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Scouting Notebook: Woe is the toe

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

You can't wait for the season to come to you, you have to go out and grab it – even with only three games worth of data. Let's review where we've seen enough and where caution is more in order – though caution is not our style here in the Scouting Notebook.

Jahvid Best's(notes) toe injury is a real concern considering his running style and home surface. Do not underestimate the impact this could have no matter what initial reports state. Experience teaches us that toe injuries for backs turn out to be exponentially worse than the initial reports indicate.

Adrian Peterson does not play second fiddle to anyone, even Chris Johnson.

Mark Sanchez(notes) has arrived. The playoffs were not a fluke (sixth best ever after the first three road playoff games). As a result, Dustin Keller(notes), Braylon Edwards(notes) and, shortly, Santonio Holmes(notes), are all playable. So is LaDainian Tomlinson(notes), the goal-line back and – officially – co-starter (whoever is better after 21 snaps each gets the most of the remaining action).

I don't know why Chad Henne(notes) looks like Dan Marino against the Jets (in Miami anyway) and like David Woodley against most everyone else. But I believe, even though Revis Island was closed for repairs on Sunday night.

It was a comedy of errors, mostly of the self-inflicted variety, for the Giants offense. This is a team now without a defined personality. They have no power running game. Yet they resist fully committing to a spread attack, though they did partially commit even on first down in the first half when the game was tight.

Carson Palmer(notes) looked awful. Again. He hasn't been the same player since his knee surgery and we have to fully accept now that he never will be.

Having a rookie QB is a disaster for DeAngelo Williams(notes) and Steve Smith owners. I don't understand the quick 2010 hook of Matt Moore(notes) considering his final month last year (8 TDs, 0 picks).

Charlie Batch(notes) threw the ugliest long TD passes ever, but Mike Wallace(notes) won't complain. Batch looked like someone throwing the ball in a flag football game in the park. They counted. But be thankful your league doesn't count style points.

The New England defense is officially a problem after yielding 374 net yards to the Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes)-led Bills. Buy BenJarvis Green-Ellis as no one else is even possible at feature back now in New England. Fred Taylor(notes) is broken down.

Randy Moss(notes) is making his catches count, but the quantity is alarming.

Peyton Hillis(notes) is going to be the man now in Cleveland. The signs were clear even before Jerome Harrison(notes) got hurt. I liked him all summer and took heat for noting it here from commenters who said I was wasting their time with fantasy free agent material. Lesson: always note who's getting first-unit snaps in August. The Browns have a good offensive line and look better than 0-3.

Ray Rice(notes) says "everything looks positive" with his knee, which means "negative" in the MRI context. But the official word is a day away.

Yes, I was ready to throw in the towel last week on Matt Cassel(notes) as a sleeper, but I didn't. Yes, I was building the gallows, though. Considering the Niners defense is tough, this is a very bullish sign. Expect Cassel to be playable for deep leaguers preferring to mix and match now at QB.

Alex Smith is a joke again. I said last week to Dalton Del Don on Rotowire's Blog Talk Radio show that his performance against the Saints was an indictment of the New Orleans defense, the worst in football after two weeks in terms of play success percentage on defense.

Roy Williams was a shocker. But there can't be a No. 3 receiver in the league with more ability than him. He's playing for his career and is an injury away from maybe being top 20, at least. So if you have deep reserves, take a shot.

The performance of the Saints WRs is more or less random at this point. They're all playable. But none of them, not even Marques Colston(notes) (4-25), are bettable.

Pierre Thomas(notes) splitting carries, including big ones in overtime, with Chris Ivory? Really Sean Payton? First place in every fantasy league should be Sean Payton dart boards – or maybe Cajun voodoo dolls.

Michael Turner(notes) owners can't complain about Jason Snelling(notes) (16 carries). When you get 30 carries, it's a full day's work. The Saints run defense now is a joke.

Clinton Portis(notes) missing most of the second half in favor of Ryan Torrain even after a red-hot first quarter was a "coaching decision," according to the Washington Post. Said Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan about how he'll use Portis beyond Sunday's loss:

"We'll talk about that next week. There's a lot of possibilities. You have to evaluate the film. Can't say right now. And I would never say right now."

An MRI is upcoming on Steven Jackson's groin, but they say they don't think it's a tear. He was set up to finally have a big day, scoring too. The man is cursed – and so are his owners.

Michael Vick(notes) and Andy Reid plus DeSean Jackson(notes) seems like a match made in fantasy heaven for everyone (except Kevin Kolb(notes)). I was late to the party and stated for years that Vick would never have any fantasy relevance. However, when the facts changed, so did my opinion and I went all in last Sunday night in this space. Turned out not to be too late, as he was available in many leagues those two days that Andy Reid insisted that Kevin Kolb would be his QB.

The Broncos lead the league in awful first-round backs with Knowshon Moreno(notes) and now Laurence Maroney(notes). Kyle Orton(notes) remains a keeper though. We were all early to the Demaryius Thomas(notes) party, apparently. He's still closer to the back of the line than the front.

Sell Larry Fitzgerald(notes) because Derek Anderson(notes) isn't working out. And a rookie QB – Max Hall(notes) – awaits. Take 80 cents on the dollar if you can get it.

Antonio Gates(notes) is amazing because he doesn't seem to run any predefined routes. Instead, he just calmly hunts around for the hole in the defense. So he ends up being more wide open on more plays than any great receiver I've ever seen. Gates' football IQ is off the charts, as is his football ability.

Michael Salfino writes for the Wall Street Journal and is a regular contributor to Yahoo! Sports.

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