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
Mark Sanchez, NYJ (GB, @DET, @CLE, HOU) – Based on FFToday’s
of schedule matrix, from now through Week 15, Sanchez has
the most favorable schedule for a QB. While that’s not the
only factor you should look at, it’s undeniable that he
young QB will be forced to throw the ball more against a lot of
those teams as they load the box to stop the formidable Jets running
game. He’s worth a look if your QB is on a bye during the
next three weeks.
Stafford, DET (WAS, NYJ, @BUF, @DAL) – Stafford is expected
to start on Sunday against the Redskins, and while DeAngelo Hall
will be lurking, he’s the least of Stafford’s worries. I expect
the young QB to be conservative in his first game back, but the
next couple games require the offense to open up.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@KC, CHI, DET, @CIN) – Fitzpatrick’s
fantasy numbers have improved each week since he took over the
starting job in Week 3; it’s obvious the offense is much
better off with him at the helm. The 0-6 Bills have some promising
fantasy-friendly matchups on the way. Since this game isn’t
about NFL wins and losses, Fitzpatrick must now be considered
as a low-end QB1, especially in leagues that don’t penalize
Scouring The Barrel
Kitna: A serviceable plug.
Jon Kitna, DAL
(JAC, @GB, @NYG, DET) – With Tony Romo out indefinitely with a
broken left clavicle, Kitna assumes the reins of this potent offense.
But I don’t expect a 38-year-old Jesus fanatic to do that well
in the den of iniquity that the Dallas Cowboys are famous
for cultivating. Still – with regular snaps in practice, a
myriad of weapons and a boatload of experience, he could be a
serviceable plug for gaping hole in the Cowboys’ sinking ship.
Kevin Kolb, PHI
(BYE, IND, @WAS, NYG) – With all eyes back on Michael Vick and
a Week 8 bye, Kolb’s poor performance on Sunday was probably a
blessing in disguise for Andy Reid. Kolb fumbled and looked sloppy
and inconsistent, managing just 231 passing yards, one TD and
Matt Cassel, KC (BUF, @OAK, @DEN, ARI) – Cassel is poised
to follow up the big win over Jacksonville with huge numbers against
the Bills. His QB rating through six games is 91.5, although the
passing yardage (174 per game) leaves a bit to be desired.
Matt Moore, CAR (@STL, NO, @TB, BAL) – Moore made the most
of his second chance, leading the Panthers to their first win
of 2010. If he can further develop the relationship with David
Gettis, you could be looking at a fantasy spot starter in your
Off The Top
Jackson, BUF (@KC, CHI, DET, @CIN) – He’s available in over
half of Yahoo! Leagues and has a slew of excellent matchups coming.
While the Buffalo offense thrives on big plays, Jackson is the
workhorse, and C.J. Spiller has made some costly errors. I’m buying
low on the undrafted Coe College alumnus.
GB (@NYJ, DAL, BYE, @MIN) – This guy picked a terrible week
to have a breakout game, as fantasy owners had probably given
up on him. He’s entering arguably the toughest stretch for any
fantasy RB in the game. Jackson is owned in fewer than two–thirds
of fantasy leagues, but you’ll likely be waiting a few weeks to
get good numbers from him - even if you can pick him up.
Sproles, SD (TEN, @HOU, BYE, DEN) – Sproles might not be used
as frequently in the passing game once all the Chargers pass catchers
are healthy and active, but in PPR leagues, he has some value.
Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert just aren’t getting it done, so
he could see more looks on the ground as well.
Scouring The Barrel
Blount, TB (@ARI, @ATL, CAR, @SF) – Blount was a breath of
fresh air for the Tampa offense, which somehow grinded out a win
over the upstart Rams. The rookie had 11 carries for 72 yards,
and a fantasy associate of mine who was at the game said he was
simply running people over. A grinding, physical back adept at
breaking tackles who’s also capable of some big runs, Blount is
the resounding answer the Bucs have been seeking and he should
get the bulk of carries going forward.
Forsett, SEA (@OAK, NYG, @ARI, @NO) – He had 72 total yards
from scrimmage and appears to be a worthy RB3 in 12-team formats
Williams, TB (@ARI, @ATL, CAR, @SF) – He only has four carries
for 12 yards, but in PPR leagues, he blew up with eight catches
for 34 yards and a score.
NE (MIN, @CLE, @PIT, IND) – Woodhead had just eight carries
for 24 rushing yards and 3-28-0 receiving, giving him 52 total
yards on the day.
Hart, IND (HOU, @PHI, CIN, @NE) – Hart could be the go-to
ground guy this week in Indy.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
WR Dez Bryant,
DAL (JAC, @GB, @NYG, DET) – Did you see the Monday night game?
Bryant is available in a third of fantasy leagues. I even dropped
him on Sunday in one league because of a roster space issue…whoops.
With Kitna leading the offense, it appears that Jason Garrett
trusts Bryant’s ability on the short slants and screens that don’t
require too much arm strength.
WR Kenny Britt,
TEN (@SD, BYE, @MIA, WAS) – In one league, Britt dropped 67
points on me this week. Yeah. He’s still available in over a third
of formats, but after his seven-catch, 225-yard, three-TD performance
in Sunday's win over Philly, he won’t be available for long.
