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Friday 26th May 2017

Week 9 brings us to the bye week heavy portion of the fantasy schedule. There are six teams off this week, with another six to follow in Week 10. With so many teams off, fantasy owners will be left scrambling for replacements, which can lead to opportunities for those who have either rostered depth or just prepared themselves better for the wave. There aren't as many must-add players on the list this week, so those of you who don't need to burn roster spots on streamer options may want to consider looking down the road and making some preemptive adds or just handcuffing important players. I have a few suggestions that fit all of the above in this week's report. 

Bye Weeks: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee


Eli Manning, NYG - The Giants quarterback comes off his bye week to face a Colts defense that is reeling a bit after getting torched by Big Ben and the Steelers for six touchdown passes on Sunday. Now they have to travel to the Meadowlands for a Monday Night matchup that looks much more appealing for the Giants offense than it did a week ago. With so many top QB’s on bye this week, Manning is perhaps the best plug-n-play option you will find this week.

Michael Vick, NYJ - Vick finally has ascended to the starter’s position over struggling Geno Smith. Rex Ryan’s job is in danger, so he will turn to the 34-year-old to help ignite the offense. I won’t lie and say I expect Vick to come up big against the Chiefs this week, but he can still run the ball and has Percy Harvin and Eric Decker to work with. He’s worth a shot to help get you through the heavy bye weeks and perhaps he will fill up the stat sheet like he used to.

Colt McCoy, WAS - I have been saying for weeks that RGIII would most likely not return until after the team’s Week 10 bye, and after McCoy’s nice performance against Dallas, Washington can err on the side of caution and not rush Griffin back into action too soon. The former Longhorn will likely garner another start against the Vikings this week, which gives him value in two-quarterback leagues and as a desperation start everywhere else.

Alex Smith, KC - With so many quarterbacks on bye this week, you may have to submit a long list to ensure you come away with a viable option if your starter is off this week. Smith gets to face the Jets this week, who can still stop the run, but are atrocious against the pass. Gang Green has allowed 22 touchdown passes this year and the most points to fantasy QB’s this year.

Brian Hoyer, CLE - Hoyer is another streaming option this week facing the Buccaneers. The Browns have had issues scoring the last two weeks, but Tampa is playing so poorly that the Browns should be able to get back on track this week. Jordan Cameron’s concussion means he may miss this week’s game, which is unfortunate, but Kyle Shanahan has some sneaky play-makers in Taylor Gabriel and Travis Benjamin as well as PPR machine Andrew Hawkins and the still healthy Miles Austin.

Digging Deeper

Kyle Orton has been playing very well since taking over for EJ Manuel. If he wasn’t on bye this week, he would be a higher priority. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets a good matchup this week against the Eagles, but he’s not that high on my priority list. He is playing better of late and has a very solid floor this week. Zach Mettenberger made some noise in garbage-time against the Texans, and will garner more attention next week when the team comes off it’s bye to face the Steelers.


Bobby Rainey, TB - Rainey should take over this week as the Bucs lead rusher as Doug Martin suffered another injury and was firmly put on the trade block by the team heading into the deadline. Rainey is not an exciting back and the offense is a mess, but if you need a guy for this week, he is the safest bet out of this backfield.

Charles Sims, TB - Sims will be eligible to return to the field this week, and once he is cleared for action, the team will immediately want to see what they have in their third round pick. He figures to make his biggest impact in the passing game, but with the guys in front of him performing so poorly, he could easily end up as an every-down back by the time the fantasy playoffs arrive. I have grabbed him already on a couple of teams where I had the luxury to stash him, and if you can afford to make space for him, you should try.

Jonas Gray, NE - Gray assumed the “big-back” role in the Patriots offense last week as expected, and as such deserves a roster spot for now. He isn’t a guy you want to rely on unless you envision a game where the Pats will be comfortably out in front and looking to kill some clock late. A game against the Broncos doesn’t look like one of those weeks. Still, the rookie from Notre Dame will likely get first crack at any goal-line carries, so there is some upside here in touchdown-heavy leagues.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL - Bernard Pierce was a healthy scratch last week, which seemingly has locked the rookie in as Justin Forsett’s backup as well as the touchdown vulture. He hit pay dirt twice last week and isn’t such a bad bet to find the end zone again this week against the Steelers in a prime-time matchup between division rivals.

Theo Riddick, DET - I would be much higher on the Lions' newest weapon, but Riddick will likely take a back seat to Reggie Bush in the passing game, and will have to wait for another injury to make an impact again. He has looked great his last two games and is worth stashing in PPR leagues, since both of the backs ahead of him have a history of injuries.

Digging Deeper

DeAngelo Williams should return from injury this week, which really just hurts Jonathan Stewart’s value in the short-term. Travaris Cadet took a back seat to Mark Ingram last week but caught four passes in limited work. Just a PPR play. Roy Helu made some nice plays against the Cowboys and could get more work as the season progresses. He still profiles best in PPR leagues. Carlos Hyde should start to see more work in the second half and is perhaps the best example of a guy you want to stash. A back with upside on a good offense, with an aging running back ahead of him on the depth chart.


Andrew Hawkins, CLE - The “Hawk”, as he has been dubbed by the Cleveland faithful, has been the team’s most reliable player all season long. He has seen nine targets in each of the last two weeks, found the end zone for the first time last week and is playing the league’s worst pass defense this week. Add in the fact that the running game is struggling in the wake of Alex Mack’s injury and Jordan Cameron could be out of action, and Hawkins is a PPR streamer-of-the-week.

Donte Moncrief, IND - Moncrief did as we expected last week and easily outperformed Hakeem Nicks with Reggie Wayne sidelined. It’s a trend that will continue and he should leapfrog Nicks in the pecking order going forward. The only downside is that Wayne could return this week, limiting the opportunities for the talented rookie. The Colts are one of a handful of teams that can support three WR’s and he proved last week that he has WR2 upside if injuries hit again in Indy.

Brandon LaFell, NE - LaFell continues to impress as Tom Brady’s top receiver and has now ascended into starter’s territory until further notice. The schedule isn’t that great over the next few weeks, but with Brady looking back in top form, LaFell should continue to produce useful fantasy numbers.

Martavis Bryant, PIT - Bryant’s arrival in the Steeler passing game has instantly paid dividends as he scored another two touchdowns last week and could have just unseated Markus Wheaton as the WR2 going forward. He has the size at 6’4” that has been lacking in the red zone and is clearly Ben Roethlisberger’s new best friend in close. Others will preach more caution here, and I can’t deny the schedule isn’t that great and Wheaton is still in the mix. Still, there is big weekly upside to be had here and he’s a guy I want on my teams if I can squeeze him in.

