Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: RB - Week 12

by Cory J. Bonini and Tim Heaney on November 23, 2011 @ 14:15:21 PDT

 


If you are serious about winning your fantasy league football championship, stay on top of your fantasy football team throughout the year.

Each week during the NFL fantasy football season, KFFL brings you its Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, which breaks down players to pick up. Be aggressive when picking up fantasy football free agents. Even if you do not need a player, you can tuck him away for depth or block others from adding him to their fantasy football team.

Note: Percentage of polled leagues in which player is available in parentheses

Fantasy football free agents: Priority additions

The following players should be high on your radar and are worthy of being added immediately to your fantasy football team.

Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions (93 percent)

Detroit Lions RB Kevin Smith
Smith a blast from the past

Last week, we told you to start Smith as a sleeper. Three touchdowns and more than 200 offensive yards later, we hope you listened. He is the must-acquire player on this week's waiver wire and should be Detroit's primary ball carrier as long as Jahvid Best (concussion) is out of the lineup.

The Lions face the Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving Day, followed by the New Orleans Saints (Week 13), Minnesota Vikings (Week 14), Oakland Raiders (Week 15) and San Diego Chargers (Week 16).

Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings (90 percent)

Tests revealed Adrian Peterson suffered a Grade 1 ankle sprain in Sunday's contest. AD said he will attempt to play in Week 12, versus the Atlanta Falcons, but he'll wear a boot for a few days and could start light football activities as early as Friday. But he's not looking good for this weekend and possibly after that.

Gerhart averaged only 2.6 yards per carry as Peterson's replacement Sunday, but he should enjoy more success with a week of first-team reps and full game of touches. Should Peterson miss extended time, Gerhart would face the Denver Broncos in Week 13 and the Detroit Lions in Week 14.

NEW - Evan Royster, Washington Redskins (99 percent)

Welcome back to Mike Shanahan's backfield dance. This time, Royster cuts in from the practice squad after Washington ditched Tashard Choice. Royster (6-foot-1, 213 pounds) fits the system and showed flashes in preseason games but will still have to contend with Roy Helu Jr. and Ryan Torain for touches ... as well as Shanny's whim.

Still, Washington is reluctant to start Helu because they still feel he's a part-timer. Torain hasn't done much with his opportunities, either. At least owning a piece of this cluster opens up the opportunity to own a potential majority back. Shanny is always willing to try something new. Royster is just that.

NEW - Tashard Choice, Buffalo Bills (85 percent)

Choice gets another chance to take the lead in a backfield, with Fred Jackson (leg) reportedly being put on Injured Reserve. He has a better fit for between-the-tackles rushing than C.J. Spiller and Johnny White, which could put him in the lead for lead-back duties. Spiller is more of a slasher, and White has a decent mixture of talent but probably wouldn't see the majority work.

Choice is hardly a bet to ascend, but it's worth a shot if you're scrambling and other more promising backfield options have been plucked from your waiver wire.

Fantasy football free agents: One-week plays

The following fantasy football pickups are for those who need injury or bye week replacements. They are not players you immediately acquire - unless your team is in dire straights. Some have, however, shown some life and should be followed in case they materialize as options beyond their temporary use.

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts (74 percent)

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Brown is a desperation start

Brown should see enough carries to matter against a miserable Carolina Panthers run defense to warrant a spot play in fantasy leagues. Joseph Addai (hamstring) may be worked in, along with Delone Carter, but the former is not 100 percent yet, and Carter appears to be in the dog house because of fumbling problems.

Brown has 35 touches in his last two games and has scored once in his last three efforts. He uncharacteristically caught four passes in his last game, but if Addai remains out of action, it isn't unrealistic to expect something similar against his Week 12 opponent.

The Carolina Panthers gave up 201 total yards and three scores last week to Detroit's Kevin Smith. They have allowed a whopping 31.0 standard fantasy points per game in their last four contests. On average, Carolina has permitted running backs to average 143.3 rushing yards, 1.33 rushing touchdowns, 5.00 receptions, 65.3 aerial yards and 0.67 receiving touchdowns per matchup.

NEW - Marion Barber III, Chicago Bears (44 percent)

With Caleb Hanie replacing the sidelined Jay Cutler (thumb), Chicago will continue to increase their ground game; they already were when Cutler was healthy. Barber has at least seven rush attempts in each of his last five games and pilfered a touchdown plod from Matt Forte in four of them.

Barber could qualify as a fantasy depth acquisition anyway. This week isn't a bad time to start using him. Chicago faces the Oakland Raiders, who've allowed 5.6 yards per carry, 4.33 catches, 126.7 offensive yards and 1.33 offensive scores per game to running backs over the last month.

NEW - Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers (75 percent)

The Steelers might involve Redman and Jonathan Dwyer more behind Rashard Mendenhall with Ben Roethlisberger (thumb) dinged. Redman has averaged 3.83 yards per carry this season in a complementary role, largely because of a regular short-yardage role, but faces a Kansas City Chiefs defense that has allowed 30.0 rushing attempts, 133.5 ground yards, 4.5 catches, 58.0 receiving yards and 0.75 total scores to the position per game in the last four weeks.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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