Roy Helu (Owned in 31% of Yahoo leagues)
There aren’t many “must-adds” this week; Roy Helu and Laurent Robinson are the only two that should be owned in every league. The rookie, Helu, carried the ball just 10 times for 41 yards, as the Skins played from behind for the entire game. 4.1 YPC is actually very impressive against a stout Niners run D. More importantly, Helu racked up 105 yards on 14 catches. Shanahan confirmed that Ryan Torain will only be used when Helu gets tired going forward. Helu is a must-add, as his pass-catching skills make him productive whether the Skins are running with a lead or passing from behind.
Laurent Robinson (14%)
Robinson’s the other big add this week while we await the injury timeline for Miles Austin, who injured his other hamstring against the Seahawks. Robinson has been semi-productive even with Austin on the field, so he goes from a deep league commodity into a solid fantasy starter in all leagues. Initial reports estimate 2-4 weeks out for Austin, so Robinson will be the 2nd WR in line for targets after Dez Bryant. If he gets all 4 weeks, you couldn’t ask for a better slate of matchups: Buf, Was, Mia, Arz. L-Rob caught 5 balls for 32 yards and a score on Sunday. If you could use some WR help in the coming weeks, make Robinson a priority.
Denarius Moore (28%) and Jacoby Ford (20%)
The Oakland receiving corp has been a real fantasy headache this season. Throughout the preseason, we pimped Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford every chance we got. Surprisingly, after trading off decent games, it started to look like Darrius Heyward-Bey was the only Raider receiver you could trust. Apparently, the Raiders used the bye-week to reevaluate their receiver corp, because DHB barely saw the field and had zero catches on one target. Meanwhile, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford lined up in most two-receiver sets. Moore caught 4 balls for 61 yards, while Ford caught 5 balls for 105 yards and a TD. I like Moore more because he saw 12 targets, compared to just 6 for Ford. Carson Palmer may be a slight improvement over Jason Campbell, so both these guys are worth rolling the dice on. And yes, I’d drop DHB for either one.
Chris Ivory (2%)
While Mark Ingram nurses his heel, Ivory will lead this backfield in carries. He carried the ball 15 times for 67 yards, and you can’t expect much more than that with Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles taking plenty of touches. The Saints really want Ingram to be their longterm bruiser, so Ivory may fade into oblivion when he returns, because the Saints can’t support a Four-headed monster. But as long as Ingram’s out, I’d put Ivory up there with James Starks as a good bet for 7 fantasy points each week.
Carson Palmer (29%)
Palmer rebounded from his wretched game in Week 7 after learning the playbook during the bye. Against Denver, Palmer threw for 332 yards, 3 TDs, and unfortunately added 3 Interceptions. He actually looked pretty similar to the Palmer of the past 2 years; he’ll turn the ball over, but the yards and scores will be there. He doesn’t get to play the Broncos every week, but he should be ranked
around 15 as far as QBs go, so add him if that appeals to you!
Jake Ballard (33%)
We’ve already mentioned this dude, but we want to remind you to add him after his 4 catches, 67 yards, and TD against the Patriots. If only he caught the game-winning score against his helmet!
Marion Barber (13%)
Barber saw extensive action against the Eagles after Matt Forte lost 2 fumbles. I certainly don’t expect a committee here, as this was just a shortterm punishment for Forte. But Barber’s TD came before Forte landed in the doghouse. Barber has scored a TD in 4 of his last 5 games. He’s a good bet for about 8 points with 20 yards and a score most weeks.
Torrey Smith (45%)
Smith’s name was called a lot on Sunday Night Football, after his hold brought back an 80 yard Ray Rice TD. Then he dropped an easy game winning TD. then he caught the game winning TD. He’s getting more entrenched as Joe Flacco’s #2 target, especially after this performance with 5 catches, 71 yards and a TD. As a deep threat, he’ll be boom-or-bust, but he’s certainly worth an add.
Early Doucet (34%)
Here are Doucet’s fantasy point totals over the past month: 10, 9, 8, 8. Now that’s consistency! He caught 6 balls for 78 yards against the Rams. I’m not jumping to add any Cardinal receiver not named Fitzgerald, but you cannot ignore this production.
Heath Miller (55%)
We poo-poo’ed Miller as a start this week because the Ravens have been so tough on TEs, but Miller continued to step up with 5 catches for 73 yards. The return of Max Starks has been huge in allowing Miller to get off the line and catch balls. He’s worth an add as a low-end TE1.
Jerome Simpson (26%)
Simpson caught 3 balls for 43 yards and a score in this game. What’s more important to me for his longterm value is the fact that his 10 targets led the team. Andy Dalton likes Simpson, despite his legal troubles, so Simpson’s worth an add in slightly deeper leagues.
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