Fantasy Football Week 11: Wandering the Waiver Wire
By Alexander Hough in News on Nov 15, 2011 7:20PM
Matt Schaub (QB, HOU)
Schaub suffered a Lisfranc injury, which, according to the best doctors the Chicagoist HMO provides, is when a midfoot bone displaces one or more of the not-quite-toe bones, and which, according to our imagination, hurts like a bastard. Schaub is probably done for the year, and Matt Leinart will take over. Is he worth picking up? Leinart hasn’t been good in limited career action, but he’s older now, which carries certain presumptions about being wiser, and this is definitely the best team he’s played on, more talented than even the highly-paid USC Trojans of the early aughts. So, maybe.
More importantly, we don’t expect Schaub's injury to have an adverse effect on other Texans fantasy stars. They still have the best offensive line in the league, so Arian Foster and Ben Tate should keep their value. It remains to be seen how the pass catchers will be affected. Common wisdom says the Texans will pass less with their back-up under center, but we’re not so sure. As we discussed before, it’s not like they were throwing all that much with Schaub at QB, and, in any case, teams still need to throw to win. The bigger issue is that the success of WRs and TEs depends on timing with the QB. Keep an eye on who Leinart seems to favor, and remember that Andre Johnson is due back after this week’s bye. Johnson is a good buy-low trade target; Arizona back-up QB John Skelton has targeted his top WR Larry Fitzgerald 25 times in the past two games (on 73 attempts, or 34% of passes), and we could see something similar happen with Leinart and Johnson.
Matt Cassel (QB, KC)
Cassel injured his shoulder, but it’s a hand injury that’s probably ending his season. For the most part, we don’t care. If you’re relying on Cassel as your QB, either your league is too big or your team is beyond repair. Dwayne Bowe is still worth starting, especially with friendly match-ups on the horizon (Week 11 at New England, Week 15 v. Green Bay, and Week 16 v. Oakland), but we’d stay away from Steve Breaston and Jon Baldwin, unless you’re desperate. By the way, did you know Kansas City is 4-5? That’s weird.
Michael Vick (QB, PHI)
A lot has gone wrong during the Eagles’ 2011 season, but do you know what the damnedest thing is? The near-universal hatred of this Philadelphia team was caused entirely by a media construction. Eagles fans were happy about signing Nnamdi Asomugha and the return for trading back-up QB Kevin Kolb, but we were also mystified by moving the offensive line coach to defensive coordinator (his first defensive job since he coached high school), scared of the weak LB corps, and apprehensive about the O line. But one dumbass utters something about a dream team, a media orgy ensues, and the Eagles become the NFL’s New York Yankees.
Well, the season is just about lost, and now that dumbass might start this Sunday night against the division rival Giants. Vick broke two ribs last Sunday and might sit. Even if he plays this weekend, he’ll be a risky bet to make it through the whole game; the Eagles are down to their third option at LG and the sack-prone Vick will be facing off against the sack-happy Giants D line. If he doesn’t play, we actually don’t hate Vince Young as an option since the Eagles will do everything they can to win this game. Just, please, could we limit Young’s media time?
Matthew Stafford (QB, DET)
He apparently played last week with a broken ring finger on his throwing hand. He’ll keep on playing, but you should temper your expectations and pick up the best available back-up on your waiver wire.
Andy Dalton (QB, CIN)
No injury here, either, but last week’s game against the Steelers should serve as a cautionary tale: Yes, the Steelers defense is tough, but the bigger issue was the wind. Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders said he noticed the weak-armed Dalton struggle in the wind all the way back during practice for the Senior Bowl, so this may be a persistent problem for Dalton. Check the weather report before starting him.
Knowshon Moreno (RB, DEN)
As Tim Tebow ran across the football field, he looked down and was startled; where there were usually two sets of footprints, now there was but one. He asked his coach, “Why hast thou left me alone in this time of adversity?” And John Fox answered, “Because Willis McGahee strained his hamstring and Knowshon Moreno tore his ACL, so we’re running out of RBs for you to run the simple read option with.” Moreno’s out for the season, but it sounds like McGahee won’t miss much time, if any. Lance Ball is next in line (he had 30 carries last Sunday), and God knows the Broncos are a running team now, so he’s worth an add if McGahee takes a turn for the worse. Also, remember: Denver plays this Thursday at home versus the Jets.
Frank Gore (RB, SF)
Gore owners dodged a bullet when the knee injury that kept him out of most of the second half against the Giants turned out to just be a bruise. It sounds like Gore will play this weekend against Arizona, but with a five game division lead, how many carries will he get? Even if he does play, back-up Kendall Hunter has value playing behind an injury-prone RB on a run-heavy team.
LaDainian Tomlinson (RB, NYJ)
Tomlinson’s MCL injury isn’t bad, but it still might keep him out of Thursday’s game. Joe McKnight, which we're pretty sure is the name of one of the members of the New Kids on the Block, would take his place, but there are a lot of backs we like better than either of those guys.
Jahvid Best (RB, DET)
Best is still recovering from a concussion, and at this point we’d be surprised to see him again this year. Last week we touted Kevin Smith as a long shot, and he received the second-most carries against the Bears (only four, but Matthew Stafford was too busy throwing TD passes to Chicago defenders to hand it off much). Maurice Morris remains the starter, but for how long?
Jeremy Maclin (WR, PHI)
Maclin separated a shoulder and strained a hamstring in Sunday’s debacle against the Cardinals, and we’d be surprised to see him suit up this weekend. DeSean Jackson sat out the game with a case of the big babies, but he’s expected back. Even so, someone with a catch rate over 50% would be helpful. Both Steve Smith and Jason Avant could fill the void left by Maclin - flip a coin to decide who to add.
Julio Jones (WR, ATL)
Jones reaggravated his hamstring injury. Harry Douglas has a different skill set, but he’d be the guy to benefit if Jones misses any time. We wouldn’t like him much this week versus Tennessee, but if Jones’s injury lingers, we’d gladly roll out Douglas for the following week against Minnesota.
Malcom Floyd (WR, SD)
Floyd may miss more time with his hip injury. Vincent Brown has had nice games over the past two weeks, even with QB Philip Rivers playing like he’s hiding an injury.
Santana Moss (WR, WAS)
This serves as a reminder that Moss is expected back in the coming weeks. If he was discarded by an impatient owner, you probably have two weeks to add him to your roster, free of charge. The return of QB Rex Grossman bodes well for Washington’s WRs, as well as for the Redskins’ entertainment value.