The Wire Troll: John Skelton Searing in Arizona
John Skelton has taken advantage of Kevin Kolb’s absence.
Welcome to the Week 11 edition of the Wire Troll. Karma was good to the Troll last week, as his picks fared very well compared to the nightmare that was Week Nine. Speaking of nightmares, injuries to a couple big-name passers dominated the news this week. Houston’s Matt Schaub is out indefinitely with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, while Kansas City’s Matt Cassel could be headed for IR after suffering what’s being called a “significant injury” to his right hand. Can their backups lead your team to Fantasy glory?
In other NFL news, Tim Tebow (featuring the Denver Broncos) held his own version of Throwback Day last Sunday, reviving the single wing offense by passing just eight times in a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Don’t look now, but the Broncs are 3-1 since Tebow took over as the starting quarterback. Really.
Lastly, thumbs up to Bills’ wideout David Nelson, who scored a touchdown against Dallas, then presented the football to his girlfriend, who just happens to be a Cowboys cheerleader. Not that this was wildly original or anything, but the Troll always gives due props to any action that results in more on-camera time (and gratuitous off-site linkage opportunities) for those lovely star-spangled ladies from Big D.
For all the latest waiver wire-worthy Fantasy news, be sure to follow the Wire Troll on Twitter.
Bye weeks: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Houston.
Reminder: There is a Thursday night game — New York Jets at Tim Tebow (featuring the Denver Broncos). Get your lineups in on time.
John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals: Starter Kevin Kolb is very iffy for Week 11 due to turf toe, but that’s not a major concern for Cards’ fans, who have watched their team win two straight behind backup Skelton. The second-year man has thrown for 537 yards, four touchdowns, and suffered two interceptions during his two-game skein, so the Cardinals are in no hurry to rush Kolb back into the fire. Skelton is worth adding if — and only if — Kolb will miss another game, otherwise he’s best left on the wire.
Matt Leinart, Houston Texans: Leinhart will assume the helm now that Schaub is out of the picture; more on Leinart next week, but for now he’s just a speculative add if you have the roster space, as the Texans have a bye in Week 11.
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers: Frank Gore left Sunday’s contest with a knee injury, and Hunter dashed for 40 rushing yards and a touchdown. Gore’s status for Week 11 is a bit sketchy, but he surely won’t be at 100 per cent in any event. Hunter is a must-add for Gore owners, and he makes a nice speculative play in most deeper Fantasy leagues. Upgrade Hunter to a must-add if Gore will not play this week.
Lance Ball, Denver Broncos: With Knowshon Moreno done for the season, Ball becomes the backup to Willis McGahee, who is dealing with some injury woes of his own. Ball rushed for 96 yards in Week 10 as the primary ball carrier, but it took him 30 carries to amass that yardage. The Broncos seem to be committed to the run big-time, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Ball to strut his stuff this week and beyond. Keep an eye on McGahee’s status, as Ball would see a significant boost if Willie Mac can’t go.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons: With Roddy White slumping (still) and Julio Jones limping (again), Douglas stepped into the void with eight catches for 133 yards Sunday. Douglas is far from consistent, but he could be a major factor if Jones’ problematic hammy continues to be a factor. Keep tabs on Jones this week, but Douglas’ big week makes him worth a speculative add.
Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders: Jacoby Ford injured his foot during the Raiders’ Week 10 tilt, and the speedster may not be available in Week 11. Enter (re-enter, actually) Mr. Moore, who snagged five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Ford’s stead. Moore has become a favourite target of quarterback Carson Palmer, and his value will only increase if Ford misses extended time.
Damian Williams, Tennessee Titans: Last year’s third-round draft pick is fast becoming a favoured target in the passing game, and he has fashioned a 13-201-2 line over his past three games. Compare that to the 10-102-1 line forged by No. 1 wideout Nate Washington, and it’s clear that Williams is making a statement that he belongs in the Titans’ — and Fantasy owners’ — Week 11 plans.
Ed Dickson, Baltimore Ravens: Dickson exploded for 10 catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, running his season’s line to 40-356-3. For you mathematicians out there, that projects to 71-633-5 over the course of the season. Those are not elite numbers by any means, but while Dickson has Joe Flacco’s attention, he’s definitely worth adding in deeper Fantasy leagues.
New England Patriots: The Pats’ defense is owned in just about 40 per cent of Yahoo! leagues, but after dominating the Jets with five sacks and two turnovers, their ownership should be on the rise this week. Oh, by the way, in Week 11 New England hosts the hapless Chiefs, who have scored just 13 points the last two games — and will be without starting quarterback Matt Cassel. If you need a good substitute for your Steelers this in Week 11, look no further than those loveable misfits from Foxborough. There is long-term potential here, as the Patriots face a very soft schedule over the next several weeks.
INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
Daryl Washington, LB, Arizona Cardinals: Washington has piled up 19 total tackles and a sack in his last two outings, and the second-year man has become an integral part of the Cards’ defensive scheme. He won’t produce many big plays, but Washington should be in line for plenty of stops in the coming weeks.
Omar Gaither, LB, Carolina Panthers: The former Eagle has started the last two games at the mike, and has racked up 17 total tackles and a sack. He’s never been an elite player, but while he’s starting in the middle, Gaither should have plenty of opportunities to make plays — and he should be a part of your Fantasy plans.