Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

print article archives RSS

It's the Matchup, Stupid

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Running Backs

Kahlil Bell, Bears - Week 15 looked like an official changing of the guard in the Bears backfield. Marion Barber only touched the ball twice in the second half while Bell racked up 108 total yards on 20 touches against the Seahawks. Bell ended up playing 43 snaps to Barber’s 17, and the Chicago Tribune suggests Bell will draw the start against the Packers this week. He’s worthy of low-end RB2/flex status in PPR formats.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Lance Ball, Broncos - Coach John Fox downplayed Willis McGahee’s hamstring tweak, but the veteran back reached behind his leg when the injury happened. We won’t have a good read on his status for Saturday’s game until later in the week. Those owners counting on McGahee as a RB2 should have Ball rostered as insurance against a Bills defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs.

Recommendation: Worth a look as injury insurance.

Donald Brown, Colts - Averaging 5.1 yards per carry on the season while coming off a career-high 161 yards, Brown remains unowned in more than half of CBSSports.com leagues. Fantasy’s No. 18 back over the past five weeks, Brown is merely a flex option against a Texans defense allowing the 31st-most points to opposing tail backs.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Stevan Ridley, Patriots - The rookie led New England’s backfield in carries and yards while outplaying BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Week 15. The last time that happened, Green-Ellis went right back to the lead-back role. Ridley can’t be counted on for more than a handful of carries in a given week.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Sammy Morris, Cowboys - In an interesting scheduling twist, the Cowboys’ 4:00 ET game versus the Eagles could be meaningless to their playoff chances if the Giants beat the Jets in the 1:00 ET game. Under that scenario, Dallas would take the division with a win at New York in Week 17 and surrender the division with a loss. Felix Jones will surely start against Philly, but there’s a chance that Morris could be carrying the load from the second quarter on. He can obviously be counted on as no more than a desperation fantasy play.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Jason Snelling, Falcons - Regardless of the Week 16 outcome at New Orleans, the Falcons could be locked into a wild-card road game by the season finale. That being the case, Michael Turner (groin) could be rested for most or all of Week 17 against a Bucs defense that can’t stop the run.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Chris Ivory, Saints - Unless the Saints fall to the Falcons at home this week, they will be playing to win against the Panthers in Week 17. In which case, Ivory won’t be a good bet for 20+ carries in the finale. Barring a chance in Mark Ingram’s (turf toe) status, Ivory remains a low-upside flex option.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

John Kuhn, Packers - Green Bay’s upset loss to the Chiefs significantly increases the odds that coach Mike McCarthy will sit starters in the finale versus Detroit. Kuhn is a prime candidate for carries in Week 17, as James Starks (ankle) and Ryan Grant (age) will need the rest.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Evan Royster, Jamie Harper, Kendall Hunter, Jacquizz Rodgers, Isaac Redman

There’s talk out of Washington that Roy Helu’s workload could be limited over the final two games now that he’s slowed by toe and knee injuries. Royster isn’t a fantasy option unless Helu sits out altogether. … Chris Johnson’s ankle sprain isn’t serious; don’t rush out to grab Harper. … If the Saints and 49ers both win this week, the Niners will still have to play to win versus the Rams in the finale. Hunter can’t count on a heavy workload. … Rodgers and Redman are unlikely to see a major increase in touches.

Hold Off: Toby Gerhart, Thomas Jones

Gerhart’s two touchdowns in Week 15 were a fluke. Now that Adrian Peterson is back, he has no value beyond handcuff. … Jones’ 3.2 YPC last week was his highest total in a month. He’s still running on fumes.


continue story »
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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - WR & TE
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Friday
  •  
    Friday

    Friday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls

    Levitan: Week 12 Tough Calls
  •  
    Beer

    Beer's NFL 6 Pack - QB & RB
  •  
    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings

    RotoPat: Week 12 Rankings
  •  
    Thursday

    Thursday's Fantasy Minute
  •  
    Week 12 Drop Options

    Week 12 Drop Options