Most savvy fantasy footballers have already picked up Dallas Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who was a top performer in Week 7 of the NFL—the biggest week of bye-week play so far this season.
For those who were not prescient enough, Murray, who is sure to be one of the top waiver-wire pickups this week, if not the top pickup, is still available in many leagues.
While he is the most talked about waiver-wire player this week, there are other players that stepped up and proved they are worthy of helping you survive your bye-week scares—so all's not lost if you don't land Murray.
DeMarco Murray ran for a 91-yard touchdown on his first run from scrimmage.
DeMarco Murray set a Dallas Cowboys single-game record with 253 rushing yards on 25 carries and scored on a 91-yard scamper on his first carry of the game.
I know it's rare to see a guy lose his job because of injury, but in Felix Jones' case, he hasn't really produced when he has been healthy.
Jones' job could be in real jeopardy here, especially if Murray follows this performance up with another.
He's only owned in 34 percent of ESPN leagues, so go get him while you still can, and start him with confidence, or stash him on the bench if you're already loaded at the position.
Christian Ponder had a pretty solid debut as the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback—throwing for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions, which is bound to happen as he will go through some growing pains.
Next week the Vikings will be traveling to Carolina to face the Panthers. Ponder makes a decent bye-week fill-in if you’re looking for a favorable matchup.
The Panthers rank 22nd in total defense and have given up nine touchdowns through the air.
As good as Ponder was against the Green Bay Packers, he’s sure to post much improved stats against the Panthers.
Bush is only available in 16 percent of all ESPN leagues, but that is sure to change this week. Darren McFadden is likely to be out for 4-6 weeks with an ankle sprain, which means Bush will be the beneficiary of increased play.
That was the case today as he rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries, but was stuffed on a fourth and goal rush attempt from the 1-yard line.
The Oakland Raiders lean on the run more than any other team, and that will not change with the shuffling of quarterbacks they’re currently going through.
Bush is talented and has plenty of upside—enough to be a flex play at the very least.
Demaryius Thomas should have been on your radar when word came that Brandon Lloyd was traded to the St. Louis Rams, but if he wasn’t, he should be now. Thomas had 27 receiving yards and a touchdown, but what’s more impressive is the team-leading 10 targets he received.
Now that Thomas is back from his injuries, he and new starting quarterback Tim Tebow are sure to develop nice chemistry between them. Going forward, you can expect him to be a viable flex option with WR2 upside.
DHB has been the Oakland Raider’s best receiver over the past four games now. Between Carson Palmer and Kyle Boller, he saw 11 targets Sunday, which now gives him double-digit targets in two of the past three games—making him a must-have player in all leagues.
He does only have one touchdown so far this year, but that is sure to change with Palmer taking over as the starting QB.
Michael Jenkins catches a 24 yard TD pass from Christian Ponder late in the fourth quarter.
Jenkins has somewhat revived his career in his short time with the Minnesota Vikings. This was evident on the first play of the game when Christian Ponder connected with Jenkins on a 72-yard pass that got the Vikings down to the 1-yard line.
Jenkins ended the day with three catches for 111 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. He also led the team with eight targets.
It looks as if Ponder has injected some life into the Minnesota offense, and that bodes well for the likes of Jenkins and Percy Harvin. Jenkins should continue his trend of increased production next week against a bad Carolina Panthers defense.
I’ve personally been waiting patiently for Antonio Brown to break out, and I finally got my wish.
He had a great game, albeit against a weak Arizona Cardinals defense, with 102 yards receiving on seven catches and a team-leading nine targets.
This might be just what he needs to get kick-started and become a major contributor in this Pittsburgh Steelers offense.
If you’re in need of a wide receiver to fill a hole in Week 8, Brown could be a guy to take seriously. He’s facing a putrid New England Patriots defense that is dead last in pass defense and overall defense.
Morris and Williams will most likely split carries going forward, as they did this past Sunday filling in for the injured Jahvid Best.
Williams had nine carries for 44 yards, while Morris had nine carries for 50 yards but was also targeted four times in the passing game—hauling in two catches for 13 yards.
Morris will most likely become the “feature” back because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, whereas Williams’ 5’11” 230 lb frame makes him a great option in goal-line situations.
Two weeks ago LeGarrette Blount goes down with an injury, and this past Sunday Earnest Graham goes down for the season with an apparent torn Achilles tendon—now enter Kregg Lumpkin.
He’s owned in fewer than 1 percent of all ESPN leagues and for good reason—I mean, why own a guy who’s the third-string running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, right?
Sure there was no reason to own him before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, but with him being slated to start after their Week 8 bye, he’s definitely worthy of a roster spot—especially since they will be facing the New Orleans Saints, who Graham rushed for 109 yards against in Week 6.
Jackie Battle is a must-own running back to at least have on your bench, since the Kansas City Chiefs coaches made the announcement that anointed him the feature running back going forward.
He racked up 76 yards on 16 carries against the Oakland Raiders but was robbed of a goal-line touchdown by Le’Ron McClain, who ran one in from 1-yard out. Don't let this deter you from wanting him on your team as McClain has just eight carries on the season.
He's not just going to be a temporary fix at the running back position—he’s the guy from here on out in 2011 and still just owned in 50 percent of all ESPN leagues.
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