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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Player Trends Report - Quarterbacks - Week 4
Scott Boyter
September 23, 2008
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers
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RISING

Drew Brees, Saints – If you were worried the injury to premier receiver Marques Colston would negatively impact Brees’ numbers, you can breathe easier. Colston’s loss was definitely felt in Week 2, when Brees had only 216 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against Washington, but Brees turned it around in a big way at Denver, lighting up the Broncos for 421 yards and a score. It’s unrealistic to expect the same kind of yardage this week at home against San Francisco, but Brees should put up huge numbers nonetheless.
              
Brian Griese, Buccaneers – Jeff Garcia might want to start looking for a new job. Griese cemented himself as the Bucs’ No. 1 quarterback with a stunning 407-yard, two-TD outburst at Soldier Field. If Griese’s arm is still attached (he did throw the ball an astounding 67 times), he’ll be worth starting consideration at home this week against the Packers.

Carson Palmer, Bengals – Is Palmer going to be this maddening all season? He was invisible the first two weeks, and then, on the road, against the Super Bowl champions, he throws for 286 yards and a touchdown. Were the first two games the aberrations, or was Week 3 the oddball? We’ll find out after a home date with Cleveland this weekend. Just like you were basically forced into benching Palmer in Week 3, you almost have to run him out against the deflated Browns. Good luck.

Trent Edwards, Bills – It’s not that Edwards has been that spectacular this season – he had good, but not great, numbers against Oakland (279 yards and one TD) – but this week he goes up against the Rams. Against that pathetic, embarrassing joke of a defense, Sammy Baugh could come out of retirement and have 250 yards and two touchdowns – and he’s 94 years old. Unless your starting quarterback is among the elite, or has an irresistible matchup this week, try and grab Edwards off the free agent pile. This is one of those rare spot starts that could – should, actually – reap huge benefits.

Kyle Orton, Bears – There may finally be a Bear quarterback with at least a little fantasy football relevance. It was one game, sure, but Orton had 268 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. Yes, this was the same Buc defense that Drew Brees shredded for 343 yards in Week 1, but don’t throw water on this, OK? Give Orton props for a job well done. That said, if you start Orton this week against the Eagles you’re crazy. He’s in no way a No. 1, but Orton may be worth stashing on your roster if you get in a bye week bind later this season.

FALLING

Jake Delhomme, Panthers – I’ve been high on Delhomme since training camp, but he’s seriously starting to shake my faith in him. You would have figured on a lot bigger numbers from Delhomme in Week 3, considering he was going against Minnesota’s questionable pass defense and he had Steve Smith in the lineup for the first time this season. It, uh, didn’t quite work out that way. The Panthers are at home this week against Atlanta, but you’re sure to have better starting options than Delhomme.
                       
Matt Schaub, Texans – Schaub was under a lot of players’ radar after his strong 2007. Maybe he should stay that way. He was simply dreadful against the Titans, failing to crack the 200-yard mark and throwing three interceptions. Maybe the Tennessee defense will make a lot of quarterbacks look that way this season, but that was ridiculous. It doesn’t look like it will get a whole lot better for Schaub this week on the road against Jacksonville.

Jon Kitna, Lions – Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto had this to say about Kitna before the season started: “He can run and he likes doing it. I told him ‘I don't care what your age is, you're going to run. He said ‘I'm all for it.’” Brilliant strategy there, Coach. Not only is Detroit imploding already, now Kitna has a sprained knee. As of this writing, it hadn’t been determined whether or not Kitna would miss any time. Hopefully he can use the bye week to heal completely, but who knows? If he does come back Week 5 he’s still a viable starter but look elsewhere if you can. Thirty-six-year-old quarterbacks don’t usually last long when asked to run.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Roethlisberger is averaging 149 yards and a TD so far this season – not exactly the numbers you expected after he exploded for 32 touchdowns in 2007. He’s getting beaten up behind a re-shuffled offensive line. Roethlisberger will play this week against Baltimore despite a bad shoulder and now a bad right wrist, but you can’t feel comfortable starting him – even if he did throw for five TDs against the Ravens in Week 8 last season.

Derek Anderson, Browns – Talk about falling off a cliff. Anderson is now fighting for not only his starting job, but maybe his career. At least he gets to fight the fight against the Bengals. But even with him playing Cincinnati, you should still sit Anderson until he shows you he has a pulse. Averaging 101.7 yards a game and throwing for only two touchdowns against five interceptions are not indications he’ll be showing one any time soon. It might take a repeat performance of his 328-yard, five-TD game against Cincinnati in Week 2 of the 2007 season for Anderson to regain his firm grip on the Cleveland starting spot. The Brady Quinn Era may begin sooner than anybody thought it would.

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