Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 16

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


RUNNING BACKS
1. Jordan Todman, Jaguars – Owned in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues
In the first start of his three-year career, Jordan Todman ripped off 109 yards on 25 carries and four catches for 44 more yards in the Week 15 loss to the Bills. The 153 total yards are more than Maurice Jones-Drew has had since Week 3 of the 2012 season. For Dynasty owners, I don’t think it’s far-fetched at all to suggest the Jags will let a 29-year-old (in March) Jones-Drew walk as a free agent and use Todman as a big part of a committee. He has 4.4 wheels and was also a preseason dynamo, putting up a 22/223/2 line back in August. As for this week, Jones-Drew is very questionable for Sunday’s game against the Titans. If he sits, we can safely expect at least 18-22 touches for Todman against a soft Tennessee front.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Trent Richardson, Colts – Owned in 80 percent of Yahoo leagues
I almost never include players with an ownership percentage above 50 in Waiver Wired, but I’m making an exception here because there’s a good chance Trent Richardson was dropped in active, shallow leagues. The new news here isn’t that T-Rich is playing better, it’s that Donald Brown sustained a stinger in Week 15 and is questionable for this week’s game at Kansas City. We can’t expect more than 3.5 yards per carry out of Richardson, but if he starts he’ll be a good bet for 3-6 catches and any goal-line work. There’s desperation flex appeal against a defense that has been gashed by Rashad Jennings and Montee Ball over the last few weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Dennis Johnson, Texans – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ben Tate did his thing again in Week 15, gutting out 92 total yards on 19 touches against the Colts. But on Monday, the Texans revealed that he had no have a cat scan on those four broken ribs he’s been playing through. It sounds like an aggravation has taken place. At this point, Tate has proven his toughness enough to the point where the injury has helped his free agency stock, not hurt it. It would not be a surprise at all if he finally decides to pack it in, letting Dennis Johnson take over as the feature back. If that’s the case, Johnson would be a volume candidate in a home game against the Broncos Sunday. The undrafted rookie out of Arkansas has rushed 37 times for 154 yards (4.16 YPC) and added six catches for 45 yards in spot duty this season.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. Mike Tolbert, Panthers – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jonathan Stewart (knee) will be reevaluated on Wednesday, but it appears unlikely he’ll be back in time for Sunday’s game against the Saints. That means far more for DeAngelo Williams than it does for Mike Tolbert, but it still gives the powder keg a little boost. In the Week 15 win over the Jets, Tolbert got 13 touches and pounded in yet another 1-yard score. With a similar workload against the Saints, he projects to be slightly more productive from a yardage standpoint thanks to a softer defense. Regardless, all Tolbert’s value will be tied up in goal-line chances.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team TD-heavy leagues

5. Edwin Baker, Browns – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Willis McGahee (concussion) sidelined, the Browns did not increase the role of Chris Ogbonnaya or Fozzy Whittaker. Instead, they turned to a guy they signed off the Texans’ practice squad five days earlier. Edwin Baker got the first carry from scrimmage and ended up leading the backfield with 12 touches for 84 total yards and a goal-line plunge. McGahee could be back this week, but the coaches are talking about getting Baker even more work anyway. It’s clear they don’t see Ogbonnaya or Whittaker as anything more than complementary players. Baker would have more plug-n-play appeal if the Browns didn’t project to take a pass-heavy approach against the Jets Sunday.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: LeGarrette Blount, Chris Ogbonnaya, Matt Asiata – Blount is rotating slightly ahead of Stevan Ridley for big back duties. … If you need a back to get you 3-5 catches and nothing else, Ogbonnaya is your man. … Asiata did not earn more playing time despite his three touchdowns on Sunday. Adrian Peterson (foot) is fully expected back.  

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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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