Sleepers/Creepers 10/12

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

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.


Sleepers/Creepers 10/5

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

Updated October 5, 2011  JunkyardJake.Com

Ryan Torain/Roy Helu ,RB

– As a gratuitous gesture for fantasy managers across the country, this is probably the week when the NFL should release its commemorative three-sided coin, featuring the likenesses of Tim Hightower, Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. Unfortunately, flipping this collectible coin will probably be the only true way to choose between Hightower, Torain and Helu for your fantasy lineup over the next few weeks. Ryan Torain asserted his claim to the starting role this past Sunday, with 135 yards and a touchdown. However, remember that Roy Helu also has upside, and Tim Hightower will probably still get at least the scraps.

Mark Sanchez/Santonio Holmes ,QB/WR

– while the NYPD was busy busting Wall Street protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge this past week, they should have focused their attention on the real villains of the metropolitan area, and should have arrested the entire Jets offense as they got off the plane from Baltimore. Maybe having a Ravens defensive lineman in your lap exactly one second after every snap is not conducive to completing passes, but whatever the excuse, Mark Sanchez was just plain awful Sunday night, completing just 11 of 35 passes for 119 yards, one INT, and zero TDs. The good news, is that New England and Miami are coming up on the Jets schedule, so don’t give up on Sanchez and Holmes just yet.

Ed Dickson ,TE

– Joe Flacco had a tough time hitting anything that wasn’t grass this past week against the Jets, completing 10 passes to Baltimore receivers, and denting the turf at M&T Bank Stadium with 21 other passes. One interesting development however was the attention that TE Ed Dickson was given in the passing game, finishing with 12 targets, compared to two targets for Anquan Boldin, and five targets each to Torrey Smith and Ray Rice. Dickson now leads the Ravens with 32 targets on the season, and makes a great bye week replacement if you need TE help.

Antonio Brown ,WR

– Hines Ward performance on the football field hasn’t been quite as embarrassing as his appearance on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ last season, but nonetheless, it is looking like he is unceremoniously being surpassed on the Steelers unstated passing target pecking order by 2nd year receiver Antonio Brown. Brown led all Steelers receivers with 10 targets last week, and now surprisingly has more season targets than both Mike Wallace (30) and Hines Ward (24).

Damien Williams ,QB/WR

– Damien Williams is not going to make anyone forget about Kenny Britt, especially after this past week when caught only one pass for four yards. Of course, it helps that the catch was a touchdown, but nonetheless Williams is probably still available on your waiver wire if you are interested in a Tennessee receiver who should be at least slightly more consistent than Nate washington and Lavelle Hawkins.

Rex Grossman ,QB

– Rex Grossman must have been a comet in a former life, because every once in a while he is capable of coming out of nowhere and putting on a spectacular show. The problem is after he does have this unexpected 275 yards and 4 TD game, he goes back to doing nothing, or sometimes worse than nothing like his infamous 34 yard, 3 INT game versus the Vikings in 2006. After compiling 143 yards, a couple more INTs and a 48.5 QB rating this past week, Grossman is now officially begging for John Beck to replace him as the Redskins starter.

Devery Henderson ,WR

– If you were surprised that Devery Henderson was targeted just one time and didn’t record a catch this past week against Jacksonville, you shouldn’t have been. Afterall, we are talking about the guy who deserves his own statistic. In fact, let’s invent one right now, and call it the ‘Dubious Devery’. A ‘Dubious Devery’ will hereby be defined as anytime a wide receiver starts a game, assumingly running around on the field for the entire afternoon making an earnest attempt at catching passes, yet finishes the day with 35 yards or less. If you have started Devery Henderson anytime since 2005, you have had a 43% chance of experiencing a ‘Dubious Devery’. With Marques Colston back in the Saints lineup for at least until he hurts himself again, the odds that you will be seeing more ‘Dubious Devery’s have probably just increased.

