Week 3: Pickups of the Week
Despite a glaring lack of support from anyone not named Danny Amendola, Sam Bradford put up solid numbers leading his team to victory over the Redskins last weekend. It was a Bradford's first 3-TD performance since his rookie season and the first time this year he's eclipsed 300 yards passing. Pass protection issues will continue to plague him, but it is promising to see an apparent step forward from a player who showed such promise back in 2010. The St. Louis pivot is probably best suited as a QB2 or bye week replacement in most fantasy leagues, at least until he strings together a few solid games in a row. However, long-term planners might consider scooping him up just for his Week 16 matchup against Tampa Bay. A secondary that gave up more than 500 passing yards in a single game would be an ideal foil for fantasy championship week.MyFantasyLeague availability: 83%
Cassel didn't surpass 300 yards once last season, but squeaked past that milestone against Buffalo on Sunday. He played a much stronger game against the Bills than he did in Week 1 versus the swarming Falcons, though he did raise his turnover count to five on the season. The picks and fumbles are uncharacteristic for a professed game manager who is working hard to put his mediocre 2011 season behind him. The early 2012 schedule should help: he next faces a floundering Saints team that has just allowed back-to-back 300-yard passing games to rookie quarterbacks.MyFantasyLeague availability: 61%
When Ahmad Bradshaw went down with a neck injury during the second quarter on Sunday, Brown assumed the lead role and put up a workmanlike showing that included two receptions for 19 yards, 71 rushing yards on 13 carries, a touchdown, a two-point convert, a tackle and a fumble recovery. The highly-touted David Wilson hardly saw the field, likely due to last week's fumblitis. Bradhaw is scheduled for a MRI on Monday. Even if the news is good, it seems unlikely he'll be cleared to play in time for New York's Thursday evening tilt with Carolina. We fully expect Brown to get the bulk of the running back work in Week 3.MyFantasyLeague availability: 1%
The window on Mikel Leshoure's availability is closing fast. A marijuana-related suspension kept him out of action for the first two weeks of the season, but the second-year back is set to return to active duty in Week 3. Kevin Smith has underwhelmed in the lead role, sparking calls for his replacement. Leshoure offers a valuable power dimension -- or rather, he did in college. After missing his rookie season due to achilles surgery, it remains to be seen how explosive he'll be. For now, consider him a high upside roster stash. He'll have to unseat Kevin Smith, at least for goal-line duties, before he can become a viable fantasy play.MyFantasyLeague availability: 48%
The speedy Avery followed an opening week touchdown with a well rounded 9-catch, 111-yard performance against the Vikings last weekend. His success is tied to Andrew Luck's -- and the rookie QB has so far shown he can put up big passing numbers regardless of his struggles with ball security. Stuck in St. Louis for his first two pro seasons, Avery knows what it means to play on a rebuilding team with a young quarterback. And unlike his stint with the Rams, he now benefits from playing opposite an established veteran star in Reggie Wayne. The biggest threat to Avery's production going forward could be Austin Collie, though the oft-concussed receiver is no safe bet to stay healthy. Even if Collie returns, we like Avery as an occasional game-breaker out of the slot.