Desperation is a Stinky Cologne: Extreme Sleepers for Week 6 2008

In a bind? This column is for those of you who, due to injury or other circumstances, find yourselves with a gaping hole at QB, RB or WR. It’s crunch time – let’s head to the free agent pool and see what we can dig up! There’s gotta be a few diamonds in the rough who might be able to help us out this week.

Remember, this differs from this week’s waiver wire post in that I’m not advising you to pick these players up if you’re seeking long-term production. Thanks to matchups, injuries, or other favorable conditions, these usually useless players are legitimately startable this week if you really need them, but in most cases aren’t worth a long-term roster spot. I’d make some joke about how they’re like the fat chick at the bar – they’re obviously available and they’ll do in a pinch – but that would make me a horrible person so I’ll exercise some restraint.

Quarterbacks

JaMarcus Russell, OAK – This is an interesting situation with a lot of one-week upside. The case for using Russell as a desperation plug-in goes like this: There’s a new coach in town, and we have absolutely no idea how he’s going to use Russell, aside from his statement that he’d like to “give quarterback JaMarcus Russell a little more freedom to win or lose games with his big arm” (which frankly means precisely dick). New Orleans ranks 27th against the pass. Russell threw for 277 yards in his last game.

The case against using Russell: He’s the quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.

Hard to say which is the stronger argument.

Matt Cassel, NEAs previously mentioned, JaMarcus Russell threw for 277 yards against the Chargers. With all the weapons at his disposal, why couldn’t Cassel (owned in just over half of all ESPN and Yahoo leagues) do the same?

Running Backs

T.J. Duckett, SEA – This Mike Alstott imitator is a decent pickup ‘n’ play most weeks when you’re desperate. He’s only owned in 14% of ESPN leagues and 15% of Yahoo leagues despite his three touchdowns and apparent ownership of goal-line duty for the Seahawks.

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG – When the Giants blew the Seahawks out of the stadium last week, they gave Bradshaw some carries in the second half and he made the most of them. He’s averaging 6.6 ypc on the season, and since this Cleveland matchup is likely to be another big win for the G-Men, expect the Giants to put the rock in Bradshaw’s hands more often in junk time now that he’s earned the right to it.

Wide Receivers

Greg Camarillo, MIA – When’s the last time an NFL team’s top receiver was only owned in 14% of ESPN fantasy leagues (19% for Yahoo)? OK, so it’s the Dolphins and they don’t have much of a passing game to speak of, but still, Pennington loves this guy. Doesn’t that make him at least worth a desperation start against a crappy Houston secondary?

Darrell Jackson, DEN – Keep an eye on this situation – Eddie Royal might not be able to play if his ankle injury doesn’t improve. Jackson, however, is still nursing the calf injury that has kept him out for the past four weeks. If Royal’s out and Jackson can play, then he’s an interesting start – as is any receiver with a share of the explosive Broncos passing game.

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