Willis McGahee ,RB

– It would have been nice if Knowshon Moreno had shown some enthusiasm in his return to the field this week, but it seems like the only guy who was truly motivated by Moreno’s return was Willis McGahee, who was so excited to see his backfield friend again that he ran for over 100 yards on 15 carries for a very uncharacteristic 6.9 YPC. McGahee has no doubt earned a significant role with the Broncos, but it’s doubtful that Knowshon Moreno will stay gimpy and ineffective for the entire season.

Tavaris Jackson/Mike Williams ,QB/WR

– Believe it or not, after six years in the league, Sunday was the very first time that Tavaris Jackson threw for over 300 yards, ending the day with 319 yards and 3 TDs. Even slothful Mike Williams somehow snuck into the endzone and came away with a touchdown on Jackson’s career day. Notwithstanding this recent solid performance, this is just a reminder that as soon as you start Jackson and/or Williams, they will likely betray you, and then call you at home to let you know what a schmuck you were for actually believing that anyone involved in the Seattle offense can help your fantasy team in any way whatsoever.

Laurent Robinson ,WR

– It’s easy to be dazzled by the 7 catches for 116 yards that Laurent Robinson accumulated this past week, but we have been fooled by Robinson’s gaudy height, flashy speed, moderately likable potential, rugged good looks and (probably) fancy sports car before. With Miles Austin expected back after the Cowboys week 5 bye week, you should have ample time to pick Laurent Robinson up, and then attempt to immediately trade him to the nearest Cowboy fan.

Sleepers/Creepers 9/28

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

Updated September 28,2011  JunkyardJake.Com

Torrey Smith ,WR

– Hooray ! It looks like Joe Flacco might have someone to actually throw to. Of course, remember Torrey Smith is a rookie, and before his 5 catch 152 yard 3 TD completely unexpected performance, he was looking like a talented, but clueless first year receiver. Anyway, who cares about that. At this point, it was probably a good idea to drop Lee Evans for Will Smith, so even if Torrey Smith runs a few bad routes and drops some TD passes, he’s still worth an immediate pickup.

Eric Decker ,WR

-Decker was surely a popular pickup last week after his 113 yard, 2 TD performance, but if somehow he’s still been neglected on your league’s waiver wire it’s probably time to adopt the unappreciated Denver Bronco fantasy receiver orphan. So far through three games, Decker leads the team in targets with 25, and tallied an impressive 11 looks last week.

Stephen Ridley ,RB

The only thing we probably know for sure about Bill Belichick, is that he probably isn’t going to smile very much, maybe not at all, during a game, and he is almost always going to have the same haircut. Aside from that, it’s anyones guess what he will do in any other aspect of his football plans. However, it is notable that rookie Stephen Ridley made his first cogent impression of the young season, significantly outplaying BenJarvus Green-Ellis (8 carries, 18 yards) with 6 carries for 42 yards.

Titus Young ,WR

– Titus Young didn’t have 3 touchdowns and 152 receiving yards last week like Torrey Smith, but similiar to Smith, Titus Young is a smallish, but speedy rookie receiver who took a bit of time to assimilate into the pro game. He is now quietly coming around with 9 catches for 140 yards over the past two weeks, so worth a pickup if you need receiver depth.

Dexter McCluster ,RB

– If the Chiefs are going to have any chance of generating some kind of ground attack, it seems like it is going to have to involve more of Dexter McCluster, who has averaged 6.6 yards per carry when he’s had a chance to carry the ball. Last week, Jones got most of the carries (14), but could only muster 2.2 YPC. Hopefully Jones will be relegated to a new role, maybe that of the 2nd and 2, I-Formation diving-over-the pile specialist, so that McCluster can see more carries.

Matt Hasselbeck ,QB

– Matt Hasselbeck really has no business throwing for over 300 yards per game, but sure enough, he’s averaged 311 yards per game through the first three weeks. The problem is, Kenny Britt was good for about 135 of those 300 yards per game, and with Britt out for the season, and the Titans schedule against the pass not looking too generous for the balance of the season, it’s a good time to trade Hasselbeck to whoever just dropped Tavaris Jackson in your league.

