Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't ignore Murphy. Is Sproles available?

It's awfully hard for me to recommend a Raider WR, especially a rookie and especially knowing how hard it is for JaMarcus Russell to hit them. (Why is it so easy to connect with Zach Miller, and not his wideouts anyway?) But it's just as hard to ignore what Louis Murphy did on Monday night. His final stats (4 rec, 87 yards, 1 TD) were impressive enough, but he was also robbed of a 19-yard TD catch on a replay review that neither the announcers nor I understood.

Every year, a relatively unknown WR emerges in Week 1 and goes on to have an outstanding season (e.g. Royal, Colston, Boldin). Could it be Murphy in '09? I'm not willing to bet against him.

It's certainly not Darrius Heyward-Bey, whose well-earned reputation for dropping passes was on display from the opening drive of last night's game. But when Chaz Schilens returns, will there be enough balls for Murphy to be a reliable fantasy contributor? Hard to say...

LT is already listed as a game-time decision for Week 2 after rolling his ankle in the game Sunday night. Wow...that didn't take long! This is exactly why I had him listed #17 in my preseason RB rankings, lower than any other expert I saw. And the crazy thing is, I might have been overly optimistic! If you watched the game, you'll understand why I'm urging you to grab Darren Sproles right now if he happens to be available.

Don't be surprised if Mike Bell retains the starting RB role for at least another week after racking up 143 yards against the Lions. Why rush Pierre Thomas back when Bell is running so well? For his part, Pierre says he will play in Week 2. Remember: Even before his injury, Bell was slated for goal-line work.

Rookie RB Danny Ware will miss at least a couple weeks with a dislocated elbow. If you were worried about him stealing carries from Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw, you can stop worrying for awhile.

Don't release Anthony Gonzalez just yet. He's out at least two weeks, but it could be significantly longer. If it's not too long, he's worth hanging onto. If you have room to add Murphy, he could be a decent fill-in.

Unless you need help at TE, in which case you have to consider Ben Watson. Not only was he on the money end of both of Tom Brady's TD passes, but he was targeted seven times on the night. He's shown flashes in the past, and it now looks like he's got Brady's confidence. No reason he can't be a top-level TE in that offense.

After catching a dozen passes on Monday night, I guess it's safe to say Wes Welker's mysterious ailment wasn't so bad. Damn Belicheck and his games... I hope none of you benched him, especially in PPR leagues!

Did I tell you Percy Harvin was going to be special? Yeah, I thought so...

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