Fantasy Football: Week 7 Pickups
Nick Foles, QB (PHI)--Entering last Sunday's game against the Buccaneers there wasn't much optimism about Foles chances of success, but he proved all his doubters wrong. Foles finished Week 6 with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown while completing just under 71 percent of his passes. Although Michael Vick was active last week doesn't mean Foles will be back to a reserve role anytime soon, as the Eagles have yet to make an announcement on when he will be back in action. The upcoming schedule for the Eagles couldn't be much better for their passing game, matching up against the Cowboys, Giants, Raiders and Packers over the next four weeks. So as long as news doesn't come out saying Vick will be returning this weekend, Foles is a must-add player. Just keep in mind it is likely only for short-term purposes.
Brandon Jacobs, RB (NYG)--I never thought I would be writing about Brandon Jacobs in a waiver-wire article, but now with both Da'Rel Scott and David Wilson out of action it is his backfield for the taking. Going up against a tough Bears defense in Week 6 Jacobs rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, finishing in the top 5 of fantasy running backs in standard league scoring. The Giants have mentioned over the last few days that Michael Cox could also be in the mix for carries, but he is an unproven rookie that has yet to record a his first career carry up to this point. The upcoming schedule for the Giants running game is very favorable, with the Vikings (most PPG allowed to opposing RB), Eagles and Raiders (4 TD allowed in last 3 games) on deck. By no means would I go and spend all of my FAAB on Jacobs, but there is some upside to adding him, especially considering the other options the team has at their disposal while in search of their first win.
Joseph Randle, RB (DAL)--Although DeMarco Murray has yet to be officially ruled out for Sunday's game against the Eagles, Joseph Randle appears to be in line for an expanded role in the Cowboys offense. After Murray went down with a knee injury in Week 6 the Cowboys turned to Randle, but the results weren't mind-blowing (11 carries for 17 yards and a touchdown). If Murray is out for an extended period of time there is a chance that Lance Dunbar, who the Cowboys view as their No. 2 running back, could take some carries away from Randle, but he still needs to be clears from a hamstring injury that has held him out all season. For now, Randle is the guy to own from the Cowboys backfield, especially when factoring in the team's upcoming schedule (Eagles, Lions and Vikings).
Rueben Randle, WR (NYG)--If you didn't take my advice on adding Rueben Randle last week, here is your chance to make up for it. Randle has now finished within the top 15 of fantasy wide receivers in standard scoring each of the last two weeks, totaling three touchdowns over that timeframe. With Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz drawing all the attention from opposing defenses, Randle has been able to establish himself as a sure-handed target for Eli Manning, earning 19 targets the the last two weeks. Let's face it; it is hard to imagine the Giants playing any worse than what they have up to this point. So expect Randle to continue to build on what should be a solid fantasy season for this second year wideout.
Harry Douglas, WR (ATL)--Some of you may be wondering why Harry Douglas isn't in the first tier of players this week, but he is right where he needs to be. Instantly, Douglas became a top waiver-wire add after the Falcons lost Julio Jones following the team's Week 5 loss to the Jets, despite limited production as the team's No. 3 wide receiver. Douglas will never he on the same level as Jones, or even Roddy White for that matter, considering his height (6'0"), weight (183 lbs) and his lack of playmaking ability. However, outside of Tony Gonzalez, there are no other viable options other than Douglas, so he is worth adding solely on the lack of depth at the position with White still battling injury. There will likely be weeks when Douglas can finish close to the top 20 of wide receivers in fantasy production, but he should be considered more of a matchup play until he shows some consistency in his expanded role. There is some upside here, just let's not go crazy folks.
Kris Durham, WR (DET)--There hasn't been a player who has taken more advantage of Nate Burleson's injury than Kris Durham, outplaying Ryan Broyles, Patrick Edwards and Kevin Ogletree earning what appears to be the team's No. 2 wide receiver position. Over the last two weeks Durham has been targeted 21 times by his former college teammate Matthew Stafford, who has been ranting about his production the last few weeks. Granted, if Calvin Johnson wasn't injured I'm sure his targets would be lower, but the Lions are a pass-happy team and someone has to get the ball besides Megatron. With two solid matchups on deck heading into the Lions Week 9 bye week, Durham has a good chance to continue trending upwards, so those looking for wide receiver depth should give him a strong look.