Jerome Simpson ,WR

– Needless to say, it was surprising that Jerome Simpson was even allowed to play this past week after 6 pounds of happy weed was discovered in his home last Wednesday. Moreover, authorities allegedly found ‘packaging materials, scales and smoking devices’ meaning that Simpson is maybe running some kind of cannabis emporium/pothead UPS store from his house. Are the police waiting for the shipment of highly enriched Uranium to Simpsons house before they make an arrest? Either way, he seems too risky to depend on for the next couple weeks.

Marshawn Lynch ,RB

– We could have possibly seen the highlight of Marshawn Lynch’s season this past week, as he helped the Seattle Seahawks grind their way to a thoroughly tedious 13-10 win overall the equally hapless Arizona Cardinals. Lynch finished with 19 carries for 73 yards to bring his average yards per game up to (yawn..) 39 through three weeks.

Mike Tolbert ,RB

– Ever since his week one three touchdown outburst, the Mike Tolbert revolution has lost a good deal of momentum as we have progressed up to week four. This past week against the Chiefs, Tolbert finished with a very unexciting 4 carries for 19 yards, while Ryan Mathews made all the headlines with 98 yards and a couple ground scores.

Nate Burleson ,WR

– It was another ho-hum day for Matthew Stafford, throwing for 378 yards, a couple TDs to Calvin Johnson, wearing Brandon Pettigrew out with 12 targets and connecting with Nate Burleson for… wait.. oh here it is… 2 catches for 12 yards?. Burleson could be on the verge of obsolescence by virtue of Titus Young’s apparent, albeit gradual emergence, so it could be time to dangle him in some trade offers.

Sleepers/Creepers 9/21

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

Updated September 21, 2011  JunkyardJake.Com

Julio Jones ,WR

Julio Jones hasn’t been terrible thru the first two games (13 targets, 7 catches, 100 yards), but he certainly hasn’t met anywhere near the expectations of the very discriminating fantasy dweeb community. Atlanta goes up against two beatable secondaries, Tampa Bay and Seattle, over the next two weeks, so he’s a good bet to start performing to his talent level.

Jared Cook ,TE

Maybe in the same way that Matt Hasselbeck ended up quashing the burgeoning career of John Carlson over in Seattle, he has plans to crush Jared Cook’s dream of becoming a key part of the Titans offense in 2011. Hasselbeck has only targeted Cook five times so far this year, but hopefully he realizes soon that his 3rd year TE can become a potent weapon if he ever decides to throw in his direction.

Roy Helu ,RB

Just a couple short weeks ago, Tim Hightower was slated to be undisputed workhorse back in the Redskins backfield, but that was before the Shanahanigens kicked in and Roy Helu ran for 74 yards on 10 carries. This is not to say that Hightower won’t remain the prominent rusher for Washington, but Mike Shanahan is obviously a fickle character, and Roy Helu could take over at any point.

Greg Little ,WR

Brian Robiskie must be one helluva blocker, either that, or he has no idea or no ability to find an open spot on the field. Robiskie has only been targeted two times thru two games so far, and it appears at this point almost inevitable that Greg Little (8 targets, 5 catches, 50 yards) is on his way to freeing up more time for Robiskie to put on his blocking clinic.

Blaine Gabbert/Mike Thomas ,QB/WR

Starting Luke McCown was obviously a bad idea even before he got tossed around and trampled by the Jets last week. Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio hasn’t officially named rookie Gabbert as his new starter yet, but it’s hard to see how he could bear to watch another game with McCown as his quarterback. Gabbert starting would immediately boost the value of Mike Thomas, if only because it simply can’t get much worse.

Jerome Harrison ,RB

Harrison appears to have passed Maurice Morris on the depth chart, and he now assumes the valuable role as primary backup for the very dynamic, albeit occasionally frangible Javid Best. Harrison received eight carries last week, which was exactly one-third of the workload, and it wouldn’t be surprising if this trend continued.

Lagadu Naanee ,WR

Ok, a bit of a stretch here, but technically Naanee is the still the #2 receiver in the new and improved Carolina Panther arial invasion. He actually was targeted 4 times in the redzone last week, and has 12 targets on the year. If he can start catching at least 50% of his targets like he did last year in San Diego, he might become a fantasy factor.

