Tuesday, 21 October 2014 00:00

Week 8 pickups

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In the absence of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin is the receiver to own untul further notice. In the absence of Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin is the receiver to own untul further notice. Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules

1.    Doug Baldwin WR/Seattle Seahawks (19.4% Owned)

After trading disgruntled wide receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, it was unclear who would become the focal point of the Seahawks' passing game. Although Harvin was not on the field for 100 percent of the snaps this season, he possesses the ability to impact the football game on both offense and special teams anytime he touches the football.

I would say that Baldwin made a good case to be the feature option of the Seahawks passing game, posting 7 catches for 123 yards and one touchdown in the Seahawks’ week 7 loss to the Rams. Despite getting off to a good start fantasy owners do need to temper their expectations for Baldwin going forward. Playing in a run-first offense will limit the Baldwin’s potential but I do think Baldwin can be a valuable piece on a fantasy team.

Baldwin has a chance to grow on the impressive game with owner friendly matchups against Oakland, Carolina, Kansas City, and Arizona in the coming weeks. While Baldwin will never put up WR1 type numbers, he should be able to put up number consistent with a mid-level flex play.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value:Flex/WR3

2.    Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon (1.3%, .2% Owned)

What a rough weekend for Buffalo Bills running backs. After Fred Jackson was carted off the field with a groin injury it was looking like C.J. Spiller was going to get a chance to prove he has the ability to carry the load for the Bills. However, those hopes were erased just a few plays later as Spiller broke his collarbone on a 51-yard scamper in which he landed awkwardly on his shoulder.

With the absence of their top two running backs the Bills will have to depend on Anthony “Boobie” Dixon and Bryce Brown to carry the load. It's unclear how the Bills are going to split up the carries, but if this past week is any indication then we may have some idea. Dixon received the bulk of the carries against the Vikings, while Brown was a healthy scratch yet again. Brown is the more explosive of the two running backs, but his ball security was horrendous in Philadelphia and in college. Dixon provides the more consistent of the two options.

It will be tough to gauge how the Bills are going to split up the carries between Dixon and Brown in week 8, but if I am going to pick up one of the two it would be Dixon. Dixon showed to be a solid option in the running game, totaling 51 yards on 13 carries (3.92 YPC). Dixon will also receive the bulk of the goal-line carries giving him the edge over Brown for at least next week.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: Low Flex

3.    Tre Mason RB/St. Louis Rams (2.3% Owned)

Well Jeff Fisher and the rest of the Rams coaching staff has finally come to their senses and removed Zac Stacy as the Rams starting running back. With Stacy proving to be nothing more than a “three yards and a cloud of dust” type of running back, the Rams turned to Benny Cunningham and rookie Tre Mason to handle the load against the vaunted Seahawks defense.

After being active for the first time all season in week 6 against the 49ers, Mason was given an opportunity to build on his solid performance in week 7. Mason rewarded the Rams with 18 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown.

Even though Mason is the best running back talent-wise on the Rams roster, Mason will battle with Benny Cunningham to get the bulk of the carries going forward.

If I have to choose between one of the three Rams running back I am going to put my money on Mason. He's the best pure runner on the team, unfortunately he does not offer much in the passing game.

4.    Denard Robinson RB/Jacksonville Jaguars (.5% Owned)

After the Toby Gerhart experiment turned out to be a waste of time and money, the Jaguars then turned to rookie Storm Johnson as their starting running back the last two weeks. However with Johnson being ineffective, and Gerhart battling a foot injury, the path was paved for second-year running back Denard “Shoelace” Robinson to get the bulk of the carries.

Robinson showed off his electric athletic ability and gashed the Browns defense for 127 yards on 22 carries and turned the Jaguars into the Jaguards in Week 8. He was able to find pay dirt in the process as well. While Robinson will probably never be the feature back of any offense, he does offer a unique skill-set that could make him a valuable asset to a fantasy team.

With Gerhart still battling injuries and Johnson proving to not be ready for the NFL game quite yet, Robinson will be given a much larger role within the Jaguars offense. While he probably will not see 20+ carries very often, Robinson should be given enough opportunities to carve out serviceable flex numbers for the near future.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: RB3/Flex

5.    Allen Robinson WR/Jacksonville Jaguars (1.3% Owned)

The Jaguars receiving corps has been like a merry-go-round so far this season. Hampered by injuries to veteran Cecil Shorts III and rookie Marqise Lee, Jaguars' quarterbacks have struggled to get into a consistent rhythm with whoever lines up on Sundays.

With all of the injuries, Allen Robinson has proven to be one of the few receivers the Jaguars can count on to be in the lineup. Robinson has quietly put together a very good rookie season, leading the team in targets (50), receptions (34), and yards (371). The only thing holding Robinson back from being a legitimate fantasy option was his inability to find the endzone so far this year. Fantasy owners finally got their wish, as Robinson caught his first career touchdown pass on a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Bortles.

Robinson owners are going to have his ups and downs that a rookie wide receiver will experience in terms of consistency. However, aside from the first game of the season Robinson has been targeted at least five times in every game since. Robinson will experience his struggles this year, but on a team that will be playing from behind in most of their games Bortles will be throwing the ball all over the yard, giving hope for Robinson to have a very successful second half of the season.

Recommendation: Add Immediately

Value: Low WR3/Flex

Players to Monitor

1.    Martavis Bryant WR/Pittsburgh Steeler (.4% Owned)

Bryant was active for the first time this year for the Steelers Monday night contest with the Houston Texans. While raw, Bryant quickly showed why many people in Pittsburgh are so excited for his long-term potential. Bryant finished the game with two catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. Bryant will likely not see the consistent workload at the moment to be a consistent fantasy option, but if Bryant keeps making plays like he did on Monday night he could see his role start to grow.

2.    Robert Griffin III QB/Washington Redskins (73.5% owned)

So much for that quarterback controversy between Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III. Other than the first start against the Eagles, Cousins was dreadful, staring down receivers and consistently forcing the ball into double-coverage. Early reports have Griffin III returning for the Redskins Week 8 Monday night matchup with the Cowboys.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 01:56

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