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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Receivers Movin' Up - Week 3
Tim Van Prooyen
September 22, 2009
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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.

Laurent Robinson (STL) – The Rams already are showing signs that 2009 isn’t going to be much better than 2008.  That is the bad news.  The good news is that Laurent Robinson would appear to have become the team’s most consistent receiving threat. He’s been targeted twenty-one times with eleven receptions.  He has 141 yards and a touchdown in two games in which the Rams have only scored seven points total.  In other words, including Steven Jackson, he’s pretty much the most valuable Ram to have on your roster at the moment.  He is worthy of weekly consideration as a third starter at least.  Don’t set your expectations too high though, Green Bay is on the docket this week end, so another seven receptions for 75 or so yards would be a decent day.

Joey Galloway (NEP) – Galloway’s number today were up primarily because Wes Welker was unable to play.  Welker will likely be back next week, so Galloway will be back in the third receiver role.  However, you can bet that the team is going to be focusing a whole lot on the passing game this week as it is clear that the whole thing is a whole lot of out of sync.  The third receiver in the Patriots offense usually is a fairly productive spot, and it will be this season as well, it’s just getting a late start.  Atlanta comes to town next week and the Patriots aren’t happy with how the first two weeks have gone, so expect things to be a bit better offensively.  Galloway was drafted in most average sized leagues, so is likely on a roster, but this week is a decent time to start him in deep leagues, and if Welker can’t go again he’s an excellent last minute start.

Mike Sims-Walker (JAC) – The receiver formerly known as Mike Walker was drafted in most leagues relatively high considering his limited experience and exposure.  After week one many who drafted him may have doubted themselves.  After week two they’re pretty happy.   Will it continue?  It likely will for at least one more week.  A matchup against Houston bodes well for the Jags passing game and he likely will be the recipient of a good bit of action. 

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.

Derek Fine (BUF) – Two things are colliding and something has to give.  The Bills are using their Tight Ends quite a bit after the first two games, but the only TE that looks to be healthy going into next week’s game is Derek Fine.  He may not be an every week answer at this point, but is worth consideration this week due to the injury to Derek Schouman.  The Bills in general are doing better than many thought they would, and the passing offense is looking passable if not good, with all tools being used with good balance, which speaks well for continued positive production from the tight end position.

Johnny Knox (CHI) – Knox’ first week performance was easily chalked up to a couple of receptions with a big run, a lucky first outing.  After a follow up week with six catches and a touchdown, it is clear he’s quickly becoming Jay Cutler’s favorite target.  With work still to be done on working out the kinks in the passing game, things are only likely to get better.  Knox, especially in keeper or dynasty leagues, is hot property and seems to be on a steady climb to bigger and better things.   With a three week run ahead with games at Seattle, home against Detroit, and at Atlanta, Knox’ numbers are likely to get better at least the next two weeks…and possibly beyond.

Jason Avant (PHI) – DeSean Jackson is the number one receiver in Philly, no question.  Brent Celek has finally become the tight end the team has been searching for, and fits in nicely as the number two guy.  The fact is, however, that someone has to help out, and Jason Avant has begun to fit that role nicely.  On at team that never seems to figure out how to use the talented receivers they get, that problem could soon change, as the team is already showing signs, albeit slight, that they’re going to try to rely a bit more on the passing game.  Avant has been a steady relief valve at times and could finish the season with about fifty catches for 600 yards and 3-4 touchdowns.  If Kolb ends up starting more games than expected, these numbers could get even better.  Grab him now for depth and beat the other owners to the punch.

Kelly Washington (BAL) – Even with the Ravens opening up their passing game, for some reason it is still hard to peg where the receivers rank, so to speak.  Of course, Mason and Clayton are one and two, but neither is putting up great numbers.  The third guy is who is becoming the most consistent, and that is Kelly Washington.  He’s not putting up staggering numbers by any means, but for those in deep leagues who are looking for someone who is just going to put up a few points a week consistently, you could do worse than Washington.

Bobby Wade (KCC) – Wade went from unemployed to a waiver wire wonder in one week.  On a team struggling with its entire passing game, Wade stepped up in a big way this weekend.  Kansas City plays at Philadelphia this weekend, a team that gave up a ton of points this week, but whose defense did quite a number against Carolina the week before, setting up a very interesting showdown.  The bet would be that the Chiefs offense will have a solid day, with about 260 passing yards and two touchdowns.  If this is even close, Wade would be the likely recipient of a good chunk of those with the defense keyed on Bowe.  Wade seems to have taken most of the catches that went to Mark Bradley last week, not a good sign for Bradley, who was in this spot last week as well…but such is the world of fantasy football prognostication.  Look for the two of them to be on-again/off-again top options, so both only can be considered ‘must starts’ in the deeper leagues.

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