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. These are sometimes players available only in more
shallow leagues, and occasionally guys who are more readily but
are thrust into the fantasy spotlight because of opportunity or
Digging Deeper - Covers the next
tier of quality waiver wire specimens, usually players available
in a majority of online leagues. There are a lot of gems in this
range who can be plucked rather easily.
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. Make sure you read the fine print.
Each week, I’ll also provide a brief update on the 30-40 players
I covered the previous week. It’s the most accurate, comprehensive
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
next four matchups are listed in parentheses ()
Off The Top
Kolb, PHI (@TEN, BYE, IND, @WAS) – What a roller coaster ride,
huh? There’s no guarantee Kolb will hold onto the job when Vick
is healthy, but he’s playing at such a high level right now you
can’t ignore his value. The probable (and hopefully temporary)
loss of DeSean Jackson hurts a bit, which should further temper
Matt Cassel, KC (JAC, BUF, @OAK, @DEN) – I can’t
think of a QB with better matchups in the coming weeks, although
that’s not a formula that always spells success for second
and third tier guys. Still, Cassel tossed three TD passes last
week and looks sharp leading the Chiefs offense.
Scouring The Barrel
Moore, CAR (SF, @STL, NO, @TB) – Moore was named the starter
for Carolina again while Jimmy Clausen matures on the bench. What?
That doesn’t make sense, but it does increase the value of Steve
Smith once he returns. The offense is about 50-100 yards more
potent and should generate about 3-7 more points a game with Moore
at the helm. Of course, none of this means he’s anything but a
third QB addition in two QB leagues.
Young, TEN (PHI, SD, BYE, @MIA) – Young was injured on the
game’s second drive after an impressive start in the win over
the Jaguars on Monday night. Kerry Collins did an excellent job
after taking over and could be a sneaky QB2 the next couple weeks
if Young is forced to miss any time. The early prognosis is a
sprained knee, and test results are due later today (Tuesday).
I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Chad Henne, MIA (PIT, @CIN, @BAL, TEN) – Henne wasn’t
magnificent Sunday, but 231-2-1 and an OT win over Green Bay keeps
the critics at bay. He’ll have a tougher time in Week 7
against the Steelers.
Smith, SF (@CAR, DEN, BYE, STL) – The Niners earned their
first win of 2010 (albeit over the Jason Campbell-led Raiders)
due to a relatively error-free effort by Smith, who threw two
second-half TD and earned an 87.4 QB rating for the day. I still
like him as a QB2, based on his trio of offensive weapons (Frank
Gore, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree).
Off The Top
Forsett, SEA (ARI, @OAK, NYG, @ARI) – Okay – looks like this
guy isn’t going to be a five-carry backup. Paired with his former
college backfield mate, the oft-dropped Forsett ran for 67 yards
on 10 carries with a touchdown in Sunday’s win at Chicago, outproducing
starter Marshawn Lynch. Expect a time-share going forward.
Bush, NO (CLE, PIT, @CAR, BYE) – Bush was inactive for the
fourth straight game because of a fractured right fibula. While
his return is not known, it’s clear the Saints are not a Super
Bowl team without him. Chris Ivory filled in admirably for Pierre
Thomas (likely out 2-3 more weeks), but that doesn’t man you should
wait too long to scoop up Reggie if he’s on your waiver wire.
Williams, TB (STL, @ARI, @ATL, CAR) – With Kareem Huggins
out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, a lot of the heat
is off Williams, who’s seeing most of the action because of his
importance on passing downs. Fullback Earnest Graham hasn’t been
the answer, and LeGarrette Blount is still quite raw. Looks like
their might be a few miles left on the Cadillac after all.
Woodhead, NE (@SD, MIN, @CLE, @PIT) – Woodhead was the best
out of Belichick’s backfield on Sunday, but it could all change
once Fred Taylor is healthy. This ain’t our first New England
rodeo, folks. Take a deep breath, and consider all options before
reaching for Woodhead, who’s has RB3 value at the moment, but
could be an RB5 before the season’s over.
Scouring The Barrel
Hart, IND (BYE, HOU, @PHI, CIN) – With Joseph Addai (neck,
shoulder) injured, the Colts added Andre Brown off waivers for
depth, but Hart and Donald Brown (fighting a hamstring injury),
appear to be the immediate beneficiaries. The Colts have been
mum on the Addai injury, which looked serious – like a separated
shoulder or something in the neck area. Hart is still out there
in plenty of formats, but keeping an eye on Brown’s progress is
Ward, HOU (BYE, IND, SD, @JAC) – Ward has been getting occasional
looks as Arian Foster’s backup and making the most of his opportunities,
rushing for two TDs and 59 yards on four carries over the last
two weeks. Still – he’s only worth something as a handcuff to
Foster at this point.
Jones, DAL (NYG, JAC, @GB, @NYG) – There’s some speculation
that Marion Barber will be traded sometime before the deadline
today because of the emergence of Jones. That would solidify Jones
as a solid RB2 with upside, and increase Tashard Choice’s value
tremendously. Add Choice in deeper formats if they move Barber.
Brown, IND (BYE, HOU, @PHI, CIN) – Inactive in Week 6, status
for Week 7 uncertain.
Taylor, NE (@SD, MIN, CLE, @PIT) – Woodhead looked good on
Sunday, but Belichick loves Taylor, who was still out with a toe
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
WR Robert Meachem, NO (CLE, PIT, @R, BYE) – Meachem has
established himself as the No. 2 WR in New Orleans, although he’ll
never be a consistent producer unless something happens to Marques
Colston. Still, the perennial breakout candidate’s potential
is unlimited, and he had his best game of the season Week 6 with
Evans, BUF (@BAL, @KC, CHI, DET) – Both Evans and Steve Johnson
should se plenty of work over the next four weeks. The Bills will
be playing from behind or getting in shootouts, and the bye could
have only helped the offense think of new ways to get them both
the ball. I guess I’m bullish on the Bills offense – especially
from a fantasy perspective.
