Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub and Matt Cassel are on the shelf for a while and their replacements are rather ... uh ... uninspiring.
Caleb Hanie will step in while Cutler tries to recover from hand surgery and will take the reigns of an offense that is largely dependent on the legs and hands of Matt Forte. Hanie will likely be asked to not lose the game more than he is expected to win the game. This approach does not translate well for fantasy football relevance. Verdict: Instant mashed potatoes. Easily found, not quite the real thing and painfully plain. Discard immediately while you can still tell what they are.
The last time Matt Leinart faced off with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he completed half of his passes. Well, he only attempted six passes and those three completions only went for 22 yards. The now 28-year old Leinart has reportedly matured, meaning that he will likely spend the weekend prepping for the Jaguars rather than checking out the Black Friday deals on hot tubs. I can appreciate his newfound commitment to his career, but the fact is that Leinart lacks the talent to carry a team. Expect more than six pass attempts, but the Texans know that their only hope to cling on to the division lead lies with Arian Foster, Ben Tate and the running game. Verdict: Another helping of instant mashed potatoes here. The only thing that can make leftover instant mashed potatoes stomachable is to douse them with gravy. Andre Johnson is likely to return this week, and if he is able to return at full strength his talent will give Leinart a reliable target. Be careful though, and know your potatoes from your gravy.
Tyler Palko, last year's leftover fruit cake and Kyle Orton's neckbeard ... three things that will never find themselves in high demand. If you find yourself dependent on Palko or Orton to carry your team you probably will want to get to the front of the line and ask Santa for a new quarterback now.
By now, Kevin Smith and the Detroit Lions have already faced off with the Green Bay Packers. We should have a much better idea of how much of Smith's Week 11 heroics were him and how much were the Panthers' porous run defense. Verdict: The thing about sweet potatoes is, well, they aren't actually potatoes; they are actually a root. Is Smith the real thing? He is running with a renewed passion and appreciation for the game that he didn't have before. Some weeks he will likely be a great big, plain, root bound to the confines of his limited talent,...