Week 6 is shaping up to be one of the more influential weeks on the waiver wire. In week 5, owners saw highly touted, former backup RB (and current starter), Ryan Williams, land on the injured reserve, as well as Cedric Benson go down for eight weeks with a foot injury. Similarly, with Chris Johnson reassuring owners in week 5 that he is still not a worthwhile start, many owners are scrambling; particularly at the runningback position. If you one of them looking to claw your way back up the league standings, its time to pounce on these guys who are now finding themselves are starters.
William Powell (RB – Ari): He missed last week with a concussion, but is the favorite choice for many to take the starting job with Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams now both out. While many seem to favor LaRod Stephens-Howling as the guy to take the starting job, there is in actuality little chance that he becomes a “workhorse”. Why? He is 5’7″, 185 lbs, and more known for his kick return, and pass catching abilities. The only player that he is even close to comparable to is Darren Sproles, who is still 5 lbs heavier and has a pass-blocking component to his game that somehow rivals many of running backs that weigh 40lbs more than him. LSH offers big play potential, but in reality, he stacks up around 30lbs lighter than other “wingbacks” like CJ Spiller, and Matt Forte who have experienced their share of injury woes. Expect him to hold up any better? The Cardinals offensive line is complete trash, and they need a runningback who can pass block, and still get it done on the ground. The best shot they have of this, is William Powell.
Alex Green (RB – GB): This one is slightly more shaky. He is not a good start this week, as the Packers take on the top ranked Houston defense. However, after Cedric Benson was injured against the Colts, Green showed glimpses of why he was highly valued heading into the season. He managed to break off an impressive, tackle-shedding 41 yard run, but looked remarkably average in his other snaps. There are two other lingering problems here. One is that the Packers have allowed Kuhn to poach TD’s off of Benson, so chances are that increases even more now that they have an untested back. Two is that James Starks is pretty much a surefire bet to steal carriers from Green, as well. Despite these issues, Green will still most likely get the majority of touches going forward, and could present himself as a quality #3 RB/flex play with a large upside.
David Wilson (RB – NYG): Looks like his early season struggles/tears may be behind him. Managed to break off a nice 40 yard run, despite being untouched the whole way. Make no mistake, the first round pick has tons of big play potential, and Ahmad Bradshaw is still injury prone. It looks like the Giants are now favoring Wilson over the concussed and injured Andre Brown, so at the very least, he is one of the top handcuffs worth owning.
Kendall Wright (WR – Ten): Great speed, and the Titans like to use him to nickel and dime teams. When paired with a QB who hasn’t gotten many first team practice reps up until last week, that generally makes a very nice combo. Kenny Britt is still not 100%, so this could decline as Britt strengthens and Hasselbeck acclimates, but in week 5, Wright saw a team high, 11 targets (he caught 9 for 66 yards). Chris Johnson is still making his fantasy owners (and probably the Titans’ too) rip their hair out, so expect a lot of nickel and diming from Wright & Tennessee moving forward.
Brandon Weeden (QB – Cle): He has been improving each game he has played in. While his receivers have not helped him with issues like dropped passes leading to interceptions, in that department, there is fortunately no where to go but up. Last time he played the Bengals, Weeden stung them for 322 yards, 2 TD’s and 0 interceptions. Not only is this a solid play this week, but you will come off looking like a genius to the other guys in your league who have failed to give the guy the time of day, most likely based entirely off the fact he plays for Cleveland.
Miami (Defense): Managed to turn in back to back 12+ point performances. They have another favorable matchup this week against the Rams (who happen to have just lost Sam Bradford’s favorite weapon).
Tampa Bay (Defense): They take on Brady Quinn and the Chiefs’ this week. Kansas City runs the ball well, and will be extra one-dimensional this game, without their starting QB. Tampa stops the run very well. Play the top tier defenses before this one, but if you didn’t get one on draft day or have a bye, this is a solid option.