In a weekend of blowout comebacks, it was the Giants who embarrassed the Redskins, the Buccaneers who pulled a big win out of the narrows of oblivion, the Chiefs who exploited the aging Patriots and the Vikings who plumed the Falcons.
It felt good to see underdogs win and to hear some new names being called in the end zone. Players previously buried underneath the misery of their failing teams got a chance to show that they are, in fact, NFL players and deserve to be respected – on the field, and perhaps even in your fantasy lineup.
Here are some lesser-owned players on an upswing to take note of when making your waiver claims this week.
Marvin Jones, Cincinnati WR. 15% owned – A big FYI to start this off: Marvin Jones is set to return this week. The Bengal who scored 10 touchdowns last season and dropped only three passes on 77 targets is set to return against the Patriots on primetime Sunday. He has not played yet this season due to a foot injury. The 2-2 Chiefs just put up 248 yards in the air against the ailing Pats, and here comes the 3-0 Bengals.
Louis Murphy, Jr., Tampa Bay WR. 0% owned – Murphy Jr. was dropped from the Bucs roster after a preseason injury but was re-signed and came back in week 4, just in time to go 6-99-0 with a team-high 11 targets against the Steelers. With Mike Evans out, he’s a great number two to Vincent Jackson and it looks like returning QB Mike Glennon likes him. Amazingly, the Buccaneers are back and fighting for the number two spot in the NFC South this week against the Saints, who are giving up the seventh-most points to wide receivers.
Jarius Wright, Minnesota WR. 1% owned – Distribution looks to be reshuffled with Teddy Bridgewater throwing the ball, and Wright was the man to benefit on Sunday. Even while playing behind in snap count to Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings, Wright saw more passes come his way than either of them and posted a 132-yard game.
Devin Hester, Atlanta WR. 20% owned – Operating behind Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas, it’s not surprising that Hester has only been picked up in 20% of leagues. However, Hester has shown huge value on multiple sides of the football, putting up big numbers on both offense and special teams. If your league counts return yards, Hester has been very valuable. He got a boost when Douglas was sidelined and if Jones or White go down you could be sitting pretty with a smart pick in Hester. So you might want to grab him now. He faces the Giants next, who, before their spanking of the Redskins last Thursday, were giving up the fourth most fantasy points to WRs.
Larry Donnell, NY Giants TE. 56% owned – Ok, so only 44% of leagues haven’t caught on to this guy yet and there’s a chance your opponent already has him. But after a showing like Donnell had on Thursday, the likely-undrafted TE is worth noting on the list this week. While Victor Cruz might get them downfield, Larry Donnell is the man in the end zone. Donnell had 54 yards on seven receptions with three TDs, very nearly four, against the Redskins. Eli Manning trusts the 6’6”, 269lb tight end to cap off a touchdown drive, enough to try it again and again. He may have a tough matchup against the Falcons this week, but Donnell looks like an excellent pick to stash for a while if you can get him.
Bold pick of the week
Philadelphia D/ST. 18% owned – After pummeling the 49ers with four sacks, an interception and three TDs, the Philly D/ST gets the St. Louis Rams in week 5, a team giving up the fifth-most points to opposing defenses.
Miami Dolphins homer ramblings – anecdotal and biased analysis from someone who watches them play every week
OK so we beat the terrible, winless Raiders. Fine. But we looked good doing it, and now it’s a three-way tie for first in the AFC East.
Lamar Miller has held his own with Knowshon Moreno out, who, along with big-play ability, can bring a winning attitude to this cursed and often crestfallen team who literally built their stadium on top of an indian burial ground.
Our defense is one of the best in the league. It’s outrageous that Brent Grimes and Cameron Wake aren’t mentioned in the same sentence with players like Darelle Revis and Clay Matthews. The Dolphins are currently third in sacks and tied for fifth in interceptions.
Ryan Tannehill, Miller and Mike Wallace all would have earned you a decent spread on your fantasy roster this week, so keep an eye on the Fins for the fantasy future. Possible sleeper: Jarvis Landry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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