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Dynasty Watch

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 squad.

Wes Welker: WR Miami Dolphins

What has he done so far
Wes Welker was an undrafted free agent last season for Miami. He did not have a reception for the entire season, but spent considerable time returning punts and kicks. He's probably best known for filling in for Olindo Mare last season against New England when he kicked a 29-yard FG and an extra point. This season Welker is the #3 wideout for the Dolphins behind Marty Booker and Chris Chambers. He's only appeared in seven games this season, but he has six multiple reception games and 16 receptions total. He's averaging 16.3 YPR and he has five receptions for 20 or more yards.

Current Situation
Welker is the #3 WR for the Dolphins and still returning punts and kicks. Welker is used more as a possession type of WR with 10 of his 16 receptions going for first downs. He has 17 targets on either 3rd or 4th down as well. His 12.0 Yards per punt return ranks #2 in the NFL.

Spotlight ETA
Welker is not quite there yet. That's why he's probably available in most dynasty leagues. He's seeing more and more playing time as the Dolphins try to figure out what to do with their WR corps. Boston can never seem to get healthy and probably won't be resigned after the season. Booker is costing the Dolphins $3 million a year, yet he has just one more reception than Welker. Chambers is the best wideout on the team, but his contract jumps to over $5 million a year after the 2006 season. If Welker continues to impress, he could really inject himself into the Dolphins future after this season.

Dynasty Upside
Welker is fast. Damn fast. He's a versatile player who can catch and run, return kicks and even double as a backup place kicker. Guys like this always seem to find a spot on a roster. While Chambers will always be the go-to guy if he's in Miami, Welker could be an excellent #2 wideout. With Randy McMichael as a TE receiving threat, Welker will see a lot of single coverage where his speed and quickness will find him open a lot. A better QB in Miami could pay huge dividends for Welker in the future.

Final Thoughts
Welker is not a sure bet by any means. The immediate concern is that he puts the ball on the carpet a bit too much (three fumbles in seven games this season, seven total in just 22 games). That's partially because of his special teams play but won't be tolerated if it continues. His size is also a bit of a concern. Smaller, faster receivers like Deion Branch and Steve Smith have proven that a 5'9" guy can be successful I the NFL, but the prototype guy is still the bigger, stronger types. The biggest help there could be Chambers, who will probably draw the better corners to his side of the field because of his size and athleticism. Welker has good long term potential and is worth a roster slot before the end of the season. The Miami QB and WR group are going to see a significant face lift for the 2006 season, and Welker could find himself in the starting lineup if he continues to shine. For leagues that award punt and kick return yards as well, Welker is definitely worth picking up right now.


Mike Adams: FS San Francisco 49ers

What has he done so far
Mike Adams was an undrafted free agent for the 49ers in 2004. He saw limited action his rookie season and finished with just five tackles, four assists and one INT. He began this season as a backup but found his way into the starting lineup with injuries to Ahmed Plummer and Mike Rumph. As a starter for the last four games, Adams has 21 tackles, five assists, one PD and one fumble recovery.

Current Situation
Adams will be the starting free safety for the rest of the season. The Niners are a very poor team and the defense will be on the field a lot. San Francisco is banged up in the secondary as well, and Adams should have plenty of opportunity to make plays the rest of the way. Opponents love to throw on San Francisco since they are currently ranks 32nd in passing yards allowed (2200) and yards allowed per passing attempt (8.31).

Spotlight ETA
The time for Adams is now. He's going to be the starter for the rest of the season. He has a golden opportunity to cement himself into the starting lineup of the 49ers for a long time. The injuries to the defensive secondary also give him some job security.

Dynasty Upside
As mentioned earlier, people love to pass on San Francisco. They give up a ton of yards, giving Adams plenty of opportunity to make plays. With a rookie QB at the helm, and questionable talent at many of the offensive positions, the Niners are going to have a long road back to greatness. While that happens, their defense is going to see a lot of action, and Adams will have plenty of chances to do well. If you project his last four starts over a 16 game season, you have a pretty solid DB in most leagues. (84 solo tackles and 20 assists).

Final Thoughts
Adams is making the most of his opportunity and proving that he can make it in the NFL. He has the talent to play in the NFL and he's going to have plenty of chances to show it for the rest of the season. As San Francisco looks to improve, defense will be their key focus. With Adams in the secondary, they can focus more on rushing the QB and getting better at LB and CB. Adams is just in his second season and has a lot of football left in him. As the starting FS for the Niners, he'll be an excellent addition to your dynasty team.


Players You Should Already Be Watching

RB Alvin Pearman, Jacksonville - Fred Taylor is due for a $1 million raise for the 2006 season. Based on his performance so far this year, he probably won't be on the team long enough to see the payday. Pearman was only a 4th round pick for the Jags this year, but he has done well as the 3rd down back. Greg Jones is more of a fullback type, and Toefield has not done enough to earn the starting job. Pearman could be the starter next season.

WR Courtney Roby, Tennessee - Flavor of the week in many redraft leagues with the injuries to Drew Bennett, Brandon Jones and Tyrone Calico. Roby may win the war of attrition if he can just stay healthy. With McNair winding down and Volek waiting in the wings, the WR position will be wide open in Tennessee very soon. Roby proved that he can do well as a starter this week and could be the dark horse that emerges as the starter going forward.

WR Shaun McDonald, St. Louis - Isaac Bruce will have to take a pay cut or be cut next season. Holt's base salary start to escalate pretty quickly starting next season. Kevin Curtis will probably take over for Bruce, but McDonald will still see a bigger role. Even bigger things could happen as McDonald is a free agent at the end of the season. He has probably done enough to draw the interest of several teams during the offseason, and he could find himself as the starter somewhere else in 2006.

WR Roddy White, Atlanta - With Michael Jenkins injured this week; White is likely to get his first NFL start. White was drafted in the first round this year and could surprise.

RB Kyle Johnson, Denver - With all the hype surrounding Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson, Johnson might have gone totally unnoticed in your league. Those leagues that are TD heavy should note that this 3rd year RB has put up 5 TDs in the first 8 weeks. Note how the fullback is used in the passing attack down in the red zone.

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