Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 11
An abundance of Week 10 quarterback injuries has a lot of fantasy free agents set to start next Sunday. Most of those quarterbacks, however, didn't make the cut on this list. Instead, we've got a couple backfields that look to be shaking up, and a couple receivers who have earned themselves increased targets. Here are the top ten guys who might be available in your fantasy league:
Carson Palmer (OAK): Palmer has been a regular on this list, but he's still owned in only 59% of Yahoo leagues. He's really only had one bad fantasy game all season, and is averaging 391 yards and three touchdowns over his past two games. He'll face New Orleans and their 32nd ranked defense at home next week in a dream fantasy matchup.
Nick Foles (PHI): With Michael Vick suffering a concussion that could sideline him for the rest of the season, Foles is the new man in Philadelphia. He put together a strong performance on Sunday, considering it was his first NFL action and he was facing the league's 7th ranked pass defense. The Eagles will travel to Washington next week, where Foles will face the league's 30th ranked pass defense and have a great shot at winning over both Eagles' fans and fantasy owners.
Marcel Reece (OAK): Reece topped my list of running backs last week, but is still only owned in 35% of Yahoo leagues. When Darren McFadden goes down, you have to grab his backup. Both McFadden and backup Mike Goodson are still in walking boots, and as of now you have to assume they'll both miss Sunday's game against the Saints and their 31st ranked run defense. Reece received 13 carries for 48 yards on Sunday against the Ravens (despite the Raiders being blown out for almost the entire game), along with nine targets (seven of which he caught). He's not just a must-own, but unless you're loaded at running back, he's a must-start this week against the Saints.
Mark Ingram/Chris Ivory (NO): It becomes kind of a toss up between these two runners. Ivory is the more effective of the two, but the Saints limit his carries due to his ball security and injury issues. Ingram, on the other hand, gets plenty more carries than Ivory, but is not as effective on a per carry basis. I'd go with Mark Ingram as the safer bet for decent fantasy production, but if you're more of the risk/reward type, Chris Ivory is your guy.
James Starks (GB): The Packers were hoping that Alex Green could carry the load for them at running back, but he struggled through his first few starts. In Week 9 (the Packers were on by this past weekend), James Starks was given the bulk of early down work, getting 17 carries to Green's 11. Starks should continue to get 12-18 carries per game, making him worth a pickup in deeper leagues.
Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL): I've been saying since the preseason that at some point this year, the Falcons would turn to Rodgers over starter Michael Turner. Thanks to the Falcons stubbornness, it hasn't happened yet, but if it's going to happen at all this season, it will be very soon. The Falcons are coming off of a game in which they faced the league's 31st ranked run defense and Michael Turner could only tally 15 yards. The Saints give up an astounding 5.1 yards per carry, and Turner only averaged 1.2. The Falcons had the ball 1st and goal from the Saints' one-yard line, and couldn't simply punch it in on the Saints' terrible defense to take the lead late in the game (which they eventually lost). Rodgers ran the ball three times for 29 yards and caught all four of his targets for 33 yards. The Falcons would be wise to make Rodgers their lead back, and if they do, he could be a fantasy monster.
Danario Alexander (SD): Alexander had some hype coming into last week after head coach Norv Turner stated that he has earned a big role. Alexander lived up to the hype on Sunday, catching five of his seven targets for 134 yards and a touchdown. He led all Charger wide receivers in snaps, and seems to have supplanted Robert Meachem for a starting role. The only things that may hold him back are his injury prone knees.
Cecil Shorts (JAX): Second on the team in targets with 13, Shorts easily led all Jaguar receivers with 105 yards last Thursday, and also scored the only Jaguars' touchdown of the game. Despite playing in a stagnant offense, Shorts now has gone over 100 yards in two of his past three games, and has 56+ yards in each of his past four. He's a little risky thanks two a shaky quarterback and a shoddy offensive line, but he's worth a pickup if you're in the market for a receiver.
Donnie Avery (IND): Despite his very mediocre production, Avery is one of the top-20 most targeted receivers in the league, allowing him to continually have chances to make fantasy owners happy. He showed no lingering effects from his apparent hip injury in his last game, and will have a long week to make sure it's 100 percent. He's caught 4+ passes in each of his past five games, over which he has averaged 64.2 yards per game. His biggest knock is that he hasn't found the end zone since opening weekend.
St. Louis Rams: You may have let out a little chuckle when you saw this suggestion, but the Rams' defense has become a fairly underrated unit. Their numbers have gotten worse over the past few weeks thanks to games against the Patriots and Packers, but they remain 15th in the league in total defense. Their defense has 26 sacks on the season thanks to emerging pass rush threats Robert Quinn (8.5 sacks) and Chris Long (5 sacks). They'll host the Jets next week, who failed to do anything that resembled offense with Mark Sanchez and company on Sunday against the Seahawks.