One bye week left to plow through and I’m sure we’re all happy about that. Look to New Orleans ground game for some help this week as they take on the Raiders. For those of you looking for some help at receiver I have a few AFC West big play receivers we need to target, if they are still around in your league.
QB. John Skelton -
The Cardinals will continue to struggle to provide consistent protection for John Skelton, but with Beanie Wells sidelined, this team has no choice but to throw the football against the Falcons. Expect Atlanta to post more than 30 points in this game, and Skelton should have respectable numbers by games end as he’s likely to post up to 45 pass attempts.
RB. Mark Ingram -
With Joe Vitt back from his suspension and working as the teams Head Coach for the remainder of the season, we’ve seen an effort to get Ingram more involved in the offense. Running the football will be more of a priority going forward, as Vitt understands it will help his struggling defense.
Expect Ingram to lead the team in carries this week in Oakland after 16 touts last week. Based on how the Raiders have played on defense in recent weeks, we should like Ingram’s odds to return up to 20 fantasy points in our lineups this week.
RB. Chris Ivory -
It remains to be seen what will happen to Ivory when Darren Sproles returns (practicing again), but if Sproles is out this week, we should expect Ivory to touch the football more than 10 times. Given the way he’s played in recent weeks, that amount of work could easily return you 50-plus yards and a touchdown.
In deeper leagues, Ivory is worth holding onto even when Sproles returns, but because the Saints use a heavy committee approach, his odds of breaking out for RB2 numbers in the future are very unlikely.
RB. Felix Jones -
It’s almost humbling to have Felix Jones in my list of waiver wire options this week. Jones could go down with an injury at any point and he doesn’t appear to have the same game-breaking ability we saw early in his career. Still, with DeMarco Murray out the Cowboys have little choice but to stick with Jones as other options like Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar have failed to accomplish much.
RB. Marcel Reece -
While Reece was used exclusively in the passing game before last week, it was Reece that led the team in carries, not Taiwan Jones. Reece will be the top dog in Oakland as long as Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are down with ankle injuries. Expect Oakland to be in another blowout loss to the Saints, and that means Reece will see most of his work in the passing game.
WR. Danario Alexander -
The situation is there for Alexander to continue to make an impact weekly for the Chargers and in fantasy lineups. Malcom Floyd is struggling as the No.1 receiver and defenses are focusing on taking away Antonio Gates with bracketed coverage.
Alexander will likely continue to see one-on-one opportunities against opponents' lesser starting corners and that means good things if he continues to play well. Don’t worry about Robert Meachem taking away snaps from Alexander, the veteran is a bust and Norv Turner knows that now.
WR. Darrius Heyward-Bey -
The Raiders will remain a pass heavy team for the rest of this season. Because of the emergence of Brandon Myers and Denarius Moore, Heyward-Bey will continue to work against one-on-one situations. Because of the Raiders need to throw the football, we should like his odds of holding WR3 value on a weekly bases.
Against a shaky Saints defense, Heyward-Bey has one of his better matchups of the season coming this week.
TE. Kyle Rudolph -
Finally! Christian Ponder figured out how to throw the football to his talented tight end again. I don’t really understand why Rudolph wasn’t getting the football through three straight games, but expect his numbers in September and last week to be the workload we should expect to see from him after the bye week.
Keep An Eye On
QB. Nick Foles -
Sure, Foles made his mistakes against the Cowboys but it was hard not to be impressed with some of the things the rookie was able to do off the bench. We should expect Foles to move this offense, and I actually believe his presence will be a positive for the rest of the team.
It remains to be seen if he can put together numbers that are worthy of picking him up in fantasy leagues, but he has the situation to be an interesting player to watch.
QB. Sam Bradford -
With Danny Amendola back in the lineup, Bradford has his full compliment of weapons. Based off the team's play in San Francisco last week, we should expect a solid second half of the season from St. Louis and Bradford could be an option to use in the future. For now, keep him on the waiver wire.
RB. Shane Vereen -
Very disappointed with Vereen’s performance last week and I’ve gone ahead and cut him in a couple of my deeper leagues. The Patriots have used Stevan Ridley as the top dog in the running game all year, and Danny Woodhead has been the teams third down back.
Still, like Brandon Bolden before him, Vereen has had enough touches in the offense to make me believe he was a respectable flex play last week, but he only touched the football six times and did little on the ground. While Vereen is probably best left on the waiver wire at this time, if Ridley’s fumbling issues crop up at any point, we could see Vereen’s role expand.
RB. Beanie Wells -
The Cardinals are desperate to work Wells back in the lineup but he’s still a few weeks away. If you have the room to stash him it wouldn’t be a bad idea at this point, because he will likely touch the football 20-plus times a game when back to full health. He could be a valuable player to own in the playoffs, for at least emergency depth it anything.
WR. Michael Floyd -
Floyd has had his rookie struggles and the play of Andre Roberts has done nothing to help this talented prospect win a starting job. Still, Floyd is starting to emerge over recent weeks and the Cardinals have a need to throw the football. He could be a sneaky play this week against the Falcons, like he was against the Packers before the bye week.
WR. Donald Jones -
Jones is starting to come along in Buffalo’s offense but I can’t bring myself to trust Ryan Fitzpatrick enough to recommend Jones as a waiver pickup this week. Keep an eye on his usage on Thursday night and let’s see if he continues to play well.