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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 17
12/24/13 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 final matchups islisted in parentheses ()


Off The Top

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (CLE) – Big Ben has a solid matchup in the season finale and he’s still available in a bunch of 12-team leagues. Ride him as a low-end QB1, high-end QB2 against the Browns.

Digging Deeper

Mike Glennon, TB (@NO) – The Bucs will be playing catch-up in New Orleans, where you have to expect big numbers from Brees and the Saints the season finale. The Saints secondary is banged up.

Scouring The Barrel

Kyle Orton, DAL (PHI) – As a Cowboys fan I’m not expecting much, but Orton is a veteran QB and he’ll have the offensive weapons to post some numbers.


Jay Cutler, CHI (GB) – Cutler had 222-1-1, 15 rushing yards and a 2-point conversion, but was eventually pulled for Josh McCown as the Bears were being blown out by the Eagles.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TEN (HOU) – Fitz tallied 181-1-1 in the win over Jacksonville. He’s a solid QB2 play for Week 17.

Kirk Cousins, WAS (@NYG) – Cousins failed to take advantage of a great matchup and had 197-1-1and 10 rushing yards against the Cowboys.

Running Backs

Off The Top

James Starks, GB (@CHI) – With Eddie Lacy once again nursing a right ankle sprain, Starks could get a ton of carries facing the pitiful Bears defense. The veteran RB has run well when he’s gotten the ball, so look for RB2 numbers in Week 17.

Digging Deeper

Knile Davis, KC (@SD) – Davis has looked good in limited work this season and he could get a large workload Sunday as the Chiefs plan on resting starters in preparation for the postseason. He’ll make a solid flex at worst and probably a low-end RB2.

Scouring The Barrel

Jonathan Grimes, HOU (@TEN) – Injuries have more than decimated the Texans RB corps – they’ve obliterated it. Without much on the line, Grimes is a lottery ticket in Week 17 with moderate upside. Think of him as a $5 scratch-off – you won’t win $1,000 or more, but you have a shot at $50 or $100.


Trent Richardson, IND (@JAC) – Donald Brown had a monster day, but Richardson contributed 43 rushing yards and 3-15-0 receiving. They’ll both have a shot as solid Week 17 plays, with Brown the better option of the two.

Mike Tolbert, CAR (@ATL) – Tolbert had just one carry for 1 yards and 2-5-0 receiving as DeAngelo Williams stole the show.

Roy Helu, WAS (@NYG) – Helu had a two-yard loss on his lone carry and 2-5-0 receiving. Alfred Morris had 24 carries for 88 yards and a TD.

Kendall Hunter, SF (@ARI) – Hunter had three carries for 51 yards and should remain the lesser back in the San Fran timeshare Week 17.

Matt Asiata, MIN (DET) – Asiata was inactive and Peterson was held to under 50 yards. Joe Banyard might actually get the nod in Week 17.

Edwin Baker, CLE (@PIT) – Baker got the bulk of carries for the Browns and finished with 64 rushing yards and a TD as well as 2-12-0 receiving.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Off The Top

Marvin Jones, CIN (BAL) – Had I started Jones (40-50 percent owned) instead of Andre Caldwell in one championship this past week, I’d be taking home the trophy. Jones offers dynamic red zone ability and he’s developed some consistency over the past few weeks. Ride him against the Ravens, who will likely clamp down on A.J. Green.

Digging Deeper

Ted Ginn Jr., CAR (@ATL) – With Steve Smith on the shelf, Ginn (16-20 percent owned) gets his shot at consistent targets in the Panthers offense. He’s a blazer, so one long TD could easily happen against a secondary that’s had its problems this season.

Scouring The Barrel

Kris Durham, DET (@MIN) – The Lions would be silly to roll out Megatron in a meaningless finale, so expect Durham (5-10 percent owned), a big receiver with some comparable skills, to get the majority of targets in this one.


WR/TE Tim Wright, TB (@NO) – Wright didn’t get into the end zone but had 4-27-0 against the Rams. He’s poised for a strong finale and could be a fantasy standout in 2014.

Robert Woods, BUF (@NE) – Though Stevie Johnson wasn’t with the team, Woods caught three passes for 70 yards on just five targets. He’s developing into a more reliable possession receiver with some big-play upside.

Da’Rick Rogers, IND (JAC) – Rogers had 4-42-0 on six targets from Andrew Luck.

Jerrel Jernigan, NYG (WAS) – Jernigan’s 6-80-1 was a revelation for the Giants in their win over Detroit — which eliminated the Lions from playoff contention. It was Jernigan’s best game as a pro and he remains a popular addition this week.

Andre Caldwell, DEN (@OAK) – Caldwell was targeted thrice in the win over Houston and caught 2-12-0. It was a disappointing performance for owners counting on a score form the hit-or-miss slot man.


Off The Top

DL Rob Ninkovich, NE (BUF) – He’s had an excellent season at DE (86 total tackles, 7.0 sacks) and looks to finish with a flourish against the vulnerable Bills.

LB Mychal Kendricks, PHI (@DAL) – Kendricks could make some big plays in Dallas this week, and he’s an excellent bet for continued production in dynasty leagues.

Digging Deeper

DB Antrel Rolle, NYG (WAS) – He’s the most consistent defenders on the Giants this season and should be headed to the Pro Bowl. He’s made 93 tackles, has 2.0 sacks, six INTs and 11 PD on the season.

LB Vincent Rey, CIN (BAL) – Rey had another big game and remains one of the most underrated LBs in the league. He’s sure to have a starting spot in 2014.

Scouring The Barrel

DB Captain Munnerlyn, CAR (@ATL) – Munnerlyn was a quiet star at CB for the Panthers this season, making 66 tackles with 3.0 sacks, two INT, 12 PD and two defensive TDs. He’s almost universally available in IDP leagues.

DL Pat Sims, OAK (DEN) – Sims came out of nowhere with 15 total tackles (10 solos) and a sack in Week 16, so he’s worth adding as a DL2 in the matchup with Denver.


DB Barry Church, DAL (PHI) – Church made seven tackles but failed to contribute any big plays in the stirring comeback win over the Redskins. He’s still a DB1 in IDP formats.

DL Olivier Vernon, MIA (NYJ) – Vernon made five solo tackles and the Bills did a good job protecting Thad Lewis from the Dolphins pass rush.

DL Sheldon Richardson, NYJ (@MIA) – Richardson’s six total tackles were solid, but he didn’t get to the QB this time. He’s made 76 tackles on the season.

LB Jason Worilds, PIT (CLE) – Worilds had three tackles and a sack in the win at Green Bay. He’s finally emerging as a decent OLB option in fantasy.

LB Geno Hayes, JAC (@IND) – Hayes ended up sitting out Week 16 with a knee injury.

DB Harrison Smith, MIN (DET) – Smith had lackluster seven-tackle game. He’s a DB1 facing Detroit in Week 17.