Rashad Jennings should be the hottest commodity this week with the uncertainty surrounding Maurice Jones-Drew’s foot injury. Jennings has looked good in limited action over the last few years, and was productive when he entered last week. The two concerns as you decide how much to bid are how long will he start, and the passing ineptness in Jacksonville.
I plan on doing a look back at second half fantasy studs who were not on the radar at the halfway point. Before I do that, though, I feel like Jennings is probably worth a substantial bid. We are halfway through, and I think you have to decide whether you want to push more than half in and go for it. If you have Jones-Drew, the answer is easy. You probably need to spend as much as possible while leaving yourself just enough remaining to make cheap transactions over the last six to seven weeks.
If you don’t you can kick in a large but not budget busting bid to see who else is in. Jennings has averaged 4.8 yards per carry for his career and could be the center piece for a few weeks. He should be a RB2 in most weeks, and certainly a flex play even if you have good RB depth, with low end RB1 upside if he is still the starter in week 10 (Colts), week 12 (Titans) and week 13 (Bills).
Shallow: Josh Freeman has done reasonably well with better matchups, and put up big numbers against the Saints. Still strictly a matchup play but worth adding to your roster.
Deep: Sam Bradford is your #1 matchup play this week against the Patriots if you are in a platoon or need a replacement starter. New England continues to struggle with its secondary play, and Bradford will need to pass in this one.
Deeper: Brandon Weeden has started to get a connection with Josh Gordon, and the Chargers are not a horrible matchup if you need a desperation pickup in really deep leagues.
Shallow: Daryl Richardson got 8 carries last week and continues to get almost as many as Jackson, so he’s worth adding if he’s still available as a matchup flex play, though he’s not a great option this week.
Deep: I’ve already talked about Rashad Jennings. Montario Hardesty can be your consolation prize, as the Browns may be cautious with Trent Richardson the next few weeks after Richardson tried to go and was clearly affected this past week.
Jonathan Dwyer had a pretty big game with Mendenhall and Redman out last week, but the only question is usage going forward. Still, keep him in case he gets another week to make an impression. I think he can at least get into a flex play role ahead of Redman.
This is also your weekly reminder to add Kendall Hunter. Gore is nursing the rib injury but should probably play Sunday unless there is a set back. Hunter is still a flex play, and I’ll point out that Gore is still #3 right now in fantasy points with Hunter getting carries also. Hunter would be top end RB1 if Gore missed a game.
Deeper: LaRod Stephens-Howling had a surprising big game against the Vikings, but the situation remains muddled in Arizona. Ronnie Hillman is your deep stash for potential November value, needing a McGahee injury to vault up the charts.
Shallow: Darrius Heyward-Bey and Robert Meachem both get Kansas City and Tampa Bay over next three weeks. Meachem has been inconsistent, while Heyward-Bey returned and had over 80 receiving yards last week.
Deep: Jeremy Kerley will be a popular add, while his teammate Stephen Hill was still targeted 7 times and provides big play potential. Brandon Gibson has a great matchup this week against New England.
Titus Young should see an increased target role with Burleson’s season ending injury, the question is whether he will make the most of it, as he has disappointed so far.
Deeper: Chris Givens of the Rams is your really deep sleeper start this week against New England. He has been making big catches and led the team in yards last week. His speed and the Patriots secondary could lead to a big touchdown. Ryan Broyles of the Lions will see an increased role, and could have even bigger upside if he surpasses Young.
The tight end position has tightened up in recent weeks, so there’s not much out there.
Shallow: Jacob Tamme comes off back off the bye and is your safest bet.
Deep: Coby Fleener gets the Titans this week. He hasn’t done much, so this would be a strictly matchup play if you don’t have a top 10 option this week.
Deeper: Chris Cooley is back in Washington now that Fred Davis is done for the year. Davis wasn’t a top 10 tight end, so I wouldn’t expect Cooley to be more than a matchup play in the right week, but probably worth keeping an eye on.
[photo via US Presswire]