Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired: Week 2

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1. Joique Bell, Lions – Owned in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues
Another one of our Favorite Fliers, Bell was one of the most underrated players in the NFL last year when he caught 52 passes and ran for 414 yards. We knew he was currently ahead of Mikel Leshoure, but we didn’t know Leshoure would be a healthy scratch. That left Bell with a goal-line role as he punched in two short ones against the Vikings to go with 92 yards on 11 touches. Bell did only play on 28-of-83 snaps, so there are going to be plenty of duds as we move along. But PPR owners will find a little standalone value and if Reggie Bush were to get hurt, Bell would be on the RB2 radar. Bush is already nursing minor groin and finger woes after his 25-touch Week 1, yet the Lions say they won’t back off the starter’s workload.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 12-team leagues

2. Pierre Thomas, Saints – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
Mark Ingram just isn’t a fit in this offense. After Sunday’s dismal nine-carry, 11-yard performance, he is now averaging just 3.78 yards per carry in his three-year career. Ingram got 18 snaps on Sunday, but that number should dwindle. Pierre Thomas, who picked up 48 yards on his nine Week 1 carries (to go with four catches), will be the beneficiary. Thomas (21 snaps Sunday) is a master of the screen game and has averaged 4.75 YPC in his career.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 12-team leagues

3. Vick Ballard, Colts – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
On paper, Ahmad Bradshaw is better than Vick Ballard in explosion, pass protection, elusiveness and receiving ability. But Ballard is a reliable incumbent while Bradshaw is coming off yet another foot procedure, is new to the team and missed the majority of training camp. In the short term, Ballard is going to have control of this committee. He played 41 snaps in Week 1 compared to just 15 for Bradshaw. On Monday, coach Chuck Pagano said Ballard was “unbelievable” in blitz pickups. He’s not going down quietly.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
There’s no question who the Broncos feature back is right now. In the first half of their opener, Knowshon Moreno played 25 snaps compared to four for Montee Ball and two for Ronnie Hillman. But why is Moreno in that role? It’s not because of his running ability – it looks like he has a piano on his back (28 yards on nine carries). It’s because of his ability to protect Peyton Manning. Eventually the Broncos will have to reach higher in the form of Ball, making Moreno a shorter-term add.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

5. Fred Jackson – Owned in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues
C.J. Spiller touched the ball on eight of the Bills’ first 13 offensive snaps in Week 1. But then something extremely unexpected happened, as Buffalo went with a rotation between Spiller and Fred Jackson. When the dust settled, Spiller got 22 touches on 38 snaps while F-Jax recorded 17 touches on 26 snaps. It’s a reminder that the new Bills regime headed by Doug Marrone wants to go extremely run heavy and protect their rookie quarterback. Jackson, who looked like he was back to 2011 form, can give a little desperation standalone value. He’s also back on the radar as a solid handcuff.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues and as a handcuff

6. Isaiah Pead, Rams – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Daryl Richardson’s debut as the Rams’ feature back was solid but far from spectacular. He picked up 63 yards on 20 carries and caught five passes for 33 yards. Now Isaiah Pead comes off suspension and will begin pushing Richardson for reps. Don’t expect it to happen right away, but it’s something that could certainly happen down the line. Pead is a nice fit in the spread formations the Rams are running.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

7. Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Steelers cut Dwyer just before the season started. Perhaps they regret that move already. Week 1 starter Isaac Redman was benched after a pair of botched handoffs and predictable ineffectiveness as a runner, LaRod Stephens-Howling blew out his knee and Felix Jones barely played after whiffing on a blitz pickup. Dwyer was re-signed on Monday, but if they didn’t think he was better than Jones then it’s unlikely they’re ready to serve him up a major role Sunday. Additionally, potential workhorse Le’Veon Bell (foot) could be back as soon as Week 2 or 3.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

8. Shonn Greene, Titans – Owned in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s strange to highlight a player who left Week 1 early with a knee injury, but Greene is expected to play in Week 2. And it’s clear that the Titans have no intention of using Chris Johnson at the goal-line this year. Even with Greene sidelined in the second quarter, CJ2K was yanked in favor of the elephant, Jackie Battle, for a 2-yard plunge. Desperate owners in TD-heavy formats should take note.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

Watch List: Da’Rel Scott, Willis McGahee, Ronnie Hillman, James Starks, Kendall Hunter, Leon Washington  – Let’s see what the Giants do at the RB spot. I suspect they’ll add a veteran to support David Wilson and send Scott back to a No. 3 role. … Hillman had the most juice of any Denver RB on Thursday night. … Starks is Eddie Lacy’s direct backup. … Hunter is over his Achilles’ tear and running well. … Washington should have a third-down and two-minute role with Shane Vereen (wrist) sidelined.

Cut Bait: Zac Stacy, Jacquizz Rodgers – Stacy got one carry even though Pead was suspended. … Since Steven Jackson plays on third downs, Rodgers’ role is extremely marginalized this year.

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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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