Lance Dunbar, RB (DAL)--With the recent injury to DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys will be in search of solid production out of the backfield from someone other than the 10th highest scoring fantasy running back. Joseph Randle filled in for Murray in Week 6, with Lance Dunbar inactive, but was unproductive outside of scoring a touchdown leading me to believe, when healthy, Dunbar in the player to own. However, he has yet to be cleared by team doctors to return to practice after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 5, so there is a good chance he is unable to play in Week 7 if he isn't back on the practice field by Friday. In deep leagues Dunbar should be targeted, but those in a pinch right now should concentrate on acquiring Randle considering he is the healthier of the two right now.
Jordan Reed, TE (WAS)--Slowly but surely Jordan Reed has been climbing up the rankings after surpassing Fred Davis on the Redskins depth chart. In Week 6, Reed converted four of his six targets for 58 yards, and was the second on the team in targets behind only Pierre Garcon. Although the Redskins are struggling, it is nice to see Reed building chemistry with Robert Griffin, who will need to look his way more often now that he knows he can convert big plays in tough situations. It is tough to suggest that Reed will be heavily involved in the Redskins offense on a weekly basis, but if the matchup is right, he is the type of player that has the ability to take full advantage of a good situation.
Jarrett Boykin, WR (GB)--You may not be familiar with Jarrett Boykin, but following injuries to both James Jones and Randall Cobb, he is a person of interest for those looking for wide receiver depth. Filling in for both injured players, Boykin finished Week 6 with one reception for 43 yards on six targets in what was his first game action in 2013. With Cobb expected to miss 4-to-8 weeks and Jones' status unknown, Boykin is expected to have an expanded role in the Packers offense in the upcoming weeks. He will need to concentrate more on making catches, considered he caught only 20 percent of the passes thrown to him, but that will come with time as he works with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. At the very leasts, Boykin will be fantasy relevant until Randall Cobb is able to return to action, although a more balanced offensive attack is expected from the Packers moving forward.
Mike Tolbert, RB (CAR)--Coming off of his most productive game of the season, Mike Tolbert resurfaces as the touchdown vulture that he was known for in his days with the Chargers. Tolbert finished Week 6 in the top 10 of fantasy running backs in standard scoring leagues, with 47 total yards and two touchdowns. Although his production outside of the touchdowns isn't inspiring, the fact that he is getting the touches and targets in the red zone is a good sign moving forward. The Panthers will have a crowded backfield once again, with the return of Jonathan Stewart on the horizon, but as we saw a season ago, Tolbert will continue to get the touches when it counts the most.
Tim Wright, TE (TB)--The Buccaneers have been lacking solid tight end production for a few years now, but they may have found their match in Tim Wright. After failing to record a catch in the team's first two games, Wright has improved each of the following weeks, with his most recent production catching the eye of those in search of tight ends this week. Over the last two games, Wright has been targeted 15 times by newly anointed starting quarterback Mike Glennon, totaling 12 receptions for 132 yards. It is worth noting, the games in which he did not record a catch were games started by Josh Freeman, so there is clearly a good thing in the works between Wright and fellow-rookie Glennon. He is on the verge of becoming a solid TE2, but will need another week or two before being a must-own outside of deep fantasy formats.
Joseph Fauria, TE (DET)--The Lions have arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson, but it is Joseph Fauria who has stolen the spotlight after a great Week 6 performance. Entering last Sunday's game against the Browns, Fauria has only two catches on the season, both of which were touchdowns. Not only was he used in goal line situations once again, but he continued his trend of his catches resulting in touchdowns, adding three scores to his resume. His season total is five receptions for 66 yards and five touchdowns, making him tied for third in touchdowns by tight ends. Since his fantasy value strictly relies on scoring touchdowns, it is hard to make him a must-add player outside of TD-Only leagues. However, those in dynasty leagues will want to make a bid on him this week as he is clearly going to be a part of this offense this year and beyond.
Defensive Matchup Play of the Week
San Diego Chargers Defense/Special Teams--Well, by now you know the trend. The Chargers are matched up against the Jaguars this week, who have allowed the second most fantasy points per game to opposing defensive and special team groups through the first six weeks of the season. Not to mention, the Chargers were able to hold the Colts to three field goals and zero touchdowns in last night's victory. The Chargers are only going to get better form here, so now is the time to pickup this group, even if it is only for one week.
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Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com. Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information. And, to make setting your Fantasy Football lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NFL Lineup Grids.
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