As always, thanks for reading. Nothing incredibly hot this week, so we’ll simply list players all in the same category this week …
RB Fred Jackson, Buffalo
I’m not sure why it always takes an act of God to get the Bills to play their most talented running back, but it always seems to be around week 10 or so when Fred Jackson finally gets to see the field. He is already owned in most leagues (82% of those run on www.myfantasyleague.com), but that means a few of you have an opportunity to grab him. He will be the work horse for Buffalo for the foreseeable future, expect 100 yards in total offense and a touchdown from him on a weekly basis.
RB Keiland Williams, Washington
With Clinton Portis still hurting, and now Ryan Torain again out with a hamstring injury, Williams once again becomes the focus out of the backfield in Washington. Still only owned in 25% of leagues, he’s one of the few on the waiver wire this week that can get plugged directly into a fantasy starting lineup. His Monday night performance of close to 140 total yards and three touchdowns will surely push that ownership number higher, be the first in line to grab him this week if you can.
RB Bernard Scott, Cincinnati
Cedric Benson is struggling and when he put the ball on the ground this past week, the Bengals put in Scott for the next series. Though his numbers were low, he is the spark that the Bengals’ offense needs out of the backfield. Only owned in 23% of leagues, Scott has the potential to take over the job down the stretch, or at the very least he will forge himself into a committee.
RB Mike Goodson, Carolina
We mentioned Goodson last week and we recommended him as a start for week ten. DeAngelo Williams will be back in week eleven, so that will push Goodson back into the backup role. Williams hasn’t been a model of health, so should he come up lame again, Goodson will get the ball. Owned in only 43% of leagues, Goodson is available in most leagues and is worth a stash for those of you with deep rosters.
QB Shaun Hill, Detroit
The Lions have literally been a carousel of bodies at the quarterback position this year. When healthy and on the field, Hill has performed well, including a 323 yard performance this past week. A lot of his playing time depends on the status of Matthew Stafford, but while he is out, Hill is a QB2 fantasy candidate.
WR Louis Murphy, Oakland
Reports are that Murphy is healthy and will be on the field for the Raiders this week. This will provide a big boost to the Oakland offense, and only owned in 30% of leagues, he can provide a boost to those fantasy owners in need of a WR3.
WR Mike Thomas Jacksonville
For the fifth week in a row, Thomas was very active for the Jaguars. Owned in less than 50% of leagues, he is another viable WR3 or flex starter. Yes, most of his yards came on a Hail Mary pass, but he is getting between 4 and 8 targets, not a whole lot, but not bad for a guy likely to be available in your league.
Batten Down the Hatches!
Many leagues close up the waiver wire around this time of year. Those of you that are still in the running for a playoff spot have some important decisions to make regarding what will be your final roster in the stretch drive. By now, you should have some talent settled at the skill positions (running back and wide receiver), and a decent idea of who you tap at tight end for those leagues that require one.
At the quarterback position, if you have one of the top players (ie. PManning, Brees, Rivers, Orton, Rodgers), consider making room for their backup. This way you are choosing to go with an NFL team’s passing game, which in the case of these five gentlemen, is not a bad idea. If you are playing the matchup game, then you might want to consider digging deep and carrying a third or even fourth quarterback. This makes for some difficult roster decisions, but you have to think of worst case scenarios and covering as many positions as possible.
Speaking of covering a position, we’ve had three kickers go down in the last two weeks (three!!). This is crazy stuff as I can’t remember a year when more than one kicker was injured in an entire season! This presents another roster quandary for the fantasy owner. Two kickers is a definite must to carry on the roster, but is three out of the question? In many of the leagues, the kicker position can score up to 20 points, so yes, this is something that has to be considered.
Regarding team defense, if you are lucky enough to have a unit that performs on a high level regardless of the matchup (ie. Chicago, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Green Bay), then ride it out with that one unit. Otherwise, you’d be wise to find room enough to carry two defenses so you can pick the best matchup.