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Sam Bradford is worth a look if you need a fill-in quarterback this week
It’s Week 11 of the NFL season, which marks the end of the bye weeks. This is the last week that a fantasy owner has to worry about something other than an injury or possible benching impacting their roster. With no Giants, Seahawks, Titans or Vikings available this week, here are some possible waiver wire options worth considering as you prepare your team for Week 11.
Bye week teams: Minnesota, New York Giants, Seattle, Tennessee
Week 10 Recap: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Russell Wilson both had solid games as Fitzpatrick threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns (along with two turnovers) in the Bills’ loss to the Patriots, while Wilson posted his third straight game with at least two touchdown passes (along with 222 yards of offense) in the win against the Jets.
Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
Bradford’s numbers (2,072-10-7) are far from spectacular, but he has a couple of things going for him. One, he’s had 250 or more passing yards in three of his last four games, including Sunday’s 275-yard, two touchdown effort in the tie against San Francisco. Bradford also welcomed back top target Danny Amendola from injury, and he proceeded to hook up with him 11 times for 102 yards. This Sunday’s match up against the Jets isn’t the most appealing, but it does come at home where Bradford has a 7:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio in four games.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Three different starting quarterbacks left their games on Sunday with a concussion and didn’t return. Though it’s too early to tell, there could be three backup quarterbacks getting the call this week. In fact, the Monday night game in San Francisco could feature a battle of the backups as Kaepernick may get the start in place of Alex Smith and Jason Campbell could be under center for Chicago instead of Jay Cutler. There’s also Nick Foles, who could get his first career start for Philadelphia on the road against Washington. Even with the prospect of having to face the Bears’ defense, I like Kaepernick of the three backup options because of his versatility and the fact he’s seen more playing time than either Campbell or certainly Foles. Given the situations, any of the three should only be considered in the deepest of leagues or those that start more than one quarterback in their lineup.
Week 10 Recap: Mike Goodson didn’t even play on Sunday as the high ankle sprain he suffered last week kept him sidelined, opening the door for Marcel Reece (see below). Isaac Redman got the start, but Jonathan Dwyer finished with more carries (19 to 8) and rushing yards (56 to 21). Lance Dunbar gained 20 yards on six carries, as Felix Jones carried the load (16 att., 71 yds., 3 rec., 22 yds, TD) for the Cowboys.
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
Frank Gore rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown in the tie against St. Louis, but he also took another shot to his still-tender ribs. Should Gore miss any time, Hunter is presumably the next in line. Hunter has seen a fair amount of action this season, averaging seven carries per game and five yards per carry. The only caveats as they apply to Hunter’s outlook for this week are that there’s a chance that Colin Kaepernick (see above) will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback instead of Alex Smith and the match up with the Chicago Bears’ defense. Kaepernick is more of a threat to run the ball, as evidenced by his eight carries for 66 yards on Sunday against the Rams (Hunter had three attempts), while the Bears are fourth in the league in rushing defense. Still, if anything Hunter is a must-have handcuff for Gore owners and someone worth keeping an eye on once the fantasy playoffs begin, especially if the 49ers clinch a playoff spot early.
Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both missed Sunday’s game in Baltimore with high ankle sprains. This opened the door for Reece, who has already proven his worth as a receiver, to do most of the heavy lifting. Reece, a fullback by trade, led the Raiders in both carries (13) and receptions (7) in the 55-20 loss to the Ravens. Reece finished with 104 total yards and even if McFadden or Goodson return this week against New Orleans, he would be worth consideration as a flex option at the very least because of his role in the Raiders’ passing game.
James Starks, Green Bay Packers
Injuries kept Starks off of the field until Week 6, but after rushing for a team-high 61 yards on 17 carries in Week 9 against Arizona, he looks ready to handle more of the load for Green Bay. The Packers have struggled to find consistency with their rushing attack, even before Cedric Benson went down with a foot injury. This includes Alex Green, who got the chance to show what he could do following Benson’s injury, but reports are that Starks will get his shot as the Packers come off of their bye week. Green Bay plays in Detroit on Sunday and if Starks is given the starting job, he may be worth taking a flyer on, especially if you are without the services of Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Chris Johnson or Ahmad Bradshaw this week.
