Players are vying for a starting spot every week, but this week offered several interesting glimpses into what could come in the 2010 NFL season.
Now, I’m not ready to rank these players after one or two games, but it’s worth noting that they are playing themselves into increased opportunities through the final four weeks of the season – your fantasy playoffs – and into next year.
I’ve placed the players in three different categories, players to pickup, avoid and some wild cards.
Now, rules change for dynasty leaguers, because a year can make a big difference, just understand that players in the last two categories won’t be as helpful through the end of 2009.
We’ll start with…
Players that deserve consideration right now.
Pierre Garcon – The last two weeks he has proven that he is the next Reggie Wayne, surpassing Anthony Gonzalez in that regard with his performances. He went 6-136-0 with 10 targets this week.
Bruce Gradkowski – It really pains me to suggest picking up any Raider, but Gradkowski’s presence has changed this team. The new QB threw for 308 and three TDs with 0 interceptions against the Steelers defense. Gradkowski led the Raiders to victory against the world champion Steelers.
Louis Murphy – Another Raider, I know I’ll regret this, but Murphy caught four of his six targets, scored twice and finished with 128 yards.
Devin Thomas – The Redskins’ second-year receiver was targeted seven times, caught all seven and finished with 100 yards and two scores. He’ll be a starter in 2010, and be coveted in your draft.
Jerome Harrison – Yes, he had a good game earlier in the season and disappeared. But the news that Jamal Lewis is retiring at the end of the season means the Browns are going to need a starting back. Harrison only had 35 yards rushing on 10 carries, which isn’t particularly great, but he also was targeted 11 times, caught seven for 62 yards and two TDs while Cleveland tried to rally against the Chargers.
I’d stay away from..
Josh Freeman – Don’t throw him away in dynasty leagues, but Freeman is too volatile to help this year. The rookie could grow into a better QB, especially if Antonio Bryant can find a way to stay healthy. He threw for 321 Sunday, but the Panthers picked him off five times too.
I’m not sure about…
Evan Moore – The spot left vacant with Kellen Winslow’s departure may not be vacant for much longer. Moore was targeted 11 times and caught six of them for 80 yards. But he plays for the Browns, so there’s that.
Zach Miller – No, not the Raiders Zach Miller, the Jaguars’ rookie tight end. Hype surrounded him in the preseason, then he got hurt. But he caught three passes for 74 yards on Sunday. In dynasty leagues, try to get him now. Only waiver him if desperate in redrafts.
There are others – like Jets RB Shonn Greene and Eagles RB Eldra Buckley – who could continue their audition. Who else is ready to steal a starting role?