Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Replacing Hernandez

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Running Backs

Andre Brown, Giants - Exhibit A in the case for Achilles surgery not being a death knell for running backs. As explosive as David Wilson looked in preseason games, fumbling and pass protection issues have him buried in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Brown played 53 snaps to Wilson’s six versus the Bucs while Ahmad Bradshaw was sidelined with a nebulous neck sprain. Bradshaw missed Monday’s walkthrough, and his status is up in the air on a short practice week. Brown has top-25 fantasy potential if he gets the nod versus the Panthers Thursday night.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Mikel Leshoure, Lions - Exhibit B in the case for Achilles surgery not being a death knell for running backs. Despite a solid Week 1 performance, Kevin Smith appeared to lose the coaching staff’s confidence against the 49ers’ stonewalling front seven. The Lions have stated publicly that they expect Leshoure to make an impact right away now that he’s been reinstated from suspension. The Detroit Free Press nonchalantly adds that Leshoure is “expected to take over as the starter before long.” Whether he plays effectively enough to hold off Smith over the final 14 games is another story.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Pierre Thomas, Saints - Thomas was the best player on the Saints offense in Week 2, routinely carrying would-be tacklers for extra yards and refusing to go down on first contact. His 143 yards versus the Panthers were the fourth-most of his career and his highest one-game total since 2008. He’s outplaying Mark Ingram and the Saints have yet to use Darren Sproles as a runner through two games. Thomas should be owned in more than 48 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers - Mendenhall has been listed as a full practice participant the first two weeks, but neither the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette nor the Beaver County Times expects him to play before the Week 4 bye. After Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer failed to top 2.5 yards per carry versus the Jets, Mendenhall may not have much trouble resurfacing atop the backfield pecking order. He’s worth stashing in all leagues in the meantime.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Daryl Richardson, Rams - Showing more speed and decisiveness, the seventh-rounder out of Abilene Christian has been outplaying the more ballyhooed second-rounder Isaiah Pead since the beginning of training camp. Coach Jeff Fisher explained that Steven Jackson (groin) could have re-entered the Redskins game, but the Rams opted to go the cautious route due to Richardson’s high level of play. Jackson should be fine for this week’s game at Chicago, limiting Richardson to handcuff status in deeper leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Bilal Powell, Jets - Shonn Greene apparently was not concussed when he looked dazed and confused after a helmet-to-helmet hit. Greene returned to the game, carrying the ball four times for a grand total of zero yards after getting his bell rung. Powell earned 10 more yards on two fewer carries, looking like the better back of the two. As the one player Rex Ryan stood on the table for in the 2011 draft, Powell has the right man in his corner.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Mike Goodson, Raiders - Goodson is starting to emerge as the clear-cut handcuff to Darren McFadden in deeper leagues. While Taiwan Jones was relegated to special teams, Goodson scored on a 64-yard screen pass and added two more receptions versus the Dolphins.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Lamar Miller, Chris Ogbonnaya, Bernard Scott, Bryce Brown

Hold Off: Jackie Battle

Battle is headed back to special teams with Ryan Mathews expected back this week.

Cut Bait: Rashad Jennings, Curtis Brinkley, Ronnie Brown, Isaac Redman, Isaiah Pead, Ryan Williams, Alex Green, Dion Lewis

Jennings is only worth owning as a handcuff to Maurice Jones-Drew. … Brinkley and Brown can be dumped now that Mathews is returning. … Redman is a fantasy team killer. … Pead is a third-stringer. … Williams has been one of the least effective players in the league through two weeks. … Lewis has lost the backup job to Bryce Brown.


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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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