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Deeper & Down

Andrew Quarless (TE, GB) 0%

Led Zepplin once sang about being “Dazed & Confused”, but anymore injuries up there in Wisconsin and the local band might think of adding it to their repertoire instead.

Quarless was certainly known to live a bit of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle while he was at Penn State, but he’s matured and – with any luck – left that all behind him as he’ll certainly need his focus elsewhere these next 8-10 weeks.

Just for the record? He is an every down tight end; He can catch and he can block. He might be the backup, but he’s a far cry from not having starting caliber skills as Nittany Lion’s fans will be all to happy to tell you.

With the possibility that Aaron Rodgers sits next week, Matt Flynn may well lean on Quarless often against the Miami Dolphins next week. Even if he suits up the “Jenning’s reclaimation plan” will still involve the use of a productive TE over the middle. Flynn starting might be a big plus for Quarless in terms then of being leaned upon, the potential for stalled drives and turnovers that come with a backup quarterback can mitigate and offset that somewhat!

Someone has to get those looks Jermichael Finley was getting … and it won’t be Greg Jennings, Finley, Brandon Jackson or Donald Lee on current form or health. With Miami averaging 60 yards and 0.5 touhdowns to opposing tight ends per game, he’s definitely worth a punt by Finley owners who are missing a “Whole lotta love”.

Anthony Armstrong (WR, WAS) 1%

The 27-year-old, former Odessa Roughneck, Dallas Desperado and Miami Dolphin roster casualty seems to finally have found himself a nice little niche in the nation’s capital. It’s a role that should expand going forward too, due to the declining skills, physical set and production from Joey Galloway currently ahead of him. Just about …

Armstrong has shown some flashes of good ability and awareness on his plays to date with Donovan McNabb. Especially in terms of both awareness and mid-air ability. He also has a nice rapport bubbling away with McNabb at the moment.

On the flip side – nice plays and chemistry aside – he’s still going to be behind Chris Cooley and Santana Moss. Does that make him a bad pickup? Not necessarily. It just means that you should anticipate some streaky production from week-to-week. The good news is that with the running game in its embryonic (or terrible if you prefer) stages, McNabb and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will have to rely more on the passing game.

If you’re struggling at wideout – you could do a lot, lot worse than buy in early on the new, old wide receiver in the Capital.

Deji Karim (RB, JAX) 1%

Maurice Jones-Drew. We love you but we don’t love hearing that you have been carrying a hand injury against Buffalo or that you’re tired of getting nicked up.

Speaking to The Florida Times Jones-Drew replied to one question saying, “I don’t know. It’s been a tough season with injuries so far and just trying to stay healthy.”

He did manage close to 100 yards against one of the worst run defenses in the league (Buffalo), but he didn’t eclipse it, nor did he score. Despite Jacksonville racking up 36 points on the board they sometimes struggled and at one point they were 10 points behind.

It’s never a good sign when your kicker has a monster week and is arguably your best player.

With tougher opponents ahead I think head coach Jack Del Rio will be looking to keep Jones-Drew fresher and more healthy as the weeks wear on, especially given David Garrard’s maddening inconsistency and the team’s problems when on the road.

Seventy yards on 15 carries and four kick returns averaging almost 35 yards a pop (one going for 51 yards) for the former Southern Illinois Saluki translates into being on the cusp of relevance.

Jones-Drew owners should seriously consider handcuffing him in case he either gets a bigger injury or it turns into a full blown running back by committee down the road.

Max Hall (QB, ARI)


Sacked 10 times in just two games, the former undrafted free agent either has sand to spare or rocks for a head. Both will come in useful out there in Arizona.

Sure, he overthrew some passes, failed to read the defenses right, made some mistakes at the line and beat the Super Bowl champions – but it was the first time in
42 years that an undrafted rookie beat the reigning superbowl champs.

You know what? I like him for more than just that.

The team rallied behind him offensively and the defense played their backsides off for him. Matt Leinart had no leadership skills, Derek Anderson had no accuracy. Hall is the future now for the Cardinals.

As I’ve written before, picking up a fantasy quarterback off the waiver wive for deep dynasty leagues is almost impossible. Coach Ken Whisenhunt has never shown favoritism to any player. You’re either in on merit as being the best player available to him or you’re on the bench (or worse). There are no guarantees he will be the starter next season. In fact I’m fairly certain we’ll read about an open quarterback competition in the desert between Hall and John Skelton going into 2011, but that’s what coaches do.

The odds on him retaining the job, however, get stronger with each snap he takes.

Was he brilliant against the New Orleans Saints? No, that was a defensive win. Was he good enough in his first start against the champs to inspire some hope for the franchise? Yes, he certainly was. A nice release, a decent arm and some great intangibles.

For the love of all that’s holy though, someone please get the kid in the tape room and show him what to look for in blitz packages!

Brandon Gibson (WR, Stl) 0%

The Rams just cannot catch a break with their wide receivers. Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson, Mark Clayton and – yup – even the guy I’m passing across to you now – Gibson.

Sam Bradford – as I said in our dynasty rookie rankings this summer – is a better blue chip prospect in my opinion than either Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford or even Matt Ryan. As such, he needs certain things. A deep, vertical threat being one of the most important …

Clayton was certainly very productive in that role. Can Gibson replicate that success? We think that he can.

Robinson had yet to nail down that spot and make it his own – why else did they acquire Clayton? Durability issues and only average ability doesn’t make for a great wideout even if you are athletic when fit.

The sooner they get the vertical threat back that Clayton gave them, the better the offense will be. Bradford struggled against one of the more mediocre secondaries in the league (Detroit) without that deep threat last week. Not having a tight end of any note wasn’t helpful either!

Danny Amendola’s stock will fall back to respectability from his meteoric (and unsustainable) current level back into the consistent and productive stratosphere he usually flys in. His targets will dip, but his yards per catch will tick back up to help compensate.

The only potential fly in the ointment for all parties is Mardy Gilyard as I see him and not Robinson being the main threat to everyone else.

In Gibson’s Rams debut after the trade that took Will Witherspoon over to Philadelphia to help their Linebacker woes last season (Stewart Bradley injury)he caught 7 balls for 93 yds. A record for a Rams rookie.

I’m expecting more of the same. It’s that old nutshell about talent and opportunity again.

Just stay healthy! 





%age Owned

Wk 6

Wk 7

Wk 8

Wk 9

Tony Scheffler

Arrelious Benn

Damian Williams

Earnest Graham

Mike Hart***

David Gettis

Armanti Edwards

Taylor Price

Eric Decker

James Starks

Shawn Nelson


  • Tony Scheffler is losing looks to Brandon Pettigrew only because Matthew Stafford isn’t under center. An abbreviated passing game has followed and as such the looks have been split. This will change over the next two weeks. If you have the room or the inclination, it’s worth looking into.
  • Arrelious Benn has seen week-on-week increases in his targets. It’s a trend that’s not going to go anywhere but upwards. That’s unlucky for Sammie Stroughter but sometimes that’s the way it goes.
  • The passing in Tennessee has seen signs of life. The talented rookie (Damian Williams) won’t be overtaking Kenny Britt or anyone else anyone soon, but keep an eye on his progress as it could be swift with Britt having been known to be maddeningly inconsistent …
  • Earnest Graham is playing well and could end up being more productive than the younger more talented, but far less experienced LeGarrette Blount.
  • Mike Hart only gets a look-in here as Donald Brown is held back for the bye week to rest up.
  • David Gettis should do better with Matt Moore back under center, and if that doesn’t work they may as well try Armanti Edwards back as a quarterback.
  • Taylor Price, if fit, could well challenge Ben Tate for vertical targets given enough time. Speculation for now, but buyer beware.
  • Eric Decker has Demaryius Thomas injured and Eddie Royal rotating back onto kick and punt returns. If we’re going to see him soon, it’s going to be now and I don’t think even Josh McDaniels can look back once they do.
  • James Starks has been spoken about enough by myself and now others. Shawn Nelson is back from suspension and may well start to figure into stretching defenses a little over the middle and helping protect whichever quarterback Chan Gailey is starting this week.

Dishonorable Mentions

Fantasy Players (N/A)- Why is Darren Sproles 34 percent owned? Just why … ?

Jerry Jones (Dallas owner) – For still having Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett around to squander all that offensive talent. Soooner or later you have to take responsibility for what’s going on.

Ladell Betts (New Orleans running back) – You don’t mess with Sean Payton. Ever. You also don’t cost him winnable games. Just ask John Carney. Thanks for making Chris Ivory more attractive this week though! I don’t fear Julius Jones, somehow.

San Francisco 49ers Management (SF) – Let the coach carry on with what he’s doing. You hired him, so give him the time to make a fist of it or fall on his own sword. Two seasons isn’t a long enough time to turn a franchise around. Ask Jim Schwartz, Steve Spagnuolo or Raheem Morris. It takes time. You fire Mike Singletary now you won’t get anyone else in of any caliber until the end of the season and even then? Once you have them they will only start taking the roster apart to build the team in their image.

You’ll be rebuilding right back at square one again. Patience in the bay my friends, patience …

And finally …

Props to
Romeo Crennel. I know you didn’t quite get it all the way done this weekend past, but you can hold your head high after making Peyton Manning look so glum for over three quarters.

I said at the beginning of the season that I was looking forward to seeing how the Chiefs roll with two such highly experienced and talented coaches at both offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator – especially with some of the talent that’s being accumulated on both sides of the ball – but especially on defense: Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, Glenn Dorsey, Derrick Johnson, Javier Arenas.

Chiefs’ fans have reason to be feeling a mile high right now.

Best of luck this week in all your leagues!

James Elvins is a Staff Writer for FantasySharks.

You can email him with questions, thoughts or comments on or follow him on twitter.

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