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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 4
9/25/12 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

Andy Dalton, CIN (@JAC, MIA, @CLE, PIT) – Dalton (73 percent owned) didn’t throw the first TD pass of the game, but he threw for 328-3-1 and led the Bengals to a victory over the Redskins. The Cincy offense looked downright explosive and Dalton could be making the necessary steps to be considered for week-to-week starting duty in some formats.

Digging Deeper

Christian Ponder, MIN (@DET, TEN, @WAS, ARI) – The Vikings manhandled the 49ers and Ponder was the offensive star, hooking up with his young TE for two scores. The upcoming matchups portend a world of fabulous fantasy possibilities and he’s available in about two-thirds of fantasy leagues.

Jake Locker, TEN (@HOU, @MIN, PIT, @BUF) – Like Ponder, Locker is a mobile young QB who’s starting to show off his big-play ability. He’s owned in just 30 percent of fantasy leagues and could be of value as a bye-week-worthy backup and spot starter.

Russell Wilson, SEA (@STL, @CAR, NE, @SF) – Monday night’s debacle aside, Wilson has done an excellent job for a rookie QB. He didn’t play a flawless game against the Packers (and the second TD was a gift), but he’s in line for some decent matchups and short fields based on how well the Seattle defense is playing.

Scouring The Barrel

Shaun Hill, DET (MIN, BYE, @PHI, @CHI) – Starting QB Matthew Stafford was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and Hill tossed a couple TD passes and threw for 172 yards in limited duty. He’s a capable NFL QB and could be relevant if there’s anything to the Stafford injury. An MRI (scheduled for Stafford on Monday) will give us some indication whether or not Hill should be added to rosters and whether or not he’ll start Week 4 against the Vikings.


Carson Palmer, OAK (@DEN, BYE, @ATL, JAC) – All things considered, Palmer had a solid game against a tough opponent (24-for-34, 209-3-1) but may have lost Darrius Heyward-Bey for multiple weeks following a scary collision. Stay tuned.

Sam Bradford, STL (SEA, ARI, @MIA, GB) – Bradford turned in a real stinker against the Bears, completing just 18 of 35 pass attempts for 152 yards, no TDs and two INTs. He’s facing some tough matchups in the coming weeks.

Kevin Kolb, ARI (MIA, @STL, BUF, @MIN) – Kolb had another impressive outing void of turnovers, tossing for 222-2-0. He’s got a handle on the starting gig for now and could still be worth a pickup in deeper leagues.

Running Backs

Off The Top

Mikel Leshoure, DET (MIN, BYE, @PHI, @CHI) – Leshoure wrested the starting job from Kevin Smith and got lots of work Sunday (134 total yards, TD) in the loss to the Titans. He’s available in just fewer than 50 percent of leagues and should be the top back added this week off the wire if he’s out there.

Ryan Williams, ARI (MIA, @STL, BUF, @MIN) – The second-year back didn’t find paydirt in Week 3, but he’s the best RB option in Arizona and should be considered a decent RB3 with upside. Williams (47 percent owned) probably won’t get much competition from Beanie Wells if he and the Cards keep rolling.

Digging Deeper

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL (CAR, @WAS, OAK, BYE) – Rodgers didn’t earn the start despite Michael Turner’s DWI arrest, but he’s in line for consistent touches this season and should be owned in all 12-team formats. His Sunday rushing totals weren’t all that impressive, but he added 5-35-1 receiving to make it a productive day.

Daniel Thomas, MIA (@ARI, @CIN, STL, BYE) – The injury to Reggie Bush means a healthy Thomas could be the new back to own in Miami. Keep and eye on Reggie’s status heading into Week 4, because the next couple matchups could be interesting. The latest word is that Bush has avoided major injury, but I’m making a claim on Thomas tonight in the league where I own Reggie, who is reported to miss just one game at the most.

Scouring The Barrel

Danny Woodhead, NE (@BUF, DEN, @SEA, NYJ) – Woodhead is still used to grind out tough yards and in goal line situations, and while he’s never going to have huge value, he’s a capable bye week fill-in who can pay dividends in deeper leagues.

Tashard Choice, BUF (NE, @SF, @ARI, TEN) – C.J. Spiller left Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury and Choice stepped in, rushing for 91 yards on 20 carries. He’s probably the second-best RB addition this week if the injury to Spiller is serious. Keep any eye out for updates. Choice will likely get the start this week against New England, and Spiller is expected to miss at least one week, according to HC Chan Gailey.


Pierre Thomas, NO (@GB, SD, BYE, @TB) – Thomas had a TD reception taken away but still combined for 66 total yards in the devastating loss to KC. He’s probably the second-best fantasy option in their backfield behind Darren Sproles (and ahead of Mark Ingram), but he’s getting more involved as the weeks progress.

Andre Brown, NYG (@PHI, CLE, @SF, WAS) – Brown’s huge Thursday night performance allows fantasy owners to start him with confidence the next couple weeks if Ahmad Bradshaw can’t go.

