Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Who are the top pickups for championship weekend?
Each week, Athlon takes a look at the top pickups for your fantasy lineup. Here's a look at the top pickups following the Week 12 action.
QB Kolton Browning, UL Monroe
Browning has been a pleasant surprise this year and fantasy owners should have taken notice over the last month. The freshman has at least 33 fantasy points in two out of the last three games and gets a shot at a struggling Louisiana-Lafayette defense this Saturday. If Browning is on your waiver wire, be sure to consider him as one of the top additions for Week 13.
QB Blaine Gautier, UL Lafayette
Injuries have forced Gautier into action and the sophomore has posted respectable fantasy numbers in two starts. Against FAU, Gautier posted 31.8 points and 25.6 in Saturday’s loss to FIU. If you need a QB2 for this week, Gautier is worth a look, especially in leagues with extra value given to running quarterbacks.
QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois has the MAC West title locked up, so it may be a short day for Harnish and running back Chad Spann. However, one half of work against Eastern Michigan should be a pretty solid fantasy day for Harnish.
QB Rob Henry, Purdue
The hand injury that limited Henry in late October/early November seems to be wearing away and the freshman responded with a 18.9 fantasy points against Michigan State. With Indiana’s porous defense up next, Henry is a sleeper pick in BCS-only and 120 leagues to earn 25 fantasy points. Starting Henry is a gamble, but one worth taking if you are desperate for options.
QB Taylor McHargue, Rice
A shoulder injury has limited McHargue for much of 2010, but the freshman looked sharp in his return to the lineup against East Carolina with 313 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. With the Owls in another shootout against UAB this Saturday, consider McHargue a sleeper pick for QB2 value.
QB Chris Relf, Mississippi State
Relf fell short of leading the Bulldogs to an upset over Arkansas, but posted his best fantasy outing of the year with 24.3 points. Although Relf is still a so-so passer, keep him in mind for a pickup this week. The junior rushed for 131 yards and a score in last season’s matchup against Ole Miss and should once again finding plenty of running room in Saturday’s Egg Bowl matchup.
QB T.J. Yates, North Carolina
Some of the biggest question marks surrounding the Tar Heels coming into 2010 centered around Yates. However, the senior has been one of the top players in the ACC this season, throwing 17 touchdowns to eight interceptions. The senior has three games of at least 400 passing yards and another could come in Saturday’s game against Duke. The Blue Devils rank 94th nationally against the pass, which should ensure Yates is a solid fantasy option.
RB Alex Allen, Akron
The Zips are the final team in college football without a win, but they have to feel pretty good about their chances this Saturday against struggling Buffalo. Considering this is the final home contest for Allen in his Akron career, a strong finale seems to be in store. The senior has back-to-back 100-yard efforts, including 165 against Ball State. Take a look at Allen as a RB3/RB4 this week.
RB Matt Brown, Temple
Bernard Pierce left Tuesday’s game against Ohio with a hamstring injury and his status for this week’s game against Miami, Ohio is uncertain. If Pierce is out, Brown is a capable replacement. The sophomore leads the team in rushing with 774 yards and rushed for 226 yards in a win against Army this year. Be sure to check the news before starting Brown, but he’s a solid RB3/RB4 if Pierce is out.
RB Marcus Coker, Iowa
Adam Robinson suffered a concussion in Saturday’s loss to Ohio State and it’s unlikely the sophomore will be able to play against Minnesota this week. Coker should have no trouble reaching 100 rushing yards, especially since the Golden Gophers rank as the worst rush defense in the Big Ten.
RB Jeremy Eddington, Rice
The Owls have turned to their ground game a little more the past two weeks, giving Eddington an opportunity to shine. Sam McGuffie remains the No. 1 back for this offense, but Eddington has back-to-back 100-yard efforts and five touchdowns during that span. Expect Eddington to see 15-20 carries against UAB this Saturday, which should result in another 100-yard effort.