Matt Cassell/Thomas Jones ,QB/RB

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how or when the Kansas City offense turned into a mockery of a travesty of a sham, but losing Jamaal Charles can not possibly help this dire situation, and Thomas Jones is not the answer. As far as Matt Cassel, he is being exposed as the ordinary QB that he really is, and his 2010 performance may have been mostly attributed to the wizardry of former chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

Harry Douglas ,WR

There was a murmur of preseason hype surrounding Harry Douglas, but after two targets last week and the fact that Tony Gonzalez refuses to ackowledge that he is 35 years old (155 yards and 2 TDs thru 2 games). it appears safe to now disregard the fraudulent rumor that Douglas was worth holding on your roster.

Cris Cooley ,TE

Fred Davis (6 catches,86 yards,1 TD) showing absolutely no respect for his elders, completely made Chris Cooley (0 catches) irrelevant this past week. Cooley should have at least a couple solid games this season, but he’s probably not going to be able to push Fred Davis back into anonymity any time soon.

Reggie Bush ,RB

Noone in their right mind probably believed that Reggie Bush was going to make it through the season as the exclusive and/or primary runningback for Dolphins, but after rookie Daniel Thomas rumbled for 107 yards on 18 carries this past week, Reggie Bush can again be considered a sporadically effective 3rd-down back.

Eddie Royal ,WR

New Denver head coach John Fox isn’t a huge fan of throwing the ball anyway, and when the Bronco’s have thrown the ball this year, Eddie Royal has had his number called as frequently as Willis McGahee (8 targets each through 2 games). With the emergence of Eric Decker, Eddie Royal may be in for another unmemorable season.

Anquan Boldin/Lee Evans ,WR

Boldin and Evans would have comprised quite the formidable receiving duo back in 2005, but if recent history is any indication, Lee Evans will have a hard time staying on the field for two consecutive weeks, and Anquan Boldin will gradually fade into the ubiquitous fantasy void as the season progresses.

Brandon LaFell ,WR

Brandon LaFell has been moderately, and surprisingly productive over the first two weeks of the season, but when you have a hot-shot rookie quarterback throwing for 400 yards a game, even a slow-footed possession receiver like LaFell is bound to come away with some catches. LaFell probably will turn out to be worth stashing as a #4 or #5 receiver, but as soon as Cam Newton slows down he might be the first to disappear off the box scores.

Sleepers/Creepers 9/14

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

Updated September 14  JunkyardJake.Com

Ryan Mathews ,RB

Maybe it’s delusional to believe that Ryan Mathews is still San Diego’s best runningback, especially after he rudely destroyed many fantasy teams last year. Still, it’s hard to see Mike Tolbert, a fullback by trade, ending up as the #1 back in San Diego. This past week Mathews (11 carries) and Tolbert (12 carries) were almost evenly deployed, and although Mathews was essentially banished from redzone duty (Tolbert got all 6 redzone carries), remember Mathews, who scored 5 times in the last four games of 2010, also knows his way around the redzone.

Greg Olsen/Jonathan Stewart ,TE/RB

Cam Newton was such a showoff this weekend, it will almost be fun to watch the rookie pounding he will probably get this weekend against the Packers. That said, it’s encouraging that the Panthers offense will at least be more dynamic then the 2010 version (which was kindof like watching the lawn chess event at the Senior Home Olympics). This means Greg Olsen (6 targets this week) becomes a viable complement to Steve Smith, and Jonathan Stewart becomes a fantasy option if he can stay healthy.

Colt McCoy/Mohammed Massaquoi ,QB/WR

Colt McCoy is probably never going to light up the scoreboard like Tom ‘Fabio’ Brady, but he does have the potential to be quietly effective. In fact, McCoy is so polite in his modest abilities, you could probably put grandpa in front of the TV during a Browns game for a casual nap, and when he wakes up in three hours, Colt McCoy will end up having about 225 yards and two TDs, without hardly anyone noticing. It would be nice if McCoy had some better receivers to work with, but for now Mohammed Massaquoi seems like the go-to guy (7 targets, 77 yards this week).

