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) Former No. 1 pick's predicted demise greatly exaggerated
Alex Smith (QB) San Francisco 49ers
A few weeks ago, Smith was a passer firmly planted on the hot seat. Humiliated, again, by the New York Giants, several naysayers were clamoring for the Colin Kaepernick era to begin. Though he followed up with a mediocre 140-1-1 line against Seattle, Smith's throttling of Arizona in Glendale (18-19, 232-3-0) all but silenced critic demands. Fresh off the bye, expect his scorching ways to continue. San Fran's Week 10 opponent, St. Louis, has improved greatly across the board defensively. Cortland Finnegan, in particular, has brought a nasty, aggressive demeanor to the team. Still, against accurate QBs (e.g. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady), the Rams have struggled. If Smith brings his surgical tools to Candlestick in Week 10, he's a strong bet for 220-240 yards and 2-3 TDs.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) New Orleans a magic elixir for any under-used back
Jacquizz Rodgers (RB) Atlanta Falcons
Though the fantasy community has repeatedly written off the Model T, Michael Turner, the old vehicle continues to churn out meaningful numbers. Last week's 102-yard, 1-TD effort against Dallas comes to mind. Still, Rodgers has taken on a major role, seeing at least 35-40 percent of team snaps in three straight. This week a steady diet of looks and touches should be on the menu against the league's most accommodating fantasy defense, New Orleans. The Saints have surrendered 5.0 yards per carry and the most fantasy points to RBs this season. Turner will again be the primary ball carrier, but, similar to how Ronnie Hillman was deployed against New Orleans in Week 8, Rodgers will occasionally spell the veteran. Even on 10-12 touches he's a strong candidate for 80-plus total yards. Add. Flex. Reap.
Strong PPR Buy (12-teams plus) DMC's annual lower-body injury, Goodson setback paves way for fullback
Marcel Reece (RB) Oakland Raiders
The versatile fullback who played wide receiver in college at Washington could be thrust into the catbird seat in Week 10. Darren McFadden reportedly suffered a high-ankle sprain, a setback that could suspend his availability for multiple weeks. Backup Mike Goodson is also dealing with a high-ankle issue. If Goodson or DMC don't return to practice this week, Reece and little used third-stringer Taiwan Jones, would likely form a two-man committee, with the fullback receiving the bulk of the work, particularly in the pass game. The tacky-handed back isn't the strongest interior runner, but he's an exceptional receiver with surprising open-field speed and break-tackle ability, making him a matchup headache for the opposition. Facing a Ravens defense that's allowed five rushers to eclipse 90 total yards in its past four games, he's a useful flex option. It's unlikely he'll record more than 6-8 carries, but 5-plus receptions are in the cards.
Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Everyone's favorite weenie nearing return
Beanie Wells (RB) Arizona Cardinals
On the PUP list since early October, the oft-injured RB has been largely forgotten about. However, on track to return in Week 12, he still has time to salvage what promised to be a valuable RB2-level season. LaRod Stephens-Howling, though erratic, has proven effective at times, but is better suited as a change-of-pace option. Yes, the Cardinals offensive line is dreadful, but not in the run-blocking department. Against Minnesota and Green Bay the much maligned unit opened up numerous holes for Arizona rushers to jet through. If the line's play can continue to improve, Wells should make a noticeable mark almost immediately, though 'Zona's late-season schedule is daunting. Seattle, Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco are major obstacles. Still, likely to rack 15-plus carries once activated, Beanie is a widely available bench back worth grabbing.
