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If you’re observant one thing you’ll notice is that past the “Waivers” section I almost completely ignore receivers. Earlier on in the season you can make the argument for stashing wideouts because legitimate studs emerge from the embers on a regular basis. As the Fantasy season unwinds, however, the game changes.

Heading in to the Playoffs we want big producers- CEO’s, not Middle Management. The reality of the NFL is that as a receiver if you haven’t emerged by now as a focal point of your teams offense the odds are stacked against you doing so down the stretch. There will always be a few standouts worth grabbing but by and large I’m going for backup running backs.

The collective workload of a season takes its toll on all players but probably none more so than running backs. Injuries start to pile up like crazy and non-contending teams, though they won’t admit it, often err on the side of caution and sit their questionable starters in order to avoid long term injuries. Every season we see studs come out of the woodwork this time of year; players we’ve never even heard of. If you’re going to unearth a big time producer in Fantasy from here on out it’s almost certainly going to be a running back.

My first column here at Razzball was entitled “Ditch the Snuggie.” I rant and rave constantly about the idiocy of stashing marginal receivers, backup tight ends, and quarterbacks you’re not going to play. I’m telling you right now you need to take a look at your roster and purge it of these types of players. In a vacuum I know it might seem stupid to drop players that are well known for no-name backup running backs but cagey moves like that win you leagues.

Worth a Waiver Claim

Fred Jackson – As I said last week he shouldn’t be on Waivers but you never know…. Marshawn Lynch is looking more and more irrelevant under Perry Fewell.

Jason Avant – I can’t see DeSean Jackson playing next week. I can’t believe I’m saying this but Jeremy Maclin might be the best Eagles receiver in 2010. Avant has been getting his looks as it is but with Jackson out the targets should increase even more, particularly on the deep balls.

Antonio Bryant – He’s still floating around out there on Waivers in a lot of leagues. At this point you have to grab him He’s still floating around out there on Waivers in a lot of leagues. At this point you have to grab him if you can.

Jerious Norwood – Yes……finally he’s relevant. Looks completely healthy right now, played great on Sunday (including a touchdown), and Michael Turner got hurt. To top it all off Matt Ryan looks like he’ll be out next Sunday which means Chris Redman will be dumping it off a lot- even better for this scatback/PPR monster.

Lex Hilliard – I know he didn’t bust out but I don’t care. In deeper leagues especially you have to jump all over the opportunity to grab him. He will be relevant down the stretch as his touches increase. Plus Ricky Williams isn’t 100% healthy himself.

Chris Brown – I hate to even put him on this list but he’s getting goal line carries on an explosive offense. He could become a viable flex starter if this continues as crazy as that sounds. But knowing Gary Kubiak I have no clue how this might play out; Ryan Moats’ days in Houston may not be numbered…

Worth Grabbing in Free Agency (after Waivers clears)

Sammy Morris – Got a lot of touches against New Orleans. Unfortunately Maroney looks like he’s going to retain the goal line touches going forward but if he coughs the football up you never know… the job was Morris’s earlier in the season.

Willie Parker – He got some touches against the Ravens. I don’t see him being that productive unless Mendenhall goes down but he was a starter before so you can’t totally write him off- especially not now that he’s getting fully healthy.

Maurice Morris – Kevin Smith had a good game but Morris is still worth stashing because he’s talented and Smith’s been injured this season.

Chris Jennings – I still think he’s going to take over for Jamal Lewis by the end of the season.

Darren MacFadden – He is looking pretty healthy coming off injury. Downside is the backfield is crowded in Oakland and there’s not much to go around in the first place. But if anyone’s going to emerge as the feature guy it’s him. He’s just a superior athlete.

Deep Sleepers/Stashes (Drop your Snuggies to pick them up)

Quinton Ganther – Who the…….? He’s the backup to Rock Cartwright. I even considered putting him on my list of Free Agents to snag and I would have if Portis wasn’t coming back potentially down the road.

Kenneth Darby – Steven Jackson was his usual dominant self on Sunday. But with the Rams completely out of contention you have to question whether they’ll roll Jackson out there should he aggravate his back or accrue another injury. In PPR especially this could be a good stash.

Kahlil Bell – Matt Forte’s just not that good. Sorry Bears fans, I know how angry you are after finding out Cutler’s not good either. Don’t be surprised if the Bears start to feed this young stud the rock at some point.

Eldra Buckley – I’m not just putting him in here because he scored a touchdown. The touches haven’t been there for him but if McCoy continues to be the only back his odds of getting fatigued increase exponentially. As an Eagles fan clearly I don’t want him to get injured or anything but you never know….

