Don't Wait for Waivers - Week 3
As always, the following names are worth stashing, only if you have a player that is wasting away on your bench and never going to see the lineup. This week, because of my schedule, I’ve only got three names for you. All three are nice handcuff options that could breakout at any point. Feel free to take a stab on one (I grabbed Miller in two leagues).
Finally, a quick review of last week’s names before getting to it: Leonard Hankerson had a big TD grab and he and teammate Aldrick Robinson are both very much worth owning given Pierre Garcon’s foot once again keeping him out and Josh Morgan having put himself into Mike Shanahan’s doghouse last week. Golden Tate looks like the No. 1 receiver in Seattle and although that may not add up to much, he’s certainly worth hanging onto for a few weeks. Louis Murphy has done basically nothing the past two weeks and is no longer worth owning, while Tashard Choice can be dropped as well given how good C.J. Spiller looks and the apparently fast recovery Fred Jackson is making.
Lamar Miller, RB (MIA) – Daniel Thomas’ absence from the lineup last week with a concussion likely cost him his job as Reggie Bush’s primary backup. Miller stepped in late in the Dolphins’ blowout win and looked very impressive turning his 10 carries into 65 yards and a score. He had runs of 19 and 15 yards, the latter his scoring jaunt, and displayed excellent patience setting up his blocks and elite acceleration when he found a crease. At 5-foot-11, 215 lbs. and with 4.4-speed, Miller has all the physical tools to put up big numbers. Playing behind Bush, one of the least durable running backs over his career, the chances of Miller sliding into a featured role are better than most handcuffs. Although Bush has been one of the three best running backs in football so far, he’s also seen a hefty 49 touches in two weeks. It would be awfully surprising to see Bush last at that pace, so invest in Miller now before one more strong complimentary outings makes everyone rush to claim him.
Chris Ogbonnaya, RB (CLE) – Ogbonnaya showed up in this blog last season when Montario “Mr. Glass” Hardesty was the only thing standing between him and playing time. Now that’s not even the case. Hardesty is “backing up” Trent Richardson, but Ogbonnaya stole an awful lot of third down work from the rookie stud and veteran Brandon Jackson (who was a healthy inactive) last week and made the most of it with six catches for 73 yards. He did lose a fumble, but he still firmly established himself as the No. 2 in Cleveland. The 6-foot-0, 225 lbs. back has plenty of size and ability to be a feature runner and showed it last year when given a chance to start in place of the injured Hardesty and Peyton Hillis. In back-to-back games he went for 109 total yards and 134 and a touchdown before Hillis returned. If Richardson, who had two offseason knee surgeries, has to miss any time, Ogbonnaya will be worth starting in all leagues. In the meantime, he looks like a solid player to own in PPR formats especially, and as a handcuff with some upside if he eats into Richardson’s carries at all.
Shaun Draughn, RB (KC) – Jamaal Charles’ knee situation should end up just fine. But in the event that he continues to be plagued with soreness and/or swelling, I’d want to own Draughn. Playing in garbage time the past two weeks, Draughn has looked very impressive and has actually led the Chiefs in RB fantasy points each week, even outplaying Peyton Hillis. He’s had just 14 touches but he has several plays over 15 yards and a touchdown. He’s not especially big, fast or elusive but he hits the hole hard and runs with the tenacity of a guy buried on the bench and desperate for more playing time. He’s averaging 7.7 yards per carry so far and could potentially force a three-way committee if he keeps it up. His value as far as actual use in a lineup is clearly tied to Charles’ or Hillis’ health, but there’s serious upside here if he can see the field regularly. And with the Chiefs playing terribly on defense, Draughn could get more garbage time to shine as early as today in New Orleans.