Kyle Orton, Bears – The guy just keeps putting up numbers. He’s thrown for seven TDs the last three weeks and averaged 267 yards. He’s coming dangerously close to achieving “must-start” status in Fantasy leagues. Even if he hasn’t quite become a no-brainer No. 1 QB yet, Orton is definitely worth a look as a starter this week against Atlanta. Yes, his 334-yard, two-TD day did come against the laughable Lion defense, but remember Orton did that without Brandon Lloyd, who had been the closest thing he had to a go-to guy. Orton should put up strong numbers against a Falcon defense that Aaron Rodgers shredded in Week 5.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Speaking of Rodgers, kudos to him for throwing for more than 300 yards and three TDs against Atlanta with a bum shoulder. The Packer coaching staff will keep his practice reps to an absolute minimum this week in hopes he’ll be able to once again be strong on Sunday. The only downside to Rodgers, obviously, is that he’s one well-placed hit to the shoulder from being knocked out of a game. But until that happens, start him.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Another QB who gutted it up was Big Ben, who exploded for 309 and three TDs against Jacksonville after failing to crack the 200-yard barrier in his first four starts. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time for Roethlisberger, who once again took a beating behind a very shaky offensive line. Again, like Rodgers, Roethlisberger is worth starting – just realize he’s as susceptible to being knocked out as Rodgers is. Every quarterback – every player, for that matter – is one hit away from an injury, obviously. But some are more susceptible than others, and Roethlisberger fits that description. However, as long as Willie Parker is out, look for the Steelers to continue to open it up. Roethlisberger is in line to post great stats; if you’re already solid at quarterback and don’t want to take the risk on him, then you should be able to get great value in a trade.
Eli Manning, Giants – For Manning to throw for 267 yards and two TDs without Plaxico Burress is impressive. Now he gets his No. 1 receiver back this week and gets the Cleveland Browns on Monday night. Big numbers should be in store.
Carson Palmer, Bengals – Hopefully you didn’t trade Palmer for pennies on the dollar in disgust, because it looks like he’s coming back to Fantasy relevance. There’s every indication that Bengals/Jets could be a shootout in Week 6, and Palmer is definitely worth serious starting consideration.
Sage Rosenfels, Texans – It looks like any remaining slivers of talk of Rosenfels taking over for Matt Schaub were silenced by Rosenfels’ late-game implosion against Indianapolis. His numbers were decent (246 yards, one TD), but his mistakes single-handedly led to probably the most crushing loss in the short history of the Texan franchise.
Philip Rivers, Chargers – Rivers has crashed back to earth after a scintillating start, averaging only 170 yards and throwing two TDs total in his last two games. Maybe a date with the Patriots will be what Rivers needs to rebound, since New England has surrendered 35 and 21 points in their last two games. But Rivers is no longer the no-brainer start he was earlier in the season.
Jon Kitna, Lions – Kitna was reportedly benched against the Bears because of back spasms and not performance. Reportedly, at least. And head coach Rod Marinelli said he doesn’t plan to change the quarterback depth chart as long as Kitna is healthy. But that’s what he said on Sunday; by the end of the week who knows what’s going to happen? Who knows if Marinelli will even still have a job? Kitna’s been an underrated Fantasy QB in the past, but now you have to avoid him at all costs because the Lions are more of a mess than usual. At least they had a potent offense when they were lousy last season. This season they have nothing.
Trent Edwards, Bills – Edwards suffered a concussion after a vicious hit against the Cardinals. Buffalo is on a bye this week but don’t be surprised if Edwards isn’t in the lineup come Week 8. If that’s the case, J.P. Losman will get the start, and he may be worth a look if you’re in a bye week pinch that week.