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 11
11/15/11 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 ()


Off The Top

Carson Palmer, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – Owning and deploying Palmer is not for the squeamish. The soon-to-be 32-year old veteran QB has thrown seven INTs in about 10 quarters of football this season. But he’s also tossed five TDs in his last two games, and he’s got a bunch of speedy receivers who can take it to the house. The schedule over the next four weeks is a favorable one, and with multiple injury/bye week issues plaguing his contemporaries in Week 11, he’s not a terrible option.

Digging Deeper

Rex Grossman, WAS (DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE) – Mike Shanahan named Grossman the starter this past week and said he’s got the job against Dallas. He’s not a lock for a decent game – far from it – but he’s one of the better options out there among universally available QBs.

Matt Leinart, HOU (BYE, @JAC, ATL, @CIN) – The injury to Matt Schaub (presumably a Lisfranc) seems like a bad one, so Leinart will undoubtedly get the Week 12 start once the Texans come off their bye. He’s worth a look in deeper formats if you lost Schaub or Michael Vick, who’s dealing with broken ribs.

Scouring The Barrel

Vince Young, PHI (@NYG, NE, @SEA, @MIA) – Yeah – Vick has broken ribs, and that’s why he looked so terrible in the Arizona game. There’s no timetable set and we don’t know much about when he’ll be available, but it looks like Young will get the nod against the Giants.

Tyler Palko, KC (@NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ) – The injury to Matt Cassel’s hand is serious enough that the Chiefs are talking IR, which means Palko is the default starting QB. He’s an unknown commodity at this point and the schedule looks awfully tough, but that doesn’t mean he can’t surprise some folks.


Tim Tebow, DEN (NYJ, @SD, @MIN, CHI) – Tebow produced solid fantasy numbers in Week 10, as expected, but attempted a mere eight passes and completed just two. Fortunately for his owners, one was a game breaking bonus TD to Eric Decker. The matchup with the Jets looms large as a difficult test for this one-dimensional offense.

Andy Dalton, CIN (@BAL, CLE, @PIT, HOU) – The rookie wasn’t all that sharp in the loss to Pittsburgh, but the windy weather and tough opponent are good excuses. Unfortunately, neither of those factors promises to get much more favorable in the coming weeks.

Matt Moore, MIA (BUF, @DAL, OAK, PHI) – Moore’s performance (209-0-1, fumble) was sufficient for a Miami win, but abysmal in fantasy terms. That said, he’s not a terrible play at home in Week 10 against the Bills if you’re stuck with one of the several injured or bye week QBs.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE (JAC, @CIN, BAL, @PIT) – He’s not much of a game breaker and the upcoming games don’t instill much confidence, but he’s the main ball carrier as long as Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty (both ruled out for Week 11) remain on the shelf.

Kendall Hunter, SF (ARI, @BAL, STL, @ARI) – The info on Frank Gore’s injuries (knee, ankle) has been somewhat dubious, so it’s best to scoop up Hunter if he’s still available in your leagues.

Marion Barber, CHI (SD, @OAK, KC, @DEN) – After three inactive games and sparse usage to begin the season, Barber has 39 carries, 128 yards and three TDs in his last four games. He should be owned in all formats as a deep flex/Matt Forte handcuff.

Digging Deeper

Lance Ball, DEN (NYJ, @SD, @MIN, CHI) – The Broncos are a running team, in case you missed Sunday’s game. With Knowshon Moreno (torn ACL) out for the remainder of the season and Willis McGahee nursing multiple injuries, Ball becomes a must-own back in 12-team leagues. It’s obvious this crew will do anything to grind out a win, and that game plan includes Ball – who had 30 carries for 96 yards against the Chiefs.

Scouring The Barrel

Kevin Smith, DET (CAR, GB, @NO, MIN) – It’s unclear if Jahvid Best will play from here on out, but picking up Smith shows they aren’t totally committed to the Maurice Morris plan. Smith, who had four carries for 19 yards and a couple catches on Sunday, could see significant work once he gets back in the offensive mix.

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – The Falcons have stepped up Rodgers’ role in the last couple weeks, and it’s clear the undersized back is talented enough to break off a big run here and there. He could be a sneaky add who might pay off big if something befalls Michael Turner.


Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@STL, WAS, PHI, STL) – Lynch showed once again that he’s a big game player by rushing for 109 yards and a TD while hauling in 5-58-0 – his best fantasy performance of the year in a tough matchup that resulted in a win over Baltimore.

Ben Tate, HOU (BYE, @JAC, ATL, @CIN) – For the second straight week, Tate had an excellent game despite huge numbers from backfield mate Arian foster. With Matt Schaub out with a significant foot injury, Tate will be even more fantasy relevant.

