We finally have an NFL trading deadline where some major deals have been made that will have an immediate impact on the fantasy community! The Broncos moved Brandon Lloyd to the Rams, where he will continue to have success. The move leaves a hole in Broncos’ starting lineup, a position that they are are hoping will be claimed by one of their youngsters coming back from injury.
From the “Who thought this would ever work?” file, the Bengals were able to coax a king’s ransom from the Raiders in exchange for their disgruntled and “retired” Carson Palmer. One can only surmise that without Al Davis, Oakland is no longer interested in the draft (do they have any picks in the 2012 draft left??).
Some running backs are hurting, so we examine their backups. As usual, a slew of wide outs get a mention this week and we top off this week with a tight end worth that is worth a look. On to this week’s waiver wonders…
RB DeMarco Murray, Dallas
Reports are that Felix Jones will miss 2-4 weeks, which means that Murray will be the starting runner for Dallas during that time frame. He is the clear preferred option over Tashard Choice, so expect him to shoulder at least 75% of the load for the Cowboys in Jones’ absence. A juicy home game against the Rams is on tap this week, Murray should be owned in all formats.
QB Carson Palmer, Oakland
Breaking news is coming in that the Raiders and Bengals have reached an agreement that will bring Palmer out of “retirement” and into Oakland. The injury to Jason Campbell necessitated the move, as a rejuvenated Raiders squad could not leave things to Kyle Boller. Palmer becomes the immediate starter, and makes him an intriguing fantasy option. Oakland has an established running game, and a quality group of wideouts, so Palmer steps into a situation that will translate into him being a fantasy QB2. The questions then are, what kind of shape is he in? And how quickly can he grasp the playbook? Look for him to be involved right away, and despite the questions about his arm strength in his final games in Cincinnati, look for the change of venue to instill some life into the veteran.
Guys Mentioned Last Week That Are Likely Still Available
WR Doug Baldwin, Seattle
Still only owned in 59% of leagues, Baldwin is a player that can step directly into a starting spot in a fantasy lineup. His production in the two weeks prior was off the charts (5-84, 8-136-1) and there is no indication that these kind of numbers are going to slow down. With matchups against the Bengals and Browns on the schedule the next two weeks, he won’t be available much longer.
WR Greg Little, Cleveland
Another mention from last week, Little is only owned in 55% of leagues. He’s coming off back-to-back weeks where he caught six passes (for 57 and 72 yards, respectively), so he’s another fantasy player capable of being an above average bye-week filler. He too, will not be available much longer in those leagues where is is on the waiver wire.
RB Montario Hardesty, Cleveland
If for nothing else, Hardesty had to get into this week’s story so that I could have another chance to spell his name correctly. Owned in 60% of leagues, Hardesty may have another chance to get some significant playing time this week. Peyton Hillis was in and out of last week’s game with a hamstring issue, his status will obviously have an affect on Hardesty’s playing time. Those hard-up for help at running back this week can look to Hardesty to at least get some playing time regardless of Hillis’ status.
WR Damian Williams, Tennessee
I still like the potential for Williams, and coming off a week six bye, he’s still only owned in only 19% of leagues. He’s a deeper flier than Baldwin and Little as I am not ready to trust him as a fantasy starter. But in deeper formats, he’s worth stashing at the end of your bench.
WR Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo
Going extremely deep here, Roosevelt made the “Deep/Dynasty List” last week, a list he should remain on. He only caught one pass last week, but it was a 60-yard touchdown. Buffalo has a week off, so interest in Roosevelt should remain cool (he’s owned in 5% of leagues).