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Through The Wire - Week 17
12/29/09 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 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.

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 in.

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

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Off The Top

David Garrard, JAC @ CLE – The Jaguars and Browns are bound to put up a bunch of points in the season finale, and Garrard is likely to pass for 200 yards and a couple scores. He’s worth consideration if you’re panning for a Peyton Manning replacement. Ouch.

Digging Deeper

Josh Freeman, TB vs. ATL – It seems the only ones who didn’t get the memo the Buccaneers season was over was the Bucs — a good thing for those owners who can still grab Freeman and plug him in for Week 17. He’s not a Top 15 QB, but he’ll make a capable QB2.

Scouring The Barrel

Matt Moore, CAR vs. NO – Moore has shown more promise in the past few weeks than Jake Delhomme has shown during the past few seasons. It’s safe to assume he’ll be given a shot to start in 2010, and the New Orleans game is his final audition before next summer.


Vince Young, TEN @ SEA – Young’s performance against San Diego on Christmas night was a debacle. HE had a rushing TD, but turned the ball over three times and passed for only 89 yards.

Alex Smith, SF @ STL – He easily could have passed for more than 230 yards and a TD, but the 49ers didn’t make any attempt to run up the score. This week is a good time for a redo.

Chad Henne, MIA vs. PIT – Henne attempted 55 passes on Sunday and racked up 322 passing yards, 10 rushing yards, a TD and an INT.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Donald Brown, IND @ BUF – With the starters sitting and Indy anxious to bring Brown up to sped for the playoffs, I’m expecting a healthy dose of carries. He’s certainly a risk, but the payday against the hapless Bills could be huge.

Digging Deeper

Lex Hilliard, MIA vs. PIT – Ricky Williams left with a shoulder injury after just one carry, leaving Hilliard to take the load. This week, Hilliard should be the feature back if Williams can’t go, but will receive at least 15 touches even if Ricky’s active.

Arian Foster, HOU vs. NE – The Patriots probably won’t bother running Vince Wilfork out there if he’s not ready, and Foster has proven to be Kubiak’s flavor of the week. Can it change again? Definitely, but the undrafted youngster out of Tennessee had 19 carries last week and should get at least 15 in Week 17.

Scouring The Barrel

Brandon Jackson, GB @ ARI – Jackson blew up with three scores in garbage time last week and could see more red zone chances in Week 17. He’s not a reliable option, but he certainly made his presence felt on Sunday.

Mike Tolbert, SD vs. WAS – Tolbert should get the bulk of carries as the Chargers rest both LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles in a meaningless game versus the terrible Redskins.


Jerome Harrison, CLE vs. JAC – Harrison came close to breaking the record for total yardage in consecutive games, finishing with 148 yards on 39 carries. Can’t say they didn’t get him the ball enough.

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG @ MIN – Bradshaw wasn’t a total flop on Sunday afternoon (53 rushing yards), but his team certainly was.

Jason Snelling, ATL @ TB – Snelling — a seventh-round pick thrust into the spotlight due to the injury-plagued season of Michael Turner — had 15 carries for 68 yards Sunday in the 31-3 win over the Bills but probably won’t have a huge impact in 2010.

Carnell Williams, TB vs. ATL – Williams went nuts against the Saints, finishing with 148 total yards and a TD. He’s making a case for a starting job in 2010.

Michael Bush, OAK vs. BAL – Bush had 59 total yards but failed to score against the Browns, whose run defense tightened up in the second half.

Jerious Norwood, ATL @ TB – Norwood had 61 total yards in Sunday’s win over Buffalo. Hell be a third-down back next year because of his effectiveness catching passes out of the backfield.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Mike Wallace, PIT @ MIA – Wallace is a better deep threat than Hines Ward and uses his body well. The Miami game could be the breakout performance his keeper league owners have waited for, and a fitting finale for countless plug-n-plays.

WR Austin Collie, IND @ BUF – Will Collie be on the field for most of the day Sunday? It’s hard to tell what the Colts will do at this point, but it looks like he, Donald Brown and Curtis Painter will be carrying the offense into the playoffs.

Digging Deeper

WR Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE vs. JAC – Massaquoi stands a good chance of reaching the end zone, given how bad the Jags secondary has been down the stretch. And he’s still available in about 90 percent of leagues.

TE Todd Heap, BAL @ OAK – Heap has four TDs in his last two games. ‘Nuff said.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Devin Aromashodu, CHI @ DET – I was this close to adding Aromashodu to my column last week but figured one Bears WR was enough. If only I had taken a stab at this speedster a week sooner, then some of you could have benefited from his 150-yard day that was capped by a game-ending TD in overtime.

TE David Thomas, NO @ CAR – Thomas has performed admirably in Jeremy Shockey’s stead and should continue to see a bunch of targets in Week 17.


Chris Chambers, KC @ DEN – Chambers had just 3-34-0 on Sunday. We might have seen the end of his fantasy value.

Earl Bennett, CHI @ DET – Bennett had three catches for 35 yards an d TD , but the show was clearly stolen by his aforementioned teammate.

Josh Morgan, SF @ STL – Just 4-21-0 in a game where I expected at least one TD. How did Morgan fail to collect a score facing the Lions? Mike Singletary is just too nice.


Off The Top

LB Stephen Tulloch, TEN @ SEA – With the season over for both teams, it’s likely Tulloch will see a lot of chances to track down Justin Forsett, the future of the Seahawks running game.

DB Erik Coleman, ATL @ TB – Coleman is one of the best DB plays of the week in a favorable matchup versus the Bucs. Give him a shot if he’s out there.

Digging Deeper

LB Larry Foote, DET vs. CHI – It’s likely the Bears will grind out the clock with plenty of runs once they get up on the Lions. If Foote can’t play again this week, Julian Peterson could be the guy to go with.

DL Stylez G White, TB vs. ATL – The Falcons are terrible in pass protection and White is simply the best pass rusher the Bucs have.

Scouring The Barrel

DL Jonathan Fanene, CIN @ NYJ – IF you need a DT-eligible DE with a good chance to rack up interior tackles and get to the QB a couple times, Fanene could be your guy facing the run-happy Jets.


LB Kirk Morrison, OAK vs. BAL – Morrison had his best game of the season on Sunday with 14 tackles (10 solos) and a sack. He’s a top choice this week as well facing the Ravens.

DL Aaron Schobel, BUF vs. IND – With four tackles and 3.0 sacks against the Falcons, Schobel ranked as the highest-scoring DL this week in most formats — and planted yet another feather in my cap.

LB Lawrence Timmons, PIT @ MIA – Timmons was upstaged by LaMarr Woodley and James Farrior on Sunday, making just three tackles while his fellow LBs cleaned up.

DB Dashon Goldson, SF @ STL – Goldson had four total tackles, a PD and an INT against the woeful Lions. Another turnover is a strong possibility this week as well.

DB Malcolm Jenkins, NO @ CAR – Jenkins had 10 tackles in the loss to Tampa Bay (his highest tackle total of the season) and showed he’s more than just a capable IDP replacement for Jabari Greer.

DL Jay Ratliff, DAL vs. PHI – Ratliff had three tackles and 2.0 sacks, good enough to rate among the Top 10 fantasy DLs in Week 16. My Timmons recommendation aside, this was a near-perfect bunch of IDP calls.