Carson Palmer is poised to put up better numbers. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Each and every week of the NFL season some random players emerge from depth charts and make an impact. When this happens, fodder is produced for Fantasy owners to debate over. As such, we present to you The Wire Troll for Week Nine.
Byes: Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals: Many Palmer owners probably dropped him a month ago. Yes, we know Palmer has a bye this weekend. We also know that he has been struggling because the injured Larry Fitzgerald refuses to miss a game. That’s where the bye comes into play. Finally, Fitzgerald can rest his wounded hamstrings. Even though he still might not be 100 per cent in Week 10, he will certainly be better. That is good news for the Cardinal offense, especially Palmer. Most teams come off byes revived and with a veteran presence like Palmer there is hope. And at the very least, even if he can’t help your Fantasy team he’ll be able to guide your sausage selection process (see video below).
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs: Smith is certainly one those players that is not going to steal you any Fantasy games but because of his consistency, he is not going to lose many for you either. He is a trustworthy fallback plan and reliable starter no matter what his match-up. Sure Smith has some big games and some mediocre performances. Who doesn’t? He has been through a lot in his career and now he is showing poise in lessons learned. Grit is not a Fantasy stat but we are baffled that Smith remains available in so many leagues.
Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals: In Week Three of the 1986 season, New York Jets WR Wesley Walker caught four TD passes in a 51-45 overtime win over the Dolphins. What is significant about Walker’s feat compared to Marvin Jones’s four-touchdown game is Jones was probably not on many Fantasy rosters. If he was on yours we sure hope you played him. Walker was a stud receiver in his ninth year in the league, and that season he went on to his second 1,000-yard receiving campaign, finishing second in receiving TDs with 12 behind only Jerry Rice (15). Conversely, Jones is a second year WR who had four career TDs prior to Sunday’s outburst. He was not technically a starter but Andy Dalton sure found him open often. We can’t expect Jones to ever do that again, but it’s clear he should be a part of the game plan from here on out.
Kris Durham, Detroit Lions: Ever since Nate Burleson decided pizza was more important than his arm, Durham has an been impact player. He plays opposite Calvin Johnson and that is the best recipe for success. As if being called “Megatron” wasn’t enough Johnson just exploded for 329 yards receiving on Sunday. So you can pretty much count on Durham being given an open field as opponents will beg him to beat them. He has just 20 receptions on the season but his familiarity with the offense has him primed for a breakout game.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals: Ellington has been creating rumbles all year. However, after his Week Seven performance vs. Seattle, some owners finally lost faith in him. That was a bad move, because Ellington ignited on Sunday for 154 yards and a TD on 15 carries. He had only 179 yards and one touchdown all season before this effort. Ellington could be a gem the rest of way considering he is currently averaging 7.7 yards per rush. However, if he remains an every down back, that average should be cut in half.
Peyton Hillis, New York Giants: In a year when even third string running backs have been given major consideration we will now write about Hillis. Our dear Hillis was once a 1,000-yard rusher (2010), but since then he’s been an inconsistent egg shell. Now he’s strung a couple of decent games together, albeit vs. the Vikings and the Eagles. Don’t forget Andre Brown is waiting in the wings. But, if you are desperate, go ahead and claim Hillis.
Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills: Chandler has never been the sexiest end of any line. He is solid blocker and underrated pass catcher. His 6′7″, 260-pound frame has always made him a red zone specialist. Heading into Week Eight, Chandler had not received more than six targets in any one game, but this weekend in New Orleans was targeted 11 times. He responded with seven catches for 72 yards. Bye weeks last for another four weeks and Chandler is heating up at the right time.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which players you’re targeting on the wire this week.