You could be in search of a running back based on who has a bye in Week 7.
The running backs off this week include Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno, Kevin Smith, Maurice Jones-Drew, Julius Jones and Chris Johnson. Most, if not all, have been starting Fantasy options at some point this year.
While there isn't much help on the waiver wire, an injury in Week 6 may have opened an opportunity. And it's a name most of you know but have tried to avoid the past two years -- Laurence Maroney.
Maroney went from a solid Fantasy running back at the end of 2007 to a dud last year. He only played in three games in 2008 due to a shoulder injury, but he appeared to be in Bill Belichick's doghouse before he got hurt.
Prior to the injury, Maroney only had 28 carries for 93 yards and no touchdowns or catches. He was drafted as a starting Fantasy running back and lost value almost immediately.
This year, Maroney was hardly drafted at all. His ownership in CBSSports.com leagues was at 38 percent in Week 1 and slipped to 24 percent heading into Week 7. But that's about to change.
Maroney has the chance to post quality Fantasy numbers against the Bucs, who just allowed over 250 yards rushing against Carolina. DeAngelo Williams (152 yards and two touchdowns) and Jonathan Stewart (110 yards and one touchdown) each had a big day against Tampa Bay.
Maroney could follow suit depending on how the Patriots plan to attack the Bucs. Tom Brady just got on track against the Titans with 380 passing yards and six touchdowns, so Belichick might continue to come out throwing at an insane rate.
But in that same game, Maroney had 16 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. It was his first touchdown since the Super Bowl loss against the Giants following the 2007 season and only the second 100-yard rushing game for New England this year (Taylor had 105 yards against Atlanta in Week 3).
Keep in mind that Morris hasn't been ruled out yet, and you know Kevin Faulk will also play a role this week. Faulk (14 percent) is also worth adding in leagues where receptions count since he had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. But Maroney is the running back to target this week. If he's lucky, 2007 can happen all over again.
If you miss on Maroney, Mike Bell (52 percent) is worth adding now that he's back from the knee injury he sustained in Week 2 at Philadelphia. Bell had 15 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown against the Giants in Week 6.
He will share carries with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, but Bell got significant playing time against the Giants and will remain an important part of the offense. In the three games he's played this year Bell has either posted 100 yards rushing or scored a touchdown.
And, based on how he played against Philadelphia in Week 6, Justin Fargas (12 percent) is worth adding. He had 23 carries for 87 yards and one catch for 11 yards against the Eagles.
Fargas gets another home game against the Jets, who have been suspect against the run recently and are now without Kris Jenkins (knee) for the rest of the season. But with Michael Bush still in the mix, put Fargas as third on your list.
It's also a good time to add Correll Buckhalter (63 percent) even though Denver is on a bye. Buckhalter had 10 carries for 46 yards, four catches for 29 yards and lost a fumble at San Diego. He's still the backup to Moreno, but the Broncos will continue to use both running backs as long as Buckhalter is healthy.
In case you haven't noticed ... It's time to add Sidney Rice. We liked Rice as a third-year breakout prior to the season, and we said to add him after his Week 4 performance against Green Bay when he caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. But his ownership is still at 78 percent on CBSSports.com even though he appears to be Brett Favre's favorite weapon. That showed in Week 6 against Baltimore when Rice had six catches for 176 yards. Favre has plenty of options in the passing game with Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe. But Rice is worth adding if he's still available, and in games where the Vikings are expected to throw, he can be started as a No. 2 option.
Each Tuesday we will highlight players who might be available in your league and whether you should consider picking them up off waivers based on their recent performances. The players chosen are based on the percentage of ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.
Chad Henne, QB, Miami
Owned: 28 percent of leagues
Week 6: On a bye.
Analysis: Henne is worth adding with the hope he continues to progress following his last game against the Jets in Week 5 when he passed for 241 yards and two touchdowns. If anything, Henne could be used as trade bait depending on who else is on your roster. But if you own Matt Schaub or Eli Manning and need a bye-week replacement for Week 10, add Henne now. The Dolphins play host to Tampa Bay in Week 10, and Henne could be a good Fantasy starter that week. We'll see how he does the next three games against New Orleans, at the Jets and at New England, but the Bucs game should be a good week to use Henne with Schaub and Manning off.
Lance Moore, WR, New Orleans
Owned: 34 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.
