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
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF (TEN, BYE, @HOU, @NE) – Fitzpatrick
throws a lot of interceptions, but the unadventurous version of
RFP is a weak fantasy performer. Here’s to hoping that Week
7 at Tennessee is filled with aggressive throws and one of those
crooked stat lines we all love.
Carson Palmer, OAK (JAC, KC, TB, @BAL) – Palmer and Fitzpatrick
are both available in about a third of fantasy leagues, and while
Palmer has better receiving weapons and will continue to air it
out this season, the Jaguars might offer a chance for a more conservative
Sam Bradford, STL (GB, NE, BYE, @SF) – Bradford isn’t
a great start against the surging Packers, but he has some upside.
It’s just one of those games that could turn into a turnover
fest for the Rams.
Sanchez, NYJ (@NE, MIA, BYE, @SEA) – The Jets are running
the ball effectively and Sanchez has looked a little better on
his throws. This isn’t a ringing endorsement, but owners with
Michael Vick, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan on byes
could do worse than a spot start for Sanchez against the Patriots.
Scouring The Barrel
Locker, TEN (@BUF, IND, CHI, @MIA) –
Blaine Gabbert, JAC (@OAK, @GB, DET, IND) – It’s
been a horrendous season for Gabbert so far, but if you’re
in a bye week pickle, at least this is a favorable matchup. My
apologies if you’re forced to start him.
Alex Smith, SF (SEA, @ARI, BYE, STL) – Smith was my worst
fantasy call of the week, putting up a veritable goose egg for
fantasy owners (200-0-3) with his three-INT, no-TD performance.
Freeman, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Freeman was the third-highest
scoring QB behind Aaron Rodegrs and RG3 in Week 6, finishing with
328-3-1. He’s got some decent matchups on the upcoming schedule
and is starting to develop some rapport with Vincent Jackson.
Christian Ponder, MIN (ARI, TB, @SEA, DET) – Ponder also
managed to put together a decent fantasy day, thanks to some late
TDs. He had just a 83.2 QB rating on Sunday, but helped fantasy
owners to the tune of 352-2-2 – 23 fantasy points in standard
Russell Wilson, SEA (@SF, @DET, MIN, NYJ) – Wilson’s
Sunday QB rating (133.7) was just a notch below Rodgers (133.8),
despite a six-TD game from last year’s MVP. Wilson had 293-3-0
in the comeback win over the Patriots and is shaping up to be
a decent QB2 with starter upside in the right matchups.
Brandon Weeden, CLE (@IND, SD, BAL, BYE) – Weeden filled
in admirably for a few fantasy owners saddled with their QBs on
Week 6 byes, putting up 231-2-1 in the win over Cincy.
Off The Top
Shonn Greene, NYJ (@NE, MIA, BYE, @SEA) – He’s not
available in many leagues (82-86 percent owned), but over half
his owners benched him in Week 6, when he turned in 161 rushing
yards and three TDs. Yikes.
Blount, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Doug Martin had a much better
game this week, but Blount was still involved, carrying the ball
seven time for 58 rushing yards and a score.
Richardson, STL (GB, NE, BYE, @SF) – Steven Jackson had 12
carries for 52 rushing yards and 3-28-0 receiving, but Richardson
added 76 rushing yards on 11 carries and 2-23-0, equaling Jackson’s
fantasy production. We could have a time-share moving forward
in St. Louis.
Jones, DAL (@CAR, NYG, @ATL, @PHI) –
Hardesty, CLE (@IND, SD, BAL, BYE) – Trent Richardson left
the Week 6 game early because of a flank injury (back, ribs, side),
opening the door for Hardesty, who ran for 56 yards and a TD on
15 carries. While Richardson has been a workhorse for the Browns,
they’ll likely give Hardesty more touches this week against the
Colts, who the Jets gashed for 252 rushing yards.
Scouring The Barrel
Goodson, OAK (JAC, @KC, TB, @BAL) – A versatile back who spells
Darren McFadden, Goodson had 96 yards on just five offensive touches
on Sunday against the Falcons. He should be owned in all deep
leagues but isn’t worth too much unless something happens to Run-DMC.
McKnight, NYJ (@NE, MIA, BYE, @SEA) – It’s unlikely that McKnight
ever gets the requisite number of touches to be a fantasy force,
but he’s not a bad deep-league flex and could surprise with a
big play on occasion.
Phillip Tanner, DAL (@CAR, NYG, @ATL, @PHI) –
Brown, IND (CLE, @TEN, MIA, @JAC) – Wednesday afternoon brought
disturbing news to Donald Brown owners, who were blindsided by
the report that Brown will miss about three weeks following a
scope to clean up knee cartilage. There had been no indication
he was injured on his final touch of Week 5.
Mendenhall, PIT (@CIN, WAS, @NYG, KC) –
Wilson, NYG (WAS, @DAL, PIT, @CIN) – Wilson had some nice
carries on Sunday and finished with 35 rushing yards on his seven
touches. He should be rostered in most 12-team leagues.
Green, GB (@STL, JAC, ARI, BYE) – He didn’t find the end zone
with the Packers receivers hogging all the limelight, but 73 total
yards shows he’s the best option to replace Benson’s presence
for the Pack.
Stephens-Howling, ARI (@MIN, SF, @GB, BYE) – Powell did the
best job of the Cards RBs, finishing with 70 rushing yards on
13 carries (1-8-0 receiving), while LSH had just 22 yards on 11
carries and no receptions.
Grant, WAS (@NYG, @PIT, CAR, BYE) – He didn’t record an offensive
touch in Week 6, but stay tuned.