Brandon Gibson/Lance Kendricks ,WR/TE

Danny Amendola, probably the Rams most reliable receiver is out, Mike Sims-Walker is most likely contemplating his next injury and Danario Alexander has already had more knee surgeries than Giuseppe the 75 year old carpet installer. This probably leaves Brandon Gibson and Lance Kendricks as featured players in Josh Daniels ariel circus, especially if they have to depend on a Carnell Williams-led ground attack for any length of time.

Deji Karim ,RB

Perhaps in an effort to avoid pulverizing Maurice Jones-Drew into gold and black powder, Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio will give his star runningback a good deal of rest time on Sundays. At least that seemed to be the plan this weekend, with Deji Kaim buttressing the Jaguar running game with 14 carries in the game against Tennessee. Karim ended up with only 33 yards, but added three catches for 39 yards and has the type of speed that could translate into some big plays.

Ben Roethlisberger ,QB

Yes, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers were alarmingly bad Sunday, but the Baltimore Ravens evidently still know how to play defense, and Roethlisberger did end up with 280 yards and a TD to go along with this three interceptions. The good news for the Pittsburgh offense is that they do not meet the Ravens again until week 9. Between now and week 9 they face Seattle, Indianapolis, Houston, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Arizona, and New England, which is a pretty flimsy schedule against the pass.

LeGarrette Blount ,RB

We learned a couple things this weekend about the Tampa Bay running game 1) Rumors of Earnest Grahams’ retirement are false and 2) Evidently ‘LeGarrette’ is french for ‘big, podgy pile of fantasy point oblivion’. Blount should rebound this week against Minnesota, as the Bucs are less likely to fall behind in that game, and going forward, Tampa coach Raheem Morris has at least acknowledged his poor play-calling against the Lions. Morris expressed after the game – ‘We want to win games with Blount bludgeoning you for 130 yards and being efficient (in the passing game)’. Sounds good, let’s see if it happens.

Chad Ochocinco ,WR

How in the world did Tom Brady throw the ball 48 times, end up with 517 yards and only hit Chad Ochocinco for 14 yards? In other words, it was literally raining footballs all over the field this past Monday night, and Chad Ochocinco was somehow able to avoid almost all of them! It was kindof like one of those scenes from a Steven Seagal movie, where Seagal confronts a hail of gunfire and somehow remains unscathed so he can assert martial arts justice. Well, kind of like that, except for the asserting martial arts justice part.

Tarvaris Jackson/Mike Williams ,QB/WR

Remember that week when Tavaris Jackson resembled a legitimate NFL quarterback and you felt confident that he was actually going to contribute something to your fantasy team ? Yeah, me neither, just drop him to keep big fat Mike Williams company on the waiver wire.

C.J. Spiller ,RB

Maybe we got a glimpse of what Spiller is capable of when he finally scampered to the outside and into the endzone for his first NFL touchdown this weekend. Then again, maybe we’ll see the new 2012 Rex and Rob Ryan swimsuit calender at our local bookstores this holiday season. Spiller seems like he will remain a niche contributor for the Bills this season as long as Fred Jackson is getting the job done. Also note tha t rookie Johnny White received 8 carries this past week and may represent the best handcuff for Jackson.

Tim Hightower ,RB

Yes, Tim Hightower was the main, and essentially the only guy running the ball for the Redskins this week, probably because Mike Shanahan had convinced himself that Hightower is the new Franco Harris this preseason. The result was somewhat predictable…in typical plodding Hightower fashion, he ended up with 72 yards on 25 carries and a 2.8 YPC. Nothing against Hightower, who does all the little things well when he is not fumbling the ball, but with Ryan Torain and Roy Helu waiting in the wings it seems a matter of time before a platoon breaks out in Washington.

Michael Crabtree ,WR

Probably the last thing you want to hear from a wide receiver you are depending on in your fantasy lineup, your 11-year-old daughter at the mall, or from the Donkey you just rented on your Greek island vacation is ‘My shoes hurt’. Crabtree evidently is not yet recovered from his July foot surgery, and probably can’t be trusted in your fantasy lineup until further notice.

