A lot to get through this week as several starting running backs either went down, were already down, or limped off the field this past weekend. With last week’s top picks DeMarco Murray, Knowshon Moreno and Tim Tebow likely already gone, we look deeper to find some help for this week.
While nothing stands out as a ‘Smoking Hot’ selection, we’ve got a couple ‘Solid Pickups’ and quite a few players that are ‘On The Radar’ to sift through. Let’s get right into this week’s wonders …
RB Bernard Scott, Cincinnati
After weeks of “will he/won’t he,” Cedric Benson will serve his one-game suspension this week. Owned in 45 percent of online leagues, Scott will draw the start against Seattle, so expect a load of 20 or so carries to come his way. Though Scott’s touches have been increasing, Benson will resume his role as the starter for Week 9. This is a short-term solution, but a solid one as Scott will be the sure starter this week.
RB Delone Carter, Indianapolis
The Colts had an entirely forgettable week in New Orleans, but fantasy owners should take note that it was Carter that got more playing time during the game than did Donald Brown. Owned in just over half of online leagues, Carter is worth owning in all formats and worth starting if Joseph Addai continues to miss time.
On the Radar
RB Roy Helu, Washington
The inner workings of the Mike Shanahan mind is a mystery, and his use of running backs is nothing short of being absolutely frustrating to the fantasy owner. Helu is coming off a performance where he netted five yards in total offense, but the Redskins also lost Tim Hightower for the season. He’s currently owned in just under half of online leagues, a number that is sure to sharply rise. Ryan Torain will be in the mix, but so will Helu. Predicting when is impossible, but the fantasy owner in need of help at running back would be wise to consider picking up Helu.
WR Michael Jenkins, Minnesota
I feel like we’ve been here before discussing Jenkins, but this time around there have been several changes. First of all, the Vikings have made a change at quarterback, which we think is an upgrade. The second, they’ve parted ways with Bernard Berrian, which will create more opportunities for the veteran Jenkins. Berrian was a healthy scratch this week, and Jenkins responded with more than 100 yards and a touchdown (and nearly a second). I don’t see many more 100-yard games in his future, but somewhere between 50 and 75 is likely, which isn’t bad from someone that is currently only owned in 24 percent of leagues.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Denver
Tim Tebow struggled mightily for 55 minutes last week, and in the end, Thomas only ended up catching three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. Only owned in a third of online leagues, it’s way too early to give up on Thomas. Given a couple of games, Tebow will settle down and Thomas will be a very productive fantasy receiver. I recommend grabbing him and holding onto him as a I see him as a WR3/flex within the next 3-4 weeks.
RB Leon Washington, Seattle
Count me among the many that were scorned by Marshawn Lynch’s inactive status last week. That surprise pushed Washington into the starting role for the Seahawks. Seattle did not have much success on the ground last week, and against a tough Cincinnati team this week, they will likely again have their difficulties on the ground. As of press time, there is nothing new to report on the status of Lynch so grabbing Washington is a fantasy risk.
RB Kregg Lumpkin, Tampa Bay
There is talk that the Buccaneers will make a roster move, but for the time being, the subtraction of Earnest Graham (done for year) and LeGarrette Blount (not clear at press time) drops Lumpkin into the starting role. A matchup against New Orleans this week isn’t terrible. As the starter, expect somewhere in the range of 75 yards in total offense.
WR Anthony Armstrong, Washington
He’s coming off a hamstring injury, so his numbers to this point in the season are pathetic. However, the loss of Santana Moss will create some additional playing time for Armstrong. In fact, he’s likely to be the starter this week against Buffalo. Jabar Gaffney and others are also in the mix. Look for Armstrong to get a shot as some significant playing time replacing Moss.