Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections that will help your team from week to week while you
strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and
win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp.
While I’m just as big a proponent of making trades to bolster
your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource
when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each
week, I’ll target players that may be available in shallow
leagues – sometimes just breakout stars that eluded your team’s
draft – as well as players who can help your squad that will
still be available in most deeper leagues.
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Off The Top
Jeff Garcia, PHI – He
was once a good fantasy QB in a system that produced many. Now,
he’s an embattled veteran who’s struggled to get snaps.
Here’s his chance. I’ve seen guys like Garcia perform
well in situations like this, but since Andy Reid hasn’t
named his starter next week, you’ll have to stay tuned before
you grab him. His schedule won’t be easy – and neither
will that of any of the other fantasy QBs that are probably still
be out there on the wire – but I have a feeling the Colts
will shoot it out with Philly next week – and so will Washington
in Week 14. If you had McNabb, Garcia’s a worthy backup
to insert into your now-depleted lineup, especially if you didn’t
have a good backup to begin with.
David Garrard, JAC –
I’m bringing back the mayor because of “wha’
happened” on Monday night. Garrard played very well, and
did exactly what he needed to beat the Giants, who are free-falling
in the NFC East. He appears to be developing a nice rapport with
Ernest Wilford and TE George Wrighster, although his receivers
continue to drop passes. If he’s out there, he’s a
nice fantasy backup, but beware the tough schedule.
Scouring The Barrel
J.P. Losman, BUF – The
bottom of the barrel sometimes includes guys like Losman. Don’t
be fooled by last week’s performance. As solid as he looked
hitting Lee Evans on those two enormous first quarter TDs, he’s
looked equally bad for 85% of the season so far. And he’s
stuck with a tough schedule the rest of the way. Look elsewhere
unless you have no other options.
Tony Romo, DAL – The
numbers weren’t there, but I can’t imagine the win
over Indy did anything to hurt his fantasy value. The game was
just plain bizarre. And he still looked a hell of a lot better
than Eli Manning did on Monday night.
Matt Hasselbeck, SEA –
Didn’t play, but should this week. Of course, Shaun Alexander
played last week, and that didn’t get anybody anywhere,
Jason Campbell, WAS –
He performed well in his first career start, completing 19 of
24 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. The Skins lost, but
if you took him and used him to fill in, he probably didn’t
disappoint you. And remember, he’s got a nice schedule coming
Jay Cutler, DEN – One
week closer to the Jay Cutler Era.
Off The Top
Mike Bell, DEN – I hate
Mike Shanahan. I really do. Last Friday, the AP ran an article
headlined “The bell tolls for neither Denver running back
named Bell,” in which Shanahan details how much he hates
his two Bells and why they stink. Then he benches Tatum and starts
Mike two minutes after I dropped him because I was seriously overloaded
at RB and needed to pick up an IDPer. After two TDs on Sunday
night, it appears Ma Bell is back in Shanny’s favor. And
while he’s not available in most leagues, he’s available
in some because one idiot I know dropped him leading up to last
week’s game. That’s all I’m gonna say about
Samkon Gado, HOU – Just
when you think the job is all Lundy’s, Gado comes in and
puts up some nice stats (69 yards, TD) in a hard-fought game against
the Bills. He’s involved in the passing game as well, snatching
five catches for 30 yards on Sunday. He’s a decent play
this week against the Jets, who can’t stop the run.
Justin Fargas, OAK –
I’m just setting people up for disappointment, I know. But
I have to include the Raiders’ starting running back in
the wire for two reasons: First, Lamont Jordan tore his MCL and
is done for the year. Second, the Raiders are getting better and
it’s certainly not the passing game that’s improving.
Huggy Bear Jr. has been okay and I’ve included him in columns
past, so take a shot at him if you need help and pray for the
Scouring The Barrel
Arlen Harris, DET – This
is a one-shot deal. Kevin Jones is doubtful to return this week,
so if you’re seriously hurting at RB, you might want to
use Harris at home against the Dolphins. But that’s not
really a glowing recommendation, is it?
Ladell Betts, WAS – Didn’t
run effectively but stayed involved in the passing game with five
catches for 48 yards. And still the man in D.C.
T.J. Duckett, WAS – Ran
well against the Bucs but won’t be a true factor until Betts
Correll Buckhalter, PHI –
He had six catches for 41 yards and looked decent running the
ball, although he was limited to three carries as Westbrook saw
lots of action in the loss. He’s not a bad grab since the
Eagles might be chalking up the season soon and getting Westie
some surgery. But I’m not a doctor, so stay tuned.
Michael Pittman, TB –
Questionable for Week 12.
Damien Nash, DEN – Shanahan
seems to like Mike Bell again.
Anthony Thomas, BUF –
Figured I’d include another update on the A-Train. Sub-par
running against the Texans but seven catches shows he’s
a solid option in point-per-reception leagues, too.
DeAngelo Williams, CAR –
After his last performance, I’d say he’s new top dog
in Carolina, even if DeShaun is okay. He’ll split carries,
but he’s a solid #3 fantasy back and maybe more.