Davante Adams, GB - Adams has locked up the WR3 job in Green Bay, which gives him weekly value as a flex, and huge upside if either Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb get injured later in the year. He might be ripe to be plucked off another owner's roster in a bye-heavy week or even off the waiver wire in shallower leagues. He is a good bet to continue to emerge as the season progresses and opponents force Rodgers to look his way.

Allen Robinson, JCK - Robinson scored again last week, albeit in garbage time as usual. Fantasy owners shouldn’t care when he gets his stats as he has emerged as the best weapon at Blake Bortles' disposal.

Justin Hunter, TEN - Hunter has a ton of upside and now has a quarterback who likes to throw the ball downfield. Hunter and Mettenberger have some chemistry dating back to the preseason and connected on a nice touchdown last week. It at the very least gives us some hope that better days lie ahead for one of our preseason sleepers after this week’s bye.

Digging Deeper

John Brown is one of my favorite guys to watch this year. It’s just tough to rely on the number three option in Arizona. But hey, the breakout is real and Brown is at least worth flex consideration in a bye-heavy week. Kenny Britt takes over as the new number one receiver for the Rams in the wake of Brian Quick’s injury. Stedman Bailey will start on the other side. Miles Austin is worth consideration with Jordan Cameron’s status in doubt. Kenny Stills has taken a back seat to Brandin Cooks, but he still remains a reasonable boom-or-bust option any given week.


Heath Miller, PIT - Miller took advantage of last week’s bonanza to post his best game of the year. With the Steelers passing game revived, Miller is at least a solid bye week option and solid backup once again. He is one of Big Ben’s most trusted guys, and can only benefit from other players opening up the middle of the field for him to work underneath.

Timothy Wright, NE - Wright got back into the offense last week, scoring his third touchdown over the last four weeks. You can’t really predict how much he will play any given Sunday, but if you are desperate for a TE this week, then he is worth a shot. If you are a Rob Gronkowski owner, you might want to consider adding him to your bench as the very rare TE handcuff.

Kyle Rudolph, MIN - This is a pre-emptive call to add Rudolph anywhere he might have been dropped. He should be ready to return after the team’s Week 10 bye and will immediately become a potential TE1 due to his use in the red zone. Teddy Bridgewater has been waiting for the player who was supposed to serve as his security blanket and will pump plenty of checkdowns his way once he makes it back onto the field.

Digging Deeper

Jace Amaro hasn’t quite hit his stride yet, but Michael Vick at least gives some reason to be hopeful for an uptick in production. Austin Seferian-Jenkins had an up-and-down week, scoring the team’s only touchdown, only to fumble the game away in overtime. He’s a reasonable play this week against a Cleveland defense that can cover wideouts but gives up plenty of yards. Mychal Rivera had his busiest game of the year last week, so Derek Carr may continue to look to him if the offense is sputtering. Crockett Gillmore takes over for Owen Daniels in a very TE-friendly offense against a Steelers defense that can be exploited through the air.


Cleveland Browns - The Browns defense plays better at home, where the Dawg Pound can get them fired up. They have been creating turnovers the last few weeks and should be able to hold the anemic Tampa Bay offense in check, making them a worthy streaming option for one more week.

Washington Redskins - Coming off an impressive performance against the Cowboys, the Skins bring their blitz-happy scheme to Minnesota to create headaches for rookie Teddy Bridgewater. If you are in a bind this week, you could do worse than bet on the team that harassed Tony Romo continuously on Monday Night.


Cairo Santos, KC - Santos seems like a solid choice this week against a Jets team that gives up a lot of points but can still stiffen up near the goal-line.

I am going to call this submission of the Waiver Wire Report my "Bad Back" edition. That's because I threw my back out yesterday and as any one of you who has ever experienced serious back pain, I was in bad shape as the time to hit the keyboard arrived. Luckily, my good friend Don, who is a chiropractic-massage therapist, came over for a visit tonight and got me back into action. I also employed the use of a heating patch, extreme stretching and some herbal pain-killers that Lawr would approve of to soldier forward. This is potentially another solid week to play the wire in many leagues as we have some new running backs emerging, which always gets the FAAB dollars flowing. If you are looking for streaming options, your first stop should be down in Florida, where the Dolphins come off a huge win against the Bears and head to Jacksonville. If your team is cruising through the bye weeks, you will want to start thinking about locking up your handcuffs where necessary. Now onto this week's list.


Ryan Tannehill, MIA - Last year, this column got singled out for one of our preseason predictions. I had hyped Tannehill as a sleeper QB early on and was recognized for the call. I also bring it up since this is the first time he’s made the column this year, which for me makes him one of the more intriguing names for medium-sized leagues. His play is trending in the right direction and the schedule brings the Jaguars, who just lost starting MLB Paul Posluszny to injury. He has thrown two touchdowns a game for his last three and should be able to build on the momentum the entire team has on the road in Jacksonville.

Robert Griffin III, WAS - It’s time to bump Griffin up the list this week after Kirk Cousins was benched in favor of Colt McCoy last week. Griffin is going to get the job back as soon as he is healthy, so it’s time to take a shot in the leagues where he’s still floating around. It would be better for the team to wait until after the Week 10 bye to bring him back, but if they lose again, he may be forced into action in Week 9. There is plenty of risk here, but no other QB available at this point has the upside RGIII does, even at less the 100 percent.

Kyle Orton, BUF - Orton got something going with Sammy Watkins last week and gets to face a struggling Jets team in New York this week. Orton has tossed multiple touchdowns the last two weeks and the Jets secondary is banged up and vulnerable to the big play.

Digging Deeper

Eli Manning bounced back after a down week and will hit some wires thanks to a bye week. He’s a roller-coaster but still has playmakers in Odell Beckham, Larry Donnell and Rueben Randle. The air coming out of Brian Hoyer’s stock puts Johnny Manziel another lousy start away from getting a shot. Hoyer has delayed the timetable, but the loss of Alex Mack has changed the equation in Cleveland. As we mentioned above, it looks like McCoy will draw the start this week, which gives him value in two-quarterback leagues as a plug-n-play option.


