Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers: Week 1

Taylor SmithAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2010

Former USC Trojan Mike Williams may be poised to break out.
Former USC Trojan Mike Williams may be poised to break out.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It's never too early for some fantasy football risers and fallers.

Based on final cuts, last-minute injuries, and plain old random lineup changes, you may already have some tough decisions to make with regards to your fantasy football lineup for week one.

Never fear; NFL Soup is here to help walk you through it.

While there's no way to know exactly how these picks will pan out, we're working with projections and indications here, remember.

Now, on to the risers.


Derek Anderson, QB, Arizona Cardinals

This may seem a bit ridiculous, but hear me out.

Anderson has been very up-and-down in the past, but with an opening week matchup against the Rams, there's actually some upside here.

While Anquan Boldin bolted town, the Cardinals still have a talented group of receivers with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, and Early Doucet.

The Rams' defense is still likely awful, mind you, so it's not insane (if you're thin or face a bad matchup at QB) to pick up Anderson for a week and throw him out there.

While there's a chance he could completely underwhelm, with such a favorable matchup, I wouldn't be surprised to see him put up some numbers in week one.

However, unless Anderson miraculously reverts to his Pro Bowl form of 2008, this is probably just a one week rental.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns

Hillis came over from the Broncos in the offseason trade involving Brady Quinn.

With the ACL injury to rookie Montario Hardesty, Hillis suddenly looks like he'll get more reps.

However, with the way Jerome Harrison came alive towards the end of last year, temper your expectations for Hillis.

In no way should you be starting him, but he's a guy that you should definitely be keeping an eye on, especially if he gets touches down near the end zone.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills

Spiller was named by head coach Chan Gailey as the starting running back Wednesday, so his already-high stock should be skyrocketing.

The rookie from Clemson looked strong in the preseason, and, with Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch coming off of injuries, it seems as though Spiller will get plenty of opportunities to show what he has.

The Dolphins don't have the scariest defensive front, so this matchup is increasingly favorable.

C.J. Spiller should be a fantasy starter this week.

Mike Williams, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Nobody really saw this one coming, but with the release of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Williams appears to have ascended to Seattle's No. 1 receiving option.

While the Seahawks' offense may struggle this season, the apparent faith the team has in Williams may make him a decent fantasy option.

He was a great player at USC, but that seems like ancient history by now.

Williams is a huge target at 6'5", but has battled weight issues and doesn't have the greatest speed.

Matt Hasselbeck has been stricken with injuries recently, and, with a suspect offensive line in front of him, could struggle mightily once again.

I might be a tad wary of starting Williams right away, but he may be worth picking up and stashing on the bench until he proves whether or not he can play.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Denver Broncos

Gaffney finished last season in a big way, racking up 21 catches for 282 yards with a pair of touchdowns in his last two games of the season.

He's been a bit of a bust as an NFLer out of Florida (just like most Florida receivers), but his career has taken an unusual upward turn in recent years.

With Brandon Marshall out of town, Gaffney may be the No. 1 guy in Denver, especially if Eddie Royal struggles as he did last year.

Gaffney will be going up against the relatively weak Jacksonville secondary this Sunday, and he appears to have good chemistry with quarterback Kyle Orton.

He may be worth a start this week.

Michael Hoomanuwanui, TE, St. Louis Rams

It may seem odd to have a "fantasy riser" coming from one of the league's least-productive offenses, but Hoomanuwanui appears to have developed a rapport with QB Sam Bradford.

Tight end isn't exactly laden with household fantasy names, so there's actually plenty of incentive to take a flier on an unproven guy like this.

He was drafted primarily as a blocking tight end, but has shown better-than-expected hands, and could actually thrive as Sam Bradford's safety valve.

Touchdowns are the name of the game, and this guy has potential to score a few.


David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Garrard has never been of much consequence in terms of fantasy, and there's a chance he's a guy that isn't even worth a roster spot.

Mike Sims-Walker is Jacksonville's only decent fantasy receiver, and Garrard was never all that productive even with better weapons around him.

Maurice Jones-Drew will carry the Jaguars this year. Steer clear of Garrard.

Thomas Jones, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Jones was brought in from the Jets for some big-time veteran production, but it appears as though the young Jamaal Charles has won the outright starting job.

Despite rushing for 1,401 yards with 14 touchdowns last season, Jones just turned 32 in August, and the team is incredibly high on the explosive Charles.

Jones will certainly get a few touches (and even some short-yardage goal-line attempts), but Charles is the man here.

Going against a decent defense in Denver this week doesn't help, either.

Steve Slaton, RB, Houston Texans

While Slaton has trimmed down from last season, he's still looking up at Arian Foster on the depth chart.

With the way Foster played in the preseason, it's hard to imagine Slaton getting too many opportunities.

When you couple that with Slaton's fumbling problem from last season, the coaching staff can't be too high on him.

The team also picked Derrick Ward up off the scrap heap, which may or may not have an impact on Slaton's role.

Unless Foster fails or Slaton excels in limited duty, he may not even be worth a roster spot at this point.

Kevin Walter, WR, Houston Texans

While Andre Johnson should be getting plenty of attention from the Colts' secondary on the other side of the field, it's still likely a good idea to stay away from Kevin Walter this week.

He didn't have an overwhelmingly good 2009 campaign, and with Jacoby Jones seemingly ready to overtake him as Houston's No. 2 guy any time now, Walter's role could be in question.

It wouldn't be too surprising to see Walter find the end zone at some point, but not often enough to where he's worthy of a start.

Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans

Britt didn't have a particularly encouraging preseason heading into his second year as a pro, and with Vince Young back there, Britt's fantasy stock has never been all that high, anyway.

He may still be the Titans' No. 1 receiver, and was able to find the end zone three times once Young was inserted into the starting lineup last season.

Until he plays well on a consistent basis, Briitt probably not be worthy of a start.

Tony Scheffler, TE, Detroit Lions

Scheffler has been a decent tight end in Denver for the past couple of seasons, but he's competing with Brandon Pettigrew for the top spot on the Lions' depth chart.

They may both see a decent amount of field time early on, but indications are that the younger Pettigrew is more likely to win the outright starting job at some point.

He might be worth picking up early, but don't expect much, and definitely don't start him.

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