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Blackjack! 21 fantasy waiver wire pickups

Things are looking up in Indianapolis…at least from a fantasy perspective. Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This October 11, 2011, 12:08 PM EST

Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Garcon’s become the weapon of choice for new quarterback Curtis Painter, having hauled in seven passes for 271 yards and four touchdowns on 16 targets in Painter’s two starts. Owners who drafted Garcon back in August likely gave up on the four-year veteran after he failed to produce anything impressive over Indy’s first three games.

Next up: at Cincinnati

Jackie Battle, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: After Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster failed to produce following the loss of starting running back Jamaal Charles, Battle stepped in and took advantage of the opportunity, rushing for 119 yards on a career-high 19 carries in Week 5. We doubt Battle will be a consistent fantasy producer, but it’d be foolish to think Kansas City will decrease his workload after Sunday’s performance.

Next up: BYE

Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton is out and the former Heisman Trophy winner is in. Tebow’s ability to create with his legs is what makes him worthy of a roster spot in leagues with 12 or more teams. Remember, this guy threw for 513 yards and racked up five total touchdowns in Denver’s final two games of the 2010 season.

Next up: BYE

Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers: Floyd totaled just nine receptions over San Diego’s first four games, but he finally looked healthy and stepped up big in Week 5 with a 3-100-1 stat line in the Chargers’ win at Denver. He’ll leave you scratching your head on occasion, but he’s a decent WR3 option moving forward…especially with Vincent Jackson battling hamstring and abdomen injuries.

Next up: BYE

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots: Remember when every owner in the country went scrambling to the waiver wire to acquire rookie running back Stevan Ridley at the conclusion of Week 4? How did that work out? We still like Ridley’s upside moving forward, but the Patriots are a team that loves to use multiple running backs in a variety of personnel packages. The Law Firm racked up 136 yards and two rushing touchdowns in Week 5 vs. the Jets and we’d imagine he’ll post a few more whoppers like that before the season is over.

Next up: vs. Dallas

Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers: He’s currently a top-20 quarterback in standard scoring formats who has tossed five touchdown passes over his last two games. Smith will struggle at times, but owners in deeper leagues who need an upgrade at the quarterback position may want to take a good long look at Alex Smith. Believe it or not, Smith’s QB Rating is currently an impressive 104.1. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has this guy playing some quality football.

Next up: at Detroit

Earnest Graham, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With starting running back LeGarrette Blount battling a left knee injury suffered in Sunday’s loss at San Francisco, the door is open for Graham to put up some numbers. He’s only carried the ball 18 times in five outings, but Graham has been a big producer in the passing game, having hauled in 23 passes on 28 targets so far this year. His long-term upside is limited, unless word comes down that Blount’s injury is worse than most expect.

Next up: vs. New Orleans

Delone Carter, RB, Indianapolis Colts: With starting running back Joseph Addai battling a hamstring injury that could sideline him for 1-3 weeks, look for Carter to see an increase in carries moving forward. The rookie from Syracuse scored his first career touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, we advise you to taper your expectations here, as Carter will be splitting carries with Donald Brown.

Next up: at Cincinnati

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts: See above. We consider Brown nothing more than an RB4 until he proves he can get the job done, but the upside here is that he will see some touches with Addai out of commission.

Next up: at Cincinnati

Jason Avant, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Avant made some costly mistakes in Sunday’s loss at Buffalo, but he’s been targeted by quarterback Michael Vick 18 times over the past two weeks and is coming off an impressive 139-yard performance. He makes for some adequate roster depth moving forward.

Next up: at Washington

Oakland Raiders, D/ST: Don’t view this unit as a long-term solution to any D/ST issues you may currently be facing, but keep in mind that if you need a situational start for Week 6, the Raiders aren’t a bad bet, as the Silver & Black play host to a Cleveland Browns team that currently ranks 21st in the NFL in total offense.

Next up: vs. Cleveland

Damian Williams, WR, Tennessee Titans: With starting wide receiver Kenny Britt out for the season, somebody needed to step up and fill the void for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Coming off Sunday’s impressive performance at Pittsburgh (6-66-1 on 11 targets), Williams may very well be that guy.

Next up: BYE

Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Chicago Bears: The rookie from Ohio State has been targeted seven or more times in three of Chicago’s last four games, including the career-high 11 he posted in Monday night’s loss at Detroit. The upside here is limited, but Sanzenbacher could make for a respectable WR4 in leagues with 12 or more teams.

Next up: vs. Minnesota

Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: REMINDER: Starting running back Cedric Benson is still facing a three-game suspension that will eventually open the door for Scott to showcase his talents. Benson is expected to play Sunday vs. Indianapolis, but Scott’s time is coming.

Next up: vs. Indianapolis

Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers: He’s not a sexy name, but Olsen currently ranks sixth in fantasy points at the tight end position in standard scoring formats. He should be owned in all leagues with ten or more teams, especially when you consider the fact that quarterback Cam Newton currently ranks fourth in the NFL in passing yards.

Next up: at Atlanta

Curtis Painter, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Owners in deeper leagues take note: Painter has thrown for a total of 558 passing yards and at least two touchdowns in each of his two starts this season. With Indianapolis consistently playing from behind, garbage time numbers will be in full effect here.

Next up: at Cincinnati

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: The second-year tight end from Oklahoma currently ranks sixth in targets and ninth in fantasy scoring at the TEDo position, so there is no way he should be sitting on waivers in leagues with ten or more teams. Remember, Gresham has found the end zone in three of five games this season.

Next up: vs. Indianapolis

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks: The 23-year-old is coming off a monster performance against the New York Giants (8-136-1 on 9 targets) that currently has him ranked 22nd in fantasy scoring at the wide receiver position (standard scoring format). Consistency will be lacking here, but Baldwin continues to put up decent numbers. Consider him a WR4 with situational upside.

Next up: BYE

Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Seattle Seahawks: Speaking of Seattle, should head coach Pete Carroll finally decided to pull the plug on the Tarvaris Jackson experiment, be on the lookout for Whitehurst. The former San Diego Charger completed 11 of 19 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown in minimal action vs. the New York Giants on Sunday. Remember, there are some attractive weapons on the Seattle offense.

Next up: BYE

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall will eventually return to the starting lineup when his hamstring is healed, but Dwyer could make for a decent situational start in the immediate future after he rolled up 107 rushing yards on just 11 carries Sunday vs. Tennessee. However, don’t go falling all over yourself to acquire this guy off waivers, as his long-term upside is limited.

Next up: vs. Jacksonville

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland Raiders: Is DHB finally developing into the top-ten receiver the Raiders thought they were drafting back in 2009? While it’s still too early to tell, the former Maryland standout has recorded 214 receiving yards and 19 targets over the past two weeks. He and quarterback Jason Campbell appear to be clicking.

Next up: vs. Cleveland

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

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