Tre Mason, STL - Mason finally got mentioned here last week and then went out and seized control of the Rams backfield. He rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown last week and anyone who took a shot on him last week looks like they have an every-week starter going forward. Zac Stacy owners are left holding the bag and will have to bite the bullet and move on. Mason has some of the same downside that Stacy did. He doesn’t catch passes, so when the Rams are trailing, he will cede touches to Benny Cunningham. When the Rams have a lead, he can generate the volume necessary for big weeks. He’s worth big bucks this week, since he is a starter, and they don’t pop up on the waiver wire this late in the season that often.

Bryce Brown, BUF - The Bills lost both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to injury last week. That thrusts Brown into the equation alongside Anthony Dixon until Jackson returns from his groin injury in perhaps four weeks. It’s a golden opportunity for Brown to strut his stuff and push Dixon into a supporting role. When Jackson returns, Brown should stick in the backfield rotation assuming the role that Spiller, who is out for the season, was filling. The downside here is that this isn’t a juggernaut offense and the immediate schedule is dotted by stingy run defenses.

Denard Robinson, JCK - Robinson took advantage of his teammates' struggles and cashed in on a soft matchup against the Browns leaky run defense in Week 7. It has put him in the driver's seat for touches in Jacksonville, which makes him an add in all leagues this week, but bidders should take last week’s results with the grain of salt it deserves. If you need the help, by all means bid. Just understand the production may only net you flex-level stats at an inflated price.

Anthony Dixon, BUF - Dixon gets his own writeup, since it was he and not Brown who got the carries last week, since Brown was a healthy scratch last week. Dixon is a special teams stud, which has kept him active on gamedays. Dixon doesn’t have the upside or talent of Brown, but he does have the trust of the coaching staff, which matters, especially since Brown is prone to ball control issues and other mistakes that drive coaches crazy. Dixon will be part of the mix, but has less upside since at best he’ll force a 50-50 split with Brown until Jackson returns.

Travaris Cadet, NO - Cadet is a better target for PPR owners, who will now get a chance to build upon some momentum while Pierre Thomas is on the shelf for a couple weeks. Cadet should get the touches in the passing game that Thomas was handling, which gives him some PPR value since the Saints will have to throw to stay in ballgames. Any Saints weapon has the element of boom-or-bust. Cadet just gets added to the list. Stephan Taylor is emerging as a goal-line vulture.

Digging Deeper

Benny Cunningham got 19 touches last week, so no matter who gets the early down work, he seems locked into his role going forward. Jonas Gray was surprisingly used ahead of Branden Bolden last week. We knew the “genius” wasn’t going to make things easy on us. Gray is worth a flier. DeMarco Murray rolled an ankle, which will make many of his owners look to secure Joseph Randle this week. Don’t make it easy for them. Charles Sims should see his first action of the year any week now so he is worth a flier in deep leagues. Randle will have significant value if Murray misses time, which is a real possibility with a historic workload. Jonathan Stewart is the lead dog in Carolina, but draws the Seahawks this week.


Doug Baldwin, SEA - Baldwin made the most noise last week in the wake of the trade of Percy Harvin. He led the team in targets with 11 and hauled in seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He will continue to see an increase in targets and should have a much more stable floor going forward as a stable WR3 candidate. He doesn’t have the same upside as some guys who have headlined this section, but he gets a great matchup against the Panthers this week, which sets him up for another solid week of production.

Allen Robinson, JCK - While Cecil Shorts was coming up empty against the Browns, Robinson finally flashed some of his playmaking ability with a nice catch-and-run for a touchdown. He’s locked in as the No. 2 receiver and is a stronger play in standard leagues than Shorts thanks to his big play ability.

Brandon LaFell, NE - The veteran gets a bump up the list after another solid game as Tom Brady’s most reliable target outside of Rob Gronkowski. He is worth grabbing for depth as a what-the-heck flex guy. Tom Brady’s play is trending in the right direction, which gives upside to the guy getting the snaps and the targets.

Jermaine Kearse, SEA - Kearse didn’t see a rise in snaps but finally saw more balls come his way as Percy Harvin’s targets got divvied up. Kearse didn’t do a ton with the increased attention last week and opened the door for Paul Richardson to get himself on the radar. Both of these Seahawks receivers are worth grabbing and/or monitoring in leagues, but they will be hard to trust.

Donte Moncrief, IND - Reggie Wayne could be sidelined for a couple of weeks, which will open up key targets in Andrew Luck’s world. Hakeem Nicks is the new No. 2 on paper, but Moncrief is the newcomer here. He is more talented than Nicks and he’ll have a better chance of breaking out and surprising than Nicks will have of making an impact.

Digging Deeper

Martavis Bryant was a guy we talked about early in the preseason, then he promptly got hurt and his arrival was delayed until last week. He immediately came in and provided a spark and will continue to push Markus Wheaton for playing time. Jarvis Landry seemed to have locked up his place in the rotation and his quarterback is surging. There is some nice upside here if he and Tannehill can develop some chemistry in the red zone. Steve Johnson is emerging as a viable target in the Niners offense. He has lots of competition for targets on a team that doesn’t really want to throw it that much, but he's sure looked good the last few weeks.


Charles Clay, MIA - Clay is finally healthy and gets a great matchup against the Jags this week. He’s a solid streaming option this week who could climb back into the TE1 conversation if he can string together a few solid weeks.

Gavin Escobar, DAL - Escobar was a surprise contributor last week for the Cowboys, hauling in two touchdown passes, which gives him three in his last two games. His role is clearly emerging in the offense and he should continue to be a factor in the redzone. He is still down the pecking order for volume targets and yardage, but if he keeps getting balls thrown his way near the goal-line, he’ll get the attention of more owners.

Digging Deeper

Cooper Helfet turned in a nice effort last week but Luke Wilson will be back soon. Jace Amaro has talent but Percy Harvin’s arrival will push him down the pecking order for targets. Jermaine Gresham had a PPR breakthrough last week with ten catches and has one more week at least before A.J. Green returns and ushers him into the background again.


Miami Dolphins - I have so many other Dolphins on the list this week that I can’t ignore their improving defense in a matchup with the hapless Jaguars and turnover-prone Blake Bortles.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs are always a better bet at home and the Rams have a rookie quarterback coming into the lion’s den. The Chiefs could make an impact on special teams as well.


Shayne Graham, NO - The Saints kicker gets a primetime matchup at home in the dome against the Packers. Expect lots of offense and plenty of opportunities for the veteran kicker.

