I write these articles every week, starting Sunday night, after the late game but before I watch two hours of "Family Guy" and "Futurama" on my DVR. Every week I sit down and tell you who you should pick up, and this is how I feel when I go back and review who I suggested:
Now, I'm not saying that I suddenly become a racist stereotype of a black woman or anything crazy like that. No, I'm just reminded of all of the people that I told you to pick up and how awesome they're doing. Yes, I'm patting myself on the back but I'm doing so from a good place - a place where you're winning assuming you listened to me.
(Note: this is the third week in a row I've told you to pick him up. You ready to listen yet?)
Let's start this week with the most obvious one: Alshon Jeffery. Unless you were under a rock or at one of the fifteen weddings you've been to this summer, you surely noticed Alshon blowing up against a stout New Orleans defense. It's almost as if there's another player, a certain kind of stud that the Saints were focusing on instead..
..but let's not worry about that. The point is, with Forte and Marshall on the bus - not to mention Martellus Bennett - Jeffery will get plenty of great looks, making him a solid WR3/FLEX play in standard and PPR leagues. He may not have the ridiculous ceiling of "best ever" like Marshall thinks, but his comparables seem to think he's pretty good: Terry Glenn, Torry Holt, and Deion Branch all make appearances in his top 5.
Have you seen Rashard Mendenhall run in the past two years?
Some suggestion need a lot of explanation. Others don't. This one is the latter. Buy Andre Ellington and hold until playoff season; starting in Week 11, he's got @JAX-IND-@PHI-STL. That's not bad, not bad at all.
Another one in the "I already told you to pick him up!" roulette, Terrelle Pryor is finally learning how to throw the ball, which must be a scary sight for defensive coordinators and linebackers alike. Already a world-class athlete - he originally committed to play basketball for Jamie Dixon's Pitt Panthers as a high school sophomore - Pryor is learning quickly on the fly and with the development of..let's call them serviceable receivers in Denarius Moore and Rod Streater, all of a sudden he's looking like the stud he was envisioned to be coming out of high school.
It's true he's an injury risk with his running style and the next two weeks aren't great for him (@KC, BYE), but after that is a juicy three-game run of PIT, PHI, and @NYG - a perfect opportunity for you to buy somewhat low and protect your bye week status with your regular starter. Unsurprisingly, his comparables include Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith, and Aaron Brooks - all fantasy relevant starters at one time or another.
Finally. Finally, finally, finally. Hallelujah, someone more than replacement-level has emerged in the St. Louis backfield!
Daryl Richardson had his chance, as did Isaiah Pead, but it looks like the wheel has finally turned and stopped on Zac Stacy, he of the physical running style that led the Rams to it's highest rushing output in what seems ten years. Since he's new, we don't have much by way of comparables for him - Duce Staley makes an appearance - but there's enough positive signs in this week's performance to make him a viable option.
Of course, it's fair to note that it was against the league's least efficient defense in the Jaguars and it's equally fair to note that he's a rookie with a fairly weak pedigree and three rough matchups (@HOU, @CAR, vs. SEA) ahead of him. Still, there's next to nothing available on the waiver wires for a startable RB option, so scoop him up if you can.
This one is a little more speculative, given that Jeff Tuel can't play football any better than I can and the newly named starting QB in Buffalo is Thad Lewis, a guy sounds like an English professor and was likely working as a FiOS installer two weeks ago.
Still, it's clear by now that Robert Woods is an uber-talented receiver that is on a very strong upward trajectory; comparables including Plaxico Burress, Terry Glenn, and Isaac Bruce all indicate a bright future. In a keeper league, it's beyond a no-brainer but even in a weak PPR league, he's talented enough to make it worth the gamble.
The Bills can't really stop anyone so they'll likely have to throw; with defenses rightfully clamping down on Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller, Woods might be able to carve out a good week or two for you. Like Stacy and Ellington above, his schedule gets real soft (@PIT, NYJ, ATL, TB, JAX) down the stretch.
New Orleans D/ST
Speaking of Buffalo, if the Cincinnati D/ST is available, take them first; I just can't see how a team that holds Tom Brady to six points will do anything other than completely shut down Thad Lewis.
If they're not available, you should really take a look at what New Orleans has done. Long the weakness of that team, their front-seven has begun to dominate and even though they're on the field quite a bit due to the potency of their offense, they're massively efficient, giving up 26 points less than average defenses would in the same situation.
As a streaming play, you have to like the matchup against the Bills/Jets in the near-term and Panther/Rams come playoff time.
Maybe next week: Keenan Allen, Ryan Tannehill, Terrence Williams, LeGarrette Blount, Scott Chandler, Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree
Better luck tomorrow: Kris Durham, Kenny Stills, Sean McGrath, Redd's Apple Ale, Miley Cyrus' Acting Ability