Are You For Real?: Anderson, Wynn, Williams
Ah, must be time for another waiver-wire period. Whom should you snatch up? Where should you turn for assistance?
We hear your cries for help and are here to answer that clarion call. Look up in the rooftops! It's a signal! The Hector and Victor spotlight! Commissioner Gordon is on the hotline. Cue the cheesy 1960s music theme: Na na na na na na na na, Hec-tor! Vic-tor! Hec-tor! Vic-tor!
Fear not, dear readers. Help has arrived. And be thankful you can't actually see the skintight multicolored leotards we've stuffed ourselves into.
Anderson is only one step removed from "getting called in from the stands" by his coach and is now leading the Browns to victory while casting a wary eye over his shoulder at the young wunderkind (Brady Quinn) waiting eagerly for his big break. After an inconsistent preseason, Anderson was relegated to the backup job in Cleveland and surrounded with rumors that he was going to be cut. This, of course, didn't happen, and Anderson led the Browns to an Arena League-like 51 points in Week 2 against the Bengals.
We might have seen the signs of the Bengals having a weak defense in Week 1, when they gave up 20 points to a Ravens team that had a banged-up quarterback and a historically weak offense. Then again, how could we have foreseen this? After all, Cleveland had only 221 total yards in the opener against Pittsburgh. The Brownies put up 554 yards in Week 2.
So what do we know about Derek Anderson? Very little, in fact. He played his college ball at Oregon State, where he became only the second player in Pac-10 conference history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season. He had a stellar performance in minicamps this year but faltered in the preseason. And when he was a kid, his mom had to call the Trail Blazers to get size 17 shoes shipped to him, courtesy of Arvydas Sabonis. True story. Still, this does very little to help you make the decision of whether or not to drop, say, Josh McCown for him. But that is why we love this game, and that is why we must ask: Derek Anderson, Are You For Real?
HECTOR: We know he's not for real. That's what is so scary about the future. This was more a result of playing a lousy defense and having the skill of Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards on his side. If Anderson can put up a game like this, which surpassed Notre Dame's passing output for the entire season, imagine what somebody like Brady Quinn might have done.
At least this is the train of thought that's going to be traveling on the Ohio Railroad all week long and it is entirely unfair to both Quinn and Anderson. The expectations on Quinn are too high already. Every game Anderson plays well only increases what Quinn must do to top him. Anderson will have some good games and some bad games. He most likely will never sniff another game like this. But two bad ones in a row, and Quinn might be at the helm. This is the primary reason not to claim Anderson over another QB you already have on your roster. But if you have the space to pick him up and might be willing to take a chance when the matchup is right, then by all means, Mr. Tamarkin, press your luck.
VICTOR: I am going to refute my partner and say yes, he is for real. However, I'd like to take off on a point Hector made: Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards are extremely talented and -- for now -- healthy. That's a dangerous 1-2 combination, and I liken it to the situation in Dallas, where Terrell Owens and Jason Witten have turned Tony Romo into a fantasy stud. Receivers sometimes make the quarterback, and even if Anderson isn't the most skilled QB around, he has room for error thanks to that talented receiving corps.
As for the Brady Quinn issue, I think we need look no farther than San Diego, circa 2005. Drew Brees was supposed to give way to Philip Rivers. Instead, he had a monster year and never relinquished the starting job. The following season, of course, Brees was pushed aside and sent packing. But for that one shining season, when every prognosticator had the young stud QB taking over by Week 7, Brees caught lightning in a bottle and tightened his grip on the starting job. Anderson could very well do the same.
HECTOR: Have you been drinking again? Yes, Anderson might be able to hold off the looming Quinn for this season, but he's only keeping the seat warm until the youngster is ready, whether it's Week 8, Week 14 or next year. Poor play from Anderson might cause the Browns to jump the gun, but to compare Anderson to Brees? That's laughable. The Browns traded away Charlie Frye after Week 1. There's no way they're going to be shy about benching Anderson, no matter the won-loss record, if the next generation is ready to make his "Encounter at Farpoint."
The joke is on us. All this time we spent arguing over Brandon Jackson and Vernand Morency, and we totally forgot about Wynn lurking in the shadows. How did this happen? Wynn was the leading rusher for the national champion Florida Gators. And here we are, frittering away our free-agent budgets on a former Texans backup (Morency) and a concussed rookie from Nebraska.
Wynn did very little in Week 1 to lead us to believe he'll be a part of the Packers' running game, carrying just one time and catching a single pass. But this column is about looking to the future and not dwelling on our sad, lonely past.