We never really know when opportunity will strike in fantasy, but we have to be prepared to strike when it does. This week, we get a couple of potential difference makers emerging at the running back position. They all performed well last week, with Branden Oliver stealing the spotlight with his monster day. Andre Williams looked impressive taking over for Rashad Jennings and Ronnie Hillman appears to have yet another chance to prove he can handle the role of feature back. All three will be hot grabs this week well worth spending on, since they all play in solid offenses and all three could conceivably remain valuable all year. Hillman might be the most risky of the bunch, since he has more competition than the other two. Now let's take a look at these and the rest of this week's report.

Bye Weeks: Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints


Teddy Bridgewater, MIN - Bridgewater looked great in his first start before getting sidelined by an ankle injury. He should return this week, albeit in a tough spot against a good Lions defense. If you are looking more long term, then the Vikings rookie is someone to add, since his price will likely still be slightly suppressed coming off the injury. He should remain a solid QB2 option that should start to push for QB1 status as the season progresses.

Brian Hoyer, CLE - The Browns quarterback finally makes the top section of the list thanks to the fact he has shown that he can effectively put up points on a weekly basis and looks very comfortable in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. I’ll admit I have a soft spot for Hoyer, not only because he plays for our hometown team, but he also graduated from my alma mater, St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. The Browns are running the ball well, which is setting up play action and keeping the pressure off. The Browns are heading into a favorable part of their schedule (PIT, JAX, OAK, TB), which sets Hoyer up as a nice emergency or bye-week starter over the next few weeks.

Austin Davis, STL - After mentioning him in Week 4, I’ll admit I neglected to highlight the Rams young quarterback coming off his bye. He did much of his damage last week once garbage time came early against the Eagles, but he has thrown three touchdowns in each of his last two starts. He has tough matchups the next two weeks (SF, SEA), but that doesn’t mean he can’t put up decent QB2 numbers regardless.

Mike Glennon, TB - Glennon has been on the list multiple times this year and he will likely remain here for the upcoming weeks as well. He is kind of the perfect streamer for fantasy leagues. He is a guy you can plug in your lineup on the cheap, and he will get you through with solid results. He’s not going away as a QB2 with upside based on matchups. A tilt against the Ravens this week followed by his bye week will make him a cheap option if you are looking down the road. Following the bye, he will get Mike Evans back to join Vincent Jackson and could go on a nice little run.

Digging Deeper

I hyped Joe Flacco last week based on the matchup against the Colts as well as a favorable upcoming schedule. Instead of building on his three touchdown day against the Panthers, he came up empty against the Colts. He still has some bye-week upside against Tampa Bay. Much like Flacco, I thought Blake Bortles would have a good showing against the Steelers, but he regressed instead. Zero touchdowns, two interceptions and overall sloppy play. I’m moving on in redraft leagues. Reports have Robert Griffin III possibly back by Week 8. I think it is more likely we won’t see him until Week 11, after Washington’s bye. Charlie Whitehurst performed admirably in relief of Jake Locker, and could draw the start against the Bucs this week, but there are rumblings that the Titans may be ready to see what they have in rookie Zach Mettenberger. Kyle Orton didn’t set the world on fire, but he did look better than EJ Manuel has.


oliverBranden Oliver, SD - While I am happy to have had Oliver in the report the last two weeks, there was no way I saw the breakout that occurred on Sunday coming. It was clear that Oliver was going to get more work in light of Donald Brown’s struggles, but when the latter suffered a concussion, it set the stage for the undrafted running back. He could have the job to himself this week and perhaps until Ryan Mathews returns. I have been pointing out that he was the best bet to fill the Danny Woodhead role in the offense and he looks like he has locked that up going forward which gives him a floor even after Mathews makes it back.

Andre Williams, NYG - Rashad Jennings sprained his MCL and seems likely to be out of action until at least after the Giants Week 8 bye. That gives the bruising Williams the starting job for the next couple of weeks in plus matchups against the Eagles and Cowboys. Williams showed he isn’t afraid of contact as he regularly lowered his pads and took on defenders. If he’s out there in your league, he’s a very strong RB2 the next two weeks, and could continue to hold onto flex value even after Jennings makes it back if the Giants give him a bigger share of the carries.

Ronnie Hillman/C.J. Anderson, DEN - Montee Ball suffered a groin injury that will keep him out at least two weeks and possibly longer. That opens the door for his backups to split the carries and attempt to make a case to cut into the starter’s workload after he returns. After all, Ball hasn’t really been setting the world on fire, scoring only one touchdown on the year, and never eclipsing 70 yards on the ground in any game this year. After running well in relief last week, Hillman seems like the logical choice to assume lead back duties and will be the preferred target of many this week. There is obvious upside for the lead back in this offense, but how much do we really trust that Hillman can make the most of this opportunity? He has fumbled it away before, and will have competition for touches right away. The wild card is Anderson, who didn’t get a chance last week as a healthy scratch, since he is more suited to be the early down/short yardage back. Both backs are worth bids this week, with Hillman worth a significant bid if you need immediate help. The only downside is there is no telling how things will shake out. I haven’t even accounted for Juwan Thompson. For what it’s worth, I will likely throw more cheap darts at Anderson this week then I will big bucks at Hillman.

Benny Cunningham, STL - Zac Stacy appeared to get benched after fumbling last week, and then it was reported that he suffered a calf injury. He should be okay to play this week, but whether the injury was real or he just got benched, Cunningham is in line for more work which should push him into flex/RB2 territory this week.

Storm Johnson, JCK - Johnson was the best rusher for the Jags last week against the Steelers, in his first NFL game, and looks like he has already passed struggling Denard Robinson in the coaches eyes. Toby Gerhart is still the starter, but it seems clear he is miscast in that role and the team knows it. Johnson is more of a depth pick for deeper leagues, due to the crowded committee, but he’s worth a roster spot to see how this evolves.

Bobby Rainey, TB - Doug Martin isn’t getting it done, which opened up more carries for the versatile Rainey last week. He should continue to eat into Martin’s workload and could see a lot of garbage time work since Martin has been pretty lousy in pass protection.

Digging Deeper

George Winn was the last man standing for the Lions last week and could get some more work this week if Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are still limited. Darrin Reaves will get another start this week if Jonathan Stewart can’t make it back. He has some flex appeal. Antone Smith has been a scoring machine with four touchdowns on only 17 touches. The coaching staff has said it will look to get him more involved, which gives him upside, but he’s still a touchdown-dependent start until we see it happen. Alfred Blue will be relegated back to the bench with Arian Foster back healthy, but on a short week, he could see some action in relief. Peyton Hillis will back up Williams while Jennings is on the shelf.


