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.
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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 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 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
Tim Tebow, DEN (@KC, NYJ, @SD, @MIN) – He still wasn’t
all that accurate (10-for-21), but Tebow tallied 117 rushing yards
and threw for 124-2-0 in the decisive win over the Raiders. Against
more sophisticated defenses (like the Jets in Week 11, for instance),
he’ll struggle, but it appears there’s definitely
a place for Tebow from a fantasy perspective.
Andy Dalton, CIN (PIT, @BAL, CLE, @PIT) – I keep putting
him in this column, but nobody seems to be listening, because
he’s still available in almost two thirds of fantasy leagues.
On Sunday, he had his best game thus far, tossing three TD passes
among his 217 yards, but the next few matchups are awfully tough.
Scouring The Barrel
Moore, MIA (WAS, BUF, @DAL, OAK) – Moore had his best game
of the season, completing 17 of 23 passes for 244 yards and three
TDs. If Moore can work out his problems connecting with Brandon
Marshall, he could turn some heads in the second half.
Josh Freeman, TB (HOU, @GB, @TEN, CAR) – Freeman passed
for 281 yards and didn’t throw an INT, but had just one
TD. He’s a good backup to have, but not a fantasy starter
at this point.
Carson Palmer, OAK (@SD, @MIN, CHI, @MIA) – Palmer wound
up with 332-3-3 in the wild loss to the Broncos. He’ll need
to take better care of the football to be a trustworthy option,
because the Broncos aren’t a formidable defense, but the
next couple matchups look decent from a fantasy perspective.
Matt Cassel, KC (DEN, @NE, PIT, @CHI) – Though he passed
for 253 yards, Cassel couldn’t break through with a score,
failing to take full advantage of a weak Miami pass defense. He
could be a decent start in Week 10 against the Broncos, who yielded
three TDs to Palmer.
Off The Top
Marshawn Lynch, SEA (BAL, @STL, WAS, PHI) – Lynch had a
solid game in a losing effort, finishing as the third-highest
scoring RB for Week 9 with 135 rushing yards and a TD. Next week
seems like a bad play, but so did the tilt with the Cowboys.
Tate, HOU (@TB, BYE, @JAC, ATL) – Both Arian Foster and Tate
surpassed the 100-yard mark in Week 9; Tate rushed for 115 yards
and a TD on just 12 carries. Still out there in a bunch of leagues,
Tate could make an excellent RB3/flex in the right matchup.
Helu is the starter moving forward.
Roy Helu, WAS (@MIA, DAL, @SEA, NYJ) – I’ve been
telling you to pick this guy up. Helu broke out with a monster
PPR performance, hauling in 14 catches for 105 yards on 17 targets.
He also carried the ball 10 times for 41 yards and will be the
starter going forward.
Scouring The Barrel
Ivory, NO (@ATL, BYE, NYG, DET) – Pierre Thomas, who briefly
left Sunday’s game with a hip injury but later returned, had the
better day – but Ivory received the bulk of carries in just his
second game off the PUP list. He’s not a great option every week,
but his banging style suits certain opponents.
Reggie Bush, MIA (WAS, BUF, @DAL, OAK) – Bush tallied 142
total yards (92 rushing, 3-50-0 receiving) and a score on Sunday
in Miami’s first win of the season. Hopefully some of you
benefited from my recommendation.
Jacobs, NYG (@SF, PHI, @NO, GB) – With Ahmad Bradshaw inactive,
Jacobs got the bulk of the workload for the Giants, gaining 100
total yards (72 rushing, 4-28-0 receiving) and a score.
Ringer, TEN (@CAR, @ATL, TB, @BUF) – Ringer had just four
carries and one reception during the loss to Cincinnati, while
Chris Johnson finished with 110 total yards, just two fewer than
his season high.
Kevin Faulk, NE (@NYJ, KC, @PHI, IND) – Faulk was inactive
on Sunday. Stay tuned to the injury report this week.
Curtis Brinkley, SD (OAK, @CHI, DEN, @JAC) – Mike Tolbert was
healthy enough to start for the Chargers and Brinkley (concussion)
didn’t play. He’s still a good deep-league stash.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Jones, ATL (NO, TEN, MIN, @HOU) – Jones returned from injury
in a big way, exploding for 131 yards and two TDs on just three
catches. He was targeted four times and appears to be the big
play threat ion the Falcons offense – probably close to the diminishing
Roddy White as a solid WR2.
