Players like Quinton Ganther are the reason Fantasy Football can be so much fun and frustrating at the same time. He helped several owners win in Week 14 -- if you were willing to trust him.
Here is an e-mail exchange I had with one of our readers, David Olivier. This shows how one owner came to using Ganther in the first round of the Fantasy playoffs.
David: Jamey, this is it for me. I am in the playoffs. With all the injuries with Ronnie Brown, Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis -- I don't know how I made it. For this week I have Tony Romo, Tim Hightower, Larry Fitzgerald, Derrick Mason, Dallas Clark and Rob Bironas. Which two do you add to that out of Jonathan Stewart, LeSean McCoy, Chris Chambers, Justin Forsett, Jason Snelling, T.J. Houshmandzadeh or Kenny Britt?
Me: I would go with McCoy and Britt. Is Ganther out there?
David: Ganther is out there, and who would I play him in place of? I heard that Forsett was supposed to see an increase of carries this week.
Me: I like Ganther if you can squeeze him in.
David (on Sunday night): Great call on Ganther.
The minute Ganther got the starting job for the Redskins in the middle of last week you should have picked him up. His matchup against the Raiders was too good, and he was going back home to Oakland. We said Sunday morning on Fantasy Football Today to start Ganther, and I went as far as to guarantee at least 10 Fantasy points.
Ganther, who became the fourth starting running back in Washington this season after Portis (concussion), Ladell Betts (knee) and Rock Cartwright, had 14 carries for 50 yards and two touchdowns and caught three passes for 43 yards. He is only owned in 29 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, so add him where available.
He doesn't have a great matchup in Week 15 against the Giants, but New York has allowed 17 rushing touchdowns this year. If you're desperate due to injuries, Ganther could be a serviceable option.
Another starting running back job opened in Detroit with Kevin Smith (knee) out for the year. Maurice Morris (7 percent) will get the start in Week 15 against Arizona with Aaron Brown (1 percent) getting carries as well. Morris doesn't have much value against the Cardinals, but at least you know he will get plenty of touches with Smith out.
Two other teams are going with running back by committee in Cleveland and Houston, and the Browns and Texans have great matchups in Week 15. Cleveland plays at Kansas City, and Houston plays at St. Louis.
With the Browns, Chris Jennings (9 percent) did a solid job against Pittsburgh last week with 20 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown. He outplayed Jerome Harrison (64 percent), who had seven carries for 9 yards. But there's also Josh Cribbs, who had eight carries for 87 yards and caught one pass for 9 yards.
Cribbs, who is a wide receiver, ran the ball out of the Wildcat formation. Cribbs (5 percent) is worth a look in deeper leagues, but he's not worth adding in standard formats since you have to start him at wide receiver.
If you're looking for a sleeper against the Chiefs, take a risk on Jennings and hope he can get close to 20 carries again. But you have to be cautious since Cribbs and even Harrison will steal carries.
The Texans are replacing Steve Slaton (neck) with a trio of guys in Chris Brown (64 percent), Ryan Moats (54 percent) and Arian Foster (1 percent). In Week 14 against Seattle, Brown had three carries for 7 yards, Moats had 10 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble and Foster had 13 carries for 34 yards and four catches for 54 yards.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak summed up his running back situation when he said "we're going to keep playing those three guys." But Kubiak is also fond of Foster.
"We're impressed with what Foster did," Kubiak said. "He can learn a lot of things, but he handled his job in protection for the most part pretty good, so I think we just get him involved more, give him an opportunity."
Like Jennings, we view Foster as a sleeper this week against the Rams. It's hard to trust inexperienced running backs at this time of year, especially when they aren't guaranteed an excess of touches, but those moves could be difference makers.
Just ask anyone who used Ganther last week.
In case you haven't noticed ... When Chris Cooley broke his ankle in Week 7, we suggested adding Fred Davis. He got off to slow start, but Davis is playing at a high level the past three weeks with 12 catches for 146 yards and four touchdowns. In Week 14 at Oakland, Davis became the first tight end to score against the Raiders this year when he had three catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns. He has a great matchup in Week 15 against the Giants, so add Davis if he's still out there since he is only owned in 44 percent of leagues.
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.
Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee
Owned: 59 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught two passes for 75 yards against St. Louis.
Analysis: Britt continues to play well even though his three-game touchdown streak ended against the Rams. Still, Britt has at least seven Fantasy points in his past four games, and he's emerged as the No. 1 option in the passing game. He has a great matchup this week against the Dolphins, and the only concern with using him in Week 15 is the health of Vince Young (hamstring).
Jason Campbell, QB, Washington
Owned: 45 percent of leagues
Week 14: Completed 16 of 28 passes for 222 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions at Oakland and had four carries for 20 yards.
Analysis: It's hard to argue with the production. In his past three games, Campbell has seven touchdowns and three interceptions with at least 20 Fantasy points in each game. Maybe the switch in play-calling from Jim Zorn to Sherman Lewis has paid off. Or maybe his receiving corps is finally stepping up. Whatever it is, Campbell is playing well, and he is worth consideration in Week 15 against the Giants.
Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City
Owned: 57 percent of leagues
Week 14: Completed 26 of 43 passes for 224 yards and four interceptions against Denver.
Analysis: It's hard to recommend a quarterback that has six interceptions and no Fantasy points in his past two games, but Cassel has a good matchup this week against the Browns. He also gets Dwayne Bowe back this week from his four-game suspension, and if Bowe (77 percent) is still out there then add him in all leagues. Cassel has three games this year at home with at least 19 Fantasy points, and he should be considered a sleeper this week.
Devin Aromashodu, WR, Chicago
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay.
Analysis: Aromashodu replaced the injured Devin Hester (calf) and played well, but don't be fooled by this production. It was his first touchdown in four years in the NFL and the first time he's caught more than one pass in a game this season. If you've watched the Bears this year then you know Jay Cutler has spread the ball around to Hester, Greg Olsen, Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox. Aromashodu doesn't have enough upside to add.
Greg Camarillo, WR, Miami
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught seven passes for 110 yards at Jacksonville.
Analysis: Camarillo has played well the past two weeks with 11 catches for 171 yards, but he hasn't scored a touchdown this year. The Dolphins also spread the ball around with Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Camarillo and occasionally Ted Ginn Jr. Camarillo does have some value in deep leagues where you get a point per reception, but he's not going to help you much in standard leagues.
Kevin Curtis, WR, Philadelphia
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 14: Did not play.
Analysis: There's talk in Philadelphia that Curtis could replace the injured Jeremy Maclin (foot), but Curtis hasn't played since Week 2 with a knee injury. He's getting closer to coming back and should play in Week 15 against San Francisco, but Curtis will share playing time with Reggie Brown and Jason Avant. Don't expect Curtis to relive 2007 again since the Eagles have plenty of other playmakers with DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek leading the way.
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