By Mike Cannici
Chad Henne(63%CBS, 69%MFL, 44%Y!, 66.2%ESPN)- Henne finally had the type of game that most of us expected coming into the 2010 season. He threw for 363 yards and 2 TD’s. I know the Jets didn’t have Darrelle Revis but the last two weeks he didn’t face the best CB’s either and played subpar at best. He’s a decent option going forward and draws the hated Patriots at home in week 4. I like him as a quality backup or starter in 2QB leagues, especially with Brandon Marshall as his #1 option.
Sam Bradford(44%CBS, 52.4%MFL,26%Y!,20.5%ESPN)- The Rams rookie recorded his first win as a pro against a pretty good Redskin team. Bradford has been much better than expected through his first 3 games and has made for some viable WR options in St. Louis, which hasn’t existed for years. They are tied for 3rd in the NFL in pass plays of 30 yards or more after having just six all of last year. Grab him in keeper leagues and as a backup in regular leagues as he draws the Seahawks, Lions, Chargers, Bucs and Panthers the next five weeks, all teams who struggle against the pass.
Bruce Gradkowski (9%CBS, 10.5%MFL, 5%Y!,2.1%ESPN)- Had it not been for gigantic kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s last second missed field goal, Gradkowski would have lead this team to a 2-1 start. Bruce has made this Raider receiving corp. very own able in all leagues. TE Zach Miller caught Gradkowski’s lone TD pass, while Louis Murphy (5-119) and Darrius Heyward-Bey finished with 3 catches for 49 yards, who lead the team in targets with 11. The Raiders draw two very good matchups the next two weeks with the Texans and Chargers, so Gradkowski is a terrific matchup play if your suffering from bye week or injuries.
Willis McGahee (63%CBS, 61.1%MFL, 32%Y!, 67.3 %ESPN) McGahee is a guy that is widely owned in most leagues because he is a TD vulture as well as the handcuff to one of the best backs in the league Ray Rice. Rice is currently suffering from a knee contusion and it isn’t known yet whether he will play this week against the Steelers. This is not a great matchup by any means but McGahee would be the guy If Rice couldn’t suit up. If he’s available in your league, take a shot on him as it could pay huge dividends if Rice were to miss any time.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (32%CBS, 20.3%MFL, 12% Y!, 2.1%ESPN)-BJE, as I like to call him for short, came on in relief of Fred Taylor last week and compiled 16 carries for 98 yds and a TD. Taylor’s status for this week is not yet known, but right now Green-Ellis looks the best out of their current trio of backs. He’s a solid gamble if for nothing else to add some depth to your roster. Grab him in all 12 team leagues now.
Dexter McCluster (32%CBS, 47.9%MFL, 37% Y!, 12%ESPN)- I just dropped this guy in one of my leagues last week for Louis Murphy, and yes it did work out to my advantage but this is a guy I really liked coming into the season. He posted 3-69-1TD numbers against the niners at home. He’s an explosive player who can make big plays in the run, pass and return game and is absolutely worth a add if he’s available for his upside. I’m trying to grab him back in that same league, but won’t be dropping Murphy for him, I’ll find someone else. McCluster is also WR eligible so that can really help having that roster flexibility.
Kenneth Darby (3%CBS, 4%MFL, 7% Y!, 0.2%ESPN)- Darby is the handcuff to Steven Jackson in St. Louis and ran pretty well finishing with 49 yards and a TD in relief of the injured Jackson. Jackson is questionable for week 4 as he tweaked his groin so Darby is a decent handcuff, especially against the Seahawks and Lions up next for the Rams. He’s worth a speculative pickup in most leagues and a must add for Jackson owners.
Ryan Torain (1%CBS, 2.9%MFL, 1%Y!, 0.3%ESPN)-In last week’s article , I said Keiland Williams was the backup to Clinton Portis and was a great pickup. I wake up Sunday morning and see the Redskins signed Ryan Torain from the practice squad and then notice he’s getting some carries (7 for 46yds) and Williams is sitting on the bench. Oh how Coach Shanahan loves to screw with us fantasy owners, I still believe Williams will get the job at some point based on talent and the fact that Portis and Torain haven’t been able to stay on the field for a whole season in quite some time, and in Torain’s case, never. Torain though right now is the #2 in Washington and is worth a roster spot at least for the time being.
LaGarette Blount (1%CBS, 4.7%MFL, 2% Y!, 0.6%ESPN)- The often troubled Blount, now has a legit chance in Tampa Bay to revitalize himself into a solid player in this league. We all know he can throw a punch, but last week he was able to punch the ball into the end zone during garbage time against the Steelers. The Buccaneers have now stated that Blount, not Kareem Huggins, everyone’s favorite preseason darling, will start to eat in to Cadillac Williams touches. Blount was a highly touted back until his antics his last year at Oregon and has a lot of potential. With Caddy’s injury history and Blount’s ability, he’s a very good speculative add in all leagues, especially for Williams owners. He’s a guy I’m targeting in all my leagues.
Davone Bess(9%CBS, 21.9%MFL, 8% Y!, 1.8%ESPN)- I’m guessing Bess is barely owned in ESPN “standard” leagues because apparently nobody on ESPN does PPR otherwise I don’t understand how he could be less than 2% owned. He’s a very good PPR play as a flex or WR3 on most weeks and had his best game of the season against the Jets (6 for 86yds). I like this guy a lot as a slot receiver, and if Henne can continue to grow so will this receiving corp. Bess can add very good depth to your roster and can put up some big games in PPR leagues.