Roy Helu, WAS (DAL, @SEA, NYJ, NE) – Helu’s fairytale Week 9 wasn’t to be repeated, but he did have 41 rushing yards and three catches for minimal yardage, making him an okay RB3 in PPR leagues.

Chris Ivory, NO (BYE, NYG, DET, @TEN) – With Mark Ingram back, Ivory (hamstring) was held out of Sunday’s game.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Denarius Moore, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – He’s the obvious top add this week after his monster game in Week 10. I just feel bad for not including him last week, because I did as a bonus sleeper pick in my Monday Night Musings column at’s Insider. Sorry, folks.

WR Laurent Robinson, DAL (@WAS, MIA, @ARI, NYG) – I had him here in my Week 9 column and updated him last week, but if you haven’t gotten the message, PICK UP LAURENT ROBINSON!

Digging Deeper

TE Scott Chandler, BUF (@MIA, @NYJ, TEN, @SD) – I like Chandler’s matchups down the stretch; he should resume getting looks in the red zone as the Bills start finishing off some more drives against weaker opponents.

WR Earl Bennett, CHI (SD, @OAK, KC, @DEN) – In two games since coming back from injury, Bennett has recorded 11-176-1. He’s a favorite of Cutler’s and makes a solid WR3 in 12-team formats.

WR Vincent Brown, SD (@CHI, DEN, @JAC, BUF) – Like Bennett, Brown has made a big impact the last two weeks, hauling in 9-176-1. The Week 10 matchup against the Bears poses a unique challenge, as last week Titus Young and Nate Burleson each outscored Calvin Johnson in PPR leagues.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Harry Douglas, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – If Julio Jones misses any time, Douglas should continue to see targets. The veteran receiver drew single coverage and caught eight passes for 133 yards on 14 targets.


WR Julio Jones, ATL (TEN, MIN, @HOU, @CAR) – As mentioned above, Jones reinjured his hamstring in Week 10 and finished with just two catches for minimal yardage. Stay tuned.

WR Torrey Smith, BAL (CIN, SF, @CLE, IND) – The Ravens couldn’t break through against the Seahawks, and Smith hauled in just three receptions for 28 receiving yards.

WR David Nelson, BUF (@MIA, @NYJ, TEN, @SD) – Nelson drew attention for handing his TD ball to a Cowboys cheerleader (his girlfriend) and may have pissed off some folks in Buffalo, but he certainly made his fantasy owners happy with the 4-31-1 line. As a WR3, he did his job.

WR Steve Breaston, KC (@NE, PIT, @CHI, @NYJ) – With Matt Cassel injured, Breaston’s value takes a huge hit. He’s a marginal play in the coming weeks.

WR Jacoby Ford, OAK (@MIN, CHI, @MIA, @GB) – After a monster Week 9, Ford injured his foot and could miss significant time. He doesn’t have any value at the moment.

WR Damian Williams, TEN (@ATL, TB, @BUF, NO) – Williams improved on his Week 9 numbers with 5-107-1, a line that included a 43-yard TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck.


Off The Top

DL Ndamukong Suh, DET (CAR, GB, @NO, MIN) – Suh has been noticeably quiet this season (27 tackles, 3.0 sacks, PD in nine games), but it’s about time for him to break out and help the Lions win some games. Through seven games last season, he already notched 28 tackles, an INT, TD and 6.5 sacks. The Detroit offense is explosive, but the defense has been preventing them from winning more games. He’ll be counted on during the next few matchups.

Digging Deeper

LB Rob Ninkovich, NE (KC, @PHI, IND, @WAS) – The display that Ninkovich put on Sunday night (five total tackles, two PD, two INTs, TD) was testament enough that he should be owned in most IDP formats. He’ll have plenty of chances to make some big plays in the next couple weeks.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Cedric Griffin, MIN (OAK, @ATL, DEN, @DET) – It’s a mixed bag in the next four matchups, but I like the tilts with Oakland and Detroit. Griffin should be active in both games and stands a good chance to pick up some PDs and a pick or two. He’s long overdue in the INT department.


DL Trent Cole, PHI (@NYG, NE, @SEA, @MIA) – Cole’s numbers were decent – four solos and a sack – but he’s not the same player he was in the Jim Johnson defense.

LB Daryl Washington, ARI (@SF, @STL, DAL, SF) – The TCU alum posted nine solos and a sack in the stirring victory over the Eagles. He’s a solid LB2.

DB Joe Haden, CLE (JAC, @CIN, BAL, @PIT) – Haden had his best fantasy numbers since Week 1, posting four solos and three PD in the loss to St. Louis.