Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Baldwin Brothers

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Running Backs

Javon Ringer, Titans - Coach Mike Munchak now insists that Chris Johnson remains the starter, but his crunch-time actions from Week 8 are telling. Ringer played 33 snaps to CJ1K’s 30, taking  over as the feature back in the fourth quarter. Munchak also conceded that game momentum will be a factor, and all of the evidence this season points to Ringer as the back most likely to come up with the “hot hand.” Ringer won’t overtake Johnson outright this week, but this is as fluid as a backfield situation gets. He could easily end up as the lead back for the majority of November and December.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Roy Helu, Redskins - Helu didn’t see a single carry against the Bills, but he led the backfield in snaps again while Ryan Torain has managed just 1.55 yards per carry since Week 4. Circling the drain, the Redskins aren’t going to be playing with the lead much the rest of the way. Helu’s snaps should continue to rise, and there’s still a chance that he’ll overtake Torain for early-down work.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns - The coaching staff tentatively expects Peyton Hillis (hamstring) to play Sunday against the Texans, but it’s hard to be optimistic after last week’s setback. Until the Browns give a more certain answer on Hillis’ status, Ogbonnaya is worthy of a pickup as a potential three-down back even in a tough Week 9 matchup. Rotoworld won’t rank the underwhelming Ogbonnaya as more than a flex option, but his pass-catching ability is tempting in PPR leagues.  

Recommendation: Worth a look as an injury fill-in.

Donald Brown, Colts - A better passing-down option than Delone Carter, Brown took over as the Colts’ feature back in comeback mode during the third and fourth quarters last week. The former first-round bust has shown signs of improvement in brief glimpses this season. Though he’s worthy of a roster spot as long as Joseph Addai (hamstring) remains sidelined, Brown isn’t going to be more than a risky flex option against the Falcons.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Kevin Faulk, Patriots - It’s time to disabuse fantasy owners of the notion that a 35-year-old role player coming off ACL surgery will become a lineup fixture in PPR formats. Even when healthy and in his prime, Faulk was never more than a borderline flex play. While he did lead all Patriots backs in snaps against the Steelers, that was a game momentum issue with New England playing from behind. Pick him up if it makes you feel like an active owner, but don’t expect reliable value the rest of the way.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper PPR leagues.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers - This is the week that bye-week teams are reduced from six to four, a sign that the end is nigh for the bye. That being the case, it’s time to start dealing away borderline starters to create roster space for stashes such as Hunter, Toby Gerhart, Ricky Williams and perhaps even the Eagles’ Dion Lewis. All it takes is one injury to give each of these backs a shot at high-end RB2 value the rest of the way.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a roster stash.

Chris Ivory, Saints - With Mark Ingram (heel) out, Ivory played six snaps in Week 8 -- and was given the ball on all six of them. Ivory was predictably rusty but showed glimpses of the physicality that made  him a coaching staff favorite as a rookie. If Ingram sits out again, Ivory should get a chance at short-yardage work against the Bucs in Week 9.

Recommendation: Worth a look in touchdown-heavy leagues.

Tashard Choice, Redskins - Choice will gain notice in fantasy circles this week because any runner in a Shanahan backfield can surface as a factor at a moment’s notice. Expectations need to be tempered, though. Choice won’t play this week due to a hamstring strain, and he was battling a shoulder injury in Dallas. No longer an effective player, Choice has averaged 2.7 yards per carry this year and 3.4 yards per in his last 22 games going back to beginning of 2010. I’d let someone else waste a roster spot and a waiver claim on Choice.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Curtis Brinkley, Jacob Hester, Taiwan Jones, Thomas Clayton, Danny Ware, Phillip Tanner, Toby Gerhart

The Chargers backfield is up in the air heading into Week 9 against the Packers. Brinkley (concussion) may have a hard time gaining clearance by Sunday. If Ryan Mathews (groin) and Mike Tolbert can’t get back on the field, Hester could end up with a major role. … Jones could see a few carries if Darren McFadden (foot) misses this week’s game. … The Browns were expected to give Clayton a look with Montario Hardesty (calf). … Ware could take on a larger role if Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot injury takes a turn for the worse.

Hold Off: Steve Slaton, Lance Ball

Slaton is still no better than third on the depth chart in Miami. … Willis McGahee plans to play in Week 9, which would send Ball back to the bench.

Cut Bait: Keiland Williams, Bernard Scott, Danny Woodhead

The Lions hope Jahvid Best can return in Week 10, leaving Williams as the third-stringer. … Scott can be dropped in 10-team leagues with Cedric Benson returning from suspension. … Woodhead appears to have lost his job to Faulk.


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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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