Friday, November 14, 2008

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 11/14

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

Updated November 14, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

Joseph Addai ,RB

Wow, has this guy disappeared into the fantasy suck-o-sphere or what ? Colts RB Joseph Addai hasn't cracked the century-mark in rush yards since last November, and in 10 of his last 15 starts, he has committed the ultimate affront that can be perpetuated by a fantasy runningback, he has failed to break 50 rush yards in a game. So granted, Addai has let everyone down, but if Guns 'N Roses and AC/DC can pulloff successful comeback tours, why not Joseph Addai ? Over the next six weeks, the Colts play Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Jacksonville, so if Joseph Addai is ever going to lead the charge in an Indianapolis running game revival, it may as well be over the final stretch of the 2008 season.

Tyler Thigpen/Dwayne Bowe/Larry Johnson ,QB/WR/RB

After Tyler Thigpen's first start, which resulted in a 128 yard 3 INT calamity against the Atlanta Falcons in week 3, you just know he earned the nickname 'Toady Pigpen' by some of his more immature teammates, and that's just childish, wrong and hurtful. Well, Thigpen has certainly showed those naysayers, reversing his dreadful play earlier this season, and looking like a genuine NFL QB over the past three weeks- averaging 236 pass yards, 2 TDs, and even running for an average 20 yards per game. Thigpen's emergence is great news for Dwyane Bowe, who has been very consistent, and should remain an every week starter. Thigpen and Bowe face the suspect New Orleans in week 11, but could be especially valuable during the fantasy playoffs, when they face Denver, San Diego, and Miami, teams that all rank in the bottom 10 against fantasy QBs. Also of note on the Kansas City front, Larry Johnson is scheduled to return in week 11 and should immediately upgrade their struggling running game. Johnson still faces more possible suspension time this season, depending on the outcome of his civil silliness trial, but so long as your league doesn't deduct points for objectionable conduct, random stupidity, assault and battery and/or negligent spitting, he should be safe to use for at least a couple weeks.

Trent Edwards/Lee Evans/Marshawn Lynch ,QB/WR/RB

Yeah, of course it's been disappointing that these guys weren't able to do jack-squiggly-doo against division rivals Jets and Patriots the past two weeks, but sticking with them could pay off over the next month, when the Bills play Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco and then Miami. Edwards and Evans have not been alone in their ineptitude, as Marshawn Lynch has been equally awful. In fact, over the past 2 weeks, the only thing more unsightly than his Yahoo! promotional photo has been Lynch's on field performance, as he has managed a paltry total of 69 rush yards for a 2.69 yards per carry in these 2 games. The Bills upcoming opponents of Cleveland, Kansas City and San Francisco give up oodles of rush yards, so Lynch should bounce back and help make amends for his recent transgressions.

Peyton Hillis ,RB

Well, evidently the job of runningback for the Denver Broncos has recently surpassed high rise office building window washer, electrical power installer, coal miner and food taster for tyrannical Central American dictator as most dangerous occupation. With Ryan Torain, Michael Pittman and Andre Hall now out for the season, the Broncos might turn to Peyton Hillis as their lead runningback if he can get the job done. Hillis was the lead blocker for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones at Arkansas, and that looks good on anyones resume, but he is also a pretty good player in his own right. He has good speed for his size (6-1, 250 lbs), running in about the 4.6 range, good hands, and his tough, inside running could be just what Denver needs at this point. Also note that Denver has recently signed perennial disappointment Tatum Bell, and Selvin Young might become relevant if he can recover from his groin injury, but Hillis is definitely worth a shot in the short-term if you lack depth at the runningback position.