Lewis, PHI (ATL, @NO, DAL, @WAS) – I hope there’s something
to those rumors, because Lewis could be a big help to any team
willing to give him a shot.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
WR Mike Williams, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Williams has
8-225-1 in his last two games on 14 targets and makes an excellent
WR2 facing the Saints in Week 7. He’s still available in
about 40 percent of fantasy leagues.
TE Scott Chandler, BUF (TEN, BYE, @HOU, @NE) – This week
Chandler faces the Titans, a team that’s struggled to contain
opposing TEs. Give him a shot.
WR Denarius Moore, OAK (JAC, @KC, TB, @BAL) – Moore was
ranked pretty high on pre-summer draft boards before a hamstring
injury, well… hamstrung him. He’s back on track and
averaging 71.8 yards in the last four games.
Wright, TEN (@BUF, IND, CHI, @MIA) – Kenny Britt scored a
TD and Nate Washington saw more targets than Wright (11, 10 and
8 respectively) on Thursday night, but the rookie led the team
in receptions and receiving yards with 6-71-0. He makes a decent
flex play in deeper formats in Week 7.
Avery, IND (CLE, @TEN, MIA, @JAC) – I love the matchup against
the Browns and it’s obvious that Avery is a popular target for
Andrew Luck (47 targets in five games this season).
TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC (@OAK, @GB, DET, IND) – Lewis will
get a TD in Week 7 against the Raiders. Mark it down.
Scouring The Barrel
WR Brandon Gibson, STL (GB, NE, BYE, @SF) – A friendly
matchup and improved consistency make Gibson a good plug-n-play
for Week 7.
TE Kellen Davis, CHI (DET, CAR, @TEN, HOU) – Like Lewis,
Davis has a good matchup and could sneak into the end zone against
a vulnerable Lions defense.
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA (@SF, @DET, MIN, NYJ) – It’s
tough to figure out who’ll get the big plays in Seattle
from week to week, but Baldwin has made the most of limited opportunities
and the challenge of facing the Niners in Week 7 could mean more
looks his way.
Rudolph, MIN (ARI, TB, @SEA, DET) – It’s tough to top a two-TD
game, but Rudolph came close with his 6-56-1 performance Sunday,
when he also added a two-point conversion catch and finished as
the best TE play of Week 6.
Meachem, SD (BYE, @CLE, KC, @TB) –
Floyd, ARI (@MIN, SF, @GB. BYE) – Just 1-24-0 in the loss
to Buffalo, a team that usually yield bigger numbers to opposing
WRs. Tough one.
Henderson, NO (@TB, @DEN, PHI, ATL) – Henderson was on a Week
6 bye but stay tuned going forward as Lance Moore is still dinged
Gordon, CLE (@IND, SD, BAL, BYE) – Both Gordon and Jenkins
(below) finished as Top 15 WRs in Week 6 (standard scoring) with
the rookie hauling in a 71-yard TD from Brandon Weeden and 3-99-1
on the day. What a call!
Jenkins, MIN (ARI, TB, @SEA, DET) – Jenkins came on strong
in the fourth quarter and caught his first touchdown of the season
in the Week 6 loss to the Redskins. I even plug-n-played him in
one 14-team league instead of Domenik Hixon, who was listed higher
on every major media ranking but finished without a TD. Bold moves,
folks. Bold moves.
Off The Top
DL Cliff Avril, DET (@CHI, SEA, @JAC, @MIN) – The talented
pass rusher broke through with four solos and 2.0 sacks against
the Eagles and should continue posting good numbers against the
Bears in Week 7. The next couple weeks will be tough, but if you’re
looking for a one-week fill-in at your DL spot, Avril could be
LB Larry Foote, PIT (@CIN, WAS, @NYG, KC) – Foote has at
least six total tackles in every game this season and makes a
decent LB2 facing the Bengals this week. The veteran is a reliable
contributor on this excellent defense.
LB Vontaze Burfict, CIN (PIT, BYE, DEN, NYG) – Burfict
continues his improbable rise to IDP fame and now has 28 total
tackles in his last four games. He’s a good bet for 6-10
tackles against the Steelers.
Clark, PIT (@CIN, WAS, @NYG, KC) – With Troy Polamalu done
for a while, Clark is the best bet among the secondary to replace
him in the stat lines. The Bengals have been throwing across the
middle of the field quite a bit this season.
Scouring The Barrel
DL Kevin Williams, MIN (ARI, TB, @SEA, DET) – The veteran
DL has a favorable matchup this week; he should bull-rush his
way to some decent fantasy numbers against the Cards.
DB Madieu Williams, WAS (@NYG, @PIT, CAR, BYE) – Williams
showed off his playmaking skills on Sunday with a pick-six, but
he’s been consistent this season and should be owned in
more fantasy leagues. He’ll have plenty of opportunities
this week against the Giants.
Tulloch, DET (@CHI, SEA, @JAC, @MIN) – Tulloch made eight
tackles (seven solos) and recovered a fumble on Sunday, his best
IDP numbers of 2012. Off to a good start.
Barron, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Barron had the best game
of his young career, making eight total tackles (six solos) and
notching a PD and INT in the win over the Chiefs.
Williams, BUF (TEN, BYE, @HOU, @NE) – It was Mario, not Kyle,
who got to the quarterback in Arizona, but the big DT did register
a PD in the win.
Bennett, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Just two solo tackles for
Bennett as the Bucs didn’t record a single sack of Brady Quinn.
James, HOU (BAL, BYE, BUF, @CHI) – James had trouble diagnosing
coverage help pre-snap and the bump-and-run wasn’t working out
for the Texans. He had six total tackles, but it’s clear the Texans
aren’t the same defense without Brian Cushing.
Adams, DEN (BYE, NO, @CIN, @CAR) –
Bradham, BUF (TEN, BYE, @HOU, @NE) – Bradham has been playing
well in limited duty (three total tackles on Sunday) and could
be in line for more defensive snaps.