RB Anthony Elzy, North Carolina
Despite losing Johnny White, the Tar Heels have been in good shape at running back with Elzy’s play. The senior has scored over 26 fantasy points in each of the last two games and gets a shot at Duke’s struggling defense this Saturday. Elzy may not get to 100 rushing yards, but expect solid receiving totals and at least 20 fantasy points.
RB Brian Fields, Western Michigan
Winning a fantasy championship may be decided on a gamble or two this week and Fields falls into that category. If you need a running back to start, Fields is worth the risk. The freshman has back-to-back games of 100 yards and faces a Bowling Green defense allowing 209 rushing yards per game. Fields is worth a look as a flex option, but has plenty of upside.
RB Kendrick Hardy, Southern Miss
Hardy has worked his way into the No. 1 spot in the Southern Miss backfield and posted 205 rushing yards in Saturday’s win over Houston. The redshirt freshman has a lot of upside and should only get better over the next couple of seasons. Although Tulsa ranks 37th nationally against the run, look for Hardy to post over 100 yards and earn at least one score.
RB Latavius Murray, UCF
The UCF backfield has frustrated owners over the last couple of weeks, with Ronnie Weaver and Murray swapping the starting spot. Murray got the start against Tulane and rushed for 146 yards and one score. Although Weaver will see carries, Murray will likely start against Memphis and could be a sneaky play with the Tigers ranking 86th nationally against run.
RB Darriet Perry, Florida International
The Golden Panthers are closing in on the first bowl berth in school history and the rushing attack has played a key role in the team’s improvement this year. Perry has 20 carries in each of the last three games, rushing for 375 yards and five scores during that span. Expect Perry to earn his fourth consecutive game of 20 carries on Saturday against Arkansas State, which ranks 115th nationally against the run. Perry is a solid pickup for any owner needing running back help for championship weekend.
RB Adonis Thomas, Toledo
Thomas was mentioned in last week’s waiver wire report and didn’t disappoint with 32 fantasy points against Bowling Green. If Thomas is on your waiver wire, he’s worth a look against Central Michigan this Friday. The Chippewas rank 90th against the run, and Thomas should have an excellent chance to earn his third straight game of at least 30 fantasy points.
WR Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
Desperate for a receiver play? Look no further than Bumphis. The sophomore has only two 100-yard efforts, but faces an Ole Miss secondary ranked 98th nationally against the pass this Saturday. Bumphis is more of an option in BCS-only formats, but reaching his third game of 100 yards is a reasonable expectation.
WR Mark Harrison, Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights have struggled to find their footing on offense for most of 2010, but Harrison has been a steady performer since Chas Dodd assumed the quarterback duties. The sophomore posted a monster outing against Cincinnati, catching 10 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Harrison also has a touchdown in five out of his last six games. Although Louisville ranks ninth nationally against the pass, expect Harrison to find the endzone once again this Saturday.
TE Jeffery Anderson, UAB
Anderson has been a favorite target of quarterback Bryan Ellis the last two weeks, catching 13 passes for 162 yards and three scores. Expect Anderson to be a top-10 play at tight end this week, with UAB taking on Rice in a likely shootout.
TE Vance McDonald, Rice
Luke Willson is likely out for Saturday’s game against UAB, which means McDonald should see a few more passes his way as the No. 1 tight end option for the Owls. McDonald has back-to-back games of at least five catches and four touchdowns in his last two games. UAB’s pass defense ranks 107th nationally, making McDonald a top-10 fantasy tight end option this week.
Need a defense? Take a look at these teams for Week 13.
Arizona State (UCLA)
Boston College (at Syracuse)
Florida State (Florida)
Miami, Fla. (South Florida)
Missouri (Kansas in Kansas City)
Northern Illinois (at Eastern Michigan)
Syracuse (Boston College)
UCF (at Memphis)
Virginia Tech (Virginia)
West Virginia (at Pittsburgh)