Seems to me that this weekly dive into waiver wire diamonds in the rough comes across more like the Scripps National Spelling Bee than anything else.
Ajirotutu? Learned that word a couple weeks ago as he stepped it up among a bunch of injured Chargers and found fantasy prominence. For a week.
This week’s magic word? Obomanu? Hagan?
Ben Obomanu, SEA. Say that name three times fast. This is the guy who will likely play in place of Mike Williams for the Seahawks. Williams has a “mysterious” foot injury and while not totally ruled out at this point, it would be surprising if he plays. The Seahawks have some other talent at receiver, but none have the potential that Obomanu does this week. Owned in just two percent of Yahoo leagues, Obomanu could be a very nice surprise this week.
Derek Hagan, NYG. Broken record time. Opportunity trumps talent when it comes to predicting fantasy breakout players each week. This time, Hagan is the guy with the golden opportunity. Eli Manning and company have maintained a high-powered passing attack, and while both Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks are injured, don’t expect the Giants to turn away from its passing game. Mario Manningham will draw No. 1 coverage, and Hagan could produce well out of a secondary role, especially against a porous Jacksonville defense.
Rusty Smith, TEN. Sure, you need to be scraping the bottom of the barrel at QB to dial up Smith’s name, but don’t overlook him as one of those plays that could wow your leaguemates in a pinch. Why Rusty? Because he plays against the NFL’s worst pass defense in the Houston Texans. Enough said.
Joel Dreessen, HOU. The Titans gave up a big game recently to Chris Cooley. In fact, they’ve struggled to cover tight ends all season. Dreessen is starting for the Texans in place of the injured Owen Daniels. Last week’s four catches for 100-plus yards is definitely possible once again this week. Not bad from a tight end that is currently available in 91 percent of all Yahoo leagues.
Keiland Williams, WAS. While the stats weren’t earth-shattering last week, Williams did enough to be fantasy relevant. This week against what was supposed to be a stout run defense in Minnesota, Williams could actually break free for some decent gains and adds value in PPR formats.
Donald Brown, IND. Not a fan of Brown’s overall, but would consider starting him in a pinch this week. For one, he’s the best available healthy running back for the Colts. How’s that for irony, from a guy who has more injuries than 100-yard games in his career. However, Brown did decent last week against a tough Patriots run defense, and while the Chargers have been pretty solid against the run overall, they’ll be focusing most of their attention on Peyton Manning and the passing game.
Darren Sproles, SD. OK. Sproles isn’t the primary back for the Chargers this week, but he did move up a peg with the ruling out of Ryan Mathews. While Tolbert will see the bulk of the carries Sunday night against Indy’s shoddy run defense, he’s also owned in more than 80 percent of Yahoo leagues. However, Sproles is available in more than half of those same leagues, and the Colts should allow plenty of stats to go around for both backs, especially with Sproles being a part of the passing game.
Matt Cassel, KC. With the re-emergence of Dwayne Bowe, Cassel has seen a mini-revival of his own. When the matchup is right, Cassel has proven to be useful from a fantasy standpoint, and this week he plays a Seattle team that struggles to stop the pass.