Posted 12/13 by Sigmund Bloom, Jeff Pasquino, and Will Grant, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
The purpose of this column is to spotlight deeper roster moves that could pay
off big over the course of the season. Unless stated in a player's write up,
we're not looking for one-week wonders here, but shark moves that could really
strengthen your team down the road.
Dynasty Watch focuses on low risk; huge payoff roster moves that you might
be able make before the guys in your league think about it. This aim of this
column is to make you look like a genius to the other owners in your league.
When news breaks and the other owners are scrambling to make a waiver wire move,
we want them to be upset time and time again that the player is already on your
Drew Carter, WR, Carolina Panthers
What has he done so far:
Carter burst on the scene in weeks 15 and 16 of the 2005 season. The Ohio State
product showed he was over a torn ACL on a 32 yard TD catch and seemed poised
to take a larger role in 2006. He did catch nine passes in the first two games
of the season - while the team was without Steve Smith - but failed to truly
make a splash until last week. He lit up the Giants for 144 yards and a TD on
eight catches in Chris Weinke's first start this year.
Drew is the clear #3 wide receiver. Keary Colbert has been inactive. Taye Biddle
and Karl Hankton are no threat to his playing time. Steve Smith is a coverage
magnet, leaving Carter up against an overmatched nickel corner one on one in
many situations. Carter's line from last week was an aberration, as Weinke filled
the air with 61 pass attempts, but Drew can still be one of the most productive
#3 WRs in the league due to his ability to do damage deep.
2008. Carter is a restricted free agent this offseason. The Panthers would
be wise to keep him for one more season at first round tender rate with Colbert
falling out of favor. He may still have some good games as a #3, but his fantasy
value will be sporadic. Carter should draw strong interest in the free agent
market come 2008, and possibly start, even if he returns to Carolina.
WRs with Carter's size/speed combination are few and far between. He's 6' 3"
with long arms, but with sub 4.4 jets that are evident when he gets behind a
defense. He's well suited to go after the deep ball, but can also present a
threat running after the catch on short throws. Carter would definitely be a
top 36 fantasy WR as a starter, with top 25 upside because of his knack for
catching deep TDs.
The days of Carter being overlooked as an exciting dynasty prospect are coming
to an end. His skills are coveted and his days lie ahead. If you don't already
have him stashed, hope for a quiet end to 2006 and make a play for him this
Ron Dayne, RB, Houston Texans
What has he done so far:
Ron Dayne has had a much maligned career since winning the Heisman Trophy in
1999, starting in the New York Giants' organization. After four years (five
seasons, one lost to injury), the Giants gave up on Dayne and cast him off to
whomever wanted to pick him up. Denver took a chance on him, and Dayne delivered
a great game on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys where he ran for 98
yards including a memorable 55 yard run in overtime. That play brought him more
attention, and once again after he fell out of favor with his second team, he
landed on the Houston Texans.
As of this moment, Ron Dayne is the starting running back for the Houston Texans.
Yes, you read that right. Not Wali Lundy nor Samkon Gado, but Ron Dayne. You
would not be alone in believing that this was a highly unlikely scenario less
than a year ago, yet here we are. In Week 13, Dayne ran 18 times for 93 yards
against the Oakland Raiders, then followed that performance up with 87 yards
and two touchdowns on the ground against Tennessee.
For the moment, Dayne appears to be the back of choice for HC Gary Kubiak.
He has given numerous opportunities to both rookie Wali Lundy and also veteran
Samkon Gado, yet it is Dayne that has stepped up to the plate and delivered
two solid performances for the Texans. With little competition from the other
two main threats and only deep darkhorses like Chris Taylor on the bench, Dayne
has a chance to put a stranglehold on the job for next year.
RB Domanick Davis, the starter in 2005, has a distinct possibility of never
playing football again due to his chronic knee injuries. Should Ron Dayne perform
well the rest of this year, he could become the feature back for the Texans
as they attempt to rebuild their struggling offense. Kubiak has familiarity
with Dayne from their time in Denver, so that may also help Dayne's cause as
they try to adopt the Bronco offense to the Texans.
Ron Dayne is still Ron Dayne. Like him or not, he is a starting running back
as of today in the NFL, and only 31 other people can make that claim. It could
last for one week, one month, or longer, but it certainly is worth noting and
possibly a gamble on Dayne. In nearly every Dynasty League, starting RBs are
worth their weight in gold. Laugh if you want at exactly how much gold that
would take to weigh as much as Dayne, but it is possible that a gutsy owner
in your league could be cashing in on Dayne this offseason.
Daven Holly, CB, Cleveland Browns
What has he done so far:
Holly was a 7th round draft choice for the San Francisco 49ers back in 2005
(#215 overall) out of Cincinnati. However, he never caught on in SF and was
waived before the start of the 2005 season. He was claimed by Chicago where
he spent most of the season on the sidelines. In March of this year, he was
arrested for allegedly being involved in a bar shooting and was eventually released
by Chicago. The Browns signed him to a two year contract in July.
