By Mike Cannici
Matt Cassel– Cassel has now strung together 5 straight weeks where he has scored at least 13 fantasy points, including his 38 pt effort this past Sunday against the Broncos. They were down by a ton in the first half, which forced him to air it out, but he definitely has some fantasy value and is not a bad option to have on your bench.
Troy Smith– The former Raven QB now looks to have found a home in San Fran. Smith was given the opportunity to start back in week 8 against the Broncos and has now led the Niners to two straight victories. Smith tallied 356 passing yards and threw a TD pass. More than anything with Smith is his ability to keep plays alive with his legs and contrary to popular belief, he has not knocked down any value to Gore, V. Davis or Crabtree while he’s been under center. He’s a great buy in 2 QB leagues and not a terrible back up option especially with the Bucs, Cardinals, Packers and Seahawks on tap the next four weeks.
Others to Consider: Jon Kitna, Tyler Thigpen
Fred Jackson– Jackson is a player who should already be owned following the trade of Marshawn Lynch, but in some shallower league’s he’s a great pick up this week with the injury to rookie CJ Spiller who will be out indefinitely. Jackson lit up the Lions defense(which is much improved) for 170 total yards and two touchdowns. He is now “the guy” in Buffalo and can provide low end RB2 value in PPR leagues and flex starter value in standard leagues. Go out and grab him ASAP if he is still available.
Keiland Williams– Williams was a hot waiver add the past two weeks after Ryan Torain suffered an injury, however during preparation for this week’s game against the Eagles, all signs pointed towards Torain starting, therefore many fantasy owners who grabbed Williams, didn’t end up using him. Torain was a last minute scratch from the starting lineup, but was active. Williams drew the start and didn’t show a great burst of speed, he did pass block very well and got open in the flat and led the team with 4 catches for 50 yards and a score. He also ran the ball 16 times for 89 yards and two scores, including a late 32 yard scamper in which he put on a few moves and used a little bit of his speed to get into the end zone. He’s a guy that if you picked up last week, keep stashed and if he’s available you want to get, especially with Torain and Portis injury history, which could provide some big time value going forward, especially in PPR leagues.
Jerome Harrison- Harrison will likely not be used like he was Monday night except for big time blow outs, but last night we saw the promise he showed us at the end of last year in Cleveland. He is no doubt, McCoy’s backup and would have some good value if McCoy were to go down. He’s a good speculative add especially for McCoy owners and the way he ran last night he could produce solid RB2 numbers going forward. He’s someone to definitely keep an eye on at the very least, and someone to grab in 14 team or deeper leagues immediately.
Bernard Scott– Scott may have some increased value going forward with Cedric Benson being quite ineffective averaging less than 4 yards per carry. Benson also seemed to have injured his ankle during Sunday’s game and we’ll find out more as the week progresses. Scott makes for a great speculative add though for all 12 team and deeper leagues just in case Benson is to miss time especially with the Bills worst run defense on deck for week 11.
Other to Consider: Mewelde Moore, Kevin Smith
Early Doucet– Doucet is a guy I touted back in preseason as a breakout candidate but got hurt during week one, then preceded to miss the next four games five weeks with an injury. He came back in week 7 and didn’t post up great numbers either but finally got it going during week 10 matchup with the Seahawks, totaling 71 yards on six catches and a score. Derek Anderson isn’t the greatest or most accurate QB in the league but he can fling the ball and Doucet can be a big beneficiary of that. He’s my top receiver add this week and has WR3 upside going forward.
Mario Manningham– He was widely owned early in the season but then put up a few goose eggs followed by a few good games in a row after that. He has been somewhat inconsistent, but with Steve Smith out until early December with a torn pectoral muscle, Manningham steps into the starting lineup and has some big time upside. He posted a 10 catch 90 yard, 1 touchdown performance Sunday against Dallas and should be the major beneficiary to Hakeem Nicks double coverage. He’s likely owned in more leagues than Doucet is therefore my reasoning for Doucet being my number one target, but if M.M. is available in your league he’s my number one target.
Brian Hartline– Hartline is starting to heat up with three straight double digit fantasy weeks and with Tyler Thigpen becoming the starter, that should mean the Dolphin Offense will be much more receiver friendly. He’s had at least three catches in every game and at least 50 yards receiving in 5 out of his 8 games he’s played. With Thigpen under center, I believe there will be plenty of balls to go around to Marshall, Hartline and Bess. Hartline has some solid upside and is worth a look in all 14 team leagues and another solid week like last week he’s worth a look in shallower leagues as well.
Jason Avant- The Eagles are a pass happy offense, especially with Vick under center and that makes Avant, their number three receiver, a viable fantasy asset. Avant caught five passes for 76 yards and a score Monday night and now has at least 40 yards and 5 targets in his last four games. He’s a great pickup at the very least for depth, as well as a decent starts with specific matchups. He’s a solid WR5 with WR3/4 upside if Jackson or Maclin were to get injured.
Others to Consider: Deon Butler, Brandon Gibson, Emmanuel Sanders, Arrelious Benn
Rob Gronkowski/Jermaine Gresham/Anthony Fasano-There were some big games amongst TE’s Sunday, most notably Patriots rookie Rob Gronkowski. He had 5 catches for 72 yards and a Pats rookie record three touchdowns in Sunday night’s win over the Steelers. The issue with him is that weekly, its either him or fellow rookie Aaron Hernandez having the big game, not both. This makes Gronkowski a risky play, but if you’re in need of a TE grab him and just play him the week following a big Hernandez game. Fellow Bengal’s rookie Jermaine Gresham had his best game as a pro against the Colts Sunday, finishing with 9 catches for 85 yards and a score. The Bengals theme lately has been come from behind, and is likely to continue going forward and with secondary’s attention being focused mostly on Batman and Robin duo, Gresham could start getting more looks as the weeks go forward. He’s going to be a top 6-7 TE in the league at some point so if you’re in a keeper or dynasty league you better get on the bus now for this kid. Dolphins Anthony Fasano had his biggest game of the season Sunday hauling in five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. His value, along with the rest of the Dolphins receivers, greatly increases with Tyler Thigpen under center and Fasano is not a bad addition to your team, especially if you’re still stuck looking for a replacement like me for Jermichael Finley and guys like Dallas Clark. He’s worth a gamble, I’m going to test him out in one of my leagues this week and you might as well too.
Others to Consider: Delanie Walker, Bo Scaife