As always, thanks for reading. Let’s get right into this week’s list …
Previously Listed Players
Kenny Britt (WR, Tennessee) off and on in this space, a player that I targeted in a few of my leagues as a trade-for candidate. I’m pretty sure after this past week’s explosion he will no longer be on anyone’s waiver wire. On the day when it was questioned if he’d even get to step on the field, he’s one of the top fantasy performers of the week.
Deion Branch (WR, New England) was a bit of a disappointment last week. The Patriots’ passing game as a whole was slightly off in San Diego, but I expect Branch to bounce back next week and in the future.
Mike Williams (WR, Seattle) backed up his hot rating last week, scoring another touchdown while catching 11 passes for 87 yards. That’s a whopping 21 catches in two weeks. Williams is still only owned in 44 percent of the leagues that are being run at www.myfantasyleague.com. He’s a solid fantasy starter.
Another player that we’ve talked about is
LeGarrette Blount (RB, Tampa Bay). The Buccaneers have been getting him the ball on a more consistent basis, and he is emerging as the top running threat in Tampa Bay. His numbers have been slow to climb, but a 72-yard performance shows that Tampa Bay is committed to him being the starter and first and second down back. He is owned in less than 20 percent of leagues out there, but build some depth at the running back position on your team and add Blount to your bench.
File this one in the “don’t quite give up yet” or “trade me now while my value is sky high” folder:
Brandon Jackson (RB, Green Bay). This year’s early season waiver darling has been a bust, but in recent weeks he’s shown signs of life. He has quietly averaged more than 100 yards in the last three weeks, and he even found the end zone this past week. Yes, James Starks is looming on the horizon, and the Packers’ offense is struggling, but Jackson is still a running back with a heartbeat. He’s owned in 60 percent of the leagues out there, so grab him and hold if he’s available. Or, if you own him, play up his last three outings and get what you can for him!
QB Jon Kitna, Dallas
The New York Giants continue to dispose of opposing quarterbacks at an alarming rate, the latest victim being Tony Romo on Monday night. A rusty Kitna came on in relief and did not look good, but with a week of preparation as the starter, and a proven track record of producing big fantasy numbers, he immediately steps into next week’s rankings as a Top 10 fantasy quarterback. At his disposal will be Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Jason Witten and an emerging Dez Bryant, plus a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kitna will be a dream addition for some quarterback starved fantasy team.
WR David Gettis, Carolina
The waiver wire once again produces a player that fantasy owners can drop directly into their starting lineup at wideout. He has locked down the starting job for the Panthers, and he celebrated by racking up 125 yards and two touchdowns this past week. Matchups against the St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the horizon, so grab him and enjoy.
TE Jacob Tamme, Indianapolis
The Colts are reeling, and Peyton Manning’s favorite target Dallas Clark is out for the season. Indianapolis won’t change much of the playbook; they will simply insert Tamme into the starting role at tight end. Coming off the bye week, I’m sure he’s had plenty of reps with Manning. Look for strong fantasy numbers right out of the gate this week.
Solid Pickups – Buffalo Bills Passing Game
Let’s just group the trio of
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Lee Evans and
WR Steve Johnson into the same paragraph as they’ll be the only three players appearing in this week’s “Solid List.” We’ll start with Fitzpatrick, since everything fantasy on this team depends on his performance. He has been performing at a high level, and now that we’ve got a four-week sample, he can no longer be ignored as a fantasy presence. Against the Baltimore Ravens, of all teams, the Bills’ offense exploded, coming a fumble away from pulling off a stunning upset. His final numbers included 374 yards passing and four touchdowns. That’s a very nice performance. He is averaging nearly three touchdown passes per game in his four weeks on the field, and yet he is only owned in 27 percent of leagues. With quarterbacks going down on a weekly basis (see also Romo, Tony; and maybe Favre, Brett), build some depth at the position and add Fitzpatrick.
Moving to the wideouts, we’ve had Steve Johnson mentioned in this space in weeks past, and though I continue to have him in this week’s story, performances like last week’s 158 yards and a touchdown are going to be the exception and not the norm. Then again, he’s been in the endzone three times in the last two weeks. A newcomer to this space is Lee Evans. All he’s done in the last two weeks is score four touchdowns and put up nearly 200 yards of receiving yardage. Evans is a more well-known name, and that is reflected in his 60 percent ownership rate. Strange as it may seem to read this, the Buffalo Bills’ passing offense can no longer be ignored by the fantasy owner. Those of you looking to build some depth would be wise to consider Evans and Johnson for your roster.
On The Radar
WR Anthony Gonzalez and Blair White, Indianapolis
Someone is going to have to step it up with both Austin Collie and Dallas Clark on the shelf. Gonzalez is owned in 37 percent of leagues, and he would be my choice between the two, but he’s not 100 percent healthy yet. White is on the radar, and he is only owned in 7 percent of leagues. If Gonzalez can’t make a go of it, White would have a small window of opportunity to grab the job and make it his. If you have room at the bottom of your roster, grab one and see how this situation develops.
WR Jordan Shipley, Cincinnati
I’m putting the Bengals’ passing offense in the same category that I previously had the Buffalo Bills’ passing offense in: wait and see. Carson Palmer had a strong week, and a healthy Jordan Shipley enjoyed a 131-yard day that included a touchdown catch. The Bengals have some difficult matchups coming up, but drop Shipley onto your radar.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
WR Buster Davis, San Diego
There will be a time when the Chargers get their starters back, in the meantime, Davis took in six passes for 53 yards against the New England Patriots. Only those desperate need apply here as Davis is only going to be a short term fantasy option.
RB Fred Taylor, New England
Taylor hasn’t been seen since the first week of the season, but the Patriots haven’t established anyone out of their backfield. Sure, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead are nice players, but neither is the kind of player that is going to be able to carry the load when the cold weather comes in a few weeks. This is a long-term prospect here. When he finally gets healthy, he will be in the mix for playing time in the Patriots backfield.