With one week left of action in the month of September, we already have a backup quarterback to pay attention to as Matthew Stafford is rehabbing a leg injury. While Shaun Hill doesn’t have the physical tools of Stafford, we watched him lead the Lions to one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFC just two years ago.
QB. Shaun Hill
We know Shaun Hill can get it done when called upon, and he actually performed like a better quarterback over Stafford against the Tennessee Titans. Stafford has struggled to get the football in the end zone, and Hill didn’t seem to have a problem leading this offense right down the field on three consecutive (if you count the Hail Mary) drives.
If Hill should play, he makes for a respectable low-end QB1 against the Minnesota Vikings secondary.
QB. Christian Ponder
It was a big game for Christian Ponder last week. It was also a win this franchise needed against the San Francisco 49ers to get some confidence after a couple of close loses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. Ponder has the tools to be an effective fantasy quarterback. If the Lions struggle to pressure him this week, he will have a field day. He is a worthy backup in 12-team leagues, and look to Ponder as a respectable start if you have your regular option injured or on a bye week.
RB. Ryan Williams
What a difference a week makes as it looked like Ryan Williams was headed toward the dog house after a key fumble almost cost Arizona a win in New England. Not only did Williams play well against the PhiladelphiaEagles, but fellow tailback Beanie Wells admitted after the game he might have turf toe, via Darren Urban on Twitter.
Williams is a solid flex play this week if Wells is out, and he is now worthy of a roster spot again.
RB. Tashard Choice
Fred Jackson started working out again last week, via ESPN.com, and we will have to keep an eye on his situation heading into Sunday. Even if he’s on the field, expect Tashard Choice to see the majority of touches as Jackson will probably be eased back into action.
C.J. Spiller unlikely to play, via Joe Soriano of Musket Fire, with a shoulder injury, so look to Choice as likely a one-week option as the Bills travel to San Francisco in Week 5.
RB. Daniel Thomas
If Reggie Bush should miss time because of a knee injury, Daniel Thomas figures to start. I like Lamar Miller as a better option long term, but Thomas seems to have earned the backup job to Bush in the eyes of the coaching staff.
RB. Bilal Powell
Rex Ryan admitted after the New York Jets win over the Dolphins that Shonn Greene is likely to lose some work to other running backs, via Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. Look to Bilal Powell as a worthy addition. While he may not be worth starting in the next week or two, I like his odds of taking over as the starter soon.
RB. Lance Ball
If Willis McGahee should miss the Denver Broncos matchup against the Oakland Raiders, it will be Lance Ball that starts in Denver. Much like Daniel Thomas’ situation, I like the rookie behind him in the long run. In Denver, that is Ronnie Hillman.
Last week, Hillman was activated for the first time as it appears the Broncos are done with Knowshon Moreno, who was a healthy scratch. If Ball should start, expect Hillman to get some work, but Ball would be a worthy flex-play start.
WR. Ramses Barden
Ramses Barden didn’t seem to have much of a problem beating the Carolina Panthers secondary, but then again, that’s not saying much. If Barden should start this week, he will get a much bigger test against the Philadelphia Eagles corners. I like Barden as a stash as he’s proven to be a trust-worthy option for Eli Manning through one start.
WR. Andrew Hawkins
I’ve talked about Andrew Hawkins over the past few weeks, and if he’s still sitting on the waiver wire he’s a must pickup. Still only playing in about half of the snaps each game, Hawkins is primarily a slot option. But the Bengals will probably be in a lot of shootouts this season as their defense continues to struggle.
D. Cardinals Defense
The Arizona Cardinals are off to a terrific start and have a tasty matchup against the Dolphins this week. This is a defense worth holding for more than one week, and they should finish as one of the Top 10 defenses in the NFL this year.
Keep An Eye On
RB. Joique Bell
It wasn’t Kevin Smith who backed up Mikel Leshoure as Detroit opted to use Joique Bell instead. Bell has played well in his short time on the field, and he has produced well over the years for the Lions and Saints during the preseason.
As we’ve seen from Smith and Leshoure, any running back who gets a chance to start in this offense can be productive. Keep an eye on Bell going forward.
RB. Lamar Miller
Lamar Miller will overtake Thomas as the backup in Miami at some point. It’s just a matter of understanding situations on the field, pass protection, the full playbook and so on. As the season moves along, I believe Miller will make an impact in fantasy leagues.
RB. Ronnie Hillman
Much like Miller above, there will come a day when Hillman is the No. 2 tailback on Denver and will likely make a big impact on fantasy leagues. McGahee is an old running back who will likely break down as the season progresses. Hillman will be a potential RB2 if he should get a chance to start at any time.
WR. Nate Burleson
Outside of the Hail Mary catch by Titus Young, the second-year receiver has had a lackluster start to the season. If this should continue, Nate Burleson’s role in this offense will expand.
WR. Jacoby Jones
I'm not sure whether Jacoby Jones will be worth rostering outside of deep leagues this season, but I like what he’s doing in the Baltimore Ravens offense. If Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin go down, Jones would be worth owning.
TE. Brandon Myers
A concussion against the Steelers may set Brandon Myers back from being a fantasy option for a week or two, via Eric Gilmore of CBSSports.com, but he’s going to be a factor at some point. The Raiders are desperate for pass-catching help, and Myers has proven to be a reliable target early in the season. This is a great situation for Myers, and he will be worth a pickup soon.