By Greg Larnerd
We’ve finally come to the point in the season where bye weeks will begin to affect your week-to-week rosters. Therefore, your roster’s depth will be tested and an intelligent approach to the waiver wire will become all that much more important to outsmart this week’s opponent to achieve fantasy football glory.
There are no byes on the fantasy football gridiron, only players that we have to temporarily find replacements for, and the two teams that are on byes this week are the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles. The players we’ll have to look to fill in for are Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Carson Wentz, Jordan Matthews, Ryan Matthews (injured) and Darren Sproles (was going to be on this list but is on a bye, we’ll wait to see about Ryan Matthew’s injury status). If you have Matthews, it might be a good idea to grab Sproles as a handcuff anyway.
With that, let’s shine the spotlight and uncover some players that’ll help us this week and can be had on your league’s waiver wire.
Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears):
What if I told you that Jeremy Langford isn’t going to be the replacement we thought he was going to be for Matt Forte? You wouldn’t have believed me at the beginning of the year and certainly wouldn’t have guessed that it just might be a man named Jordan Howard! Yes, in fact, the Chicago Bears coaching staff isn’t completely sold on the idea of Langford and you shouldn’t be either.
The fact is Howard is coming and coming quickly. If you have the opportunity (only 32 percent owned in CBS Leagues) go grab this guy. The overall touches also went Howard’s way on Sunday night vs. Dallas, 13 total to Langford’s five. The Jeremy Langford train went roaring out of the station last year but has seemed to stall of late and break down. Meanwhile the Jordan Howard train is picking up steam, so don’t miss out and get on the train before it’s too late.
Dwayne Washington (Detroit Lions):
After the Detroit Lions lost Ameer Abdullah two weeks ago, we were wondering who would take over the main running back duties. On Sunday, we found out it’s going to be Dwayne Washington. Theo Riddick is a perfect back to own in a PPR (points per reception) league, but Washington proved he’s going to be the main, between-the-tackles back for the Lions for the foreseeable future.
Oh, you would like an example to back up my claim?
Well, here it is: Each back got 10 carries on Sunday and Washington ran at a 3.8 yards per carry clip while Riddick ran it at a 0.9 rate. It also seems he’ll get the majority of the goal line carries when in that situation, which we all know can equate to very valuable pay dirt. In addition, he’s got a gravy type matchup this coming week in the Chicago Bears, who just got ran up and down on by Ezekiel Elliott. Yes I understand he’s not the talent that Elliott is, but he should have plenty of room to run on the Bears defense.
Orleans Darkwa (New York Giants):
With the news of Shane Vereen’s season-ending triceps injury and the uncertainty of Rashad Jennings’ health, it seems like just as good a time as any to add Orleans Darkwa to your roster. He made the most of his limited opportunities on Sunday and on ten carries he produced 5.3 yards per carry and added a score for bonus points. The fact of the matter is you simply can’t trust Rashad Jennings, even when he’s active, so I’m targeting Darkwa this week to add depth to your roster. He should be available too since right now he’s only owned in 2 percent of CBS leagues.
Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland Browns):
I’ve been tempering my enthusiasm on anything to do with the Cleveland Browns until now. The way the Browns deployed Terrelle Pryor on Sunday with Cody Kessler at QB was really interesting and made for a fantasy player’s dream as Pryor was involved in every facet of the offense. He passed for 35 yards, rushed for another 21 yards on four carries with a TD. And oh yeah, he pulled in eight catches on 14 targets for a cool 144 yards receiving. Pryor has really turned himself into an offensive Swiss Army Knife and I’m finally buying into him as the No. 1 target and weapon on offense for the Browns moving forward. Chances are you should be able to get him as he’s only owned in 26 percent of CBS leagues.
Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions): I’ve got to say, I wasn’t high on this kid this season but boy he has proven me wrong. Eric Ebron has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy TEs in all of football. Example A: He’s averaging 7.6 fantasy points per game in a pass-heavy Lions offense. Example B: He’s a BIG man, standing at 6 foot 4 and weighing in at 253lbs. Good luck covering him in the red zone opposing DBs. I see him being a decent play week in and week out as long as he’s healthy.
Greg Larnerd is the CBS Sports Radio Round-Up Midday Host on CBS Local Sports, 10am-2pm on RadioRoundup.com. Greg’s the resident fantasy football nut, constantly talking everyone’s ear off around the office about all things fantasy football and the glory that is this great game. You can find him on Twitter: @glarn34