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It’s the second of two hellish six-team bye weeks and just about everyone needs some waiver wire relief to get a lineup together. There are some solid deep league pickups available but none that carry the can’t-miss tag like Keenan Allen, Terrance Williams, and Jarrett Boykin in weeks past. Let’s take a look at the top running backs and wide receivers available in most leagues and how you can make the most of them.
Andre Brown (21 percent): The Giants backfield has been a complete mess. They rank 29th in rushing and don’t have a single player with over 154 rushing yards on the season. Their best yards per carry belongs to Da’Rel Scott who’s been let go by the Giants for a second time this season. David Wilson is out and Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis are emergency backs at best. Enter Andre Brown. Brown broke his leg in preseason after it looked like he would be splitting carries with David Wilson, who’s now out with a neck injury. Brown is expected back after the Giants’ bye week this week and should immediately have a big role on offense.
Last season, Brown only got 73 carries but put up a very impressive 5.3 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 86 yards and got a combined 27 first downs. Despite being without any attractive backfield options, the Giants have run the ball at least 26 times in three straight games so Brown definitely figures to see volume. He won’t help you this week but if you wait until next week you might miss out.
Donald Brown (10 percent): While Andre Brown is a great looking pickup, Donald is the quintessential deep league-only pickup. He does, however, have a few things going for him. Since coming to the Colts, Trent Richardson owns just a 3.0 yards per carry and two receptions. On the other hand, Brown has a 5.9 yards per carry and nine receptions in limited time. Two weeks ago, TRich fumbled for the first time since coming to Indy and Reggie Wayne was hurt, opening the door for Brown to see a larger role in both the running game and the passing game. Although the Broncos defense stuffed any Indy rush, Brown rushed a season-high 11 times and also caught for a season-high 42 yards. His role should expand if Richardson continues to play like a complete bust. Against Denver, Richardson ran for just 2.6 yards per carry and hasn’t had a single game with more than 4.0 yards per carry.
Brian Leonard (1 percent): If you’re in a deep PPR league, Leonard is worth a look. Although he’s only run three times for 13 yards since Doug Martin went down, he caught six passes on Thursday against Carolina on seven targets. He’s a receiving back who should continue to get 7-8 looks per game from Mike Glennon who needs all the options he can find with Mike Williams now out for the season. Six to seven receptions and about 40 yards is all you need for a double-digit effort and you can do a lot worse in a bye week pinch.
Marvin Jones (27 percent): Jones is a no-brainer pickup and one that everyone will be trying to get after a four touchdown day against the Jets. Still, he’s definitely not a “can’t-miss” pickup. On the positive side, he has now caught for at least 57 yards and one touchdown in three straight weeks. He has been targeted 19 times over the last three games compared to Mohamed Sanu’s 11. His six touchdowns over the last three weeks will certainly allow for more opportunities and, although he has less snaps than Sanu, he seems to be targeted every time he’s out there. It’s important to remember, however, that A.J. Green happened to be covered well most of the time. Although he put up 115 yards, he only caught three passes on seven targets, the fewest passes and targets he’s seen all season. Jones was clearly the beneficiary of that good coverage and isn’t likely to repeat anything like Sunday’s effort considering Green will usually get more looks and the Bengals will rarely score 49 points.
Tim Wright (5 percent): This is a bit of a cheat since Wright is a tight end but, with wide receiver eligibility and Mike Williams out for the season, he is worth a look at wideout. After not getting any looks from Josh Freeman, he has caught 19 passes on 26 targets in four games since Mike Glennon took over. He has eight targets in two of his last three games and scored his first touchdown on Thursday against the Panthers. With Doug Martin and Williams gone, Tim Wright figures to be a key weapon for Glennon.
Drew Davis (2 percent): After just one target in Week 7, Davis caught five passes on seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. If Roddy White is out, Davis has a good chance to repeat that effort against the Panthers on Sunday. If White is back, odds are that Harry Douglas will move back to the slot where he’s been the best fit and Davis would stay on the outside where Julio Jones would be. Matt Ryan is going to pass a lot and with Julio out, White banged up, and Tony Gonzalez putting up just five catches for 56 yards over the last two weeks, Davis has a great shot to break out.
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