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Week 7 saw Denard Robinson and Jerick McKinnon post RB1 numbers, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin post WR1 numbers, and Kyle Orton post QB1 numbers. If you’ve been keeping tabs on this column, you’d have gained a nice boost with Orton and McKinnon on Sunday, as well as Allen Robinson.
Let’s take a look at the players still available in nearly every league but have the potential to finish top-12 on a week-to-week basis.
Robert Griffin (Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues): RGIII likely won’t start this week but it’s clear that Colt McCoy won’t suddenly win the starting job and the former first rounder will be back under center soon. This is your rare chance to snag up a second-half potential QB1 in deep leagues.
Before he went down, Griffin looked very strong despite not recording a single touchdown. He completed a whopping 77.5 percent of his 40 pass attempts for 305 yards while adding 24 yards on the ground. With DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed, and Niles Paul, RGIII has all the talent around him to post high end quarterback numbers down the stretch if he can stay healthy.
Kyle Orton (5 percent): Orton has been on this list ever since he was named the starter but he’s still available in 95 percent of Yahoo leagues. This is one of those silly name value things where fantasy owners are reluctant to pick up an unsexy journeyman veteran who was out of football entirely this offseason.
All Orton has done, however, is lead the Bills to wins in two out of three games, completing 68.5 percent of his passes for 890 yards and five touchdowns. With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller out, the Bills will lean on Orton even more going forward, which is saying a lot considering he’s attempted an average of 41 passes in each of his three games.
Running Back Targets:
Tre Mason (16 percent): The rookie out of Auburn saw 18 touches against the Seahawks while Zac Stacy saw none. Benny Cunningham only rushed twice for three yards so he’s not an obstacle either. With 18 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown in his first full game, Mason suddenly finds himself atop the depth chart.
Running backs were overlooked in the draft because a) there’s a ton of veteran backs available and b) there was a ton of running back prospects available in the late rounds and beyond. See Branden Oliver, who wasn’t even drafted. Despite all that, Mason has an incredible pedigree.
Last year, he ran the ball an amazing 317 times for 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns. The previous year he ran 171 times for 1002 yards and eight touchdowns. Between those two seasons and 28 attempts as a freshman, Mason has never averaged fewer than 5.7 yards per carry.
He doesn’t figure to be much of a receiving threat but if he can put up RB1 numbers against the Seahawks, imagine what he can do against the league’s average D.
Bryce Brown (6 percent): Anthony Dixon is clearly not the answer with Jackson and Spiller out. Outside of his game-long 12-yard run on Sunday, Dixon carried the ball 12 times for just 39 yards. That means Bryce Brown, who was inactive until now, figures to get a huge chunk of the workload.
Though he wasn’t used a lot in Philly where LeSean McCoy was just dominant, Brown was a good change of pace back with 190 carries for 878 yards (4.6 YPC) and six touchdowns in two seasons. He also caught 21 passes for 140 yards. Fred Jackson has already touted Brown as an “every down back” and I’m inclined to agree.
Wide Receiver Targets:
Allen Robinson (15 percent): Robinson has been on this list for several weeks now but the impressive rookie has remained available in nearly 90 percent of leagues. That will change after Robinson finally found the end zone for his first career touchdown on Sunday.
Robinson has been targeted at least seven times in every game since Week 2 and is averaging six catches per game in that time. He’s probably better suited for a PPR roster than a standard league but he’s been very consistent and very impressive as Blake Bortles’ go-to guy.
Denard Robinson (9 percent): Robinson appears to be the Jaguars’ top threat at running back but he’s also available at wideout in Yahoo leagues, giving him even more value. Toby Gerhart has proven to be a bust with 48 carries for just a 2.6 yard average. Even Trent Richardson laughs at those numbers. Storm Johnson may emerge as a threat in the future but for now he is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry on 20 attempts. This puts Robinson in a great spot.
In his first game as the feature back, Robinson carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. He has now rushed 50 times for 221 yards this season and has caught 11 of 13 targets for 37 yards. He’s a phenomenal athlete, an explosive runner, and a dual threat back without much competition for carries.
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