Finally, a week with at least a few possibilities of real interest this week. With several injuries of varying and unknown severity, several players of interest are emerging. Even if you were lucky enough to escape the injury bug, you might have a shot to wreck a close rival’s season by snatching away the backup to their injured star. At this point, such a maneuver might be more valuable than carrying that last WR on your bench that you likely won’t be playing.
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Cleveland – If you didn’t pick up Ogbonnaya a few weeks ago, he may still be available in your league. Ogbonnaya had by far his best game on Sunday, continuing a string of improvement. Ogbonnaya’s carries could take a hit if Montario Hardesty returns this week, but the Browns have little reason to rush Hardesty, given Ogbonnaya’s productivity. Unfortunately, Ogbonnaya does face several solid run defenses (PIT, BAL, CIN) the remainder of the season, making him a less attractive option in the long run.
Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit – Smith exploded back onto the scene after actually being released by the Lions. Unfortunately, I would not expect the same from Smith every week. He was facing the second worst fantasy rushing defense in the NFL this past week. He will also sacrifice carries when/if Jahvid Best returns. If you need help this week, Smith faces a solid Green Bay defense, but probably is still serviceable.
Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore – Torrey Smith is still available in a surprising number of leagues. He is arguably Baltimore’s best deep threat and has had some monster games. He has some favorable matchups coming up, such as San Francisco this week and Indianapolis later in the season… but also has a couple of bad matchups with Cleveland. If you need a spot start this week, Smith is a good bet. If you hold onto him going forward, pick your battles
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh – Miller has been quietly playing solid football over the last month, apart from a disappointing Cincinnati game. He is also coming off a bye, so he could be more widely available from bye week drops. He has a favorable matchup in Kansas City, but unfortunately faces Cincinnati again the following week
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota – If there is any chance that Adrian Peterson’s current injury is serious or if he is hobbled by any slight concern later in the season, I would expect Minnesota to quickly pull the plug. Peterson has logged a lot of NFL miles and it would be pointless to risk a serious injury in an already wasted season. Gerhart performed well in limited action last season and has averaged 4.9 yards per carry in a limited role this season. With Ponder continuing to learn the offense, he will need a RB safety valve.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Cincinnati – Simpson exploded on Sunday and has had some big games throughout the year…. intermittently. He has also disappeared. However, he will be facing St. Louis and Arizona in Weeks 15 and 16, two poor fantasy defenses against WRs.
Caleb Hanie, QB, Chicago – Hanie will be taking over for Cutler, but is probably a significant downgrade. It’s fine to keep an eye on him, but I’d stick to rummaging around for someone like Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, or even (Gasp!) Matt Moore, who has been playing well of late.
Marshall has over ten years fantasy football experience and maintains a fantasy football blog over at Sunday Morning Legend (In My Own Mind).
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