With last week in the books, it’s time to hit the wire and see who needs to be on your roster. Each and every Tuesday Pro Football Addicts will have six players that you need to know about and consider adding.
I am omitting the name Brian Hartline, as he was featured in the Week Two edition of this article and should already be rostered but if he is available, please jump on him before any of these names.
WR Jerome Simpson, Vikings
Simpson is finally back after his three game suspension and he’s still got spring in his step but his first game back wasn’t exactly a blow up performance with only fifty yards on four catches. He was worked into the offense with just five targets but was clearly the Vikings downfield threat and his presence could potentially hurt Kyle Rudolph’s numbers, Rudolph only posted two catches for eight yards. Percy Harvin is the Vikings go to receiver but there’s clearly a place on this roster for Simpson and his next three matchups (Titans, Redskins, Cardinals) could make for fruitful fantasy starts.
RB Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
This is a recommendation for more shallow leagues and roster sizes but there’s a very strong possibility that Mendenhall is out there and with the struggles the Steelers have had on the ground (31st in the league), it’s not surprising. Mendenhall’s progress has been flat out amazing, considering his knee injury occurred so late in the season, and all reports are that he is going to be practicing in full this week. The Steelers aren’t going to throw a full workload at Mendenhall against the Eagles but their schedule gets a lot easier against the Titans, Bengals and Redskins after that. If he’s still out there, scoop him up to round out your bench.
WR Andre Roberts, Cardinals
Andre Roberts’ production must be acknowledged in Arizona, especially when you consider their quarterback issues and problems on the offensive line. In the meantime, Roberts has posted four touchdowns and 15 catches for 229 yards on a very healthy 25 targets through the first four games. He is seeing the football and he’s playing well enough to keep first rounder Michael Floyd on the sidelines watching him. Roberts runs crisp routes and possesses great ball skills, so he’ll retain value in three wide sets because he’s the ideal slot man in that scenario which will afford him a number of mismatches.
RB Jackie Battle, Chargers
Ryan Mathews owners are currently rolling their eyes at this selection but there are clearly issues with the former first rounder and it’s got a lot to do with his ball security or lack thereof. Battle got a surprise start last week and answered the bell, gutting out a hard earned 81 total yards and punching in two scores against the Chiefs. Mathews will obviously be given another chance but with his lengthy injury history and his inability to hold onto the football or his job, Battle makes a nice speculative addition in deeper leagues.
QB Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
This is more of a one week filler play but going up against a Vikings’ defense that is shutting down the run and forcing teams to pass should play out very well for the veteran signal caller. The Titans have a talented supporting cast, which is what made Jake Locker such an appealing pick this year, and if Kenny Britt is over his ankle/knee issues the Titans passing offense has great upside this week. Hasselbeck makes for an intriguing add in two quarterback leagues and also has value if you’re already playing the quarterback roulette wheel for a Tony Romo or Matt Stafford bye week fill-in.
RB Joique Bell, Lions
This is definitely for deeper leagues and Mikel Leshoure owners but looking at Bell’s contribution in the passing game, he stands a chance at making an impact spelling Leshoure and playing on third downs. The local Wayne State product has 16 targets in the last three games, with eight of them coming against the Vikings Sunday. He has to be on the radar in PPR leagues but definitely should not be rostered in a standard non-PPR format. He’s just a roster stash at this point that could turn into more in the event of an injury.
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