Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Antonio

Antonio's Articles

Through The Wire - Wk 7
10/14/08 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 may still be available in many deeper leagues.

Week 6 didn’t deliver too many unforeseen monster fantasy games – excluding the two-TD day bestowed upon Miami running back Patrick Cobbs (courtesy of the single-wing “Wildcat” offensive craze that’s sweeping the nation) and the Addai-injury-driven numbers of Colts backup Dominic Rhodes. But the week certainly gave us some wild finishes in Atlanta, Arizona and Houston.

As I usually do after any Dallas loss, I’m feeling a bit queas. A blocked punt instantly converted into an OT touchdown followed by Monday’s cruel news that Tony Romo would be out a month with a broken pinkie finger? It easily ranks up there in my stomach-churning Hall of Shame along with Romo’s fumbled snap against Seattle in the playoffs, Leon Lett’s multiple gaffes during the 1990s, and the Hochuli call in San Diego that cost me $350 in parlay winnings. Monday night I also found out that Cowboys punter Matt McBriar is out for the season with a broken foot. Really?

On a lighter note, most of my QB and RB recommendations performed admirably, and I got a truly exceptional performance out of the single defensive lineman (Minnesota’s Kevin Williams) I suggested readers pick up heading into the Week 6 games. I have lots of questions myself for Week 7, and I’m taking suggestions as to how I should go about snapping myself out of the nightmare of Sunday’s late games.

As always, I welcome your e-mails and would like to hear from you if my waiver wire recommendations have helped or hindered your fantasy progress over the past couple year or so far in 2008. I’m a quick responder to almost any fantasy question, and as much as I like to talk, I’m still a good listener. Now excuse me while I go puke in my mouth, since I have Tony Romo in approximately 78 percent of my money leagues and it’s going to take some excellent work to win during the next four weeks.


Off The Top

Jeff Garcia, TB – While he’s not guaranteed the starting job unless Griese’s out again, he made a pretty good case on Sunday. Still – he’s the first of this week’s QB waiver inclusions. Back in 2003, Garcia was still posting solid fantasy numbers in San Fran – and was the #11 fantasy QB. Since then, he’s played for four teams in five seasons – the Browns, Lions, Eagles and now the Bucs.

Brad Johnson, DAL – Hey! You’re freaking me out. What year is this, seriously? I’ve been reading lots of stuff on the Romo injury, and Johnson is being described by many of my fantasy peers as a no-brainer pickup. I’m not quite as bullish, given the deflated mood in Dallas and recent loss of offensive wunderkind Felix Jones for at least a couple weeks with a hamstring injury. But I’d be crazy not to include him in my column this week near the top of the list considering all the other weapons in Dallas and the impending matchups. And in ‘03, Johnson was the #9 ranked fantasy QB. Noticing a trend?

Digging Deeper

Marc Bulger, STL – This is getting a little weird. The #12 fantasy QB in ‘03 also makes a noteworthy appearance on the wire this week as the Rams head to Dallas to take on the reeling Cowboys. And while his fantasy numbers haven’t been brilliant, the Rams just got a win and they’ll be looking to open up the offense against a defense that’s proven to be vulnerable against the pass. Now, if Adam Jones gets suspended, the Cowboys will be starting rookies Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick at cornerback. He’ll be available in about half of the fantasy leagues out there, and I have a feeling he’ll get it together on Sunday if the Rams can keep the Cowboys pass rush off.

Trent Edwards, BUF – At least Trent Edwards was in college in 2003. He’s got a relatively good matchup against the Chargers in Week 7 (although they effectively shut down Matt Cassel and the Pats) – just make sure the head injury isn’t still a problem before you pick him up off the wire.

Scouring The Barrel

Dan Orlovsky, DET – Is this guy really the starting QB? I’m just curious, because the last time I checked, recently retired Daunte Culpepper and his agent (also Daunte Culpepper) were available for negotiations. With Jon Kitna shelved for the season with a back injury, Orlovsky is worth a look against the Texans.

Kerry Collins, TEN – I can’t give him a resounding reference, but there’s undoubtedly a lot of desperate fantasy owners out there this week with Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb and David Garrard on byes and a slew of other QBs unavailable or nursing injuries.


Matt Schaub, HOU – He returned against a tough Miami defense and posted big fantasy numbers (22-for42, 379 yards, TD, 2 INT; 4 carries for 15 yards and a rushing TD). His heroics – and I use the term liberally – led to Houston’s first win of the season and more could be on the way during one of his next three games: DET, CIN, @MIN.

Kyle Orton, CHI – Another moderately effective day capped by a late-game TD pass to Rashied Davis, Orton was 26-for-43 with 286 passing yards. Now the Bears go back home to take on Minnesota. Not a great matchup, but not terrible, either, as the way to get through the Vikes is through the air.

