Even a three-toed sloth could be quite dangerous if left unsupervised with numerous loaded, ready-to-fire high-powered assault rifles laying around.
Not saying that Kerry Collins is slow (although he does lack mobility) – or that he has three toes. But he suddenly finds himself under center in an offense loaded with plenty of offensive firepower. He takes on an opponent in Week 1 (Houston) that allowed a bajillion points to opposing quarterbacks in 2010.
When looking to scrounge some diamonds in the rough from your waiver wire each week, it pays to look for the guys who suddenly find themselves in a better situation. The following guys are worth adds in most 12-team leagues depending on your team’s needs and bench space.
Kerry Collins, IND: Like mentioned above, Collins finds himself in a great situation. Like Jon Kitna last year, who became a weekly fantasy starter after taking over for Tony Romo in Dallas for a large portion of the season, Collins could find some fantasy success with Indy.
Now that isn’t to say that Collins is in his prime. He’s far past it. He made plenty of mistake in recent seasons leading up to his recent retirement. He will struggle at times. He may even be replaced by a suddenly available David Garrard while Peyton Manning works his way back from neck surgery.
Still, if you need QB help, you could do worse. He’s worth a speculative add in most leagues – even if you just add him now in hopes that he explodes statistically on the slipshod Texans and you can then pedal him in a deal to the Manning owner.
Deji Karim, JAX: There is a reason so many people spent a late-round draft pick on Rashad Jennings this summer – he was in the perfect situation behind a slowing veteran in an offense created around a dynamic running plan. Jennings had value even if Maurice Jones-Drew didn’t miss a single game this year as the Jaguars planned to alleviate some of MJD’s workload in an attempt to keep him healthy.
But Jennings is now shelved for the season and Karim, who some consider even more explosive than Jennings (pre-injury), finds himself in the drivers’ seat behind MJD. Karim will produce fantasy points in this role that are worthy of a bye-week fill-in (especially in PPR), but could quickly become a weekly RB2 in many league formats if MJD misses time over the course of the season.
Delone Carter, IND: The Manning injury doesn’t just affect guys like Kerry Collins and the receivers. The Colts will need to develop a more run-oriented scheme to bridge the gap to Manning’s return.
Carter was very impressive this summer and actually has, according to recent reports, vaulted past the underachieving Donald Brown as the team’s No. 2 back behind Joseph Addai.
Addai isn’t know for long-term durability, and if he goes down, Carter could become a major fantasy cog. Even while Addai is healthy, Carter will see enough carries to warrant some spot starts.
Leon Washington, SEA: While Marshawn Lynch is slated as the starting tailback for the Seahawks, Washington has made a lot of noise this preseason and many reports suggest that he has moved past Justin Forsett in regards to being a back that will have an impact for the team this season.
Washington was explosive last year on special teams as he worked his way back slowly from a 2009 leg injury. Allegedly, Washington will be used in third down situations and as a check-down target out of the backfield.
Brandon Gibson, STL: With Josh McDaniels now in St. Louis and the young Sam Bradford looking like a potential star in the NFL, it is hard not to get giddy about the Rams offense in 2011.
A plethora of receivers were battling for a starting gig for the Rams, and while this situation could change drastically in a week or two, Gibson has held off all comers for the Rams top receiver option. Sure, Danny Amendola will be the possession option in most cases, but Gibson should get enough looks early on to be a sneaky good fantasy option if all clicks well. If castoff Mark Clayton could become fantasy viable in the offense pre-McDaniels, I’d think that Gibson and others have more than enough potential to do the same now.
Denarius Moore, OAK: We know that Heyward-Bey guy is a bust. And while Jacoby Ford has upside, there is no denying the major hype that Moore generated this preseason for Oakland.
The coaching staff has committed to getting Moore involved in the offense, and he could be making fantasy noise as early as this week.
Cecil Shorts, JAX: I’ve mentioned him before, and if you’ve checked Rotoworld, you’ll see the glowing remarks on Shorts. Insiders expect him to make a charge at a starting position sooner rather than later.
One has to wonder what the change at QB will bring for Shorts and the rest of the Jaguars offense. However, Mike Thomas is better suited for a complementary role, and call it a gut feeling, but Shorts will be a fantasy commodity in the league.
Donald Jones, BUF: With Lee Evans now in Baltimore, Jones will fill the No. 2 receiver role for a Bills team that will pass early and often in 2011. While he is more speculative an add than others on this list, you’d hate to miss out on him if he does well in Week 1 and someone with a higher priority snatches him up early next week.
Lance Kendricks, STL: This tight end will be special in the NFL and his emergence will start this season. The Rams love his playmaking ability and he could become the top target for Bradford.
Reports from St. Louis suggest that the team is using Kendricks in all sorts of formations – not just as a tight end but also in various receiver sets.