As we begin the second half of the season, injuries are becoming more and more prevalent throughout the league so it is imperative that you choose players off of waivers carefully and be mindful of their match-ups. If you are in 10 and 12 player leagues, a lot of you are 4-4 or 3-5 and need to begin making a move before you find yourself on the outside looking in. It’s also a time to clean house and consider dropping early round draft picks that have not panned out.
Take Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall for example. Not only has he played but three games this season, but he’s found himself in a very crowded backfield, which includes Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. And here’s a stat for you Mendenhall owners out there who are still waiting for that ‘big game’ from him; he has only rushed for more than 100 yards in a game twice since December 5, 2010! Now that we’ve got your attention here are this week’s pickups…
Titus Young-WR-Lions- Since Nate Burleson is now out for the rest of the season, Young has more than admirably filled in for the veteran exploding for 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week against a pretty good defense in the Seahawks. He was targeted nine times and caught nine passes! Does it get much better than that? In his last two weeks he has 15 receptions for 181 yards and two scores and now he’ll go up against a Jags defense that is 22nd in the league vs the pass. He is currently 58% owned in ESPN leagues and around 40% in most others. For those Jordy Nelson owners not sure if he’ll play this weekend, Young could be a decent replacement, especially in PPR leagues.
Carson Palmer-QB-Raiders- We’re not sure why Palmer isn’t more widely owned especially when compared with other quarterbacks who are putting up similar or less impressive numbers as he is. For example, Tony Romo has thrown for 132 more yards than Palmer but has more interceptions (13) than Palmer (5). Their fantasy points are similar (Palmer has 4 more than Romo), but Romo is owned in 90% of leagues while Palmer stands at 49%. The Raiders’ veteran QB has thrown for around 300 yards or more in four of the seven games this year so you know he can still bring it. And if you look at the remaining schedule, some of the teams he’ll face are just calling out his name; K.C., N.O.,T.B., Carolina, and S.D. Need a replacement for Eli in week 11? Carson will be facing the 4th worse defense in football, the Saints, at the Black Hole.
Cecil Shorts-WR-Jaguars- WR Laurent Robinson (concussion) returns this week but Shorts is still expected to start at outside WR for the Jags. Over his last two games, Shorts has amassed 195 receiving yards and scored one touchdown. He’s been targeted 22 times over those games and has banked 430 yards so far this season. Be aware that although starting this week, he will probably see a few less reps and remember too that we’re talking about the inconsistent Blaine Gabbert and the Jags here. Still he makes a serviceable WR3 at worst and a WR 2 wannabe at best. He is currently available in 70% of leagues. It would be advantageous for owners to take out a flier on the former Bengal or pick him up outright.
Brandon Myers-TE-Raiders- For those of you desperate for a fill-in for TE Vernon Davis this week (bye), Myers should be someone for you to consider especially in PPR leagues. He has the seventh most receptions in the NFL (31) and is just 17 yards away from 400 total receiving yards on the year. TE Antonio Gates by contrast, has 10 less receptions on the season and 150 less receiving yards and even with his 2 touchdowns he has 12 less fantasy points than Myers but he is owned in 96% of leagues while Myers is holding at 20%. Although this week the Bucs come into Oakland and have made it difficult for TE’s to flourish in fantasy-land, we think Myers will still garner 4-5 receptions and around 55-60 yards. The aforementioned Vernon Davis, by the way, has a total of 2 catches and 34 yards over his last two games.
S.D. Chargers-Defense/Special Teams- We selected the Chargers defense/special teams this week more because of who they’re playing as opposed to their own defensive prowess. Ignore the fact that they’re the19th ranked defense in the league as San Diego will be rewarded by a K.C. team all too eager to turn the ball over for them. Oakland, who played the Chiefs last week and won handily, got three sacks and forced four turnovers and they’re the 31st worst defensive team in the league! If you are stuck looking for a Def./Sp. Team to fill in for the 49ers who are on a bye this week, grab the Bolts who are available in about half the leagues. You won’t be sorry.