|Updated October 12, 2011 JunkyardJake.Com
Jackie Battle ,RB
– After starting the season in an 0-3 hole and losing star running back Jamaal Charles for the season, Chiefs Coach Todd Haley knew he had to deploy some unconventional tactics in an attempt to rally his team. The water slide in the locker-room idea was shot down because of various insurance liability problems, but his bean-bag toss game seems to have been useful for somewhat bolstering team unity. He latest unorthodox move has been promoting Jackie Battle from a special teams afterthought to possible starting running back. It’s hard to believe that Battle, after languishing away on special teams for the past four seasons, is going to completely displace Thomas Jones, but his potential warrants an immediate pickup.
Charlie Whitehurst/Doug Baldwin ,QB/WR
– Depending on what color crazy pill that Seattle coach Pete Carroll takes each week, almost anyone can be a temporary star in the Seahawks offense. Luckily, Carroll didn’t renew the prescription of the crazy pill that made him believe that Mike Williams was a legitimate starting receiver, but so far Ben Obomanu (28 targets) and Doug Baldwin (26 targets) have been the most consistent targets for the Seahawks. Baldwin, an undrafted rookie out of Stanford, has been especially impressive, as he has caught 76% of the passes thrown his way (8 of 9 last week). Also notable is the spark that Charlie Whitehurst seemed to add to the usually sporadic Seattle passing offense- he is worth a look in two QB leagues as Tavaris Jackson, assuming he is not outright benched, could miss one or more weeks with his current injury..
Early Doucet ,WR
– Someone forgot to inform Early Doucet that he was supposed to be the number three receiver on the Arizona Cardinals depth chart, because last week he undermined that notion once again, this time with a very convincing 17 pass targets, 8 catches, 92 yards, and a nullified touchdown. At least on paper, Andre Roberts is the #2 receiver for the Cardinals, but he could only muster his habitual three catches for under 40 yards. If this was the 18th century, perhaps Andre Roberts would try to defend his honor by challenging Early Doucet to a duel, but in modern times the more likely outcome is that Doucet will continue to outperform Roberts and should be considered the preferred fantasy option.
Delone Carter ,RB
– Delone Carter has been easy to ignore this season, which is probably the polite way to say he really hasn’t done much with a considerable amount of carries so far (41 carries, 125 yards, 3 yards per carry, 1 TD). Nonetheless, with Joseph Addai expected to be out for 1-3 weeks, Carter is expected to assume the primary role in the Colts usually harmless rushing attack. Carter looked good in the preseason this year, and has an impressive size/speed ratio (225 lbs, but runs a 4.5 40), so he could make the Colts rushing game a little less harmless, and is worth a waiver pickup.
Sam Bradford ,QB
– It looks like the Rams just lost Danny Amendola for the season, so Bradford will be stuck with his current collection of misfits and ne’er-do-wells at receiver. The good news is that it shouldn’t matter too much who Bradford is throwing to over the next month or so, as he will face Green Bay next, then Dallas and New Orleans followed by Cleveland, Seattle and two games against Arizona. Every one of these pass defenses, with the exception of Cleveland, is in the bottom half in terms of points allowed generosity to opposing quarterbacks.
Jason Avant ,WR
– Avant actually ended up with 9 catches for 139 yards this past week, but don’t worry this is probably not the beginning of any trend, Jason Avant has been known to get ambitious a couple times every year. He probably has a special pair of shoes he saves for just two or three times each season. He’ll go out there with his party shoes, and catch seven or eight passes, maybe break 100 yards, maybe even score a touchdown. Things will probably get back to normal for the Eagles next game, when Avant finishes with his typical 2 catches for 20 yards.
Mario Manningham ,WR
– Here is all you need to know about Mario Manningham’s role in the Giants offense since Victor Cruz was introduced to the game plan a couple weeks ago:
Cedric Benson ,RB
– Cedric Benson has actually been fairly productive so far this year, with 101 carries, 401 yards and a 4.0 YPC. He has also been able to come through with two 100 yard games, which coincidently matches the number of assault arrests he has earned for himself over the past year. Benson might be able to have a decent day this week against the Indianapolis Colts, but remember, the Bengals have a week seven bye, and then Benson will face Seattle, and Tennessee in road games against two run defenses that have allowed under 100 average rush yards per game. After that, Benson is likely facing a three game suspension, so now could be a great time to try and trade him for any running back of current equivalent value.
Kevin Walter/Jacoby Jones ,WR
– Without Andre Johnson, it was expected that Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones could at least partially fill to void for the Texans, but maybe that was asking for too much. Jacoby Jones was actually the leading target this past week, with eleven. Unfortunately he could only come down with one catch for nine yards. Kevin Walter was abundantly more effective, with 5 catches for 81 yards on six targets, but remember, this is the guy who didn’t have his first 100 yard game until his 5th year in the league. To confirm their panic, the Texans have reportedly just traded for Derrick Mason, who will only serve as another obstacle in Matt Schaub’s attempt to get the ball to Owen Daniels until Andre Johnson returns.
Darrius Heyward-Bey ,WR
– Darrius Heyward-Bey has put together the best two game stretch of his three year career, with 11 catches, 214 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots and the Texans. Of course the problem here is that many receivers have had big days against Patriots and Texans so far this year, and Heyward-Bey’s unexpected burst of productivity still does little to improve his anticipated reliability. (Over 24 career starts, Heyward-Bey career yards per game is about 31.) Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford and Chaz Schilens probably remain the more attractive options if you looking to pick up an Oakland receiver.