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!
Marc Bulger (STL) – There is one and only one reason Bulger makes this list this week. He plays Detroit on Sunday. Were he going against anyone else except maybe Seattle, Tennessee or Cleveland he wouldn’t be worth having anywhere near your roster. Since he’s going against Detroit he has a good bit of upside. Detroit’s run defense hasn’t been too shabby this year, but their secondary is getting beat week in and week out. Look for Bulger to have what could be his best day of 2009 this weekend, but remember that to have his best day he’d pretty much have to hit two hundred yards and a couple of touchdowns. Those numbers would be decent enough this week though, as the six team bye week coming up makes owners look in all the nooks and crannies for a decent starter for one week.
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.
Alex Smith (SFO) – It is official, Smith has been named the starter in San Francisco at least for this week. Actually he’s been handed the job for the rest of the season according to the coaching staff. He had a great one half on Sunday, but don’t expect him to throw three touchdown passes every week, he’s got a solid set of defenses coming up that will make him look much less polished. The good thing is he’s got a great arm and has a lot of weapons now that Michael Crabtree is in the fold. Granted, Tennessee in a couple of weeks should be fun, but Indianapolis this week – notsomuch, though it will likely force him to throw the ball a lot to keep his team in the hunt, which should make for a solid fantasy outing. One thing to note – his last two games of the season are against Detroit and St. Louis…meaning grabbing him now could give big rewards in the fantasy playoffs.
Josh Freeman (TBB) – Tampa Bay is on a bye week this week, but it appears likely that, at 0-7, the team figures it has little to lose by taking a look at Freeman, their first round pick in this year’s draft. The problem here is that the Bucs schedule for the rest of the season is pretty brutal, with really no ‘friendly’ defense for a quarterback, much less a rookie one. This being said, if you are in a keeper league, and this is really where his only realistic value lies at this point, it would be a good week to pick him up – if your league rules allow – to hold on to him just in case he ends up with some potential. The Bucs are going to struggle to win a game this year, and someone has to be behind center. With Leftwich and Johnson having already had their shot, there really is no need for them to go backwards…for whatever that ends up being worth.
…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.
Shaun Hill (SFO) – Hill appears to be done as a starter. He started off relatively strong and managed games well, but struggled the past couple of weeks and just couldn’t do what needed to be done, especially in the passing game, which led to his being benched. Now Mike Singletary has made it official that Alex Smith will be the starter going forward, so it would be safe to think that Hill will spend the rest of his career as a capable back-up. Can you say Trent Dilfer or Jon Kitna?
Josh Johnson (TBB) – Johnson is still only a second year guy, but it doesn’t bode well for him that he’s being benched in favor of this year’s rookie. It is too early to tell what this does to his long term career prospects, but his fantasy prospects are currently non-existent. If you had him for some bye week help, now’s the time to cut bait.