Welcome to the kickoff of the ’10 Names You Need to Know’ article as we head down the stretch of the fantasy football regular season and into the playoffs.
This will be a quick-hit look at players who may have put up very productive fantasy numbers in a given week and what value they may, or may not, possess moving forward.
These will be players that have stood out to me in recent games and have moved into possible fantasy relevance. We’ll take a closer look at just what led to their emergence and if they are in a position to sustain a high level of fantasy production.
Cole Beasley, WR, DALLAS: After Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin left the game with a hip injury the Cowboys seemed to turn to Beasley as a primary option in their offense. The rookie out of SMU hauled in six passes for 68 yards while being targeted 13 times. He’s going to be a hot waiver wire name but don’t bite on him, let another owner go out and get him. Dallas moved the ball better when they went away from Beasley in the fourth quarter and if anyone benefits from a lengthy Austin absence it figures to be the much more explosive wide out Dwayne Harris.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, CINCINNATI: It’s time to start believing in Sanu on a weekly basis because Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton obviously does. Twice on Sunday Dalton went to the rookie from inside the ten yard line for touchdowns and Sanu now has four scores in his last three games. He was targeted nine times against the Raiders, which is the same number of targets that A.J. Green had. In the past three games, Sanu has been targeted 19 times and has hauled in 11 receptions for 98 yards. As defenses are selling out to contain A.J. Green it will allow Sanu to continue to get open and rack up very nice fantasy totals down the stretch.
Justin Forsett, RB, HOUSTON: Do not buy into Forsett as a viable fantasy option moving forward, despite his very nice week twelve stat line. Anyone who saw the Thanksgiving Day game knows that the 81-yard touchdown run he had has a big, fat asterisk next to it as he was clearly down by contact. The Texans are taking it slow and easy with Ben Tate’s recovery from a hamstring injury so that he will be 100% when he returns, and we all remember how potent the combination of Tate and Arian Foster was last season. Let another owner chase and pick up Forsett because his playing time will be at an end when Tate returns.
Mike Thomas, WR, DETROIT: Thomas saw his first extended action for the Lions on Thanksgiving as the troubled Titus Young was deactivated. Thomas played 57 snaps, was targeted six times and hauled in two receptions for 17 yards and a touchdown. He also had an end around run for 14 yards and seems to have inherited the Nate Burleson role in Detroit’s offense. He’s a sure-handed reliable veteran receiver and while rookie Ryan Broyles is garnering all the press as the ‘next man up’ to replace Young, Thomas will see his role expand week-to-week and is worth a spot on deeper rosters heading forward.
Bilal Powell, RB, NEW YORK JETS: Powell had already established himself as the Jets’ goal line option heading into the game against New England and actually had one more touch in the game than Shonn Greene with 15 to Greene’s 14. He added another touchdown while Greene lost another fumble and it is looking like a time-share situation for the Jets moving forward. Powell is quicker and a more polished receiving back than Greene and will be seeing more touches moving forward as the Jets know what they have in Greene and will want to take a long look at Powell.