First, the good news, this is the last week with teams on a bye. Now, the bad news, this week begins the Thursday night games that will continue for the rest of the season. That’s right, the NFL is upsetting the schedule of their best customers, the fantasy players. Check your league rules to make sure you are aware of your free agent pickup deadlines, as well as your lineup submission deadlines.
And one other bit of news that you might not be aware of (if you live in a cave), get out and vote today. This is what people have fought and died for, the right to vote. No matter where you stand on the candidates and the issues, please make some time to get to the polls today. It’s not my place to give out my voting recommendations, however, I am able to give you my weekly recommendation on waiver wire selections….
RB Ryan Torain, Denver
With Michael Pittman and Andre Hall done for the season, and Selvin Young still on the shelf, Torain has an opportunity this week to lay claim to the starting job for the Broncos. Excellent matchup against the Browns, and a short week to boot. Torain should be the top free agent acquisition of the week.
WR Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis
I’m not exactly sure what has happened to Reggie Wayne, but Gonzalez seems to be the main end zone target for Peyton Manning. I’ve had him in the free agent article before, but after Sunday night’s performance, he belongs in the top grouping. Gonzalez has made himself a solid WR2 in any fantasy starting lineup.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England
I’ve been slow to feature Green-Elllis in the weekly free agents to target, and with good reason since New England has a lot of guys that can rotate in and out based on who they are playing. The time has come for me to give him a stamp of recommendation. Kevin Faulk will always be there to take the aerial attack, but Green-Ellis is running very hard and has had a chance to impress upon the coaching staff that he belongs on the field.
RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
The Chiefs can’t catch a break this season. Larry Johnson is forced to the side, and now promising youngster Kolby Smith is out for the year. That creates an opportunity for Charles to shine. And when I say shine in relation to a Kansas City running back, I mean, he could light the lamp for 100 yards like he did this past week. If he could only find his way into the endzone….in any case, a viable flex option this week for the owner in a pinch.
RB JJ Arrington, Arizona
The once promising youngster isn’t that young anymore, but he’s still on the Arizona roster. He’s behind Tim Hightower on the depth chart, but Edgerrin James‘ demise has moved Arrington into the backup role. James didn’t see the field last week, a clear sign that the Cardinals are set to use Arrington as the change of pace. He did very well this past week, over one hundred yards with 11 touches of the ball. Worth owning in any format.
On The Radar
TE Brent Celek, Philadelphia
With LJ Smith out last week, Celek excelled to the tune of 131 yards on 6 catches. The Eagles are an offense that uses the tight end no matter who it is, so keep an eye on Smith’s status and grab Celek if he’s going to miss some more time.
TE Kevin Boss, New York Giants
In this year, the year of the fantasy owner struggling to find a tight end, I’ve got two on this week’s list. Boss has been the starter all season, but I do see that he’s available in many leagues. The numbers aren’t outstanding, but he has found the end zone in each of the past two weeks, worth keeping an eye on if the guy you’ve got is stinking it up.
WR Koren Robinson, Seattle
A sign of life from the Seahawks passing game?! Many will look at Robinson’s numbers and shrug them off since he got 90 of his 105 yards on one play. But, he was targeted many times over the course of the game. I don’t see the Seattle passing game as improving much, but if there is a guy that emerges as consistent, it could be Robinson.
WR Rashied Davis, Chicago
I’m digging a little deep here, but I like what I saw in Davis this past week. Five catches including a touchdown pass gets him on my radar. Yes, the Bears are going to have to make a change at quarterback, but that could lead to opportunity. Teams will load up against the run, so Davis might be able to get some single coverage.
Quarterbacks to Consider
QB Sage Rosenfels, Houston
New category this week! Many teams are being forced, either thru poor play or injury, to move to their backup quarterback. Matt Schaub is out for at least a month, the Texans will turn to Rosenfels in hopes that he can keep the passing game going. Rosenfels will have some very good weapons as his disposal, of all the changes being made around the league, Rosenfels has the best chance to put up good fantasy numbers.
QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland
I’m obliged to mention Quinn here, even though many, including myself, were recommending weeks ago that you grab Quinn since his coronation to the starting job was inevitable. The Browns have finally made the announcement that Quinn will start. Despite making the move on a short week, Cleveland will do everything to make his transition to starting a success. Expect a lot of high percentage short stuff where he gives his wide outs an opportunity to get some yards after the catch. 250 yards and a TD or two are not out of the question given the weapons at his disposal.
QB Rex Grossman, Chicago
Remember when Grossman was a fantasy stud? Wasn’t that long ago. I don’t expect him to explode back onto the fantasy scene, but if you’ve lost your QB, Grossman might not be a bad fill in for the next couple of weeks.
QB Byron Leftwich, Pittsburgh
With Roethlisberger missing some time in the Monday night game, Leftwich filled in admirably. He, like Grossman, has done it before, so if Big Ben misses any time, Leftwich will be a capable fill in, albeit one with limited fantasy success.
I can’t believe that I have to say this, but word is that the Lions are considering going with Culpepper as the starter this week. I was going to give Stanton a mild recommendation, if it is Culpepper, he gets an extremely mild recommendation from me. I still can’t believe he’s in the league, much less has the chance to be a starter in week 10. Tread with caution here.