Fantasy Football Week 8: Risers and Fallers

Taylor SmithAnalyst IOctober 28, 2010

It’s time for our weekly edition of the risers and fallers, and you may be wondering, “Can the entire Denver Broncos team fit under the category of ‘faller?’”

Come on now, don’t get crazy. They’re playing the 49ers this week! If anything, they’re probably risers just for that reason.

Anyway, enough Bronco talk. Sorry you have to watch those teams, Londoners.



Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills

Since being reinserted as the starter for the Bills after Week 2, Fitzpatrick has thrown 11 touchdowns compared to four interceptions.

He isn’t afraid to throw downfield, as the Ravens learned the hard way last week.

Lee Evans and Steve Johnson aren’t flashy, but they’ve shown that they’re more than capable receivers at this point.

Will Fitz keep it up? Who knows, but we like what we’ve seen from him thus far.

He’s about as good a bye week fill-in as you’re going to be able to find. I’d even venture to say he’s roster-worthy until he comes back down to earth, if that happens.


Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders

McFadden was off to a great start before being sidelined for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

He came back with a vengeance in the 59-14 demolishing of the Broncos, running for 165 yards with four total touchdowns.

We know the Raiders are fond of Michael Bush, but with McFadden showing that kind of explosiveness, I’d find it hard to believe that we can expect the two to be splitting carries anytime soon.

He’s finally living up to the expectations that came with him coming out of Arkansas.


Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals

With Tim Hightower seemingly falling out of favor in Arizona, it’s looking like we can finally expect the former first-round pick Wells to get the majority of the touches.

He finished strong last season but battled a knee injury earlier this season.

Wells finally looks completely healthy, and with the mess that is the Cardinals’ passing game, you have to think they’re going to be committing more of an effort to getting the ground game going.

Is it finally time for Beanie Wells to establish himself? I’ll buy.


Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Injuries have stricken the Indy passing attack, with Dallas Clark out for the season and Austin Collie out for at least a little while after having hand surgery last week.

Enter Garcon, who, after being sidelined earlier in the season, broke out again against the Redskins two weeks ago with his four-catch, 103-yard, TD effort.

Pierre will certainly see lots of passes flying his way from Peyton Manning, especially this week against the terrible Texans pass defense.

He showed us last year all that he’s capable of, so his value is certainly on the upswing.


Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Bryant is another guy that battled injury issues earlier in the season, but he’s now scored receiving touchdowns in two straight games and has also returned two punts for scores this season.

Even with the brickfooted Jon Kitna back there, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bryant continue to flourish.

His two receiving scores in the loss to the Giants came from Kitna, so it already seems as though they have something going together.

Bryant’s dynamic special teams ability only adds to his value, as it’s clear that he’s capable of breaking one at any time.

Roy Williams had a whopping zero catches last week, so look out for Dez.


Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans

Guess what? Daniels is coming off an injury he suffered in the middle of last season.

After struggling mightily early in the year, he’s finally starting to look more involved in Matt Schaub’s passing attack.

He had three catches for 45 yards against the Giants and followed it up with five catches for 79 yards against the Chiefs before the bye week.

Daniels has shown to be one of Schaub’s favorite targets in the past, so we have to assume he’ll find the end zone at some point.



Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos

I’m not completely off the Broncos fantasy bandwagon, but Orton’s last two performances must be taken into consideration.

He hasn’t completed more than 50 percent of his passes in either effort and was flat-out terrible in the blowout loss to Oakland.

Orton should enjoy a bit of a rebound against San Francisco this week, but for me he’s not the fantasy no-brainer start that he was just a few weeks back.

That said, I can’t imagine the Broncos going away from their pass-happy philosophy anytime soon.

Don’t cut him, but temper your expectations until he rebounds.


Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers

Mathews is yet another guy that has had injury problems, but even though he’s played the last few weeks, the Chargers still don’t look comfortable giving him a major workload.

He’s carried more than 10 times just once in the last four games, and he’s still yet to top his 75-yard performance in Week 1.

Until he shows that he’s capable of doing more than nothing, I can’t trust him.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots

Sorry, Law Firm.

Green-Ellis appears to be falling behind little Danny Woodhead in terms of playing time, and it seems as though his only value comes near the goal line.

He’s still scored in four straight games, but he’s had two straight games of double-digit carries with less than 30 yards.

That, my friends, is what we call “not getting it done.”

If not for the possibility of a TD, this guy is looking pretty worthless at this point.


Eddie Royal, WR, Denver Broncos

After two solid outings early in the season, Royal has faded and now appears to be the third option in the passing game.

With Knowshon Moreno now healthy, don’t be surprised to see Royal’s stock dip even further.

He can make big plays, but he can’t if he’s not getting the ball, obviously.


Nate Washington, WR, Tennessee Titans

Washington’s previous fantasy value can be debated, but it seems clear that, with Kenny Britt’s stellar performance, Washington has been replaced as the top receiving option for the Titans.

Not that Titans receivers are exactly a hot commodity, but Washington’s role is extremely limited, especially with Kerry Collins in there.

He’s a big-play guy, but his production has been on the decline as the season has progressed.


Jeremy Shockey, TE, New Orleans Saints

Shockey enjoyed a nice stretch earlier this season during which he caught 14 passes in two games, but in the three games since, he’s caught just seven total.

With the Saints offense looking like a homeless man’s version of last season’s prolific attack, Shockey certainly isn’t very high on the tight end pecking order these days.

We know what he can do, but the problem is, he doesn’t do it often enough.


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