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Fantasy Football Weekly: Foles, Freeman, Simpson, Randle all viable pickups with bye weeks ahead

Injuries keep piling up and twelve teams have their bye over weeks 8 and 9 so it’s time to start planning ahead.
If you’re still stashing Rashard Mendenhall hoping he’ll be a 1,000 yard back, it may be time to give up and grab someone who can actually help you win.
The following guys are great pickups, both for Week 7 and the future.

QB – Nick Foles, PHI vs. DAL – Going back to the well on this one. I had him last week and I really love this guy — mostly because we both went to U of A — but he really knows the Eagles’ offense. It’s very similar to what he ran at Arizona under OC Sonny Dykes (the current Cal Bears head coach) and he looks extremely comfortable in the pocket. If you’re like me and don’t keep a backup on your team for Drew Brees, go pick him up and put him in your lineup. Even if you don’t have Brees (or Pryor for that matter) he’s still a great option for a backup over the rest of the season and if he continues to throw TDs and keep his interceptions low, he may even stick to your starting lineup.

QB – Josh Freeman, MIN @ NYG – If you’re in a deep league, and your QBs were Schaub and Pryor, then you obviously didn’t draft well. Either way if you missed out on the waiver wire this weekend and don’t want to end up starting Thaddeus Lewis or Case Keenum, then grab Freeman for a good matchup. Even though it’s his first start with the Vikings, he’s still in great football shape and ready to play.

WR – Jerome Simpson, MIN @NYG – This is a big gamble due to the above QB in his first start but Simpson has been getting it done all season no matter who’s under center and the Giants’ secondary is easy to beat. He leads the Vikings in receptions, two ahead of TE Kyle Rudolph and three more than Pro-Bowler Greg Jennings, and has by far the most receiving yards (372), but has yet to catch a touchdown. That should change this week with a mobile QB and the definite threat of play action.

WR – Kendall Wright, TEN vs. SF – Wright is more of a long-term add, but with the continuing struggles of RB Chris Johnson, the passing game will need to make an impact if they want to even think about beating San Francisco. Wright sits at 15th in receptions with 31 but has only hauled on one score. The 49ers shouldn’t have much trouble stopping CJ2K (or as he should probably be known now, CJ.5K) and that will force Tennessee to go deep and Wright is their man down the field.

RB – Brandon Jacobs, NYG vs.MIN – Despite the signing of Peyton Hillis and rookie Michael Cox waiting on the sideline, Jacobs is still the No. 1 guy in New York. He’s listed as questionable for the weekend but expects to play and has an excellent match up going against the Vikings on Monday night. The Giants are still completely lost offensively and if Jacobs can stay healthy and get another 20 carries, he’ll continue to be a serviceable RB2 and Flex play moving forward, especially since his next games are against the Vikings, Eagles and Raiders.

RB – Joseph Randle, DAL @ PHI – Randle is the hot pickup of the week. He’s already 48% owned in Yahoo! leagues and for good reason, he’ll be the starting running back on Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys as they take the division rival Eagles. This guy was a stud at Oklahoma St. and already picked up a TD last week despite only 17 yards on 11 carries. He’s been practicing with the first team offense this week and both DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar will not be suiting up this weekend.

TE – Tyler Eifert, CIN @DET – I’ve always liked Eifert, there’s nothing special about the match up this week but he’s due for another TD and Dalton has been playing well. Since he’s been on the field consistently since Week 1, I expect him to only get better as the season goes on, giving the Bengals a lethal two TE set with him and Jermaine Gresham.

TE – Zach Miller, SEA @ ARI – If you can jump on Miller before Thursday’s game then by all means, get after it! The Cardinals have been abysmal at stopping opposing tight ends and Miller, when healthy, can be one of the best in the game. Jimmy Graham and Jared Cook have torched the Arizona defense and Miller will be eager to get involved, returning home to the valley and getting his first on-field action since Week 4.

DEF – SD @JAX – This strategy seems to work every week. Jacksonville had some extra attitude playing Denver with that big spread, and huge chip on their shoulder because of it but now it’s back to normal betting lines with a San Diego team looking to mow them over with their renewed offense. Mike McCoy has transformed this team back into what Norv Turner had his first year or two in SD and Rivers and crew believe in the process and it sure shows. The defense has responded well and although they’ve only forced three turnovers, they could easily end up doubling that total this weekend.

Final thoughts: If you can afford a roster spot, go pick up Percy Harvin. The Seahawks have announced he’ll be practicing in preparation for Week 8’s Monday night match up with the St. Louis Rams and although he likely won’t get on the field for that game, he’s much more likely to come back before the ‘Hawks Week 12 Bye.

Find this week’s episode of Fantasy Football Weekly here.