In Week 2, Wynn saw a huge increase in playing time, thanks mostly to Morency's unavailability and Jackson's continued concussion problems. The result? Wynn rushed 10 times for 50 yards and scored two TDs. He also caught two passes for 18 yards, leading us to boldly predict three catches for 18 yards in Week 3.
But Hec and Vic are nothing if not full-service prognosticators, so we will go a step farther for all of you readers, and ponder aloud: DeShawn Wynn, Are You For Real?
HECTOR: This is another example of why you can't just look at the box score and make pickups. Yes, Wynn had a nice day. But take away that last run, when the game was all but decided and Brett Favre's name was being etched into yet another category in the record book, and we see nine carries for 12 yards. I'm not exactly going to go bouncing off the walls over a guy who averaged 1.33 yards per carry against a fairly nonresistant strain of Giants defense. The Packers are simply not going to run the ball with any amount of consistency this season, and who can blame Favre if he wants to throw out his arm this season? After all, it's most likely his last. He shouldn't spend it orchestrating a "student body left, student body right" attack.
VICTOR: I want to agree with you here, Hector, but I have to ask, "Why not?" This game we play is as much about situations as it is about talent (although the two aren't mutually exclusive). Wynn is healthy and was successful in college, and the end zone seems to welcome him with open arms. Yes, this Week 2 performance was against a weak Giants defense (including a sore Osi Umenyiora and a befuddled Michael Strahan), but Wynn was given opportunities to score, and he seized them. That alone should get him maybe two more weeks' worth of chances in, at the very least, a Marion Barber III-type role. I'm going to put it like this: For the immediate future, yes, Wynn is for real. For the rest of the season, I think not.
We'll be honest: We have no clue which way to go here. Either we can make jokes about his name sounding like the high school from "Grease" (Rydell High), or we can add to the Adrian Peterson/Adrian Peterson name barrage with a Roy Williams/Roy Williams/Roy(dell) Williams" quip. Instead, we'll go with Option C, actually evaluating Roydell, which will be more helpful for you.
Who is Roydell Williams, and why is he haunting my subconscious? Well, Williams has been around since being drafted in 2005 out of Tulane, where he set the Conference USA record for receiving TDs (35). He was silent in Week 1 (no catches), but he had a decent preseason, catching five passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Careerwise, we're not looking at much. Williams came into this season having played in 24 career games, but he put up pedestrian numbers (420 yards, 2 TDs) over that span. He also battled wrist and ACL injuries his first two years in the league. But if he can stay healthy, there are 72 reasons, to paraphrase Terrell Owens' old publicist, to believe he might be an emerging target for Vince Young, who threw for only 184 yards in the game.
Roydell, Hector and Victor have you under the microscope, and we would be remiss to not ask: Are You For Real?
HECTOR: Along with Brandon Jones, Williams might well be a good receiving option before all is said and done. Vince Young is going through some growing pains and still has a case of happy feet; he's leaving the pocket way too early. So did Donovan McNabb. But if McNabb had two talented receivers like Williams and Brandon Jones on board early in his career, the Eagles might well have won the Super Bowl and never would have had to bring TO into their midst. As Young gets more comfortable with his receivers, he'll stay in the pocket longer, which will lead to more balls being thrown Roydell's way. And if LenDale White and Chris Brown can maintain a strong running game by becoming at least one complete running back between the two of them, the ceiling will get even higher for Williams. Catch him while you can.
VICTOR: I like Roydell. I hate to be the guy here who loves everybody -- to a degree -- but Roydell has as good a chance as anybody to catch Young's passes. When the Titans aren't running, that is. If they can establish any kind of rapport, this could indeed be a sign of good things to come.
I do have to say that the Roydell-Vince duo obviously works on a rotating lovefest after not connecting once in Week 1. But I'm also prepared to disregard Week 1 just because of the ridiculous success the Titans had on the ground in Jacksonville. There was no need to pass, to Williams or anyone. That said, I think we can safely tell our minions to go get him, and then thank us later.
HECTOR: I like the idea of having minions. Millions of minions. A million minion march. OK, minions -- you have your orders. Fly, winged monkeys, fly!
VICTOR: And we shall see you minions next week, when we give you three more players to look up and possibly add to your team. Then you can sing our praises as you ride to victory. Humble pie, be damned!
FANTASY TOP HEADLINES
- Matthew Berry's Draft Day manifesto
- Crawford: Top 10 long-term catching prospects
- Karabell: 2014 breakout players at WR
- Karabell: Contact rate drives fantasy value