Holly took over the starting CB role for the Browns in week three against the
Ravens and has not looked back. Since then he has had six games with five or
more solo tackles and has 51 solo tackles, 1 assist, 3 INTs, 8 Pass Defenses
and 1 TD. He is under contract through the end of next season, and should return
as the starting CB next year.
It appears that Holly's off the field problems are behind him and he's finally
ready to focus on football. Seventh round CBs with discipline issues rarely
last long in the NFL, yet Holly has been given several chances to be a star.
The Browns must see something in this kid, and he's proven their confidence
in them as of late. He's tied for third in solo tackles for the Browns and is
2nd in Interceptions. Between now and the end of the season, Holly can really
turn it on.
The Browns are not going to Super Bowl contenders any time soon. On defense,
they're going to need playmakers. Over the last four games, Holly has 23 solo
tackles, 3 picks and 5 PDs While he probably can't maintain that kind of pace
for 16 games, he should be a solid IDP player in most dynasty leagues by this
time next season.
Holly is a gamble. He's definitely had some off the field problems, and the
fact that he couldn't make it in Chicago and San Francisco would normally not
be a good indicator for a CB. Yet somehow he managed to land the starting job
in Cleveland. He has proven that he deserves to be there, especially over the
last four games. He won't be on most rosters come this off season, unless he
explodes between now and the end of the season. Grab him cheap in the early
free agency and hold him until next year. If he stays clean over the summer,
he should come into the 2007 season ready to reap huge dividends given what
it will take to get him.
You Should Already Be Watching
Aveion Cason, RB, Detroit Lions - RB Kevin Jones is out with a Lisfranc
fracture in his foot, and rookie RB Brian Calhoun tore his ACL a few months
ago. That sound you hear is the door opening for the month of December in Motor
City for someone to seize the reins and make an impression to the Lions' coaches.
The starting tailback in Detroit under Mike Martz's offense flat out produces
good fantasy numbers almost regardless of who it is, so look and see who gets
the most carries in Detroit. Cason is worth a look if you have the room on your
bench to take a flier on him.
Brian Calhoun, RB, Detroit Lions - 'Hey! You guys know that he's on
IR now right?' Yep. Here's the thing: In some leagues, Calhoun was dropped because
Kevin Jones has proven that he can carry the load in the NFL. Except Jones is
on IR now as well. Even worse, the injury that he sustained could keep him out
of the entire 2007 season as well. That leaves the door open for Calhoun come
2007 training camp. Calhoun is available in your league, grab him and stick
him on IR for the rest of the season. Come 2007, he just might land he starting
job in Detroit.
Tony Scheffler, TE, Denver Broncos - The wait for Scheffler's impact
is over. Jay Cutler hooked up with Tony for touchdowns twice in 48 seconds last
week. One saw a scrambling Cutler lock eyes with Scheffler and hit him in the
back of the end for a 28 yard TD. The other was a ball that should have been
intercepted, but Scheffler tipped it away from the defender and back to himself
for an 11 yard TD. It's clear that the Broncos new QB has a connection with
Scheffler. This combination should hit full speed next season.
Daniel Graham, TE, New England Patriots - It's easy to forget that Graham
was just as well known for his receiving ability coming out of Colorado. The
Pats turned him into more of a third tackle and developed Ben Watson as a receiving
threat. He's got some value down the stretch this year (he caught a TD on a
long trick play that was nullified by a penalty) while Ben Watson is banged
up, and next year will see him on a new team, that is likely to use him more
as a receiver than New England has.
Delanie Walker, TE, San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers use the TE as a
central part of their version of the West Coast Offense. With rookie Vernon
Davis back in the mix, one would think that he would be the only TE that would
be getting targets, but that would be incorrect. Fellow rookie Delanie Walker,
a sixth round pick from Central Missouri, is also getting a few balls thrown
in his direction, as he pulled down two of his three Week 14 targets for a combined
30 yards. With both veteran TE Eric Johnson unavailable and also with WR Antonio
Bryant in the doghouse with the organization, Walker should get more action
the rest of the way.
Brett Basanez, QB, Carolina Panthers - Anyone who watched the Panthers
this weekend think that Chris Weinke had a good game? Anyone? OK, so he had
more attempts last Sunday (61) than he had the previous FOUR years combined?
(51)? But make no mistake, Weinke is not a good prospect for the Panthers or
dynasty owners either. So Why Basanez? Well he doesn't have a rocket arm, and
he isn't going to wow anyone with his blazing speed. But he's smart, coach-able,
has good mechanics, and may get a shot to start before the end of the season.
Without question he's a big reach. But if Delhomme is not fully recovered, and
Weinke continues to struggle, Basanez just might get his chance.