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Risers and Fallers – Week 16


Tennessee Titans vs Green Bay Packers


Jake Locker


            There remains a world of untapped potential for the young quarterback of the Titans. He finds himself in one of the more idealistic situations for a fantasy QB. He has the talent, he has the weapons, and his defense gets beat like a rented mule. Even with all the factors lining up like bowling pins for him though, he continues to throw more gutter balls than strikes. The biggest positive is that he’s managed to completely shake loose of
Matt Hasselbeck
’s shadow. There isn’t much of a controversy as Tennessee has made their take known for a while. The best thing for Locker from now until the official end of the season is to remain average at a minimum and avoid injury. If he can successfully manage those two tasks he’ll be viewed as a high upside number two quarterback and a breakout candidate.


Aaron Rodgers


            Rodgers finds himself in a very similar situation as Locker. He has a stable of talented receivers, he’s a former MVP so the talent is unquestioned, and his defense is friendlier than the greeters at Wal-Mart. While he has had a good year, it just hasn’t been what we were looking for. Rodgers was taken as the top quarterback, in some cases top player overall, and unless he finishes with a lightning flash, he won’t finish in the top three at his own position. It’s not all gloomy forecasting in Green Bay though as he’s suffered massive amounts of injury on offense. With
Randall Cobb
becoming a dynamic, impact player and
Jordy Nelson
hopefully avoiding the injury bug in 2013, Rodgers should be expected to beat this season’s production next year. Right?


            Well, there are a few issues that could be viewed as negatives against Rodgers in 2013. First is that of wide receiver
Greg Jennings
. With Cobb proving to be a top end receiver, Jennings suffering yet another injury, and the assumed request for a high paying contract, things just look as though Jennings will be a different uniform next year. Tight end
Jermichael Finley
is already being rumored as gone next season while there are still games left to be played this season. And to top it off the Packers will be scouring the barren running back market searching for a starting worthy option. Rodgers still remains one of the best players in the league but the situation in Green Bay needs to be monitored. His play over the next two weeks would go a long way in keeping our hopes up in the event that the personnel changes are less than ideal or maybe even nonexistent.


Minnesota Vikings vs Houston Texans


Christian Ponder


            There’s really not of positive things to say about
Christian Ponder
. The Vikings looked like they panicked on draft day when they selected him much higher than he was projected. Since that day, Ponder has shown small samples of his talent, with small being the operative word. He just can’t string together productive games and the offensive coordinator just doesn’t seem to trust him anymore. The offense clearly belongs to Peterson and the Vikings just need a game manager. Unfortunately for Ponder he doesn’t even seem capable of that. He will have to show some form of vital signs before the season closes or the Vikings will be in the hunt for a quarterback like
Alex Smith
that won’t win many games but won’t lose you any either.


Matt Schaub


            Schaub has gone from one of the best fantasy quarterbacks to being outside the top ten options. Schaub used to be smack dab in the middle of one of those perfect fantasy situations where he needed to throw a lot and the options were elite. Now that the defense is a monster and
Arian Foster
deserves the majority of offensive looks, Schaub now appears to be more of a second option for fantasy purposes. There may not be a ton of time left to restore favor his way as the Texans could wrap up home field advantage this week. After that the coaches could decide to either limit or sit their starters to keep them fresh for the start of the playoffs. Schaub could finish on a very low note to no fault of his own. Such a finish would further distance himself from his previous seat within the top ten.


New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars


Tom Brady


            Brady is another one of those situations where the current play and track record is everything you could possibly look for. There doesn’t appear to be a sudden cliff or hiccups in the road approaching when it comes to Brady’s play. There could, however, be a speed bump down the road in regards to team personnel. For the past few seasons, wide receiver
Wes Welker
has been one of the most reliable and highly productive players in the league. He just became the first player in NFL history to record five 100 catch seasons. The argument could be made that Welker is a product of the system, potentially making him undeserving of such a big contract. But the fact remains that the numbers are there and that he’s looking for one last big pay day. Brady will be Brady no matter who lines up but you’d have to assume his numbers would take a hit if Welker left in the offseason. Hopefully the Brady to Welker connection will remain deadly for the remaining contests of 2012, making it too difficult to part ways with number 83.


Chad Henne


            The Jacksonville Jaguars silently made one of the best offseason signings last year. While
Peyton Manning
completely stole the show, Jacksonville quietly inked the second best free agent quarterback. While that’s not saying that
Chad Henne
belongs in the same breath, or second breath for that matter, with
Peyton Manning
but he has performed well. When you take into consideration the offensive issues with
Maurice Jones-Drew
missing practically the entire season and seeing that
Blaine Gabbert
couldn’t get anything established it really makes you appreciate any success he gets. With Gabbert looking more like a third stringer, Henne should be named the starter for week one. As long as Henne doesn’t suddenly regress heavily he should be in for much more value next year. With up and comers
Justin Blackmon
Cecil Shorts
turning into an explosive tandem and the expected return of MJD, Jacksonville should see a bump in value next season, further benefiting Henne.

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