Between bye weeks and injuries there has to be some players that will help to fill a void (or two) on your roster this week. The amount of concussed players rises every week and one can only wish that there will be ways to help minimize these serious health concerns. Just last week we saw Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, and Fred Jackson, just to name a few, succumb to either concussion or other bodily injury. Several of these and other players will be out for Sunday’s games so here are some pickups that hopefully you can still grab in your leagues…
Carson Palmer-QB-Raiders- The Raiders will be going up against the defensively challenged Saints this week and we’re touting Palmer because New Orleans has given up the most fantasy points to QBs in the league. They also yield close to 500 yards of offense to opposing teams which should benefit the Raiders who were blown away by the Ravens last week. Palmer was 29-45 for 368 yards and two touchdowns in that game although admittedly a lot of the throws came when the game was clearly out of hand. He has however , thrown 45 or more passes in 3 of his last 4 games and has just become the first Raider QB since Ken Stabler to throw eight 300-yard passing games. He’s still available in around 40% of most leagues.
#3 Raiders QB & veteran Carson Palmer becomes even more fantasy relevant this week as he faces a very generous Saints defense. Photo: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Donnie Avery-WR-Colts- When Rookie QB Andrew Luck isn’t rushing for touchdowns, he’s got some fairly reliable receivers at his disposal. Avery is slowly becoming one of his favorites as witnessed last week when he was targeted six times. Only Reggie Wayne was targeted more. New England, the Colts’ opponents this week, has given up the 7th most fantasy points to WR’s this season which makes Avery even more of a threat. In his last three weeks, he has 13 receptions for 215 yards. He’ll make a decent WR3 this week and you should have no problem finding him as he is only owned in under 25% of leagues.
Daniel Thomas-RB-Dolphins- Forget Miami’s mammoth collapse last week in their stunning 31-13 defeat at home. They will now face the Buffalo Bills who have given up the most fantasy points to RBs this season. Yes, Thomas shares the carries with Reggie Bush, who had a costly fumble in last week’s contest, but Thomas gained more total yards than Bush in that game. He had 5 rushes for 21 yards and 5 catches for 34. Those of you in deeper leagues desperate for a flex play, you can can ill-afford to pass Thomas by. The 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft has three rushing TD’s on the season, one more than Stephen Jackson of the Rams… He is only owned in about a third of leagues.
#33 Dolphin RB Daniel Thomas makes a serviceable flex play in deeper ppr leagues this week. Photo: zimbio.com
Connor Barth-K-Buccaneers- Not exactly a household name yet, Barth can easily fill in for those of you who lose Giants K Lawrence Tynes or Vikings K Blair Walsh to byes this week. He has 9 field goals over 40 yards and three over 50 so far this season. He has attempted seven F.G.s and has booted 13 extra points over the past three games He has 28 fantasy points over his last three games, averaging around 9 fantasy points per week. I know I’d sign up for 9 points if my top kicker was off this week. He is available in 65% of leagues and is considered a Must Add for those short a kicker.
Bengals-Team Defense/Special Teams- The Bengals are a perfect fill-in should you own the Giants or Vikings this week, and would not be a bad pick if your team was not on a bye. Why? Well, in a word, Kansas City! Alright, two words.. In their last five games the anemic Chiefs have scored 6, 10, 16, 13, and 13 points, and two of those games were against non-defensive minded teams; Oakland and Tampa Bay. As for the Bengals, they just happen to have the leagues 4th most sacks (27) and are fifth in fumble recoveries with (8). Another Must Add for those in need of a team def. /sp. teams or those who want to upgrade who they already have on their roster this week. The Bengals are owned in 45% of leagues so check ’em out before that number rises too much higher.
The Bengals defense, shown tackling RB David Wilson here, wreaked havoc vs the Giants last week causing them to turn the ball over several times while holding them to just 13 points. They’ll have an easier time of it this week. Photo: Al Behrman/ap