Amazingly, it’s another good week for the running back needy, and some of you likely lost your starters this week with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson going down. I would have hoped you’d replace Spiller by now, but I know it’s hard to give up on those preseason plans.
I’ll typically assume most previous pickup suggestions have been secured in your league each week, but be sure to snag any Giants receivers that are available as they go on bye this week. That offense could get back on track when next we see them take the field.
I’d also prioritize Branden Oliver over this entire list, despite his somewhat disappointing performance against the Chiefs, who are playing better than most are giving them credit.
The big names are Tim Tebow and Jackie Battle this week, but it’s really all about Tebow. He was a stud when he got the chance to start last season. Time for him to do it again.
This week’s pickups are listed in the order I’d try to acquire them. Feel free to ask any add/drop questions in the comments below.
Tim Tebow (Broncos)
He was the top quarterback in fantasy through the final weeks of last season because of his role as both quarterback and goal-line back for the Broncos. Now that he’s been named the starter, we can safely assume he’ll be a fantasy factor in Week 7 when the Broncos return from their bye.
He’s not quite in Cam Newton territory yet, but he’s close. Feel free to add him as a potential QB1.
Not to oversell here, but Tebow might be one of the last “season saving” waiver wire claims we see emerge from the free agent pool this season.
Ryan Torain (Redskins)
In case no one grabbed him last week while he was on bye, Torain’s the latest pick in the Shanahan running back lottery. If he doesn’t take over the lead back duties this week, all bets are off, but he was impressive two weeks ago before the Redskins entered the bye.
Picking up Torain is trusting Shanahan to stick with the hot hand.
Jackie Battle (Chiefs)
A big back with little going for him until his Week 5 opportunity, Battle could be the answer for the Chiefs at running back in Jamaal Charles’ absence. He’s nothing spectacular as far as skills go, but he’ll get the job done for the Chiefs when they are moving the ball through the air like they did in Week 5.
Don’t rush out to snag him, especially because he’ll be on bye in Week 6, but Battle looks like the back to own in Kansas City.
I’d trade him in a heartbeat if anyone offered anything of value for him. The Chiefs just aren’t going to get a lot of rushing yards this season, no matter who is doing the rushing.
Victor Cruz (Giants)
If he’s been wasting away on your waiver wire, don’t let that happen again.
Darrius Heyward-Bey (Raiders)
For two weeks, he’s looked like the wide receiver the Raiders drafted him to be. I still doubt he is, but you can’t just ignore two weeks of production. Denarius Moore is still the receiver I’d prefer to own in this offense, but take a chance on DHB if you’re looking for help in that department.
Steve Breaston (Chiefs)
The Chiefs broke out the passing attack in Week 5 against the Colts. Don’t expect it to be that easy for Matt Cassel against many other opponents, but when it is, he’s obviously got an eye for Breaston this season.
Alex Smith (49ers)
Nobody’s calling him a starting fantasy quarterback just yet, but Smith turned in a nice day in Week 5 and has spot-starter value moving forward. He could have more if Crabtree gets back to 100 percent health. Without Josh Morgan, Smith’s fantasy prospects might take a dip otherwise.
Greg Little (Browns)
A sneaky play this week, Little became a starter during the Browns’ bye week. He was already seeing the most snaps before being named a starter, so this move likely means they’ll be focusing more on him in the offense. He’s the only Browns receiver I’d feel the need to own in standard leagues.
Damian Williams (Titans)
Williams is starting opposite Nate Washington, and he’ll share in those touches Kenny Britt used to receive now that Britt is on IR.
Doug Baldwin (Seahawks)
He’s making plays for the Seahawks, and that should keep him on the field. But I like him better when Charlie Whitehurst is under center than I do when Tarvaris Jackson returns.
Delone Carter / Donald Brown (Colts)
It isn’t pretty, but if Addai misses any time, these two would split carries. I have liked Carter as a sleeper and as the goal-line back in Indy, but he hasn’t shown the coaches anything to inspire confidence in him thus far this season. On the other hand, Brown’s already underwhelmed the coaching staff on multiple occasions.
If given the choice, I’d stash Carter.
Bernard Scott (Bengals)
It’s starting to look more and more hopeless to hold onto Scott for a chance to benefit when Cedric Benson’s suspension is finally enforced. If and when that suspension comes, Scott will still probably split time.
Unless you’re really desperate for the help, I wouldn’t hold onto Scott. You can reconsider grabbing him after his Week 7 bye for a potential start in Week 8 if we know Benson’s situation by then.
Jonathan Dwyer (Steelers)
He looked good in Week 5 and broke a big run, but Dwyer won’t see the ball much once Mendenhall’s healthy. Mendy’s expected to return this week, and that makes Dwyer a deep stash at best.