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Waiver Wire: Week 10 scouting report

by | Rotowire.com
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ACC

Wes Brown, RB, Maryland: Brown continues to pull away from the rest of his competition in the Maryland backfield, and although his upside is limited by the lack of talent around him, he has the workload to be effective in ACC-only leagues. The promising freshman had 48 carries the last two weeks, which he turned into 194 yards and a touchdown. He takes on a Georgia Tech defense Saturday that allowed 15 touchdowns on the ground the last five weeks, so if Brown gets 20-plus carries again he's a good bet to find the end zone.

Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (FL): Morris has struggled the last three weeks, throwing just one touchdown compared to three interceptions, but that's probably just because he faced three very tough defenses in Notre Dame, North Carolina and Florida State. He threw for 1,002 yards and seven touchdowns in the two games before that, and against a more manageable Virginia Tech defense this week, Morris is a good bet to get back on track and reemerge as a starting option in ACC-only leagues, as well as perhaps a spot start in other deep formats.

Big 12

Blake Jackson, TE, Oklahoma State: If you're looking for a tight end upgrade, Jackson is a good bet to come through in basically any format. He's one of the nation's best athletes at the position, and he's the second-leading receiver on the Oklahoma State roster. He has only one touchdown this year, but he's come close to surpassing the 100-yard mark four times, posting totals of 105, 112, 96 and 94 yards at various points. He doesn't need many targets to do his damage, either, as he's averaging 22.5 yards per catch.

Charlie Moore, WR, Oklahoma State: Tracy Moore was the most well known Moore in the Oklahoma State wideout group heading into this year, but if the last three weeks are any indication, it's Charlie who is the one to own at this point. After catching just six passes the first four weeks, Charlie has 15 catches in the last three games for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He seems to be establishing himself as the team's top big-play option in the passing game, and he should certainly be owned in Big 12-only leagues.

Big East

Marcus Shaw, RB, South Florida: Lindsey Lamar (clavicle) is out for the year, and Demetris Murray just isn't very good (3.9 YPC), so there is a void to be filled in the South Florida backfield. Given that he was considered the co-starter at running back prior to dealing with some injury troubles, Shaw is a good bet to come through on that front. He's averaging six yards per carry on 18 attempts so far this year and is likely to approach 12 carries per game with Lamar out of the lineup, making him worth owning in Big East-only leagues.

Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut: Griffin has long been one of the nation's most reliable tight ends, but his production tended to be limited by the mediocrity of the Connecticut offenses over the years. In 2012, though, Griffin has taken his numbers to a new level, reaching a career-high four touchdowns through eight games. His production seems to be improving as the year progresses, moreover, as all four of those touchdowns came the last five weeks. Griffin's involvement in the Connecticut offense seems to be increasing, and he's worth owning in any format.

Big Ten

Damon Bullock, RB, Iowa: Mark Weisman aggravated his problematic ankle injury against Northwestern on Saturday, and it's difficult to see him reaching full strength in the immediate future. That leaves Bullock, who just returned from a concussion, to carry the load for Iowa. He did a nice job against the Wildcats on Saturday, taking 22 carries for 107 yards. With Indiana up next, Bullock is a good bet to find the end zone and surpass 100 yards on the ground Saturday.

Curt Phillips, QB, Wisconsin: He's only worth a bench stash in Big Ten leagues, but Phillips nonetheless makes for an interesting gamble in such scenarios with Joel Stave (clavicle) done for 2012. Phillips was a promising dual-threat quarterback for Wisconsin before an endless list of knee injuries took his career off track, but now his only obstacle to playing time is Danny O'Brien, who Wisconsin already knows isn't good enough to win most weeks.

Conference USA

Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall: Hoskins has quietly established himself as one of the nation's elite fantasy tight ends, and at this point he's a must-own in all formats. He's up to eight touchdowns on the year in Marshall's high-powered passing attack, as well as 26 catches for 281 yards. Quarterback Rakeem Cato averages 368.6 passing yards per game and has 23 touchdowns in eight games, so there's every reason to believe Hoskins will stay hot.

Jackie Williams, WR, UAB: Williams' fantasy value is often limited by the chain-moving role he plays in the UAB offense -- he had just three touchdowns between 2010 and 2011 -- but with field-stretching wideout Jamarcus Nelson dealing with injury, Williams found more room to make plays downfield against Tulane on Saturday, catching six passes for 143 yards and his first touchdown of the year. He should have another nice game against Southern Mississippi this week.

Independents

Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: BYU somehow had Williams on the bench to start this year, but over the last month the freshman has forced his way onto the field and turned himself into one of BYU's brightest stars of recent memory. He's a must-own in all formats after burning Georgia Tech for four touchdowns on Saturday, running for 107 yards and three scores while adding 54 yards and another touchdown on three receptions. Despite dealing with brutal matchups against Oregon State and Notre Dame, Williams has 516 yards (4.8 YPC) and eight touchdowns on the ground as well as 20 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown. He's both a workhorse and a playmaker and figures to have a high ceiling the rest of the way.

MAC

Ryan Boykin, RB, Ohio: Boykin is only a MAC league consideration since he's Ohio's second runner behind starter Beau Blankenship, but in the team's run-heavy offense he's nonetheless emerging as an option in those formats, and maybe even some multi-conference deep leagues. Blankenship has carried an unsustainable 26.75 times per game through eight weeks, so Boykins' workload is increasing in an attempt to keep Blankenship healthy. In the last three weeks, Boykin has 35 carries for 234 yards and three touchdowns, and the big bruiser figures to remain active in the red zone for Ohio.