Joe Flacco/Derrick Mason/Mark Clayton ,QB/WR

There is no doubt that rookie QB Joe Flacco has one of the best arms in the league, the guy can flat out launch a pass into the next zipcode. Moreover, ever since hurling up three interceptions against the Colts in week 6, Flacco has looked much less like a clueless rookie, and produced some legitimate fantasy numbers, with a QB rating well over 100, and a 6 TDs/ 0 INT ratio since week 8. So what's the problem, shouldn't I start Flacco over Brett Favre, that bum only threw for 167 yards last week ? Well, while that doesn't sound as crazy as it sounded back in September, note that Flacco and the Ravens passing game have experienced their best games against Miami, Cleveland and Houston. These are three teams that David Carr could complete at least a couple passes against. With the Giants and Eagles coming up for Baltimore, and Derrick Mason expected to be limited with a shoulder injury this week, it's probably not a great time to plug Flacco into your lineup.

Marvin Harrison ,WR

One of the more interesting rumors that came out of last weeks Steelers/Colts game, was that Pittsburgh pretty much applied the 'AT&T Network' defense on WR Marvin Harrison, meaning that they allowed Harrison the latitude to roam the field with limited coverage. Assuming that this was the case, Harrison seemingly should have been able to produce a better game then 3 catches for 37 yards, and 2 dropped touchdowns. Marvin Harrison is one of the great receivers in NFL history, but it is becoming more apparent that Anthony Gonzalez would be the better option for the Colts passing game, and Harrison probably should not be rated any better than a #4 fantasy receiver, i.e. a replacement for someone like Kevin Walter if he is abducted by aliens.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis/Sammy Morris/LaMont Jordan ,RB

Benjarvus Green-Ellis probably gave New England their best rushing effort of the season last week, with 26 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. The problem with the Patriots running game situation, is that Kevin Faulk seems to be the only constant as the designated 3rd down back. With Sammy Morris and/or LaMont Jordan looming in the infirmary, nobody knows exactly who will be getting the carries for New England over the next few weeks. Morris and Jordan would probably be the favorites if/when they return from injury limbo, but with upcoming games against the Jets, Dolphins and Steelers, all decent run defenses, it might be best to just steer clear of the entire mess.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/31

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

Updated October 31, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

Derrick Ward ,RB

While Brandon Jacobs is clearly the vice president in charge of running over people for the NY Giants running game department, it's hard to ignore the level of involvement assumed by Derrick Ward. Certainly in the area of catching the ball, Ward has a clear advantage over Jacobs, and he usually gets about 30% of the total rushing carries. Ward could be especially useful as a receiver over the next three weeks when the Giants play Dallas, Philadelphia, Baltimore, as these teams have not been friendly to opposing running games. Of course the other reason to like Derrick Ward, is that he gets to run behind one of the best offensive lines in league. In fact, after they retire in 5-6 years, I nominate the Giants offensive line to take over security on the Canada - United States border, if anyone can keep those pesky Canadians out of the country, it is the NY Giants offensive line. (Just kidding, we love you Canada)

Zach Miller ,TE

The 2008 Oakland Raiders don't exhibit anything that could classified as a 'passing game' by any traditional definition of the phrase, but when they do try to throw the ball, their most consistent threat seems to TE Zach Miller. Miller is a smart player with great hands who knows how to find voids in the defense, and usually ends up with 5-6 targets per game. While 5 targets per game doesn't sound like the makings of a fantasy bonanza, in the context of the Oakland passing game, it's good enough to make Miller the leading receiver. Of course, the other pleasantly unique attributes that Miller offers, is 1) unlike Javon Walker, you won't find him balancing his checkbook on the the sideline during a game, and 2) unlike Ronald Curry, he usually catches the ball when it is thrown at him. The Raiders have one of the most favorable remaining schedules against the pass this year, and Miller is certainly worth a shot, especially in the next two weeks against Atlanta and Carolina.