Analysis: It's doubtful that Moore will play like he did in 2008 when he caught 79 passes for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Saints had injuries last year to Marques Colston, Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey, which is why Moore had a breakout season. Prior to the Giants game, Moore had only three catches for 39 yards. But in case Moore does become a featured part of the passing game again, don't you want to say you picked him up when you had the chance? If you have the roster space, stash Moore and hope for more games like this. Then you can start him or trade him depending on what your team needs.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, N.Y. Giants
Owned: 43 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans.
Analysis: Nicks is making a strong case to be the top rookie this season with his performance the past three weeks. Nicks has a touchdown in three consecutive games, and he's averaging 72 receiving yards over that span. Even though he caught the touchdown from David Carr against the Saints, Eli Manning continues to look for Nicks as the No. 3 receiving target behind Steve Smith and Mario Manningham. Nicks will probably tail off toward the end of the season as the weather turns colder in New York, but he's another wide receiver worth stashing on your bench.
Keenan Burton, WR, St. Louis
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught five passes for 37 yards at Jacksonville.
Analysis: Burton has five catches in each of his past two games against the Vikings and Jaguars, but this passing game is a mess. Donnie Avery (hip) has some value if he's not severely injured after leaving the Jaguars game, but you can't count on the secondary options for the Rams. And even if Avery is out for an extended period of time, Burton would only be useful in deep leagues where receptions count. He has yet to top 50 yards in a game and is still looking for his first touchdown this year. As a rookie in 2008, Burton had 13 catches for 172 yards and one touchdown. This team has become Steven Jackson and little else.
Sammie Stroughter, WR, Tampa Bay
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught three passes for 65 yards against Carolina.
Analysis: Stroughter might have some value in leagues where you get points for return yardage on top of receptions, but the rookie is still learning how to play wide receiver. This was his best game this season, and the Bucs will likely continue to increase his playing time. But his best asset is as a return man, and he returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against the Panthers in place of the injured Clifton Smith (concussion). He could be worth adding in deep keeper leagues in case the Bucs feel he has a future as a receiver, but in most standard leagues you should keep him on the waiver wire.
Mike Thomas, WR, Jacksonville
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught seven passes for 52 yards against St. Louis.
Analysis: David Garrard has played well this year, but I'm not ready to say the Jaguars passing game is three deep at wide receiver for Fantasy owners. After Mike Sims-Walker and Torry Holt, Thomas isn't going to get much attention most weeks. Let's not forget about what Maurice Jones-Drew does in the passing game as well as Marcedes Lewis. Thomas does have a future in Jacksonville and could play well down the stretch, but he should only be owned in deep keeper leagues or dynasty formats. If Holt gets hurt or Sims-Walker happens to miss curfew again then maybe Thomas' value will increase.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City
Owned: 27 percent of leagues
Week 6: Had four carries for 6 yards and caught one pass for 2 yards at Washington.
Analysis: Charles only has 19 carries for 83 yards and 13 catches for 119 yards for the season, and he was also a healthy scratch for Week 2 at Oakland. But at some point the Chiefs will start to give Charles an extended look with Larry Johnson not the future in Kansas City. Charles has plenty of big-play potential, and all he needs is a chance to get increased touches. That could happen as the season goes along if the Chiefs don't go on a surprise winning streak after beating the Redskins this past week.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 6: Caught two passes for 55 yards and a touchdown against Detroit.
Analysis: With Jordy Nelson (knee) likely out for a couple of weeks, Jones should get some extra targets as the No. 3 wide receiver for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will spread the ball around to Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley and Jones, but his touchdown against the Lions could help spark his production for the rest of the season. Jones is another wide receiver in his third season, so hopefully Nelson's injury creates an opportunity for him to make some plays.
Javon Ringer, RB, Tennessee
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 6: Had seven carries for 47 yards at New England.
Analysis: The Titans have a bye in Week 7, but LenDale White (knee) was hurt against the Patriots. If he's out for an extended period of time, Ringer could be the No. 2 option behind Chris Johnson. And with White likely done in Tennessee after this season, Ringer could be the second running back behind Johnson in the future. In keeper leagues, it might be time to add Ringer now. And in standard formats see what happens with White during the bye week and heading into Week 8 against Jacksonville.
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