The fantasy football regular season is nearly halfway complete. Now is the time for the top teams in leagues to put the pedal down and pull away from the pack, and teams on the playoff bubble or outside the playoff picture need to go on runs to solidify their positions.
There are a couple of moves on the waiver-wire this week that could improve your chances of winning this upcoming week and beyond.
Because running back depth has been terribly hard to come by this year, let's start with Joseph Randle, who will start at running back for the Dallas Cowboys this weekend in Philadelphia in place of the injured DeMarco Murray. Murray may be out a few weeks, and Randle could be a big play for those looking to replace Murray or add depth at the position. Randle found the end zone against the Washington Redskins after Murray went down on Sunday night. He also showed an ability to catch passes out of the backfield as he recorded a pair of receptions. With Lance Dunbar also sidelined for the Cowboys, it is likely Randle will see 20 touches this week.
There are a couple of wide receivers to target this week. I have sung the praises of Justin Blackmon for two consecutive weeks in this column. Despite going for 136 yards and a touchdown in his season debut in Week 5, Blackmon was still available in almost 50 percent of leagues when he went for 190 yards against the Denver Broncos in Week 6. With Cecil Shorts likely out for a while with an injury sustained in the Broncos game, Blackmon is the only solid target for Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne. Blackmon is going to be a points-per-reception monster the rest of the season, and he should see as many targets as any No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas won't see as many targets as Blackmon, but he will certainly see his share of passes as the Falcons return from a bye week. With star receiver Julio Jones on injured reserve the rest of the year and Roddy White constantly hobbled with injuries, Douglas will emerge as a threat in the Atlanta passing game. Get him while you can, and start him this week against Tampa Bay.
San Diego receiver Keenan Allen has established himself as a solid fantasy play over the past two weeks. Allen totaled 107 yards and a touchdown on nine catches against Indianapolis on Monday a week after posting 115 yards and a touchdown on six receptions against Oakland. Philip Rivers is building trust in Allen, and he targeted Allen a team-high 12 times on Monday. With more than 300 receiving yards the past three weeks, it is clear Allen is more than a one-week wonder. He is a good play this weekend against Jacksonville.
Earlier this year, Rueben Randle made an appearance in this column. He followed that up with a couple of poor weeks, but he has again emerged as a waiver-wire pick up to consider. In the last two weeks, he has had three touchdowns and 171 yards. He will see a good match up next Monday at home against a Minnesota defense that allowed Carolina's Cam Newton to throw three touchdowns to three different receivers.
If you are looking for a Green Bay Packers wide receiver to add after a big injury to Randall Cobb and a less severe injury to James Jones, go with Jarrett Boykin. Boykin was targeted six times Sunday against Baltimore after Cobb and Jones exited the game. While those two injuries will help tight end Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson more, Boykin could be in line to breakout.
A few tight ends to consider are Kyle Rudolph, Jeff Cumberland and Jordan Reed. Avoid Detroit tight end Joseph Fauria. Though his three touchdowns last weekend were impressive, Fauria has just seven receptions all season. When he fails to get in the end zone, he is worthless in fantasy football.
If your lineup is fairly set but you are looking to add one more weapon for a playoff run, go ahead and snag Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin while you can. Harvin won't be ready for another few weeks, but he should be explosive when he does.
This week's survivor pool pick is the Kansas City Chiefs at home against the struggling Houston Texans. Kansas City's defense has been relentless, and the Texans have had plenty of trouble scoring in recent weeks. However, if you haven't used the Atlanta Falcons yet, give them a go against Tampa Bay. Also consider the Packers against the Browns.
That is all for this week. Feel free to send your lineup questions to my email or Twitter.John Livingston covers sports for The Daily Times and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.