- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Each week, I provide my list of 10 things I'm watching on game day, so you'll be prepared for some of the week's biggest developments in advance of them happening.
Rookie watch: Vince Young. It's his second career NFL start, and while Young has no business being anywhere near a fantasy roster, it's games like these that are well worth using to scout a player who by all rights could be a top-five QB two to three years from today. He's going to make his share of mistakes this and most weeks, but games in which a quarterback is asked to throw all day to help his team keep pace on the scoreboard are ideal ones for us to get a glimpse of what kind of passer Young might someday be. Long-term, I think he'll wind up as a more appealing version of Michael Vick, with the scrambling ability but better faith in his arm. There will be better weeks for us to get a read on Young as a runner, but for your future scouting, this game against the Colts is a good one to monitor his passing ability.
Rookie watch, take 2: Matt Leinart. While Young's starting status isn't particularly relevant to the 2006 fantasy season, Leinart's is. He'll be making his first career NFL start on Sunday against the Chiefs, and again, while he doesn't belong in anyone's fantasy lineup, Leinart's progress is absolutely worth watching. After all, he has two of the league's most talented young receivers with which to work in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, and even if Leinart never makes a fantasy impact this year, he'll have a profound effect on the numbers of both receivers. Pay special attention to Boldin's and Fitzgerald's numbers, because there's a chance they could slip into matchups status with Leinart under center.
1dKevin Van Valkenburg