Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 14
Can James Franklin get it done for your Fantasy team down the stretch? Mario Puig tells you who to target in his Week 14 edition of Playing the Waiver Wire.
Robbie Anderson , WR, Temple: As quarterback P.J. Walker continues to emerge for Temple, the Owls passing game correspondingly ascends, as well. Anderson has established himself as the lead man in the receiver rotation, meanwhile, resulting in some big numbers recently. Anderson has 27 catches the last four weeks, totaling 561 yards (20.8 YPC) and six touchdowns. Even against a tough Memphis defense this week, Anderson seems like a good bet to breeze past double-digit Fantasy points since he pulled in 48.4 percent of the Temple passing yardage and 54.5 percent of the Temple passing touchdowns the last four weeks. In other words, as long as Walker throws for 226 yards and one touchdown this week -- the average numbers Memphis has allowed per game -- Anderson projects to 109 yards and 0.6 touchdowns based on the team's last month of passing production.
Paul James III , RB, Rutgers: James has had a relatively quiet two-game span since returning from his leg injury, but the Rutgers workhorse should finish his breakout season on a high note as Rutgers takes on a 1-9 Connecticut squad Saturday. The Huskies have no offense to speak of, scoring 49 points over two games (24.5 points per game) against SMU and Temple, teams that respectively allow 34.9 points and 30.6 points per game, so Rutgers should have plenty of clock to eat up as the Huskies go three-and-out. After running for just 98 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries against the relatively tough defenses of Cincinnati and UCF the last two weeks, James should play against Connecticut on Saturday more like he did in the first four weeks of this year, when he totaled 573 yards and six touchdowns.
C.J. Brown , QB, Maryland: Things haven't been pretty for the Maryland offense since Brown suffered a concussion against Florida State on Oct. 5, as Brown's injury was followed by season-ending injuries to wideouts Stefon Diggs and Deon Brown, just as the Terrapins had to deal with tough defenses like Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Brown has gotten back on track in the last two games, though, throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns while running for 144 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games. He faces a broken North Carolina State squad this week that's in a seven-game losing streak and is vulnerable on the ground, allowing 5.1 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns in 11 games.
Trey Edmunds , RB, Virginia Tech: Edmunds' lack of efficiency as a runner and the general struggles of the Virginia Tech offense mean that he's ideally avoided outside of ACC-only or other deep formats, but he should have a high floor this week against a Virginia squad that should see its defense spend a lot of time on the field against the Hokies, giving Edmunds a chance to wear down the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers allow 4.5 yards per carry, moreover, surrendering 28 touchdowns on the ground in 11 games. With 10 rushing touchdowns this year, including six in his last four games, Edmunds should find the end zone again this week.
Brennan Clay , RB, Oklahoma: Leading running back Damien Williams was kicked off the team prior to Saturday's game against Kansas State, leaving Clay as the team's clear workhorse at the position to close out the year. Clay has always been a good player but hadn't broke out until recently due to the abundance of running backs at Oklahoma. He made clear against Kansas State that he has the ability to put up big numbers, though, running for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries (6.5 YPC). He faces a tougher Oklahoma State defense this week, but Clay is a good bet to have a hand in most of the points the Sooners score.
Charles Sims , RB, West Virginia: Sims didn't put up numbers this year that were anything close to what he did in Houston in past seasons, but he still had a solid season for the Mountaineers, quietly running for 946 yards (5.1 YPC) and nine touchdowns while catching 43 passes for 371 yards and three scores. Even if his efforts are overshadowed by the incompetence surrounding him on a 4-7 Mountaineers squad, Sims should have one of his biggest games against Iowa State this week. The Cyclones allow 5.3 yards per carry and have allowed 31 rushing touchdowns in 11 games. Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland ran for 219 yards and four touchdowns against Iowa State on Oct. 26, and Sims is significantly more talented.