Matt Ryan, ATL – The Falcons pulled it out as Ryan went for 301 yards and a TD on 22-for30 passing. After the Week 7 bye, it’s a somewhat favorable schedule until Week 12 against the Panthers.

Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco heads to Miami to take on the Dolphins, but he’s yet to post any solid fantasy numbers. Sorry, but something’s got to change in Baltimore before he’ll even be a viable #2 option.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Michael Pittman, DEN – The Broncos ran Pittman 20 times for 109 yards Sunday in the Loss to Jacksonville, and the veteran also caught 3 passes for 16 yards. While he didn’t reach the end zone, he showed he’s still capable of handling the full-time rushing load of an NFL contender. Keep him in mind this week – even if the prognosis on Selvin Young has improved.

Dominic Rhodes, IND – Until we hear that Joseph Addai is probable for Week 7, we’ll have to assume that Rhodes is taking over starting duties for the oft-injured LSU alumnus. If Addai can’t go, start him with confidence as a #2 RB in any 12-team format and as a flex if you’ve got two better matchups at your starting RB slots.

Digging Deeper

Rudi Johnson, DET – For those of you waiting for the opportunity to give Johnson another shot, here it is. The Lions best shot at beating the Texans might be a balance of the physical running of Johnson combined with the quick-hitting abilities of WR Calvin Johnson. They’re not going to be passing every down with Orlovsky at the helm, so take a shot with old, reliable Rudi. He only got 38 yards on 17 carries last week, but that was against the Vikings, and while he’s still kind of a sleeper, he should still be owned in 12-team leagues.

Ryan Torain, DEN – The rookie back is slated to return following Denver’s Week 8 bye, making him possible waiver fodder in the weeks leading up. Nothing’s guaranteed given Shanahan’s history of thwarting fantasy owners, but with injuries and ineffectiveness plaguing the team’s backs, he could be a steal and stash.

Scouring The Barrel

Shaun Alexander, FA/WAS? – He’s coming to Washington, taking a physical with the Skins and could be signed by the end of Tuesday. But he’s only there to fill in for Ladell Betts while the veteran Redskins back nurses a knee sprain – and the whole thing reeks of the Daniel Snyder idiocracy. Take a pass – unless you’re one of those weirdos still prospecting for gold in the California hills. Then go for it.

Tashard Choice, DAL – This once-celebrated Georgia Tech back is a worthy competitor, a born leader and a running back seriously undervalued in the 2008 NFL draft. Now he’s the #2 back in Dallas and a guy who is one play away from being “my everything or nothing.” Marion Barber owners should snap him up if they’ve got the space.

Patrick Cobbs, MIA – Don’t do it. Just don’t. He’s behind non-dope-smoking Ricky Williams and rejuvenated Ronnie Brown, and you’ll never get another performance like Sunday’s nonsense out of him. I already know some buddies who’ve grabbed him, and I’m currently offering them better options through trading that’ll shore their RB ranks up a lot better than Cobbs will – and help me out with my woes as well.

Michael Bush, OAK – If the Raiders do indeed trade Michael Bush, he’d instantly be a useful receiving threat out of the backfield and a possible third down/short yardage contributor. But who needs a RB? I’m sure the Colts could use a 6’1” 245-lb. beast right now, and while Bush might have a hard time getting touches, there’s a possibility he’s the starter by week 10, given Addai’s recent struggles and tendency to get injured. Other possibilities include the Packers, Redskins and Eagles – contenders with shaky RB situations.


DeAngelo Williams, CAR – Just 11 carries for 27 yards and 2-8-0 receiving. He’s always a risk – and this week he really burned owners who started him against a tough Bucs defense – but he’s still a relevant fantasy pickup and play given the right matchup.

Felix Jones, DAL – Jones left the game with a hamstring injury and didn’t return after running for 22 yards on 3 carries. He’s 3-for-6 when it comes to effectiveness in fantasy starts, and the three when he wasn’t helpful weren’t even his fault. Early word is that he might be out 2-4 weeks with a hamstring strain, so in some leagues owners will have to bite bullet and drop him. Keep him on your radar.

Tim Hightower, ARI – Just 7 carries for 20 yards and 4-29-0 receiving, but not a bad day against the Cowboys. Look for him again after the Week 7 bye.

Le’Ron McClain, BAL – McLain, who was looking for a fifth straight game of fantasy success, finally got busted – carrying the ball just twice for -2 yards, catching just one ball and losing a fumble – a negative day for leagues that allow them. Stay tuned to the status of Willis McGahee and stay away from subsequent matchups that could result in blowouts – like the game in Indy.

Correll Buckhalter, PHI – 178 total yards (93 rush, 85 rec) along with a rushing TD and 7 catches makes for a wonderful fantasy day in any format – and a spectacular one in PPR leagues. Wise owners who started Buckhalter once Brian Westbrook was officially ruled out were rewarded handsomely.

