Week 7: Pickups of the Week
(Players profiled in italics)
1) Nick Foles
2) Josh Freeman*
3) Geno Smith
4) Brandon Weeden
5) Mike Glennon
6) Chad Henne
Notes: Assuming Michael Vick is out, Nick Foles is QB14 in our initial Week 7 rankings -- ahead of Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. ...Geno Smith continues dealing with typical rookie ups and downs. The upcoming matchup against the Patriots isn't great unless New England jumps ahead, leading to garbage time opportunities. ...Mike Glennon's second start went better than his first even without Mike Williams in the lineup. Next faces an Atlanta defense allowing the fourth most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Still more of a dynasty than redraft league option, but another positive start could change that. ...Any of the above names makes for a better Matt Schaub fantasy replacement than T. J. Yates.
*Oops, forgot to include Josh Freeman upon initial release of this article. I wrote about him last week. Would be a risky start simply because it doubles as his maiden voyage in the Vikings offense, However, the matchup against the Giants is so, so nice. Regardless of Week 7, he's worth a look because of the weapons he has available.
1) Zac Stacy
2) Andre Ellington
3) Brandon Jacobs
4) Joseph Randle
5) Lance Dunbar
6) Roy Helu
7) Chris Ogbannaya
Others: Chris Ivory, Mike Tolbert
Notes: Don't think we need to mention more about Zac Stacy and Andre Ellington after featuring both in last week's Pickups article. Both are worthy RB2 options in Week 7 ...If Dunbar were healthy, he'd be the lead back for Dallas in a committee with Randle. However he's missed the last two games with injury. For DeMarco Murray owners that miss out on Randle, you can grab Lance Dunbar as a handcuff play and hope he enters the fray this week or by Week 8. ...Roy Helu picked up 77 yards on 10 touches in Week 6 with most production coming with Washington playing from behind. That figures to be the game scenario with the Redskins facing Chicago this week. He remains more of a lottery ticket than weekly play. ...Chris Ivory has been a non-factor since returning to the lineup, but there is one less mouth to feed in the Jets backfield with Mike Goodson done for the season. Earlier in the year, New York was able to keep both Bilal Powell and Ivory involved. Powell remains the main back.
1) Keenan Allen
2) Harry Douglas
3) Percy Harvin
4) Rueben Randle
5) Kendall Wright
6) Jarrett Boykin
7) Kris Durham
8) Aaron Dobson
Others: Doug Baldwin, Jacoby Jones, Mario Manningham, Cole Beasley
Notes: Keenan Allen, come on now. Third straight stellar performance and should be owned in all leagues ...No Julio Jones and a still gimpy Roddy White means Harry Douglas likely enters Week 7 as Atlanta's top wide receiver. Based on talent, he's below others on this list. Based on opportunity, he is not. Not a great matchup, but he's a potential WR3 this week and he's no less than Atlanta's second receiver going forward. If you don't need immediate help, Percy Harvin trumps Douglas as a pickup since the Seahawks target is "getting really close" to returning...Rueben Randle delivered a second straight solid fantasy performance with some miscues mixed in. On any day he could be the Giants' main target, but he ultimately plays behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. ...There are certainly sexier options in Detroit, but with Calvin Johnson limited, Kris Durham has surprisingly become Matthew Stafford's go-to guy. Durham received a team-high 13 targets in Week 6, finishing with eight receptions for 83 yards. ...As long as Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski remain week-to-week, Aaron Dobson maintains value. The rookie played the most snaps of any New England wide out against the Saints while posting a season-high 63 yards.
1) Jordan Reed
2) Tim Wright
2) Jeff Cumberland
Others: Joseph Fauria, Rob Housler
Notes: Another solid performance out of Jordan Reed (4-58), but it could have been better as RG3 looked elsewhere in the second half after targeting the rookie often before halftime. Regardless, Reed is a viable down field threat who is emerging as the the No. 2 threat behind Pierre Garcon. ...Kellen Winslow will miss another three games with a league suspension, meaning more snaps for Jeff Cumberland. A check down target for Geno Smith, Cumberland has 136 receiving yards over the last two weeks. ...Joseph Fauria, huh. Seven receptions, five touchdowns. Factor in Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler and it's hard counting on Fauria for regular production. Wish we could tell you the touchdowns will continue. He gets a mention because of the randomness of those scores, not because he should be added in most leagues.
