Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 15

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


RUNNING BACKS
1. Toby Gerhart, Vikings – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve been preaching handcuffing at this time of year relentlessly. Apparently, roughly 92 percent of the public wasn’t listening. Adrian Peterson’s mid-foot injury doesn’t appear overly serious, but the Vikings are out of the playoffs and coach Leslie Frazier admitted that will be a factor when determining AP’s availability going forward. He’s likely out this week and is a major question mark for the rest of the season. Enter Toby Gerhart, a reliable backup that can play in the passing game and at the goal-line. During the five games that Peterson missed across 2010 and 2011, Gerhart averaged 21.0 touches. He’s nursing a tender hammy of his own, but if he starts he’ll be a solid flex option against the Eagles Sunday. Note that if both Gerhart and Peterson sit, Matt Asiata would draw the start.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Jordan Todman, Jaguars – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
After pulling his hamstring last Thursday night, Maurice Jones-Drew tried to brush it off as a minor thing he’ll definitely play through. Don’t be fooled. We know how tricky hamstring injuries are for skill position players and we also know how it’s often difficult for older players (MJD is 28) to recover from soft-tissue injuries. Jones-Drew won’t even try to practice until Friday and the Jags have signed Delone Carter as insurance. All that leads us to Jordan Todman, who was a bright star in the preseason when he rushed 29 times for 223 yards (7.68 YPC) with two touchdowns. The Jags were already trying to rotate Todman in and now will get a chance to evaluate him as a starter in a plus spot at home against the Bills.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
Daniel Thomas (ankle) made a surprise return to the lineup and resumed his role rotating in slightly behind Lamar Miller. Ho-hum. Things got interesting, however, after Miller left with a concussion late in the first half. After that, Thomas turned in one of his most impressive performances as a pro and finished with a 16/105/1 line in the win over the Steelers. This week, the Dolphins get a Patriots defense that has struggled against inside runs since losing Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. If Thomas is the unquestioned feature back, he’ll be a candidate for another 13-18 touches.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues
Week 15 is shaping up as the dreamiest of dream spots for Chris Ogbonnaya. Yes, Willis McGahee is in the concussion protocol. But more importantly, the Browns are hosting the Bears on Sunday. In case you’ve been living under the rock, the Bears are historically bad at stopping the run. Over the last six weeks, six opposing running backs have gone over 100 yards against them. That’s Eddie Lacy (150 yards), Reggie Bush (105), Ray Rice (131), Benny Cunningham (109), Adrian Peterson (211) and DeMarco Murray (146). Ogbonnaya is a better receiver than runner, but anyone getting 10-14 touches against this defense deserves consideration.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

5. James Starks, Packers – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Eddie Lacy rolled his ankle on a meaningless carry at the end of the first half in Week 14. He was able to play through it, but admitted afterward that he wasn’t near 100 percent. On Monday, the Packer said Lacy’s Week 15 status was up in the air. Ultimately, I’d expect Lacy to gut it out but it’s too early in the week to know. Owners must protect themselves by adding Starks, who has rushed 65 times for 346 yards (5.32 YPC) with three touchdowns on the season. If Lacy ends up inactive, Starks would be a fine flex play at Dallas.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

6. Marcel Reece, Raiders – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Every time Marcel Reece gets a chance to touch the ball, he makes things happen. The latest example was a 19/123/1 on the ground, 2/38/0 through the air performance against the Jets’ No. 2 run defense in Week 14. Now the question is if that’s enough to keep Reece involved in the gameplan even though Rashad Jennings (concussion) has gained clearance. If history is our guide, it won’t be. Reece has never recorded double-digit carries in a game he didn’t start, and Jennings figures to start this week’s game against the Chiefs. Expect something around a 70-30 split in touches, leaving Reece as a PPR desperation play only. He’s still worth holding just in case Jennings has a recurrence of symptoms.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team PPR leagues

Watch List: Mike Tolbert, Shonn Greene, Knile DavisJonathan Stewart’s knee injury helps Tolbert a little, but DeAngelo Williams gets the real boost. … Greene is forging something of an even timeshare with Chris Johnson these days, but gets the Cardinals’ excellent run defense in Week 15. … Davis is your weekly reminder to handcuff across the board with just one week to go.

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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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