Week 10 Recap: Danario Alexander caught five passes for 134 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, while Danny Amendola returned from injury to lead the Rams with 11 receptions for 102 yards. Davone Bess hauled in four passes for 53 yards and Justin Blackmon managed just three receptions for 25 yards, both in losing efforts. On the other hand, Emmanuel Sanders had just two receptions for 30 yards, but most importantly, his Steelers got a hard-fought 16-13 overtime win over the Chiefs.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones left Sunday’s game in New Orleans with a shin injury. He returned after missing a quarter, but his health is something worth watching this week. If Jones were to miss a game or even if he’s somewhat limited while on the field, Douglas would be next man up. Douglas was third on the team with seven targets against the Saints and finished with four receptions for 49 yards. With as much success as the Falcons have had throwing the ball, Douglas’ value would instantly increase should he slide into the starting wide receiver spot alongside Roddy White.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
Heyward-Bey has 74 or more receiving yards in the four games since his return from a concussion and he has caught a touchdown in two of his past three outings. While Denarius Moore may be Oakland’s primary target, Heyward-Bey is more of the vertical threat and there’s no disputing how much the Raiders have thrown the ball. Carson Palmer is averaging better than 25 completions and nearly 42 attempts per game and has thrown for 782 yards and six touchdowns in the last two games alone. With running back Darren McFadden dealing with a high ankle sprain and his return unknown, there’s really no reason why Heyward-Bey is owned in a little more than half of Yahoo! leagues.
Laurent Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Cecil Shorts has emerged as the Jaguar receiver to own and one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats, but don’t overlook the return of Robinson. One of the Jags’ big free-agent acquisitions in the offseason, Robinson was sidelined for several weeks after sustaining a concussion. He made his long-awaited return in Week 9 and has 15 catches on 24 targets for 118 yards in his past two games. Even with Shorts making the big plays, there should be plenty of chances for Robinson to produce, especially if he’s able to find the end zone every now and then.
Brandon Stokley, Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker get more looks, but the veteran Stokley has made his own mark in the Broncos’ passing attack this season. Capitalizing on his familiarity with Peyton Manning, as the two were teammates with the Colts from 2003-06, Stokley has multiple receptions in every game and has scored four touchdowns on the season. Three of those touchdowns have come in the last five games, including one against San Diego, this week’s opponent, in Week 6. With Percy Harvin, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and other receivers sidelined this week because of the bye, Stokley could be worth a flyer if you are looking for a WR3 or Flex, especially considering Manning put up 309 yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers in Week 6.
Week 10 Recap: Dwayne Allen and Joel Dreessen posted identical, disappointing stat lines this week – 2 receptions, 31 yards.
Dustin Keller, New York Jets
A Week 1 hamstring injury kept Keller out of action until Week 6, but it finally looks like he’s rounding into form. Keller has 17 catches over his past three games and as long as Mark Sanchez remains under center, he should put up decent numbers, especially if he can get into the end zone.
Lance Kendricks, St. Louis Rams
Kendricks has just one touchdown reception, but he’s been a little more involved in the Rams’ passing game recently. He’s seen four or more targets in four straight games and has three performances of 32 or more receiving yards during this span. The return of wide receiver Danny Amendola may help open up the middle and present Kendricks with more opportunities to make plays down the field.
Week 10 Recap: Denver harassed Cam Netwon all Sunday afternoon, sacking the Panthers’ quarterback seven times and picking him off twice, returning one of them for a touchdown. The Broncos scored a safety and also got a 76-yard punt return for a score from Trindon Holliday in the dominating performance that netted 31 fantasy points.
The Bengals sacked Eli Manning twice and picked him off twice in a surprisingly easy win over the defending Super Bowl champs on Sunday. They have done a good job of pressuring the quarterback (27 sacks) and generating turnovers (7 INTs, 8 fumbles) and get to face a Kansas City team on Sunday that has turned the ball over a league-worst 30 times. No Giants, Seahawks or Vikings D this week? You may want to consider giving these cats a try.
The Redskins’ DST has produced nearly as many fantasy points as the Bengals’, but by different means. Washington has not generated many sacks (14), but has more takeaways (16 total) than the Bengals and has scored four defensive touchdowns. The main reason, however, the Redskins are listed here is because of the prospect that they may be facing rookie Nick Foles, and not Michael Vick, this coming Sunday. Foles may be making his first career NFL start, on the road no less, if Vick is not medically cleared after sustaining a concussion against the Eagles, and that development would instantly make the ‘Skins’ DST, if nothing else, an intriguing starting option for this week.
Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.