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!
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – Big Ben is on one heck of an amazing pace this year. If he doesn’t let up, he’s on target to throw for over 400 completions and about 5,000 yards. His touchdown pace is a bit lower, about twenty-seven or so, but after only hitting one a week for the first three games, he’s had two or more each of the past three weeks. Next week the Steelers get the Vikings in Pittsburgh. The Vikings just gave up 385 yards and two touchdowns to Joe Flacco, so there should be no reason that Ben can’t at least come close to those numbers this weekend. Following the bye week after the Vikings game he has a relatively nice schedule for at least three weeks, so Ben is obviously a must start, and it would seem as though, at least for one season, he’s graduated to the top of the class as far as fantasy quarterbacks go.
Shaun Hill (SFO) – Chalk this one up to who’s going to help you next week. Hill hasn’t had a huge break out week, but he’s had solid outings almost every week, low end, but solid and consistent. Enter the Texans. This game won’t be close to the Giants/Saints affair last week, but it will likely result in two or three touchdowns for each team. With so many teams on the bye week next week, some owners will be looking for any kind of solid help they can find, and Hill is likely one of the best options on the second tier of quarterbacks this week. His yardage won’t scare anyone, but he is a fair bet for a couple of touchdown tosses. It should be noted that, once Michael Crabtree gets up to speed, Hill’s value should take a steady upward slant as the season progresses, and he ultimately could be a very nice low round keeper hold for those of you in dynasty leagues.
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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) – First, no one expects Fitzpatrick to take the starting job in Buffalo. This is in no way meant to indicate that I think so, and just want that to be clear. However, Trent Edwards left the game Sunday with a concussion, and if history holds true, he’ll likely miss next week’s game against Carolina. Carolina does not have the best defense in the world right now and has allowed a fair amount of passing damage, meaning there is at least opportunity there for Ryan assuming he’s the starter Sunday. Here is why he matters. Until this week the byes have only been somewhat painful with four teams off each of the past three weeks. However, the next three weeks get brutal, with six teams off each weekend over that span. When six teams end up not playing on a given weekend, sometimes finding a starting quarterback with any kind of upside is tough, especially in the deeper leagues. This week will see Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck, and David Garrard, not to mention Kerry Collins and whomever happens to be behind center for the injury riddled Lions, all at home watching the Sunday Ticket, so some fantasy owners will be looking for help, and for probably just one week, Fitzpatrick could provide that help. If you’re in a pinch, give him a chance. He’s not going to make anyone forget Drew Brees or anything of the sort, but he could toss a couple of touchdowns and a couple of hundred yards.
…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.
Matthew Stafford (DET) – If reports surfacing are true, Stafford may require surgery on his knee. This goes contrary to what we’d been hearing the past week or two out of Detroit, and means that the season may again belong to – assuming all he had were cramps Sunday – Daunte Culpepper. Stafford wasn’t a great fantasy option, but was quickly becoming an exciting player to watch and with the weapon of Calvin Johnson at his disposal, he had a decent bit of upside. If he does have surgery he’ll be out for the year more than likely, so will have no more fantasy value this year, but it isn’t a given that he’ll for sure have surgery, so monitor the situation before giving up on him completely. In fairness, Stafford said on a radio show today that he hasn’t heard that he’s going to need surgery and feels that he’ll be back before too long. However, he’s still not worth fantasy consideration for even a roster for another couple of weeks, minimum.
Jason Campbell (WAS) – There is really no telling what is going to happen in Washington with their quarterback situation or any other situation. Therein lays the reason Campbell is listed here. At this point, regardless of what happens going forward, Campbell is not worth even a spot on your fantasy roster. He’s had a couple of bursts that have allowed some owners to hold out hope, but the reality is, he’s had a fair shot in Washington and simply hasn’t gotten the job done. If he’s given a change of pace, a chance somehow with another team, he still could potentially have some value before his career is done, but for now that isn’t happening and without that he isn’t worth wasting a spot on your bench.