The NFL takes a break from the Byes in week 10 but be aware that New Orleans, Houston, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh will be resting in week 11. Marques Colston, Andre Johnson (should be back after the Bye at the latest), and Mike Wallace / Antonio Brown owners might be forced to the waiver wire next week so plan accordingly. Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne should not be starting for your fantasy teams unless you are desperate as the Colts continue to position themselves closer to Andrew Luck.
A few bumps and bruises to monitor heading into week 10. Dallas WR Miles Austin suffered yet another hamstring injury that will likely keep him out anywhere from 2-4 weeks (worst case should be back for the start of the fantasy playoffs in week 14). Laurent Robinson gets the start in Austin’s absence in the explosive Dallas offense. Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) missed the week 9 win over New England despite an MRI revealing no major hamstring damage. He also missed Wedsnesday practice this week and could be a dreaded game time decision with a 4pm kickoff in San Fran. Andre Johnson returned to practice last week but was unable to suit up on Sunday it appears likely that Houston will keep their stud WR out through the week 11 bye. His surgically repaired hammy isn’t healing as quickly and he’ll be 50/50 at best for week 10.
This week we profile a few WRss that could provide adequate numbers if you are in need of an injury replacement or BYE week fill in.
Denarius Moore led the team with 12 targets but only made four catches. There is no telling which Oakland young WR will lead the team each week but Ford is dynamic in the open field (one of the league’s elite kick returners). Jacoby Ford came on strong as the 2010 season progressed and when the Raider’s new head coach announced that he planned on making Jacoby Ford a household name his stock went way up. Ford has battled hand and hamstring issues this 2011 season but could be primed to help your fantasy team over the 2nd half of the season. He averaging just 2.2 catches for 22.8 yards in five games prior to his week 9 breakout performance. The Raiders apparently used their week 8 bye to get their best game breaker more involved in the offense and he has WR3 upside going forward.
Damian Williams - (@CAR, @ATL, TB, @BUF) – Williams stepped up with 4 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown on seven targets after Nate Washington was sidelined with a hip injury in week 9. The 2nd year WR from USC has now amassed 8 catches for 94 yards over the past two weeks. Over seven games he’s averaging just 27 YPG with 3 TDs. Williams remains a lower end flex play at best in a slightly above average Titan passing game (13th in the league). For those deep leaguers looking for a week 11 bye week fill in – Williams faces Atlanta’s 19th ranked pass defense.
Laurent Robinson - (BUF, @WAS, MIA, @ARZ) – Miles Austin reinjured his hamstring in week 9 and will miss 2-4 weeks. Robinson (now in his 5th NFL season) is expected to start opposite Bryant and is worth considering as a potential WR3 in a Cowboy offense that ranks 7th in passing yardage 280 YPG.
The 26 year old WR from Illinois State is averaging 4 catches for 61 yards with two touchdowns in six games as a Cowboy. Its worth noting that Dallas faces multiple soft pass defenses over the next month with matchups against Buffalo (25th), Miami (26th), and Arizona (29th).
Vincent Brown - (OAK, @CHI, DEN, @JAC) – The rookie from San Diego State has been missing in action (battled a quad injury) for most of the season but he started in place of Malcolm Floyd (hip)and finished week nine with 4 catches for 79 yards as the Chargers were in catch up mode from the opening kick off. He is expected to get another start on Thursday night against Oakland as Floyd has yet to practice. Brown is a WR4 at best for now but is worth monitoring especially in dynasty leagues. The 5’11, 187 pounder from San Diego St was labeled as a sure handed WR with above average route running but mediocre speed (did improve his forty time to 4.56). In his senior season, Brown caught 69 passes for 1,352 yards (six 100 yard games) and 10 touchdowns (First-team all-Mountain West Conference). In four seasons, Brown caught 209 passes for 3,110 yards (3rd in school history) and 23 touchdowns (5th in school history). He exits college with a record-tying 13 100-yard receiving games. You can see are entire preseason analysis HERE.
Leonard Hankerson - (@MIA, DAL, @SEA, NYJ) – In week 9, the rookie WR from the U (all time leader in TD receptions at Miami) hauled in four catches for 34 yards in his first NFL start (played 63 of 64 offensive snaps) and head coach Shanahan announced that he could be in line for additional starts. Santana Moss will miss another 3-4 weeks with a broken hand and Washington is all but assured of finishing in the basement of the NFC East so they would be wise to play the youngsters. Checkout out our Preseason Rookie WR preview where Scott compares Hanky to Braylon Edwards.