Week 9: Pickups of the Week
We're looking especially deep this week thanks to the shortage of available and interesting receiving options. Damian Williams was elevated to the starting lineup after Week 3 because of Kenny Britt's season-ending knee injury. Since then Williams has shown flashes, including touchdowns in Weeks 4 and 5. More importantly, he survived the trade deadline when the Titans had a window to consider bringing in a replacement for Britt. They ultimately opted against a trade and decided to put faith in Williams as their number two receiver going forward. Last Sunday against the woeful Colts, Williams was a big part of the passing attack. He could see another uptick in targets this week against the Bengals. Underrated cover man Leon Hall will likely be shadowing Nate Washington while Williams draws the easier assignment against Nate Clements.MyFantasyLeague availability: 87%
After languishing in anonymity for most of the season, Brent Celek has suddenly re-emerged to string together two solid fantasy games. On Sunday night he led his team in targets, catches, receiving yards, and scored a touchdown. It was a refreshing performance for a player who, just two seasons ago, recorded eight TD catches and flirted with 1,000 yards. The Eagles' O-line struggled to start this season and Celek was relegated to blocking duties through the first few games. Since then the linemen have started to get their act together and Celek has been freed up to be used once again as a weapon in the passing game. He'll try to build on his momentum this week against a Bears team that has struggled mightily to contain opposing tight ends.MyFantasyLeague availability: 75%
With another two-score game last weekend, the unheralded Scott Chandler reached six touchdown catches on the season to tie local legend Pete Metzelaars for the single season record in TDs by a Bills tight end. Admittedly, Buffalo has not historically been a TE-rich environment, but Chandler has reached an impressive milestone nonetheless. He only has fifteen receptions on the season, but more than a third of those have ended in pay dirt as he continues to be a top red zone option for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Chandler has become a decent bye week replacement and is someone Greg Olsen and Brandon Pettigrew owners should be looking to this Sunday.MyFantasyLeague availability: 89%
Continuing a trend for defenses in this column, this recommendation is less about the Atlanta Falcons and more about just how terrible the Indianapolis Colts have been this year. However, Atlanta deserves some credit for being sneaky good the past few games -- especially against the pass. In Week 7 they managed to stifle the Lions' passing game, holding Matt Stafford to under 200 yards passing. In Week 6 they harassed Cam Newton into throwing 3 picks. They've had an extra week to prepare for Indianapolis, so you can bet Curtis Lofton, Sean Weatherspoon, John Abraham & co. will be salivating to step on the field against a team that sits 30th in points allowed per game, 30th in yards allowed per game and is still struggling to come to terms with life after Manning.