Warrick Dunn, TB – Dunn was a pretty nice Week 6 pickup for those that took a shot with him, carrying the ball 22 times for 115 yards and catching 3 balls for 18 yards. He’s benefited from injuries to the team’s fullbacks – starter B.J. Askew (hamstring, out since Week 3) and backup Byron Storer (knee injury sustained last week) – which forced Earnest Graham into more of a blocking role on Sunday. I still like Graham as the #1 back in Tampa and when Askew returns, everyone should benefit.

Sammy Morris, NE – While it wasn’t a huge game for Morris and the Pats, he carried the ball 10 times for 26 yards and a late TD and posted 4-49-0 receiving – making him an undeniable Week 6 winner for fantasy owners who used him as a bye-week stopgap – owners like me.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Vincent Jackson, SD – He posted 5-134-1, including a big play to start off the Sunday night game, and with Chambers out, he’s a solid pickup in any league where he’s available.

TE Kellen Winslow, CLE – In the dog-eat-dog world of limited roster space in shallow leagues, there are often casualties at the TE position. I’m sure that whatever airborne virus, venereal disease or temporary illness Winslow was carrying with him this past week will be gone by the time the Browns get to Washington in Week 7. So I’d waste no time in grabbing this extraordinary athlete if he’s available ASAP. Just make sure he doesn’t have some chronic wasting disease or mitochondrial condition a la Rocco Baldelli.

WR Derrick Mason, BAL – If the 12-year veteran’s going to get off the schneid and get a score, this is the week it should happen. He’s available in about 1/3 of leagues, so take a shot with him as your #3 WR against a Miami secondary that yields the most points in the league to opposing WRs.

Digging Deeper

WR Steve Breaston, ARI – If he’s still out there, the bye week coming up doesn’t bother you and you’ve got the roster space, he’s a must-add. I’ve been on him since early in ’08, following up a Jerheme Urban recommendation with a shout-out to Breaston in my weekly updates. Don’t be the guy that lets him go another week. He’s going to be a factor even when Boldin gets back – because he’s a good player with hands and solid route-running abilities.

WR Kevin Curtis, PHI – The Eagles are on a bye and many have already forgotten about McNabb’s favorite target from ’07. Sure, DeSean Jackson’s making a bid to be Donovan’s new darling, but Curtis was breathtaking in a few games last season.

WR Rashied Davis, CHI – If Brandon Lloyd continues to be out, Kyle Orton will have no choice but to target Davis, who’s available in almost 95 percent of leagues. The Vikings defense looked a lot better last week as the defensive line applied constant pressure to the Lions, but it’s still vulnerable against the pass and the Bears line playing better as the season progresses.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Bobby Wade, MIN – He’s had at least 4 catches and 60 yards receiving in each of his last three games and he’s facing the Bears – who have a hurting secondary and yield a lot of points to opposing WRs, especially in PPR leagues. While he won’t be a gamebreaker, he’ll be a decent bye week fill-in.

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, OAK – Not a real factor in the loss to New Orleans, he posted just one catch – although it was for 35 yards. His name may sound like he’s a Memphis-style blues guitarist, but he’s really just a big-play WR who’s been creeping up the boards like Ron Curry once did in Oaktown (prior to his roster-worthy status as a reliable #3). Stay tuned to the progress of Johnnie Lee.


WR Donald Driver, GB – The veteran receiver had a solid day with 6-53-0. The touchdowns will come. No worries.

WR Isaac Bruce, SF – Even the Reverend is allowed a bad day once in a while, but did 2-28-0 have to come in such a big game? It’s not a good sign that the offense fell flat in the fourth quarter, but Bruce is still a must-own receiver.

WR Bobby Engram, SEA – No offensive stats, but he had a tackle. What gives, Bobby? Are you hurt? Upset that your team rots now? What?

WR Devin Hester, CHI – I included him last week and he did not disappoint, with 6-87-0. I like him a lot from here on out.

WR Greg Camarillo, MIA – Cobbs stole the show with the two TDs, but Camarillo again posted decent numbers (4-49-0).

WR Mike Walker, JAC – Shortly after the column was posted last week, it was revealed that Walker had sustained a knee injury in the Pittsburgh game. He was held out this week and has a Week 7 bye – just keep him in mind for Week 8 and don’t get too overzealous. There will be other options.

WR Domenik Hixon, NYG – Not a factor on Monday night with Plaxico Burress back as the #1. Steve Smith had a big game with lots of targets, but even Amani Toomer went without a catch.

WR Sinorice Moss, NYG – See above.

TE Alge Crumpler, TEN – The veteran TE should be fresh coming off his bye week and I have a feeling Collins will be targeting him about 6-8 times a game going forward.

