It’s time to run to the waiver wire and put your claim in for Kansas City running back Knile Davis. Star running back and first-round pick Jamaal Charles left the loss at Denver in the first quarter with an ankle sprain and didn’t return. Davis took the field and had 79 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He added a pair of catches as well, and looked sharp. Davis could be a starter on some other running-back hungry teams and he should be on your fantasy roster this week. Charles (sprained ankle) looks to be questionable at best for this week against Miami. He’s been diagnosed with the dreaded high ankle sprain, and Davis should capitalize on it. The Dolphins are giving up 101 yards a game on the ground so the opportunity is there for Davis. The week after, it’s a Monday night tilt at New England (122.5 yards per game) for the Chiefs. Week 5 is a brutal matchup at San Francisco. We know how tough they are to run on, hunh Matt Forte? It wouldn’t make sense for the Chiefs to bring back Charles to get pounded into ground chuck before the team’s bye week on Week 6.
Jamaal Charles could be the 2014 equivalent of CJ Spiller with this injury and we all know how that turned out for the Bills. I can see Davis getting three starts including two of them with good matchups. There’s no real reason to rush Charles back before Week 7, and the Chiefs could be dead in the water by then anyways. Knile Davis is the pickup of the week for us and should have more staying power given his situation.
Let’s go through the other positions and get you some help on the waiver wire this week, starting with quarterbacks.
RGIII has done it again. He’s managed to hurt himself with a dislocated left ankle suffered when he was running away from Jacksonville defenders Sunday. The positive is that yesterday’s MRI revealed no break in his ankle. The negative is that RGIII should be smart and hang it up for the season. After the way Kirk Cousins looked in relief, there’s no need to rush him back.
Cousins (xx,yy,zz) looks like he should be the starter the rest of the way in Washington and makes for solid depth. He can also help you get through some rough bye weeks with good matchups. Weeks 7-9 feature games with Tennessee, Dallas and Minnesota before the Week 10 bye and Tampa waiting on the other side. You might have to take your lumps in the next couple of weeks with Philadelphia and the Giants before back-to-back games with Seattle and Arizona.
DeSean Jackson doesn’t appear to be banged up too badly so Cousins should have the weapons he needs to be effective. Pick him up now and reap the benefits later.
Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer (nerve, shoulder) is questionable against San Francisco but you wouldn’t dare pick up Drew Stanton unless you’re in a mega-deep league. It’s a little early, but you might want to stow away the name Blake Bortles in case Jacksonville continues to falter. They rely on their pass game since Toby Gerhart looks dreadful. Chad Henne isn’t getting it done so how long until Bortles gets his shot?
Bobby Rainey of the Buccaneers would be our choice for pickup of the week if not for Knile Davis. Rainey shined in place of the injured Doug Martin (knee) and romped on the Rams with 175 yards of total offense. Rainey also has the advantage of playing on Thursday when the Bucs take on an Atlanta team that has been torn up on the ground this season.
Rainey is the sure thing here, healthwise and should get a start on your team Thursday against the Falcons who have allowed a league-worst five rushing touchdowns already. It all looks good for Rainey right now.
Donald Brown of San Diego was signed by the team recently and now has a chance to shine after Ryan Mathews went down with a sprained MCL in his knee. Mathews will miss up to a month and Brown should be more of a true running back with Danny Woodhead being a bigger threat in the passing game.
Khiry Robinson of the Saints is also in line for more work after Mark Ingram broke his hand against Cleveland. He had 143 yards and three touchdowns so the opportunities are there for Robinson to pick up some of that slack. Pierre Thomas is still there too but is more of a factor in the passing game. I wouldn’t expect Robinson to be available but its worth a check.
Lamar Miller is worth mentioning with Knowshon Moreno down for at least a month with a dislocated elbow. The Fins also re-signed Daniel Thomas so this sounds like an RBBC situation at best.
Mohammed Sanu of the Bengals looks to be the primary receiver in Cincinnati should AJ Green miss any amount of time with his turf toe injury. Green is week to week at best right now and Sanu would be a nice addition to most rosters.
Andrew Hawkins of Cleveland has emerged as the top receiving option for the Browns with Josh Gordon suspended and Jordan Cameron (shoulder) out for the game against the Saints. Hawkins had 6-70-0 this week and should be better next week as rapport builds.
James Jones of Oakland has a very quiet two touchdowns in the first two weeks. He posted a 9-112-1 line this past week against Houston and could be a nice sleeper going forward. Oakland looks like it is going to be throwing a bunch and Jones is the biggest recipient of them.
Owen Daniels of the Ravens double-vultured touchdowns from Dennis Pitta on Thursday night but isn’t more than a speculative add. Pitta’s still healthy and this was an odd week for these tight ends. Joe Flacco will throw to his tight ends often and Pitta will come around soon.
Chandler Catonzaro of Arizona had a solid day with 4-of-4 field goals in the Cardinals win over the Giants. When you factor in a questionable quarterback situation and a tough matchup with the 49ers and it could be another day with multiple field goals for the rookie.
Cody Parkey of the Eagles had a good game on Monday night with three field goals and three extra points in Phialdelphia’s last second win. Parkey shows some promise and can help you find some stability at the position. You’re looking for it if you took Mike Nugent for Week 2 and watched him go 1-of-4 after a 5-of-6 performance on the opening week.
Defense & Special Teams
Look for the Colts DST this week as they take on a Jacksonville team that has problems moving the ball. The Indy defense gave up 30 points against the Eagles last night but should be vastly improved this week.
Don’t forget about the suspended guys who might be coming back as early as this week. Think of guys like Wes Welker for example. The key on that is to wait for the approval and get all of the names on the list to assess who is best for you and your team. We don’t have the approval on the deal as of press time but this is something to follow this week.
Leave your questions below and I’ll get to them late Tuesday. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewNordmeier.