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: N.Y. Jets, St. Louis,
San Francisco, New England
Grab a Helmet
Vick @ NO: The time for desperate measures in the City of
Brotherly Love draws nigh, it appears, and this former superstar
could be living on borrowed time as the Eagles’ head signal caller.
An embattled Andy Reid toyed with a possible switch earlier in
the week but ultimately granted his equally embattled QB the temporary
stay of demotion. His timing (for Vick’s owners, at least) couldn’t
have been more propitious. Philly draws the NFL’s most generous
defense in Week 9, a Saints group yielding an NCAA-esque 474.7
yards/game. How bad is that? Try 50 yards PER GAME worse than
the worst defense in NFL history (the 1981 Baltimore Colts). Simply
put, if the Saints don’t get some stuff figured out (and fast),
they are going to literally smash records for defensive futility
this season. Don’t expect a quick fix this Monday night with the
still-potent but desperate Eagles coming to NOLA. It’s safe to
ride Vick for one more week.
Romo @ ATL: Tony Romo’s job isn’t in immediate jeopardy but
one could make the argument it should be. The Bears and Giants are
leading the league in interceptions (16 apiece) and he’s basically
the reason why, having supplied more than a quarter of those picks
(5 and 4 in respective losses to those clubs). Tied for third, by
the way, is Atlanta (10), Romo’s opponent this Sunday night. Gulp.
Luckily for fantasy GMs, turning the ball over a bunch doesn’t equate
to near certain doom as it does in real NFL games. Indeed, some
of the more useful options at the position (Michael Vick, Philip
Rivers, Andy Dalton, etc.) double as some of the more turnover-prone
players in the league. Romo’s the most turnover-prone of them all
(by a fair margin) but he managed to overcome four picks last week
and still tally 31+ points, his highest output of the 2012 season.
Go figure…and then go get him in your lineup.
Romo could find himself in a shootout with
Palmer v. TB: If I told you Palmer has the same number of touchdowns
(both passing and rushing) as the aforementioned QBs, would you
be surprised? I am and I
even tabbed him as a dark horse candidate for top 10 honors
back in the preseason. It’s true, by the way. All three quarterbacks
have thrown for nine touchdowns and run for another and Palmer lags
only slightly behind Vick and Romo in the fantasy points/game metric
through seven games (they’ve all had a bye). He could easily keep
pace this week against a Tampa defense yielding 310 passing yards/game,
just barely ahead of the 32nd-ranked Redskins on the year. With
Denarius Moore emerging as an elite target, Darrius Heyward-Bey
continuing to rebound from a scary Week 3 collision, and the Raiders’
second-half schedule about to take a turn toward the pillowy, Palmer
could be about to commence a serious surge. Don’t forget about him.
Grab a Clipboard
Cassel @ SD: DO forget about his former SC understudy, however.
Cassel’s demotion to second string lasted all of a quarter when
Brady Quinn suffered an early concussion in the Week 8 game versus
Palmer’s Raiders. Reprising his role as the Human Turnover Machine,
Cassel promptly bungled another snap exchange (don’t they practice
stuff like that?) and threw another pick in the 26-16 defeat.
Is it any surprise Romeo Crennel confirmed the job still belongs
to Quinn when he returns? Yup, you read that right: Brady Quinn’s
job as a starting quarterback is secure. In the event you’re wondering
why the Chiefs stink to high heaven this season…there you go.
While we’re on the subject of USC alums, by the way, here’s a
bonus Shot Caller prediction for the huge Pac-12 showdown this
Saturday evening: Ducks 56, Trojans 27. GO DUCKS!
Hasselbeck v. CHI: Since taking over for Jake Locker in Week
4, the wizened Hasselbeck has been remarkably consistent, if not
exactly remarkable. He’s posted no fewer than 14 fantasy points
in his last five appearances (four starts) and no more than 19.
He’s not terribly bad, in other words, and not terribly impressive.
Put another way, if you’re so good in other areas that you really
only need about 15 points (200-ish yards and a score) from your
QB, he’s your huckleberry. Forget about all that this week, though.
The Titans square off against Midway’s Monsters at LP Field on
Sunday and the boys from Chicago are routinely making opposing
QBs look bad this season. Only Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers have
had even a modicum of success against them (Weeks 1 and 2, respectively)
and Hasselbeck, with all due respect, isn’t on par with those
Schaub v. BUF: So, basically, your Week 9 rule of thumb is
this: Don’t start any quarterbacks named Matt. Schaub is
certainly more capable than either of the aforementioned guys
but he’s often relegated to the role of game manager when
the Texans are doing what they do best, which is running the ball
downhill and stifling opposing offenses with a championship-caliber
defense. A well-rested Arian Foster should have a field day against
Buffalo’s stinky stoppers (6.0 yards yielded per carry)
and I wouldn’t even rule out Justin Forsett as a super-sneaky
option if you’re really in a bind (Ben Tate looks to be
iffy). Schaub, on the other hand, is probably looking at one of
those ho-hum, 200-yard, one-TD days he’s been known to specialize
in. The Texans won’t care (and won’t lose) but YOU
might if you opt to give him a go. Proceed with caution.