Brian Hartline ,WR

Yes, Hartline was targeted 7 times, and did manage to catch 4 of those targets for 47 yards, and even got in the endzone. Even so, Hartline figures to remain third fiddle behind Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, and could eventually be surpassed on the depth chart by rookie Edmund Gates if Miami wants to ever inject their passing game with some kind of speed.

Donovan McNabb ,QB

The QB crisis in Minnesota continues as Donovan McNabb bumbles around for 39 yards and a 47 QB rating. The Vikes probably could have coaxed Duante Culpepper out of retirement for that kind of disaster. Percy Harvin was on the receiving end for 7 of those yards, but maybe McNabb’s gameplan was to keep Harvin fresh so he could score on that 103 yard kick return.

Fantasy Football News Bleeps – Week One

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 Roddy White is looking forward to having rookie Julio Jones lining up across from him this year. Jones worked hard this preseason to learn the playbook, and offers the natural speed and ability to prevent problems for defenses. Link
 It looks like the Raiders offense will rely heavily on the run again this year, and could employ an RB rotation featuring Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and perhaps even utilizing rookie Taiwan Jones with a fair amount of carries. Link
 The weather forecast for most week one NFL games is mostly clear, with a chance of thunderstorms in Baltimore, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Washington, Arizona, and Miami.Link
 Tampa Bay is slightly concerned that LeGarrette Blount has not developed as quickly in the blocking aspect of the game. As a result, perhaps even giving rookie Earnest Graham and possibly Kregg Lumpkin could see action on 3rd downs. Link
 With the surprising release of David Garrard the Jaguars intend to use Luke McNown early on, but it’s possible that they turn to promising rookie Blaine Gabbert as soon as he proves he is ready to take over. Link
 With the help of special custom-made Nike cleats molded to the shape of his foot Michael Crabtree expects to have a chance to play this week despite missing training camp and preseason games this year. Crabtree’s left foot has required surgery twice since 2009, mostly recently in June this year. Link
 Miami offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has been happy with the progress that Chad Henne has shown this preseason, saying that Henne has improved his mechanics, accuracy and ability to read defenses. Daboll also notes that Henne has built a better rapport with receiver Brandon MarshallLink
 Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Tony Grossi said that the Browns ‘should be ashamed’ of themselves if the the team loses to the Bengals with rookie Andy Dalton at the helm this week. Grossi notes that ‘Since 1970, there have been only four rookie quarterbacks who have won the first game of their first season.’ Link
 Rams rookie TE Lance Kendricks had an impressive preseason, scoring in each of the last two games, and could do some damage this week against a young corps of Eagles LB’s. Link
 With Peyton Manning expected to be out for 2-3 months following his latest neck surgery, the Colts are eager to prove they can rally around replacement QB Kerry CollinsLink
 The Steelers are hoping that Isaac Redman can step up as the primary backup to Reshard Mendenhall this season. Redman is a big back who is expected to spell Mendenhall more often this year, and excels in short-yardage situations. Link
 Jets receiver Plaxico Burress was quoted in ‘Men’s Journal’ with select criticisms of Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Giants QB Eli Manning. Burress said that Coughlin was ‘not a real positive coach’, and expressed disappointment that Manning never tried to communicate with him during his 20-month prison sentence. Link
 The Broncos plan to run more this year with Knowshon Moreno leading the way and Willis McGahee getting a fair amount of time as well. Much like John Fox has operated in the past with the Panthers, the runningback who is contributing the most will get a chance to remain in the game. Link
 The Raiders will very likely be without Kevin Boss this week, with Brandon Myers his expected replacement. Link
 Although the Eagles haven’t confirmed if he will play this week, wide receiver Steve Smith has been able to practice in full and is said to have looked ready to play. Link
 Arian Foster missed practice Friday and is listed as questionable to play this weekend. If Foster can’t go, Derrick Ward is expected to start, with Ben Tate chipping in as the backup. Link
 Mohamed Massaquoi appears to have sufficiently recovered from his foot injury and is expected to start this week alongside Brian Robiskie for the Cleveland Browns. Link
 With Sidney Rice considered doubtful to play this weekend, look for Ben Obomanu to fill-in this against the 49ers.. Link
 Washington runningback Ryan Torain is listed as questionable this week, and was unable to complete a full week of practice. Tim Hightower is expected to start and see the majority of carries this week. Link
 Saints receiver Marques Colston has reportedly broken his collarbone and is expected to miss up to four weeks. Robert Meachem should be in line for additional targets as Colston recovers. Link
 Daniel Thomas may be limited this week with a hamstring problem. Thomas injured himself on Wednesday, and was only able to make it back on Friday for abbreviated practice time. Reggie Bush is expected to be used more extensively than planned and the team has signed Larry Johnson for insurance. Link
 Maurice Morris is listed as probable for this weeks game, but it’s unlclear whether Jerome Harrison or Morris will assume the primary backup role behind Jahvid Best in Detroit. For now, Morris is assumed to be the best handcuff to Best, but that is of course subject to change. Link
 Although there has been concern this preseason about how well he was recovering from knee surgery Maurice Jones-Drew is said to be in ‘in as good a shape as he’s ever been as a Jaguar’ and could be primed for a big season. Link
 Packers coach Mike McCarthy has intimated that James Starks could be in line for more carries after his productive performance Thursday night against the Saints. ‘James did well, probably didn’t have the attempts that he deserved’ said McCarthy. Link
 Broncos 2nd year receiver Demaryius Thomas is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recover from a torn Achilles tendon. Although he has returned to practice, he will likely need some time to get back into football shape. Link
 Cowboys receiver Miles Austin has been slowed by a hamstring injury in recent days, but is listed as probable and expected to face the Jets and Darrelle Revis on Sunday. Link