Kevin Curtis ,WR

Predicting what will happen with the Philadelphia Eagles offense from week to week is about as easy as predicting which window of your car will be busted and which personal items will be missing from your car after parking in North Philly for the annual 'Shout Random Cusswords at a Uniformed Officer' weekend. Despite their lack of consistency, Curtis and the Eagles passing offense are intriguing because Donovan McNabb is still a damn good quarterback, and now DeSean Jackson represents a new legitimate distraction for opposing defenses. This should mean that Kevin Curtis will be able to produce a few big games in the 2nd half of the season. These big games will probably happen at unexpected times of course, but he should be worthy of #3 fantasy receiver consideration in the other weeks too, unlike the generally useless Reggie Brown.

Trent Edwards/Lee Evans ,QB/WR

It's too early to proclaim that Trent Edwards is the new Jim Kelly without the unsightly razor stubble, but he has sure looked damn good so far. He has yet to break through with a multiple TD game, but he's completed about 70% of his passes, and consistently connected with his best offensive weapon, Lee Evans. This is a positive development, because it seems that Evans would disappear for stretches in previous seasons, averaging 2 catches for 20 yards right after a 190 yard 2 TD game.

Of course, Evans has never had any problem getting open, or streaking past a defense. In fact, Lee Evans is probably fast enough to run past many NFL defensive backs, leaving himself enough time in most cases to build a campfire in the endzone before the free safety catches up. Unfortunately there is no fantasy statistic that accounts for this very useful talent, and his consistency this season has been far more useful for fantasy purposes.

Torry Holt ,WR

It had to happen eventually, but it certainly appears that the great Torry Holt is slowing down, and over the past couple weeks has begun to be overshadowed by emerging star Donnie Avery. Holt is still worth hanging onto for sentimental reasons, and will probably continue to perform as a fair #2 or good #3 fantasy receiver, but certainly if you could work out a trade of some sort to fill a hole in your roster, you may be better off. We have all been in that league where one of the owners was just thawed out after being cybergenically frozen in 1997. You know the guy, he is still listening to Smash Mouth and Coolio on his Walkman and is fully expecting Torry Holt to bounceback and finish this year with a 'greatest show on turf' flurry. Trade Holt to this guy for Matt Forte or Eddie Royal.

Ahman Green/Steve Slaton ,RB

Steve Slaton has indeed started off his career with flair, and it looks like he has the potential to be a very productive runningback, despite possessing the same approximate height and weight dimensions of Wesley Snipes. That said, it might be wise to leave Slaton on the bench for the next two weeks when the Texans play Minnesota in week 9, and then Baltimore in week 10. Another issue that has diluted Slaton's value somewhat, is the Texans persistant and inexplicable policy of continuing to use Ahman Green. Of course, Green's availability is always tenuous at best due to his fragile nature, but hopefully after Houston gets past it's scheduling rough patch we will find that Mr. Green has finally retired to pursue the figure skating career that he has been postponing. Then Steve Slaton can assume his deserved role as a full-time starter.

Cedric Benson ,RB

Ok, so it looks like this past week against the Houston Texans may have been the window of opportunity to use Cedric Benson for fantasy purposes, and quite possibly the window slammed on your fingers if you were expecting more than 7 points from our favorite party girl, who still hasn't figured out how to pass block. After this week against the Jaguars, the Bengals have their week 10 bye, and then proceed to crank up that potent offense of theirs against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Just say 'no' to any part of the Bengals offense for the next month is kind of what it looks like.

Derek Anderson/Donte Stallworth QB,WR

For Derek Anderson to keep the Mighty-Brady Quinn on the bench, he will probably need to have more than one productive game a month. Anderson has obviously been horrendous so far this year, and if you subtract his 310 yard, 2 TD game against the Giants in week 6, he has completed only 46% of his passes, and produced an average 135 yards per game. The Browns could bring back Tim Couch to do that shnizzle%$#.

