by Will Overton
Now that you have survived the dreaded super bye week you can drop all those fill in players who ended up being busts and caused you to spend your Sunday cursing at your TV. Just because there aren’t six teams on bye week doesn’t mean there won’t still be problems created.
There may only be four teams not playing this week, but we are still losing arguably five top 25 RB’s, including the top two, and a handful of top 25 WR’s.
We’ll take a look at some good replacements based on recent performance and potential based on next week’s opponents. Some guys you pick up are just one week replacements; some are hopeful long term options. Knowing which you’re getting is important. I’ll try and point out the difference as we discuss this week’s potential waiver wire grabs.
LaRod Stephens-Howling – RB, Arizona Cardinals: How frustrated must all the people who rushed out and grabbed William Powell be? Last week Powell was the lead rusher on the Cards racking up 70 yards. Yesterday Stephens-Howling ran the ball 20 times for 104 yards and a TD while Powell had just four carries for 13 yards. Stephens-Howling also caught four passes for 45 yards as well.
Fantasy owners must be wondering what’s going to happen going forward, but I can’t imagine them not sticking with Stephens-Howling after this game. The matchup next Monday against the 49ers isn’t the most attractive one, but the Niners have allowed a 100 yard runner each of the last two weeks. And going forward I expect Stephens-Howling to be the main ball carrier.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em
Dallas Clark – TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tied for third most targets on the Bucs team yesterday was Dallas Clark. The connection between Josh Freeman and Clark hasn’t really happened this season until this game when Clark caught 5 passes for 51 yards and a TD. The Bucs were trying to go toe to toe with Saints in a shootout yesterday and Freeman threw the ball 42 times. That’s probably not going to happen all the time and the Bucs still have two very good red zone targets in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. I’d rather a more consistent TE right now rather than Clark if there’s one available.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em
Rashad Jennings – RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: With Maurice Jones-Drew going down in the first quarter yesterday and watching the rest of the game on crutches Jennings took over the load. Jennings had 21 carries for an unimpressive 44 yards, but he did find the end zone and he also caught 7 passes for 58 yards.
Jennings value is really going to depend on whether Jones-Drew is seriously hurt or not. Jennings showed some promise last season when he got a chance to play and the coming matchup against Green Bay could be a good one. If Jones-Drew is out and you need a back than Jennings could be useful.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em
Brandon Stokley – WR, Denver Broncos: In three of the last four games for the Broncos Stokley has found the end zone. Stokley only has 15 targets in these last four games, but he’s managed to turn that into 14 catches and 163 yards, which paired with the three TD’s is actually pretty solid. This coming week the Broncos have a matchup with the Saints and their woeful pass defense. Stokley seems to be turning into a favorite of Peyton Manning inside the 20 and they should see the red zone an awful lot against the Saints. As a one week fill in I would be buying, not long term though.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em
Emmanuel Sanders – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Another marquee matchup this week for fantasy goodness is the Steelers taking on the Redskins who have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Sanders is the team’s fourth option which wouldn’t typically have much fantasy value, but in this matchup you have to wonder.
The problem is Sanders is largely a disappearing act in the red zone and if you are going to take a flier on someone like this it helps to feel like you have a shot at getting a TD from him. While I think Big Ben and the Steelers may rack up the yards on the Skins, I don’t feel confident pushing for a Sanders start this week.