Akeem Hunt , RB, Purdue: It's been a disastrous year for Hunt and the Boilermakers, but he's still an explosive runner who can produce when he faces a defense that's as weak as the Purdue offensive. That scenario should come to fruition this week, as Purdue faces an Indiana defense allowing 39.1 points per game, including 2,822 yards (5.5 YPC) and 34 touchdowns on the ground in 11 games. Hunt burned the Illinois defense for 102 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries Saturday, and the Indiana defense is almost certainly a fair amount worse. He can also contribute in a big way as a receiver, as he has 37 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns this year.
Stephen Houston , RB, Indiana: Tevin Coleman seems questionable at best to play this week as the Hoosiers take on Purdue, which could mean another day as starter for Houston. There's a good chance Coleman would be on a pitch count even if he does play Saturday, so Houston should be busy either way. Averaging 6.7 yards per carry with the ability to contribute as a receiver (10 catches for 101 yards), Houston should provide good value in deeper formats this week against a Boilermakers defense that allowed 10 touchdowns on the ground in a three-game span against Ohio State, Iowa and Penn State.
Jamarcus Nelson , WR, UAB: Nelson was probably dropped in a number of leagues after missing two games with an ankle issue and then catching just seven passes in his first three games back from injury, but owners in those leagues should probably add him this week if they need wideout help. Nelson caught five passes for 127 yards against Rice last week, so he's definitely back at full strength. Averaging 19.7 yards per catch, Nelson can do a lot of damage on a modest number of targets, and he faces a Southern Mississippi defense this week that allows two passing touchdowns per game.
Orleans Darkwa , RB, Tulane: If you've been in the Fantasy college football game for a while now, you might remember Darkwa as one of the premier breakout runners of 2010, when as a freshman he went wild for 752 yards and seven touchdowns in the final six games of the year. His productivity has fluctuated a great deal since due to constant injury issues but - knock on wood - he appears to be in one of his upswings at the moment. Darkwa has 240 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in his last two games, and he faces a Rice defense this week that allowed five rushing touchdowns in the last three games.
Jamaal Williams , RB, BYU: Williams and the BYU offense struggled against a competent Notre Dame defense last week, and the sophomore finished the game with just 43 yards on 18 carries and three catches for 18 yards. He should bounce back nicely this week as BYU takes on Nevada, however. The Nevada run defense has been extremely weak this year, ranking 119th in the nation by allowing 246 yards per game and 117th with 32 rushing touchdowns allowed. Williams should have a big game this week, perhaps even bigger than his 131-yard, three-touchdown game against Idaho State on Nov. 16.
Beau Blankenship , RB, Ohio: Like all of the Ohio running game, Blankenship has been unproductive most of this year. He has just 720 yards and four touchdowns on 170 carries, good for 4.2 yards per rush. Four times this year he's posted less than 40 yards rushing, and only three times has he exceeded 4.8 yards per carry in a game. He has shown the ability to produce against weak defenses, though, like when he ran for 172 yards on 20 carries against Miami (OH) on Oct. 26. Blankenship might produce a similar box score this week as the Bobcats take on Massachusetts, one of the five most hopeless programs in the country. The Minutemen allow 215.6 yards per game on the ground and have surrendered 21 rushing touchdowns in 11 games.
Ronnie Moore , WR, Bowling Green: Moore hasn't been a prominent part of the Bowling Green offense for long, but he's had an elevated role lately and looks like he could be a big-time playmaker for Bowling Green. Moore has proven elusive once he has the ball, running for 127 yards on 13 carries (9.8 YPC), and he went off for nine catches for 191 yards and four touchdowns the last two weeks. Particularly with Chris Gallon out the rest of the year, Moore should stay busy for a Bowling Green offense that has struggled to find explosiveness in the passing game this year.
Adam Muema , RB, San Diego State: Ankle issues ruined the first month of this season for Muema, as he posted just 118 yards and one touchdown on the ground in his first four games, and he had another slight dud against Boise State on Saturday, finishing with just 46 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries (1.9 YPC). That should be just a one-game deal, though, and Muema should produce against UNLV this week more like he did in the preceding four-game span against Fresno State, New Mexico, San Jose State and Hawaii, when he totaled 620 yards and eight touchdowns. UNLV allows 5.3 yards per carry and has surrendered 24 rushing touchdowns in 11 games.
