|Updated October 4, 2008 JunkyardJake.Com
Mewelde Moore, RB
If you blinked, you missed the debut of the much-heralded rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall this past Monday night. Unfortunately, in the midst of a nondescript nine carries for 30 yards performance, Mendenhall fractured his shoulder, and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
The rookie is still worth holding onto in keeper formats, because he has the potential to be a very good RB. However, keeping with the theme of trying to win this year, Mewelde Moore is a great guy to pickup in the current week.
Although Moore is not known for his raw speed, he is a shifty back who has shown natural instincts, and he excels as a receiver. In 2005, Moore finished with 662 rush yards added 37 receptions for 339 yards in limited duty, so he has demonstrated the ability to be fantasy relevant.
Matt Ryan/Roddy White, QB/WR
Much to the chagrin of the Falcons coaching staff, it will not be possible to hand the ball off to Michael Turner on every single play. As it turns out, it seems that NFL defenses tend to catch on to this ploy, and start to make adjustments, like using four defensive tackles on third down. This may work out fine, because Matt Ryan is slowly progressing and looks like he is going to be a pretty good QB, perhaps even worthy of using for fantasy purposes this season.
Ryan's strengths are his intelligence and accuracy, and while he was expected to struggle a bit in the long passing game, he has actually looked pretty good in this area as well. Roddy White started out a little slow this year, but he is clearly Ryan's most capable target. In the past two weeks, White has been very solid, with 209 yards and a TD.
This past week against Carolina, he was targeted by Matt Ryan a total of 17 times, so he is certainly a guy you want to keep in your lineup.
Steve Slaton, RB
It didn't take the Houston Texans long to figure out that rookie Steve Slaton was the best choice to give their uninspiring running game a boost. Given that Ahman Green typically hurts himself while putting on his shoes, it's not like Slaton had any great obstacle to surpass, but nonetheless the rookie has been a fairly impressive starter.
He broke out with a 118 yard performance against a very strong Titans defense, and while he couldn't repeat his ground success last week against the Jaguars (33 rushing yards), he made up for it with 8 catches for 83 yards. Slaton is probably worth using as a No. 2 RB right now, if you are tired of trying to figure out what someone like Thomas Jones will do each week.
Robert Meachem, WR
The New Orleans Saints receiver situation makes about as much sense as the latest X-files movie, and the biggest mystery is trying to figure out exactly why Robert Meachem has yet to pass the thoroughly unremarkable David Patten, and the consistently maladroit Devery Henderson on the depth chart.
Meachem, as you might recall, was considered by many scouts as a close 2nd to Calvin Johnson in terms of future potential coming out of the 2007 draft. So far this season, he was inactive for one game, and in a part-time role, has 5 catches for 204 yards, with 2 TDs in the three games he has played.
Maybe the Saints can do some simple mathmatical extrapolation here and figure out that Meachem is probably the best receiver on their roster.
J.T. O'Sullivan/Vernon Davis, QB/TE
J.T. O'Sullivan has certainly been suitable as a #2 fantasy QB so far this season, but in the same way we would never want to see famous late-night sidekick Paul Schafer fill-in for David Letterman, you probably don't want to use O'Sullivan as your starter unless the matchup is exceptional. Unfortunately, over the next month or so, the San Francisco 49ers appear to some unexceptional matchups, with New England, Philadelphia, the Giants and the Seahawks on the schedule.
As far as Vernon Davis, I guess we should have seen it coming. Mike Martz spread offense is not friendly to the TE position, and although the Niners have been utilizing his speed on some deep routes, it is more likely that the ball will bounce off Davis's helmet than land in his hands. Unfortunately, this has been a recurring pattern for Vernon Davis in his young career so far.
Todd Heap, TE
Evidently Todd Heap couldn't make it to the game this week, and the Ravens deployed a decoy imposter to take his place on the field. This imposter did an outstanding job avoiding the football on all offense plays, and if you observe the boxscore from this weeks game, you will once again find that Todd Heap and his imposter have succeeded in their covert operation to produce exactly zero catches and yards.
There are too many decent young TE's that are most likely available on the waiver wire to waste much more time with Heap, so if you can grab someone like Greg Olsen, Dustin Keller, or Zach Miller, it may be time to do so.
Selvin Young, RB
Selvin Young is still the lead runningback in Denver, but there is a confluence of factors that will probably make him a bad start for the foreseeable future. For one thing, the Broncos are clearly emphasizing the passing game, and this new downfield bonanza doesn't seem to include alot of swing passes to runningbacks.
Of course, the other issue is the multitude of options that fickle Mike Shanahan has at his disposal. So far, the maximum number of carries that Young has been given is 11, with Andre Hall and Michael Pittman currently involved in the collective effort.
To possibly add to the clutter in the near future, Ryan Torain is expected to return in week 8 or so, which could further diminish Young's already deflated value.
Ricky Williams, RB
Grab your luggage, bid the conductor a 'good day', and don't forget to tuck and roll—it's time to jump off the Ricky Williams makes-a-comeback train. While Williams is certainly worth hanging on to if you also have Ronnie Brown on your roster, that is probably the extent of his usefulness after Brown's resounding 113 yard 4 TD declaration that his knee is not an issue any longer.
Williams also had a decent day, of course, with 98 yards, but in the event that Brown continues to play well, it's hard to see how Miami will continue giving Williams 50 percent of total carries as the season progresses.