Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Backups Movin’ Up
Breakdown: These are guys who are likely on rosters, but are on the bench for the most part unless in deep leagues. Circumstances are favorable for them to move into the starting lineup for your fantasy team, at least for the coming week.
David Garrard (JAX) – Jacksonville travels to Houston this week. That alone should speak volumes, but in case it doesn’t, here’s the skinny. Garrard is a pretty darn good starting option this week in what likely will turn into a shootout much like the one between Tennessee and Houston last week. Garrard didn’t look great in week one, but he’s got two very good receivers and looked much more on track this week. Look for a performance about the same as the one he had this week, but don’t be surprised if he tops 300 yards and flirts with three scores.
Joe Flacco (BAL) – Every year at least one team – often many more than that – make claims that they’re going to ‘open up their offense’ more. More often than not, they do the same thing they did the year before. This season, two teams (at least) have followed through on that promise after a couple of games. Tennessee is one, Baltimore is the other. Joe Flacco didn’t have as big a week this week as he did in week one, but it still was solid, including two touchdown passes. If his receivers were better, Mark Clayton for one dropped a key pass late in the game, he would be having an even better start to the season than he is. While most owners drafted him as a backup, he’s been playing better than many starters so far, it’s time to start considering moving him into the starting lineup!
Waiver Wire Radar
Breakdown: These are guys who more than likely are not residing on many, if any, rosters. They are in situations that are favorable for possible fantasy impact in the not too distant future.
Seneca Wallace (SEA) – Matt Hasselbeck has an injury quite similar to the one Donovan McNabb has and which cost him at least a one week trip to the sidelines. If Hasselbeck ends up with a similar fate, Wallace is the likely option to start next week at home against the Bears. The Bears have a pretty good defense, but they’ve allowed their share of deep passes the past couple of weeks, so Wallace would have a few chances. It is highly unlikely most fantasy owners would need him to start, but for those who use bench points for tie breakers or other purposes, Wallace could be a helpful option. Not only that, if you own Hasselbeck as your primary QB, his injury history the past year or two would almost warrant Wallace’s position on your bench.
Kevin Kolb (PHI) – Before you start cussing the fact that Kolb has been listed here, take a minute to remember the point of this section and also to have a bit of patience while I explain. We all know that due to any number of reasons the Eagles are likely to keep McNabb as their starter for quite some time yet. However, there is a lot of public sentiment in Philly regarding Kolb, and even though they lost this week, Kolb looked more like a threat at quarterback than McNabb has in quite a while. Vick is able to play this week, but it is highly unlikely that the team views him as an option as a starting quarterback. He’s more of a change-up option to cause a wrinkle for defenses. With McNabb already banged up and his history of missing a couple game here and there, Kolb is likely to continue to get the starting nod as these misses happen. If he continues to pass for a couple of TDs and close to 300 yards, a quarterback controversy isn’t out of the question. This being said, Kolb is quite likely still available on your waiver wire, and if you have McNabb, you’d be a fool not to have Kolb as well. If you don’t have McNabb, grabbing Kolb would make strategic sense as well for either trade bait, or in case Kolb does see more action, it gives you, not the McNabb owner, the advantage.
Kyle Orton (DEN) – Orton is listed here because the simple fact is, he wasn’t drafted a lot. However, after a nice bounce back week, it is very clear that Denver is finding – slowly – its new identity. The running game seems to be settling into a two headed rotation which is allowing the passing game to stretch out. Orton has four very good receivers and a very good tight end, giving him more than enough options and enough to make even a mediocre quarterback look semi-decent. Look for his numbers to be closer to what they were this week than they were in week one, meaning he should be on someone’s roster in your league…why not yours?