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With no major injuries this week, the choices on the waiver wire are slim, particularly amongst running backs.
A hot pickup in past weeks, Peyton Hillis, had a huge day for Cleveland this past Sunday with Jerome Harrison sidelined. Hillis is currently available in about 25 percent of league, and is an obvious person to grab if he’s still available in your league. Other than that, reliable running back options may be hard to find this week. In general, there does not appear to be any must-have pickups.
Here are some players that are generally available in most leagues who are worth a look depending on your roster construction. The percent that each player is are owned in standard ESPN leagues is included.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos (18.7 percent owned) / Brandon Lloyd WR, Broncos (13.2)
Its hard to tell week-to-week which Broncos receiver will come up with the big game. What is clear, however, after a 476 passing yard performance by Kyle Orton, is that head coach Josh McDaniels trusts his quarterback to make plays with his arm. This is particularly true in the absence of Knowshon Moreno. It may be Gaffney one week, then Lloyd the next, then Eddie Royal, but these two receivers especially seem to have a solid repoire with Orton. Gaffney looks to be the steady veteran of the group with a team-high 26 target and 17 receptions. However, Lloyd has a team-high 339 receiving yards to Gaffney’s second-place 189. Both receivers are worth a look, but be aware that Lloyd stands to lose the most looks as a result of rookie Demaryius Thomas’ continued development.
Davone Bess, WR, Dolphins (1.8)
Bess has been a solid possession receiver for Miami for a couple years now. He does not usually put up flashy numbers, but with Brandon Marshall pulling coverage away and Chad Henne being allowed more opportunities to throw the ball, now seems like a good time to buy on Bess. He is second to Marshall on the team with 13 receptions and is coming off of 6 reception, 86 yard game. He is the type of receiver that is could be valuable in points per receptions (PPR) leagues.
Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins (0.2)
After being promoted from the practice squad this week, Torain came on strong and appears to be the number two back behind the oft-injured Clinton Portis. Portis is again injured with a wrist ailment, and though it is unknown whether he will miss time, Torain played well when given more time in the second half this week. He rushed 7 times for 46 yards, a yards-per-carry average of 6.6, as compared to Portis’ season average of 3.7. If Portis continues to hurt or remain ineffective, Torain could quickly become fantasy relevant.
Kenneth Darby, RB, Rams (0.2)
Steven Jackson‘s groin injury does not appear to be that serious, and Darby has not run particularly well in his limited time this season. However, if Jackson is forced to miss this week or next, Darby’s the man to have.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots (2.0)
Patriots running backs are usually fantasy nightmares, but with a thinned out backfield, Green-Ellis looks to have the highest upside of the group. Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris are both past their prime and have injury history. Green-Ellis could quickly become the lead back of this group.
Each week I will select one defense that is available in most leagues and has a favorable match-up.
Chargers D (19.1 percent owned) vs. Arizona Cardinals
The tenth ranked defense at home against the Cardinals who have been the 25th worst team in terms of defensive points against.
John Kuhn, RB, Packers (3.9 percent owned), Lance Moore, WR, Saints (2.3), Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Raiders (2.1), Dexter McCluster, WR, Chiefs (12.0), Tony Moeaki, TE, Chiefs (1.8), Jordan Shipley, WR, Bengals (4.3).
Tags: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Marshall, Bruce Gradkowski, Clinton Portis, Davone Bess, Dexter McCluster, Eddie Royal, Fred Taylor, Jabar Gaffney, Jerome Harrison, John Kuhn, Jordan Shipley, Kenneth Darby, Kyle Orton, Lance Moore, Patriots, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Torain, Sammy Morris, San Diego Chargers, Steven Jackson, Tony Moeaki