Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Maurice's Misery

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

After Monday night's frustrating performance, Maurice Jones-Drew has just one 100-yard game all year and zero touchdowns in five of his six outings. It's ugly out there.

Before we go any further, remember that Jones-Drew has never averaged less than 4.2 yards per carry in a season during his career. He came into this season averaging 13.5 touchdowns a year since being drafted in 2006. MJD is an elite player that will keep being handed a monster workload. He'll remain a weekly must-start in all formats.

That said, this year feels different. David Garrard is regressing. Defenses are bringing a safety into the box on almost every play because the passing game is a non-threat. The offensive line has been surprisingly brutal. Jones-Drew has dealt with an assortment of nagging injuries, starting with that preseason knee scare.

What to do? Well, if you don't own Jones-Drew, only buy really low. If someone wants to give up MJD for something like Kyle Orton and Felix Jones, by all means do it. But I'm not going out of my way to target Jones-Drew like I am someone like Michael Turner. There are too many yellow flags.

Quarterback injuries:
* Vince Young was knocked out of the game in the first quarter when he fumbled a snap and got his leg bent the wrong way. The Titans said he just had a knee sprain and could have come back in to run the offense out of the shotgun if necessary.

That's a huge sigh of relief for the Titans in addition to owners of Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt. Young was cheering on the sidelines instead of getting an MRI, which means he almost certainly suffered no ligament damage. Young keeps the Titans' offense spread and is a threat for deep completions despite his inaccuracy. Kerry Collins would limit the upside of Johnson and Britt.

* David Garrard suffered a concussion in the second quarter and was replaced by Trent Edwards. As uninspiring as Garrard is, Edwards is much, much worse. Owners of Maurice Jones-Drew should be praying that Garrard can be cleared in time for Week 7.

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Titans vs. Jaguars quick slants
The Titans care about Chris Johnson's numbers. They routinely leave him in at the end of games to rack up stats. ... Kenny Britt now has a touchdown in four straight games. He would have had a bigger game tonight if the game was closer. ... Mike Sims-Walker was targeted eight times but came up with just two catches. ... The Jaguars' secondary is painfully bad.

The Eagles have a mess on their hands at quarterback. Sound familiar? It should. This time, Kevin Kolb is the one playing so well that coach Andy Reid has a dilemma. He has stated previously that Michael Vick is his starter when healthy, but backed off that Monday.

Look for Kolb to start this week while Vick's ribs continue to heal. Kolb will be a QB1 against the Titans, even without DeSean Jackson (concussion). Upgrade Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek. Then the Eagles will go into their bye and reevaluate the situation. What Reid comes up with at that point is anyone's guess. For now, keep both Kolb and Vick on your roster and wait.

James Starks (hamstring) will be activated off the PUP list and practice with the Packers on Wednesday. For a guy that hasn't played a down of competitive football since January of 2009, he is garnering a ton of fantasy buzz.

Yes, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn have been brutal since Ryan Grant went down. And Starks did flash significant talent at Buffalo back in 2008. But the Packers haven't even seen Starks in pads yet and the Green Bay Post-Gazette doesn't see him active on game days anytime soon. Consider Starks a deep league stash and nothing more.

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The NFL's trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. We know that Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick are not going anywhere. The Ravens insist that Willis McGahee is not going to be traded despite not playing a single down in Week 6. And speaking of the James Starks note above, the Packers are not expected to trade for a running back before the deadline. We shall see. Make sure you are hovering around your waiver wires tomorrow afternoon.

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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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