By Brandon Funston //
Prior to Week 7, no team had scored fewer fantasy points at the running back position than the Arizona Cardinals. But thanks to an unpredictable outburst this past Sunday by LaRod Stephens-Howling, who tallied 149 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown at Minnesota, the Cards are no longer bringing up the rear in fantasy points at the RB position – that honor now sits with the Green Bay Packers.
For Howling, who managed just 11 carries for 22 yards the previous week, it was the first time in his career he rushed for more than 100 yards (20/104). And it was the best fantasy effort by a Arizona back since Week 12 of last season when Beanie Wells steamrolled the Rams for 228 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Howling entered Week 7 owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues. But that number is sure to rise dramatically this week after his outburst on Sunday. Here are some others players that are also likely to draw increased waiver wire interest this week after a Week 7 breakout:
• No player has caught more passes in major college football than Ryan Broyles did for the University of Oklahoma from 2008-2001 (349 receptions). But, until Week 7, the Lions rookie had never caught an NFL pass. That changed on Monday night, as Broyles hauled in three passes for 51 yards and the Lions’ only touchdown in a loss to Chicago. Broyles heads into Week 8 available in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues, but after his top 20 finish at the WR position in Week 7, he should garner fantasy interest this week as the team’s regular slot receiver now that Nate Burleson has been lost for the season with a broken leg.
• Jets TE Dustin Keller has spent most of the season on the sidelines nursing a hamstring injury. After missing five games with the injury, Keller returned in Week 6 with a meager one-catch, six-yard performance. Considering the body of work leading up to this past Sunday, it’s fair to say that Keller wasn’t at the center of very many fantasy radars as he prepared to face New England. But Keller found his health, and his mojo, on Sunday, leading all tight ends in catches (7) and receiving yards (93). He also added a touchdown to notch a No. 2 finish at the position in fantasy points.
• Rashad Jennings rode a wave of buzz this preseason as the backup likely to see a big boost in playing time if then holdout Maurice Jones-Drew carried his contract impasse with Jacksonville into the regular season. But MJD returned at the 11th hour and quickly relegated Jennings back to a bench spot as the ’12 season got underway. On Sunday, though, Jennings finally landed his moment in the sun as Jones-Drew suffered a foot injury in the first quarter at Oakland. Jennings filled in admirably, tallying 104 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, finishing No. 8 in fantasy at the RB position for Week 7. With MJD potentially sidelined for several weeks, expect Jennings to be one of the hottest waiver wire commodities this week.