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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.

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Overshadowed by other rookies, this Brown is barking

Brandon Weeden (QB) Cleveland Browns
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are understandably stealing the headlines, but Weeden, much like Ryan Tannehill and, to a lesser extent, Russell Wilson, continues to make strides in his first season. Interceptions have occasionally plagued him, but when given adequate time, he's capable of carving up defenses and converting explosive pass plays. He puts plenty of pepper on the ball and is an accurate passer in the short-to-intermediate field. Even surrounded by a subpar cast, the Oklahoma St. product has delivered above average numbers, thanks in large part to Cleveland's suspect defense. Since Week 2, he's thrown for at least 231 yards in each game and totaled seven touchdowns. This week, matched against a Colts defense that's surrendered four multi-TD passers in five games, the passer is a heavenly play in a hellish, six-team bye week.

  • ATT/CMP 129/231
  • CMP% 55.8
  • YDS/G 253.2
  • TDs 7
  • INTs 10
  • Y% 11
  • FAAB $9

Strong Buy (10-teams plus)Last year's bust could boom with Murray sidelined

Felix Jones(RB) Dallas Cowboys
It was only a matter of time before DeMarco Murray succumbed to the injury imp. His aggressive, upright running style leaves him vulnerable to unwanted twists and turns. Sidelined by ligament damage in his foot, a setback that will surely keep him out of action this week, the incumbent will likely give way to Jones in a very favorable matchup at Carolina. The Panthers have conceded 4.8 yards per carry, 197.4 total yards per game and four scores to RBs this season, equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. Jones, like Murray, would never be a model for 'Durable' magazine. You could pave a paper trail from Dallas to Houston using his injury reports alone. Still, he totaled 105 yards and a touchdown on 19 touches at Baltimore last week and would be in line to start, making him a strong RB2 in 12-teamers. However, expect him to cede some touches to Phillip Tanner.

  • RUSH/G 4.2
  • YDS/G 21.0
  • YPC 5.0
  • REC/YDS 7/81
  • TDs 1
  • Y% 18
  • FAAB $32

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Rookie's role growing in tandem with S-Jax

Daryl Richardson (RB) St. Louis Rams
It's becoming increasingly apparent, Steven Jackson's one-man show could be entering its final leg. The rookie from football factory Abilene Christian continues to force his way into the backfield conversation. He's more explosive, equally versatile and generally fresher looking than his complement. No surprise his snap and touch count continue to rise. Last week in Miami, he accumulated 99 yards on just 13 touches. His Week 7 opponent, Green Bay, is rather stiff in the trenches. Sunday night, the Packers stonewalled Arian Foster, limiting to just 1.7 yards per carry. But for those with limited options, Richardson is employable in the FLEX.

  • RUSH/G 7.8
  • YDS/G 41.0
  • YPC 5.2
  • REC/YDS 7/59
  • TDs 0
  • Y% 12
  • FAAB $14

Moderate Buy (12-team leagues plus) Backup may net additional touches with T-Pain dinged

Montario Hardesty (RB) Cleveland Browns
Hardesty, once thought to be the Browns' running back of the future, has logged a disappointing career. Injuries and ineptitude have soured his potential. Though he's clearly played second fiddle to Trent Richardson, a flank injury to the rookie could ramp up the backup's touch count in Week 7, making him an intriguing option in very deep leagues. Cleveland's opponent this week, Indianapolis, is extremely generous on the ground. On the season, the My Little Ponies have allowed 5.2 yards per carry, 141 rushing yards per game and eight rushing TDs to RBs, including 161 yards and three scores to Shonn "I would have difficulty puncturing a wall of Jell-O" Greene last Sunday. If Richardson practices sparingly this week, Hardesty could emerge a fine FLEX RB in a brutal bye week.

  • RUSH/G 3.7
  • YDS/G 18.7
  • YPC 3.7
  • REC/YDS 1/9
  • TDs 1
  • Y% 2
  • FAAB $7

Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Despite tender knee, Bolden an upside RB2 in hellish bye week

Brandon Bolden (RB) New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley remains the primary option in Bill Belichick's merry-go-round backfield, but the starter's ongoing fumble problems and case of the dropsies has opened the door for Bolden and Danny Woodhead to wrest away more touches. That is if he's healthy. It's believed the rookie tweaked a knee injury that bothered him in practice the past couple weeks. Dinged commodities aren't usually recommended in this space, but because of New England's appealing matchup (vs. NYJ), his status should be monitored closely. The Jets have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs this season. If he suits up, consider Bolden a low-end RB2 in 12-team and deeper leagues.

  • RUSH/G 7.2
  • YDS/G 39.0
  • YPC 5.4
  • REC/YDS 2/11
  • TDs 2
  • Y% 38
  • FAAB $14

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Sans Amendola, receiver hardly "Debbie"

Brandon Gibson (WR) St. Louis Rams
Last Sunday in Miami, Gibson became Sam Bradford's main man. On a team-best nine targets, he grabbed seven passes for a career-high 91 yards, including a one-handed highlight gem. During his four years in the league, the Wazzu product has shown glimpses of stardom, but suppressed by the system and Danny Amendola, he's contributed minimally. However, now in the pole position, he's worth strong consideration as a WR3, particularly this week. The Rams host Green Bay, fresh off its massacre in Houston. In what will likely be a high volume game for Bradford, Gibson could see upwards of 12 targets in a possible 'catch-up' scenario. View him as a borderline top-30 WR in Week 7.

  • TGT/G 5.6
  • REC/G 3.3
  • YDS/G 45.8
  • YPC 13.8
  • TDs 2
  • Y% 20
  • FAAB $18

Strong Buy (12-teams plus) Talented youngster knows how to make a big splash

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. Over the past two weeks, the home-run hitter has blasted multiple moonshots, recording touchdowns of 62, 20 and 71 yards. That combined with his sharp rise in targets suggests he's likely supplanted Greg Little as the team's No.1. Equipped with superb size, speed and athleticism, he certainly possesses the physical tools necessary to develop into a reliable WR3. If you haven't already, jump aboard the bandwagon.

  • TGT/G 4.1
  • REC/G 2.0
  • YDS/G 45.7
  • YPC 22.8
  • TDs 3
  • Y% 13
  • FAAB $16

Solid Buy (12-teams plus) High volume week on tap for wideout at Foxboro

Jeremy Kerley (WR) New York Jets
When Santonio Holmes went down with a season-ending foot injury, most believed the loss crippled an otherwise mediocre receiving corps. But two weeks ago versus Houston, Kerley made his presence known catching five passes for 94 yards. Though he followed up with an uneventful 3-24-0 effort against the Colts, his 15 targets over the past two weeks were very attractive. This week matched against the league's top offense, New England, he could shoulder a substantial 9-11 target workload. The Pats have made some improvements versus the pass, but remain exploitable. On the season, they've allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs. With a number of standouts unavailable this week, Kerley should be considered an upside WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues.

  • TGT/G 4.8
  • REC/G 3.0
  • YDS 52.5
  • YPC 17.5
  • TDs 2
  • Y% 43
  • FAAB $13

Moderate Buy (12-teams plus) Week 7 QB Plug n' Play

Matt Hasselbeck Tennessee Titans
The wily veteran, expected to take first-team snaps with Jake Locker still recovering from a separated shoulder, is a fantastic plug 'n play option this week. Tennessee travels to Western New York to face the league's most giving fantasy pass defense, Buffalo. On the year, the Bills have surrendered 7.8 yards per attempt, 271.7 passing yards and 2.1 passing touchdowns per game. Four quarterbacks in six games scored at least 25 fantasy points against them, including the likes of Mark Sanchez and Matt Cassel. With Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson finally contributing meaningful touches, Hassy, coming off a respectable 290-1-1 performance versus Pittsburgh, is a borderline 12-team QB1 in Week 7.

  • ATT/CMP 74/123
  • CMP% 60.2
  • YDS/G 181.5
  • TDs 4
  • INTs 4
  • Y% 6
  • FAAB $10

Solid Buy (all leagues) Week 7 DEF Plug n' Play

Oakland Raiders Defense/Special Teams
The butt of many jokes in Fantasyland because of their wretched secondary, the Raiders showed significant improvement last week against the NFC's most explosive offense, Atlanta, on the road. They held Matt Ryan to a season low 18.0 standard fantasy points, picking him three times. If Patrick Lee and company can carry over momentum into Week 7, they could finish inside the position's top-10. It's no secret, Blaine Gabbert couldn't throw his way out of a wet paper bag. Only once this season has the maligned passer eclipsed 190 passing yards in a game. He's also been sacked 3.0 times per contest. Exploit the matchup.

  • PA 29.6
  • YDSA 386.4
  • SCKS 4
  • TOs 6
  • TDs 0
  • Y% 3
  • FAAB $6

Other Week 7 Pickups: Sam Bradford, StL, QB, John Skelton, Ari, QB, Jahvid Best, Det, RB, Joique Bell, Det, RB, William Powell, Ari, RB, Mike Goodson, Oak, RB, Phillip Tanner, Dal, RB, Kendall Wright, Ten, WR, Mario Manningham, SF, WR, Josh Morgan, Wash, WR, Donnie Avery, Ind, WR, Kellen Davis, Chi, TE

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