|Updated October 31, 2008 JunkyardJake.Com
Derrick Ward, RB
While Brandon Jacobs is clearly the vice president in charge of running over people for the NY Giants running game department, it's hard to ignore the level of involvement assumed by Derrick Ward. Certainly in the area of catching the ball, Ward has a clear advantage over Jacobs, and he usually gets about 30% of the total rushing carries.
Ward could be especially useful as a receiver over the next three weeks when the Giants play Dallas, Philadelphia, Baltimore, as these teams have not been friendly to opposing running games.
Of course the other reason to like Derrick Ward, is that he gets to run behind one of the best offensive lines in league. In fact, after they retire in 5-6 years, I nominate the Giants offensive line to take over security on the Canada–United States border, if anyone can keep those pesky Canadians out of the country, it is the NY Giants offensive line. (Just kidding, we love you Canada)
Zach Miller, TE
The 2008 Oakland Raiders don't exhibit anything that could classified as a "passing game" by any traditional definition of the phrase, but when they do try to throw the ball, their most consistent threat seems to TE Zach Miller.
Miller is a smart player with great hands who knows how to find voids in the defense, and usually ends up with 5-6 targets per game. While 5 targets per game doesn't sound like the makings of a fantasy bonanza, in the context of the Oakland passing game, it's good enough to make Miller the leading receiver.
Of course, the other pleasantly unique attributes that Miller offers, are 1) unlike Javon Walker, you won't find him balancing his checkbook on the the sideline during a game, and 2) unlike Ronald Curry, he usually catches the ball when it is thrown at him.
The Raiders have one of the most favorable remaining schedules against the pass this year, and Miller is certainly worth a shot, especially in the next two weeks against Atlanta and Carolina.
Kevin Curtis, WR
Predicting what will happen with the Philadelphia Eagles offense from week to week is about as easy as predicting which window of your car will be busted and which personal items will be missing from your car after parking in North Philly for the annual 'Shout Random Cusswords at a Uniformed Officer' weekend.
Despite their lack of consistency, Curtis and the Eagles passing offense are intriguing because Donovan McNabb is still a damn good quarterback, and now DeSean Jackson represents a new legitimate distraction for opposing defenses. This should mean that Kevin Curtis will be able to produce a few big games in the 2nd half of the season.
These big games will probably happen at unexpected times of course, but he should be worthy of #3 fantasy receiver consideration in the other weeks too, unlike the generally useless Reggie Brown.
Trent Edwards/Lee Evans, QB/WR
It's too early to proclaim that Trent Edwards is the new Jim Kelly without the unsightly razor stubble, but he has sure looked damn good so far. He has yet to break through with a multiple TD game, but he's completed about 70% of his passes, and consistently connected with his best offensive weapon, Lee Evans.
This is a positive development, because it seems that Evans would disappear for stretches in previous seasons, averaging 2 catches for 20 yards right after a 190 yard 2 TD game.
Of course, Evans has never had any problem getting open, or streaking past a defense. In fact, Lee Evans is probably fast enough to run past many NFL defensive backs, leaving himself enough time in most cases to build a campfire in the end-zone before the free safety catches up. Unfortunately there is no fantasy statistic that accounts for this very useful talent, and his consistency this season has been far more useful for fantasy purposes.
Torry Holt, WR
It had to happen eventually, but it certainly appears that the great Torry Holt is slowing down, and over the past couple weeks has begun to be overshadowed by emerging star Donnie Avery.
Holt is still worth hanging onto for sentimental reasons, and will probably continue to perform as a fair #2 or good #3 fantasy receiver, but certainly if you could work out a trade of some sort to fill a hole in your roster, you may be better off.
We have all been in that league where one of the owners was just thawed out after being cybergenically frozen in 1997. You know the guy, he is still listening to Smash Mouth and Coolio on his Walkman and is fully expecting Torry Holt to bounceback and finish this year with a "greatest show on turf" flurry.
Trade Holt to this guy for Matt Forte or Eddie Royal.
Ahman Green/Steve Slaton, RB
Steve Slaton has indeed started off his career with flair, and it looks like he has the potential to be a very productive runningback, despite possessing the same approximate height and weight dimensions of Wesley Snipes.
That said, it might be wise to leave Slaton on the bench for the next two weeks when the Texans play Minnesota in week 9, and then Baltimore in week 10.
Another issue that has diluted Slaton's value somewhat, is the Texans persistent and inexplicable policy of continuing to use Ahman Green.
Of course, Green's availability is always tenuous at best due to his fragile nature, but hopefully after Houston gets past it's scheduling rough patch we will find that Mr. Green has finally retired to pursue the figure skating career that he has been postponing.
Then Steve Slaton can assume his deserved role as a full-time starter.
Cedric Benson, RB
Ok, so it looks like this past week against the Houston Texans may have been the window of opportunity to use Cedric Benson for fantasy purposes, and quite possibly the window slammed on your fingers if you were expecting more than 7 points from our favorite party girl, who still hasn't figured out how to pass block.
After this week against the Jaguars, the Bengals have their week 10 bye, and then proceed to crank up that potent offense of theirs against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Just say " no" to any part of the Bengals offense for the next month is kind of what it looks like.
Derek Anderson/Donte Stallworth QB,WR
For Derek Anderson to keep the Mighty-Brady Quinn on the bench, he will probably need to have more than one productive game a month. Anderson has obviously been horrendous so far this year, and if you subtract his 310 yard, 2 TD game against the Giants in week 6, he has completed only 46% of his passes, and produced an average 135 yards per game. The Browns could bring back Tim Couch to do that shnizzle%$#.
While we are picking on the Browns, as if that's been difficult (almost ever), did they actually look at Donte Stallworth's illustrious resume before signing him this off-season?
The only consistent thing about Stallworth, is that it will be virtually assured that he will miss about 8 games a season...two for injuries, and then the other six usually the result of getting lost coming out of the tunnel before the game.
Years from now, scientists will finally realize that it is not paranormal/alien activity that explains crop circles, it has been Donte Stallworth running around on football fields pretending to be an NFL receiver.