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!
Matt Cassel (KCC) – Cassel threw for two touchdowns for the third game in a row, but that wasn’t the reason he’s listed here. What is more important and of particular note to fantasy owners is the fact that for the third straight week his yardage numbers increased significantly. He had about 90 yards two weeks ago, about 130 the following week, and then tossed about 250 this past week. Tossing out his first game back from injury this year, a week two mess against Oakland, he’s shown a slow yet steady improvement that would signify a gelling with his new team and a comfort level with his receivers. Cassel is proving that he’s worthy of fantasy consideration as the two touchdowns a week will attest. He’s averaging about 220 yards and a decimal shy of two touchdowns a game, and with games against Washington next week and San Diego the week after, shouldn’t have too much trouble at least meeting those averages before taking a bye week. If you benched, or dropped, Cassel after a struggling couple of weeks, now’s the time to correct the situation.
Kyle Orton (DEN) – Kyle was drafted, on average, in the eleventh round of most fantasy drafts this season. Now, while he’s struggled a bit to find a groove, the gunslinger is getting in synch with his fine stable of receivers and finds his team 5-0 and himself the seventh ranked quarterback in the league in passing yards, with a 97.4 passer rating. His seven touchdowns aren’t where owners would like that number to be after five games, but after the performance he put on against New England, it is only a matter of time before that number rises as well, there is too much talent around him for it not to be. He has a match up next week against San Diego next week that should see him put up a decent stat line, but has Baltimore and Pittsburgh after a bye week, something that bothered me a bit until I saw what he did against the Patriots this week. Those will likely be high yardage, one-or-two touchdown affairs, but still well within the realm of what fantasy owners like to see from a starting quarterback. So, for those of you still hedging on Orton, now would be the time to move him up to your 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.
Marc Bulger (STL) – Notwithstanding the fact that I preached his decline here just a couple weeks ago, it bears noting that, for some owners – in some leagues – Bulger for one reason or another may still be on some rosters. Even though he’s very unreliable as a fantasy quarterback in general, primarily due to a bad team and injuries, he does do well from time to time and can still put up good numbers in the right situations. A few of those situations are coming up in the next few weeks, meaning it’s a good time – if you’re in need of a starter – to jump on Bulger, if only for a couple of weeks. After a perfect, off the bench performance this week, he gets Jacksonville next week and should be back in the starting role, as it appears his injured shoulder seems to be feeling better. After a matchup with the much tougher Indianapolis, he gets Detroit, all before going on a bye. So, with bye weeks creating the usual fantasy mess that they do, if Bulger can stay healthy for a while, he should be a viable fill in starter at the very least for at least the coming week.
Chad Henne (MIA) – Watching the game Monday night I couldn’t help but notice the growth that Henne had already experienced since taking over three weeks ago. His first outing yielded an interception. His second outing yielded one touchdown. His third outing yielded two touchdowns, a nice, steady, weekly growth. Seriously though, even though Miami is a running team, Henne pulled off quite a performance against a Jets defense that did a pretty good job against Drew Brees a week ago, not an easy feat. Is Henne going to be a gunslinger, not likely, but he’s looking like a solid starting option for owners looking for some help on a bye week or due to injury. He’s proving that he’s not prone to making too many mistakes, and manages the game well, something a lot of very good quarterbacks are known for. He’s still available on most waiver wires, so grab him as a backup, or a spot starter, this week. He’s proven he can perform against a good defense, so don’t sweat the schedule too much.
…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.
Kerry Collins (TEN) – A couple of weeks ago Collins was on the rise, but Tennessee seems to be losing their way more than finding it. With that has come a decline in the offensive output as a whole, not just the passing game. Collins has been good at the passing in general, but falling apart when close to the end zone, not a good thing for a quarterback. While it wouldn’t appear he’s in danger of losing his job – Vince Young is not the answer and the Titan’s know it – he is not going to light things up much going forward. He’s got a tough match up next week against the Patriots, then a bye, so now would be a good time to bench him for a while at least.