Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 9

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Nick Fairley (DET DT): Fairley suffered a bad knee injury to his PCL/MCL. He will be out a minimum of 5-6 weeks, likely more. He is safe to drop if you need to.
  • Lamar Houston (CHI DE): Houston fell victim to the dreaded discount double check sack dance torn ACL. He is the second victim for the year and this time it was for celebrating a sack late in a game when his team was done about 1,000 pts. Well done, Mr. Houston. He joins Stephen Tullock and Martin Gramatica as the most famous members of the celebratory ACL blowout fraternity.
  • Glenn Dorsey (SF DL): Dorsey has returned to practice and is eligible to return to the lineup in week 10. He is coming off a torn biceps that happened during training camp this year.
  • Justin Durant (DAL LB): Durant fell victim to the linebacker curse of 2014 and will miss the rest of the season with a torn bicep. It is starting to become an epidemic as linebackers are getting picked off each week.   
  • Jon Beason (NYG LB): Beason finally decided to go the route of surgery. He was placed on IR and is done for the year.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): For once, Burfict is on the injury report with something other than a concussion/neck issue. This time it’s for a knee that he had scoped. He will be out for at least two weeks.
  • Erik Walden (IND LB): Walden had to be removed in week 8 with a minor hip ailment. As of now he is week to week so he should probably be out of your lineup this week.
  • Mychal Kendricks (PHI LB): Kendricks returned to action this week but only played in 31% of the snaps. He is far from healthy and should remain on your bench until he gets a full complement of snaps.
  • Vontae Davis (IND DB): Davis sprained his knee in week 8 but appears to have avoided any significant tears. He is practicing on Thursday so it is likely he is available for Monday night’s game.
  • Tony Jefferson (ARI DB): Jefferson had a great week 8 but suffered a concussion. I think everyone knows how that works now so follow the progress through the week to see if he is cleared by Sunday.
  • Jimmy Smith (BAL DB): Smith may have suffered the dreaded Lisfrance sprain and will miss a few weeks.
  • Patrick Peterson (ARI DB): Peterson joins his fellow secondary mate Jefferson in the concussion protocol. He is having an all-around down year so you probably were close to benching him anyway. Now is your chance.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Calais Campbell (ARI DE): Campbell returned to the lineup in week 8 after missing a couple games. He had a full complement of snaps and if he was dropped you should pick him up right away.
  • Allen Bailey (KC DE): Bailey showed up big against the Rams in week 8 with 1.5 sacks and 3 solos. He is a boom or bust defensive end that won’t put up big tackle numbers but has a chance at sacks due to the attention placed on Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. A nice flyer (especially in this bye week) in big play leagues.
  • Robert Quinn (STL DE): Hopefully you picked up Quinn last week when I mentioned him. He is for sure gone after his 2 sack week. The buy low window is gone.
  • Ryan Davis (JAC DE): Andre Branch being on the shelf for at least six weeks may pave the way for some playing time for Davis. He already has 4 sacks – including two last week so a nice add in big play leagues.
  • Dion Jordan (MIA DE): Jordan had his first game action of the year after finishing off his suspension. He didn’t get a full set of snaps and was only in for pass rush opportunities but he is likely on your waivers and is worth a stash and see.

LB:

  • Keenan Robinson (WAS LB): Robinson has been very productive but relatively quiet. Chances are with all the injuries that have hit linebackers this year he might not be available but if he is go get him. He has a high floor and gets the occasional sack.
  • Khalil Mack (OAK LB): Mack is only averaging 4 tackles a game and has zero sacks but he is putting pressure on the quarterback and it’s only a matter of time before they turn into sacks.
  • Anthony Barr (MIN LB): Barr is a stud. He is doing everything and is all over the field. As a Viking fan, I was skeptical of taking him at the #9 pick in the draft but he has surpassed all expectations. He should be owned everywhere as he is doing it all.

DB:

  • LaRon Landry (IND DB): Landry is coming off of suspension. There is some discussion of whether he will play this week but he should be owned if he is available.
  • Morgan Burnett (GB DB): Burnett is coming off injury and is likely back after the bye week. If you have space and can make a speculative add you should do it.
  • Prince Amukamura (NYG DB): Going against the Colts gives plenty of opportunity. Prince has been up to the task this year. Call it a gut feel but I think he has a nice game Monday Night.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 9

Quarterback:

Here's Carson Palmer saying "start me."
Here’s Carson Palmer saying “start me.”

Carson Palmer (50% Y!): He has thrown for at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in each of the 3 games he has started since returning from injury. Palmer continues to find targets to throw to, even if it isn’t Michael Floyd (unfortunately). With a receiving core of Fitzgerald, Floyd, John Brown and pass-catching tailback Andre Ellington, Palmer needs to be owned. Palmer is playing at a high level and has only thrown 1 pick since returning. Owners should roster two quarterbacks and Palmer should definitely take up one of those slots. Grab him quick.

Andy Dalton (68% Y!): I have two bits of good news regarding Dalton. First, he ran for 2 rushing scores on Sunday. And two, there is a chance A.J. Green returns in week 9 as well. Now the bad news. He is simply playing nowhere near the elite level with which he played in 2013. He has thrown for over 1,600 yards, but only 6 touchdowns thus far. But as I pointed out, he may very well indeed get his All-Pro wideout back in this week. If that is indeed the case, look for Dalton to flourish in a juicy matchup against the Jaguars. Green’s presence changes the entire complexion of the Bengal offense. If you need a streaming option this week, Dalton is your man.