Brandon Lloyd (36%CBS, 23%MFL, 34%Y!, 13.2%ESPN)-One of the biggest surprises thus far in 2010. Week 1 5 catches 117 yards, week 2 3 catches for 53yards and last week 5 catches for 162 and a TD. Oddly enough, Lloyd has been fairly consistent this year and it just might be his time. He has a lot of talent, just has never put it together or been consistent enough to stick on a team (fantasy or NFL) for too long. I think its time to jump on the bandwagon and see where it takes you. Kyle Orton has some weapons in Denver, and Lloyd looks like a good one. Pick him up in all 12 team and deeper leagues.
Danny Amendola (13%CBS, 15.4%MFL, 12%Y! , 2.1%ESPN)-Until this year, Amendola’s only value to fantasy footballers was his beautiful wife, but with Donnie Avery being lost for the season, and Laurent Robinson’s injury issues, he’s now a decent flex play in PPR leagues. In PPR leagues this year, he’s averaging 10.7 ppg, which is not mind blowing numbers, but pretty steady. I like him as a decent add right now in all 12 team leagues. Mark Clayton is obviously Sam Bradford’s go to guy at the moment, but after that it’s really only Amendola. He’s available in over 84% of leagues so go out and take a chance.
Lance Moore (16%CBS, 21.2%MFL, 14%Y!, 2.3%ESPN)- Do you guys notice a theme developing here? The ESPN percentage owned is drastically lower than any of the other sites, but my belief is that many of the ESPN leagues after drafts, teams are just left for dead, which is why the numbers seem to be so skewed. Lance Moore is now the #3 target for passes with the injury to Reggie Bush, and If you look back to 2008, when Bush last missed significant time, is when Moore had his best pro season to date. He finished Sunday’s loss to the Falcons with 6 catches for 149 yards and 2 TD. Moore is a must own in all formats no matter how shallow or deep at this point. Ride the wave, it’s going to be a great ride from this point forward if Lance can stay healthy.
Golden Tate (19%CBS, 43.8%MFL, 15% Y!, 3.8ESPN)-Tate, a highly touted rookie out of Notre Dame, finally got involved in the offense this week, with 4 catches for 33 yards. Now by no means is that considered a break out game, but it does show that the Seahawks want to get him more involved in the offense and this might be the last chance to grab him, if available without a hefty price tag. The kid has a lot of talent and very good hands. He caught all 4 of his targets from Matt Hasselback, and is probably a year away from being an every week starter, but definitely has enough value and upside to be worthy of a roster spot now. Grab him in all 12 team and deeper leagues, and in 10 team leagues you can probably take more of a wait and see approach.
Roscoe Parrish (3%CBS, 2.8%MFL, 2% Y!, 0.3%ESPN)- Roscoe Parrish, up until this point in his career, has only been fantasy relevant in return yardage leagues. However, in 2010, Parrish has been targeted 13 times, while making good on 9 of them while getting into the end zone once. Last week was his most productive thus far catching 5 passes for 83 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick seemed to look his way often, and with Trent Edwards now gone, this offense may provide a few assets to your fantasy bench. Lee Evans is obviously the most talented of this group, but Parrish, as of now is the QB’s favorite. Grab him in 12 team leagues, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Bills.
Jeremy Shockey (45%CBS, 54.3%MFL, 33% Y!, 34.9% ESPN) Shockey has been somewhat of an enigma the last few seasons. The talent and skill set is obviously there but his inability to stay healthy to go along with the plethora of weapons Drew Brees has seriously hurt his value. Shockey’s targets and yardage numbers have increased with each passing week, including his best week Sunday against the Falcons finishing with 8 catches for 78 yards and a score. I wouldn’t say he’s an every week starter just yet, but to have on your bench as a backup and bye week filler, isn’t the worst thing you can do. If you’re in a league that starts 2TE’s then he’s a must add.
Martellus Bennett (1%CBS, 4%MFL, 1%Y!, 0.7%ESPN)- Bennett has struggled on the field and off the field since coming into the league, but with Pro Bowler Jason Witten having some injury concerns, he makes for a solid handcuff. Bennett during week 2 when Jason Witten left the game put up good numbers from the TE position and posted a 7 catch, 45 yard effort in relief. He’s more of a speculative add right now as Witten is a tough player and with the bye week this week should be a go for week 5. However, if you’re a Witten owner or looking to find that “potential” breakout TE, I think its either him or….
Tony Moeaki (15%CBS, 15.3%MFL, 9%Y!, 1.8% ESPN)- Tony Moeaki is the other potential breakout, who is higher in my mind than Bennett right now based on him being the starter in Kansas City. He has provided double digit fantasy points each week thus far while finding the end zone twice as well. QB Matt Cassel obviously likes this kid as he has 19 targets thus far, 5 more than receiver Dwayne Bowe. Moeaki is a big physical rookie out of Iowa who has a lot of potential and someone who I have covered in this article back in week 1. He should be owned in all leagues regardless of size at this point, he could finish as a top 8 TE in 2010.