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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.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Drink up all the Hennessy you got on your shelf
Chad Henne (QB) Jacksonville Jaguars
If the Jags do the unthinkable and bring aboard Tim Tebow this offseason, Henne's well-deserved gig as the starter could be in jeopardy. After all, Shad Kahn needs to put butts in the seats. But with a game remaining, Henne gets one last shot to impress ownership. As the starter, he's averaged a commendable 243.4 yards per game, totaling five touchdowns. His Week 17 opponent, Tennessee, is one of the league's sketchiest pass defenses. Ten quarterbacks in total have logged multi-TD efforts against the Titans. If you're in dire need of a QB, bag this Jag.
Strong Buy (12-teams plus) Ageless veteran officially a playoff hero
Ryan Grant (RB) Green Bay Packers
Sunday in Lambeau, the hands of time reversed. Not fantasy relevant in ages, Grant, plucked off waivers just three weeks ago, rolled his way to 134 total yards and two touchdowns against a checked-out Titans defense. It was his first 100-total yard, 2-TD effort since December 13, 2009. The Packers travel to Minnesota to face a Vikings team with a playoff spot on the line. Though the Vikes have given up just the ninth-fewest fantasy points since Week 12, Grant, who should be deployed often given Mike McCarthy's desire to establish a consistent ground game with the second season approaching, is a viable FLEX option in 12-team and deeper leagues. Another 15-18 touches should be expected.
Strong Buy (10-team leagues plus) Former first-rounder finally tapping into potential
Mark Ingram (RB) New Orleans Saints
Trapped in a four-back rotation, Ingram, a former No. 1 pick of the Saints, hasn't delivered on his mammoth promise. Timid runs, short gains and little contribution in the pass game have spurned those that invested in him. But over the past three weeks, he's played extraordinarily well. During that stretch he's totaled 48 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and found the end zone twice. This week matched against a Panthers front line that's conceded 4.5 yards per carry to RBs, he is a useful RB2, even in 10-team leagues.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) WR could help pop a cork in deeper leagues
Brandon LaFell (WR) Carolina Panthers
Over the past few weeks, the Carolina target, who abused weak secondaries Tampa and Philly in Weeks 11 and 12, has LaFallen on hard times. LaFell missed Week 14 with a foot injury and only totaled four receptions for 38 yards versus Oakland Sunday. Though erratic, New Orleans presents a unique opportunity. On the season, only Tampa has surrendered more fantasy points to WRs. In his first meeting against the Saints way back in Week 2, he grabbed a season-high six passes for 90 yards. With Cam Newton firing on all cylinders and given the appealing matchup, LaFell is very capable of surpassing both numbers.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) For streamers, Colt worth saddling up
Dwayne Allen (TE) Indianapolis Colts
Of the Colts' young duo of tight ends, most, including yours truly, projected Coby Fleener would outproduce his compatriot. But that hasn't been the case. Though Allen has only been sporadically useful in fantasy circles, he's been Andrew Luck's most reliable TE. This week, he could satisfy both audiences. Indy's opponent, Houston, has yielded the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends. In a enormous intradivisional battle, Allen could be a difference-making X-factor. Stream away.
Strong Buy (all leagues) Week 17 DEF Plug n' Play
Cincinnati Bengals Defense/Special Teams
If you invited Geno Atkins over to your place for a Christmas dinner, at least five turkeys better be on the menu. Potatoes, wild birds, humans … the man consumes everything in sight. He especially craves Raven. In five career games against Baltimore, the defensive tackle has accounted for 14 tackles and four sacks. Considering the inconsistencies of the Ravens offense and with playoff positioning on the line, the Bengals will purr at home.