StrategyDecember 14, 2010


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Waiver Wire: Week 15

By R.J. White

Ryan Torain has had injury troubles throughout his brief NFL career, so it was no surprise to see him unceremoniously dumped in fantasy leagues when he suffered his latest injury in Week 8. It was a shame to see him go down, as he emerging feature back was coming off consecutive 20-carry, 100-yard games in Weeks 6 and 7. After a little R&R, Torain is back and ready to do damage in the fantasy playoffs.

He was expected to be eased into the Washington rotation at running back in Week 14. Fat chance. Thirty minutes after kickoff — and that’s real time, not game time — Torain had already topped 100 yards rushing. He went on to finish the game with 172 yards on 24 carries and another 10 yards on two receptions. Committee, indeed.

Torain is obviously a guy for whom you need to search the waiver wire. He’s available in over half of Yahoo’s and Fleaflicker’s leagues, so he very well may be there for the taking. Thank the fantasy gods I snatched him up before this breakout game.

SNATCH THEM

Kenny Britt, WR, TEN. Like Torain, Britt may have been cut in your league when he went down with a multi-week injury. He’s back, and he has a sweet matchup with the Texan secondary on the horizon. Add him, start him.

Tim Hightower, RB, ARI. Beanie Wells clearly isn’t close to taking the reins of the Arizona RB committee, so Hightower is a must-own right now. He should have another big game in Week 15 against the Panthers.

Brian Westbrook, RB, SF. When the game was in doubt, Westbrook was the guy getting most of the work. Anthony Dixon wound up with more carries, but they came mostly in garbage time. With the 49ers actually throwing the ball to Westy, he’s a great add for the remainder of the season.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE. He’s snatched the playing-time conch away from Aaron Hernandez, seeing virtually all the TE snaps in New England’s blowout of Chicago. Should that continue, he’s a top-10 TE the rest of the way.

Owen Daniels, TE, HOU. He shook off doubters in Week 14, as he was healthy enough to catch five passes for 91 yards. Joel Dreessen barely saw any targets in the game. Daniels has a couple great matchups in Weeks 15 and 16.

Jon Kitna, QB, DAL. He has two great matchups — and no, I don’t see Tony Romo coming back in Week 16 — against the Redskins and Cardinals, and I think he’s a borderline QB1 in both games.

Josh Freeman, QB, TB. He has the matchups to take you to the title, as he faces Detroit and Seattle the next two weeks. He’s been a low-end QB1 all season, so it’s hard not to like him against those teams.

Jason Campbell, QB, OAK. Campbell took advantage of an easy matchup against the Jaguars to throw for 324 yards and toss two TDs. He has a similarly easy passing matchup against the Broncos next, though the Raiders may go run-heavy in the game.

Arizona Cardinals, TM, ARI. The defense is coming off a big performance against the Broncos, and the Carolina offense isn’t likely to pose much of a challenge in Week 15.

St. Louis Rams, TM, STL. If Matt Cassel can’t start Week 15 — and with the Chiefs playoff chances starting to slip away, it’s more than likely he will — the Rams will feast on Brodie Croyle. Check the injury reports on Cassel throughout the week.

Arrelious Benn, WR, TB. The Buccaneers eschewed normal No. 1 receiver Mike Williams for another rookie on Sunday, and Benn was able to rack up 122 yards and a TD on four catches. It’s hard to tell which receiver will be a better play going forward.

Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU. He now has TDs in back-to-back games, and quarterback Matt Schaub showed confidence in Jones by targeting him in critical situations. Clearly the Texans’ No. 2 receiver, he’s worth having on the bench.

Rashard Jennings, RB, JAC. Maurice Jones-Drew owners must make room on their team for this guy, as he has the look of a top-12 fantasy back should anything happen to MJD.

Blair White, WR, IND. He has a nice matchup coming up against the Jaguars, so if Austin Collie isn’t ready for game action, White could be a sneaky WR3 or flex play if you’re not set at either position.

Kerry Collins, QB, TEN. If you’re looking for a desperation play at QB, Collins is facing the league’s worst secondary (the Texans) and he now has the team’s best wide receiver back (Kenny Britt). Sounds like a recipe for success.

WATCH THEM

Louis Murphy, WR, OAK. He hadn’t done that much since returning from injury in Week 11, but Murphy matched his season high in receptions in Week 14 while scoring a TD. Deep leaguers need to move on the guy.

Brandon Gibson, WR, STL. He’s top five fantasy points in five of his last six games, which may not sound like a big deal, but consistency is golden at this time of the year. He was able to post eight points against an elite New Orleans pass defense in Week 14.

Ruvell Martin, WR, SEA. The injuries keep piling up in Seattle, and if other receivers can’t get healthy by gametime in Week 15, Martin may make for a decent desperation play.

DROP THEM

Lee Evans, WR, BUF. Not that he was doing much this season, but he’ll definitely miss the next two weeks, which renders him useless in fantasy leagues.

Brett Favre, QB, MIN. The Streak is snapped, and it’s unlikely we see Favre again this season.

James Davis, RB, WAS. No need to carry Davis with Torain looking 100 percent.

Steve Breaston, WR, ARI. The Cardinals offense finally had a good day, and Breaston caught just two passes for 18 yards. He doesn’t belong on any playoff fantasy teams.

Jon Carlson, TE, SEA. Carlson sat on the bench for some of the Seahawks’ two-TE formations. He needs to be cut immediately, as he’s likely to post zeroes the rest of the way.

 
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
 
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