NFL Week 7 Picks: Anthony Armstrong, Danny Woodhead and 15 Breakouts of 2010
Each and every year in the National Football League, under-the-radar players jump on to the scene. Last season, we saw Tennessee Titans rush for over 2,000 yards. Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles and Sidney Rice came out of nowhere and had outstanding production for their teams.
The 2010 season has been no different. We have seen quarterback controversies, as well as unknown running backs and wide receivers jumping to the top of the league leaders in statistics.
This slideshow takes a look at 15 players who have had breakout seasons.
Danny Woodhead: New England Patriots
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We all grew fond of the 5'9" third-year running back Danny Woodhead on the Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets HBO series this summer. He was a tough little guy, but he was eventually cut by the Jets.
The New England Patriots continued its historically keen eye for talent by signing Woodhead, and he has quickly grown into a rotational player in the Patriots backfield.
Woodhead has rushed 22 times for 141 yards and a touchdown on the season, while catching six passes for 63 yards and a score as well.
Anthony Armstrong: Washington Redskins
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After being a preseason phenom for three seasons, Washington Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong finally made the cut this year. Now, he has cemented himself on the roster, earning a starting role last week.
Armstrong has caught 12 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown on the year, and you can expect his production to increase throughout the year as quarterback Donovan McNabb continues to look his way.
Danario Alexander: St. Louis Rams
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When the recently acquired wide receiver Mark Clayton was lost for the remainder of the season due to an injury, it became a blessing in disguise for Danario Alexander.
In his first start of the season, Alexander caught four passes for 72 yards, and Sam Bradford may start turning towards him more often.
Steve Johnson: Buffalo Bills
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A seventh-round draft pick out of Kentucky, Steve Johnson has calmly sat on the bench for two seasons with the Buffalo Bills waiting for his chance to shine.
That chance finally came this season, as he was named the starting wide receiver opposite Lee Evans. He hasn't let down Bills fans, catching 17 passes for 214 yards and has scored four touchdowns in his last three games.
Chris Ivory: New Orleans Saints
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Prior to the season's beginning, the New Orleans Saints seemed set at running back. However, all that changed when Reggie Bush was injured against the San Francisco 49ers and Pierre Thomas was injured against the Atlanta Falcons.
Chris Ivory jumped into the driver's seat and has carried the ball 44 times for 277 yards, averaging over six yards per carry.
Mike Williams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Mike Williams was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and has been an absolute steal six weeks into the season.
The former Syracuse standout earned the No. 1 starting receiver spot in training camp over Arrelious Benn, who was expected to earn that role.
Williams has been amazing so far, catching 23 passes for 282 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the process.
Arian Foster: Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans thought they were set at running back last season, as Steve Slaton was coming off of a breakout season but fumbling issues forced the franchise to look in a different direction.
The Texans drafted Auburn standout running back Ben Tate in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft with hopes of him becoming the starter, but he was sidelined for the year before the season began, leaving Arian Foster to carry the load.
Foster exploded from week one and has 115 carries for 635 yards with six touchdowns on the year. Additionally, he has caught 19 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.
Peyton Hillis: Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns were in a similar situation to the Houston Texans entering this season. Their own running back, Jerome Harrison, was coming off of an unbelievable finish to the 2009 season, but an injury bumped Peyton Hillis into the starting lineup.
Hillis was traded to the Browns from the Denver Broncos in the Brady Quinn deal, and he has rushed 88 times for 391 yards with four touchdowns, while catching 26 passes for 192 yards and a score since Harrison's injury.
The highlight of Hillis' season came against the Baltimore Ravens in which he pounded them for 144 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Torain: Washington Redskins
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Prior to the beginning of the season, the Washington Redskins backfield looked like it came off of a 2007 Pro Bowl program, featuring Willie Parker, Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis.
However, Ryan Torain has finagled his way into the starter's role and has rushed 61 times for 256 yards and three touchdowns since making his first start in Week 4.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: New Engalnd Patriots
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The Patriots backfield at the beginning of the season consisted of Fred Taylor and Laurence Maroney, but Taylor's injury and Maroney's trade showed that the Pats had enough confidence in BenJarvus Green Ellis to pound the rock.
He has done just that with 57 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Brandon Lloyd: Denver Broncos
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It took Brandon Lloyd eight years, but he is finally having a breakout season. The Denver Broncos have a stellar passing attack led by quarterback Kyle Orton, and the veteran journeyman Lloyd has become his favorite target.
Lloyd has made 34 catches for 663 yards with three touchdowns on the year, leading the league in receiving.
He has already eclipsed his career high totals in yards (565) and is well on pace to shatter his highs in receptions (43) and touchdowns (five), all set in 2005 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Tony Moeaki: Kansas City Chiefs
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Rookie tight end Tony Moeaki has been a surprise for the Kansas City Chiefs, and he has to fill the big shoes that were worn by Tony Gonzalez. As a rookie, he has caught 18 passes for 194 yards with two touchdowns.
Moeaki is quickly becoming one of Matt Cassell's favorite weapons and his blocking ability will have him producing for a while to come.
Jason Snelling: Atlanta Falcons
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The Atlanta Falcons pro bowl-caliber running back Michael Turner is still plagued with nagging injuries, which has given Jason Snelling increased opportunities to produce.
He has made two starts on the year, rushing 56 times for 261 yards with two touchdowns, in addition to his 13 catches for 86 yards and another touchdown.
Turner isn't really much of a receiving weapon out of the backfield, so expect to see Snelling continue to produce while he shares carries.
Perrish Cox: Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos drafted cornerback Perrish Cox in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he was more of an afterthought than anything.
Many believed he would serve as a nickel corner, but he has shot his way up the depth chart, earning a starting role.
Cox has made 24 tackles, while defending nine passes, making an interception and forcing a fumble this season. With one of the best cornerbacks in the game (Champ Bailey) teaching him, Cox can only continue to grow.
Sam Bradford: St. Louis Rams
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The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft has played exceptionally well as a rookie, leading the St. Louis Rams to more wins through six weeks than they had all last season with a 3-3 record.
Bradford has shown great leadership and skill, passing for 1,357 yards on the year, with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.