Fantasy Football: Top Five Waiver Wire Must Haves from Week 7
Week 7 was as wild and unpredictable as ever for fantasy football aficionados.
Two running backs from the Lone Star State both managed to produce ridiculous numbers, one of which was a huge surprise.
The most shocking part of that stat line is the fact that Tashard Choice was actually listed as the starting running back in the absence of Felix Jones.
Meanwhile, fantasy stud Arian Foster came up with his biggest performance of the season. The Houston Texans star running back finished the day with 234 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns in a 41-7 blowout of the Tennessee Titans.
The third-best performance of the day had to be New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress. Fans were beginning to wonder if Plax would ever be the dominant red-zone presence he was with the Giants, and he answered that question definitively against the San Diego Chargers.
Burress was simply uncoverable inside the 20, reeling in three scores despite a modest four catches for 25 yards.
Let's also not forget about Tim Tebow's phenomenal comeback against the Miami Dolphins. Tebow threw for two late fourth quarter touchdowns and ran it in on a two-point conversion, setting up a 52-yard Matt Prater field goal in overtime.
Looks like it's officially Tebow Time for the Denver Broncos.
Of course, these players are all owned in your fantasy league, so let's take a look at some guys that can help your team do some damage as we approach the middle of the season.
Christian Ponder QB, Minnesota Vikings
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While he was not perfect, there will be no pondering over who will be the starting quarterback for the Vikes for the remainder of the season.
Christian Ponder threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns against a stingy Packers secondary—granted he also had two interceptions and only completed around 40 percent of his passes (13-of-32).
Nevertheless, that is a useful stat line as far as fantasy football owners are concerned. The fact that Ponder also ran for 31 yards on four carries also boosts his stock in the imaginary game.
Additionally, Ponder has a passer-friendly schedule coming ahead outside of a second meeting with Green Bay.
Michael Jenkins WR, Minnesota Vikings
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Michael Jenkins was an after-thought in the Atlanta Falcons offense, and it looked like more of the same was going to be the case in a Donovan McNabb-run Vikings pass attack.
However, with Christian Ponder at the helm, Jenkins had a huge day against a stout Packers secondary, posting up 111 yards and a touchdown on just three catches.
Ponder made it clear that he is not afraid to air out a few balls, and Jenkins' specialty is reeling in the deep passes.
Jenkins may be a bit of a feast-or-famine player, but the Vikes are going to be involved in a fair share of shootouts this year, so he could easily turn into a reliable flex play.
If there's room on your bench, grabbing Jenkins and taking a wait-and-see approach couldn't hurt.
John Beck QB, Washington Redskins
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Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers was finally Beck's time to shine, and he did a decent job despite a losing effort.
Beck had two touchdowns on the day, one on the ground and one through the air, and racked up 279 passing yards. He did look a little Rex Grossman-esque though, also losing a fumble and throwing an interception.
Nevertheless, it was a decent performance considering the former Brigham Young standout was without two of his best offensive weapons in running back Tim Hightower and wide receiver Santana Moss for the majority of the game.
While Beck is a long ways from being an every-week fantasy starter, he could be a useful fill-in during bye weeks considering his next six opponents are the Eagles, Panthers, Bills, 49ers, Dolphins and Cowboys.
All those teams have inconsistent secondaries at best.
Alfonso Smith RB, Arizona Cardinals
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It may seem insane to endorse a player that only had five carries for 17 yards in Week 7, but Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith will be the feature back after Beanie Wells' knee injury.
The sophomore player has been an after-thought in the Cardinals offense up to this point, but the fact he scored a touchdown against an always tough Steelers front line instills some confidence.
And the fact that Wells has suffered from durability issues in the past likely gives Smith more than one game to prove himself.
Smith is likely a player to stash on your bench next week since the Cards face another stingy run-defense in the Baltimore Ravens, but after that, the sledding gets much easier.
Between Weeks 9 through 12, Arizona plays the Rams (twice) and the Eagles, two teams who have proven to be very susceptible to the run.
Smith would likely be best suited for the bench when the Cards play the 49ers in Week 11, given that their defense ranks second in the league against the run.
Shaun Hill QB, Detroit Lions
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This add may come as a bit of a surprise, but all indications are that Detroit Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford injured his right ankle at the end of Week 7's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
As talented of a player as Stafford is, he's about as durable as a piece of tissue paper, so it would not be a shock if Shaun Hill made his first start of the 2011 season in Week 8.
In case you haven't noticed, the Lions like to throw the football, and also recall that Hill was a valuable fantasy entity last season when running the offense.
The Lions also have a very favorable match up in Week 8 in the Denver Broncos, a team that has been getting scorched by the pass all season long.
If you're still not convinced, a healthy Calvin Johnson looks capable of catching touchdowns regardless who is throwing him the football.
Megatron has 10 touchdowns and nearly 700 receiving yards on the season and seems simply uncoverable in the red zone, so don't sleep on Shaun Hill in Week 8.