Just so we're clear at the top, the names we're giving you today are not exactly the Glengarry leads. Nobody is saying that these guys are must-own fantasy commodities. But each of the players listed below has obvious potential, and they're available in at least 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues. These guys are on the radar for owners in deep, competitive formats.
If you can find better options on the wire in your hometown league, then, well ... congrats. The rest of us clearly aren't prepared to compete at your level, Belichick. We're merely scuffling along, looking for bye-week coverage.
Here are a few options for the week ahead...
WR Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs (28 percent owned) - OK, so maybe this one player does qualify as a Glengarry lead. He basically looked like the best player on the field on Monday night. The rookie first-rounder was targeted eight times, hauling in five passes for 82 yards, including a 39-yard score. Baldwin has size (6-5) and rare athleticism (42-inch vertical), and he's now getting targets in KC's offense. I'm plenty interested. This is a receiver with top-tier potential.
RB Javon Ringer, Tennessee Titans (29 percent) - We've already told this story, in several places. Here's one version, here's another, here's a video. Chris Johnson might still be Tennessee's starter, but he's fallen into a rotation with Ringer. I'm surprised Javon's ownership percentage hasn't crept higher. No, this week's match-up isn't the best (Cincinnati), but the Titans have several user-friendly opponents upcoming (Carolina, Buffalo, New Orleans, Indy).
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (2 percent) - Rodgers has a clear chance to see an uptick in value, beginning this week against the Colts. Atlanta has lost fullback Ovie Mughelli for the season, and Jason Snelling is expected to replace him. That presumably leaves plenty of passing-down work for Rodgers, a rookie-of-interest who's had a cameo role in early game-plans. I'm starting this guy in the Friends & Family League, hoping he can be a garbage time star at Indy.
RB Taiwan Jones, Oakland Raiders (1 percent) - Darren McFadden (foot) is out for Week 9, so Michael Bush gets the lead role for the Raiders, while Jones gets the scraps. He's a big-play threat with 4.33-speed, and he put some rather impressive runs on tape during the preseason. Jones had four touches in Week 7, and he managed to gain 48 yards. If he gets double-digit touches against Denver — and right now, that seems like a real possibility — then he'll give us a highlight or three. Or four.
QB Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks (9 percent) - Again, I want to be careful not to oversell anyone on this list. I think we all recognize that Tarvaris has his flaws. But he's thrown for over 300 yards in two of his last three games (and in the third, he and Charlie Whitehurst combined for 315). The no-huddle appears to suit him. This week Jackson will face Dallas, a middle-of-the-pack pass defense playing without Mike Jenkins.
RB Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns (15 percent) - Just when Peyton Hillis seemed likely to return ... well, no. Hillis suffered a re-re-injury of his hamstring on Friday, so Ogbonnaya figures to get all the work he can handle at Houston. Ogbonnaya was the Texans' leading rusher during the preseason, for whatever that's worth (not much). The obvious problem here is that the Cleveland offense has been awful in recent weeks, so it seems crazy to expect a big number from any Browns skill player.
RB DJ Ware, New York Giants (7 percent) - We established on Thursday that I'm not particularly bullish on Ware, regardless of Ahmad Bradshaw's status. But he'll clearly have a role in the offense, and could prove helpful if you're PPR-ing. If the Giants are going to challenge New England, then Eli will likely need to throw another 45 passes, as he did last week.
WR Earl Bennett, Chicago Bears (4 percent) - Bennett has been sidelined by a chest injury since Week 2, but he returns for the match-up against the Eagles on Monday night. The Bears don't exactly have an embarrassment of riches at receiver, so it would be no surprise if Bennett gets plenty of opportunities in his return. Last year, he had his most useful two-game stretch against Philly and Detroit (11-160-2), and those teams are up next for Chicago. (Note: In all Earl Bennett fantasy blurbs, the author is required to mention that he was a teammate of Jay Cutler's at Vanderbilt. So there it is. FSWA obligation met).
RB Curtis Brinkley, San Diego Chargers (6 percent) - Brinkley was reportedly concussed late in San Diego's Week 8 loss, yet he managed to pass the mandatory mid-week testing. He should be available to relieve Mike Tolbert as needed. Ryan Mathews (groin) didn't practice on Friday and can't be relied upon. Brinkley had a few nice moments during the Monday nighter in Week 8, including the leap of Nick Hardwick pictured over on the right.
QB Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (28 percent) - No, I haven't ranked Palmer as an upside QB this week, but some of you are struggling with a McCoy-Skelton-Palmer dilemma right now. I've seen the tweets. If I were in such a fix, perhaps with Cam or Stafford on bye, then Palmer would be my play. He's been spinning a good story about his comfort level with both the Oakland playbook and receiving corps, while teammates are saying all the right things about Palmer's arm strength. Of course it would be nice to see him put a solid game on tape before adding him, but he's coming off a bye and the match-up with Denver is friendly (14 pass TDs, 249.7 YPG allowed).
RB Christopher Ivory, New Orleans Saints (1 percent) - No Mark Ingram for New Orleans again this week, which means Ivory will poach a few carries. He's obviously a dice-roll, not likely to see double-digit touches. But Ivory could make an appearance near the goal line, and the match-up works. Tampa Bay's defense has allowed 123.4 rushing yards per game and 4.5 per carry.
WR Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (29 percent) - This is Funston's guy, so it almost feels wrong to list him under my byline. But his ownership percentage needs a nudge. In recent weeks, when Tarvaris is at the controls, the undrafted first-year wide out has been plenty productive: 5-for-84 in Week 4, then 8-for-136, then a bye, then a Whitehurst disaster, then 5-for-73 versus the Bengals. Give him a look if you have a need. I can't officially recommend going to the two-Baldwin formation this week,
Photos via US Presswire