Sleepers/Creepers 9/15

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Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers
Our thoughts on some possible undervalued and overvalued players…

Updated September 15, 2010  JunkyardJake.Com

Brandon Jackson ,RB

-Ok, this one is easy, drop everything you are doing, tell the wife you need to log in for an hour or so to research some mutual funds and energy-efficient appliances, and submit a waiver claim for Brandon Jackson in any of your fantasy leagues where he is available. Obviously, in light of Ryan Grant’s unfortunate season-ending ankle injury, Jackson is Green Bay’s new feature back. Moreover, it’s a job he’s had four years to prepare for, which should mean he shouldn’t be making the same kind of mistakes that landed him on the bench back in 2007. Although there is a slight drop-off in speed going from Grant to Jackson, the former 2nd round pick in 2007 is arguably a better receiver, and should be a solid fantasy starter for the remainder of the season.

Dwayne Bowe ,WR

-Make no mistake, Kansas City QB Matt Cassel is not very good, and probably should be playing for the Ontario Maple Sissies or whatever teams they have up there in Canada. Nonetheless, Dwayne Bowe is still the Chiefs best receiver, and with Chris Chambers, Dexter McCluster and Tony Moeaki, he has a much better group of supporting cohorts to divert attention from him then he had at any time in 2009. Cassel threw for only 68 yards this past week, but when you subject a klutzy quarterback to the type of nasty weather they had in Kansas City this past week, aerial inertia is bound to prevail. It’s too early to give up on Bowe, and he probably has some very productive games in his immediate future.

Dez Bryant/Felix Jones ,WR/RB

-Not much went as planned for the Cowboys offense this past weekend, unless of course the plan was to appear inexplicably impotent against a seemingly beatable Washington defense en route to an embarrassing opening week loss. On the upside, the Cowboys have too many weapons to stay sidetracked for too long, and if week one is an indication they are wasting little time integrating their talented rookie receiver Dez Bryant into their gameplan. Bryant only ended up with 8 catches for 56 yards, but was surprisingly targeted a time-high 13 times this past week. Also noteworthy in this game was the fact that RB Felix Jones and Marion Barber evenly split carries at eight a piece. If this trend continues, Jones’s upside makes him a potentially intriguing #2 fantasy runningback.

