Week 7: Start 'Em
Week 6 was a bit of a blood bath in terms of injuries with DeSean Jackson, Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd, and Chris Cooley among those that went down. With a good chance none of these players will be ready to play this week and a long list of players on bye with the Colts, Lions, Texans and the Jets, there is a big need for some line up fillers. Take a look below and you should be able to find someone you can start this week to help your squad out. As with all weeks, we won't really know which injured players are playing and which are not until later in the week. Please feel free to contact me if you have specific line up questions. Good luck and may the force be with you.
Many of you might be wondering who this guy is as he has really come out of nowhere. Alexander had a very productive senior season at the University of Missouri but went undrafted after he had a 4th surgery to the same knee. Alexander worked very hard to get back on the field, and was signed by the Rams in late August, but wasn't able to crack the roster so he has been on the practice roster since the start of the season. When Mark Clayton went down with season ending surgery, there were a lot of names thrown around as to who might pick up the slack, but in the end it was Alexander who shined last weekend and might have the most upside going forward. In his first NFL game vs. the Chargers last weekend Alexander tied for the team lead in targets with 5, catching a team high 4 passes for 72 yards and a TD. This week vs. Tampa Bay look for much of the same from Alexander. Put him in your line up.
After seeing how hard DeSean Jackson was hit last week, I can't imagine him suiting up for this week's game vs. the Titans, giving way to Jason Avant. While Jackson and Jeremy Maclin get most of the attention when it comes to Eagles receivers, Avant has become one of the best #3 receivers in the NFL and demanding teams pay attention to him as well (which is often the reason Jackson and Maclin aren't doubled teamed more often). The Titans will most likely focus more attention on stopping Maclin, leaving Avant plenty of opportunities to make plays. The Eagles have a high powered offense and like to air it out, so look for Avant to put up solid numbers this week, you can expect at least 6 receptions for 70 or so yards and maybe a TD. With injuries and bye weeks keeping many WR on the bench this week, Avant is a great start.
This is mainly for people in Point Per Receptions leagues. Everyone knows that Brandon Marshall is the #1 receiving option in Miami, but many don't know who the #2 option is. Say Hello to Davone Bess; he isn't super fast, or really tall or very flashy, all he does though is make plays when the Dolphins need it most. Bess won't be confused for one of those big play WR who put up big yards, what Bess does is pile up the receptions over the middle. He has really been coming along the last 3 weeks, during which time he has caught 19 passes for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. Miami faces a tough match up vs. the Steelers this week and will need all the help they can get. Look for another solid week from Bess, who makes for a very good flex or WR3 start in PPR leagues.
When Seattle traded Deion Branch to New England, the question for the Seahawks was who would be the biggest beneficiary? Seattle isn't a great team and they figure to be playing from behind many games, leading to a lot of passing. With no clear cut #1 WR, it would seem that they will go with the hot hand. After last week's bust out game, it would seem Mike Williams is the go to guy; I say take a look at Deon Butler who also had a solid game last week, catching all 4 passes thrown his way for 47 yards and a touchdown. Seattle faces the Arizona Cardinals this week and most likely they will work to shut down Mike Williams, leaving open the door for Deon Butler to get more passes thrown his way. This should be a wide open game, so no reason Butler can't put up at least 6 catches for 70 yards and maybe even another TD. While everyone is jumping on the Mike Williams bandwagon, why not try giving Butler a shot?
The Chargers started off the season without Vincent Jackson, before last week they lost Legadu Naanee to a minor injury and during last week's game vs. the Rams both super stud Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd went down with injuries. There is a good chance that the Chargers will have to play this weekend with none of those receivers. Many fantasy owners will jump at the chance to start the ever disappointing Patrick Crayton, who chance after chance has failed to produce when the pressure has been on him, so look for Buster Davis the former 1st round pick to sneak up on people and put up a solid week. The Chargers love to throw the ball, and Rivers will be looking for help downfield. Give Buster a chance this week and suit him up and put him in your line up.