The biggest fantasy stars often come out of nowhere, but you can stay ahead of the game if you look carefully.
Obviously, it is hard to predict that someone like Joseph Fauria is going to score three touchdowns in a game. However, guys like Keenan Allen or Nick Foles certainly displayed plenty of ability before coming through with big showings in Week 6.
If you missed on those players, there are fortunately plenty of big-time performers available, especially in Week 7. Although some of them will only be a one-week fix, these players have a good chance of breaking out with big games.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns
Yes, Brandon Weeden has been mostly awful for much of his short career with the Browns. He was among the worst in the NFL with a QBR of 27 last year, and he has only improved that number to 28.6 this season.
Still, he showed last week that he can become a quality fantasy player if you need him to.
Against the Detroit Lions, Weeden threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns while throwing the ball 43 times. Although he also added two interceptions that hurt Cleveland, it still did not take away much from a quality fantasy day.
Fortunately, the Green Bay Packers defense has been even worse than the Lions this year, allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Weeden has quality receiving targets in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, and he will likely be throwing the ball a lot in a lopsided matchup against the Packers. This could lead to big numbers from a fantasy perspective.
Projection: 25-for-45, 310 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception
Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys
As a result, Joseph Randle will likely get the call as the starting running back for the Cowboys. Even though the rookie struggled to 17 rushing yards on 11 carries in relief of Murray on Sunday, he should still be a solid option going forward.
Randle was a highly productive player at Oklahoma State who excelled as both a runner and receiver in his career. He was also the Cowboys leading rusher in the preseason, totaling 215 yards and a touchdown.
He will go up against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has struggled in all phases this season. They currently rank dead last in the NFL in total yards allowed per game, and Randle should be able to take advantage of this in Week 7.
Projection: 14 carries, 85 rushing yards, one touchdown; four catches, 28 receiving yards
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Not only is Julio Jones out for the season, but fellow receiver Roddy White continues to deal with various leg injuries and was held out of practice Tuesday, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This could make Harry Douglas the best healthy receiver on the Falcons.
Although the five-year veteran is not going to replace Jones anytime soon, he does have good quickness and solid hands to make him a reliable target for Matt Ryan. Even before the injuries, Douglas was on pace for career highs of about 51 catches for 700 receiving yards.
With the spotlight now on him, these numbers will dramatically increase to become a legitimate fantasy starter on a weekly basis, beginning this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Projection: Six catches, 78 receiving yards, one touchdown
Zach Miller, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told ESPN 710 that Zach Miller is likely to return to the lineup after missing the past few weeks with a hamstring injury.
Although the tight end was not the most productive player at the position, he did grab two touchdown passes in his last full game. He was also getting consistent targets that could lead to bigger numbers down the line.
More importantly, the Seahawks face the Arizona Cardinals this week, and the undersized defense has had a hard time defending tight ends this season. The unit has allowed the most fantasy points per game to the position thanks to two-touchdown games from Jared Cook, Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis.
Tight ends are averaging seven catches for 108.8 yards and a touchdown, and Miller can be the latest to enjoy this type of success on Thursday.
Projection: Five catches, 68 receiving yards, one touchdown
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