Week 5: Pickups of the Week
Jones has been the picture of inconsistency, shining in spots then promptly disappearing. He's been silent the past two weeks with only one catch and a few short punt returns. He'll be faced with a much larger work rate if, as seems likely, Andre Johnson misses time (Johnson pulled up lame in the Week 4 game against the Steelers with a hamstring injury). We're awaiting results from Monday's MRI, but the injury was serious enough to prevent Johnson from finishing the game. With Johnson's status for Week 5 in doubt, Jones is worth a speculative add. He stands ready to step in as Johnson's replacement and holds more fantasy potential than his opposite number Kevin Walter.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Young continue to make important plays for the Lions and, though he'll likely stay behind both Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew in targets, he's someone fantasy owners should keep an eye on. Don't let his size fool you -- Young is a dynamic playmaker who posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with Boise State before being selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL draft. He won't be kept off the score sheet for long and is another player to consider as a fill-in WR3 when the bye week starts wreaking havoc on fantasy rosters.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
Shiancoe vacated the fantasy scene after going from 11 touchdowns in 2009 down to just two last season. His rise and fall in the fantasy world directly parallels Brett Favre's tenure with the Vikings. But unlike Favre, Shiancoe's play didn't drop off precipitously last year. He remained a trusted 3rd-down receiving option and posted his third consecutive season with 40 or more catches and 500-plus yards. The touchdown reduction wasn't his fault and there's hope that a new QB will rediscover his red zone value. Whether it falls to Donovan McNabb (who last week found Shiancoe six times for 58 yards) or his soon-to-be replacement Christian Ponder, Minnesota needs to make Shiancoe a scoring threat to help take the load off over-burdened Adrian Peterson.MyFantasyLeague availability: 58%
The 4-0 Lions are one of this year's biggest stories and a big reason for their success has been their defense. Even after their scare in Dallas, Detroit has only given up one rushing touchdown on the season and is still holding opponents to under 20 points a game. Lions opponents have been forced to kick and kick often in order to get on the scoreboard. That bodes well for Gould, who is eight-for-eight on field goals and benefits from coach Lovie Smith's resounding faith in his own team's defense.MyFantasyLeague availability: 90%
Tied for the NFC lead in takeaways and holding opponents to just 74 rushing yards per game, the 49ers defense is a solid option most weeks. This Sunday they host a Buccaneers squad that ran rough-shod over the Colts on Monday Night Football. If Tampa intends to stick with that game plan, they could be in for a rude awakening.