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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 7
10/16/12 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

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 approach.

Digging Deeper

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.

Mark 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

Jake Locker, TEN (@BUF, IND, CHI, @MIA) – Update: The Titans have announced that Hasselbeck will get the start in Week 7 against the Bills, but it’s only a matter of a week or two before Locker’s non-throwing shoulder is healthy. He should be monitored in deeper leagues.

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.

Josh 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 scoring leagues.

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.

Running Backs

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.

LeGarrette 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.

Digging Deeper

Daryl 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.

Felix Jones, DAL (@CAR, NYG, @ATL, @PHI) – Update: With DeMarco Murray’s foot sprain likely to keep him out at least a week or two (he’s doubtful for Week 7), Jones (105 total yards and a TD in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore) will likely get the start at Carolina. From there, it’s guesswork, but Jones is still a capable back who can step up when needed.

Montario 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

Mike 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.

Joe 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) – Update: Jones left the game Sunday briefly with cramps, and Tanner ran well in his absence. As bad as the Carolina run defense is, Tanner could see some action Sunday, including some goal line work.


Donald 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.

Rashard Mendenhall, PIT (@CIN, WAS, @NYG, KC) – Update: Thursday’s game offered little value to Mendenhall owners (six carries, 6 yards and 1-11-0 receiving) as Isaac Redman was the star in the Pittsburgh backfield. Now, Mendenhall is dealing with a minor Achilles injury that could mean more touches for Jonathan Dwyer in Week 7.

David 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.

Alex 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.

Alfonso Smith/William Powell/LaRod 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.

Ryan Grant, WAS (@NYG, @PIT, CAR, BYE) – He didn’t record an offensive touch in Week 6, but stay tuned.

Dion 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.

Digging Deeper

WR Kendall 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.

WR Donnie 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.


TE Kyle 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.

WR Robert Meachem, SD (BYE, @CLE, KC, @TB) – Update: Philip Rivers hit up Antonio Gates for two TDs and tossed a couple balls Malcom Floyd’s way, but Meacham only caught 3-30-0 on his seven targets.

WR Michael 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.

WR Devery Henderson, NO (@TB, @DEN, PHI, ATL) – Henderson was on a Week 6 bye but stay tuned going forward as Lance Moore is still dinged up.

WR Josh 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!

WR Michael 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 the guy.

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.

Digging Deeper

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.

DB Ryan 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.


LB Stephen 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.

DB Mark 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.

DL Kyle 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.

DL Michael Bennett, TB (NO, @MIN, @OAK, SD) – Just two solo tackles for Bennett as the Bucs didn’t record a single sack of Brady Quinn.

LB Bradie 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.

DB Mike Adams, DEN (BYE, NO, @CIN, @CAR) – Update: Despite a few early coverage errors, the Broncos safety finished with seven solo tackles, forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Not bad!

LB Nigel 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.