Pickups of the Week
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) Disrespected QB demands your attention
Carson Palmer (QB) Oakland Raiders
The veteran passer isn't just a Garbage Time All-Star, he's the team MVP. Oakland's woeful defense has thrust Palmer into consistent high-volume situations. Over the past three weeks, he's netted a ridiculous 44.7 attempts per game, far and away the highest mark among passers during that stretch. Overall, he's the ninth-best QB, in terms of total points, in standard leagues. Another high pitch-count is a foregone conclusion this week against New Orleans. Because of their own defensive issues, the Saints know nothing but shootouts. On the year, they've yielded a staggering 8.5 yards per attempt and 322.4 passing yards per game. Matt Cassel is the only QB not to exceed 22 fantasy points against them this year. With that in mind, Palmer is a top-10 play whose ceiling could be much higher if dealt an early deficit.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Foles era begins with a bang
Nick Foles (QB) Philadelphia Eagles
In many NFL towns where negativity reigns supreme, the backup quarterback is everyone's favorite denizen. Philadelphia is no exception. After Michael Vick exited stage left in the second quarter Sunday due to a concussion, Eagles fans got what they were clamoring for. Foles, who shattered records while at Arizona, largely fared well in relief of Vick. He completed 22 of 32 attempts for 219 yards, including a 44-yard TD strike to an unguarded Jeremy Maclin. The rookie is a prototype pocket passer blessed with excellent downfield vision, plus arm strength and better than advertised mobility. His regular season debut may only be the beginning, even if the incumbent is medically cleared this week. Consider Foles a top-shelf sleeper in Week 11. Philly's opponent, Washington, has given up the second-most fantasy points to passers this year. For Eli Manning owners looking for a suitable gap-filler, Foles is your man.
Strong Buy (10-teams plus) Ivory channeled his inner Beast against Atlanta
Christopher Ivory (RB) New Orleans Saints
It's becoming increasingly clear, the Saints have the deepest backfield in the NFL. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Ivory, the fourth man on the depth-chart, all have the skills to be 15-20 touch workhorses. But the last man in the pecking order might actually be the best. During pre-game, Joe Vitt revealed he wanted to alleviate pressure on his taxed defense by pounding the Falcons into submission. Sunday the head coach stuck to his word. Ivory led the Saints' three-headed monster, rolling over would-be tacklers en route to a team-high 85 total yards on just eight touches. His 56-yard TD run, highlighted by a dynamite cut-back and vicious stiff arm, was Marshawn Lynch-like. Expect Ivory to log another smallish workload in Week 11, but matched against a Raiders D that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs this year, he should rack another 60-plus yards with a score.
Strong PPR Buy (12-teams plus) Undervalued fullback could be a PPR party versus 'Nawlins
Marcel Reece (RB) Oakland Raiders
As expected, the versatile fullback, who played wide receiver in college at Washington, earned featured touches with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson sidelined. Though his final fantasy line didn't leap off the page in standard formats, his seven receptions were a godsend for owners in challenging PPR leagues. If McFadden and Goodson are again deactivated, he should carve out a measurable role in the pass game in Week 11. Taiwan Jones, though a speed demon, only earned complementary touches in Baltimore, ceding carries to the more trustworthy fullback inside the red zone. Overall, Reece out-snapped Jones by a significant margin. A similar split should be expected this week. Given Oakland's inadequacies on defense it's entirely possible the Raiders will play catch-up early and often against New Orleans. If that occurs, Reece should net upwards of 12-15 touches, many of which will come in the pass game. Even if he logs another 10 or so carries on the ground, the returns will be appreciable. The Saints have allowed the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season. In a hellish bye week for backs, the Raider could keep buyers in the black.
Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Everyone's favorite weenie nearing return
Beanie Wells (RB) Arizona Cardinals
On the PUP/return 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.
