Then there were the breakout players like Ryan Torain, who went off after not seeing the field for the Washington Redskins in their first three games. It’s just another crazy week in the world of fantasy football.
Now let’s look at some hot waiver wire targets for this week and whether you should go after them or take a pass.
Ryan Torain, RB, Washington – Coach Mike Shanahan does it again. After not receiving a carry all year long, Torain led the way for the Redskins on Sunday with 19 carries for 135 yards and a score.
Torain’s big day just muddies up an already murky Washington backfield. Tim Hightower has been struggling, while rookie Roy Helu has shown flashes as a change-of-pace back. Still, Shanahan seems weary of handing the keys over to Helu just yet, making Torain the man, at least for now.
I liked Hightower coming into the year but no one can deny that he’s spent more time dancing over the first four games than actually hitting the holes hard. While all three players are likely still in the mix, it’s hard to imagine that Torain won’t get most of the carries once the Redskins return from their bye week.
It’s an ever-changing situation when talking about Washington’s running backs, but right now Torain is the guy to target.
The Final Call: Torain should be one of your top waiver wire targets this week, but remember he has a bye coming up and things will likely change again in the Redskins backfield down the road.
Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh – Rashard Mendenhall hurt his hamstring in Sunday’s game and considering that Mendenhall had been struggling all season anyway, the door has opened for Redman to start getting some carries.
Redman and Mewelde Moore split carries once Mendenhall departed but should the Steelers starter not be able to go against the Tennessee Titans, expect Redman to get the bulk of the touches. Redman has done well in limited opportunities, but keep in mind the Titans have one of the top rush defenses in the NFL.
Mendenhall is averaging less than three yards per carry on the season. While the line hasn’t been blocking anyone, Mendenhall is running with his head down and hasn’t hit the few holes that open up very hard. Redman may get his shot and if he plays well, he could be a factor even when Mendenhall returns.
The Final Call: Redman should be picked up in all leagues regardless of Mendenhall’s health. Even if Mendenhall plays this week he’s been ineffective, so Redman becomes a top waiver priority.
Jacoby Jones, WR, Houston – Johnson’s hamstring injury is being referred to as “severe,” meaning Jones will be a hot pickup this week. I think that will end up being a mistake for fantasy owners.
A lot of times when a player gets injured we look for a replacement on the same team. However, if the guy replacing the injured player can’t play, what good is it for fantasy owners?
Jones has had many chances in the past to unseat Kevin Walter as the starter opposite of Andre Johnson and he hasn’t been able to seize the opportunity. Why? Because Jones can’t run routes and he drops way too many passes. I don’t see those problems fixing themselves just because Johnson is hurt.
The bottom line is Jones just isn’t a starting NFL receiver. He’s a great special teams player and he can catch a long ball now and then but he simply is consistent enough to be an every-down receiver. In his career, Jones has only topped 50 receptions once and has never averaged more than 37.5 receiving yards a game.
Like I said, Jones has been given chances before by the Texans. Just because Houston has done a poor job of bringing in quality receivers around Johnson, and Jones is the only option to replace him, doesn’t mean he’s going to all of a sudden be a revelation for fantasy owners. The most likely scenario is you will see a whole lot of Arian Foster and tight end Owen Daniels in the coming weeks.
The Final Call: Unless you’re in a very deep league I would pass on Jones. I just don’t see him becoming a great fantasy option overnight. If anything, I would grab Walter. He’s more likely to emerge as a somewhat decent fantasy option over Jones.