What a week it was, with the Browns shipping their starting running back to the Colts, creating quite the fantasy fallout. The obvious is that Richardson now becomes the starter in Indianapolis, pushing Ahmad Bradshaw down a notch on the Colts depth chart. As was predicted by many, Richardson was used sparingly in his Colts’ debut, and Bradshaw had a strong day in his last outing as the Colts’ starter. Richardson will surely transition into the load carrying back, pushing Bradshaw into the shadows as his backup.
Over in Cleveland, the subtraction of Richardson opens up the starting role for the Browns, which has been filled by the signing of veteran Willis McGahee. Though McGahee will be the starter after taking a week to get acquainted, we are not seeing him as much of a fantasy threat. If Richardson had trouble finding holes behind that offensive line, McGahee will surely have some trouble as well. He’s worth a roster spot, but grab him with the lowest of low expectations.
As for this week’s recommendations, we are setting aside our top category as we don’t see anything extremely hot on the waiver wire. There are some running backs that are solid, some wide receivers, too. We dig for a tight end that is on the radar as a bye week fill-in. Something for everyone!
RB Brandon Bolden, New England
The running back situation for the Patriots is always going to be fluid, guys will step up and have a good game, then disappear for several weeks. This week it was Bolden that emerged as a third-down threat who will catch the ball out of the backfield. Shane Vereen came into fantasy relevance last year in this role, five catches and 100 yards in total offense is the signal that Boldin will be involved in the passing game. Regardless of if Stevan Ridley or LeGarrette Blount run the ball, Boldin will be the one catching the passes. Our friends at fleaflicker.com have Boldin as one of the top pickups this week, grab him while you can.
RB Isaiah Pead, St.Louis
A foot injury to Daryl Richardson opened the door for Pead to see plenty of action against the Cowboys. The Rams didn’t end up running the ball well, but Pead ended up with seven catches. Pead was on the field for twice as many snaps as Benny Cunningham, so clearly he is the back to own behind Richardson. Initial reports are that Richardson will be back next week, Pead is worth a grab and stash right now especially if the Rams decide to go in a different direction and give Pead a chance over Richardson.
The Jets’ passing game is showing signs of life as Geno Smith gains more confidence by the game, which drops both the New York wide receivers onto the watch list. For those in PPR leagues, Holmes is the preferred option. He will get more looks and have numbers in the range of 5-6 catches for 50-75 yards. Hill will be the long ball threat, with his numbers around 2-3 catches per game for 75-100 yards. Both are viable options as a WR3 and bye week fill-in.