Shaun McDonald, Lions - The Lions seem to be slowly finding their groove after the departure of Roy Williams. Shaun McDonald looks to be the primary beneficiary of Williams’ departure. He has a quarterback who is gaining confidence and can get him the ball, and he’s been one of the better receivers in the league over the past couple of seasons, all good things for fantasy owners to consider. He’s going to be on the field a lot from here on out, so he definitely increases exponentially in fantasy value.
Greg Camarillo, Dolphins - Camarillo just keeps showing up. After the biggest day he’s had this season he likely won’t last on the waiver wire if he was there still to begin with. It is safe to say he’s taken over the number one receiver job in Miami and has developed quite the connection with Chad Pennington. He’s a rising star, so grab him if you can.
Mark Bradley, Chiefs - He was waived by the Bears in September and picked up by the Chiefs. After one catch in week seven, Bradley had five catches for 42 yards and a score in New York and then turned in four catches for 65 yards against the Buccaneers. Bradley is not going to supplant Dwayne Bowe but he is developing into a surprisingly decent #2 across from Bowe and in dynasty leagues realize that Gonzalez may not be there next year. It could be all about Bowe and Bradley.
Sidney Rice, Vikings - The second-year wideout sprained the PCL in his right knee and has barely played this year but he is back as of last week and his one catch went for a touchdown. He only has four receptions on the year thanks to injury but two went for scores. As a rookie playing with Tavaris Jackson he was coming on with three scores in the six weeks and now has both Gus Frerotte as quarterback and Bernard Berrian to take the attention. Rice is on most waiver wires and should not be. He’s replacing Bobby Wade as the #2 and will only get better.
Derrick Mason, Ravens - Sure, he just had nine catches for 136 yards and a score but he has been above 70 yards in three of the last four weeks. The rookie Joe Flacco is starting to show improvement and that goes directly to Derrick Mason who is regaining his stature as a decent WR2 for a fantasy team. He’s averaging about six catches per week and doing a bit more as the season progresses.
Robert Royal (TE), Bills - He isn’t putting up huge numbers, but over the past three games he’s become a much bigger part of the offense. He’s getting three or four catches a week at least and with the upgrade in opportunity comes an upgrade in value. He could tack on a periodic touchdown to make him even more of a value, but if you’re hurting for a tight end starter or have a bad matchup going forward, he’s someone to look to. With the big day from Derek Fine some might argue Royal may lose steam, but at this point one good week by a previous unknown isn’t going to hurt him this season. Fine is a rookie and going forward could have big value, but not this season.
Brent Celek (TE), Eagles - Playing in place of L.J. Smith, Celek was McNabb’s favorite target. He won’t play as much when Smith is on the field, but with Smith’s history of health trouble, Celek will get on the field more and more if he keeps playing like this. His upside gets even bigger if you’re dealing with a keeper league.
Steve Breaston, Cardinals - It didn’t happen immediately, and he doesn’t slide back as much as some in less potent offenses might, but with Boldin back at full strength Breaston won’t be seeing the ball quite as many times and will see his value slide. He’s still a decent starter in deep leagues, but only if you’re needing four receivers in any given week.
Roy Williams, Cowboys - While he may start being a factor when Romo returns, for now he has been a complete disappointment, not only since coming to Dallas, but on the year as a whole. This isn’t a case of just having a few bad games. He’s had a basically bad year. Just when owners hope he’ll break out, he throws up another dud. Remember, this ship could right itself in a couple of weeks, but with Terrell Owens’ year not doing so well even with Romo at the helm, it doesn’t bode well for Roy.
Brandon Marshall, Broncos - After a red hot start, Marshall has cooled and most troublesome was the two catches for 27 yards he had at home against the Dolphins. After the game, several defenders commented that once the defense “got into Marshall’s head”, he was no longer as focused as he needed to be in the game. Getting a rep as a player that the defender can affect simply by talking smack does not bode well for the rest of the season for a player that is constantly doubled and plays for a team that is struggling.