You know the mid-season point of the NFL is here when we have a laundry list of major injuries to report on an assortment of star players. This is where season's are won and lost. How you deal with adversity and your ability to work the waiver wire can be the difference maker in whether or not you take your team to the playoffs or your done playing by week 14. Of course those of you in head-to-head leagues know very well what I'm talking about. Those of you in roto or total point leagues, the same thing applies. These middle weeks are crucial and if you are not here getting the latest info you'll be behind the competition.
The biggest headline was the shoulder injury to the Jets Chad Pennington. The team is leading on that he only suffered a strained rotator cuff, but it is believed that Pennington really tore a tendon in the shoulder and could very well miss the rest of the season. If you own Pennington jump on Quincy Carter immediately. If you were beat to the punch you may want to gamble with David Garrard of the Jaguars.
The outlook on Priest Holmes strained hamstring looks to be good. At worst he will miss this week's game against the Saints, but shouldn't miss any more time than that. Dick Vermeil was quoted as giving Holmes a 30% chance to play this Sunday. If he is unable to go, Derrick Blaylock would fill in as the starter. For more on Carter and Blaylock, check out our weekly rentals below.
In yet another marquee injury, Randy Moss will be held out of his second consecutive game this Sunday as the Vikings visit the Packers. He will likely miss the next few weeks on top of that as it was revealed that Moss suffered a slight tear in his hamstring. This makes Marcus Robinson a viable number one wide out for your fantasy team and Nate Burleson and Kelly Campbell considerable options in deeper leagues.
WEEKLY FANTASY RENTAL
With Chad Pennington expected to miss at least two weeks, more likely four and possibly the remainder of the season, Quincy Carter is a great pick up at this point in the season. The Jets are very fortunate to have a player of Carter's caliber backing up Pennington.
Carter led the Cowboys to the playoffs last season passing for 3,302 yards and 17 touchdown passes. He had six games in which he threw for over 250 yards and also poses a rushing threat as he added two more touchdowns running the ball.
On the negative side it is hard to ignore the 21 interceptions he had, but with Santana Moss, Justin McCareins and Wayne Chrebet, he will have a proven receiving core to work with. Look for him to especially take advantage of Moss's speed deep down the sidelines. This week against the Ravens look for about 200 yards and 1 touchdown with better performances to come in the future.
WEEKLY FANTASY RENTAL II
In our second installment of the Weekly Fantasy Rental we offer up a top level reserve starting in place of a superstar. With Priest Holmes most likely to sit out this week against the Bengals, Derrick Blaylock will get the starting nod in his place.
He should have a big day against the weak Bengals run defense. Blaylock sat out last week with a thigh injury as Larry Johnson got the carries when Holmes went down. Blaylock had 4 rushing touchdowns three weeks ago subbing in for Holmes in their game against the Falcons.
Look for another big day this week as the Chiefs will establish the run game early on, look to jump out to an early lead and maintain the game tempo with a steady diet of Blaylock. You could see 150 rushing yards and at least two touchdowns this week.
With the league being short-handed for talent at the tight end position we take a look at a possible rookie who could begin to pay some dividends. The Redskins tight end from Utah State, Chris Cooley has showed flashes of being a capable receiving threat in their offensive scheme.
The production of Cooley depends a lot on where Joe Gibbs decides to take the offense. Should he decide to insert Patrick Ramsey as the team's starter, Cooley's production could increase. His value is greater for keeper leagues because he is sure to make an even bigger impact next season.
We suggest holding off for right now as far as making a move on him, but he is certainly a player to keep an eye on the second half. He already has two touchdowns and with more playing time in an increased playing role he is sure to get more looks inside the red zone.
Brian Griese (+) - Has helped jumpstart the Buccaneers offense and offers solid value.
Vinny Testaverde (-) - Has come back down after a fast start and is starting to play like his age.
Clinton Portis (+) - On a hot streak and faces a very favorable schedule.
Kevin Jones (-) - Has had his share of rookie troubles.
Marcus Robinson (+) - Vikings top target with Moss out.
Kevin Johnson (-) - Has failed to shine with his opportunity to become a number one wide out.
Marcus Pollard (+) - Getting more looks inside the red zone and having Peyton Manning throwing him the ball doesn't hurt.
Daniel Graham (-) - Has seen fewer balls thrown his direction with a healthy receiving core.
Fantasy Wire - Who's out, who's not
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