Another good week in the books for us. Darrin Reaves saw the bulk of the carries and Jerick McKinnon continues to improve and see more touches. Unfortunately Marvin Jones sprained his ankle in practice last week leading up to the game. Stedman Bailey was eased in to the lineup as predicted. Everybody else was okay except Larry Donnell and Isaiah Crowell flopped. Don’t worry about Donnell, Crowell may be a different story. What we were hanging our hat on is another “Long Shot of the Week” slam dunk. Branden Oliver went off and will lead the waiver wire pickups this week. We hope you grabbed him before he became a top priority!
RB Branden Oliver, SD
When the woefully bad Donald Brown left with a concussion Sunday, Oliver took the field. All he did to fill in for the RB averaging 2.0 YPC was total 182 yards from scrimmage (114 rushing, 68 receiving) and two TDs. He is clearly better than Brown and even when Ryan Mathews returns, Oliver can play the Danny Woodhead role. The pint size half back is already being compared to another former Charger back, Darren Sproles. Pick him up and if Mathews is out, start him.
RB Andre Williams, NYG
Starting running back Rashad Jennings went down with a sprained knee and may miss a few weeks. Williams stepped in and played well with a punishing style. The former Heisman finalist is in line for a ton of carries while Jennings is sidelined. If he plays like he did on Sunday, he could earn more touches when Jennings returns. He appears to be more of a short-term fix for now. Still, he is the best pick up for the immediate future.
RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN
Hillman looks like he will be the man in Denver while Montee Ball is out with a groin injury. He could split time with CJ Anderson, but Anderson was a healthy scratch Sunday and does not seem to have the confidence of the team that Hillman does. He carried the ball 15 times for 64 yards in Ball’s absence. Usually Peyton Manning’s RBs are extremely productive. That has not been the case this season. Even if Hillman is the feature back, we’re not sure how great of a play he is. Nonetheless, it’s worth a shot.
RB Benny Cunningham, STL
Zac Stacy left Sunday’s game with a strained calf and Cunningham stepped in. He averaged 6.7 YPC, caught three passes and punched in a TD. Stacy is expected to miss a week or two and Cunningham will start while he’s out. While there’s no promise of how good he’ll be in a weak offense. Surely, he will not average 6.7 YPC regularly. What he will do is catch a few passes, carry the ball and get goal line opportunities.
WR Odell Beckham, NYG
Beckham has by far the most upside of anybody on this list. He finally made his much anticipated NFL debut on Sunday. He had injured his hamstring in offseason workouts and is healthy at last. In his first NFL action, he tallied four receptions, 44 yards and a TD. He has great hands and explosive speed. If he is on your waiver wire, he’s worth the add. He has just as much potential as Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin and every other rookie wideout in this year’s draft.
WR Justin Hunter, TEN
Hunter showed some signs of life this week. He managed to rack up 99 yards and a TD. By far his best game of the season. Before you get ahead of yourself, please proceed with caution. He is a fine add if you need help, however, do not drop a viable option for his upside. These freak athletes who may or may not be great football players, do not tend to pan out all the time. For example Cordarrelle Patterson, Tavon Austin, Adrian Robinson and most famously Darrius Heyward-Bey. We all fall for the upside, which is fine with a late round pick. It becomes an issue when we give up proven commodities for these players.
TE Tim Wright, NE
Wright made himself useful on Sunday night for the first time since the Pats controversially traded Logan Mankins for him. He caught five passes for 85 yards and a TD. That’s more catches, yards and TDs than he had all season. Of course he was immediately compared to Aaron Hernandez and everybody assumes the Pats are back to their glory days. Wright does have that kind of potential. If you need a TE add him. Just remember, it’s only one game and Tom Brady spreads the ball around. He is an upside pick up. Not as much as a guy like Hunter though, because he was pretty solid last season as well.
Long Shot of the Week
WR Ace Sanders, JAX
It has been well documented that I was very high on Sanders all of season. Then, the Jags drafted two rookie WRs and he was suspended for four games. Not a great start to stay the least. However, now that the Jags WR corps has been ravaged with injury, it’s looking like he will be a contributor. He had a very solid rookie season and will be looking to build off of it. He is a long shot, nevertheless, I love his ability and versatility.