Solid Buy (12-team leagues plus) Booming Bill worth audition versus Miami
Donald Jones (WR) Buffalo Bills
Over the past two weeks, Jones has developed into a high-volume weapon. Targeted 19 times against Houston and New England, he hauled in 12 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown. Starting opposite Stevie Johnson, he should continue to attract appreciable targets down the homestretch. Because insurmountable deficits are common in Western New York, Jones' workload will remain relatively consistent moving forward. This week, gifted a vexed Miami secondary on short rest, he is a good bet to post strong WR3 numbers in 12-team and deeper formats. Battered through the air often of late, the Dolphins have yielded the fifth-most fantasy points to WRs since Week 6. Another 6-70-1 line is achievable for the overlooked wideout.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Rams castoff putting charge into San Diego pass game
Danario Alexander (WR) San Diego Chargers
Picked up by the Chargers just two weeks ago, the ex-Ram is already rebuilding his career. After totaling 63 yards in his Chargers debut, the overlooked wideout carried over momentum in the follow-up, cashing 134 yards (on seven receptions) and a score against Tampa. Gifted a chance to showcase his wares with Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal injured (and inept), he's displayed excellent separation skills and athleticism. Shockingly, his reconstructed knees have yet to disintegrate, but, assuming his body holds up, he should deliver occasionally sound WR3 totals in deeper formats moving forward, including this week versus Denver. For those looking to add depth at WR in 12-team leagues, capture the Bolt in a bottle.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Luck, rookie slated to pick apart Pats
Dwayne Allen (TE) Indianapolis Colts
The depth and scope at tight end this season is more incredible than last year. Through 10 weeks, 17 oversized targets are averaging at least 6.0 points per game, up from 14 in 2011. Allen isn't included in that group, but the rookie is a borderline top-12 play in Week 11. Sans Coby Fleener, Andrew Luck should again line up the youngster in the crosshairs often across the middle. Working as the featured TE over the past three weeks, Allen has totaled a deep-league employable 12 catches for 162 yards. The end-zone has been elusive, but his luckless TD ways could end this week against New England. The Patriots have surrendered the third-most fantasy points to TEs this year. A final tally in the range of 4-6 receptions for 50-60 yards and a TD is certainly possible.
Solid Buy (12-teams plus) Week 11 QB Plug n' Play
John Skelton (QB) Arizona Cardinals
With the Cardinals mired in a painful slump, Ryan Lindley whispers have started to surface in the Valley. Though the dual threat is an interesting commodity long-term, Skelton will again take snaps under center this week. As the starter, the lumbering passer hasn't lit up the scoreboard, but he hasn't completely bombed either. Filling the void for Kevin Kolb, he's averaged 251.8 yards and posted a 2:4 td:int split in his past four games, tallying a hefty 40.5 attempts per game. Expect him to greatly exceed that latter number in Week 11. Arizona travels to Atlanta to face a furious Falcons team fresh off its first loss. The Falcons have defended the pass fairly well, but three QBs over the past four weeks have surpassed the 20-fantasy point threshold against them. In what should be a lopsided affair, Skelton could clean-up in garbage time. Another 250-plus yards with 2-3 TDs aren't out of the question.
Strong Buy (all leagues) Week 11 DEF Plug n' Play
Cincinnati Bengals Defense/Special Teams
Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mother Theresa and the Kansas City Chiefs. What do they all have in common? They're all overwhelmingly generous. No club has served balls on silver platters more than KC. On the year, they've committed 29 turnovers and surrendered 23 sacks, a string of miscues that led Romeo Crennel to institute the "Romeo Rule" (you fumble, you sit) prior to Monday's mauling at the hands of the Steelers. With only one turnover in rainy Pittsburgh, it did resonate, but it's not likely the Chiefs have suddenly changed their ways. Cincy has coaxed few errors, but Geno Atkins and company have done an excellent job collapsing the pocket. This season they’ve tallied 28 sacks, the second-most in the league. In Week 11, Matt Cassel will be catnip for the Bengals.
Other Week 11 Pickups: Colin Kaepernick, SF, QB, Daniel Thomas, Mia, RB, Danny Woodhead, Buf, RB, Mark Ingram, NO, RB, Joique Bell, Det, RB, Daryl Richardson, StL, RB, Daniel Thomas, Mia, RB, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oak, WR, Ryan Broyles, Det, WR, Donnie Avery, Ind, WR, Brandon LaFell, Car, WR, Golden Tate, Sea, WR