While we are picking on the Browns, as if that's been difficult (almost ever), did they actually look at Donte Stallworth's illustrious resume before signing him this offseason? The only consistent thing about Stallworth, is that it will be virtually assured that he will miss about 8 games a season, 2 for injuries, and then the other six usually the result of getting lost coming out of the tunnel before the game. Years from now, scientists will finally realize that it is not paranormal/alien activity that explains crop circles, it has been been Donte Stallworth running around on football fields pretending to be an NFL receiver.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 10/11

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

Updated October 11, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

Jason Campbell ,QB

Despite the fact that the blitz-crazy Eagles were swarming all over Jason Campbell like flies on potato salad at the company picnic, he once again remained poised, and turned in yet another winning performance. Granted, 176 passing yards and 0 TDs didn't help you from a fantasy perspective this week, but stop your whining, because Campbell should definitely improve on those numbers against St. Louis, Cleveland and Detroit over the next three weeks. Although there was originally some concern about Jason Campbell in terms of his ability to run Washington's new timing offense, he has adjusted quickly, still has not thrown an interception, and looks like he could be on the verge of a breakout seaon.

Brandon Stokley/Daniel Graham ,WR/TE

With Eddie Royal (ankle) possibly out until after the Broncos week 8 bye, and Jay Cutler on pace to throw 2,700 passes this season, it seems that Brandon Stokley should have some immediate value. Even with Eddie Royal starting at the #2 spot, Stokley has been a consistent contributor, with 32 targets (about 6 per game) for the Broncos, so he seems like a safe bet. If you feel the need to get a little adventurous, TE Tony Scheffler left Denver's week 5 contest with a groin injury, so it is possible that Daniel Graham could emerge from relative obscurity to provide fantasy points at the TE spot in the near term.

Bobby Engram ,WR

Hey check it out, Bobby 'Mr. Excitement' Engram is back for Seattle ! and yes, that is probably the most egregiously inappropriate use of the moniker 'Mr. Excitement' since it was used sardonically by the producer of Meet the Press to describe Dick Cheney before his last appearance on that show. While Engram is certainly not someone who is going to light up the fantasy scoreboard, he is probably worth picking up if you need a bye week replacement over the next few weeks. Sadly enough, the 35-year old Engram is probably the most reliable receiving option the Seahawks have right now. This is especially true since Deion Branch injured himself again in week 5 (wow, that's a shocker) and TE John Carlson apparently decided to take a rookie mental vacation this past week against the Giants, finishing with zero catches.

Laurence Maroney/Sammy Morris ,RB

Ok, let's see if we can get this New England runningback situation straight. We have career backup Sammy Morris masquerading as the implied starter over last years most effective rusher Laurence Maroney. Then we mix in some token carries from LaMont Jordan to remind us why we signed him off the free agent scrap heap, and then we use the fear-provoking 5 foot 8 Kevin Faulk at the goalline to assert our scoring authority. Makes perfect sense. Laurence Maroney is still the only RB worth holding onto in this mess, but he obviously can't be used for fantasy purposes until the Patriot RB rotation becomes a little less perplexing.

Reggie Williams/Jerry Porter ,WR

Aside from the apparently rehabilitated Matt 'Magic Mushroom' Jones, who has been surprisingly focused so far, poor David Garrard isn't getting much help from anybody else in the Jaguars passing game. Of course, offensive line injuries and the inability to consistently run the ball hasn't helped matters, but it also seems that Jacksonville hasn't had a reliable deep threat since Jimmy Smith retired. Reggie Williams is about as slow as the line at the DMV, and Jerry Porter, who returned this past week to catch one pass for 6 yards, currently leads the league in lethargic lollygagging.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers 10/4

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

Updated October 4, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

Mewelde Moore ,RB

If you blinked, you missed the debut of the much-heralded rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall this past Monday night. Unfortunately, in the midst of a nondescript nine carries for 30 yards performance, Mendenhall fractured his shoulder, and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. The rookie is still worth holding onto in keeper formats, because he has the potential to be a very good RB. However, keeping with the theme of trying to win this year, Mewelde Moore is a great guy to pickup in the current week. Although Moore is not known for his raw speed, he is a shifty back who has shown natural instincts, and he excels as a receiver. In 2005, Moore finished with 662 rush yards added 37 receptions for 339 yards in limited duty, so he has demonstrated the ability to be fantasy relevant.

