I don’t know how many of you own Maurice Jones-Drew but I’m sure that you must be as disappointed as I am about his injury in the first quarter against Oakland this past Sunday. He went down with a foot injury but later appeared on the sidelines with crutches and a walking boot. MJD went to the press conference and spoke as well.
So the lyrics of Pink’s hit song perfectly describes what it was like when MJD went down.
“White knuckles and sweaty palms from hanging on too tight
Clenched shut jaw, I’ve got another headache again tonight
Eyes on fire, eyes on fire, and they burn from all the tears
I’ve been crying, I’ve been crying, I’ve been dying over you
Tie a knot in the rope, tryin’ to hold, tryin’ to hold,
But there’s nothing to grasp so I let go.”
MJD has been ruled out for Sunday at Green Bay and might be lost for the season with the dreaded Lisfranc injury. You may remember this was the same one last season that knocked out Darren McFadden about this time in 2011. Houston QB Matt Schaub went down in Week 9 with the same injury and didn’t return. I’ll give a further description about what the injury is in Friday’s edition of Sawbones Scribings.
It doesn’t look good, but don’t drop him quite yet until an official word comes down that he’s going to the IR. With it being at this point in the season the recallable IR doesn’t look like an option for a Jaguars team that is going nowhere fast. It’s all-or-none on MJD right now.
It’s also disappointing from a fantasy standpoint that we’ve seen players going down hurt early in games and torpedoing teams. Danny Amendola’s clavicle issue was early second quarter. Jimmy Graham’s ankle was in the first quarter. Nate Burleson of the broke his leg in the second quarter of last night’s loss to Chicago and is done for the year. Injuries happen but it seems like this year they’re coming so early they’re really damaging fantasy teams.
Now, on to the waiver wire pick ups. The percentage available is based off ESPN.com leagues and FAAB values are based on $100 budgets. This week has Houston, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Buffalo on the bye.
Rashad Jennings RB JAX (86.3%, $30-40 based on your FAAB) is the pickup of the week. Jennings looked sharp in relief of MJD with 44 yards and a rushing touchdown to go with seven catches for 58 yards. There’s no doubt the Jaguars have little offensive firepower. They will also be potentially without Blaine Gabbert this week at Green Bay so Jacksonville will be relying on the ground game even more than they already do. (If that’s even possible.)
Jennings will be toting the rock and is that free agent to go big on because of the situation he’s in and the team he plays for. I’d go towards the higher end of the FAAB number if you play in a PPR league since he will give you that extra boost on the short dump-offs.
Montario Hardesty RB CLE (91.5%, $5) is worth a pickup if you own Trent Richardson. The Browns’ big rookie back has been dealing with rib injuries that appear to be more serious than what’s been let on. Richardson sat on the sidelines for the second half and Hardesty looks to be in line to get the start against San Diego this week. Hardesty might also be able to help you fill the gap with guys like Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller on bye this week.
LaRod Stephens-Howling RB ARI (89.5% $4) showed some toughness in the Cardinals hard-luck loss to Minnesota this week. He rushed for 104 yards and a three-yard touchdown while catching 4 balls for 45 yards as well. This was against a Minnesota defense that is usually stout against the run so this was a pleasant surprise. He’s going to find tougher sledding this week on Monday Night Football against San Francisco but he was the best offensive weapon Arizona had last week. William Powell, who we told you about two weeks ago, has been relegated to kick returns and the occasional carry so he’s become irrelevant in fantasy rather quickly. Just like the Cardinals themselves.
Vick Ballard RB IND (54.2%, $4) ran the ball 20 times for 84 yards last week against Cleveland but didn’t score since QB Andrew Luck double-vultured him inside the five yard line. Ballard looks to be a one-more-week kind of play with Donald Brown getting closer to returning to the lineup following knee surgery. A favorable matchup with the Titans awaits so this should be last call on Ballard and he could be a nice flex option this week.
