Rank's 11 sleepers: All in on Branden Oliver

Oh man, I feel like I'm headed down a dangerous road with Branden Oliver. And no, it's not because of his name.

Basically, I'm worried about endorsing another running back from San Diego. Things didn't work out so well the last time that happened. You know, the Donald Brown incident and everything. But I have a good feeling about Oliver this week. For starters, it's the Raiders. Actually, that's the enders, too. I mean seriously, it's the Raiders.

It's like LaDainian Tomlison told me the other day. He said "Adam, whatever you do, never name-drop. And second, there is something special about 'Raiders Week' for the Chargers." As a former Chargers season ticket holder, I noticed how enjoyable it was when San Diego played Oakland. Tomlinson should know.

So yes, I will endorse Oliver this week. I mean, we all need help at running back, right?

All right, here are the rest of Rank's 11.

Austin Davis, QB, St. Louis FC

The matchup isn't the best. If you're a matchup king/queen, Palmer makes the most sense. If you're a, "I've seen this dude throw the ball pretty well and I'd like to ride with that guy" then Davis is your man. And really, Southern Miss has produced more Hall of Fame quarterbacks in recent years than USC.

Don't think this is a fluke. The meager preseason (and first two weeks, really) were just a mirage. Now he's got a full complement of options including tight end Larry Donnell, who hopefully benched himself again this week. Plus the matchup is great, too.

All right, I've wasted too much time with quarterbacks.

But since I had mentioned Eli, I might as well talk about ODB. He looked pretty impressive during his first appearance and it could have been better. Manning missed him wide open in the end zone during a scramble (the drive ultimately ended with a touchdown pass to Rueben Randle), and overthrew him on another potential touchdown. I'm not sure if he's going to be a factor every week, but he's somebody you can sneak into your lineup right now.

I missed out on Ronnie Hillman in plenty of leagues this week. And I'm cool with it. Last year, I felt Knowshon Moreno was going to be the guy who would emerge as the lead running back. I'm getting the same feeling with Anderson this year. He's a better inside runner than everybody else on the team. And the reports are Anderson was a sit because he doesn't play special teams. All right, that works for me. If you missed out on Hillman, go ahead and add Anderson.

Oh man, I hate to do this. Well, because I was so bullish on Terrance West earlier. But the Browns had their oft-injured running back return from an injury and gave him 22 attempts. The third-highest total of his career. I'm not sure if the Browns coaching staff just said, "(expletive) it, we aren't going to get many games from this dude so let's run him hard" or not, but he's getting the rock. A lot. I wouldn't drop West or Isaiah Crowell just yet, though.

The second-consecutive appearance for Winn in as many weeks. My Twitter friend Jayke will be so proud. But the Lions are dealing with a lot of injuries at running back and Winn is going to get more run. Pun INTENDED! Up top (high-five)! Give Winn a lot. He was magical during the preseason but was unfortunately behind two dudes who finished in the top 15 among fantasy running backs last year. So really, he was just down the opportunity. I've almost backed up Joique Bell with Winn seeing how I have Bell in so many leagues. So, so many leagues. It gives me the sads just to think about it.

Don't sleep on this guy, either. He is great in pass pro, which is key to winning Peyton Manning's heart. Here's the deal. I just hope the Broncos will come out and select a starter and be done with it. And to be honest, I really hate that I ended up with Hillman on a number of teams. I just know this isn't going to work. If you got Hillman, or missed out on him, make sure you've added one of these backs. It's imperative.

All right, you know how I love my friends down in Duval County, Florida. And you know I often like to pick up guys who, to me, pass the eye test. So I'm rather bullish on Storm right now. He looked like the best running back for the Jags and Gus Bradley even talked about him in glowing terms. I'm going to roster him in most of my 12-team leagues. I'll even take a run at him in some of my other leagues, too. He's certainly one to watch if your waiver claim got away from you this week. I'd almost rather have Johnson over Toby Gerhart right now.

Wait, should he have been a Danger Zone pick? Because the matchup is pretty rad. You know what, let's move him to the Danger Zone.

My man! I've loved this dude since the preseason. I know, we go way back, right? But even though he had just two receptions against the Broncos, he was targeted a career-high seven times. Which is important. He's going to be better if Palmer is playing. Which is a big risk. But yeah, I'm in the Danger Zone, so you know me.

Hey, do you need a tight end? Yeah, me too. Like Jimmy Graham hasn't taken off enough time this year. Amirite? Well, I've targeted Daniels because he's done well since he took over for Dennis Pitta. He's familiar with Gary Kubiak's offense. And Joe Flacco seems to fancy him. So why not? I would have loved to have gone Travis Kelce here, but, bye week. So Daniels it is. Also look to see if somebody has become frustrated with Jordan Cameron this week and put him on the waiver wire. Also check to see who people have dropped on Wednesday because it's like a second-round of waiver-wire activity. I've also seen Zach Ertz dropped a ton, too.

Yeah, if you need a kicker this week, Prater has signed with the Lions. I think this was pretty much the go-to joke for everybody on Sunday.

If he needs a house, this place could be an option.

Oh yeah, we need our D/ST pick of the week. We've done pretty well with these. Crushed it with the Atlanta Falcons a few weeks ago. Blew it with Washington two weeks ago. And then the Packers last week! I don't like the Colts that much this week, though it's an interesting play. I'm going to avoid the Thursday nighter all together.

I'm going back to the Falcons. The Bears have turned the ball over a lot. All right, Jay Cutler has turned it over a lot. And Devin Hester on the return game! I'm going to go with him. I mean them. I mean the entire Falcons D. Wow, this could really backfire.

Let's do this. The Jags have given up a ton of sacks. I know this will be another week where I've predicted the Jaguars offensive breakout. But it has to come true eventually, right? Am I right? You should also check to see if one of the dudes in your league dropped the Eagles defense. Or the Ravens, too.

That's right, they have the Buccaneers this week. So if you're going to need a defense, check for the Ravens first. I'm just afraid somebody in your league will already have them.

And before you tweet it, my preferred order for those three defenses: Ravens, Titans, Falcons and Colts.


What I wrote up there goes double right here.

I know, this would make three receivers in play for the Falcons. That's why this is a Danger Zone pick, and not somebody I'm recommending as a must-start. But with the Falcons playing host to Hester's former team, well, I've seen enough of DeSean Jackson and Steve Smith, Sr. this year to motivate me to start this guy.

#Handcuff Receiver

You always handcuff your best running back in most leagues, but what if you went Zero RB this year? Well, you should insure your best receivers, too. In this instance, I've seen enough of Adams at Fresno State and briefly in the NFL to know he's the goods. So I've added him in my league of record just in case something happens to Jordy Nelson.

-- Follow Adam on Twitter @adamrank

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content