Nobody needs to be told
starting Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, or Calvin Johnson is a good
idea. Duh, right? You can’t have studs at every position,
though, unless you’re in the shallowest of leagues. This
is where the Shot Caller comes in. Need help deciding which bargain
basement QB to use and which to ignore on Rodgers’ bye week?
Let’s talk. Looking for solutions at running back because
Foster is a game-time decision? Look no further. Need to know
which of your unproven targets to start and which to sit since
you ignored Megatron and went RB-QB-Gronkowski in your first three
rounds? I’m your huckleberry. Past results may not guarantee
future success, but I believe ignoring them entirely can ruin
your Sundays in a hurry. Read on for a little history and, hopefully,
a little sage advice.
Note: Fantasy points
based on FF Today’s default scoring system.
Bye Weeks: Minnesota, N.Y. Giants,
Grab a Helmet
Dalton @ KC: Itís commonly assumed fantasy GMs canít go wrong
owning the best targets of the leagueís best quarterbacks (e.g.,
Wes Welker, Roddy White, Marques Colston, etc.). Is the reverse
also true, though? Are we guaranteed success if we land the guys
throwing passes to the leagueís best receivers? A.J. Green has
been the very best through 10 weeks, averaging a brilliant 15.3
points/game, not terribly far off Megatronís amazing 2011 pace
(16.6). Not surprisingly, the guy helping him tally all those
numbers has crept into the top 10 at the quarterback position.
If it hadnít been for a Week 7 dud against the Steelers, in fact,
Dalton would probably be sitting somewhere just south of Tom Brady
in the quarterback pecking order. For now, heíll have to settle
being one rung higher than that other, more celebrated guy from
the rookie class of 2011, Cam Newton.
Palmer v. NO: Iíve been banging the Ryan Fitzpatrick drum pretty
steadily this year so I thought Iíd give you all a break for one
week. Youíre welcome. Now, can I get everyone interested in Carson
Palmer? If anyone needs a little support drummed up, itís the guy
directly ABOVE Dalton in the QB rankings, the guy currently owned
in only 70% of ESPN leagues. Really? I get that people donít fully
trust him and might be reluctant to start him on a regular basis.
How is he completely unemployed in ANY league, however, let alone
almost a third of them? I mean, that almost makes me angry. Hereís
all you need to know about Palmer if youíre still unconvinced: Heís
the #1 quarterback over the past three weeks and will be facing
the leagueís very worst pass defense this coming Sunday. Reread
that last sentence Ė as many times as it takes Ė until you agree
he's criminally underrated.
Palmer: Criminally underrated.
Foles @ WAS: Iíve often wondered what it would feel like to
don the pads and take a bona fide NFL lick, Ray Lewis style. Exhilarating?
Terrifying? Painful? All of the above? These are the things I think
about late at night. Hereís something Iíve never thought about:
what it would feel like to take about 70 of them. Not interested.
Thatís about how many times Michael Vick has been hit this year,
by the way. Is it any wonder heíll be watching in street clothes
this Sunday? And what makes me think his understudy, whoís about
5% as athletic, will fare any better behind that porous Eagles line?
Well, for starters, Washington brings an equally questionable defensive
front to the matchup, a group thatís accumulated only 14 sacks on
the year (tied for 28th). I also think Foles is a pretty gifted
thrower who will be surrounded by some really good skill position
talent on Sunday. If he stays vertical, the rook could definitely
Grab a Clipboard
Leftwich v. BAL or Jason
Campbell @ SF: Clearly, it was a pretty rough week
for quarterbacks (and for noggins in general) as they seemingly
became an endangered species overnight. Consequently, three former
clipboard-carriers will assume the reins of their respective offenses
this weekend. I've already endorsed one of them, the aforementioned
Foles, but I'm pretty hesitant about the other two. Leftwich's
tragically slow delivery is still ill-suited for the fierce pass
rushes and too tight windows of the NFL. Alternatively, Jason
Campbell, though more talented, won't likely be asked to do any
more than his even more talented teammate, Jay Cutler, was asked
to accomplish up to this point (which wasn't much for the record).
More likely, the Bears will rely on a conservative rushing attack
and that nasty defense of theirs. In fact, if that nasty defense
lives up to its billing and re-rattles the previously concussed
Alex Smith, we could see yet another clipboard-toter get some
play. Nope, I donít like Kaepernick much this week either. Bottom
line: With the exception of Foles, backups arenít the answer in
Weeden @ DAL: Weeden's been the answer more often than most
of us would have thought back in the beginning of the season,
present company included. Yes, he's been pretty uneven (up, down,
and most everywhere in between) but he's at least capable of explosive
performances when the opportunity arises. Unfortunately, I don't
think opportunity's gonna come knocking this Sunday. The Cowboys
have some serious issues this season (too many turnovers, too
many injuries, a too tenuous coaching situation) but defending
opposing passing attacks isn't one of them. They've only surrendered
nine passing TDs through 9 games and, accordingly, are ranked
fifth overall against opposing quarterbacks in fantasy points
allowed to the position (16.6 per game). A so-so QB v. a virtually
elite defense on the road? I've gotta think there are much better
options available this weekend.
Gabbert @ HOU: If Blaine Gabbert is the answer, I'm not sure
what the question is. Which QB from the 2011 rookie class seems
least likely to succeed? Who would you want under center if you
were trying to avoid the fantasy playoffs? Who's the third most
popular quarterback in Jacksonville behind Chad Henne and Tim
Tebow? OK, I jest. Gabbert actually hasn't been atrocious EVERY
week this year. However, he draws the Texans this Sunday in Houston,
a team he’s historically struggled against. And by “historically,”
I mean “always.” And by “struggled against,”
I mean “BOMBED against.” Here are Gabbert’s
per-game career averages against the premiere squad in the AFC
South: 10 completions, 95 yards, part of a TD pass, and one pick.
On the bright side, he’s never lost a fumble to the Texans.
So he’s got that going for him...which is nice.