We have a new addition to “Game Day Companion” that should help your team out some weeks. I have been talking about Bye weeks a lot lately. There are times when you have multiple players out and you have to start players you normally would not consider. Then you have injuries that can wreak havoc on your roster.
What we’re going to do each Sunday, in addition to our extensive tiered buy-sell list, is to talk about players at each position who you can spot start for today if you’re really stuck. We are focusing on fringe-type players that are likely free agents in your league. I’m not going to tell you to pick up Ahmad Bradshaw, LeSean McCoy, or other players who have no business being on the wire. Enjoy!
Week 5 Matchup Savers
Shaun Hill- The least appreciated NFL QB other than David Garrard. Look I’m not saying he’s the second coming of Joe Montana or anything but this guy has been an above-average signal caller since he won this job.
Trent Edwards- If T.O. and that receiving core can’t put up some production against this horrible Defense they ought to be ashamed. Edwards actually had two decent games to start the season so he might be respectable in this matchup.
Jason Campbell- He really is a bad NFL Quarterback. But the Panthers Defense has put zero pressure whatsoever on the QB this season. Campbell could have a decent game.
Mewelde Moore- Willie Parker is out so Mendenhall is going to be the feature back in Pittsburgh. Moore is the primary pass-catching back and he will get some carries also. I think he’s a really nice start as a flex player in super deep leagues.
Lawrence Maroney- Fred Taylor’s out no so I guess this perennial disappointment will be the feature runner out of necessity. He could be sneaky good this week. His Yahoo picture is sketchy.
Ryan Moats- He is going to get some carries this week, probably 10 at least with the potential to get 15 like he did last week. I LOVE him as a stash, also.
Chester Taylor- The Vikings could be up by a large chunk by the 4th quarter and Taylor could get some nice mop-up duty.
Jerious Norwood- He is finally back from his concussion trouble. He’s not going to do a ton against San Francisco, but could help you in a pinch in ppr leagues.
Andre Caldwell- Ochocinco is relevant again and as he draws more coverage I anticipate better looks for the other receivers. Maybe Caldwell can be the new T.J.
Donnie Avery- The #1 by default in St. Louis. They have to throw it to somebody!
Louis Murphy- See Donnie Avery
Jason Avant- The Eagles have a cupcake matchup this week so you have to love the potential from any of their Offensive players.
Austin Collie- Peyton Manning. Need I say more?
Mark Bradley- Defenses are really starting to key in on Dwayne Bowe. Bradley has been pretty decent this season and maybe he’ll start to get even better looks.
Sam Hurd- With Roy Williams out Miles Austin is a very good play, but Hurd is also a good emergency play if Austin has been snatched up. His targets should increase markedly with this bump up in the depth chart.
Mercedes Lewis- Probably my favorite spot starter at TE this week.
Dante Rosario- Hopefully Jake Delhomme looks his way again this week.
Kevin Boss- The G-men are taking on the lowly Oakland Defense. If you’re stuck for a TE Boss will be fine.
Bo Scaife- Nothing sexy about Bo but he should give you a few points.
Atlanta (@SF): A classic example of betting against a particular team (the San Francisco offense). The Falcons are nothing to brag about defensively. They are not a pressure-oriented scheme that you could anticipate creating a lot of turnovers.
Alright so now it’s time for our watch list of players to either trade and get or look to unload from our teams depending on what happens this weekend.
Rashard Mendenhall- This guy is on the verge of having a true breakout season.
Ronnie Brown-Doc has been touting this guy since the preseason. I didn’t think he was going to be that big but I was wrong. He is the real deal and I love what they do with him in the Wildcat. Definite potential to be a top 10 Fantasy Scorer.
DeSean Jackson-Obvious big-time breakout candidate. The big knock on him now is that he isn’t getting enough catches. Maybe you can use that against his owner.
Mike Sims-Walker-He looks like the real deal. Hopefully his owner is looking to cash in on his bump up in value. Don’t give up an elite player for him but a lesser starting running back seems like reasonable value.
Bernard Berrian- He’s finally getting on the same page with the Old Man.
Jerome Harrison- He will continue to get a lot of work and Lewis will continue to breakdown.
Braylon Edwards- The hype alone from this trade has increased his value despite his previous poor play. Maybe he will flourish in New York but I think it’ll take a while. If Edwards does ANYTHING in this game a lot of people are going to lose their minds and give up too much for him.
Cadillac Williams- I’ve heard all the reports about how they want to make him an “every down back,” etc. When a guy has the type of injury history that he does don’t get greedy. Get some production out of him then sell high. You are going to get burned if you don’t.
Clinton Portis- He has a great chance to have a good game against the weak Carolina rush defense and that would give you a great chance to sell him.
Darren Sproles- LT is not even close to where he once was, but he may be able to rest up enough to look decent and drive Sroles price down. Grab him if you can.
Cedric Benson- He is getting all the work and looking good doing so, but the Ravens should be able to hold him in check. See if you can grab him after a down game.
Brian Westbrook- You should be able to get Westbrook very cheaply. McCoy will continue to get some carries which might actually help Westy stay a little healthier. A part-time Westbrook is still worth a lot of fantasy bucks.
Wes Welker- His constant game-time decision status may have given his owner an peptic ulcer. Give him or her some relief and take Welker for a song.
Marion Barber- His injury history and amount of good backs around him might worry some owners. The guy is still a beast and will get into the endzone a lot.
Percy Harvin- He is going to just keep getting better. His numbers aren’t quite there, but the skill is along with the confidence of his team.
Larry Johnson- The guy is getting a lot of work and that was a bit of a worry going into the season, but a lot of work is not turning into a lot of production.
Laverneus Coles- Ocho, Caldwell, and Henry are the best wide receivers on the team. Coles’ name might be interesting to someone living in 2002.
Willie Parker- Mendenhall is the Steelers’ future and as long as he continues to run with a purpose he’ll continue to start while Willie will continue to get injured.
Jamal Lewis- Mangini will give him the ball in an attempt to have a power runner, but it won’t work. Hopefully someone will want a “starting” running back.
Terrell Owens- He could still be a decent fantasy player, but he has lost a step and Trent Edwards cannot make him better, he’ll only make him worse.