(Look for FantasyDC's Buy/Sell Report & NFC Team Notes out today & tomorrow respectively)
As always, all players mentioned will be below 70 percent owned in 10-team formats and will likely be available in most leagues.
Go For It
Alex Smith, SF, QB (7 percent owned in 10 team format)
This is your chance. Every season there seems to be a QB switch that propels a team back into the playoff hunt, and this really could be that switch.
It’s easy to forget that Alex Smith is a former No. 1 pick and was known for his accuracy above everything else. We also know the 49ers haven’t been the most dynamic offense this season, but with Gore healing up, Vernon Davis over the middle, and Michael Crabtree signing (and actually being productive) it’s set up for a QB like Smith to take control.
Don’t feel the need to rush out on him, but don’t let him slip by, especially for teams in need of a QB boost. (Target: 10-12 team leagues)
LeSean McCoy, PHI, RB (41 percent)
Guess who’s injured? You’ll never get it. Brian Westbrook!! Can you believe it? A workhorse like Westbrook has a concussion?
All kidding aside, it’s time for another Brian Westbrook injury and LeSean McCoy will be the obvious beneficiary. Look for him to possibly even hold onto the role when Westbrook comes back.
McCoy has an NFL skill set and could take the position and run with it (pun absolutely intended). McCoy would make a decent flex/bye week player with RB 2 potential. (Target: All leagues)
Mike Wallace, PIT, WR (24 percent)
Although he’s only averaging three catches per game, Mike Wallace has 65 yards per game giving him 20 YPC, a ridiculous number. He’s not a PPR machine, but he’s the only real home run threat Ben Roethlisberger has in Pittsburgh, and he should continue to be a TD waiting to happen the rest of the season. (Target: 10-12 team leagues)
All Things Depending
Chad Henne, MIA, QB (14 percent)
Henne didn’t look good this week, that’s for sure. But he’s also proving he’s not scared to air it out, and the Dolphins are letting him. They may reel him in a bit next week, but he has a rocket arm and is able to connect on the long ball at any point.
Don’t feel like you have to drop a better QB for him, but don’t undervalue Henne either. (Target: 12 team leagues)
Shonn Greene, NYJ, RB (27 percent)
Leon Washington is done with a broken leg and Shonn Greene looked amazing in his place. We also need to remember two things:
1) He looked amazing against the worst team in the league, the Oakland Raiders.
2) Thomas Jones has played some great football this year and Rex Ryan isn’t going to give the job to Greene without Jones putting up a fight.
I’d be willing to give Greene another week to prove himself worthy of a roster spot and know that if you miss out on him there are other RBs in similar spots (Donald Brown, anyone?). (Target: 12-14 team leagues)
Lee Evans, BUF, WR (66 percent)
Evans had a solid game Sunday with 75 yards receiving and a TD. But Ryan Fitzpatrick is not an NFL-caliber starting QB and will be up and down at best this year.
Obviously go for Evans if you’re short on WRs, especially against the Texans this week. But don’t look to him long term if you have guys like Hakeem Nicks or Jerricho Cotchery available, both players in the same range of availability. (Target: 12 team leagues)
Hold Off For Now
Matt Cassel, KC, QB (57 percent)
Cassel is lucky Jake Delhomme still starts in Carolina and JaMarcus Russell still starts in Oakland, otherwise he’d be the worst QB in pro football right now (apologies to Jason Campbell and Kerry Collins).
I’ve never felt so conflicted about a QB, but I do know I should have seen it coming when the Chiefs signed Cassel before having a head coach. Obviously Todd Haley isn’t Josh McDaniels and the Chiefs aren’t a professional team, much less the Patriots.
Hopefully the Chiefs stick with Cassel and get a little talent around him, but this isn’t the year. Don’t worry about Cassel until next year’s draft. (Target: 14+ team leagues, if that)
Beanie Wells, ARI, RB (35 percent)
Tim Hightower fumbled more than the ball Sunday night, he may have fumbled away the starting gig in Arizona. But even if that’s the case, the Cards have proved to be a pass first, pass second, pass third, and run fourth team.
If the comparison of Wells to Jerome Bettis (also a player Whisenhunt coached) is accurate, then look for Beanie to be a goal line hawk the rest of the season. I like Wells a ton next year, but for now let someone else blow up over him and let go of a better player. (Target: 14 team leagues)
Patrick Crayton, DAL, WR (35 percent)
The stats say Crayton scored two TDs Sunday and is someone you should roster. The reality is one TD was on a punt return and Crayton’s total line from the night was two catches, nine yards, and one TD.
Miles Austin has proven to be the real thing in Dallas and the Boys have too much invested in Roy Williams for him not to be on the field. Felix Jones even cut into Crayton’s playing time by sliding out to WR on a handful of three WR sets.
Don’t even think twice about Crayton; let him sit on waivers. (Target: N/A)