WR Brandon Stokley, DEN – I’m including a Stokley update since he caught a TD in Week 6 but then left with a head injury and didn’t return. He finished with 3-29-1 and now has a TD in consecutive games – just make sure he’s okay if you plan on starting him as a WR #3 or 4 in week 7 against the Pats.


Off The Top

LB Nate Webster, DEN – He’s still available in a bunch of IDP leagues – including one of mine – and has an awesome matchup this week facing the Patriots. He’s had four quality fantasy performances this season out of six, so he’s not a sure thing like Patrick Willis or Dhani Jones (the second most consistent fantasy LB this season – so if he’s still available go grab him, too), but he’s getting it done on the regular.

DB DeAngelo Hall, OAK – He’s putting up good numbers week to week and faces the Jets – and their #1 rank in points allowed to opposing DBs – this Sunday. Brett likes to challenge his opponents, and DeAngelo’s ego versus the gunslinger seems an apropos time for IDP owners to benefit.

LB Chad Greenway, MIN – With E.J. Henderson out for the year because of several dislocated toes on his left foot, Greenway will be forced to step up, along with LB Ben Leber. The Week 7 matchup at Chicago is ideal, so expect some solid numbers from the third-year an out of Iowa.

Digging Deeper

LB Channing Crowder, MIA – Crowder isn’t the best athlete on the field, but he’s been doing an excellent job as the new Zach Thomas in Miami – with last week being his best game to date (13 tackles, 2 PD). Look for another nice week versus the Ravens, who give up the most fantasy points to LBs.

DB Michael Lewis, SF – Eli Manning has been telegraphing his throws – a nugget that was astutely pointed out by Ron Jaworski during last night’s telecast – and Lewis could be a big beneficiary this week. He’s the #32nd ranked DB in IDP-land, but he’s the number one playmaker in the San Fran secondary. Take a shot with him this week against the Giants.

LB Calvin Pace, NYJ – Against the Raiders, Pace could have a big game. He’s had fumble recoveries in two straight, is making his share of tackles and is probably available in most leagues.

Scouring The Barrel

LB Leroy Hill, SEA – The forgotten Seattle LB has recovered from his hamstring injury and has a great matchup this week versus the Bucs. Other teams whose playmaking LBs have favorable matchups include: DET @ HOU, CAR vs. NO, TEN @ KC.

DB Leigh Bodden, DET – Eminently available after starting the season as a nickel back, Bodden has resumed starting duties and is making plays left and right for the Lions defense – which spends a lot of time on the field. Cue the Texans – who present a variety of scoring options to the DBs they face and will undoubtedly continue doing so.

DL Domata Peko, CIN – My super sleeper of the week, Peko is owned in just 1-2 percent of IDP leagues and could post acceptable DL numbers if you need a bye-week stopgap.


LB Zach Diles, HOU – What happened to this guy on Sunday? Maybe it was the weird Miami offensive wrinkle, maybe I was just an anomaly, but just 3 solo tackles isn’t what we’d come to expect from Diles in his first few games. Bad timing for me to recommend him, really.

DB Adam Jones, DAL – Again – the “bodyguard bathroom scuffle” news broke right after we’d posted the column, and Jones had a decent IDP total Sunday (5 solos) even without making any big plays. But the prospects of his services in Dallas continuing unfettered might be in jeopardy – because there was reportedly alcohol involved in the hotel incident – which is being investigated and could see a response from the commissioner as soon as Tuesday afternoon.

LB Takeo Spikes, SF – Another nice fantasy day – just as predicted: 7 total tackles, PD, INT. Spikes – who has one heck of a fantasy history – should be owned in all IDP formats at this point.

DB Rashean Mathis, JAC – He had just 2 solo tackles Sunday against Denver, but also notched a PD and recovered a fumble – making him a worthwhile fantasy start. He should still be a hot commodity on the wire in deeper IDP leagues.

LB Joey Porter, MIA – On Houston’s first possession, Porter blasted Schaub and caused an INT that fell into the hands of fellow LB Akin Ayodele. While that hit didn’t make it into the IDP stat line, the veteran LB managed to compile 3 solos, a sack and a PD – good enough for to surpass the average output in most IDP leagues.

DL Kevin Williams, MIN – Since it’s usually pretty difficult to isolate one defensive lineman out of the 100-120 guys or so who start each week in the NFL (one who’s not already snagged in most IDP leagues) and predict a big game in this humble little column, I’m ecstatic that the one I targeted in last week’s barrel finished with 8 solos and 4 sacks – as if he was speaking directly to me. Kevin Williams, if you’re out there reading this, thanks. You’ve made me look like an IDP genius yet again.

DB Michael Griffin, TEN – He was on a bye, but he’s a good addition this week versus the Chiefs.