Travis Reynolds , WR, Utah State: The Aggies played defense and ran the ball against Colorado State last week to keep the ball away from touchdown machine running back Kapri Bibbs , who had 25 rushing touchdowns heading into Saturday's game. As a result, Reynolds caught just two passes for 14 yards. But Utah State will probably throw the ball more against Wyoming this week, both to match Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith's ability to keep pace and to take advantage of a Cowboys defense that's allowed 29 passing touchdowns in 11 games. Reynolds has been highly productive lately aside from Saturday's dud box score, catching 24 passes for 465 yards and a touchdown in the four games prior.
Javorius Allen , RB, USC: Allen continues to break though for USC, and he predictably followed his 26-yard, one-touchdown effort from the Stanford game with a much better showing against Colorado's weaker defense, scorching the Buffaloes for 145 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He's also contributing consistently as a receiver, snagging 12 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown in his last four games. Allen should finish strong for USC against a UCLA defense that allowed an average of 244.8 rushing yards per game against Stanford, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State.
Ty Montgomery , WR, Stanford: Montgomery won't duplicate his numbers from last week's game against California, when the big-play wideout scored four times and caught five passes for 160 yards, but there's reason to still like his chances of having two good games in a row as the Cardinal takes on Notre Dame. The Irish have a surprisingly potent passing game between wideouts T.J. Jones and DaVaris Daniels and tight end Troy Niklas , so Stanford may need to call upon its passing game Saturday rather than just rely on the running of Tyler Gaffney . If Stanford does throw the ball, Montgomery is the by-default favorite to put up most of the numbers. He can also pitch in as a runner (137 yards and one touchdown) and kick returner (two touchdowns, 31.2 YPR).
Rajion Neal , RB, Tennessee: The struggles of the Tennessee passing game have held back Neal at many points this year, but the bruising runner is still one of the nation's most talented running backs, and he has the ability to put up big numbers against manageable defenses even as those defenses stack the box. This week's matchup with Kentucky should be such an occasion for Neal. Kentucky allows 4.9 yards per carry with 24 rushing touchdowns allowed, giving up 195.5 rushing yards per game. Although he has only one 100-yard game since Oct. 5, Neal should put up some of his best numbers of the year this week.
James Franklin , QB, Missouri: Franklin struggled a bit against Mississippi in his first game back from a separated shoulder Saturday, throwing for just 142 yards and an interception and running for 42 yards, but he should have a much better game this week as the Tigers take on Texas A&M. Missouri likely will need to play aggressively on offense to keep pace with Johnny Manziel , and the Aggies defense is quite weak. Texas A&M allows 31.2 points per game to go with 26 passing touchdowns and 221 rushing yards per game.
Rashon Ceaser , WR, Louisiana-Monroe: The Louisiana-Monroe passing game and offense as a whole has generally been a disappointment this year, so Ceaser hasn't provided the consistency one would normally expect out of Monroe's lead receiver. Ceaser's 854 yards and four touchdowns are a big drop from the 1,118 yards and 10 touchdowns Brent Leonard provided in the same role a year ago. But Ceaser does seem to be coming to life in the final weeks, as he has four touchdowns in his last three games after previously failing to score all year. He also had three 100-yard games over that span, consecutively setting season highs each time. The Warhawks won't find things easy this week against a Louisiana-Lafayette defense that allows just 15 passing touchdowns in 10 games so far, but Monroe will need to throw, and Ceaser is the heavy favorite to haul in most of that production.
Ross Metheny , QB, South Alabama: The South Alabama offense doesn't ask Metheny to throw much - he has just 2,171 yards and 14 touchdowns this year on 273 attempts - but the Jaguars make Metheny the most important part of their running game, which means big Fantasy numbers for Metheny when the running conditions are favorable. He has 510 yards (5.0 YPC) and nine touchdowns of the team's 1,639 yards and 19 touchdowns. He should be busy on that front against Georgia State this week, as the FBS' newest addition has so far been overmatched by its new level of competition, allowing 36.5 points per game, including 26 passing touchdowns and 24 rushing touchdowns in 11 games.
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