When desperately scouring the waiver wire trying to find somebody to fill in for your starter who is on a bye/injured, the tag of WR/RB would normally set off an alarm to stay away. Traditionally this is a player who hasn’t established a prominent role within his offense and subsequently doesn’t put up adequate numbers. However, I believe it’s essential to learn the advantages to owning these “hybrid” players. First of all, it is of utter convenience to simply plug one of these players in when necessary. Having one of these players essentially opens up another roster spot for a backup QB, TE, DEF or a long shot sleeper WR. To simply plug one of these guys in at either RB or WR takes the pressure off the owner and takes away the decision of who to drop to make room for a replacement every week. Second, it seems that most players with the WR/RB tag are their respective team’s return specialist. If your league rewards for return yards, these players can be most valuable as a number three or four receiver and also as a last resort number two running back.
Stefan Logan is a prime example of such a situation. Logan only has 21 rushing yards this season for the Lions. However, he has compiled 709 return yards with a touchdown. If your league is return yards friendly, it’s worth a shot to slot Logan into your empty receiver spot in hopes that he not only racks up the return yards but also potentially breaks a big one for a touchdown.
The last and most noticeable perk to having one of these players is they are indeed used both as receivers and running backs. Thus, allowing more opportunities for points. Kansas City Chief back Dexter McCluster is a triple threat to score and can be not only played as a running back but a wide receiver as well. McCluster is the team’s main return option and has racked up 361 return yards with a touchdown. Although McCluster has only accumulated 32 rushing yards, he is a constant threat to break a big run. To compliment his fantasy value, McCluster has 10 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs utilize McCluster’s talents in numerous ways and his fantasy owners should follow suit. The speedy rookie can be used as a number two running back if needed or as a number three receiver. It’s simply a matter of convenience week to week.
Another WR/RB that is coming along very well in his system is Danny Woodhead. This 5’9 hybrid is taking advantage of his opportunity in New England and is flirting with the “featured back” label. In his limited action so far, Woodhead has rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown while catching six balls for 63 yards with another touchdown. In the Pat’s wide open offense style, Woodhead is set to not only carry the ball ten to fifteen times a game but probably have five to ten targets from Tom Brady as well. Woodhead is a player who’s stock is rising every week and it would be very handy being able to start him at either RB or WR.
I’m not saying in any way that these players are the answers to all of your problems and that they should start being targeted early in drafts, (Give it a few years) but these hybrid players could prove to be most beneficial to owners who are constantly forced to drop player they wish they didn’t have to because they need a replacement player at another position. If your team isn’t stacked and you’re looking for anything to help stop the bleeding, give one of these crossbreeds a try.
(All WR/RB Labels were according to Yahoo! Fantasy Football)
About the Author
Written by John Buffone
John was born in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania. He attended Clarion University and received a degree in Mass Media Arts and Journalism. He currently hosts "The Sports Zone with John Buffone" on AM 1380 WTYM in Kittanning, PA. John is also a sports columnist for the Kittanning Paper and a contributor to Examiner.com, and CatholicSportsJournal.com.