Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

print article archives RSS

Waiver Wire: Week 5

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


RUNNING BACKS
1. Danny Woodhead, Chargers – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
The way the Chargers are using Danny Woodhead is getting really interesting. His first touchdown Sunday came when he lined up as a true wide receiver and beat Cowboys top cover linebacker Bruce Carter on a simple go route. Woodhead’s second score came when he roasted Carter on pretty wheel route. Both times, Philip Rivers clearly identified Woodhead’s matchup as the one he wanted to exploit and both times, the Woodman won his 1-on-1 battle. It’s been happening all year long. Over the last three games, Woodhead is averaging 13.0 touches for 78.6 yards. Don’t expect too many more touchdowns, but the role he’s carved out in San Diego’s new offense is legit.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team PPR leagues

2. Rashad Jennings, Raiders – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Darren McFadden (hamstring) is questionable at best for Week 5 and Marcel Reece (knee) is out indefinitely. So what we have in Rashad Jennings is the definition of “situation over talent.” After reviewing the Week 4 tape, I found not much has changed in Jennings since he averaged 2.8 YPC for the Jags in 2012. He runs upright, stiff and slow. His final stats against the Skins looked good because he was able to break a couple tackles against their woeful defense in the pass game. That said, Jennings could very well be an every-down back when the Raiders host the Chargers and their No. 30 overall defense this week. There will be low-end plug-n-play appeal for desperate owners.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Roy Helu, Redskins – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Owners that were stashing Roy Helu in the hopes of an Alfred Morris injury caught a bad break. Alf has bruised ribs, but the Redskins are on a bye in Week 5. If that weren’t the case, Helu would be a legit RB1 candidate. Flick on the tape of his relief performance from Sunday and you’ll see an explosive one-cut back that is dynamic in the open field (he hurdled a dude AGAIN) and one that excels in the passing game. In fact, Helu played so impressively that I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts to get a few more touches weekly no matter what. For now, he needs to be owned just in case Morris’ ribs are worse than he’s letting on.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
Credit Jacquizz Rodgers for improving as an NFL player. It’s obvious in the tape that he’s a more decisive and powerful runner than he had been through the first two years of his NFL career. Over the last two weeks, Rodgers has out-touched Jason Snelling 33-24 and out-snapped him 89-68. With Steven Jackson (thigh) tentatively expected to sit out through the Week 6 bye, Rodgers will be a PPR option for needy owners against the Jets this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Willis McGahee, Browns – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
Here’s the Browns RB touch count from Week 4: Willis McGahee 15, Chris Ogbonnaya 10, Bobby Rainey 8. After getting his first full week of practice in with his new team, McGahee established himself as the clear feature back on early downs. There’s not a ton of upside here, but the Browns offensive line is getting healthier in the form of RG Shawn Lauvao and they have three plus matchups on the slate: vs. Bills, vs. Lions, at Packers. Although McGahee didn’t convert, he did get a goal-line carry against the Bengals. There’s desperation flex appeal here for Thursday’s game against the Bills ravaged defense.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

6. Brandon Bolden, Patriots – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Brandon Bolden continues to carve out a role as the Patriots change-of-pace and passing-down back. It’s similar to the role Danny Woodhead played in 2012, when he caught 40 passes and rushed 76 times. Over the last two weeks, Bolden has played on 49-of-145 snaps (33.7 percent) and totaled 15 touches for 112 yards. He appeared to score a touchdown with some hard running against the Falcons, but replay showed his knee was down at the 1-foot line. Bolden projects to sustain this role until Shane Vereen (wrist) gets back in Week 11.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

7. LeGarrette Blount, Patriots – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Anyone running with power behind the Patriots mauling offensive line deserves a look. Even LeGarrette Blount. Over the last two weeks, Blount and Stevan Ridley have shared the base back duties pretty evenly. The former has played 43 snaps and gotten 23 carries. The latter has played 53 snaps and gotten 25 carries. Given that the Patriots are rolling at 4-0, there’s little reason to think they’ll immediately change this timeshare. Expect somewhere between 8-12 carries for Blount against the Bengals this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

8. Johnathan Franklin, Packers – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Eddie Lacy (concussion) has been fully cleared and will resume feature back duties this week. But James Starks (knee) remains sidelined, opening up another chance for Franklin. Despite a rancid August, the rookie showed well in Week 3. He did lose a costly fumble, but rushed 13 times for 103 yards with a score and caught three passes for 23 yards. It’s certainly possible Franklin has earned a change-of-pace role behind Lacy. And now that the physical Lacy has sustained one concussion, he’ll be in danger of an extended absence if he sustains another one.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

9. Kendall Hunter, 49ers – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
On a national stage last Thursday, Kendall Hunter showed he’s all the way back from his Achilles’ tear. Ripping through the Rams for a 11/49/1 line, he made it obvious that he’s the unquestioned handcuff to Frank Gore. LaMichael James can’t hold Hunter’s jock. If Gore were to go down, Hunter would be a strong RB2. Let this be a reminder about all your handcuffs: Guys like Christine Michael, Joique Bell, Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown, Michael Bush and Ben Tate should all be owned even if they’re not carrying standalone value.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

10. Andre Ellington, Cardinals – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
During Sunday’s narrow win at Tampa, Rashard Mendenhall dropped a pass, fumbled twice and rushed 12 times for 21 yards. Here are coach Bruce Arians’ comments on the performance: “Rashard had a very tough day and he can’t play that way. He can’t run out of bounds. He’s a veteran. … We need to practice him harder.” Meanwhile rookie Andre Ellington continues to impress. Over the last three weeks, he’s averaged 6.3 touches for 56.0 yards. In Week 4, Ellington played 20 snaps while Alfonso Smith played two and Stepfan Taylor got three.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Jonathan Stewart, Tashard Choice, Shonn Greene, Benny Cunningham, Ronnie Hillman, Khiry Robinson – Stewart (ankle) appears on track to return as a timeshare back in Week 7. … The injuries to C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee) don’t appear serious, so Choice is just someone to monitor. … Greene could be back to complement Chris Johnson as soon as this week. … Cunningham played ahead of a benched Isaiah Pead in Week 4. We’re still waiting for more info there. … Hillman remains the primary change-of-pace guy behind Knowshon Moreno. … Robinson is getting more and more reps during meaningful plays. He looks far better than Mark Ingram (week to week, toe).

Cut Bait: Marcel Reece, Alfonso Smith, Felix Jones, Jonathan Dwyer – Reece (knee) is out indefinitely. … Smith is playing far behind Andre Ellington now. … Jones and Dwyer are going to do a lot of standing around and watching Le’Veon Bell going forward.

continue story »
Adam Levitan is in his fifth 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.
Email :Adam Levitan


Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Chiefs

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Chiefs
  •  
    NFL Draft: Top Pass Rushers

    NFL Draft: Top Pass Rushers
  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Chargers

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Chargers
  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Raiders

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Raiders
  •  
    NFL Draft: Bortles at No. 1?

    NFL Draft: Bortles at No. 1?
  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Panthers

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Panthers
  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Saints

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Saints
  •  
    NFL Draft - Top Need: Falcons

    NFL Draft - Top Need: Falcons