Another week, another devastating injury. Just when it looked like the Houston Texans were all set to be at full strength on offense, Andre Johnson goes down with a hamstring injury. The waiver wire has been loaded with options at wide receiver the past couple weeks. This week? Notsomuch. Most of the the depth charts have been determined and it will take a little more luck to pluck a reliable guy off the wire.
This week will have many more options at WR for deeper leagues to go with the myriad of running backs that have emerged as standard-league adds. Of course the big news is The Fantasy Devil, Mike Shanahan, did it to us again.
Check out which guys you need to add after the jump:
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Colt McCoy- The guy that looks like a 14-year-old prepubescent boy put the ball up 61 times on Sunday. He finished with 350 yards, a TD, a pick and a lost fumble in a losing effort. The Browns are on a bye this week, but after that they have a pretty favorable schedule. It's going to be tough to lean on a guy like McCoy with the lack of talent at WR and the non-existent vertical passing game.
Bottom Line- McCoy is a bye-week option in most leagues and isn't really worth owning until he comes back next week. He's just for 14-team leagues for now.
Tarvaris Jackson- Jackson was a sight for sore eyes for Seahawks fans with a big game of 319 yards, three touchdowns and two picks in the loss to the formidble Falcons. Jackson's passer rating with a season-high 96.3, which is pretty impressive considering he threw two picks. He's a mobile QB and has a decent upside with the Seahawks having arguably the worst rushing attack in the league. Tennessee is currently ranked at 32 and the Hawks come in at 31 (that should change soon with CJ2K getting back in a groove).
Bottom Line- It takes a little slice of crazy to even consider owning Jackson, let alone ever starting him. He's just a backup in 16-team leagues for now.
David Garrard- The Dolphins are looking into signing Garrard to replace Chad Henne. Garrard has been a decent source of fantasy points and might be someone worthy of your consideration in a favorable matchup. They get the Jets after their bye for Week 6.
Tim Tebow- Personally, I really don't like Tebow's prospects as an NFL QB. His delivery is a commercial in the making by some phone company's 4G speed compared to another company's Tebow-like 3G speed. The allure of Tebow is that he will get a nice chunk of goal-line carries. He has upside and his schedule is pretty good though.
Bottom Line- The Broncos are pretty bad and on bad teams the backup QB is everyone's favorite player. There are crazier ideas than picking up Tebow in 16-team leagues.
Ryan Torain- Oh, Mike Shanahan. Owners messing around with a Shanny backfield is like eating a double-double at In-N-Out. It seems so delicious and like you wish you had it months ago, but in the long run it's really terrible for you. It seems like every year he does this to us and we all fell for it again. I remember Tatum Bell being on the cover of this magazine. Hilarious. Almost everyone, including me, had Roy Helu penciled in at a 50-50 split in with Tim Hightower, and Ryan Torain out of the picture until one of the two suffered an injury. Well, Torain lit up the Rams for 135 on 19 carries with a TD. The Skins are on a bye week, which could be helpful for Torain to fit in better with all the new pieces in Washington's O.
Bottom Line- He obviously has to be owned. Although just remember that he has been very injury prone throughout his career and sellling high on him is the prudent thing to do.
Stevan Ridley- Ridley was mentioned last week and we'll give him his due once again. On Sunday against the Raiders he was clearly the best back on the field not named Darren McFadden. Ridley looked great on the stretch plays and showed his decisiveness by hitting the holes. He gets downhill pretty quickly and certainly isn't afraid of contact. As for his competition, BenJarvus Green-Ellis looked old and slow and was really hesistant on runs outside of the A and B gaps and Danny Woodhead got hurt. I said last week that I'd rather have Ridley over The Law Firm and it's not something I'm going to back off from saying after Ridley's 97-yard game with a score. You might also be somewhat surprised that New England ranks fifth in YPC. Or as Tron would say, "fif."
Bottom Line- He's must-own material. Monster upside.
Bernard Scott- Scott should have been owned weeks ago. This one's for you shallow leagues.
Bottom Line- Pick him up, then look for more owners to join your league for next season.
