Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Sometimes greatness just isn't appreciated.
One of the more beloved television shows around The Sports Networks' offices is the late Fox comedy "Arrested Development." Loved for its engaging characters and excellent writing, the show won six Emmy awards, launched the career of Michael Cera and introduced us all to never-nudes.
Yet, it lasted just three seasons and 53 episodes.
On the other hand, "According to Jim" ran for eight seasons and 182 episodes, proving life is never fair.
Denver quarterback Kyle Orton probably feels the same way.
Orton has been one of the biggest surprises this season, throwing for eight touchdowns through five games while going over the 300-yard passing mark in each of his last four. He is second in the NFL with 1,733 passing yards and has helped make Brandon Lloyd a fantasy option.
Yet, in my opinion, Orton continues to get the cold shoulder. He had a RapidDraft ADP (average draft position) of 829 at the end of August because of a supposed strong running game and the presence of first-round draft pick Tim Tebow.
(Some of those who went before Orton: Jason Campbell (ADP 308), Matt Moore (196), Matt Leinart (153) and Alex Smith (136).)
Sure, Orton has been helped along by a non-existent running game thanks to an injury to Knowshon Moreno, but the bottom line is that the 27-year-old Purdue product has produced. Even when Moreno returns, I don't see the Broncos offense doing a 180-degree spin in philosophy.
Heck, even TSN Fantasy Football editor Steve Schwarz thinks you should cash in on Orton now with his value at a peak.
His loss could be your gain though because here is what I see in Orton. I see an upcoming matchup with a Jets team that features a hobbled Darrelle Revis as well as future games against the 49ers, Chiefs (twice), Rams, Cardinals and Texans.
What do all of those teams currently have in common? How about they all rank 21st-or-worse versus the pass.
Trading Orton now would be, in the words of Will Arnett's Arrested Development character Gob, a huge mistake.
Now a look at some other late or undrafted players who can help your team.
Roy Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Maybe Williams won't end up being such a big bust after all. Dallas' running game has struggled and the Cowboys are third in the NFL in passing offense. Williams, meanwhile, has 11 catches, 204 yards and three touchdowns in Dallas' last two games. Perhaps Williams and Tony Romo are finally on the same page.
Deion Branch, WR, New England Patriots: Branch wasn't a big factor over Seattle's first four games, making 13 catches for 112 yards. However, he was traded to the Patriots and the club is hoping he can help replace Randy Moss, who was dealt to the Vikings. Branch has never been a stats machine -- having never posted a 1,000 yard receiving season or more than five TD grabs in one campaign -- but his value shoots up now that he is hauling in passes from Tom Brady.
Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers: It's tough to look at a quarterback who is leading an 0-5 team, but Smith still has upside. He is trying to hold onto his starting job, possess some nice targets in Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis and has a running back behind him in Frank Gore that can catch out of the backfield and keep defenses honest in the run game. If Smith and Crabtree can start to build some chemistry, Smith can put up decent numbers. Games against the Panthers, Rams, Buccaneers and Cardinals help too.
Max Hall, QB, Arizona Cardinals: Neither Matt Leinart nor Derek Anderson were the answer, so the Cards are now looking at undrafted BYU rookie Max Hall. Obviously Hall won't jump right in and be a No.1 fantasy quarterback option, but he does bear watching. He has one of the top targets in the game in wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, while both Steve Breaston and Early Doucet are set to return from injury soon. Add in a run game that is spinning wheels in the mud and Hall could emerge as a sleeper.
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: Lewis is becoming a top scoring target for the Jags as he has three touchdown catches in his last two games and five on the season for three multi-point fantasy games. There isn't much to love about the Jaguars' passing game -- David Garrard scares fantasy owners and Mike Sims-Walker is the top receiving target -- but Lewis is getting it done so far near the end zone.
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