On Monday night, Sammy Morris had accumulated 138 yards rushing in a career performance before a knee injury took him out of action. Morris had replaced New England starter Laurence Maroney, who was placed on injured reserve.
The Patriots turned to Green-Ellis, a former standout in college at both Indiana and Mississippi who has bounced around the league in the past two years. On Monday, he gained a respectable 65 yards on 13 carries (five yards per carry) and found the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Only a week ago Green-Ellis was on the practice squad; now he's likely to be tabbed the starting running back for one of the league's most explosive offenses. Let the fantasy frenzy for his services begin ...
For those who miss out on the Green-Ellis sweepstakes, here are a few other waiver wire candidates who offer value to fantasy owners:
Hey, why not? If you're reading this column, chances are you're a fantasy owner in need. Benson has burned fantasy owners before, but he didn't look too bad in uniform for Cincinnati on Sunday. He averaged 3.7 yards per carry, had a long run of 15 yards and even caught a pass. The Bengals don't have the easiest road ahead, but they also don't have too many options in the backfield to turn to. Benson is a good gamble as a No. 3 or 4 back with the ability to offer a solid week or two at some point yet this season.
Another week, another 49er wide receiver to consider. Morgan took advantage of the team's banged up receiving corps and caught five balls against the Giants for 86 yards and a score. In six prior games Morgan had caught just six passes. Now, though, the team will give him more opportunities and fantasy owners might consider him as a No. 4 or 5 receiver to be used in cases of emergency.
Royal is by no means a 'sexy' free agent pickup, but the Bills' 30-year-old tight end has produced some nice numbers so far this season, and he's bound to continue. On Sunday Royal caught four passes for 53 yards in the win over San Diego -- the third time he's had at least four catches in a game this season. As a fill-in at tight end Royal has become a very attractive pickup.
A former Seattle cast-off, Stevens has found a second chance in Tampa Bay, where he's caught 12 passes in the past five games. Against his former team on Sunday Stevens caught four passes for 55 yards. So far he's proved the Buccaneers right for activating him in September, and he'd make a fine backup tight end for a fantasy owner who lacks depth at the position.
Here is a look at this week's buy and sell candidates:
Earnest Graham, RB, Buccaneers
Fantasy owners are well aware of what Steven Jackson did to Dallas last week; now Graham will give it a try. After that he'll get to chew up a Chiefs defense that allowed two 100-yard rushers on Sunday. The time to buy is now, as Graham has slipped in recent weeks causing his fantasy asking price to drop, and the Buccaneers may be without Warrick Dunn, who missed part of Sunday's game.
Lee Evans, WR, Bills
Evans has been on fire as of late, with 80-plus yards and a touchdown in each of the Bills last three games. The good news is that it should continue. Buffalo will face Miami's 27th ranked pass defense this week, then take on a Jets team ranked 24th. Evans had 210 yards receiving in two games against the Jets last year, and had two touchdowns in his last game against Miami.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants
The next month will be brutal for Manning. Next week he and the Giants will travel to face the league's top-rated pass defense (Pittsburgh). After that, games include Dallas, and two top 10 pass defenses (Philadelphia and Baltimore). Yuk. For those owners with Manning, if there is a time to upgrade at the quarterback spot, it's now.
Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints
Some poor sucker in your league will consider McAllister the answer to Reggie Bush's injury. But they are not of the same breed, nor is McAllister in a position to accept the bulk of Bush's workload. The Saints will use Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas Thomas to assist in the passing game, with McAllister getting an extra four to six carries per contest. In short, McAllister is an aged player who can only service the Saints in a limited role. Pump up his fantasy value, then send him sailing.
Mike Beacom is the publisher of SportsBuff.com