Jahvid Best and RBs Not Worth a Waiver Claim in Week 7
The news on Jahvid Best is out and it's not good for the Detroit Lions, Best or anyone who thought he was a low-risk waiver-wire pick (myself included). Additionally, running backs who had big games in Week 6 might not be the answer to your fantasy football RB woes.
Best is the easy choice for this list, after doctors refused to clear the third-year back from California-Berkley for contact this week. His concussion tests came back negative, and the struggle continues for Best to ever even wear pads again in his lifetime.
But Best isn't the only waiver add to be wary of heading into Week 7. Backs in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh all looked great in the scoring leaders category, but lightning doesn't always strike twice in the NFL, especially at the running back position.
Here's a look at Best and three guys not worth your time or roster spot in Week 7, unless for some reason you are boasting Cedric Benson, Donald Brown and Ryan Williams on your injury reserve list.
The obvious choice and the saddest of the four, Best was looking like an automatic add if he could pass concussion tests and begin practicing again for the Lions.
But after he hasn't been cleared and retirement has been discussed, don't hold out hope for a miracle. There are better options out there, even in deeper leagues. Choose one of the three Arizona options or Alex Green of Green Bay before Best.
We wish you a speedy recovery, Jahvid. A good fantasy RB2 (RB1 in some cases) when he went down with the injury, Best is an example of not taking the concussion issue too lightly in the NFL.
The shifty back from Texas Tech came on in relief of Rashard Mendenhall in Week 6, and managed to frustrate fantasy owners by stealing a touchdown away from Issac Redman and Mendenhall owners.
Although Redman and Mendenhall are both listed as questionable for the Sunday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals, both have hope of playing. While Batch could be a great find in a deeper league (if you have the stones to start him), you're playing with fire should either of the two in front of him play.
Bottom line, unless you're desperate, don't base your week off of Batch being a factor, as the two lead dogs out of the backfield and in the running game are going to do everything they can to be on the field in Week 7.
Owned in nearly 40 percent of ESPN standard leagues, Ballard was unimpressive during the Colts' loss to the New York Jets. He only registered 25 yards rushing, and was effectively shut down by the Jets' run defense.
Granted, he's got a good matchup in Cleveland's defense. The Browns are allowing 83.2 yards per game on the ground, good for 27th in the league.
But behind him, Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore also in the mix in the Indy backfield. This situation could become murky during the course of the game. If I had to bet, I would presume Ballard gets the Lion's share of the carries.
But with Carter and Moore both shiftier and more inept in the passing game, and Ballard's 2.4 yards per carry average weighing him down, it's hard to imagine he'll put up the kind of RB1 or even RB2 numbers you would need to consider starting him. Again, the options are there, but the situation warrants some serious consideration as a fantasy owner.
The 2011 season saw Hardesty headline a backfield with Chris Ogbonnaya and maybe the most disappointing fantasy player of the season, Peyton Hillis.
He came in after Hillis' injury and maintained some of his carries in the offense. He finds himself in a similar situation with Trent Richardson hurting from a rib injury, but this year things are different in Cleveland.
It sounds as if Richardson, the tough-as-nails rookie from Alabama, will be in action this weekend. According to Nate Ulrich, the Browns' beat writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, it looks as if extra padding is all Richardson will need to play this weekend.
#Browns RB Trent Richardson will wear flak jacket to protect ribs. "It's bullet proof," HC Pat Shurmur said. "He told me he already was."— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) October 18, 2012
If that holds true, then the little value Hardesty had as an injury replacement is all but gone. He's a valuable member of the team and always steps up in key moments, but his fantasy outburst in Week 6 looks to be a flash in the pan, at least until Richardson can't go again.
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