Week 10: Pickups of the Week
More than three out of ten fantasy leagues contain no owners who believe in Alex Smith. Even after taking his team to within a game of the Super Bowl last season, the guy continues to get no respect. And while it's true his team's defense-oriented, run-heavy style limits his scoring potential, we find it hard to believe so many leagues can't find room for a guy who is fourth in the NFL in QB rating. Smith has a modest 12 touchdown passes this season, but he has also largely managed to avoid turnovers. Fresh from a week of rest, he'll be looking to pick up where he left off following his 3-TD performance against Arizona in Week 8. He should find similar success against the Rams, who have allowed nine TD passes during a streak of three consecutive losses. Owners of Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III should make the temporary add. And if by chance Smith is available in leagues where Brandon Weeden or the Skelton/Kolb combo are owned, by all means make this move a permanent upgrade.MyFantasyLeague availability: 37%
The Dolphins' young franchise quarterback has been playing through a knee injury for the past two weeks. It didn't show on Sunday as he completed 22 of 38 passes for 290 yards and a TD with no turnovers. Though he was outshone in the game by fellow rookie Andrew Luck, Tannehill continues to be an efficient, if moderately low-scoring fantasy option. Owners hard up at QB during the upcoming bye weeks should consider looking his way. He hasn't lost a fumble or thrown a pick since week four and won't kill you with mistakes. He can also exploit weaker secondaries like he did against St. Louis and Indianapolis. With his next two games against the Titans and Bills -- two teams that were eviscerated by opposing QBs last week -- Tannehill offers some upside as a plug-and-play option.MyFantasyLeague availability: 10%
A third-down specialist, Bell was tagged as a player to watch in PPR leagues. His role has gradually expanded and he probably deserves to be owned in 12-team leagues -- especially now that Jahvid Best has been placed on the PUP list. Last week we had our first chance to see what Bell was capable of if given a steady workload. His touchdown on 75 yards rushing confirmed that he was able to do more than be simply a situational receiver out of the backfield.MyFantasyLeague availability: 100%
We're still waiting for the smoke to clear in Oakland after their crushing defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay and the even more crushing fact that both Darren McFadden and backup Mike Goodson were knocked out of the game with what have since been diagnosed as high ankle sprains. To cloud matters even further, Oakland opted to feature fullback Marcel Reese for the remainder of the game instead of their speedy third-string tailback. Reese hauled in eight passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, though he didn't carry the ball once. So where does that leave us? Dazed and confused, most likely. Jones had been dealing with a knee injury of his own. That, compounded with the fact the Raiders were playing from behind on Sunday could account for his minimal usage. As one of the last men standing, he should figure more prominently in Week 10. A timeshare going forward is likely, but Jones has far more rushing upside than Reece. This homerun hitter deserves a speculative add.
Thomas has been splitting carries with Reggie Bush and neither player has been particularly effective over the past two weeks. Expect that to change this Sunday against a Titans defense that is in complete disarray. During their last three games they gave up 166 rushing yards to the Bills, 171 to the Colts and 160 to the Bears. Ugly numbers that portend plenty of opportunity for Miami backs who will be salivating at the chance to pick on one of the league's softest rush defenses.Injury Status: Doubtful - Ankle