Week 7 of the NFL season was probably one of the most frustrating weeks in recent memory if you were relying on studs like RB Darren McFadden, Beanie Wells, Marshawn Lynch, Earnest Graham, Tim Hightower, and Ryan Mathews amongst others to save your team. All pulled up with injuries and less than ten fantasy points. Some injuries worse than others. Graham and Hightower unfortunately have been lost for the season, while the rest should see time in the upcoming weeks. Here are my pickups of the week:
Alfonso Smith, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Smith, like last week’s waiver wire pickup Jackie Battle, is more of a downhill runner. Starter Beanie Wells left the game with a mysterious knee injury that nobody knows anything about. Wells’ injury could sideline him for at least 1-2 weeks, opening the door for Smith. The bad news is, however, Smith will have to face the tenacious Ravens’ defense in Week 8. The good news is, if Wells isn’t back by Week 9, Smith gets to face the Rams’ defense. Potential Smith suitors hope and pray.
Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins
I guess it’s finally time to bring out old Roy from the depths of the waiver wire. Just don’t come crying to me when coach Shanahan decides to still give RB Ryan Torain 30 carries while Helu gets a modest 7-10.
Keiland Williams, RB, Detroit Lions
The Lions clearly really wanted to split carries between Keiland Williams and Maurice Morris. Both had exactly nine carries. Both should get a few more against a very weak Denver Broncos team. When the Lions score early and often, the Lions will look to both of their backups to run out the clock.
Kregg Lumpkin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lumpkin is the only healthy back right now on the entire Tampa Bay roster. The Bucs have a bye week coming up, and by Week 9 starter LaGarrette Blount will probably be back in the lineup. Lumpkin did not look all that great against the Bears last Sunday, but from a PPR standpoint, he looks like a sure-fire pickup. He’ll do exactly what Earnest Graham was doing before going down with a season-ending achilles injury.
Javon Ringer, RB, Tennessee Titans
No, Chris Johnson did not get hurt last week. I have an eerie feeling though that he might get benched due to his horrendous production. CJ had 10 carries for a measly 18 yards while Ringer enjoyed a nice three carries for 31 yards. Stash Ringer on your bench if you have the room to.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
I’m not going to lie, Ponder impressed in his first career start versus Green Bay. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, but he showed great resilience and almost lead the Vikings to a huge upset over undefeated Green Bay. Not worth a start just yet but could be a roster stash for when he faces a weak defense.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Like last week’s waiver wire winner Demaryius Thomas, Brown looks to capitalize on an injury to second string WR Hines Ward. Brown had his first 100 yard game of his career last week on seven receptions and could easily produce like this when given the opportunity.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Sanders, like Brown, shared second string WR duties and was able to produce. Sanders caught a touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger in addition to his 46 yards. Brown seems to be the more polished receiver of the two so look to him first on the wire.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins
Starting WR Santana Moss broke his hand and is scheduled to be out five to seven weeks. Gaffney should be relatively productive in the starting spot, competing only with TE Fred Davis. Davis won’t catch everything QB John Beck throws, so Gaffney should garner the rest of his passes.
Jake Ballard, TE, New York Giants
Ballard has been surprisingly productive the last few weeks, averaging a solid 10 fantasy points per game. QB Eli Manning has been looking his way more and more, and hopefully that doesn’t change as defenses start to take notice. Buyer beware.