Carson Palmer — Raiders ($8 FAAB value)
The dark horseman of the Raiderpocalypse rode this past Sunday, and his name was Carson Palmer. Unfortunately it did not translate to a victory for the Raiders, but Palmer surprised a few pundits by playing well — he was throwing lasers all over the field, albeit a few of them with Storm Trooper accuracy. He should get better as he continues to learn the offense and get more comfortable with the bevy of weapons at his disposal, though he does face tougher defenses down the line.
Matt Moore — Dolphins ($3)
The Dolphins are all but out of the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes™ in no small part thanks to Matt Moore and his incredibly efficient outing at Kansas City in which he notched a 147.3 NFL rating. He has quietly increased his fantasy output over the past five games, putting up great numbers against the Chiefs on the road. Is he a great fantasy option for the rest of the season? No. He is, however, a decent plug against the Redskins and Bills in the next couple of weeks.
Christian Ponder — Vikings ($4)
Ponder was in last week’s waiver wire, this is just a reminder to go get him if he is available. He has played well since he took over for Donovan McNabb as the latest rookie to pick up a NFL offense like it was an elementary math course.
Reggie Bush — Dolphins ($5)
Last Sunday was the perfect storm for Reggie to have a good game — Daniel Thomas hampered with an injury combined with a subpar Kansas City rush defense led to a pretty good day for Bush. Seems like déjà vu, right? This time Steve Slaton was not around to vulture a TD away from Bush, and he had a great fantasy day. I would say not to be fooled, but two weeks is a trend. I am starting to think the Dolphins do not trust Thomas, and they are starting to play to Bush’s strengths. He is a worthwhile pickup, especially in PPR leagues.
Brandon Jacobs — Giants ($8)
Ahmad Bradshaw’s broken foot is tricky because it is not serious enough to officially rule him out for any period of time, meaning he could sneak into the starting lineup at any time. Jacobs performed well in Bradshaw’s absence, catching four passes to go with his 72 rushing yards and touchdown. He averaged 4.0 YPC against a pretty good defensive front, and any fears about Danny Ware or Da’Rel Scott eating into his playing time were washed away with his good performance. He is a good fantasy option as long as Bradshaw is out.
Chris Ogbannaya — Browns ($4)
Should you give up on Silent G? Maybe. I am betting his owner is going to do just that after a poor performance against the Texans. The thing is that Ogbonnaya is the only real option the Browns have for the foreseeable future. Being the lead back has value, even if that back screws the pooch on his first try. I would give him another shot this week.
James Starks — Packers ($5)
In case Starks is lurking on the waiver wire, this is a good time to pick him up. The Packers are not scoring many touchdowns on the ground this season, but Starks has staked his claim to the majority of the playing time in that high octane offense. He is averaging 4.6 YPC, and getting better, and that could net him a big fantasy score or two before the year is out if he can get into the end zone.
Mark Ingram — Saints ($16)
Has the Ingram owner in your league given up on him in a panic? Grab him. Now. Ingram has been held out because of a bruised heel, but he should be back soon and reprise his role as the starter and majority stake holder in playing time. Pierre Thomas’ good play may cut into Ingram’s playing time, but he has played well behind Ingram before and he will do it again when Ingram comes back from injury.
Roy Helu — Redskins ($7)
Half of me wants me to just put the words “STAY AWAY” on here — Mike Shanahan continued his shenanigans by inserting Helu as the starter last week, and all he did was have a monster PPR game, granted it was largely in part to John Beck’s ineffectiveness and propensity to check down. Most telling is that Ryan Torain played a total of four snaps to Helu’s 65. That is a trend, as Helu also played more snaps in week 8. It seems like Helu has taken the reins as the running back to own in the Redskins backfield, but the offense leaves something to be desired.
Laurent Robinson — Cowboys ($9)
Pop goes Miles Austin’s hamstring — again. Even without Austin in the lineup, Robinson has gotten a good number of targets during his tenure in Dallas. Now that he will be starting opposite Dez Bryant, he will be an excellent injury fill-in for the next few weeks at least. Robinson was targeted five times and caught a touchdown after Austin exited the game. Tony Romo has looked his way a good bit, and the fantasy gods have given him a chance to shine in the fantasy realm once more.
Jacoby Ford / Denarius Moore — Raiders ($6 / $8)
It looks as though Ford was the answer to the question, “Who will be the biggest beneficiary when Carson Palmer is the starter?” He doubled his season yardage and scored his first touchdown in Palmer’s first start. The veteran quarterback seemed to favor Moore throughout the game against the Broncos, though targeting him 12 times, double the amount he targeted the next-best guy, Jacoby Ford. This offense seems to be back on track, especially with Darren McFadden on his way back. If an owner gave up on one of these guys in your league, they are good pickups going forward.
Earl Bennett — Bears ($6)
Bennett’s return was huge for Jay Cutler and the Bears, as together they shredded the Philadelphia defense. If Bennett can stay healthy, he is clearly one of Cutler’s favorite targets, especially in clutch situations. Bennett seems to thrive against the Eagles, though, and the Bears have inexplicably underutilized their best receiver. Still, if they can continue to keep Cutler clean and Matt Forte continues to keep defenses honest, Bennett might finally start to pay off as a fantasy option.
Anthony Fasano — Dolphins ($1)
Fasano erupted against the suddenly-hapless Chiefs for two touchdowns. The problem? Those were the only two catches of the game for him, bringing him up to a total of 12 for the season. The Dolphins looked like a different team this past week, but Fasano is a desperation pickup. Do so at your own risk.
Jacob Tamme — Colts ($1)
What a difference a year makes. Last year he would have been the waiver wire pickup MVP were it not for one Michael Vick. This year? He is barely worth your attention, as the Colts are the clear leaders in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes™. With Curtis Painter steadily losing his job to Dan Orlovsky, Tamme will not see nearly the offensive production he did last year, but he is worth a flier in deep leagues where you absolutely need a tight end.