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
Smith, KC (@DEN, SD, DEN, @WAS) – The matchup in Denver is
Smith’s most important game this season (so far), and he’s coming
off a helpful bye. Smith will probably have to throw the ball
to keep up with the Broncos offense, assuming Peyton Manning plays
through his injuries and suits up in this AFC West showdown.
Palmer, ARI (@JAC, IND, @PHI, STL) – Palmer hasn’t been great
this season (2,154-12-15), but the matchup with the Jags is a
favorable one. Give him a shot as a bye-week fill-in if you’re
a Tony Romo owner looking for a viable option.
Scouring The Barrel
Glennon, TB (ATL, @DET, @CAR, BUF) – I’ll update again after
Monday night’s game, but Glennon has been decent for fantasy owners
this season since taking over for Josh Freeman. He’s got seven
TD passes in his last four games.
Manning, NYG (GB, DAL, @WAS, @SD) – Since Week 1, Manning
has just seven TD passes in eight games. He had 140-1-1 on Sunday
but has more favorable matchups on the way. Still, he looked awful
against the Raiders.
Foles, PHI (WAS, BYE, ARI, DET) – Foles now has 16 TDs this
season and no INTs, though he did lose a fumble Sunday during
his 228-3-0 day. He also added 38 rushing yards and is playing
like a low-end QB1 right now.
Keenum, HOU (OAK, JAC, NE, @JAC) – Keenum has proved he’s
capable of running the Texans offense, connecting on short TD
passes to finish with 201-3-0 and a lost fumble. He’s still the
starter and has a few favorable matchups on the docket.
Wallace, GB (@NYG, MIN, @DET, ATL) – Wallace left the game
early with a groin injury after a decent start (5-5, 25 passing
yards) and was replaced by Scott
Tolzien, who proved Wallace could have been on pace for a
big day by posting 280-1-2 (19 rushing yards) in the loss. Tolzien
will start in Week 11.
Off The Top
Andre Brown, NYG (GB, DAL, @WAS, @SD) – Despite breaking
his leg in the preseason and being in his first game back, Brown
(50-75 percent owned) was a Top 10 Fantasy RB on Sunday. If he’s
still available, this workhorse is worth adding and plugging in
versus the Packers as a low-end RB2, high end RB3/flex.
Ingram, NO (SF, @ATL, @SEA, CAR) – Ingram finally got his
shot after weeks of inactivity, but it was in a blowout win over
the depleted Cowboys defense, which was without both DL Jason
Hatcher and LB Sean Lee, who left early in the game with a hamstring
injury. Ingram is a hard runner and boom-or-bust guy depending
on his use, but there might be a few matchups where he’s worthy
of a flex play.
Scouring The Barrel
Johnson, HOU (OAK, JAC, NE, @JAC) – The Texans running game
is in shambles, but Johnson is the obvious handcuff for Ben Tate
owners and Tate is nursing a painful rib issue.
Brian Leonard/Bobby Rainey, TB (ATL, @DET, @CAR, BUF) –
Tate, HOU (OAK, JAC, NE, @JAC) – Tate rushed for 56yards on
15 carries, adding 3-8-0 on five targets. With Arian Foster done
for the season, he’s the clear No. 1 RB for the Texans. See Johnson
above for a handcuff.
James, TB (ATL, @DET, @CAR, BUF) – Update coming Tuesday.
Ivory, NYJ (@BUF, @BAL, MIA, OAK) – Ivory was on a Week 10
bye and returns this week to face the Bills – a run defense that’s
gotten much better this season. I have a feeling it might be a
Bilal Powell type of day in Buffalo.
Jennings, OAK (@HOU, TEN, @DAL, @NYJ) – Jennings shouldered
the load capably (88 rushing yards, 2-19-0) in Darren McFadden’s
stead, and will probably get another start as RUN-DMC is likely
a couple weeks away from returning from a re-aggravated hamstring
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Off The Top
Boykin, GB (@NYG, MIN, @DET, ATL) – Regardless of who’s under
center for the Packers, Boykin will get looks because of the coverage
on deep threats Jordy Nelson and James Jones. He’s still out there
in about 40-50 percent of leagues.
Tavon Austin, STL (BYE, CHI, @SF, @ARI) – Austin’s
three monster TDs, including a 98-yard punt return and two bonus
TD receptions (57, 81) paced the Rams en route to a 38-8 drubbing
of the Colts. If this is a sign that Austin is starting to figure
things out or that the Rams know how to get him in space), he’s
worth adding in all formats. You can’t play him in Week
11 (bye), but on Sunday he looked like the player the Rams traded
up to snag in the draft.
Stills, NO (SF, @ATL, @SEA, CAR) – Stills got loose again
for along TD against the Cowboys, giving him 12-303-4 in his last
four games. There are much better options in PPR leagues, but
Stills makes a decent boom-or-bust flex play in scoring-dependent
Rishard Matthews, MIA (SD, CAR, @NYJ, @PIT) –
Pettigrew, DET (@PIT, TB, GB, @PHI) – Pettigrew has been consistent
if not great this season, making him a low-end TE2 in PPR leagues.