Running Back:

Denard Robinson (57% Y!): Who would’ve thunk it? “Shoelace” has back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances since being named starter. He has the starting job locked down as Storm Johnson was a healthy scratch on Sunday and Toby Gerhart played a minimal role. Considering the frequency with which Jacksonville has fed him the ball and the way he has turned those chances into yardage, he’s got to be owned in all formats. If he’s out there in your league, he needs to be restored. Start him with confidence this week against a weak Bengals run defense.

Lorenzo Taliaferro (8% Y!): He has surpassed Bernard Pierce as the #2 backfield option in Baltimore. Pierce was a healthy scratch on Sunday and Taliaferro didn’t disappoint, as he served as the short yardage back scoring twice. He also led the Ravens in receiving yards. He seemed to have sealed the deal on becoming the new goal line back for the Ravens, along with getting looks in the receiving game. He may be touchdown dependent, but the Ravens offense finds ways to score. Add him as an RB3 or FLEX play moving forward.

Jonas Gray (6% Y!): After only receiving 2 carries last week in his season debut, Gray got 17 carries for 86 yards on Sunday in the rout against Chicago. Gray has clearly taken over the Stevan Ridley role in this offense. Given the lack of proven depth behind Shane Vereen, Gray is going to be in line for carries going forward. He has the ability to put up some good numbers in an improving offense. Just be aware of the volatility of the New England backfield.

Wide Receiver:

Brandon LaFell (36% Y!): He caught all 11 of his targets (which led the team) on Sunday for 124 yards and a TD. In the 6 games that he has actually made a catch (weeks 3-8), he has 44 targets, 30 catches, 461 yards and 4 scores. That is a weekly average of 7.3 targets, 5 catches, 76.8 yards and .66 TDs. That is a weekly average of 16.7 points in PPR (11.7 points in standard). He has earned the trust of Tom Brady and should continue to garner looks in the passing game. New England’s offense has found it’s identity again and LaFell will certainly benefit from that.

Allen Robinson (23% Y!): This is Robinson’s fourth time on this list. How is he owned in under a quarter of Y! leagues? Now the proud owner of two straight games with a TD, Robinson will continue to be on this list until he is rostered in more than he is right now. He has 63 targets on the season, which is in the top 25 in the NFL. He has led all Jaguars’ wideouts in snaps for 3 straight weeks now and outside of week 1, he has been targeted at least 6 times per game. In 6 of the 8 games so far this season, Robinson has scored double-digit points in PPR leagues. Clearly the favorite WR for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars coaching staff, I cannot preach enough on how Robinson needs to be owned. Raise the totals folks, pick him up.

Davante Adams (14% Y!): Surpassing Jarrett Boykin is checked off of Davante Adams’ to-do list this season. Now the #3 pass-catcher in a high-powered Packer offense, Adams needs to be owned in all formats. Most gamers are pegging Adams as a WR3 moving forward, but I’d say he is a high-end WR4 with upside. With Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson receiving so much attention from the opposing defense, Adams is a guy that will be looked at a lot. I believe he will have more games like he did yesterday and should be picked up before he does and everyone else catches on. His role is expanding each week.

Tight End:

Heath Miller (61% Y!): While he hasn’t proven to be a consistent threat this season, Miller is a reliable target in an emerging offense. The Steelers now rank 3rd in the NFL in average yards per game with over 400 yards of offense. While Miller may not catch 10 balls for 100 yards and a score every week, he is still a nice bet to give you some points at the tight end position with a chance to have a big game like he did on Sunday.

Dwayne Allen (74% Y!): Again, this goes to show how shallow the tight end position in fantasy football is. Allen has now scored in 6 of 8 games this season and has at least 3 catches and 38 yards in all but 2 games in 2014. He is a weekly threat to score in a potent offense. Allen is arguably the top red zone target for the Colts. Because of his 6 scores, he is in the TE1 discussion and should continue to put up low-end TE1 numbers the rest of the way.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/lwHzdU

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 9

Everyone has that one friend. The friend who repeats everything that he or she says. Their name and face just popped into your head. If no one popped into your head, then the friend is probably you. This person isn’t wrong and depending on how close you are with them, they may or may not be really annoying. At The Sports Script, I am that person. But if you have been reading my articles every week you probably already know that. I have actually been giving you a double dose of repeating on a weekly basis, and I can’t even say I am sorry about it.

Here are the two things that I repeat on a weekly basis.

  • Stream the defense that plays the Jaguars
  • Use the Cleveland Browns because of their schedule

Last week’s results:

Before we move ahead to week 9 and look back at the two statements above, let’s look at what happened last week. I gave out three defenses that were readily available in almost all leagues. Let’s see how we did.

Dolphins Defense
The Dolphins defense dominated Jacksonville on Sunday, posting 26 fantasy points
  • Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins absolutely killed it on Sunday against the struggling Blake Bortles. The 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft threw two picks that were returned for touchdowns and was also sacked 4 times. Miami led ESPN standard scoring in week 8 with 26 fantasy points. Not a bad day at the office.
  • Buffalo Bills: The Jets are a mess. Geno can’t throw, Vick is older than dirt and Percy is just there to stir the pot a little bit. The Bills took full advantage on Sunday and sacked the QB duo 4 times while picking them off 4 times as well. An all around great day for the Bills defense (16 fantasy points) as they head into their bye week.
  • Cleveland Browns: Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay. Any coach who sees those three teams on a schedule is going to smile. Put them in a row and they might jump for joy. In week 8, Cleveland was in the middle of that stretch of “easy games” and welcomed the Oakland Raiders into town. Oakland was intercepted once, sacked three times, and they fumbled twice before the day was done. Now, the Browns have Tampa Bay coming up from Florida and should be ready for another prime matchup. Only owned in 20.2% of leagues, let’s squeeze the juice out of the orange and ride this streak out with one more great performance from a defense that has done well the past two weeks.

