Anyone think Steve Smith had something to prove against Carolina? Smith delivered in a big way for the pass-happy Ravens and the receiver is a big reason why Joe Flacco has been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks. Smith finished with seven receptions, 139 yards and, most importantly, two touchdowns.
Jason Witten had five receptions for 61 yards, sadly both are season-highs for the Cowboys tight end. Dallas is running the football with greater regularity, and Witten is losing targets to emerging players like Terrence Williams.
LeGarrette Blount had four carries for 25 yards. He’s the established backup in Pittsburgh, but this was certainly disappointing production in an embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay. Even with Le’Veon Bell emerging as a top five running back, Blount will get touches, assuming the Steelers keep producing on offense.
Last week, Smith was our stud, Witten our dud and Blount the pickup. Blount was a bust, but we’ll stick with the previous picks.
On to choices for Sunday.
Stud – Eli Manning, New York Giants. Manning is so up-and-down that he’s not owned in about 1 in every leagues and usually relegated to bye-week starting. If you have Manning, get him in your lineup this week. Atlanta’s defense is not good. OK, it flat out sucks. Anyone watch the Vikings gash them last week? The Giants are home and Manning has an elite red-zone target in tight end Larry Donnell.
Dud – Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona. This one hurts. I covered Pitt football during Fitzgerald’s time there, and he still ranks as the most amazing athlete I watched regularly during my former life as a sports writer. (Full disclosure, the Observer-Reporter’s Heisman Trophy vote went to Fitzgerald during his sophomore season.) But that was then. This is now, and while Fitzgerald remains a big name in the game, his production isn’t anything to brag about. He’s no longer Arizona’s primary target.
Pickup – Travis Kelce, Kansas City. If you’re in a league that starts tight ends, and this guy is available, go grab him. At 6-5, Kelce offers a big target for Alex Smith, who prefers the short to intermediate passes. Kelce has touchdowns in each of the past two games, and don’t be surprised if he grabs one at San Francisco.