The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 29, 2012

Fantasy Football Notebook: Young, Dwyer among popular pickups this week

By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor

— The first half of the NFL regular season is over and there are few if any nuggets to be mined on the waiver wire.

If by chance Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is still available in your league and you need help at that position, he should be added. He was probably drafted as a back-up but may have been dropped due to his slow start.

He’s had three quality games in a row, including Thursday’s 262-yard, three-touchdown night against the Vikings. His schedule gets more difficult from here on out but should still be a solid bye-week fill-in or provide reasonable depth.

Two other quarterbacks who may have some value going forward are Miami’s Matt Moore and Philadelphia’s Nick Foles. Moore is only credible as long as Ryan Tannehill is out (which sounds as if it won’t be very long). Foles is a wildcard if the Eagles decide to bench starter Michael Vick. Foles had a good preseason but is untested in the regular season.

Titus Young of Detroit will likely be the most popular pickup this week if he’s not already on a roster in our league. He erupted for nine catches, 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 8. He became more viable as soon a Nate Burleson was lost for the season.

If, by chance, Green Bay’s Randall Cobb is still out there, grab him right away. Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are both hurt and Cobb has been taking advantage of their absence. Even when they return, Cobb figures to be a significant part of the Packers’ passing game.

Young’s teammate, rookie Brian Broyles, might also suffice in a pinch. He’s scored a touchdown in each of the last two weeks so it’s reasonable to assume quarterback Matt Stafford will continue to look in his direction.

As pitiful as the St. Louis Rams offense looked on Sunday, the team has two receivers to consider. One is Danny Amendola, who is close to returning from his broken collarbone, and the other is Chris Givens. Givens doesn’t get a lot of touches but he’s a big-play guy who scored another touchdown Sunday.

Pittsburgh running back Jonathan Dwyer may have been dropped and added a few times already in your league and this week the trend should be continued. Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman are both expected back shortly but Dwyer has played well the last two weeks (17 carries, 107 yards on Sunday) and the team now has faith in him.

The Rams’ Daryl Richardson has been posting OK numbers off the bench the last few weeks and now there are rumors that starter Steven Jackson may be traded this week. If that happens, Richardson’s value skyrockets. He’s worth taking a gamble on.

It’s possible Indianapolis’ Donald Brown was dropped when he got hurt earlier this month. If he’s available, take him. He ran for 80 yards while splitting time with Vick Ballard on Sunday.

A lot of fantasy owners have been resisting picking up Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller this year but that’s a mistake. He scores a touchdown almost every week and that’s pretty good production for that position.