Week 9: Pickups of the Week
A pedestrian showing against Kansas City should dial back owner expectations that went sky-high following Fitzpatrick's miracle game against Baltimore. The Harvard kid still threw the ball 48 times on Sunday, but showed he's not always going to be a world beater. With six more teams on bye this week, owners have few other places to turn. Fitzpatrick has ranged from average to exceptional this year where any other prospective pickups have at least one truly awful game on their record. Despite facing a tough Bears pass defense, he's probably the most reliable option out there.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
If your starter has the week off and you just need a live body to warm the chair, pick up a few yards and not murder you with dumb interceptions, Freeman is your man. He's a steady hand who provides predictably modest production week in and week out. Seven games in, he's thrown only eight TDs and is averaging just over 200 yards per game. On the positive side, he hasn't shot himself in the foot with negative plays. He's thrown only three picks and is exactly the caretaker type of QB that risk-averse owners are looking for to hold down the fort while the Ortons, Bradfords, Youngs and McNabbs of the league get some much needed R and R.MyFantasyLeague availability: 40%
Blount's name was in these virtual pages last week, but I'll admit I didn't expect it to top the Week 8 headlines. The undrafted rookie out of Oregon had been steadily stealing his way into the top spot in the backfield pecking order and solidified his new role with a virtuoso 22-carry, 120-yard, 2-TD outburst that included a highlight real vault during a 48-yard 4th quarter run. There's a very short list of running backs -- seven, at present -- who average 20 carries or more per game on the season. Over the second half, Blount could well join them. He's clearly in control of the Tampa ground game and should be their go to guy down the stretch.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
The dreaded committee is in full effect in San Diego and those who were holding out hope that Ryan Matthews would emerge as the top dog need to come to terms with the facts: Tolbert has scored in five consecutive games and has eight touchdowns now on the season. Four of the league's top running backs have this week off. If you've been avoiding this platoon, now is the time to get entrenched. Outside of Mike Tolbert, who's unowned in almost half of all MyFantasy.com leagues, you're unlikely to find this kind of scoring potential unclaimed.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Berrian was a massive disappointment over the first half of the season and tumbled out of the starting lineup when Randy Moss was signed. Well, the Moss experiment lasted only four games and Berrian now gets a second chance -- from the Vikings and maybe from fantasy owners too. With Sidney Rice still likely a few weeks from returning (and a banged up Percy Harvin now facing double-coverages), Berrian will have some opportunities. Just two years ago, he was one of the league's top deep threats. He still has the speed and just needs a confidence-building performance. Harvin's ankle-injury could make Berrian the top target this week against a mediocre Arizona pass defense. Expect him to come up big.