Cam Newton is doing everything he can to make me look stupid, but I am not biting! Man those 2 rushing TDs are making him look good though. He is not available in your league at this point so I am not going to talk about him again unless he really burns me and it gets funny!
Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans – I mentioned Hasselbeck earlier in the season as a “not so obvious”, but he has since become glaringly obviously a good pick up. Hasselbeck is averaging almost 300 yards per game and it is not powered by a 500 yarder. In addition he is averaging 2 TDs and less than 1 interception per game. Hasselbeck is a wile veteran who has never been prone to big gaffs injury yes, mistakes no. (unless you count engaging his sister-in-law in a political discussion) If you are looking for help with the upcoming bye weeks, or you just need a better QB, Matt might still be available.
Not So Obvious:
Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders – Campbell was one of our hail marys a couple of weeks ago and after another 300+ yard game we have to upgrade him even though he plays for the silver and black. If history repeats itself, he looks to be a great play every other week! Too bad it is not that easy to predict which games he is going to step up. Campbell is nowhere near an every week start but he could help through the tough spots.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers –If you have been watching the Steelers at all this season, you could see the Redman was going to start carving out carries whether Mendenhall got hurt or not. He had been averaging over 4 yards per carry all season compared to Mendenhall’s sub 3 and when given the opportunity he was running downhill with purpose which the Steelers love. Whether Rashard misses time or not, Redman will continue to take work away from him.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots – Ridley was the preseason darling after a couple of huge games but was widely forgotten after that. But, he has very quietly started to take more and more carries away from the man of many names, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He has gone from no carries in game one to 2 in game 2 and in the last two weeks his workload has increased steadily 6 last week andand 10 yesterday for 97 yards and a TD. If he is available in your league and you need support in the backfield, scoop him.
Ryan Torain, Washington Redskins – Torain is a good running back who has a history of success with Shanahan. He is a hail mary because if he stays healthy, Shanahan will use him the question as always with Mike is how much and when. This is the beginning of a very frustrating year for people who reached for Tim Hightower.
Kevin Walter/ Jacoby Jones, Houston Texans – If Johnson misses time, which he has and could again, Walter and Jones will be WR1 and WR2. The problem is that it is a crap shoot as to which one holds the most value. Walter has been the guy who has always stepped up in Johnson’s absence but he was non-existent this week even with Andre out of the game and he will be facing the Raiders’ Stanford Routt next week if Johnson can’t go. This makes Jones the guy most likely to be open. Both have value but Jones is more likely to be available.
No So Obvious:
Laurent Robinson, Dallas Cowboys – Robinson was a player that was mentioned a few times last season in this column. He has good skills and given an opportunity he could become a very consistent WR2. With Miles Austin and Dez Bryant trading stints on the trainer’s table, Robinson might be getting that opportunity.
Victor Cruz, New York Giants – Cruz caught 2 touchdowns last week, but I was far more impressed by his 6 grabs for 98 yards this week. There have been many wide receivers who have had big weeks and then disappeared for the rest of the season, remember Snoop Minnis? Didn’t think so. Back to back weeks with 95+ in yardage and more looks each week are the sign of growing trust by your quarterback and as we have seen with Eli in the past, he gets very attached to guys he trusts (see Steve Smith and Plaxico Burress). My only real concern with Cruz is that he has to compete with both Nicks and Manningham for looks, but Eli does play favorites and look for Manningham to be the odd man out.