In case anyone had missed it, DeMarco Murray debuted on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams and utterly destroyed them, racking up 253 rushing yards and a single score, setting a Cowboys rushing record.
From Greg: If you had checked out last week’s edition of The Brass Knuckles Report, you would have caught my trumping of Murray during the middle of the week. Patting myself on the back ;).
Murray became a hot commodity earlier this week, but there was some definite lingering apprehension from a few owners as to either start him (if owned) or even pick him up in the first place, but after this drubbing—and a very poor Eagles rushing D on tap for Week 8—it is time to scoop up Murray, especially if you were one of the slew of owners who had their RB go down this week. Greg Brosh had written a sleeper article on Murray back in July. Looks like that prediction is coming to fruition.
Speaking of the fallen, let’s see who else is becoming waiver wire gold.
Chris Russell on Twitter has reported that Tim Hightower has suffered what could be a serious knee injury, paving the way for an interesting situation in Washington at RB.
The immediate grab for folks looking for RB help off the waivers is Ryan Torain but after one solid week back on October 2nd, the bruising back hasn’t done much else.
The other option here would be to consider grabbing Roy Helu if he is available, but the “hold for now” approach I would take on Torain, may curb that enthusiasm.
I like Helu’s long-term potential, however, and believe that it is only a matter of time that Torain himself goes down with an injury, so if you have some room, think about stashing Helu.
As a quick overview of injuries out of Washington, keep an eye on Anthony Armstrong as well, after the fractured hand injury to Santana Moss. He may not be worth anything now, but he certainly deserves space on your watch list.
Browns TE Ben Watson suffered a concussion in Sunday’s win over Seattle which could lend some significant upswing value for fellow TE Evan Moore,—albeit in a temporary way.
With only one viable TE option on the field for the interim, Moore could see some increased targets, and could be a solid bye-week fill for those in the market.
If the concussion to Watson is more serious than thought, Moore’s time would obviously increase to compensate.
Christian Ponder and Michael Jenkins made some noise this weekend, and could raise a few eyebrows from waiver wire seekers, but who holds the real potential here?
In Ponder’s first start of his NFL career, he passed for 219 yards, two TDs and two INTs, which isn’t surprising in any way what-so-ever.
Ponder was bound to throw a pick with Charles Woodson running around, and he was bound to eclipse 200 passing yards against a weak Packers pass D.
Michael Jenkins was one of Ponder’s go to guys that night catching three balls for 111 yards and a single score.
While neither of these players are long-term options, one has to remember that the Vikings face Carolina before heading to the bye week, and then round two with the Packers at Lambeau.
The moral of the story is, if you are in a deeper league, and have a pressing issue at WR or QB for this week or two weeks down thew road, either player could be a nice spot fill.
Stay Tuned for Greg’s Mentions.
John Beck – WAS: Beck nabbed most of his 279 passing yards in garbage time, but he still looked much better than Rex Grossman, showing the ability to scramble around in the pocket and extend plays. The bad news is that Santana Moss could be out for the next 3-4 weeks with a fractured left hand. But Beck could still be a decent QB2 in deeper leagues. He was able to find Fred Davis and Jabar Gaffney after Moss left the game against the Panthers. The Redskins could use more of a running offense until Moss comes back.
Tim Tebow – DEN: It’s not surprising to see Tebow still owned in only 64% of Yahoo leagues. Tebow had some strong games last year, but many owners were hesitant about adding him to their rosters for 2011. Some of that should fade after Tebow put up big scoring numbers in Week 7, which included two touchdown passes against the Dolphins. Tebow, as expected, didn’t put up much in the way of passing yardage (161), but he made up for it with his legs after rushing 8 times for 65 yards. Tebow’s name should continue to be on waiver-wire requests this week.
Matt Moore – MIA: Moore is a very poor waiver-wire option. But like I have said in the past, I have to include guys like him simply for the fact that he could be somewhat useful to those 16-team league owners who are hanging on by a thread with their current quarterbacks. Moore did throw a touchdown pass Sunday against the Broncos, but he is a very weak QB2 going forward. Having lost his first two games, the Dolphins may eventually look at Sage Rosenfels.
Jake Locker – TEN: Some might think that Locker will take over for Matt Hasselbeck, who was benched in the blowout loss to the Texans, but don’t hold your breath. The Titans pulled the veteran simply to keep him from getting injured in a game that meant nothing fast. Locker should continue to sit on dynasty-league rosters only. He completed only one pass for 12 yards.
Carson Palmer – OAK: The Raider went with Kyle Boller as their starter against the Chiefs, but almost everything regarding the Raiders’ offense went wrong. Boller was eventually pulled for Palmer after he threw 3 interceptions. But Palmer wasn’t any better, throwing another 3 picks. Having lost Darren McFadden to a foot injury early didn’t help matters. The Raiders have a Week-8 bye, but Palmer’s decision making seems to have spilled over from his Bengal days.
