With Cedric Benson and Ryan Williams falling to injury, fantasy owners are left with a cluster of running backs to choose from off the waiver wire from both teams.
RB. Alex Green -
Perhaps the Packers coaching staff will look to James Starks for early down work but there’s a reason he was a healthy scratch last week. Starks isn’t a big-play threat, he struggles in pass protection and has had problems holding onto the football in the past.
Green is coming back from a knee injury from last season but as we’ve seen with Adrian Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall and Jamaal Charles a runner can come back from a major injury and play well.
While Green isn’t worth more than a flex play against the Texans, we should like his odds of overtaking the starting job and perhaps emerging as a RB2 option as the season moves along.
RB. James Starks -
If the Packers are hesitant about giving Green a full workload, Starks will have the first shot at early down work. Cedric Benson is expected to be out for about eight weeks, so someone is going to have value in this situation. Go for Green first, but Starks is an option to entertain for depth on your roster.
RB. David Wilson -
Andre Brown has been plagued by injuries in his career and over the past two weeks he’s suffered a leg injury and a concussion. While Wilson has had his rookie woes early on, his 40-yard touchdown run is encouraging, even though he had a huge hole to run through and went untouched on the play.
Wilson is an explosive back and will be a star in the Giants offense in the future. For now, Ahmad Bradshaw owners would be wise to stash him if he's still out on the waiver wire. If don’t have Bradshaw and have an opening on your roster, he wouldn’t be a bad option to go after.
RB. William Powell -
Powell was working in passing situations before Ryan Williams went down with a season-ending injury and could emerge as the starter. With Beanie Wells on IR for awhile, Powell will be in a committee with LaRod Stephens-Howling. Not a great option long term but he has a decent matchup against a struggling Bills run defense.
WR. Josh Gordon -
Not sold Gordon will give us any consistency, but with Greg Little’s horrible fall out as the anticipated top option in Cleveland’s passing game, Gordon has a chance to be a bye week fill in. This week the Browns play the Bengals and Gordon is worth a speculative flex play if you need help.
TE. D.J. Williams -
Williams had a great offseason and with Jermichael Finley’s inability to stay healthy he will have a chance to start if Finley is out. I like his odds of playing as a low-end TE1 in fantasy leagues.
D. Vikings Defense -
Because the Vikings were a trendy waiver pickup last week as they faced the Titans, you may not have a chance to land them off the waiver wire. If Robert Griffin is out this week, the Vikings will have another solid matchup on the road.
D. Bills Defense -
It’s been a humbling couple of weeks for the Bills as a team suffering blowout loses to the Patriots and 49ers. This team will have good days but clearly they are overmatched against the top teams in the league.
Look for things to get better this week as their front four should have an easy time beating up on Kevin Kolb. If they can play good run defense, this will be a nice game to have the Bills in your lineup.
Next week, they go back home and play the Titans so this could be a pickup worth two starts.
Keep An Eye On
RB. LeGarrette Blount -
Blount was used more in the offense before the teams bye week and even got a goal line touchdown. This is troubling for Doug Martin owners, but I want to see how the workload will be distributed this week before recommending Blount as a pickup.
RB. Joique Bell -
If Mikel Leshoure’s big day against the Titans turns out to be a fluke or if he continues to have health problems we should expect Joique Bell to be next in line for the starting job. The Lions have clearly pushed Kevin Smith down to third string and seem to be warming up to what Bell has to offer on the field, especially in passing situations.
RB. LaRod Stephens-Howling -
It appears Stephens-Howling will have a chance to take the starting job with Williams lost for the season. While I like William Powell as a better option this week, we need to keep a close eye on this situation on Sunday.
RB. Ronnie Hillman -
Hillman continues to get work in the Broncos backfield and much like Alex Green in Green Bay, if something should happen to the veteran starter, we could see Hillman emerge as a RB2 option. Hillman is a much better running back than Lance Ball and the more familiar he is with the playbook, the more we will see the coaching staff use him on the field.
WR. Rueben Randle -
Finally the LSU product put a good game together. Randle is a much better talent than the likes of Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden but has struggled in his rookie season. Not sure we will see him become a serious threat for staring time in fantasy leagues, but if Hakeem Nicks continues to have health problems, he will have a chance.
WR. Devery Henderson -
We know what Henderson is at this point in his career. Every once in awhile he will step up for a big game, hit a big play or two that makes you think about the possibilities of what he could be in the Saints offense, and then disappoints.
Still with Robert Meachem gone to the Chargers and the Saints clearly a pass heavy team, he could be in line for more targets in the future.