We unearth a trio of running backs this week that are worth taking a look at, including one that is in line to be the starter again this week. Though none of the three are worthy of being in our highest category, they lead a group of eleven players worth considering at this late juncture in the season. The majority of this week's players are running backs, but as usual we dig up a couple tight ends, and then fill in the rest of the list with some wide outs. There's something for everyone this week!
RB Montell Owens, Jacksonville
Drawing the start against the Jets, Owens ran well carrying the ball 14 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't as active as we would have liked in the passing game, recording only a single catch for eleven yards but he was the main back for the Jaguars on the field for the majority of offensive plays. With Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings both out, it is looking like Owens is in line for a second consecutive start this week at Miami. It's a rarity this late in the season to find a starting running back on the waiver wire, but we expect that Owens will be able to put up similar numbers against the Dolphins this week.
RB LaMichael James, San Francisco
The backup runner on the 49ers always has value, operating as the change of pace to starter Frank Gore. Finally getting a chance to dress for a game this week against the Dolphins, James did not waste the opportunity, carrying the ball eight times for 30 yards while also catching a pass for 15 yards. Not tremendous numbers, but he did not make any glaring mistakes so he's earned some playing time for the future. San Francisco has cleared the deck for him to be the clear backup by suspending Brandon Jacobs, so James has some value even this late in the fantasy season.
RB DuJaun Harris, Green Bay
The Packers are not ready to trust Alex Green with the entire load, and with James Starks done for the season, Green Bay used Harris as their change of pace back this past week against the Lions. Harris rushed seven times for 31 yards, and did find the end zone. Coach Mike Sherman flips his backs on a week-to-week basis looking for the "hot hand." Harris will continue to see touches with the potential for him to edge out Green for the majority of carries in Green Bay.
On the Radar
WR Jonathan Baldwin, Kansas City
The Chiefs are having major issues at the wide receiver position, this week placing Dwayne Bowe on season ending injured reserve. That leaves Baldwin as the "top" starter for Kansas City. Being the top wide out for the Chiefs is not a very fruitful position, in fact we're not even going to list Baldwin's stats from the last few games since we could not find a way to make them sound very good. Based on reps alone, Baldwin will be on the field for the majority of plays for the Chiefs, which has the potential to net him somewhere in the vicinity of 5-7 catches for about 50 yards.
TE Rob Housler, Arizona
Housler has appeared in the space before. But as we continue to look for viable tight ends that are likely to be available, we once again list Housler as we like his value at this late juncture of the season. Seven catches for 36 yards this week against the Seahawks pushes his total numbers over the last three games to 19 catches for over 130 yards. The Cardinals situation at quarterback is helping Housler's numbers, as Arizona is being forced to dump the ball off to him early and often. As a late season add, Housler has been very consistent and can help a team that needs a tight end.
RB William Powell, Arizona
After a week where the team was shut out, we're giving a very mild recommendation to a runner on the Cardinals who we see as potentially the best of a current trio carrying the ball. Beanie Wells has not done much since his return, and Powell is getting the ball more than La'Rod Stephens-Howling. Seven touches for Powell this week against the Seahawks, for a total of 33 yards of offense, a mild recommendation for those that are in need at the position.
TE Craig Stevens, Tennessee
We really liked Jared Cook in this space last week, so much that we had him listed as the top pickup of the week. Unfortunately, he didn't last very long, getting hurt this past week against the Colts, and he will miss the rest of the season. This week, we look to his backup, Craig Stevens. Jake Locker was using Cook very heavily, and though we don't expect him to utilize Stevens in the same manner, we do envision Stevens getting a fair amount of action.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
RB Dion Lewis, Philadelphia
Even though Waiver Wire Wonder Bryce Brown is the main starter for the Eagles, Lewis is trusted a bit more in passing situations so he is getting on the field for 20-25 plays per game. To this point, it isn't translating into him getting his hands on the pigskin. But with the Eagles playing out the string, they may want to get Lewis a few touches so they can see what they have in the youngster.
WR Lestar Jean, Houston
The starter opposite Andre Johnson has some fantasy value, and it is Jean that is starting to become the guy getting the most looks after their stud wide out. He's moving ahead of Kevin Walter. Jean is a player worth keeping an eye on, especially those in dynasty formats.
WR Joseph Morgan, New Orleans
Morgan is the deep threat in the Saints offense, which from time-to-time nets him a big game. Against the Giants, he got loose twice, catching two passes for 106 yards. Nothing terribly exciting to write about here, but Morgan is a guy that is seeing a couple of throws in his direction each of the last three games.
WR Terrance Copper, Kansas City
As mentioned above, the Chiefs have personnel issues at wide receiver. Starting opposite Baldwin will be Terrance Copper. Only those in deep leagues need apply here as Copper has not been especially active in the Kansas City offense. Three catches for 32 yards this week against the Browns is likely where he will end up on a weekly basis.