By Mike Cannici
Alex Smith (52%CBS, 68%MFL, 26%ESPN, 34% Yahoo)
Alex Smith may have played his best pro game last night against the defending champs. He did throw two interceptions but one was a tipped ball so we’ll let that one slide. He was very accurate,(23-32) for 275 yards and a TD. Smith lead the team down the field to tie the game with just over a minute left in regulation, and did a lot of it with his legs. He looked very comfortable last night after the first two series, one of which he threw ball out of end zone for a safety after having the ball snapped over his head. He is very athletic QB and can definitely run as we saw last night. I won’t say he’s arrived just yet, but he’s someone you may want to keep on the bench right now because he has the ability and the weapons to be a successful QB. If he’s available in your league and you missed the boat on Michael Vick, take a shot on this guy as your backup or your QB by committee rotation.
Shaun Hill (3%CBS, 4.7% MFL, 0.4% ESPN, 3%Yahoo)
Hill certainly isn’t the most consistent QB in the league, but he plays on a good offense and will be the starter for the foreseeable future. He had 335 yards and 2 TD’s Sunday against the Eagles. He’s got great weapons and is worth a gamble in deeper leagues or matchup plays.
Mark Sanchez (52%CBS, 66% MFL, 22.7%ESPN, 33%Yahoo)
Sanchez hasn’t been the model of consistency thus far in his short career, but yesterday against the Pats showed the potential that he has. In a few weeks he gets Santonio Holmes back and will have a ton of weapons to throw too. He had career high 23 completions and 3 TD passes Sunday and is definitely worth a shot in deeper leagues and should already be owned in dynasty leagues. He will still have some inconsistent games, but the potential is there to become a star in this league.
Jason Snelling (20%CBS, 23%MFL, 4.3%ESPN, 25%Yahoo)
Snelling replaced Michael Turner Sunday against the Cardinals and totaled 186 yards and 3 scores. The Falcons are saying Turner is fine and will play week 3, but as we all know, Turner is injury prone and Snelling is just a hiccup away from being the starter. Turner owners should already own him, but if not, make him your top priority off the wire this week, as Snelling would be a solid low-end RB2 at worst if Turner was to miss significant time.
Mike Tolbert (1%CBS, 5.2% MFL, 0.6% ESPN, 12%Yahoo)
Tolbert is a big, hard-nosed running back who played very well in relief of Ryan Mathews Sunday. Mathews didn’t return their saying mainly because it was a blowout and they didn’t want to make the ankle injury any worse and cause him to miss a significant period of time. Mathews has always been injury prone throughout his college years and Tolbert, not Darren Sproles would be the main recipient if Mathews were to miss time.
Earnest Graham (1%CBS, 2.3% MFL, 0.3%ESPN, 1%Yahoo)
Graham did have a big fumble back in week 1, but that’s the past now and he looked pretty good catching passes out of the backfield Sunday including a TD catch. Graham and Huggins would probably start as a time share if Cadillac Williams were to go down, but he is worth a speculative add right now especially for Cadillac owners.
Keiland Williams (1%CBS, 3.2% MFL, 1.8%ESPN, 1%Yahoo)
The undrafted Rookie out of LSU didn’t have an amazing game Sunday and Portis/Larry Johnson didn’t suffer significant injuries but Coach Mike Shanahan has a history of turning undrafted RB’s into fantasy stars. Williams didn’t play a ton in college in a crowded backfield but was productive when he did get on the field. Williams didn’t have a carry Sunday, but did catch 4 passes in relief of Portis and Johnson after Johnson carried the ball for a 10 yard loss, which is uncalled for. If you have the roster spot or are in a dynasty league, Williams could very well be the lead back in Washington by midseason so keep an eye on his progress. UPDATE: Larry Johnson was released today, 9/21, and Williams is now OFFICIALLY the #2 running back. Get out there and grab him especially if your a Portis owner.
Marshawn Lynch (36%CBS, 46.2%MFL, 56%ESPN, 19%Yahoo)- Lynch received the bulk of the carries Sunday in Green Bay (17 for 64yds), and is a decent add in most leagues, especially if he were to be traded. I believe it was more of an audition for other teams, including the team he ran against the Packers, to see that he can still run with authority. Lynch looked pretty good running the ball Sunday and would jump up the RB rankings if he were traded to Green Bay or Seattle. If you have a roster spot and are looking for some RB depth add Lynch on talent alone.
Kevin Walter (34%CBS, 34.2MFL, 10.7%ESPN, 38%Yahoo)
Walter was a disappointment last season (trust me I owned him in 2 leagues) but has been solid through the first two weeks of 2010. He only caught 2 passes week 1 but got into the end zone and week two saw 11 targets, had 11 receptions for 144 yards and another TD. There are plenty of balls to go around in Houston, but Walter in the slot could become what we saw flashes of in ’08. He can be Wes Welker light in that offense out of the slot so if you didn’t pick him up, he’s a guy you want to go after immediately, especially in PPR leagues.