WR Torrey Smith, BAL (@SEA, CIN, SF, @CLE) – Smith was targeted
nine times and despite some mistakes, redeemed himself by going
for 5-71-1 and catching the game-winning TD. He’s been ignored
for his inconsistency, but this guy is a gamer.
WR David Nelson, BUF (@DAL, @MIA, @NYJ, TEN) – If not for
the late TD, Nelson’s day (4-36-1) wouldn’t have been
that special, but he’s still getting steady looks from Ryan
Fitzpatrick. He’s a good bench player with some upside.
WR Steve Breaston, KC (DEN, @NE, PIT, @CHI) – The Chiefs
were thoroughly beaten, but Breaston saw a season-high 11 targets
and hauled in 7-115-0. He’s worth adding in deeper formats
and could be a big player in the second half.
Scouring The Barrel
Ford, OAK (@SD, @MIN, CHI, @MIA) – Ford seems to have the
best rapport with Palmer, and while Denarius Moore saw 12 targets
and hauled in just four catches, Ford capitalized on his six targets
for 5-105-1. Not bad. He’s worth adding in deeper leagues.
Williams, TEN (@CAR, @ATL, TB, @BUF) – Williams stepped up
for 4-34-1 on seven targets after Nate Washington went down with
a hip injury. He could be in line for a lot more action if the
veteran receiver misses any time.
TE Scott Chandler, BUF (@DAL, @MIA, @NYJ, TEN) – Chandler
went for 3-24-0 in the loss to the Jets.
WR Lance Moore, NO (@ATL BYE, NYG, DET) – Despite just three
targets, Moore finished with 3-20-1. It wasn’t a huge day,
but an efficient one.
WR Michael Crabtree, SF (NYG, ARI, @BAL, STL) – Crabtree
didn’t get into the end zone, but had 5-51-0 and appears
to be the No. 1 WR in San Fran.
TE Brent Celek, PHI (ARI, @NYG, NE, @SEA) – Celek had another
solid game, seeing nine targets from Vick and finishing with 7-60-0.
Had the final dive reached the end zone, we might have seen a
WR Jonathan Baldwin, KC (DEN, @NE, PIT, @CHI) – Baldwin
had a quiet game with 1-12-0 and is only a spot play in the right
Robinson, DAL (BUF, @WAS, MIA, @ARI) – Robinson had 5-32-1
in the win over Seattle and stands to benefit from the Miles Austin
injury (out 2-4 weeks).
Young, DET (@CHI, CAR, GB, @NO) – The Lions were on a bye,
but I dig the Week 10 matchup. The Bears will likely shroud Calvin
Johnson and force Matthew Stafford to look in other directions.
Off The Top
DL Trent Cole, PHI (ARI, @NYG, NE, @SEA) – He’s had
a slow recovery from his calf injury and owners may be getting
impatient. The next few weeks, however, he’s primed for
decent matchups and should get back on track.
LB Daryl Washington, ARI (@PHI, @SF, @STL, DAL) – Washington
had a solid Week 9 hand draws a favorable matchup in Week 10 against
the Eagles. Get him in your lineup for the next three weeks.
Scouring The Barrel
DB Joe Haden, CLE (STL, JAC, @CIN, BAL) – Haden hasn’t
had any monster games since Week 1, when he knocked down five
passes and recorded a sack, but he’s been consistent and
is bound to snag at least couple picks in the next seven weeks.
LB James Harrison, PIT (@CIN, BYE, @KC, CIN) – Harrison
continued his history of stepping up big in primetime games, recording
eight tackles (all solos) and 3.0 sacks against the Ravens, making
him the highest-scoring LB of Week 9. Damn, I’m good.
Abraham, ATL (NO, TEN, MIN, @HOU) – I should’ve picked Carlos
Dunlap, who was one of my waiver wire selections this week in
one of my IDP leagues, but I went with Abraham, who essentially
whiffed in Week 9 (one assist).
Bailey, DEN (@KC, NYJ, @SD, @MIN) – Nailed this one. Bailey
had a couple solo tackles, two PD, a forced fumble and two INTs.
He was third among all DBs this week in fantasy points after pick
six aficionados Charlie Peprah and Tramon Williams.