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 may still be available in many deeper
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I’ll be brief in my introduction this week, except to say
that it was a tough week for Matt Schaub owners, who watched the
Texans QB leave early following a knee injury. I was sick Monday
– and not just after seeing Schaub put up a stinking goose
egg from the most important slot on the fantasy roster. There’s
a lot of issues with NFL QBs these days, so a few will be hot pickups
on the wire in the coming days.
I welcome your e-mails
and truly enjoy hearing from you regarding my waiver wire recommendations
– whether they have helped or hindered your teams this season.
Keep firing away and I’ll keep answering. Good luck this week,
and please make sure you vote today if you’re registered.
Off The Top
HOU – Schaub truly isn’t that much better than Rosenfels, who’d
capable of big numbers. He should be on your team with Schaub
out for at least a month with a torn MCL and is probably the best
of the QB waiver options in most deep leagues. I like him a tiny
click above Rex Grossman.
CHI – Orton will be out about 2-4 weeks, and while the Bears
have a tough stretch right now, they can win with Rex and the
offense shouldn’t lose too much. He’s missing all the receivers
he had the last time he was the starter, but he didn’t look terrible
Culpepper, DET – His past performances speak for themselves,
but Dan Orlovsky hasn’t been all that terrible. It remains to
be seen how he’ll be used or if he’ll start anytime soon, but
he’s a great athlete with a passion for the game and a strong
arm – even if he’s not the incredible runner he once was.
CLE – Most of the folks who stashed him before did so too soon
and have most likely dropped him. Now, Derek Anderson’s sub par
play this season and terrible second half against Baltimore has
finally paved the way for Quinn to start, according to a Monday
Scouring The Barrel
Ryan Fitzpatrick, CIN – On a bye Week 10, but he’s
obviously looking better as he gets more experience. Just don’t
get too excited, because he’s still only a desperation fill-in.
PIT – After the game nobody seemed to concerned about Ben Roethlisberger’s
shoulder, and while I’m not sure about Ben’s status heading into
Week 10, shoulder injuries are never good for QBs, so pick up
Leftwich in the meantime just in case if you’re a Big Ben owner
and the above options are already exhausted – because Byron knows
how to get it done.
David Garrard, JAC – A poor fantasy performance from Garrard,
but he should bounce back at Detroit next week.
Marc Bulger, STL – The Rams got killed, but Bulger made
good on my promise that he’d throw for more than just one
TD. He should be a good option down the stretch with his favorable
Chad Pennington, MIA – 281 yards passing but no TDs and
an INT –his worst fantasy start since Week 3.
BAL – Flacco had the best passing day of his short career, totaling
248 yards and two well-thrown TD passes to Mark Clayton and Derrick
Mason. He also hasn’t turned the ball over since Week 6.
KC – His numbers read like those of a college QB: 7-yd TD pass
to Dwayne Bowe, a 37 yd TD pass from Mark Bradley, 22 yards rushing,
and 164 passing yards. He’s developing into a dynamic player,
but we’ll see how reliable he can be in the coming weeks: @SD,
NO, BUF, @OAK.
SEA – Other than the 90-yard TD pass to WR Koren Robinson, he
totaled just 79 yards passing on the day. The Seahawks really
could use Matt Hasselbeck back in action.
Off The Top
ARI – 22 carries for 109 yards with a TD during the team’s Week
9 win over St. Louis. He’s finally passed RB Edgerrin James on
the depth chart and will continue to see goal line carries.
Cedric Benson, CIN – Benson helped the Bengals get their
first win by rushing for 104 yards and a TD on 24 carries against
the Jags. He’s on a bye Week 10, but he’s the starter
and he’s running well. Let’s just hope he keeps his
Charles, KC – RB Kolby Smith has been placed on injured reserve
and Larry Johnson’s still suspended, leaving Charles as the starter.
Early reports out of Kansas City Star say HC Herman Edwards doesn’t
think Charles has the chops to rush the ball 20 times a game,
and that they’ll mix in RBs Dantrell Savage and Jackie Battle
to spell the rookie.
Dunn, TB – Dunn (back) did not travel with the team to Kansas
City for their Week 9 game, but starter Earnest Graham is having
his knee examined after injuring it, so his status for Week 10
is uncertain. If there’s anything seriously wrong, Dunn’s value
takes a big jump.
Scouring The Barrel
Michael Bennett, TB – If Dunn’s back is still bothering
him, Bennett is veteran back the Bucs will ask to shoulder the
load. It’s important to remember that Bennett led the team
in rushing during the preseason with 208 yards on 45 carries –
but he’s been quiet during the regular season since Graham
and Dunn have been solid. Also, HC Jon Gruden said RB Cadillac
Williams, who’s been sidelined for over a year with a devastating
knee injury, “could possibly be of help to the team.”
DEN – With RBs Michael Pittman and Andre Hall on IR and done for
the year – and Selvin Young still possibly nursing a groin injury
that kept him out Week 9 – it looks like HC Mike Shanahan might
get what he probably wants: Torain as the default starter. Grab
him if he’s still available, but check Young’s status before you
plug him in.
Leon Washington, NYJ – He’s useful as a #4 fill-in
in PPR leagues even when he doesn’t score – but Sunday’s
13 rushing yards and 2-42-0 receiving were a bit under his weekly
MIA – 39 total yards and no scores – not that wonderful.
Jerious Norwood, ATL – KA-boom! A consensus of weekly rankings
put Norwood around the 34th best RB play for Week 9, but I had
a feeling he’d run well against the Raiders. He totaled
63 yards and a TD on 13 carries, to go along with 2-20-0 receiving.