Week 9 Targets:

  • Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium is crazy; it’s one of the loudest places in the NFL to play and Kansas City welcomes the Jets into town for week 9. Rex Ryan has made the quarterback switch to Michael Vick and I think that Kansas City will have a field day with it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3 or so interceptions with 3 or more sacks. The Chiefs defense is no walk in the park and the Jets offensive line might as well pave sidewalks for the defensive line of Kansas City this week. Kansas City is one of only a handful of fantasy defenses that has provided positive scoring in every week this year. Also, they had seven sacks last week.
  • Minnesota Vikings: The Minnesota Vikings have been an underrated defense the past few weeks. In the last two weeks alone they have 34 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues and at least 4 sacks the past three weeks. They have three performances this year that have lead to double-digit fantasy production as well. In week 9 #TeamTeddy put the Vikings up against Washington. We currently don’t know who the QB will be in Washington but I don’t think it will make a difference to this defense that is taking down any QB in its path the past several weeks. Like Kansas City, Minnesota has had positive fantasy production every week this year.

Other to consider: San Diego Chargers (58%), Cincinnati Bengals (75%)

There you have it, three defenses to look for on your waiver wire, and a couple more that you will want to scoop up if others in your league have not been paying attention. Good luck in week 9 and as always, happy streaming!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/SPXqOH

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 8

The parade of injured stars continues as a few more linebackers have gone down for the year. It’s never a good thing when the injury list is larger than the waiver list:

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Chandler Jones (NE DE): Jones had another great game and all was just peachy until word came out early this week that Jones has a hip injury and could miss a month. There hasn’t been definitive word but make other plans for the immediate future.
  • Andre Branch (JAC DE): Branch was trying to play through a groin injury in week 7 but aggravated it to the point that he will likely be out a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • Justin Tuck (OAK DE): Tuck missed week 7 with a bad knee after being listed as questionable. I would look elsewhere at this point.
  • Da’Quan Bowers (TB DE): Bowers has been suspended for two games for PED use. You probably won’t even notice he is gone as he has only one sack on the year.
  • Ahtyba Rubin (CLE DE): Rubin has struggled this year and the injured ankle may need surgery. No need to worry about him moving forward for this year.
  • Paul Posluszny (JAC LB): He was his usual solid self this year but that came to an end in week 7. A torn pectoral will end his season. JT Thomas looks to fill in the middle for Poz, however there probably isn’t much IDP value. Telvin Smith would be the linebacker to take a chance on as he has started to improve and this may clear a way to more playing time.
  • Brian Orakpo (WAS LB): Stop me if you have heard this before. Orakpo is done for the year with a torn pectoral. No, this isn’t a repeat from previous seasons. He did it again. When healthy he is a big play option but that health part is beginning to be too much of an issue to overcome. Take a look at Trent Murphy, starting opposite Ryan Kerrigan. He may get a shot for some big plays.
  • Jon Beason (NYG LB): Beason is still suffering from his toe injury. He is getting opinions from all over and season ending surgery is very possible.
  • Jerrell Freeman (IND LB): Freeman has a hip pointer now. It caused him to miss some time in week 7 but he did return. It’s just something to monitor as the week moves along.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): another week another upper body injury to Burfict.  This time it’s a strained neck.  I would just steer clear from this guy at this point.
  • Rey Maualuga (CIN LB): was inactive in Week #7 and is expected to miss a few more weeks with a hamstring injury.  The Bengals LB core is banged up with Burfict, Maualaga, & Emmanuel Lamur all are dinged.  This leaves Vincent Rey an intriguing play.
  • Kyle Fuller (CHI DB): left the game with a hip pointer and it was later discovered also broke his hand.  He is looking like he’ll play with a club on his hand so I would stay away since his value is highly tied to his ability to intercept passes.  Now he has to try with a club on his hand.
  • Brandon Flowers (SD DB): Flowers left last week’s game with a concussion and has been ruled out for this week’s game against Denver.
  • Jason Verrett (SD DB): Verrett is dealing with a shoulder injury and is looking doubtful for this week’s game against Denver. Richard Marshall and Shareece Wright are going to get all they can handle against the Broncos.
  • Darrelle Revis (NE DB): Revis was sent home from practice because he was late to a meeting. It doesn’t look like he will be disciplined any further so he should be fine this week against the Bears.
  • Usama Young (OAK DB): Young tore his ACL and MCL and is done for the year. Brandian Ross will replace him and will get plenty of opportunities. It just makes the poor Raiders defense even worse, which sometimes helps in the IDP world.
  • Eric Berry (KC DB): Berry was nearing a return last week and then suffered a setback. I wouldn’t plan on him for week 8.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Jay Ratliff (CHI DT): Ratfliff had a huge week with 5 solos and 3.5 sacks. He hasn’t done much this year and missed a few games but the Chicago defensive line is playing quite well. I believe this was more of an aberration then a sign of things to come. Don’t waste your time on this part-time player.
  • Terrell Suggs (BAL DE): Suggs had a sack for a second straight week. This could be a sign he is heating up and the Ravens are playing well and getting leads. I don’t fully buy in but if you have a spot to stash a guy and Suggs is available he might be worth the flyer.
  • Charles Johnson (CAR DE): Johnson got off the a terrible start which may have led to impatient owners dropping him. If he is out there you need to go get him. He is heating up and had a sack (second straight week) and 5 solos. He has the pedigree and should be rostered.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG DE): I had him in this section last week and he went off for two more sacks and 6 solos. If you didn’t take my advice and JPP is still available you better get him now as he won’t be there next week.
  • Robert Quinn (STL DE): Quinn finally picked up a sack. It only took 7 weeks for last season’s sack leader. If he was dropped this could be the sign of him heating up.