Strong PPR Buy (12-team leagues plus) Underrated PPR producer
Joique Bell (RB) Detroit Lions
In games in which Detroit has played from behind or built a massive lead, Jim Schwartz has deployed Bell often. From the coaching staff's perspective, he's the preferred option in late-game situations, which is strange considering Mikel Leshoure's plus versatility. But last week in Jacksonville Bell saw extensive action throughout, accumulating a season-high 16 touches for 109 yards. On pace for 48 receptions, he's employable as a FLEX play in challenging PPR leagues. Leshoure should remain the primary back, but if sidelined by significant injury, Bell, and not Kevin Smith, would likely be the next man up. Even with a healthy Leshoure, Bell should net 35-40 percent of the touches on a regular basis, especially in Week 10. Minnesota has underperformed against the run of late allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to RBs over the past five weeks. Married to the Cover 2, the Vikes are typically vulnerable underneath, a place where Bell often operates. Another 50-70 total yards and 3-5 receptions are entirely possible this week.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Tate quickly becoming Wilson's go-to guy in the short field
Golden Tate (WR) Seattle Seahawks
The former Golden Domer has been gifted a long look with Braylon Edwards sidelined by injury. So far, he's seized the moment. Over his past two games, he's become an indispensable weapon underneath, hauling in high-percentage passes while grinding out tough yards in the open field. During that stretch, he's accounted for 13 targets, 11 receptions, 113 total yards and two touchdowns. In his third year, he is really starting to come into his own. In Week 10, the Jets present a difficult matchup. Wide receivers have performed 22.9-percent below the league average against them. But with Antonio Cromartie likely to shadow Sidney Rice most of the game, it's likely Tate will entice another 6-8 targets, labeling him an upside WR3 option in deeper formats.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Rookie in lock-step with Andrew Luck
T.Y. Hilton (WR) Indianapolis Colts
The often overlooked rookie wideout is one of many bright spots on a very young Colts team. Occasionally useful fantasy-wise, he's contributed two double-digit fantasy performances on the year, including last week. On Andrew Luck's historic day, Hilton hauled in six receptions (on a team-high 11 targets) for 102 yards and a touchdown. With Donnie Avery ailed by a hip injury, more spectacular efforts could be in the offing. Without question, Indy's rest of season schedule is the easiest for wide receivers. A Week 13 date with Detroit is the only below average matchup remaining. This week, slated to face a banged up Jaguars secondary, another 10-plus fantasy points are a possibility for the rookie. Employ him as a WR3 in deeper formats.
Moderate Buy (12-teams plus) TE needy teams should fish for the ‘Fin
Anthony Fasano (TE) Miami Dolphins
Over the past couple weeks, Fasano has done his best Kyle Rudolph impersonation, grabbing just two catches for 12 yards. Davone Bess, Reggie Bush and, most recently, Daniel Thomas have wrested away short-field targets normally allotted for the TE. But that could change this week. Giving up bountiful points to oversized targets has been a trend of the Tennessee Titans defense. On the year, TEs have tallied 11.3 points per game in standard formats against the unit, the second-most in the league. Though his role has declined of late, he is a highly employable one-week filler for owners who have struggled to establish a suitable presence at the position. A final line in range of 4-45-1 is certainly attainable.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Week 10 QB Plug n' Play
Ryan Fitzpatrick Buffalo Bills
For Fitzpatrick, Buffalo's bumbling defense is his greatest statistical ally. The Bills, routinely pounded via land and air by the opposition, have dug numerous holes, forcing Chan Gailey to dial up the pass. In those situations, Fitzpatrick has, at times, generated favorable results, including his previous meeting against New England. Back in Week 4, Fitzpatrick racked 350 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout loss. A similar scenario could unfold this week in the rematch at Foxboro. Similar to last year, the Pats have yielded an unsettling amount of explosive pass plays. No defense has allowed more 20-plus yard connections. Overall, they've given up 8.0 yards per attempt and five fantasy performances of 20-plus points to QBs. Aaron Rodgers and RGIII owners, Fitz is your one-week fix.
Solid Buy (all leagues) Week 10 DEF Plug n' Play
Miami Dolphins Defense/Special Teams
Under normal circumstances recommending a defense one week removed from getting torched by Andrew Luck for 433 yards, a rookie record, would be an idiotic move. But in a week where few quality stream options are available, the Fins could morph into sharks against a sputtering Titans squad. Underrated defensive end Cameron Wake must be salivating. On the year, Tennessee QBs have been sacked 17 times. The Titans have also committed 16 turnovers, including a whopping five against Chicago last week. Though it's still licking its wounds, Miami should deliver a useful fantasy line at home. In shallow leagues, go fishin'.
Other Week 10 Pickups: Carson Palmer, Oak, QB, Ryan Tannehill, Mia, QB, Joe Webb, Min, QB, Taiwan Jones, Oak, RB, James Starks, GB, RB, Danny Amendola, StL, WR, Danny Woodhead, NE, RB, Shane Vereen, NE, RB, Donnie Avery, Ind, WR, Danario Alexander, SD, WR, Ryan Broyles, Det, WR, Emmanuel Sanders, Pit, WR, Brandon Myers, TE, Oak, Dwayne Allen, Ind, TE