Odell Beckham Jr., NYG - The rookie made an instant impact in his first game of the season, hauling in a big touchdown pass and adding more speed to the Giants rejuvenated offense. The Giants have two very nice matchups ahead against the Eagles and Cowboys, and run more three-wide sets than just about anyone else in the league. Clearly recovered from his hamstring woes, Beckham’s role should only increase over the next two weeks.

Justin Hunter, TEN - It was only a matter of time before the Titans finally promoted Hunter into the starter’s role over Nate Washington. They finally did just that last week, and Hunter responded with 99 yards and a touchdown. Granted, much of the production came on one long pass, but that is what this kid brings to the field. There are questions at quarterback, and Hunter still only caught three balls, but the matchup versus the Jaguars looks like a great spot to slide him into your WR3/flex spot and hope for him to take his game to another level.

James Jones/Andre Holmes, OAK - Jones is the veteran and de facto No. 1 receiver for this struggling team. Holmes is the emerging talent, who now has a starting job. The Raiders stink, but that means they also throw the ball a ton when playing from behind. Both guys should be owned in most leagues as WR3 options.

Kenny Britt, STL - Britt finally found the endzone last week and was a bigger factor in the gameplan than I have seen all year. His work clearly helped Brian Quick as the defense had to focus on Britt on the other side. With Austin Davis under center, Britt has some value as an upside play to get you through the bye weeks.

Jarius Wright, MIN - The last time we saw Wright and Bridgewater play together, it looked like they were the best of friends. Wright was still involved last week and it might be worth making room for him on your bench in deeper leagues to see if this chemistry with his quarterback is more than a one-week fluke.

Davante Adams, GB - Adams scored last week and seems to have locked up the WR3 role for the Packers. It makes him a weekly boom-or-bust player that could gain steam as soon as he gains his quarterback’s trust.

Digging Deeper

Allen Robinson has clearly outplayed Allen Hurns and should be able to hang onto a starting job as other receivers return from injury. Louis Murphy will get at least another start in place of Mike Evans, giving him some desperation appeal. The Patriots activated Brian Tyms from suspension and have been looking for someone to emerge as an outside threat. He is worth a flier in really deep leagues to see if he can be that guy. Marvin Jones didn’t make it back as expected and now has to contend with the improved play of Mohamed Sanu.


Dwayne Allen, IND - Allen makes his living in the red zone and is Andrew Luck’s favorite target in close. He is also eating into Coby Fleener’s workload elsewhere. The touchdown upside gives him a more stable floor to go along with better overall play which could have him pushing into TE1 territory before long.

Tim Wright, NE - Wright had his best game as a Patriot with 80 yards and a touchdown, despite playing on less than 25% of the offensive snaps. The two-TE offense was credited for getting Brady untracked last week, so it isn’t that far-fetched to expect more of it, at least for another week. It puts Wright in the discussion as a streamer this week while we wait to see what the “genius” will do this week.

Eric Ebron, DET - The Lions will need someone to step up and fill the void felt by the loss of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Ebron has the talent to do just that, it’s just a matter of the coaching staff devising a plan to get him involved. He’s worth rostering in the short-term to see if he can take this opportunity to get his season untracked.

Digging Deeper

Jared Cook is doing just enough each week to be worth considering as an emergency fill-in. Josh Hill will take over for Jimmy Graham for at least one week, so if you need help to cover for the Saints star, his backup could be your best option in deep leagues. Austin Seferian-Jenkins didn’t do much last week but still has some upside if he can get a handle on the balls thrown his way.


Ravens - The Ravens looked pretty intimidating against the Colts last week, creating turnovers and making Andrew Luck look human for a week. Tampa Bay has no running game and Mike Glennon is missing Mike Evans, meaning Vincent Jackson will be shadowed constantly. It could spell trouble for Mike Glennon and paydirt for the Baltimore defense.


Matt Prater, DET - Sometimes the obvious does happen. Rookie Nate Freese and Alex Henery couldn't get it done so the Lions worked out Prater, Jay Feely and Connor Barth with the recently released Denver Bronco coming out on top. Prater will miss the thin air in Denver but he's still an accurate kicker with a strong leg who likely would have been ranked in the top-12 if he began the season with Detroit.

Billy Cundiff, CLE - The Browns return home after last week’s huge comeback win to host their biggest rival in a must-win division game. The Browns can run against anyone but often have trouble on third down, which could set up Cundiff for a busy day.

We have reached Week 7 of the fantasy season, which means you should start getting a clearer picture of where you stand in your respective leagues. You might be cruising along near the top of the pack, which means you should have some room to start looking down the road and getting your ducks in a row for upcoming byes and your late-season stretch run. You may want to consider burning a roster spot or two on handcuffs to your stud running backs as well. If you are sitting in the middle, or god forbid, the bottom of the back, don't despair just yet. I've had more than one team get hot and roll off a string of wins to squeak into the playoffs where it is anybody's game. Perhaps you've been speculating and some of your bets have been coming through. Stay the course and hit the phones to try and swing a deal or two to shake up your squad a bit. There aren't a ton of impact names breaking through this week, as the best choices were likely scooped up in competitive leagues the last couple of weeks. Still, there are some guys to speculate on for those of you in deep leagues, so take some shots as you finally cut the cord on some injured starters. 

Bye Weeks: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Carson Palmer, ARI - Palmer has long been a favorite of this column, so it was nice to see him back on the field for the Cards last week. Granted, he wasn’t quite 100 percent, as he lacked his typical downfield arm strength, but he showed veteran poise and got his two key receivers involved. He has a great matchup against the Raiders this week and should be rostered again in any leagues he was dropped as a solid QB2 with QB1 upside going forward.

Joe Flacco, BAL - The last time I hyped Flacco was in Week 4 and he promptly went out and laid an egg against the Colts. Part of that initial praise was the upcoming schedule, which included games against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. While the first part of the equation didn’t pan out, if you tabbed the Ravens signal-caller last week, you were rewarded with a monster five-touchdown day. The Falcons defense has been giving up tons of fantasy points to opposing QB’s, so Flacco can look to build on the momentum at home this week.

Brian Hoyer, CLE - We had Hoyer here last week and he returns thanks to a meeting with Jacksonville this week, followed by plus matchups against the Raiders in Week 8 and Buccaneers in Week 9. That schedule and the renewed connection with Jordan Cameron have the Cleveland native's stock trending in the right direction the next few weeks. The run-happy Browns put somewhat of a ceiling on the yardage numbers, but the floor looks rock-solid and his confidence is soaring after a dominant win at home against the Steelers.