Daryl Richardson, STL (SEA, ARI, @MIA, GB) – The “other” Richardson was relatively quiet with Steven Jackson back in action and the Rams struggling to move the ball offensively. He’s just a blip on the fantasy radar at this point.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

WR Nate Washington, TEN (@HOU, @MIN, PIT, @BUF) – The veteran receiver caught just three passes on Sunday, but one was a spectacular 71-yard TD in the fourth quarter from Locker. He’s now got a couple TDs in three games and could be targeted more if TE Jared Cook is forced to miss any time with his shoulder injury

WR Titus Young, DET (MIN, BYE, @PHI, @CHI) – Young hasn’t set the world on fire thus far, but he had an excellent Week 3, largely due to a desperation heave that he hauled in for a TD as time expired to send the game into Overtime. He’ll be tough to count on every week, but Week 3 was a step forward.

Digging Deeper

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN (@DET, TEN, @WAS, ARI) – Rudolph (48 percent owned) has drawn comparisons to Rob Gronkowski and Sunday proved he deserves some red zone recognition. He’s the top TE add for Week 4 and should be owned in most 12-team formats after his 5-36-2 performance on Sunday.

WR Nate Burleson, DET (MIN, BYE, @PHI, @CHI) – He keeps getting it done and from a PPR perspective, he’s worth considering as a WR3 in some weeks. Burleson had 10-69-1 in the loss to TEN and usually benefits from Megatron double-teams.

Scouring The Barrel

WR Cecil Shorts, JAC (CIN, CHI, BYE, @OAK) – He’s a big-play receiver who‘s not targeted all that often, but he found the end zone again in Week 3 on an 80-yard bomb from Blaine Gabbert. I can’t justify dropping proven fantasy commodities to pick him up, but you might not have that problem.

WR T.Y. Hilton, IND (BYE, GB, @NYJ, CLE) – Hilton’s breakout Week 3 performance (4-113-1) was capped by a 40-yard TD and overshadowed by the Gabbert-Shorts bomb, but the risk/reward rookie was targeted eight times by Luck and is worth adding in 12-team and deeper leagues.


WR Danny Amendola, STL (SEA, ARI, @MIA, GB) – He didn’t score, but 5-66-0 isn’t bad for PPR leagues, especially considering how sluggish the STL offense was in Week 3.

WR Andrew Hawkins, CIN (@JAC, MIA, @CLE, PIT) – I was intrigued by Hawkins speed after Week 1 and he didn’t disappoint in Week 3, hauling in a 59-yard TD en route to a 2-66-1 day. He won’t be available in too many leagues after this week.

TE Martellus Bennett, NYG (@PHI, CLE, @SF, WAS) – Bennett posted 6-73-1 in the win over Carolina, and his owners should be happy folks. You’re welcome, America.

TE Dante Rosario, SD (@KC, @NO, DEN, BYE) – As expected, Rosario went quiet in Week 3, fumbling away his only reception in the loss to Atlanta.

WR Donnie Avery, IND (BYE, GB, @NYJ, CLE) – Luck looked elsewhere for his big plays, but at least 2-28-0 isn’t a goose egg.


Off The Top

DL J.J. Watt, HOU (TEN, @NYJ, GB, BAL) – I doubt many IDPers aren’t aware of this guy (81 percent owned), but just in case, I’m including him here. Watt is poised for huge numbers this season and already has 15 total tackles and 5.5 sacks in three games. It’s also worth mentioning that I was all over him as an upper tier guy in my rankings this season.

LB Donald Butler, SD (@KC, @NO, DEN, BYE) – Butler is emerging as the best IDP option on his team. He had 12 total tackles on Sunday and should continue to produce in the coming weeks.

Digging Deeper

DB Kyle Arrington, NE (@BUF, DEN, @SEA, NYJ) – The Pats were victimized by some terrible calls in the fourth quarter on Sunday night, eclipsing what was a solid performance from Arrington, who made seven solo tackles. He’s worth consideration in deeper IDP formats.

DL Muhammad Wilkerson, NYJ (SF, HOU. IND, @NE) – Wilkerson has been racking up tackles (14 total this season) and should continue to produce given the upcoming matchups. He’s an IDP sleeper for sure, but one who’ll be consistent enough without piling up sacks.

Scouring The Barrel

LB Russell Allen, JAC (CIN, CHI, BYE, @OAK) – Allen has 31 total tackles (22 solos) through three games and should be owned in all IDP formats. ‘Nuff said.

DB Atari Bigby, SD (@KC, @NO, DEN, BYE) – Bigby has returned to IDP relevance and posted 15 total tackles Sunday in the loss to Atlanta. It could be a busy year for Atari.


DB Dawan Landry, JAC (CIN, CHI, BYE, @OAK) – Landry had five total tackles on Sunday. Not bad, but not all that exciting.

LB Mason Foster, TB (WAS, BYE, KC, NO) – Foster followed up a productive Week 2 with eight total tackles (seven solos) against Dallas – a solid performance without frills.

DL Matt Shaughnessy, OAK (@DEN, BYE, @ATL, JAC) – He’s been missing from the box score for a couple weeks now, although his run-stopping presence was felt against the Steelers.

DB Patrick Peterson, ARI (MIA, @STL, BUF, @MIN) – He’s a risk/reward guy, and Week 3 didn’t return much on the investment (one solo).

LB Jerrell Freeman, IND (BYE, GB, @NYJ, CLE) – Freeman had eleven solo tackles and two assists on Sunday, giving him 27 total tackles on the season.

DL Tyson Alualu, JAC (CIN, CHI, BYE, @OAK) – Just two tackles in Sunday’s win over indy. Keep him on your radar.