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Fantasy 101: Week 8 Pickups and Other Quick Hits

By Chris Maier on 10-24-2010

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Week 7 is in the books, marking the halfway point in nearly every league. By now your strengths, weaknesses and playoff chances are in clear focus. As mentioned last week, your playoff prognosis should also dictate your roster moves. 

Here is a look at this week's waiver wire recommendations

Please note, list excludes previous recommendations:
QB: Matthew Stafford (may have missed your chance), Colt McCoy (dynasty only)
RB: Christopher Ivory, Danny Woodhead, James Starks (speculative)
WR: Mike Williams (Seattle), Deion Branch, Devin Thomas (speculative), Danario Alexander
TE:  Ben Watson, Brandon Pettigrew

To read last week's article click here

Note: To qualify as a pickup, a player must be owned in less than 40 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this writing (10/24). 



Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (owned 26%) - One of the league's best young quarterbacks, his confidence is growing and he is available in three quarters of leagues. A must-get in keeper leagues and a better-than-expected backup quarterback. He has thrown for 200-plus yards for three straight weeks, and his rapport with rookie Mike Williams has them just scratching the surface of their potential. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills (owned 14%) - The Bills may be the league's worst team, but coach Chan Gailey is making the offense fantasy-relevant, much like he did to Tyler Thigpen and the Chiefs two years ago. The fact that the Bills can't run the ball and are often playing from behind makes Fitzpatrick a player to watch in the second half.

Jon Kitna, Dallas Cowboys (owned 1%) - Jon Kitna's best years are behind him, but the Cowboys' talent at wide receiver and tight end should allow him to be a solid backup while Romo is out. 


Running Back:

Donald Brown, Indianapolis (owned 26%) - Joseph Addai's injury has created an opportunity for the former first rounder if he can get and stay healthy. He has the skill set to be an ideal fit in the Colts pass-first attack.

LaGarrett Blount, Tampa Bay (owned 5%) - After watching Cadillac Williams struggle to gain 30 yards on the ground the past month, Blount's 72-yard outburst on Sunday is sure to create more opportunities for him. Overall, Buc backs are unlikely to breakout, but he is well worth a flyer in deep leagues.


Wide Receiver:

Steve Johnson, Buffalo (owned 36%) - The former seventh round pick has established himself as the Bills' top possession receiver and red zone target. He has caught three or more passes and a touchdown four consecutive weeks. He's the suddenly pass-happy Bills' most consistent receiver.

Lee Evans, Buffalo (owned 34%) - At one time Evans was a top breakout candidate, but inconsistency and a terrible 2009 have landed Evans back in the bargain bin. Evans can be feast or famine, but this past Sunday reminded us how delicious his feast games can be.  

James Jones, Green Bay (owned 4%) - Jones's donut in week 6 makes him a gamble but injuries to Jermichael Finley (season) and Donald Driver (age and banged up) has created an opportunity for the most physical Packers receiver.

He has the highest upside in the second half of the season of the four receivers listed here. Of course, he is also the most likely to post another zero.

David Gettis, Carolina (owned 2%) - Anytime a player catches eight passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, you have to take notice. He has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver in Carolina behind Steve Smith. He has caught at least two passes per game since producing no catches in week one.  Purely a deep league option.


Tight End:

Jacob Tamme, Indianapolis (owned 5%) - With Dallas Clark out for the season, Tamme is the best receiving tight end on the Colts roster. As long as he runs his routes, Peyton Manning will find him enough to keep defenses honest. Remember, no one expected much from Austin Collie last year.

Tony Moeaki, Kansas City (owned 39%) - After watching Dwayne Bowe take advantage of the coverage-challenged Texans and Jaguars the past two weeks, look for the Chiefs to get Moeaki more involved as the opposing secondaries improve.



Kansas City (owned 30%) - The Chiefs defense has exceed all expectations this season and plays Buffalo, Oakland, Denver, Arizona, Seattle and Denver (again) the next six weeks.

Cleveland (owned 3%) - Forced four Drew Brees interceptions in the upset of New Orleans, and despite the offense's struggles, this defense and special team's unit has put up fantasy points nearly every week.


Other thoughts:

- Kenny Britt may not have 200-plus yards and three TDs every week, but he has quickly cemented himself as a must-start every week despite the team's run-first focus after scoring in five straight games. 

He started slow after reporting out of shape, but his conditioning is catching up to his talent, and it has him on the brink of joining the league's elite.

- Kyle Orton has been one of the year's pleasant surprises but it may be time for his owners to shore up their backup situation.  This is not so much a sell high recommendation as it is time to cover yourself. 

I have a hunch there may be a statute of limitations on his success this season. Not to mention an urge to take a look at Tebow if the season continues to head south.

- As Dallas' season continues to go by the wayside, fantasy owners are now going down with it as Romo gets injured and his receivers' value drops in the process. 

- Maybe I'm in the minority, but I am actually curious to see what Tarvaris Jackson can do with all the weapons in the Vikings offense. 

- Carson Palmer has had three huge weeks this season (340 yards and multiple touchdowns), but the inconsistency should keep him out of your lineup most weeks.

- Aside from WR Johnny Knox, I don't think I would trust playing any Bears right now.  That offensive line is downright awful.

- Dolphins receiver Davone Bess has caught five or more passes in five of the team's six games this season making him a low end option in PPR leagues.

- Don't give up on Danario Alexander after a sub-par second week. The Rams' receiver situation is still working its way out post-Clayton.

- Tampa's Mike Williams is one the verge of a huge game. 

- Seattle's Mike Williams followed up his breakout game with another outstanding outing. Buy low if you still can.


Chris Maier is Senior Editor for nfldraft101.com.  He can be reached at cmaier@nfldraft101.com.  Follow me on twitter: nfldraft101.

Check out NFLDraft101's 2011 early season Mock Draft.


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