LB:

  • Brandon Marshall (DEN LB): Marshall went back to his early season roll as the every down linebacker with Trevathan out indefinitely. Marshall is a must own if he’s out there.
  • Mychal Kendricks (PHI LB): Kendricks is starting to practice and if he was dropped and you have an open roster spot he is most definitely worth the stash. Get him if you can.
  • Trent Murphy (WAS LB): Murphy is a guy to just keep an eye on. He will be replacing Brian Orakpo and getting the opportunity across from Ryan Kerrigan so he should have the opportunity to make an impact.
  • Dont’a Hightower & Jamie Collins (NE LB): Both put up huge numbers last week but with the injury to Chandler Jones it remains to be seen how their usage will be impacted. I think both are worthy pickups but the high tackle numbers may go down on one or the other while the big play (rush LB) opportunity may increase. If I had to guess I would say Hightower remains inside and Collins gets shifted outside.

DB:

  • Brandian Ross (Oak DB): Ross will replace Usama Young and should start for the foreseeable future. Ross is nothing special but the Raiders will be on defense a lot so the opportunity will be there.
  • Richard Marshall (SD DB): With the Broncos on the slate for week 8 and the starting corners for the Chargers out with injury expect the new guys to get picked on. This is fantasy gold for IDP players. Marshall should get lots of tackle opportunities.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB DB): He finally got the start and played in 100% of the snaps while tallying 8 solo tackles.His time has come and he has a great matchup against the Saints this week. Expect a big week and nearing a must start from here on out. If he is on the waiver wire, pick him up.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 8

All records are meant to be broken. On Sunday, Peyton Manning broke the record for the most passing touchdowns by any quarterback in NFL history. After the game Peyton was interviewed on NBC and gave one of the most selfless interviews I have ever seen. He spoke of his teammates and coaches that he has had over the years. He gave credit to everyone except himself. I have my own opinions on Peyton Manning that I will save for another article, but no one can deny the fact that he is great. Through neck surgery and beyond, Peyton has faced adversity and done so while succeeding on the field week after week.

Many of you probably don’t know this but something else ended in the NFL on Sunday. The Jacksonville Jaguars finally won a game. Not only that, the opposing defense failed to score double-digit fantasy points against them like it had done every week prior this season.

Overall, week 7 was crazy, but we are just getting started.

Last week’s results:

  • Cleveland Browns: 8 fantasy points. Eight. Against the Jaguars. I watched some of this game and the Browns defense actually looked pretty decent at times. Three interceptions and two sacks on Bortles made for an impressive showing. In the end though, the Jaguars racked up 24 points on the way to their first victory of the season.
  • Dallas Cowboys: America’s team played the struggling New York Giants at home and I thought for sure they would give us a better a performance. Although they only allowed 21 points, the only points they put up were two fumble recoveries. 3 fantasy points is all the Cowboys were worth. I thought they had a chance to finally hit double-digit fantasy points but while they got the win, the defense’s best weapon continues to be their explosive offense.

NOTE: The Cowboys do get Washington this upcoming week, so if you own them they may be worth another shot.

Week 8 Targets:

Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014
Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014

Cleveland Browns: If you read last week’s article you know how excited I was for the matchup against the Jaguars. Although I was a little disappointed by their performance, the matchup wasn’t the only reason that I picked up the Browns off the waiver wire. The Browns get to fly home and take on the Raiders this week. Although Oakland has kept opposing defenses away from huge point totals thus far, a home matchup still seems prime for the Browns. Pick ‘em up and use them.

NOTE: Cleveland takes on Tampa Bay in week 9 to close out their trio of great matchups for streaming!

Miami Dolphins: Miami’s defense is improving from week to week. The Dolphins have played six games and have scored double-digit fantasy points in four of them. Who do the Dolphins get in week 8? You guessed it, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The battle of Florida should be a great matchup for Miami on the defensive end of the ball. I believe the Dolphins take care of business in Jacksonville.

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills are owned in more leagues than the teams I usually include in this column. Still, Buffalo is unowned in 40% of leagues and should be streamed in week 8. The Bills have been playing really well, keeping opposing tailbacks out of the end zone, and putting up good fantasy numbers along the way. This week Buffalo gets the New York Jets. The Jets are wacky, but they are almost always good for a few sacks on Geno and a pick or two. I think this Bills unit is in for a big week.

Good luck in week 8!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/6wtO5D

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 8

Quarterback:

Joe Flacco (63% Y!): Over the last two weeks, Flacco has thrown for 7 touchdowns compared just 2 interceptions. Yes, they were against weak defensive units (Tampa and Atlanta), but Flacco is showing that he has strong connections with his bevy of hands in Baltimore. Involving Torrey Smith more, along with using Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, Flacco definitely has options to utilize in the passing game. He also has a strong run game with a 3-headed monster led by Justin Forsett. He has a 14:5 TD:INT ratio on the season and is an upper-tier QB2 with potential to be a low-end QB1 on a weekly basis. He gets the Bengals, Steelers and Titans over the next three weeks, all of which are beatable. He’s a great bye-week filler in the near future.

