season against St. Louis, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown. That, however, was weeks before there was blood in his lungs and Justin Forsett was even a glimmer in fantasy owners’ eyes.

Justin Forsett:
I love this kid and have been sold on him for weeks. He was dynamic in Week 10 when Jones went out and shockingly sturdy last Sunday against Minnesota. In fact, he scored Seattle’s lone touchdown in their loss to the Vikings. This weekend’s matchup against the Rams should be easy as pie – regardless of whether or not there are tears involved.

Kolby Smith:
Purging this guy probably isn’t an issue for most fantasy owners. His stock grew ever so slightly after LJ was cut from the Chiefs. There was some speculation that he would split carries with Jamal Charles, but since Week 9 his numbers have been abysmal. In the past three games, he’s totaled 32 yards rushing on 14 attempts and 4 yards receiving on 1 throw. Wait, there’s more. He also injured his ankle in last Sunday’s OT win against the Steelers. Reports say that he’ll be active in Sunday’s game, but by that they mean he’ll be able to play… not that he’ll actually score any points or touch the ball.

Jamaal Charles:
Charles doesn’t have a great matchup against the Chargers this coming Sunday, but he did hold his own last week against the bruising Pittsburgh DEF. In fact, his numbers were pretty darn good; he had 17 carries for 58 yards, caught a touchdown pass, and ran back the game opening kickoff for a 97 yard TD. Since Larry Johnson’s departure he has undoubtedly become the Chief’s premier back as well as an effective special teams player. Even if your fantasy team has more options than the Chief’s, be thankful you can flex their only hope.

Ladell Betts:
Betts, who was playing in the stead of injured Pro Bowler Clinton Portis, suffered a season ending knee injury in Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Cowboys. Apparently, he tore both his ACL and MCL after taking a hard hit from Dallas linebacker Bradie James in the first quarter. What’s most disappointing isn’t the fact that Betts was showing real promise (having scored in both Week 9 and 10), but that he’s not guaranteed any money after this season. May his recovery be as brief and effective as his two weeks of glory this season.

Rock Cartwright:
One man’s setback is another man’s opportunity. Such is the case for 29 year old Rock Cartwright. Having been with the Redskins for 7 years, he’s mostly known as a special teams player… but not for long. With Portis out another week and Betts out for the season, he’s the go-to RB in Washington. From what I can gather, he’s got good speed, lots of power, and great hands. More importantly, he’s got something to prove and you’ve got someone to flex.