I’m enjoying riding the Branden Oliver train after his performance in Week 6. While he didn’t do as well as he did in Week 5, he held up well as a feature back with 30 carries. I’ll take that all day until Ryan Mathews returns.
Ben Tate, Branden Oliver, and Ronnie Hillman have all proved their worth at this point. Andre Williams will need another week to see if the Giants offensive line will show up for him. Keep your eye on Mark Ingram, who should return to his leading role for the Saints this week as long as his health cooperates. Isaiah Crowell is also on my radar in a big way after he got the lone RB2 touches for the Browns this week behind Ben Tate. All of these guys should be owned in all leagues.
We dropped a few quarterback names in last week as well. Carson Palmer wasn’t quite himself in Week 6, but he did just fine and has a solid matchup this week to get back on track. Austin Davis may not be shining against this tough patch in the schedule, but he continues to move the Rams offense. And Robert Griffin III resumed individual drills this week. So the countdown to his return has begun.
Sadly, we lost several more good men this week. Knowshon Moreno, Stevan Ridley, and Victor Cruz will miss the rest of this season. C.J. Anderson wasn’t even a blip on the radar in Week 6 and can probably be abandoned for better options.
By the nature of the injuries and emergent performances, this week I’m focusing on wide receivers who could help you down the stretch, but we still have some running backs to talk about.
- Andre Holmes
- Odell Beckham Jr.
- Jerick McKinnon
- Brandon Bolden / James White / Jonas Gray
- Tre Mason
- Brian Tyms
- Brandon LaFell
Andre Holmes‘ measurables have been talked about for years as he bounced around on practice squads, but he’s finally getting his chance to start for the playmaker-needy Raiders. He shined in Week 6 with two touchdowns, both long and short. So now’s your last chance to get him on your roster and capture that value add if he continues this streak. The Raiders aren’t going to be blowing any teams out this season so the expectation for targets is there for Holmes. I think it’ll be hard for the Raiders to even consider sliding him back down the depth chart where he was trapped to start the year. There are some doubters out there in fantasy circles, but I feel confident enough to make him a 20% FAAB if you’re looking for a game-changer at WR for your roster.
Odell Beckham Jr. looked good in his debut in Week 5, but he makes the list again this week because he should fill Victor Cruz’s shoes in the Giants’ offense moving forward. Rueben Randle should see an uptick in his already high targets, but Randle continues to not do much with them. Beckham will have plenty of opportunity. I like him even more in PPR leagues since the Giants offense seems to vary in dominance from week to week. He’s also worth a 15-20% FAAB bid.
It’s not the first time you’ve heard Jerick McKinnon‘s name, but he finally out-touched Matt Asiata this week. I’m banking on that being a trend. Make sure he’s owned in all your leagues as the Vikings try to see what they have in him the rest of this season. He’s a 20-50% FAAB bid depending on the how deep your league is and how needy teams are at running back. It’s late in the year. We won’t be seeing too many running backs emerge until the changing of the guard rookies jump ahead on depth charts or take over jobs due to injury around the fantasy playoffs.
Brandon Bolden could fill in as the new Stevan Ridley for the Patriots, but there’s talk he may need to stay on special teams. That would pass the job down to James White, who’s been a health scratch for several weeks in New England. Jonas Gray is also hanging around here on the practice squad so he could see some work for the Patriots. We really have no idea what Bill Belichick will do with this offense without Ridley. It could be Vereen’s show from here on out for all we know, but that seems unlikely if they want to keep him healthy. So place your bets where you will. I wouldn’t spend more than 10% FAAB on any of these guys considering the risk.
Tre Mason is a stash at this point since he split carries with Benny Cunningham and Zac Stacy in his debut on the active roster, but he looked better with the ball in his hands than any of the other backs the Rams have trotted out this year. Sneak Mason onto your bench with a 10% FAAB bid, and you may have an impact player in your hands when the Rams emerge from this rough part of the schedule.
Most people will recommend getting Brandon LaFell after he scored twice in Week 6, but I prefer the preseason hype of Brian Tyms. Tyms stretched the field for the Patriots in the preseason and may have been severely missed. LaFell’s inconsistencies have me concerned that he’ll disappoint us. I could see Belichick and the Patriots dialing up plays for Tyms each week, which makes him my wide receiver stash if you can’t get your hands on Andre Holmes or Odell Beckham Jr.