Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Tebow Time

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Running Backs

Jackie Battle, Chiefs - A 28-year-old special teamer who narrowly made the final roster in September, Battle entered Week 5 with an underwhelming career per-carry average of 3.0. The scouting report suggested an intriguing size/speed package with a fumbling problem and little natural feel for the position. If LeSean McCoy is at a 10 on the lateral agility scale, Battle is in the 1.5 range. He’s a pure straight-ahead runner, who enjoyed extra wide lanes against a 31st-ranked Colts defense surrendering 145 rushing yards per game. While I suspect Week 5 will stand as a career game, opportunity is half the battle for NFL running backs. If Samkon Gado and Earnest Graham can emerge as fantasy factors in a lost season, Battle can follow suit for the Chiefs as a potential RB2 the rest of the way. Just don't count on Battle as a starter this week. The Chiefs have a bye.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Earnest Graham, Buccaneers - Speaking of Graham, he’s set to take over as the “lead ball carrier” with LeGarrette Blount (knee) possibly (likely?) out for Week 6 against the Saints. Graham is a pedestrian runner, but he’s already on pace for 70+ receptions as a part-time player. If Blount does miss this week’s game, consider Graham a solid RB2 in PPR formats and a borderline option in standard-scoring leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Donald Brown, Colts - Let’s not mince words here. The 2009 first-rounder has been an injury-prone bust to date, showing no power, questionable pass protection skills, and only rare traces of playmaking ability. That said, Brown outplayed Delone Carter in Week 5 once Joseph Addai went down with a hamstring injury. Addai is likely to miss this week’s game at Cincinnati, leaving Brown and Carter to split the workload. Behind a cobbled-together offensive line, neither player will be more than desperation flex option in deeper leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Delone Carter, Colts - I couldn’t believe that Donald Brown looked better Carter last week, so I went back and watched the game via NFL.com’s Rewind. Carter flashed decent power against the Chiefs, but he offers no playmaking ability and won’t make tacklers miss. If you’re forced to play him against the Bengals in Week 6, it’s with the idea that he could sneak into the end zone again as the goal-line back.

Recommendation: Worth a look in touchdown-heavy leagues.

Roy Helu, Redskins - Helu has averaged just nine touches over his past three games. If that workload remains static in the revamped Redskins backfield, he has a shot for deep-league flex value against the Eagles (most fantasy points allowed), Panthers (third-most), and Bills (ninth-most) the next three weeks. If Cadillac Williams, Kendall Hunter, and Brandon Jacobs can explode against Philly’s overmatched defense, Helu has a shot as well.

Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper leagues.

Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers - Rashard Mendenhall’s (hamstring) status for Week 6 against the Jaguars is unclear after he missed the entirety of last week’s game. Aided by a 76-yard jailbreak run, Dwyer outplayed Isaac Redman on his way to 107 yards via 11 carries against the Titans. Dwyer is only an option if Mendenhall sits out -- and even then merely a deep-league flex in a timeshare with Redman.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Bernard Scott, Bengals - Once again, the decision on Cedric Benson’s three-game suspension is not expected to be announced this week. Scott remains a stash for insurance purposes, but keep in mind that the Bengals have their bye in Week 7. He’s not going to be in fantasy lineups until Week 8 at the earliest.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Kregg Lumpkin, Buccaneers - After talking up an increased role for Lumpkin, the coaching staff has a chance to put that plan into action with LeGarrette Blount (knee) in doubt for Week 6 against the Saints. While Earnest Graham is expected to be the early-down back, Lumpkin is slated for third-down duty. He’s worth tracking in deeper league in case Blount’s injury is of the multi-week variety.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper PPR leagues.

Cut Bait: Thomas Jones, Danny Woodhead

Jones is worthless now that Jackie Battle has taken over as the primary runner in Kansas City.

Hold Off: Jacob Hester

The San Diego Union-Tribune confirmed Monday that Ryan Mathews (calf, wrist) and Mike Tolbert (concussion) are both expected back after the Week 6 bye.

Watch List: Javon Ringer, Allen Bradford, Joe McKnight

Coach Mike Munchack fully anticipates Chris Johnson (hamstring) starting after the bye in Week 7, but Ringer is worth tracking in the event of a setback. … Bradford could get a carry or three against the Saints if Blount sits out as expected. … McKnight remains ahead of Bilal Powell, who has yet to be active this season.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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