Ranks reaction: Matt Cassel underrated 

December, 1, 2010
12/01/10
5:40
PM ET
Dwayne Bowe has become an absolute fantasy monster. Not just a wide receiver to rely on, but the best fantasy receiver in the game. He basically has turned into Andre Johnson in terms of consistent, high-end production. This is not breaking news, of course; he has been a beast since Week 6. But how come every week we seem to rank Matt Schaub pretty well at quarterback, thanks in large part to Johnson's presence, while Bowe's quarterback, Matt Cassel, lumbers down at the bottom with Carson Palmer, the rookies and whatever the Cleveland Browns toss out there?

[+] EnlargeMatt Cassel
John Rieger/US PresswireMatt Cassel has scored 74 (standard league) fantasy points over his past three games.
I thought about that as I was ranking players for Week 13, and while I realize Cassel was pretty worthless from a fantasy perspective the first month or so, he has been putting up big-time numbers of late, and the fun should only continue down the stretch thanks to a favorable schedule. This week, the Chiefs face the Denver Broncos. I don't know whether you've seen the Broncos lately, but they can't defend. That's good for Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd, who are constantly playing catch-up, and it's doubly good for opposing offenses. I ranked Cassel No. 10 among quarterbacks this week, as did a few of my colleagues, because this week or any week, you shouldn't make fantasy decisions based just on name value.

One dominant wide receiver can make an average quarterback a better fantasy play. On teams that don't seem to have that obvious top-10 fantasy receiver, we often overlook the quarterback. Couldn't David Garrard, Donovan McNabb and Sam Bradford use a Dwayne Bowe these days? They sure could. Look at how the awesome play of Steve Johnson, Calvin Johnson and Lloyd has elevated their quarterbacks. I'm relying on Ryan Fitzpatrick in a league, and he has been worth it. Shaun Hill was, too, before his injury. Orton is easily a top-10 guy. Well, Cassel's recent play has moved him into the season top 10 at quarterback, one measly point behind the slightly overrated Matt Ryan. Sorry, but it's true. Ryan is owned in 99.6 percent of ESPN standard leagues; Cassel's ownership percentage is barely half that.

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