It has been a heavy crop of wide receivers for the waiver wire for the past month or so and hopefully most of you guys have an arsenal of pass catchers for the rest of the season. Sunday had some big injuries in the backfield with Adrian Peterson and Fred Jackson going down and both could miss some time. This week we'll be doing the last Rest of the Season Rankings again and we've got the usual Waiver Wire Scoops on some players that have gained some value in the past week just below the rankings.
Check it all out after the jump:
Matt Moore- Don't look now but the Dolphins are playing great ball and it's due largely to the efficient play of Matt Moore. Moore has two three-TD games in his last three outings and also had passer rating above 133 in both of those. His last three games have all been above 68 percent for completion rate and he is getting some great protection from his line lately. Moore and the Dolphins also have a pretty solid schedule with the Cowboys, Raiders, Eagles, Bills and Patriots through Week 16. The Dolphins have some nice balance with their O in the first half, but the fact that they're winning in the second half for all three of their wins makes them appear to be a bit run-heavy. Moore is a decent quarterback to stash with the Bills and Pats in the fantasy playoffs.
Bottom Line: Moore should be owned as a backup in most 12-team leagues.
Andy Dalton- Dalton put it up 45 times against the Ravens on Sunday which lead him to 373 yards, a score and three picks. He did only complete 24 pass, but still an 8.4 YPC shows he was taking chances on trying to hit Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell on deep routes. Of course, this is not going to be the norm. The Bengals are predicated on the run and even though they are missing Leon Hall (Achilles), they'll try to win with defense. Their O will get some softer run defenses which means we probably won't see Dalton clear 350 yards again. He is a decent backup.
Bottom Line- Dalton is a backup in most leagues. It's not a bad idea to have backups with all these quarterbacks going down.
Jake Locker- Locker went into Sunday's game and on his first couple drives, it was pretty easy to tell he wasn't quite prepared. In the first few possessions Locker wouldn't go past his first read and really showed some panic once the Atlanta defensive ends got up field, even though they hadn't really beat his tackles. As the game went on, it was clear that the U of Washington product was learning extremely quickly. He was starting to trust his linemen more and went through his progressions as well. Locker showed his mobility in the pocket and looked pretty good on his 11-yard scramble in their late comeback attempt. The Titans showed they will use him in different ways and he could be an asset with the way that the Titans are struggling to run the ball. Tennessee is going to start Hasselbeck, but that could change in a couple weeks once the Texans lock up the division.
Bottom Line: Locker is a guy to grab in some two-QB leagues or other leagues where the QB well is dry.
Kevin Smith- Welp.. Smith was recommended here two weeks ago in deep leagues, last week as a 12-team guy and now he has exploded to the 51st player on my board for the rest of the year. Silent Bob had 201 yards from scrimmage and hit paydirt three times. He has clearly won the job and he should be a very trusted guy against the Packers as an RB2. What about after next week? Jahvid Best did hit the practice field, but it's very unlikely that Best would get his job back for at least two weeks. If Smith does have another big game on Turkey Day, he could have a Murray-like impact and turn Best to Felix Jones.
Bottom Line: Go get him.
Toby Gerhart- If you remember the NFL Draft in 2007, Adrian Peterson slipped in the draft because he was going to get hurt. Hey, the Cardinals took Levi Brown over him. Peterson has stayed pretty healthy in his career and did not miss more than two games in any season. There's a chance that streak gets snapped as he could be dealing with a high-ankle sprain. The Vikings didn't really turn to the rushing attack very much this past Sunday since their backs only had 13 carries on the day (six from AD and seven from Gerhart). This was probably due to the Vikings in a state of shock on how to handle losing their best player and a guy that was going to be their workhorse for the day. Gerhart did get all of the carries at back beside AD, so expect him to be featured this week against the Falcons and possible in two weeks against the Broncos.
Bottom Line: He should have some value this week as a low-end RB2 and should be owned in all competitive leagues.