Montario Hardesty- He was another guy that was mentioned last week and improved his stock with getting most of the work on third down. Hardesty had nine targets in the passing game and might be worthy of a flex start in the upcoming weeks for deep leagues.
Bottom Line- Hardesty should be owned in competitve 12-team leagues.
Isaac Redman- Who are these guys in black and gold and what the heck happened to the Steelers? The Pittsburgh running game is in shambles and they have barely even created a sliver of running room for Mendenhall. Not to mention their D looks old, slow and oldenslow (an obvious hybrid word). Anyhow, Rashard Mendenhall pulled him hamstring and his status for Sunday's tilt with the Titans is in doubt. There was good news for him on Monday saying the injury is not serious though. However, if the injury to Arian Foster has taught us anything, it's that hamstring injuries can linger more than any other type of injury.
Bottom Line- Redman should be owned by all Mendenhall owners and is worth owning in all 12-team leagues.
Jacquizz Rodgers- The Quizz had his best game as a pro with 25 yards on six carries and also added a catch for 10 yards. The numbers aren't of the eye-catching variety, but he was doing the little things. He did a fair job in picking up blitzes which bodes well for his value as a third-down back. Rookies also have a tendency to get happy feet and Rodgers was pretty quick in getting to the point of attack. It's looking like Jason Snelling is going to miss more time with a concussion, which would propel Quizz into handcuff territory for Michael Turner. The Falcons should score a ton of points and are going to have a balanced run-pass ratio.
Bottom Line- Turner owners in 12-team leagues might want to pick him up. Although with the bye weeks coming up it's going to be hard to stash handcuffs. He's worth owning in competitve 14 teamers as well.
Joe McKnight- McKnight was in the column a few weeks ago and while he hasn't produced just yet, he is closing the gap to catch Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. Shonn Greene is flat ot awful. The Jets rushing attack ranks 30th in the league in yards and 30th in the league with 3.1 YPC. Greene doesn't have a run longer than 15 yards on the season and hasn't shown any agility, elusiveness, acceleration and speed in general. McKnight has been making plays in special teams with the big blocked punt against the Cowboys in the opener and making a house call on a kick-off on Sunday. The USC product was widely considered as the top recruit coming out of high school, but he has hit a wall so far in his career primarily because of the problems between the ears. McKnight was featured on Hard Knocks on HBO last year and was criticized for not caring enough about getting better. McKnight appears to be humbled and he might be able to carve out a role in the near future.
Bottom Line- He's just a lottery ticket right now. Greene will need to continue his horrendous season for many more weeks even before you can consider plugging him into your lineup.
Jacoby Ford- Ford may have been let loose in your league. He needs to be owned in all leagues.
Danario Alexander- Alexander, like all the Rams, struggled on Sunday. Sam Bradford couldn't finedenough time to check his imaginary watch let alone find receivers down the field. Alexander did have eight targets and was only able to reel in three of them for 46 yards. Alexander was in the column a couple weeks ago that said he's the most valuable WR in St. Louis. That's still the case.
Bottom Line- He has very nice upside and should be worth owning in 12-team leagues.
Victor Cruz- I'll be the first to tell you I'm a stubborn man. I shot down any chance of Cruz sustaining his value even with an awesome matchup against a vulerable AZ pass defense. Cruz had a solid game to the tune of six catches for 98 yards. Cruz also got nine targets and led the league for most contraversial call of the week by "declaring himself down." Declaration of Dependence for the Giants to win in a cheap way. A win is a win though. But I digress. To be frank, I still don't believe in Cruz. He has routinely been one of the last guys to make the NYG roster until this season and just doesn't translate to becoming a reliable split end or flanker. Manningham is a wonderful buy-low target.
Bottom Line- It's kind of hard to argue with the production in the last two games and Cruz should be owned in most 12-team leagues. I would certainly consider trading him to an owner in a bye-week pickle. Also buy low on Mario Manningham.
Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter- Jones also makes his way on WWS for the second time this season and this time it's not a deep-league special. It sounds like Andre Johnson is going to three weeks with an injured hammy and the Texans will have to go with Jones and Walter at the X and Y. Jones isn't much of a volume guy and really just has value on his big-play ability. Walter is a bit of a safer option and could emerge with David Nelson-like value (not counting Nelson's stinker; Nelson should still be owned).
