Note: With the trading deadline passed in most leagues, I’ve ended the Buying / Selling for the year to focus more on potential Waiver Pickups that may give you the boost needed to advance in the playoffs and make a run at the championship.
Johnny Manziel QB CLE (22% owned in Yahoo! leagues) | CIN (Week 15) - @CAR (Week 16)
All too often a coaches stubborness gets in the way of their team's success and Mike Pettine's affection for Brian Hoyer is another chapter in that book. With the team in playoff contention and Hoyer's limitations painfully obvious, Pettine's hand may be forced. Cleveland faces Cincinnati, who are currently atop the AFC North, this weekend and hopefully for the Browns' sake, the team didn't wait too long before making the switch. Manziel is bound to add a spark to the offense and should improve the players around him. As a runner, there should be no doubts that he'll rival Russell Wilson and he'll also be able to utilize Josh Gordon much more than Hoyer was able to. If you're in need of a quarterback or your potential oppenents are in need of one, don't sit back; Manziel possesses QB1 ability and you'd be wise to keep in in your lineup or just out of your opponents'.
Robert Griffin III III QB WAS (31%) | @NYG - PHI
Colt McCoy left this past weekend's game with a neck injury and his status is highly questionable for the upcoming NFC East rivalry game between Washington and the New York Giants. While the Giants have a respectable pass rush, they struggle in pass coverage and are a favorable match up for opposing quarterbacks. Although DeSean Jackson's status is also unclear, even without him the team's receiving corps is at least as good as it has been in the previous years for Griffin III. The owner is still in support of his prize draft selection and that could also help lead to Griffin III retaining the job through the season's end if he plays well enough this weekend. There's still some high-end QB2 upside here and those in two-quarterback leagues or desperate for a starter should give him a long thought.
Chris Johnson RB NYJ (48%) | @TEN - NE
It's been a tumultuous season for the former All-Pro, but his best match up of the season could not come at a better time for any owners that stowed him on the bench or are in need of a running back for Week 15. New York has returned to the "ground-and-pound" offense that led to their early success under Rex Ryan and can be expected to lead the NFL in rush attempts from here-on-out. Johnson has recorded 16 carries in each of the past two games, his highest totals of the season. The Jets will get their chance to line up versus the NFL's worst run defense, which also happens to be Johnson's former team, the Tennessee Titans. Look for the carries to keep heading his way and result in low-end RB2 production this weekend.
James Starks RB GB (9%) | @BUF - @TB
Eddie Lacy was forced out of action on Monday Night Football with a hip injury, which allowed a extra burn for Starks, who was already having a great outing in a complemetary role. Starks finished the night with 101 total yards and a touchdown on 12 touches. While Green Bay still has a lot to play for, they would also prefer that Lacy is healthy for the playoffs and so an increased role for Starks through these next two games may be in the cards. It's even possible that Lacy is given a week off to heal, which makes Starks a must-own. While Buffalo boasts a top-five run defense, the touches and scoring potential would be enough for Starks to sustain RB2 value as the starter.
Jonathan Stewart RB CAR (40%) | TB - CLE
Albeit in a favorable match up, Stewart's performance versus New Orleans rekindle the dormant affection that many of us held for the running back. DeAngelo Williams' return is still not certain and Carolina's next two games are among the most running back friendly in the NFL. They'll take on Tampa Bay, which ranks among the NFL's worst units, in Week 15 with the non-threatening Cleveland defense to follow. Cam Newton is expected to be sidelined for at least this week and Ron Rivera will have no choice but to run the offense through Stewart. He can be viewed as a strong RB2.
Kerwynn Williams RB AZ (3%) | @STL - SEA
Even when Arizona released Michael Bush late last week, Williams was still off the radar as the team's third-string running back. Surprisingly, he ended up leading group with 26 snaps en route to a 100 rushing yards on 19 carries - notably, Andre Ellington failed to record 100 rushing yards in any of his 12 yards this season. Although the early word from Head Coach Bruce Arians is that Stepfan Taylor remains the lead back, Williams is the one to own if you're desperate. The St. Louis run defense has been improving, so it's tough to treat him as more than a low-upside RB3.
Marcel Reece RB OAK (1%) | @KC - BUF
Now in his sixth season with Oakland, Reece's talent continues to waste away on the bench. The Raiders have finally resigned themselves from Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew though, which has opened up increased playing time for the multi-faceted Reece of late. Four of his five highest snap totals have come in the past four games and he's been handed at least nine touches in the past three games, including at least six receptions in each of the past two. For those in deep PPR leagues and in need of a spot-starter, Reece is worth a look as an RB4.
Donte Moncrief WR IND (28%) | HOU - @DAL
Although Moncrief had only a modest game this past weekend, catching three of four targets for 33 yards and no touchdowns, he did play a season-high 50 snaps. With Reggie Wayne struggling with injuries and an eroding skills, there's potential for the rookie to grab an even larger role. Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards and three touchdown in the first game versus Houston and gets them at home this time around. With a date in Dallas to follow that game, Moncrief presents value as a boom-or-bust WR4.
Harry Douglas WR ATL (6%) | PIT - @NO
Roddy White is playing at less than full strength and is unlikely to heal quickly without rest while Julio Jones exited Monday Night Football with a hip injury and was not able to return. Douglas has been coping with a foot injury himself, but may find himself as the healthiest of the top-three options. When forced into a larger role last season, Douglas responded with 85 receptions for 1,067 yards. If neither White or Jones is able to suit up versus Pittsburgh, then Douglas would elevate to a high-end WR3 versus the Steelers shaky secondary.
Marquess Wilson WR CHI (1%) | NO - DET
The start of Wilson's sophomore campaign was delayed until Week 11 after suffering a broken clavicle in the preseason, but he'll now step into the starting lineup opposite Alshon Jeffery after Brandon Marshall's season has come to an abrupt end. Through four games, he's played about 73% of the team's snaps and has seen 14 targets, catching just five of them for 40 yards. You can expect to seen him near 90% of snaps now and with a match up versus New Orleans on deck, Wilson ascends to low-end WR3 value.
Stedman Bailey WR STL (17%) | AZ - NYG
Unfortunately, St. Louis continues to trot out Kenny Britt as their No. 1 receiver despite him failing to take advantage of the opportunity and Bailey continuing to flourish in a limited role. However, at the very least, Bailey should continue to see the 61% of the snaps that he's been given over the past six weeks and when you extrapolate his last four games over a full season, it would translate to 68 receptions and 1,048 receiving yards. Granted, using a player's best four-game stretch is a poor way to project future production, but with a ravaged Arizona defense on deck and the New York Giants to follow, Bailey is worth a shot as a WR4 and has potential to grow if Head Coach Jeff Fisher allows him to.
*All snap counts and targets in this article are courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com