Delone Carter – IND: Despite the Colts falling flat on their faces in a 62-7 drubbing against the Saints, Carter was one of the lone bright spots, rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown. Joseph Addai wound up aggravating his hamstring injury in the first quarter and never returned. With the game out of hand so early, there really wasn’t much of a reason to bring him back in. Donald Brown was the third stringer, chipping in 47 rushing yards, but Carter is clearly the handcuff to have if you are an Addai owner. The problem is that the rushing yards are going to be hard to come by with Curtis Painter under center.
Monterio Hardesty – CLE: Subbing for an injured Peyton Hillis, Hardesty racked up 95 rushing yards in the win over the Seahawks. The bad news was it took him 33 carries to do so, which gave him a pathetic 2.9 ypc average. With the 49ers run defense coming up in Week 8, Hardesty looks like a pretty iffy flex option if Hillis’ hamstring isn’t fully healed.
Michael Bush – OAK: Bush was the lone bright spot on a Raiders offense that couldn’t get anything going in the loss to the Chiefs. After Darren McFadden was knocked out with a foot sprain early in the first quarter, Bush carried the ball 17 times for 99 yards. The Raiders have a Week-8 bye, which will help McFadden recover, but owners should know by now that Bush is the highest-rated handcuff in the league.
Mike Tolbert – SD: Just when I thought Tolbert’s value was dead, he went ahead and outplayed Ryan Mathews to the tune of 58 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Jets. Mathews, who had been getting more snaps at the goal-line recently, was also pulled for Tolbert. The problem with Tolbert is that this type of game hasn’t happened for weeks, leaving him as nothing more than a weak flex option going forward.
Marion Barber – CHI: After being MIA earlier in the season with a calf injury, Barber has scored a touchdown in 3 of the past 4 games. He doesn’t do a whole lot between the 20s, however. If you take out his 29-yard run against the Buccaneers, he would have ran for 10 yards off 5 carries. Touchdown-heavy league owners may consider Barber a flex option going forward, but he is nowhere near being a strong handcuff for Matt Forte owners.
Kregg Lumpkin – TB: Earnest Graham fell to the ground untouched against the Bears, which wasn’t good news right from the start. What was initially considered only an ankle sprain turned out to be a torn Achilles’ tendon, which will knock Graham out for the year. The Bucs have a Week-8 bye. But if LeGarrette Blount (knee) can’t go Week 9, Lumpkin will be next in line. He wasn’t great on the ground, rushing 8 times for 15 yards, but he did catch 6 passes. There is also a chance that Tampa Bay will be on the hunt for a free agent upgrade if Blount shows he isn’t ready after the weekend.
Alfonso Smith – ARI: Once again, Beanie Wells owners may have to place Wells on the bench after he suffered a knee sprain against the Steelers. Smith managed 17 yards off 5 carries and also scored in the second quarter in relief. Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t know whether Wells will miss Week 8 or not, so Smith should be on the radar for all owners heading into the weekend’s game against the Ravens. Hopefully, we will know more by Monday afternoon or Tuesday at the earliest.
Knowshon Moreno – DEN: With Willis McGahee expected to visit a hand specialist on Monday regarding his (fractured hand), Moreno’s fantasy value gets another spike going into Week 8. Subbing in for McGahee on Sunday, Moreno rushed for 28 yards and also caught 2 passes for another 10. McGahee could miss multiple weeks.
Bernard Scott – CIN: After weeks and weeks of speculation, Cedric Benson is finally expected to serve his one-game suspension this week against the Seahawks. Benson owners and those looking for running back help should pick Scott up as a bye-week fillin. Just be aware that they are facing a very stout Seattle rushing defense that only gave up 2.9 yards a carry to Browns RB Monterio Hardesty Sunday.
Antonio Brown – PIT: With Hines Ward dealing with an ankle injury, Brown racked up career highs in receptions and yards with 7 catches for 102 yards against the Cardinals. If Ward sits Week 8 against the Patriots, Brown is a must-have option in all leagues.
Demaryius Thomas – DEN: I talked about Thomas in-depth last week after he was expected to make his debut yesterday against the Dolphins, but he is still only owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues. Eric Decker and Eddie Royal got the start against the Dolphins, but Thomas proved to be Tim Tebow’s favorite target, leading the team with 10 targets (3 caught) for 27 yards and a touchdown. Thomas could wind up being the better receiver of the three between he, Royal and Decker.
Danario Alexander – STL: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that newly-acquired Brandon Lloyd was the main target in the passing game. But what was somewhat surprising was Brandon Gibson being a healthy scratch over Alexander against the Cowboys. Alexander finished with a measly 2 catch for 9 yards, but much of that can be attributed to the fact that AJ Feeley had to make the start over an injured Sam Bradford (ankle). Alexander could have some flex value if he stays in the starting lineup. He was targeted 6 times.
Visanthe Shiancoe – MIN: One of the greatest things about a quarterback change is that guys who have withered away to the fantasy wasteland have a good chance to come back to life. Ray mentioned Michael Jenkins above. But another guy who benefited from Christian Ponder under center was Shiancoe. A talented tight end is a rookie quarterback’s best friend. And that is exactly what Shiancoe was against the Packers after tying with Jenkins for a team-leading 8 targets for 4 catches, 45 receiving yards and a score. Shiancoe could be a pick up for those missing their starter on the Week-8 bye.