Pickups of the Week: Rashaad Penny demands fantasy attention

Rashaad Penny finally breaks out

Penny certainly had the look of a first-round running back on Sunday, piling up 108 yards and one score on a dozen carries against the Rams. Check his highlight reel and you’ll see quick feet, excellent decision-making and powerful finishes. Veteran Mike Davis got the start for Seattle in relief of the injured Chris Carson (quad, hip). He out-snapped Penny, 39 to 27, but the rookie was a revelation.

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Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was clearly pleased:

“Today [Penny] busted out,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve been challenging him to get right and to work at the right tempo and find what it’s like to be a pro, just teaching a young guy trying to figure it out. … I thought today he needed it so badly. He knows he’s a great player. He just hasn’t been able to demonstrate it.’’

You shouldn’t need an expert to tell you that a talented rusher coming off a 100-yard performance is a priority fantasy add. Penny is available at the moment in over 85 percent of Yahoo leagues, and he should have a meaningful role in Thursday night’s home matchup with Green Bay. Go get him. Carson is expected to return this week, if Carroll can be believed, but Penny has earned a share of the backfield touches.

Schedule, next three weeks: GB, at Car, SF

FAAB bid ($100 budget): $16

Seattle Seahawks rookie Rashaad Penny delivered his first NFL touchdown and first 100-yard rushing performance in Week 10. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Seattle Seahawks rookie Rashaad Penny delivered his first NFL touchdown and first 100-yard rushing performance in Week 10. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Theo Riddick keeps PPRing, hauls in another six passes

Riddick has caught 13 balls for 96 yards over Detroit’s last two games, emerging as perhaps the biggest statistical winner following the Golden Tate trade. He has almost no role as a rusher — in fact, he hasn’t received a carry since Week 5 — but the PPR managers among you don’t really care. Riddick has a well-understood role in the Lions’ offense; he’s likely to see 6-10 targets per week moving forward. If you play in a full-point per reception fantasy format, he’s clearly on the radar.

Schedule, next three weeks: Car, Chi, LAR

FAAB bid: $4

Anthony Miller makes another house call

Miller has feasted over the past five weeks, reaching the end-zone three times while catching 16 passes on 30 targets. He’s coming off a season-best 122-yard effort versus the Lions, a performance that included this long score against remarkably poor defense:

With six teams on bye in the week ahead, Miller should be considered a viable WR3 for fantasy purposes. Add as needed.

Schedule, next three weeks: Min, at Det, at NYG

FAAB bid: $10

Josh Adams can expect an uptick in touches

To be clear, we aren’t simply speculating about an increase in usage for Adams. Philadelphia’s head coach says it’s happening:

Adams has rushed for 108 yards on just 16 carries over Philly’s last two games and he’s averaging 5.7 YPC for the season. He’s not the flashiest runner, but he’s a large human (6-foot-2, 225) who makes good decisions and generally gains every inch that’s blocked. He was plenty effective at the collegiate level for Notre Dame, rushing for 1430 yards (6.9 YPC) and nine scores last year. Next week’s matchup with New Orleans isn’t at all appealing, as the Saints have the league’s stingiest run defense (3.7 YPC, 80.1 rush YPG). But the schedule takes a friendly turn in Week 12 when the Eagles host the Giants.

Schedule, next three weeks: at NO, NYG, Was

FAAB bid: $9

Suddenly, Marcus Mariota can’t be stopped

Mariota opened his season by throwing just two touchdown passes in his first five games, a rare level of ineffectiveness in the modern NFL. But he’s directed wins over Dallas and New England over the past two weeks, delivering a pair of TD tosses in each game and rushing for another score. Over the last four weeks, he’s averaged 8.2 yards per attempt. We’re beginning to see the sort of efficiency for which OC Matt LaFleur is known.

Tennessee has been a Jekyll/Hyde team so far this season, knocking off the Patriots and Eagles yet losing games to the Bills and Dolphins. The offense is rolling in recent weeks and next Sunday’s matchup with the Colts isn’t too intimidating. Indy ranks in the bottom-third of the league in both yards and points allowed. If you’re looking for a bye-week placeholder at QB, Mariota can help.

Schedule, next three weeks: at Ind, at Hou, NYJ

FAAB bid: $8

Marcus Mariota is coming off his second straight multi-touchdown game, and he has an appealing matchup ahead in Week 11. (AP Photo/James Kenney)
Marcus Mariota is coming off his second straight multi-touchdown game, and he has an appealing matchup ahead in Week 11. (AP Photo/James Kenney)

Lamar Jackson, high-upside fantasy stash

Joe Flacco is dealing with a hip injury of as-yet-unknown severity, raising the possibility that Jackson could soon make his first pro start. He’s a thrilling runner who was simply unfair at Louisville. Jackson isn’t a particularly accurate passer by NFL standards, but his rare rushing ability is enough to vault him into the starting conversation in fantasy. Think of him as something like a combination of a QB2 and RB2. Baltimore’s rest-of-season schedule is loaded with stellar matchups, including four of the league’s five worst pass defenses. Get Jackson wherever you can, even if it’s just to keep him away from a future opponent.

Schedule, next three weeks: Cin, Oak, at Atl

FAAB bid: $12

Arizona Cardinals to host the tanking Raiders

OK, so Jon Gruden might still be insisting that Oakland is not, in fact, aggressively tanking in 2018. But c’mon. The Raiders have been a mostly brutal watch. The team ranks No. 30 in scoring (16.3 PPG) and is tied for tenth in giveaways (13). Derek Carr has been sacked 28 times, the sixth highest total in the NFL. Arizona’s defense has been something less than dominant this season, but Oakland is an unusually inept opponent. Expect 8-12 fantasy points from the Cards in Week 11.

Schedule, next three weeks: Oak, at LAC, at GB

FAAB bid: $2

Also recommended: QB Dak Prescott, RB Derrick Henry, RB Frank Gore, RB Elijah McGuire, WR Chris Godwin, WR Josh Doctson, WR Keke Coutee, WR Josh Reynolds, TE Ricky Seals-Jones, TE Jeff Heuerman, TE Jonnu Smith, TE Nick Vannett, TE Gerald Everett

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