Second round draft picks usually don’t have to wait until week 15 to make an impact in the pros. Unfortunately for LaMichael James, he did have to wait this long because of the fantastic depth ahead of him on the 49ers at running back. James will get his opportunity this week and if you don’t have space for him on your roster, he should at the very least be on your watch list.
As should the rest of these guys…
LaMichael James (RB/SF) – owned in 1%/8% OF ESPN/Yahoo leagues – A San Francisco backfield that that had incredible depth at the start of the season, is all of a sudden very thin. Kendall Hunter is out for the season, while Brandon Jacobs is not a factor after receiving a 3-game suspension from the team. San Francisco doesn’t want to over-extend Frank Gore, so James will have a role for the rest of the season. If San Francisco secures a first-round bye, James could be in line for a start. The Oregon alum is a very capable runner and he has one of the best offensive lines in football to run behind.
Dion Lewis (RB/PHI) – owned in 1%/0% OF ESPN/Yahoo leagues – Bryce Brown had a horrible day on Thursday and that could lead to an opportunity for the 2nd year pro Lewis. The 5”8 speedster showed at the University of Pittsburgh that he has the ability to run between the tackles. There is no reason for the Eagles to rush LeSean McCoy back into action, so this should be a head-to-head competition between Lewis and Bryce Brown for carries, from here on out.
Joe Morgan (WR/NO) – owned in 0%/1% OF ESPN/Yahoo leagues – Morgan is an undrafted free agent who is slowly carving out a role for himself in the pros. He is primarily a deep threat and every week, Morgan and Drew Brees build on their chemistry. Last week, Morgan had a career-high 106 yards and he appears to be taking the role of Devery Henderson as the vertical threat in this offense.
Michael Spurlock (WR/SD) – owned in 0%/0% OF ESPN/Yahoo leagues – The depth chart at wide receiver in San Diego is wide open after the two starters (Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander). Last week, Spurlock made his bid to be the third in line. He recorded 7 catches for 64 yards against a Steelers defence that ranks first in the league, giving up just 169 pass yards per game. Spurlock has played for 4 different teams during his 5-year NFL career, so maybe this will finally be a good match.
Tony Moeaki (TE/KC) – owned in 0%/3% OF ESPN/Yahoo leagues – The bad news for Moeaki and his owners is that Brady Quinn is not the most reliable QB in the league. The good news is that Dwayne Bowe will be out for this Sunday’s contest against the Raiders and that should mean more targets for everyone else. Moeaki has topped 40 receiving yards in 5 of his last 7 games, despite the inconsistencies at QB. He is a big red zone threat and he has very soft hands. If you need help at tight end, you can do far worse than Moeaki.