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Sunday, September 8, 2013

No Time for Jokes: Early Week 1 Fantasy Pick Ups

Wow, what an action packed opening weekend of football!  So action packed that I need time to just catch my breath.  But I certainly can’t leave fantasy players high and dry, so here theyare, players less than 50% owned in Yahoo that you should target this week if you need to make a pickup.

Fred Jackson – RB - 46% Owned

Jackson had 13 carries, which was only 4 less than CJ Spiller,but still managed 26 more rush yards than Spiller with 67.  And he added 4 catches, only 1 less than Spiller, but managed 27 more yards with 41. The Bills aren’t nearly as bad as we thought they would be with a moderately competent EJ Manuel stepping up.  

Brian Hartline  WR - 45% Owned
Hartline had catches for a whopping 114 y and a TD.  100% owned off season big ticket acquisition Mike Wallace only had 1 for 15 yards.  As expected, Wallace drew double coverage all day long.  And that means someone has single coverage, and that someone is Hartline. And who was it that said on the radio show that Hartline would get lots of looks as a nice WR sleeper in Miami?  Yeah, that might’ve been me.  Go get him.  Oh, and don’t fret about Lamar Miller.  He was terrible today, but he’ll get better.  Don’t cut bait yet.

Alex Smith – QB - 41% Owned
He was an effective game manager in San Francisco before he was unceremoniously dumped for the next big thing, Colin what’s his name.  Whatever, Smith can do what he does wherever he is, as he passed for 173 yards and 2 TD, adding on a bonus 25 rushing yards.  The Jags defense isn’t great, but he did what he should do against a bad defense.  If Jamaal Charles is OK, Smith can be sneaky good QB.  Aside from that, the only other notable thing in this game is that the 28-2 final score was the first time this has happened in NFL history.  

Joique Bell – RB - 31% Owned
Reggie Bush was Superman, but Joique Bell was also a super hero with 25 rushing yards, 2 TDs and 67 receiving yards. Apparently, there’s plenty to go around for the RBs in Detroit.  And who's going to carry the ball or catch the ball out of thebackfield when Bush is winded from running 70 yards down the field?  

EJ Manuel – QB - 20% Owned
We didn’t even know if he would be healthy enough to start, and we all thought the Patriots would crush the Bills 1000 to 0.  But Manuel did really well with 150 yard passing, 2 TDs and 23yards on the ground.  The Bills, as I said earlier, are better than you think.  He was impressive stepping in forhis first NFL start and standing toe to toe with Brady.  Worth a look for bye weeks or for 2 QB leagues.

Julian Edelman – WR - 18% Owned
No TEs stepped up in the Patriots to fill the Gronk and Hernandez void (Hyped Zach Sudfeld ended up with a big fat goose egg).  So another WR needed to, and it looks like Brady liked his old friend Julian Edelman.  Edelman was always thought of as Welker light, and he proved it today with 79receiving yards, 2 TDs and a bonus 32 return yards.  Go grab him if you need a 5th WR in standard 12 team leagues.

Kenny Stills – WR - 12% Owned

Stills demonstrated that even a 3rd WR in a Drew Brees offense can have value.  Stills racked up 86 yards in an impressive showing.  He won't bweek to week consistent, but Marques Colston
 has a foot issues that he's been managing through the preseason, Stills is one injury away from being a decent WR3 or Flex in standard 12 team leagues.

Terrelle Pryor – QB - 11% Owned
Who would have guess that the mess in Oakland would actually be competitive?  Pryor wasn’t awesome, but 217 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INT and an amazing league leading 112 rush yards, more rushing yards than any RB this week so far.  And rushing yards are gold from the QB position.  Need a backup QB or another QB in a 2 QB league?  Here’s your guy.

Rod Streater – WR - 7% Owned
Mathew Berry of ESPN actually mentioned that he likedStreater in the preseason.  I didn’t believe then, but I believe now.  70 receiving yards and 9 rushing yards is pretty good.  IfPryor keeps running to keep secondarys honest, someone else will need to catch balls than Denarius Moore – and that guy could be Streater.  Worth a flyer in 14 team and deeper leagues.

Marlon Brown – WR - 4% Owned
Jacoby Jones is out with knee sprain (caused by his own guy) for 4-6 weeks.  Brown looked good in the preseason, Flacco has a gun for an arm, and someone needs to catch the ball when Torrey Smith is drawing double coverage.  Why not Brown?  65 receiving yards and a TD says he has the skills to do it.  I like him a lot as a 4th or 5th WR or a Flex in standard 12 team leagues.

So don’t say I never did anything for you!  Go get them and feel free to thank me later.  And by the way, I prefer chocolate if you’re going to send me a cake.

By Ha Kung Wong (Twitter @Rhihan)

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