Chester Taylor, MIN – 63 total yards and three catches –
a decent day for a #3 RB in IDP.
NYG – He totaled 5 carries for 20 yards, and the other two Giants
backs ran well against the Cowboys. Bradshaw’s tough to start
but could always break out if there’s an injury to Brandon Jacobs
or Derrick Ward.
Leonard Weaver, SEA – Weaver had a foot injury, was questionable
and didn’t play a down on Sunday.
Off The Top
Curtis, PHI – Curtis had 6 receptions for 83 yards during
Philly’s win over Seattle. He’s looking good, seems recovered
from his injury and will be a solid #3 WR option from here on
WR Rashied Davis, CHI – He’s still available in about
three quarters of fantasy leagues and he’s got TDs in three
straight games, although one was a fumble recovery in the end
zone. Still – he should be owned in all12-team leagues.
Jenkins, ATL – The No. 2 WR in Atlanta caught just 2 passes
Sunday, but they were both TDs and went for a total of 64 yards.
With Roddy White the highest per week fantasy average among WR
in PPR leagues heading into Week 9, it makes sense that he’d be
an increasingly featured receiving target in the Falcons offense.
Clayton, BAL – 11 targets led to 4-87-1 against the Browns
on Sunday. Flacco seems to be getting very comfortable with his
receivers, which is a great thing for owners willing to take a
shot on Clayton – who’s never really come into his own for the
Ravens. Maybe Flacco – the strong-armed rookie out of Delaware
– is the guy he’s needed.
Scouring The Barrel
Robinson, SEA – I kind of discussed this with Seneca before.
Take away the 90-yard bomb and it’s a pedestrian day. But any
WR with that much big-play juice has some value on somebody’s
fantasy roster. It probably isn’t going to be mine, but I wasn’t
willing to take a shot on Mark Bradley on any of my teams last
week either, and he’s looking sharp.
TE Brent Celek, PHI – In his seventh career start, Celek
caught all six balls thrown his way for 6-131-0. Maybe he’s
worth a look in deeper leagues that start two TE.
WR Kevin Walter, HOU – 4-47-0 wasn’t terrible, and
it’s nice to see he’s involved every week. It should
continue even with Rosenfels under center.
Berrian, MIN – Berrian had another big TD catch – a 49-yarder
from Gus Frerotte that helped him finish with 2-104-1. That makes
it four straight games with a score.
WR Matt Jones, JAC – He posted 7-69-0 – a solid day
if unspectacular. Stay tuned to the reports out of Jacksonville
to find out Jones’ status regarding his legal troubles.
TE Bo Scaife, TEN – 4-26-0 isn’t terrible, but the
Titans just couldn’t get it going in the red zone to get
him a score.
WR Ted Ginn,
Jr., MIA – The second-year receiver finished Sunday with 3-38-0.
WR Greg Camarillo actually saw 15 targets – over twice that of
TE Kevin Boss, NYG – Boss’s nice game included 3 catches
for 30 yards and a TD – his second in as many weeks and
the clincher to making him a great bye week fill-in TE in Week
9. Stay tuned to his ankle injury, which could limit him in practice.
Bradley, KC – Bradley connected with Thigpen for a TD – although
probably not the way any of us expected – since he was the one
who threw it. Either way, his involvement has increased rapidly
since the Chiefs signed him and he looks like a decent option
Off The Top
LB Paris Lenon, DET – I’m going to recommend Lenon
one more time, and if he doesn’t get it done this week,
I’ll never do it again. Still eminently available in IDP
leagues everywhere, he’s got a perfect matchup against the
Jags this week, and the next two after that: @CAR, TB, should
translate into decent numbers. Lenon’s problem is that he
doesn’t make too many big plays, but he sure cleans up a
lot. In plenty of formats, that gets it done.
LB Stewart Bradley, PHI – He’s still available in
some IDP leagues, he’s been relatively quiet lately and
the Gtiants run the ball a lot up the middle. He should see plenty
of action this week.
Bigby, GB – Bigby’s back in action for the Packers, who also
got back Pro Bowl CB Al Harris. Most IDPers haven’t caught on
yet, so be the guy to snag him and watch him rack up points.
LB Chad Greenway, MIN – He’s coming off a big game
versus the Texans and he should post good numbers against the
Packers. I like his chances for 6-10 tackles.
Scouring The Barrel
LeBoy, ARI – Stay tuned to the groin injury, but get LeBoy
in action against the Niners if he’s healthy and starting. In
week 1 at San Fran, he finished with 4 tackles,2 sacks and a fumble
recovery. He’s feast or famine as far as IDP goes, but that’s
pretty common with lineman, and he’s got a great matchup.
DB Roman Harper, NO – Coming off a bye and facing the Falcons
Harper might be a nice pick-and-play for Week 10. He’s not
on a ton of people’s radars and he’s been relatively
consistent so far in ’08.
LB Mike Peterson, JAC – 5 total tackles, but no junk points.
Overall, that’s pretty disappointing.
McGee, BUF – 7 total tackles (6 solo, 1 assist) but fellow
DB Jabari Greer was the lucky Bills DB who got the pick off Brett
DL Dewayne White, DET – Four total tackles, two PD and an
INT – a great game for any IDP, but especially excellent
for a DL.
DB Brandon McDonald, CLE – 7 solos and a PD – the
best numbers of any of the Browns DBs this week. Now that’s
more like it!
LB Clint Session, IND – Just three solos and an assist,
plus an assist on a special teams tackle. A slightly below-average
performance from Session, but at least he’s involved.
Craft, STL – Rams CB Ron Bartell got the start over Craft,
who still got plenty of work filling in on nickel and dime packages
but only compiled 3 total tackles.