Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fantasy Football Pickups And Drops Week Three 2011

Doing things in a bit of a different order this week, this fantasy pickup column is coming before my week two game reviews because last weeks page views showed this column was most popular.  Have to give the people what they want, and what you all want seems to be my amazing fantasy advice.

Last week in this column, the recommendations included Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ben Tate, and Devery Henderson, who all turned in strong games in week two and are now owned in too many leagues to be recommended in this column.  Hopefully we can hit on a few solid names again this week to keep your rosters in tip top shape moving forwards.

As always, the cut off for available players for the purposes of this column is the 50% owned mark.  While other guys around 70 or 80% owned might be better options, they should be owned in all active leagues already, so I offer only players below the 50% mark...


  • Rex Grossman (16.6% Owned in ESPN Leagues) - It pains me to tell you to grab Grossman, but he is by far the best available quarterback option for pickups.  He has a pair of double digit games to start the season, and gets a Dallas defense this week that allowed Mark Sanchez and Alex Smith to look good in back to back weeks.  He's going to keep it up for now.
  • Jason Campbell (27.5%) - Campbell is the better quarterback that Grossman and might have better fantasy totals by the end of the year, but his schedule is pretty brutal over the next few weeks.  He should remain available for you if you want to play Grossman for now and come back for Campbell in a few weeks.
  • Matt Hasselbeck (9.3%) - Hasselbeck is a definite injury risk, but in the short term, you can't discount his pair of strong early fantasy games. He has 16 in each of his first two games, including one against the Baltimore defense.  He's a sneaky play for the next two weeks with Denver and Cleveland coming up.
  • Colt McCoy (15.5%) - Still like Colt to be fantasy relevant going forwards.  Obviously not going to be the first choice in your ten team leagues, but is growing more relevant each week in deeper leagues.
  • Andy Dalton (3.7%) - I thought Dalton would do nothing this season, but he has looked good for the first two week, especially when you consider the players around him.  It's a young team in Cinci that is only going to get better at receiver and tight end as the players get more experience.
  • Matt Cassel (84.4%) - The days of fantasy relevance are over for the whole Chiefs offense.  You can just pass on them all heading forward.
  • Mark Sanchez (90.6%) - There is another easy week coming up next week for Sanchez, but the schedule gets much harder coming up after that.  You can cut bait with Sanchez now before he starts dropping single digit games on you.

Running Backs

  • Roy Helu (10.6%) - Helu is the obvious running back pick up because of how good he looked in his carries during week two.  Mike Shanahan can change running backs at any time, and Tim Hightower looked like he was wearing down in the second half on Sunday.  Helu is the only available guy with real upside.
  • LeRon McClain (0.5%) - McCluster is going to get all of the hype in other places, but McClain is the pickup with potential here.  He looked better than Thomas Jones on limited carries for each, and McCluster is just too small to give too many touches on a weekly basis without him getting injured.
  • Isaac Redman (1.2%) - Redman looked good in his work, and Rashard Mendenhall is still a curse of 370 worry for me.  Redman is the number two right now, but is in a situation where he is a good change of pace option and a strong candidate to pick up future touches behind a possible injury risk.
  • Dexter McCluster (8.1%) - The hope here is that McCluster gets the Jamaal Charles work, but don't expect him to be as productive as Charles was on a per touch basis, or to get as many touches.
  • Javon Ringer (1.7%) - Ringer got the touchdown Sunday, but he's strictly the number two running back behing Chris Johnson.  More value for deeper leagues than standard ones.
  • Ryan Torain (81.8%) - Torain is obviously in Shanahan's doghouse.  He might get out of it at some point in the season, but right now he's not worth a roster spot in standard leagues.
Wide Receiver
  • Nate Burleson (40.2%) - Burleson has seen plenty of targets from Matthew Stafford in the first two weeks, and as long as Stafford keeps looking his way, he will eventually catch a touch down pass or two to break into double digits.  
  • Mike Sims-Walker (31.3%) - Sims-Walker is not a guy I'm a huge fan of, however he seems to be the number one target right now in St. Louis.  11 Targets led the team, and Bradford is going to throw the ball.  If the Rams are going to fix their red zone woes, they are going to need to start going to their bigger targets, including him.
  • Jabar Gaffney (5.6%) - Gaffney is still seeing plenty of looks from Rex Grossman, and the Redskins are still throwing the ball all over the field.  He is going to give you at least six or seven points week in and week out.
  • Denarius Moore (0.3%) and Eric Decker (6.7%) - I'm a bigger fan of getting guys that already have consistent playing time I am of picking up one hit wonders who got playing time because of injuries.  Both of these guys have some stud potential, but its more likely that they will return to being third or fourth receivers on average offenses than it is that they will become huge studs.
  • James Jones (72.5%) - He's a fifth option for the Packers.  He's not fantasy relevant no matter how amazing that offense is.
  • Pierre Garcon (87.5%) - Garcon is the fourth option on a now bad Indianapolis offense. Until Manning comes back, Garcon isn't worth a roster spot, and Austin Collie is only borderline.
Tight Ends
  • Fred Davis (16.9%) - I thought week one was an fluke, but Davis saw plenty of targets again in week two and even picked up a touchdown.  He appears to be a focus of the Redskin Offense at least early in this season.
  • Scott Chandler (29.8%) - Chandler scored again this week, after putting up a pair of scores in week one.  It's pretty simple.  When you're 6'7 you are going to get targeted in the redzone.
  • Marcedes Lewis (93.5%) - He was David Garrard's tight end.  Now he's hurt and playing with a poor collection of quarterback options.  Dump him.
  • Zach Miller (82.2%) - Miller is a good tight end, but he doesn't seem to be involved with Seattle's offense.  Tarvaris Jackson just isn't looking his way.
That's it for pickups and drops today.  Game reactions coming later today.

-Fred "Big Derf" Tobin


  1. Another great column. You've got talent. Let me know if you need an editor. I'll do it at no charge.

  2. Quick Request. Could you please add the team the player plays for beside their name? That would be helpful especially as players emerge from nothing status to something status.

  3. Of course. Will go back and edit that in after I finish my other work for the night.