You know it’s November when the guy you’re playing starts Roy Helu and gets 30 fantasy points out of him. As is the case every year, once we get past the midway point of the season things get crazy.
First-round busts like Chris Johnson give way to waiver wire pickups like Helu. People who thought Miles Austin would help lead them to a fantasy title are now looking to Laurent Robinson to pick up the slack. The only thing we know for sure in fantasy football is to expect the unexpected.
Here’s a look at the hot waiver wire options for this week and my thoughts on if you should go after them or take a pass.
Roy Helu, RB, Washington – Helu is a player I talked about a few weeks ago after Tim Hightower went down with a season-ending injury. Now after last Sunday’s performance Helu is entrenched as the Redskins’ starting running back going forward.
Helu caught 14 passes for 105 yards against San Francisco. While most of those receptions were on checkdowns, it was nice to see Helu be involved in the passing game, something he didn’t get a chance to do a lot of in college.
Helu obviously isn’t going to catch 14 balls every week, but with the problems the Redskins have at quarterback and their lack of big-play receivers, it’s highly probably Helu will be Washington’s leading receiver for the rest of the season.
It’s a good sign that even coach Mike Shanahan said Ryan Torain won’t get on the field unless Helu needs a break. The rookie is now the clear-cut starter in Washington and he should put up big numbers for the rest of the year.
The Final Call: Helu should already be owned in most leagues, but if he’s available on your waiver make him your main target this week.
D.J. Ware, RB, New York Giants – Ware is more of a deep flier at this point, but if you own Ahmad Bradshaw and don’t have Brandon Jacobs as a handcuff, it’s probably a good idea to grab Ware just to be safe.
Bradshaw is going to try and play through a broken bone in his foot, but there’s no guarantee he will be able to make through the rest of the season. While Jacobs will get most of the carries if Bradshaw can’t go, he isn’t much of a receiver, so Ware will have some fantasy value.
The other thing about Jacobs is the Giants don’t like to give him 25 carries a game. They prefer to keep the big guy fresh and rotate him in. Ware isn’t as good as Bradshaw but he can do a lot of the same things as a receiver out of the backfield.
Plus, Jacobs isn’t the most durable guy in the world, so even if he takes over as the primary ball carrier it doesn’t mean he’ll remain healthy for the next two months.
The Final Call: Ware is only worth a look in really deep leagues, but if you own Bradshaw and have an extra roster spot he’s worth adding for a week or two as insurance.
Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland – Ford was a hot commodity over the summer, but after a slow start to the season a lot of people parted ways with him. Now is the time to grab him again.
Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in six quarters as the Raiders’ quarterback. On Sunday, he looked rusty and had the mobility of an aging Jim Plunkett. However, one thing Palmer showed is he has confidence in Ford.
Ford caught five balls for 105 yards and a score against Denver. Ford has blazing speed, so everyone knows he’s a dangerous deep threat. But, Ford is also good at getting open on those crossing routes over the middle. While Palmer has had his struggles, we have to remember that he hasn’t played football in almost a year, so things will likely get better.
Ford was the starter opposite Denarius Moore on Sunday and he saw the most targets from Palmer, while Darrius Heyward-Bey was held without a catch. After one game with Palmer as the starter, it looks like Ford is now the Raiders’ best fantasy receiver.
The Final Call: I would make Ford your second waiver wire priority after Helu this week. Ford should be owned in most 12-team leagues going forward.