Carson Palmer (42% Y!): Palmer seems nearly recovered from a shoulder issue that plagued him for most of the season. Since his return, he’s thrown 4 touchdowns to just 1 interception. He has done a nice job of spreading the ball around to his plethora of weapons and has been complimented nicely by stud running back Andre Ellington. Palmer should be owned in more leagues due to his matchups to come (Eagles, Cowboys, Rams) and the ability of his weapons to make plays. Palmer throws the ball down-field quite a bit, and that’s what we fake gamers want to see!

Running Back:

Tre Mason (17% Y!): The Auburn rookie has been inactive more often than he has been in uniform this season. Yet he’s now one of the most intriguing running back adds of the year. He had a breakout game on Sunday (18/85/1) against Seattle and is now likely the top tailback for the Rams. Last season’s surprise star Zac Stacy has just not been able to get it going this season and saw no touches on Sunday. The only other back in the mix is Benjamin Cunningham, who looks to have established a role as the change-of-pace option. Easily the most talented runner in the St. Louis backfield, the job should be Mason’s so long as he produces in the weeks to come. While Mason is not likely to be a PPR-maven, the Rams like to run the ball enough for him to be a weekly FLEX option should he succeed with the gig. Pick him up in all formats.

Ronnie Hillman (58% Y!): Last call! Add in all leagues. Hillman had a big game on Sunday, tallying 103 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against a stingy San Fransisco defense. Given the lack of burst with which Montee Ball played before his injury, Hillman is a candidate to keep this job for the remainder of the season. At the very least, he’s carved out a major role in this offense once the former returns. There is still no definitive timetable for Ball’s return, so continue to use Hillman with confidence in the weeks ahead.

With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo's lead back
With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo’s lead back

Bryce Brown (6% Y!): Both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are out indefinitely with injuries, leaving Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown to handle the backfield touches in their absence. Dixon has been active all year due to his special teams appeal but Brown is the more talented back and should be given a larger share of the touches between the 20’s. Brown is also the superior pass protector and that should only help to keep him on the field. Dixon will likely sub in when Buffalo gets close to the goal line. Brown has great stats in his young career, with over 4.6 YPC and 6 touchdowns. The only downside to Brown’s immediate future prospects are the tough matchups which Buffalo faces. Let all the noobs put in claims on Dixon, my money is on Bryce Brown taking the job and running with it.

Wide Receiver:

Doug Baldwin (23% Y!): With Percy Harvin out of the picture, many are predicting the ball distribution won’t change much since the former Viking wasn’t seeing many looks to begin with. The most logical beneficiary of the Harvin trade to the Jets is obviously Doug Baldwin. He’s been Russel Wilson’s favorite target all year long and Sunday it showed, as Baldwin broke out for a 7/123/1 line. Baldwin is now a clear-cut WR3 option in the coming weeks as he should be getting plenty of looks for a Seattle team that will be looking to get out of their funk. Fantasy owners in need of wide receiver help should put a considerable FAAB bid in on Baldwin this week.

Odell Beckham Jr. (50% Y!): After the Victor Cruz injury last week, the biggest beneficiary had to be Beckham, who slid right into the starting lineup. He posted a 4/34/2 line in week 7. Beckham is quickly becoming a favorite of Eli Manning and is arguably the best receiver on the team. His athletic ability and red zone use should help continue to lift his stock in the weeks ahead. He’s probably more of a WR3 right now, but upside remains. If he has another big game in week 9 (Giants are on a bye coming up), this is probably the last call to hop on the bandwagon.

Allen Robinson (15% Y!): As I stated last week, Robinson is Blake Bortles’ favorite target and considering how much the Jaguars are forced to throw the ball, he’s worth an add. The biggest problem with Robinson was that before Sunday, he hadn’t found pay dirt yet this season. I said he would find the end zone soon and voila! He finished with a healthy 7 targets and a touchdown as well and will continue to rack up the looks each week and can be safely deployed as a mid-tier WR3. He needs to be owned more than 15% of leagues. Anyone with a free spot on their bench needs to put Robinson there.

Tight End:

Owen Daniels (49% Y!): Overall, Daniels has disappointed fantasy owners ever since becoming the starting tight end for the Ravens after Dennis Pitta’s season-ending hip injury. He scored his first touchdown since his 2-score performance in week 2 and was targeted 9 times as well. Joe Flacco has been above average this season and in such a tight end-friendly scheme, Daniels is going to be a threat to provide gamers a healthy dose of points weekly. Don’t mistake Daniels for a game-changer, but he is more than serviceable considering the current pool of available tight ends.

Charles Clay (40% Y!): Whether it was a struggling offense or being hurt, Clay has been an utter disappointment so far after his breakout 2013. He finally had a good game on Sunday (4/58/1) and given his talent, this could be all Clay needs to get back on track. The key to his success is the progression of Ryan Tannehill. After Mike Wallace, Clay could easily become Tannehill’s #2 target with Miami’s lack of depth at the running back position. The Dolphins are forced to rely on their passing attack a lot and that could help Clay get back to last season’s form. If you need a tight end this week, he is definitely worth a look.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/blfmEi

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 7

Elite linebackers are going down left and right. This article should help to decide which players are worth adding and inserting into your lineup. The fun part is sifting through the landmines. Let’s start with the injury news and move on to the good news at the end.

