Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Breakdown: These are guys who are on the rise, moving up from where they’ve been over the first few weeks of the season. They may or may not be on a roster, but likely are, and may even be starting here and there. They are listed here because circumstances are favorable for them to move up in their overall ‘stature’ from a fantasy standpoint. With bye weeks now in season, these are guys who can help you in the coming week, and sometimes beyond!
David Garrard (JAX) – Garrard resurfaces in this section this week due to primarily one thing: his upcoming schedule. With his next four outings against Seattle, St. Louis, Tennessee and Kansas City, Garrard could see a four week run (sandwiching a bye week) where he is in the top tier of quarterbacks most if not all of them. Will the run continue beyond that? That is doubtful, but he should still keep up an average of about 230 yards and a touchdown per game even when the stretch is over. As it is, depending on match ups and bye weeks, Garrard is an excellent start over the next month. He is getting comfortable with his team and some of the new faces, and the team is relying on his arm a bit more than it has in the past. Look for him to continue finding Mike Sims-Walker, his new favorite receiver, more and more as the week’s progress.
Derek Anderson (CLE) – Anderson was probably picked up last week in many leagues, and it became obvious this week that Cleveland is a better team with him under center. Even though the team lost, it was no doubt a ‘moral victory’ in its own right. Given the situation he’s in, there is not much of a running game, the pass should rule the day for most of the year. Even though Edwards is having another rough season, he’s still (theoretically) capable, and the breakout by rookie Mohamed Massaquoi adds another nice weapon, so the weapons are in place. Anderson will put the ball up a lot, won’t be great, but he’ll be better than many of the quarterbacks in the league this year from a fantasy standpoint, so will be worth being not only on a roster, but in a starting lineup somewhere.
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.
Josh Johnson (TBB) – Don’t jump to conclusions here just yet. In many occasions I wouldn’t bother to put Johnson down here, however, after giving it a bit of thought, I have a few points that make me think Johnson isn’t a complete waste of time from a fantasy standpoint. First, Johnson has already been more productive in a bit over one game than JaMarcus Russell has been in four. Ok, maybe that’s not statistically correct, but I think you get the point. Second, the team appears set to stick with Johnson for a bit. Third, this week four of the top quarterbacks in the league are on bye, Rodgers, Rivers, Brees and Cutler, meaning some teams are going to be looking for help for one week and one week only – Johnson faces Philadelphia this week, so it won’t be a cakewalk, but will likely be more productive than his outing against Washington. Fourth, Johnson is going to be used in all kinds of situations and is athletic on somewhat the same level as Michael Vick, so there is more than one way for points to accumulate for fantasy owners.
Daunte Culpepper (DET) – Matthew Stafford has more than staked his claim to the starting role in Detroit, but as we saw Sunday, an injury can happen any time in any game. Even if Stafford ends up being able to go against Pittsburgh next week, Culpepper warrants owning if you own Stafford, or if you’re wanting to play strategically. Regardless of who is starting in Detroit, they are going to be throwing the ball a lot, and with the receiving crew they have this year, they’ll at least have the possibility to grab a couple of touchdowns a game, so Culpepper comes with nice upside. Watch the news this week to monitor Stafford’s status and grab Culpepper as a safety valve.
…And On The Slide – Quick Hits
Breakdown: With the season in full swing and bye weeks about to begin, we felt it time to add a bit of the ‘flip side’ to our movers review. These are guys who are relatively well known, but whose stock is most definitely not moving in the right direction – with just a quick hit as to my personal thoughts on the matter.
Tom Brady (NEP) – Sure, I’m with everyone else that things Brady will return to relative dominance – maybe not the fifty touchdown brilliance he had the year before last, but dominance nonetheless. However, after four games he only has four touchdowns; putting him behind the likes of Trent Edwards, Joe Flacco, and Kyle Orton, just to name a few. The upside? At least he’s even with guys like Warner and Romo! Seriously though…at the moment he’s not anything near the top tier candidate he has been in recent healthy years, so look at matchups and other hot options before blindly starting him.
Brady Quinn (CLE) – Ryan Leaf may about to have some company. Quinn is awfully close to being chalked up as one of biggest busts in NFL history. It is hard to conceive how the Browns could possibly put him back at starter again at any point, and they’ll have to try trading him. The problem is, I’m not sure there will be a lot of demand for him, though someone will cough up something, just not much. He’ll get another shot, but he shouldn’t be languishing on anyone’s fantasy roster for the rest of this season baring a change of venue.