Week Eight brought about an interesting development at the quarterback position. A pair of high first-round draft picks that had fallen into backup roles now find themselves as starters again, and both played pretty well on Sunday.
Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans both earned their starting jobs back this season after lackluster performances by the players in front of them— Shaun Hill and Kerry Collins , respectively. They do have some value in fantasy football, but to find out where they stack up, continue reading the Fantasy Football Week Nine Waiver Wire: Pick Them Up article below.
Note: If you’re debating on who to drop to pick these guys up, you should be checking out the Bruno Boys’ article, Fantasy Football Week 9 Waiver Wire - Cut Them Loose . And remember that you can always visit our FORUMS to get your questions answered about waiver wire candidates, players to drop, or anything at all related to fantasy football .
Alex Smith (San Francisco 49ers)
Since he took over for San Francisco last week, Smith has put together consecutive double-digit performances while throwing four touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also kept the 49ers competitive in both of those games, including a close loss to the Indianapolis Colts this past Sunday.
Smith is somewhat of an enigma because the talent is there, but it has never been fully displayed. Since he has never shown the ability to be a consistent player, he should only be targeted in deep leagues. However, it is worth noting he has favorable matchups coming up against the Titans, the Chicago Bears, the St. Louis Rams, and the Detroit Lions.
Vince Young (Tennessee Titans)
Once the Titans decided to switch to Young at quarterback, it was a decision that was made with the intent of him being the starter for at least the rest of the season. And, in his first start this season, Young played well, as he went 15-for-18 for 125 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries. He didn’t attempt many hard throws and didn’t go downfield, but we’ve seen Young be a force in fantasy football before. For those desperately seeking a quarterback, you could do worse than Young.
LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles)
With starter Brian Westbrook out because of a concussion sustained in Week Seven, LeSean McCoy got the call at running back for the Philadelphia Eagles last week. In a win over the Giants, McCoy rushed 11 times for 82 yards and a touchdown, and he also caught two passes for 10 yards.
Westbrook did not practice at all in the week leading up to the game this past weekend and concussions are a weird thing. Sometimes players can come back from them quickly, and other times it takes a while. Even if Westbrook does return next week, he would at the very least share carries with McCoy. Monitor Westbrook’s situation this week, and if it appears he’s not going to play, McCoy would be a good pickup in any league.
Ryan Moats (Houston Texans)
A fumbling problem by starter Steve Slaton opened the door for Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the team’s win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Moats came in and absolutely took over the game, as he had 126 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. He also had two receptions for 25 yards.
Given Slaton’s problems with fumbles—he’s had seven this season, five of which were lost—and the way Moats played against the Bills, it’s likely he’ll continue to start. This is the type of player any fantasy team should pounce on right now if the opportunity is available because Moats could have some more big games in him before the season is over.
Maurice Morris (Detroit Lions)
Starter Kevin Smith left this past weekend’s loss to the Rams with a shoulder injury, though Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz insisted he could have returned had he been needed. Maurice Morris took over for Smith and finished the game with 63 yards on 11 carries, compared to Smith’s 45 yards on 14 attempts. Smith has been injured and inconsistent this season and Morris ran well, leading us to believe that Morris will continue to see about five to 15 touches of the ball in the future. Since that isn’t a whole lot, Morris should only be considered in deeper leagues.
Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles)
It hasn’t taken long for the Eagles to get rookie wide receiver Jeremy Maclin involved in the offense. This past week against the Giants, Maclin caught four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. He was only targeted four times, but he made the most of his opportunities.
So far this season, Maclin has been inconsistent, as you would expect that with a rookie wide receiver. He’s now had two double-digit performances with the next highest point total for him being just five, which came two weeks ago. Maclin is explosive and you can expect him to continue to be targeted in the Eagles offense, but his inconsistency still scares us a bit. Those in shallow leagues could afford to stash him on the bench for now.
Kelley Washington (Baltimore Ravens)
The Baltimore Ravens receiver is an interesting player. Once considered a first-round talent, he slipped to later in the draft over concerns about injuries and his attitude. After a stint in Cincinnati, it appeared his career was close to over because of injuries. He spent the last two season with the New England Patriots, where he had just one reception.
Now healthy, he’s on a team in desperate need of a receiver to step up, and he has started to do so with 24 catches for 325 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging a solid 13.5 yards per reception, and though he was buried on the depth chart, he is quickly rising to the top of it for the Ravens. Still, he hasn’t caught more than five passes in a game, so he should only be considered in deeper leagues for now. If his good play continues, he could eventually find himself second in line at receiver.
Dustin Keller (New York Jets)
After hitting a low point earlier in the season, the passing game looks to be back on track for the New York Jets. A big beneficiary of this has been tight end Dustin Keller, who caught eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown in the team’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.
It was by far Keller’s biggest game of the season, and it appears rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has discovered a nice option as teams focus on Braylon Edwards and running backs Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene. Keller has never been a consistent force in fantasy football before, so for now, he should only be looked at in deeper leagues.
Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans)
Now that Vince Young is the starter at quarterback for Tennessee, the Titans should be able to find themselves able to move the ball better, or at least reach field goal range more often. Kicker Rob Bironas is a pretty good kicker who’s got a powerful leg, so if the Titans get anywhere near the 35-yard line he comes into play. Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bironas was three-for-three on field goals and hit three extra points. That’s the kind of production you’re looking for out of a kicker.
Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears)
Similar to Bironas, Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould is a guy with a powerful leg who has no problem hitting the long field goals. And, like Bironas last week, Gould hit three-for-three on field goals and had three extra points in a win over the Cleveland Browns. As the Bears offense continues to grow under new quarterback Jay Cutler, Gould will find himself in field goal range more often.
THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY CORY STEGER .