Are You For Real? Texans, Titans, 49ers WRs
Stand in front of a mirror and say it five times. When you turn around, he'll be on your fantasy team.
No I can't. Not yet, at least.
I just can't. Let's try again
This is the scene we are facing this week, as quarterback changes for the Texans, Titans and 49ers have not just given us a few new options at quarterback but have done so in a laughably desperate manner. Sage Rosenfels, let's be honest, has a funny-sounding name. Kerry Collins, we had all assumed, died a couple of years ago in a fiery blimp accident. And Trent Dilfer? He was still a Seahawk, wasn't he?
|Want your question answered by an ESPN fantasy expert? The Answer Guys is a new service exclusive to ESPN Insiders, with a 24-hour response guarantee!|
Still, with each new quarterback comes a new set of receivers popping up in the box score. So once we are done wiping the tears from our eyes after a hearty laugh about Dilfer being a starting quarterback again, we scan the receiving numbers and see Arnaz Battle with 57 receiving yards and a touchdown. In Houston, where Andre Johnson is set to return, we now have to wonder whom Sage will prefer as his No. 2 wide receiver: Kevin Walter, Andre Davis or this David Anderson fella? And in Tennessee, where Vince Young once again defied logic and brought the Madden Curse back into our consciousness, Collins connected with AYFR alum Roydell Williams, but also found Bo Scaife and Justin Gage.
New QB: Kerry Collins
Hector: I think Young is a great leader. Never say die. Loved how he was rooting for the team while standing on the sideline this weekend. But I think he's just a bad fit for the Titans. With Collins, the running game works better, the passing game works better. Heck, if not for the defense totally mailing it in during the fourth quarter, we'd be talking about the 30-point blowout they just delivered.
Victor: It's true that Collins had his chance to do this last season and failed miserably, forcing the Titans' collective hand and giving the starting role to an untested rookie. I'm not sure whether we're seeing addition by subtraction here with Young being out, but there is always a chance that Collins just understands Norm Chow's offense in a way Young has yet to grasp.
Are You For Real? Bo Scaife/Justin Gage
Hector: Along the same lines, Vince eventually will be back in the pocket -- likely this Sunday -- because the Titans aren't paying him tons of moolah to be a cheerleader. Scaife had 10 catches in five games with Young, then six with Collins. Gage also averaged two per game with Vince, then had five with Kerry. If Collins were going to stay, I'd love this duo. But he's not, so I don't.
Victor: Most teams have two-headed running backs; the Titans had a two-headed tight end. And Scaife still put up numbers (six catches, 49 yards) that would be considered "more than serviceable" for a bye-week tight end. Even for a non-bye-week tight end. As for Gage, his run most likely will end when Collins' does, but, as injuries go in the NFL, a seemingly benign sprain could turn into a five-week layoff for any given player.
New QB: Sage Rosenfels
Hector: Seriously? That's his name? What, Parsley and Rosemary were taken? Names aside, because we did say recently that a guy named Cleo Lemon was for real, I don't expect Sage to put up the kind of numbers he did this week again. Even if Matt Schaub is out for an extended period of thyme (see what I did there?), he's not the right guy to spice up your fantasy lineup.
Victor: I cannot follow that wonderful pun, my friend but I can put in my two cents and say that Schaub wasn't exactly a super-hyped quarterback himself coming into this season, so let's not be too hard on Sage. It's true he has a name that would prove challenging to admire as a "real football kind of guy," but the proof is in the pudding, and Rosenfels fired off four fourth-quarter touchdowns to help stage a shocking rally at the end of the game against the Collins-led Titans. With his confidence now at a nice level, I'd expect good things from Sage, especially considering the return of Andre Johnson.
Speaking of Johnson
Are You For Real? Any receiver in the wake of Johnson's return
Hector: Somebody has to be the No. 2 guy. So from that standpoint, we like Walter to take that job over Davis or Anderson. But we're talking second banana here, and really, I'd rather not have to choose between a Lou Costello or a Tom Smothers when the fact is that Owen Daniels is the one who is going to be getting the bulk of the passes that do not go AJ's way.
Victor: I'd say this all depends on Schaub's health. He seemed to like Daniels a lot more than Rosenfels did this past Sunday (see: Putzier, Jeb. Touchdown Pass Thrown To). If I had to gamble, then, on one of the receivers, I'd go with Davis, just because the "Andre and Andre Show rolled into [insert NFL city name here]" seems too good (in an annoying sense) for karma to just pass by. We, as sports fans, deserve that cutesy kind of sports torture.
New QB: Trent Dilfer
Hector: I love how Alex Smith keeps saying that if he were healthy, he'd be playing. How is he going to stay healthy when the offensive line of the Niners is so, well, offensive? Dilfer came into power because Smith has a separated shoulder, and he proceeded to get sacked six times, losing two fumbles and getting picked twice. He's not long for the job, and quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if he's not doing double duty as Smith's masseur, trying like the dickens to get him back into the lineup so he can hide in safety on the sideline behind his clipboard.
Victor: Dilfer's a winner, and in real-life football (and those leagues where QBs get a baseball pitcher-esque five points per win), he's the bee's knees. But as far as fantasy football goes, Dilfer has never been much of a commodity, and probably never will be. It doesn't help that he has been thrust into a situation in San Francisco in which Frank Gore/Michael Robinson will be running the ball poorly and his top receivers are the ghost of Darrell Jackson and Arnaz Battle, but he still will serve as a relatively mistake-free QB if there is nobody left on the waiver wire.
Are You For Real? Arnaz Battle/Ashley Lelie
Hector: Battle is for real. He gets open, has some speed, and can work the end around every now and again, too, for good measure. He has three touchdowns this season for a team that averages only 13 points per game. Lelie, on the other hand is the NFL's version of Bigfoot. This weekend was his first sighting all season. Still, footage of his two catches is awfully grainy, and frankly, I think the whole thing looked kind of staged.
Victor: See, I am going to consider Lelie my sleeper and Battle the disappearing act. We've gotten excited over Arnaz before, and he has gone on to disappear completely for extended periods of time. Whether it was Brandon Lloyd, Antonio Bryant or Darrell Jackson, Battle has had a few big weeks, then a smattering of 30-yard ones sprinkled throughout. I like Lelie as the answer here, and I am going solely on my gut which is ever-expanding thanks to the Sunday wings and Coors Light specials I've been treating myself to. Battle has burned me before. Lelie has been a bust, but he has been a consistent bust, and maybe this is the year he proves me wrong. Either way, these guys are finding their way onto my team only in case of emergency. And even then, I think I'd rather go with a Justin Gage than gamble on an Ashley Lelie.
FANTASY TOP HEADLINES
- Week 18 Start/sit advice, two-start pitchers, ranks
- Crawford: Top prospects moved at trade deadline
- Cockcroft: Updated top 250 rankings
- Karabell: Impact of all the big trades