For me patients is always the name of the game and for the 7th season in a row it is paying huge dividends. My starting running backs in a week #1 were Ben Tate and Trent Richardson with Ray Rice as the back-up. So you can imagine that the season started off on the wrong foot considering where those three are today. However I enter the final week of our regular season powered by the likes of Justin Forsett and Josh Gordon.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins- Not many people had Tannehill on their list for draft day and it appears that even after an amazing fantasy season he is still flying under the radar. Tannehill is 58% owned as his stock has been slowly rising this season. Who would have picked Tennehill to finish the season a top 10 QB ahead of names like Stafford, Newton, and Ryan. You shouldn’t need any stats for this guy, the bottom line is that he is putting fantasy points on the board. At #8 and healthy he should be starting for your team if your starters are not named Brady, Manning, or Brees.
Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills- After a down week vs Miami, Orton bounced backed with a dominate performance against the helpless Jets. With his weapons getting healthy, look to Orton to score more than the 10pts he is projected. Robert Woods has stepped up to be a legitimate threat and Fred Jackson seems to be back from his injury scoring a TD last week. The emergence of Dixon as serviceable compliment to Jackson is going to give defenses a lot to think about. Orton is a slinger and looks like there are a few more gun fights on the schedule. If you are really hurting for some help at QB, Orton will serve you well.
Zack Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans- At the start of the year a Titan’s QB was picked to have a breakout season but Mettenberger wasn’t his name. Titan fans finally have something to be excited about as Metterberger (he needs a nickname) has thrown 7 TD’s in 4 games. This is your wild card for the week but Mettenberger has a number of decent receivers and last week showed some real chemistry with Delenie Walker. Playoffs or not, Mettenberger is probably not going to be getting an rest to close out the season as the Titans are going to want him to get as much experience as possible.
Daniel Herron, Indianapolis Colts- When Bradshaw went down I expected Richardson to finally show us what he could do but the Colts let us know at the last second how much they trust Richardson. Herron was announced as the starter informing all of us that Richardson is not the guy in Indy. It is hard to not get excited about a guy who totaled 96 yards on 17 touches in his first week as a starter. Starting running backs in high powered offenses are often times a safe bet as they have the best chance to score points. Herron is a strong #2 starter or flex in all leagues.
Tre Mason, St Louis Rams- Most experts are calling Mason a strong flex option, however I would argue that with the shallow depth at RB he is a must start #2 for most teams. Averaging over 90 yards that last 3 games and dominating the carries, Mason is probably the most reliable options left on the board. The Rams are not going to make the playoffs but they will have an opportunity to be a spoiler in the NFC West and Mason probably won’t be resting.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders- Murray literally broke out last week against the Chiefs. We know nothing about Murray at this point but you have to like what you saw out of his limited work. He did suffer a concussion so his status for this week is up in the air but if he is ready to go he should be on your team. Let’s face it, the Raiders have nothing to lose so it’s a good time to let the young guys get some real snaps in to get prepared for next season. The Raiders are going to give Murray a shot and I am thinking you should too.
Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins- Always a difficult positon to predict, Odell Beckham has shown us that if we predict right it could change the face of your team. Landry is the obvious #2 in Miami playing for the #8 fantasy QB this season. 24 catches for over 200 yards and 4 TD’s in 4 games shows that this isn’t a fluke. He is a perfect complement to Mike Wallace giving Tannehill a tandem of receivers to torcher defenses with. With the running game up in the air they are going to be relying on the passing game to keep them near the top of the division and drive them into the playoffs.
Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints- Everyone knows the Saints are a pass first team and Brees is still an elite QB. Outside of Jimmy Graham, Brees has yet to show us who is “go to “receiver really is. It seems like it’s a new guy every week. Last week Stills caught 9 passes for almost 100 yards and the passes will keep on coming. Even with a losing record the Saints are still in the hunt for the playoffs which means they are going to need everyone on offense to step up. I will tell you that I am taking a chance on Stills this week.
Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills- Woods is quietly moving up the fantasy watch board. Watkins and Jackson get the most credit for making the Buffalo offense go but time and time again Woods has shown that he is worthy of fantasy consideration. 9 catches on 11 targets for 118 and a TD. What most people don’t know is that he has the potential to do that every week. Again with defenses firmly focused on Jackson and Watkins, Orton will be looking at Woods.
Tim Wright, New England Patriots- You just never know what you will get with the Patriots so Wright is definitely a gamble. The good news is that so are all the other TE’s on the waiver wire. If you are going to gamble, why go all in on a guy who plays for a QB who threw him 2 TD’s lasts week. If you pick up Wright you are doing it because you believe in Brady and there is nothing wrong with that.
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals- Another non-reliable TE equals another gamble. Just like the previous guys on this list, you picking the system and not the player. Gresham has been in Cincy for quite a while and knows Dalton well. He has not done much this season but he has had a few moments. Dalton looks to be back on top of his game with the return of a healthy Green and Bernard which will either limit or increase Gresham involvement in the offense. It’s hard to put money any TE this week but Gresham should be good for 3-4 pts which, at this point is all you can ask for