Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 7

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1. Joseph Randle, Cowboys – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
DeMarco Murray sprained his left MCL in Sunday night’s win over the Redskins. We don’t have a timetable yet, but we know he’s out for Week 7 and we know this is typically a 2-4 week injury. The reason Randle wasn’t more widely owned as a handcuff is two-fold. First of all, he’s not nearly as talented as guys like Ben Tate, Bryce Brown, Christine Michael, Bernard Pierce etc. Second of all, he was running behind Lance Dunbar (out, hamstring) for backup duties before Dunbar’s injury. That said, Randle is looking at a lot of touches in a high-powered offense against a bad Eagles defense in Week 7. And with Murray’s extremely lengthy injury history, this might not be his only stint as the starter. Plug-n-play away.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Andre Ellington, Cardinals – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve discussed Andre Ellington in this space time and time again over the last month. His playing time is no longer a trend to watch for – it’s his role. Over the last four weeks, Ellington is averaging 27.0 snaps, 9.0 touches and 70.2 yards per game. Rashard Mendenhall is playing 30.0 snaps during that span and hasn’t topped 50 yards. Ellington is becoming a solid weekly flex option in PPR and a bench asset in standard leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team PPR leagues
3. Chris Ivory, Jets – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
In two games since returning from a hamstring injury, Chris Ivory has totaled eight carries. That’s about to change, as Mike Goodson is out for the season with a torn ACL. Goodson had gotten seven carries and 30 snaps over the last two weeks. Ivory isn’t going to overtake Bilal Powell, but he’s definitely talented enough to create a 60:40 split. This is still a guy that has averaged 4.90 YPC on his 290 career carries. Ivory is a non-PPR bench stash to see if that talent can shine through.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team non-PPR leagues

4. Brandon Jacobs, Giants – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
I wrote about Brandon Jacobs’ jaw-dropping Week 6 performance here. Essentially, it was a fluke that’s unlikely to be duplicated. But with David Wilson (neck) out 3-4 weeks, Da’Rel Scott (hamstring) out multiple weeks, Andre Brown (leg) ineligible until Week 10 and the Giants showing no faith in Michael Cox, Jacobs is basically all they have. Anything more than 60 yards against the Vikings would be a major surprise, but he will get any goal-line carries. Just monitor the tender hamstring before executing a desperation plug-n-play.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

5. Shonn Greene, Titans – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Chris Johnson stuck in the mud, the Titans are desperate to get their running game going. They’re praying that Shonn Greene can make that happen once cleared off his knee injury. The ex-Jet won’t be a fantasy option right away, but as he gets healthier the schedule gets softer. Tennessee’s Week 9-12 schedule is at Rams, vs. Jags, vs. Colts and at Raiders. Greene will get all the goal-line work and maybe even some series to himself if Johnson’s struggles continue.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

6. Roy Helu, Redskins – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
Let this serve as your reminder to handcuff properly and use an extra roster spot on a lottery ticket. We never know when someone like Ben Tate, Bernard Pierce, Christine Michael, Bryce Brown, Joique Bell or Kendall Hunter is going to turn into a difference-making RB1 thanks to an injury. Roy Helu is one of these handcuffs that could actually emerge with some standalone value. He played a season-high 43 snaps against the Cowboys, actually getting some reps in non-passing down spots and finishing with 10 touches.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

7. Shane Vereen, Patriots – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s time for deep-leaguers to start thinking about Shane Vereen as a stash. We don’t have any updates on his progress because it’s the Patriots, but he’s on IR/recall because of a wrist injury. It’s far easier to hit the ground running off this injury than it is off a knee or other lower-body issue. Vereen was on his way to a monster year as the “joker” before going down. He’s a legit candidate for 10-15 touches weekly once healthy and up to speed.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues with an IL spot or those with deep benches

Watch List: Chris Ogbonnaya, Andre Brown, Jonathan Stewart, Khiry Robinson, Michael CoxBrandon Weeden loves checking down to his fullback, Ogbonnaya. PPR owners take note. … The Giants grow more desperate by the week for Brown’s return. … Stewart is still feeling discomfort in his ankle. We now can’t expect him to be back until Week 9 at the earliest. … Robinson continues to play better than Mark Ingram (week to week, toe). … Cox could be the change-of-pace back behind an old and less-than-100 percent Jacobs (hamstring) on Monday night.  

Cut Bait: LeGarrette Blount, Marcel Reece, Da’Rel Scott, Rashad Jennings – With Stevan Ridley reassuming control of the backfield, Blount can’t expect more than a handful of touches. … Reece and Jennings missed their window as the injuries to Darren McFadden proved mild. The Raiders are now on a bye. … Scott (hamstring) is out multiple weeks.

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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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