Every Sunday proves to be a grueling test for most NFL players, but this past weekend saw the likes of Jay Cutler, Doug Martin, Reggie Wayne, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles, Jermichael Finley, and Arian Foster leaving the field with different degrees of bumps and bruises. This could prove to be the week that the waiver wire decides who’s in and who’s out come playoff time.
Get ‘em while ya can:
Mike James (RB-Tampa Bay): As I write this article there are multiple reports about the status of Doug Martin’s shoulder. Some sources are claiming that Martin is done for the season while others speculate that he will be back within a few weeks. Either way, it makes sense to grab Mike James from the scrap heap and throw him into your line-up. He plays slower than his 4.58 forty-yard dash suggests, but once he gets comfortable with the speed of NFL defenses, that could improve. He also has a great set of hands out of the backfield. He doesn’t have the talent of Doug Martin, but he can surely rack up points while Martin is sidelined.
Jordan Reed (TE-Washington): If you don’t have Jimmy Graham on your roster stop reading now and grab Jordan Reed. The third round pick out of Florida reminds me of a young Aaron Hernandez, just much less murder-y. Reed is an athletic freak, plain and simple. Former starter Fred Davis was a healthy scratch on Sunday and I don’t see him ever getting his job back. Reed is the real deal, so look for him and RGIII to develop a strong chemistry as the season progresses.
Jarrett Boykin (WR-Green Bay): I wasn’t too enamored with Boykin going into Week 7. Sure, he was going to be catching passes from one of the most elite quarterbacks in the league, but Rodgers has so many weapons and only one football to toss around. After seeing the Packers get decimated by injuries (Cobb, Finley, and Jones), Boykin has the opportunity to see many more targets as the season moves forward. He will likely play a similar role as Randall Cobb and catch many short, underneath passes, but he has the speed to turn these dinks and dunks into serious fantasy points. As long as the Packers are dealing with injuries, you can expect a decent amount of target for Boykin each week.
Leave ‘em behind:
Mike Brown (WR-Jacksonville): I understand the logic of managers rushing to the waiver wire to grab a guy like Mike Brown. His team is ALWAYS losing, which forces them into throwing the ball all game long in an attempt to salvage whatever is left of the team’s dignity. I just don’t see him being worth a roster spot on your team. He had a good game this past week, but we could have seen the very best of Brown here. With guys like Justin Blackmon, Cecil Short III, and Maurice Jones-Drew I don’t see Brown having many opportunities to establish himself as a viable option in the Jaguars’ putrid offense.
Jeremy Kerley (WR-NY Jets): Nothing riles up fantasy football managers quite like inconsistency. That is the number one reason to stay away from Kerley. His point total (standard scoring) week by week is: 4, 0, 2, 6, 12, 1, and 15. He is surely capable of putting up double digit points, but he is just as likely to put up a one- or two-point dud. If you are THAT desperate for a wide receiver he might be worth a look, but it’s more likely that you can find someone who offers much more consistency on your league’s waiver wire.
Peyton Hillis (RB-NY Giants): Hillis has been added in over 44,000 Yahoo! leagues so far this week. I know we all remember him being on the cover of Madden a few years ago, but please keep in mind that he hasn’t performed half that well since his cover appearance. There is no such thing as the “Madden curse,” but there is such a thing as natural regression and it brought Hillis back down to Earth years ago. It seems as if the Giants will be using Hillis as a situational runner or backup behind Michael Cox until Brandon Jacobs returns.
Hot start of the week: Robert Griffin III. It looks like RGIII is back after his 30-point performance against Chicago this past week. He is back to running the ball when needed and he found the zip on his throws that he has been searching for all season. All of this, coupled with the emergence of tight end Jordan Reed, makes for a recipe for success. Washington will be squaring off with a Denver team that took a tough loss from the Colts on Sunday night. Expect Manning and company to come out firing early and often. When the Broncos jump out to an early lead, plan on seeing RGIII using his arm to keep Washington in the game.
Bust of the week: Stevan Ridley. It’s always difficult owning a New England running back. Their schemes change every week and sometimes every quarter. Ridley is without a doubt the most talented runner on the team, but he will be facing off against the Dolphins’ stout run defense. He could see success catching the ball out of the backfield, but his usual runs between the tackles won’t be there this weekend. There’s not much Miami is doing well right now, but their interior defensive linemen clog up holes better than anyone else in the league.
-Ted is a Miami fan through and through and has been fumbling and stumbling his way through fantasy leagues for 9 years now. If you have questions or suggestions, shoot Ted a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.