TOYOTA TUNDRA – PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
This week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brad Evans looks at eight intriguing fantasy football players, and a defense, likely to be available on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues.
Strong Buy (10-teams plus) St. Nick delivered plenty of crooked numbers in ‘Nawlins
Colin Kaepernick (QB) San Francisco 49ers
Everyone with a pulse read through Jim Harbaugh’s QB gamesmanship. After his brilliant performance against the Bears, it was evident the Nevada product had earned the pole position. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t take a step back in the encore. With the exception of one interception, St. Nick was pinpoint against the Saints. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown, kicking in an additional 27 yards and a score on the ground. And that’s precisely why Kaepernick should remain a fixture inside the QB top-10 over the remainder of the season. Smart, accurate and versatile, he’s similar in style and substance as Robert Griffin III. Blessed with a fantastic playoff schedule (MIA, at NE, at Sea, possibly minus Brandon Browner/Richard Sherman), he needs to be acquired immediately if still available.
Strong Buy (12-teams plus) Passed over RB surprisingly back in captain’s chair
Knowshon Moreno (RB) Denver Broncos
Leading up to kickoff on Sunday, every fanalyst from coast-to-coast showered rookie Ronnie Hillman in adoration. With Willis McGahee done for the year, he was the expected to step up and fill the gap. However, The Johns (Fox and Elway) had a different plan in mind. In Kansas City, Moreno, who hadn’t recorded a single touch since Week 2, earned the start and netted the lion’s share of the carries. He finished with an impressive 111 total yards on 24 touches. Moreno isn’t nearly as explosive as Hillman, but his superb blitz pick-up and ample experience trump the rookie’s superior talent. Based on the unsavory matchup (vs. TB), the veteran is nothing more than a FLEX option in deeper leagues this week, but for playoff-minded owners, he could produce difference-making numbers during the second season. Denver’s upcoming schedule (at Oak, at Bal, vs. Cle) is marvelous.
Strong Buy (12-team leagues plus) G up, Andre Brown down
David Wilson (RB) New York Giants
Coming into the season, the buzz surrounding Wilson was deafening. The highly touted rookie was expected to shoulder the light end of New York’s projected 60-40 split, and possibly more given Ahmad Bradshaw’s generally brittle state. But fumbling against the Cowboys opening night placed him in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Several tears and weeks later, Wilson is back where he started. Andre Brown, who suffered a broken fibula Sunday, is done for the year, opening the door for the upstart to net roughly 8-12 touches per game. This week at Washington he’s bench material except for the deepest of leagues, but a date with New Orleans awaits in Week 14, a contest which could propel him to fantasy greatness. Drink the G.
Moderate Buy (12-team leagues plus) Houston backup worth a deep-league stash
Justin Forsett (RB) Houston Texans
The beneficiary of quite possibly the dumbest rule currently on the books in the NFL, Forsett totaled 87 yards and a touchdown Turkey Day in Detroit. Though his knee and elbow clearly made contact with the ground, credit the rusher for continuing to play until the whistle sounded. Obviously, Arian Foster is the workhorse in Houston, but with Ben Tate still hamstrung, Forsett is a must ‘cuff in challenging formats. God forbid, but he’s one knee tweak away from becoming a strong RB2 and fantasy playoff catalyst. If that opportunity presents itself, he could do serious damage, particularly against Indy and Minnesota in Weeks 15 and 16. Play it safe.
Solid PPR Buy (12-teams plus) Unheralded target the next profitable slot machine?
Cole Beasley (WR) Dallas Cowboys
Following in the footsteps of Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb, Beasley could be the league’s next great slot receiver. The target is blessed with ideal talents to thrive in the role. His hands are soft, cuts decisive. In strong contention to move up the depth-chart, he attracted 13 targets, seven receptions and 68 yards Thanksgiving against Washington. If Miles Austin doesn’t recover rapidly form a hip injury, another substantial workload should be expected in Week 13. Dallas’ opponent, Philly, is an exploitable bunch. Over the past five weeks, the Eagles have surrendered the 10th-most fantasy points to WRs. Weigh him at the FLEX in deeper leagues.
Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Sanu skewers Raiders in breakout game
Mohamed Sanu (WR) Cincinnati Bengals
For much of the season, A.J. Green has dominated the vertical game for the Bengals. Andrew Hawkins tallied a few noteworthy games and Jermaine Gresham has come on of late, but the youngster is clearly the grease that spins the wheel. Over the past three weeks, Sanu has become an integral part of Cincy’s vertical attack, especially inside the red-zone. Since Week 10, he’s been targeted 19 times catching 11 passes for 98 yards and four touchdowns. Green will remain Andy Dalton’s favorite color, but with so much attention drawn to the No. 1, Sanu will continue to see plenty of looks near the goal-line. Pluck him off waivers in thin leagues.
Strong Buy (10-teams plus) Blackmon blow-ups becoming routine
Justin Blackmon (WR) Jacksonville Jaguars
After unexpectedly racking one of the most monstrous performances of the season in Houston two weeks ago, Blackmon paid dividends once again in the followup. Against a bland Titans secondary, he grabbed five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. The object of Chad Henne’s affection, the blossoming weapon should continue to deliver strong WR2 numbers this week and possibly beyond. In Week 13, Jacksonville travels to chilly Buffalo to face a Bills secondary that’s allowed at least one double-digit wide receiver in 10 of 11 games this season. Shallow leaguers, it’s time to hop aboard the bandwagon.
Strong Buy (12-teams plus) Young’s immature ways, rookie’s gain
Ryan Broyles (WR) Detroit Lions
Titus Young’s demotion for disciplinary reasons paved the way for Broyles to permanently cement his position as the Lions’ second-best receiver. He didn’t disappoint. On Thanksgiving Day, the powder keg ignited, grabbing six passes (on 12 targets) for 126 yards against Houston. Young should return to action this week, but the rookie has earned additional playing time. This week matched against an Indy defense that’s given up the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, he’s worth an audition at WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues, particularly those that score for receptions. With the attention Calvin Johnson draws, numerous one-on-one situations will again crop up. Cage him.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Week 13 QB Plug n' Play
Chad Henne (QB) Jacksonville Jaguars
Normally, recommending a Jaguars quarterback is an exercise in futility. But against one of the league’s stingiest defenses, Houston, the veteran performed brilliantly. After replacing Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter, he torched the Texans for 354 yards and four touchdowns, highlighted by an 81-yard scoring strike to Blackmon. More importantly, he didn’t commit a single turnover. In the followup, he didn’t experience a letdown surpassing the 20-point fantasy mark versus Tennessee (262-2-1). This week matched against a Bills defense that’s surrendered 23.2 fantasy points per game to signal callers this year, the ninth-most in the league, he’s a top-15 option once again. Bag the Jag in challenging formats.
Strong Buy (all leagues) Week 13 DEF Plug n' Play
Dallas Cowboys Defense/Special Teams
Admittedly, yours truly was completely wrong about Nick Foles. Mea culpa. As the starter he’s been a complete train-wreck. In total, he’s accounted for four turnovers and has been sacked seven times. Dallas has offered marginal fantasy production this season. The ‘Boys check in at No. 18 in per game average among D/STs. But three weeks ago against this same Philly team, they blew up for 22.0 fantasy points, scoring three touchdowns. Given the Eagles’ atrocious offensive line and Foles’ awful play, Dallas is must-stream material in Week 13.
Other Week 13 Pickups: Michael Vick, Phi, QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buf, QB, Bryce Brown, Phi, RB, DeAngelo Williams, Car, RB, Mike Tolbert, Car, RB, Michael Bush, Chi, RB, Bilal Powell, NYJ, RB, Jacquizz Rodgers, Atl, RB, Danario Alexander, SD, WR, TY Hilton, Ind, WR, Marcedes Lewis, Jax, TE