Matt Turner/Roddy White ,QB/WR

Much to the chagrin of the Falcons coaching staff, it will not be possible to hand the ball off to Michael Turner on every single play. As it turns out, it seems that NFL defenses tend to catch on to this ploy, and start to make adjustments, like using 4 defensive tackles on 3rd down. This may work out fine, because Matt Ryan is slowly progressing and looks like he is going to be a pretty good QB, perhaps even worthy of using for fantasy purposes this season. Ryan's strengths are his intelligence and accuracy, and while he was expected to struggle a bit in the long passing game, he has actually looked pretty good in this area as well. Roddy White started out a little slow this year, but he is clearly Ryan's most capable target. In the past two weeks, White has been very solid, with 209 yards and a TD. This past week against Carolina, he was targeted by Matt Ryan a total of 17 times, so he is certainly a guy you want to keep in your lineup.

Steve Slaton ,RB

It didn't take the Houston Texans long to figure out that rookie Steve Slaton was the best choice to give their uninspiring running game a boost. Given that Ahman Green typically hurts himself while putting on his shoes, it's not like Slaton had any great obstacle to surpass, but nonetheless the rookie has been a fairly impressive starter. He broke out with a 118 yard performance against a very strong Titans defense, and while he couldn't repeat his ground success last week against the Jaguars (33 rushing yards), he made up for it with 8 catches for 83 yards. Slaton is probably worth using as a #2 RB right now, if you are tired of trying to figure out what someone like Thomas Jones will do each week.

Robert Meachem ,WR

The New Orleans Saints receiver situation makes about as much sense as the latest X-files movie, and the biggest mystery is trying to figure out exactly why Robert Meachem has yet to pass the thoroughly unremarkable David Patten, and the consistently maladroit Devery Henderson on the depth chart. Meachem, as you might recall, was considered by many scouts as a close 2nd to Calvin Johnson in terms of future potential coming out of the 2007 draft. So far this season, he was inactive for one game, and in a part-time role, has 5 catches for 204 yards, with 2 TDs in the three games he has played. Maybe the Saints can do some simple mathmatical extrapolation here and figure out that Meachem is probably the best receiver on their roster.

J.T. O'Sullivan/Vernon Davis ,QB/TE

J.T. O'Sullivan has certainly been suitable as a #2 fantasy QB so far this season, but in the same way we would never want to see famous late-night sidekick Paul Schafer fill-in for David Letterman, you probably don't want to use O'Sullivan as your starter unless the matchup is exceptional. Unfortunately, over the next month or so, the San Francisco 49ers appear to some unexceptional matchups, with New England, Philadelphia, the Giants and the Seahawks on the schedule. As far as Vernon Davis, I guess we should have seen it coming. Mike Martz spread offense is not friendly to the TE position, and although the Niners have been utilizing his speed on some deep routes, it is more likely that the ball will bounce off Davis's helmet than land in his hands. Unfortunately, this has been a recurring pattern for Vernon Davis in his young career so far.

Todd Heap ,TE

Evidently Todd Heap couldn't make it to the game this week, and the Ravens deployed a decoy imposter to take his place on the field. This imposter did an outstanding job avoiding the football on all offense plays, and if you observe the boxscore from this weeks game, you will once again find that Todd Heap and his imposter have succeeded in their covert operation to produce exactly zero catches and yards. There are too many decent young TE's that are most likely available on the waiver wire to waste much more time with Heap, so if you can grab someone like Greg Olsen, Dustin Keller, or Zach Miller it may be time to do so.

Selvin Young ,RB

Selvin Young is still the lead runningback in Denver, but there is a confluence of factors that will probably make him a bad start for the foreseeable future. For one thing, the Broncos are clearly emphasizing the passing game, and this new downfield bonanza doesn't seem to include alot of swing passes to runningbacks. Of course, the other issue is the multitude of options that fickle Mike Shanahan has at his disposal. So far, the maximum number of carries that Young has been given is 11, with Andre Hall and Michael Pittman currently involved in the collective effort. To possibly add to the clutter in the near future, Ryan Torain is expected to return in week 8 or so, which could further diminish Young's already deflated value.

