It’s Week 10 in the NFL already and the waiver wire pickups are getting fewer and farther between but they are still just as important. There are still a couple of weeks left in the bye weeks schedule and injuries are just not going to stop. One injury could be the difference between you making the playoffs and making a run, or staying home crying in your beer. Before you make the call on who to pick up and who to drop be sure to take a taste of this week’s Waiver Flavor.
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Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders and Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders. It was not a good day for the Black Hole as both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson went down with high ankle sprains, and although they both have yet to be ruled out, I am thinking that this might be a multiple week injury for both. Jones was a fourth round pick last year of the Raiders, and so far in his young career he hasn’t shown much and from what I understand he has trouble with ball security. On the other hand, Reece is a big fullback type, but has been involved in the passing game all season long, and I have to imagine that his role will increase with McFadden and Goodson likely out. Jones has the more dynamic upside, but the way the Raiders are running the ball, I’m not sure even potential is going to get him anywhere. I have a good feeling about Reece. I think he has a chance to continue being involved in the passing game, and if there are situations where they need a tough yard or near the goal line, Reece should be the guy.
Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers. Alexander’s talents can be summed up in one sentence, he is incredibly talented, incredibly fast, and incredibly injury prone. Alexander has wowed the fantasy world more than once in the last year with the St. Louis Rams, but inevitably has ended up on the sidelines with an injury. He was picked up by the Chargers this year, and after having three catches for 61 yards against the Chiefs on Thursday, coach Norv Turner said that Alexander will have a bigger role in the offense. Also remember that Norv could be fired at any time, the Charger offense hasn’t been very consistent, and it is almost a formality that Alexander will get injured eventually. But if you need a couple of week charge into your team’s wide receiving corps, Alexander could be worth a look.
Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints. Well hell now the Saints’ running back situation is a total cluster to try to figure out. Darren Sproles is out, we know that, but who is going to get the majority of the carries on a team that doesn’t run that much? Who the hell knows! But Ivory got ten Monday Night, to Mark Ingram’s seven and Pierre Thomas’ six. They all also had twenty yard runs, so none of their nights were overly impressive and Ivory had just one catch while Thomas and Ingram both had two. If I had to guess who was going to get the majority of the work and be the fantasy relevant guy, I guess I would have to say Thomas, but Ivory has been good in the past when there have been injuries and Thomas isn’t very durable. I would have to be in a pretty desperate situation to grab Ivory, but I can’t say it is completely ridiculous to think about adding him.
James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers. Alex Green’s struggles have been well documented and fantasy players have been pining for James Starks to get his chance. He would have had it in Week 8 if he didn’t have an illness but nothing could stop him on Sunday. He didn’t score, but Starks did get more carries and more yards than Green. I believe that he has a better chance than Green to be successful, but I’m not overly excited for any running back in Green Bay. He also doesn’t really help you in PPR leagues, as Starks doesn’t do much as far as pass catching out of the backfield. He is a tough runner that rarely goes down on the first hit and he likely will be the most successful of any back for the Pack. You can grab him, but remember he will likely split carries with Green, and the Packers don’t run the ball a hell of a lot.
Donald Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills. This is the second consecutive fairly solid game for Jones and I believe that he is someone that you can count on when you are in a pinch, have a bye week to deal with, or an injury pops up. The Bills do throw the ball a good deal and outside of Stevie Johnson, they don’t really have a reliable target. Jones is a great deep threat, and sometimes can make your fantasy day with one great play. But he does have ten catches in the last two weeks, and could be becoming a more consistent producer. I’ve long been a Jones’ supporter and if he can stay healthy, he could be an ok flex option if your team loses a couple of their usual players.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts. The Colts took two tight ends in the NFL Draft this year, and while Coby Fleener was much more publicized, third round selection Dwayne Allen is no slouch either. Well, Fleener has been a disappointment and now he has an injured shoulder that is going to keep him out for a few weeks. Enter Allen to a bigger role, and he took advantage of that as he hauled in six passes for 75 yards. Granted, you aren’t going to see Andrew Luck pass the ball 48 times too many games, but Allen is going to take this opportunity to be the top tight end on the team for the rest of the season. At 6’3” and 255 pounds he is a load to bring down and has good hands for a guy that size. I wouldn’t drop or sit anyone who has been producing for you to play Allen, but if you have a tight end “situation” he could be at least a short term cure.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions. I know that Mikel Leshoure finally had the game we’ve been waiting for with three touchdowns, but if you haven’t been paying attention, slowly but surely Bell has been creeping his way more and more into the offense. Mostly the last couple of weeks it has been solely in the passing game with a few carries mixed in. In Week 9 he was granted almost as many carries as Leshoure (16 to 13) and had more yards than the guy who scored three times. Not to mention he still kept his place catching passes as he had three receptions for 36 yards. This is a nice guy to have on your roster these last few weeks of teams of teams having bye weeks, and the way that injuries go, he could be very useful as long as it is in a PPR league. Leshoure has been good, not great, and has left the door open for the Lions to give someone else carries, and Bell is making the most of the opportunities given to him.
Ronnie Brown, RB, San Diego Chargers. Let me stress as I start talking about Brown that this is strictly in PPR only! I repeat, PPR leagues only! Ryan Mathews is clearly the go-to guy when it comes rushing the football in San Diego, but when it comes to catching passes out of the backfield, the team has certainly turned to Brown. He is averaging nearly five catches per game, a total he has reached in four of the last five games. Unfortunately, Brown hasn’t found the end zone yet this year either by land or through the air, but he is a part of the offense on a weekly basis and if you are in a rough spot in a PPR league, Brown could be worth a look.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions. Coming into the season we were all very enamored in the Lions’ passing game and thinking that multiple players would have huge seasons. However, Matthew Stafford and even Calvin Johnson have been disappointments, and although you have to continue to start Calvin, the rest of the offense has been spotty as far as fantasy is concerned. Well, this week rookie Ryan Broyles had six catches for 52 yards and I’m guessing that he is going to get some attention in the waiver wire game this week. I advise you to avoid this unless you are in a very, very deep league. Of course I believe that the Detroit passing game will be better in the second half, but Broyles was targeted a lot early and then not much the rest of the game. Of course Mikel Leshoure racked up all of the scores, and maybe if they passed some Broyles might have had a better game, but I still see Calvin, Titus Young, and Brandon Pettigrew being the main recipient of Stafford’s throws and not necessarily this rookie. Unless you are in trouble and grasping for something, I don’t suggest Broyles.
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