The fantasy football playoffs are looming in most leagues, and valuable help can still be found on the waiver wire. Latavius Murray and Isaiah Crowell are both gems to be found in free agency, rising to the top of a running back class that often features more questions than answers.
Of course, before getting into any football-related topics, the catch made by New York Giants rookie Odell Beckham Jr. in Sunday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys deserves at least one more mention. Not only that, Beckham, one of the most explosive and versatile athletes in the 2014 NFL draft, has consistently made similar catches in warm-ups.
While the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders have both offered new clarity on their running backs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots have both created confusion and sucked the fantasy value out of theirs. Tampa Bay is deploying a three-headed attack with Charles Sims, Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey, while New England has added LeGarrette Blount to compete with Jonas Gray.
Crowell and teammate Terrance West both saw their fantasy stocks rise last week when the Browns released veteran Ben Tate. With fewer mouths to feed, both Crowell and West got double-digit carries — Crowell turning his 12 into 88 yards and two touchdowns — in Cleveland’s 26-24 win over Atlanta. Oakland turned to Murray in Week 12, and he responded with four carries for 112 yards and two touchdowns before exiting Thursday night’s win over Kansas City with a concussion.
Browns receiver Josh Gordon has a chance to go down as the highest-impact waiver wire addition in fantasy leagues in the second half of the season. He returned to Cleveland’s lineup after a 10-game suspension and was targeted 16 times, catching eight Brian Hoyer passes for 120 yards in his first action of the season. The reigning NFL receiving leader figures to play a huge role in the final five weeks.
Bob Flounders and Dustin Hockensmith talked about those situations and plenty more in this week’s podcast on the Keystone Sports Network. Check out audio from the show in this post and get plenty more podcasts and analysis on KeystoneSportsNetwork.com and by following @KSNSportsNet on Twitter.