Midterm week of the NFL season is upon us. In fantasy football terms, the push for playoffs begin. Former pickup of the week Charcandrick West had a breakout game last week, running for 110 yards and a touchdown. As for last week’s pickup, Christine Michael looks to be behind of Darren McFadden on Dallas’ depth chart. Troubling to the history of pickup of the week, but McFadden could help you fill in as quality depth for your running backs. This week’s pickup is an emerging rookie of the year.

Pro-tip: The Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington have bye weeks.

Start ‘Em

Cam Newton (Quarterback/Carolina Panthers)

Cam Newton. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service.
Cam Newton. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service.

Cam Newton will have another opportunity in primetime this Monday. Newton faces the Colts this week, a defense that gives up 17 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks. The Colts give up 286 passing yards a game, the fourth-worst in the league. As an MVP candidate, Newton will look to shine in the spotlight and add onto his resume.

Chris Johnson (Running back/Arizona Cardinals)

Chris Johnson is defying the 30-year-old running back myth. Johnson ranks second in rushing yards and seventh in fantasy points for running backs. As for the Browns, they have given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs.

Martellus Bennett (Tight end/Chicago Bears)

Martellus Bennett could have a big week. After grabbing 11 catches and a touchdown, Bennett’s production has dipped. But no fear, Bennett is has been targeted at least eleven times the last three games, so Cutler hasn’t forgotten about him. The Vikings are a safe bet for opposing tight ends, giving up at ten fantasy points a game.

Sit ‘Em

Peyton Manning (Quarterback/Denver Broncos)

Peyton Manning. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service.
Peyton Manning. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service.

Sit Peyton Manning in fantasy football. Weird. It seems that father time may have caughten up with Manning, who has more interceptions than touchdowns. Luckily, Denver defense has kept the team in the playoff discussion. Back to fantasy, Manning faces the Packers pass defense that ranks fourth in opponent’s passer rating. Similar to Manning, Green Bay has more interceptions, than touchdowns given up.

Carlos Hyde (Running back/San Francisco 49ers)

It’s been a tough season for Carlos Hyde. After breaking out in week one, mediocrity has a grip on Hyde, who has scored double-digit fantasy points once since his breakout week. Hyde is listed as questionable against the Rams, who ranks in the top ten in stopping the run. Expect Hyde to play, but in a limited role given his injury.

Amari Cooper (Wide receiver/Oakland Raiders)

Rookie Amari Cooper will make his first visit to Revis Island this week. Look for it to be a long visit. Cooper has impressed so far, garnering some rookie of the year talk. But the Jets have shut down number one wide receivers, scoring one touchdown all year. Expect Revis to keep Cooper in check all game.

Pickup of the week

Stefon Diggs (Wide receiver/Minnesota Vikings)

Stefon Diggs is becoming the top target in Minnesota. The former 5-star recruit looks comfortable on the field after a difficult college career. Diggs has caught the ball at least six times in his three games played and had over 100 receiving yards two weeks in a row. Diggs faces Chicago this week, who ranks third worst in points against for wide receivers. If you are looking for an available wide receiver, Diggs should be an option.

Andy Gustafson is the Sports Writer for the Niner Times. This is his first year involved with the Times. He is majoring in mass media communications and minoring in journalism. He is from Asheville, North Carolina.