Jonathan Dwyer: Why the Steelers RB Can Save Your Fantasy Football Season

Allan Brulett@@AlanBrouiletteCorrespondent IIOctober 24, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 21:  Jonathan Dwyer #27 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball during 24-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Every year, at least one unheralded injury-replacement player pops up and changes fantasy leagues.  

A third-string running back...a rookie quarterback...a breakout deep threat. 

All of us who have played fantasy sports for more than a year have seen the desperation waiver-wire pickup that pays off for the formerly-desperate owner.  

This year, that pickup could well be Jonathan Dwyer.   

The Pittsburgh RB gained 122 yards on the ground while seeing the field in place of the injured Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman.  He averaged 7.2 yards per carry.  

Now granted, it was against the Bengals, but Pittsburgh's run game has been atrocious this year, averaging 90 yards a game on the ground.  That's fourth worst in the league, and includes Dwyer's big night.

The third-year back from Georgia Tech hasn't had many opportunities, but Mendenhall and Redman are banged up, and Mike Tomlin, tellingly, declined to name a starter for this week against Washington.  After Dwyer ran for 7.2 YPC, Tomlin really should be giving Dwyer a second look.  This is a guy who was once regarded as a first-round pick.

As should you.  If Dwyer gets the start against Washington (an underrated run defense) and puts up the same solid numbers, he'll get the job, and you'll be sorry you didn't pick him up sooner.  

Dwyer is the sort of bold pickup that turns fantasy also-rans into fantasy champions.