Off The Top
WR Wes Welker – Things
are getting slim in the WR pickings as the season wears on, especially
when I posted a handful of great receiver pickups last week and
the week before. Welker dinged up his ankle, but played through
it and should play this week. He’s still a good find, considering
he’s probably the most consistent 12-team, #3 WR in the
entire history of fantasy football.
Here are his game-by-game totals from my home league, which awards
a point per reception: 8,7,5,7,14,9,8,8,6,7. He probably never
going to blow up, but if you’re looking to avoid a goose
egg, he’s a solid bet.
WR Travis Taylor, MIN –
Again, I can’t make a glowing recommendation because Minnesota’s
passing game sucks. But he’s the most consistent of the
Vikings receivers and he’s got Arizona, Detroit and Green
Bay among the teams he’ll face during the next five weeks.
A good number three because of the easy matchups.
Scouring The Barrel
WR Ronald Curry, OAK –
Take a look at his numbers from Sunday, then take a look at Randy
Moss’s numbers from Sunday and you’ll know why I included
him, albeit in the bottom of the barrel. I’ve always like
Curry’s gamer attitude and his athleticism. There’s
a couple favorable matchups left on the docket, but he’s
no sure thing like many of the guys listed below in the updates
WR Mark Clayton, BAL –
I’d say 5-89-0 is probably what you can expect – on
average – from Clayton in most weeks. I was just hoping
McNair would link up for a TD with him. But Jamal Lewis made sure
that didn’t happen.
WR Patrick Crayton, DAL –
Not involved too much with Glenn back, but don’t give up.
He’s a good receiver and his QB likes him. Should anything
happen to T.O, he’d get tons of looks.
WR Reche Caldwell, NE –
I only wish I had included him higher on my list and made the
switch from Gabriel sooner. I grabbed him before my game last
week and it paid off.
WR Devery Henderson, NO –
With Colston down, Henderson stepped up – big time. He’s
probably still available in most leagues, so stay tuned to the
status of Marques, especially since Joe Horn isn’t always
healthiest dude on the ranch.
WR Ernest Wilford, JAC –
Like I said, he’s got good rapport with Garrard, but he’s
just not consistent enough to warrant a roster spot with me.
WR Eric Parker, SD –
Honestly, I’m sick of talking about Eric Parker and seeing
him in waiver wire columns. He’s really not that significant.
WR Arnaz Battle, SF –
He was my sleeper pick for two Sundays ago, and I’ve said
I liked him a few times this year. He’s still on my roster,
and he looks like the new #1 target for Smith.
WR Marty Booker, MIA –
He had 6-84-0 last week and he’s got a favorable matchup
at Detroit in Week 12.
Off The Top
LB – Tedy Bruschi, NE –
He had one bad game recently that may have paved the way for his
availability on the waiver wire. If so, grab him. He’s has
two good week sin a row and the chances are he’ll post about
7-10 tackles versus the Bears. And I’m smelling a big play
or five from him in the coming weeks.
DB Kevin Kaesviharn, CIN –
I can’t pronounce his name, but he was a one-man wrecking
crew last week versus the Saints. By the time the NFL had officially
filed the gamebook, he had tallied 11 tackles (10 solo), 2 sacks
a PD and an INT. With the way Bengals games have gone lately,
he’ll probably see lots of action in the secondary and get
in most of it.
DB Nate Clements, BUF –
The numbers the past three weeks have been awesome (18 tackles,
7 PDs, 2 FR, INT) and if you grab him, I hope it continues. He’s
only been excluded from the top spot this week because his matchups
in the upcoming games (JAC, SD, @NYJ) really don’t favor
DB scoring. I know, Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams both blew
up against the Chargers. But I wouldn’t expect Philip Rivers
to be throwing the ball too much against the Bills.
DB Richard Marshall, CAR –
He’s all over the field on a defense that’s crowded
with stars. He makes big plays and forges through injury. A gamer.
Scouring The Barrel
LB Caleb Miller, CIN –
Seems there’s plenty of IDP points to go around in Bengals
games, doesn’t it? Not so fast. Sure, he had a billion tackles
last week, but that won’t be the case against a Browns team
that must rely on the arm of Charlie Frye to get a win. He’s
still not a bad pickup, but I wouldn’t expect a repeat of
last week anytime soon.
DB Dawan Landry, BAL –
Nothing much on Sunday, but the way Big Ben has been tossing picks,
I’d get him in my lineup versus the Steelers.
DL Leonard Little, STL –
Solid numbers last week in the embarrassing 15-0 loss to the Panthers.
LB Al Wilson, DEN – Coming
off an average game (seven tackles) but hasn’t made too
many big plays this season.
DL Alex Brown, CHI –
Just five tackles on Sunday (no sacks) and not a good bet the
next couple weeks (@NE, MIN), but he’s a shoo-in for a few
QB drops in weeks 15-17 (@STL, TB, @DET).
LB E.J. Henderson, MIN –
He’s slipped off the last few weeks, but expect a nice resurgence.
LB Chris Draft, CAR –
A decent option in the coming weeks against three NFC east teams
that will be running the ball and trying to grind out wins.
DB Asante Samuel, NE –
Inactive last week and now officially off my radar.
DB Darrent Williams, DEN –
Darrent is healthy again and had a big play Sunday night that
could have made your IDP lineup – as long as he was in it.