There are only a few must haves this week so I thought I would go a little deeper into those pools of players. Kind of looks like the fourth circle of hell, but with more upside.

Running Backs

Stevan Ridley: He’s a must own at this point and #1 on my pick up list. He’s by far the most elusive back on the Patriots right now and his biggest competition skill wise is Shane Vereen and he isn’t getting on the field. You can’t trust Belichick to make him an every down back, but if he can get 15 touches a game in that offense he’s an every week flex player.

Ryan Torain: Shanny seems to be in love with this guy and he does fit his zone blocking scheme better than Hightower. Roy Helu is still a better pure running back, but Torain knows the offense well and Shanahan has an unnatural glow about him when Torain walks by. The Native American’s have a good offensive line and whoever is their running back is worth owning, but of course we have no idea who that will be from day to day.  I’m not going to speculate too much here and just go with what we see and that is Torain as the lead back.

Bernard Scott: At some point Cedric Benson will be suspended and Cincinnati beat reporters have said Scott will get the start. That should make him useful, but I’m starting to worry about the guy below here. No, not him. Yeah, him, I was just messing.

Brian Leonard: Leonard has looked better than Scott in VERY limited playing time for both, but has 28 pounds on him and fits the early down style of Cedric Benson better than Scott. Leonard has 6 rushes for 51 yards and 6 receptions for 56 yards compared to Bernie’s 13 for 36 and 2 for 9.

Isaac Redman: Rashard Mendenhall is supposedly not that hurt, but we’ve seen how hammys flare up, especially when they are on the spit and dripping grease, oh wait, wrong kind of hammy. If I owned Mendy I’d be worried about his hammy and I’d grab Reddy.

Bilal Powell: Shonn Greene continues to suck big donkey hooves and is ranked a cool 50th in yards per carry. Time for some Ground and Pound! If Rex Ryan truly wants to run more (or run effectively for that matter) he’ll need to at least give Powell a shot. In deeper leagues he is worth a stash.


Matt Hasselbeck: With a good offensive line he’s had plenty of time to throw and his accuracy remains strong.  He’s consistently been between 16-18 fantasy points which isn’t Aaron Rodgers like, but good enough to get you through the byes.

John Beck: Rex Grossman was horrible last week against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. We know that Shanny likes John Beck and doesn’t mind benching players so Beck could be given a shot in the not too far away future and that offensive line should be able to help any QB put up decent numbers.

Tarvaris Jackson: He hasn’t been quite as horrid the last couple games and the addition of Sidney Rice seems to be the reason. He has a rushing TD and if he can get to running a little more could start making some things happen. He should be owned in 2 QB leagues.

Wide Receivers

Eric Decker: There are always a lot of wide receivers just on the edge of picking off the wire and usually those players end up inconsistent from week to week. That’s what receivers do for the most part, sometimes even the great ones. Decker is going to have his down games, but so far he is getting enough targets to limit those. He’s probably owned already, but he’s the guy I want first.

Pierre Garcon: He’s going off as I type this. Curtis Painter at least looks better than Kerry Collins which is impossible not to do and it’s helping Garcon out immensely. He’s gong to be boom or bust and tonight he’s been boom with 2 receptions, both going for long touchdowns. I’m not going to bust the bank for him over this big game, but I will pick him up off the dump heap.

Antonio Brown: He’s having trouble converting his targets into fantasy points just like the Steelers whole team, but he leads the Steelers in targets for the season. That’s pretty crazy. If Ben can stay on the field they should start converting those targets.

Titus Young: He’s beating out Nate Burleson for targets and receptions lately and I don’t think that will change too much. He’s still battling Pettigrew, Scheffler and Burleson for looks but his upside is the highest of that group.

Danario Alexander: This is his second game in a row where he’s led the Rams wide receivers in targets. If his knee can hold up he will start bringing those targets in and invite them to the house and they will oblige.

Victor Cruz: Mario Manningham is faster and bigger and better, but Cruz has been getting it done for the most part (if you don’t count tripping over his own fat feet). But if Super Mario gets dropped after this game I want him. Give him to me I say!

Laurent Robinson: I mentioned him in my “In A Pinch” post and he made me look less stupid than usual. It helped that he was targeted an ass load and an ass load equals exactly 10. Of course they are on a bye this week and then Miles Austin will most likely be back, but the way these receivers have been dropping, Robinson is the guy to own when one is down and out.

Vincent Brown: Brown finally got onto the field and the way the Chargers go through wide receiver injuries he could be the #1 receiver by week 6. If Antonio Gates remains out and Patrick Crayton and Malcolm Floyd remain not that good and or hurt, he could start moving up the ranks in quick fashion.

Mark Clayton: Keep Clayton on your radar. Danny Amendola had a setback and Clayton could fill that roll pretty well when he returns. Of course he’s not eligible until Week 8, but I know some of you are in crazy deep leagues. Be ready.

Tight Ends

Ed Dickson: Dickson is solid, but not spectacular. His targets through the first four games have gone 5, 6, 9, 12 which puts him 4th in targets for tight ends. If he can stay near that double digit mark he should start catching more of them and being worth something in fantasy land.

Greg Olsen: Olsen got into the end zone last week for the second week in a row and his targets have gone 6, 4, 10, 7 so far this season.Those are decent target numbers and the way Cam Newton has been airing it out and moving the ball Greg is worth a spot.

Jared Cook: Unlike Dickson, Cook isn’t getting the targets, but is possibly the most talented receiver on the Titans. I’m all about swinging for the fences, so I want Cook on my team.

Jermaine Gresham: Gresham is averaging 7 targets a game and now has a couple touchdowns. I don’t think he’s going to turn into a top 5 tight end, but he’s top 12 if he can keep getting his looks.

James Casey: With Andre Johnson most likely out for at least a game I think Casey will see more looks. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter could be worth an add, but their upside is crap side. Casey can do more.

Droppable Dudes

Just some guys I thought might possibly be clogging up the end of your bench. Clog it with some of the guys above instead.

Chad Henne, Kerry Collins, Knowshon Moreno, Thomas Jones, Hines Ward, Nate Burleson, Malcom Floyd, Jerome Simpson, Emmanuel Sanders, Danny Amendola, Andre Roberts, Roy Williams, Devery Henderson, Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Evan Moore