There are a whopping six teams on bye this week, so chances are that between guys not playing and the huge list of players that are playing (not to mention those that are just sucking), that you probably have some hole to fill this week. This week is dominated by running backs as we have injuries in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Dallas, AND more injuries that I’m predicting in Dallas. We also have a couple of wide receivers, tight ends, and only because I like to include every position we even have one quarterback even if it is just to warn you against him. Get your moves set tonight after you check out your Waiver Flavor for Week 7.
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Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland Browns. Most lists this week will start with Felix Jones, but you’ll see later there are reasons that Hardesty starts out mine. Oh, I don’t think anyone is overly surprised that Trent Richardson is dealing with an injury, but this time it is damage in his rib cartilage. Hardesty came in after the injury and did pretty well as he ran for 56 yards and a score. Unfortunately, like other chances, Hardesty didn’t take the bull by the horns and make the most of his opportunity with a long run or multiple touchdowns. He is a guy that we have been waiting to break out for a while here at Fantasy Alarm. Richardson is day to day right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses a week, and I would be even less surprised if this wasn’t the last injury he deals with in 2012. Even though the Browns’ offense isn’t the best, it has been respectable the past few weeks and if Hardesty is going to get a little run, he’s worth having on your team.
Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys. OK, raise your hand if you traded for DeMarco Murray Sunday morning before the games started and now feel like a total tool with his butt in his hand……yeah, that’s me raising my hand. Murray suffered ligament damage in his foot and has already been ruled out for Week 7 for the Cowboys, and we are awaiting further MRI results to get an idea of how long he might be out. Jones did well with 92 yards on 18 carries, including a 22 yard touchdown run. Now, if you are a Murray owner, right now you need Jones. However, remember a couple of things. One, Jones has long proven to be a VERY fragile player and can’t take the rigors of being an every down back in the NFL, that’s kind of how Murray got his chance to shine last year. Jones can be a dynamic runner and a good option out of the backfield in pass receiving, but unless you really need him, I would temper how much I depend on him. It is just a matter of time before he is in a heap on the field as well.
Philip Tanner, RB, Dallas Cowboys. Remember all of the things I just said about Jones? Well, Tanner wasn’t overly impressive, but the guy did carry the ball nine times for 31 yards. He is going to get his carries. The Cowboys know they won’t be able to give the ball to Jones 20-25 times, especially if Murray is going to miss more than the one week. But this isn’t a guy I pick up in your standard 12 team league unless you have very deep rosters or you are absolutely scraping the bottom of the barrel for running backs, but he is a name that you need to know. If Murray is going to miss three weeks or more, Tanner will have some fantasy value.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis Rams. The rookie from Wake Forest hasn’t been a consistent part of the Rams’ passing game (haha, did I just use consistent and Rams passing game in the same sentence?) but the kid has showed a hell of a burst! Givens has had a catch of 50 yards or more in three straight games, and finished with three catches for 85 yards on Sunday. The kid certainly has some jets and if Sam Bradford has the arm, he could become an explosive fantasy player. For right now though, he’s probably best served as a guy you hold on your bench and see if he can fill the Danario Alexander role from last season in St. Louis. Beware: The Saints’ also have a receiver named Chris Givens that they just waived. If you are considering him, be sure you have the right guy!
Joel Dreesen, TE, Denver Broncos. Jacob Tamme was a nice sleeper pick to start the year after fantasy owners were thinking how Peyton Manning loved his white boy tight end Dallas Clark for many years and Tamme did well last year for Indy. But the last four weeks Dreesen has either scored a touchdown or had more than five catches, and it appears that he is the preferred white boy tight end for Peyton Manning. He isn’t one of the top five or even ten tight ends right now, but if you carry no backup at the position and you have a one week need, Dreesen isn’t a bad candidate. He has a bye in Week 7 so don’t worry about him this coming week.
Baron Batch, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers’ running backs (and offensive linemen) were dropping like flies on Thursday, and that pressed Baron Batch into service. Sure, the dude came in and was halfway respectable, and even got in the endzone, but unless you are playing with 20 teams or more, I can’t see him being worth your time. There is a good chance that both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman will both be ready for Week 7 for the Steelers, so I would look elsewhere for help in the backfield.
Zach Miller, TE, Seattle Seahawks. Ever since he went to Seattle Seahawks we have been waiting for Miller to be the same guy that he was with the Raiders. This season hasn’t been much better, but he has been a little more involved in the offense recently. Miller has caught eight balls in the last three weeks, and if Russell Wilson can be anything that resembles an NFL quarterback on a consistent basis, Miller could be a fantasy surprise down the stretch. There’s no need to make a move on him right now, but keep watching Seahawks games to see if they start looking Miller’s way more often.
Michael Jenkins, WR, Minnesota Vikings. With the injury to Jerome Simpson, Jenkins was sorta, kinda, almost pressed into more of a role in the Minnesota offense. But believe me folks, it was just for one week. Jenkins has basically been a complete no show outside of two games this season, and I am hard pressed to think of a scenario where I would be ok adding him to my roster, or anyone on my roster that I would want to drop for him. I have to believe that you have better options on your waiver wire than Jenkins.
John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals. It seems like just a few weeks ago that Kevin Kolb was on this list when Skelton was injured and he was a pretty decent fantasy option for a few weeks. Now Kolb is dealing with injured ribs, and although the x-rays came back negative, his status is definitely up in the air. Let me be clear about this. Unless your choice is Brady Quinn or John Skelton, I would choose whoever the other guy is. Skelton may get lucky and toss one score a week to Larry Fitzgerald, but that’s his only hope of being productive. Give me Mark Sanchez or any other quarterback in the league if John Skelton is under center on Sunday.
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