RB Marcel Reece (Oakland)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.2%
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both have high ankle sprains and will likely miss at least one game, if not several. In their absence, Marcel Reece, the fullback, carried the load at running back. Taiwan Jones is the 3rd string running back, but the Raiders trust Reece more in passing situations, so he’s the back to own this week, especially in PPR leagues. He led the Raiders with 8 catches for 95 yards and a score through the air last week.
RB Taiwan Jones (Oakland)
Percent owned (ESPN): 2.6%
Of course, Jones is not a bad pickup either. He didn’t see much action last week, but that’s because the Raiders abandoned the run completely down several scores after McFadden and Goodson got hurt. Reece and Goodson combined for just 1 carry, though Reece obviously did damage through the air. Next week, I would imagine they’d split touches, with Reece staying in on passing downs. As long as the Raiders don’t give up on the run completely like that, there’s some value with both backs, but I like Reece more because the Raiders figure to be trailing in Baltimore next week for most of the game.
RB James Starks (Green Bay)
Percent owned (ESPN): 4.9%
Apparently Alex Green wasn’t impressing anyone. Starks led the way with 17 carries like Green’s 11 last week and is definitely worth picking up this week. The Packers don’t run enough for Starks to be startable unless he shows he’s the feature guy, but he’s worth a bench stash for now.
WR Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville)
Percent owned (ESPN): 17.1%
If you want to own a Jacksonville receiver, Shorts is the guy you want. He’s managed to put up nice numbers over the past few weeks, despite his quarterback’s limitations, catching 15 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown and last week led the team in receiving even though supposed #1 receiver and free agency bust Laurent Robinson returned from injury.
TE Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis)
Percent owned (ESPN): 1.1%
With Coby Fleener out, Dwayne Allen caught 6 passes for 75 yards last week. Luck won’t throw for 433 like that every week, but Allen had a role in the passing offense in a more modest passing showing against Tennessee, catching 4 passes for 56 yards. As long as Fleener is out, and he should be out at least another week, Allen’s a decent bye week filler or injury replacement at tight end.
WR Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh)
Percent owned (ESPN): 1.6%
Antonio Brown suffered a high ankle sprain and probably won’t play this week. Sanders didn’t do much last week after Brown got hurt in the middle of the game, catching 2 passes for 20 yards, but he faces Kansas City’s crappy secondary this week so he might be startable.
RB Joique Bell (Detroit)
Percent owned (ESPN): 3.8%
Bell had his biggest game of the season this week and his usage continues to go up as a pass catching back behind Mikel Leshoure. He’s received 27 touches in the last 2 weeks and is worth a look in deeper leagues and PPR leagues. Keep in mind though, Detroit won’t run 34 times every week like that, but Bell should still be in line for 8-12 touches weekly.
TE Logan Paulsen (Washington)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.8%
Paulsen continues to be a reliable receiver for Robert Griffin in the absence of Fred Davis. He’s now caught 13 passes for 178 yards in the league 3 weeks. If you need a bye week filler at tight end or play in a deep league, Paulsen isn’t a bad option.
TE Brandon Myers (Oakland)
Percent owned (ESPN): 7.0%
Believe it or not, Brandon Myers is actually on pace to catch 78 passes for 884 yards through 8 games. He also finally got into the end zone last week for the first time all season, scoring twice. He should score a few more times this year and provide consistent yardage on a week to week basis. He’s gone over 55 in 5 of his 8 games.
RB Chris Ivory (New Orleans)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.4%
He’s a completely different type back, but Ivory still appears to be the biggest beneficiary of Darren Sproles’ injury as he led the Saints in carries with 10 after being irrelevant for the first 7 weeks of the season. The 48 yards he rushed for was sadly the Saints’ 3rd highest single game rushing yards total on the year and he deserves more looks going forward. He looked better than Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas have most of the year, though it may have just been Philadelphia’s crappy defense.
RB Lance Dunbar (Dallas)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.1%
This week, it was Lance Dunbar, not Phillip Tanner to steal carries away from an ailing Felix Jones. DeMarco Murray is still out indefinitely and Dunbar, who rushed for 26 yards on 8 carries, might sadly be their best backfield option right now. It’s worth monitoring to see if his workload increases next week.