Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to 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 a big 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 — sometimes breakout
stars that eluded your team’s draft — as well as players
who can help your squad that may still be lurking in deeper leagues.
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Off the Top - Includes my premier
recommendations — sometimes players available either only
in more shallow leagues, and occasionally guys more readily available
who’ve been thrust into the fantasy spotlight.
Digging Deeper - Covers the next
tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available
in a majority of online leagues.
Scouring the Barrel - Chronicles
the deepest of fantasy adds — and sometimes highlights players
being tacked onto fantasy squads who I don’t have much confidence
Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 30-40 players
I covered the previous week. It’s the best one-stop waiver-wire
column available on the Internet, and it’s only available
here at FFToday.com.
Feedback is always welcome,
appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as
Note: Each player’s
final three matchups are listed in parentheses ()
I’ve thrown quite a few RB possibilities out there this week,
along with targeting some TEs who could fill in nicely this week
because of favorable matchups.
Off The Top
Jason Campbell WAS (NYG, DAL, @SD) – Campbell’s numbers
over his last three games have been decent (820 passing yards,
seven TDs, three INT) and he’s facing a Giants defense that’s
proved vulnerable to the big play and has struggled to contain
opposing TEs. He’s still available in over two-thirds of
fantasy leagues, making him a solid plug-n-play for owners with
Mark Sanchez, NYJ (ATL, @IND, CIN) – Rex Ryan is committed
to starting Sanchez if the rookie QB is healthy enough to play,
and with a favorable matchup and must-win game against the Falcons,
he’ll be worth a look in deep formats.
Scouring The Barrel
Josh Freeman, TB (@SEA, @NO, ATL) – He’s only a viable
start in the most desperate of circumstances in the deepest of
leagues, but Seattle hasn’t been able to cover anybody,
and the Bucs do have some solid red zone weapons — if they
can bet there without turning over the ball first.
DEN (OAK, @PHI, KC) – Orton’s day was saved by Brandon Marshall,
who single-handedly kept the Broncos offense moving. With the
Raiders up next and Nnamdi Ashomugha covering Marshall, he might
have a tougher time.
JAC (IND, @NE, @CLE) – Garrard couldn’t do much against the Dolphins
and only hooked up once with favorite target Mike Sims-Walker;
it’s a crap shoot determining what’ll happen against Indy.
SF (@PHI, DET, @STL) – Smith had just 144 passing yards but threw
two TDs and two interceptions on Monday night. He’s not a great
option as a QB1 unless you’re league has 14-16 teams.
CLE (@KC, OAK, JAC) – This week’s game could be a shootout, but
I just don’t trust Quinn when it comes to turnovers. Josh Cribbs
also saw a significant amount of time in the Wildcat, rushing
for 87 yards. According to Mangini, Cribbs could also be used
over the next few weeks in a more traditional RB mode.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (NE, @ATL, IND) – Fitzpatrick won’t
have an easy time this week facing an improving New England secondary,
but could post respectable QB2 numbers if Buffalo can force some
turnovers deep in Patriots territory.
KC (CLE, @CIN, @DEN) – Easily the best matchup among the league’s
forgotten QBs, Cassel gets Dwayne Bowe back to take some attention
away from red zone threat Chris Chambers.
Off The Top
Jamaal Charles, KC (CLE, @CIN, @DEN) – Last week’s
performance (143 rushing yards, TD; 7/38/0 receiving) assured
he won’t be available in deeper leagues, but even in shallow
formats where he’s available, he’s got to be considered
over some of the big-name backs this week.
Wells, ARI (@DET, STL, GB) – Wells looked good running the
ball against the Cards on Monday night and will probably get most
of the carries in Detroit. Consider him a solid RB2 with upside,
as the Lions have shown no ability to keep opposing runners out
of the end zone (the Ravens scored five rushing TDs last week).
Forsett, SEA (TB, @GB, TEN) – Since Julius Jones looks a year
older every week, I’m banking on Forsett to carry the struggling
Seahawks offense in Tampa Bay. Expect around 100 total yards,
a handful of catches and a score.
