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Through The Wire
12/18/07 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
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 both offensive and defensive 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 many deeper leagues.


Off The Top

Jeff Garcia, TB – If he’s available and you’re weak at QB, he should be starting for you this week – it’s just that simple. He’s easily the best QB never coveted in fantasy leagues, and he’s a smart player with experience – someone you could rest your championship hopes on if necessary.

Digging Deeper

Jay Cutler, DEN – It’s always hard thinking of solid fantasy QBs who are available, but Cutler’s been that guy almost all year long. He’s pretty consistent, he’s got a strong arm, and he’s playing well in his second season. This week, I think the Broncos will try moving the ball through the air with some deep shots into the overrated Chargers secondary.

Scouring The Barrel

Chad Pennington, NYJ – He’s got something to prove this week in Tennessee, and I have a feeling he’ll be efficient. I know that pinning your fantasy playoff or championship hopes on Pennington is not what you had in mind, but you’re reading this column and there’s not a heck of a lot of guys available at this point.


Trent Edwards, BUF – The column was written before I knew the game would be played in white-out conditions. I hope you adjusted accordingly.

Troy Smith, BAL – If they had started him, maybe they wouldn’t have lost to the Dolphins.

Kyle Orton, CHI – Orton looked rusty and the only decent bad he threw all night got picked in the waning minutes on a nice play by the ageless Darren Sharper.

Sage Rosenfels, HOU – A respectable game from a respectable backup.

Luke McCown, TB – Garcia’s got the start and the Bucs rolled.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Fred Taylor, JAC – While he’s not available in every league, there’s still a bunch of owners who prefer the big-play capability of Maurice Jones-Drew. Against the Raiders in a game where the Jags are likely to run the all 35-40 times minimum, I like them both.

LenDale White, TEN – Chris Brown had been stealing carries in the red zone, but Sunday LenDale reemerged as a solid fantasy option. This week, he faces a weak Jets rush defense and could be a solid RB #2.

Digging Deeper

Kolby Smith, KC – He was good enough to play Sunday and play admirable, and since he was a question mark, there’s always the possibility somebody dropped him as they got playoff anxiety. That could be a pretty nice boon to you right now, as the Chiefs face the highly suspect Lions defense, which got tore up for like a billion yards and a slew of TDs last week by the Chargers backs.

Scouring The Barrel

Dominic Rhodes/Lamont Jordan OAK – I have a hard time believing Rhodes and/or Jordan aren’t still capable NFL backs with upside equal to Fargas, who looks like he’s done for the rest of the year with an MCL sprain. Keep an eye on Kiffin’s lineup decisions over the course of the week to figure out which guy to play, but I’d expect Rhodes to get the start against the Jags.


Aaron Stecker, NO – Stecker had the game of his career in a big spot for the Saints. Reggie who?

Selvin Young, DEN – PPR-leaguers were saved by his 5 cheap little catches, but his rushing total was pretty pathetic.

Darius Walker, HOU – Walker struggled to break through Denver’s improving run defense, but what did you expect from the untested young Texan?

Samkon Gado, MIA – He didn’t light the world on fire, but he got in the end zone and helped the Dolphins get their first win of the season. Next on the agenda – the undefeated New England Patriots.

Pierre Thomas, NO – Even with Bush out, Pierre continues to be a non-factor.

Garrett Wolfe, CHI – He’s not complete garbage, but he didn’t play well on Monday night – as expected.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ – With Pennington back at the helm, there’s npot a Jets WR I like more than Cotchery, who’s a possession receiver with consistency and the requisite toughness to deal with the pounding Jets receivers often take. Pennington isn’t exactly regularly hitting guys in stride on skinny posts, but he does throw a lot of slants, comebacks and outs that get his guys smacked.

TE Tony Scheffler, DEN – He’s got great hands and a flair for the dramatic, qualities that shine for TEs, and excluding Brandon Marshall, he’s Jay Cutler’s favorite target. If you endured a Shockey injury, Scheffler’s an adequate – if not better – fantasy fill-in.

Digging Deeper

WR Roydell Williams, TEN – He’s really coming into his own and while he doesn’t have a great matchup, he’s a young healthy receiver that’s playing well. Vince Young has found him in the end zone three times in the last three games, so take a shot.

WR Chris Henry, CIN – The Bengals have nothing to lose at this point, but I doubt you’ll see T.J. Houshmandzadeh or Chad Johnson playing with much fire. Carson Palmer’s still likely to throw the ball deep a bunch of times – like the one ball he threw deep to Henry on Saturday night. Unless the game is irreparably marred by inclement weather, it’s a safe bet that Henry will see lots of targets this week.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Dennis Northcutt, JAC – Reggie Williams is likely gone from the wire in most formats, but if you’re looking to take a shot on a decent Jags receiver on the cheap, look no further than Northcutt. Sure, the Jags are going to pound the ball, but Anthony Gonzalez had a decent game against the Raiders, didn’t he?


WR Jabar Gaffney, NE – The weather factor completely shut down the Patriots passing game. I wonder how many Brady owners though a few weeks ago they would roll right through the playoffs when they saw the Jets and Dolphins coming up on the playoff schedule.

WR Anthony Gonzalez, IND – There’s a new Tony Gonzalez in town. And his name is Anthony. A solid performance that likely help outfit several proud new owners with playoff wins.

WR David Patten – Colston was the big story again – although Patten put together a nice game and did what was expected – 4/71 and a TD. But the fumble didn’t help any.

WR Devard Darling, BAL – At least 4/56/0 is a good sign for ’08 – if they can ever produce a QB who can be a real factor in today’s NFL.


Off The Top

DB DeAngelo Hall, ATL – I have a feeling we’ll see one more big game from Hall and the Falcons, and having Kurt Warner winging the ball into your secondary doesn’t hurt. Just ask Marcus Trufant.

LB Scott Fujita, NO – Scott had his best game of the season Sunday and should be able to post solid IDP numbers against the Eagles, who focus their entire offense on Brian Westbrook. I remember when this guy was a must-start just about every week, but while those days are no longer, he’s an excellent play in this one.

Digging Deeper

LB Paris Lenon, DET – He’s put up decent numbers all year and gets a good matchup this week against the Chiefs. He got poked in the eye Sunday but put on a pirate patch, returned to the game and should be fine this week.

DB Leigh Bodden, CLE – He had a huge game the last time these two linked up, although the weather could be a factor in limiting his opportunities. You should generally stay away from DBs in snowy-weather games, so keep an eye on the weather report.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Darnell Dockett, ARI – He’s been quiet for a bunch of weeks but gets a very nice matchup against the Falcons. You’ve got to take a shot once in a while, and I like Dockett as an IDP sleeper pick this week.

DL Tamba Hali, KC – Jared Allen gets all the press, but Hali’s still having a decent season and could be a solid play this week in Detroit. If Allen’s not available, which he most likely isn’t, go with Hali.


LB Chad Greenway, MIN – He got a few tackles but didn’t break through with the big game on prime time as I expected.

DB Asante Samuel, NE – Did I say Asante Samuel? I meant Eugene Wilson.

DL Robert Mathis, IND – Mathis didn’t go and it showed – the Colts didn’t win big because they missed his pass rush, a problem they better shore up by the REAL playoffs.

LB D’Qwell Jackson, CLE – Another quiet day from one of my selections. I think this might be my first 0-for IDP on the season.

LB Joey Porter, MIA – He played, but was obviously hampered by the shoulder injury.