Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Hello, Helu!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Running Backs

Roy Helu, Redskins - Coach Mike Shanahan named Helu the starter Sunday morning, and the rookie responded with 14 receptions and 146 total yards due in large part to John Beck’s checkdown tendencies. The newest Shanny backfield edict is that Ryan Torain will only play when Helu needs a breather. Helu played on 64-of-67 snaps against the 49ers, suggesting that he will join the ranks of the three-down backs going forward. Even in a subpar offense, there’s plenty of breakout potential here over the final two months.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Donald Brown, Colts - Coach Jim Caldwell confirmed that Delone Carter landed in fumble jail after coughing up his second carry against the Falcons. Playing as well as he has since entering the league as a busted first-round pick, Brown took over as the featured back in comeback mode. The workloads in this backfield are unpredictable due in large part to Joseph Addai’s (knee, hamstring) uncertain week-to-week status. Brown is worthy of a stash to see if the Colts can recoup some value on this investment down the stretch of a lost season, but he can’t be trusted as a weekly fantasy option just yet.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Chris Ivory, Saints - Mark Ingram’s injury replacement got the nod as the Week 9 starter, leading the backfield with 67 rushing yards and 15 carries. Ivory has no role in the passing game, so he’s not going to be ranked higher than Darren Sproles or Pierre Thomas even if Ingram misses another week. Between his talent and the Saints’ high-scoring offense, Ivory is worthy of a stash for as long as Ingram sits out.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns - Filling in as the starter last week, “Silent G” fumbled his first carry, failed to make tacklers miss and managed a paltry 2.2 yards on 13 carries. In other words, keep expectations low even though Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty have already been ruled out of an attractive matchup against the Rams. It’s quite possible that Thomas Clayton could end up with more touches than Ogbonnaya.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a desperation spot start.

Marion Barber, Bears - Monday night’s game proved once again that Marion the Barbarian is entrenched as the Bears’ goal-line back. He’s now scored in four of the five games he’s been active this season, which certainly earns him a long look in touchdown-heavy leagues. Those in standard-scoring leagues should feel no obligation to add Barber.

Recommendation: Worth a look in touchdown-heavy leagues.

Joe McKnight, Jets - The Jets coaching staff has promised increased offensive workloads for McKnight all season, and they finally followed through with a season-high nine carries against the Bills. McKnight isn’t going to hold fantasy value barring a Shonn Greene injury or extended slump, so he’s purely a deep-league pickup.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

C.J. Spiller, Bills - Spiller is returning to the backfield now that Donald Jones is healthy. The 2010 first-rounder is not going to have value unless Fred Jackson goes down with an injury, but there’s breakout potential in that scenario.

Recommendation: Worth a look as injury insurance.

Toby Gerhart, Vikings - Much like Ricky Williams and Kendall Hunter, Gerhart should be added as an obvious handcuff for a stud starter. Only four more teams have byes (in Week 11), so it’s time to add that injury insurance before another owners swoops in and starts stashing high-upside backups.

Recommendation: Worth a look as injury insurance.

Watch List: Thomas Clayton, Kevin Smith, Jacquizz Rodgers, Taiwan Jones

As poorly as Ogbonnaya has played, Clayton is worth monitoring in case the Browns decide to increase his workload this week. … Smith is expected to play behind Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams. … Rodgers’ increased workload was due to the Falcons’ jumping out to a commanding lead. … Jones didn’t see enough touches in Week 9

Hold Off: Tashard Choice, Danny Woodhead

Choice is expected to practice this week. Any Shanahan running back is worth monitoring, but he’s going to start out third on the depth chart. The real issue is that Choice is no longer a good player. … Woodhead’s snaps could go down again with Kevin Faulk due to return in Week 10.

Cut Bait: Curtis Brinkley, D.J. Ware, Da’Rel Scott, Lance Ball, Phillip Tanner, Thomas Jones

Brinkley, Ware, Scott, Ball and Tanner are heading back to the bench now that Ryan Mathews, Ahmad Bradshaw and Felix Jones are getting healthier. … Jones played just four snaps in Week 9.


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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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