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Pickups of the Week

Brad Evans
Yahoo Sports


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.

Moderate Buy (12-teams plus) Sound the angel chorus, it's almost Tebow time again

Tim Tebow (QB) New York Jets
In predictable fashion, the Jets faithful has already turned. Mark Sanchez, sporting an embarrassing 66.6 QB rating and 48.4 completion percentage, has failed to inspire the masses, paving the way for the league’s worst passer to again seize the starting reins. Though Tebow would overthrow the Empire State Building from 10 yards out, he is a running quarterback who houses considerable fantasy upside in deeper leagues. Recall that his 18.8 per game mark as the starter a season ago checked in at No. 18 among passers. Yes, the Jets’ wide receiver corps is devoid of talent compared to Denver’s, but "The Messiah" is a strong QB2 who warrants starting consideration when presented a favorable matchup. Until Rex Ryan comes to his senses, Sanchez will remain the starter, but it’s only a matter of time before he crumbles under the intense pressure of the media/fans.

  • ATT/CMP 1/2
  • CMP% 50.0
  • YDS/G 1.8
  • TDs 0
  • INTs 0
  • Y% 10
  • FAAB $5

Solid PPR Buy (12-teams plus)Oft-concussed rusher nearing return

Jahvid Best (RB) Detroit Lions
Most of Fantasyland's 30 million-plus citizens never thought Best would ever see the field again. However, it appears the rusher's return, despite seemingly long odds, is imminent. If the fragile back passes a series of tests over the next few days he could be activated as early as Detroit's pivotal Week 7 Monday night clash with division leader Chicago. Assuming he's given the green light, he is expected to morph into a Darren Sproles-like complement to bulldozer Mikel Leshoure, making him an indispensable FLEX option in PPR formats. Stash him now.

  • RUSH/G --
  • YDS/G --
  • YPC --
  • REC/YDS --
  • TDs --
  • Y% 11
  • FAAB $15

Moderate Buy (12-teams plus)With Williams officially toast, 'The Howling' commences

LaRod Stephens-Howling (RB) Arizona Cardinals
It's hard to recommend any Arizona running back in this space considering the pathetic state of the Cardinals up front. Frankly, a flea couldn't find a hole behind that line. But any rusher expected to receive an uptick in touches is worthy of a recommendation, no matter how dire the situation. Because of his smallish stature (5-foot-7, 185 pounds), it's unlikely Stephens-Howling will shoulder more than 15 touches per game, especially fresh off a hip flexor strain. Unless a veteran is signed, Alphonso Smith and William Powell will also be involved in some capacity. Still, the diminutive rusher, who is a threat as a receiver and elusive in the open field, will likely head up arguably the league's sketchiest RBBC until Beanie Wells is activated in November. This week's matchup against the bumbling Bills, on paper, is phenomenal. RBs are performing 53.4-percent above the league average against them. But due to the Cards' horrific run-blocking, Stephens-Howling is nothing more than a FLEX option in challenging formats.

  • RUSH/G 4.0
  • YDS/G 0.3
  • YPC 0.1
  • REC/YDS 2/14
  • TDs 1
  • Y% 1
  • FAAB $8

Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Intriguing Hawaii product about to catch wave of touches

Alex Green (RB) Green Bay Packers
Initial reports suggest Cedric Benson's undisclosed foot injury isn't too serious, but he's now expected to miss up to eight weeks, which means Green instantly becomes start worthy in competitive formats. More than likely he will form a 60-40 committee with plodder James Starks, but the second-year back's plus versatility, size and acceleration are very appealing. His 10 touches for 63 yards last week in Indy, including an impressive 41-yard scamper in the second half, were eye-catching. At first glance, his matchup at Houston is far from appetizing, but on roughly 12-15 touches he's a viable candidate for 60-80 total yards. Surprisingly, the Texans have surrendered 4.5 yards per carry to RBs this year. If pressed into a larger role, flex him.

  • RUSH/G 3.6
  • YDS/G 9.7
  • YPC 4.9
  • REC/YDS 2/14
  • TDs 0
  • Y% 7
  • FAAB $22

Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Disciplined rookie finally out of the doghouse

David Wilson (RB) New York Giants
Dropped in mass quantities after Tom Coughlin exiled him to Siberia in Week 1 for fumbling, the youngster is not only back in the head coach's good graces, he's on the verge of carving out a larger role in the Giants backfield. No question, Ahmad Bradshaw, coming off an otherworldly 200 rushing yard performance, is the clear-cut No. 1, but Wilson could earn upwards of 10-12 touches per game moving forward. Andre Brown, concussed Sunday versus Cleveland, looks to have fallen out of favor. Because of the rookie's break-tackle ability and sensational speed, he will occasionally deliver flexy sexy numbers when the matchup warrants. And, based on Bradshaw's injury-plagued past, it would be no surprise if he logs a start or three later this year. Reacquire.

