Yeah your stud players get it done, but sometimes you need that extra push, that surprise performance from the guy that is buried on those player rankings you peruse every week like clock work. Sometimes there is that intangible, that small tidbit of information that may have eluded you that just might make that unknown commodity click for you this week. Let’s take a look at some guys who might creep up on you and pay fantasy dividends.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers – The big Steelers signal caller is a solid matchup here for a few reasons. Firstly, the Steelers will likely have to put the ball up early and often to stay competitive. Since the Lions secondary is not overly stout against the pass, this game plan could be successful. Second, the bogus trade demand rumors were particularly infuriating to Roethlisberger, so much that he apologized to the Rooney family personally and said he’d “retire” rather than be traded. He loves Pittsburgh and will show his teammates, the fans and the Lions how much on Sunday.
Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Fresh off their first win of the season, Glennon and the Buccaneers face off against the defensively challenged Atlanta Falcons. Despite losing some of his comrades in the running game to injury, there should be enough talent to keep a mediocre Atlanta defensive unit honest. Look for a solid day not only from Glennon, but from WR Vincent Jackson and TE Timothy Wright.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – Palmer has been a myriad of mistakes and bad decisions this season, but if he can’t get things going against the Jaguars, he never will. Remember, he has some decent downfield options, notably WR Larry Fitzgerald, and a defense that will have no issues keeping Jacksonville in check.
Brian Leonard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sure he is the third option for the Buccaneers at running back, after RB Mike James and RB Doug Martin. But don’t underestimate Leonard. He is a tough runner who could make some noise now that he has been afforded the opportunity. With Atlanta scaring no one on defense, the Buccaneers with Leonard could be on their way to win number two this weekend. For the RB Chris Rainey backers, let them have him as Leonard will get the lion’s share of the work.
Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens claim they will be going with the hot hand at running back. Well the mitts of both Pierce and RB Ray Rice have been ice cold, but at the end of the day Pierce is the healthier option. Couple that with the fact that they are playing a banged up Chicago defense, and the table is set for Pierce to have himself a decent afternoon.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons – Are you starting him? Ok, admittedly, has the former Ram given you a reason to start him? Well if the answer to both questions was no, you might want to reconsider. If the Falcons are going to jump start what is left of their season, they’ll have to establish the run game. Enter Jackson. He’s been generally ineffective thus far since returning from injury, but this weekend he’ll come through and possibly give the Falcons some offensive balance they’ve sorely missed.
Mike Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars – Yes, I am well aware that the Arizona Cardinals defense is solid. However, running alongside of attention-grabbing WR Cecil Shorts III, Brown could be in for some single coverage that he is more than capable of beating for a decent productive afternoon. There are no guarantees, and it might not come to fruition until later in the contest, but I am confident Brown will get his.
Mario Manningham, San Francisco 49ers – With three receptions last week for 30 yards in his first game back since he tore up his knee, look for Manningham to crank it up a bit more this week against the Saints. His ability to stretch the field (albeit not as explosive as he settles in) will come in handy against the Saints for sure.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – Am I high?? Just on Bowe this week, folks. Right off the bat, the Chiefs are going to have to throw the ball in this game, and utilizing your best receiver is probably a good idea. Given Bowe’s legal woes this week, you would have to think he feels as though he’s let his team down, and what better way to lift them up than to step up and play well against a divisional foe?
John Carlson, Minnesota Vikings – Wait, who listed him last week in this same spot? (Sly smile…) Well, I am listing him here again, because even through the matchup is rough, he’ll be a much needed component as the Vikings head to Seattle this weekend. Carlson has solid hands, runs precise routes and knows how to get open. He’ll be hard-pressed to duplicate last week’s effort, but he’ll grind out some production regardless.
Brandon Bostick, Green Bay Packers – While some folks are playing the patient role with Bostick and his equally as inexperienced quarterback, I’ve never been patient. Look, for all the awesome weapons QB Scott Tolzien has at his disposal, Bostick is a nice, safe, sure-handed one that won’t be more than 10 yards down field awaiting a pass. He’ll be active and in the long run could shape into a nice replacement at the position with TE Jermichael Finley out for the season. Catching his second career touchdown is not out of the question this week.
Enjoy the games! Catch me and the rest of the FF911 crew on Sunday Mornings on Google + #FFCentral answering your fantasy questions!! Or for instant gratification, drop me a line on Twitter – @djleason
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