Sneaky Fantasy Football Play of the Week: Jamal Lewis

Jayson LoveCorrespondent INovember 11, 2009

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 01: Danieal Manning #38 of the Chicago Bears takes down Jamal Lewis #31 of the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field on November 1, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Browns 30-6. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last week, I told you to use Ryan Moats as a smokescreen while pursuing other running backs on the waiver wire.

Until a touchdown reception off a play-action fake, it was obvious that Steve Slaton was the more effective runner throughout the day. 

This week I am advocating for Jamal Lewis.

The Cleveland Browns stink, and the fact that every NFL fan is forced to watch them Monday night is not something to which I am looking forward.

However, the Browns' win-loss record and awful play has very little to do with Fantasy Football.

Lewis is finding himself on the waiver wire in nearly half the fantasy football leagues on the Internet by no fault of his own. At various times, Lewis has looked more than effective and continues to get the bulk of the carries for Cleveland.

The hot waiver wire pickup of the week was Ladell Betts, as he figures to get the nod over the injured Clinton Portis in Washington. If your team is playing well, you probably didn't have the necessary waiver position to get Betts. I do believe you should be able to grab Lewis.

Fantasy prognosticators like to say, "Baltimore Ravens, great defense, bad matchup for (fill in the blank here)." I am convinced that this has become the "no research" position for those giving fantasy previews each week.

A deeper look inside the numbers reveals that the Ravens aren't quite as scary as they used to be. How could they be? They lost playmakers Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard to the Jets. Ray Lewis is on the "back nine" of his NFL career, and they have lost other players like Brendon Ayanbadejo and Samari Rolle to injury. Haloti Ngata will play, but will be limited because of an ankle injury.

The Ravens hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in over a year until Cedric Benson turned the trick last month. Three weeks ago, Adrian Peterson repeated the performance and then some, rushing for 142 yards against the vaunted Ravens.

So if you are hurting at running back, Jamal Lewis can be the way to go. Lewis will get the bulk of the carries as the younger Jerome Harrison continues to struggle with pass protection schemes and still has the legs to put up some decent numbers and perhaps even sneak in a touchdown.