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Good Afternoon all you fantasy managers out there,
Here is a last minute look, position-by-position, of players that you may want to start over your "drafted" starter, sit due to injury or poor match-up, or pick up of the waiver wire/free agency because they may have a long-term impact on your fantasy roster...
CrucialSports’ in depth look at fantasy football to help you look for impact players off your bench, determine which starters will see a tough match-up, or locate a free agent that could help you fill in for a bye week or upgrade your roster depths. We will do the real work and let those other sites cover the obvious picks.
Here is a list of three quarterbacks to consider starting over your “drafted” starter; three quarterbacks that should be benched, considering injury or match-up issues; and three quarterbacks that may be available on your waiver wire that will either have a great weekend or due to increase the depth of your fantasy roster.
Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals ~ Warner steps into the starter’s role in San Francisco to start the Cardinal’s season. Last year, Warner did not start in their first match-up; however, in their second meeting, Warner threw for 484 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. With wide receivers Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucette, as well as tight end Leonard Pope, there should be a healthy air attack in San Francisco.
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles ~ Expect big things from McNabb this year, starting with the Eagles’ matchup against the Rams. Besides the lack of defense on the side of the Rams, expect Brian Westbrook to have a huge, juggernaut-like day, both on the ground and in the air. Add the three wide receivers you did not draft but someone will have them on their roster by Week Four – Jason Avant, DeSean Jackson, and Hank Baskett.
David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars ~ Garrard is easily the one of the best at game management and overall football protection. Last year he produced 204 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. He has most of his top receivers banged up, however, the level of talent and depth in his backfield, Maurice Jones-Drew, Fred Taylor, and Greg Jones, allows the Jaguars to keep their opponents honest and allows Garrard to pick and chose when to throw it and when to audible to his backs. Use Garrard in leagues where they require two quarterbacks or allow for a utility offensive player.
Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings ~ The Vikings’ projected starting quarterback is still nursing a sprained knee, yet they are favored to win this weekend? I am not sold on Minnesota like all the so-called prognosticators. The Vikings are to 2009 what the Cardinals’ have been to the last three years, the sexy pick. Expect Adrian Peterson to have a standout year and expect minimal increases in Jackson’s 2008 statistics.
Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns ~ With a “healed” concussion, Derek Anderson and the Browns head to Dallas. I am not starting Anderson in any league until he demonstrates that last year was not a fluke and he does not have post-concussion syndrome. Let the Browns’ face the staunch defense of the Cowboys; score a ton of points, then I will believe.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers ~ I can say that this is a gut-feeling pick. Although I am high on Big Ben this season, I think that the team will rely on the run-game, attempting to wear down the Texans’ front seven, turning to the air, later in the game. With that, I predict a win over Houston, a quality game from Roethlisberger; however, I expect a lot of running yards, limiting the potential of a big fantasy game for Roethlisberger.
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans ~ Heading into his second season as a starter, Schaub has some concerns. With his top wide receiver getting hurt every year ( Andre Johnson), limited potential in wide receivers Andre Davis, and Kevin Walters, and a backfield that is either hurt or old ( Ahman Green, Chris Brown, and rookies Steve Slaton, and Chris Taylor). There is a lot to prove and Schaub will have his chance against a relentless Pittsburgh defense. With many top quarterbacks facing tough secondaries, Schaub will fair much better than anyone anticipates.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ~ The fear is he either does not have the decision-making skills, will collapse under the pressure, or simply be no match for the Vikings’ defense. On the contrary, if the Packers lose, it will not be because of Rodgers’ arm or decision-making skills, it will be because Ryan Grant and the running game could not get started. This game begins and ends with the offensive line giving both Rodger’s the chance to find his guy and Grant the opportunity to hit the lane clean. I think that Rodgers’ is a quality number two quarterback that you need to keep your eye on.
Phillip Rivers, San Diego Chargers ~ He will be drafted in some leagues, primarily with 12 teams or more, however, in the eight and 10-team leagues, Rivers may be on the board. Consider that fact that San Diego is heading to North Carolina to meet the Panthers. Carolina has tried to retool but will they be a match for Rivers’ options, primarily Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and LaDainian Tomlinson? I think not, therefore recommending that Rivers be a viable pick-up in your league.
I realize this is late this week. I will post these Saturday night from here forward.
That is the league as I see it,
Kevin Burgoyne, AKA Statistocrat
MLB Writer, Sports Grumblings.com
SEC Analyst, Roto Wire.com
NFL Writer, Crucial Sports.com