This week, Brad Evans has identified five intriguing fantasy football players, and a defense, likely to be available on the waiver wire in fantasy leagues.
Robert Griffin III (QB) Washington Redskins
Oh, Washington. Just make up your mind already. Reinserted under center after Colt McCoy exited stage left with a neck injury, RG3, for once, looked competent. He stepped into passes, hit receivers often in stride and exhibited classic scrambling ability. The end result wasn’t mind-blowing, but he completed 17-of-34 attempts for 233 yards and a touchdown and chipped in an additional 46 yards on the ground. It’s true he would fracture a bone jumping into the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s, but those desperate for QB options in their Super Bowl need to debate his services. Washington hosts an Eagles secondary that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to QBs on the year. Kirk Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns against Philly in the clubs’ first matchup. In the encore, it will be the much maligned passer who improbably flirts with QB1 numbers.
FAAB Bid: $10 ($100 budget)
Toby Gerhart (RB) Jacksonville Jaguars
When the grass was green and temps weren’t foot-numbing, Gerhart was a much loved mid-round fantasy draft pick. Brought in to play bully, he was expected to shoulder a massive workload in a proposed ball-control system. Months later, he’s the butt of jokes, dropped in droves by fantasy owners weeks ago. Unbelievably, now is the time to jump back onto the bandwagon. Last Sunday against the stingiest run defense in fantasy, Baltimore, the ex-Viking yielded only modest results. Stepping in for injured starter Denard Robinson he totaled 63 yards on, get this, a season-high 15 touches. His effort was far from spectacular, but gifted a fabulous matchup this week against Tennessee, the misfit toy could find a home and add a trophy to your collection. This year, the Titans have given up an ultra-generous 153.1 total yards per game and 19 touchdowns to RBs, equal to the fourth-most fantasy points allowed. In 12-team and deeper leagues, he’s certainly FLEXY sexy.
FAAB Bid: $14
Lance Dunbar (RB) Dallas Cowboys
On Monday, a bombshell detonated in Fantasyland as news leaked irreplaceable running back, DeMarco Murray suffered a broken hand in Sunday night's defeat of the Eagles. The rush king's status is very cloudy for this week's clash against Indianapolis. It's possible he could be available, but, even if active, it's hard to pinpoint what his role would be, greatly complicating matters at the most inopportune time. If Murray doesn't suit up, a timeshare between Dunbar and Joseph Randle would form. The latter would surely be deployed on early downs. His toughness between the tackles and 7.0 yards per carry mark lend evidence he'll be utilized in that capacity. Dunbar, meanwhile, would presumably see action on pass downs, possibly netting some 12-14 touches. His value would be confined to PPR leagues. Ultimately, game flow will dictate touch distribution, rendering all running Cowboys unreliable. If you're a Murray owner, adding both backups would be wise until information becomes clearer.
FAAB Bid: $13
Knile Davis (RB) Kansas City Chiefs
Davis, who entered last Sunday’s battle with Oakland as the clear backup, finished the day as K.C.’s finest fantasy back. Those who owned stock in the JC of K.C. were a wee bit chapped to say the least. On two fewer touches than Charles, the sidekick rolled up 81 combined yards and two touchdowns, greatly outdistancing his tag-team partner (53 total yards, 0 TDs) in overall production. Because Charles is dealing with nagging knee and ankle issues, it’s conceivable a similar workload split is possible this week in Pittsburgh. If that occurs, Davis would be a debatable FLEX option in challenging formats. The Soft Curtain, which has surrendered 4.42 yards per carry to the RB position, definitely presents a favorable matchup. On approximately 10-12 touches, he could compile some 60-plus yards with a score.
FAAB Bid: $11
Harry Douglas (WR) Atlanta Falcons
Everyone’s favorite fantasy "Secret" emerged from Week 15 smelling like a rose. With Julio Jones in street clothes, Douglas was the center of Matt Ryan’s world. On a season-high 14 targets, he hauled in 10 passes for 131 yards, his second century mark performance of the year. It’s unknown if Julio will be active this week in New Orleans. Even if he is, it’s entirely possible Douglas will continue to play a sizable role. The Saints, undeniably one of the league’s worst pass defenses, have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points to WRs. In his usual capacity, Douglas tallied a 6-69-0 line Week 1 vs. ‘Nawlins . The second time around, his odds of topping those numbers are relatively strong. Plug him in at WR3.
FAAB Bid: $20
Carolina Panthers Defense/Special Teams
The highly anticipated Johnny Manziel shindig was over almost before it began. Someone must have slipped something into the party animal’s opulent $600 birthday cake. Humiliated in all facets by Bengals defenders, the rookie was routinely placed under duress. In total, he was sacked three times and committed two turnovers, looking thoroughly confused in the process. The Panthers, sliced and diced often early this year, have clamped down of late. Over the past four weeks, Luke Kuechly and cohorts have tallied 10 sacks and four turnovers. Impressively, no QB has surpassed 18 fantasy points against them, including Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. On the road, Johnny Rotten reappears.
FAAB Bid: $5
ADDITIONAL PICKUPS (If you didn't grab them last week): Kyle Orton, Buf, QB, Carlos Hyde, SF, RB, Kerwynn Williams, Ari, RB, Donte Moncrief, Ind, WR, Charles Johnson, Min, WR, Devin Hester, Atl, WR
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