Derek Carr, OAK - The Raiders rookie makes the list in light of his four-touchdown breakout against the Chargers. The Raiders defense and running-game are struggling, which puts the team in comeback mode early as well as puts the ball in Carr’s hands. The schedule isn’t the best the next few weeks, but he has shown enough upside to plug-n-play through the bye weeks.

Digging Deeper

I am a Mike Glennon fan, but feel free to take a chance on another QB with some upside as he heads into his bye week. We cautioned you on Austin Davis’ schedule getting tougher, and he fell back to earth against San Francisco. It doesn’t get any easier this week against the Seahawks. Blake Bortles didn’t give me any reasons to get that excited about him as more than a borderline QB2. Robert Griffin III is looking like a viable stash candidate with Kirk Cousins turning the ball over so much.


Jerick McKinnon, MIN - We have talked about the talented rookie for the VIkings ever since Adrian Peterson was suspended and always mentioned that it was only a matter of time before he pushed Matt Asiata into a supporting role. Judging by last week’s carries, that time has finally arrived. He finally earned the start and out-touched his counterpart 17-3. While I know he is long gone in the majority of leagues that this audience plays in, he is still available in a shocking amount of standard-size leagues and that should no longer be the case now that he has ascended into a starting role.

Isaiah Crowell, CLE - Crowell is a repeat from Week 5, just like McKinnon. I have repeatedly staked my claim that Crowell is the best pure talent at running back on the squad, and trusted that the coaches would finally see that he was outplaying Terrance West by a large margin. West was a healthy scratch last week and Crowell ran well again as he has in every game so far. Ben Tate is still the starter, and that isn’t going to change, but the Browns run so much that Crowell is going to get his 6-10 carries every week and that is enough to lock him in as a flex starter with upside thanks to an easy upcoming schedule. If Tate goes down, we have much more clarity about who would take over as the lead “dawg”. The only knock on Crowell from last week is that he lost a fumble as well as bobbling two other pitches, so he will have to work on his ball control going forward.

Antone Smith, ATL - Smith finally makes the list since he just keeps scoring. That’s five TD’s in six weeks, all of them long scores. The biggest problem is that despite his playmaking ability, the Falcons have still yet to increase his weekly touches. That really is the only thing holding him back from being an every week starter, but at this point, he has to be considered a viable flex start, since he can provide points even if he only breaks one big play a week. It makes him a boom-or-bust play until he can secure a bigger workload, which hopefully will come at some point this season.

Brandon Bolden/James White, NE - Stevan Ridley’s season is over after suffering tears to both his ACL and MCL. It opens up the power-back role in the Patriots offense, but also means fantasy owners will have to deal with the whims of Bill Belichick. If you are struggling at running back, or just looking to add depth, then by all means take a flier on Bolden, White or even practice-squad addition Jonas Gray. Bolden is the guy worth the biggest bid, since he’ll likely get the first call as the goal-line guy behind Shane Vereen. Vereen should benefit most, but in weeks when the Patriots should be playing with a lead, whoever emerges as the “closer” will have more value.

Digging Deeper

Theo Riddick was really emerging last week for the Lions, but he suffered a hamstring pull which puts a damper on the mini-breakout. He is a name to file away. Tre Mason finally gets his name called, since Zac Stacy’s stock continues to crater. Right now, it is a three-man RBBC along with Benny Cunningham, but Mason is finally on the radar for deeper leagues. James Starks played as many snaps as Eddie Lacy last week, which is bad news for Lacy owners and makes Starks worth a bench spot. Damien Williams should emerge as the clear backup to Lamar Miller in Miami in the wake of Knowshon Moreno’s season-ending knee injury. I own DeMarco Murray in two important leagues, and I am starting to think about adding Joseph Randle as insurance.


Andre Holmes, OAK - Hopefully, you got in on Holmes a couple weeks back, when he was cheap, because getting a share of his stock got a whole lot more costly after last week’s two-touchdown game. This is the third week in a row where I have written him up, and he should graduate from the list this week now that he is locked into the lineup as Derek Carr’s new number one option. He’ll have some down weeks playing for a bad team, but he should have a stable enough floor to keep him in your lineup so you can cash in on the big weeks that are sure to come.

Odell Beckham Jr., NYG - Beckham should now get picked up in all leagues, since he will graduate from just playing in three-wide sets to taking over for Victor Cruz as a starter. Both Beckham and Rueben Randle will see their roles and targets increase, which means the opportunity is there for both to deliver more value going forward. The only real downside is that the Giants looked terrible last week and we will have to see how these receivers operate without Cruz around to garner attention. Beckham has the talent to make plenty of noise, so he’s worth an aggressive bid if he’s still lurking on the wire in your league.

Davante Adams, GB - We will keep writing about Adams, since his ownership numbers are still paltry in standard leagues, but his role in the Packers offense continue to evolve. Last week saw a season high in targets, catches and yards (8, 6, 77) and maybe most importantly trust from Aaron Rodgers. When Rodgers ad-libbed his fake-spike pass, he threw it to Adams. To me, that is a sign that his quarterback isn’t afraid to throw it to him in any spot if he is open. He is still the WR3 in the offense, but you know a big game is coming at some point. Hopefully, he can continue to put up stat lines that justify starting him in your flex spot so you can cash in when the scores finally materialize.

Cecil Shorts, JCK - Shorts has been slowed all year by hamstring injuries, but last week he finally started to look like the player who emerged as a quality WR the last two years. The key stats from last week's game were his ten catches on 16 targets. Those kind of numbers are PPR gold. Many of his catches were short slants and underneath routes, as Blake Bortles checked down to him all day long. He’s not a game-breaker, but as long as he stays healthy, he will be an asset, especially in PPR leagues.

Malcom Floyd, SD - The veteran continues to make plays for Philip Rivers, much to the chagrin of Keenan Allen owners. I really have to hand it to Floyd, since I thought he was just about done after last season’s injury-plagued campaign. But he is going to keep putting up consistent numbers in this offense as long as he stays healthy.

Jarvis Landry, MIA - Landry took advantage of Brandon Gibson’s injury to have a breakout performance as the #3 WR for the Dolphins. He should be able to at least hang onto the slot-position and could eventually put heat on Brian Hartline’s hold on the WR2 job. In really deep leagues where pickings are slim, Landry could be your best bet for an upgrade to your WR 4-5 slots.

