St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin went off this week, finishing with 138 yards on two catches, that both went for touchdowns (57, 81). He also returned a punt for a 98-yard touchdown. That was also one of two defense/special teams touchdowns for the Rams in the game.
In the point-per-two reception league I play in, Austin finished with 52 points and the Rams defense with 33 points.
Either one of those on your fantasy football roster probably gave you a win this week.
So, here's the catch.
I'd be willing to bet that 75 percent of fantasy leagues had all of those points on the bench or the waiver wire.
An owner in one of the leagues I play in would've won going away this week had he played Austin (was on his bench) while no one had the St. Louis Rams defense on their roster.
Checking out another league I play in, Austin was a free agent, while the Rams were started by yours truly.
That move allowed me to win this week in that league, but I can't take complete credit for it. I have the Kansas City Chiefs D and only made this move because the Chiefs were on a bye and the Rams were the top free agent defense available.
Prior to last week, Austin had accumulated a grand total of 207 yards and two touchdowns in nine games. The Rams defense, save for a great performance at home against the Seattle Seahawks, was being torched.
So the real question is whether this was an anomaly (I mean they did this on the road to the Indianapolis Colts) or they're two waiver-wire targets. My advice is to grab both if you can. Look, Austin may never do this again, but this also could be the first stop of a breakout second half of the season. Remember, Austin was a first-round draft choice.
If you have the bench space or need a receiver, I would take Austin before going all in (which several owners have) on Seattle Seahawks' Percy Harvin, who is coming off a major injury and may take a while to get up to speed. The Rams have a bye next week, but I would take a flier on Austin if you can.
Another player who broke out was New Orleans Saints' Mark Ingram, who ran all over the Dallas Cowboys for 145 yards and a touchdown. He's the only running back to reach 100 yards against the Cowboys besides Adrian Peterson. Now this is a crowded backfield in New Orleans, but like Austin, Ingram was a top draft pick and I think this could finally be his coming out part for the rest of the season.
If you need running back help, like I do desperately after Arian Foster was declared out for the season, I would take a flier on him as well.
Other players you need to grab now before it's too late: WR Riley Cooper (probably too late), TE John Carlson, WR Jerricho Cotchery, WR Cordarelle Patterson, RB Dennis Johnson, RB Shane Vereen and RBs Brian Leonard/Bobby Rainey.
Injuries are piling up and several of the players above are either backups (Johnson), play in high-powered offenses (Cooper, Vereen) or have been producing recently (Carlson, Cotchery and Patterson).
As for Leonard/Rainey, both will see significant playing time moving forward, but it's unclear as to which will be the lead back. I picked up both in one of my leagues where I was hurting at running back.
Teams on a bye this week: Cowboys, Rams
Last Action Heroes Update: Well, my trade for Andre Johnson worked out well with the Texans receiver scoring twice and, coupled with Seattle Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka going off for 20 points, helped me win my week in the Dereliction League. The Heroes are now 5-5. Foster being out has created a void that I must fill.
This week the Heroes face Carnivores, who have lost five straight and are without Tony Romo, who has a bye.
If the Heroes can keep it going, a playoff spot could be locked up soon.
Good Luck in Week 11!