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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 6
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

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.

Bye Weeks: Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans

Grab a Helmet

Tony Romo

Romo needs to get back on track.

Tony Romo @ BAL: Wait, isnít he an automatic start every week? Conventional wisdom sure says so, but Iíll repeat what I once said in this space many moons ago: Conventional wisdom is very often too much of the former and not enough of the latter. In other words, stick with suffering stars at your own risk. Through a quarter of his season, Romoís 19.7 fantasy points/game (FF Today default scoring) ranks him only 16th amongst starting QBs. Thatís not very good, even if youíre in a 16-team league. On the bright side, heís topped the 250-yard mark every game and just had two weeks to think about an especially smelly performance against the Bears in Week 4. The Ravens are a tough draw coming off a five-interception debacle and heís sure capable of throwing more in the Charm City. However, I think Romo gets back on track in Week 6. Donít give up on this particular star just yet.

Brandon Weeden v. CIN: Conventional wisdom also says this: Donít start rookies making their sixth career start when they A) are tied for the league lead in interceptions and B) possess the 33rd worst QB rating out of 33 qualifying a 32-team league. Yeah, he stinks. I get it. I also know youíre possibly without the services of Drew Brees (ouch), Cam Newton (probably gonna sting a little), or Jay Cutler (who knows?) in Week 6. Translation: You need a warm body. Weedenís definitely that and in no immediate danger of losing his job. Heís also, believe it or not, becoming legitimate bye week replacement material. After an opening Sunday debacle against the Eagles, heís averaging 292.5 yards/game. Heís also not getting hit very much (just nine sacks so far), meaning he likely wonít pull a Jake Locker or Matt Cassel on you. The best reason to give him a look, however, is that his most productive game as a pro occurred in Week 2 against these very same Cincinnati Bengals (322 yards and two scores). I promise you could do worse.

Kevin Kolb v. BUF: I urged you to sit Mr. Kolb down against a deceptively good Rams defense last week and that turned out to be a pretty good call. He definitely got his yards in the Thursday night snooze-a-thon (289 of them) but he failed to throw a touchdown pass or even lead the upstart Cardinals to a single six-pointer in the deflating 17-3 defeat. Luckily, Arizona now welcomes Buffaloís Bills to the desert, a wreck of a squad thatís been virtually flame-broiled the past two weeks. Tom Brady et al. hung half a hundred on them in Week 4 (45 in the second half alone) and then Alex Smith channeled his inner Joe Montana (303 yds. and three TD passes) en route to a Week 5 pasting at Candlestick Park. That first blemish on an otherwise clean sheet might sting Kolb and his Cardinals but the Bills are almost certainly a timely restorative. Get him in there if youíre missing your regular field general.

Grab a Clipboard

Matt Hasselbeck v. PIT: I had an opportunity to grab him off the waiver wire last week and use him instead of Matt Cassel as my second QB. That would have been a good move as it turns out, but not by a whole lot. And thatís saying something when you consider Cassel went 9-15 for 92 yards, threw two picks, fumbled at the one-yard line in a 9-6 game, got hurt, and then got booed by his hometown ďfansĒ as he sat dazed on the Arrowhead turf. Now THAT is a rough outing. Casselís been ruled out for Week 6 but Iím still not clamoring to pick up Hasselbeck. Heís almost my vintage (huge red flag), he has no support from the running game (more on that later), and is facing a nasty Steelers D (is there any other kind?) at LP Field on Thursday night. Thereís no part of that preceding sentence I want a piece of. Hurry back, other Matt.

Sam Bradford @ MIA: Bradford is now well into his third season as a pro and should probably be demonstrating some real progress. Here are his rookie numbers as compared to his projected numbers for this season:

Sam Bradford
Season Passing Yds Passing TDs INTs Passer Rating
2010 (Rookie) 3,512 18 15 76.5
2012 (Projected) 3,270 19 16 78.6

Well, thatís progress, I guess. At this rate, heíll be Aaron Rodgers in approximately 2068. OK, Iím not being fair, am I? He plays for St. Louis (strike one). He missed a good portion of his second season (strike two). The only receiver he was able to count on and seemed to trust just dislocated his clavicle and almost died (Iím feeling faint). Bradford may break through at some point but heís going to need some more time and heís certainly going to need some more weapons. Give him a seat unless you desperately need a fill-in this week.

Ryan Tannehill v. STL: Tannehill, unlike the aforementioned Bradford, IS showing some real signs of progress the past couple weeks. He followed up a monster Week 4 effort (431 yards) with a solid, if unspectacular, performance in the win against Cincinnati, his first road W as a pro. Unspectacular has a place, for sure, but you probably canít build a fantasy contender on such a shaky foundation. His recent strides notwithstanding, Tannehill has still only thrown two TD passes in five games. Moreover, heís doing basically nothing with his feet, a surprise considering he played multiple seasons at wide receiver for Texas A&M. This week, he draws a St. Louis pass defense tied with Baltimore as the leagueís stingiest (just two TD passes yielded). Wait for a better opportunity to use this still green signal caller.

Running Backs