Andy’s Week 14 Waiver Wire Pick-ups:

Waiver Wire

By Andrew Miley

 

There is nothing more important to keeping yourself connected to a fantasy league than by working the waiver wire every week. Inseason management is crucial to fantasy football success. Keep those juices flowing by reading this column every week as it will provide you with a few players that might be available to improve your team or even ones to avoid. I only play in point per reception leagues (sorry for the last five years and my mindset makes it too difficult to go back for standard scoring), so consider that when reviewing my advice.

RB Ameer Abdullah, Lions

The Lions second round pick had a decent night with thirteen carries for 67 yards and also chipped in 51 kickoff return yards for those leagues that have that scoring. His game could have been much better if Detroit did not divvy up touches between two other backs: Theo Riddick and Joique Bell, but at least the rookie got the most touches and started the contest. There are a few issues with his play because he doesn’t always pick up his feet which causes the back to get tripped up more easily. Abdullah doesn’t have much leg power, which hurts him in short yardage situations and relies a lot on his offensive line to create open spaces. He suffers by not anchors in pass protection (legs are too far apart) so the runner gets knocked backwards and only sees limited time on clear passing downs. The back got used a few times in five wide sets, but only received a single pass target.

The rookie is a shifty runner with loose hips changes directions quickly with bouncy feet. Abdullah uses good balance, patience, and vision that assist him to find the best cut back lanes to exploit. He does a great job protecting the ball with both hands while squirting thru the line of scrimmage and can change a sliver of space into daylight. The back has a natural gallop to his step, and while running inside, Abdullah likes to take what the defense gives him while running low and always falling forward to make up for his lack of a powerful trunk.

Most of his impact plays are made on the outside using his great acceleration and slipperiness while reading the blockers out front. The former Cornhusker creates tales with jukes, stiff-arms, spins, hurdles, jump cuts and then will suddenly reverse his field. Abdullah sells good ball fakes, and does his best to deliver as many hits as he takes.The playmaker is dangerous in the open field returning kickoffs as he always takes good angles and refuses to go down with a simple arm tackle. Once rookie breaks the initial wave, the runner turns on the jets exploding down the field and is hard to contain. Since your fantasy playoffs are starting soon, grab Abdullah if he is available with your remaining blind bidding money with a soft schedule of the Rams, Saints, 49ers, and Bears remaining.

 

TE Richard Rodgers, Packers

Last year’s third round tight end from California had the biggest game of his career against the Lions finishing with eight catches for 146 yards on eight targets. His last target was his best as he caught a 61 yard rainbow in the front of the end zone fighting six players for the pigskin. Sure before this game he was a top 15 option at tight end, but not considered a surefire fantasy starter. After this performance and the lack of playmakers in Green Bay, Rodgers should be owned and started in all leagues. During the first half of what was looking to be a horrible game from Aaron Rodgers, the second year tight end was the lone bright spot for the Packers.

The former Cal tight end got open in space usually between a linebacker and safety while catching the ball out in front of his body in stride. He lined up most of the time in the slot, but would occasionally be on the line of scrimmage. Rodgers is a physical receiver who shielded the ball from the defenders and broke a few tackles or sometimes made the first man miss. His quarterback seemed to depend on him more and more during this critical matchup. If this tight end is still available in your league, pick him up immediately with all the monies you have left. There are just too many Packers offensive questions otherwise especially with their crazy changing backfield: is it Eddie Lacy, James Starks, or newly brought up from the taxi squad John Crockett?


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