Week 10: Pickups of the Week
The Houston Texans still can't stop the pass. After the first two weeks of the season (when they had given up 821 yards and five TDs), QBs around the league started marking their calendars. Nine weeks in, the Texans remain at the bottom of the defensive pile and are giving up by far the most passing yards and TDs per game in the league. You can bet Garrard's calendar has a big heart over November 14. Garrard has been solid this season and had the chance to rest in Week 9. The week before, he lit up the Cowboys in Dallas and turned Jacksonville's usually conservative offense into an air show. People tend to look at these Texans vs. Jaguars games as ground-and-pound running back matchups, but the QBs figure to be the focus this time around.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Though he recently lost the official starting role to Beanie Wells, Hightower remains a key figure in Arizona. Wells' health is clearly a big concern. Last week, Wells carried the ball once for negative yardage and sat out the rest of the game with swelling in his knee -- the same knee that (for the first few weeks of the season) the team claimed was just "bruised" (we later found out about the torn meniscus). Hightower took a big step back with a costly fumble in Week 7, but he and the team need to put that behind them. After a week in the coach's doghouse, Hightower was the feature back against Minnesota; the Cardinals clearly need him going forward. Hightower figures to get plenty of carries on Sunday against the Seahawks and would likely start over a hobbled Wells.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
As I write this, Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain are both dealing with lower body injuries that could keep them out of their Week 10 game against Philadelphia. In the case that neither is able to play, Keiland Williams would get the call. He fared well in Week 8, scoring his first career rushing TD and posting 4.2 yards per carry after Torain went down. Williams can move the chains running the rock and contribute as a receiver as well. With Mike Shanahan's backfield plans anything but certain, Williams has a chance to throw his hat in the ring and compete for the lead role in the weeks to come.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Along with parents, last names, facial expressions and a tendency to berate receivers after bad throws, Eli and Peyton also share the ability to turn their number three WRs into valuable fantasy commodities. Eli's current number three -- Mario Manningham (no relation) -- has the skills to be a starter for most teams in the league, but is stuck behind Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks. He has three scores on the season, but his production has been spotty. When New York runs lots of three receiver sets, Manningham excels -- and why wouldn't he, being matched up with safeties and nickelbacks? Against the hapless Cowboys secondary, the Giants would be wise to go three wide and use Manningham to take full advantage of the scrubs (sorry Orlando Scandrick and McCann).MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
No pass rush on defense, unreliable passing offense...then the Randy Moss issue. Minnesota fans have had to be talked off the ledge, until last weekend when things finally went according to plan: sacks galore from Jared Allen and co., yards galore for Brett Favre and co. Harvin and Berrian both had nine catches on the day as Favre let loose with a 446-yard effort. Things seem to be clicking again for the Vikings and they're about to get another shot in the arm as Sidney Rice readies for his return. Last year's team leader in yards and receptions could be back on the field as early as this week. If he's available in your league, grab him now.