Fantasy football Waiver Wire: Ball, Rainey finding their place
With fantasy playoffs approaching, a waiver-wire addition could determine the fate of your squad. It's time to cash in if you've been saving your FAAB or waiver position.
• Bobby Rainey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (owned in 64 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, 28 percent of Yahoo! leagues and two percent of ESPN leagues) -- Coming into this game, fantasy owners and analysts alike were unsure of how Bucs' head coach Greg Schiano would utilize his two backup running backs. Brian Leonard started the game, but it was Bobby Rainey who came in and exploded for the best game of his career. Rainey racked up 163 yards and two rushing touchdowns on 30 carries, while also catching two passes for four yards and a touchdown. Barring injury, Rainey will start for the Bucs here on out, and he has the tools to help any fantasy owner.
• Montee Ball, Denver Broncos (45 percent, 37 percent, 73 percent) -- The NCAA's all-time rushing touchdown leader reached the end zone twice in Week 11, and will likely have the opportunity to score more. The Broncos are sitting pretty at 9-1, which means they very well could be resting Knowshon Moreno in later weeks, putting Ball in position to thrive.
• Antone Smith, Atlanta Falcons (Zero percent, zero percent, zero percent) -- Smith carried the ball twice for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers on Sunday, prompting Falcons' head coach Mike Smith to admit that Smith should be more involved in the offense. Steven Jackson has struggled and they already know Jacquizz Rodgers is mediocre at best. Look for Smith to get enough touches going forward to warrant FLEX consideration for desperate owners.
• Seyi Ajirotutu, San Diego Chargers (Zero percent, zero percent, zero percent) -- When Keenan Allen left with a knee injury in Week 11, Ajirotutu stepped in as an every-down player. If Allen and Eddie Royal (foot) are both out this week than Ajirotutu should see enough targets to warrant fantasy consideration.
• David Nelson, New York Jets (Two percent, one percent, zero percent) -- Nelson may get a shot at starting opposite of Santonio Homes in Week 12, with Jeremy Kerley out with an elbow injury and Stephen Hill proving largely ineffective. Nelson saw 12 targets back in Week 8, the last time he was forced into a significant role, and he may repeat this weekend.
• Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (55 percent, 28 percent, 10 percent) -- Even if he's active, Crabtree won't make a fantasy impact in Week 12. But pick him up if he's available and you have an extra bench spot; if healthy, Crabtree will be the primary option in the 49ers passing game for Colin Kaepernick, just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
• Josh McCown, Chicago Bears (34 percent, 63 percent, two percent) -- McCown is a sneaky option for owners in need of a bye-week replacement at quarterback. He's been steady in Cutler's absence, tossing five touchdowns without an interception. The Bears have the weapons to allow McCown to succeed for his owners -- Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery could have monster weeks in St. Louis.
• Garrett Graham, Houston Texans (36 percent, 26 percent, 20 percent) -- It took some time, but Graham finally figured it out in Week 11, when he caught seven passes for 136 yards and a touchdown at home against Oakland. The Texans host the hapless Jaguars in Week 12 and Graham is a nice replacement TE if you are looking for a replacement.
MORE WEEK 12 FANTASY FOOTBALL CONTENT:
GONOS: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em -- Should owners take the plunge on Roethlisberger?
SI STAFF: Player Rankings -- Jackson, Bucs offense is on the rise
EDHOLM, MIGLIO: Bold Strategies -- Start McCown, not Kaepernick
SI STAFF: Roundtable -- Should Charles owners be worried by K.C. offense?
FLOOD: Waiver Wire -- Ball finding his place in the Denver offense
McQUADE: Risers, Sliders -- Rice finally makes a true fantasy impact
BELLER: Early Advice -- Rainey emerges as an unlikely fantasy hero