  • RUSH/G 1.6
  • YDS/G 10.4
  • YPC 6.5
  • REC/YDS 1/3
  • TDs 1
  • Y% 18
  • FAAB $11

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Heralded rookie on the rise with Nicks, Braden out

Rueben Randle (WR) New York Giants
Two weeks ago, Ramses Barden struck it rich. Last week, Domenik Hixon cashed a winning ticket. This past Sunday it was Randle's turn to stack the chips. Against the Joe Haden-less Browns, he exhibited plus physicality and quickness off the line hauling in a team-high six passes for 82 yards. His standout effort silenced rumors about his poor work ethic and overall suspect maturity. Obviously, his value is directly tied to Hakeem Nicks' health, but his talent was clearly on display in Week 5. If Nicks' bothersome knee doesn't improve this week, Randle is worth an audition as a WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues, despite a difficult paper matchup at San Francisco.

  • TGT/G 5.6
  • REC/G 1.4
  • YDS/G 17.2
  • YPC 12.3
  • TDs 0
  • Y% 4
  • FAAB $8

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Talented youngster could be Weeden's new No. 1

Josh Gordon (WR) Cleveland Browns
When selected in this year's supplemental draft, many tabbed Gordon a high-risk, high-reward pick. His past affinity for the wacky tobacky and gross insubordination during his brief college career didn't lend much hope for him to stick at the next level. However, he's kept his head on straight, exhibited an excellent work ethic and tapped into his mammoth potential. Last week in New York, he torched Corey Webster for two long TD receptions. Meanwhile, Crisco-handed teammate Greg Little went catchless. Equipped with superb size, speed and athleticism, Gordon certainly possesses the physical tools necessary to develop into Brandon Weeden's top target. Considering Little's recent struggles it could happen sooner rather than later.

  • TGT/G 4.2
  • REC/G 1.8
  • YDS/G 35.0
  • YPC 19.4
  • TDs 2
  • Y% 2
  • FAAB $7

Moderate Buy (12-teams plus) Those in a TE bind should take it to the House

Rob Housler (TE) Arizona Cardinals
For those Jimmy Graham or Greg Olsen owners suffering from the bye week blues, Housler could be a diamond in the rough in Week 6. Filling in for injured starter Todd Heap last Thursday in St. Louis, the virtual unknown snared three passes for 45 yards on a season-high six targets. Since training camp, the Cardinals coaching staff has gushed about the second-year target's plush hands, skyward size, above average speed and athleticism. If Heap, who hasn't played since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury, is again forced to the sidelines, Housler is a possible Shocker Special this week against visiting Buffalo. Only the Tennessee Titans have surrendered more yards to tight ends than the Bills. A final line around 4-50-1 is definitely attainable for the plus-sized weapon this week.

  • TGT/G 5.7
  • REC/G 1.6
  • YDS 23.6
  • YPC 14.8
  • TDs 0
  • Y% 1
  • FAAB $3

Moderate Buy (12-teams plus) Week 6 QB Plug n' Play

Sam Bradford St. Louis Rams
Batted passes, hard sacks, injuries, turnovers – it's been a rough three years for Bradford. Though he's advanced little this year, he's still on pace to set career bests in touchdowns and passing yards. Even minus his finest playmaker, Danny Amendola, this week's generous matchup against Miami only increases the likelihood he will establish new benchmarks across the board. The Dolphins stuff the run like no other, but are very vulnerable through the air. So far this season, Sean Smith and company have already allowed three 300-yard passers in five games. Sans Amendola, it's imperative veterans Steve Smith and Brandon Gibson step up to fill the void. But given the terrific matchup, their chances of success are substantial. Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Jay Cutler owners in a major bind should ride the Ram.

  • ATT/CMP 84/146
  • CMP% 57.5
  • YDS/G 204.4
  • TDs 6
  • INTs 5
  • Y% 19
  • FAAB $5

Solid Buy (all leagues) Week 6 DEF Plug n' Play

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense/Special Teams
Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb, Jay Cutler – there are a few quarterbacks most would consider ideal matchups, but none may be more attractive than Brady Quinn. Fresh off the bye, the Buccaneers are sharpening their swords. Unless Matt Cassel, who was concussed last week against Baltimore, passes tests with flying colors, the D-friendly Quinn will man the controls for KC. Quinn provided a spark off the bench last week, but he hasn't started a game since 2009 and when in the catbird seat was the anthesis of efficient. In 12 career starts he completed a mere 52.6 percent of his passes and committed 12 turnovers. The Bucs, pounded vertically over its first two games, showed some improvement versus Dallas and Washington pre-bye. If it can attack the Chiefs' strength, running the football, it could force Quinn into a few uncompromising situations. Gladly walk the plank.

  • PA 22.7
  • YDSA 419.0
  • SCKS 9
  • TOs 8
  • TDs 1
  • Y% 8
  • FAAB $5

Other Week 6 Pickups: Kevin Kolb, Ari, QB, Kirk Cousins, Was, QB, Brady Quinn, KC, QB, Bilal Powell, NYJ, RB, Jacquizz Rodgers, Atl, RB, Brandon Bolden, NE, RB, James Starks, GB, RB, William Powell, Ari, RB, Alphonso Smith, Ari, RB, Andre Roberts, Ari, WR, Darius Heyward-Bey, Oak, WR, Jeremy Kerley, NYJ, WR

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