Ahead of the Curve

Oct 2, 2008

Written by Lisa Danhof

Fair Warning: I’m not clairvoyant. I don’t even play one on TV. That said, it really doesn’t take a crystal ball to anticipate some changes for your team. So, with a bit of deductive reasoning, logic, and historical evaluation you can finally stop reacting and start anticipating. For once you won’t be sniped at the waiver wire, but actually be ahead of the curve.

1.  QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns 18.6% owned
If your Offense scores only 46 points in four games, you are really struggling. Additionally, the Browns are only averaging 211 total yards of offense in each of the first four games. When a team is struggling this bad what do Coaches do? Bench the Quarterback and start the backup. In this case, Quinn might start sooner than we think because of Anderson’s obvious struggles, coupled with the overall lack of offensive success. If a QB struggles but the team is doing decent, he’ll get a longer leash. Unfortunately for Anderson and fortunately for Quinn, that’s not the case here. At all. Additionally, to add fuel to the fire, Quinn started taking more reps with the first team this week according to ESPN.com.

2.  RB Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers – 29.4% owned
To say the Green Bay Packers are nicked up is like calling the Titanic a mishap. Specifically the key injuries to Ryan Grant – hamstring, and Aaron Rodgers – shoulder. Here’s one of those situations that doesn’t really need my crystal ball. If your shoulder is sore, what are you going to do?? Throw the ball, which aggravates your injury more, or hand the ball off and let your running backs do the work? So look for the Packers to up their number of running plays. Also, Grant’s hamstring has been labeled as “balky”. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of that word before, but you get the context. Also, this has been an injury that has been nagging him since training camp this summer – a tough injury for a running back. It’s the combination of those two injuries and the fact that he’s averaging over 5 yards per carry that make Brandon Jackson a solid pick-up.

3.  WR Miles Austin , Dallas Cowboys– 9.4% owned
This is probably my biggest stretch of this list, but there are a couple of key factors that I couldn’t overlook when I decided to add him to the list. The first is that he’s in his third year in the league. That third year traditionally is where a Wide Receiver really starts to find his groove and has his breakout year, and Austin is almost textbook in this case. Second, he seems to be gaining the confidence of Tony Romo, as he has had multiple receptions in each of the last three games. He caught two touchdown passes last game and one the game before and is averaging a gaudy 24.1 yards per catch. He is the solid number three receiver on a high scoring offense who could at some point threaten to bump Patrick Crayton from the number two spot, or at least take away several of Crayton’s touchdowns. I see Austin as a player you can pick up now and play when the matchup is good (like against the Rams in week seven) and who also may have some big upside down the road.

. .

4 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. LEV
    October 2nd, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    I like all 3 picks. As a Cowboys fan I’ve been intrigued by Austin’s speed and potential. He also seems to be benefitting from all the double coverage on TO and the rolled safety towards Witten. He could end up putting up big numbers. Hamstring injuries on running backs are bad news, they tend to stick around for the whole season. Jackson is a great value pick. Also, its inevitable and only a matter of time before Cleveland turns the reigns over to Quinn. You can’t continue to pay him that much to keep him on your bench. This is like San Diego with Rivers and Brees all over again.

  2. LestersLegends
    October 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Very good observations LEV.

  3. Brad
    October 2nd, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    I saw the potential in Austin as well and picked him up in one of my leagues for bye weeks etc. Hopefully the move will pay off for me down the road. As I type this he is probably being carted off the practice field with a torn ACL or something, knowing my luck with fantasy sports.

    Good work as always Ryan.

  4. LestersLegends
    October 2nd, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    Brad – Nice. Love the self-deprecating humor as well.

Leave a Comment

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties