A devastating injury to one of football’s best running backs gives us an easy pick on top our Waiver Wire Pick Six in Week 8. Plus, a Cleveland QB? Really?
1. Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
Maurice Jones-Drew went down early in Week 7 with what may or may not be a Lisfranc injury. If it is in fact a Lisfranc injury, he’ll be out for the rest of the year. Even if he avoids it, he’s going to be out several weeks, leaving Jennings as a must-grab as the No. 1 waiver pickup this week. Jennings rolled up 102 total yards and a TD despite getting repeatedly shut down in the running game. MJD was getting close to five yards per carry this season, and Jennings has enough talent to produce similar numbers with full practices as the starters. Consider him a high-end RB2 moving forward
2. Titus Young, WR, DET
Young was a popular preseason sleeper as a potential No. 2 option in a pass-heavy offense, but he’s struggled to produced in the early weeks of the season, catching just 11 passes for 123 yards and one TD in his first five games. His fantasy stock jumped up on Monday night, as not only did he catch six passes for 81 yards while Charles Tillman was shutting down Calvin Johnson, but No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson suffered a broken leg that’s going to keep him out for the rest of the year. Young should see single coverage while playing a huge number of snaps from this point forward, and don’t be surprised if he emerges as a solid WR3 in fantasy football as a result.
3. LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, ARI
When the Cardinals’ brittle pair of backs both went down, indications were the team would lean on William Powell in the running game, due to a fear that Stephens-Howling wouldn’t hold up to a lead-back workload. In Week 6, the backs received a similar amount of carries, with Powell gaining 70 yards on 13 carries and LSH managing just 22 yards on 11 carries. So far, so good. But Powell fumbled early on Sunday, sending him to the bench and LSH, who racked up 149 yards on 25 touches against a very good Minnesota defense, into fantasy relevance. Stephens-Howling isn’t going to be worth using this week against the 49ers, but at this point, he’s worth a pickup.
4. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ
I still stand by picking up Brandon Myers at tight end, but Keller has emerged as a better option after totaling 93 yards and a TD against the Patriots. He and Jeremy Kerley could wind up as co-No. 1 options with Santonio Holmes out for the year, while Stephen Hill still gets a few shots per game. Keller should be a TE1 in PPR leagues moving forward and he’s on the edge of TE1 status in standard leagues as well. It’s probably a little much to burn a high-priority waiver claim on a tight end who has a bye coming up soon, but if he sneaks through waivers in standard leagues, give him a look when replacing Fred Davis.
5. Leonard Hankerson, WR, WAS
Hankerson had this best yardage total of the year in Week 7, racking up 70 yards on six receptions. He’s starting with Pierre Garcon out, and it sounds like Garcon isn’t coming back anytime soon. He had disappeared in Weeks 5 and 6 after putting together a strong three-week run after Garcon’s first injury. The season-ending injury to Fred Davis could also shift a few more targets to Hankerson moving forward. He has some tough matchups coming up, but he’s still worth rostering in deeper leagues to help you get through the bye schedule over the next few weeks.
6. Brandon Weeden, QB, CLE
On the surface, it seems ridiculous recommending a rookie QB that plays for the Browns, but Weeden has come through with three straight two-TD games heading into a good matchup with San Diego next week. He’ll face some plus matchups later in the season as well (Oakland, Kansas City and Washington are sitting there in Weeks 13 through 15), so it’s conceivable he’ll have some value down the stretch, especially if Josh Gordon can continue to be a weapon in the offense.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and contributes to CBSSports.com's MLB Rumors blog. He has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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