Tyrell Sutton – Should DeAngelo Williams or Jonathon Stewart get hurt you’re going to love this guy you’ve never heard of- tons of speed/playmaking ability.

Rashad Jennings – Not going to be a factor unless Maurice Jones-Drew gets hurt. If that happens, however, you’ll be glad you own Rashad Jennings.

Ryan Moats – It’s evident now that Slaton’s won his starting job back. Moats has once again become a stash. The good part is he showed that he can be productive when given an opportunity.

Brandon Jackson – Betting against Ryan Grant staying healthy… I’ll let you do the Math.

You can follow me on twitter: Razzball_Drew

From Around The Web

  1. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    good post drew,i probably need to add a few rb`s to my rcl roster myself,anyone owning shockey got ticker teased last night,you see the saints score big with 5 td passes and shockey doesnt do squatt,of course i bet a few teams out there that thought 4 points (-1 point in some formats),from brady was not possible

  2. Guy says:
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    Rashad Jennings – Not going to be a factor unless Maurice Jones-Drew gets hurt. If that happens, however, you’ll be glad you own Rashad Jennings.

  3. Guy says:
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    Who do you pick up in 0.5 PPR for the upside if your pretty decent at RB – Hilliard, Sutton, or R Jennings?

  4. Harley says:
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    @Drew: Need to win to get into playoffs, and have been making awful line-up decisions every week. Please help:

    -Hasselback or Alex Smith (playing each other)
    -Cotchery, Crabtree or pick-up Jason Avant or Antonio Bryant
    -TE Roulette: Crappy, match-up worthy TE pick-up – Finley, Carlson, Boss, Zach Miller, Keller, Fred Davis, or any other you can think of

    Thanks

  5. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Guy: Hilliard- they’ve been using him in the passing game and his touches will continue to go up.

    @Harley: Alex Smith, Cotchery, Keller

  6. stumanji says:
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    Thoughts on Kenny Britt? I’m sure he’s available in a ton of leagues. Seems like VY targets him often and I’m pretty sure Justin Gage is deceased.

  7. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @stumanji: he is an acceptable stash right now. If you’re starting him during the playoffs, however, odds are you’re in a lot of trouble.

  8. Jo says:
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    I’m pumped you put kahlil bell on there. I watched one of his game in HS at Marin Catholic and so I wanted to grab him but didn’t know how ridiculous that would have been. Thanks for the means to pick him up

  9. Jo says:
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    @Harley: Pick-up Finely. While he may not put up the best numbers or have the best matchup, he’s the safest pick there. He’ll get enough targets to make him worthwhile… and he’s going to give Bal some matchup problems. I think this guy is the second coming of antonio gates

  10. stumanji says:
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    @Drew: Haha, point taken. My collection of disappointing receivers (Jennings, Housh, Berrian) can use the help of a potential WR2. Luckily I traded trash (McFadden & Garrard) for Welker after his slow start so I at least have a viable WR1 to throw out there.

  11. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Jo: The skill set’s definitely there. What you’re gambling on at this point is whether or not Lovey will give him an opportunity.

    @stumanji: that’s a fairly shotty receiving core but that “trade of the century” you pulled off makes up for it and more.

  12. stumanji says:
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    @Drew: Ha, I also got Leon Washington in that deal. The fantasy gods probably had a hand in his broken leg to even the trade out a bit.

  13. stumanji says:
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    @Drew: Not to keep bragging about this trade, but he also dropped Garrard a few weeks later and I picked him back up. Net result: McFadden for Welker and Leon. What a steal.

  14. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:
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    Seems weird but I have a feeling I’ll be playing Maclin over Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall on Sunday. The opportunity there as a #1 WR against Atlanta is too great, and I don’t have to worry about CJ’s or Kyle Orton’s health.

  15. matthole says:
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    @mgeoffriau: who do you like as RB2 in .5ppr for this upcoming week: norwood, fred jax, hightower……also, what are your thoughts on starting maclin over jennings as WR3? thanks

  16. mgeoffriau

    mgeoffriau says:
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    Hmm, none of them have great matchups. I’d lean toward Jackson, just because he’s likely to get most of the carries as well as 3rd down duties. Norwood and Hightower are likely to split more carries with Snelling and Wells, respectively.

    I’m kicking myself for not dumping Marshawn Lynch before the trade deadline, but I really thought he’d turn it around.

  17. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @stumanji: I’m liking Britt quite a bit. He looks too legit to quit. Really I like his schedule more than anything (after Indy). That goes for VY as well.

