Week 7 Pickups: Deciphering Which Breakout Stars Are Fantasy Fool’s Gold

The 2013 NFL regular season is starting to heat up, and fantasy leagues are approaching the heart of the schedule. Week 7 brings a whole new batch of waiver-wire pickups owners will have to dissect.

All of the following breakout stars will be on the top of everyone’s list to pick up in Week 7, but don’t believe the hype until you determine if they are fantasy fool’s gold or not.

Based on standard-scoring leagues.

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Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers had a big day offensively, and one of the biggest fantasy beneficiaries of that production was wide receiver Brandon LaFell. With four receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown, owners are rushing to the waiver wire.

This may look like a great addition on the surface, but don’t be fooled; LaFell is not the best option this week. Not only is Carolina one of the most inconsistent offensive teams in the league (27th-ranked pass offense), but LaFell’s own inconsistency hurts his value.

If your team has been ravaged by injuries or you are dealing with a plethora of players on bye this week, look to pickup a receiver like Philadelphia’s Riley Cooper or St. Louis’ Austin Pettis instead of LaFell.

Consider the Panthers’ receiver an option only in deeper leagues.

Final Analysis: Fool’s Gold

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Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are using veteran halfback Willis McGahee as the primary ball carrier, but versatile back Chris Ogbonnaya has seen a serious increase in his workload, and fantasy owners are taking notice.

Ogbonnaya has at least five carries and five receptions in each of his last two games—including 85 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in Week 6 against Detroit—and it is clear that he is the team’s top third-down running back.

Add in the chance that the older McGahee could deal with injuries as the season progresses and the Browns fighting from behind more often, and Ogbonnaya is a must-buy for owners this week.

Final Analysis: Fantasy Gold

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Jacoby Jones, WR, Baltimore Ravens

After returning from an injury he sustained in the opening week of the season, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones had two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

While fantasy owners see serious upside when a player returns four kicks for over 100 yards in his first game back, this production is useless unless your league awards points for return yardage, making Jones not worth a pickup.

Until he shows he is a reliable target for Flacco in the passing game, Jones is fool’s gold.

The Ravens schedule is extremely tough for the next three weeks (Baltimore squares off with Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively), and fantasy owners should see how Jones plays in Week 7 before making a waiver-wire pickup.

Final Analysis: Fool’s Gold

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