Week 9: Pickups of the Week
His name may sound like a cartoon character's, but Cecil Shorts is no joke. Great speed and run-after-catch abilities have helped him climb to number three on the Jaguars' WR depth chart and his recent play suggests he may climb further. Against the Packers he was targeted a team-high twelve times and responded with eight catches for 112 yards. It marks the second straight game the Mount Union product has started in place of the injured Laurent Robinson and the second straight time he has been Blaine Gabbert's prefered target. Robinson's healthy return from multiple concussions is no sure bet and, when he comes back to reclaim his starting job, Shorts will maintain a role as a field-stretching threat. Owners in deep leagues can consider using him immediately, while standard leaguers might do better to stash him on the bench and see whether Jacksonville's passing game continues to improve.Injury Status: Doubtful - Knee
Young appeared in our 'Start 'Em' and our 'Sleepers of the Week' columns for Week 8 and lived up to the hype with the best performance of his career (nine catches for 100 yards and two TDs, including the game winner). Generally, a player coming off a performance like that would have opponents game-planning to stop him. But teams are already using double coverage on Calvin Johnson and, even after a big breakout, Young has to look like the lesser of two evils. As a newly minted starter he is riding high on a wave of confidence and can look forward to full-time snaps facing mostly single coverage the rest of the season. He should be owned in all but the most shallow fantasy leagues.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Clark has been busy in Tampa Bay's suddenly potent passing attack. The former Colt may be in his twilight playing years, but he's still a excellent route runner and tough coverage assignment. The downfield success of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams is opening space underneath, where Clark now operates. Week 9's bye week has deprived owners of some top tier tight ends. In turning to the next tier, it helps to be able to trust a player with pedigree. This former All Pro TE should be able to exploit a vulnerable Raiders defense this Sunday.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Fred Davis' season ended in Week 7 leaving one big question mark at the TE position in Washington. That question was answered emphatically on Sunday. Though the team re-signed Chris Cooley to give them depth, it was Logan Paulsen who stepped into the number one spot. According to Pro Football Focus, he played a whopping 95% of the team's offensive snaps. His four catches for 43 yards against Pittsburgh were good enough for second on the team. He's been credited in the past by coach Shanahan for his solid blocking ability and has now shown impressive receiving chops since taking over for Davis. If not for a Week 10 bye, he'd be a higher value pickup. As it stands, he's worth TE2 consideration.MyFantasyLeague availability: 96%
Between them, Olindo Mare and Josh Brown played as many seasons in the NFL as Forbath has seen years on this earth. But with youth on his side, it was the former UCLA Bruin who out-duelled the grizzled vets to win Washington's mid-season kicking contest and the right to a job. Kai Forbath was signed to replace the ineffectual Billy Cundiff, whose five misses in the first five games were enough to get him kicked to the curb. Since taking over full time kicking duties, Forbath is a perfect six for six on field goals, though he did have an extra point blocked last weekend. No matter. Washington is tied for fifth in field goal attempts and is second to only New England in point after tries. In a high-scoring role the rookie Redskin is a sneaky source for fantasy points this weekend against Carolina, who have allowed a league-high 21 field goals so far.