Last week we discussed the likes of Tim Tebow, Doug Baldwin, Steve Breaston all who had bye weeks, but if they are still available make sure to go grab them. Others like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Donald Brown played, produced and hopefully helped your fantasy team. If you missed last weeks article you can check it out here. Every Tuesday night we discuss the best pickups on our radio show as well so make sure to check that out at Blogtalkradio.com/FantasySavvy. This week some injuries and some trades open up some spots for newcomers to come in and contribute. Nothing too exciting on the market this week, but definitely some guys that are worth picking up. The following players are listed in order.
Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders
The only reason I am ranking Palmer first is that he is going to be the starter for Oakland for the rest of the year and possibly into the future depending on how he performs. The Raiders went out and traded a 1st and 2nd rounder for him, so there is no doubt he will be the starter as soon as he is ready. Reports are that Palmer is back to 100% and his arm strength has returned to its old form. But I have serious doubts about Palmer and how effective he will be. He still can’t move in the pocket and has proven to be very turnover prone in recent years. However, if you need to add a QB desperately, then Palmer is your guy. Who’s to say he won’t rejuvenate his career and have a good year with the Raiders. I would think he would increase the value of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Kevin Boss. He will step into a nice young offense with a strong running game. If Palmer is at least somewhat back to his old self he is easily better than Jason Campbell. Again, I am banking against Palmer to do anything significant, but I do believe there is a good chance he will out perform Campbell and improve this offense. If you are having serious QB trouble, go pickup Palmer as he will be the starter for the rest of the season.
Ronnie Brown, RB, Detroit Lions
I’m ranking Brown second for a couple of reasons. As you all should know by now, Brown was traded to the Lions for Jerome Harrison. Jahvid Best suffered yet another concussion, which is his 3rd concussion in the last 5 years. I haven’t believed in Best because I doubted his durablitly and I was mad because last week he seemed to be proving me wrong, but here we go again, Best with another concussion. Concussions are nothing to play around with and although Best could possibly play this week, there is also a chance he could be out multiple weeks. If he suffers another concussion he could be out for the year, who really knows. Based on all that, I think Brown is a solid add. Yes he had that dopey pitch on the goal line a couple of weeks ago, but if you’re asking me to pick between Ronnie Brown and Maurice Morris, I am going with Brown. Brown, I believe, if given the chance, will show that he’s deserves to start over Morris and if Best is out for a long period of time that will happen. So if you have a spot on your roster and if you’re a Jahvid Best owner, make sure to grab Brown, because he could end up being very valuable this year.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
The Oklahoma rookie will now take over the starting spot as Felix Jones will be out for 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Jones, like Best is also very fragile, with a history of being hurt throughout his career. Tashard Choice will also be in the mix, but it appears that Murray will get most of the touches. The Cowboys offensive line hasn’t opened up many lanes and Murray hasn’t looked very good, but if your a Jones owner or need a Running back in the short-term, Murray is a must add. The Cowboys still have an explosive offense, despite what we saw from them last week and Murray will get a good amount of chances around the goal line. There is also a chance that Jones could be out longer than 4 weeks or maybe come back and re-aggravate his injury leaving Murray to take the reins for a good amount of games. For the short-term I like Murray better than Ronnie Brown but for the long-term I only rank Brown over Murray because of Jahvid Best’s concussion history and how that could possibly keep him out for a longer time than Jones.
Danny Woodhead, RB, New England Patriots
After Woodhead got hurt two weeks ago, a lot of owners cut him so he should be available in most leagues. The Patriots will continue to us Woodhead, although it could be more sparingly due to the slight emergence of Stevan Ridley. But if you’re in a PPR league, I believe Woodhead will still have some value as he usually is good for around 3-5 catches and 30-60 total yards per game. If there is an injury to Ridley or Ben Jarvus then Woody earns a bigger role, playing in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. Woodhead is just a guy that is a good add because of the situation he is in.
Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions, Tashard Choice, RB, Dallas Cowboys
I think both of these guys will take backseats in their respective backfields, but nonetheless they are worth adding if you can’t get DeMarco Murray or Ronnie Brown. Maurice Morris really isn’t anything special at all and even if he somehow ends up getting more reps than Ronnie Brown, don’t expect him to produce much. Choice hasn’t looked good at all this season, which is surprising because at one point he was a pretty talented runner. That said he still has a chance to earn the #1 role while Felix Jones is out and is worth adding, again if you can’t land Brown or Murray.
Sneaky Picks- Mark Clayton, WR, St. Louis Rams, Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos, Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams
Both Thomas and Clayton are returning from injury to play in Week 7. Clayton as we remember was Bradford’s favorite target last year before getting injured and being ruled out for the year. Thomas was a talented rookie who had some big games but also was knocked out for the year. Thomas has a chance to be the #1 wideout as Lloyd is now gone and Eric Decker and Eddie Royal really aren’t #1 types. The biggest factor is Tebow, how well will he connect with Thomas and how effective will he be throwing the football. Clayton on the other might not be the #1 because of the presence of Brandon Lloyd and Danario Alexander, but he has the rapport with Bradford and Bradford is definitely more capable when it comes to tossing the rock. Either way, both guys are very talented wideouts who are worth adding. There is a very good chance that one of these guys could prove to be very valuable for the rest of the year.
Kendricks was on everybody’s radar to start the year after a strong preseason. But after week upon week of doing zip, many owners let him go. Last week Kendricks had a fairly good game hauling in 4 passes for 71 yards. There is no questioning his talent and maybe with the Rams schedule starting to ease up, Kendricks will start to produce like most owners thought he would.
Should be owned already but if not go add- Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland Browns
Call it the Madden curse or Hillis just breaking down after taking a big workload last year, but Hardesty might soon take over as the #1 back in Cleveland. If he’s out there go grab him as Hillis left last week’s game with a hamstring injury and has not run well at all this season.
Risky options but worth a shot- John Beck, QB, Washington Redskins, Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings, Arrelious Benn, WR, Tampa Bay Bucs
Beck and Ponder both step into the starting role as Mcnabb and Grossman have both been benched. Ponder likes to run a lot, but I really have little faith in his throwing ability. Beck has Shanahan behind him, so I think he’s the QB to own of the two. Benn has always been talented and now looks to be fully healthy from his ACL injury, there is a chance he emerges as a good option in Tampa.