YOUR TEAM is off
to a great start, scoring more points than an unguarded Kobe Bryant. It's time
to start thinking playoffs, plugging the holes in your roster to have your team
in top form for the postseason. But as you ponder trade possibilities, which
players should you target? The answer is the following seven, whose performance
arcs and schedules best position them to peak at the right time: Weeks 14, 15
and 16, a.k.a. the fantasy playoffs. So put them on your wish list.
DAVID CARR QB
Yes, Houston is
bad, having been outscored 113--66 in four games, but that's what has made Carr
so good. With the Texans often facing large early deficits, Carr has been
forced to throw. Thanks in part to the tutelage of new coach and quarterback
guru Gary Kubiak, Carr's numbers (865 yards, seven touchdowns in four games)
have been a pleasant surprise. Kubiak says that the 27-year-old is finally
beginning to "show some signs of really growing up as a player."
Matchups: WEEK 14 vs. Titans; WEEK 15 at Patriots; WEEK 16 vs. Colts
Carr faces a
woeful Tennessee squad in Week 14 and, in the �berimportant Week 16 (the
Fantasy Super Bowl for many leagues), a Colts team that he burned for three
touchdowns in a Week 2 loss.
THOMAS JONES RB
The Rex Grossman
Show has carried Chicago through five weeks, but there are signs that the
running game is coming around. Two weeks ago against Seattle the Bears rushed
for 143 yards, and on Sunday in a 40--7 rout of the Bills they rolled up 155.
"We're starting to complement each other, the run and the pass," Jones
says. And with the wintry weather making the vertical game a dicey prospect at
Soldier Field in December, running the ball will only become more important for
Matchups: WEEK 14 at Rams; WEEK 15 vs. Buccaneers; WEEK 16 at Lions
A date with Tampa
Bay, which has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, makes the acquisition
of Jones valuable in and of itself.
WILLIS MCGAHEE RB