WR Steve Johnson,
BUF (@KC, CHI, DET, @CIN) – His name may be hilariously generic,
but his skill set is unique. Johnson has ideal size for a red
zone target and is demonstrating a more physical presence in the
Bills offense. He’s got five TDs in his last four games and should
be owned in all 12-team formats.
WR Davone Bess, MIA (@CIN, @BAL, TEN, CHI) – A possession
receiver with major upside in PPR formats, Bess runs great routes,
does what is asked of him and doesn’t seem to be affected
by adverse matchups. He’s scored in three straight and has
32 receptions for 348 yards in six games this season.
TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET (WAS, NYJ, @BUF, @DAL) – A lot
of owners were forced to drop him with the Lions on a bye in Week
7. He’s safe to add again and should be heavily involved
as Stafford eases his way back into the offense.
Scouring The Barrel
WR Blair White, IND (HOU, @PHI, CIN, @NE) – With Austin
Collie out indefinitely and Dalla Clark on IR, White is expected
to see increased playing time. While the rookie began the regular
season on the practice squad, he’s been impressive in limited
duty and could be a significant fantasy presence in the all-important
slot role for the next few weeks.
WR David Gettis,
CAR (@STL, NO, @TB, BAL) – 8-125-2, Wow. I guess the Panthers
never should have benched Matt Moore. Add Gettis ASAP in all formats.
WR Robert Meachem, NO (PIT, @CAR, BYE, SEA) – Two catches,
32 yards. Most of the Saints offensive production came in garbage
WR Lee Evans, BUF (@KC, CHI, DET, @CIN) – Nailed this one.
Evans had just six catches, but they went for 105 yards, and he
scored on three of them. Hopefully the second-half Lee Evans gravy
train is once again open for business.
WR Mike Williams, SEA (@OAK, NYG, @ARI, @NO) – Williams
followed up his career day in Week 6 with an even better fantasy
day in Week 7: 11-87-1.
TE Tony Moeaki, KC (BUF, @OAK, @DEN, ARI) – Three catches,
42 yards. Not bad, but finding paydirt would have been a nice
cherry for that frosted cupcake performance.
WR Patrick Crayton, SD (TEN, @HOU, BYE, DEN) – Crayton put
up respectable, if not spectacular numbers (7-82-0) on Sunday,
but once the big-time San Diego wideouts are back in business,
he’ll be relatively useless.
Jenkins, ATL (BYE, TB, BAL, @STL) – Jenkins managed just 3-25-0
in his second game back as Roddy White stole the show.
Off The Top
Johnson, KC (BUF, @OAK, @DEN, ARI) – Johnson’s INT/TD last
week capped a solid stat line (six solos, 3 PD). He’s an LB2 with
plenty of upside and should be owned in more IDP formats. The
upcoming schedule could mean more big numbers.
DB Troy Polamalu, PIT (@NO, @CIN, NE, OAK) – Polamalu’s
name recognition has him owned in about 70 percent of IDP leagues,
and although he’s been a steady performer, it’s possible
that a few folks have dropped him because he really hasn’t
been making big plays. That’s all about to change. If for
some reason he’s available in your league, he makes a great
play the next couple weeks as a DB1.
DL Ray Edwards,
MIN (@NE, ARI, @CHI, GB) – Yes, the stats have been terrible
so far, but I’m not giving up on Edwards as he enters the most
favorable upcoming schedule for any DL. Also, since Brett Favre’s
ankle in three pieces, I suspect there will be a new focus on
defense this week in Minnesota where they’re looking for ways
to put more pressure on opposing QBs.
LB Lofa Tatupu, SEA (@OAK, NYG, @ARI, @NO) – Tatupu’s
been quiet lately as the majority of tackles are being made by
the Seattle secondary (not a good sign). But the next few matchups
are LB-favorable, so I’m expecting an IDP resurgence for
the veteran defender.
Scouring The Barrel
LB Desmond Bishop, GB (@NYJ, DAL, BYE, @MIN) – People still
aren’t getting the message: Bishop is a stud LB in the making.
Grab him immediately!
DL Jason Hunter, DEN (@SF, BYE, KC, @SD) – Hunter’s
coming off a few productive games and has one more nice matchup
in San Fran before his bye week. He’s a pretty deep sleeper,
but he’s nearly universally available and has been getting
to the ball carrier and QB more frequently (2.0 sacks and 18 solos
in his last three games).
Kerry Rhodes, ARI (TB, @MIN, SEA, @KC) – Rhodes registered
a humdrum six-tackle total against the Seahawks; he remains a
top fantasy DB.
LB Paris Lenon, ARI (TB, @MIN, SEA, @KC) – Lenon had the
weakest game of his fantasy season last week but still must be
considered a solid LB2.
LB Zach Diles, HOU (@IND, SD, @JAC, @NYJ) – Get him in your
lineup this week.
LB Stewart Bradley, PHI (BYE, IND, @WAS, NYG) – Two tackles.
He’s been an undeniable bust in 2010.
DL Kendall Langford, MIA (@CIN, @BAL, TEN, CHI) – Three
total tackles against the Steelers. Meh.
Williams, GB (@NYJ, DAL, BYE, @MIN) – Williams posted just
four solos, but safety Nick Collins had a big game.