I don't want to go overboard on Kevin Smith. I never thought he was a special player, even before his multiple serious injuries. The fact that he was on the street for nearly a year without getting a call from an NFL team is scary. And he tortured the Panthers' defense last week, perhaps the worst defense this league has seen in a decade.
Still, it's rare we can find a runner on waivers set to take over as a feature back in an explosive offense. So we need to consider Smith a must add.
The week's top pickups:
1. Kevin Smith, RB, DET -- After the first quarter last week, Smith got 19 touches, Maurice Morris got four and Keiland Williams got zero. Jahvid Best (concussions) hasn't even been cleared yet. Smith got the first-team reps in practice Tuesday and is set to start on Thanksgiving. While he'll find the sledding tougher going forward, he's a great fit in this pass-first offense. Expect 15-20 touches.
2. Donald Brown, RB, IND -- This one is simple. The Colts play the Panthers this week. Carolina's defense made Chris Johnson and Kevin Smith look like Jim Brown the last two weeks.
3. Santana Moss, WR, WAS -- He's going to try to practice Wednesday for the first time since breaking his hand. On this offense devoid of weapons, Moss will play every down and hog targets down the stretch.
4. Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN -- Adrian Peterson (ankle) is going to be out at least 1-2 weeks. And with the Vikings at 2-8, they'll be extra cautious with their franchise player. The problem is that Gerhart isn't that good and Percy Harvin is going to pick up backfield snaps.
5. C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF -- Fred Jackson's calf is not in good shape, but it's not considered a long-term situation. And I'm not convinced Spiller can carry the load between the tackles. Consider Spiller a mere PPR option -- Johnny White will likely get some carries as well.
6. Riley Cooper, WR, PHI - Cooper is much more talented than Steve Smith. He's earned the every-down role whenever Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) or DeSean Jackson (who knows) is sidelined.
7. Joe McKnight, RB, NYJ -- One could make the argument that McKnight is a better, more effective player than Shonn Greene. Perhaps the Jets will see that.