Digging Deeper

Brian Tyms got a mention here last week and then scored a touchdown in his limited snaps. He’s firmly on the radar now and should see his role increase if he keeps making plays. Brandon LaFell might have just had his best game of the year, but Tom Brady obviously will warm to any receiver who can consistently catch the football. It at least gives LaFell a decent weekly floor to work from. Robert Woods woke from his slumber last week and seems to have some chemistry going with Kyle Orton. Corey Washington is still behind Preston Parker in the pecking order to replace Victor Cruz in the slot. But if Parker flops, then Washington could get a shot to run deep on the outside and see if he can rekindle some of his preseason magic. If you like to buy cheap lottery tickets in your deep league, here is a pretty good one. The Vikings were bad last week, which obscured the fact that Jarius Wright still got his touches. I think he still has some intrigue as Teddy Bridgewater’s security blanket.


Jace Amaro, NYJ - The Jets finally decided to take the reigns of their rookie tight end last week, lining him out wide more often and letting him run down the field. He caught ten passes for 68 yards and a touchdown and should continue to emerge as a factor for a Jets team in need of playmakers. Geno Smith’s erratic play is a negative, but the arrow is pointing in the right direction now for the 6’5” rookie.

Clay Harbor, JCK - Harbor has been filling in admirably for the injured Marcedes Lewis and turned in his best game last week with 91 yards and a touchdown. He is worth streaming into your lineup this week if you need a replacement for Jimmy Graham or an underperforming starter.

Digging Deeper

Austin Seferian-Jenkins is on bye this week, but he should continue to see his role grow in the offense that will continue to have to throw the ball to stay in games. Jermaine Gresham is the defacto number two target behind Mohamed Sanu until A.J. Green makes it back. Tim Wright scored on his only catch last week but is a very risky play due to his limited snaps. Ladarius Green is one of our favs and should at least see a little bump in playing time with Eddie Royal sidelined.


Cleveland Browns - I gotta tab my guys this week coming off a thrashing of Pittsburgh heading into a matchup against the hapless Buccaneers. The Browns defense is rounding into shape and has been waiting for a breakout performance. The Bucs could be just what the doctor ordered.

Buffalo Bills - The Bills were lit up by the Patriots last week, which should fuel them for a bounce-back effort against the struggling Vikings offense.


Chandler Catanzaro, ARI - This week’s kicker dart lands on the Cardinals kicker. I like the name and I like the revamped offense with Palmer back.

Last week was a tough one for some owners who might have had to manage multiple bye weeks. This week, things are not so bad with only two teams, the Dolphins and Raiders, out of action. There were plenty of breakout performances by players that have been gaining steam the last few weeks. This could very well be the last week to have a chance to get a share of most of the top targets, and all of the top guys are worth significant bids where they are available. If you have been hoarding some cash, you might want to throw some at a potential difference-maker sooner, rather than later.


Eli Manning, NYG - Manning and the Giants offense finally hit their stride against Washington on Thursday night. There is no reason to think that he can’t keep things humming against the generous Falcons defense this week, which makes him the top choice for anyone looking for a plug-n-play option. Following the matchup with the Falcons, he gets road games against the Eagles and the Cowboys, followed by a Week 8 bye and a home game against the Colts. That schedule means if you have been struggling at QB, you could ride Eli four of the next five weeks.

Joe Flacco, BAL - Flacco makes the list for the first time this year coming off an impressive three-touchdown performance against the Panthers. The schedule sets up very nicely for him the next three weeks (@Ind, @TB, ATL), making him another great pickup for anyone looking for someone who they can rely on beyond this week. Steve Smith has been a huge boost to Flacco’s fortunes, so don’t be afraid to ride the hot hand in these nice matchups.

Teddy Bridgewater, MIN - The Vikings rookie had a fantastic game against the Falcons in his first NFL start. He threw for over 300 yards and added a rushing touchdown to the ledger. He didn’t throw any interceptions and led his team to an easy victory. But he came out of the game with an ankle injury and has a short-week to get ready to play the Packers on Thursday. Even if he guts it out, he’ll be less than 100%. Then, he gets a couple of tough matchups against the Lions and Bills defenses. He is still worth adding or holding as a QB2 with nice upside. Just realize the immediate future could be a little bumpy.

Blake Bortles, JCK - Bortles had an up and down week, and clearly was outshined by his fellow rookie. He made some poor passes that led to interceptions, but he also showed his ability to make plays with his arm and legs. This week, he gets to face the Steelers, which sets him up for a nice bounce-back week.

Digging Deeper

Mike Glennon looked solid against the Steelers and should be able to hang onto the job even after Josh McCown returns. If Mike Evans hadn’t hurt his groin, I’d maybe have him higher on the list. Michael Vick is going to get his shot with this offense soon if Rex Ryan wants to save his job. He can be a difference-maker worth making room on your roster for. Ryan Tannehill had his best game of the season but is on a bye this week. Brian Hoyer was settling in prior to the bye week, gets Jordan Cameron back at full speed and has a nice upcoming schedule. Derek Carr’s injuries will thrust Matt McGloin into the starting job. Kyle Orton is taking over for the slumping E.J. Manuel, so he has value in super-deep leagues.


Jerick McKinnon, MIN - We have been talking about McKinnon for the last few weeks as a guy who could explode once the Vikings gained enough confidence to hand him the rock. Matt Asiata will continue to get the goal-line work (for now) but McKinnon isn’t going away after rumbling for 135 yards on 18 carries. Asiata will remain the starter for the time being, but McKinnon has more talent and can still make noise with 10-15 touches a week. It’s unlikely that Matt Asiata is available in many leagues, but obviously in any leagues where he is hanging around he is more than worth picking up thanks to the goal-line work he will continue to get.

Knowshon Moreno, MIA - When Moreno was injured, the timetable for his return was anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Now it is looking like he could be back on the field in Week 6, after the Dolphins return from this week’s bye. Moreno found himself on some waiver wires, so get him this week in any leagues where he is hanging around. Another option could be to throw the Moreno owner an offer and try to buy low.

Justin Forsett/Lorenzo Taliaferro, BAL - We got a little clarity this week in Baltimore as Bernard Pierce didn’t see the field in a game where he was healthy on the sidelines. Forsett emerged as the starter, while Taliaferro closed things out. With Forsett playing well, I see no reason the Ravens will flip the script this week on what is working. Pierce still lurks, but Forsett should have value in some role all year long while the rookie should eventually stake his claim as the stud of the bunch. I like Taliaferro best long-term but can’t deny that Forsett was very good this week. But Kubiak’s offense needs that bruising running to really click, so at some point he is going to make the necessary shift.