IDP injuries of note:

  • Calais Campbell (ARI DE): Campbell looks like he might be back sooner than later. After getting in some running this week it looks like a return in week 8 is possible.
  • Chandler Jones (NE DE): Jones bounced back from his zero-tackle performance with a sack and fumble recovery while posting 4 tackles. He was in for every play and with Jerod Mayo done for the year, Jones should get more opportunities at OL, boosting his value even more.
  • Armonty Bryant (CLE DE): Bryant tore his ACL and MCL and is done for the season. He was just a situational pass-rusher so probably not a big blow to anyone’s team. It may open up more opportunities for Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo.
  • Michael Johnson (TB DE): Johnson tried to play with an injured ankle but has been virtually useless. He goes on the bye this week so it may be a chance for him to get healthy. If someone dropped him and you have a bench spot that you can hold for a week he might pay dividends.
  • Jerod Mayo (NE LB): This is a big blow to the New England defense. Mayo went down with a knee injury and is now done for the year. Look for Dont’a Hightower to move to the middle once he is healthy. He might be a good source for tackles moving forward. Another name to keep in mind is Deontae Skinner.
  • Patrick Willis (SF LB): Willis injured his toe on Monday night. You should make other plans for week 7 if you own him. Chris Borland will start in his place but he is only working on opportunity. There are better options out there.
  • Danny Trevathan (DEN LB): Trevathan suffered another fracture and was placed on IR-designated to return. He is safe to drop in redraft leagues as he will be out until week 15 at the earliest. Run to go get Brandon Marshall as he will slide back into the spot he manned for the first 5 weeks where he was very effective.
  • Jadeveon Clowney (HOU LB): Clowney is nearing a return to the lineup. He is really only an option for those in big play leagues but should make an impact upon his return. According to the coaching staff he has a 50% chance to play this week.
  • Ryan Shazier (PIT LB): Shazier is another week closer to a return. With all these injuries I would pick him up. He is iffy to play this week but should be back the following week.
  • Bobby Wagner (SEA LB): Wagner is another linebacker suffering from a toe injury. This is being deemed “turf toe” and he is currently being listed as out indefinitely. If you want to stay in Seattle for your replacement pick up Malcolm Smith or KJ Wright. At this point it’s a coin flip.
  • Nick Roach (OAK LB): For those holding out hope of a return this year he has been placed on season ending IR from a concussion he suffered during the preseason. Hopefully he can return next year and this isn’t a career-ender.
  • Lance Briggs (CHI CB): Briggs missed week 6 with a rib injury. No word yet on what his status is for week 7 but I would look elsewhere.
  • Brandon Flowers (SD CB): Flowers has suffered a groin injury, but it doesn’t appear to be too serious. He should be listed as questionable this week but the matchup against the Chiefs isn’t great anyway. I would look somewhere else.
  • Dee Milliner (NYJ CB): Torn achilles; he’s done for the year.
  • Byron Maxwell (SEA CB): Maxwell injured his calf in the loss to the Cowboys. It was initially reported he had a high ankle sprain so this is better news. Unfortunately it seems bad enough that he is likely missing a couple weeks. Marcus Burley will get the start and since he is opposite Richard Sherman he should be picked on and have some opportunities.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG DE): JPP is a big name but he has had a couple of off years and has started slowly so far in 2014. If he is available he might be worth taking a shot on as he is playing better than his numbers suggest.
  • Ezekiel Ansah (DET DE): Hopefully you listed last week and picked up Ansah before the rush. If he is available still after last week’s 2.5 sack performance go get him. This should continue.
  • Jurrell Casey (TEN DE): Casey had a huge week 6 with 7 solos and 2 sacks. He will probably be getting picked up in a lot of leagues after that performance. You could do worse.

LB:

  • Brandon Marshall (DEN LB): If by some chance he was dropped once Danny Trevathan was back in the lineup now is the time to pounce. Trevathan is basically done for the year so Marshall will slide back into the roll that he was highly effective in to start the season.
  • Tahir Whitehead (DET LB): Whitehead is making quite a contribution, especially in big play leagues. He had 6 solos and 2 interceptions last week and seems to be all over the field. He should be owned especially with the huge number of injuries that have hit the LB family.
  • Connor Barwin (PHI LB): Barwin exploded against the Giants with 5 solos and 3 sacks. Don’t expect this to happen every week but in big play leagues he should be rostered.
  • Bjoern Werner (IND LB): Here is another big play option that is starting to come around. He has 3 sacks over the last two weeks and is playing well. He will have a tough matchup this week against the Bengals so temper expectations. If you want to gamble, wait a week as he will probably be dropped or still on the waiver wire after facing the tough Bengals offensive line. His following games are against the Steelers, Giants, Patriots and Jaguars. That is a nice stretch for a rush linebacker.

DB:

  • Reshad Jones (MIA S): Hopefully you picked him up last week when I told you too because his 9 solo tackle performance will make him a hot commodity this week.
  • Marcus Burley (SEA CB): Call this a speculative add. Playing opposite Richard Sherman leads to some opportunities as opposing QB’s stay away from Sherman’s side of the field. With Byron Maxwell out I have a gut feel Burley will get lots of chances against St Louis.
  • Quintin Demps (NYG S): Demps had a huge week with 9 solos against Philadelphia. Don’t expect that every week but he seems to be holding his own since taking over for Stevie Brown.
  • Tyrann Mathieu (ARI S): Mathieu is nearing full health and is getting more playing time. He was up to 82% of the snaps in week 6 so that should continue. Time to pick him up.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 7

Quarterback:

Derek Carr (4% Y!): Going into this game, San Diego had given up the 4th fewest points to opposing quarterbacks. However, Derek Carr threw for over 280 yards and 4 touchdowns. A fluke or the ability to perform even in a bad matchup? For owners who are going to be without Nick Foles (or Mike Glennon) this week due to the bye, Carr could be worth a look. Oakland has a very nice matchup against the Cardinals in week 7. Carr has shown that he can make the tough throws, set up long plays and break down even the toughest of defenses. I expect that again on Sunday.

