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
|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!
It’s crunch time in the fantasy playoffs and while some of
you are enjoying the sturdy state of affairs on your current roster,
others are squeaking by with victories and dealing with some major
injuries following Week 14. The loss of Peyton Hillis – who’s
been a miraculously steady fantasy standout since Week 9 –
will force a few owners to look to the wire in Week 15. Hopefully
one of the fellows I’ve listed is among those available in
your league, because there are more than a couple exploitable matchups
among the RBs I’ve targeted through the wire this week. There
are several QB options who could help out this week, as well, so
take a look at some of the guys below. As far as WRs, I’ve
tried to include players who are available in most leagues this
week, considering the shortage of good WRs out there on the free
agent list. If you’ve got better options in your league, then
follow up with an e-mail to me and I’ll do my best to prioritize
As always, I welcome all your
e-mails and enjoy hearing from you regarding my waiver wire
recommendations – whether they have helped or hindered your
success this season. I’m still answering questions of any
variety and responding ASAP. Good luck this week.
Off The Top
Kyle Orton, CHI – Still available in 20 percent of fantasy
leagues, Orton has been surprisingly consistent in 2008. His ankle
injury finally seems healed, and he’s got a great matchup
at home versus the Saints. Consider him as weak No. 1 option and
strong No. 2 this week.
TB – I was shocked to see that Garcia is available in over 40
percent of fantasy leagues. He’s coming off his best game of the
season and heads to Atlanta for what should be a high-scoring
game considering the second half of the Monday night tilt. He
may even be worth a spot start this week, with him and Antonio
Bryant clicking so well.
David Garrard, JAC – Facing the Packers this week and available
in about 15-20 percent of leagues, Garrard is a great #2 QB play
and should post respectable fantasy numbers in Green Bay.
Jason Campbell, WAS – Campbell started off the season hot,
and generated tons of fantasy interest from owners who’d
followed his progress in Washington. But as injuries mounted in
the backfield, the Redskins offense became a bit bogged down.
And now, with LT Chris Samuels done for the rest of the year and
additional injuries on the offensive line, the Redskins could
be in line for more trouble. But the solid QB (he rarely turns
in a terrible game) is still available in about 15 percent of
leagues and the Redskins face the Bengals this week, making him
a decent #2 QB play – but still a #2 QB play at best.
Scouring The Barrel
Marc Bulger, STL – The consistently underachieving Bulger
was 22-for-37 for 228 yards with a touchdown and an interception
during the Rams’ week 14 game. Not great, but he’s
got another favorable matchup this week at home versus Seattle.
If you’re in a terrible pinch, he’s worth a shot,
but there’s not much the Rams are bringing to the table
Tarvaris Jackson, MIN – He’ll get the start for Gus
Frerotte in a nice matchup if the veteran QB can’t go Sunday
in Arizona – a game where he could post decent numbers.
Shaun Hill, SF – Hill did throw one INT, but the 2 TD passes
and 285 passing yards made it a productive fantasy day –
something we’ve seen a lot from Hill in his emergence this
Gus Frerotte, MIN – A back injury sidelined him during Week
14 and there’s been no new information from HC Brad Childress
regarding Frerotte's status for Week 15.
Matt Schaub, HOU – The injury report has him at 50-50, but
Schaub ended up starting and blowing up: 414 passing yards, 2
TD, a 2-point conversion and just 1 INT. He’ll struggle
to produce like that against the Titans, but I’m sure most
owners weren’t counting on starting him next week anyway.
Ken Dorsey, CLE – Blecch. Dorsey was crappy as expected.
Off The Top
Stewart, CAR – While DeAngelo Williams’ numbers are staggering
this season (1,144 rushing yards, 5.37 YPC, 13 TD; 19-118-2 receiving)
the rookie out of Oregon has managed 698 rushing yards and 8 TDs
of his own, not to mention a 4.94 YPC that’s among the best in
the league. He’s still available in about 10 percent of leagues,
for some reason, so jump on him if he’s still out there and consider
giving him a start versus Denver in Week 15.
Dominic Rhodes, IND – Rhodes has surpassed Addai as the
playmaker in the running game and should get the majority of touches
this week against the Lions. There’s not much reason to
overwork Addai – or even bother with him much given his
recent futility, and since Rhodes is still available in about
30 percent of fantasy leagues, he’s a great option facing
the league’s worst run defense.
Sproles, SD – The Chargers have little reason to risk further
injury to LaDainian Tomlinson, who didn’t look bad last week but
should probably get a reduced number of touches considering the
Chargers are all but mathematically eliminated from the AFC playoff
picture. Even with LT getting 25 carries last week, Sproles finished
with 30 rushing yards, and 3-34 receiving, which included 2 TD
catches. He’s available in about 60 percent of leagues, and facing
the Chiefs, I expect to see enough of him to make a definite fantasy
JAC – Another productive veteran who finds himself available
in about one-half of fantasy leagues, Taylor has a great matchup
at home this week versus Green Bay and the Jaguars will likely
split the carries pretty evenly between him and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Note: It appears Fred's season could be over after a Wednesday
report the veteran running back tore multiple ligaments in his
thumb. He's getting a second opinion on the thumb and claims it's
gotten "considerably better" in recent days. For now,
he'll be kept out of practice and could be on IR by the end of
DEN – He’s the default starter in Denver with Hillis on IR,
and Selvin Young still far from 100 percent. Still available in
about 80 percent of fantasy leagues.
