Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Percy Lite?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Running Backs


Alfred Morris, Redskins - The bizarro Chris Johnson, Morris makes up for a lack of high-end speed with decisive cuts and a forward lean. The sixth-round rookie scored more fantasy points than any back save C.J. Spiller in Week 1. Although Mike Shanahan’s endorsement has been the “kiss of death” in the past, Morris’ 28 carries at New Orleans suggest he’s earned the coaching staff’s trust -- for now. Keep long-term expectations low, as Morris has managed to clear 3.6 yards per carry in just one of four combined preseason and regular-season games. For those owners looking for an immediate payoff, however, Morris will be a top-20 fantasy option versus the Rams in Week 2.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Mikel Leshoure, Lions - Leshoure’s ownership is sporadic, as he’s rostered in 80 percent of CBS leagues but just a third of Yahoo leagues. As we saw in Week 1, Kevin Smith posted RB1 production due more to the Lions offense than his own talent level. Given Smith’s injury history, it’s a solid bet that Leshoure will be thrust into the starting lineup at some point this season. He returns from suspension in Week 3.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons - Don’t go crazy here. Banging into bodies with no burst whatsoever, Michael Turner couldn’t be more ill-suited to the Falcons up-tempo offense. We fully expect Quizz’s role to grow at Turner’s expense over the course of 16 games, but he remains a niche player. Roster Rodgers as a potential flex option in PPR formats; just realize his fantasy upside is limited with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez hogging the production in Atlanta’s offense.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all PPR leagues.

Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers - Dwyer’s best run at Denver was called back on a questionable penalty and came one knee short of a touchdown. Clearly a stronger runner than Isaac Redman, he won the snap-count battle 42-24 in the opener. Don’t assume that Rashard Mendenhall will be plugged back into the feature back role once he returns to game action. Dwyer has earned a slice of this backfield pie.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers - The demise of Frank Gore may have been greatly exaggerated, but Hunter was on the field early and often in Green Bay. One of the league’s strongest No. 2 backs, Hunter will be a good bet for 8-12 touches per week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Bernard Scott, Bengals - Scott’s surgically-repaired hand is healed, and he should be back in football shape for Week 2. BenJarvus Green-Ellis put his stamp on the feature back job with a strong performance at Baltimore, but his lack of playmaking ability will come back to bite him in the end.  

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Vick Ballard, Colts - Go behind the box score in Donald Brown’s 5.3 YPC performance versus the Bears. Brown dropped two passes, including a pivotal screen play, and was exploited in pass protection once again. With limited lateral agility, Brown is not going to sustain a rushing attack in Indy. We expect Ballard’s role to grow at Brown’s expense over the long haul.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Bernard Pierce, Ravens - The Ravens dumped preseason star Bobby Rainey just before Monday night’s inactives were released. Pierce is locked in as the backup to Ray Rice in what finally has the look of a high-scoring offense.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Bryce Brown, Mike Goodson

Although Brown saw just eight snaps in Week 1, there are whispers that his role could grow as a change-of-pace to LeSean McCoy. … Darren McFadden is still without a clear handcuff. Keep an eye on the Goodson vs. Taiwan Jones breakdown next week.

Hold Off: Tashard Choice, Knowshon Moreno, Javon Ringer, Shane Draughn

Choice hasn’t been productive in three years. … Moreno won’t touch the ball more than 5-7 times per game; don’t chase that touchdown. … Ringer won’t be eating into Chris Johnson’s workload. He’s been hospitalized with an elbow infection. … Draughn’s snaps came in garbage time.

Cut Bait: Isaac Redman, Ronnie Brown, Montario Hardesty, Brandon Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Ronnie Hillman, Joe McKnight, Danny Woodhead, Bobby Rainey, Alex Green, Mike Tolbert

It’s time to cut your losses on Redman, who has been running in quicksand since training camp opened. Find a player with more upside on this week’s waiver wire. … It turns out Brown was still running with a fork in his back after all. … The Browns gave Trent Richardson 19 carries in his first action since knee surgery. There’s no reason to own Hardesty or Jackson. … Pead remains behind Daryl Richardson. … Hillman was a healthy scratch. … Rainey and Green were barely utilized as third-down backs.


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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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