Felix Jones and Montario Hardesty were high draft picks for their respective teams, but health problems have plagued their careers. Ironically, we could see both running backs starting this week, because of injuries to Trent Richardson and DeMarco Murray.
QB. Josh Freeman
The long ball is working for the Buccaneers as Vincent Jackson is averaging 18.5 yards per catch and Mike Williams has a whopping 22.1 yards per catch on the season. Playing against the Saints this week, Freeman isn’t a bad bye week option and might be worth holding as a backup in 12-team leagues.
RB. Felix Jones
The Cowboys couldn’t run the football through the first month of the season, but with two weeks to get ready for the Ravens, offensive line coach Bill Callahan righted the ship. Murray and Jones ran well, and with Murray down for a stretch, Jones will be the main option in the running game.
Expect Phillip Tanner to see some time as the backup, but Jones is set for more than 20 touches a week, while Murray is out.
RB. Alex Green
If Green is still sitting on your waiver wire, pick him up. Don’t pay attention to his yards per carry average against the Texans. Instead look at how many times the Packers used him, more than 20 touches on the day.
Clearly, the Packers view him as the main option in the running game and his skill set fits what they do in the draw game and in three-receiver sets. Green will have a better performance this week against the Rams, and he could easily hold the starting job the rest of the season.
RB. Montario Hardesty
Talent has never been a question with the former second-round pick from the 2010 draft. Hardesty’s main problem has been health issues, but he appears to be at full strength now. If Trent Richardson should miss this week's game, Hardesty would have a terrific matchup against the Colts.
RB. William Powell
While Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling split time in the backfield, it was Powell who was clearly the more effective runner. Powell had 13 carries for 70 yards to Stephens-Howling’s 11 carries for 22 yards. Expect the Cardinals to continue working Stephens-Howling into the offense, but Powell should take over as the main option in the running game.
RB. David Wilson
The Giants coaching staff was talking up Wilson after his performance against the Browns, and he got the garbage time work in the fourth quarter last week. Wilson continued to run well and even had a long kickoff return to get the Giants started quickly in the second half of the game.
With Andre Brown continuing to miss time because of injury, Wilson is gaining valuable reps with the offense and has likely worked his way into being the top backup on the depth chart.
RB. Daryl Richardson
Not only is Richardson receiving playing time with Steven Jackson, but he outworked him in the stat box last week. Expect Jeff Fisher to continue to use his talented rookie. Richardson would possibly be a 20-touch back if Jackson should miss time with an injury.
WR. Josh Gordon
Another week, another long touchdown reception for Josh Gordon as the Browns won their first game of the season. Playing against the Colts this week, Gordon has a chance to do it again and makes for a decent bye week fill-in option.
WR. Santana Moss
Moss is starting to see more work in the Redskins offense with Garcon still banged up with a foot problem. It’s likely Garcon will be out again, and Moss is at least worth a speculative pickup at this point.
WR. Devery Henderson
Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham’s status is up in the air this week and if they miss time, it will only help Henderson odds of staying productive. Henderson benefited from Moore and Marques Colston being out of the lineup early last season and is a decent play this week.
WR. Nate Burleson
Titus Young continues to get little done on the field and Brandon Pettigrew has had a disappointing season up to this point. Burleson is taking advantage and should be a WR3 option in PPR leagues this week.
D. Patriots Defense
Don’t expect the Jets to build off their win against the Colts. New England will blow them out, and the Patriots defense is in line for a respectable fantasy day.
Keep An Eye On
RB. Cedric Peerman
With Bernard Scott done for the year and BenJarvus Green-Ellis’s continued struggles, we could see Cedric Peerman’s role in the Bengals offense increase. Peerman was active in the passing game and should continue to serve as the third-down back. Worthy of a pickup in PPR leagues at this point.
RB. Ronnie Hillman
Hillman didn’t receive much work against the Chargers, but part of the reason was because the Broncos fell behind 24-0 at halftime. I haven’t heard of an injury for Lance Ball, but Ball has only touched the football one time in the past two weeks.
Clearly, the Broncos want to get Hillman more involved as the prime backup to Willis McGahee as his skill set fits their offense. Hillman should greatly benefit from the bye week and if McGahee goes down at any point, we could see a breakout performance from the rookie.
RB. Baron Batch
Injuries to Isaac Redman and Rashard Mendenhall opened the door for Batch to get some work last Thursday night. Batch did a fair job, but it looks like Mendenhall will be a go this week. Keep an eye on this backfield and if your in league is deeper than 12 teams, it might be worth considering Batch as a backup for now.
WR. Chris Givens
Givens won’t be the replacement for Danny Amendola in the Rams offense, but he is making some big plays down the field. For three weeks straight Givens has a reception of over 50 yards but the problem is, we just aren’t seeing much else from him. Consider him a better option in standard or performance leagues than PPR at this point in his career.