Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 13

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


RUNNING BACKS
1. Montee Ball, Broncos – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
A few weeks back, the Broncos pledged to use Knowshon Moreno less now in an effort to keep him healthy for the playoffs. They’re wishing they listened to themselves. Moreno sustained a significant bone bruise in his lower right leg while carrying the ball an absurd 37 times in Sunday night’s overtime loss to the Patriots. It’s not thought to be a long-term injury, but we can be sure the Broncos will play it safe with the playoffs just five weeks away. The next man up is expected to be Montee Ball despite three fumbles on the season. Ronnie Hillman has been a healthy scratch for the last month, C.J. Anderson is an undrafted rookie and Ball has shown well (outside of the MNF fumble) while mixing in as a goal-line option and change-of-pace back over the last four weeks. He has a real chance to start and touch the ball 14-18 times against the Chiefs on Sunday. We can be sure Peyton Manning will set him up with runs against soft fronts, a big reason Moreno is fantasy’s No. 3 back on the season.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Benny Cunningham, Rams – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
Zac Stacy was on his way to an absolute monster game against the Bears in Week 12 until he was sidelined by a concussion. Benny Cunningham came on and didn’t miss a beat, rushing 13 times for 109 yards with a touchdown. Note that Isaiah Pead didn’t even get a carry and Daryl Richardson was a healthy scratch. There’s no reason to think Cunningham won’t be the unquestioned feature back again in Week 13 if Stacy can’t get cleared. The bigger concern is the matchup – the Rams are on the road against the 49ers. Cunningham would be a low-end RB2 kind of plug-n-play.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Bilal Powell, Jets – Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
In the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Chris Ivory sustained an ankle sprain. He stayed in the game and finished with nine carries for 35 yards, but was headed for a Monday MRI to determine the severity of the damage. The injury thrusts Bilal Powell back onto the fantasy radar in all formats. This is a guy that put a 27/149/0 line on the Bills in Week 3 and has 23 catches on the year – he’s capable of doing damage. If Ivory sits, Powell would be a reasonable flex candidate against the Dolphins Sunday.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. C.J. Anderson, Broncos – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
C.J. Anderson is a squatty 5’8/224 back that ran a 4.60 forty at the combine and therefore went undrafted out of Cal in April. But he has some short-area quicks and can muscle up well between the tackles. The Broncos kept him on their roster despite a preseason MCL sprain, which speaks volumes. Anderson has been active ahead of Ronnie Hillman in four straight weeks, meaning he’d be the No. 2 back behind Montee Ball if Knowshon Moreno (ankle) sits Sunday. And given Ball’s fumble issues, it’s not out of the question Anderson would see significant work. He’s worth owning as we see what develops.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns – Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
In Sunday’s loss to the Steelers, Chris Ogbonnaya had a disappointing six touches on 33 snaps. Willis McGahee had four touches on seven snaps and Fozzy Whittaker had seven touches on 39 snaps. It’s ugly out there. The only silver lining is a home Week 13 matchup with the Jaguars No. 29 run defense. Ogbonnaya has more upside than Fozzy or McGahee because of his skills as a receiver (36 catches in 11 games).
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

6. Ronnie Brown, Chargers – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
When Ryan Mathews went down with an aggravation of his right hamstring pull, the Chargers didn’t just go to Danny Woodhead on every play. They used 31-year-old Ronnie Brown for the base runs, leading to six carries for 23 yards. They’re likely concerned about overusing the 5’8/200 Woodhead, who hasn’t topped nine carries in a single game this year. That means that if Mathews sits out against the Bengals Sunday, the washed-up Brown would be in line for 8-10 low-upside carries. He’d be a desperation kind of RB3.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

Watch List: Brandon Bolden, Donald Brown, Mike Gillislee, James Starks, LeGarrette Blount, Ronnie Hillman, Dennis Johnson – With Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount both fumbling machines, it’s very possible that Bolden starts this week. … Gillislee is the Dolphins new No. 2 back with Daniel Thomas (ankle) likely done for the year. … Starks is on here as a handcuff reminder. Eddie Lacy is handling very hefty workloads, as are Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson and others. … Johnson outplayed Ben Tate Sunday and the Texans proved they’re willing to go with the hot hand.

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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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