  18. J to the IZZ says:
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    @Doc

    Shockey’s a pony on a team of stallions lately; Thomas & Dinkins (WTF?) have 2 TDs in as many wks & Boss just ended up on the wire… should I grab him to go against Dallas or stick with Shockey @Wash?

    If so, drop Avant, keep A.Bryant stashed… and start Berrian & Cotchery agreed? Or give AB a shot @ Car’s banged up D?

  19. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    @mgeoffriau: I was one of those people who actually acquired Marshawn Lynch at the deadline… luckily, all I gave up for him was the equally shittay Dwayne Bowe (who got suspended a week later). Although it was funny how Bowe gave more production than Lynch by not playing these last 2 weeks (0 pts to -1 pts). It has gotten so bad that I am going to drop Lynch to pick up the Bronco’s D this week. Talk about the worst trade (for both sides) of the century haha

  20. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @J to the IZZ: I don’t think you can trust Shockey. Brees could easily target him 6 times against Washington, but that one target last week is tough. I would feel a little safer with Boss. Carolina is tough and I rather not start Bryant. I really like Avant against a bad ATL defense. Not sure if this helps though!

  21. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @Asdrubal Bastardo: I grabbed Lynch in a few leagues and he’s been a black hole for production all season. I like RB’s more than WR on spec, but every week one of my bench WR outplayed Lynch in the flex spot. I hate him more than Royal who I own on a few teams, but at least I’ve kept him on the bench!

  22. trevor says:
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    First problem I have is with you saying Cutler is not good. That is just false. Now I may be off with my thinking that he ends up in the hall of fame alongside Devin Hester but hes far from bad. He has an absolute cannon of an arm and can put a ball on a dime anywhere on the field.
    Second problem is saying forte is not good. Hes a great runner who runs hard, catches and controls the ball. This all doesnt really matter for the purpose of this column but I know that I will be jumping on the bears either next season or the year after depending on what happens this offseason

  23. J to the IZZ says:
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    @Doc, yeah tough call, have a few dilemmas this wk. Right after I wrote that, thought I should def start Avant if DeSean’s a no-go; great matchup. I wanted to start Cotchery cuz I’ll be at the game Thurs but Berrian might be more sensible? I dunno, too many ifs, ands, or butts.

    This is what I’m lookin’ at…

    Starters:

    QB: Warner
    WR: Avant @Atl
    WR: Cotchery @Buf
    RB: CJ @IN
    RB: Forte StL
    TE: Shockey @Was
    flx: Stewart TB

    K: Longwell
    D: Denver @KC

    Bench:

    Leinart @Min
    Bell @Was
    C.Taylor @Arz
    Berrian @Arz
    A. Bryant @Car

    NE D @Mia

    If I pick up Boss off Waivers, not sure who I should drop; looking at potential playoff matchups wks 15/16. Any thoughts?

  24. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @J to the IZZ: Yeah, if Desean doesn’t go I think you have to start Avant. Buffalo’s pass D is legit. Arizona’s isn’t horrible, but VY lit them up and Berrian is looking better. I would lean toward Berrian. I haven’t done much research into the matchups yet, but I could see giving Shockey one more shot unless you are just desperate for a win.

    I’d also check the defensive matchups coming up. Try to line yourself up early for those. AZ has some good matchups and might be a free agent. Might do a post on that if I get a chance this week.

  25. Doc

    Doc says:
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    @trevor: Yeah, I think fantasy and reality are just two different animals. They both have skills, but aren’t performing for us fantasy GM’s. I like both for their fantasy potential next year as well. I don’t know if Cutler will develop into a SB QB, but time will only tell.

  26. J to the IZZ says:
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    Thanks Doc, look fwd to that post. AZ’s owned but I think I’m fairly ok starting NE at HM wks 14 (Car) & 16 (Jax) and Denv wk 15 (Oak). Cleves and Oak play wk 16 but I’d be hard pressed to snag either of them.

    I’m a game up on 4 other teams for the final 2 playoff spots so I’m not out of the woods but I’ll wait ’til later in the wk to see about Boss I guess. He clears Thursday. Farg, I hope Warner has his sh*t together.

  27. Frank says:
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    So Sleeper Math veteran Jerome Harrison – Startable or not…

    Vs bradsahw, or j Stewart… what do you think

  28. Drew

    Drew says:
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    @Frank: I think Chris Jennings will end up being the guy there (I will talk about this in my Ground Game Preview, which will be on the site soon). Harrison’s just too ineffective in pass protection. I like Stewart this week.

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