Morris, SEA – Morris may not be flashy, but he’s a starting
NFL running back, he can still be had in the majority of formats
and he’s facing the Rams this week. This makes him a viable fantasy
option, albeit a weak No. 2.
Scouring The Barrel
Williams, TB – He’s looked good coming back from the patella
injury, and while his legs are churning and his engine seems to
be running smoothly, Cadillac yields a bunch of touches to Warrick
Dunn and the Bucs might be throwing the ball more this week against
the falcons. He’s not a terrible option, but I like the guys listed
above a bit more.
Sammy Morris, NE – Sammy got in the end zone, making up
for an otherwise paltry fantasy day.
Justin Fargas, OAK – The Pats may be hurting, but they
should be able to stop the Raiders running game, which doesn’t
provide Fargas many scoring chances as it is.
BAL – Another good game for McCLain: 61 rushing yards and
Choice, DAL – Choice obviously wasn’t the first choice for
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – who publicly berated Marion Barber
for not making the trip to the Steel City and playing through
his toe injury – but the rookie out of Georgia Tech made the most
of his opportunity and had a solid game, finishing with 166 total
yards against a great Pittsburgh D. Just check Barber’s status
heading into Week 15 before you give him a start at home versus
CHI – Matt Forte’s still going strong.
Off The Top
WR Deion Branch, SEA – The cagey veteran, now healthy,
exploded for 4-88-2 in the Week 15 gameand should be considered
a solid #3 at this point. Next stop, St. Louis.
WR Antwaan Randle El, WAS – The Redskins offense is in dire
straits, but as I said earlier, they face the Bengals this week
in Cincinnati, making Randle El a solid WR #3 play.
WR Jordy Nelson, GB – I like Jordy’s chances of getting
some more playing time this week facing Jacksonville, and his
3-25-1 last week doesn’t hurt.
WR Bryant Johnson, SF – After another decent week from Johnson,
I’m fairly confident he’ll see targets in the last
few games in order for HC Mike Singletary and OC Mike Martz to
assess his value for next season. Give him a shot as a #4 versus
Scouring The Barrel
Scouring The Barrel
Reed, BUF – He’s been much more consistent than Lee Evans
and the Bills have an awesome matchup this week @ the Jets.
WR Brandon Lloyd, CHI – If he’s going to have a big
game, it’ll be against the Saints. It’s just really
hard to recommend playing him as anything but a shot-in-the-dark
WR #4 considering his ineffectiveness since his injury.
Toomer, NYG – Toomer’s 2-25-0 on Sunday was a disappointing
stat line, especially with Plaxico done and the veteran receiver
as the Giants new #1.
Bess, MIA – Bess had his best game yet, with 9-74-0 in Buffalo.
He should be a solid #3 again this week versus the Niners.
Stuckey, NYJ – 4-43-0 ain’t too shabby, but a TD would have
been nice, considering his early-season use in the red zone.
WR Harry Douglas, ATL – Douglas managed just two catches,
albeit for 45 yards. He’s a playmaker and could be a nice
slot WR for Atlanta in the coming years.
Off The Top
Williams, DEN – If he makes it back this week and nobody’s
picked him up yet, he’s a must-add to just about any fantasy roster,
matchup be damned.
DB Bob Sanders, IND – He’s widely available, he’s
healthy, he’s studly and he’s due for a huge game
versus the Bengals.
Freeney, IND – if Robert Mathis – a better all-around IDP
start than Freeney – isn’t available in your league, then feel
free to plug-n-play the 7th year man out of Syracuse, who’s been
coming along nicely in his last few games (6.5 sacks in his last
5 games) and faces the league’s worst offensive line (Detroit)
LB David Harris, NYJ – Another former IDP standout whose
struggled with injuries in ’08, Harris posted 13 tackles
(8 solo) and a half-sack in his first game back since Week 8.
Scouring The Barrel
Odom, CIN – Okay – he’s been out a few weeks, but if he can
play in this one, he might be a great IDP sleeper pick with Samuels
shelved and the left side of the Redskins offensive line particularly
vulnerable. Stay tuned to the injury report and don’t make any
drastic adjustments – especially if you’re already pretty solid
at the DL spot.
Meriweather, NE – Few DBs have been as consistent as Meriweather
over the past few weeks (Ronde Barber and Troy Polamalu are two,
but they probably won’t be available into many IDP leagues). Give
this sleeper a shot in a game against Oakland where he should
get some chances to make some big plays.
LB Eric Barton, NYJ – 6 total tackles isn’t enough
to warrant his place at the top last week. Sorry, folks.
DB Jacques Reeves, HOU – He might improve on his Week 14
stat line (3 tackles and a PD) this week against the Titans, but
the division leaders will probably try to run the ball as usual,
so Reeves will have to get lucky to post big numbers.
DB Michael Griffin, TEN – In his second-best fantasy game
of the season, Griffin picked off a Ken Dorsey pass, as expected,
and finished with 5 tackles and 2 PD to boot.
LB Thomas Davis, CAR – 10 total tackles (7 solos, 3 assists)
and a PD. Finally, a decent LB call.
DL Adewale Ogunleye, CHI – Now that’s more like it!
“Wally” had his best fantasy game of the season, posting
5 tackles (4 solo), a half-sack, and a PD.