Week 11: Pickups of the Week
Harry Douglas' shocking Week 10 breakout was due largely to the absence of Julio Jones, and the health of the latter will determine whether or not Douglas remains a viable fantasy play next Sunday. Jones' hamstring has plagued him all year. It held him out of Weeks 6 and 7 and it would be no surprise if it caused him to miss more time. It's worth noting that Douglas was fairly quiet in those first two Jones-less games (2 catches for 57 yards, 4 catches for 62 yards), so take last Sunday's performance with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, he's a decent speculative add and someone whose usage could increase late in the season.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Titus Young has been sneaking in behind defenses all season long and has shown flashes as a useful fantasy play. Last week the rookie set a new career high with seven catches. In Week 5, we recommended him in this column as an occasional fill-in WR3. Though he's blossomed a little since then, he still risks the occasional disappearing act and he and can't yet be trusted full time. We have now arrived at the last of the bye weeks, so feel free to roll the dice on this hit or miss WR prospect. And if, as has been suggested, Calvin Johnson's phantom injury turns out to be legit, Young would get another boost.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Dickson's otherwise memorable performance unfortunately came in a game the Ravens would sooner forget. He was the lone bright spot for his team's struggling offense and was the most frequently targeted receiver in the game. On a day when the Seahawks' starting linebackers were wreaking havoc, each recording 12 tackles, Dickson managed to elude them on two scores to go along with 10 catches for 79 yards. He benefited largely from Seattle's decision to limit the downfield passing game by putting safety help over both wideouts. Though Cincinnati may not pursue the same game plan, Dickson is a match-up problem for nearly any defender and will be a strong play again this week.MyFantasyLeague availability: 6%
Undrafted Steven Hauschka (do teams actually draft kickers?) was five-for-five on field goals during Seattle's glorious upset of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Notwithstanding Marshawn Lynch's cold-weather greatness, the Seahawks are not a big strike team and the Hauschka leg is one of their most potent offensive weapons. It should be swinging freely again this week against the division rival (and what a rivalry: 3-6 faces 3-6 for basement bragging rights!) St. Louis Rams.
Week 12 presents another bright opportunity against the Redskins, who have gifted opposing kickers with the most fantasy points this year.
What many people view as the dud game of the week will pit two of the league's worst offensive teams (Cleveland is 30th, Jacksonville is dead last) against each other. However, this game also features two of the league's best defenses. Both squads are giving up just over 18 points per game, both have broken even thus far in takeaways/giveaways, and both are allowing just around 300 net yards per game. Cleveland, though, fields the stronger secondary and -- even without the help of safety T.J. Ward -- should prey on unproven rookie QB Blaine Gabbert. If you like incompletions, love punts and fancy a field trip to spend two-to-three hours in lovely Cleveland, Ohio this is the game for you. More importantly, if you own Pittsburgh or Houston's defense, this contest should be of particular interest and potential fantasy value.