Ricky Williams ,RB

Grab your luggage, bid the conductor a 'good day', and don't forget to tuck and roll, it's time to jump off the Ricky Williams makes-a-comeback train. While Williams is certainly worth hanging on to if you also have Ronnie Brown on your roster, that is probably the extent of his usefulness after Brown's resounding 113 yard 4 TD declaration that his knee is not an issue any longer. Williams also had a decent day, of course, with 98 yards, but in the event that Brown continues to play well, it's hard to see how Miami will continue giving Williams 50% of total carries as the season progresses.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fantasy Football Sleepers/Creepers - 9/9

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

Updated September 9, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

DeSean Jackson/LJ Smith ,WR/TE

It was like the good old days for the Eagles offense on Sunday, Donovan McNabb was actually on the field, instead of on the sidelines with a miscellaneous leg injury, the hometown Eagles fans were yelling rude, sometimes obscene things in the direction of coach Andy Reid, and the passing game was actually resulting in consistent positive yardage. Now of course, the Eagles played the Rams this past week, so we will see what they can do against a much more competent Dallas secondary. Nonetheless, after effectively taking last year off, Donovan McNabb was very sharp, blazing fast rookie DeSean Jackson looked far from clueless, and oft-injured L.J. Smith was even helping out. It is interesting to note that Smith, who finished with 5 catches for 39 yards and a TD was targeted an impressive 6 times in the redzone.

Jerious Norwood ,RB

Could this finally be the year that the Atlanta coaching staff gives Norwood more than 2 carries a game? They have been promising to do this since like the Year of SpiderMonkey (which I think equates to 2004 on Chinese animal zodiac). Norwood's 93 yards on 14 carries seems almost inconspicuous compared to the 220 yard beating that Michael Turner inflicted on the hapless Detroit Lions, but if Norwood continues to get over 10 touches a game, he has the gamebreaking-ability and explosive speed to make him a viable #3 RB.

Tim Hightower ,RB

He didn't do much with the 8 carries he received, but the fact that he spelled Edgerrin James on 25% of the running plays is significant. More appealing is the fact that Hightower did score a short rushing TD, and he was fairly involved in the passing game, with 3 catches for 21 yards . In total, Hightower was targeted 4 times, twice in the redzone. Edgerrin James is still playing well, but he is 30 now. (When measured in Nascar driver years, 30 years old is about 58 years old for an NFL runningback). As the season progresses, it seems likely that Hightower will see ample opportunity to let James attend to his arthritis and naptime if necessary.

Dwayne Bowe ,WR

It won't matter much who is throwing the ball for Kansas City, Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard are both marginal QB's, and they both like throwing to Dwayne Bowe, mostly because the Chiefs really don't have any other wide receiver worth throwing to. Bowe was targeted 14 times on Sunday, 7 by Croyle, and then 7 times by Huard after Croyle left with an injury. The 2nd year receiver finished with only 49 yards and a TD, but should be able to deliver better performances if you stick with him.

Thomas Jones/Leon Washington ,RB

After spending most of last season running face-first into a bunch of defensive tackles on every play, nobody was more surprised to see running lanes on Sunday than Thomas Jones. Clearly, the additions of Alan Faneca and Damien Woody to the Jets offensive line will help the Jets generate a runninggame this year, and with Brett Favre at QB, opposing defense have something besides Nick Mangolds unpleasant aftershave to fear. Leon Washington wasn't able to get it going this past week, but he will likely make an impact at some point as the designated change-of-pace RB.