Ryan Grant- James Starks is dinged up with sprains of his right knee and ankle. The ankle isn't too big of a deal and swelling can go down pretty quickly in that joint. On the other hand, swelling in the knee tends to take a little while longer to subside and that injury is very unlikely to suit up on Thanksgiving. You should be warned that the Packers enjoy running the ball as much as most men like going out on Black Friday. Grant should still be a nice flex play this week and is probably a better bet to score than Gerhart. John Kuhn is a very deep option as well.
UPDATE: James Starks practiced today and is expected to play. Grant has little to no waiver appeal.
C.J. Spiller- Spiller figures to get a heavy load on Sunday if Fred Jackson does miss time with his calf injury. Spiller has not done much at all by failing to rush for over 15 yards in any game since Week 2. Yuck. He does have a sterling 5.5 YPC and everyone knows about his speed and big-play ability. The Bills D is so bad that they'll have to run an uptempo offense and Spiller has shown he is capable of being a pass-catching back with the way that the Bills have lined him up at receiver in most leagues. Spiller could go a lot higher in PPR leagues and some fantasy platforms have him as WR eligible.
Bottom Line: Spiller should be owned in all competitive leagues until Jackson is announced as being healthy.
Joe McKnight- The Jets are running out of backs as LaDainian Tomlinson is not likely to play against Buffalo with his sprained MCL and could miss even more time. Shonn Greene is also dealing with a rib issue, but he will probably be able to play. McKnight wasn't too shabby in his game on Thursday Night Football with his 121 yards from scrimmage and a team-high six catches (which is a joke for their offense). Shonn Greene has done absolutely nothing to conclusively say the job is his and there's a good chance that this becomes a 50-50 split. The Jets get to take on the worst defense in the league (in my opinion) when they host the Buffalo Bills and they should be running the ball in the neighborhood of 40 times.
Bottom Line: McKnight should be owned in most competitive leagues.
Montario Hardesty- Hardesty was a game-time decision last week with his calf injury, but he wasn't able to give it a go. Peyton Hillis has already been ruled out yet again and Hardesty is a good bet to play this week against the Bengals. It's not clear how Chris Ogbonnaya and the Tennessee alum will split the carries Sunday. Although, in case you haven't noticed, running backs can be hard to come by in deep or highly competitive leagues.
Bottom Line: Montario should be owned in some 12-team leagues.
Santana Moss- Moss looks to be back from his hand injury and should be all set for Sunday for the contest with the Seahawks. The Skins have been gutted at WR and Moss could be in line for some serious targets. The Seahawks have the tallest corners in the league and Moss could hit them deep or run a lot of zone-busting routes.
Bottom Line: Moss should be owned in most leagues based on the lack of competition and solid numbers before going down.
Jacoby Ford- There's a chance that Ford could return from his foot injury this week against the Bears. If you can afford to stash him, he might have a very strong finish (he was the cover boy for our last rankings).
Bottom Line: Mr. 4.27 should be owned in some 12-team leagues. Especially teams setting up for a playoff run.
Nate Washington- Most people, including me, had written off Nate Dogg due to dropping stinker after stinker. He didn't do that on Sunday at the Georgia Dome with a whopping nine catches for 115 yards and two scores. That line is far too good to ignore on top of the fact that he caught all nine of his targets. It was clear that he was Locker's go-to guy, so if there is a changing of the guard, Washington could become that man we all thought he was going to be.
Bottom Line: Nine catches, 115 yards and two scores? Grab him if you have any concerns at WR.
Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell- I was in the minority last week for saying these two fellows have value. Simpson had a huge game with eight catches for 152 while Caldwell caught three for 63 yards and a score. A.J. Green figures to be back for the game on Sunday against the Browns, so don't overreact and spend a high waiver priority on them.
Bottom Line: Simpson has slightly more value for being a deep threat. Both are worth owning in 14-team leagues.
Thanks for reading! Don't forget to post your questions or comments below or send them to me on Twitter. If you're in a deep league, don't be shy and ask away about any questions about adding/dropping for Wednesday morning.