Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 14

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

1. Donald Brown, Colts – Owned in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Colts aren’t trying to save face anymore, they’re trying to win games with a sputtering offense. That means Donald Brown is the starter, and Trent Richardson is the change-of-pace back. In Week 13, Brown logged 52 snaps and got 16 touches while T-Rich saw just 13 snaps en route to a mere five touches. The former also powered into the end zone with under two minutes left to seal the win over the Titans. Brown has earned the starting job and featured back role with his play, not his draft or trade status. He’ll be a candidate for another 13-18 touches against the Bengals Sunday as a flex option.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Montee Ball, Broncos – Owned in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues
Owners that burned a waiver priority on Montee Ball last week were kicking themselves as Knowshon Moreno (ankle) got back in practice and started against the Chiefs. Then they kicked themselves again as we benched Ball, only to watch him rip off 117 yards on 13 carries (Moreno had 19 touches for 90 yards and a TD). Everyone relax. Ball is a good bet to gain value down the stretch because he’s being used more and more as a complement, and also because it’s possible the Broncos will look to rest Moreno completely at some point. It’s clear that when Ball gets carries, he produces. On the season, he’s averaging 4.30 YPC on his 88 carries and has scored three touchdowns.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
The nasty helmet-to-helmet hit that Le’Veon Bell took from Jimmy Smith on Thanksgiving resulted in memory loss. As of Monday, Bell had been cleared to run but he still didn’t know if he’d be cleared to play against the Dolphins Sunday. As we’ve seen many times before concussions can either be one-week injuries (Zac Stacy) or linger for weeks. If Bell sits, Jonathan Dwyer would fill in as the early-down pounder and goal-line option. Felix Jones would mix in as well. Neither one is a very attractive flex play, but Dwyer gets the edge as the one more likely to score a touchdown.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. Knile Davis, Chiefs – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
If you’re in a competitive league, chances are strong that both Donald Brown and Montee Ball are already owned. If that’s the case, I’d rather go with handcuffs and lottery tickets at the running back spot than some of the also-rans at the position. Knile Davis is the poster boy because of the heavy workload the 199-pound Jamaal Charles is handling (22.8 touches per game). But it’s also worth rostering other players that are one injury away, whether you own the starter or not. That list includes Bryce Brown, Roy Helu, Bernard Pierce, Michael Bush, James Starks, Toby Gerhart, Dennis Johnson, Shonn Greene, Jacquizz Rodgers, Christine Michael, Benny Cunningham and Kendall Hunter.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a lottery ticket or handcuff

5. LeGarrette Blount, Patriots – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
We don’t know when fumbling Stevan Ridley will get out of the doghouse and dress again. Maybe it will be this week, maybe it’ll be next. What we do know is that whenever Ridley is inactive, LeGarrette Blount will handle “big back” duties. That means 8-12 carries and a chance or two in the red zone. Blount gets a plus matchup at home against the Browns this week.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team non-PPR leagues

6. Willis McGahee, Browns – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
Willis McGahee seized back control of the Brown’s backfield in Week 13, out-touching Chris Ogbonnaya 16 to nine. He also retained the goal-line work, leading to a 1-yard score in the first quarter. McGahee would be a Hail Mary of a flex play this week, but New England has been getting absolutely smashed by opposing running backs lately.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

7. Jordan Todman, Jaguars – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jags have been talking up a committee approach between Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman. In Week 12, Jones-Drew got 20 touches on 43 snaps while Todman was at 12 touches on 21 snaps. In Week 13, it was MJD with 25 touches on 60 snaps and Todman with six touches on 17 snaps. As you can see, it’s questionable whether they’ll follow through on the promises of a timeshare, but they should have motivation with Jones-Drew almost certainly gone in 2014. Six touches will be the floor for Todman, who was an eye-opening stud in the preseason (29 rushes, 223 yards, two touchdowns)
Recommendation: Should be owned in 16-team leagues

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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.
Email :Adam Levitan

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