Other Possible Sleepers

QB-Matt Schaub, Brett Favre, Philip Rivers, Jake Delhomme, Aaron Rodgers
RB-Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Laurence Maroney, Ronnie Brown
Lorenzo Booker, Chris Perry, Sammy Morris, Jonathan Stewart
WR- Lee Evans, Anthony Gonzalez, Robert Meachem, Chris Chambers
Vincent Jackson, Sidney Rice, Ronald Curry, Kevin Walter
DeSean Jackson, Steve Breaston, Bryant Johnson, Patrick Crayton
TE-Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, Dustin Keller, Zach Miller
Anthony Fasano, Robert Royal, John Carlson, Vernon Davis
DEF-New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars

Kyle Orton ,QB

All the Bear fans in Hooville were observed cheering Kyle Orton-hears-a-hoo, as he carefully avoided mishaps and put the Colts defense to sleep with a barrage of meticulously-located 7 yard passes on Sunday night. Watching Orton is obviously not as exciting as watching Rex Grossman throw 45 yards downfield into triple coverage, but that's probably a welcome change for Bear fans. Chicago won't demand much out of Kyle Orton, and that will work out fine, because he is not capable of much, and he probably won't be much of a fantasy factor.

Matt Cassel/Randy Moss ,QB/WR

You know the thought ran through Bill Belichick's head, if maybe just briefly...'Am I better off with 2nd string QB Matt Cassel, a guy I just remembered we still have on our roster, or Tom Brady hopping on one leg ?' Well, it could be that there is finally a real QB competition in New England now, Matt Cassel vs. possibly Tim Rattay and/or Chris Simms vs. Tom Brady hopping around on one leg. Cassel is capable, but obviously can't provide the level of play that is anywhere close to that of Tom Brady. As far as Randy Moss, he can make almost any QB look good when he plays for an entire 60 minutes, but clearly the Patriots passing offense just got downgraded to a large degree.

Devery Henderson ,WR

It's difficult to understand how New Orleans keeps Robert Meachem on the inactive list, and chooses to start Devery Henderson, who has a PHd in dropping passes. Of course, it worked out pretty well, as Henderson managed to hang onto a pass for an 84 yard TD, but this should be considered little more than a pleasant surprise, sort of like finding a parking spot right by the front door at Wal-Mart. At some point, it seems that Meachem will get his chance to start over Henderson, and it seems he could be a significant upgrade.

Chad Pennington/Ted Ginn ,QB/WR

Chad Pennington is probably one of the smartest QBs in the league, but his feeble arm is a clear liability. In other words, it's certainly terrific if your QB can solve algebra problems, and read defenses, but sometimes it's also nice to have a guy that can throw the ball 30 yards down the field with some zip on it. Pennington ain't that guy, and Ted Ginn's speed is somewhat wasted without a quarterback who can chuck up some reckless long passes every once in a while. Moreover, Ginn could remain an especially risky start, since he still seems to have difficulty getting open on short timing routes.

Fred Taylor ,RB

To state the obvious, the Jaguars were skunked in a huge way on Sunday by Tennessee, who essentially left Titan tracks all over Jacksonville's offensive skill players. David Garrard was especially abused, and might seriously consider pressing charges after getting sacked 7 times. To make matters worse for the Jaguars, and their invisible running-game, they also lost both starting offensive guards, Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams. While Maurice Jones-Drew should still be somewhat productive, it's hard to see Fred Taylor coming anywhere close to his performance without the same level of offensive line play he benefited from last season.

Other Possible Creepers

QB- Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Matt Leinart, JaMarcus Russell
RB-Warrick Dunn, Selvin Young, Deuce McAllister, Michael Bush
LenDale White, Edgerrin James, De'shaun Foster, Willis McGahee
WR- Marvin Harrison, Reggie Brown, Derrick Mason, Javon Walker, Isaac Bruce
Reggie Williams, Michael Jenkins, Darrell Jackson, Ernest Wilford, Ike Hilliard
TE- Ben Troupe, Chris Baker, Leonard Pope, Mercedes Lewis
DEF-Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders