Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Pity the Foles

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Running Backs

Marcel Reece, Raiders - After splitting first-team reps with Taiwan Jones in practices last week, Reece functioned as the clear feature back at Baltimore. Playing 59-of-77 snaps (77 percent), Reece racked up 104 yards on 13 carries and seven receptions. Darren McFadden’s Week 11 status is up in the air after appearing in a walking boot again on Monday. If Reece draws a second straight start, he’s going to be a top-20 fantasy option against a Saints defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing backs.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Beanie Wells, Cardinals - Wells returned to practice last week, putting him on schedule to return to the starting lineup when eligible in Week 12. Wells insists the two-month absence has done wonders for his surgically repaired knee while also allowing his toe to get back to full health. He will square off against a Rams defense allowing the 14th-most fantasy points and Jets defense allowing the seventh-most in Weeks 12-13 before a brutal fantasy playoffs schedule.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Andre Brown, Giants - Brown is owned in just over half of Yahoo leagues. That number should climb much closer to 100 percent after Ahmad Bradshaw suffered a neck injury that required X-rays. Bradshaw is tentatively expected to play coming out of the Week 11 bye, but Brown had already usurped third-down and goal-line work before the injury. Brown is 13th in fantasy points over the past three weeks, 20th over the past five weeks, and is averaging a touchdown per game over his past seven.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Mark Ingram / Chris Ivory, Saints - No back in the league runs more violently than Ivory, who went absolute Beast Mode on a tackle-breaking 56-yard run versus the Falcons. There’s little question that Ivory is the most explosive back on the Saints roster. He’s also the one most prone to injury and fumbles, which leaves his ideal role as a 10-carry sledge hammer. The coaches know this, which is why Ingram doubled his carries last week. More of a sustainer than a playmaker, Ingram has racked up 148 yards on a team-high 31 touches since Darren Sproles went down. Labeled an “elite” back by interim coach Joe Vitt, Ingram is picking up touches at Pierre Thomas’ expense. These backfield roles are up in the air pending Sproles’ return, though it does seem that the roles of Ingram and Ivory are being established for the rest of the season.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

James Starks, Packers - Expected to see an increased role coming out of the bye, Starks showed better vision and patience than Alex Green while taking over the early-down carries in Week 9. Starks can expect 12-18 touches as the lead back in a committee until Cedric Benson returns late in the season. The matchups aren’t exactly custom made for success, though, as Starks faces four of the 10 least generous defenses to fantasy backs in the next five weeks.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Daniel Thomas, Dolphins - Thanks to Reggie Bush’s fumble-driven Week 10 exile, Thomas has now played more snaps than the starter for three consecutive games. Coach Joe Philbin insisted Monday that Bush is not in the doghouse, leaving Thomas as nothing more than a flex option against a Bills defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing backs. Those in touchdown-heavy leagues should note that Thomas has been the goal-line back of choice.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Ben Tate, Texans - Coach Gary Kubiak stated Monday that Tate (hamstring) has a chance to return for Week 11 versus the Jaguars. Arguably the one “handcuff” with the highest fantasy upside, Tate must be owned by all Arian Foster owners going forward. If the Foster owner in your league is asleep at the wheel, pick up Tate along with a Foster voodoo doll this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons - Michael Turner is toast and the Falcons refuse to admit it. Realizing that Turner no longer possesses leg drive, opposing defense no longer respect Atlanta’s I-formation runs. He’s failed to top 3.0 YPC in five of nine games, saved in the other four with big lanes when the defense literally looks in the other direction at Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez. Quizz isn’t the answer between the tackles and in short-yardage, but it’s quite possible that the Falcons will take a long look at Turner’s Week 10 failures versus the NFL’s softest defense and come to the understanding that Rodgers and Jason Snelling need more touches going forward.

Recommendation: Worth a look in PPR leagues.

Danny Woodhead, Patriots - I would rather roster Shane Vereen as Stevan Ridley’s handcuff in standard-scoring leagues. For those in PPR formats, though, Woodhead has been flex-worthy for the past month. He has recorded either a touchdown or 55+ scrimmage yards in five of the past six games.  

Recommendation: Worth a look in PPR leagues.

Watch List: Cedric Benson, David Wilson, Ronnie Hillman, Shane Vereen, Evan Royster, Toby Gerhart, Robert Turbin, Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown, Jason Snelling

Benson is eligible to return from I.R. in Week 14. … Even with Ahmad Bradshaw banged up, the Giants want to see Wilson become a complete running back before expanding his role. … The rest of the list is the best of the handcuffs. … The stubborn Falcons will have to think about turning to Snelling in short-yardage. Michael Turner’s leg drive is gone for good, as evidenced by his three touchdowns on 17 goal-to-go carries.

Cut Bait: Isaac Redman, Alex Green, Taiwan Jones, Brandon Bolden, Ronnie Brown, LeGarrette Blount, DeAngelo Williams, James Casey

Those in shallow leagues can cut Redman after he gave way to Jonathan Dwyer Monday night. Rashard Mendenhall is tentatively expected to reclaim the starting job in Week 11. … Green is limited to third downs with James Starks taking over as the lead back. … Raiders coaches and players spent the week hyping Taiwan, only to leave him tied to the bench at Baltimore. … Bolden is suspended for four games. … Brown lost two-minute drill snaps to Ryan Mathews in Week 10.


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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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