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
Grab a Helmet
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.
Terrelle Pryor has a plus matchup against
the Eagles in Week 9.
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.
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.
Grab a Clipboard
Glennon @ SEA: I’ll admit my opinion of Glennon has been drastically
influenced by his official player card picture on ESPN.com. 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.
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