|The Ballad of Alshon Jeffery. (adn.com)|
The truth is I definitely thought about adding Alshon Jeffery to my pick-ups last week, but I didn't. Jeffery made his first appearance last year as a talented option to Brandon Marshall in Chicago, but he ultimately became a zero factor in 2012.
So when Jeffery racked up 107 receiving yards, a 27 yard rush, and this garbage time TD, what was I to think? Well, I thought I've seen this before. That Jeffery, while an easy call to make, might not have much more fantasy value in him moving forward. Well, last week was enough proof that this might be a dynamic young receiver coming into his own.
Jeffery took advantage of those Marshall double teams and led the Bears in targets, caught 10 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. It was an eye-catching performance out of the second year Gamecock.
There's no telling how Brandon Marshall will affect things moving forward. Clearly, this was not a strong game, but there's no reason to view this as a shift in the Bears gameplan. Under new Head Coach Marc Trestman, the Bears have opted for a more pass effective offense that spreads the ball around, and most importantly protects Jay Cutler. When Cutler is able to make the throws he wants, he is a weapon out there, no doubt. And when he has time to not just decide to throw the ball up to Marshall, there should be continued opportunities for Jeffery in Chicago.
Moving forward, if he's not already owned in your league (currently owned in 68% of Yahoo! leagues) you should get him. He is shaping up to be one of the best waiver adds of the season, and should immediately get flex/WR3 consideration as the Bears go against the Giants on Thursday night. I would put him right in the class of young and talented receivers like Josh Gordon, Golden Tate, and Justin Blackmon.
|Cordarrelle Patterson looks to take advantage of the new regime in Minny. (nfl.com)|
Pierre Thomas, RB - NO (49% owned) +New England Patriots
The good about Pierre Thomas is that he plays for a very high powered offense. The bad is that you never know when he's going to get his. The Saints have so many options on offense, and when you factor in the two TD's he scored on Sunday were out of the Darren Sproles playbook, it's tough to say when he'll have an impact. We know enough that Thomas won't be at the top of anyone's ranks week to week, but if you're struggling through the wasteland of failed running backs this year, Thomas is a good plug and play option to have.
Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN (17%) v CAR
Times they are a changing in Minnesota. With the signing of Josh Freeman and Minnesota brass not wanting to waste the prime of Adrian Peterson's career, it's all hands on deck to make this Vikings team as successful as quickly as possible. Freeman won't be starting soon, but you have to imagine he'll get a shot in the coming weeks, and one of the main benefactors of Freeman's ability to throw the deep ball is Patterson. The speedy and athletic receiver has mainly returned kicks so far, with great success, but with Freeman looming and an injury knock picked up by Greg Jennings, Patterson could get his chance to shine very soon.
The lazy comparison to make with Patterson was the Percy Harvin replacement, but it appears that Patterson lacks and exceeds on some of Harvin's ball skills. NFL.com compared Patterson to someone as athletic as fantasy team murderer and fellow rookie Tavon Austin (yes, drop him for Jeffery), but also comps him to Demaryius Thomas. Well, hey, not everyone has Peyton Manning throwing them the ball, but Patterson has high upside.
Terrance Williams, WR - DAL (16%) +Washington Redskins
Williams is this year's winner of the Miles Austin Injury Award. Given to the next deserving receiver on the Cowboys' depth chart to fill-in for the oft injured Miles. He's getting more and more looks from Tony Romo, who won't be throwing for 500 yards every game, but against Washington in Week 6 - Williams looks to continue his steady climb.
Keenan Allen, WR - SD (6%) v IND
Someone is going to be catching Philip Rivers' passes on the Chargers. Antonio Gates is already taken, and after the dust has cleared on the injury riddled Bolts' receiving corps, Allen appears to be a deep and red zone threat for Rivers. A concussion to Ryan Mathews will only up the pass attempts for Rivers, and Allen could be on the receiving end.
Zac Stacy, RB - STL (17%) +Houston Texans
Daryl Richardson/Isaiah Pead owners, go for it. If things can turn around for Jonathan Franklin, anything is possible. Just don't start him against the Texans.
Garrett Graham, TE - HOU (16%) @ STL
Speaking of Texans, stalwart tight end Owen Daniels injured his fibula and will assuredly be out this week if not more. Reports have the injury ranging from weeks to a possible IR stint. Any Daniels owner needs to cut bait immediately, unless there's room to stash Daniels. Graham has been just as productive as Daniels so far this year when you account for Daniels' playing time. Graham has 3 TD on the year to match Daniels, and his stats should mirror Daniels' production nicely as his targets increase. He may not be as good as that other Graham that plays tight end, but this is as good a fill-in as you're likely to find at the position.
PENNY SAVED IS A PENNY EARNED
Jaquizz Rodgers, RB - ATL (49%) BYE
Two TD's for Rodgers is good for him, but little production elsewhere. After a bye this week, Steven Jackson's return is imminent.
Jackie Battle, RB - TEN (1%) +Seattle Seahawks
If you haven't been frustrated by Chris Johnson in fantasy football, then you're a lucky person. The formerly explosive back for the Titans now is relegated to a flashier version of DeAngelo Williams. They'll give him the ball and hope he makes a big play (which he usually doesn't) and when they're in 3rd down or short yardage situations, in comes someone else. That someone else in Tennessee is Jackie Battle. He's your standard upside play of 60-80 total yards and a touchdown. There's no guaranteeing the Titans will sniff the goal line in Seattle, but Battle is worth a low investment.