Eddie Royal ,WR

-Great Poseidon’s Tequila glass ! Was Josh McDaniel’s stupidity rehab really successful, and is it time to remove Eddie Royal’s face from the milk carton ? Unlike what we saw for the entirety of the 2009 season, when Royal was engulfed by Brandon Marshall’s shadow and running ‘Lost in the Woods’ routes, the 3rd year receiver was clearly a big part of the Broncos offense in week one. Kyle Orton’s wet noodle arm is still going to make it difficult for Royal to break the long plays he is capable of, but it’s encouraging that he played the slot and was targeted a team-high ten times this past weekend.

Jermaine Gresham ,TE

-If there is any advantage to having the two most annoyingly flamboyant receivers in the league on your roster, it’s that they surely can deflect enough attention from the middle of the field that you could probably send an eligible offensive lineman out on a few routes each game and come away with some first downs. Promising rookie TE Jermaine Gresham is arguably the most competent, and physically imposing TE the Bengals have had on their roster in quite some time, maybe since the 1980’s when Kirstie Alley was under 200 Lbs and everybody was wearing pastel ‘Miami Vice’ blazers. Except for the getting pummeled by the Patriots 38-24 part, the ‘Two Peacocks and the Roadgrader’ passing offense worked pretty well in the opening week, with Gresham getting 9 looks in the passing game and coming away with his first NFL score.

Anthony Gonzalez ,WR

– After lasting about 10 seconds of the 2009 season before falling to a knee injury, and then having the luxury of one full year to recover, there was some speculation that Anthony Gonzalez was going to slip right back into the starting lineup in 2010. Well, scrap that plan, as Gonzalez has already managed to hurt himself (high ankle sprain), and is out this week, and probably useless for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the Colts can design some kind of protective plastic bubble for Gonzalez so we can at least see him on the field for a few plays each week. In any event, it’s probably time for the 4th year receiver to consider boosting his insurance coverage to whatever policy that rodeo clowns typically require.

Shonn Greene ,RB

– It’s good to see that the Jets finally perfected one of the more overlooked aspects of the game, that of course being a relentless campaign of offseason hype which bombards every available media outlet with the compulsory message that your team is an ‘invincible team of destiny’. Without question, hiring the publicity firm of Ochocinco/Owens & Gaga has done wonders for their public image, now all they have to do is focus on fixing their dysfunctional offense. Speaking of the insidious Jets offense, 2010 fantasy draft darling Shonn Greene has apparently earned himself a 50/50 platoon situation with LaDainian Tomlinson with his sporadic play this past week, so expect a dropoff in fantasy production in the near term.

Derrick Mason ,WR

– Could this finally be the year where 36 year-old Derrick Mason gets to take it easy and not have to carry the entire Baltimore passing game as Joe Flacco’s only reliable receiver ? Mason has certainly earned the privilege of a reduced workload as he enters an amazing 14th year in the league. Now with Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandazeh on board, it may be time for Mason to spend more time on the sidelines calling the grandkids and making some well-deserved vacation plans.

Fred Jackson/Marshawn Lynch ,RB

– You wouldn’t know it from the boxscore, but the Buffalo Bills did try to run the ball a few times this past Sunday. Unfortunately, they spread the futility three ways between CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch, who combined for a grand total of 38 yards on the day. In fact, Trent Edwards might have been the Bills most effective rusher on Sunday, managing 6 yards per carry as he was running for his life from the Miami defense. In all likelihood, Edwards goes back to being just a bad quarterback this week, while Marshawn Lynch maybe gets picked up by the Denver Broncos who are seemingly in the market for more washed-up runningbacks. This should leave Fred Jackson backing up C.J. Spiller, who remains Buffalo’s best hope in their quest to create a running game this year.

Mike Williams/Deion Branch ,WR

– It’s just a hunch, but not even Pete Carroll’s inexhaustible and occasionally irrational enthusiasm is going to be enough to revive the damaged careers of draft-bust Mike Williams and the habitually injured Deion Branch. In fact, word is that Branch has finally accumulated enough training room rewards points, he can finally get his own personal MRI machine. As soon as rookie Golden Tate gets a clue, Branch will probably be summarily relieved of his starting role.

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