In the deepest of leagues (16-team full-team keeper), I was on the lookout for a RB to play because Ray Rice and Steven Jackson were on their byes. I scoured news sources and found a potential candidate in Kansas City… Yes! Kansas City of all places!! The land where Jamaal Charles once reigned supreme as a top-5 RB. It was now a land that had been relegated to a two-headed, not-so-intimidating monster. Dexter McCluster, who I had pushed for because of his playmaking ability (comparatively to Thomas Jones) and Jones, who is a “seasoned” vet with not much left in the oven. Enter news about a not-so-known player named Jackie Battle, a veteran who has spent most of his time in special teams. In Week 4, he had shown some burst and ability to extend drives, and what do the Chiefs have to lose in playing this guy? Week 5 made a statement and a case that Jackie may indeed be Battle-ready. I was rewarded by fine play, despite not finding paydirt.
Week 5 Stats: 119 yards rushing and 2 receptions for 21 yards. Not only did he make the most of his carries, he received more than the two aforementioned RB’s in Kansas City. Granted he tweaked his ankle a bit by the end of the game, and that this performance came against the Colts, but with a Week 6 bye, I see him being the majority stake-holder in the Kansas City backfield once the Chiefs head back onto the field. Make him a pickup if you need help at RB or have dead weight you’ve been looking to drop.
Another thing to note, we saw New England RB Stevan Ridley put up some paltry numbers, while his fellow running mate BGE get some major ones. I cautioned owners, who were quick to think Ridley would be their backfield savior. He’s still a guy I keep on my squad, but don’t see much changing in running back use unless a significant injury occurs to Green-Ellis.
Here’s a quick list of people to target early on this week on the waiver-wire:
QB – Alex Smith (SF): He doesn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he has been efficient and doesn’t hurt you. As they get some key pieces of the passing game back and as Gore continues to grow stronger in the run, Smith has some choice matchups coming in the next 4 to 6 weeks, which includes NYG and the AZ Cardinals; Tim Tebow (DEN) - John Fox has been hush hush about whether Tebow will indeed start over Orton when the Broncos play their next game, but any sane person would be able to guess that he will be. He may not be the most technically sound QB, but he is a winner, and he can energize and lead a team. Not only that, but he can lead your fantasy team as well, showing his affinity for running the ball whenever he sees the opportunity. He isn’t an every-week start going forward, but he’ll be a fun one for certain.
RB - Jackie Battle (KC) – for reasons mentioned above; James Starks (GB) – he still needs to be owned in all leagues because he is the hotter hand in a very potent offense. I loved seeing him catch a few screen passes as well; Donald Brown/Delone Carter (IND) - News is that Addai will miss 1-3 weeks with a, you guessed it, hamstring injury. I see Brown making the bigger impact in his absence, but look for Carter to find some time as well. I’d stash Brown and see what happens, as I like him better of the two.
WR – Pierre Garcon (IND) - Am I a believer? No, but I can’t get over the fact that Painter has targeted Garcon most of all of his receivers. Garcon is still known for drops, but if he gets enough looks and looks-deep while Wayne garners most of the defensive attention, he may have some success to continue building upon; Darrius Heyward-Bey (OAK) - People know this guy has speed, but they’ve been waiting for him to put it together. Could this be the year? I’m not sold yet, but he’s someone who has put together two pretty solid games, and if you’re looking for WR help, he’s a guy to stash. I like him more than Moore and Ford, who are more owned in standard Yahoo leagues. James Jones (GB) - The two guys I trust most in the receiving core of Green Bay are TE Finley and WR Jennings. Jones splashed on to the scene Sunday night, but it was Jordy Nelson in weeks previous. Again, for a high-powered offense, you just never know who will have the biggest day, so he’s not an every week start. But, again, this is a prolific pass-first offense, which should show a lot of love to all receivers; Malcom Floyd (SD) - He has shown ability, even while Jackson was out last year. Now Jackson is back, and as he draws the defenders, Floyd has enough talent to exploit secondary corners. He’s owned in less than 60% of leagues, and I think that needs to change because this guy has some good games in store.
TE – Jermaine Gresham (CIN) - I’ve mentioned Gresham in a previous post, and I still love the guy. He’s been proving great chemistry with Dalton, and he’s such an athletic TE, that I see the success continuing. Did you see that play this past week? The guy soared up in the air and brought one down like it was nothing. Dalton will continue to trust in his big friend, both as a safety valve and as a weapon. Go and get him.
**Be on the lookout for more posts soon!