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Monday, June 18, 2018

Chris Ogbonnaya Becomes Fantasy Option with Peyton Hillis, Montario Hardesty Hurt

There weren’t many waiver wire options available heading into week nine of the fantasy football (and real football!) season. One option has emerged late in the week, and it’s Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya.

Montario Hardesty strained his calf early in the game against San Francisco last weekend and is expected to miss a few weeks. Peyton Hillis has missed the last two games because of his hamstring and he re-aggravated the injury Friday. That leaves Ogbonnaya, Thomas Clayton, and Owen Marecic likely to handle carries. Though we’re not expecting much from him, Ogbonnaya is a fantasy option.

The Browns have thrown the ball most of the time — likely because they’ve been trailing — so there isn’t a ton of value here. Also remember that Browns running backs have only scored two touchdowns all season (both came from Peyton Hillis in week two). The point is you shouldn’t get your hopes up if you add him. Then again, if you’re desperate enough to use Ogbonnaya, you’re probably already in bad shape. The former Longhorns running back should be good for a half-dozen or more points.

We also have a few other pickups to recommend.

If Chiefs wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin is still available in your league, you should grab him. Kansas City’s passing game is limited, but Baldwin is a weapon. Matt Cassel threw to him plenty on Monday night and that will likely continue.

There are a few more running backs we’d like to bring to your attention. Because of injuries, these players are likely to see increased roles and fantasy relevancy. Taiwan Jones will back up Michael Bush and see carries for the Raiders with Darren McFadden out. For the Giants, D.J. Ware will get carries behind Brandon Jacobs with Ahmad Bradshaw hurt. Lastly, Chris Ivory came off injured reserve and carried the ball six times last week for the Saints. With Mark Ingram out, he’s an injury away from having value.

We also want to remind you to reserve a spot or two on your bench for running back handcuffs. With bye weeks coming to an end soon, there will be less of a need for depth. Rather than carrying a seventh wide receiver or backup defense or kicker, handcuff your running backs to make sure you don’t get screwed if your guy gets hurt.

That means if you have LeSean McCoy, grab Dion Lewis. If you have Michael Turner, make sure you have Jason Snelling. If you have Matt Forte, make sure you also have Marion Barber. And if Ray Rice is one of your guys, also have a spot for Ricky Williams. The last thing you want is to see your stud go down, and then have someone else claim the backup off waivers. Then you would be doubly screwed.

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