DeMaryius Thomas (18%CBS, 48%MFL, 2%ESPN, 32%Yahoo)
The big rookie wideout out of Georgia Tech, which is Calvin Johnson’s alma mater, finally got onto the field in week 2 and he had a breakout game. Kyle Orton targeted him 9 times, while catching 8 of them for 97 yards and a score. This guy has all the talent in the world and could at some point be a solid Brandon Marshall replacement. He does have injury history of foot problems, but if he can stay healthy he could be in for a big year in Denver. He should obviously already be owned in Dynasty leagues, and if you were smart enough to draft him, kudos to you, but if not, he’s just a hair behind Kevin Walter for top receiver pickups this week.
Nate Washington (50%CBS, 40.1%MFL, 37.5%ESPN, 47%Yahoo)
The former Pittsburgh Steeler and current Tennessee Titan Nate Washington has been solid over the first two weeks of the season. Even if Kenny Britt gets his act together, It’ll be Justin Gage, not Washington who would lose snaps. Nate has 7 catches for 122 yards and 2 scores through first two weeks and isn’t a terrible option as a WR3 or flex play going forward. If for no other reason, he can give you solid depth on your bench to cover bye weeks for you.
Louis Murphy– (29%CBS, 28.6%MFL, 30.5%ESPN, 9%Yahoo)
Murphy, because of QB issues, is going to be inconstant until Oakland gets consistent QB play, but he is worth a roster spot because of his talent and speed. Murphy posted 6 catches for 91 yards and a TD Sunday against St. Louis, and was targeted 10 times. You’re not relying on him week in and week out, but like Nate Washington, he adds good depth with big potential off your bench.
Darius Heyward-Bey (8%CBS, 18.6%MFL, 1.8%ESPN, 6%Yahoo)
DHB may finally be figuring it out. Sunday he matched his counterpart Louis Murphy with 6 catches and just 11 less yards with 80. He did drop a pass in the red zone but had a career high is receptions and yards. He obviously needs to show more before you start him, but he’s starting to look like someone you may want stashed on your benches, and needs to be owned in all dynasty leagues. Dare I say the Raider’s may not be far off from having relevant WR’s? Time will tell.
Earl Bennett– (1%CBS, 5.3%MFL, 0.1%ESPN, 2%Yahoo)
Bennett Sunday, didn’t blow the roof off new Cowboy stadium, but has now passed 2010 breakout candidate Devin Aromashadu on the depth chart. The Bears are saying this was based off Aromashadu dropping passes Sunday and Bennett replaced him in the slot and received 5 passes for 29 yards on 6 targets. Bennett could have some good value out of the slot especially in PPR leagues. I speculate that Aromashadu will find his way back onto the field sometime soon, but for now Bennett is worth a look because he does have a lot of potential as a slot guy.
Josh Morgan (12%CBS, 16.4MFL, 3.3%ESPN, 4%Yahoo)
Morgan looked like the go to WR Monday night, not Michael Crabtree, finishing with 6 catches for 70yds. Crabtree had just 1 catch for 32 yards and only 3 targets. He made a brilliant catch along the sidelines during the game tying drive just getting two feet down. The pecking order for catches right now in SF looks like this, V. Davis, Frank Gore, Josh Morgan and a distant 4th is Crabtree. Morgan is plenty of skill, and he’s a guy I’ve like for a few years now. He’s the starter opposite Crabtree and could be in for a breakout year. He’s a good stash right now if you have the room, so take a chance on him for a few bucks.
Aaron Hernandez (13%CBS, 20%MFL, 4%ESPN, 7%Yahoo)
Hernandez, like his rookie TE counterpart Rob Gronkowski in week 1, had his breakout game against the Jets. Hernandez burned the Jet’s LB and Safeties all day long finishing with 6 catches for 101 yards on 6 targets. This value of Gronkowski and Hernandez may bounce back and forth week to week, but if you have a stud TE, Hernandez is worth a look as a bye week or injury filler and should be owned in all dynasty leagues.
Brandon Pettigrew (6%CBS, 17.7%MFL, 1.2%, 16%Yahoo)
It was Pettigrew, not Tony Scheffler who had the big day at TE Sunday against the Eagles. Pettigrew was drafted as a every snap type, but last year was used mostly in blocking situations and wasn’t very consistent in the passing game. He has the size and speed to be a quality TE in this week, but his catching ability has been questioned to this point. Pettigrew and Hill seemed to develop a good report though with Hill completing 7 passes for 108 yards to him Sunday. If you’re using a TE by committee, Pettigrew with Hill under center might not be a bad pickup going forward on upside alone.