2) San Diego
3) AtlantaMyFantasyLeague availability: 5%
Not all backup-quarterback-playing-for-an-injured-starter situations are created equal. In this case, Nick Foles - the backup - is no mere second fiddle. The former third-round pick rocked in his first start of the season, shredding a solid Bucs secondary by completing 22 of 31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Next, the starter, Michael Vick, remains out with a hamstring injury. We'll learn more about his status for this week's game against Dallas over the coming days. But, here's the thing: facing a Cowboys pass defense that allows lots of yards is another plus-matchup for Foles [same goes for other games over the next five weeks]. If Vick doesn't get back quick, there may be not starting job to keep. One last point: Vick is in the final year of his contract. Foles is not. All Vick owners should roster Foles if they haven't already. Others can take a decent risk on snagging Foles regardless as they might be one game away from having the primary trigger man in a high-scoring offense.MyFantasyLeague availability: 70%
The biggest mystery in Dallas since who shot J.R.? No, not when DeMarco Murray would get hurt (congrats to those who had under Week 7), but who would take over when the inevitable injury took place. In theory the answer should be Lance Dunbar, but he's missed the last two week with a hamstring injury. That's opened the door for Randle, the Cowboys' fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma State. After Murray left with a reported sprained left MCL, Randle scored on a short TD run, but only had 17 yards on 11 carries with two receptions. Dallas has yet to provide Murray's recovery timeline, but he's not expected in the lineup this week. Don't count on him for at least two games, if not more. The immediate and upcoming schedule offers plus matchups for the Cowboys ground game. If Randle is indeed the starter -- as some covering the team project -- he'll have RB2/Flex upside in this offense, though Dallas will likely lean even more on Tony Romo. Philip Dunbar is also in the mix for touches.MyFantasyLeague availability: 54%
When the Browns are leading in the second half of games or facing an opponent without an overwhelming run defense, Willis McGahee will carry the backfield load. When Cleveland faces catch-up mode or struggles on the ground game, Chris Ogbonnaya enters the picture as more than the starting fullback, That was the case in Week 6 when he had seven receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in addition to gaining 24 yards on five carries (McGahee had 10 carries for 37 yards). Expect a similar division of labor in Week 7 against a Packers team that scores lots and sports the third-ranked run defense. Certainly owners in PPR formats can consider Ogbonnaya a bye week replacement against Green Bay. Cleveland could also be playing from behind in upcoming games against Kansas City, Baltimore, Cincinnati and New England.MyFantasyLeague availability: 79%
Well, that was unexpected. Before Thursday night, Brandon Jacobs showed nary a hint of the productive power he displayed against the Bears. Sadly, few fantasy owners took advantage of his 106 yards, two touchdown surprising effort. Therefore, the question is will there be another opportunity for fantasy goodness with Jacobs? Well, unlikely anything close to the Week 6 stats, but there is a path for consistent help. Outside of one or two matchups against stingy run defenses, the Giants have an appealing schedule. New York's suspect offensive line is coming off the unit's best performance of the season [even if it came against a ravaged Bears defensive line]. Lastly, David Wilson and Da'Rel Scott are injured and could each be out several weeks. Jacobs has his own hamstring injury, but is expected to practice by Thursday. Still can't believe we're talking about Brandon Jacobs having fantasy relevancy in 2013. Expect, at least on modest terms, for the discussion to continue.MyFantasyLeague availability: 26%
Entering Week 6, Jarrett Boykin had five career receptions, all coming last season as a rookie. By the time Green Bay hosts Cleveland on Sunday, he'll be no worse than the Packers' No. 3 receiver with a strong shot at being the starter opposite Jordy Nelson. With Randall Cobb (fractured fibula) reportedly out 6-8 weeks and James Jones (PCL sprain) a possible game-time decision, the Packers currently don't have any other choice but to promote Boykin. His one catch against the Ravens went for 41 yards, but he also had two drops. In this offense, with that quarterback, this is the kind of flyer owners should target. Even if Jones plays, Green Bay has had no issue keeping three wide receivers involved.