PFW news on the Vikings, Giants, Eagles, Browns and more, plus the latest Fantasy Buzz.
The Way We Hear It The Vikings still rank as one of the top rushing defenses this season after finishing the past two years as the NFL’s statistically best run defense. And though their linebackers are playing very good football, most observers know that the team’s defensive line has a lot to do with its success at stopping opponents on the ground. But NT Pat Williams, long recognized as one of the league’s best run cloggers, is getting more breathers these days as he reaches an age (he turns 36 in a month) where he can’t be as effective playing 50 to 60 snaps anymore. So the coaches have allowed Williams to take more plays off, rotating in Fred Evans and Ellis Wyms, who have played well in relief, more at his spot. The idea is to get Williams about 35 to 40 snaps in a normal game, rotating him in and out by series but also removing him in certain nickel and dime packages in passing situations. NFL Whispers GIANTS: It will be interesting to see what the Giants do at placekicker, where replacement John Carney is 9 for 9 on field goals, including the game-winner against the Bengals in Week Three, and perfect on extra points. Sure, he could use more distance on his kickoffs, but Carney consistently has kicked it inside the five-yard line. Meanwhile, Lawrence Tynes continues to hold a roster spot and should return for the Seattle game in Week Five, after the bye. But there are some who believe that Carney would be the more consistent option, even if Tynes has greater leg strength. EAGLES: Eagles WR Kevin Curtis expects to play soon, perhaps by the Week Five matchup against the Redskins but almost certainly by the following week. He has recovered well from surgery in August to repair a sports hernia and has begun practicing on a limited basis, and although Andy Reid has not said much on the matter, spies say Curtis has looked fine so far. BROWNS: The feeling in Cleveland is that RS Joshua Cribbs isn’t quite 100 percent. He has played with ankle, hamstring and shoulder injuries this season, and he has not been quite the game-breaker he was in 2007. The Fantasy Buzz Titans RB LenDale White has been a TD machine early on, already finding the endzone four times. Scoring against the Vikings, however, might not be as easy, as Minnesota’s stout defense is allowing just 70.3 rushing yards per game. With White splitting carries with talented rookie Chris Johnson, it’s unlikely the bruising back will have a very good outing on Sunday. Although Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has been splitting time with DeAngelo Williams, the rookie has more upside in this enticing matchup with the Falcons. Atlanta is giving up 5.0 yards per carry and has allowed four TDs on the ground this season. Stewart, who already has three scores, is a good bet to find paydirt again in this one. Much like other teams have done thus far, Buffalo is likely to roll lots of coverage Torry Holt’s way, forcing the Rams’ other lackluster receiving options to beat them. Plus, the Bills have been solid against the pass, giving up 153.7 yards per game, and it could take Holt some time to adjust to new starting QB Trent Green. Unless you’re thin at wideout, Holt is better left on the bench this week. For more NFL news and daily fantasy football advice, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.