Bottom Line- These two are more for owners that need help in the upcoming weeks. If there are decent bench receivers on your roster, then don't bother. The Texans will be running a lot and going to Owen Daniels in the red zone.
Darrius Heyward-Bey- For the second time on the season DHB has led the Raiders in targets (Sunday and the opener). The Maryland Terp had a career-high 115 yards receiving and looked the part of a first-round talent. Almost. He still lacks the threat of going over the middle, which would be a nice component of his game give his size at 6'2" and 210 pounds. He's a long way from becoming a reliable asset, but the Raiders offense has been able to score and someone has to emerge as the WR1 on this team. I do believe it will be Jacoby Ford. I have been wrong before though.
Bottom Line- If you're feeling saucy, then go for it. He has upside.
Early Doucet- Again. It's pronounced "do set." Even though I haven't heard any person that has any sense of humor call him something else. Doucet had a big opener with 105 and a touch (which I wasn't buying at the time), then cooled off big time in the second week. He has built up some steam with six targets in back-to-back games and caught five balls last week and three on Sunday. He hasn't made much of an impact yet, however, he has put himself clearly in front of Andre Roberts for the starting gig opposite Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals are going to need to score a slew of points and will need Kevin Kolb to pass it around. Doucet can stretch the field and might be someone that becomes consistent in the coming weeks.
Bottom Line- The LSU alum is on the upswing and could emerge as a decent WR4. Competitive 14-team league owners could do worse.
Legandu Naanee- Naanee's line is a one where most people wouldn't have noticed with a pedestrian four catches for 27 yards. The reason why you find him here is because of his 11 targets from the Offensive Rookie of the Year. The way that Cam Newton is hitting on all cylinders and the high likelihood of Steve Smith getting bracket coverage could lead to Naanee having value. Naanee is a better blocker and got most of the snaps in two-wide sets. The Naanee-Lafell battle is a lot like the Cruz-Manningham situation; it is cloudy to say the least and both are expected to be in offenses that produce a lot of fantasy goodness.
Bottom Line- He shouldn't be owned in anything less than a 16-team league. He's on the radar though.
Preston Parker- Parker has been Mr. Third Down for the Bucs this season and it was never more evident than the third-down TD on Monday Night Football. Parker has a knack for finding the hole in zones and has really become Freeman's go-to guy when the pressure is on him. While his value is about level with Arrelious Benn's, he is a safer option when considering Benn tore his ACL last season. On the other hand, are you really willing to pick up a guy that gets most of his work on third down?
Bottom Line- Parker is a low-upside WR4 at this point. His arrow is point upward though. Someone in your deeper league might be adding him based on his previous production getting the prime-time TV boost. If you want him, ya might have to get him now.
Jared Cook- Cook was another guy mentioned last week. He had an 80-yard TD to validate his fantasy value. Cook also saw six targets come his way.
Bottom Line- He should be owned by all owners that are not confident in their current TE.
Jermaine Gresham- Gresham found paydirt for the second time this season and looks to be the top red-zone option for Andy Dalton at this point. Gresham can be used all over the field and safeties will have a tough time covering him as he and Dalton fine-tune their games a bit.
Bottom Line- Gresham has a higher ceiling than some low-level starting tight ends in deeper leagues. He might be a guy to count on for bye weeks.
Bengals- The Cincy D is pretty solid this season. Reggie Nelson is playing well and Leon Hall is one of the better corners that nobody talks about. Hall should be able to keep Mike Thomas in check and the Bengals will set up shop in Blaine Gabbert's kitchen for most of the game. Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap should get pressure off the edge and expect Rey Maualuga, Thomas Howard and Co. to limit MJD below 100 yards.
Bottom Line- They are worth starting in almost all formats.
Giants- The Giants get the Seahawks at home. The Seahawks have one of the worst lines in the game and Big Blue should be good for a few sacks and some turnovers.
Bottom Line- They're worth starting this week and should remain owned in most formats.
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