The Lions’ next few opponents have some shutdown cornerbacks who
could get Matthew Stafford looking off Calvin Johnson. Just an
Scouring The Barrel
Kearse, SEA (MIN, BYE, NO, @SF) – Kearse (2-5 percent owned)
is a deep-league add with some upside (3-75-1 on Sunday), but
don’t get too excited here – Percy Harvin is on his way back and
Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are the top two targets in Seattle
Carlson, MIN (@SEA, @GB, CHI, @BAL) – The veteran Carlson
(2-5 percent owned) takes over for Kyle Rudolph as the Minnesota
TE and one of a few Christian Ponder check-down options. He’ll
get his fair share of targets going forward and is worth a pickup
in two-TE leagues.
Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (DET, @CLE, @BAL, MIA) – Sanders
couldn’t get much going against the Bills finishing with
just 4-13-0 and 25 rushing yards.
Brown, BAL (@CHI, NYJ, PIT, MIN) – Brown had just one catch
for 10 yards and Joe Flacco targeted him just three times.
Riley Cooper, PHI (WAS, BYE, ARI, DET) – Cooper followed
up his career game with another excellent fantasy performance,
hauling in 3-102-2, courtesy of a couple long TDs (45, 32). Because
of his amazing rapport with Foles, Cooper’s playing like
a viable WR2 right now.
Jerricho Cotchery, PIT (DET, @CLE, @BAL, MIA) – Cotchery
caught another TD this week (2-31-1) and now has six TDs on the
season. Nobody saw this coming from the veteran wideout.
Off The Top
LB DeMeco Ryans, PHI (WAS, BYE, ARI, DET) – I pegged Ryans
as an undervalued LB in an IDP piece I did for in a preseason
fantasy mag, and so far, it’s been a good call. Ryans (40-60
percent owned in IDP leagues) now has 90 total tackles (72 solos)
this season as well as 2.0 sacks, two INTs and four PD. He’s
a high-end LB2 with lots of upside.
DB Eric Berry, KC (@DEN, SD, DEN, @WAS) – Berry’s
numbers have been pedestrian since Week 3, but I expect a big
game against the Broncos, when he’ll get a lot more field
time. If he
can stay away from the actual horses, he’ll be fine.
Williams, GB (@NYG, MIN, @DET, ATL) – Williams had his best
fantasy performance of the year on Sunday (7 tackles, 0.5 sacks,
FR) and faces the Giants next week. He could be this week’s Tracy
DL Sheldon Richardson, NYJ (@BUF, @BAL, MIA, OAK) – Richardson
is coming off his bye week and should be ready to take on the
Bills and their dynamic running game. He’s been relatively
quiet for a few weeks, and is more readily available off waiver
wires than fellow Jets lineman Muhammed Wilkerson – who
also has a great matchup.
Scouring The Barrel
Rey, CIN (CLE, BYE, @SD, IND) – Rey had 15 total tackles (10
solos), 3.0 sacks and an INT versus the Ravens playing for the
injured Rey Maualuga. You can’t ignore IDP performances like this,
because they rarely mean players go right back into obscurity.
The Bengals linebackers are banged up and Rey could be a monster
in the second half of 2013.
DL Cedric Thornton, PHI (WAS, BYE, ARI, DET) – He’s
worth looking at for Week 11 in deep IDP leagues as a DL3 and
has another good matchup in Week 13. Thornton already has 40 tackles
this season – pretty good for a DL.
DL Calais Campbell, ARI (@JAC, IND, @PHI, STL) – Campbell
had four assists and a PD, making him a middle-of-the-road DL
start in Week 10. He should be able to eat a little more against
DB Morgan Burnett, GB (@NYG, MIN, @DET, ATL) – I’m
not sure if Burnett’s hamstring is acting up again, but
he only tallied three solos in Sunday’s loss to Philly.
Not exactly a Tier 1 DB performance.
Porter, OAK (HOU, TEN, @DAL, @NYJ) – I predicted Porter would
get a pick against the Giants. Not only did he snag a Manning
pass, he took it 43 yards for a TD. Porter added three solos tackles
and a PD.
LB Nick Roach, OAK (@HOU, TEN, @DAL, @NYJ) – Roach finished
with six solos and an assists against the Giants. He’s shown
to be a consistent LB3 – ranging from 6-12 tackles in every
game except Week 2.
Marks, JAC (ARI, @HOU, @CLE, HOU) – Marks had a tackle and
a PD in the Jags first win of the season.
LB Paul Worrilow, ATL (@TB, NO, @BUF, @GB) – For the second
straight week, Worrilow finished with 19 total tackles (10 solos
this time around). Everything seems to be flowing his way in that