Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hot pickups: Week 2

WR Eddie Royal, Denver Broncos: Perhaps you saw him abuse the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, finishing with a league-high 146 receiving yards and a TD. Remember, Brandon Marshall will be back in uniform this week, and the Broncos won't be playing the Raiders every week. ... but I'm still nabbing the rookie from Virginia Tech, because he looks like a contributor. FIVE STARS (Out of five)

QB Matt Cassel, New England Patriots: You know the deal here. Cassel is no Tom Brady (yet), but he still has Tom Brady's teammates and Tom Brady's coaches. A must pickup if you owned Brady, or just want to tick off a Brady owner. FOUR STARS

RB Sammy Morris, New England Patriots: Looks like we didn't learn from last year's game of musical chairs at RB for the Pats. Check out last Sunday's stat sheet: 10 carries for Morris, 10 carries for Laurence Maroney, with Morris getting a short-yardage TD. The Pats played around like this in the early part of last year too - yet Maroney was going in the second or third round of most drafts this year and Morris likely didn't get his name called. Time for that to change. FOUR STARS

WRs David Patten and Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints: With Marques Colston (thumb) out 4-6 weeks, Drew Brees will be looking for some new targets. Patten, who caught a 39-yard TD in Week 1, will probably make a more immediate impact, though Meachem (inactive last week) is worth a look in deeper leagues as a contributor later down the road. FOUR STARS

QB Damon Huard, Kansas City Chiefs: The veteran is starting again with Brodie Croyle out for up to four weeks. Huard is only a stopgap of course, and K.C. may even take a look at untested Tyler Thigpen at some point. But Huard does get to face the Oakland Raiders this Sunday, and in case you didn’t see them in their opener, the Raiders aren’t so good this year.FOUR STARS

QB Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan made a heck of a debut for the Atlanta Falcons. But take away the 62-yard touchdown on his first NFL pass, and the rookie was 8 of 12 passing for 99 yards against the Detroit Lions. Granted, he didn’t have to do much besides hand off to Michael Turner (220 rushing yards), but he was also throwing against the league’s 31st-ranked pass defense from a year ago. I like Ryan, but things are going to get tougher, and he’s not an every-week fantasy starter at this point. THREE STARS

TE John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks: The rookie is one of the few healthy pass catchers on Seattle's roster right now. Carlson was one of the few bright spots at Notre Dame last year, leading Charlie Weis' team in receptions (40) and scoring three TDs. He caught four balls for 52 yards in his pro debut last week, and I have a feeling Matt Hasselbeck will be looking for him this Sunday against the 49ers, and in the weeks to come. THREE STARS

Photos by The Associated Press

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