Originally created 11/17/06

No one wants these birds now



With Thanksgiving less than a week away it's time to break into one of my traditions that I've done since the inception of this column.

It's time to hand out The Turkeys. It's the award no fantasy owner wants to have bestowed on one of their players. Mostly because they've underachieved and it's probably cost them a possible playoff spot.

So without further delay, here's this year's list of foul birds.

QB: No one's been fouler to his fantasy owners this year than Miami's Daunte Culpepper. Was he rushed back from his knee injury? Probably. But that didn't stop owners from buying into the hype that a change of scenery and a new offense would provide a cornucopia of points.

RB: If we're talking turkey, then I've got to run out of the wishbone and that involves at least two running backs. Oakland's Lamont Jordan and Tampa Bay's Cadillac Williams have been woefully bad this year. Together they've scored only three touchdowns and have each run for less than 500 yards through Week 11.

WR: Oakland's Randy Moss has been the equivalent of taking a piping hot pumpkin pie out of the oven and then accidentally dropping it on the floor. There's a lot of anticipation when the ball is thrown Moss' way but he usually ends up dropping it.

TE: Miami's Randy McMichael has no touchdowns this year. That's inexcusable for a top 10 position player. Lots of owners expected McMichael to feast on defenses this year with Culpepper throwing the ball for the Dolphins. Instead they haven't been able to digest his low production.

K: It never fails. There's always one relative who comes over for Thanksgiving who gets a little too drunk and acts like a fool. Dallas kicker Mike Vanderjagt knows this behavior all too well. He has been anything but what the Cowboys expected from the "most accurate kicker in NFL history."

PUT THEM IN

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans: Here's some extra incentive to start him: The Bengals might be without their best cornerback, Deltha O'Neal. That and the Bengals rank near the bottom in pass defense.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Cincinnati: He is probable despite taking a hard hit last week. Look for the Saints to focus most of their attention on stopping Chad Johnson.

Edgerrin James, RB, Arizona: If the Cardinals are going to make anything of this season they'll have to get James the ball more.

TAKE THEM OUT

Trent Green, QB, Kansas City: He's making his first start since Week 1 because of injury and he's facing one of the better pass defenses in the league.

Warrick Dunn, RB, Atlanta: Don't look for Baltimore's defense to give Dunn any running room; they're giving up less than 80 yards a game on the ground this year.

Jason Campbell, QB, Washington: If the game was at home, he might not be that bad of a start, but I have a problem trusting unproven quarterbacks on the road. Let's hope you have a better option.

WAKE-UP CALL

Marion Barber III, RB, Dallas: Look for Bill Parcells to control the clock, and if he's successful then Barber should get plenty of goal line carries, which have been paying off with touchdowns. The Colts also have the worst rushing defense in the league.

Reach Raymond Beasock at (706) 823-3221 or raymond.beasock@augustachronicle.com.