Williams, SEA (ARI, @OAK, NYG, @ARI) – Williams set career
highs with 10 catches and 123 yards in a 23-20 victory over the
Bears on Sunday. With Deion Branch back in New England, Williams
won’t have to fight for looks. Pete Carroll loves him (and apparently
Matt Hasselbeck does too) so he’ll be a frequent red zone target
down the stretch.
TE Tony Moeaki, KC (JAC, BUF, @OAK, @DEN) – He fizzled last
week in a big matchup against the Texans, but from what I’ve
seen he’s still capable of big numbers. If you’re
TE is on a bye or inured, Moeaki is an excellent option.
Scouring The Barrel
Crayton, SD (NE, TEN, @HOU, BYE) – Crayton had a season-best
117 yards on six receptions in the Chargers' 20-17 loss to the
Rams on Sunday. If Malcom Floyd or Antonio ate miss additional
time, he’ll see most of Rivers’ targets.
Jenkins, ATL (CIN, BYE, TB, BAL) – Jenkins made his 2010 debut
and had five catches for a career-high 99 yard, including a 42-yard
reception. Jenkins missed the first five games with a shoulder
injury but is an effective complement to Roddy White and Tony
Gonzalez. But he’s probably just a WR5 in deeper, three-WR formats
until we see some consistency.
Michael Crabtree, SF (@CAR, DEN, BYE, STL) – Crabtree caught
another Td and had his second straight productive game. He’s worth
starting in all 12-team three-WR formats.
WR Mike Williams, TB (STL, @ARI, @ATL, CAR) – He played
through a foot injury and posted 4-45-0 but didn’t find
the end zone for only the second time this year. Stay tuned.
Lewis, JAC (@KC, DAL, BYE, HOU) – Lewis had 4-39-0 on Monday
night but with David Garrard out (concussion) and Trent Edwards
(crappy) in, the Jags didn’t spend enough time in the red zone
for him to find paydirt.
WR Danny Amendola, STL (@TB, CAR, BYE, @SF) – Amendola wasn’t
of much value on Sunday (3-19-0) but should get more looks in
the coming weeks.
Deion Branch, NE (@SD, MIN, @CLE, @PIT) – Reunited with his
boy Tom Brady, Branch blew up for 9-98-1, his highest yardage
total since 2007 and highest reception total since 2004. He’s
worth adding in all 12-team formats.
Armstrong, WAS (@CHI, @DET, BYE, PHI) – Armstrong caught five
passes for 46 yards in Week 6, solidifying him as the No. 2 receiving
option in D.C. If Chris Cooley (concussion) misses any time, Armstrong
and Fred Davis should see more targets.
Off The Top
DB Kerry Rhodes, ARI (@SEA, TB, @MIN, SEA) – IDP veterans
know about his contributions over the years, but Rhodes is having
perhaps his best season yet with 30 tackles, 5 PD, an INT, a fumble
recovery and two TDs. He’s got some prime matchups on the
way and he’s now past his bye week.
LB Paris Lenon, ARI (@SEA, TB, @MIN, SEA) – Lenon, like
Rhodes, is having a career year and will no longer disturb your
roster space with bye week issues. If somebody dropped him last
week, scoop him up AAAP.
Diles, HOU (BYE, WAS, NYJ, @BUF) – If you’ve got the roster
room for a guy on a bye this week, grab Diles, who takes over
at MLB after the season-ending Achilles injury to DeMeco Ryans.
LB Stewart Bradley, PHI (@TEN, BYE, IND, @WAS) – Bradley
is coming off his best game of 2010; he can’t be ignored
any longer and makes an excellent LB3 in deeper formats.
Scouring The Barrel
DL Kendall Langford, MIA (PIT, @CIN, @BAL, TEN) – He’s
a really deep sleeper, but I like his tackle numbers and upcoming
matchups given the chances that the next few games will be won
and lost in the trenches.
DB Tramon Williams, GB (MIN, @NYJ, DAL, BYE) – Williams
is producing for the injury-depleted Packers defense. He’ll
be busy the next few weeks against the Vikings and Cowboys as
receivers cross the middle and runners slip into the secondary.
O.J. Atogwe, STL (@TB, CAR, BYE, @SF) – Atogwe’s best game
of the season – Five solos, INT, PD. He’s baaaack!
DB Louis Delmas, DET (BYE, WAS, NYJ, @BUF) – Eight total
tackles, but no junk points. Delmas is still a quality DB2.
Session, IND (BYE, HOU, @PHI, CIN) – 10 total tackles, though
the best numbers were posted by fill-in Pat Angerer (11 tackles,
sack, 2 PD). Still – this was a good call. Session is on a bye
in Week 7.
Fujita, CLE (@NO, BYE, NE, NYJ) – Six total tackles; Fujita
is a poor man’s Brian Urlacher.
LB Rob Ninkovich, NE (@SD, MIN, @CLE, @PIT) – Eight solos!
What a gme from the DE/LB tweener. Ninkovich has more good matchups
on the way, and if he’s DL-eligible in your league, all
DL Chris Clemons, SEA (ARI, @OAK, NYG, @ARI) – Two tackles,
half-sack. Not great, not bad. Continue deploying him as a DL2.