Carson Palmer (30% Y!): He finally returned after missing over a month with a nerve condition in his throwing shoulder. Not only did Arizona’s offense improve, but every weapon in Arizona got a boost fantasy wise as well. Andre Ellington continues to put up points while Michael Floyd put up a line that we all are expecting him to have on a weekly basis (4/47/1). Even Larry Fitzgerald got in on the action with almost 100 yards and a score! When Carson Palmer is on the field the entire Cardinal offense gets a boost. Over the next month, Palmer has a favorable schedule with facing Oakland, Philadelphia, Dallas and St. Louis. With the bulk of the bye weeks ahead, Palmer is a nice option to consider. Palmer should be owned as a QB2 in the majority of leagues.

Running Back:

Jerick McKinnon (37% Y!): Talent prevails! McKinnon finally got the start over Matt Asiata and was on the field for 48 snaps as opposed to Asiata’s 15. Against a very strong Lions run defense, McKinnon ran for 40 yards on 11 carries, catching 6 passes for another 42 yards as well. McKinnon is by far the best tailback in Minnesota and should continue to see his usage increase. He didn’t have the flashiest of weeks, but he is the Viking you want to own for the remainder of the season.

Isaiah Crowell (19% Y!): Crowell is just so darn good. He’s blown past Terrance West on the depth chart. In fact, West was a healthy inactive on Sunday. Ben Tate is the unquestioned bell cow in this offense, but the Browns run the ball so much that Crowell is worth owning. He finished Sunday’s game with 11 carries for 77 (6 YPC) yards with a touchdown. Between Crowell and Tate, the Browns ran the ball 36 times. This was also against a rather stingy Pittsburgh run defense as well. Given Tate’s injury-plagued past, Crowell is a must-own in a clicking Cleveland offense. Grab him now.

Hillman
You want the running back who takes the ball from Peyton Manning. Ronnie Hillman impressed on Sunday and is the tailback to own in Denver.

Ronnie Hillman (45% Y!): After the injury to Montee Ball, there were many questions surrounding the status of the Broncos backfield moving ahead. In the end, Ronnie Hillman was given 24 touches. He rushed for 100 yards while hauling in 3 catches for 16 yards. Hillman is the man to own in Denver in the immediate future. He thrived against a stout Jets defense and should be trusted again in week 7 to produce. With Ball out for a few more weeks, Hillman should continue to carry the mail and has RB2 upside. Denver gets the tough 49ers defense this week though. A considerable FAAB bid is warranted on Hillman, as it is entirely possible he keeps the job for the remainder of the season if he continues to play well. Add away!

Wide Receiver:

Andre Holmes (6% Y!): Derek Carr’s favorite target is suddenly an appealing fantasy option. Over the last two games, Holmes has 20 targets and 9 catches for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is the deep threat that the Raiders needed to expand their offense. He out-snapped every other Oakland pass-catcher and you can expect this to continue moving forward. With Jeremy Maclin and Vincent Jackson byes this week, Holmes is a great plug-and-play option as he faces a weak Arizona secondary.

Allen Robinson (12% Y!): Another favorite target of a rookie signal-caller, this one in Jacksonville. Over the past 4 weeks, Allen Robinson has no fewer than 7 targets and 5 catches per contest. He continues to be looked at heavily in the passing game, considering how often they are behind. He has not scored a touchdown this season, but considering the looks he is getting, that should change soon. Facing a very beatable Cleveland secondary, Robinson is another great plug-and-play wideout who should provide a solid point total.

Odell Beckham Jr. (37% Y!): After having a 4/44/1 line in his NFL debut, Beckham took a step back on Sunday night with only 2 catches for 28 yards. The big news here though is that Victor Cruz will miss the remainder of the season and Beckham should step right in and take his spot in the lineup. The Giants offense as a whole sputtered on Sunday, but should rebound against Dallas in week 6. With his new gig, Beckham is an immediate add in all formats and should see an increased workload in the coming weeks. He’s a very athletic and electric player with the chance to provide big time numbers.

Tight End:

Jordan Reed (59% Y!): The very talented tight end was projected to be a top 10 option coming into this season but another injury derailed that as he missed 4 games with a hammy. Returning on Sunday and playing in a just over 50% of the snaps, Reed had 11 targets, 8 catches and 92 yards. No matter who the quarterback is, Reed is going to be targeted heavily in the Redskins’ offense because of his play-making ability and matchup advantage. Reed needs to be owned in every fantasy league while healthy. Pounce on him if he was dumped in your league.

Clay Harbor (3% Y!): A Jaguars’ tight end? Say it ain’t so. Clay Harbor is worth an add after recording 14 catches (16 targets) for 183 yards and 3 scores since taking over for the injured Mercedes Lewis. Harbor showed off his athleticism, catching a 59-yard pass and touchdown on the same drive. Blake Bortles isn’t afraid to toss the rock his way and Harbor is an option to consider if you are losing your starter to the bye in the coming weeks. As long as Lewis remains sidelined, Harbor is going to be a threat to put up a score every week. You could do a lot worse at the position.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/WmhfCC

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 6

Now we are at a point where players start settling into their roles. This means you can start to believe the guys that have put up strong games thus far and roll with them. IDP is a lot about matchups and opportunities but the cream should start rising to the top, especially in the DB and DL play.

