Stock Rising- Alex Smith

Alex Smith threw 5 touchdown passes Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Analysis: Smith has thrown at least 2 touchdown passes in each of his last five games. He has 14 passing touchdowns to just 2 interceptions in that five game span. He’s on fire and will make it very difficult on fantasy owners in the coming weeks.

Up next for Smith is the Colts at home in week sixteen. The Indy defense is 15th in the NFL in passing yards against, 15th in sacks and 20th in quarterback rating against. Smith will be in San Diego the following week. The Chargers are 29th in passing yards against, 21st in sacks and 30th in passer rating against.

In week sixteen Drew Brees is in Carolina, Matt Ryan is in San Fran and Russell Wilson has the Cardinals at home, so difficult quarterback decisions will have to be made. At the moment Alex Smith is available in 20-30% of fantasy leagues.

Carson Palmer Is Streaking

Carson Palmer is still available in one-third of fantasy leagues as he continues to rack up the numbers.

Analysis: The Raiders may have been thumped in week ten but Carson Palmer continues to light up the fantasy scoreboard. He’s now passed for 6 touchdowns and 782 passing yards over the past two games. He put up 368 yards and two scores against Baltimore Sunday and now has the Saints in week eleven. The Saints can score in bunches so expect Palmer to be airing it out as the Oakland defense continues to struggle.

Palmer now ranks 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, 10th in touchdown passes and 2nd in passing attempts. This is all a recipe for fantasy success but Carson continues to fly under the radar. I’m sure there will be stories this week on how great Christian Ponder is and how Colin Kaepernick is a fantasy revelation in the wake of Alex Smith’s concussion but Palmer simply has the numbers to back it up. With a week eleven matchup at home against the Saints you have to like Palmer for 300 plus yards and two touchdown passes or you could roll the dice with Cam Newton and hope for the best.

Josh Freeman Is Surging

Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Analysis: Josh Freeman has now thrown for six touchdown passes and 748 passing yards over his last two games. While his opponents have not been solid defensive clubs, he has done what is expected of him. Freeman is punishing lesser teams with his arm leading Tampa to 35 and 38 points in his last two contests.

Freeman is available in thirty percent of leagues and he is certainly worth a look. With guys like Alex Smith and Andrew Luck underperforming, Josh Freeman as a QB2 makes a lot of sense. With games against Oakland, Carolina and San Diego in the near future you have to love Freeman’s fantasy potential. Those three opponents coming up in the next four weeks rank nineteenth or worst in passing yards allowed per game.

With a passer rating of 91.2, zero fumbles lost and only nine sacks on the year, Josh Freeman is limiting the mistakes which you cannot say for a Sam Bradford or a Ryan Fitzpatrick. We are going into the middle of the 2012 NFL season and Josh Freeman is surging at the right time.

ADP Watch- Alex Smith

Alex Smith is going as high as the fifteenth quartback being taken in standard league drafts.

Analysis: The Niners added plenty of talent on the outside for Alex Smith this offseason but there are plenty of causes for concern. Aside from the modest seventeen touchdown passes in sixteen games, Smith is extremely over hyped this year. He was sacked forty-four times last year, most in the NFL. Smith also fumbled seven times and did not average 200 passing yards per game last year. Tarvaris Jackson actually passed for more yards per game than Smith did last season. We also have to consider that the level of play will be much improved in the NFC West this coming year.

Yes, Alex Smith did just barely outscore Joe Flacco in 2011 but can we really count on him to repeat his five interception performance again? Smith did not throw for 300 yards in a game last year, so we cannot count on spot starting him outside of bye weeks. Flacco tossed for over 300 yards against the Steeler and Texan defenses last year. With Flacco you just have that feeling that if Vick or Newton gets injured he would not cost you a fantasy title like Smith may. Backup fantasy quarterbacks are important and in this case you have to pass on Smith with an ADP in the 110-120 range.

Stock Rising- TJ Yates

Houston quarterback TJ Yates is now 2-0 in two career starts with a 82.3 passer rating.

Analysis: In deeper leagues you have to take TJ Yates over guys like Colt McCoy, Rex Grossman and even Alex Smith. Yates threw for 300 yards Sunday in Cincy and did so only throwing one pick with two touchdowns in forty-four attempts. Tack on thirty-six rushing yards and you have yourself one versatile quarterback. Yates could not be in a better situation- he has Arian Foster and Ben Tate pounding the rock and one Mr. Andre Johnson who should be returning very soon.

You also have to love Yates’ next two matchups- Carolina and at Indy. Carolina and Indy both rank in the bottom third of the NFL in yards allowed per game and they are also in the bottom four of the NFL in points per game allowed. The matchups don’t get any better for a rookie that led his team to a road victory against a tough Cincy defense. This rookie from North Carolina is athletic enough to get some yards on the ground and in some deeper leagues he can certainly serve a purpose.