Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: RB - Week 14

by Tim Heaney and Bryce McRae on December 9, 2009 @ 11:00:00 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.

Jerome Harrison, Cleveland Browns (61 percent)

Managing editor Nicholas Minnix recommended Harrison last Thursday. It doesn't appear as if the majority of fantasy owners listened. Harrison wasn't too effective rushing the ball, with just 35 yards on 10 carries, but he caught seven passes for 62 yards and two scores in Week 13.

We know quarterback Brady Quinn doesn't like to throw down the field (unless he is playing the Detroit Lions), so plenty of dump-off passes could be in Harrison's future. Head coach Eric Mangini liked him in the preseason but for whatever reason Harrison ended up in Mangini's doghouse for most of the year.

Cleveland's offense isn't pretty; their defense isn't, either. They could be playing from behind a lot, which could mean a bunch of check-down catches for Harrison. His main competition for touches at back is Chris Jennings, he of 3.8 yards per carry and 25 career rushing attempts.

Cleveland Browns RB Jerome Harrison
Too few lean Harrison's way

Sammy Morris, New England Patriots (71 percent)

The Pats have taken their time building up Morris' workload, easing him into practice a couple of weeks ago before giving him five carries in Week 12 and nine last week. When was been healthy in the past, New England relied on him as much as, if not more than, starter Laurence Maroney.

With his nine carries last week, Morris ran for 44 yards while also catching two passes for 25 yards. Fred Taylor (ankle) could be returning in the next couple of weeks, but he likely won't cut into the touches at RB significantly until the playoffs. Morris offers a decent shot at touches in a dangerous offense with a passing attack that keeps the field open for its rushing brothers.

NEW - Ryan Moats and Chris Brown, Houston Texans (55 percent, 43 percent)

Steve Slaton (shoulder) was placed on Injured Reserve, ending his 2009 season. Reports say Brown could receive the majority of the carries, but Houston hasn't shied away from using Moats when Slaton is out.

Last week, with Slaton inactive, Brown received nine utilizations to Moats' 15. Neither accomplished much with their work; Brown averaged just 2.5 yards per carry on six totes while Moats managed 41 yards but on 12 carries (3.4 yards per carry). Brown managed a score and received more of the red zone looks.

Moats is the safer pick, though, because he can do more in the offense. The split between these two will probably vary. You can also be sure the Texans will stick to the run, regardless of how it works, given it sets up their all-important play action game.

Fantasy football free agents: Look to acquire

The following players will have greater significance in deep fantasy football leagues. In shallow fantasy football leagues, they are not as high of a priority but should be considered based on your fantasy football team's needs.

Kahlil Bell, Chicago Bears (97 percent)

Bell is a plodder whose 7.7 yards-per-carry average has been inflated by a 72-yard scamper in Week 11. In his defense, how much else can you find floating on your wire? Bell compiled just 35 ground yards against the St. Louis Rams in Week 13 but saw 11 utilizations, including five in the red zone. The Bears also gave Matt Forte five inside the 20, but moving toward a two-headed monster in the backfield could help the frantic Jay Cutler.

NEW - Quinton Ganther, Washington Redskins (99 percent)

Clinton Portis' status is no longer uncertain: The veteran back was placed on Injured Reserve because of a concussion. Rock Cartwright has been receiving most of the work in Portis' stead, but Ganther has slowly garnered a few more looks in each of the last two weeks.

He received eight carries last week, averaging 5.8 yards per tote, which almost doubled Cartwright's 3.0 YPC on 13 carries. Head coach Jim Zorn said the team will continue to use a committee approach with Ganther, Cartwright and Marcus Mason each receiving carries.

Still, if Ganther continues to run well, his workload should increase to double-digit touches. 'Skins offensive coordinator Sherman Smith also coached Ganther when he was the running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans a couple of years ago.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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