IDP injuries of note:

  • Calais Campbell (ARI DE): Campbell was cut down by an illegal chop block and sprained his MCL. He is expected to be out the next three or four weeks.
  • Phil Taylor (CLE DE): Taylor had to undergo a scope on his knee but he has been horrible with his switch to DE that he isn’t worth your time anyway.
  • Tom Johnson (MIN DT): The Viking was arrested over the weekend but was at practice this week. He has had a solid start with 2 sacks so for those in DT required leagues just be aware that a suspension may be looming.
  • Chandler Jones (NE DE): Jones was limited all week with a shoulder injury and it showed on Sunday. He played in only passing situations and posted no tackles. This was a very disappointing game for a consensus top 5 DE. I expect he plays this week but will be limited again. Risky play.
  • Kyle Williams (BUF DT): Williams missed week 5 with a knee injury but has practiced this week. Watch for reports on Sunday about whether he is active or not. He is a stud in DT required leagues and has some value in all leagues.
  • Mychael Kendricks (PHI LB): Kendricks missed week 5 and is not looking good for week 6 either. He practiced earlier in the week but was held out on Thursday. I would hold off on using him until he plays a full game and shows he is back to full health.
  • Vontaze Burfice (CIN LB): Burfice has been cleared from his concussion and is practicing in full. He should be back in the lineup after missing two games but is a high risk/reward guy at this point. There are safer LB plays out there.
  • Bruce Carter (DAL LB): Carter missed week 5 and is most likely out for week 6 with his pulled quad.
  • Perry Riley (WAS LB): Riley sprained his MCL on Monday night. He was out and came back in for a couple of plays but eventually left for good. It would not be surprising if he missed a game or two. Will Compton replaced Riley in the game on Monday but he is not worth a pickup. Look for Keenan Robinson to gain some tackle opportunities.
  • David Harris (NYJ LB): Harris injured his shoulder. It appeared to be minor but he sat out practice on Thursday placing his week 6 in doubt.
  • Ryan Shazier (PIT LB): The Steeler linebacker is starting to practice so a return to the lineup may be near. Keep an eye on practice reports. He might be worth a preemptive add if you have the roster space.
  • Bernard Pollard (TEN S): Pollard succumbed to the injury of the year; the torn achilles. Obviously he has been placed on IR and is done for the year. George Wilson will take over for the Titans.
  • Chris Conte (CHI S): Conte suffered another concussion and could be on the shelf for awhile. I wouldn’t expect him to be back in week 6.
  • Joe Haden (CLE CB): Haden as a hip injury and may not play in week #6 against Pittsburgh. This would give Antonio Brown a bit of a bump in value (like it could get any higher).
  • Patrick Peterson (ARI CB): Peterson is dealing with an ankle injury but it doesn’t seem to be a big concern. He is listed as day-to-day and should be available on Sunday.
  • Darrelle Revis (NE CB): Revis Island missed some of the game with a twinge in his hamstring. He returned to the game so it doesn’t appear to be serious. He should be fine for Week 6

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Willie Young (CHI DE): I have had Willie here a couple times in the early going but he came out with another sack. He should be owned in all leagues at this point as he is outperforming both Jared Allen and Lamar Houston.
  • Kareem Martin (ARI DE): With the injuries to Campbell and Shaughnessy, Martin may get a chance to play quite a bit. He was in the majority of snaps last week and gets Washington this week.
  • Ezekiel Ansah (DET DE): Ansah is putting pressure on the QB even if it’s not translating to sacks. They will come and I am guessing in bunches once it starts.
  • Everson Griffen (MIN DE): Griffin has three sacks but two of them came in week 1. There is a chance he was dropped with the lack of sacks over the last 4 weeks. If he has been go get him and play him this week against the Lions. I expect a big day.

LB:

  • Danny Trevethan (DEN LB): Trevathan made his debut and didn’t leave the field much. If by some chance your league forgot about him he should be added.
  • Danny Lansanah (TB LB): Lansanah made big plays while filling in for the injured Mason Foster. He has a couple of pick-sixes over the last few weeks and was on the field a lot. If Foster is back that will go down some but he is turning into a playmaker and should stay on the field.
  • James-Michael Johnson (KC LB): Finally put up a big number with 9 solos for the week. He is getting the opportunity with Derrick Johnson on IR but it may not continue. He isn’t used on passing downs so unless a team is run heavy (like San Francisco) he gets pulled off the field. He is worth a start against run-heavy teams but otherwise leave him be.
  • Jelani Jenkins (MIA LB): He was out on bye and had a poor game against Oakland (bad matchup for LB in IDP because of lack of chances) but expect a bounce back against Green Bay this week. He has been dinged up but practiced full on Thursday. Get him in  your lineup.
  • CJ Mosely (BAL LB): Highly touted coming out of college and has definitely lived up to those expectations. I caution you for this week as Tampa Bay hasn’t been an LB friendly team this year.

DB:

  • Reshad Jones (MIA S): I mentioned this last week before his bye but he is playing this week and is a good pickup.
  • Kyle Fuller (CHI CB): I have a feeling he will be picked on this week against the Packers and comes up with an interception. Call it a gut feel.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB S): Clinton has been productive in his limited snaps. He is always around the ball and makes the most of his opportunities. Great pickup in dynasty leagues at this point.
  • Dawan Landry (NYJ S): Landry has been solid all year and that should continue. He isn’t flashy but he puts up solid tackle numbers. He gets Denver this week so he should get plenty of opportunities to make plays.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!