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

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 1
9/7/11 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 a limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value. 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 be lurking in deeper leagues.

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 exceptional production.

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 20-30 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

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

Note: Each player’s next four matchups are listed in parentheses ()

For Week 1, I’m focusing on players who may have made it through your league’s draft without getting picked up, as well as guys who may have gotten a depth chart boost from recent cuts and player injuries.


Off The Top

Kyle Orton, DEN (OAK, CIN, @TEN, @GB) – Neckbeard isn’t the flashiest fantasy product to come off the shelves in recent years, but he’ll get the job done. The philosophy in Denver surrounds passing the ball, and with Tim Tebow less of a factor in the mind of John Elway and a host of receivers and backfield weapons with the chops to get things done right, Orton is being undervalued.

Mark Sanchez, NYJ (DAL, JAC, @OAK, @BAL) – The third year might be a charm of Sanchez, who’s a much better quarterback now that he’s got some extensive playoff experience under his belt. He still struggles with the deep out, but he’s plenty accurate enough on the center seam pass the Jets have featured with Sanchez under center.

Digging Deeper

Donovan McNabb (@SD, TB, DET, @KC) – He’s a classic boom-or-bust candidate, largely because of his advanced age and questionable ensemble cast. One thing McNabb has always done well is chuck the long ball, but does he have someone to haul those bombs in?

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (@KC, OAK, NE, @CIN) – Fitzpatrick might end up playing a lot of catchup again this season, the Buffalo offense remains largely unchanged and the defense didn’t improve. If your league doesn’t penalize too heavily for INTs, Fitzie is a solid QB2 with upside.

Scouring The Barrel

Matt Hasselbeck, TEN (@JAC, BAL, DEN, @CLE) – For the first time since leaving Brett Favre’s Green Bay for Mike Holmgren’s Seattle franchise, Hasselbeck finds himself in a new city, albeit with much lower expectations. He’s a low-risk, medium –reward special as a QB2.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Michael Bush, OAK (@DEN, @BUF, NYJ, NE) – Darren McFadden isn’t known for his durability, so Bush is a must-own in all leagues. He averages a surprisingly efficient 4.4 YPC for his career, and he’s just 27 – not a bad combo.

Danny Woodhead, NE (@MIA, SD, @BUF, @OAK) – Bill Belichick likes his third down backs, and Woodhead is going to be the guy on a lot of plays in the red zone, when everybody expects Tom Brady to toss it to a TE or a WR. Woodhead could easily clean up with 6-8 TDs 40+ catches and 800-1,000 total yards when it’s all said and done.

Digging Deeper

Roy Helu, WAS (NYG, ARI, @DAL, @STL) – The highly touted back is the most explosive of any back in Washington, and Mike Shanahan loves rookies with fresh legs. What more do you need to know about this late-round sleeper?

Scouring The Barrel

DeMarco Murray, DAL (@NYJ, @SF, WAS, DET) – I’m not positive Felix Jones is durable enough to handle a full complement of carries out of the Dallas backfield, and Murray is just the kind of guy that Jerry Jones will force his coaches to play more if there are temporary struggles in Big D.

Deji Karim, JAC (TEN, @NYJ, @CAR, NO) – With Rashad Jennings on IR, the Jags will look to Karim to shoulder some of Maurice Jones-Drew’s load. And we all know that MJD’s knees are a concern.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Danny Amendola, STL (PHI, @NYG, BAL, WAS) – In PPR leagues, he’ll be the mark of consistency as a WR3. Amendola is still available in over a quarter of fantasy leagues, so take heed and give him a shot if he’s out there.

WR Lee Evans, BAL (PIT, @TEN, @STL, NYJ) – I love the move to Baltimore. Evans has needed a pure WR1 and strong-armed QB to complement his deep-ball prowess, and he’s got them in Anquan Boldin and Joe Flacco. Giddyup.

Digging Deeper

WR Mike Williams, SEA (@SF, @PIT, ARI, ATL) – The “other” Mike Williams is being undervalued in drafts, just like the “other” Steve Smith is being largely ignored. Don’t hesitate to snag him if you have the roster space.

WR Steve Breaston, KC (BUF, @DET, @SD, MIN) – He’s the No. 2 receiver in KC, and Matt Cassel is a capable QB (who still hopes to play in Week 1). Breaston is also linked up with Todd Haley, his old coordinator from Arizona.

TE Jared Cook, TEN (@JAC, BAL, DEN, @CLE) – Cook is a talented, athletic tight end on a team that will definitely utilize the position. He’s an excellent TE2 with breakout potential.

Scouring The Barrel

TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN (@CLE, @DEN, SF, BUF) – Like Cook, Gresham will see plenty of looks and could have a huge season for a guy going undrafted in most leagues.

WR Greg Little, CLE (CIN, @IND, MIA, TEN) – It’s tough to say what’s going to happen in Cleveland, and Little’s a low-risk rookie option with upside.

WR Andre Roberts, ARI (CAR, @WAS, @SEA, NYG) – He’s second on the depth chart after Larry Fitzgerald, who has a new QB and will continue to see plenty of double teams. Need I say more?

WR Arrelious Benn, TB (DET, @MIN, ATL, IND) – My ultra sleeper pick of 2011. He’s owned in just 8 percent of leagues and has one of the best young QBs in the game throwing him the ball.


Off The Top

DL/LB Elvis Dumervil, DEN (OAK, CIN, @TEN, @GB) – He missed all of last season but appears ready to resume his pass-rushing ways from 2009. Dumervil, if available at DL in your format, will be a Top 10 IDP lineman.

DL Jason Pierre-Paul, NYG (@WAS, STL, @PHI, @ARI) – The second-year pass-rush specialist is the latest supreme talent garnered by the Giants. Last season he came on strong in the final few weeks and could easily produce 12-15 sacks in 2011.

Digging Deeper

LB Karlos Dansby, MIA (NE, HOU, @CLE, @SD) – A stalwart IDP producer in Arizona, Dansby had a down season transitioning to the Dolphins scheme last season. I think he’s ready for a bounce-back year, and makes an excellent LB3/D-flex player.

DB Donte Whitner, SF (SEA, DAL, @CIN, @PHI) – Whitner will continue to get plenty of opportunities for the Niners, although it’ll be hard to repeat his outlandish tackle numbers from 2010. He’s a solid DB2 with upside.

Scouring The Barrel

LB Daryl Washington, ARI (CAR, @WAS, @SEA, NYG) – An IDP sleeper if there ever was one, Washington played well in his rookie year and figures to be a big part of the Cards’ run-stopping efforts in 2011. I’ve targeted him as a final IDP pick in just about all my drafts.

DB Abram Elam, DAL (@NYJ, @SF, WAS, DET) – It’s hard to say how Elam will factor into Rob Ryan’s aggressive scheme, but with the Cowboys corners hurting, there’s a good chance he’ll be active as a roving tackler for the first few weeks of the season.