Hillis, Starks worth the roster stash
Week 8 provided very little in the way of significant injuries that typically make for a handful of players to be sought after on the waiver wire. As such, you'll have to dig a little deeper for possible waiver candidates. A lot of players discussed in this week's column will be speculative adds, should a teammate be traded or the starter in front of them struggle.
Nick Foles, PHI - Make a proactive move and stash him on your bench. Foles looked impressive in the preseason and starter Michael Vick has struggled with turnovers his last several games. The whispers calling for Foles over Vick grew louder Sunday after Andy Reid fell to 13-1 after the bye while the Eagles fell to 3-4. More important, the Giants won, increasing their lead in the NFC East. Andy Reid is probably coaching for his job, and, unlike Rex Ryan who remains committed to Mark Sanchez, Reid is more apt to possibly make a move as a result. If Foles gets the starting job, it's not hard to imagine him being a top-14ish quarterback. Lesser talented quarterbacks (think Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feely) have more than held their own from a fantasy standpoint when they played in Philadelphia. Now is the time to make a move on Foles if he perks your interest, especially in two-quarterback leagues. If Reid makes the switch this week, Foles will have a great matchup going up against the New Orleans defense Monday night.
Peyton Hillis, KC - Hillis made a very quiet return to the field Sunday, finishing the game with four carries for 23 yards and a catch for five yards. The Chiefs got away from the running game early after falling behind (once again) and ended up throwing most of the game. Interestingly, Jamaal Charles only got five carries, so if the work is divided up 50/50 or 40/60 between him and Hillis, both will have fantasy value in most formats. It's unclear who will get the goal-line carries, as Hillis is the bigger, more bruising running back.
Mike Tolbert, CAR - Rumors are starting to swirl that DeAngelo Williams is on the trade block, which would make a ton of sense considering he's had only 19 carries the last three games. The Panthers have spent a lot of money on their backfield and added Tolbert into the mix last offseason. With a new general manager we could see Carolina slowly clean house the next year, so a move out of Carolina for Williams seems logical. That would be a boost in fantasy value for both Jonathan Stewart and Tolbert. If that scenario plays out, there's a good chance Tolbert ends up with the goal-line work while Stewart does most of his damage between the 20s.
James Starks, GB - Alex Green was the big waiver add a few weeks ago when Cedric Benson went down. However, Green has hardly been impressive (some blame goes to the offensive line) over his last three games and hasn't surpassed 65 yards on the ground despite getting at least 20 carries in each game. Enter Starks, who looked healthy Sunday and played the more snaps. He finished with only two touches for 17 yards but should gradually work himself into more of a timeshare with Green. Starks played a big role in the Packers' Super Bowl run, something Mike McCarthy likely hasn't forgotten. Look for him to get more work this week against Arizona, which ranks 20th in run defense.
Justin Forsett, HOU - It looks as if Ben Tate should miss Sunday's game against the Bills, which means Forsett will back up Arian Foster. Forsett in a limited role this season is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has an ideal matchup against Buffalo. The Bills have given up 176 rushing yards per and 6.0 yards per carry to opposing running backs. If Houston gets up early on the Bills, we could see a lot of Forsett in the second half if the Texans decide to handle Foster with white gloves.
Jon Baldwin, KC - One of the players who could be on the move before Thursday afternoon is Dwayne Bowe who couldn't work out a long-term deal with the Chiefs last offseason. Bowe has been a good fantasy wide receiver (492 receiving yards, three touchdowns) when Matt Cassel has been on the field. However, with there appearing to be little interest from the Chiefs' front office, Bowe could be dealt, opening the door for Baldwin. Many (including yours truly) though this was going to be Baldwin's breakout season, especially after he got extra time in camp to work as the No. 1 wide receiver while Bowe held out. If Bowe is moved, it's likely Baldwin would double the amount of targets he's averaged per game (3.5). With his athleticism and size, Baldwin could be an impact player over the second half, especially with Kansas City playing from behind so much.
Santana Moss, WAS - I've been a little stubborn on waiting so long to recommend Moss, thinking his production was a little fluky for a smaller wide receiver on the wrong side of 33. However, Moss has proven me wrong, catching long touchdown catches and tallying four scores over his last four games. His five total touchdowns surpasses last season's total (four) and is one away from his career high. Leonard Hankerson still has a case of the dropsies and with nine targets against the Steelers, Robert Griffin III may have more trust in Moss than any other receiver.
Virgil Green, DEN - I'm sure it was thrilling for Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme owners to see Green lead the trio with three catches for 44 yards Sunday night. Tamme led the three with four targets while Green had three and Dreessen had two. For now, this game may be an outlier but things could get interesting if Manning feels like he has a rapport with Green or an injury befalls either Dreessen or Tamme. Remember, no one knew who Jacob Tamme was before Dallas Clark was injured during the 2010 season, so this wouldn't be the first time Peyton Manning made a fantasy stud out of tight end who entered the season unknown.
San Diego Chargers - With so much focus on the struggling offense, it's easy to look past the Chargers defense, which has been solid this season. The defense has 19 sacks (tied for eighth in the lead), nine interceptions (sixth in the league) and has forced 10 fumbles (tied for second in the league). This week, the Chargers have a fantastic home matchup against the Chiefs, who should have Brady Quinn under center. In a little over a game and a half, Quinn has no touchdowns, three interceptions and a 4.8 YPA. And it's the Thursday night game, which, outside of the Tampa Bay/Minnesota matchup, has mostly been low-scoring affairs. Philip Rivers should be able to move the ball against the Chiefs, who should be forced to throw more than they care for if they fall behind early.
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