Quinton Ganther, WAS (NYG, DAL, @SD) – Ganther blew up last
week for two scores and decent yardage but will have a harder
time finding paydirt against the Giants stout defensive line.
Temper your expectation if you’re starting him at RB3/flex.
Scouring The Barrel
Chris Jennings, CLE (@KC, OAK, JAC) – The Browns handed
the reins to Jennings against the Steelers on Thursday night and
were rewarded with their first rushing touchdown since December
2008 and a huge win over their division rivals, the reigning Super
Bowl Champions, and now-eliminated-from-playoff-contention Pittsburgh
Steelers. For that performance alone, he should get the bulk of
carries against the Chiefs.
HOU (@STL, @MIA, NE) – Foster had 89 total yards on Sunday and
surpassed both Chris Brown and Ryan Moats on the Texans depth
chart, according to Gary Kubiak. Stay tuned to the reports coming
out of Houston practices leading up to game day in St. Louis.
He could be a wire bargain and put up RB2 numbers if he continues
to get love from his coach.
Morris, DET (OAK, @PHI, KC) – With Kevin Smith’s knee injury
pushing the second-year back to IR, the rushing duties fall on
Morris and rookie Aaron Brown. Don’t expect a big day from either,
but consider both for deep-league starts at RB3/flex.
Jonathan Stewart, CAR (MIN, @NYG, NO) – He’s not
a good start against the Vikings this week.
Laurence Maroney, NE (@BUF, JAC, @HOU) – Maroney continues
to be the most explosive and effective of New England’s
backs, and has a good matchup this week in Buffalo.
Lynch, BUF (NE, @ATL, IND) – Lynch yielded the majority of
carries to Fred Jackson last week, and can’t be trusted to produce
unless Freddy goes down.
Willis McGahee, BAL (CHI, @PIT, @OAK) – McGahee’s
performance last week (12 carries, 76 yards, two TDs) just goes
to show what teams with several talented backs can do against
the Lions. Kudos if you had the guts to play him as an RB2, RB3
Rock Cartwright, WAS (NYG, DAL, @SD) – Cartwright gave way
to Ganther on the depth chart after press time, and wasn’t
a factor on Sunday.
HOU (@STL, @MIA, NE) – Moats had a TD but lost a fumble and Chris
Brown was a busts on Sunday. Foster will be getting a heavier
workload from here on out as a result.
Jerome Harrison, CLE (@KC, OAK, JAC) – Harrison had just
19 total yards and Jennings appears to have taken over starting
Weaver, PHI (SF, DEN, @DAL) – Weaver had 41 total yards and
a rushing TD against the Giants. His value seriously diminishes
if Brian Westbrook is okay to play this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Moss, WAS (NYG, DAL, @SD) – He’s available in one of my 10-team
leagues as we speak and could produce big numbers against the
Giants on Sunday. Devin Thomas is a decent play as well, although
his targets have been inconsistent from week to week.
Nicks, NYG (@WAS, CAR, @MIN) – Nicks will be a frequent target
of Eli Manning over the final few weeks, and he proved Sunday
night how explosive he can be.
WR Antonio Bryant TB (@SEA, @NO, ATL) – Bryant is known
for his late-season games and he’s likely being dropped
in a few formats after last week’s stinker against the Jets.
If he’s available, you should definitely take a flier on
the veteran receiver as a WR3 against the Seattle secondary.
TE Dustin Keller, NYJ (ATL, @IND, CIN) – Sanchez and Keller
have good rapport and should find plenty of time to hook up on
Sunday facing the Falcons, who give up big points to opposing
TE Fred Davis, WAS (NYG, DAL, @SD) – The second-year fantasy
standout and USC alumnus had three catches for 50 yards on Sunday,
but two went for TDs. The Giants allow the most fantasy points
in football to opposing TEs, so this is a great week to plug in
Scouring The Barrel
WR Malcom Floyd, SD (CIN, @TEN, WAS) – Call it a hunch,
but I think the Chargers will try to get creative at home against
the Bengals and seek production from alternative sources. Floyd
stands out as a big target who could get a lot of looks —
both in the red zone and between the 20s.
