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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Quarterbacks
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 9
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: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, N.Y. Giants, San Francisco

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Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor has a plus matchup against the Eagles in Week 9.

Terrelle Pryor v. PHI: Given 15 more minutes Sunday morning, I’d have probably talked myself out of starting Pryor against the Steelers’ stingy defense. And for 58 of the Raiders’ 59 offensive plays that afternoon, it would have looked like a very wise move. That 59th play, however (which was actually Oakland’s very first from scrimmage), made me look like a genius for resisting the temptation to yank him. Pryor took the game’s opening snap, faked a give to Darren McFadden, and raced 93 yards untouched for a record-setting TD ramble and 15.3 fantasy points in standard leagues. In other words, he scored more points in 13 seconds than Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III, and Tom Brady did all day. He may be inexperienced and highly erratic, yes, but he’s also phenomenally gifted. In just eight games, he’s gone from possible bye week replacement to near must start. So start him.

Jake Locker @ STL: Locker and Pryor were my two bargain basement QB buys back in August and I really only needed one of them to pair with Aaron Rodgers (it’s a two-QB league). Back then, I figured it would be Locker most weeks, but he hasn’t even cracked my lineup yet. Pryor’s sudden emergence and a hip injury have relegated the Titans’ triggerman to my bench all season, where he’ll remain glued on Sunday for the reason just discussed. That doesn’t mean he can’t shine for you. Several of the game’s most bankable signal callers are watching from home in Week 9 and that means the former Husky – with a clean bill of health and a juicy matchup – is finally a legit option. The Rams were ready for Seattle on Monday night, but couldn’t pull off the stunner and now face a well-rested Tennessee squad on six days rest. Consider Locker on Sunday.

Case Keenum v. IND: NFL fans probably know him as the kid who threw for a zillion yards quarterbacking another Houston football team, the University of Houston Cougars, a couple years back. Gaudy collegiate numbers certainly don’t qualify someone as a pro prospect – especially not in this age of statistical inflation – but they at least mean a guy knows his way around a football field. That describes Keenum to a T. He doesn’t have great physical gifts (average arm, average wheels, below-average size), but he’s very bright, knows where to go with the pigskin, and rarely turns the ball over. That last part is probably what convinced Coach Kubes to make a switch and sit down the healthy, but error-prone, Matt Schaub. The matchup isn’t great and his NFL resume is exceedingly brief, but Keenum inherits some great skill position talent and he could surprise on Sunday night against the Colts.

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Mike Glennon @ SEA: I’ll admit my opinion of Glennon has been drastically influenced by his official player card picture on I mean, is this kid even legal to work in the United States yet? Possessing the precise physical tools Keenum lacks (ideal size, howitzer for an arm), but lacking the intangibles (very mistake-prone), Glennon probably needed several years of seasoning before being thrust into the role of NFL starting quarterback. Thanks to a power struggle between Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman, a battle won by the coach, he didn’t get it. Schiano’s ultimately going to lose the war (read: his job) and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Glennon’s career as a starting QB is equally as brief. 13-year old QB v. the grown man defense of the Seahawks in one of the NFL’s rowdiest stadiums on a (possibly) rainy Pacific NW day? Don’t press your luck with Tampa’s young field general.

Matt Ryan @ CAR: Had you asked me back in August if I thought Matt Ryan would ever be a recommended sit, my answer would have been an unequivocal “no.” He’s one of the game’s best young QBs and he has an embarrassment of skill position talent at his disposal. Make that had. Julio Jones is done for the year, Roddy White is still nursing a bad hammy and ankle, and Steven Jackson’s return to the Falcons’ fold in Week 8 was, shall we say, slightly underwhelming (14 touches for 13 yards). In other words, Ryan hasn’t had a lot of help in 2013 and Atlanta’s season is, predictably, going straight down the tubes. That doesn’t mean Ryan’s has to go with it. He’s still eighth overall at the position, but Carolina has been pretty rough on opposing QBs this year (16.3 points/game yielded). If ever you were gonna consider a replacement for him, Week 9 might be that spot.

Any Buffalo QB v. KC or any Minnesota QB @ DAL: It’s anybody’s guess who will be under center for the disappointing Bills and Vikings this weekend, but here are the candidates: Thaddeus Lewis (50-50 due to sore ribs), Jeff Tuel (undrafted FA from Washington State), Matt Flynn (former “starter” for Seattle and Oakland), Christian Ponder (former starter for the Vikes), and Josh Freeman (the guy brought in to replace Ponder). Maybe if you combined the good qualities of all five of these guys, you might have someone worth using in Week 9…but even that’s debatable. Buffalo draws the league’s saltiest defense, Kansas City’s, and Minnesota travels to Dallas, where the Cowboys will be motivated to make amends for a heart-rending defensive breakdown in the Motor City last Sunday. I know there are lots of good QBs on bye this week, but you’ve got to have something better than this motley crew, right?

Running Backs