Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 12

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1. Bobby Rainey, Bucs – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
I was dead wrong in this space last week regarding the Bucs backfield and for that, I apologize. I thought that Brian Leonard, as the more trustworthy back in pass protection and as a receiver, would lead the “ham and egg” committee. I didn’t think that Bobby Rainey, who was cut by both the Ravens and Browns earlier this season, was capable of the 30/163/2 line he put up in Week 11. It went against my normal instinct to lean toward the more explosive, higher upside player than the safe option. Regardless, we now have some clarity. Rainey went off against a pathetic Falcons defense, but our Evan Silva saw serious juice and likened him to Ahmad Bradshaw. It’s high praise. Rainey, now a good bet for at least 70 percent of the touches, will be a flex play against the Lions in Week 12.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Donald Brown, Colts – Owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
I wrote about the Donald Brown vs. Trent Richardson situation in last Friday’s Daily Dose. The bottom line is that since the big trade eight games ago, Richardson is averaging 2.83 YPC and Brown is at 6.10 YPC. The tipping point was Thursday night, when Brown sparked the Colts’ comeback in Tennessee and finished with a 14/80/2 line to go with a game ball. The coaches wanted to win the game, and handing the ball to Brown gave them a better chance to do so. Expect a hot-hand situation going forward, and I’ve seen nothing so far this year to suggest Richardson will get even a warm hand. Even though he won't start and Richardson isn't fading away, Brown is a better bet as a desperation flex play.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
During the Browns’ Week 10 bye, they pledged to get Chris Ogbonnaya more early-down carries. It made some sense with Willis McGahee predictably stuck in the mud all year. The Browns followed through on that pledge in Week 11, as Ogbonnaya rushed eight times for 69 yards and caught six passes for 30 yards while playing a backfield-high 48 snaps. He’s now averaging 3.8 catches per day over the last eight games and we can safely expect 6-10 carries weekly. With matchups against the Steelers and Jaguars on deck, there some deep league PPR appeal here.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team PPR leagues

4. Montee Ball, Broncos – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
Perhaps the most encouraging moment of Montee Ball’s Week 11 was when he botched an early handoff from Peyton Manning – but the Broncos immediately came back to him on the following possession. It proves the team is willing to live with some mistakes from their rookie. In addition to his change-of-pace work, Ball has also emerged as a goal-line threat of late. He has three touchdowns over the last three weeks, coming from 1, 8 and 4 yards out. With the Broncos trying to save Knowshon Moreno’s legs a little for the playoffs, Ball will continue to mix in and threaten for vultures.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team non-PPR leagues

5. Toby Gerhart, Vikings – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Adrian Peterson was not himself in the Week 11 loss to the Seahawks due to a groin injury. “Actually, it was bothering me a lot. … I’m going to try to get my rest that I need. … In my mind, I really don’t know how things will turn out deep into the week,” he said afterward. Peterson expects to play against the Packers and we have no reason to doubt him. But there’s always a chance that soft-tissue injuries don’t recover as quickly as expected and/or an aggravation. Toby Gerhart has proven to be a viable plug-n-play in the past when Peterson sits because of volume.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a handcuff

Watch List: Bernard Pierce, Brandon Jacobs, Dennis Johnson, Antone Smith, LeGarrette Blount – Pierce got 10 carries compared to 25 for Ray Rice Sunday. It’ll be even closer when Rice isn’t running so well. Also, let this serve as a reminder to get your handcuffs in order – that means Bryce Brown, Knile Davis, Christine Michael etc. … Jacobs is surprisingly taking the goal-line work ahead of Andre Brown. … Ben Tate keeps grimacing after big hits. It seems like we’re one shot away from Johnson starting. … The Falcons are talking up Smith as someone that will get more work after his garbage-time performance last week. It’s hard to believe them considering they’re not even getting Jacquizz Rodgers enough work. … Stevan Ridley has now fumbled eight times since the final game of the 2011 season.

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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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