Isaiah Crowell, CLE - The Browns were on bye and Ben Tate is coming back this week, which continues to keep the rookie's ownership numbers low. Crowell is the best pure back on the team and a guy to grab and stash while we wait for the next Tate injury. I think with two weeks to look at all the tape, the coaching staff knows that Crowell has outplayed Terrance West. I can’t predict when his breakout is going to come, but when Tate misses time again, I think Crowell will get the call over West.

Bishop Sankey, TEN - Sankey finally got on the field in the second half and quickly breathed some life into the Titans attack. The coaching staff can’t afford to hold the rookie back anymore, so hopefully he will finally get the starting job. The offense is a mess and Sankey can make some noise behind this offensive line if they let him.

Darrin Reaves, CAR - Reaves is an undrafted free-agent who has been pushed into action due to injuries. He is literally the last man standing for the Panthers and should draw the start this week against the Bears. It gives him value as a guy to plug in for bye week purposes.

Digging Deeper

Denard Robinson started to eat into Toby Gerhart’s workload last week, and looked better doing it. A RBBC hurts both players, but it does put Robinson on the radar. Andre Williams closed out the game once the Giants went up big and showed he can take over if Rashad Jennings ever goes down. Roy Helu was forced into action with the team playing catchup. He has some PPR upside in any game the Skins will be forced to throw the ball. Brandon Oliver got some play after Donald Brown came up small. He looked good enough that he should at least share carries until Ryan Mathews returns from injury. Kadeem Carey finally got some snaps as the Bears were blown out by the Packers, but he performed well, which could pave the way for him to get a couple series a game going forward, which would give him Flex value in deeper leagues.


Rueben Randle, NYG - Randle’s ownership numbers slipped to a season-low prior to last week’s game, which saw him finally show some life along with the Giants passing attack. Lary Donnell isn’t going to hog all the TD’s every week and that is really where Randle was supposed to shine this season. The breakout we hoped for is still possible, so scoop him back up if someone in your league got impatient.

Eddie Royal, SD - I resisted listing Royal last week since he does this every year, tantalizing us with a scoring binge before fading into the background. But that’s two weeks in a row with two scores, so I can’t deny him a spot, even though I can’t help but feel like it’s deja-vu all over again. If you are looking for help this week, Royal is a hot hand that you can keep playing. Just be aware that he isn’t seeing the field in two-receiver sets, so he needs to score to get his points. I would be careful who I dropped for him.

Andre Holmes, OAK - I almost profiled one of my pre-season sleepers last week, but didn’t realize that Denarius Moore would finally get benched (actually scratched). Holmes took advantage and has a healthy window to establish himself as a starter. The problem, of course, is the lousy offense and the issues at quarterback. But Holmes can still do enough damage in garbage time to be a Flex option in deep leagues through the bye weeks.

Marvin Jones, CIN - Jones will return to action this week, which will put him back on owners' radars. He will be worked into the rotation with Mohamed Sanu slowly, but as a premier red-zone threat, he can do damage and put up points just by playing in close games. This could be the last week to get him before his value rises. The Bengals offense is clicking, and Jones will make some noise once he gets into game shape.

Davante Adams, GB - Adams would have made more noise in his first game as the WR3 for Aaron Rodgers if the touchdown pass he had hauled in wasn’t negated by penalty. With his QB heating up, there will be more chances coming his way. He’s a boom-or-bust Flex option for now.

Allen Hurns, JCK - Hurns should have scored another TD on Sunday, but fell down at the two-yard line on a long bomb. He has been very TD dependant, but with Cecil Shorts out again with the bad hamstring, his job is safe, which means he’s worth taking a shot on if you are desperate.

Digging Deeper

Louis Murphy will start in place of the injured Mike Evans for the next few weeks. That makes him a borderline starter in fantasy leagues as well. Devin Hester took advantage of Harry Douglas’ injury to rack up some targets and score a TD. With the way the Falcons offense is playing, there are going to be more chances for the speedy receiver to make an impact. Jarius Wright was Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target in his first game. It might be a blip or it could become a trend. Still, he seemed to be getting work that should have gone to Cordarrelle Patterson instead. Jerricho Cotchery returned to his role as Cam Newton’s dump-off guy. If you like to play it safe, he’s got a realistic floor.


Travis Kelce, KC - I have been telling you for three weeks to get Kelce on your squads and he finally had a breakout game on Monday night. He should be owned everywhere after this week, but he does get a real tough matchup against the Niners this week and then a bye.

Larry Donnell, NYG - He likely isn’t available in many deep leagues, but he was out there in a ton of shallow leagues last week and should be at close to full ownership after last week’s three-touchdown explosion. I shouldn’t have to write about him again after this week. He’s going to keep getting targets as Eli’s new best friend.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB - Jenkins has been getting more involved in recent weeks and should see an increase in targets while Mike Evans is out. He’s got some nice upside the next few weeks and is a cheaper option that could pay off big if he starts to break out.

Eric Ebron, DET - The first-round rookie scored his first touchdown thanks in part to the injuries to Calvin Johnson and Joseph Fauria. He is obviously a big part of the future of the team and should continue to see his stock rise as the season progresses.

Owen Daniels, BAL - The veteran did about what was expected of him last week. He got his targets, caught a few passes and did enough for PPR leaguers in a bind. He’s the starter and has a decent floor, but no real upside at this point in his career.

Digging Deeper

Dwayne Allen makes his living in the red zone. It makes him a boom-or-bust player, but he has scored in three out of four games. Clay Harbor will continue to fill in for the injured Marcedes Lewis. After a nice game last week, he could be worth a spot start against the Steelers. Jace Amaro is coming on for the Jets, who need to put their best playmakers on the field more.


Green Bay Packers - The Packers could catch the Vikings with Christian Ponder under center on Thursday night. That would be a recipe for big numbers for this unit this week.

Philadelphia Eagles - I wanted to mention the Eagles coming off their electric performance last week. They aren’t a great defense, but they are opportunistic and have Darren Sproles to light things up on returns. The Rams have issues at QB, which could lead to more big plays this week for this squad.


Josh Brown, NYG - The Giants offense should pile up more points this week against Atlana. Brown will be busy.

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