Eric Monette, WR, Western Michigan: It could be a case of musical wideouts with Western Michigan, but it generally appears as if Monette is finally emerging for the Broncos after early-season injury troubles kept him limited initially. After catching just seven passes in the first seven weeks of the year, Monette totaled eight receptions in each of the last two weeks, adding up to 215 yards and two touchdowns over that span. He was the team's most experienced receiver entering this year, so Monette was overdue for such numbers. Just beware that Jaime Wilson and Josh Schaffer have both overshadowed Monette at various points this year, so he's a risky investment outside of deeper formats.

Mountain West

Kasey Carrier, RB, New Mexico: No player in the nation has been hotter the last month than Carrier, who exploded without warning to the tune of 826 yards and 11 touchdowns in just four games. Needless to say, those numbers make him an absolute must-own, and probably a must-start, in all formats. The rest of his schedule is quite manageable, as he faces UNLV, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado State from here, ensuring a strong finish.

Chris Nwoke, RB, Colorado State: Nwoke was one of the biggest names among running backs entering this year, but a persistent ankle sprain derailed his season before it could get started, leaving him with neither a 100-yard game nor a touchdown in the first seven weeks. If he was dropped in your league, though, you should grab him now. Nwoke appeared to be back to normal against Hawaii on Saturday, burning the Warriors for 115 yards and a touchdown on the ground while adding a 27-yard touchdown catch. Nwoke was a monster in the second half of 2011, and it looks like he's ready to catch fire again in 2012's second half.

Pac-12

Austin Hill, WR, Arizona: Hill was a promising receiver as a freshman last year for Arizona, but he's become one of the nation's elite wideouts in 2012 -- something almost no one saw coming. After catching 21 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns last year, Hill nearly matched that yardage total in Saturday's victory over USC alone, catching 10 passes for 259 yards. After logging those numbers, Hill is up to 54 catches for 937 yards and seven scores this year, with a six-touchdown binge in the last four games pushing him into the elite category of receivers nationwide. He's close to must-start status in any format.

Cody Vaz, QB, Oregon State: Incumbent starter Sean Mannion (knee) returned to the starting lineup for Oregon State against Washington last week, but he didn't appear to be fully recovered from his surgically-repaired meniscus tear, finishing with four interceptions and one touchdown on 34 passes. Vaz, on the other hand, completed 7-of-11 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown after replacing Mannion. Oregon State will start Vaz this week against Arizona State, and between the likely shootout scenario and the fact that Vaz played well in Mannion's place the two games prior to Saturday, he's a worthwhile pickups in most formats.

SEC

Jonathan Wallace, QB, Auburn: Wait for Auburn to name him starter before gambling on him, but Wallace has to be the favorite to take over at quarterback this week given that Clint Moseley (ankle) and Kiehl Frazier (arm) are both hurt and, more importantly, have been awful all year. Wallace, though, was quite impressive against Texas A&M on Saturday, completing 6-of-9 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns while running for 71 yards on 13 carries. With New Mexico State coming up Saturday, Wallace would be a decent spot start in most formats if he is given the starting role.

C.J. Uzomah, TE, Auburn: Although he's no more than a gamble pickup outside of SEC leagues, Uzomah is nonetheless on the radar in most or all formats after his breakout game against Texas A&M on Saturday. Previously stuck behind Philip Lutzenkirchen on the depth chart, Uzomah stepped into a prominent role the last two weeks once Lutzenkirchen (hip) saw his season end. Uzomah caught five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, with three catches, 90 yards and the touchdown coming from Saturday's game against the Aggies.

Sun Belt

Willis Wright, WR, Florida International: Wright was one of Florida International's more promising recruits of recent years, and he's finally starting to make good on his potential. After catching just 12 passes the last two years, Wright is up to 20 catches in 2012, with 14 coming in the last three games. He's standing out as a big-play threat in particular, because those 14 receptions went for 366 yards and two touchdowns. With South Alabama and Florida Atlantic up next, Wright is worth a pickup in most formats.

William Dukes, WR, Florida Atlantic: The Florida Atlantic passing game has surprisingly come alive a bit the last three weeks, with quarterback Graham Wilbert throwing for 825 yards and seven touchdowns after throwing seven touchdowns in the entirety of 2011. Dukes has been the main target for Wilbert, snagging 16 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns over that time. He should be a nice deep league option again this week against a Navy defense that isn't intimidating.

WAC

Ray Holley, RB, Louisiana Tech: Another day, another big game for Holley in mop-up duty. Louisiana Tech is far too talented for its WAC competition, and a blowout against WAC newcomer University of Texas-San Antonio on Saturday is a near certainty. The fast-paced Louisiana Tech offense lends itself to a huge snap count, leaving a lot of rushing attempts to go around - even with starter Kenneth Dixon taking 88 carries for 592 yards and 13 touchdowns over the last five weeks, Holley still earned 72 carries for 419 yards and five touchdowns over the same span, adding 17 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown. With the score likely getting out of hand quickly Saturday, Holley should total at least 15 touches from scrimmage.

DeLeon Eskridge, RB, San Jose State: Eskridge is a plodding runner who doesn't produce a whole lot despite benefiting from a dominant San Jose State passing game, but for this week at least he has a favorable matchup that should afford him a greater statistical output than his skill level would generally indicate. The same was true last week when he faced Texas State, and the result was 134 yards (5.4 YPC) and a touchdown on the ground. Eskridge faces off against Idaho this week, a team that's allowing 42 points per game, as well as 5.4 yards per carry and 27 touchdowns on the ground.

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