WR Greg Camarillo, MIA (@TEN, HOU, PIT) – He had a monster
game last week (7/110/0) and will be pressed into action against
the surging Titans, who’ve been clamping down on the run
and will yield the shorter routes that Camarillo is known for.
Garcon, IND (@JAC, NYJ, @BUF) – Neither Garcon nor Reggie
Wayne were much of a factor against the Broncos since Dallas Clark
hogged three of Peyton Manning’s TD passes and Austin Collie snagged
Robert Meachem, NO (DAL, TB, @CAR) – Meachem has four catches
for 57 yards but no TD. He’s probably best used as a WR3
this Saturday versus the Cowboys.
TEN (MIA, SD, @SEA) – Britt had a couple catches for 75 yards
but takes a serious hit in value if Vince Young (hamstring) isn’t
throwing him the ball on Sunday.
Jacoby Jones, HOU (@STL, @MIA, NE) – Fellow Texans WR Andre
Johnson did most of the damage against the Seahawks last week,
leaving little for Jones to do except return punts.
Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE (@KC, OAK, JAC) – Massaquoi gets
his TDs on odd weeks so I’m thinking Week 15 at Kansas City
could mean about 50-plus yards and a score.
Josh Morgan, SF (@PHI, DET, @STL) – The young receiver
had just three catches for 14 yards on Monday night, although
he could be a red zone factor facing the Eagles.
Off The Top
DB Antrel Rolle, ARI (@DET, STL, GB) – Rolle hasn’t
had an INT since Week 10 but has still posted respectable IDP
numbers. Detroit poses a favorable matchup for opposing DBs and
Rolle is a playmaker due for a big game.
DL Mario Williams, HOU (@STL, @MIA, NE) – Williams was quiet
in the first half of the season, but has four sacks in his last
three games. On Sunday, the talented pass rusher posted six solos,
2.0 sacks and a PD last week against the Seahawks. He’s
got another solid matchup this week in St. Louis.
LB David Bowens, CLE (@KC, OAK, JAC) – Bowens had another
good game on Thursday night against the Steelers, and in the five
games since the team’s Week Nine bye, he has 28 tackles
and 4.5 sacks. The game in Kansas City should also provide ample
opportunities for him to be an IDP standout.
DL John Abraham, ATL (@NYJ, BUF, @TB) – Abraham had four
tackles and forced a fumble in Sunday's loss to the Saints, but
hasn’t recorded a sack for weeks. Facing his old team, he’ll
likely bring some extra pressure and have a good game.
Scouring The Barrel
Anderson, CAR (MIN, @NYG, NO) – He’s playing WLB in Carolina
(a great spot to be) and had nine total tackles (six solos) last
week facing the Pats. He could be in for even more work against
the Vikings this week when Minnesota counters with Adrian Peterson.
DB James Butler, STL (HOU, @ARI, SF) – With O.J. Atogwe
gone for the year, Butler will be forced to do most of the tackling
in the St. Louis secondary this week facing the Texans. He’s
racked up 24 tackles in his last four games.
DL Tamba Hali, KC (CLE, @CIN, @DEN) – Three tackles and
a sack — good enough numbers for the DL slot. Expect another
solid day against the Browns.
LB Larry Foote, DET (ARI, @SF, @CHI) – If he was your LB1,
Foote was somewhat disappointing with just five total tackles
and a forced fumble.
DB Bryan Scott, BUF (NE, @ATL, IND) – Scott blew up again
for 10 solos and a sack. He’s worth a shot again this week
facing the Pats.
LB Bart Scott, NYJ (ATL, @IND, CIN) – Scott had his best
solo tackle totals (six) since Week Eight, and added one assist.
G White, TB (@SEA, @NO, ATL) – Another solid DL call, “The
(Sack) Artist Formerly Known as Greg” had four solos and a sack.
He’s still a viable play as a DL2 facing the Seahawks.
Landry, BAL (CHI, @PIT, @OAK) – Landry tallied just five total
tackles, but can be expected to post better numbers facing carefree
Jay Cutler and the Bears.