As I pored over the early games on Sunday, trying to uncover some nice waiver-wire pickups for you this week, something strange, incomprehensible and entirely unlikely occurred.
What I found shook me to my core and made me doubt what I had once thought to be true. I stared into the mirror and didn't recognize what I saw looking back. I ran a cold shower and simply sat under the water, amazed at what I was about to write.
Why so dramatic, you might ask? Because after the early games, the only studs I found worth potentially picking up on the waiver wire—and remember, I'm only talking about the 1 p.m. ET starts—came from the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.
Oh, the horror! But enough of my despair—let's dig deep on this week's waiver wire.
Players on the Jacksonville Jaguars (Seriously)
If you're in a deep league and really, really need some help next week, here are a few players you should target: Chad Henne, Jalen Parmele, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis.
Let's be clear about a few things: Henne and Lewis are only on this list because the Jaguars play that miserable Tennessee Titans pass defense next week. You should only add either one of these players if you are DESPERATE (and in Henne's case, if Blaine Gabbert can't play).
Blackmon is a speculative add, especially in keeper leagues. After a disappointing season, perhaps his seven receptions for 236 yards and a touchdown is the beginning of much greater things for the talented young receiver.
Shorts and Parmele are legitimate players to consider in all formats. Shorts now has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five games, while Parmele got the start on Sunday and rushed 24 times for 80 yards on the Texans' defense.
If Maurice Jones-Drew can't go again next week, Parmele is the running back you want in Jacksonville, not Rashad Jennings.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
Listen, I know Shonn Green is still the default starter for the New York Jets, but for how much longer? Frankly, he's terrible.
Meanwhile, when Powell gets a chance to run the ball he's been a very nice option in New York. Against the St. Louis Rams, he had 11 carries for 42 yards and two touchdowns and two receptions for another 18 yards.
What did Greene do? He rushed 18 times for 64 yards. After 10 games, Greene has reached double-digit points in standard-scoring leagues just three times. I would expect Powell to start stealing some carries, and he would be a player I'd look to add if only for speculative reasons.
LaRod Stephens-Howling or Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals (Whomever Starts)
Stephens-Howling went off on the Atlanta defense, rushing 22 times for 127 yards and a score. And with a pretty solid matchup against a St. Louis Rams defense that has given up 394 rushing yards and five touchdowns to opposing backs the past three games, Stephens-Howling is a nice play.
Oh, and he's only owned in 29.3 percent of ESPN leagues and 47 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so he might be available.
But wait, what's that? Beanie Wells is expected to return as the starter next week?
Monitor this one closely throughout the week. Either one of these guys is a nice play next week.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets predict crazy things like Baylor upsets. Seriously.
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