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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 4
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Nobody needs to be told starting Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, 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 Peterson 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-Jimmy Graham 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: Green Bay, Carolina

Grab a Helmet

Collin Kaepernick

Expect a rebound performance from Kaepernick on Thursday night.

Colin Kaepernick @ STL: Consider this your annual reminder that things change quickly in the National Football League. Kaepernick kicked off the season by flame-broiling the Pack to the tune of 412 passing yards and three scoring strikes at Candlestick, leading some pundits to ask whether San Francisco and its dual-threat QB could possibly be stopped. Barely two and a half weeks later, we have our answer: absolutely. The 49ers have scored just ten measly points since that bravura performance, a stunning reversal of fortunes that has, predictably, invited criticism from the Fifth Estate. Haters gonna hate, shrugs Kap, and he’s even taken to favoriting venomous tweets as extra motivation for the showdown with St. Louis. He won’t need it. The Rams are getting scalded by opposing quarterbacks both good (Matt Ryan, Tony Romo) and mediocre (Carson Palmer) and will struggle to contain an angry Niners offense Thursday night.

Terrelle Pryor or Matt Flynn v. WAS: Pryor tweeted he didn’t “remember much” from Monday night’s game against Denver. That’s probably just as well since Oakland got blasted, but the rest of us would be wise to recall how poised the youngster looked against Denver’s ferocious pass rush before he finally got creamed and concussed late in the fourth quarter (19 for 28, 281 yards, and a score). A polished pocket presence he may not yet be, but the kid has moxie, is exceedingly athletic, and will soon make opposing defensive coordinators pay for not respecting him as a passer. Provided he clears the league’s mandated noggin testing, you should feel very confident starting Pryor against Washington this Sunday. The Redskins’ defense is so bad (488 yards and 32.7 points yielded per game), I’d even consider starting his backup, Matt Flynn, should Pryor be forced to sit. Nope, I’m not at all joking.

Tony Romo @ SD or Philip Rivers v. DAL: These guys belong to a shrinking group of classic pocket passers (e.g., Big Ben, Brees, Brady) who are fast becoming a dying breed in today’s NFL, as we discussed earlier this season. They’ve combined for a mere 31 yards rushing so far (no rushing TDs) and, in fact, have only three 100-yard seasons between them (all Romo’s) in 19 combined years of service. Luckily for those of you who employ them, they’ve also combined to complete over 72% of their passes, average over 260 passing yards/game, and throw 14 scoring strikes v. just TWO picks through three weeks. That last part is what really encourages me in the early going, especially since they also combined to tally 34 interceptions in 2012. If Romo and Rivers can keep avoiding killer turnovers, they should continue to serve as above-average options at the position, despite their immobility. Start them against each other this Sunday.

Grab a Clipboard

Matt Schaub v. SEA: Schaub has always been more serviceable than sensational, but he was starting to look like someone we could actually get excited about before last Sunday’s dud against the Ravens (194 yards, no scores, and a pick). Despite lining up in the same backfield with one of the league’s premiere runners and a highly coveted backup/prospect, he’d flung a league-high 93 passes through the season’s first two weeks (tied with Sam Bradford). Of course, that had a lot to do with the fact Houston was mostly playing from behind in both contests. Though they likely will be again this Sunday, I’d think twice about inserting Schaub in my lineup. The Hawks are suffocating opposing QBs (5.5 yards/attempt, 147 yards/game, and one TD pass, all tops in the league) and have the look and feel of a team destined to beat the stuffing out of opponents all year long.

Andrew Luck @ JAX: Schaub is a matchup sit-down because Seattle is a formidable opponent. Luck is a matchup sit-down for precisely the opposite reason, because Jacksonville isn’t. If you’ve been carefully reading the tea leaves since Bruce Arians left to become Arizona’s head man (hiring Pep Hamilton to replace him, trading for Trent Richardson), you know Chuck Pagano wasn’t just blowing smoke when he expressed an affinity for power running attacks. Hamilton has installed just such a scheme in Indy – one that Luck should remember fondly from his days on the Farm – and the results can’t be denied: The Colts are currently 4th in the league at 146.3 rushing yards/game (they were 22nd last year) and there’s no good reason to believe they won’t continue relying on a ground-heavy attack this coming Sunday against Jacksonville’s atrocious front seven (167.7 rushing yards yielded/game). It might be time to revise your expectations of Luck slightly downward.

Mike Glennon v. ARZ: The most popular player on any struggling team is its backup quarterback, especially when said fan favorite comes off the bench (a la Brian Hoyer) to post eye-popping totals and lead his team to that elusive first W. If you’re giddy about Hoyer’s performance and hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Glennon, however, you might wanna consider a couple things. First, backups are backups for a reason; simply put, they’re rarely as good as the guys in front of them. Second, the guy in front of Glennon was really, really bad through three weeks (a league-worst 59.3 passer rating). Lastly, I’m not entirely certain the demotion of Josh Freeman isn’t politically motivated as well as performance-based, despite what Greg Schiano says. Greg Schiano says a lot of things, it seems. For instance, here’s what he had to say on Monday: “Josh is our starter.” Riiiiight.

Running Backs