Week 14 Waiver Wire: Montell Owens and 10 Other Running Backs to Avoid
Whenever a skill position player goes down to an injury, that player's replacement always seems to have a claim from every team on the waiver wire.
It seems like the Jaguars running back corps has had more claims than just about any other corps in fantasy football this season.
But you might want to hit the brakes when trying to pick up Montell Owens after Rashad Jennings left this week's loss against Buffalo with a possible concussion.
You have to remember that Owens was No. 4 on the depth chart at running back for the Jaguars. Yes, those Jaguars.
Jalen Parmele wasn't producing, Rashad Jennings wasn't producing, and heck, even Maurice Jones-Drew himself was struggling before his injury.
There's no guarantee that a replacement player is going to come in and light up the world. Not everyone can be Bryce Brown (who I hope you picked up, he's the main reason my team is going to the playoffs).
So forget Owens, you probably have much better options. There's also some other running backs that aren't likely to even make a dent on your fantasy score.
Here are those running backs:
Vereen became a popular pick after posting 11 and 19 points in Weeks 11 and 12, respectively. After a dud performance (one point) against Miami this past Sunday, his value plummets.
Add in the fact that Brandon Bolden is coming back from suspension for the Patriots, and he becomes essentially worthless as a fantasy running back.
Stevan Ridley is still likely to see almost all of the goal-line carries, and although Ridley didn't have a huge day, he is still the only valuable Patriots running back.
Vereen will spell every once in a great while with Danny Woodhead, continuing to get the third-down looks and Ridley getting the red-zone carries and first-down carries.
If you have Reece, it's time to say goodbye.
He was given a chance with Darren McFadden sidelined with an injury, and he didn't disappoint up until this week.
He had four straight games with double digits before splitting the primary back role to Jeremy Stewart in Week 13.
That formula of splitting carries and possibly having McFadden back for Week 14 means that Reece shouldn't be starting in your league.
He may get a handful of carries, but nowhere near consideration as a starter for a fantasy football team (especially in playoff time). But if you are playing in the last-place game in your consolation ladder, there may be a spot for him on your bench.
Last year the Redskins knocked Adrian Peterson out of a game with a horrible injury, and he came back this year to light the rushing yardage leaderboard on fire.
This season, the Redskins dumped LeSean McCoy out of a game with a concussion, and he hasn't seen the field since.
Maybe he will blow up next year, who knows? This season though, I wouldn't worry about it.
He isn't worth dumping altogether quite yet, but just know that the Eagles will be in no rush to bring him back into a game. Bryce Brown has had fumble problems but has still put up 56 fantasy points in his two starts, so they certainly have someone that's effective as a fill-in.
You have to make sure to look for a permanent replacement as the Eagles are going nowhere and Brown's two starts have been the most effective running back starts for the Eagles all season.
Jones did an above average job of producing when DeMarco Murray missed several games with an injury. The good times are over for Jones, though.
After fooling some fantasy players by saying that Murray would just see limited action, the Cowboys coaching staff isn't likely to fool anyone this week.
Week 16 against the Saints is the only game left on the schedule where Jones could even remotely be considered for a flex spot (if you have serious injury problems).
With tough run defenses (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington) filling out the rest of that schedule, it's time to part ways with Jones.
Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene
I still struggle to say Bilal Powell's name without it sounding like I have a golf ball in my throat. Just a side story I thought you might find amusing.
Earlier this season, when it seemed that Greene had value, things were going well for his owners.
Then, Powell (pronounced: Blawl Paul) became a vulture and has seen decent carries since.
Now, we have no clue what either one is going to do on a weekly basis. The two split 36 carries this past Sunday (24 for Greene and 12 for Powell).
I would avoid either if you can. Powell is turning into the Charger version of Mike Tolbert, and Shonn Greene is turning into Ryan Mathews.
All of them extremely unpredictable and fantasy football poison. Don't subject yourself to that kind of torture unless you're an absolute sadist.
Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas
I just harped on one AFC East team for horrifyingly inconsistent running back play (two if you want to count the mild warning about New England). So let's throw one more in there.
Who is going to get the bulk of the carries on a weekly basis? Reggie Bush? Daniel Thomas? Larry Csonka? It's maddening.
Well, this week it probably won't matter one iota since they play the 49ers. I don't expect any of the Dolphins runners to have a good week (even Csonka).
I can just see fantasy owners across the nation with their mouse pointer hovering over the "Drop" button on either one of these guys until they get a double-digit fantasy week, thus bringing another month of unwanted confusion and sadness.
Let me save some time for you though and tell you to at least hit the "Bench" button on both of them.
Seemingly every fantasy football writer has written a hate letter about a Chargers player. I wrote one about Antonio Gates, I've seen several about Philip Rivers and the Ryan Mathews ones are inevitable.
How disappointing has Mathews been? Well, he's broken double digits just once this season in fantasy scoring, and that was all the way back in Week 5 against the vomit-inducing Saints defense.
Other than that one game, just a bunch of below-average snoozers. Yet, the guy is owned in every single fantasy league on ESPN. Every. Single. One.
I'm asking you to take that chance and drop him from your team (especially if you are in one of the inexplicably large 32 percent of leagues that don't have Bryce Brown on a roster). Take the chance, he's not doing anything.
Keep him, though, if you love getting seven points from one of your running backs on a weekly basis, because that might be a stretch against the Steelers.
It was tempting to hop all over Bush when Matt Forte hurt his ankle in the Minnesota game to play him this week in hopes of Forte tweaking that same ankle. Heck, I even picked him up for my bench.
He didn't do much of anything though, getting just seven carries (although 39 yards on seven carries is nothing to scoff at). He is usually the red-zone running back for the Bears, but even the shaken up Forte got several looks in the red zone (including a touchdown catch from a wideout position).
Forte is fine now, the fantasy football world resets to normal (at least for the Bears) and Bush becomes someone to have on your bench just in case.
He's still worth having on a roster unless you can pick up someone that is much more productive (good luck with that), but with time running out in the season, so is Bush's value.
Korey Beckett is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report's fantasy football coverage as well as the Washington Redskins. Like him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/koreybeckettBR or follow on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/koreybeckettBR
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