Phillip Tanner RB DAL (99.1%, $3) should be on your radar as a sneaky option this week. DeMarco Murray was spotted on crutches as late as Friday of last week so he looks unlikely to go against the Giants. Felix Jones suffered a neck injury in the yawner of a win over Carolina last week so Tanner, about the only healthy back the Cowboys have left, could be in line to get the start this week. The two caveats on adding him are that Dallas plays the Giants who have a weak secondary and the New York front four has been able to crush opposing runners all season. The other warning is that they play in an afternoon game so keep that in mind if you decide to lay out in the sun this week and get Tanner.
Santana Moss WR WSH (75%, $2) burst back on the scene with his 3-67-2 game against the Giants and quietly has four touchdowns this seasons. I can think of two reasons why to pick up Moss. First, WR Pierre Garcon is still struggling with that damned foot injury and is likely to keep him out until week 10 at the earliest. Secondly, their top tight end Fred Davis is done for the season after tearing his Achilles last week. Since RGIII won’t have the underneath security blanket anymore in Davis, look for him to spread the ball around the field more in the coming weeks. Yes, Chris Cooley has re-signed with Washington but I would want to see him play a game or two first to see how we works with RGIII before contemplating adding him. Ditto for Logan Paulsen.
Titus Young and Ryan Broyles WR DET (48.8% $3 and 99.8% $2, respectively) could be good pickups if the Detroit passing game ever decides to get out of neutral. We saw Matthew Stafford spread the ball around last night after Megatron got shutdown by a guy nicknamed Peanut (Charles Tillman) and was limited to 3-34-0 in the loss. Young moves into the WR2 spot on the depth chart after Burleson broke his leg. Broyles takes the slot spot and was a dynamo last season for the University of Oklahoma in that role. Broyles is the kind of wideout who can take an 8-yard slant pass and break into a 22-yard gain. It’s how we was used best as a Sooner the Lions would be wise to follow suit.
Defensively speaking, there are four viable pickup options this week in New England (44.8%; $2), Green Bay (15%; $2), San Diego (94.2% $2) and Oakland (94%; $1).
The Patriots have a nice matchup against the Rams this week. The backfield for St. Louis has devolved into a timeshare between Steven Jackson and Darryl Richardson. Rams QB Sam Bradford has thrown for fewer than 250 yards in five of his seven games this year and might find it tough going against the Patriots. If New England can tighten up its coverage (read: stop playing zone) they should be able to frustrate Bradford and the Rams. The other to keep in mind is that this game is over in Jolly Old England at Wembley Stadium. The Patriots have made this trip before and knocked off Tampa Bay 35-7 in London. This is the first such trip for the Rams and they might get distracted driving in that roundabout a la the Griswolds.
Green Bay takes on the banged up Jaguars. MJD is out. Blaine Gabbert might be out and yield to Chad Henne. Rgardless of whether or not Charles Woodson broke his collarbone, this still looks like a plum of a matchup for the Pack. If you can find them, get them.
San Diego takes on a banged up Cleveland team that might be without T-Rich as described above. The Chargers had a great first half against Denver in Week 6 before Phillip Rivers went farther south than the Amazon in the second half. It’s worth a roll of the dice if you need a fill in for the Texans defense this week but they’re a one-week stand at best.
Oakland could also be a one-week stand too when they face Kansas City this week at Arrowhead. I can sum up the reason for this in four words: starting quarterback Brady Quinn. KC is going to have ride Jamaal Charles this week if they want to beat the Raiders and Oakland looked good minimizing a one-dimensional Jacksonville ground game. If the Raiders can do it again, then they could put up some positive FP for the fourth time this season.
I also think the following Quinns could play quarterback better than Brady: Colin Quinn, Anthony Quinn, Martha Quinn and Jane Seymour…as Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman. Since we have two MTV personalities from when they still played music, let’s give a quick clip of “Remote Control” to close this out. Face it, you’d rather watch Colin Quinn than Brady Quinn any day so here you go.
As always leave questions, comments or how much you miss MTV below.