Some trade deadlines have past and owners that are doing well in the standings and are just waiting for the playoffs to start will want to think about ways they can improve their team for the playoffs. If this is the case, you should study Week 15 and 16 like it’s your final exam and make sure your usual fringe WR3 or RB2 has some OK matchups. If you’re not comfortable with any of those options, you will want to stack up your bench with pure upside.
Let’s say you’ve been holding Malcom Floyd as your WR4 and you almost never play him (I am way down on Floyd now; more below) and you have a hole at RB2. Floyd had ample opportunity to blow up and become a WR3, but he hasn’t really been able to do it. Why would you keep him on your roster when chances are you’re never really going to start him under normal circumstances? I would suggest just cutting Floyd and picking a backup running back and hope you strike gold (this was mentioned. Someone like Vick Ballard may have been let loose since Donald Brown is back. Brown is no lock to stay healthy and the Colts take on the Chiefs in Week 16 and the Titans in Week 14.
Although, you should be warned that you’ll want to take a look at the rosters of other teams making a push. You don’t want to cut Floyd and give them the WR3 they’ve been looking for all season. Basically, you should be careful while still taking some risks.
It’s a little pointless to discuss which backs might be your best stash since every league and waiver wire is different. The best advice I could give is to just hit me up on Twitter and spell out what you’re thinking.
Jake Locker, Titans - Jake was back two weeks ago and he might not have received the ink he deserves due to his bye week. I’d pick him up on any team where you’re not happy with your QB. He has a nice schedule.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers - Big Kaep looked really good in his first NFL start by dropping a 133.1 passer rating on the unsuspecting Bears. His stat line included 16-of-23 passing for 243 yards and two TDs. He only ran the ball four times, which is something that shouldn’t be that low should he play again. He gets arguably the best matchup in fantasy against the Saints and I’d consider him as a weak QB1 in some formats.
Ronnie Hillman - Willis McGahee >Peyton Manning >were the main stories of Sunday Night Football. Heck, even Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas were bigger headline makers than Hillman. However, if you're in a competitive league, Hillman should have your attention. It's abundantly clear that he's the No.2 back on the depth chart. Willis McGahee is 31 and the Broncos are going to give him a heavy load. The more carries he gets, the more likely he gets hurt. Hillman is a fantastic stash with high upside and could be viewed as a top-10 handcuff.
Hillman is pretty much a must-own back, but I wouldn't expect him to get 16 touches.
Bryce Brown, Eagles - Shady McCoy looks like he won't play on Sunday. He was taken off on a cart with a concussion. It's one thing to suffer a concussion, it's another to go off on a cart. It wouldn't be a shock to see Shady be out for three weeks. Brown should see most of the carries and is equipped with a nice schedule as well. He should be owned across the board.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals - Coach Whisenhunt said he expects Beanie Wells to play this week. He gets the Rams and he should start. Those are two good things and Beanie Baby should be viewed as a flex this week with upside.
Jalen Parmalee, Jaguars - Rashad Jennings was benched in Sunday's game against the Texans and Parmalee was the workhorse with 24 carries (!!) for 80 yards while adding three receptions. Maurice Jones-Drew said last week that he is hoping to be back for Week 13, so there is a chance Parmalee only gets one week
James Starks, Packers - 25 carries will do wonders for a running back's value. A 3.0 yards-per-carry average will not. He's still well worth owning and I'd consider him as a weak RB2 against the Lions on Thanksgiving.
Danario Alexander, Chargers - All season long many of us were waiting for waiting for Vincent Brown to return from his broken leg because we knew there was opportunity there. As it turns out, we were right and wrong at the same time. Danario Alexander is here and it feels like he's here for good. Philip Rivers leaned heavily on Danario in the second half and he abused the Denver secondary. I'm totally buying and willing to call him a must-own receiver.
Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon, Jaguars - Blaine Gabbert is hurt! Jacksonville WR party!!!!!!! I'd put Blackmon ahead of Shorts on the value scale.
Julian Edelman, Patriots - Gronk being out can really open up some things for Julian Edelman. He will see extra snaps in the slot and could be in line for a sizeable role with Aaron Hernandez possibly out on the short week.
Ryan Broyles, Lions - Titus Young has been suspended by the team and Broyles should be busier. He only saw two targets on Sunday, though, so it would take some huevos to start him against Houston. Mike Thomas is starting and is worth a look, too.